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hey say variety is the spice of life and on the rare occasion that I meet someone completely unfamiliar with our hotels, one word that always finds its way into my first sentence is eclectic. How else could you start to describe a collection which includes a Berkshire stately home, a Cotswold coaching inn, a New Forest manor house and four Chelsea townhouses! At first glance they appear to have little in common; dig deeper and not only will you find commonalities in terms of the outstanding suites and facilities, but more importantly you will find a common theme which is surprisingly hard to find these days. I call it good old fashioned hospitality and in an increasingly homogenised world where everything is perfected to within an inch of its life, we continue to develop and grow a team of individuals who are exactly that, individuals. There are an increasing number of luxury hotels and resorts that on paper deliver exactly the same: comfortable bedrooms, great restaurants and whizzy spas. However, all too often the service delivered comes across as being somewhat manufactured and at times verging on insincere. Hotels that drill their staff too well may as well, in my humble opinion, put them in strait jackets. Our strategy of merely pointing the team in the right direction and letting them take a more intuitive approach to their work creates a very different service culture, and as all of our guests are different and they all come for different reasons, it is only right and fair that bespoke service is on the menu, delivered by genuine people with personalities, who really care about what they are doing. I was taken aback just this last week when we gathered all of our departmental managers for the inaugural Iconic Heads of Department conference. We successfully assembled a handful of exceptional speakers and covered a number of engrossing topics, to great applause. However, it was our storytelling dinner which really highlighted what a phenomenal team we have. Not only was every dish served with good reason, but throughout the evening story after story unfolded, sharing why some of our budding authors came into the hospitality business while others revealed a scenario at work which made them reflect on their own priorities in life. Some were terribly sad and others hilarious, however they were all heartfelt. Ultimately though, from my perspective, they were all magical. Not only did they make me very proud of what is really a big family, their stories also gave me a great deal of confidence that they will be at the forefront of our quest to ensure that we continue to do things a little differently. Our own favourite story, or should I say fairy tale, of recent times was the enchanting marriage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, capturing the hearts and minds of audiences across the world. It was also undoubtedly an iconic moment in our history and another Royal feather in Clivedenâ€™s cap.
Andrew Stembridge Executive Director, Iconic Luxury Hotels
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53 JERMYN STREET, LONDON | 118 HIGH STREET, ETON | 970 LEXINGTON AVENUE, NEW YORK
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CONTENTS ICONIC LUXURY THE TASTE OF CELEBRATION
THE SEEDS OF SUCCESS
The secrets of serving champagne
NIGHTS AT THE OPERA
Jewellery designers: ones to watch
Supercar road trip with David Green
OLD SCHOOL NEW COOL
New neighbourhood restaurant Hans’ Bar & Grill reviewed
Invest in the ultimate accessory
A KIND OF MAGIC
Olly Smith reveals the wine world’s biggest secret
How to create an unforgettable showstopper of a party
ROUX TO SUCCESS
Cliveden’s ongoing connection to the Roux family
PARKY: IN RETROSPECT
COOK WITH CONFIDENCE
The great British talk show host on a charmed life
The Kitchen’s Stephen Bulmer talks skills and spices
Every May Chelsea comes up roses
NANCY ASTOR: PIONEER
A NOVEL CURE
Helen Brocklebank takes a digital detox
Celebrating 100 years of women in Parliament
ALL WELL & GOOD
The top wellness trends identified by Susan d’Arcy
Alternative investments: classic cars to vintage wines
Opinion: recreating the ‘High Street’
A SUMMER ADVENTURE
Myanmar in the rainy season
ICONIC STYLE DRESSING FOR THE SEASON
Reimagining La Scala in an English medieval estate
ON THE ROAD IN STYLE
THE CHELSEA EXPERIENCE
The agony and glory of creating a show stand
What to wear and how to wear it
THE COUNTRY SET
Shopping the Cotswolds for country chic
FASHION GAME CHANGER
The enduring appeal of Mary Quant
THE ART OF CRAFT
The big story now is luxury craft
ICONIC SOCIAL THE SOCIAL SEASON 2019
The ultimate guide to where to be seen
P30 Blooming Marvellous
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Meridien Modena 77 High Street, Lyndhurst Hampshire, SO43 7PB Tel. 02380 283 404 lyndhurst.ferraridealers.com
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ALL ICONIC CLIVEDEN Cliveden is unique; this historic National Trust country house, just 40 minutes from London and 20 minutes from Heathrow, is set in 376 acres of Grade I listed formal gardens and woodland and enjoys panoramic views over the River Thames. It has a rich heritage as a venue for entertaining royalty and prime ministers, with tales of parties, privilege and power. Today Cliveden is as glamorous and decadent as it has ever been. An ambitious and sympathetic five-year restoration project has recently been completed, its crowning glory being the Cliveden Spa, which features the ‘Profumo Affair’ pool. Guests can enjoy a delicious choice of dining experiences including the sumptuous award-winning Cliveden Dining Room and The Astor Grill, located in the old stables. Cliveden has featured two years running among the top five hotels in the UK in Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Travel Awards.
IDEAL FOR: AN ESCAPE FROM THE CITY. T: 01628 607107 Email: email@example.com Web: www.clivedenhouse.co.uk
CHEWTON GLEN Chewton Glen is an original; this 5-star Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel and spa is one of the finest in the country and sets the standards by which others are judged. Located within 130 acres of gardens on the edge of the New Forest and a few minutes’ walk from the coast, Chewton Glen is renowned for continually innovating and evolving. Recent additions include the fabulous Treehouse Suites and The Kitchen, an exciting meet, eat, cook venue overseen by TV Chef James Martin. Various activities available within the grounds include a 9-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor tennis courts and a croquet lawn. Every year Chewton Glen garners top awards, the most recent include Rural Hotel of the Year and Best Overall Hotel — Food & Travel Readers’ Awards; winner UK Hotel Spas — Condé Nast Traveller Readers' Travel Awards; both #2 and Countryside Hotel of the Year — The Caterer’s Hoteliers’ Hotel Top 100 Awards.
IDEAL FOR: A PERFECT STAYCATION. T: 01425 282212 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.chewtonglen.com
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Iconic Luxury Hotels is a small collection of exceptional hotels. Each one has its own character, but they all deliver outstanding experiences.
THE LYGON ARMS The Lygon Arms is a Cotswolds institution; this stunning 600-year-old coaching inn of honeyed stone is located in picturesque Broadway – which is often referred to as the ‘Jewel of the Cotswolds’. The inn has been a destination for centuries, attracting guests as varied as King Charles I, Oliver Cromwell, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood. Recently The Lygon Arms underwent a major refurbishment programme that has delivered luxurious comfort and chic style while retaining the inn’s distinctive heritage, character and Cotswolds charm. Features include: The Lygon Bar & Grill for relaxed dining in the magnificent Great Hall, an inviting new wine bar, relaxing cocktail bar, luxurious spa for indulgent pampering, and secret gardens approaching three acres.
IDEAL FOR: A COUNTRY RETREAT. T: 01386 852255 Email: email@example.com Web: www.lygonarmshotel.co.uk
11 CADOGAN GARDENS 11 Cadogan Gardens is exceptional; appreciated by the cognoscenti, this delightful, exclusive boutique hotel is found in an elegant townhouse off one of the squares in the heart of Chelsea, one of the smartest and most fashionable areas of London. Individual and distinguished, yet subtly discreet, 11 Cadogan Gardens provides the ultimate city escape with plush, luxurious suites, theatrical cocktail bar and a new addition, Hans’ Bar & Grill opening onto Pavilion Road, considered the very latest in-vogue destination for foodies. 11 Cadogan Gardens is perfectly located for travellers and fashionistas as it is situated between Sloane Square and Knightsbridge, an area acclaimed worldwide for the very best in luxury and style. 11 Cadogan Gardens has also been listed among ‘The Best Hotels in London’ in Condé Nast Traveller’s prestigious Readers' Travel Awards' for two years running.
IDEAL FOR: THE SMARTEST SHOPPING EXPERIENCE. T: 0207 730 7000 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org Web:www.11cadogangardens.com
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LYNK Photographer Adam Lynk works with luxury brands across the UK and internationally, his photographs appearing in numerous publications from The New York Times to Vogue. Portraits include comedian Henning Wehn and football manager Harry Redknapp. He frequently works with Iconic Luxury Hotels and photographed David Green’s road trip on page 26. PERFECT DAY: up early, visit gym, then a food or lifestyle shoot followed by dinner with my daughters at The Kitchen, Chewton Glen. RECOMMENDED READ: For Esme with Love and Squalor by JD Salinger.
WILLIAMS Kate Williams is an author, historian, broadcaster and Professor of History at the University of Reading. Frequent TV appearances range from BBC Breakfast to The Great British Bake Off, as well as winning Mastermind, Pointless and Celebrity Antiques Roadshow, and co-presenting Restoration Home. PERFECT DAY: lots of fruit for breakfast, reading in front of the fire, then a walk in the wind. RECOMMENDED READ: as Chair of the Women’s Prize for Fiction this year, I have nearly 200 books to read. But my must-read book is always George Eliot’s Middlemarch.
D’ARCY Susan d’Arcy is luxury travel and spa writer for The Sunday Times. In the name of journalism Susan has been scrubbed with diamond dust, soaked in wet hay and injected with her own blood for a vampire facial. PERFECT DAY: take a morning HIIT [High-intensity interval training] class, followed by a country walk, so I feel worthy, but then enjoy a totally indulgent dinner so I cannot be too unbearably smug. RECOMMENDED READ: Wilding by Isabella Tree, about a pioneering rewilding project in West Sussex, has made a big impression recently.
MAGAZINE TEAM Executive Director: Andrew Stembridge Magazine Project Director: Angela Day Editor: Emma Caulton Advertising Sales: Arabella Boardman Graphic Designer: Kerry Brown
GREEN David Green is a writer, broadcaster and the Motoring Editor of The Times Luxx. He currently hosts the three annual motoring events at Goodwood, the Members' Meeting, Revival and Festival of Speed, for ITV. PERFECT DAY: not far from the day described in my article: great car on a great drive with a race track en route and dinner with friends at a luxury country hotel. RECOMMENDED READ: I usually champion the last good book I have read and that would be The Great Siege: Malta 1565 by Ernle Bradford, an account of one of the most fascinating episodes of the past.
PAGE Emma J Page combines her role as Interiors Editor at TI Media with a freelance career, writing about food, travel, lifestyle and interiors for titles including The Times Magazine, House & Garden, Stella, World of Interiors, Livingetc and Homes & Antiques. She is also a Contributing Editor at Homes & Gardens. PERFECT DAY: spent losing track of time with loved ones — preferably sharing food and drink around a dining table. RECOMMENDED READ: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy: culturally and politically rich but deeply human.
PORTER Alison Porter is a writer, video producer and author of Stronger than Before: Take Charge of Your Healing to Survive and Thrive with Breast Cancer. She mixes the peace of the writing desk with filming assignments in far-flung locations. Living in Henley-on-Thames allows her to indulge her soft spot for Cliveden. PERFECT DAY: waking up at Cliveden, followed by a pit-stop at the Musée d’Orsay before a long, lazy lunch at Club 55, St Tropez. RECOMMENDED READ: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. It is funnier and more beautiful in the original Spanish.
COVER IMAGE The wedding of Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex was an iconic moment in Cliveden’s history when Cliveden was honoured to host the royal bride the night before her wedding. Photographer: Darren Staples Source: Reuters.
Iconic Magazine © 2019 is published once a year and is in the portfolio of Iconic Luxury
While every attempt has been made to ensure that the content in this magazine is accurate, Iconic Magazine or Iconic Luxury Hotels cannot accept and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for loss or damage caused by errors or omissions resulting from negligence, accident or any other cause. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine can be reproduced without prior written permission of Iconic Magazine. Information is correct at time of going to press.
Hotels: Chewton Glen; Cliveden; 11 Cadogan Gardens and The Lygon Arms.
ICONIC Flatplan_JAN_2018_v7.indd 13 Fuel economy and CO2 results for the Maserati Levante MY19 range in mpg (l/100km) combined: 30.0 (9.4) to 20.7 (13.6). *CO2 emissions: 207 â€“ 282 g/km. Figures shown are for comparability purposes; only compare fuel consumption and CO2 figures with other cars tested to the same technical procedures. These figures may not reflect real life driving results, which will depend upon a number of factors including the accessories fitted (post-registration), variations in weather, driving styles and vehicle load. *There is a new test used for fuel consumption and CO2 figures. The CO2 figures shown however, are based on the outgoing test cycle and will be used to calculate vehicle tax on first registration.
The Maserati of SUVs
Meridien Modena Maserati
77 High Street, Lyndhurst, Hampshire SO43 7PB 02380 283 404 meridien.co.uk/maserati
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The Taste of
CELEBRATION Unexpected food pairings, how to keep champagne and the best way to serve it, revealed by Ethan Boroian, Moët Hennessy’s Champagne Ambassador, to Alison Porter
o truly appreciate champagne, knowing a little of its celebrated history adds to its allure. Champagne first gained its elevated status as the chosen drink of French kings, who were traditionally crowned at Reims in the heart of the Champagne region. It only began to reach a wider audience when popularised by Claude Moët, a wine merchant, who introduced it to the court of Louis XV in Versailles. Moët cleverly became an ally of La Marquise de Pompadour, the King’s head mistress, who famously claimed, “Champagne is the only wine that leaves a woman beautiful after drinking it”. Surviving several centuries as an aperitif, it was then immortalised in countless films as the iconic choice for celebration. Only recently has it been liberated from its historic role of whetting the appetite to become the perfect accompaniment throughout a meal. The widening of champagne’s appeal in the modern era comes in part from a relaxing of the confines of gastronomy, but also from champagne’s evolution over time. Champagne in the 1800s was much more sweet, while more recent tastes have demanded ever-increasing dryness, particularly from the 1970s onwards. The crisp and refreshing acidity of modern champagne cuts through fatty and salty food, cleansing the palate and lifting the heaviness of a meal. Champagne and caviar have always been close bedfellows as far back as the rule of the tsars, but these days you are just as likely to see it served with fish and chips – a recommended and beautifully balanced pairing. Blanc varieties of champagne are regularly paired with chicken and fish, but a little-known secret is how well rosé champagnes complement meat and game. The lighter rosés from Moët et Chandon or Veuve Clicquot are delightfully quaffable summer champagnes and aperitifs, but the marques with higher red wine content
A little-known secret is how well rosé champagnes complement meat and game like Ruinart, Dom Pérignon and Krug make excellent pairings with heavier meat dishes. For desserts, champagne works best with lighter and fruitier delicacies, as the acidity fights the sweetness of chocolate-based confections. Of course, there is also the hotly-debated topic of how best to serve champagne: coupe de champagne, flute or, the latest contender, the humble white wine glass? Ethan settles the argument, “The original serving style of the coupe suited the cloudiness of the champagne of the 1800s, which was masked by the frosted crystal of the glass. However, its surface area is wide, allowing effervescence to escape too quickly. The move to the champagne flute suited clearer modern champagnes, but with only a very small surface area at the
top of the glass, the aromas are much more difficult to detect. For the best expression of your chosen champagne, serve it in a white wine glass, which has enough surface area to capture the aromas and a closed lip at the edge to retain them.” He is in good company with that opinion. Olivier Krug, the sixth generation of the family to oversee the Prestige Cuvée house, has remarked that, “Drinking Krug from a flute is like listening to opera wearing earplugs”. When storing your champagne, treat it as you would a precious perfume. Just like scent, it is affected by light and heat. Bottles should be laid down in a cool, dry place – out of the light and without temperature fluctuations. Non-vintage champagne will be at its best for three to five years, while vintage champagnes can be kept for 15 to
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30 years. Some of the older vintages like the 1955 Veuve Clicquot may still be going strong today, as champagnes of that era had higher levels of sugar, which could preserve the wine for longer. A good vintage depends on the quality of the grape (reflected in the Échelle des Crus system of Cru, Premier Cru and Grand Cru), sunlight, rain and the ripeness of the grape creating the ideal balance of acidity and sugar. For Veuve Clicquot, the preferred champagne partner for Iconic Luxury Hotels, 2002 was blessed with exactly the right measure of sun and rain, producing an exceptional vintage. The 2008 is also a very well-balanced vintage, with an ideal tension between citrus and body from its pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. Uniquely, 2009 and 2008 were the only vintages released out of sequence by the prestige house of Dom Pérignon, offering extra ageing to the 2008. With 115 members of the wine team committed to creating the best, there is an agreement only to release a vintage when there is a good story to tell. That story will develop over time. Ethan recommends buying a case of your chosen vintage, then opening a bottle every three to five years to experience the evolution of the champagne. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect to Veuve Clicquot is that the house owes its success to a tale of female empowerment. Madame Clicquot, known as the Grande Dame of Champagne, took control of the company in 1805, aged 27, when her
husband died just seven years into their marriage. The widow Clicquot focused the business exclusively on champagne production and developed a novel technique called riddling, removing the sediment that had made champagne of the era cloudy. She also created a blended rosé champagne which became a game changer in the industry. It is to Veuve Clicquot that we leave the last word on champagne. Championing excellence above all else, the house still lives by her motto: “Only one quality, the finest”.
THE CHAMPAGNE AMBASSADOR’S GUIDE TO SERVING CHAMPAGNE • Use a white wine glass to enjoy fully the aromas and retain your champagne’s characteristic effervescence. • Never serve it too cold, particularly when drinking vintage champagne. If it is over-chilled, you will lose the aroma and full flavour. Around 8-10°C is the ideal temperature. • Choose a magnum rather than a single bottle. The ratio of bottle neck to liquid ensures the best expression of the champagne will be found in a magnum.
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IN RETROSPECT The great British talk show host Sir Michael Parkinson reflects on a charmed life with Emma Caulton
here is no mistaking that Yorkshire lilt. Sir Michael Parkinson is describing his show — currently on tour. However, the great questioner will not himself be taking questions from the audience, “I do not do a question and answer at the end simply because people always ask the same questions: What do you think of Meg Ryan?” Meg Ryan? I was not going to mention her. Or Helen Mirren. Or any of the other occasional cringeworthy moments that tend to be remembered more often than all the insightful interviews that Sir Michael (aka Parky) conducted over decades of being THE talk show host, interviewing thousands of our most significant cultural figures. The roll-call of guests included Hollywood stars, sports heroes and outstanding musicians — from Orson Welles to Peter Sellers, and Muhammed Ali to Nelson Mandela. He is even attributed with launching careers, such as Billy Connolly’s and Jamie Cullum’s. This legendary award-winning broadcaster, journalist and interviewer largely defined the celebrity talk show as we know it. And the talk show has largely defined him. His current show, in conversation with his son, Michael junior (usually called Mike), discusses and reveals highlights from the archives — back when The Parkinson Show, with its unmistakable jazzy intro and that steep staircase for guests to stride or shimmy down, was unmissable. “It is about talk shows and it is about Fred Astaire and it is about Sir Michael Caine and all those people I have interviewed, and a real retrospective of my career in television.” We discuss the craft of the interview: “I never found it difficult to talk to people and I never found it difficult to relax people and I think that is the important part of an interview. There was all that palaver about [guests] walking down those stairs, looking relaxed, to meet someone they had never met before… The last thing you wanted to say to people before they sashayed down those stairs to music was enjoy yourself! ‘Enjoy myself? Are you mad?’ “I used to spend two minutes or so just trying to reassure them that it was all going to be all right. That is something that is very important in television, to help the guest believe this fantasy that it is just you and them in the room.
“It is about talk shows and it is about Fred Astaire and it is about Sir Michael Caine and all those people I have interviewed, and a real retrospective of my career in television.” 18 iconicluxuryhotels.com
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“In my first ten years of having a talk show, when I said, ‘ladies and gentlemen my next guest is Fred Astaire,’ there was an audible gasp, because they had never seen him in a talk show situation before. We all knew what they looked like, but we did not necessarily know if they liked jam on their bread or whatever. From a journalist’s point of view there was that great thing of trekking into unknown territory. From their point of view anything they said was wonderful: Cagney speaks! That sort of thing. It was the best time to be a talk show interviewer. The guests appeared glamorous; they had not been seen every day on one network or another or social media. Everything has changed. I cannot think of anyone who you could interview for a show who the audience is not aware of and does not know something about. “It was just wonderful meeting your heroes. I had the pick of the field and it was lovely; I enjoyed it. My talk show was about interviewing the fascinating people of the time. Show business people are very tightly controlled now; you have to promote that or this point. This is why Graham is so clever. He uses those strictures to build a party atmosphere and let people do a turn. And it works.” Sir Michael turns 84 this year, but comments: “I do not know what downtime means. I do not work like I used to, of course, but I still feel fit enough and well enough to go on stage and have some fun.” Hence the tour. “Michael my son, who is a radio and television producer, has been my producer by my side for the past 14 years or more. So, you have two Parkinsons on the show, one asking and one answering the questions, and you have wonderful clips, which we change occasionally, and we go round the country doing our show. We enjoy working together and have a good time.” Along with the tour, the two Michaels have also recently published a memoir on footballer George Best. “Best played a big part in our lives, not just my life, from when he first came over to England all the way through to his death. He was a close and good friend, and he used to come down to our house and hide away with us when he was on the run from the media or whatever. My three boys used to have the time of their lives, because he was not interested in me or my friends, he just wanted to play football with my kids on the lawn — they used to have a game called ‘Get the ball George Best if you can’. Mike and I researched the book and wrote it, and Mike has also written a very personal piece about the games they used to play. It is a different way of assessing the man. It is not often you get that kind of insight as a child.” As for Sir Michael. The questions worth asking are not about Meg Ryan, but about a different time entirely. “I left school at 16 and joined the local newspaper and became a local correspondent going round pit villages and covering all those stories in that area: the gossip news, the football and pigeon results and all that…” After National Service, he joined The Guardian, then moved to Fleet Street and then into Granada Television at its beginning. Throughout his career he has also written for newspapers, a lot about sport, and worked for the best television — programmes like BBC’s 24 hours. “Mine is an interesting story because, although I get slightly tired of talking about it all the time and being asked the same questions, I have had an exceedingly lucky, charmed life, because what happened to me, coming from the background I did, should never have been, for a boy born into a mining village in South Yorkshire to get to the top of newspapers, working for Fleet Street, a couple of awards for the BBC, doing a talk show, all that has been an amazement to me. I cannot understand it, I cannot explain it, all I can tell you is that I have had the most wonderful time and a charmed life.”
Sir Michael Parkinson with his son Mike
“I have been a journalist for 60 odd years and done countless interviews. Sometimes it takes the form of chit-chat to relax the person, but it is no conversation, it is more structured than that. “TV chiefs seem to think that a talk show can be done by anybody when you need an interviewer to make it work. It seems to me sometimes that others [do interviews] without having thought about it too much. Jonathan Ross has been there for ever and is still there and knows how to do it, and Graham Norton is very good indeed, Graham throws a party basically and he is a wonderful host of that party. But the road of the talk show is scattered with the mutilated bodies of many people who have tried and been found wanting for the simple reason that they did not have a clue about interviewing someone. “An interview is like anything else; you have to do your research. I have used, generally speaking, over all of my career, maybe 20 per cent of my research. But you need to know all of it just in case there is a moment in time when your question is challenged.” Sir Michael breaks off and turns to Mike: “What was his name? That singer? Barry Manilow!” Then he recounts: “He said, ‘I did not do that, sir.’ I said, ‘Yes, you did.’ He said, ‘No, I did not.’ I said, ‘It is in your book.’ To which there is no reply; except to say, ‘I did not write it!’” He laughs. However, he adds: “I do not think I would want to do my job now because there is no mystery left with the kind of people I want to interview. Social media has changed all that.
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STARS The very best of the British jewellery scene selected by Alice Edwards, Jewellery Editor, The Sunday Times and The Times' LUXX
ritain has a long and illustrious history of jewellery. We have worn, made and collected jewellery for centuries. When the Cheapside Hoard (a mind-boggling cache of Elizabethan and early Stuart jewellery) was discovered by workmen in 1912, it illustrated just how far this sparkling tradition went back. Names such as Asprey, Boodles, Garrard and more recently Graff are among the finest in the world. Hatton Garden is renowned far and wide as an epicentre of the jewellery trade and Bond Street is known globally as the destination to shop for jewels. History aside, it is the newest names which are setting the jewellery world alight right now. This homegrown talent has emerged from a perfect storm: world class art schools, visionary stores such as Dover Street Market and Matchesfashion.com and, crucially, footfall. Here are the names to know, watch and collect.
Pragnell Founded by the current Mr Pragnell’s grandfather in 1954, this family-owned, Stratford-based jeweller has undergone a serious makeover. Aside from offering perhaps the best selection of Rolex and Patek Philippe watches around, and a treasure trove of artfully curated antique pieces, Pragnell also create some utterly fabulous jewellery all made in-house. There are delicate diamond set pieces inspired by birds’ tail feathers and impressive smooth gold bangles reminiscent of old Hollywood glamour. The clear stand out is the Bold Gold collection where chunky gold links of individual letters cast in a strong modern font can be set together to form a message, word or name — taking the classic name bracelet well into the 21st Century. Pragnell have also just opened a swanky new store and workshop on London’s Mount Street complete with world class workshop and famously immaculate service.
33ct Colombian emerald and diamond bracelet in platinum and 3.5ct Colombian emerald and diamond ring in platinum
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Here are the names to know, watch and collect... Georgina Boyce Georgina Boyce is the modern and infinitely more glamorous incarnation of the independent family jeweller — no longer to be found in a dusty workshop, but rather in an Architectural Digest-worthy townhouse in Wandsworth. Bespoke charm bracelet, whopping push present or modest engagement ring — no matter the budget, Georgina Boyce Fine Jewellery is as careful and considered with a few zeros as with telephone numbers. Impeccably trained with a fierce eye, there is nothing Georgina Boyce does not know about the jewellery business: stone grading, sourcing, fixing broken chains and mounts, she is a bejewelled encyclopaedia. Her technical know-how is unparalleled which is yet more impressive when you realise she is only in her early thirties (most inhabitants of Hatton Garden are, well, much older). This wealth of knowledge combined with her timeless, clean designs and booming bespoke business is why her loyal client base has grown exponentially since she founded her eponymous business in 2014.
Georgina Boyce Sector earrings white gold
Georgina Boyce Iso pendants yellow gold
Jessica McCormack Fast becoming one of the world’s most sought-after jewellers, Jessica’s antique-inspired, feminine aesthetic is her trademark, mixing different tones of gold (think blackened along with the usual suspects of white, rose and yellow), Georgian cut-down settings and a plethora of extraordinary diamonds. Celebrity fans include Liv Tyler, Rosie HuntingtonWhiteley and Rihanna. Jessica designs, wears and talks about jewellery in terms of a jewellery wardrobe: a collection that is interchangeable and can be matched together in any combination for a lifetime. Her Gypset hoops are the first element in her wardrobe; the delicate gold hoop with a dangling diamond (available in every size and shape imaginable) fits without a butterfly, which means they are divinely comfortable (including when slept in). What is really special is the Carlos Place townhouse — home to her studio, showroom and her workshop. Each floor is refined but eclectic — a meeting of antiques with modern art, vibrant fabrics with deep velvets. It is more akin to a home than a commercial space, but crucially it feels authentic and very much part of Jessica’s personal style and vision.
Jessica McCormack London Eye hoops
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There is a growing pack of female fine jewellers all trained and designing in Britain.
Jessie Thomas gold and diamond Starburst studs
Jessie Thomas As the daughter of a master goldsmith, Jessie has jewellery in the blood. However, her designs are far from traditional. Her debut collection of baroque pearls and molten gold is exquisitely handmade and unique. Tessa Packard Half Scottish, half Brazilian, Tessa’s eclectic designs are deeply glamorous. Full of humour and rich colour — real mood enhancers. Daisy Knights Breeze Feather earrings
Daisy Knights These relaxed, bohemian pieces are all handmade by Daisy herself in her Hampshire workshop. Inspired by her love of the sea, this keen surfer and sailor designs collections to be weathered and worn in all seasons.
Tessa Packard Antarctica ring with hand-carved quartz star and pave diamond detailing in yellow gold
London is lucky enough to boast a raft of exciting international jewellers who all call our capital home. Here they design, sell and often make their pieces — adding colour and life to the industry.
Sabine Getty Ziggy necklace
Sabine Getty Lebanese-born Sabine’s work is known for bright colours inspired by popular culture. Her last two collections, Big and Memphis, are a rainbow of fun, yet incredibly chic pieces found at her divine showroom in Berkeley Square. Noor Fares Trained at Central Saint Martins before releasing the first of many collections, each thoughtful piece mixes unusually cut and polished stones set in often blackened gold. Her work is spiritually inspired by Ayurvedic and holistic medicine.
Noor Fares Prana bracelet
Fernando Jorge Originally from Brazil, his passionate and fluid designs are not quite like anything you will have ever seen — artful and vibrant and beautifully made. Fernando Jorge Fluid Chain earrings. Fernando Jorge Fluid Diamonds open ring
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Uniquely for you Individually handcrafted jewellery, lovingly created to celebrate your everlasting moments.
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On the Road in
STYLE Drivetime with David Green, Motoring Editor of The Times LUXX, taking an iconic road trip
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conic’s three hotels outside London — Cliveden, Chewton Glen and The Lygon Arms — form a triangle with intersecting lines over some of Southern England’s finest countryside. As a committed car fanatic, a road trip using the waypoints of these three fine hotels as my route seems obvious. The only missing ingredient is the vehicle. I could just choose something sensible and functional to get me from A to B to C, but a supercar from one of Britain’s premium manufacturers would seem appropriate. McLaren are also based in the south of England and like Iconic represent luxury and good taste. My tenuous justification complete, I slip behind the wheel of a magenta red McLaren 720S and prepare to hit the road. I start my trip at Chewton Glen in the New Forest not far from the South Coast. The weather gods have been kind to me and despite the cold I am greeted by a crisp blue, cloudless sky; the best I could hope for in winter and with the responsibility of 710 horsepower under my right foot. Famous as
a destination spa hotel, Chewton Glen also has an informal restaurant, The Kitchen, that doubles up as a cookery school, and as I swing into the carpark, TV chef, occasional tutor and car collector James Martin turns curtain twitcher as he hears the twin-turbo V8 of the McLaren long before he sees it pull in. This dramatic car certainly has a presence, especially in this particular iridescent paintwork and as I open the twin-hinged dihedral door upwards it looks like some sort of giant robotic beetle in the grounds of the hotel. As I begin my journey and exit Chewton Glen, I point myself northwest in the general direction of The Lygon Arms in Broadway. I have a rough plan of my route, but I am equally happy to be distracted by any deviation that takes my fancy. Driving through the beautiful South Downs on a country drive in the midst of winter you may be forgiven for thinking an SUV would be better suited to my task. However, there is something about the accuracy and surefootedness of the 720S that makes it
a perfect companion for this adventure. All of that power through the rear wheels may seem a little daunting in the early morning frost, but behind the wheel the big Mac shrinks around you and gives you the confidence of a Formula One driver. The familiar McLaren low windscreen scuttle gives a perfect view out of the cockpit and I am able to soak up the gorgeous scenery with ponies cantering on either side of the road as I pass through Lyndhurst en route to the Cotswolds. Popping out of the New Forest I join the M3, but quickly indulge in a detour off the humdrum motorway to a great little road from Winchester to Stockbridge. After all, there is no sense in sitting on a straight uneventful road in this thoroughbred when I am in no particular rush, save to sample the food of The Lygon Arms by a roaring fire. The tight winding road is gobbled up by the McLaren as I come out of Stockbridge and climb up onto the top of the North Wessex Downs. Fortunately, visibility is near to perfect and you are reminded how special
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The ‘in-the-know’ vibe is perfectly illustrated by a chance encounter with a fellow McLaren driver passing in the opposite direction the English countryside is in this area as the grasslands extend for as far as the eye can see. The red of the car seems to complement the deep greens of the meadows and the searing blue of the sky and I am lucky to find myself almost alone mid-morning on this section of road and can allow the car to stretch its legs, giving me a hint of its true potential. McLaren may not yet have that rich heritage of Ferrari, as they have only been making production cars in numbers since 2011. However, they have very quickly become a viable alternative to the Prancing Horse brand and other sportscar makers, based on their engineering integrity and cars that, from a performance standpoint, are the match of pretty much anything else on the road. This alt-supercar choice is for customers who appreciate the drama but are also keen to display an informed, educated choice. The ‘in-the-know’ vibe is perfectly illustrated by a chance encounter with a fellow McLaren driver passing in the opposite direction as I tour through a small village. The subtle nod of the head from him perfectly articulates the discerning owners’ club for which I am briefly a member. As I exit the village and emerge back onto a ribbon of perfectly tarmacked surface, a rare sight in pothole Britain, I am tempted
to sample the full reservoir of the McLaren’s performance. However, with 568lb ft of torque and a V-max of 212 mph, it would be a licence losing folly and a premature end to a potentially perfect day. I console myself that sometimes simply the threat of power and speed is enough to get the hairs on the back of the neck tingling and that is the case in the 720S. A gentle squeeze on the accelerator and the engine sitting behind me stirs, turbos spooling up, exhaust showing the first signs of anger. It is enough to get the adrenaline pumping before I back off, nowhere near the car’s limit but certainly near to her majesty’s maximum. I have been lucky enough to savour this model on the racetrack and its potential truly takes your breath away; for today however I am content to play within the confines of the law. On the last leg of the first day, I allow myself a little trip from Cirencester to Cheltenham on a fantastic road that shouts classic English Cotswolds, before emerging into the handsome village of Broadway and my stop for the night. The Lygon Arms has a history of providing cosy overnight lodging for hundreds of years with previous famous patrons including Charles I and Oliver Cromwell. My sojourn is no different, the vital ingredients remain the same: a good host,
good food and a warm and comfortable stay. It just so happens my steed is a McLaren with a slightly quicker turn of speed than the horses of old. The second day of my road trip and I am again in no particular hurry. I amble through some of the gorgeous villages of the Cotswolds in a circuitous route, which is certainly not the fastest but possibly the most scenic, bound for Cliveden. I pass slowly through Lower Slaughter, Kingham, and some brilliant Bs; Burford, Bibury, Blockley and Bourton-on-the-Water. I start to think that the McLaren, as ferocious as it can be, is perfectly at home in these mellow surroundings and could maybe masquerade as an everyday driver. That is until I realise the fuss it is causing at every red light. This is a show-stopping car and certainly not your everyday motor. As I drive through the gates of Cliveden, any sadness that the trip has ended is immediately doused by the majestic drive to the house. I swing the car to a stop in an admittedly melodramatic arc and I am impressed as the doorman easily finds the hidden latch to spring open my door. This is clearly not his first McLaren. My road trip is over. Then I remember there is a convertible version of the 720S due to be launched. Could I repeat this drive in the summer?
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Blooming MARVELLOUS Every May Chelsea comes up roses and daisies, delphiniums, foxgloves and lilies…
colourful, playful, even outrageous designs
o, we are not talking RHS Chelsea Flower Show. This is Chelsea in Bloom — a festival of floral art that sees Chelsea’s streets, squares and shops burst into multicoloured exuberance with flowers and foliage cascading across facades and over entrances and windows, sometimes spilling onto the pavements. It is exciting, beautiful and completely bonkers! Produced by Cadogan, working with the Royal Horticultural Society, Chelsea in Bloom took seed 14 years ago and has grown each year with the vigour and showmanship of a wisteria. This celebration of floral art runs alongside and complements the world’s most famous flower show, extending the experience into the local neighbourhood. Some 65 businesses take part, including hotels, restaurants and retailers, showcasing their creativity with exotic, romantic,
vying for attention and awards. Turning Chelsea into an exhibition space for floral art has drawn visitors. Footfall increases by over 30 per cent during Chelsea in Bloom. It has also attracted the younger “selfie generation” in search of the perfect instagrammable opportunity. There are plenty here. In 2018, Chelsea was hit by Cupid’s bow as the theme was Summer of Love, inspired by the Royal Wedding, but also referencing the cultural revolution of the ‘60s which the King’s Road was so much a part of. Displays included a pair of regal swans on Sloane Street, a giant diamond ring on Pavilion Road and Sloane Square was reimagined for a wedding breakfast, including pop-up bar and huge floral heart. Sloane Square is also the first stop on the trail with an information point where
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Â© Heledd Roberts Photograpy
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Footfall increases by over 30 percent during Chelsea in Bloom. It has also attracted the younger “selfie generation” in search of the perfect instagrammable opportunity.
people can pick up a guide. This has a map indicating the locations of displays, but also lists a multitude of events, offers and treats available during Chelsea in Bloom, such as posy-making, floral crown workshops and flower-inspired afternoon teas and cocktails. Visitors can enjoy a self-guided stroll, discovering floral artwork hidden down side streets, such as Pont Street, Symons Street and Duke of York Square, as well as the main thoroughfares. Or hitch a chauffeured lift on a complimentary rickshaw, bookable at Sloane Square’s information point, and a fantastic way to soak up Chelsea in Bloom’s unique atmosphere. All of the displays are judged by an expert panel looking for the best use of fresh flowers, flair, innovation and interpretation of the year’s theme. You can also vote for your
favourite (on www.chelseainbloom.co.uk) with the winner receiving the People’s Champion Award. In 2018 Monica Vinader won Best Floral Display, Lucas Hugh won the Innovation Award, and Harry’s Dolce Vita won the People’s Champion Award, while 11 Cadogan Gardens secured Gold. Hurrah! And love was everywhere.
CHELSEA IN BLOOM 21-25 May 2019 Follow on Twitter and Instagram – search for #chelseainbloom
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Dressing for the
SEASON What to wear and how to wear it
he English Social Season has become synonymous with fashion and elegance. Take Royal Ascot: it was Beau Brummell, perhaps Britain’s very first fashion influencer, who dictated the traditional dress code for gentlemen, with morning dress, waistcoat and tie (no cravats), top hat and black shoes still obligatory in the Royal Enclosure. For ladies, nods to 21st century style are being accepted in the Royal Enclosure and Queen Anne Enclosure: trouser suits are allowed and even jumpsuits were approved last year. However, dresses and skirts should fall just above the knee or longer and spaghetti straps, off-the-shoulder, halter-neck or strapless tops and dresses are NOT allowed. At Henley Royal Regatta men are required to wear lounge suits or blazers with flannels
and a tie or cravat in the Stewards’ Enclosure while ladies are required to wear skirts or dresses with hemlines below the knee and no trousers are accepted in any shape or form (including culottes). At other events, such as Glorious Goodwood, the dress code is more relaxed — “smart but never stuffy” – with linen suits, ties or cravats and panamas for gentlemen in the Richmond Enclosure, and feminine dresses with hemlines below the knee for ladies. Confused? Our style experts explain…
LADIES… “You may have the dress code rules and regulations of Royal Ascot and Henley Regatta, but gone are the days of women choosing traditional dresses with matching jackets and skirt suits,” says Natalie Lake
of Really Wild Clothing. “Many women are looking at wearing separates which can be used in their wardrobes in other ways. It is a very modern way of looking at dressing for the Season. “We are moving away from that traditional approach and modernising outfit dressing for the Season and special occasions; mixing it up with an unstructured silk dress layered with a tailored coat in lighter tweed if it is cold. “It is what our customers want — something that works for them all the time not just an outfit for Ascot that sits in the wardrobe and only comes out once a year.” Really Wild Clothing, with a shop in Marlow, just down the road from Cliveden, and a new store on Sloane Square, near 11 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, originally became known for its tailored traditional styles using finest Scottish tweeds. This is a classic wintry look that works well for events at the beginning of the Season, such as the Cheltenham Festival. Natalie again: “Cheltenham has a more open dress code. It is not that anything goes, but people tend to wear long boots with a tweed coat and then a hat (our hats with feathers are a big thing) as you are not likely to have spring weather in March.” Tweeds may be the company’s heritage, but they have now created a collection with the floatiest Liberty silk dresses and lighter tweed jackets and coats in response to customers who want a similar look that is suitable for the summer. Natalie explains: Tweed is not just for winter; we have tweeds that combine linen, silk and cotton, perfect when you are dressing for an occasion and you really do not know what the weather is going to do. Our latest collection comprises a lot of beautiful silk Liberty print dresses which you can layer with a lighter tailored tweed jacket Right: Tailored Aston coat in Sweetpea over Liberty Silk turquoise dress by Really Wild Clothing Left: Smock Dress Linen, Moloh, Tetbury
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or coat. It is a very practical approach for an English spring or summer when you cannot always guarantee the weather being sunny. "The collection is very versatile and looks stylish for formal occasions such as Ascot and Goodwood. You can also wear the dress with pumps and the jacket with jeans for a great casual look for an event such as the Hay Festival.” … AND GENTLEMEN New & Lingwood on Jermyn Street, St James’s, outfitters to the savvy gentleman since 1865, has developed a reputation for providing appropriate attire for attending sporting and social events. They are known for clothing with character and sartorial flair and their last collection was inspired by the English Season. Simon Maloney of New & Lingwood advises: “At the start of the Season, Cheltenham can be quite tricky as it can be extremely chilly in March. Our advice is to layer up and wear a tweed jacket, cords or moleskins and a waistcoat or sweater, even our classic fawn Covert coat that you can peel off if there is a glimpse of spring weather. “For Royal Ascot, if you are lucky enough to be invited to the Royal Enclosure, the dress
We are moving away from that traditional approach and modernising outfit dressing for the Season and special occasions code is simply morning wear and at New & Lingwood we have that covered with an exquisitely tailored morning coat that even has a discreet pocket in the tails for race cards. For the other enclosures, the rule is jacket, shirt and long trousers – such as New & Lingwood’s Wraysbury, Appleton or Redwood jackets with Cowdray linen cricket flannels or one of our many shades of stretch flat-front chinos and Butterfly loafers. “Henley Royal Regatta is a highlight of the British summer. Traditionally the vibrant classic striped regatta blazer was designed to make it easy for spectators to identify individual teams. New & Lingwood have introduced two new traditional boating jackets – the Newton and romantically named Heather Isle – a break from the norm, as this is a traditional Scottish tartan. Pair with chinos or cream Edmonton trousers for a balmy day beside the Thames. “Dressing for Goodwood Festival should be
relaxed yet elegant. While a jacket and tie is de rigueur for the Richmond Enclosure, this does not mean an overly formal outfit, look instead for timeless appeal and a sense of style. New & Lingwood’s Cowdray linen suit is an exact facsimile of those used in suits worn for The Grand Tour by gentlemen travellers in the 1920s and ‘30s. Teamed with a crisp white shirt and a navy striped tie, it makes a stylish outfit, topped, of course, with the essential cream panama. “Glyndebourne is a rare idyll: a romanticised view of the English summer characterised by picnics by the lake, rolling lawns and even the odd butler serving dinner from the back of a Rolls Royce to formally dressed guests seated at meticulously prepared tables. There is only one real option for men here and that is a tuxedo or evening suit worn with a selftied black bow tie, cummerbund and crisp, white, waffle-fronted evening shirt with highly polished, black patent lace-ups.”
Newton boating jacket for Henley, Cowdray linen suit for Goodwood, and Burnham suit all by New & Lingwood
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www.real l ywil dc l othing.c om
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THE SOCIAL SEASON 2019 THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO WHERE TO BE SEEN
he Season is a byword for glamour. This longestablished English tradition hails back to a bygone era when the landed classes came up from the country to attend social occasions and marry off their daughters. Times have changed and the Season has evolved. It still has an air of fun and frivolity and the style of a grand garden party with women donning hats all the colours of the flower border. However, it has far less to do with marriage and far more to do with networking. Meanwhile the Season’s calendar has grown to encompass an even broader range of cultural and sporting events, encompassing not only major race meetings, such as Ascot and Goodwood, but also influential arts festivals, such as Hay and Glyndebourne. It has also lengthened, stretching into autumn, as it is no longer restricted by the gentry returning to the country for the Glorious Twelfth. What does remain is a focus on correct dress and good manners topped up with plenty of fizz (as likely as not to come from a British vineyard as from Champagne). Times they are a-changing. Slowly.
Cheltenham Festival Cheltenham Racecourse, Gloucestershire 12-15 March Highlight of the Jump racing season. No official dress code – but tweed dominates.
Badminton Horse Trials Badminton Estate, Gloucestershire 1-5 May Top level three-day eventing; highlight of the country set’s diary.
RHS Chelsea Flower Show The Royal Hospital Chelsea, London 21-25 May Floral extravaganza regarded as the world’s most prestigious flower show.
April The Grand National Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool 4-6 April The most important National Hunt race of the year. No official dress code although smart is preferred.
Royal Windsor Horse Show Windsor Castle, Windsor 8-12 May Set in Her Majesty The Queen’s private gardens at Windsor and featuring international competitions in show jumping, dressage, driving and endurance.
Hay Festival Hay on Wye, Powys 23 May–2 June Described by Bill Clinton as “Woodstock of the Mind”, this acclaimed literary festival has brought together artists, writers, thinkers and readers for over 30 years.
The Boat Race River Thames, London 7 April Rowing competition between Oxbridge Universities. Best vantage points are the towpath at Putney and Chiswick Bridge for the finishing line.
Glyndebourne Near Lewes, West Sussex 18 May-25 August One of the world’s finest opera houses. The festival combines artistic excellence, eccentric charm and a tradition to dress up to picnic in the gardens.
Garsington Opera Wormsley Estate, Buckinghamshire 29 May-25 July Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2019, Garsington Opera champions UK talent and lesser known work with performances taking place in the award-winning Pavilion.
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Summer Exhibition Royal Academy of Arts, London 10 June-13 August The world’s longest running and largest open-submission show celebrating creativity. Cartier Queen’s Cup Final Guards Polo Club, Windsor 16 June One of the most important polo tournaments in the world attracting the world’s greatest players. Queen’s Club Championships The Queen’s Club, London 17-23 June This prestigious tournament attracts the world’s best players in the run-up to Wimbledon.
Investec Derby Festival Epsom Downs Racecourse, Surrey 31 May–1 June One of the oldest and richest flat races in the world. Hats are required and the best vantage point is the Queen’s Stand.
June Grange Festival Northington, Hampshire 6 June–6 July Third year for this new arts festival combining opera and dance with music from Broadway and Hollywood; staged in the old orangery of this romantic neo-classical mansion.
The Season’s calendar has grown to an even broader range of cultural and sporting events, not only major race meetings, but also influential arts festivals
Royal Ascot Ascot Racecourse, Berkshire 18-22 June The Queen’s parade opens the world’s most famous race meeting, providing both heritage and spectacle. The Boodles Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire 25-29 June Combines world class tennis with garden party atmosphere. Masterpiece Royal Hospital Chelsea, London 27 June-3 July Considered the world’s leading cross-collecting fair with fine works of art, design, furniture and jewellery, from antiquity to the present.
Grange Park Opera West Horsley Place, Surrey 6 June-13 July One of Europe’s leading opera festivals. Performances are held in the Theatre in the Woods, a new opera house modelled on La Scala, Milan. Chestertons Polo in the Park Hurlingham Park, London 7-9 June Largest polo tournament in Europe with rules tweaked to deliver fun, fast and furious polo. Gloucestershire Festival of Polo Beaufort Polo Club, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire 8-9 June Mainstay of the British Polo calendar combining thrilling games and entertainments.
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The Game Fair Hatfield House, Hertfordshire 26-28 July A celebration of British field sports and country life. Qatar Goodwood Festival Goodwood, West Sussex 30 July-3 August Known as Glorious Goodwood, this is one of the highlights of the flat-racing season. Dress includes panama hats worn by women and men alike.
August Lendy Cowes Week Cowes, Isle of Wight 10-17 August One of the UK’s longest running sporting events with a mix of competitive sailing (from Olympic professionals to weekend sailors) and social activities.
September Salon Privé Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire 5-8 September Exclusive automotive garden party with fine collection of supercars and classic cars. Concours of Elegance Hampton Court Palace, Richmond upon Thames 6-8 September Described as the crown jewels of the automotive world – from 19th century pioneers to present day supercars.
July The Championships, Wimbledon The All England Tennis Club, London 1-14 July The oldest tennis tournament in the world, and arguably the most famous.
Goodwood Revival Goodwood Estate, West Sussex 13-15 September A return to the halcyon days of British motor racing and the only historic race meeting staged in period dress.
Henley Royal Regatta River Thames, Henley 3-7 July Best known regatta in the world and a highlight of both the summer sporting calendar and the Season.
LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair Berkeley Square, London 13-18 September Work from across the art, antiques, design and decorative arts spectrum, from silver to tapestries, fine art to furniture, with authenticity assured thanks to a 70-member specialist committee.
Goodwood Festival of Speed Goodwood Estate, West Sussex 4-7 July Considered to be the world’s greatest celebration of motorsport and car culture. Moët & Chandon July Festival Newmarket 12-14 July World-class racing, including the Darley July Cup, Europe’s leading spring race, The Style Awards and musical entertainment.
October King Power Gold Cup Cowdray Park, West Sussex 17 and 21 July One of the premier polo sporting occasions in the world; held against the backdrop of Cowdray ruins.
Frieze Regent’s Park, London 3-6 October Bringing together more than 160 of the world’s leading art galleries showcasing both newly discovered artists and respected names.
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Photographer – John Nassari
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Photographer – Mark Bothwell
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SUCCESS Sow. Grow. Repeat. The agony and glory of creating a show stand for RHS Royal Hampton Court Flower Show revealed by Darren Venables, Estate Manager, Chewton Glen
HS Hampton Court Flower Show and another first for Chewton Glen. This time it was the design and planting of a show stand – with the gardening team transporting everything including the kitchen garden up to the Thameside grounds of this historic royal palace for the world’s largest flower show. The stand, in partnership with Alitex Greenhouses and Conservatories and promoting The Kitchen (Chewton Glen’s relaxed dining and cookery school), was a riot of hot colour. Calendulas, chard, kale, nasturtiums, sunflowers, sweetcorn and mini tomatoes were planted in abundance against
a backdrop of beehives, shady pergola and one of Alitex’s Victorian-style greenhouses. Running through the crops, as if they had escaped, were sculptor Rupert Till’s wire chickens – which are also a design feature of The Kitchen. The result was inviting and inspiring, even on a sweltering July day. You would not suspect the seeds of the stand’s success were sown in the depths of a bitterly long cold winter. Or that for every plant on show at least another ten were grown – such was the team’s dedication. So, how do you plan for your very first flower show appearance? And how do you prepare for a heatwave when it is still
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freezing in April? In terms of gardening, it does not get much tougher than that! It all came about when Hampshire-based Alitex was the greenhouse of choice for Chewton Glen’s new cookery school, The Kitchen. A traditional Cliveden design was selected from Alitex’s National Trust collection; a very appropriate choice as it is named after a sister hotel in Iconic Luxury Hotels’ collection. Back then there were discussions about Chewton Glen collaborating with Alitex. This was followed, just over a year ago, by Alitex’s owners, Tom and Nelly Hall (pictured above), asking if Chewton Glen would be interested in partnering them for their stand at Royal Hampton Court Flower Show in July. Estate Manager Darren Venables explains: “Alitex do the big flower shows every year, but they do not undertake the planting themselves, so they are always interested in finding partners. “I said to the team, are you up for this and the logistics of undertaking a big flower show in conjunction with running the gardens here at Chewton Glen?”
Then the cold spell hit. Spring seemed to have been not so much delayed as cancelled - putting huge pressure on growing perfection to deadline The answer was yes. However, Darren admits he would not have attempted it without Paula Campbell, Senior Gardener at Chewton Glen. It was Paula, who looks after the walled kitchen garden and plant nursery and works with the apprentices, who was tasked with designing the planting for the stand. A hot scheme of orange, red and yellow was chosen. This was partly as orange is The Kitchen’s signature colour, and partly because these colours look striking in strong sunlight and contrast well with the sage green greenhouse. Darren comments, “Soft, pale colours would blend in with the stand and disappear in bright sunshine.” Paula came up with three designs (followed by redesigns to allow for the repositioning
of the greenhouse) with the plant selection chosen to fit in with her work in Chewton Glen’s walled garden. The intention was to take only the most perfect plants up to Hampton Court and use the rest in the cookery school and kitchen garden (where a space had been left to fill). However, Paula reflects, “We grew enough to fill the kitchen garden two or three times over!” Seeds were sown intensively in February. Then the cold spell hit. Spring seemed to have been not so much delayed as cancelled — putting huge pressure on growing perfection to deadline. That was the big challenge. Flexibility was key. Contingency planning involved both overplanting and growing alternative crops. Everything had a backup. Runner beans were grown up twig
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wigwams just in case they were needed to replace towering tripods of clambering nasturtiums if they bolted (and they did). Cold frames and vast beds were filled with spare plants including edible flowers, salads, tomatoes and vegetables as well as the likes of Amaranthus Foxtail – a favourite of Darren’s on the show stand – with its deep red spiky racemes adding texture and interest. The team certainly had plenty of plants to choose from. If Paula appeared relaxed in the run-up to the Show it was in part because she had done something similar before: “In my previous job we had an open day every year and had to work up to that one day; it was a similar build-up, becoming busier and busier.” Darren adds: “There is a degree of anxiety, but no sleepless nights. If you think how many events we do here at Chewton Glen, it is just another big event – but somewhere else. That is the only aspect that could give me a sleepless night – transporting everything to Hampton Court.” Nelly Hay of Alitex was delighted with the team’s approach and surprised by how much had been grown and their attention to detail – even building furniture that allowed potted plants to be slid into place.
Darren again: “We have gone all out on this. It is difficult to express the amount of work this has involved. It has been relentless. However, it is great to challenge yourself and we have made sure everyone on the team has been involved and felt part of the project, including the apprentices. It is on their CVS – something amazing to have achieved.”
RHS CHELSEA FLOWER SHOW 2019 Chewton Glen’s latest collaboration is a luxury treehouse created in conjunction with Blue Forest and displayed on stand 329 at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The treehouse provides a rare opportunity to experience the quality and charm of one of Blue Forest’s bespoke treehouses, this one incorporating a comfy reading nook, before being transported to its new home in the grounds of Chewton Glen where it will become a remarkable space for the hotel’s popular Children’s Club. (Grown-ups can, of course, always book one of Chewton Glen’s Treehouse Suites.)
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Aluminium made beautiful
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G R E E N H O U S E S A N D C O N S E R VAT O R I E S
100 YEARS OF WOMEN IN PARLIAMENT The first woman MP to take her seat in Parliament, Nancy Astor was a complicated pioneer surrounded by controversy; TV presenter and historian Professor Kate Williams considers her life and legacy
hen a young Nancy Shaw, nee Langhorne, arrived in Britain, newly divorced after a short, unhappy marriage, she was looking to remake her life in the country she had fallen in love with. She had no idea that she would end up shattering the glass ceiling – becoming the first woman MP to take her seat in Parliament. Glamorous, charming, witty, she was a whirlwind on the social scene. “Have you come to get our husbands?” an Englishwoman asked her, not long after she arrived. Although she did not know it, Nancy had come to do much more – change society for ever. This year we celebrate the anniversary of Nancy Astor becoming our first female MP to take up her seat on 1 December 2019. There was much opposition to female MPs. For many men and politicians, giving women the vote had been bad enough, but to have them in Parliament? Unthinkable. As Winston Churchill told Astor, “I felt when you entered the House of Commons that a woman had entered my bathroom and I had nothing to protect myself with but the sponge”. For him and many others, Parliament was an old boys’ club, comfortingly like school. The election of Nancy Astor was the beginning of the end for the old world. Yet there is still much more to do. We have only had two female prime ministers and
although we have at present 209 female MPs, it is still only 32 per cent, but it is in a large way thanks to Astor that we are there at all. Last year we celebrated the centenary of women over 30 gaining the vote in 1918. But this occasion is arguably just as important, if a woman could be an MP, then what could she not do? And yet, in 1919, when Astor became MP, women had only just been given access to legal and accountancy professions and permitted on juries, very few women were doctors and any woman who wished for a career essentially had to be single. Women could not hold and dispose of property on the same terms as men and sexual discrimination and unequal pay was legal.
glamorous American women from the country of fabulous wealth and Nancy was immediately popular. In turn she fell in love with Waldorf Astor, son of Viscount Astor, who had been born in America but brought up as a young aristocrat in England and she married him within six months. Astor’s father gave the young couple Cliveden as a wedding present and there Nancy created a fabulous home and a hub for social and political life. Everybody who was anybody was invited to their soirees and dinners and Nancy encouraged political and intellectual discussions. With five children following in quick succession and the duties of an aristocratic hostess and chatelaine of a great estate, most women would have considered their hands full. But Nancy Nancy Astor was fascinated by politics and pushed her husband towards adopting a political career. Four years after their marriage, Waldorf won the seat of Plymouth in December 1910, standing for the Conservatives, with Nancy campaigning by his side. In 1919, on the death of his father, Waldorf became Viscount Astor and was thus compelled to take membership of the House of Lords, even though he had tried to give up the title. Nancy decided to fight for his seat. The first female MP was Constance Markievicz, for Sinn Fein in 1918, but she did not take up her seat. Astor, however, was
“I am the kind of woman I would run from” But who was this woman who battered down the boundaries? Astor was hardly the English suffragette from the left that one might expect to be our first MP. Growing up in Virginia, the eighth of 11 children, life was hard for Nancy Langhorne and her siblings until her father had a swift change of fortune when she was 13. Nancy was sent to finishing school in New York and found a rich husband – however the marriage was very unhappy. Following divorce, she arrived in Britain determined to sparkle once more. High society London had fallen in love with these
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Above: Nancy Astor canvassing on Castle Street, Barbican, in 1919 © The Box (Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives) Left: portrait of Lady Astor by John Singer Sargent hanging at Cliveden © National Trust Images
Right: Nancy Astor campaigning in 1919 © The Box (Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives)
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Lady Astor canvassing in Plymouth in 1919 © The Box (Plymouth Museums Galleries Archives)
determined to invade Parliament – even if it meant disturbing Churchill in the bath. Although some said she was out of touch – her advocation of teetotalism and opposition to divorce law reform put off some – the public was charmed by her informality and bold wit. She knocked on doors, meeting and talking – on one occasion, a young girl whose mother was out thought she and her naval escort were lovers looking for a room for an hour! She won her seat and opened the door for other women. Nancy was not to be the first woman in cabinet – that would be the Labour MP Margaret Bondfield in 1929 – but Lady Astor had an important impact on British society, pushing for the legal age for the sale of alcohol to be raised from 14 to 18 and advocating countrywide nursery schools as a way of encouraging education and keeping mothers in work. Some of her views were problematic – she was initially proappeasement and she expressed anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic sentiments. In 1945, after nearly 26 years as MP for Plymouth, she was encouraged by her party and family to stand down. This year, we also commemorate 40 years since Margaret Thatcher became the first
female Prime Minister. But it is striking to think that when she became Education Secretary in 1974, a woman could still not sign for her own mortgage, loan or credit card. Astor smashed the glass ceiling by simply refusing to admit it was ever there. She was later told off for popping into the men’s smoking rooms at Parliament – that for the male MPs was beyond the pale. This year will see celebrations of Astor and her legacy in Astor 100. Nancy finally has her bust in a key place in Parliament and there will be an extensive exhibition in the Hall. Dr Jacqui Turner at the University of Reading, which holds many of Astor’s private papers, is staging a digital exhibition of Astor’s life and legacy and Cliveden itself will explore Nancy’s legacy in detail with an exhibition entitled: Vigour, vitality & cheek. There is also an appeal underway to erect a statue of Astor in Plymouth. Cliveden itself is her great legacy. Although it had a life as a home before Nancy, walking through it now, recalling the glittering parties and discussions, it is impossible not to think of the glamorous American at the helm who would finally put an end to Parliament as an all-male domain.
EVENTS Nancy Astor: Vigour, vitality & cheek (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/cliveden) is a programme of events and exhibitions taking place at Cliveden, from 25 April onwards, telling Nancy’s story and exploring her legacy. These include: ‘Letters to Nancy’ in the Blenheim Pavilion, a display of letters sent to Nancy during the lead up to her election and following her success; an audio-visual experience in the Sounding Chamber highlighting the difference between Nancy’s private and public lives; and Astor Voices, an audio trail featuring the voices of Nancy Astor’s grandchildren, sharing their memories of Nancy. Astor 100 (www.astor100.org) is led by Dr Jacqui Turner, Astor scholar and historian at the University of Reading, and aims to bring together a year-long series of activities and events celebrating Britain’s first woman to sit in Parliament. The programme is underpinned by a social media exhibition ‘An Unconventional MP’ showcasing fascinating items from Nancy Astor’s papers held at the University of Reading Special Collections.
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COUNTRY SET Looking for country chic? Head for the Cotswolds for art, antiques, statement furniture, linens with leaping hares and traditional tweed; Emma Caulton goes shopping
f it is quintessentially English country style that you want for your home or your wardrobe, then head to the Cotswolds. The Cotswolds is not just honeyed villages in a well-tended landscape. It is also an emporium with everything from contemporary art and fine antiques (it is home to the largest collection of art and antique dealers outside London) to statement furniture and traditional tweeds; making it the perfect hunting ground for unique individual pieces. Take Broadway, often described as the jewel of the Cotswolds with its wide High Street lined with horse chestnut trees and fudge-coloured buildings. In the 19th century this village was an important arts colony; this is where John Singer Sargent painted the enchanting Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose. Today
this arts legacy continues in the selection of galleries, biannual art festival (next one 5-14 June 2020), and art and design museums. These include Broadway Museum and Art Gallery, with a collection curated by Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, and Gordon Russell Design Museum, located in his original workshops and celebrating the work of this pioneering furniture maker and designer who established and headed up the Design Council and championed well-crafted design. Sir Terence Conran described him as “probably the first designer who was involved in a total lifestyle…” Broadway does lifestyle well. For a small village, it packs a colossal retail punch with an abundance of style, found in fashion boutiques and interior stores — some hidden in quaint courtyards and down back lanes.
There is Slate for stylish, wearable clothing and shoes; FG4 womenswear and children’s wear, the latest creation of fashion innovator George Davies; and three Landmark stores (Country, Lifestyle and Walking) with a range from Claudio Lugli shirts in pheasant prints to Barker brogues. Chaps can also choose from Armstrongs, established over 250 years ago, for traditional country menswear, and Country Master, a young business that opened a shop in Broadway last year with services including personalised suits. Sue Parkinson offers a complete lifestyle makeover across two Broadway stores. The fashion boutique includes Riani bouclé jackets and HIGH everyday couture dresses, while an Aladdin’s cave of a home store has colourful Frida Kahlo cushions, antique gold palm leaf table lamps and Scandinavian oak
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and steel tables. Cotswold Trading is a barn of a shop mixing Bronte by Moon checked throws with boot racks. OKA (established 20 years ago by Annabel Astor, Sue Jones and Lucinda Waterhouse) has furniture displayed in inspirational room sets over three floors of a Georgian farmhouse. Pavilion Broadway showcases home accessories in a wisteria-draped old townhouse. And Four Corners crafts custom-made fitted and freestanding furniture. For contemporary British artisan crafts, Mary Maggs has bowls with a fetching Broadway design by Daniel Wright, still life pictures created from remnants of vintage fabrics, and an unexpected photographic treatment of The Lygon Arms with giraffes. For a different art and design experience, Broadway Luxury, located in the old school house, displays an extraordinarily eclectic collection of artwork and statement furniture by contemporary artists and designers. These include Willard Wigan’s pieces that sit within the eye of a needle, steering wheel tables and a bubble chair that blurs the boundaries between art, sculpture, furniture and fun.
Paint Off takes over Broadway during the biannual Broadway Arts Festival.
For a small village, Broadway packs a colossal retail punch with an abundance of style Indeed, Broadways galleries run the gamut, from the delightfully decorative to artwork for the serious collector and modern semi-abstracts to traditional landscapes. John Noott Gallery, overlooking the village green, has a secret sculpture garden and rooms of ceramics, glasswork and contemporary art — including paintings that capture the dappled light of an English summer garden. Haynes Fine Art have a reputation for major pieces by British artists, such as John Atkinson Grimshaw, displayed in the grand surroundings of Picton House. Trinity House is a more recent addition to Broadway (established 2006) specialising in impressionist, post-impressionist, modern British and 19th century works with artists such as Jean Duffy and Duncan Grant. Those keen to discover contemporary artists could also include Little Buckland Gallery on any arts trail. Found in a listed barn on the outskirts of Broadway, pieces include Thomas Eddolls fine furniture and Rachel Thorogood’s wire wildlife sculptures.
Gordon Russell Museum Shop for contemporary craft and design: ash egg-shaped trug by Jane Crisp.
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Cotswold Grey interiors store in Moreton-on-Marsh.
Finally, for something with more age and patina, Cheltenham House Antiques on The Green display carefully sourced pieces, including 17th and 18th century furniture, such as a Charles II coffer and a Regency blond tortoiseshell workbox, against dark Farrow & Ball walls. You can tell that owners Clare and Christian Scahill are interior designers. There is certainly style and lifestyle in Broadway. If you are foraging for antiques, it is also worth heading to Stow-on-the-Wold (20 minutes drive southeast of Broadway). First detour to Moreton-on-Marsh, an elegant old market town at the head of the Evenlode Valley that is probably best known for one of its old coaching inns, The Bell Inn, being the inspiration for The Prancing Pony in JRR Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings. Just along the High Street a prancing pony hangs over the entrance into the labyrinthine Toy Shop stuffed with magic tricks, Lego bricks, puzzles, puppets, and all the joys of childhood. Continuing the pony theme, I spy a rocking horse in the stone mullioned window of Dale House Antiques. This is certainly a good town for picking up something a little different for the home. More antique dealers include Jon Fox Antiques with an intriguing assortment of items from a mid-19th century cricket table to a Victorian elm cider shovel. Here, too, is Cotswold Oriental Rugs, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of antique and old carpets, rugs and runners from the tribes and villages of Persia and the East. Fragments of vintage kilims have also been imaginatively reworked into footstools, patchwork cushions and backpacks.
Sam Wilson behind the counter of her eponymous lifestyle boutique.
Sam Wilson's distinctive style is influenced by the Cotswolds countryside. Meanwhile Cotswold Grey is a destination interiors store that mixes up designer and vintage, quirky and cool. There are plumped up Chesterfields in blue velvet, circular iron mirrors, a mid-century desk, bowler hat lampshades, orangutan sculpture (yes, truly) and, in The Chicken Shed at the end of the walled garden, a fabulous red illuminated heart and ornate looking glass. On to Stow-on-the-Wold: its vast Market Square dominated by an old elm tree and edged by a charming array of slightly wonky townhouses — some dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. The town is chock-a-block with antique dealers. A far from exhaustive listing includes the likes of Keith Hockin, one of the UK’s leading dealers of early antiques and early oak furniture;
Baggott Church Street Ltd, a treasure trove with all manner of antiques from Regency mahogany steps to 19th century boxed sets of dominoes; Christopher Clarke Antiques, specialists in military campaign furniture and travel-related items; Vanbrugh House Antiques, specialising in antique maps and globes; and The Grandfather Clock Shop, encompassing 18th, 19th and 20th century mantel and wall clocks as well as long case clocks. A number of local interior designers, such as Louise Jackson and Catherine Matthews, are well versed in the contemporary country look. However, you can always do it yourself. There is inspiration enough here. Mix antique finds with fabrics, soft furnishings and homeware from Sam Wilson. This is the second of two lifestyle boutiques – the first is in Chipping Campden. Based on the Cotswold countryside, Sam has created lino print designs such as Headlong Hare cottons in yellow ochre and Through the Fields linens in duck egg blue. Pick up lampshades, cushions and rustic mugs, also featuring Sam’s illustrations. Then simply add a painting or two. There is a glory of galleries to explore. Try Artysan for ‘the art of the country’ from decoupage hares to Faye Baines stylised Broadway Tower. Fosse Gallery showcases prestigious contemporary artists including the work of Royal Academicians. 1793 Gallery sells fine art, sculpture and furniture and offers advice on collecting. For a very individual piece, commission a portrait or still life from award-winning artist Lindy Allfrey whose studio is in town. The Cotswolds really does offer a very unique shopping experience.
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SHOWTIME Watches are the ultimate accessory: an investment, style statement and essential piece of equipment
atches can arouse passions and you can understand why. Accuracy and reliability are watch words in the world of watch-making. Some also incorporate functions and features for the likes of sailors and pilots; others are designed to withstand the extreme conditions of the adventurer. In contrast, some are exquisitely crafted pieces of high jewellery sparkling with fancy diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. Yet others are timeless, classically elegant; they do not shout, they whisper, look at me. With a watch we wear not only our hearts on our sleeves (or rather our wrists), but reveal our innermost sense of self, our pursuits, our dreams and our style. What does your watch say about you?
FOR HEROES: ADVENTURERS, EXPLORERS AND TRAVELLERS
1. Calatrava Pilot Travel Time in new rose-gold version, Patek Philippe
5. Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II, watch for long-haul pilots displaying two time zones simultaneously, Rolex
2. Excalibur Huracan developed for the partnership with Lamborghini, Roger Dubuis
6. Oyster Perpetual Rolex Deepsea, waterproof to an extreme depth of 3,900 metres, Rolex
3.Submersible Marina Militare Carbotech with hands and hour markers visible in the dark, Panerai
7. Submersible Chrono Guillaume Nery Edition in partnership with the freediving world champion, Panerai
4. Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 in steel and gold with silver dial, Breitling
8. Superocean Heritage II Chronograph 44 in steel and red gold, Breitling
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FOR RAZZLE DAZZLE: FINE JEWELLERY 1. Berkeley 43 King Tourbillon decorated with Backes & Strauss’s signature arrows motif, Backes & Strauss 2. Limited edition Premier Winston Candy Automatic, Harry Winston
3. Piccadilly Renaissance Ballerina Rainbow with more than 1,300 gemstones, Backes & Strauss 4. Oyster Datejust 31 in Everose gold and diamonds, decorated with flight of butterflies, Rolex 5. Premier Precious Moon Phase, Harry Winston
FOR CLASSICISTS: TIMELESS ELEGANCE
6. RM037 in white ceramic and red gold, Richard Mille
1. Distinctive RM033 Extra Flat watch in red gold, Richard Mille 2. Grand Complications 5207G uniting minute repeater, tourbillon and instantaneous perpetual calendar, Patek Philippe
3. In celebration of the Golden Ellipse is a new “grande taille” version in rose gold with ebony black sunburst dial, Patek Philippe 4. Modern classic, new Twenty-4 elegant ladies’ watch with blue sunburst dial and gold applied numerals, Patek Philippe 5. New generation of Oyster Perpetual Datejust 31, direct descendant of the original Oyster launched in 1926, Rolex
6. Premier Chronograph 42 with silver dial is a modern version of the original 1940s model, Breitling
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OF MAGIC Secrets of creating an unforgettable, spellbinding showstopper of a party revealed by Melanie Helen, director and founder of Cranberry Blue, wedding and event planning consultancy
party is not just about how good the food is or how impressive the table decorations are; it is about creating lasting memories and making each and every moment count. Our secret at Cranberry Blue is first and foremost to take our time to really get to know and understand each client. What are they celebrating? What atmosphere do they wish to create? How do they want their guests to feel when they arrive? From the moment guests receive their invitation to when the band play their last chord, we consider every aspect and ensure the experience encompasses all the senses, leaving a long-lasting impression. It is not just about having a large budget; it is more about knowing how best to use that budget. Even with a small party or more intimate celebration, we have some rather clever ways of achieving maximum output. My tips? First: it is vital to think about which aspect of your party is most important to you. We always ask clients what their top three priorities are; this is where we never make compromises. Second: venue. This is crucial as it provides the backdrop for everything else. Take time to choose and think outside the box - from historical buildings and private estates to galleries and museums, to name a few. Multiple venues can work well, as does keeping some details secret from guests until the day itself for a fun twist. For example, we planned a party where the guests met in London for a drinks reception, but were then transported along the river to an unknown location for dinner and dancing, with further surprises unfolding throughout the evening!
Third: styling. This is one of our favourite parts of the planning process. Think about the atmosphere you want to create, what is the mood of the party and who will be attending. You may be inspired by something as simple as a colour or a specific theme. Whatever your choice, rather than trying to style the entire event space, focus on having a few statement pieces. These will create that ‘wow factor’ and capture people’s attention – such as an incredible circular bar with a jaw-dropping installation in the centre.
I cannot stress how much effective lighting raises the bar, turning a good party into an amazing one A lot of new style trends filter through from interior design. Others come from private members’ clubs in London, LA and New York. One such style is ‘Jungle Lux’ — think golden palm trees and pineapples and striking palm prints. Old Havana and anything Latino is also very on-trend. This look has a tropical vibe, but this time accompanied by strong pastels and wood panelled colonialism. If you are using several event spaces, even within the same venue, mix things up a bit. While it is good to have some continuity, this is also a great opportunity to have different looks and keep surprising your
guests. For example - we created a ski lodge in the middle of summer for one client and also transformed an indoor reception space into a park complete with real grass, trees, moving cloud projections and the smell of freshly cut grass! A sit-down meal is the ideal place to go to town on the design and décor as this is such an important part of any celebration, and the ‘reveal’ moment when guests enter a room should be a feast for the eyes. Do not forget lighting. This is often overlooked, but I cannot stress how much effective lighting raises the bar, turning a good party into an amazing one. Even simple lighting effects can completely transform a space. Lighting really does create atmosphere - and colours, patterns and movements can change throughout the evening. We love working with our production teams to create something new. For a recent pre-wedding event we had a giant structure covered in a canopy of fairy lights built for the evening barbecue; it looked amazing. Next: entertainment. We suggest weaving various acts throughout your celebration. A drinks reception can be quite drawn-out, so integrating entertainment can engage your guests and provide a talking point. What about having aerial champagne pourers, fashion illustrators, acapella groups or flash dance mobs? Peppering the dinner with entertainment is brilliantly unexpected, helps to shake things up and gets the party started! Now: food. This is one of the most important and memorable parts of any party, but rather than opting for the traditional route, why not consider having
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PHOTO: Â© JOHN NASSARI ICONIC Cranberry Blue V7_2019.indd 57
© ROBERTA FACCHINI PHOTOGRAPHY
PHOTO: © ALEX BECKETT
PHOTO: © PIPPA MACKENZIE
interactive food stations where chefs create various culinary delights in front of your eyes? Alternatively, have fun and get your guests involved — for example by hand rolling their own sushi. Or you could have several ‘Chef‘sTables’ where guests take turns to try a sample tasting menu alongside wine pairings. Another suggestion is having fabulously styled dessert stations which can provide a welcome break from a long dinner. Coupled with signature cocktails, this can move the party on. Think about taking things even further — from creating an entire sweet shop, as we did for one client, to transforming a room into Narnia complete with a wardrobe of fur coats to step through, an abundance of snow and fir trees for a wintry party. Once inside, guests were served hot chocolate, mead and mulled wine and actors brought this imaginary world to life, for a fully immersive experience. Finally: do not overlook the smaller, thoughtful touches that make all the
difference. For example, if you have guests staying overnight, provide personalised welcome gifts in each room with handwritten messages. You can even arrange for cocktails to be delivered to their rooms while they are getting ready. Given the power of scent at evoking memories, we often suggest clients incorporate this as well by using diffusers, candles and room sprays. It is even possible to have a bespoke scent created for the occasion which is a wonderful keepsake. Now shall we get this party started?
• Cranberry Blue is one of the leading event consultancies, creating exceptional luxury weddings and private parties for British and International clientele across the UK. www.cranberryblue.co.uk
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Â© ROBERTA FACCHINI PHOTOGRAPHY ICONIC Cranberry Blue V7_2019.indd 59
FUNNY MONEY Are you bored by building societies? Stupefied by the stock exchange? Or simply looking for a novel return on those wads of cash tucked under the mattress? Financial writer Peter Anderson suggests alternatives with a dash of fun
ake heart, savvy investors are increasingly finding that so-called ‘alternative’ investments can offer a more interesting – and often lucrative – return for their hard-earned cash. So now might be the perfect time to splash out on that must-have wristwatch, hang a work of art above the fireplace or drive into the sunset in your dream classic car. The values – and potential volatility – of alternative investments have been charted closely by private bank Coutts, which publishes a Passion Index of items such as collectible cars and wines, precious jewellery and watches, and fine art. Perhaps surprisingly, the star of the bank’s latest survey was rare musical instruments, which increased in value by 16 per cent in 2016. However, coins are the only category in the index to register increasing prices every year since 2005, with their value rising on average by more than 11 per cent annually. Mohammad Kamal Syed, Head of Global Markets at Coutts, explains: “While it is impossible to predict the future, provenance and rarity are the primary drivers for collectors when deciding which passion asset to buy. This is pushing prices up in a number of areas including watches and cars.”
Coutts’ index has shown mixed fortunes for art investments in recent years, with Old Master and 19th century paintings slumping in value by 42 per cent since 2005, but prices for traditional Chinese works of art surging by 94 per cent during the same period. However, according to specialist insurer Hiscox, there is another ‘hot market’ in the art world – photography. The company sees accessible prices and the familiarity of the medium contributing to its appeal. Robert Read, Hiscox’s Head of Art and Private Clients, says: “Getting to know the market is essential. There are a wealth of galleries and fairs that act as a training ground for novice collectors and offer good opportunities to get to grips with different artists and styles. “When it comes to making a purchase, the photographer’s reputation will be a key determinant in the price of a print, so look for works from established artists that have a solid track record of auction and gallery sales.” Meanwhile, investing in fine wines has offered some outstanding returns in recent years. Online wine exchange Liv-ex highlights a case of Petit Mouton 2006 costing £420 in 2008 is now worth £2,300 – a full-bodied 430 per cent increase. Although more modest, the exchange’s Liv-ex 1000 index of fine wines has still seen
A case of Petit Mouton 2006 costing £420 in 2008 is now worth £2,300 – a full-bodied 430 per cent increase
a 31 per cent hike in average values over the past five years. Liv-ex Research Analyst Edward Jackson sees traditional regions such as Bordeaux and Burgundy offering continuing returns for investors, but also suggested vintage champagne and top Italian wines such as super Tuscans, top Barolos and Barbarescos merited consideration. “In Bordeaux it is worth looking at châteaux on the Right Bank such as Figeac and Canon,” he says. “Both the 2015 and 2016 vintages from these châteaux received high scores and made good returns for investors.” Jewellery and watches have been a longtime favourite among investors, with recent figures from Knight Frank Research showing watches rising in value by 69 per cent over the past decade, with jewellery up 138 per cent. For many people the main driver is finding an item they love rather than eyeing a specific financial return. Mark Hearn, Managing Director of Patek Philippe UK, explains: “We know we achieve record values in auctions, but our main focus is that once you have purchased a Patek Philippe timepiece, the customer will wear and enjoy it for many years to come. “All of the collections have been in high demand for years. A good example is our Nautilus collection. Launched in 1976, it is known to all connoisseurs, watch lovers and collectors as an iconic collection and it is more popular now than ever.” According to Patek Philippe, today’s watch collectors and connoisseurs are looking for more complicated pieces, with buyers increasingly interested in what is inside the watch. Unsurprisingly, prestige cars continue to offer outstanding investment opportunities, with Morgan, Rolls-Royce, Bentley and Porsche typically among brands to watch. Indeed, the Coutts Passion Index has shown classic cars offer the healthiest returns since 2005 with prices quadrupling. “We are seeing some incredible amounts
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of money within the world of classic cars,” says Mohammad Kamal Syed of Coutts. “A 1963 original Ferrari 250 GTO was recently exchanged at a private sale for just over $70 million – a new world record. Another record price was set in 2017 for a British automobile – a 1950s Aston Martin DBR1 at $22.5m.” Anyone looking for investments that benefit the soul as well as the pocket could consider putting money into woodlands, according to Anthony Wyld, founder of the Forestry Investment Consultancy. He highlights tax incentives which have applied to UK forests since the post-war Government encouraged tree planting in the 1950s. Anthony explains: “For families with an investment span of multiple generations, forests can be ideal investments throwing out tax-free income for one generation and a mature crop in time for the next, without any tax being incurred at any stage.” With similarly green credentials, investment in truffles has also attracted attention, with commercial producers now established across Europe. These farmers include Martin Waddell who left the UK in 2007 to begin truffle farming on the
French-Spanish border. As founder of Truffle Farms Europe, he is now cultivating more than 50,000 young oak trees and describes truffles as an ethical, ecological and sustainable investment. “The impact of nearly three decades of dry summers on truffle productivity and prices, combined with the developing science, opened the door to an exciting, ethical investment opportunity that ticks all the boxes,” he says.
The Coutts Passion Index has shown classic cars offer the healthiest returns since 2005 with prices quadrupling Investors minded to play safe and keep their money in property still have scope to go down a more alternative route. Real estate specialist Colliers International has witnessed strong interest from investors in everything from student accommodation to
man-made surfing lakes. James Shorthouse, the company’s Head of Alternative Markets, sees particular opportunities from experiential leisure investments, both in property assets and businesses themselves. “I think we are going to see further growth on the specialist health and fitness side, so boutique gyms and so forth,” he predicts, citing spin studios and boxing classes near to workplaces as particular opportunities with virtual reality projects also offering potential. At the end of the day, it is essential would-be investors remember the all-important small print: values can fall as well as rise. Any outlay – traditional, non-traditional or downright quirky – should be based on sound professional advice and should never exceed what an individual can afford to lose. Another important consideration is highlighted by Hiscox, whose advice on buying art could arguably apply to any so-called passion purchase. “Above all, always buy a work of art that you like or, even better, love,” says Robert Read. “There is no such thing a ‘sure thing’ in the art market, so at least if you love the image you will always have that, even if it proves to have been a poor investment.”
PHOTO BY ADAM LYNK WWW.ADAMLYNK.COM
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THE OPERA What a performance: a new opera house inspired by 18th century Teatro alla Scala has been created in the heart of an English medieval estate
his operatic story is like a fairytale. One that began with a Duchess. When the Duchess of Roxburghe died, aged 99, she could not have imagined that her ashes would be carefully placed in the orchestra pit of an opera house. A rather extraordinary opera house at that; one modelled on the horseshoe shape of La Scala and tucked behind ancient walled gardens where children once ran free and fierce games of croquet were thrashed out. This is West Horsley Place, a medieval manor house of great beauty and historic significance close to the Surrey Hills, inherited in 2015 by author and broadcaster Bamber Gascoigne from his aunt, Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe. He gifted the estate to the Mary Roxburghe Trust which
aims to restore the house and grounds and outbuildings (all currently on Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Register) and create a vibrant centre for the performing and visual arts and the teaching of crafts. Hence the Theatre in the Woods, 21st-century Britain’s first new opera house and the new home of Grange Park Opera. The new opera house was unveiled to great acclaim in the summer of 2017. Since then more than 30,000 people have enjoyed performances at the five-tier opera house. Founded 21 years ago in 1998 by Wasfi Kani OBE, Grange Park Opera has staged more than 75 operas, including acclaimed productions of Rusalka, Tristan und Isolde and Peter Grimes, and become an integral part of the English summer season. The audience invariably, but not exclusively, arrive in black tie and cocktail dresses during the afternoon, some ferried from London or the railway station in one of 47 vintage cars. They sip champagne at The White Wisteria Champagne Bar and wander at leisure through this magical demi-Eden. During the long, convivial interval, the audience can settle into one of two restaurants: either inside the 15th-century house, where Henry VIII once enjoyed a 35-course luncheon, or in The Walnut Tree Restaurant. Alternatively, they can book a picnic pavilion in the Crinkle-Crankle Garden, on the Croquet Lawn or in the Rose Parterre. Then there are those who just fling their rugs under an ancient gnarled tree in the orchard. Once the opera ends, the audience walks out into the moonlit English woodland, watched by fireflies and fairies. The 2019 season opens with Verdi’s Don Carlo. Carlos, heir to the throne, is Leonardo Capalbo, whose rich lyricism and dramatic intensity has received acclaim at the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, Lyon, Berlin, and Madrid. The Marquis of Posa is Canadian Brett Polegato (finalist, Cardiff Singer of
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the World). Ruxandra Donose returns as aristocratic Eboli competing with Princess Elisabetta, US-born Marina Costa Jackson, for the prince’s heart. Next on the list is George Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess. There has always been a debate about whether Porgy & Bess is an opera or a musical. But who cares? With songs such as Summertime and It Ain’t Necessarily So, this is an indisputable masterpiece. Gershwin’s epic tale stars Musa Ngqungwana as Porgy, praised by the New York Times for his “rich, glowing voice and elegant legato”, and Laquita Mitchell who first sang Bess with San Francisco Opera and subsequently with Boston Symphony, Cleveland and Tanglewood. The third offering is Engelbert Humperdinck’s masterpiece Hansel & Gretel, combining the haunting themes of the unsettling Grimm story with enchanting music that has earned it the status of one of the most loved operas in the repertoire. The witch is played by Susan Bullock who has sung Wagner the world over – from Australia to Japan. Following her 2017 triumph in Grange Park Opera’s Jenufa, she returns to the suitably located Theatre in the Woods to terrify Hansel and Gretel and bewitch the audience.
In addition to these three productions, Grange Park Opera is also delighted that the celebrated American mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato, possibly the world’s most glamorous opera star, will give a special recital on 11 July. Joyce DiDonato’s repertoire stretches from Danny Boy to Massenet, her awards range from Olivier to Grammy and she has appeared at every major opera house. In this special concert, Joyce will perform a programme of arias. The season finishes with a final fling provided by charismatic baritone Simon Keenlyside and his jazz friends. As Wasfi Kani says, “You do not need to know anything about opera to enjoy it. Just immerse yourself – 70 people in the orchestra, 50 people on stage, all performing live, right in front of you. There is no right or wrong on what one should feel. Just feel it.”
GRANGE PARK OPERA West Horsley Place, Surrey 6 June to 13 July 2019 www.grangeparkopera.co.uk
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99 Talbot Road Notting Hill W11 2AT
Odhams Wharf Topsham Exeter EX3 0PD
FOOD & DRINK
NEW COOL Laid-back luxe interiors, an inventive all-day menu and a cleverly reinvented space are the hallmarks of neighbourhood restaurant Hans’ Bar & Grill, discovers Emma J Page
s any dyed-in-the-wool Londoner will tell you, forming a long-lasting relationship with the metropolis is a bit like investing in the stock market. On a good day, you can bank its treasures: the streets feel like your own and every corner offers up something new to note. Conversely, if you have ever tried to battle your way across Blackfriars Bridge at rush hour, dealing with an umbrella that has just blown inside out for the third time, you will know the feeling that your stock has plummeted to a significant low. That is the beauty of London. You fall out of love with it on the turn of a sixpence, then it offers a glimmer of something unexpected to reel you in again: an inventive restaurant pop-up under the arches at Borough Market, a regenerated loft space-cum-diner, a private dining room in a bank vault.
There may not seem much room at first glance for this kind of reinvention in historic Chelsea, but recently there has been some quiet rumblings of change behind its elegant Georgian and Victorian facades. The area’s fortunes have veered from an anti-establishment vibe in the ‘Swinging Sixties’ to its latterly elegant yet buttoned-up reputation. However, echoes of a former creative spirit can be felt in a new generation of builds and renovations: Sloane Street’s latest mixed-use development, George House, with its hidden courtyard garden is a case in point: gently contemporary but at ease with its surroundings. Behind it on Pavilion Road an informal blend of independents, including a butcher’s, bakery, wine store and deli has revived a neighbourhood feel. Once home to stables and workshops, there is a sense that this quiet mews has
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FOOD & DRINK
Head Chef Adam England, formerly of Le Pont de la Tour, has devised an unfussy all-day menu that stands up just as well to easy grazing over aperitifs as it does to unhurried lunches or elegant suppers with friends
been returned to its past, only with a glossier edge. Halfway down the cobbled street, Hans’ Bar & Grill is nestled next to a stationery store and opposite a greengrocer’s. New-build eateries with an urban aesthetic share space with reworked mews houses, a reminder that the city’s architectural and culinary landscapes are merging in inventive ways. As a Londoner who lives close by, these streets are familiar to me, but this relaxed feel represents a recent shift. It is exactly this kind of redefining of old favourites that can make the city’s stock rise so unexpectedly. As befitting of a restaurant that blends easy elegance with a local feel, it is not immediately obvious that it is discreetly attached to neighbourhood stalwart, 11 Cadogan Gardens, a townhouse hotel characterised by winding corridors, sweeping staircase and period features.
The restaurant takes that sense of heritage and adds a modern, loosened up twist – panelled walls are painted rich green, brickwork is exposed, botanical prints combine with leather banquettes, marbletopped tables are warmed by brass accents and aged parquet flooring, while a generous wine collection behind glass walls adds a note of glamour. I arrive to find my dining companion already seated at the bar, Bellini in hand, browsing the sharing plates. Head Chef Adam England, formerly of Le Pont de la Tour, has devised an unfussy all-day menu that stands up just as well to easy grazing over aperitifs as it does to unhurried lunches or elegant suppers with friends. Provenance is key here and much of the produce has been sourced locally, from the seasonal side dishes, such as cabbage and smoked bacon, to the grass-fed English
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FOOD & DRINK
sirloin. A blend of modern European plates, from smoked aubergine flatbread to pea and mint arancini, and simple, honest dishes, including pork cutlet, allow ingredients to sing. Nothing is overly complicated; the result is all the better for it. Dishes are made to complement one another. We started with a couple of plates shared informally: a smoked mackerel salad comprising apple and watercress with earthy fennel notes and a rustic, rough-textured ham hock and pheasant terrine. Undecided between two red wines, a Malbec Reserve and a Baron Carl St Emilion, we were served both to taste, choosing the latter, a velvety smooth option that paired well with our main course, a medium-rare veal cutlet and a Barnsley chop, both from the menu’s standout grill section. Curly kale with toasted hazelnuts, sautéed new potatoes with rosemary and a simple green salad were ideal sides. The wine list here is extensive with a good selection of biodynamic, organic options and wines by the glass, plus a focus on unusual bottles from around the world. There is also a concise list of classic cocktails using British spirits, including a twist on a Gin Sour.
Best of all, the restaurant combines a friendly, cool-luxe neighbourhood feel with a sense that anything goes – no matter the time of day. Locals and hotel guests can stop by for breakfast from 7am, whether a freshly pressed smoothie or a classic eggs benedict. And for a little escapism, the afternoon tea menu features traditional bakes alongside modern savouries such as salt beef, mustard and dill pickle bagels. After supper, we spent time exploring the hotel. Built by Lord Chelsea in the late 19th century, it originally comprised four separate townhouses, later conjoined to create an endearingly meandering layout. Then, it was popular as a home from home for travelling Victorian aristocrats, politicians and bon viveurs. Now, it is infused with a laid-back, cosmopolitan spirit, echoed in its welcoming restaurant. As we leave, I notice a series of black and white photographs that point to the building’s little-known stint as a private members’ club in the 1960s. It seems this city still has several secrets to give up; I will not be trading in my shares any time soon. Hans’ Bar & Grill, 164 Pavilion Road, London SW1X 0AW, www.hansbarandgrill.com.
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FOOD & DRINK
SWEET TREATS TV presenter Olly Smith reveals the wine worldâ€™s biggest secret: sweet wines from glasses of fragrant orange blossom to rich sticky dates
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FOOD & DRINK
weet wine. For many, it is wine’s unctuous answer to hell, but I owe my career to it. Many years ago while employed as a screenwriter for animation shows such as Pingu, Charlie & Lola and even writing on Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, I never dreamed I would end up tasting wine for a living. Wine was my great passion, thanks to a stint working in Orange & Co Vintners. But it took the seeds of a little-known competition called Wine Idol for wine to take root and grow into my daily life. I had managed to get down to the last ten in this contest — searching for a new face to present wine on the box. For my final presentation, nerves jangling like tinsel in a thunderstorm, of all the wines I could have chosen, I presented a Hungarian Tokaji — a rare treat that remains one of my all-time favourite wines. Yes, folks, a sweet wine. Did I win? I completely understand that some people find the texture of sweet wine gloopier than molten Starburst, or that others see wine simply as either chilled and refreshing or red and hearty. Expectation is half the problem. The very name, dessert wine, pins sweet wines into that all too rare moment when you fancy booze with your pudding. Booze in pudding from trifle to tiramisu is something we know and love. But booze with pudding? Is that only for the debauched? No. Reconsider these wines as some of the world’s greatest fine wine bargains, sweetness aside, and they start to show that as well as being liquid jewels, they are more or less available for the price of a second-hand tea towel. And such choice! If it is good value you are after, it is Australia all the way. If you are a chocolate fan, grab a half bottle of Brown Brothers Orange Muscat & Flora and drink it chilled with a Crunchie bar. Trust me, it is naughty nirvana. For a blue cheese taste sensation, grab a half bottle of Tesco Finest Dessert Semillon, stick it in the fridge and serve it late afternoon with the contrasting salty magic of a dirty great slice of Dolcelatte. As for that classic bowl of fresh strawberries eaten in the garden on a warm summer’s day? Italian Moscato or good old Asti Spumante is wine’s answer to sweet sherbet heaven — the perfect match and ludicrous value, too. Next time you are serving a rich fruit cake or Christmas pudding in the depths of winter, De Bortoli’s Show Liqueur Muscat is essential sipping, echoing the flavours of the dried fruits in the pudding just beautifully. The mistake many make with sweet wine is serving far too much of it. Dessert wines are almost always intense, rich and deep, and a little
goes a long way. In almost all cases these sweet gems benefit from being served chilled. Take Madeira, one of the great wines of the world, fiercely underappreciated and undervalued. Try serving an aged glass of Sercial with a slice of Comté and your dinner party will erupt into roaring ecstasy. Or get your hands on some Dolcelatte and a decent aged Bual. And do not be afraid to deploy Madeira in cocktails. Chris Blandy of Madeira wine producers Blandy’s has shared a handful of recipes with me and they are a superb way to sip sweet wines all summer long. Alternatively, how about white port and tonic for an easy cocktail? It is similar to a classic G&T. For maximum impact with minimal effort, stick a bottle of tawny port in the fridge and serve it lovely and cold — it is a magnificent aperitif with salted almonds. Quinta Do Noval 10-year-old is a total treat. For those with a sweet tooth, Pedro Ximenez sherry, also known as PX, has got to be one of the best kept bargain secrets as far as dessert wine goes. It tastes like sweet dates and figs, and there is nothing finer than pouring it over vanilla ice cream for an indulgent summer’s day pudding. Sauternes from France with its sweet lemony zing is marvellous, and while icons such as Château d’Yquem are stunning in their complexity and age-worthy quality, I also applaud new initiatives such as Les Lions de Suduiraut 2013, crafted from the classic Sauternes grapes with their noble rot yet in a more contemporary, lighter style. Fruity and fabulous, this is ideal served chilled as a summer aperitif. Yet I still reckon Tokaji tops the lot. I remember stalking onto the stage during the final rounds of Wine Idol, my knees knocking together. As I presented the Disznókő Tokaji 5 Puttonyos I thought, ‘If I fail at least I have this bottle of scrumptious Tokaji to share with my wife at the end of it all’. But as I raised the glass of this sticky nectar to my lips, pronouncing its glory, my fate was sealed and the judges cast their votes in my favour. Tokaji is not just my lucky wine, it has the power to convert any doubters – the signature flavour where apricot jam meets citrus lightning strike is irresistible. These wines, whose sweetness is measured in ‘puttunyos’ numbered three to six, with six being the sweetest, are amazing served cool as dessert in their own right, or you can pair them with fruit tarts, blue cheese or dishes featuring orange and chocolate. Some of the best producers include István Szepsy, Királyudvar and my beloved Disznókő. I do not just owe them my career. When wines are this good, it is also about adoration, immersion and delight.
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FOOD & DRINK
SUCCESS There is a Roux connection at Cliveden, bringing together past, present and future – Gavin Grey discovers more
aking the helm of any critically acclaimed venture can prove daunting – however for Paul O’Neill it has been anything but stepping into the unknown. This January, Paul became Head Chef of the Cliveden Dining Room, the latest step in an impressive culinary journey. His background had already included duties at Claridge’s in London, The Goodwood Hotel in Chichester and award-winning Berwick Lodge in Bristol.
Paul, 33, married and father of two, arrived at Cliveden in November 2017 to work alongside Executive Chef André Garrett, who had steered the hotel to a succession of major accolades plus plaudits from critics. With André’s move to London at the beginning of the year, Paul took on overall charge of Cliveden’s kitchens. Paul said: “André is a great guy. We have always had a really good working relationship. I helped him continue what he started here, feeding in ideas on the menus and slowly having a bigger input. It has enabled the handover to be smooth because I want to carry on what he has achieved and what we have done together.” Almost inevitably, however, any change of stewardship results in a shift in culinary focus. “It is probably going to become a little more modern British rather than modern European in style,” Paul said of his plans for Cliveden’s menus. “The focus will be on British dishes — but reflecting the fact we now live in a multicultural society with diverse influences and ingredients.” As well as their close working relationship, Paul and André share another significant culinary connection. They are both former winners of the Roux Scholarship, an annual competition established in 1984 by brothers
Paul O'Neill Head Chef of The Cliveden Dining Room.
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“Being a Scholar, you are part of an extended family and that is really special” Albert and Michel Roux to find and celebrate Britain’s top young chef. André won the title Roux Scholar in 2002; Paul’s success came in 2013. “It is the be all and end all of any of the competitions within the industry,” Paul explained. “It takes you way beyond your comfort zone, demanding things well beyond your repertoire.” For Paul, the prize included a three-month placement at three Michelin starred restaurant Pierre Gagnaire in Paris. “The Scholarship has been career defining. It has opened numerous doors and it is incredible that something that is relatively quick can overshadow something you have been grafting away at for 18 years.” It was another of those opening doors that first brought Paul to Cliveden. Needing to expand the team in the hotel’s kitchens, André highlighted the vacancy to former Roux Scholars, luring Paul to join the team. Paul’s enthusiasm for the Roux Scholarship is echoed by André who, 17 years after his own success, remains a passionate advocate for the competition. “The cachet of winning the Scholarship is still there,” he said. “It is a very important achievement for a young chef. There are a lot of other competitions out there, but the Roux Scholarship is still the premium one.
“The Roux family are a huge pleasure to know so well — and to have the opportunity to know them as people, not just as chefs to look up to. Being a Scholar, you are part of an extended family and that is really special.” André’s bond with the Roux family and the Scholarship was further cemented in 2016 when he was invited to join the competition’s panel of judges. “When I was asked, I had to read the email twice. I did not believe it. I was so privileged to be involved. It is a phenomenal process; it is great to be around the Roux family.” This sentiment is echoed by Paul. “Winning the Scholarship and knowing the Rouxs is massive. As soon as you win, they are always available to help at the end of the phone. There is that constant support and it feels like all the Scholars are looking out for one another.” At Cliveden, there is another strong Roux connection. By coincidence, Albert Roux OBE served part of his apprenticeship in the kitchens at Cliveden back in the 1950s when the house was the country home of Nancy Astor. The office used by André, now taken on by Paul, is the old parlour at Cliveden, effectively a lockable safe where Albert used to polish the house’s silver collection.
Albert’s brother, Michel Roux OBE, explained: “Cliveden holds a special place in our family’s heart and even more so now, with two of our scholars, André Garrett and Paul O’Neill, having both led the kitchen.” Although day-to-day responsibility for the Scholarship has now passed from Michel to his son Alain and from Albert to his son Michel Jnr, the elder Rouxs retain close links to the competition. “When my brother Albert and I founded the Scholarship 35 years ago, our aim was to help UK chefs reach their potential,” Michel Snr explained. “The fact that the quality of chefs coming through the competition is improving year on year could not be better proof that we are achieving our goal.” That focus on quality is evident at Cliveden, where Paul is now looking to build upon the glittering achievements of his predecessor and colleague André. “We just want to continue the great work that André has done,” Paul explained. “We just want to make sure we focus on fantastic ingredients and getting the best out of them. For me, it is all about carrying on what we have both achieved, respecting the food and appreciating that dishes do not have to be overcomplicated to be incredible.”
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veryone has their bucket list. For some people it is visiting Machu Picchu; mine is reading the big novels. Books, particularly those one might refer to as “the classics”, are my luxury. Partly, it is about being an incorrigible show-off and wanting to be able to nod sagely whenever anyone mentions Proust’s Madeleines or stick my hand up to a question about Odysseus and the Sirens at a pub quiz. But mostly it is about escaping from the demands of everyday life.
A luxury break is about switching off as much as getting away; Helen Brocklebank, Walpole’s CEO, underwent a full digital detox on holiday no iPhone, no email, no laptop, nothing… Did it work?
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Fiction is not the opposite of fact. Fiction is a glorious, hypothetical, imagined reality. Open the pages and you are instantly on holiday in someone else’s world. I have never fallen madly in doomed love with a Russian cavalry officer, but Anna Karenina made it as vivid to me as if I had, and warned me against it, too. Nor have I drunk champagne from glasses “bigger than finger-bowls” at a party where “the orchestra is playing yellow cocktail music”, but Fitzgerald turned me into that girl at one of Gatsby’s parties. More than the pleasure of escape, books are also good for you. A University of Sussex study showed that reading fiction was a better stress-buster than yoga; just six minutes can reduce stress levels by 68 per cent. Novels also improve our ability to empathise. Neuroscientists at Emory University in the United States found that losing oneself in a novel “enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function”. It also noted that fiction improves our ability to put oneself in someone else’s shoes, flexing the imagination. Perhaps, then, reading is less a luxury and more a necessity – like exercise, getting enough sleep or eating vegetables. Anyway. This year’s “big book” was going to be Middlemarch, considered one of the greatest British novels; Virginia Woolf described it as one of the few English novels written for “grown-up people”. Since there is no avoiding that I have long been one of “the grown-up people”, I am almost too ashamed to admit I have never read it. The second-hand copy I bought when an undergrad has been glowering reproachfully at me from the bookshelf ever since, its broken spine and dishevelled pages quietly corroborating the lies I have told about how much I love it. On New Year’s Day last year, I wrote “Read Middlemarch” at the top of my list of resolutions and read the title page before letting it languish in a pile of other unread books on my bedside table, where I unearthed it at Easter – prompted by listening to Melvyn Bragg discuss it on 'In Our Time'. I got as far as page 25. After a few more abortive attempts I began to realise the problem lay not with Middlemarch but with me. I had lost my ability to concentrate. At least, I seemed not to have the kind of sustained concentration a challenging book like Middlemarch requires. That is not to say I was not reading – every morning I would wake up, switch on my iPhone and read The Times, The Guardian, some of the FT and a range of newsletters and digests so that I could begin my day as Chief Executive of Walpole feeling fully briefed. I have lost count
When leading any kind of organisation you need the mental agility to be able to skim information to come up with a speedy response, but if you do not preserve the ability to think deeply and strategically about challenges and opportunities you cannot provide strong, long-term leadership and direction of the number of emails I sped through every day. I chomped through white papers and reports and research and skimmed and grazed vast amounts of digital data. Add to that WhatsApp messages and my Instagram habit (apparently even an average Instagram user scrolls through 1.3km of feed a day) and I must have been coming close to consuming the equivalent of Middlemarch’s 316,059 words in any given week. But my dependence on my iPhone seemed to have rewired my brain, if I was not speed-reading quantities of information I was constantly checking the screen to see if anything had happened. According to neuroscientist Dr Tara Swart, I am not alone: “People check their phones up to 160 times a day; we are constantly switched on and our brains are overloaded with information. In the brain, this means we are constantly multitasking which means we are doing everything less well than we could if we focused on one task at a time.” Nicholas Carr, writing in his book The Shallows: How the internet is changing the way we think, read and remember, believes that, because our neural pathways are plastic and not hardwired, this constant checking physically changes the brain. “What we are trading away in return for the riches of the Net – and only a curmudgeon would refuse to see the riches – is what [Scott] Karp calls ‘our old linear thought process’. Calm, focused, undistracted, the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts – the faster, the better.” Was my struggle with Middlemarch a warning sign I needed to pay attention to what Julia Hobsbawm, in her book Fully Connected, calls “social health”? Did I need to put better boundaries around my digital consumption in order to preserve my “old linear thought process” and be able to
switch between superficial speed-reading and sustained bursts of concentration on more challenging material? It seemed to me important to retain the ability to do both. When leading any kind of organisation you need the mental agility to be able to skim information to come up with a speedy response, but if you do not preserve the ability to think deeply and strategically about challenges and opportunities you cannot provide strong, long-term leadership and direction. By the time I left for my summer holiday, I realised that only by going “Out of Office” in mind as well as body would I see if I could re-programme my brain and get back my focus. I was ready for a digital detox. For the first time in over a decade, I locked the iPhone in the hotel safe and went cold turkey for a fortnight. Mindful of a University of Stavanger study about the benefits of print over screen time when it comes to re-tuning your neural pathways, I blanked the Kindle and took with me nine paperbacks of varying degrees of intellectual rigour. By the end of the first week I had consciously uncoupled from my phone enough to tackle Middlemarch. Fast forward a couple of months, and although I still have not got through the 700 emails waiting for me on my return (I figure if they were that crucial I would know by now), the detox has led to better digital discipline. I try to keep the phone switched off between 8pm and 8am, and schedule time to keep those “old linear pathways” supple, using novels to flex and exercise my brain’s muscles. A nine-novel rest-cure may not be everyone’s remedy for the very 21st century problem of digital overload, but it brought me back to some kind of equilibrium. Now I have ticked Middlemarch off the list, who knows what kind of benefits War and Peace or Ulysses might bring?
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All Well &
GOOD Experience the top wellness trends identified by The Sunday Times’ spa expert Susan d’Arcy
THE TREND Forest bathing
THE TREND Cryotherapy
This is categorically NOT just a walk in the woods, pleasant though that undoubtedly is. It is a wellness ritual that started in Japan in the 1980s after scientists there spent eight years and millions of yen studying the physiological and psychological impact of shinrin-yoku, which loosely translates as forest bathing. Their research uncovered some quite remarkable facts about the positive effects of walking in woods on participants’ immunity, blood pressure and stress levels. Better still, they discovered these benefits lasted up to a month following each two-hour bath. Sceptical? Here is the science bit. Trees emit airborne chemicals called phytoncides to protect themselves from rotting or attack by insects. When we breathe in these chemicals, our bodies respond by increasing the number and activity of a type of white blood cell called natural killer cells or NK which fight cancer and virus cells.
Cryotherapy or cold therapies are a hot trend right now, thanks to the emergence of Wim Hof, aka The Iceman, a Dutch extreme athlete best known for climbing Mount Everest wearing nothing but his shorts and shoes (he reached an altitude of 22,000ft). Hof believes exposing yourself to bouts of cold temperatures beneficially stimulates the immune and cardio-respiratory systems. The professionals back up his claims. One study tested the theory by plunging people into cold water for six minutes, three times a week for six weeks. The researchers found the icy shock signalled to the body to go into fight or flight mode, triggering an immune response. By the end of the experiment, participants recorded a significant increase in the proportions of lymphocytes, cells that ward off infections. Another trial suggested that cold weather bolsters our brown fat reserves. This good fat is believed to improve our ability to process carbohydrates and other sugar-rich foods and Hof’s brown fat cells have been shown to be five times more active than the average healthy male’s.
WHERE TO TRY Chewton Glen is surrounded by the New Forest’s magical woodlands and heaths, with freely roaming ponies ratcheting up the feel-good factor. Cliveden’s acres include wooded cliffs, giant sequoia trees and glimpses of a minty stretch of the Thames.
WHERE TO TRY Cold drench showers at Chewton Glen provide a five-star introduction to freezing.
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THE TREND Gut instincts Fermented foods including sauerkraut, miso, kimchi and kefir are the new superfoods, packed with microorganisms that live in our gut and which scientists increasingly believe have a significant influence over our physical and mental health. Good gut flora can lower the likelihood of obesity, developing autoimmune conditions and digestion problems, and can increase lifespan, improve brain function and even make you feel happier. The bad news is that finding the right fermented foods can be tricky. Many are preserved in vinegar and therefore have no live element, and while all yoghurt has good bacteria, kefir has five times the number of your standard yoghurt pot. Baffled? A session with a nutritionist could be your best investment ever.
WHERE TO TRY The Lygon Arms and Cliveden offer nutritional advice.
THE TREND HIIT training The fitness craze that is taking the world by storm. High intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short blasts of maximum effort for between 20 to 40 seconds followed by rest periods of between 10 or 20 seconds. By boosting your heart rate this way, you fire up your metabolism and burn fat more quickly. If you do HIIT training three to four times a week you will soon notice the difference. That is partly because this style of training has also been shown to suppress appetite by reducing levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
WHERE TO TRY Chewton Glen has group and one-to-one HIIT sessions.
THE TREND Ancient arts Tai chi, the centuries-old Chinese martial art that combines movement and meditation, concentrates on slow, graceful moves practised while breathing deeply. Traditional Chinese doctors describe it as a gymnastic form of medicine that aids stress relief, balance and flexibility. Granted it has mainly been associated with the over-50s, but in the past couple of years millennials have started to practise, viewing tai chi as the perfect antidote to the digital age.
WHERE TO TRY IT: Chewton Glen offers group and one-to-one tai chi and Cliveden has personal tai chi sessions.
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THE TREND Infrared saunas The hot and sweaty look will never be fashionable, but saunas are a key component of wellness. Fortunately, the latest trend is for far infrared saunas. Unlike the traditional version, which heats the air around the body and needs to reach high temperatures to be effective, the far infrared alternatives operate at much lower temperatures because they heat your body from the inside so you can manage the necessary 30-minute stint to feel the benefits.These include boosting the metabolism, improving the complexion and circulation, encouraging collagen production and even enhancing mood. Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow are regular users.
WHERE TO TRY
Cliveden has a far infrared sauna and you can cool down afterwards in the famous outdoor pool, the one where John Profumo first set eyes on Christine Keeler.
THE TREND Results-driven facials THE TREND Compassionate beauty The free-from ethos is gaining traction in the beauty world with vegan-friendly products that promise a responsible inner as well as physical outer glow. Luxury British skincare brand Oskia, who designed the bespoke collections of luxurious body products for the spas at Cliveden and Chewton Glen, ensures most of its award-winning products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans and the company is also working to phase out plastic tubes in favour of glass containers.
WHERE TO TRY Oskia treatments are available at Chewton Glen, Cliveden and The Lygon Arms.
These days facialists collaborate with scientists to create cutting-edge cosmeceutical ranges that have an immediate impact on your complexion. Sarah Chapman is one of the UK’s most authoritative skincare experts and her Skinesis products are the distillation of 20 years in the business backed up by collagen-boosting formulas developed using state-of-the-art dermatological data. As well as super-effective stem cell lotions and potions, Chapman has devised a distinctive gymnastic massage that further enhances that winning glow. Her starry fan base includes Victoria Beckham and Gigi Hadid.
WHERE TO TRY Cliveden is one of the very rare beauty centres where you can experience a Sarah Chapman facial and has four super-luxurious Sarah Chapman face treatments.
THE TREND Brolates Pilates has been seen as a bit touchy-feely — ie for cissies. Nonsense. The system was actually created by Joseph Pilates to help in the rehabilitation of soldiers injured in World War One. He realised that by focusing on strengthening the deep core stabilizing muscles, movement patterns were improved. Pilates was well into his 80s when he died — and he still had a six-pack. In the past couple of years, it has undergone a makeover to appeal more to men and reports that Andy Murray, the All Blacks and Tiger Woods are Pilates fans, coupled with estimates that around 80 per cent of us will suffer from back pain, has seen a spike in men signing up for classes. It improves muscle tone and endurance, and for the desk-bound, it really helps postural alignment legwarmers optional.
WHERE TO TRY Chewton Glen has group and one-to-one pilates instruction.
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FOOD & DRINK
CONFIDENCE Chef, teacher, raconteur, comic… Meet Steve Bulmer of The Kitchen
he Kitchen’s Chef Tutor Stephen Bulmer is the real deal. This highly experienced professional chef honed his skills at Michelin-starred restaurants, working with inspirational chefs such as Georgio Locatelli at Zafferano, Mark Edwards at Nobu and David Thompson at Nahm, as well as spending several years as Senior Chef de Cuisine at Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, no less. Yet Stephen (or Steve as he prefers to be known) also has that rare skill – an ability to encourage others with patience and humour. It is a winning combination that has seen him hold the position of Chef Director of the Raymond Blanc Cookery School for five years, made him widely acknowledged in the industry as one of the leading cookery school tutors in the UK and earned him the title Best Tutor at the Independent Cookery School Awards. His secret? He loves people as much as he loves food.
We meet at The Kitchen, where Steve took up the role of Chef Tutor in May 2018. The Kitchen at Chewton Glen is a lively concept: an informal restaurant with open kitchen and views into the adjacent cookery school overseen by celebrity chef and Chewton Glen alumnus James Martin. This relaxed, open plan format suits Steve’s own approach as chef, teacher and performer. He certainly knows how to engage an audience with his big personality and even bigger smile. Minutes, possibly seconds, in his company and you are laughing – which is a great way to learn. Steve comments, “The team is a joy to work with, we have a good laugh and I like an element of fun, but this is not about messing about.” Despite the twinkle in his eye, this is a chef who means business. He is excited about the school’s facilities and its possibilities: “The Kitchen is one of the nicest cookery schools I have ever
worked in. The beauty of this school is how big it is.” He quickly appreciated that the free-flowing design between cookery school and restaurant has potential for events and businesses: “People can cook in the school for friends or clients in the restaurant. It is a great idea for team building and entertaining clients, creating more interaction and introducing a fun aspect.” The Kitchen is already attracting companies from around the world with opportunities to cook anything from street food to spa-and-supper evenings. They also regularly hold boys’ nights and girls’ nights – “There are a lot of hens’ nights!” adds Steve. Such new approaches are proving popular. So, too, are the variety of courses introduced by Steve to tempt the foodie, the greedy and the adventurous. He is seeing regular returners: “One chap has done six different courses already!”
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FOOD & DRINK
Meanwhile James Martin is still doing his regular cookery courses and dinner demonstrations. “We are lucky as he has a massive following. He is good for customers, his courses are always full and staff like him, too.” Guest chefs also continue to be featured, such as Masterchef winner, TV chef, author and restaurateur Shelina Permalloo. Otherwise expect an ever-changing menu of courses seasoned (forgive the puns) with current food trends, Steve’s own wide-ranging influences and others that are established favourites or reflect specific needs – “practical courses such as how to utilise your freezer, how to get ahead if you are entertaining, al fresco dining and barbecue cooking with interesting accompaniments such as Persian salads”. The result is a flavoursome collection that includes imaginative vegetarian, vegan and free-from courses, French and Italian regional cookery, fish cookery (Steve remarks: “I used
to be a fish chef and here we are right by the sea!”), foraging, gardening and cooking (with the estate’s gardening team), and spices. Steve continues: “I love spices. Do you know there are over 200 different spices?” However, expect subtlety rather than heat and a variety of cuisines including unusual Vietnamese dishes, feasts from the Middle East, flavours of the Orient, the perfect Pad Thai, curries of the world, and seafood from the Indian and Pacific Oceans….
One chap has done six different courses already! New game courses have been another success. “Tips include how to prepare game without bacon (bacon keeps it moist) if you or your family or friends are Jewish or Muslim.
“Last game course I did, eight out of ten of those attending were women, happily skinning and gutting the game. Two were being really giddy. I asked, ‘What do you do?’ They replied, ‘We are flight squadron leaders’!” Steve adds: “In the past I have done Help for Heroes work with Catterick Garrison, training soldiers to learn signature dishes to help with rehabilitation; I would love to do something similar with the Royal Navy down here.” Interest in learning cooking skills certainly draws a diverse range of backgrounds, abilities and ages. “We have lots of people who cannot cook, including men whose wives have died and they have never cooked. In every class there are foodies, mums who are good home cooks, those with fingers like sausages and the ones in the middle. “I can cater for every level. We have also introduced courses targeting those requiring basic guidance, those with intermediate
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FOOD & DRINK
abilities and more technical, advanced courses — including training chefs. In every course, techniques are at the core and how to make them work for you. “I am a proper chef with a chef’s background. My courses are about developing a basic skillset, techniques and processes. Read a recipe and you are halfway. Take tarte tatin. I can suggest six or more different tarte tatins. Luke [Matthews, Chewton Glen’s Executive Chef] does his version, James does his own, I do mine, there is basic apple, chicory tarte tatin, tomato tarte tatin, shallot tarte tatin, mango tarte tatin… “There are also courses for using every part of the chicken from stock to spicy wings… It is all about tips and techniques, tips and techniques. Come here and I will train you.” Yes, Chef.
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GAME CHANGER As a major new exhibition at the V&A showcases Mary Quant’s fashion forward designs, Alison Porter explores the enduring appeal of one of the greatest influencers on British fashion
redited with creating the miniskirt, the most fashionable symbol of the Swinging Sixties (allegedly naming it after her favourite car), Mary Quant has become indelibly etched in our psyches as an icon of that freewheeling era. However, as decades pass since her heyday, we forget how truly trailblazing she was; not only as a designer, but as a businesswoman. This self-taught designer turned her hand to everything: from accessories, bed linen and cosmetics to dress patterns, footwear and underwear. All in an era when women were only just beginning to make their mark on the working world. She was a fashion retail pioneer whose far-reaching influence is being celebrated at a landmark exhibition at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Bringing the exhibition together has been a labour of love for Jenny Lister, fashion and textiles curator: “I have wanted to focus on Mary Quant for years. She had such a huge influence on fashion, not only in Britain, but internationally. She made fashion all about street style, and with mass production, and moving into products like tights and make-up, made it accessible for everyone. It is nearly 50 years since she had a mid-career retrospective, so it is long overdue.” The exhibition has benefited from unprecedented access to Dame Mary Quant’s personal archive and will include over 200 objects, many of which have never been on display. In yet another first, the
Museum crowd-sourced Mary Quant originals from a public callout for rare garments and the stories behind them. The retrospective focuses on the years from 1955 to 1975, when Mary Quant revolutionised the high street with her subversive and playful designs for a younger generation who could not get enough of her hot pants, miniskirts and trousers for women. The exhibition also explores how Mary Quant democratised fashion and empowered women through her ingenuity and unique personal style, which she exported around the world. Mary Quant’s work embodies the Sixties’ vibrancy and sense of liberation. She wanted clothes to be fun, free from rules, and created trends by experimenting with fabrics and cuts. The exhibition will bring that to life in a variety of ways. Jenny Lister explains, “We want visitors to get a sense of Mary Quant’s energy and creativity, emerging from drab post-war austerity into an age of consumerism and colour, with all the developments in fabric, technology and fashion marketing that she took forward. We will be showing the clothes on dynamic mannequins, with photographs, film, advertisements, cosmetics, tights and packaging, which all helped to build the brand into a global name. At the centre of this is Mary herself, and we will be looking at how her particular style and approach helped to build the brand.” Mary Quant, forbidden to take a fashion course by her parents,
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was then made up into clothes for sale the following day. Bazaar’s rails were unlike other stores – with only short runs of new designs, they fuelled their customer’s desires for fresh, unique looks at competitive prices. Quant’s early design aesthetic was influenced by Chelsea street style, with its love of sharp tailoring and clean outlines, so her first collections reflected that modernity in their simplicity and wearability. She became a fashion star as she built her brand. Recalling Mary Quant’s extraordinary evolution as a celebrity designer, Jenny Lister sums up her popular appeal: “Her early designs were fun, often playing with fabrics and gender stereotypes like school uniforms, sportswear and men’s clothing. As the Sixties progressed, she explored new fabrics as they became available, such as PVC, nylon and different types of jersey. She became a celebrity, especially for wearing miniskirts, and in a new age of mass communications, she helped to liberate women from conventions and rules. She felt that fashion should be for everyone, to express their own personality; something we take for granted today.” Mary Quant was a visionary and by the end of the decade she was the UK’s highest profile designer and it was estimated that 7 million women had at least one of her products in their wardrobe. She remained at the forefront of British fashion in the early 1970s and by the late Seventies she ran her high-end womenswear line alongside a dazzling array of licensed and diffusion ranges, from paint and wallpaper to jewellery and skincare products. Mary Quant was awarded the prestigious Hall Of Fame Award by the British Council in 1990 and made a Dame in the 2015 New Year’s Honours list. Although the V&A holds the world’s largest collection of Mary Quant garments, the exhibition has also received important international loans following their #WeWantQuant campaign. These include a pair of bright yellow PVC boots that could be unzipped and worn as shoes, a Liberty print Miss Muffet dress made from a Mary Quant pattern for Butterick, and a Seventies’ velvet culottes dress owned by a former Mary Quant model that was still being worn recently by her daughters. In gathering these personal items for display, Jenny Lister was impressed by the continuing impact of Mary Quant’s style. “These garments, and the life stories of the women who wore them, show how modern Mary Quant’s designs were. So many people have treasured their Mary Quant dresses, because they represented freedom and a special time in their lives.” Looking back at Mary Quant’s contribution to fashion, she adds, “Mary Quant’s marketing and branding ideas for her fashion and cosmetics, particularly her daisy logo, were way ahead of their time. Customers identified closely with the designer as the heart of the brand. More importantly, Mary Quant wanted her clothes to help women function in the real world, to wear the same dress to work and then go out dancing in the evening. Her clothes had simple, unrestrictive shapes, and she also helped to make trousers acceptable for women to wear in public. I think her designs helped women to succeed at work and have fun, and she was a role model at a time when more and more women were able to have careers. It seems that now more than ever we should recognise her trailblazing work in making fashion available for everyone.”
Mary Quant’s marketing and branding ideas for her fashion and cosmetics, particularly her daisy logo, were way ahead of their time studied illustration instead at Goldsmiths (University of London) where she met her future husband, Alexander Plunkett-Greene. After graduation and a short stint as an apprentice to a high-end milliner, the couple opened the enormously influential boutique, Bazaar, on the King’s Road. The area was home to the Chelsea Set — a group of young artists, filmmakers and socialites interested in new ways of living and dressing. Mary was initially designing for these young creatives, and Bazaar quickly became the place to be seen. Mary Quant originally stocked her boutique from the wholesale market, however encouraged by the success of a pair of lounge pyjamas she had designed for Bazaar’s opening, she began featuring her own designs. It was a cottage industry that functioned on a hand-to-mouth business cycle: the day’s takings paid for fabric that
MARY QUANT, VICTORIA & ALBERT MUSEUM 6 April 2019 to 16 February 2020. Tickets from www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/mary-quant; booking recommended
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Avon Castle No forward chain. A stunning contemporary residence, enjoying an elevated position on this highly sought after private estate and boasting some of the most breath-taking and far reaching views over the River Avon and beyond towards the New Forest. This unique property, which extends to almost 3,800 sq ft, was designed by acclaimed architect David Underhill and built to an exacting specification for the current owners in 2015, retaining the remainder of a 10 year LABC guarantee. The imaginative design was created to maximise the beautiful surrounding vista whilst blending style, space and natural light with many energy efficient aspects and as such was recognised as a regional finalist at the LABC Building Excellence Awards in 2016. Energy Performance Rating: B. Please contact the Ringwood office to arrange a viewing
Dock Lane, Beaulieu An exceptional country house in one of the finest riverside settings in the New Forest enjoying outstanding water views and set in a haven of unspoilt grounds extending to approximately 11.5 acres. The property has been in the family for fifty years and the substantial main house was built in the 1930s in the Tudor style and extends to over 5,500 sq ft. There is a significant range of outbuildings, a tennis court and heated swimming pool as well as a large boat house and slipway. Adjacent to the slipway is a prime commercial standard pier and a private deep water jetty offering superb access to sailing on the Beaulieu River and the Solent. EPC rating: F Please contact the Lymington office to arrange a viewing
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15/10/2018 27/02/2019 15:44 07:20
The Art of
CRAFT The big story in fashion, gifts and homeware is that luxury craft is on the up, however some heritage brands have been crafting for decadesâ€¦
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he renaissance of craft continues as more and more of us value the story behind beautifully crafted pieces and the very best in British design. Heritage luxury brand Halcyon Days were well ahead of this trend. Established in 1950, they revived the artisan craft of enamelling, which is one of the oldest crafts in Britain, dating back to the 17th century. By the 1830s the art of enamelling on copper had almost ceased and by 1950 enamelling was almost solely reserved for utility items such as saucepans. However, Halcyon Days created their unique, hand-painted enamel boxes which become renowned worldwide with the company becoming regarded as the guardian of enamelling. Halcyon Days is also proud to be one of only 14 companies in the world to hold all three Royal Warrants as suppliers of objets d’art to the Royal Households of HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Prince of Wales. Tradition is at the heart of the company with its team of highly skilled craftsmen and master artists refining techniques handed down for generations. While continuing to create signature enamel pieces, Halcyon Days has gone on to become known for
its jewellery, fashion accessories and finest English fine bone china, having acquired sister company Caverswall China Company in 2015. Situated in Stoke-on-Trent, Caverswall keeps to the traditions that have set the hallmark of the Potteries since the 18th century, and in 2008 Caverswall was granted its first Royal Warrant by HRH The Prince of Wales. Zenouska Mowatt of Halcyon Days says the company has noticed a surge of interest among customers to create and cherish memories — in particular using Halcyon Days’ bespoke services to commission exquisitely crafted pieces such as a family portrait on an enamel box or a personalised fine bone china tea service with a design inspired by architectural details of the customer’s home. Pamela Harper, Chair and CEO of Halcyon Days, says: “As a niche heritage British brand, we stay close to our roots. We are proud to support English production and the Handcrafted in England Mark, which is rightly recognised both at home and abroad as a true mark of quality. We support and continue to invest in our highly skilled workforce, keeping the crafts of enamelling and fine bone china hand casting alive and
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We continue to invest in our highly skilled workforce, keeping the crafts of enamelling and fine bone china hand casting alive and flourishing
flourishing. We are actively pursuing the development of apprenticeships within our business to keep those crafts alive.” As a company known for specialising in English-made handcrafted luxury gifts, it is a priority for the business to promote, develop and cherish British craftsmanship and manufacturing. The business may have modernised its product offer, however it still creates using traditional skills with talented artisans painting and gilding by hand. Each piece is an authentic work of art designed to last a lifetime. Inspirations for the collections are varied including historic locations or events, individuals and works of art. The striking Gladys Deacon Collection was inspired by Gladys Duchess of Marlborough’s dazzling blue eyes – which stare down from the ceiling of Blenheim Palace’s North Portico. This captivating collection includes a 24ct handcrafted and gilded enamel box with an extraordinary level of detail in the gold gilding. Reflecting on Christmas past, last year traditional bespoke Cliveden baubles added lustre and glamour to the Christmas tree decorations at Cliveden and specially commissioned Iconic baubles were given away as gifts. Meanwhile, new for 2019 is The Parterre Collection with a bold, joyful diamond pattern displayed over tea, coffee and dinnerware and on enamel jewellery designed to be worn stacked for maximum impact. Halcyon Days may borrow from the past, but it looks to the future. As the business approaches its seventh decade there will be further exclusive collaborations and vibrant, luxurious collections promoting the very best of British craftsmanship at a time when people are being more mindful of the things they buy.
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Strengthening bonds beautifully for over 65 years
The Parterre Collection 27 Royal Exchange, London EC3V 3LP | www.halcyondays.co.uk | +44(0)203 725 8001 93 iconicluxuryhotels.com
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A SUMMER ADVENTURE For somewhere completely different, Anya Braimer Jones visits Myanmar in the rainy season, following in the footsteps of her grandfather
ost of my friends spend their summers island hopping in Greece, lying on beaches in Italy or partying in the South of France. But we (my family that is) like to be different. So, last summer we decided to surprise my father and take him to Myanmar (Burma) for his 60th birthday. In August. The Green (rainy) Season. Not a time when most people travel to that country. But my paternal grandfather spent 20 years there from 1928. What could be more wonderful than following in his tracks? After a hideous journey because of a slight delay at Heathrow, Emirates’ far-too-tight connection in Dubai and the airline enforcing a 24-hour stopover in a nasty airport hotel, we finally arrived in Yangon (Rangoon), the country’s former capital. We were greeted with a glorious third world country welcome: beeping cars, chokka traffic, men jumping up and offering us taxi rides, women selling beetle nut concoctions and smiling boys vying to carry our bags. I was instantly taken with the traditional thanaka make-up sported by both men and women, a yellow-ish paste applied to the face (like paint) with fingers or a brush. It is made by grinding tree bark against a circular stone slab. “For medicinal and cosmetic use,” explained our driver, “Good for acne, sun protection, after-sun and, most importantly, to enhance your beauty.”
We stayed at the Yangon Excelsior, the city’s newest hot opening. Formerly HQ of the Steel Brothers, major British exporters, it is one of Yangon’s most impressive buildings from the colonial era. Today it is styled like a groovy SoHo (New York) hotel. The waiters and waitresses wear tweed baker boy caps and black braces, while our bedroom was big enough to sleep ten with a bathroom sexily screened behind glass panels. Next morning our whirlwind of a tour began. First we visited Shwedagon Pagoda; the most famous temple in Myanmar. One of Buddhism’s most sacred sites, the 325 ft zedi [bell-shaped stupa] is plastered with tons of shimmering gold leaf along with thousands of diamonds and gems. We met the monks and offered our donation, a plate of bananas and coconut, and while we knelt in front of them, they chanted mantras. “Their blessing to you,” explained our guide, “They are wishing you safe travels.” This was followed by a visit to the Secretariat, the former British seat of government, which had just opened for exclusive tours while in the middle of multi-million dollar renovations restoring this historical building to its former grandeur. Then we chatted with U Soe Win, great grandson of the last King Thibaw of Burma, discussing former kingdoms, returnism (of his family’s crown jewels) and royal structures — all over a bowl of homemade turmeric sticky rice and vegetables.
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Glittering temples. Golden Buddhas. Harry Potteresque train rides across gorges. Warm rain. Lush landscape. Generous people who offer cups of green tea and smiles…
We visited the (recreated) former British Governor’s mansion (the original burned down in 1945): another picturesque half-timbered edifice. Then on to Candacraig Hotel, once the British Club, a turreted colonial pile currently being renovated. These are all places my grandfather would have known. “This is where single men working for the Bombay Burma Trading Corporation stayed,” our guide told us. My late grandfather worked for the Corporation and remained in Burma to fight in World War II, getting a DSO (Distinguished Service Order) for his work for the Special Operations Executive and preventing 150 elephants (the local version of war horses) from being captured by the Japanese. For us, we had stepped into the past as well as enjoying a holiday that was a memorable experience. All too soon it was time to leave. Glittering temples. Golden Buddhas. Harry Potteresque train rides across gorges. Warm rain. Lush landscape. Generous people who offer us cups of green tea and smiles at every opportunity. And Thanaka on my face (yes, I did it). A trip away in Myanmar is wonderful. Who wants to waste summer lying on a beach?
New day; another destination. This time Hsipaw, reached via a short domestic flight and 90-minute drive through the stunning landscape of Shan State. Taking a traditional longboat, we floated down the Dokthawaddy River to a monastery built for the Hsipaw royal family where we lunched, sitting on the floor (local style) around a low, round wooden table. Our base for the next couple of nights was blissful: Tai House set among lush gardens. (Of all the hotels I have visited throughout the world, this receives my award for the best towel origami and flower petal displays on our bed!) Next morning, at 7am, a tuk-tuk collected us for a trek past peanut and tea plantations and corn fields — a patchwork of red and green that stretched to the horizon — ending up in a Palaung tribal village. I say “walked”, but my sister hopped onto the back of some poor local’s moped. And, yes, okay, I did the same. We left Hsipaw to travel “upper class” in a train that bounced and creaked along, going over the Gokteik Viaduct, 700 metres long and 100 metres above the Gokteik Gorge - simultaneously thrilling and terrifying and an experience any Harry Potter fan ought to put on their bucket list. As the train curved round a bend, we had a breathtaking, panoramic view over densely forested ravine, the river below and, in the distance, a waterfall. It is just 76 miles from Hsipaw to our destination, Pyin Oo Lwin, however it took five and a half hours. The climate is cooler at Pyin Oo Lwin, an old hill station among pine trees. The town was founded in 1896 by the Brits, and a visit is like time travelling into turn of the last century Sussex: red mansions, half-timbered government offices and typically Christian churches with bell towers. There are even wagons (horse drawn carriages) instead of taxis.
Anya’s trip to Myanmar was organised by Arakan Travel, www.arakantravel.com
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CHELSEA EXPERIENCE How to rejuvenate the high street for the 21st century? Hugh Seaborn, CEO of Cadogan, may have the answer; he talks to Emma Caulton
Following a consultation with the local community in summer 2015, Cadogan pledged to create a destination for independent, artisan traders on Pavilion Road. It saw the conversion of a service yard and Victorian stable blocks, previously used as garages, into a beautiful new streetscape in keeping with the traditional mews feel and the creation of a new public courtyard with tropical planting, inspired by 10 Corso Como in Milan. New artisan food shops include a butcher, baker, ice cream shop, wine merchant, cheesemonger and greengrocer, as well as restaurants and state-of-the-art gym. Pavilion Road will be complete in Summer 2019, once a general store, fishmonger and barber have joined the line-up, creating a thriving ‘village’ in central London. “We are not just working on Pavilion Road in isolation. We have envisaged Pavilion Road as part of the larger picture, making the whole area more attractive, vibrant and dynamic.” Exciting plans are also in place for King’s Road and Sloane Street. “The King’s Road is an intrinsic part of Britain’s cultural and social history. It has always been at the forefront of fashion trends, from Mods to Sloanes, and at the epicentre of London’s art, fashion and music scene. “We have plans to ensure it remains an inspiring and essential part of London’s rich character. Retail is changing and the King’s Road must balance its iconic heritage with an openness to creativity and innovation. As retail faces a seismic shift with the evolution in online shopping, it is timely to revive the Road’s fame for pioneering trends. “As part of this, we are working with the London College of Fashion to understand what the next generation believe will be essential components for tomorrow’s high street. It is clear that sustainability, creativity and community are core themes and we are currently exploring a huge number of ideas from next gen omni-channel retail to immersive experiences, community hubs, plant bubbles and pocket shops! “Cadogan are already seeing a shift in the brands coming here, with some great British independents and wellbeing concepts. We would also like to encourage more creative community uses such as recently opened The Fashion School, supporting up and coming designers. The landmark Duke of York Restaurant with its innovative architecture and public roof terrace will open later this year. A significant new development is also underway opposite Chelsea Town Hall, which will restore the historic Gaumont Theatre façade. Next will be Sloane Street — lined by some of the biggest names in international luxury. The intention, working in partnership with the Council, is to recreate Sloane Street as an elegant boulevard, increasing the pavement width on one side and, in the spirit of Hans Sloane, introducing garden elements, landscaping with planting and trees. The result will be a calmer space where pedestrians can stroll. Consultations show strong local support. “It is really important to us that we have local support and that we do what is right for the area.” The answer to the high street dilemma — a holistic approach to enhance the neighbourhood experience, long-term investment and vision, with a keen ear for what matters to the local community.
CEO Cadogan Hugh Seaborn
ho would have expected a summer village fete in the middle of Chelsea? A fishmonger a stone’s throw from Gucci? A local school sports’ day with the Saatchi Gallery as backdrop? These are some of many innovations by Cadogan to ensure that Chelsea remains the vibrant, colourful and individual area it always was. Hugh Seaborn, CEO of Cadogan, explains that the strategy is based on long-termism, careful investment and putting the local community at the centre of every decision. “As custodians of Chelsea we take a holistic approach, whether working with local charities or community projects, selecting businesses or creating and managing public spaces, we aim to preserve the past while looking to the future. We do not select stores or restaurants on purely financial criteria, but start with what they bring that is interesting and distinctive, how they complement the existing fabric of the area and will help Chelsea thrive.” A year-round programme of events and regular fine food markets brings the community together and creates ‘local’ moments for visitors to enjoy. Meanwhile Cadogan has also enhanced the area’s cultural landscape by introducing the Saatchi Gallery and creating and subsidising Cadogan Hall, home to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Organisations and businesses could learn a thing or two about shaping the high street for the 21st century from Cadogan, which has a history spanning more than 300 years combined with a modern, dynamic approach. “From the creation of Duke of York Square to the more recent piazza and streetscape on Pavilion Road, we always listen to the local community and create a balanced mix of food, drink and international luxury flagships with best in their field independents.”
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FRANSES B OU R N E M OU TH
HA U TE JEW ELLERY BESPOKE MADE IN-HOUSE BY JAMES FRANSES FANCY INTENSE YELLOW DIAMOND RING, PLATINUM
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ICONIC Flatplan_JAN_2018_v7.indd 99
ICONIC Flatplan_JAN_2018_v7.indd 101
ICONIC Flatplan_JAN_2018_v7.indd 100
ICONIC MASTERPAGE_v7_2018_2019.indd Flatplan_JAN_2018_v7.indd 102 ICONIC 10
27/02/2019 09:37 07:41 18/09/2018