Indulgent Two

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MICHAEL TURNER living a bespoke lifestyle



Interior Architecture Fashion Travel Lifestyle


News from the ublisher’s desk It has been an exhilarating journey since the first issue of Indulgent went live three months ago, and I loved every minute of it. From a 50 pager, we have grown to 96. I have had tremendous support from artists and designers who are keen to be featured, and be part of Indulgent. The unveiling of the latest Madiba bust has reaffirmed that Barry Jackson is without a doubt a sculptor worth collecting. I am lucky to feature some of Barry’s work in this issue. Hot trends from Salone del Mobile will inspire you to call your favorite designer for a home makeover. Salone del Mobile is the birthing ground for new trends and 2014 has again delivered a fountain of inspiration. Alexander McQueen was the Bad Boy of British fashion, who took French Haute Couture hostage. He enthralled fashionistas for decades and left them gasping with admiration of his talent. We offer a glimpse into his controversial talent . Ever thought of embarking on a safari worthy of Karin Blixen? Michael Turner runs private safaris into Africa that will leave you speechless as you experience the best destinations Africa has to offer, without the chrome and glass that is omnipresent in most safari destinations. Touring with Michael takes you closer to the wildlife you are there to experience. Publisher and Editorial & Creative Director Kobus Wilmans Subscription & Feature Enquiries +27 71 412 3341

Top Hotels on Five Continents, shares some of the best hotel destinations known to modern man. From Paris to Monte-Carlo, to NYC and Cape Town. I hope they will all inspire you to book your Premier Classe ticket and jet off to one of these fabulous destinations.


I hope this nd issue brings you warmth on cold winter days, and I look forward to our next issue together. Kobus

Issue One

BOX l i v i n g


H interiors

Full turnkey interior design service Gardens, Cape Town

+27 (0) 71 412 3341




An architecturally engineered mathematical symbol of 300 m² living space in Puerto Cayo, Ecuador.

Danish architectural firm WE have built an international reputation for conceptualizing projects that are unique to the environment they are built in, and to enhance the lifestyle of the clients they are designed for. The +House is no exception and was developed as one big terrace overlooking the breathtaking beach of Manta. The house is formed as a plus shape, where one of the boxes is placed perpendicular to the coastline, following the terrain down the slope. The second volume is placed along the same height of the hill, crossing the first box in the middle. The open areas, such as the living room, dining room and entrance are placed in the box following the slope down. This grand open space in the center of the house enhances the feeling of living on a hillside where the spaces are stepping down the slope towards the beach. The second box serves as one big terrace; here they placed the more private functions such as bedrooms and bathrooms. The functions are placed as closed wooden boxes on the terrace overlooking the beach. On one side of the sloping box containing the dining area, they placed a pool overlooking the beautiful beach, while on the other side adding an outdoor kitchen and dining area. text & images courtesy of WE Architects

Unobtrusive views from every polished terrace

Stefan Antoni has long been the darling architect in all the most affluent areas, but in particular, the plush Atlantic Seaboard of Cape Town. His creative genius, coupled with an astute business savvy has catapulted Antoni to international recognition where he holds his own amongst top international architects. Combining his visionary talent with Philip Olmesdahl and Greg Truen to form SAOTA, these South African based Architects are driven and dynamic, and share a potent vision easily distinguished in their buildings and an innovative and dedicated approach to the execution of projects, internationally, nationally and locally. SAOTA is a firm of approximately 90 talented architectural designers and technicians including an in-house CGI and marketing team and a strong support of administrative staff. Together with Antoni Associates, the Interior Architecture, Design & DĂŠcor Studio, this iconic architectural firm has become known for creating some of the most exclusive interiors in South Africa as well as international locations including London, Paris, Moscow, New York, Dubai, Miami & Geneva. This dynamic and innovative practice conceptualises and creates contemporary interior spaces and bespoke dĂŠcor for the full spectrum of interior design briefs which includes domestic, hospitality, retail, corporate and leisure sectors. The synergy of cutting edge contemporary design, sound technical knowledge and up to the moment computer skills, and a design finesse combined with carefully orchestrated logistics allows them to stay ahead of the market. Their interiors

meet the international standard of being modern, luxurious and seductive while at the same time remaining understated and timeless and in tune with the delights of quality living demanded by their discerning clients. text by Kobus Wilmans, courtesy of SAOTA images courtesy of SAOTA

The choice is yours Tailored audio visual solutions, customised to your individual desires and made by Ad Notam. The only limit is your imagination.

Hubert Zandberg The homes that Zandberg decorates are lavish cocoons that belong in Hollywood movies, but they are the perfect sets for the exciting lives of his A-List clients.

With his classic good looks and alluring smile, this debonair designer is more suited to a movie set than a design studio, but London based Hubert Zandberg has designed homes for A-List clients from Mayfair to Hong Kong. There is a distinct signature about Hubert Zandberg’s work, and it’s not that all his projects are rubber-stamped versions of prior ones, it is the unmistakable style each project exudes and the quality craftsmanship he demands of all his suppliers. Born in South Africa he has worked in the interior and retail-design fields for over 18 years, latterly as creative director at Champion Zandberg. He launched his own practice in 2002, and with his large design team has worked on commissions spanning more than three continents. Past projects include town houses and apartments in London, the renovation of farmhouses near Bath, the design and refurbishment of a penthouse in Germany, an old colonial house in Hong Kong, a ski lodge in Lebanon, and hotel apartments in Paris. Zandberg’s passion for collecting is evident in his design style, and his curatorial approach results in an eclectic range of styles.

This page and following double page These images were first published in Architectural Digest

His finely tuned stylist’s eye to detail and accessorising, as well as a harmonious understanding of the style of the client and natural interaction with the location, ensures polished results. His acute understanding of good design principles ensure that his projects meet the clients expectations without fail, and this has made him a firm favourite with a global clientele, earning him third and fourth repeat commissions. By his own admission, his projects are varied, from a minimalist town house to an historic hotel. In a London Home - featured here - that Zandberg recently remodelled, bespoke furniture was commissioned throughout, and plush fabrics by Lelièvre, Sahco and J Robert Scott completed applications. Art by Victor Vasarely, Jean Camuse and Matisse adorn the walls and spaces. Zandberg advises his clients to hire the best staff they can afford, as this ensures that the property is maintained as the designer intended. images courtesy of

Stunning skylines surround this BROOKLYN CLOCK TOWER PENTHOUSE Brooklyn, NYC offers an array of historic buildings and there is a new skyline around every corner. Dumbo is one of the oldest boroughs in New York City. Many old buildings with unique design elements are being redeveloped, preserving them for future generations, and they are proudly occupied by a new generation of home and business owners. One such building is the Clock Tower. It enjoys a privileged position amongst other iconic landmarks that Brooklyn is famous for. This $25 million, 250m² triplex penthouse of developer David Walentas has sweeping views of the surrounding area, and its sprawling terrace is an entertainer’s delight on summer evenings. The northwest bedroom on the 17th floor affords a view of the Chrysler Building, and the Empire State Building is framed perfectly by the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge. The finished result is sleek and contemporary, which enhances the lifestyle of its owners. This Clock Tower penthouse is inspiring and proves that urban renewal can breathe elegant life into old spaces and neighbourhoods. images courtesy of

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Salone del Mobile

When spring arrives in Europe, the great city of Milan plays host to the world of design, when Salone del Mobile opens its trend-setting doors during Design Week, and the best home furnishing designers and manufacturers showcase their new ranges to inspire industry professionals.

Images left The Current Table by Marjan van Aubel, and Protrude by YOY Below Islands by Raw Edge Design

Salone del Mobile is the birthing ground of furnishing trends, and every year the Milan Design Week heralds a tidal wave of new concepts and products, and allows trend researchers to spot patterns for the year ahead. In this hub of the digital age our lives are becoming increasingly predictable. We therefore crave a little uncertainty, and we desire surprise, magic, and wonder. An exciting, design by Japanese design studio YOY gave visitors to Milan exactly that, with their latest collection of designs that play with illusion. A particular favourite from their latest collection was Protrude, a tray that looks as though it’s about to fall yet doesn’t. Instead of aiming to be part of the design establishment, young designers are increasingly required to challenge existing norms. This year, a recently graduated collective Grande at the Salone Satellite, questioned convention with their new project 6x6. Their journey of exploration was to make use of the waste generated when using marble, a material for which the design industry has had an excessive appetite in recent years. The 6x6 is a project optimising the physical properties of stone and get rid of traditional constraints.. Designed as a sandwich of stones glued together and then cut into 6x6cm battens, this new material was inspired by wooden laminated panels. This method increases the rigidity of the rock by creating a new raw material. It becomes possible to produce pieces of a much greater range and gives the opportunity to use the leftovers from this industry. Raw Edges Design Studio created the concept Islands for Caesarstone, a playful piece focussing on enjoying food and its preparation. The motivation behind the concept was the significance of the kitchen as a haven in the home. Spending time with loved ones, and nurturing our well-being. These have become important social themes in recent years as we reassess our value-systems in times of global instability. Em-

phasising quality of life, it elevates the worktop surface to hero and reassesses the typical interior arrangements. Cabinets and appliances are slotted into purpose-built voids rather than being placed atop or around it. In our fast paced society it was a pleasure to view the Moooi’s show space. The new collection is grounded in the past among the historical architectural photography of Massimo Listri. ‘In a world which is dominated by the new, we like to see our works in the context of eternity’, says the show’s co-creator Marcel Wanders. To achieve this feeling of timelessness, new pieces from designers (including Studio Job, Bertjan Pot, Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk) were arranged with older works from the Moooi collection into small room layouts, turning the 1,700m2 of show space into an exhibition that felt both impressively grand yet distinctly intimate. Inspired by London’s Gentleman’s clubs, Industrial designer Tom Dixon (facing page, top right) unveiled a range of furniture

titled the “Club” series. The result is a modern take on private club interiors, with floor and ceiling lights, tables, and chairs all part of the collection. A hedonistic heyday of lounging is evoked in a range that features shiny gold, matte grey, and black. Peugeot Design Lab fused hyper-technological materials such as carbon-fibre, glass and aluminium with raw and natural materials like rock, wood and stone. Presenting the ONYX sofa by designer Pierre Gimbergues, the three-meter long sofa highlights this union of materials via a clearly defined cut and is available as a made-to-measure item where clients can choose materials to their liking.

BLACK + WHITE in all possible patterns from stripes, to chevron, tartan, dots and herringbone was everywhere in Milan, at the show and in the fashion retailers. Even colourful brands such as Missoni and Roche Bobois had a large range of black and white backgrounds mixed with bold colours. B&W patterns were seen on fabrics, ceramics, metal, wallpaper and many other surfaces. images courtesy of Salone del Mobile

Opening pages, left to right Republic of Fritz Hansen reintroduces Arne Jacobsen’s Drop Chair Moooi Show Space by Marcel Wanders and Casper Vissers Above left Volt Table Lamp by Rodolfo Dordoni for FLOS Above right Tom Dixon Club Series Left ONYX sofa by designer Pierre Gimbergues

Yellow metal was a strong trend at Salone del Mobile 2014

Sculpting in motion A true artist understands every nuance of his subject. Every breath his model takes influences the way he moulds the clay, or brushes his chosen medium onto the canvas.

The first time I met artist Barry Jackson, I was struck by his passion for the subjects he sculpts and paints, and by his sense of detail that brings his subject to life. Be it on canvas or in bronze. When I look at his work, it reminds me of one of the renaissance masters who were also masters of anatomy. Every stroke of the brush or slice of the chisel is guided by his eye for perfection and love of art. Jackson’s art is the result of years of study and the honing of his natural talent. A second generation South African, born of Scottish and Afrikaner descent, he was born in South Africa in 1949 and raised and educated in Zambia in Central Africa. He now lives and works in Cape Town, near to the slopes of Table Mountain. Jackson’s bronzes are renowned internationally and his bust of our beloved Nelson Mandela has just been unveiled at Parliament in Cape. His work can also be seen in boardrooms and reception areas of companies, private collections and game lodges throughout the world, and there is a permanent display of his work at Bushmans Kloof Game Lodge near Clanwilliam. The movement and energy reflected in his work is what makes his sculptures so unique, but then so is the stillness he portrays in others. Looking at the Lazy Leopard; the serenity of the African bush is palpable - the time when the hunter forgets about its prey and just exists in the moment. Most artists specialize in one subject matter, they may be brilliant in wildlife, but when they try and sculpt, or paint people,

Facing page Barry at the Nelson Mandela bust outside Parliament in Cape Town This page A selection of bronze dancers

they fall short of perfection. Jackson excels in every subject matter he sculpts or paints. The nuances he captures in his work are breathtaking, and he highlights every emotion that existed in the moment, when the first photograph was taken in preparation for the finished sculpture. Clients who have purchased some of Jackson’s work, include; Oslo Stock Exchange, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, Union Bank of Switzerland, Ingersoll Rand Mining Company (France), The Italian Envoy in Johannesburg, and The Board of Executors (Investment Bankers). images courtesy of Barry Jackson

Left Hunting Cheetahs

Above Lazy Leopard Right Vigilant Cheetah Far Right Migrating Wildebeest

Bathroom with a view Over the past few decades, bathrooms have evolved into extensions of their owners, to become tranquil temples of repose. The trend in bathrooms - for the past couple of years - have been to bring more of nature into the space, but the increasing trend has been to take the bathroom into the garden, courtyard, or your private vineyard. People are no longer taking showers within the confines of square frosted-glass boxes. Bathrooms with views are in vogue and are becoming essential features of designer homes. What better way to soak in your bathtub than with a view of the jungle, albeit a concrete one? There is something liberating about a birds eye view of a bustling city. And listening to piped music of your favourite composer, whilst sipping on

some Veuve is definitely a brilliant way to unwind. Cocooning seems to have lost its appeal for homeowners who choose to be part of nature or even society, whilst going about their daily cleansing ritual, without been seen. Could this be a subtle case of voyeurism? Or could it be that people have the need to stay connected? Most people feel a sense of loss and disconnectedness when they are alone. Bathrooms have become vast spaces of opulence with floor to ceiling windows, showers resembling small waterfalls, with adjoining saunas and steam rooms, and bathrooms

have now transformed from windowless water closets, to matching His & Hers emporia. Manufacturers and designers are constantly reinventing existing materials, and engineering new ones. The days of vinyl sanitary ware is for most people a distant memory from the last century. Bathtubs and basins are manufactured in unusual engineered materials. A growing trend for bespoke bathrooms for 2014, is the use of large natural slabs of marble & onyx; every slab unique, making no two applications exactly the same.. Venetian marble wall prints are popular elsewhere in the house, as are these colourful slabs in the bathroom. The bigger the better, single pieces preferred. Entire walls are claimed by natural beauty, which has been concealed for millions of years. Other bathroom trends that are hot for 2014 are; Mosaic patterns, copper, Hotel Glam, rich toned wood flooring, monochrome themes and open wet rooms.

Slabs of onyx and marble adorn bathroom walls, creating jaw dropping focal points

The ‘big’ pieces of art in your bathroom - the shower, the bathtub, the vanity - the bathroom furniture are the overall foundation of your bathroom’s look, it’s the hardware that create the true artistry of a bathroom’s stylish design, and a top trend in bathroom hardware is incorporating the luxury style and aesthetics of Italian design. When creating a perfect bathroom, think of Italian art and the top masters like Rodin, Michelangelo and Brancusi, and let this inspire you to become the sculptor of your own private retreat. With the stellar advances in automated home technology I see a future of voice-controlled showers. No longer would one need to turn taps to change the temperature of the water, one would simply whisper a command and it will be done by the home automation system. No longer will you have to wait for your bathtub to be filled after you arrive home from a long haul flight. One would simply click an App on your cell phone and by the time you arrive, a perfectly drawn bath, complete with your favourite fragrance will welcome you. images courtesy of Adrian Wilson,

the genius that was

Alexander McQueen

Lee Alexander McQueen was born on March 17, 1969 into a working-class family living in public housing in London’s Lewisham district. His mother, Joyce, taught social science and his father, Ronald, was a cab driver. On their small incomes, they supported McQueen and his five siblings. His chances of obtaining an Oxford or Cambridge style education was slim, but he had a vision, and the wild birds that nested on the estate where the family lived would ultimately give his dreams the wings they needed to soar into the stratosphere of the world of high fashion. McQueen, called “Lee” by his friends for most of his life, recognized his homosexuality at an early age and was teased extensively about it by schoolmates. At age 16, McQueen dropped out of school. He found work on Savile Row, in London’s Mayfair district, famous for offering bespoke men’s suits. He worked first with the tailor shop Anderson and Shephard, and then moved to nearby Gieves and Hawkes. McQueen decided to further his clothes-making career, and moved on from Savile Row, to theatrical costume designers Angels and Bermans. The dramatic style of the clothing that he worked with would become a signature of his later independent design work.

McQueen then left London for a brief stint in Milan, where he worked as a design assistant to Italian fashion designer Romeo Gigli. When he returned to London, he enrolled at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art & Design. He received his M.A. in fashion design in 1992, with a collection he produced as the project of his degree which was inspired by Jack the Ripper. The well-known London stylist and eccentric Isabella Blow famously bought this collection in its entirety. She became a long-time friend of McQueen, as well as an advocate for his work. After obtaining his degree, Alexander McQueen started his own business designing clothes for women. His infamous “bumster” pants, so named because of their extremely lowcut waistline brought him enormous success. He became close friends with Isabella Blow, and she encouraged him to always push the boundaries of fashion, and his shows became more outrageous. As the friendship between McQueen and Blow developed, they would often spend weekends at her family’s country estate. She encouraged him in his fascination with birds and provided his much loved falcons for his entertainment. Only four years out of design school, McQueen was named

Chief Designer of Louis Vuitton-owned Givenchy. Although it was a prestigious job, McQueen took it reluctantly, and his tenure there (from 1996 to 2001) was a tumultuous time in the designer’s life. At Givenchy, McQueen was pushing the limits of what people expected from fashion (one of his shows featured a model who was an amputee walking the runway on carved wooden legs), he felt he was being held back. He would later say that the job “constrain[ed] his creativity.” However, he also made the following admission: “I treated Givenchy badly. It was just money to me. But there was nothing I could do: the only way it would have worked would have been if they had allowed me to change the whole concept of the house, to give it a new identity, and they never wanted me to do that.” Even with his reservations about his work, McQueen won British Designer of the year in 1996, 1997, and 2001, all during his time at Givenchy. McQueen left Givenchy shortly after Gucci bought a 51 percent stake in his private company in 2000. This provided the capital for McQueen to expand his business. In 2003, McQueen was declared International Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and A Most Excellent Commander of the British Empire by the Queen of

England, and won yet another British Designer of the Year honour. McQueen expanded to open stores in New York, Milan, London, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. With the help of Gucci’s investment, McQueen had become even more successful than he was before. Already known for the flare and passion of his shows, McQueen produced even more interesting spectacles after leaving Givenchy. At a showing of his 2006 Fall/Winter line, a hologram of model Kate Moss floated ethereally. After the suicide of Isabella Blow In 2007, the designer dedicated his 2008 Spring/Summer line to Blow, and said that her death “was the most valuable thing I learnt in fashion.” The spectre of death continued to haunt McQueen, and just two years later, on February 2, 2010, McQueen’s mother died. As in his fashion shows, McQueen’s life ended in a Showstopper, as one day before her funeral, on February 11, 2010, McQueen was found dead in his Mayfair, London apartment. His tragic death was determined to be suicide. Alexander McQueen’s stellar rise from lower-class high school

dropout to internationally famous designer is a remarkable story. His bold, fascinating shows inspired and wowed the world of fashion, and his legacy lives on. McQueen’s contribution to fashion was honoured by a 2011 exhibition of his creations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. by Kobus Wilmans, courtesy of images courtesy of

Experiencing a bespoke Africa Michael Turner leads African safaris the way they were intended, before retail hospitality invaded the African bush.

If you are tired of staged safaris, and with cookie cutter accommodation, there is another option of experiencing a true African safari - in the style that Karin Blixen would have insisted on. Meet Michael Turner, the quintessential organiser and leader of safaris - in the true sense. Michael was born in Santa Barbara, California and spent his early years exploring the California coast with his mother, a Marine Biologist. He first went to Africa with his Father and Grandfather in 1988, at age 9. This would prove to be the last time he spent with his Grandfather and one of the most memorable trips that he has ever taken. After this, he was hooked and knew that somehow, he needed to lead a life in Africa on safari. As you would imagine at the age of 9, it took some time to make this a realization. After attending senior school in England and then studying Zoology at Edinburgh University, in Scotland. he was then

able to start going on safari once again. He spent a significant amount of time in East Africa exploring, and after graduation, moved to South Africa and never looked back. Africa was his home. He started his guiding career by volunteering on every safari and lodge staffing quotient that he could get his hands on; gaining more and more experience. This culminated in working for Uncharted Africa Safari Company in Botswana. Here he managed their various camps and all of the Botswana Operations, while continuing his guide training. He was incredibly fortunate to be able to gain experience in the wonderful arena of the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Michael is incredibly passionate about what he does on a daily basis and the more that he gets to share it with others, the more he loves it. On Michael Turner safaris, it is not unusual to be so close

to a lion that you can actually hear it breath, to hear the sound a cheetah’s tail makes when it flicks against the sand as the cheetah rests in the shade of a tree, or to stand in she shadow of a majestic elephant bull. For the faint of heart amongst us - who are weary of living without the trappings of modern society, all of the camps that are visited on Michael’s safaris have this luxury. Some of the camps that are used are Great Plains Zarafa, Jacks Camp, and San Camp. These camps are as luxurious as they come with the added benefit of being in the unspoilt wilderness of the African bush. Here every expectation of guests are anticipated, and they provide all that is needed for a bespoke luxury safari. At San Camp one can - at the end of an intense and exciting safari - relax in the tented yoga pavilion, and let your mind unwind while you contemplate the endless horizon. Being on safari with Michael, affords you the luxury of the true face of Africa and to experience the spirit of the plains and savannahs. Only after this will you realize what Karin Blixen meant when she wrote;

“If I know a song of Africa, of the giraffe and the African new moon lying on her back, of the plows in the fields and the sweaty faces of the coffee pickers, does Africa know a song of me? Will the air over the plain quiver with a colour that I have had on, or the children invent a game in which my name is, or the full moon throw a shadow over the gravel of the drive that was like me, or will the eagles of the Ngong Hills look out for me?”

Michael Turner will take you on a safari that will leave you astounded and in awe of the African magic. Only “problem” is, after leaving a bit of your soul at a watering hole whilst sipping a G&T or Martini, and watching a heard of elephant bathe, you may never want to experience a city holiday again. by Kobus Wilmans, curtesy of Michael Turner Images courtesy of Michael Turner, Great Plains Zarafa, San Camp & Jacks Camp contact Michael at

Meals at San Camp are elegantly presented & served in the splendid Mess Tent

TWENTY-ONE REASONS, WHY ROVOS RAIL HAS THE MOST LUXURIOUS AND UNIQUE TRAINS IN THE WORLD 1. Rovos Rail has its own unique 60-acre private station facility allowing for maximum security, cleanliness and efficiency. Convenient free parking areas for cars and buses within the station facility. 2. A champagne reception is provided for all departures. 3. Each sleeper carriage, 22 metres long, accommodates five Pullman suites at 7 m² or three Deluxe suites at 11m² or two Royal Suites at 16m² making these by far the largest suites on any train in the world today. 4. Deluxe and Royal suites have permanent beds made up 24 hours a day. 90% of the suites have full King size beds (188cm x 188cm) Different bed configuration of single beds in an Lshape available. Pullman suites have couches which can be converted to single or double beds. 5. Two comfortable chairs per suite in Royal and Deluxe Suites with daytime couch in Pullman. 6. Bar fridge in each suite. All alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are complimentary. 7. Tea and coffee making facilities in each suite. 8. A digital safe in each suite. 9. Storage space in each suite for 5 large suitcases and a set of golf clubs. 10. 25% more cupboard space than nearest competition. 11. Individually operated air conditioners for heating and cooling. 12. Windows that open providing fresh air and communication with the outside. Smoking allowed in suite. 13. Bathrooms are 25% larger than the nearest competition. 14. Royal suites have full bathtub and separate shower. 15. Toilets are standard household flushing units. Wall mounted hairdryers throughout. 16. Meals are at one sitting allowing guests to linger as long as they choose. 17. Separate smoking lounge in the last sleeper carriage. 18. The Observation Car at the rear of the train has an open deck. 19. The train travels at a maximum speed of 60 kilometres per hour allowing for greater comfort and scenic appreciation. 20. 25% more train tonnage per passenger than the nearest competition (11 tons per passenger). 21. The owner of the train endeavours to meet and greet departures and arrivals of the trains.

Top Hotels of Five Continents

H么tel George V, Paris This hotel commands admiration with all who pass her concierge, and is as regal as they come. She will almost leave you speechless long after you had left.

Elegant, welcoming and completely memorable

“The Penthouse imparts the sense of staying in a private Parisian residence. It features luxurious finishes and furnishings, sumptuous amenities, and breathtaking views of the City of Light, including the Eiffel Tower from your own private terraces.�

There are many top hotels, Europe alone has so many that I would need ten issues to feature them all. One that has to be at the top my list, probably for its sheer opulence and history, is the Hôtel George V, Paris. Located just steps from the Champs-Elysées, with private terraces that command all of Paris, lovingly restored 18th-century tapestries, and a defining spirit of elegance and charm, Four Seasons Hotel George V redefines luxury in the City of Light. Enter the vast lobby and you are instantly in awe of the sumptuous floral displays designed by Jeff Leatham . Assisted by a team of seven, he creates a new theme each week, refreshes and tweaks the floral sculptures every day, and sometimes, every hour. Impressive and omnipresent, Leatham’s floral compositions give a contemporary touch to the tradi-

tional decor of the hotel. Every week approximately 13,000 flowers are flown in from Holland. Guest rooms are equipped with every conceivable luxury. From plasmascreen televisions hidden behind black mirrors, to window coverings operated by remote control, and the obligatory, well stocked refrigerated private bar. Should you require your favourite drink, which is not stocked, the concierge is simply a phone call away. The Penthouse - featured opposite - is found on the 8th floor of the hotel and covers 160m² of floor space. It offers guests 360-degree views of the City of Light. The comfortable living room offers thoughtful touches such as Baccarat crystal glassware, and a wide range of intriguing an-

tique books. The bedroom sanctuary is designed to be a tranquil haven. The master bedroom features pastel blinds, a soft wool carpet and walls covered in gold-toned silk, and, is lush with white orchids. It has its own private terrace with a romantic four-poster daybed. There is also a spacious dressing room flooded with natural light. The stunning bathroom, separated from the bedroom by a sliding glass door, is clad in soothing beige marble. It is fully equipped with an extralarge walk-in shower and an impressive infinity bath fitted with jets and a relaxing chromo therapy system. Entertain guests or unwind with a loved one on one of the private terraces. The main terrace, reminiscent of the prow of a ship, is accented with manicured box trees and offers remarkable views of the vibrant cityscape. The bedroom’s private terrace leads to another, more intimate balcony. From the Penthouse you can enjoy the sweeping views of Paris’ architectural icons, including the Eiffel Tower, the American Cathedral, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica and the roofs of the Opéra, the Madeleine, the Pantheon and Les Invalides. Dining options will leave you breathless, from the splendour of The Lobby, to the opulent Le Cinq. Executive Chef Eric Briffard has a passion for food that will put most Parisians to shame. His dedication to his craft and focus on using the freshest and best regional ingredients led the hotel’s restaurant Le Cinq to receive two coveted stars by the Michelin Guide – a rarely accorded honour. Chef Briffard’s divine creations include fillet of red tuna with caviar from the Sologne region and tangy marinated vegetables, and Manjari chocolate soufflé and black-currant pulp. The menu changes frequently, depending on what’s in season, though the Bresse chicken “in the style of George V” has been a staple since the days of Edith Piaf – and it’s sure to confound your wildest expectations. The wine cellar at Le Cinq is vast - to say the least - and offer a rare selection of wines that have ever been corked. Sommelier Eric Beaumard was responsible for creating Le Cinq’s 50,000-bottle wine cellar, which represents the rich diversity of the great vineyards of France and the rest of the

world, and has overseen its daily operations since it opened in 1999. As Le Cinq guests can attest, Beaumard has mastered the art of pairing just the right wine with a particular dish to create the most delectable and memorable dining experience. Hôtel George V offers guests facilities both comprehensive and state of the art, from the pampered luxury of the spa to the technological resources of the business centre, where private secretaries are available to take care of your business needs.

Below An elegant colour palate in the George V Deluxe rooms Facing page The Spa is decorated in a style that Marie Antoinette would feel at home in.

The spa - featured opposite - offers a comprehensive menu of skin and body treatments, as well as saunas, whirlpools and a pool surrounded by trompe l’oeil gardens The finest, most luxurious hotel spa in Paris is a true retreat in the vibrant heart of the city. Just off the Champs-Elysées. Signature treatments feature products and experiences exclusive to Four Seasons, the signature treatments make an excellent introduction to the Spa. Boasting a broad menu of skin and body treatments, the skilled staff will leave you feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. In-room massages are available on request. One of the many signature treatments - A stroll through Versailles - pays homage to Marie Antoinette. As the Queen of France, she was the most admired and elegantly adorned woman in the court. Inspired by Marie Antoinette’s beauty treatments at Versailles, this signature Four Seasons experience is infused with her favourite scent: orange blossom. Enjoy a relaxing orange blossom body scrub followed by a soothing massage with warm shea butter. The treatment concludes with an unforgettable milky facial and macaroons. The Hôtel George V is certainly a rare hotel, where guest expectations are met with effortless Parisian flair. images courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels

H么tel George V 31, avenue George V, 75008 Paris France 33 (1) 49 52 70 00

Hôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo

Built in the early 1900s, this historic luxury hotel offers an intimate and relaxed ambiance, a haven of peace in the heart of Monte-Carlo. This magnificent hotel is the playground of Louboutin-heeled socialites from the four stylish corners of the globe. The restaurants and bars are elegant and frequented by suitably attired guests. At Hôtel Hermitage, dining options are varied and awarded with Michelin Stars. Discover the magnificent panoramic view of the Mediterranean Sea, Port Hercule and the Rock of Monaco from the Crystal Terrace, in a cosy lounge atmosphere. Amidst the decor designed by Pierre Yves Rochon, Le Vistamar plays host to an original concept orchestrated by Chef Joël Garault Le Crystal Bar is a friendly place for an aperitif or after dinner drinks. The beautiful open-air Crystal Terrace offers panoramic views embracing the Principality of Monaco and the Mediterranean. Guests are able to enjoy fine wines served by the glass, as well as a selection of vintage champagnes and cocktails. Le Limùn serves afternoon tea with delicious homemade pastries starting at 4 pm. When it’s time for evening cocktails, guests can enjoy the amuse-bouches with a fruity cocktail, and, at the cocktail hour, appetizers are served with champagnes by the glass Luxury materials and choice furnishings are used in the beautiful guest rooms and stunning suites. The decor, a subtle alliance of a classic style with modern paintings and objects recalling the era of long voyages, create an ambiance that is quite simply magical

Overlooking the Mediterranean, this hotel epitomizes a certain carefree elegance at the highest level.

Diamond Suites welcome guests to a world apart, one where passion and the exceptional meet; where the tiniest detail delights the eye. From the Pagnol Suite - decorated by Marcel Pagnol who stayed here on several occasions - to the Diamond Suite Penthouse, which is situated on the top floor, and can be accessed by a personal lift that takes you to a luxury paradise. The first thing you notice when entering the contemporary Duplex Diamond Suite designed by P.Y. Rochon, are the wonderfully light rooms; the impressive steel and glass stairway magnifying the light and adding an ultra-modern touch to this duplex where you will feel completely at home. Supremely comfortable to meet the expectations of the most discerning guests. The chic lounge also has a well laid out office area, and, bedrooms are whispersoft cocoons of soothing

light colours to rest body and soul. There is also a magnificent private terrace where you can take your meals, sunbathe or relax in the jacuzzi, or simply enjoy the breathtaking view of Port Hercule, the Rock and the Mediterranean. Unique in Europe, the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo, a magnificent 6,600 m虏, four-storey spa complex which enjoys a fabulous location, facing the Mediterranean Sea. It is directly connected to the H么tel Hermitage Monte-Carlo and the H么tel de Paris Monte-Carlo The centre specialises in wellness and preventive health, offering seawater and manual relaxation therapies and combining ancestral know-how with cutting-edge techniques: hydromassage, pressotherapy, shiatsu, fascial therapy, sophrology, energizing massages using essential oils, and more.

The centre relies on its 15 years of experience serving the most demanding clients to ensure that everything is designed to meet your needs. An expert destination in the area of cosmetology, Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo works with prestigious partners in the cosmetics field: La Prairie and Ivo Pitanguy. And to keep the quails from coming home to roost during your stay at the Hermitage, there are many fitness options available to guests. From the fitness club at Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo to tennis at the Monte-Carlo Country Club (a breathtaking location dedicated to sporting achievements with 21 clay courts overlooking the sea and 5 floodlit courts, 1 squash court and a mirror-style pool) to the Monte-Carlo Golf Club which, at an altitude of 900 meters, is a paradise

of greenery edged with the turquoise of the Mediterranean. Here you will find 18 holes between the sea and the sky with views of the French and Italian Rivieras. Guests at the Hermitage have access to the Monte-Carlo Beach Club. This ideal setting with its private beach and chic striped canvas beach cabins is an absolute delight for those who enjoy relaxing and swimming at the beach. Guests have no need to look elsewhere: the Monte-Carlo Beach Club will take care of everything, ensuring maximum relaxation. Les Cabanas restaurant offers simple yet varied cuisine, including wellness dishes using organic products and gourmet woodoven pizzas. They will serve refreshing, refined cuisine in your tent or cabana, while you relax and enjoy the sun and warm Mediterranean Sea. Hotel Hermitage Monte-Carlo is a must for weary guests who would like to be pampered while soaking up the best the Riviera has to offer, before embarking on one of the many cruises that visit this stunning port on the Mediterranean. images courtesy of H么tel Hermitage

H么tel Hermitage Monte-Carlo Square Beaumarchais MC 98000 Principality of Monaco (377) 98 06 40 00

The Savoy, London Welcomed by the statue of Peter of Savoy, guests arriving at this grande dame are instinctively aware of the royal treatment that awaits them.

To stay at The Savoy is to follow in the footsteps of Sir Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra, Christian Dior, Maria Callas, Claude Monet and Katherine Hepburn. An iconic hotel brilliantly reinvented for the 21st century where an unashamedly old fashioned glamour sparkles with a new lustre. Perfectly positioned on the banks of the Thames, all the excitement of London is waiting just beyond the world most famous entrance. At The Savoy, you’ll find some of London’s best-known restaurants and bars. Kaspar’s Seafood Bar and Grill, which launched in May 2013, joins Gordon Ramsay’s Savoy Grill and the British institution Simpson’s-In-The-Strand. Take Afternoon Tea in the Thames Foyer, then move to the American Bar (widely regarded as one of the world’s best hotel bars) for a 1920s cocktail, or enjoy champagne and cabaret in the theatrical Beaufort Bar. Suites at The Savoy range from Junior Suites, to one bedroom Timeless Suites, to the Personality Suites. Personality Suites have been created at The Savoy to honour just a few of the more high-profile figures who made this hotel their London home. These personalities are true icons and include, the wit of Noel Coward, beauty of Marlene Dietrich, style of Frank Sinatra and charisma of Richard Harris. These suites are among the most spacious in the hotel and each suite has been furnished with special pieces, artwork and antiques associated with their namesake.

They offer a separate sitting room, large bedroom with ensuite bathroom, separate dressing area, marble entrance foyer and guest cloakroom. Every Suite features a sofa, 2 armchairs and writing desk in the sitting room, a dressing table and armchair in the bedroom, personal bar, Loewe flat-screen televisions, Meridian iPod docking station, DVD player and bespoke Savoy furnishings. The well-appointed marble bathrooms all feature a freestanding, claw foot bath, separate walk-in showers with the famous Savoy rain showerhead, a double vanity, large chrome fittings and Le Labo amenities. A word of advice when you plan to stay at this timeless icon, have an open ended return ticket, as you may not want to leave this elegant hotel. images courtesy of The Savoy

Above left to right Kaspers Seafood Bar & Grill, Beaufort Bar and American Bar. Below, left & right One bedroomed Timeless Suite Personality Suite with river views Bottom of page, left & right Junior Suite with river views Deluxe King Twin room

The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel Strand, London United Kingdom WC2R 0EU TEL + 44 (0)20 7836 4343

The Plaza, New York Standing like a sentinel at the end of Central Park, this bastion of glamour has earned a reputation very few hotels have.

The French Renaissance château-style building was designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh and opened to the public on October 1, 1907. Long the site for famous performers and guests, it has also been the meeting place for important political meetings. The internationally known singers Eartha Kitt, Liza Minnelli, Kay Thompson, Sandler and Young, Andy Williams, and Peggy Lee played the Persian Room; unaccompanied ladies were not permitted in the Oak Room bar; and women favoured the Palm Court for luncheons and teas. The Beatles stayed at the Plaza Hotel during their first visit to the United States in February 1964. On November 28, 1966, in honour of the publisher Katharine Graham, the writer Truman Capote hosted his acclaimed “Black and White Ball” in the Grand Ballroom. The Plaza Hotel can be described as many things, but the top five are; Modern, regal, classic, family-friendly and charming. Ask anybody who has never been to NYC what the best hotel in the city is, and the answer will be The Plaza. This is probably due to the publicity it has received. Now ask the same question to many who have been to NYC and you will get the same reply, and this will be because they have experienced the luxury and uncompromising service of The Plaza.

The Plaza, A Fairmont Managed Hotel Fifth Avenue at Central Park South New York City New York, United States 10019 + 212 759 3000

Step into the foyer and it soon becomes evident why so many people return time and again. The welcome, and more importantly, the service guests receive is beyond exceptional.

za was the first hotel in the world to offer guests in-room iPads to control their entire hotel experience.

This premier hotel is the ultimate New York City luxury lifestyle destination, and is an urban resort with a new and contemporary spirit. While some traditions, such as the opulent grandeur of the Beaux Arts decor and The Palm Court - New York’s premier destination for High Tea - remain; exciting new offerings at this legendary hotel include an elegant Champagne Bar, the stylish Rose Court and The Plaza Food Hall.

The Spa will assist in melting away any stress, and the Health Club the extra inches one may have accumulated from indulging in the gastronomic delights of the hotel’s restaurants, which are Michelen star establishments.

The 282 guest rooms - including 102 luxurious suites - are supremely elegant and boast to offer the largest square footage per room of any luxury hotel in New York City. Guest comfort is of the utmost importance and every conceivable expectation is met. This extraordinary hotel offers every indulgence for their suite guests, which also includes a Butler Service 24 hours a day. Luxury and elegance are complimented by discreet placement of the latest technology integrated throughout each room. The Pla-

A stay at this iconic hotel may be a transatlantic flight away, but rest assured that a few days indulgence at The Plaza will be worth every bit of jet lag you may experience. images courtesy of The Plaza Fairmont

Facing page The Plaza’s iconic French Renaissance châteaustyle architecture has been part of the Manhattan skyline since it opened in 1907 Left, clockwise Champagne Bar, Palm Court, the Oak Room & Oak Bar, and The Rose Club Bottom of page Left - The Royal Plaza suite Right - Guest suite decorated in pristine white and opulent gold

Four Seasons & Le Mansion, Buenos Aires The city from which Eva Peron once “ruled” a country and led her people to greatness has rebounded from decades of civil war and once again has become a bespoke destination. Mention Buenos Aires to anybody and the first thing they will think of is Evita and the icon that inspired the musical. Once known as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires was every bit as opulent as the original City of Light, but civil war kept the country in turmoil and Buenos Aires has had no easy task coming back from the casualties. Thankfully, the “arrogant” spirit of the Argentinean people has prevailed, and Buenos Aires has once again reclaimed some of her splendour. One of the landmark hotels that the city is popular for, and the most stylish, is without a doubt, the Four Seasons. Her modern extension is combined with an imposing period mansion known as Le Mansion. Situated in the heart of Buenos Aires’ exclusive La Recoleta district, Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires is

within easy reach of the capital’s business and cultural attractions. Dining at the Four Seasons is varied. A favourite with guests as well as the well-heeled set of the city, is Pony Line. Inspired by the sport of kings, it brings to life the casual chic of La Dolfina polo lifestyle. Balancing urban sophistication with the carefree elegance of polo, it is decorated in leathers and other fabrics, riding motifs, art by Alejandro Moy, and rugged, yet refined elements such as Pergamino-clad trunks that act as cocktail tables. The mood at Pony Line is lively and fun, and is a great place for casual meetings with colleagues, after-work cocktails and lingering evenings with friends. The Cielo Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires offers a full range of massages and spa treatments

based on the Germain de Capuccini natural product line, which is designed to relax, detoxify and harmonize the body. The Presidential Suite Le Mansion is opulent - almost to the extreme. It is a grand setting for living, working and gracious entertaining. It has enticing views of the garden, pool, tower and Jockey Club, and also features a 19-square-metre, furnished balcony. Other guest rooms and suites are opulent and spacious, and are equipped with every conceivable modern amenity, to ensure that guests enjoy a memorable stay. As with other Four Seasons properties, a stay at the

Four Seasons Buenos Aires is nothing short of memorable, from the moment you arrive and check into your spacious suite you are made to feel at home by highly professional staff. The only regret you will leave with, is that your stay was too short. Images courtesy of Four Seasons

Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires Posadas 1086/88 Buenos Aires Argentina C1011ABB +54 (11) 4321-1200

Left The magnificent Le Mansion Presidential Suite Top of page The Nuesto Secreto and Elena restaurants, and the state of the art kitchen Le Chateau and the pool deck reflecting the strong French influence that was typical of Buenos Aires in its heyday,

‘While at Raffles , why not visit Singapore?’’

“Not just a hotel, an icon; Raffles Singapore is an oasis of colonial style, calm and charm in the heart of modern Singapore - exclusive, historic, and one of a kind. Perhaps the world’s greatest hotel, Raffles Singapore stands where it has always stood, at the crossroads of civilisation and culture, a colonial oasis in the heart of one of the world’s most exciting cities. No trip to Singapore is complete without a stay at Raffles; tradition demands it. First opened in 1887, and since then a destination in its own right, Raffles Singapore epitomises the romance of the Far East – an intoxicating blend of luxury, history and colonial ambiance that no other hotel can match.”

In the evening, guests can luxuriate in the scent of frangipani, in the Raffles Spa, or order room service from the legendary Raffles butlers. Conveniently close to the financial hub of this entrepreneurial city, Raffles makes business a pleasure and a luxury of leisure - and any visit an indelible memory. Where the legend began - and where it continues today - Raffles Singapore is exciting, enchanting and loved by those with an adventurous spirit and a taste for the very best. For over 125 years Raffles Singapore has been the place to stay in this thriving city. Elegant and colonial in feel, its generous proportions create a sense of calm and space. Within its stunning main building are found the presidential and grand hotel suites. Its generous courtyards house further suites, creating a peaceful haven for every guest. Hotel Raffles offers no less than 15 restaurants and bars. From the famous Long Bar, home of the Singapore Sling, to the Bar & Billiard Room, Raffles is alive with history, infused with atmosphere, and open to the moment. Combining the best of the local culture and cuisine with dishes from around the world, each of the restaurants and bars at Raffles Singapore has its own unique atmosphere and setting. The Bar & Billiard Room offer a European buffet experience, and on Sundays, a lavish Champagne Brunch. The Raffles Grill captures the true essence of fine dining with a blend of classical and contemporary French cuisine. Tiffin Room with its curry buffet is a hot favourite with tourists and Singapore residents alike. You will also find the

Writers Bar and Martini Bar - which features over 50 types of martinis. The Raffles Spa is a welcoming haven of relaxation, and features exclusive rejuvenating treatments, inspired by Asian, Middle Eastern and European traditions. Seven soothing treatment rooms, including a VIP suite for guests who want to share a unique experience of relaxation and togetherness. The luxury VIP suite offer treatments and facilities including a jacuzzi, steam shower and a lounge area for a comfortable, quiet retreat. text + images courtesy of Raffles Hotel Facing page The landmark exterior of a Colonial Era A breathtaking lobby welcomes guests to an experience befitting royalty Tiffin Room where guests can enjoy an excellent North Indian food buffet Below Enjoy an afternoon siesta on your private terrace Two of the luxurious guest suites that makes Raffles unique

Raffles Singapore 1 Beach Road, Singapore, 189673 +65 6337 1886

Mount Nelson, Cape Town In the shadow of the Seventh Wonder of the World, a Pink Lady waits patiently, to charm all who walk through her doors.

She is affectionately referred to as The Nellie and her pink coat is as distinctive as the city she lies in. Enjoying a superb location at the foot of Table Mountain, and just a short stroll from downtown, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel offers the perfect combination of leafy tranquillity and contemporary buzz. Dining at the Mount Nelson is varied, from the glittering Planet Restaurant and Planet Bar. These are chic, contemporary spaces in which to enjoy out-ofthis-world dishes and cocktails. Dining with the stars is guaranteed at Cape Town’s most stylish restaurant. Crystal balls grace the entrance and the décor in-

cludes a galaxy-themed carpet, planetary chandelier and twinkling ceilings. Matching the décor are Chef Rudi Liebenberg’s heavenly menus, journeys of gastronomic discovery featuring the freshest local ingredients. From the conservatory to the cellar, Planet Restaurant’s unique spaces can also host the perfect private party. For a romantic dinner at the Celebration Table with Veuve Clicquot The Chef’s Table is a custom-designed, interactive culinary experience featuring Mount Nelson’s finest cuisine and wines. You are seated at an oak table in an alcove of the hotel kitchen, complete with an over-

sized mirror affording a perfect view of the chefs at work. You are able to watch the chefs prepare specific dishes and to discuss the recipe and the inspiration behind them. In the Oasis Bistro, guests can enjoy an exquisite selection of Mediterranean-inspired dishes and local classics. Award-winning Chef Rudi Liebenberg escorts you on a gastronomic adventure. The menu is fresh and vibrant, and the sun-splashed terrace is the perfect place to dine and enjoy a refreshing cocktail during those flawless summer months. No visit to Cape Town is complete without Afternoon Tea at Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel. Both Morning and Afternoon Tea are served in the lounge, on the terrace or around the garden fountain. Guest accommodation range from the elegant Junior to the magnificent Presidential, Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel offers four different categories of suite.

Junior Suites offer a bedroom with an open-plan lounge area. Most offer views of Table Mountain, the hotel gardens or a landscaped courtyard. The Mount Nelson also offers two purpose-built Accessible Suites. These Junior Suites have wider bathrooms doors, a low sink, a bath with handrails and open cupboards for easy access. The shower, with a movable shower head, has open access and a chair. These rooms offer views over the picturesque fountain courtyard. Other suites range from the Deluxe Junior with views of the manicured gardens, to Superior One-bedroom Suites, Classic and Deluxe Suites, to the phenomenal Presidential Suite. This luxurious suite encompasses a stylish marbled entrance hall, a private dining room, and a master bedroom with en-suite bathroom. A large lounge leads onto a balcony with stunning views of Table Mountain.

Above left & right A chique and very trendy Planet Bar High Tea is served daily in the elegant foyer Left - Cool and elegant interior of the Deluxe Room Below left & right - The opulence of the Presidential Suite Facing page A Pink Lady on the slopes of Table Mountain

The fitness centre is equipped with the latest cardiovascular and weight training equipment. A trainer is available for fitness assessments and programmes. Personal training facilities are available to hotel guests and the public. Professional tennis, golf and swimming coaches can be arranged on request. It is difficult to fault the Mount Nelson on anything. Probably because they have been providing faultless guest service for so long, that it has become second nature to all who are in her service. Whether you are staying at the Mount Nelson for a week, or just passing through the lobby to where the lavish High Tea is served, the staff are always friendly and welcoming. One almost feels as though you are returning to your English country manor after an extended absence, and it is no surprise that the Nellie has a bespoke following of guests who have made it their home on holidays in Cape Town for decades. text by Kobus Wilmans, courtesy of Mount Nelson images courtesy of Mount Nelson

Above Enjoy a relaxing afternoon whilst sipping elegant cocktails at The Cabana Pool, which is located in a secluded spot and reserved for over 16s The other pool at the Mount Nelson - The Oasis Pool - is one of the largest heated pools in South Africa Facing page The elegant Librisia Spa

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel 76 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001 South Africa +27 21 483 1000

Not only are the views as breathtaking as the food, but the wine and art are incomparable.

GT Ferreira purchased the TOKARA farm in 1994 for residential purposes, but it wasn’t long before the great potential for planting vineyards was recognised and explored. Classic varietals were planted on the 400m above sea‐level slopes, where cool air and low temperatures contribute to the excellent quality of TOKARA Wines. In 1998 the original brand concept was conceived and did not have TOKARA name immediately. The brand concept at that time embodied GT and Annemarie Ferreira’s approach to entering the wine industry at the highest level and setting a benchmark aimed at producing wine ranked among the best in the world. The brand from birth has been cloaked in style and elegance with a great sense of the aesthetic, matching the brand owner’s personality. At this time the brand concept embodied the visions of high quality, innovation, modernity and aesthetics and brought about a meticulous process of developing the farm and facilities to the best level it could be at the time. The design of the production facility had to be state-of-the-art to support innovative winemaking with the latest technology. Furthermore, the facilities had to endorse GT’s philosophy that: ‘Good wine, good food and good art go together to make a good lifestyle.’

He wanted to share this with like-minded people, hence providing a facility where this could be experienced. This meant that specific attention was paid to include a restaurant, tasting room and art display area to provide such experiences. The TOKARA restaurant, one of South Africa’s leading fine dining restaurants, offers its guests terroir focused contemporary cuisine, award‐winning wines and dramatic views over Stellenbosch and False Bay. Established in 2001, it was renovated and came under new

management in 2010. Multi award-winning chef Richard Carstens - with the support of his talented team of chefs - orchestrates his intelligent take on modern South African cooking masterfully, ensuring a fine dining experience. His gourmet magic entices diners to return time and again. A new feature of the renovated restaurant includes a bar with a clear view of the hustle and bustle in the kitchen or the sun setting through a picture window. Most people eat with their eyes first, but at TOKARA all your senses are sated at the same time. Seasonal choices on the menu include; Roasted duck with Szechuan cucumber, sushi rice, pak choi, litchi & Cantonese sauce, or Pan-fried springbok with carrot ginger purée, croquettes, salted apricots, yoghurt sorbet & Japanese curry sauce. I have to admit, I have an insatiable sweet tooth and consider myself a desert connoisseur, and the creations by TOKARA’s pastry chef will send shivers down your spine and have you return to the restaurant, if only for desert. The Three minute chocolate tart with Grand Marnier Ice Cream is a delight any time of the day, and you will have reoccurring dreams of your next meal at TOKARA, after you have experienced the Chocolate pavé with orange buchu ice cream, hazelnut dacquoise & Cointreau . The wine list is a personal and evolving selection of fine wines and spirits intended to compliment the gastronomic feast you will experience. The full range of Tokara wines are showcased and are also available by

the glass. The list comprises of wines from neighbouring farms, estates elsewhere in South Africa and also some of the most prestigious European estates. Sommelier Jaap-Henk Koelewijn will be happy to assist you in pairing a bottle of wine with the food you wish to order or to provide information on any of the drinks on this list. When I think of TOKARA and art, I am reminded in way of the Medici family of medieval Florence. The Ferreira family are patrons of fine art, and this is evident in the art you will find across the estate. At the main entrance to the restaurant and tasting room you will find an installation by renowned artist Marco Gianfanelli, titled The Mind’s Vine. At the time of making The Mind’s Vine, it was the largest and most complicated sculpture he had ever created. The four vines that make up this commission were

laser cut in stainless steel and represent the four senses of SIGHT, SMELL, TASTE and MOUTHFEEL. They also represent the four aspects of the winemaking process, namely TERROIR, FERMENTATION, FINISHING and MATURATION. TOKARA sponsors art events that are unique, and one of the more recent initiatives has been Wine made Art; here prominent, artists are commissioned to create masterpieces using wine as a medium. In 2013 Naomi Du Toit painted the piece on the facing page, using a Tokara Shiraz. TOKARA prides itself on making wines that are site specific. Even though vineyards were initially planted on the southern slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain at the Stellenbosch property, two other farms, Highlands in the Elgin district and Siberia in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus, were additionally acquired. In doing so TOKARA is able to produce wines, which express the distinct characteristics of, these three prime wine-producing regions. Their awarded wines include the TOKARA Director’s Reserve Range; comprising of a white and a red, and a phenomenal, limited 5 YR Potstill Brandy. The TOKARA Reserve Collection includes two Sauvignon Blancs from Elgin and Walker Bay Viticulture at TOKARA is considered a long‐term investment. The estate devotes significant capital into ensuring the most cutting edge technologies are available for vineyard analysis and wine production. TOKARA is the first cellar to make commercial use of the NDVI process, which captures both visible and infrared light emitted from vineyards to create a colour index describing variances between cultivated sections. All viticulture procedures at TOKARA strive to create a balance between the vegetative and reproductive qualities of the vine, which is beneficial to both the environment and the quality of the estate’s final product. Three prime farming locations, each situated in some of the Western Cape’s best cool-climate viticulture districts, supply the TOKARA winery. All of the TOKARA vineyards incorporate the same cutting-edge farming technologies, embracing the practices of precision viticulture. Together, they produce an impressive range of grapes for one of the most exciting new properties in the country TOKARA is also known for growing some of the finest olives in the country, and in 2010 TOKARA added another dining

experience to their repertoire, the Delicatessen - pictured to the right - at the Olive Shed. This was an instant success with TOKARA followers. The Delicatessen serves breakfast and light lunches, and is even more welcoming during winter months when you’ll find a roaring fire in the fireplace that is a focal point of the restaurant. Be sure to book a table next to the frameless glass sliding doors, where you can enjoy the pleasant winter sun, a delightful meal, and uninterrupted views of the vineyards and olive groves. Upon leaving Delicatessen, be sure to stock up on a great assortment of gourmet supplies. One trip to the TOKARA Estate on the Helshoogte Pass, to partake in any of their delights and you will be a convert. You will find any excuse imaginable to return to this unique estate with its aweinspiring views over the valley. text by Kobus Wilmans, courtesy of TOKARA Images courtesy of TOKARA

Nadine Greeff A modern day photographer in the style of the old masters

Nadine Greeff is a food photographer based in Cape Town, South Africa. She is known to shoot her food in the chiaroscuro style. “The chiaroscuro style uses the contrast of light and dark to guide the viewer’s eye to a specific area of the image,” she says. “Certain elements like an ingredient, wine glass or a spoon are occasionally hidden in the shadows adding a bit of mystery.” Using this technique - often associated with oil paintings of religious figures or French aristocrats - she masterfully uses the dramatic play of light and shadow to savory and sweet dishes, and fresh produce. She attains her objective by creating an alluring ambiance around food with simple, spontaneous styling and natural light. The result is tantalising, luscious and sometimes moody chiaroscuro-style photos.

In her photography, Nadine Greeff captures the beauty and vitality of food, raw ingredients, dishes and food stories. A former floral designer, Nadine has a passion for making food look beautiful and she uses ‘natural light’ since artificial lighting or dimly lit compositions, will result in dull looking food, rather than dramatic As with paintings in the chiaroscuro style, Nadine’s photographs should be framed and placed in prominent areas of the home, rather than hidden in the pages of glossy magazines. text by Kobus Wilmans, courtesy of Nadine Greeff

Oceangoing vessels of perfection These may be toys for boys, but they are every bit as stylish as the most sophisticated hotels

Let’s assume that you have all the latest toys; what else could you possibly desire.? A private yacht of course. Boat building companies worldwide specialize in making the wildest dreams a reality and they equip these ocean faring homes with the latest and best equipment available. The days of low bulkheads, small cabins and little port-

holes are distant memories. Sprawling staterooms and cabins with a floor space of a suite in a 5Star Deluxe hotel are now the norm of the average private yacht. Add to this pool decks and a helipad - or two, and, even the odd private submarine to do a 007 stint off the coast of Nice and you are set for a family vacation second to none. The Nouveaux Riche and Russian Billionaires certainly do things in a different way. What was once “too much” for the likes of Onasis and Vanderbilt, would now seem average. On these modern floating villas there are complete decks

allocated to the help. Some yachts cater for two, or even more crew members per guest, and no mega yacht would be complete without a fully equipped health spa, with two or more therapists to see to every guest’s beauty regimen. Top international designers like Missoni, Armani and Versace are employed to add their flair to the staterooms and decks. Bespoke furniture is commissioned to reflect the latest international design trends and to make the vessel as comfortable as possible, for her owners. Forgotten are the days of the galley, where one chef would slave over a two plate cooker to whip together a gourmet meal. Modern yachts have kitchens that will make a sous chef in any top restaurant green with envy. They are fitted with the latest appliances from Bulthaup and Poggenpohl, with enough room for a team of chefs to cater banquets.

When it comes to navigation, the finest equipment is used on board, ensuring that the vessel, with captain and his crew will never be lost and to get passengers safely to the next port of call. Equipment on the bridge is far more advanced than any of the equipment that was used in early space travel. This makes it possible that these super yachts can almost navigate themselves. When next you are not sure what to buy your spouse for a birthday, or anniversary; why not meet with one of the many boat building companies around the world and commission one of these magnificent objets of desire?

Stylish sun decks and sumptuous salons are the hallmark of these floating villas

text by Kobus Wilmans Images courtesy of

Maserati The GranCabrio MC is the natural evolution of the high performance GranCabrio, a model that penned an entire chapter in the history of Maserati. Move in behind the wheel of any Maserati, and a feeling of anticipation clouds your senses. Press the start button igniting the engine, and the roar of the V8 engine will send adrenaline pumping into every cell in your body. The feel of the steering wheel in your hands, the way the ergonomically designed seats cushion and follow every toned mussle of your body, and the plush carpeting beneath your loafers, all contribute to creating a wickedly sporty cocoon-like pod that will have you reach your destination smiling like a Cheshire cat. The Maserati tradition of designing and building cabriolets is taken to a new level with the GranCabrio MC: a unique car that maintains the elegant, luxurious style of Maserati’s first genuine four-seater cabriolet, the GranCabrio, with the added benefit of technological enhancements, developed on the track for unbeatable performance.

The sleek lines of the GranCabrio MC are based on experience gained through the GranTurismo MC Stradale: the numerous technical refinements dictated by aerodynamics make it extremely aggressive, without detracting from the harmonious lines that are a trademark of Maserati, enhanced by the new three-layer Bianco Birdcage bodywork paint. Seeing, hearing, touching: the GranCabrio MC awakens all the senses. The priceless pleasure of open-top motoring is enhanced by the roar of the car’s beating heart, a 4.7 litre V8 engine that punches a massive 460 HP, made even more remarkable with the addition of smaller, lighter rear silencers. Inside, everything is designed around ergonomics: from new seats with snugger side supports, to the sporty new steering wheel, longer gear shift paddles and pedals in perforated aluminium. Everything is designed for the perfect symbiosis between

Experience a new level of open-air performance man and machine, for an unprecedented driving experience. The GranCabrio MC’s unparalleled handling is all about being in touch with the elements, in tune with the road and anticipating every twist and turn. A ZF automatic 6-speed gearbox with MC Auto Shift function, which, in Sport mode, intervenes to ensure an even more exhilarating drive, manages the power of the engine, always primed for any touch of the accelerator. Completing the outfit is a suspension system with springs and dampers that deliver a more rigid set-up, and a braking system with Brembo dual-cast technology. The GranCabrio MC will make any alpha male, or woman’s pulse race just a little bit faster than usual. images courtesy of

Indulgent III

The issue with more muscle

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