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ISSUE 1


Les Airelles in Courchevel 1850 is a mythical location in one of the most exclusive winter resorts in the worlds, and offers tailor-made services in order to ensure the utmost comfort to their guests. Hotel clients are taken care of by a 160-person staff, welcoming regular guests with the same renewed pleasure and newcomers with unreserved enthusiasm.

Taste of Liberty Our professional team is at your disposal with state-of-the-art equipment. Ski valet service include outfit and escort to the slopes, whereas the concierge service will take care of your ski passes and book ski instructors. Our ski room is the first step to reach the top of the mountain!

On the Top of your Form Water falls, swimming pool, whirlpool bath, Turkish bath, saunas‌..In our 7000 square-foot Valmont Spa our team of masseurs, physical therapists, osteopaths, beauty experts and hairdresser will complete the benefits of the water in order to reach the best of your shape.


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Ultimate fragrance Kindness, discretion, attention…..Our teams have together perfected the art of service and providing a warm welcome. All for you!

Gastronomic Delight The lunch buffet of “La Table du Jardin Alpin” inspired by traditional and nouveau cuisine or Pierre Gagnaire’s unique combination of flavors are invitations for a gastronomical journey. At the “Coin Savoyard” a great variety of regional specialties are prepared in a cozy and convivial atmosphere featuring the most exquisite local products including selected meat cuts grilled on a wood-fire, tartiflette, raclette, and fondue, among others. At the Bar des Airelles, delicious and perfumed sweets are served for teatime, in a hushed atmosphere close to a roaring fire place, and, in the evening, music lovers at the piano bar can enjoy the best vintage spirits.

Sweet flavor of childhood Kid’s kingdom is fully dedicated to children under the supervision of an experienced nanny. After the carrousel at the entrance, the kingdom consists of a fortified castle, the latest arcade video games, a theater-like projection room, video game consoles and many other surprise….

Hotel De Charme Les Airelles • Le Jardin Alpin•73120 Courchevel•Savoie-France Tel: +33 (0) 4 79 00 38 38 • Fax: +33 (0) 4 79 00 38 39 www.airelles.fr • info@airelles.fr

51 rooms and suites 1 Private Apartment of 550 m² Bar and Smoking room Restaurants:

La Table du Jardin Alpin Pierre Gagnaire pour Les Airelles Le Coin Savoyard Spa Valmont for Les Airelles:

5 cabins Swimming pool Fitness room Inside and Outside Jacuzzi Sensory showers Snow cave Hairdresser Barber Valentino Boutique Ski room Playroom and cinema At the Kid’s kingdom


table

of CONTENTS

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6 publisher’s note 8 news & highlight 10 ski à la carte 14 venues à la carte 16 chef à la carte 20 club à la carte 22 golf à la carte 24 interview à la carte 26 property à la carte 30 golf à la carte 32 venues à la carte 34 ski à la carte


PUBLISHER’S

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Unique Ladies and Gentlemen. Dear readers and prospective members, I am very pleased to welcome you in this magazine devoted to travel and service “A la Carte” For lovers of adventure, romance, intrigue or expansions, you will find some suggestions, products or services, some new updates able to escape and dream The magazine, dedicated to this first milling companies “A la Carte Group” and its partners, will evolve on the form but in substance. We will in future issues greater prominence in some economic issues, and art, which is close to our heart, every subject that enriches your daily, and we try to give you simple answers and organization flawless, always with the same desire to discover unique in all its facets, as in gastronomy, when events, culture or art. In Matter subjects are inexhaustible, and know we have much work to do to continue to surprise you and serve you ... Happy reading, hope that you find in this magazine that might awaken you need us. Of course, if you cannot find the ideal organization that you would expect, as its name implies, this magazine and its partners will organize and respond to “map” your slightest suggestion. Alain Loisel.

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BOOK NOW

WINE APPRECIATION

尚酒鉴赏夜

All VV Circle Events are By-Invitation Only Please check next event date and RSVP now at privileges@vvcircle.cn

尚酒鉴赏夜乃应邀出席活动,欢迎立即向我们查询详情 电邮 privileges@vvcircle.cn 或致电澳门 (853) 6283 2559/中国广东(86) 1592 075 994


NEWS &

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WORLD EXPO 2010 SHANGHAI,CHINA

BETTER CITY, BETTER LIFE 10

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ost exhibitions count the space they cover in square meters. The Shanghai Expo 2010 counts theirs in square kilometers. This phenomenal world event will spread the bewitching and bewildering elements of our 21st century life over 5.28 square kilometers. And the numbers don’t stop there: 200 nations and 70 million visitors will be involved. This is global to a scale never before achieved in a single event.


NEWS & Following on from China’s successful Olympic Games, where the opening and closing ceremonies had audiences temporarily lost in admiration for this country that is home to a fifth of the world’s inhabitants, Shanghai, the former centre of finance for the Far East, has been reinventing itself for years for this expo. Dynamic, exciting, full of fascinating traditions while looking straight into a promising future, this city is going to be the expo’s vibrant host. The World Expo has been a global networking and information sharing event since the first edition in 1851 in Crystal Palace, London. Interestingly, proof has recently been found that at that first ever event a Chinese producer of Rongji Silk from Shanghai won a gold award, indicating that the Motherland has always played its part in World Expos. Providing a platform for ideas, for this, the seventh World Expo, the world will get together, ignoring boundaries of culture, and share their expertise and experience, as well as their hopes and dreams with national pavilions, designed and created by architects and created to drive strong national branding for each participating country. While the world will be taking its strengths to China, in return China will be hosting educational, cultural and entertaining events throughout. The focus of World Expo Shanghai China will get straight to the root of our society’s modern day strengths: innovation and cultural interaction, focusing especially on the fields of human-centered development, science and technology, and worldwide cooperation for a better tomorrow. Architecture within the expo is expected to wow guests while creating an atmosphere of creativity.

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As there is much to achieve when discussing environmentally friendly solutions for a sustainable way of life on our incredible planet, everything sustainable will undoubtedly mark the theme of this year’s expo. To show the city is walking the talk, expo organisers will put rainwater collection and reuse, water purification, solar energy, wind farm and thermal water heating systems, as well as clean fuel vehicles and more into place. The Shanghai Declaration will be announced at the end of the expo, summarising its achievements and strengths, and leading to strong cross-cultural dialogue and interaction until the next event. In our modern world’s history, the World Expo Shanghai China couldn’t come at a better time. Unprecedented change, a shifting paradigm of living, a focus on Mother Earth and the most sophisticated technology with which to create change – it is essential to be at this meeting of the world’s best minds and intentions. À LA CARTE GROUP MAGAZINE

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BULLETIN: Expo dates: May 1st – October 31st 2010 Location: Expo Park, Nanpu BridgeLupu Bridge Main building: Expo Hope Tugawin axis Ticket types: including Standard Day, 3 Day, 7 Day, Evening, Group and Student Group Ticket prices: Standard Day Ticket, RMB160, approx USD20. As of December 2009 approximately 12 million tickets had already been sold. Official website: www.expo2010china.com For online real time information: Expo Shanghai online

For all readers interested in visiting Shanghai during the World Expo 2010, Holiday à la Carte Asia Ltd provides seamless and convenient hotel booking, personal security, chauffeur and interpreting services, and any other concierge services required. For any request, feel free to contact us at magazine@holidayalacarte.com


SPORT

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SPORT

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LUC ALPHAND

ADDICTED TOSPEED L

uc Alphand has adrenaline running through his veins, not blood. The World Champion downhill skier swapped one eye-wateringly high-speed sport for another when he exchanged hurtling down slopes on pieces of high-tech wood for hurtling along roads and round tracks in high-tech two- and four-wheeled machines. Speed – it’s an addiction.

He began his sporting career at a very early age. When most children are still learning to walk Alphand, affectionately known as Lucho, was up and off scooting along the pistes of his home village of Serre Chevalier. Just 16 years later he won the World Junior Championships downhill, and 12 years after that he won his first World Cup race. “All you have to do is go a little faster than the others

and suddenly you’re a superman,” he has been quoted as saying. His logic is spot on, but it’s easier said than done. In fact the piste to the top for Alphand has been a tough one, littered with challenges, both physical and mental. But on the La Streif course in Austria in 1995 he showed the world he had what it took to win. Twice. In one day. And he continued his winning streak for three consecutive years. For Alphand you can easily imagine that the exhilaration of pitting one’s strength, coordination and courage to descending a piste as fast, as fearlessly, as elegantly as possible is immensely satisfying as a day job. For the rest of us the blemish-free, deep blue skies, the sun glinting off the snow, the crisp fresh air and the natural open space is a holiday treat. But for Alphand, this was his office. Zipping down a mountain at speeds of over 140kph, you need to have nerves of steel, and so when he contemplated leaving the world of the slopes in 1997 at the top of his career, real life as the rest of us know it must have looked like it was lived in slow motion.

ALPHAND’S SKIING CHAMPIONSHIPS • Junior World Champion 1983 • French Alpine Skiing Championship Downhill Champion 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1994 • French Alpine Skiing Championship Super-G Champion 1988 • Downhill World Champion 1995, 1996, 1997 • Super-G World Champion 1997 • Overall World Champion 1997

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SPORT

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SPORT

à la carte ALPHAND’S DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS • European Endurance Champion in 2008 • European Endurance Vice-champion in 2007 • Placed 3rd at the European Championship 2006 • Champion of France FFSA GT 2002 • 10 cars driven with 10 successful finishes at various 24 Hours Le Mans • 1st private team at the 24 Hours Le Mans 2006 and in 2008 for the GT1 category • Placed 3rd at the 24 Hours Le Mans 2006, GT1 category

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f normal life seemed to pass in slow motion, then cars and motorbikes were the next best thing. Following his serendipitous meeting with Phillippe Poincloux when the novice Alphand was at his very first ParisDakar back in 1998, the name Luc Alphand began to represent a brand. Alphand created Team Luc Alphand Aventures along with more than 30 team managers, engineers, mechanics and pilots, and the private team has been racing in the adrenaline-fuelled world of racing for ten years now. Before Alphand’s recent accident the team had started ten cars on the grid, and all of them had successfully crossed the finishing line

– a new record for a private team. Alphand drove his way up the starting grids in different auto races, just as he had done on skis, until in 2006 he won the off-road Dakar Rally racing from Lisbon through Morocco, Mauritiana, Mali, Guinea and into Dakar, Senegal, with co-driver Gilles Picard in their Mitsubishi Pajero. It’s a trial of human endurance over some of the roughest, toughest driving in the world. Whether he’s in a desert or on a race track, and driving a bike or a car, Alphand has excelled at his second sport, proving that two championship careers are absolutely possible. À LA CARTE GROUP MAGAZINE

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Up till now if you wanted to rub shoulders with Alphand you either had to be his rally car co-driver or execute a monumental wipeout on the Luc Alphand black run in Serre Chevalier, named in his honour. But now, strap on your skis, buckle up your helmet, adjust your mask and click in your seat belt; experience what he’s experienced. Downhill skiing is a phenomenally exciting trip. You are living absolutely in the moment. Or pit your nerves of steel and car handling against the terrain and corners of a racetrack. And even better, you could be skiing or driving with none other than “Lucho” Alphand by your side, sharing tips, stories and slopes with you on the pistes and tracks of your choice. Holiday a la Carte would be delighted to organize your most unique and memorable ski experience. To live it, simply ask at magazine@ holidayalacarte.com


VENUES

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LACROIX LUXE SPORT HOUSES THE

FINEST IN SKI ACCESSORIES T

he Lacroix Luxe Sport, the first such boutique for the brand, is at the heart of Courchevel 1850 – quite simply where the glamouratti go to ski. Known as the winter playground of the rich and famous, some of the most challenging black runs in the world run here, and where better to buy the equipment best designed to carve them up, while making them look like a fashion catwalk, but Lacroix? Encompassing forty years of Lacroix

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experience with ten years of Bertrand Roy’s insightful direction, the store is uniquely modern – shop windows are actually digital screens flashing products and video clips to passers-by – yet decidedly elegant. Inside Lacroix style pushes the boundary of sports boutiques worldwide. Sports shop transformed into luxury brand flagship store, Lacroix is where art meets sport, and the conventional boundaries blur. Think skis with wood veneer, inlaid white


VENUES

gold and diamonds (Lacroix Ultime Skis), as well as the limited edition Lacroix Ski Set in a sumptuous trunk. With pieces of art in and among the stunning ski accessories, this new concept, avant-garde and artistic, elevates the shopping into an experience akin to roaming a gallery, a design house, an artist’s lair. Eyecatching, deliciously indulgent, yet fiercely practical – step inside to unveil every skier’s ultimate style dream.

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Skiing with elegance F

or the skier who has everything, art meets sport with the new Lacroix Trunk. Forget bundling skis and poles together for an unwieldy trip via plane, train or automobile. The sleek Lacroix Trunk brings an exclusive and vintage look to transporting the most luxurious Lacroix ski equipment in the utmost style. A textured finish in black or white

highlights the quality of the trunk from the outside, but open the lid and you’ll see each element of your precious gear housed in the same luxury you’d demand for yourself. A drawer at the bottom slides gently open to reveal the skis themselves. And the whole travels on in-built wheels making it seem as eager to reach the slopes as you are.

Skiing in style is not only made easy with Lacroix fine accessories but also gives ski enthusiasts a new and elevated shopping experience. On arrival in Courchevel, Holiday à la Carte would be delighted to enhance this experience even further by scheduling, on demand, a private sale at Lacroix Luxe Sport. If interested, please contact us at magazine@holidayalacarte.com

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CHEF

à la carte LESSONS IN ECCENTRICITY WITH CHEF

Marc Veyrat T

here are few French chefs so eminently recognisable at a hundred paces, as Marc Veyrat. With his signature peasant’s hat, the enfant terrible of French cuisine has thrown down the gauntlet and carved an inimitable place in the palates of French gastronomes with his off-the-wall, outlandish dishes. But this chef is not trapped in his kitchens any longer, and Holiday a la Carte gives you the unique opportunity to find yourself sheltering under the rim of his hat and laughing at his irreverent conversation, while learning how to sauté up some premium produce with an eccentric twist.

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CHEF

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A conventional childhood growing up on the family farm doesn’t sound like the kind of nurturing that would create such a character – and yet it was, and went on to shape his future. While his parents had young Marc roasting coffee, hanging hams from the fireplace and leading a romantic (to outsiders), fragrant and mouthwatering (to Marc) life, he was also renowned for being a rebellious child – perfect material for a chef who is going to break the mould. Recognising the potential in his young son Veyrat senior broke into his savings to send him to hotel school, and voila, Chef Veyrat, the future molecular cuisine expert of France’s serious restaurant world was born. Breaking the rules of conventional cuisine from the very beginning, he returned to his beloved Haute Savoie after college to set up a sheep farm and revel in his roots. L’Auberge de L’Eridan, built in 1999, and sister restaurant La Ferme de Mon Pere lovingly created as testament to his father later on, both garnered legion awards – and you only need to take note of the 20 points by GaultMillau, the three stars by Michelin and the less esteemed but just as heartfelt TripAdvisor’s “Best meal of my life” and “Exceptional” comments, to get an idea of the kind of quality, innovation and passion he brought to the table. Chef Veyrat alternated between both restaurants,

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CHEF

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closing whichever he wasn’t at, so as to guarantee the true Veyrat experience for his diners. He also brought traditional as well as molecular cuisine to the region, the yin and the yang, the past and the present of cooking. Reviewers described La Ferme as a kind of zoo for future dishes, with rooms of cured hams and sides of beef alongside stalls of living hog and cattle, in the first of many weird and wonderful details. Dishes resonated with the region’s traditions, but twisted and turned into something absolutely far-fetched: “Langoustines with confit grapefruit peel and virtual eucalyptus semolina, or caramelised frogs, wild liquorice, strange (originally and nature) salad and orange vinaigrette” the italics are my own, but the text comes straight from one of his menus, showing a penchant for the delicious, cultural, surprising and downright bizarre. But they seem positively normal when compared with his take on the quintessential French dish tartiflette. The potato, cheese, bacon and mushroom layers, according to reviewer Carl Wilkinson for The Observer, turned into “flavoured foams presented in a milk carton… described on Veyrat’s menu as ‘very, very virtual’”. Indeed. To add to the drama, the wait staff was allegedly almost as surprising. You’re instructed how and in what order to eat the morsels of cuisine art in front of you. But when you need to inject cheese, squirt mayonnaise and taste from right to left, (or 20

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CHEF

was that left to right?), clearly the instructions are essential. And when semolina is virtual, salad is strange and tartiflette is made of foam it does rather leave you dazed and confused. Diners relate how Chef Veyrat himself roamed the dining room with an eagle eye, determined that the flavours and textures should be sampled in the right way. But although perhaps a tad confused, the proof as they say is in the pudding, and the flavours and textures, when eaten correctly, are said to add up to exactly what he was aiming for – the best meal of your life. But to describe a Marc Veyrat dinner as a meal vastly underrates the experience. It is a gourmet phenomenon, a wild encounter for all the

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senses, an absolute privilege. If you’ve noticed that the text here is in the past, that’s because sadly all the two houses of gastronomic gymnastics belong to the past. Following a ski accident Veyrat has slowed down, closing the restaurants to

the disappointment of anyone who hasn’t had the surreal pleasure of dining on strange and virtual food. But the silver lining is that he is now on Holiday a la Carte’s wish-list. How could you not want to spend time with such a genius?

Leaving his beloved Haute Savoie for China, Marc Veyrat will be cooking up his brand of magic at Beijing’s Summit Club in January. Just two exclusive multi-course degustation experiences for a limited number of diners will bring the very best of the West to the very best of the East. It is a gourmet event not to be missed. 29 & 30 January 2010, Summit Club, Beijing. Of course it is also possible for Holiday a la Carte clients to enjoy an exclusive personal dinner cooked by Marc Veyrat. Please send any private dining requests to magazine@ holidayalacarte.com

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CLUB

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Accoutrements WITH SOUL

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ncient traditions are important to hold onto in modern day life: those reminders of our rich and valuable past when time was taken, the art of perfection was sought, and appreciation was everything. Two symbols of this time, from vastly different cultures, but evoking a similar understand of the finer things in life from its aficionados, are Armagnac and cigars. And in our modern times enthusiasts of both these iconic products have recognized their natural synergy, bringing them together, the inherent qualities of each inspiring an even higher appreciation of the other. Both have rich histories of production, traditions that rule over harvest times, and ingredients that change from region to region, and help give that particular vintage its subtle characteristics and differences. Cigar smoking has roots that return back all the way to 900AD. Ever since then tobacco leaves have been harvested and aged under heat and shade resulting in a curing and fermentation that reduces the sugar and water content, while preserving the valuable sheets. Rolling a cigar involves including three different types of leaves – the wrapper, fillers and binders. And the shape each is wrapped into belies its provenance, the most common of which is the uniformly cylindrical parejo. Armagnac is traced back to fifteenth century France, which makes it the most traditional and established of all wine eaude-vie (literally water-of-life). Three grape varietals give different characteristics of refined quality (ugni-blanc), floral elegance (folle blanche) and spicy fruitiness (columbus) As the tobacco leaves are heated and fermented, so is the wine distilled and aged in casks, overlooked by the cellar master.


CLUB The results? From a leaf comes a rich, smoking experience symbolized by powerful men throughout the centuries like King Edward VII, Groucho Marx, Sigmund Freud and of course the iconic Winston Churchill. Not unlike tasting a wine, there are numerous flavours that characterise cigars: spices, coffee, cocoa and chocolate, earth, moss and wood, even nuts. The quality, added flavours, type, age, humidity and production method will all affect the flavours. From the humble grape comes a cultivated and distinguished digestif renowned for its health benefits. Rich and fruity, rustic and brawny, elegant and mellow or delightfully smooth; notes of caramel, hints of plums or apricots, nuts, pepper and spice – there are different Armagnacs for every palate and as you start to taste different vintages, you’ll find yourself being drawn naturally towards the one that you feel defines you best. It is about taste and pleasure, but also it is about your identity. And so, Armagnac and cigars – so many differences, and yet so many similarities. Both affected by climate and soil, traditions and production, ageing and fermentation. Bursting with flavours. The appreciation of a strong, spicy and aromatic cigar with notes of wood and pepper over an earthy background with touches of almond and leather, automatically leads to the appreciation of a vintage Armagnac, one with great length and complexity in the mouth, more than a hint of spice, perhaps roasted almonds, and a final flavour of roasted wood and leather. These similarities have inspired an international competition – the Trofeo Habanos Armagnac – to find the best alliance between Armagnac and cigars. The third edition of the trophy took place in 2008 competition,

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in Cuba, and resulted in two winners: The Veuve Lafontan: XO Excellence with Cohiba Siglo VI, and the Domaine de Joy: 1986 with Partagas Editional Speciale. But there are only a select number of aficionados who have learned to appreciate the fine tastes and habit of pairing cigars with Armagnac. For these unique devotees who pay tribute to some of the world’s most distinguished flavours the experience is one of intense pleasure, a savouring of a timeless moment, a marriage of liquid fire and fiery air, tempered by the distinct flavours of tradition and history, the fruits and leaves of nature and man’s infinite skill in À LA CARTE GROUP MAGAZINE

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transforming them into a luxurious experience. And when merged with the symbolic qualities Armagnac and cigars represent, you yourself are left with a lasting reputation of elegance, success and discernment. To enhance your cigar and Armagnac experience, Club à la Carte offers members access to the finest products. To fuel your understanding about these unique luxuries, request a cigar and Armagnac evening by contacting club@holidayalacarte.com


GOLF

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GOLF

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GREEN

IN BORDEAUX G

olf is an incredible lifestyle. Transcending the boundaries of a mere sport, it is a travel expert, leading players through some of the most beautiful locations in the world; it is a network specialist, introducing you to like-minded business luminaries; it is a personal trainer, making sure you get your exercise, fresh air and time away from the desk; and it is your private psychologist, giving you space to think, challenging you to deal with pressure, leaving you mentally, as well as physically, refreshed. Combine this holistic lifestyle philosophy with Holiday a la Carte’s idea of the perfect golf trip. Four courses over six or eight days will indulge your love for the game to the hilt, while the après golf couldn’t be better. Woodland, conifer forest and water features provide a stunning backdrop and nerve-wracking number of obstacles at the Seignosse Golf Club (18 holes, par 72, 6124m), one of the world’s top 50 courses. A full-on challenge from the very first tee. Over 198 acres of wood and grassland

around the Chateau d’Arcangues is the location for the Golf d’ Arcangues Club (18 holes, 72 par, 6106m). Designed by Ronald Fream, the back nine give stunning views of this picturesque castle. The clubhouse is a 15th century restored farmhouse with open fires and stunning terrace with course view. Under the majestic Pyrenees skyline, Makila Golf Club (18 holes, par 72, 6176m) is the design of another American architect, this time Rocky Roquemore. Tracing a route over hills, down valleys and through forest, its large fairways mean plenty of options for players of different levels.

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The fourth course you’ll play, is the most legendary. Biarritz Le Phare (18 hole, par 69, 5402m) is the second oldest course on the continent, welcoming players from 1888, and set on the Atlantic coast there are 70 bunkers and the greens are fast. And the fifth and final course is the Golf de Moliets (18 hole, par 72, 6173m), where inland fragrant pine forests line the fairways, and on the coast the bracing air keeps you on top of your form for the technical and strategic course. Of course the golf is only half the story. You’ll be welcomed with a champagne reception, and you’ll have the freedom to pick and choose the restaurants of your choice some evenings. After all in Bordeaux there are more incredible places to dine and drink the local wine than any other. A free day (on the seven-night trip) could be spent exploring the roots of that wonderful wine at a nearby vineyard, hiking forest trails, mountain biking, or taking to the ocean for sailing, surfing or good old-fashioned relaxation on the beach. Isn’t golf just an incredible lifestyle? While in Bordeaux, not only are the region’s world class greens at your disposal. Bordeaux is, of course, famous for its reds – wines that is – and so a holiday here can offer a delicious balance of greens and reds. We would be delighted to put together a personal tour that incorporates both golf and wine tasting. For this unique and tailormade experience, please contact us at magazine@holidayalacarte.com


INTERVIEW

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DIDIER LAFOND AND HIS ADRENALINE BALLET

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INTERVIEW

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ump out of a helicopter on a snowboard, point a mountain bike down a snow piste and let go of the brakes, base jump off the top of a mountain and freefall down its waterfall, kayak the roughest narrowest river chute you can find, ski over the side of a cliff down an angry avalanche, in fact push the barriers of any extreme sports to their absolute spine-tingling limits and you can be sure that Didier Lafond will be there, filming you. The extreme, rugged film director and producer from Chamonix has spent the last 25 years committing to the silver screen the world’s most iron-nerved daredevils. But it’s not only the stomach-flipping antics of the sportsmen that have the films jumping off the screen, it’s the sensational, explosive, and sometimes poetic way Lafond films them. His award-winning Mont Blanc Speed Flying for example was described by Banff Mountain Film Festival jury member Don Bowie as “adrenaline ballet” and this could be attributed to much of his work. Of course Lafond’s love of extreme sports is in his blood. Originally from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, he spent much of his youth in this extreme topography practicing some of the sports he now directs, writes and shoots, like skiing, climbing and base jumping. As a result he knows exactly what kinds of challenges – physical, mental and spiritual – are called upon to execute such graphic stunts. And from his twenties onwards, he found his raison d’être transferring these physical, mental and spiritual

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acrobatics onto film. As of the eighties he not only produced movies as fast as his subjects descended, ascended and flew, he pioneered elevating these sports into an art form. From Skieur Reveur (Dreamer Skier) shot in 1981, his series of pioneering sports documentaries, stark and raw, but always incredibly beautiful, all revealed something intangible about the sportsman as well as the terrain that was his accomplice. But best known around the world, was his cult film, the

1983 Apocalypse Snow, which introduced snowboarding to the world and starred boarder Regis Rolland. Rolland leads a team of conventional skiers down virgin slopes, jumping craggy rock, getting a lift, literally, from a hang glider, boarding through flames, over trains, from a hot air balloon. Plenty of wipeouts make it all eminently believable. It was a revelation on its release, garnering seven international screen awards, despite its slightly dated eighties look today. À LA CARTE GROUP MAGAZINE

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With an infectious sense of humour Didier continued to release more and more films, showing he also had a way with words, film titles like Roc En Bloc, Ice Dream, Cyber Race, Y2Ski, eliciting a smile. Apart from his own homages to sportsmen and adventurers like Mike Horn, Boivin, Profit, Gouvy and Degayardon, Lafond has also worked with household names in the corporate world. His ad for Reebok in 94 lauded Degayardon surfing the air as he freefell from a plane, showing other sports brands how to make a promotional splash. More commercial projects followed, including filming for the US Air Force, Solomon and Nike, and for Hollywood with Terminal Velocity, Bridget Jones 2. His TV series Extreme set in the American Rockies was perfect for his unique filming techniques. But when it comes to feature-length movies about sport, he draws the line. Unhappy with most films depiction of a “debile” (stupid) story based around a film, he prefers to keep his extreme filming pure and beautiful. Having said that Apocalypse Snow Le Retour is far more theatrical, and has a ghost of a plot running through its extreme stunts. The genius of Lafond is always obvious, with divinely beautiful filming, flying suit base jumping, volcano skiing... The cult returns, just as breathtakingly, gravity-defyingly crazy, but in modern-day disguise.


PROPERTY

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A stunning Paradise TO BUY

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PROPERTY

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L’Amouraie is charming Provence meets sleek modernity; the perfect place to host your own private St Tropez life.

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here’s nowhere quite as exotically Cote d’Azur as St Tropez. Bathed in a cleansing light it has long attracted artists and playboys – and of course the iconic ingénue Brigitte Bardot, bikini clad with maximum cleavage. So many places to stay, so little time to choose. So let Holidays a la Carte take the difficult decision making away, and suggest L’Amouraie. Away from modern-day St Tropez’ hustle and bustle, admire the impossibly blue ocean from on high in the private estate of Ramatuelle. L’Amouraie is charming Provence meets sleek modernity; the perfect place to host your own private St Tropez life. Approach the residence, set within 2000sqm of gardens and lawn, along the Zen designed chequerboard patio where the fountains herald your arrival with a charming sound and light show. Inside the single level building includes the master suite, four guest rooms, a light-filled lounge with open hearth, dining room and kitchen.

High tech gadgets dot the interiors, with a centralized sound, light and video system, plasma screens, gym and more. Clever remotes aside, the vital ingredient to your living perfection here can be found by stepping from your bedroom into the outdoor lounge and the gardens beyond. Amid cascades of plants you’ll find the pool, as impossibly blue as the ocean. Soothingly cool in the hot months, it will be the centre of focus during the day, but also at night as the lights come on. Float to the sound of the curtain of water pouring into its depths. At dusk take a stroll through the charming gardens with their air of wild mystery,

or set up a game of petanque on the lawn. Dinners will be long, gastronomic affairs, alfresco under the trellis of scented jasmine and the stars beyond. Quite simply L’Amourai has been created in the best possible taste. From the splashes of colour on the sun beds, to the sun-warmed wooden decking, from the elegant bedrooms and chic bathrooms to the wine cellar, it’s the place for a family who appreciates the good life, planning numerous house parties to share the splendour, or even just keep it seductively for yourself. Step out of your suit and into your Vilebrequin shorts or itsy bitsy bikini (with maximum cleavage). Your future life couldn’t be in better hands. For more details on L’amouraie or any other luxury properties in France, Italy or Canada for example, simply let us know what would make up your dream home. Email us at magazine@ holidayalacarte.com

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GOLF

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GOLF

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走向绿色 的波尔多 高

尔夫球是一种非比寻常的生活 方式。它突破单纯运动的界 限,并充当旅行专家、引领球手遍 览全球美丽景緻;它是社交能手, 能让您结识志同道合的商界领袖; 它亦是您的私人教练,会确保您多 做运动、呼吸新鲜空气及享受远离 办公桌的时光;它更是您的私人心 理医生,会为您提供思考的空间、 帮助您释放压力,让您无论精神或 躯体都得到真正的放松。 将这种全面的生活哲学与 Holiday a la Carte 的完美高尔夫之旅 配合。在6-8天内遊历四个不同凡享 的球道 ,放纵你对高尔夫的喜好到 极限,然而高尔夫後之享受更是不 可能更好了。 林地,针叶林和碧湖间绕作为球 场风景线上的一大特色, 在塞尼奥

斯高尔夫俱乐部配以令人伤脑筋的 障碍(18洞,72桿,六一二四米) ,是世界排名前50位球道。一场全 面的挑战,从第一洞发球台。 阿尔康格高尔夫俱乐部, 占地超 过198英亩的木林和草原围著阿尔康 格城堡( 全场 18洞,72桿,6106 米)。由Ronald Fream设计,在

後九洞让您完全感受这个令人惊叹 且景緻如画的城堡。 该会所是由一 座15世纪的农重建而成。 在雄伟的比利牛斯山地平线,马 基拉高尔夫俱乐部(18洞,72桿, 六千一百七十六米)是由一位美国 建築师 Rocky Roquemore 设计 。依山而建, 通过峡谷和森林,充 满易中藏难阴阳平衡结构, 兼具 挑 战性和娱乐性, 全面满足不同层次 选手的要求。 比亚里茨灯塔是最富有传奇色 彩的第四个球道, (18洞, 69标 準桿 ,五千四百○二米)亦是第二 最原有的古老球道, 原始的森林地 貌与丘陵山地完美结合 70个沙坑的 设计。 而第五个也是最後的莫列高尔夫 球场(18洞,72桿,6173米), 其中香松树林芬芳撲鼻,令你的技 术和战略发挥得淋漓尽致。 当然,高尔夫是只有故事的一 半。你也被受邀约到格外安排的香 槟招待会,你可以自由挑选餐厅。 毕竟在波尔多有更多令人难以置信 的地方, 在第七天的行程上可一起 探索红酒的根源, 让您充分领略高 尔夫运动的无穷魅力和旅遊揽胜的 閒情逸趣。 而在波尔多,不仅有世界级球场供您使用。 波尔多亦有很多著名的葡萄酒,所以在假期 中可以好好提供身心平衡的红与绿。我们 将乐意地为您安排一个私属的体验, 详情 请於 magazine@holidayalacarte.com 与我们联繫。

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VENUES

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LACROIX LUXE SPORT HOUSES THE

FINEST IN SKI ACCESSORIES T

he Lacroix Luxe Sport, the first such boutique for the brand, is at the heart of Courchevel 1850 – quite simply where the glamouratti go to ski. Known as the winter playground of the rich and famous, some of the most challenging black runs in the world run here, and where better to buy the equipment best designed to carve them up, while making them look like a fashion catwalk, but Lacroix? Encompassing forty years of Lacroix

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experience with ten years of Bertrand Roy’s insightful direction, the store is uniquely modern – shop windows are actually digital screens flashing products and video clips to passers-by – yet decidedly elegant. Inside Lacroix style pushes the boundary of sports boutiques worldwide. Sports shop transformed into luxury brand flagship store, Lacroix is where art meets sport, and the conventional boundaries blur. Think skis with wood veneer, inlaid white


VENUES

gold and diamonds (Lacroix Ultime Skis), as well as the limited edition Lacroix Ski Set in a sumptuous trunk. With pieces of art in and among the stunning ski accessories, this new concept, avant-garde and artistic, elevates the shopping into an experience akin to roaming a gallery, a design house, an artist’s lair. Eyecatching, deliciously indulgent, yet fiercely practical – step inside to unveil every skier’s ultimate style dream.

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Skiing with elegance F

or the skier who has everything, art meets sport with the new Lacroix Trunk. Forget bundling skis and poles together for an unwieldy trip via plane, train or automobile. The sleek Lacroix Trunk brings an exclusive and vintage look to transporting the most luxurious Lacroix ski equipment in the utmost style. A textured finish in black or white

highlights the quality of the trunk from the outside, but open the lid and you’ll see each element of your precious gear housed in the same luxury you’d demand for yourself. A drawer at the bottom slides gently open to reveal the skis themselves. And the whole travels on in-built wheels making it seem as eager to reach the slopes as you are.

Skiing in style is not only made easy with Lacroix fine accessories but also gives ski enthusiasts a new and elevated shopping experience. On arrival in Courchevel, Holiday à la Carte would be delighted to enhance this experience even further by scheduling, on demand, a private sale at Lacroix Luxe Sport. If interested, please contact us at magazine@holidayalacarte.com

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SPORT

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SPORT

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LUC ALPHAND

ADDICTED TOSPEED L

uc Alphand has adrenaline running through his veins, not blood. The World Champion downhill skier swapped one eye-wateringly high-speed sport for another when he exchanged hurtling down slopes on pieces of high-tech wood for hurtling along roads and round tracks in high-tech two- and four-wheeled machines. Speed – it’s an addiction.

He began his sporting career at a very early age. When most children are still learning to walk Alphand, affectionately known as Lucho, was up and off scooting along the pistes of his home village of Serre Chevalier. Just 16 years later he won the World Junior Championships downhill, and 12 years after that he won his first World Cup race. “All you have to do is go a little faster than the others

and suddenly you’re a superman,” he has been quoted as saying. His logic is spot on, but it’s easier said than done. In fact the piste to the top for Alphand has been a tough one, littered with challenges, both physical and mental. But on the La Streif course in Austria in 1995 he showed the world he had what it took to win. Twice. In one day. And he continued his winning streak for three consecutive years. For Alphand you can easily imagine that the exhilaration of pitting one’s strength, coordination and courage to descending a piste as fast, as fearlessly, as elegantly as possible is immensely satisfying as a day job. For the rest of us the blemish-free, deep blue skies, the sun glinting off the snow, the crisp fresh air and the natural open space is a holiday treat. But for Alphand, this was his office. Zipping down a mountain at speeds of over 140kph, you need to have nerves of steel, and so when he contemplated leaving the world of the slopes in 1997 at the top of his career, real life as the rest of us know it must have looked like it was lived in slow motion.

ALPHAND’S SKIING CHAMPIONSHIPS • Junior World Champion 1983 • French Alpine Skiing Championship Downhill Champion 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1994 • French Alpine Skiing Championship Super-G Champion 1988 • Downhill World Champion 1995, 1996, 1997 • Super-G World Champion 1997 • Overall World Champion 1997

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SPORT

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SPORT

à la carte ALPHAND’S DRIVING CHAMPIONSHIPS • European Endurance Champion in 2008 • European Endurance Vice-champion in 2007 • Placed 3rd at the European Championship 2006 • Champion of France FFSA GT 2002 • 10 cars driven with 10 successful finishes at various 24 Hours Le Mans • 1st private team at the 24 Hours Le Mans 2006 and in 2008 for the GT1 category • Placed 3rd at the 24 Hours Le Mans 2006, GT1 category

I

f normal life seemed to pass in slow motion, then cars and motorbikes were the next best thing. Following his serendipitous meeting with Phillippe Poincloux when the novice Alphand was at his very first ParisDakar back in 1998, the name Luc Alphand began to represent a brand. Alphand created Team Luc Alphand Aventures along with more than 30 team managers, engineers, mechanics and pilots, and the private team has been racing in the adrenaline-fuelled world of racing for ten years now. Before Alphand’s recent accident the team had started ten cars on the grid, and all of them had successfully crossed the finishing line

– a new record for a private team. Alphand drove his way up the starting grids in different auto races, just as he had done on skis, until in 2006 he won the off-road Dakar Rally racing from Lisbon through Morocco, Mauritiana, Mali, Guinea and into Dakar, Senegal, with co-driver Gilles Picard in their Mitsubishi Pajero. It’s a trial of human endurance over some of the roughest, toughest driving in the world. Whether he’s in a desert or on a race track, and driving a bike or a car, Alphand has excelled at his second sport, proving that two championship careers are absolutely possible. À LA CARTE GROUP MAGAZINE

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Up till now if you wanted to rub shoulders with Alphand you either had to be his rally car co-driver or execute a monumental wipeout on the Luc Alphand black run in Serre Chevalier, named in his honour. But now, strap on your skis, buckle up your helmet, adjust your mask and click in your seat belt; experience what he’s experienced. Downhill skiing is a phenomenally exciting trip. You are living absolutely in the moment. Or pit your nerves of steel and car handling against the terrain and corners of a racetrack. And even better, you could be skiing or driving with none other than “Lucho” Alphand by your side, sharing tips, stories and slopes with you on the pistes and tracks of your choice. Holiday a la Carte would be delighted to organize your most unique and memorable ski experience. To live it, simply ask at magazine@ holidayalacarte.com


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