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THE THRILL OF SONGKRAN FESTIVAL SUMMER'S NEW YEAR
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR As we splash and frolic our way into the second quarter of 2015, we open our pages with a celebration of the Thai New Year and Songkran – the world’s biggest water festival! This aptly sets a wet scene for our big “Water” issue. Stay and play by the seaside at the W Retreat, our front cover feature and design inspiration for this edition. Marking the longest and hottest days of the year, we try to cool down with a spritz of Organic Floral Waters in our Beauty Buy Me pages and sip some delicious Supercharged Smoothie recipes from our Author Q&A.
Pay homage to the waters of the deep with exquisite pearl and diamond jewelry by YOKO London while Original Satchel Store waits on the shore in our Fashion Fix spread. And what could go better with pearls than cashmere from Cove? Carry your blessings from a Balinese priest with conscious gems and Sanskrit mantras imbued into Ananda Soul earrings in Accessory Necessity – joined by the world’s first splash-proof stainless steel smartwarch from Burg. Take a dip in the Best Pools in Koh Samui with our round up of resorts with stunning waters. Let that inspire you to Plunge Into Zen with a collection of water features to elevate any property from wanting, to wonderful. We tap into the ancient Mayan water springs of Belize at the Baymen Resort and show you some incredible interiors from around the world. In Luxury Motors, don’t miss Fiennes magnificent restoration of “the most glamorous and perfectly proportioned Rolls Royce ever built.” Lest you lose track of your New Year fitness goals, we talk to sports system specialists Seara Sports and pull together the best Waterproof Wearables to achieve athletically, without sacrificing aesthetically. Watersports are in full focus as we examine the finer details aboard the Nirvana Super Yacht with a new release from Extex, plus some fabulous fashion to keep you looking slick in workout mode. Delighted to bring your our second quarterly publication of 2015, we hope you enjoy your dip inside the pages of Luxury Living.
Katy Thomas email@example.com
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INTRODUCING OUR HOT NEW OUTDOOR COLLECTION - SUMMER BREEZE
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CONTENT THE THRILL OF SONGKRAN: Summer’s New Year
TROPICAL COCKTAILS & MOCKTAILS
FASHION FIX: COVE - Cashmere Summer The Original Satchel Store YOKO - London Pearls
BEAUTY BUY ME Dao Siam Cosmetics Absolute Aromas
SAMUI'S BEST POOLS
PUBLISHER Q&A: Tiny Owl Publishing
AUTHOR Q&A: 88 Chinese Medicine Secrets Smoothie Queen
SEARA SPORTS AND THE BUSINESS OF BODYBUILDING
INSPIRED INTERIORS Waterford House Sparkling Water Tap Victor Towel Rail The Baymen
B.R.SEA POOL PARTY
W KOH SAMUI RETREAT
PLUNGE INTO ZEN
WEEKEND AWAY: Phuket
CITY BREAK: Electric Kuala Lampur
SPOTLIGHT ON: Juck Somsaman Thakoon Panigchul Santi Lawrachawee
LUXURY MOTORS Extex Super Yacht Fabric Fiennes Restoration
THE LITTLE BLACK BOOK
Katy Thomas Editorial Director
Antonio Doani CEO Luxury Living
Writers: Caris Cruz Fortune Obiagbor Angela Hicks Christine M. Bailey Saifuddin Ismailji Tim Fiennes
Photographers: Saifuddin Ismailji Anne-Sophie Maestracci
Olga Apostol Sales Director
Anusart Panapoy (Jome) Head Designer
THE THRILL OF
SONGKRAN Summer’s New Year Words by: Caris Cruz
" Sounds of jubilee ring within a distance. Drops of water splash down from above, but the sky radiates in its royal blue colour, not hinting any sign of rain. In a few moments, a jamboree of water trucks and elephants makes way between the crowds. The sight turns the usually well-behaved streets of Thailand into an upbeat carnival. Soon enough, a mob swarms through every corner bearing buckets, hoses and water guns, turning the whole district into a watery warzone. "
This is Songkran, one of Thailand's most significant celebrations; a lively, aqueous festival which marks the arrival of the Southeast Asian New Year. The celebration stretches for three whole days, each one symbolizing different rituals to prepare the locals for letting go of the old, and moving forward with the new. It is the longest public holiday in the country and a noteworthy summer spectacle, occurring on April 13 to 15. The name itself speaks of a momentous transformation: Songkran is taken from a Sanskrit word samkrﾄ］ti, which can be translated as "a movement of the sun." Thailand, whose celebrations are substantially affected by their Indian roots and the lunisolar calendar, relies on the astrological passing of the sun from Aries to Taurus to mark off their annual timetable.
However, Songkran is more than just the statement of the stars. It also announces the beginning of a good season for farming.
Nature celebrates with Thailand during this period; the chilly wind brought about by the winters from the North slowly dissipates, breathing in a lush, warm air that creates a good atmosphere for agriculture. Farmers take the time off as they allow their crops to blossom on their own. Free from labour, they are given the liberty to perform necessary traditions, such as paying respects to their gods, ancestors and elders. Statues of Buddha are washed clean to invite a good favour from the deities. The younger generation sprinkles their much-respected kinsmen with scented water as a symbol of reverence. Powdery white chalk is tossed in every direction, with the hopes of endowing good luck.
Modern-day Songkran brings back the same tradition, only with much enthusiasm and extravagance that surpasses the intensity of the old days. The sweltering, hot summer weather creates a perfect chance for everyone in the crowd to be drenched and doused with cold water, all for the sake of cleansing. Whether you are armed with a water gun or just standing by the crowd, no one can escape the rhapsodic cascade of this effusive fiesta. At the strike of the celebration, it is best that locals and tourists are outfitted with their own water weapons. As retaliation, in its most congenial tone, is expected, one must be prepared to splash on a deal of liquefied good luck themselves.
But itâ€™s not all about water. Songkran is celebrated differently in various parts of Thailand, some more quietly than the others. In the northern part of the country, monks carry pouches of sand into their temples, bringing back the dust of their past year. The sands are then sculptured and decorated, creating a quaint display in the front of the temple. In the central region, elephants lead on the water spatter as local parades take place, highlighting beautiful maidens upon majestic floats. Sand pagodas are erected by the beaches, while locals dress up in traditional Mon outfits. Southern Thailand distinguishes itself with its own Songkran procession, parading local beauties in colorful clothing while paying tribute to their local Buddha deities. In most cities, local activities boasting ethnic performances, parades and Thai gastronomy will take place, reflecting the magical beauty of this countryâ€™s culture.
" This summer, Thailand will be all aglow with its New Year celebration. Feel the euphoria brimming with warmth, joy and wonder as you submerge into the exhilarating experience of Songkran. "
TROPICAL COCKTAILS & MOCKTAILS
" Ranging from traditional to eclectic, there are hundreds and hundreds of delicious, refreshing, and hydrating tropical cocktails and mocktail recipes from expert bartenders around the world. Whether a classic cocktail, a punch for a party, or an original concoction is required, make the right libation at your next occasion to truly impress your guests. "
THE SINGAPORE SLING COCKTAIL
THE PAINKILLER COCKTAIL
This rich cocktail has enjoyed a long and celebrated lifespan having being created at the popular Raffles Hotel in Singapore around the turn of the 20th century. Many claim that no two Slings are made the same way, but the smooth, fruity, and herbal qualities in this cocktail recipe are sure to satisfy even the most particular sipper.
A twist on the Pina Coloda, the Painkiller cocktail is a fruity tropical drink that is a specialty of the British Virgin Islands. Coconut cream, orange juice, and pineapple juice join rum in this splendid drink that brings the tropics right to the glass.
INGREDIENTS: - 0.75 oz Tranqueray No. TEN Gin - 0.25 oz Grand Marnier - 0.25 oz Cherry liqueur - 0.25 oz Herbal liqueur - 1 oz Pineapple juice - 0.5 oz Fresh Lime juice - 1 dash Bitters Club soda
INGREDIENTS: - 2 oz Pusser's Rum - 4 oz Pineapple juice - 1 oz Orange juice - 1 oz cream of coconut Garnish: Orange, wedge, cherry, and nutmeg Glass: Hurricane and snifter
Garnish: Orange slice and cherry Glass: Highball
HOW TO MAKE IT
HOW TO MAKE IT
Add all the ingredients except the club soda to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake and strain into a highball glass. Fill with Club soda and garnish with an orange slice and a cherry.
Add all the ingredients to a Hurricane glass or large Snifter and fill with ice. Stir to combine and garnish with an orange, wedge, a cherry, and freshly grated nutmeg.
ACAPULCO GOLD MOCKTAIL
CRANBERRY CREAM MOCKTAIL
This is a perfect booze-free yummy creation for those who wish to abstain but still enjoy a special summer drink.
This is the finest combination of tropic fruits; cranberry, apple, coconut, and lime.
- 2 oz pineapple juice - 2 oz fresh squeezed grapefruit juice - 1 oz coconut milk - 1 oz cream (or cream of coconut)
- 5 oz sparkling cranberry juice - 4 oz sparkling apple juice - 1 oz coconut cream - 2 oz fresh lime juice - 2 dashes grenadine - Cracked ice
HOW TO MAKE IT
HOW TO MAKE IT
Add and shake all of the ingredients together with ice in a shaker or a jar with lid.Strain into a glass, the serve and enjoy
Combine all ingredients in a blender with cracked ice. Blend until its smooth. Once that is achieved, it can then be served in a wine glass and sipped to satisfaction.
ROYAL MAI TAI COCKTAIL Enjoy a modern twist on a timeless favourite. This is the Royal interpretation of the classic Mai Tai.
INGREDIENTS: - 1 oz. Bacardi Silver rum - 1 tsp. maraschino cherry and vanilla bean puree - Â˝ oz. amaretto - Â˝ oz. Contreau - 1 oz. orange juice - 2 oz. pineapple juice - Whaler's Dark Rum float Tools: Shaker Glass: 14 oz. double bucket glass Garnish: Cherry, pineapple wedge, and lime wedge
HOW TO MAKE IT The Puree: 36 oz. jar of pitted and stemless maraschino cherries. 2 tbs. vanilla extract. 4 vanilla beans ( scrape contents from the husks and save husks to place back into puree). 1 cup of cranberry juice Place contents into a blender and blend until its smooth. Place scraped husks back into the puree and refrigerate. At 35 degree F, this puree will keep for at least a month. Now add the first 6 ingredients to a mix glass with ice, then roll/mix. Pour into a glass and add a float of Whaler's Dark Rum, and garnish with maraschino cherry and vanilla bean puree.
Aside from being tasty and refreshing, these tropical cocktails and mocktails are more nutritious and hydrating than your average alcoholic beverage. Indulge and enjoy the guilt-free delights of fresh tropical fruits with your next poolside concoction and feel better about the liquids and liquors you consume in the sun!
Fashion Fix: FLORA ROUND NECK PONCHO Clementine Orange with Pink Compote
Cove Cashmere Summer
COVE design contemporary cotton cashmere transitional pieces designed for a modern wardrobe reversible, versatile and stylish. Team with shorts or jeans for the perfect casual wear on lazy weekends. This collection is available in a selection of fabulous colours and designs including: reversible ponchos, cowl neck tops, oversized jumpers, round and V neck ponchos, cape ponchos, colour block ponchos, reversible mini skirts and the new Neon cashmere jumper, complete with stunning trim. COVE also sell beautiful accessories including jewellery and layering vests. www.cove.uk.com
NEW NEON CASHMERE JUMPER Colours Grey with Yellow Trim
NEW JESS Colour Block Poncho - Captain Blue + Hoxton Blue
NEW NEON CASHMERE JUMPER Colours Biscuit with Orange Trim
NEW MIA DRAPEY COWL NECK TOP Biscuit & Fur
NEW NEON CASHMERE JUMPER Colours Sapphire Blue with Pink Trim
Fashion Fix: 030
the Original Satchel Store
A buttery soft tote from a range at the Original Satchel Store
Oh I do like to be beside the sea side with a satchel from the Original Satchel Store's Pastel Collection
The fair, the sea, good friends and my satchel from the Original Satchel Store's Pastel Collection
Carry all your sea-side essentials in this roomy tote in a range of colours from the Original Satchel Store
YOKO London Pearls www.yokolondon.com
18kt white gold 9-13mm South Sea pearls 1.23cts diamonds Q7121NLET-EKZ
Searching the world for the rarest and finest cultured pearls â€“ luxury pearl jewellers Yoko London seek to redefine the way women wear pearl jewellery.
Through vast and varied collections YOKO show how pearls can be both classically elegant and a contemporary fashion accessory, for women of all ages.
18kt white gold, 10-15mm Tahitian and South Sea pearls 13.88cts diamonds Q1773NLET-JH
18kt white gold 16-17mm South Sea pearl 3.11cts diamonds
18kt rose gold 15-16mm baroque Freshwater pearl 2.04cts diamonds
Their family-run team seek out exceptional sizes, unusual organic shapes and unique natural colours and are incredibly selective about the pearls that they use as they form the basis of their beautiful designs
18kt white gold 10-12mm South Sea pearls 1.78cts diamonds Q1721EARR/1-DXHY
18kt black gold 12-13mm South Sea pearls 0.56ct diamonds black and white diamonds SKU: QYE1562-703-EHY
18kt white gold 13-14mm pink Freshwater pearls 5.02cts diamonds SKU: QYE1416-701-DIZ
18kt black gold 13-14mm South Sea pearl 2.99cts diamonds SKU: DUET013-087D-JZ
18kt black and white gold 13-14mm South Sea pearls 2.06cts diamonds SKU: YKE5014-177-IHY
18kt rose gold 12-13mm South Sea pearls 2.35cts diamonds 3.07cts multi coloured sapphires SKU: QYE1551-901-JZ
18Kt white gold 13-14mm South Sea pearls 1.83cts diamonds, 16.55cts tanzanite SKU: QYE1454-701-DKZ
Bangles 18KT rose white and black gold 13-14mm South Sea pearl and diamonds
Beauty Dao Siam Cosmetics With an impressive resume of previous experiences at L’Occitane and L’Oreal Paris, Dao Siam has evolved as a luxury all-natural cosmetics supplier to over 50 5-star resorts and hotels, to now bring their beautiful products direct to the consumer – with an exciting experiential twist. Dao Siam showcases a boutique laboratory located in Chong Moen, Koh Samui where customers can witness the manufacture of their own cosmetic products! Whilst the “all-natural” claim is one many choose to tout, owner Herve Droin’s exacting standard has led him to source up to 90% of higher quality products offshore, which may not be as inexpensive as local alternatives, but suffer no lack of integrity or purity. All Dao Siam products are certified free from parabens, mineral oils, palm oils and offer completely transparent production – anyone can be assured of the safety and premium caliber of these beautifiers.
Buy Me The Dao Siam laboratory is where Herve and his assistant Nico dream up delightful concoctions to stimulate the senses and revive the body and mind. A carefully selected range of sulphate-free shampoos, conditioners, scrubs, moisturizers and massage oils tease the imagination with names such as Thai Flowers, Jasmine Massage Oil, Coconut Body Scrub, and cooling Aloe Vera Gels. From here Dao Siam can create gorgeous custom packages or gift-baskets and ship to anywhere in Thailand.
ALOE VERA Dao Siam Aloe Vera Gel is unique with their respect to the character of the Aloe plant. A popular treatment for sunburn and sensitive skin, most Aloe Vera gels on the market contain chemical bulking agents to strengthen the watery consistency into a malleable gel; which often leaves a tacky residue. The Dao Siam Aloe Vera Gel is emboldened only by a natural xythan gum imported straight from South Africa maintaining the natural water content of the plant and leaves no trace of sticky remainder behind.
Does it work? The Dao Siam recipe turns out an aqueous gel that post application revealed no gluey feeling left behind; only softer, cooler, more moisturized skin. Perfect for all ages and safe to use on even babyâ€™s skin. After a hot day in the sun, this liquid gel is the ideal drink for thirsty, irritated or sensitive skin. Versatile enough to even be used as a massage medium, keep this in the fridge for an extra cool refreshing treat.
How do you use it? Simply apply to the skin with warm water in the bath or shower and lather to your satisfaction. The sugar-derived surfactants soon develop a rich creamy foam, gently cleansing the skin of impurities whilst leaving the skinâ€™s natural PH balance intact. Does it work?
THAI FLOWERS SHOWER GEL scent is a specially formulated blend of tropical Thai flowers, carefully selected for their combination of top, mid and base notes which marry together a fresh, sweet symphony of delicate florals to invoke the spirit of Thailand.
The added benefits of Aloe Vera and vitamin B5 have been added to a wheat protein/honey complex to ensure maximum hydration of the skin, which leaves skin soft and supple upon stepping out of the shower, never tight or itchy. The heady scents of native Jasmine, Dok Moke and Dok Peeb leave a delightful bouquet in the steam filled bathroom â€“ a beautiful perfume that stays with you all day. While all-natural shower gels and soaps often have a disappointing watery texture or lack-lustre fragrance, Thai Flowers offers a robust cleansing gel with an enchanting smell that invites the tropics into your daily routine.
COCONUT BODY SCRUB is a dreamy creamy mixture designed to restore skinâ€™s natural glow by polishing away the dead skin cells on the surface of the dermis. Coconut particles are mixed with a selection of healing oils, natural butters and nourishing vitamins to form a protective barrier and seal in the moisture. How do you use it? Simply buff the carefully prepared natural abrasives onto the skin in the shower. Pay special attention to areas of dry skin such as elbows, knees and feet. Then simply rinse clean to reveal brighter, softer skin with a kiss of a blissful coconut aroma. Does it work? Many cream scrubs are very heavy and clog the pores of freshly exfoliated skin with comodogenic oils and waxes. Not this. The cream is the perfect emollient to accompany the subtle grains of the coconut. As the cream melts into your skin releasing the heavenly smell of tropical coconuts, you will notice a little goes a long way and a small scoop can polish an entire body top to toe.
Best of all; it rinses away cleanly with no oily residue left on your hands or body, which are left spotless and silky. The only thing that lingers is the glow in your skin and a divine waft of coconuts that follows you closely all day long. Perfect to extend your summer holiday, even after you return home.
Beauty Absolute Aromas Absolute Aromas are an aromatherapy supplier choosing to carry oils from controlled, sustainable sources that have little or no negative impact on the environment. None of their products are tested on animals and all are free from GM material. The unfragranced base products are as natural as practicably possible and all are sulphate-free. They stock no products containing parabens and their tea tree range is naturally preserved using nothing but tea tree oil. Absolute Aromasâ€™ range of over 100 essential oils is rounded out by a wide selection of carrier oils and base products for the discerning therapist. They also cater a selection of pre-blended oils and massage blends, floral waters, bath salts and aromatherapy accessories to allow the full benefits of aromatherapy to be enjoyed by the end consumer at home.
Organic Floral Waters
Organic Floral Waters, also known as hydrosols or herbal distilate, are an aromatic water produced from the condensed water vapour of a steam distillation of the whole plant. Rose is the most commonly known and has been used in cooking and skincare in the Middle East for many years. These colloidal suspensions of essential oils have similar therapeutic properties to essential oils but are less concentrated.
Buy Me How do you use it? For use in Aromatherapy, Floral Waters are best suited to spritzers for the face and body - to cool the senses. They can also be used as facial toners to close the pores after cleansing. Alternatively, they can be added to a diffuser instead of plain water, along with essential oils, for added therapeutic benefit. Does it work? Of the four gorgeous Organic Floral Waters added to Absolute Aromaâ€™s range, we tested the revitalizing Orange Blossom as a hydrating spritzer. A handy 100ml size, this was ideal for carry-on during an overseas flight to keep dehydrated airplane skin dewy and fresh from take-off to landing. With an uplifting citrus scent this makes a beautiful addition to any skincare routine, or can easily be popped in a handbag to revive you whilst on the go throughout the day. As a facial toner, keep the bottle in the fridge to super-shrink pores as an extra refreshing cool spray.
From Only 2.75m Thai Baht
+66 (0)77 952 288
SAMUI'S BEST POOLS
A special occasion is not necessary to have fun with water well after Songkran has left Samui. Fun for two or for the whole family, a leisurely dip in the pool is the perfect entertainment for all ages. Wine, dine, unwind and get pampered at any of these incredible pools at popular 5 star resorts in Koh Samui:
A perfect spot to unwind, in no doubt, is the Library's signature red swimming pool with the lulling warm breeze of the pristine beach beyond. It is one of the world's most spectacular hotel pools. The Red Pool, with its mosaic tiles of orange, yellow, and deep red, is dazzling in brilliant colour and sophisticated style. Just a few steps away from the white sandy beach of Chaweng lies this beautiful pool.
Guests can relax at any one of the seven swimming pools at Samui Intercontinental. These pools are located in different areas around the cliff side, offering secluded and easy access for its villa guests. They are each themed according to the spectacular palettes of the sky's colours over the course of the day and night. Purple - Napa (sky during sunshine), Yellow - Tawan (sun during the day), Orange - Chantra (the moon), Blue - Dara Sonthaya (sun during sunset).
At Bandara, it is hard to beat the shade of a cabana beside the iconic main pool 11 - one of the largest freshwater pools on the island and designed with a real wow factor. For a change of scenery, guests can find a peaceful spot by the beautiful pool and enjoy a picture-perfect view over the Gulf of Thailand.
Located on a headland on the northern tip of Samui island, approximately six kilometers from Samui International Airport, and a 45 minute flight south of Bangkok, is Six Senses. Sixty-six villas create an atmosphere of space and light whilst maintaining views from almost every location in the rooms. Fifty-two of these have private infinity-edged swimming pools that blend into the horizon and maintain a feeling of seclusion. Even though all the resort's facilities are close at hand, personal butlers augment their already superior pool service.
Whether in one of the resort's luxuriously appointed rooms or spacious pool villas, guests can enjoy a fresh breeze off the bay and feel instantly relaxed. This exquisite privacy extends to the resort's signature dining experience set in the treetops, in a private sala that overlooks the sea where it meets the sky.
Anytime at the W Retreat Koh Samui, guests can venture to the private stretch of oceanfront for a traditional Thai massage. They can also have the opportunity to cool off at the Wâ€™s unique pool bar, plunge into the swimming pool or kick back at the W lounge.
Nikki Beach Sky Villas are available at the penthouse level in which each villa has a balcony featuring its own private garden and pool. Not to mention a swim up bar in the main pool, and a roof top infinity pool and bar. Aside from these highlights, guests also have access to Nikki Beach Club and restaurant.
This Koh Samui hotel is nestled in a northern corner of Lamai beach, a short walking distance from Silver Beach. Guests can relax here by one of Beach Republic's two outdoor swimming pools or go for a cool and refreshing swim in the sea just a few steps away. Most choose to hang out at the poolside bar for a couple of assorted drinks by the DJ booth during the infamous all-day brunch on Sundays.
Guests can indulge in a range of holistic treatments at The Conrad where they can strengthen their bodies at the fully equipped fitness center, or by swimming in the available private pool. Soothe aching muscles with a session in the sauna, followed by a quick dip in the cold plunge pool. At the villas, guests can also enjoy the tranquil waters of the villa's 10m long infinity pool.
KC Beach Club and Pool Villas are located in the center of Chaweng area. Offering modern rooms and villas, this resotel is equipped with a nightclub, outdoor pool and a children's pool. Guests are welcome to use the infinity pool and float around on the free-form swimming pool while listening to cool club tunes from resident and International DJâ€™s. Visitors also have the option of choosing from accommodation with direct pool access, stunning sea views, and the guest's own private pool.
These amazing pools found in the top resorts in Koh Samui are located in wonderful surroundings, offering the best big splash on this gorgeous tropical island. Ideal for cooling off during the day, a lazy paddle at sunset or to gently float away on a starlit evening; make your next swim memorable at one of these unforgettable bathing spots.
Publisher Q&A: Tiny Owl Publishing
“Today we need peace and friendship between nations more than ever, and children’s books are one of the best messengers of peace and friendship.”
Bringing us these messages of hope and positive growth is Delaram Ghanimifard and Karim Arghandehpour of Tiny Owl Publishing, who have made it their mission to beautifully publish quality children’s stories from all over the world.
What age should we start reading to our children and why?
At fetal stage, because I believe as soon as they can hear us, the habit of listening to a book being read on their part and the habit of reading a book for a child on our part can start to be formed.
What makes a great childrenâ€™s book and why?
First and foremost an attractive story, even if a very simple one, that not only the children but even the adults who might be reading the book for them can enjoy following. In my opinion, a children's book cannot afford to become boring even for a page or two, especially in today's world with all of the accessible entertainment sources that compete for a child's attention. Childrenâ€™s books should also be imaginative. Imagination is the essential ingredient of a good childrenâ€™s book.
Children love to look at pictures, how important is a good illustrator for storytelling?
Illustrations are of great importance for younger children. They add a new dimension to the story. Illustrations should open a window to a new world for children. A world that is simultaneously recognisable and unfamiliar. A mixture of similarities and differences. Illustrations should also be creative, because they are the first confrontation of children and visual arts.
What do you look for in an illustrator? What makes a great illustration?
Good illustrators require two skills: They need good artistic skills, and they need to be good storytellers.
Which are your most popular titles? Any idea why these have such broad appeal?
The Little Black Fish, because the story consists of both action and imagination. This makes it attractive for children. The Parrot and The Merchant, because the message is unexpected and touching.
Tell us about a new book you are really excited about?
From the 2015 Tiny Owl list, When I Coloured in the World (will be published in May) is a mellow poetic book with fabulous illustrations. From our next year list, Mr Fox Has Stolen Our Colour, a fable by Rumi, is a very funny story with a strong message. The illustrations of this book are unique.
You publish many award-winning writers, how do you find authors who are able to bridge the age gap and connect with young people?
We see our books as gifts from non-English cultures for all children, to present to them a different, new, and exciting world. We chose best books from Iran, which is less known to the Western children, and people have little knowledge about other than political and media coverage. I think the books we chose can be read and enjoyed by all age-groups.
Share with us some tips for making bedtime reading a success?
Whenever I read a storybook to a child at bedtime, I try to pick a book that has a particularly appealing story, even though this means delaying the sweet moment they fall asleep as they are captivated by the story! I love to read the story like a performance, changing my voice for different characters and reading with all the pertaining emotions apparent in my tone: excitement, haste, fear, concern, etc. I also go for a book that is slightly higher than the child's vocabulary range and encourage him/her to ask the meanings of key words although I make a point of giving just a brief explanation and jumping back to the story.
Author Q&A: 88 Chinese Medicine Secrets By: Angela Hicks
This book delivers simple, profound medicine secrets that the Chinese have developed over many centuries. For anyone who wants to sustain their health with easy to follow guidelines and examples to enable you to do so.
What led you to research the medicinal secrets of the ancient Chinese?
As an acupuncturist and herbalist I know many patients who have improved their health enormously or now maintain good health through having changed some aspects of their lifestyle. This motivates me to let others know about this lifestyle advice and the profound effect it could have on their wellbeing. Many examples in the book come from talking to both patients and their practitioners and without their inspiration this book would not have been written. At this time, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is growing in importance. The older segment of the population has become larger and this is putting increasing demands on the whole medical care system. The strains on medical resources are likely to continue to increase, and the greater the pressure, the less likely we will be to get the service we would like. Maintaining our own health has become a high priority. My book teaches us how to gain control of our own health and enables us to participate in our own self-healing.
What are the differences between these and current Western practices?
There are many, many differences! For example: Chapter 2 - Constitution We all have a constitutional energy and need to conserve it (Secret 1), There are important transformation times that can change your life (Secret 4), We need to take a month and 'Do the month’ after pregnancy (Secret 5). Chapter 3 - diet Chinese medicine would suggest not to eat cold food (Secret 23), that foods have an innate temperature, (Secret 22), that certain foods cause Phlegm (Secret 15), in the body, that it is important to eat meat (Secret 17), as this is a ‘Blood nourishing food’. The taste of your food is important (Secret 24), raw food is not good for you (Secret 13). Chapter 4 - Emotions Chinese medicine has a lot to say on the emotions for instance it says Anger makes qi rise, Fear makes qi descend and worry knots the qi, Grief and sadness dissolve qi, Joy slows qi down These are Secrets 33 - 36. There are also many helpful ways to deal with emotions in the book. Chapter 5 - balancing work rest and exercise We need to balance yin and yang in your work and rest Secret 47 Convalescence is important and it’s a forgotten secret Secret 48 We need to rest after a miscarriage Secrets 49 There is a healthy posture we can sleep in Secret 56 There is a 70% principle for all activity Secret 62. Chapter 6 - Climate Cold can cause pain pain might be caused by cold! Secret 70. Cold can cause of infertility and other lower body symptoms Secret 71 Tired all the time? damp weather could be the cause Secret 74.
How applicable are ancient ideas to our modern day ailments in 2015?
They are very applicable and have been forgotten in the West. Here is an example: A colleague had a patient whose children had stomach pains. The patient wanted to bring them to have acupuncture treatment. This practitioner asked what they ate and it was a lot of cold food such as iced drinks and ice cream. My colleague suggested that although treatment would be possible, their mother should first try reducing the amount of cold food they were eating. The patient returned two weeks later and told him that she had taken his advice and was amazed because this simple solution had cured their stomach pains. Chinese medicine understands the effects of cold in the diet. You will find out more in chapter 2 on diet and in chapter 4 on the effects of the climate.
What are some common afflictions of the modern lifestyle?
I would say that illnesses such as post viral syndrome or â€˜M.E.â€™ is a common one and not convalescing after illnesses, plus overdoing it is often part of the cause. Also stress, causing emotional problems is a massive cause â€“ and there is a whole chapter on emotions (chapter 4) with lots of exercises to help us to deal with them. There is also a big chapter on work rest and exercise (Chapter 5) the lack of balance in our lifestyle is the cause of many problems.
What are some easy steps we can take to reduce the impact of stress?
Some exercises are: Secret 37. Take pleasure from the world Secret 38. The importance of humour Secret 39. Gain perspective on your emotions Secret 40. Become present to your bodily â€˜felt senseâ€™ Secret 41. Learn from your difficulties Secret 42. Use talking therapy Secret 43. Use writing therapy Secret 44. The importance of positive goals Secret 45. Release your blocked feelings Secret 46. Get help when you need it
How can we gain more energy naturally?
Chinese Medicine suggests that we follow the lifestyle guidelines in the book and we do the following which are in the chapters of the book: Chapter 1 Preserve our constitution Chapter 2. Eat a healthy diet and including balancing the proportions of our food Chapter 4. Balance our emotions Chapter 5. Balance work, rest and exercise Chapter 6. Protect ourselves from the environment
Secret 51. Know the 70% principle for all activity Too much exercise, internal or external, can be as harmful to our health. Like overworking, exercising until we drop or doing overly vigorous exercise is more likely to deplete our energy than to increase our health.
It is always best to function at less than our full capacity. Chinese medicine emphasises balance and suggests moderation with respect to everything we do. Over-straining when we exercise can lead to injury, tension or over-taxing our system. The net result of this is not better health – in fact we are more likely to feel worse and finally stop the activity altogether. My qigong teacher suggests that we always exercise to 70 percent of our capacity. He calls this ‘the 70 percent principle’. In order to assess the 70 percent principle we first need to estimate our physical capacity in terms of our range of movement, time of practice and how much we can do without actually collapsing. Once we have determined this we move the practice to 70 percent of that activity. The percentage is not rigid and can vary from 60 – 80 percent at times. The 70 percent principle also applies to eating. It is useful to regularly remind ourselves of the 70 percent principle. It is important never to push our body into activity that it doesn’t wish to do or to go beyond our limits. If we feel exhausted by our exercise or don’t enjoy doing it, then it is not right for us.
I have experienced the results of overtraining in my own qigong practice. I once went to a teacher who encouraged his students to push themselves to their limits. I obeyed his instructions thinking this was fine for me. For some months I kept doing these exercises, then one day I stopped. Nothing enticed me to take up those exercises again. My whole body and mind had rebelled and said ‘no’. In contrast I now practise to about 70 percent of my capacity as recommended. I have been practising this style of qigong for many years and continue to enjoy it.
Action box Carry out any exercise you normally do and notice the way you do it. Ask yourself ‘Do I go for no pain no gain or am I more gentle on myself?’ If you do any exercise you can still do it with consciousness and focus and using the 70 percent principle. Warning signs that your exercise routine is too strenuous may be:
• Your joints are getting very stiff and sore and don’t recover • It is exhausting you and you remain tired for some time • You have to push yourself mentally to do it – your mind rebels • You have to push yourself physically to do it and you’re testing your endurance • You are constantly getting injured
"Chinese medicine emphasises balance and suggests moderation with respect to everything we do."
Thailand is notorious for exotic and spicy food; do you have ancient Chinese solution for an upset stomach?
This comes into a section I discuss in chapter 8 called â€˜Staying healthy and preventing diseaseâ€™
INDIGESTION Chinese medicine diagnosis Symptoms of indigestion include discomfort and/or pain in the stomach, feeling full, sour regurgitation or belching. Indigestion is most commonly due to: Food stagnating in the stomach The Liver qi becoming stagnant In both of these cases the normal digestive process has temporarily stopped.
Lifestyle changes that may prevent or improve indigestion The main causes of indigestion are an overly rich diet, overeating, eating in a hurry, unexpressed anger or worry. Diet Anyone who frequently gets indigestion is advised to examine their diet. If the diet contains too high a percentage of rich food then reducing this to 10â€“15 per cent can help to alleviate the problem. Overeating can also cause indigestion, in which case the diet needs to be modified. Those who get indigestion can also strive to eat in situations which are as stress-free and as calm as possible and to continue to relax for a little while after eating in order to aid the digestive process.
Emotions If we are griped by anxiety, fear, worry or dread it can affect the solar plexus and stomach. This may cause the digestive process to come to a temporary standstill. Unexpressed anger and resentment can also cause our digestion to slow down or come to a standstill. Once the problem has been resolved, digestion will start moving again. A person with long-term resentment or anger that has not been resolved may get chronic indigestion. In this case the feelings may be resolved when the person explores the origins of these feelings and learns to let go of their negativity. Some people with digestive problems find themselves in situations that they find hard to sort out and ‘digest’. In this case they may need to observe the situation closely in order to find the best way to deal with it and ‘digest’ it thoroughly.
Chinese medicine treatments Acupuncture, Chinese herbs and tuina (Chinese massage) can all be used to treat indigestion and many other digestive problems. Chinese herbs travel directly to the gut. In some cases this may be beneficial and treatment may help us to digest food better. In other cases acupuncture or tuina may be preferable treatment as they by-pass the digestion and work directly on our qi.
88 Chinese Medicine Secrets is available online here: www.amazon.co.uk/Angela-Hicks-Secrets-Chinese-Medicine/dp/B00NBLAFMI
Author Q&A: Smoothie Queen By: Christine Bailey
As an award winning Chef and Nutritional Therapist, tell us about your approach to diet and nutrition?
I love cooking and eating but I also want food that is nourishing and supports not just my health but optimum health and vitality. I want to make the most of my life and feel full of energy so I need nutrient dense foods that satisfy and heal. My recipes are very much based on whole foods, ideally using organic produce, local and seasonal as much as possible. My food is gluten free, free of refined starch, sugars and higher in protein and healthy fats. Many recipes I develop embrace the paleo style of eating; keeping out the refined foods and focus on plenty of raw, vegan and vegetarian dishes, cleansing and alkalising recipes to bring health and vitality to the body. For me I am a busy Mum of three boys so recipes need to be practical, quick and easy to prepare as well as delicious.
How does food play an integral role in nourishment and healing the body?
Without the right nutrients our bodies cannot function optimally - it's that simple. The lifestyles we lead mean our bodies have huge nutritional needs - for example our adrenal glands which produce stress hormones require optimum levels of B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and zinc daily. Our brain requires a steady flow of energy, vitamins and minerals as well as essential fats to enable us to focus and concentrate. If levels of key nutrients are not optimal then it is inevitable our health can be compromised.
You have authored many recipe books, including those for babies! How does healthy food affect development?
Every parent instinctively wants the best for their child. We want to help them grow up to be intelligent, happy and healthy, fully equipped to live their lives to the full. We also know that it is during childhood they experience the most rapid growth and development, physically, mentally and emotionally. So if we're looking to maximise their potential it is essential we ensure they are optimally nourished. Preschool children in particular grow faster than at any other time of life. Not only this but their brain is incredibly active and their energy demands soar as they become more independent. To fuel all of this activity we need to nourish them with nutrient dense foods in a form that will appeal to their variable appetites. Toddlers love to play with foods and experiment with tastes and textures so this is an ideal time to allow them to try a wide range of foods - vegetables in particular are so rich in minerals that these should play an important part in their diet - cut up sticks of different vegetables (raw and cooked), make up dips or use nut butters and let them dip vegetables into them for a snack. Fats are especially important - your brain is 60% fat and fat rich foods often provide sources of fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E and K which are often low in toddlers diets. Try mashed up avocado, homemade salmon nuggets or mini fish cakes rich in healthy fats. I also like adding avocado to smoothies which creates a delicious thick creamy shake. Try blending up pineapple, banana with a little avocado, handful of spinach and coconut water for a refreshing drink. You can also turn avocado into an easy ice cream as a treat. I often add in additional supplements such as probiotic powders to this recipe to support their digestive health.
Avocado Mint Ice Cream INGREDIENTS: SERVES 8
- 125g cashew nuts soaked in water for a couple of hours - 1tbsp vanilla extract - 60g unsweetened coconut flakes - 60g coconut syrup or xylitol - 250ml coconut water - 60g coconut butter - Dash peppermint extract - Few mint sprigs - 30g dairy free, sugar free chocolate chips
HOW TO MAKE 1. Place the nuts, coconut syrup and coconut water in a high speed blender and process until smooth. 2. Add the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips and blend until creamy and smooth. 3. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn - once it is nearly firm add in the chips 4. Serve immediately or freeze until required. 5. If taking out of the freezer allow the ice cream to stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving.
How can we navigate the never-ending list of specialty diets (paleo, vegan, gluten-free etc) to find what is best for us and our families?
The best diet is one that is focused on real foods - unprocessed and nutrient dense. So focus on half of your plate to be colourful vegetables, Âź plate good quality protein like fish, meats, eggs, tofu etc and then include a little slow releasing starchy carbs like sweet potato, butternut squash, pumpkin, wholegrain rice, quinoa etc. There is no one diet that suits everyone so if in doubt get support from a qualified practitioner.
Tell us about superfoods - which do you find best to use?
To feel more refreshed, rejuvenated and full of vitality, it is essential to pay attention to what your body needs. Unfortunately, many of our everyday foods are devoid of nutrients. Sugar-filled carbs, processed convenience foods, ready meals and takeaways are not just empty calories - they also contain anti-nutrients that further deplete our bodies of the nutrients we need to function. Real whole food in its unprocessed form is what our bodies cry out for. That's not so easy to manage on a daily basis so incorporating some superfoods can be very beneficial. Superfoods are natural foods. They are not only nutrient-rich but many also have the ability to restore balance in the body. By including superfoods in your diet daily you can supercharge your body quickly and naturally. Whether you're aiming to optimise muscle tone, energise your body, boost mental and physical performance, feel radiant or support your immune system, there is a superfood to help you. And one of the easiest ways to get as much nutrition via superfoods in your diet as possible is to include a supercharged juice or smoothie daily. Although it might sound too simple to be true, just a glassful of superfood goodness will be enough to kick-start your health, and as you enjoy its benefits it will encourage you to begin to make lasting changes to your diet to improve how you feel. I am a big fan of green superfoods like spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, moringa - rich in minerals and very alkalising. Maca is very popular with clients as it is a well known adrenal adaptogen so helps your body adapt to the stress it is under. To energise and top up your vitamin C levels use baobab - which has a delicious citrus tang. For antioxidants think berries - goji, acai, inca berries for example.
Why are smoothies and blended drinks so popular right now? What are your tips for success when making a blended drink?
Making your own superfood drink takes minutes and therefore ideal for anyone who feels they don't have time to cook. Particularly useful first thing in the morning when time is often short. Keep it healthy and focus on cramming in plenty of greens - spinach or kale is easy for example. Then add a little fruit and liquid - this could be just water or for a creamy texture almond milk or coconut milk. I love coconut water as it is so hydrating and invigorates the body quickly. You could also use kefir or kombucha which are packed with probiotics for digestive health. Keep it simple and don't be afraid to play around with flavours - make use of your freezer too - bags of vegetables and fruit frozen can be very useful as a healthy standby. My boys love making smoothies so we are forever creating new ones. I tend you use whatever I have in the fridge or freezer. I am a big fan of green smoothies and like adding a little protein powder to the drink for a post gym breakfast - try my avocado greens for example or Isaac's Get Your Greens recipe.
Creamy avocado combines with coconut oil to create a velvety texture usually achieved using milk or nuts. This smoothie is particularly useful for soothing the digestive tract. It contains digestive enzymes from the pineapple, plus protein powder and probiotics, and aloe vera and moringa leaf powder for reducing inflammation.
I developed this recipe with one of my boys Isaac who loves juicing and making smoothies. An easy way to eat more greens.
- ¼ avocado, peeled and pitted - 1 tsp coconut oil - 100g/3½oz fresh or frozen pineapple, chopped - Juice of ½ lime - ¼ tsp moringa leaf powder, chlorella or spirulina - 1 tsp aloe vera juice, optional - Scoop of protein powder - vanilla or plain - ½ tsp probiotic powder, optional - 200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup coconut water or water
- ½ head of broccoli florets - Handful of spinach leaves or kale leaves - ½ cucumber, peeled and chopped - 2 pears - 1 lemon, peeled - 1 banana, cut into slices and frozen - ½ TSP wheatgrass powder - 500ml coconut water - 200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup coconut water or water
Isaac's Get Your Greens in Smoothie
HOW TO MAKE
HOW TO MAKE
Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.
Simply place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
Can you use smoothies as meal replacements? Should you? Share with us a tasty nutritious smoothie we could have for lunch
There' s no reason why you can't use them on occasion when time is short or if you are following a weekend detox programme for example. Joe Cross for example is well known for his juice fasts but do make sure they contain protein to support muscle mass and blood sugar levels.
If you're looking for a lift - try my Magnesium Lift - creamy and rich.
Magnesium Lift Although essential for energy production, magnesium is commonly low in people's diets, especially athletes. This creamy and hydrating mix will help to improve magnesium levels and it is also especially rich in electrolytes, potassium and sodium. The addition of wheatgrass powder adds an alkalizing punch to refresh and revitalize the body.
INGREDIENTS: SERVES 1
- ½ banana - ¼ ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped- ½ cucumber, peeled and chopped - 1 small handful of spinach - 1 handful of frozen berries - 1½ tsp shelled hemp seeds - ½ tsp wheatgrass powder - ¼ cucumber, chopped - 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs - 1 scoop chocolate protein powder - 200ml/7fl oz/scant 1 cup coconut water or water, plus extra if needed
HOW TO MAKE Chop the banana and put it into a freezer bag. Exclude all the air, then seal and freeze overnight or until solid. Put the banana into a blender or food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy, adding a little more water, if needed. Serve immediately.
Can smoothies boost our health when we are feeling under the weather? What are some key ingredients to include here?
I see many clients who have long term health problems or have recently undergone cancer treatment and as a result often lack an appetite so do not really feel like eating. Often we are looking to support immune health and lower inflammation so you may wish to add in some healthy oils, turmeric and protein powders. The key is to create a smoothie that is not only nutrient dense but appetising - try my chocolate berry smoothie which goes down well with children and adults alike.
Chocolate Berry The combination of berries and raw cacao powder tastes divine. This superfood blend is high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and the addition of hemp seeds provides beneficial essential fats too. Frozen banana makes the smoothie thick and inviting.
INGREDIENTS: SERVES 1
- 1 small banana, cut up and frozen ideally - 1 tbsp cacao powder, to taste - 1 tsp shelled hemp seeds - 90g/3¼oz/¾ cup frozen mixed berries - 2 tsp dried mulberries, optional - 1 tbsp goji berries - ½ tsp vanilla extract - ¼ tsp camu camu powder or baobab powder - 1 scoop of protein powder - chocolate flavour - 200-250ml Water, coconut water or coconut milk to blend
HOW TO MAKE Simply place everything in a blender with 200ml/7fl oz/ scant 1 cup water or coconut milk. Blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.
What are some fail-safe foods we should keep stocked for s smoothie-friendly fridge?
Try and keep a bag of greens in the fridge - kale, spinach, coriander, parsley, chard etc. Also stock your freezer with berries, chopped up pineapple, mango and banana for a tropical flavour. I also add in frozen vegetables too like broccoli and cauliflower.
Supercharged Juices and Smoothies by Christine Bailey from Nourish Books is available from amazon or www.christinebailey.co.uk
Seara Sports And The Business Of Bodybuilding The human body is perhaps one of, if not the most, beautiful sculptures of nature. Various silhouettes accentuated with deliquescent curves, graceful limbs, and fluent corners each part of the body tells a story, and it is up to its owner to narrate it.
In wanting to achieve the ideal shape the body was imagined in, we should invest our time, effort and money in quality equipments to assist us with our workout goals. But the sculpted physique is more than just a fascinating artwork; it is a manifestation of a healthy, vigorous lifestyle which humans are designed for. There is no wonder why brands of sporting equipments are flying all about, trying to garner our attention with different degrees of success. On the top of them all, is Seara Sports.
Thailand's home-grown line of workout facilities have been restructuring tales of the human body since 1999. Offering full solutions for fitness and recreation, the company started as a hub for enthusiasts looking for healthier avocations. In its emergent years, Seara Sports slowly seeded itself in many high-end spots; reaching Ho Chi Min, Pattaya, Phnom Penh and Myanmar. Now it has grown globally, reaching as far as Bangladesh and the Maldives, making it the premium brand sought after by exercise and lifestyle enthusiasts.
The Eligibility of High-End Equipments A complex mass of flesh, bones and nerves, there are different ways to carve the human body; equally there is a plethora of workout equipments constructed to reinforce such exercises. While fitness machines on the retail market may seem sufficient, the concept of smart consumerism entirely changes the way equipments are used. â€œFor most people, exercise is a necessary evil, so any excuse not to do it is easy. Choosing the right equipment and the right brand may make all the difference on whether you will actually exercise. The consumer fitness market is enormous around the world and most of it is based on an impulse buy. The problem is, most of the cheaper exercise equipment readily available in department stores or TV ads, are simply not inspiring after a few rounds on the machine. Most people joke that their home fitness equipment is the most expensive clothes hanger they ever bought.â€? Says Director of Seara Sports, CJ Prieur. Cutting down weight, among the primary reasons why users take advantage of indoor workout machines, depends on many different factors; including the quality of the exercise equipment. "Fat loss is a result of exercise, diet and other environmental factors that assist in aiding a person to reach their weight goal. To say one equipment burns more calories than another would actually not be true since it really depends on the level of intensity or effort the user puts into the exercise. The key is to train properly on equipment that feels comfortable for the user. In other words, a cheap, uncomfortable elliptical cross trainer is less likely to give you a result as opposed to a smooth, well built piece of equipment that motivates you to get on and exercise."
Debunking the Mainstream Myth Workout facilities, despite their number, are mainstreamed in such a way that their use and design are almost the same. Many upstart buyers are swayed towards the advantages of the merchandise’s affordability. But Seara Sports believes otherwise. "There are certainly differences between commercial grade equipment and retail fitness equipment; most of that has to do with components being more robust to take on the demands of a commercial application. Retail fitness equipment will typically come with greater warranty periods as it will normally not endure as much abuse or heavy usage." Seara Sports hence extended its hand from being a fitness supplier of commercial-grade equipments, to a full-fledged, dedicated company offering technical assistance for each of its machines. Their special service, focusing on equipment aftercare, highlights the importance of proper maintenance as opposed to frequent repair warranty.
“ In recent years our Customer Service Department has become the focal point of our company and we understand that this part of the business is really what separates us from the competition. The main driving factor in opening the office in Samui was to have a full time technician available for all our Koh Samui and Koh Phangan commercial and retail customers. ”
Another of Seara's vantage points is technology. Most of the company's equipments are coupled with digital applications that create a dynamic, interactive atmosphere for users to track their fitness goals.
“The Life Fitness App called LFConnect allows the user to store all their workouts on a cloud anywhere in the world when using any of the new Life Fitness Discover series or Track+ cardio equipment. One can also use the GPS features and record a run outside and play back of Life Fitness equipment. Information from the workouts is automatically stored and can be tracked to determine progress. There is also another great App called PaoFit, which, when connected to a Life Fitness cardio product, allows you to run, bike with anyone else from around the world using the same app at the same time. You choose your own avatar, put in your basic information and chose a course. You'll be running with people from all over the world (some faster and some slower). It's a great concept and lots of fun keeping up with other people.”
These exciting and engaging app services are exclusively available in Seara’s line of equipments.
Engineering Fitness Spaces As the wanting for newer, healthier diversions grew locally, Seara Sports found a market for personal and commercial installations. The brand flourished along with the interior design scene, installing sports facilities into well-loved spaces. It is called Fitness Flooring; a dedicated room equipped with premium grade machines made to aid the full spectrum of workout requirements. Varying spaces have varying needs, which are both dependent on the client’s vision. Whilst today's luxury villa is incomplete without it's own fitness room, every individual's needs are unique - something Seara pride themselves in serving.
“ The success of Seara over the years has been the approach we take when engaging with a customer. We call it ‘Consultative Selling’ and it is much more rewarding than just trying to sell a product like a commodity. We certainly have some of the finest brands available on the market, whether it is for fitness products or sport surfacing materials. High end manufacturers from around the world like Life Fitness, Octane, Power Plate, Plexipave join forces with Seara to represent their brands because they know that we can deliver their products with the utmost integrity and after sales support to grow their brand. We have been in the business for a long time and many of our employees have stayed with Seara throughout the years. This results in equipping truly knowledgeable people and this instils a trust with our customers. ”
With more than fifteen years and counting, Seara Sports has flourished into Southeast Asia's most well-loved brand for premium fitness items. Its desire is still the same; to cultivate the consumer's taste for excellent work-out equipments, and pave the way for better, more user-engaging machines to be made available for all. The company believes that exercise facilities are more than just equipments, but tools for us to consider indoor fitness recreations as remarkable experiences to look forward to.
Waterford House Much of Waterford House in Surrey is unique and has been designed by the owners, Mr and Mrs Hellmuth, who spent two years creating their dream home. The master bedroom has some ingenious extras. A touch screen on either side of the bed is programmed to run the bath, open the external gates, close the blinds, switch on lights and power the TV projector which, with a touch of the screen, opens a hidden panel from which large projector drops from the ceiling for perfect bedtime viewing. The master bathroom has been fitted with a stunning Italian bathtub which fills from the ceiling. Impressively this can be run remotely from the bedroom, the bathroom or from your mobile whilst you are on the way back from work!
Sparkling Water Tap 082
says James Wyatt, Partner of Barton Wyatt,
“It started with purified water, then we had instant hot water and now you can get instant sparkling water in your kitchen. Expensive now but won’t be for ever! Who knows what will come next - instant red and white wine - or better still on tap Moet.” The GROHE Blue® system delivers delicious chilled filtered water, offering a choice between still, medium and sparkling. A simple turn of the special tap is all it takes to start the flow of the preferred variety. This makes carrying heavy bottles and time-consuming journeys to supermarket to load up on bottled water a thing of the past. The BWT filters in the tap eliminate chlorine and organic compounds as well as odours while reducing carbonate hardness. All that remains is pure refreshment. A magnesium filter based on the proprietary and patented BWT Mg2+ technology additionally allows magnesium to be added to the water for even greater well-being and the ultimate in water enjoyment. It is available in chrome and supersteel for the perfect finishing touch in any luxury kitchen.
From internationally renowned architect, Victor Vasilev, comes an award winning design accredited with the 'Interior Innovation Award 2014' at the German Design Awards; the eponymous Victor. Inspired by Vasilev's observation of the shapes and functions of plate radiators, 'Victor' is distinguished by a 3 mm thick plate of recyclable aluminium, interrupted by symmetrical flaps for storing towels.
Victor Towel Rail Entirely composed of recyclable aluminium 'Victor' affords high heating efficiency and has been recognised for its originality, quality and functionality in February 2015 with a German Design Award. 'Victor' is available in two widths and two heights with optional towel hooks and comes in a choice of 25 RAL colours and 14 special finishes. www.iconicradiators.co.uk
The Baymen 084
The Baymen is a boutique eco hotel currently being developed in 1,000 acres of private Belize rainforest. A tranquil series of natural Maya spring plunge pools gently flow down to a stunning natural waterfall, providing a unique experience of natural relaxation unequalled at any other Belizean resort. Situated in the lush jungle foliage of a private rainforest location, the majority of the lodge sits among the rainforest canopy, seemingly floating off the ground so guests can truly feel part of the ecosystem, aiding relaxation and a sense of remoteness and of being away from it all, even though the resort is conveniently located 30 minutes away from the town of San Ignacio, which is a short flight from Belize City. Luxury residences, comprising 1,000 square feet split across two levels also feature a large wooden floating deck with a private plunge pool, fed by natural spring water from the same spring that provided the ancient Mayans with water. This unique retreat also has a breathtaking infinity pool of non- chlorinated pure water that appears to float like a tablet of water suspended in air, providing the chance to watch nature pass by. The pool is located next to the Palapa Spa, a serene place where guests can be pampered whilst listening to the sound of water gently cascading from the infinity pool. To find out more about the investment opportunity visit www.thebaymen.com
Small Chinese Cabinet Blue
Chinese Red Cabinet
Medium Black Chinese Cabinet
Medium Chinese Cabinet Black
The Nine Schools celebrated Chinese New Year in 2015 by releasing their beautiful collection of inexpensive oriental furniture. Inspired by traditional Chinese designs, these unique wooden furnishings capture the true essence and history behind oriental design, making it the perfect accompaniment to the beginning of the Southeast Asian calendar. Each piece is hand-sprayed with paint and lacquer, and then further hand-decorated by one of their expert craftsmen in Northern China. Established oriental techniques are used to construct and embellish the poplar and plywood furniture to ensure it is crafted to the highest standards. The careful attention to detail seen within The Nine Schoolsâ€™ range of handmade furniture demonstrates their passion and expertise. Previously supplying Harrods, Selfridges, House of Fraser, and John Lewis amongst others, The Nine Schools now retail independently from their online retail store with three new colour lines launching this year.
White Decorated Chinese Cabinet
Black Chinese Sideboard Large
Chinese Bookcase Blue
Small Chinese Cabinet Oyster
Small Chinese Cabinet Red
White Painted Trunk
Chinese Console Table Oyster Grey
Kandana Villas Luxury Villas in Maenam Hills Koh Samui
Kandana Villas are happy to announce our main sales office is now open for business. We are conveniently located in Samui Town Center in Bophut
Our highly experienced International team is made up of leading Development and Construction Specialists with over 60 years of combined experience. Our Sales Team, Construction & Site Engineers are all located un- der one roof and are ready to deliver the highest quality service and solutions for you.
Kandana Villas are located 5 minutes from Samuiâ€™s new Aqua Park, and also 5 minutesâ€™ drive from the internationally renowned Santiburi Golf Course, making our villas ideal for golf lovers and those looking to capitalise on rental opportunities from Golf Packages and Tours.
Prices at Kandana Villas start from just 6 million THB, and we offer 2, 3, 4, and 5 bedroom sea view villas with up to 5 years financing.
Here at Kandana we work closely with BDS (Building Design Studios) based in the UK and 2Architects Studio, a local design studio based here in Koh Samui. Both partners have been providing Kandana with innovative and environmentally sustainable architecture designs driven by function, clarity, and beauty whilst recognizing the ongoing strength in simple and elegant design solutions.
We also have high-end luxury villas in our Koh Samui portfolio, including a Sales and Rentals Department to round out our comprehensive product and service offering.
Kandana is a leader in Audio Visual and Home Automation Technologies. Kandana A/V has their finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest trends in Smart Home Solutions. For more information, please visit us in person at our Samui Town Center Offices or on the internet: www.kandanavillassamui.com | www.facebook.com/kandana.villas.koh.samui Office Phone: +66 (0)77 960 772 Office Mobile: +66 (0)93 637 5550 Email: email@example.com
Allow the gentle sea breeze to soothe your soul at the center of Bangrak beach at the all-new B.R.Sea weekend pool party. Serving a wide variety of International and Thai cuisine, with special promotions on selected cocktails and bottled beers - come and have fun in the sun with the whole family and enjoy paradise at its best. With a children friendly zone, adults and children of all ages are welcome. Located right on the beachfront, B.R.Sea Beach Club offers stunning views of the bayside all the way out to Ko Som and beyond. Enjoy safety and convenience with plenty of onsite parking, poolside dining and a private beach for sunbathing. Recline on a sun lounger and bask in Koh Samuiâ€™s spectacular summer days - why wait for evening to celebrate? Party all day on Saturday and Sunday with some chilled out tunes from some of the Islands most recognized DJs and monthly special events with international DJ & Artists. (Please like our facebook page to keep up to date with our special events). B.R.Sea Pool Party in Bangrak Beach invites you to join the new wave of weekend entertainment at their weekly pool party from 2pm every Saturday and Sunday.
B.R.Sea Beach Club
Website: www.brseabeachclub.com | E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org | Facebook : B R Sea beachclub Tel : +66 (0)77 425 330 | Moblie : +66 (0)90 489 9789
An idyllic island retreat hidden within a stunning tropical destination, W Retreat Koh Samui has truly marked out Samui as an exotic “must-see” with innovative architecture by MAPS Design Studio and interior design by P49 Deesign, this is a place intended to “light up the night.” With a hill separating its own peninsula of land from the rest of Koh Samui, W Retreat Koh Samui offers an escape within an escape for style-loving guests seeking extraordinary travel experiences.
A verdant coconut canopy, pristine private sands and warm island breezes await at W Retreat’s 74 private-pool villas equipped with up to 2044 square meters of pure luxury and every modern lifestyle innovation; including a private pool, daybeds, an outdoor shower, Yamaha sound system, 46-inch plasma screen TV, wine refrigerator, and the signature W bed. W Retreat Koh Samui is the first W in Southeast Asia, bringing an alluring new dimension to Thailand’s architectural and design scene through its location, forward-looking form, vibrant décor and contemporary lifestyle.
Reinventing the traditional hotel lobby is the Wâ€™s signature W Lounge, a stunning open space, bathed in stunning ocean vistas to welcome guests upon arrival. Here, guests experience interactive digital floor projections that give way to an oceanic environment accented with off-white terrazzo floors, high ceilings clad in angular bleached wood veneer panels, large bookshelves and oversized lamps. Key elements of the W lounge water feature and relaxing area were inspired by the beautiful shape of a lotus flower.
Open on three sides on the corner of a hillside, neighbouring WOOBAR offers 270-degree views of the Gulf of Thailand and the surrounding tropical forest. This nightlife highlight features a stunning floating DJ booth with graffiti walls by international street artist, Alec Monopoly, to inject a little New York energy into Koh Samui. The lifestyle events here reflect Wâ€™s passion for music, design and fashion.
A masterpiece of modern design, AWAY Spa comprises a magnificent 576 square meters of indoor and outdoor spa treatment areas that allow for total privacy and complete renewal, to detox, decompress, delight and refuel, while enveloped in an aura of peace, silent beauty and simple elegance. Next-door TONIC bar is the first ever Thaimazcal treatment facility. The first of its kind in Asia, the Thaimazcal treatment is unique and based on Mexican tribal rituals, using local Thai ingredients. As a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand and industry innovator the W Retreat is an Inspiring, iconic, and influential presence on the island. Providing the ultimate in insider access, locals and travellers alike enjoy a unique mix of cutting-edge design and a genuine passion for fashion, music and entertainment. W Retreat Koh Samui offers a holistic luxury lifestyle experience through contemporary restaurant concepts, glamorous entertainment experiences, stylish designs and signature spas.
PLUNGE INTO ZEN Words by: Caris Cruz
A vital commodity to every breathing creature, water pervades many aspects of our lives: from our inner beings, to our favoured dwellings.
Home water features invite the beauty and wonder of nature right into our most intimate spaces. The sound of the lapping water and or a tinkling of trickling droplets bathes us in a soothing state of Zen; a blissful embrace of peace and harmony. Created in many luxurious forms from baths to waterfalls, one can indulge in tranquility afforded by water-inspired spaces with utilities fit for function and decor. Water features add more to a property than just aesthetics. With the right installation, homeowners can upgrade their estate from wanting to wonderful. Take a look at the many possibilities of infusing water features into a home, and perhaps swim into the thought of splashing out on an upgrade or two.
"With the right installation, homeowners can upgrade their estate from wanting to wonderful."
A Warm Embrace A hot soak in a jacuzzi is just as luxurious as a spa day out. The bubbling warm water steaming from a large tiled tub is more than a quiet indulgence; the healing benefits have been proven for decades. Stress is relieved as bodies are submerged under the water. The throbbing of the joints and muscle pains subside in the massaging liquid movement within the tub. Slumber hours are improved by taking a satisfying dip before sleep. Jacuzzi baths are ideal for enjoying; a water feature that can be placed both indoors and outdoors and will add appeal to every property.
Dip Into An Endless Dream Homes with pools are ideal for young, fun-loving families that enjoy the outdoors. Basking under the sun, children and adults can revel in different water games while savouring grilled meals by the barbeque. It is a holiday experience within the confines of one's own property, a notion which lures many homeowners to purchase real estate with such a water feature. But regular constructed pools have soon lost their charm at the arrival of infinity pools, a contemporarily designed water feature that harmonizes seamlessly with every setting. Thanks to its edgeless form, infinity pools present an illusion of water eternally cascading, granting users the chance to widen their boundaries while swimming luxuriously in the crystal waters. A propertyâ€™s outdoor space can turn into genuine seaside scenery with this water feature intelligently installed.
Crystal Clear Drizzles A gorgeous installation of clear glass which reflects ones refined tastes, glass showers are a new bathroom feature taking over the modern home. One can enjoy a spacious cubicle with a hint of minimalist architecture, ignoring the need for shower curtains and revel in the open freedom in your personal bath time. Users can choose from a plethora of glass facades, from plain acrylics to gorgeously drawn crystal walls, making regular showers an opulent moment of pleasure day after day. Regular bathrooms turn into handsome, edgy spaces; reminding users of a hotel experience right within their own abode. Well-designed baths, incorporated with modern showers such as rain sprinklers and trendy tubs, are plus points in any home.
Whimsical Garden Reservoirs The constant gushing of water brings the magic of fairytales into any space. Fountains, if positioned correctly, create a regal dreamlike ambiance to any property as well as inviting the homeowner to explore their creativity. This water feature takes the spotlight for its quaint, oldworld charm, with the explosion of water reminding passersby to be one with nature. Its propinquity creates a calming effect; the beauty of the sculpture housing the sound of the rippling water. Avid hosts can turn regular outdoor corners into picturesque areas, making it a perfect spot for events, family bonding moments, or even perhaps even selfie sessions when entertaining guests. Fountains polish any propertyâ€™s appearance, giving a magical, elegant appeal with its drizzling geyser.
Love for Aquatic Life It has been strongly believed that Koi fish bring good luck to their master; a long-prevailing fable which has attracted many to adopt this marine life. Oriental legends branch out from one story to another, each tellng a narrative of how this whimsical swimming creature is of the gods. This belief is still embraced by many homeowners and fish enthusiasts, by which puddles and ponds are infused into landscape design to cater to this passion. But other than good luck and allure, Koi ponds reward homeowners with peace of mind as we allow our minds to wander with the lazy, winding path of the Koi's swim. The sight of these pools invite a sense of calmness and tranquillity, as if silently asking each human being to stop, take a breath, and be inspired by the beauty of natureâ€™s creations. Koi ponds are a natural attraction in homes, and current landscape arrangements allow a running stream of water for the fishes to roam freely around a courtyard water feature.
A Romantic Cascade Waterfalls have been present in many European homes since the 20th century, a long-standing water feature that is still used in many homes today. Torrents of thin, clear water splash down, meter by meter; adding a dramatic view within blank spaces. When hidden within a garden, waterfalls recreate a miniature version of a well-preserved forest. It is best paired with a pond or a pool, emulating the unending course of natural rapids down into rivers and lakes. This water feature redesigns a busy, modern ambience into something more laidback; captivating the homeowners imagination, calling them to relax and rest, to slow down and ease into serenity. Modern waterfalls can be as elaborate as sculpted rocky rivers, or as downplayed as thinner cascading drizzles. Both can be positioned inside a home or outdoors, with each type suitable for many different lifestyles.
Humdrum indoors and landscapes turn into melodramatic backdrops when equipped with water features. Honed with different orientations, water takes the spotlight as the element of life. It encourages creativity, promotes healing and welcomes tranquillity; blessing homes with a much-needed harmony that negates the adverse effects of modern lifestyle. The presence of water is a step towards wellness, both inward and outward; its dripping melody relaxes tension and reduces unfavourable thoughts and emotions. Water features refine our relationship with the elements; allowing one to admire, interact and dwell intimately with the beauty of nature.
WEEKEND AWAY: Phuket Words & Photos by: Saifuddin Ismailji
Despite the fact that Phuket is swarming with visitors, there are places in the sun that achieve a feeling of solitude, and for the most avant garde local and universal vacationer, this big island is a geological cake, dipped in 32 other islands with influences of Malay and Burmese culture. Clubbed together with activities like sailing, diving, kayaking and jungle exploration; Phuket is sprinkled with talcum white sandy beaches and heaving with thespian green hills. A landmark destination spiced up with Thai and international cuisines, add to it live musical evenings and finally serve in a luxury abode garlanded with modernity - head here to devour an unforgettable experience.
A derivative of Malay word: Bukit, meaning hill, another name for Phuket is found in Thai literature: Phu (mountain) and Ket meaning Jewel. Formerly known as Thalang, a Malay word meaning ‘cape’ or Jung Ceylon, an alteration of Malay word Tanjung Salang - Phuket was on the map of major trading routes between India and China but first became known by western navigators in mid 1700. Thalang National Museum Phuket offers an insight into Phuket’s ancient and modern history.
Located on the south-west shores of Thailand about 863 kilometres (536 miles) from Bangkok, the big island (576 sq. kilometers/ 222 sq. miles) with a population of 600,000, is revamping their slice of paradise with new high net worth resorts and estate developments alongside the existing first-class hotels. International flights from many countries arrive direct at Phuket International Airport, including frequent Thai Airways and Air Asia flights from Bangkok with an average flight time of 1hr 15 min. VIP Coach service with ever popular overnight train journey from Bangkok takes about 12 hours (Cost from Baht 900). There are 5 flights departing daily from Koh Samui to Phuket on Bangkok Airways.
The 48 kilometres (30 miles) long (North to South) and 21 kilometres (13 miles) wide Island has no shortage of companies that offer tours and activities, among the favourites being island hopping tours, diving and snorkeling to explore the wonderful world underwater, elephant safari, 4X4 drive to jungle exploration, the showstopping Phuket Fantasea - not to mentiom the Water Park at the Centara Grand Westsands Resort. Kanok Travels Karon (Old Phuket Street) is a one-window operation that will take care of all your travel and tour arrangements and bus or boat transfers. Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai islands in the picturesque Phangan Bay area can be easily reached by hiring a speedboat or even a long-tail boat, though the latter can be time consuming. On a day trip, repeat travelers regard these islands as window into Phuketâ€™s past. Paradise Beach Resort and Spa sits on a secluded corner of Koh Yao Noi â€“ as if a page torn out of the epic novel Robinson Crusoe. The Resort on a beautiful location caters a villa bed-down, equipped with modern amenities and offers a comprehensive dining experience in a couple of restaurants. Local taxi boats navigate between the two islands, which cost about 100 baht one way per person. Hiring a bike is the best way to go around Koh Yao Yai. The Heimat Garden Homestay & Restaurant/ Farm make an agreeable place to rest and savour homemade dishes. There is a frequent public ferry from Koh Yao Yai to Phuket, which takes about 2 hours.
Phuket rates among the preferred destinations for wellness travelers. Atmanjai is the only Beachfront Spa Wellness Center based on the philosophy of body cleansing through the processes of the digestive system. According to Izzy (Director): “Food is your best medicine, And it (this medicine) is your best food”. Expert therapists like Khun Timmy ensure restoration of health through healing hands, which apply the process of cleansing that need to go through different levels which helps the body to heal. www.atmanjai.com
" The island is world renowned as Asia’s gourmet seafood destination and no visit is complete without experiencing traditionally prepared Thai seafood recipes at these recommended places: "
The @ Beach Bar & Restaurant at the Kata Beach Resort and Beyond Resort Karon - both overlooking the turquoise green Andaman Sea, will tease your taste buds into an addiction, each time tempting you to try something new from the menu. Do not miss the Lamb Shank (Chef’s Recommendation) and Duck in Red Thai curry at the former, and sumptuous BBQ evenings with live music at the latter. Nothing could be as rewarding as sitting in the restaurant overlooking the sea, sipping a gourmet coffee or young coconut – the perfect drink rich in electrolytes - hydrating after a hot day. The bar makes a variety of cocktails to your desire through the day till late in the evening. Raw Café by Atsumi is about 3 kilometers from Chalong roundabout on Rawai Road and is a unique place for healthy dining. Everything served here is organic. A carefully created menu is based on vegan and raw vegetarian food including variety of health drinks. Try some of the innovative vegetarian dishes like burritos, pizza, salads - the rich chocolate cake served with organic coffee or herbal tea is outstanding. www.atsumihealing.com/raw-cafe
Other recommended restaurants are Le Bayon Restaurant Karon (Phuket Orchid Resort) serving Thai and International Buffet and a la carte; Suan Bua contemporary Thai Restaurant at the Centara Grand West Sands Resort; Cefalu Italian Restaurant (try the Spaghetti Allo Scoglio!) located near the Best Western Hotel Tel: Indian Curry Club (ICC Chef’s favorite: Haryali and Resham kebab) located in Soi San Sabai, Ratuthit, Pee Road; Seabreeze Restaurant Karon (Woraburi Resort) popular for Thai curry recipes and woodfire pizzas); SandWish (Old Phuket street) Karon, famous for its gourmet coffee and snack food. Phuket is also well known for top quality custom tailored suit and dress making. Highly recommended by travelers is Island Creation Suit, a master in overnight stitching who always meets the satisfaction of the customer. They have an impressive selection of imported material at the shop and also sell readymade outfits in the shop next door. phuketdir.com/islandcreationsuit
Traditional Phuket Festivals 2015: • • • • •
Vegetarian Festival or Nine Emperor gods Festival end September. Ghost Festival or Pho To Festival, middle day of the 7th Chinese lunar month Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, December (1st week) Phuket Travel Fair/ Patong Carnival, 01 Nov Chao Le (Sea Gypsy) Boat Floating Festival, Mid of sixth and 11th Lunar months annually
Phuket may have lost that traditional magic appeal of genuine hospitality due to mass tourism and commercialized activities; the island is however, blessed with a number of die hard gurus in the service industry - committed to a philosophy of service with a smile, seeking to encourage visitors mentally, physically and spiritually by engaging them in a stimulating travel experience. With the ongoing trend of luxury pool-villas, accommodation in Phuket comes in a range of categories - from five star lavish and comfortable abodes to budget guest houses. Kata Beach Resort & Spa is the high-end resort on one of Phuket’s finest: Kata Beach. It features a unique orchid garden that sprawls the interior of the building radiate warmth and beauty. The Resort’s central location, right on the beach makes it a preferred address for leisure travelers, with an option of choosing either a pool-access room or a room with the view of the sea. The Kanda Spa offers a menu with a variety of therapy treatments including Foot Reflexology. www.katagroup.com/kata-beach
The Beyond Resort Karon was recently renovated as an exclusive couples’ only hideaway (no children allowed) on the finest stretch of Karon Beach with a rocky peninsula. Each of its 80 rooms is designed in contemporary Thai style, tastefully trimmed in 4-star amenities and as of this year, most of the rooms will also cater Capsule Coffee Machines. The Resort also has easy access to shops and travel services. www.katagroup.com/beyond-karon
Phuket Orchid Resort & Spa is a 525 room oasis for family fun and recreation with its 3 pools, uniquely characterized with the all seeing eyes of the 4 Bayon statues. The spa at the resort offers massage treatments in its well appointed rooms for the ultimate relaxation and wellbeing of the visitor. There is a host for numerous recreation activities for children including a babysitting service. www.katagroup.com/phuketorchid
Serenity Resort & Residences Phuket at Rawai Beach offers spacious suites with 5 star luxuries and have a balcony looking out toward the beach and sea. This resort includes a chic beachfront lounge, East 88, a spa and fitness center. At the restaurant, buffet breakfast comprises a choice of healthy food that will stock you up with a good deal of energy in taking up an active day. www.serenityphuket.com
The newest on the Island - the Best Western Patong Beach Hotel is located amidst Phuketâ€™s shopping and dining district. There cannot be a more suitable accommodation if you have an agenda on shopping, night parties and variety dining. Very reasonably priced, stylish rooms with a balcony affords the view of Patong City. Mana Restaurant at the lobby floor rolls out a nutritious buffet breakfast each morning. www.bestwesternpatongbeach.com
ELECTRIC KUALA LAMPUR Words & Pictures by: Saifuddin Ismailji
Life is a series of journeys and I step forward in perfect rhythm, breaking up my travels with glimpses of beauty, participating in festivals and taking joy in meeting new people. In Malaysia I relaxed by indulging in adventure activities, spending time with nature to explore deep into the wilderness; and sampling cultures to savour native and modern culinary delights.
Witnessing one of the fastest economic growth rates in history over the past 30 years, Malaysia’s cultural epicentre has all the sensations, colours and ingredients for a heartwarming experience and much can be found right here at the gateway - Kuala Lumpur (KL), a metropolitan capital built with a fabric of multi-racial communities, closely knit and laced together in harmony. On the wings of Malaysian Airlines, I fly from Bangkok and as the day bleeds into darkness, I hear the announcement of the flight approaching to land at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). Holding a VIP passage from airport to the city, I am assisted to embark the KLIA Ekspres Train that darts without stops to the Sentral Station in 20 minutes and there on, a limo takes me to my comfort zone at the JW Marriott KL, Jalan Bukit Bintan which is linked with the city’s iconic shopping landmark: Starhill Gallery – the 4th best Shopping Destination in the world and among the Top Ten places to visit, says the NY Times. I am fortunate to have had the chance to visit Malaysia many times in the past 20 years. Through the thick and thin of time, Malaysians never lost their sense of joie de vivre and I always find myself caught up in their web of excitement - from exploring the deep jungles and tribes of Sarawak, to venturing across the windswept and ocean-tattered landscape of Sabah. Even the sublime beaches of Langkawi beckon as I wander in astonishment at the sights of open museums in historic towns. Here ghosts of the past prowl along the cobbled streets that lead to old doorways and arches with occasional white washed buildings of old fashioned elegance, its interiors - on broken wings of time, tell the tales of ancient laurels. But, when I am in the capital, I always take time for some cultural festivals on stage or attending prime travel shows or symposiums like PATA and ATF as a delegate, as that’s always an occasion when the whole of Malaysia gathers together in high performing spirits with an amazing display of ethnic diversity. Within these mixed cultures lies the very secret of a rich culinary scene - a source of delight and a doorway into the subtle delicious flavours of Malaysia that reach the gourmand’s table in tasteful presentation.
During this recent travel to KL I am in the mood for flowing with the tide of luxury, locked on to my itinerary as I attend the annual extravagant shopping festival - now in its 8th year: A Journey Through Time. With 30,000 Sq.feet of exhibition space, the Starhill Gallery plays host to this 8-day Festival - Asiaâ€™s largest show for luxury timepieces and jewelry on a grand scale. (www.starhillgallery.com) Over 125 luxury brands of watches and jewelry battle to win a buyerâ€™s attention at this iconic shopping center in Kuala Lumpur, and here, ornate large windows on the first floor offer a peak into highlife luxury creations dominated by jewelry, watches and perfume brands.
The festivities began with the sound of the traditional gong at the opening gala night staged by the Ritz Carlton and hosted by Tourism Malaysia & Culture. Chic models displayed to the invitees 17 luxury watch and jewelry pieces for the very first time. While the food is served on the table, we are entertained by UKâ€™s multiple award winning classical artist â€“ Laura Wright. In her very young age, she has sold over a million cumulative albums. She captures the admiration of the audience and myself. We applaud each brilliantly rendered song in rich mezzo-soprano pitch that has won the heart of millions, feasting on food for the soul.
Gourmands delighted in a taste of Malaysian cuisines as well as international dishes, prepared by Executive Chef Matthew One, during gala dinners at the Shook Restaurant through the whole week of festivities, which were lavishly hosted in turn by Tourism Malaysia, Jaeger LeCoultre, Ceres, HYT and Bedat & Co. Each evening, the dinner and show staged fashion parades with elegant models demonstrating luxury sets of watches and jewelry while live performances enthralled the diners. The Bollywood Gala Night by Ceres Jewelers starred the famed Indian actress: Karishma Kapoor in the company of other beauty pageant winners, along with an Indian music troupe that featured Malaysian artists performing popular songs. At the closing night dinner, awards were presented in the company of dignitaries including DG Tourism Malaysia and addressed by VP YTL (Lands/ Hotels) Joseph Yeoh aptly stating,
"Time is the most valuable thing that a person can spend,”
Before announcing the winners in the categories of Favourite Ladies' Watch (Bedat & Co.), Favourite Men's Watch (HYT H1 Dracula), Watch with Complications In Movement (Ulysse Nardin watch "Stranger"), Starhill Gallery "Timeless Jewellery” (Gerrard), Judges Choice Award (Speake Marin), YTL Spirit of Classical Art Award (Cecil Pernell), and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture Malaysia Award (Damiani). Singer Carly Paoli from the UK graced the evening with her beautiful performance. The sprawling Feast Village, located one floor down in the JW Marriott Lobby, boasts one of City’s hottest dining venues with some award winning restaurants. This luxurious food patio plays host to more than a dozen restaurants including Shook (western and modern cuisine), Santidas, Luk Yu Tea House (Chinese), award winning Enak Restaurant (Best Halal Malay Restaurant), Kaihomaru Japanese, Vansh Indian, Jake’s Charbroil steaks, Tiffen Bay jazz lounge, and Fisherman’s Cove, which features an innovative fresh seafood menu and desserts – the lava chocolate cake is a highlight – all served in a boathouse-like restaurant that radiates warmth and is imaginatively arranged with bamboo furniture, simulated sails, masts and nets. The Village misses Arabian cuisine and for a tang of authentic Lebanese cuisine, I found another awarded place close by: Al Amar Lebanese Restaurant, opposite the Starhill across the road in a building on level 6.
After the festival, I take some time out for a city roundup and while I wait for the taxi outside the Starhill Gallery, a by-stander taps my shoulder and tells me a better way to get around the city on the newly introduced GO-KL Free Bus, and so I hop on with this friendly local. I was on the ‘purple line” to the Central Market – the oldest traditional market in KL with a bee line of shops like “Heritage”, “Little Kashmir” and many more selling colorful batik, KL souvenirs, carpets, cashmere shawls and everything else from paintings to fancy jewelry all mixed into cafes and road side food stalls.
" A place frozen in time where life plays out in sun-stricken, pastel-hued wooden stilt houses garlanded by purple and pink bougainvilleas "
Next, I hop on the GO-KL green line and get off at the Petronas Twin Towers – a landmark that I must visit on all my visits to Malaysia, and each time, whether it rains or shines, it’s worth returning to. Any journey to Malaysia would be incomplete without meandering through the narrow lanes of Little India, China Town and Kampung Baru - the latter, a Malay village; a place frozen in time where life plays out in sun-stricken, pastel-hued wooden stilt houses garlanded by purple and pink bougainvilleas. These are the places that elucidate the country’s past with their present multi-national character. During the Colonial rule, while the locals Malay’s had a laid back lifestyle growing rice, the rulers imported manpower from China to foster trading and labour from India for the rubber plantations.
"At Truefitt & Hill is the worldâ€™s oldest luxury grooming for over two centuries, enjoyed by Charles Dickens, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant"
Spa culture in KL began about a decade ago however, day spas are not found as in abundance as in the neighbour countries like Thailand and Indonesia. Most of the high-end hotels offer spa facilities and Mandara Spa at the Sheraton Imperial KL has a stimulating menu. They offer a range of massage therapies and spa programs with a combination of treatments like the Mandara Massage combined with the signature Face of Mandara â€“ a pure natural facial, which uses only high quality products by Mandara Spa. Other treatments includes the Warm Stone Therapy that massages the full body to ease travel-weary muscles and joints. The popular Balinese Massage (also called Aroma Therapy) is an altogether relaxing experience. The signature Mandara Massage is a must-try that applies a fusion of 5 different massage therapy techniques: Shiatsu, Thai, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Swedish and Balinese. The harmonization of the 4-hands massage makes this a rejuvenating experience that lulls the body back into fine tune. www.sheratonimperialkualalumpur.com/mandaraspa
A night at the Majestic Hotel, offered a glimpse of the colonial elite lifestyle in the 1930’s. KL’s first ever premier class hotel became the favourite address for the local nobles, colonial elites, state guests and notable celebrities until its closure in 1983. For fifty years the building housed government offices until recently reopened as a YTL Classic Hotel after extensive renovation. Today the hotel resonates the past grandeur with a dash of modern luxury for added appeal. Allocated with the butler serviced Governor Suite – stepping inside, I am inspired by the classic proportion and trimmings – even the music of the 60’s and beyond enhanced the mien of the spacious abode. The window of my living room perfectly framed the Moorish style heritage Railway Station building, right opposite the hotel. The simple yet elegant bedroom with a comfy bed, proffered a nostalgic feel and the attached bathroom had a cordial supply of organic body care products. My bed down at the Majestic Wing of the hotel offers services and facilities including Truefitt & Hill. This is renown as the world’s oldest luxury gentlemen’s grooming spanning more than two centuries, offering services par excellence including the Royal Cut, enjoyed by such infamous customers as Charles Dickens, Alfred Hitchcock, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant. The Orchid Conservatory serving Afternoon Tea daily is an intimate dining experience with a hanging garden blooming with thousands of orchids - lavish to say the least. Tea Lounge with connecting Colonial Café (restaurant) are set in halcyon style, where the menu offers authentic classical cuisines including the signature starter shrimp cocktail, soup of the day, fragrant rice with poached chicken as main course and finishing off with the divine chocolate dessert with berries.
The old part of the building (Majestic Wing) with a large pool area is carefully extended with the Tower Wing, which includes in the lobby a gold leaf ceiling and a dazzling chandelier, 253 tastefully trimmed rooms, a huge pillar-free ballroom, swimming pool and a fully serviced contemporary luxury seating restaurant – Contango. Here an open kitchen buffet is available with cooking demonstrations, offering freshly prepared to order dishes from traditional Malay, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Western cuisines including a pizza oven and Churassco Grill. According to the F&B, their “2000 bottle wine cellar includes the exclusive Opus One vertical collection of wine created through a collaboration between Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi”. www.majestickl.com The Majestic's ideal location is in close proximity to tourist attractions including KL’s historical mile and significant sites of Jamik Masjid, Islamic Arts Museum, National Museum, Lake Gardens and Bird and Butterfly Parks. In the outskirts, do not miss out on a splash of fun at the Sunway Lagoon Waterpark that offers, among many attractions, the World’s Largest ManMade Surf Beach and the World’s Largest Water Ride. www.sunwaylagoon.com/waterpark.asp
KL is the hub that opens a full spectrum of magnificent holiday destinations in Malaysia and thanks to Air Asia departing from Surat Thani â€œnow everyone can flyâ€?. Never forget the trip from KL could lead to some further delightful distant places like Sarawak, Sabah or Langkawi which could cost as little as under US$ 50, when booking is done well ahead of time.
Unique Boat Trips Private Charter Day Trips Sunset Trips
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Tel : +66 (0)91 034 3244 Email : email@example.com TAT - License : NO. 32/00492
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Spotlight On: Juck Somsaman Reanimating The Homeland Words by CARIS CRUZ
His name is on the credits of many animation-based blockbusters in Hollywood; a long, impressive list which includes superhero flicks like Batman Forever, Daredevil and Superman Returns. He has also lent his graphic design skills in making fun, live-action movies for kids and kids-at-heart; there's Dr. Seuss' Cat in the Hat, Garfield, Night at the Museum and Rango, just to name a few. But it doesn't end there. Suponwich "Juck" Somsaman has many more animated movies under his belt; all of which are noteworthy, memorable and well acclaimed. But every hero comes back to his homeland, at some point. After swimming to the shores of Hollywood's animation scene and rising up through the waves, Juck Somsaman plucked up his courage and decided to start anew, back here, in Thailand. Carrying with him seeds of ideas he gathered from his experiences abroad, he was eager to find new opportunities and prospects into which he could sow and harvest a new generation of animation geniuses. He resolved to cultivate a field. In 2006, Somsaman founded Monk Studios, an animation studio and visual effects boutique based in Thailand, as a primary ground for discovering and nurturing digital graphic talents and turns them into world-renowned animators. Enlisting help from his friends and colleagues in the U.S., Somsaman nurtures budding artistic talent with different animation methods and the latest technology in the digital field. Soon after a splash onto the scene, Monk Studios whipped up several forms of visual magic to enchant Thais with expressive, colourful adventures as they were lured into the animation world. Juck Somsaman's goal is to establish Thailand as one of the best flourishing animation spots in Asia. Using homegrown creatives in content and production, his main motivation is to provide inspiring avenues for the younger generation of talents to be utilized. Monk Studios steadily pushes forward with big dreams, and it will be no surprise that the international market will soon gaze at Thailandâ€™s visual design industry with fascination, and a big round of applause.
Spotlight On: Thakoon Panigchul Thailandâ€™s Son Of Global Couture Words by CARIS CRUZ
He grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, but there is no doubt that Thakoon Panigchul is Thailand's own. The man behind the world-renown fashion label has slowly charmed the couture industry with his intelligent apparel construction and playful prints, warmly laden with detailed accents and billowing, ethereal fabrics. His talent for fashion is probably rooted in his motherâ€™s own profession; a seamstress originally based in Bangkok. As a child, Thakoon watched her sewing process, and was utterly fascinated at how the fabrics were put together to assemble a fine piece of a dapper coat. Fashion was his first love, but it wasn't his first choice, career-wise. He finished his business degree at Boston University before he concluded that his heart yearned for something more tangible in textiles. His first landing in the fashion industry was as an associate features editor in Harper's Bazaar; however, there again came a familiar feeling that pushed him to move onto the next step: designing. After graduating at Parsons New School of Design in 2003, Panigchul bravely launched his first collection a year later, debuting under his very own label, Thakoon. He was 29, received no apprenticeship from any designer, and solely relied on his own aesthetics. But from that fearless day forward, he journeyed into the fashion scene with great leaps and bounds; he never looked back. Whether by fortune, or some undisclosed conspiracy of the universe, Panigchul was discovered by Vogue's infamous Editor; Anna Wintour; in his humble beginnings. His bright, vivid patterns swirling over well-constructed dresses and coats soon found their way into the market, and into the closets of many celebrities including among his first customers, Michelle Obama.
To date, the Thakoon brand is warmly embraced by the sparkly, high-end fashion world. Each design piece is clean, distinct and can easily be blended with other items from another collection. Panigchul manages to let his gift shine brilliantly on those who wear them; with tasteful cuts and construction, entirely inspired by the modern women of todayâ€™s world.
Spotlight On: Santi Lawrachawee Speaking The Language Of Art Words by CARIS CRUZ
If art was a native dialect, Santi Lawrachawee speaks it rather eloquently. Constructing designs with more than just a brush, he makes use of different mediums to communicate a story as he allows onlookers to freely ponder, discern and react. His menagerie of visual narratives tickles the audience's curiosity in a fresh, uncommon method that makes their exploration memorable. The word 'typical' is not his favourite. Growing up in a world where children are moulded into the same, straight cast, he decided to go against the flow of his family's expectations. There was nothing beside him but Japanese animation, Hindu and Chinese mythological books and music from The Beatles. However, a string of epiphanies followed when his creativity was uncovered by a logo competition, and Lawrachawee considers it as a turning point in his career. "This was something that stayed with me and make a decision toward this path." And on this creative path, he prospered. Time allowed him to refine his tastes and inspirations, giving him different choices on how to transfer emotions and expressions into a perceptible story. "It is like an equation that I find the correlation between things I think about and things I have," he states, describing his thought process. "I find ways to visually express it, translating it in a particular degree that I want to communicate, depending on the context." Now a prominent name in the local and global art scene, Lawrachawee uses his visual compositions to depict various chronicles of society. He has joined hands with the Thai Health Promotion Foundation, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC) and has facilitated design conferences in and out of the country. Currently, Santi Lawrachawee is the head of Practical Design, a home-grown studio focusing on visual communication. He also contributes in developing young art fledglings in Thailand's most outstanding schools, including Bangkok University. Lawrachawee's aim is to stimulate the local design community; inviting them to speak about their different disciplines, to reach out and rouse the world to creative inspiration.
Waterproof Wearables The experts in wearable technology from Wareable.com give us their run down of some of the best waterproof and water resistant smartwatches and fitness trackers:
Asus ZenWatch Water resistant to splashes and drips The ZenWatch is light and thin combining an elegant design with great specifications that are ideal for both men and women. The retro watch face isnâ€™t as vibrant as more expensive rivals, but it has all the Android Wear features you need. From time telling or notifications from your smartphone, this comes with a delightful leather strap as standard.
Sony Smart Watch 3 Waterproof to 1m of water for 30 minutes New for 2015, the stainless steel version of the SmartWatch 3 ups the style stakes from last year’s rubber design. The SmartWatch 3 offers two days of battery life and built-in GPS that doesn't rely on your smartphone, which is great for runners who want to track their activity without their phone to hand.
Apple Watch Water-resistant The much-anticipated Apple Watch is rumoured to launch in Spring 2015. Once partnered with your iPhone, you will be able to make and receive phone calls, communicate with other Apple Watch wearers and receive notifications. It also works to keep you fit and includes a heart rate sensor, counts steps and floors climbed. It’s lightweight and features a sharp, bright retina display, which comes in two sizes. Other features include Apple Pay and Siri, Apple’s voice activated assistant.
Misfit Shine Waterproof up to 50m This coin-sized tracker counts steps as well as recording sports such as cycling, running and - thanks to its waterproofing - swimming. The six months of battery life is one of the best in the business, and unlike other fitness trackers, you can record activities such as dance, tennis, swimming, yoga and cycling. As well as top fitness tracking, Shine will also keep tabs on your sleep, giving you feedback on your night-time performance.
Garmin Swim Waterproof up to 50m
Garmin Fenix 2 Waterproof up to 50m
The Garmin Swim is a great unisex wearable, perfect for all indoor swimmers. Just enter the length of the swimming pool and it will auto-detect the stroke, lengths, total distance, time per 100m, and calories burnt. The Garmin Swim gives you a SWOLF (a golf like par score for strokes per length) score to tell you how efficiently you swim. The lower the SWOLF, the better the swimmer.
The Garmin Fenix 2 is capable of tracking almost any activity from swimming, running, mountaineering, to indoor workouts, hiking, cycling, fishing and even cross country skiing. It will keep tabs on your distance and pace using the 50 hours of GPS tracking, and display all your data in the superb Garmin Connect app. Heart rate monitoring is measured via a chest strap that also reveals a host of in-depth running stats from cadence to vertical oscillation.
Monster iSport Intensity In-Ear Headphones with Control Talk Mic/Remote The exciting Monster iSport Intensity will galvanize sports enthusiasts who want a headphone truly made for an athlete, delivering pure Monster sound while keeping the wearer tuned into their surroundings. No need to remove the headphone to hear traffic or chat with workout buddies, Intensity adds a whole new level of convenience and versatility, without any sacrifice in audio quality. Monster iSport Intensity channels all the audio adrenaline needed for a workout and features a new patented SportClip offering maximized comfort and an unprecedented noslip fit that helps ensure the headphones will not fall out, no matter the conditions. Additionally, Monster’s ultra-durable cable and reinforced “strain relief” keeps the cord secure, even during the most rigorous workouts. Washable with antimicrobial eartips, sweatproof, and UV-protected, iSport Intensity is tough enough for the most amped-up workouts-indoors or out.
Under Armour storm Jacket This jacket is incredibly light, using UA Storm water-resistance so it can take on practically any condition. If you run outdoors, you want this. UA Storm gear uses a DWR finish to repel water without sacrificing breathability. The smooth woven fabric delivers protection that won’t weigh you down with a mesh-back rear vent for added breathability, secure mesh hand pockets, elastic cuffs, reflective logos, cuffs & piping for greater visibility on low-light runs.
Under Armour compression running tights UA compression tights do a lot more for runners than merely cut down on drag - they power your muscles to help you run faster & further. The tough, smooth stretch fabric delivers unrivalled UA Compression and 4-way stretch fabrication allows greater mobility in any direction. The Signature Moisture Transport System wicks sweat away from the body while anti-odour technology prevents the growth of odour-causing microbes. These tights also feature a zippered back pocket and reflective logos & graphics for safer low-light runs.
Swimming: Speedo Aqua Beat 2.0 Underwater 4GB MP3 Player Speedo's Aqua Beat underwater MP3 player puts a soundtrack to your swimming. Thanks to its waterproof design, you can listen to your favourite songs at the beach, by the pool and even in the water. Speedo's Aqua Beat has an innovative design to make it possible for you to swim to a beat, a known motivator for exercise. There's a small screen so you can easily select a song and shuffle option to get a range of tunes. There's also an FM radio tuner so you can listen to your favourite station. The Aqua Beat has a clip on the back, allowing you to fasten it onto your goggles or swimwear. Conveniently, if you drop it, it just floats on the surface of the water.
ANANDA SOUL CREATIONS
To wear these stunningly curved adornments is to be reminded of the blessing of life gifted to us and to celebrate this gift by living our dreams, reaching for our souls highest purpose and completely embracing your beautiful self in the perfect form Pachamama has created in you. Fashioning beauty in the world does not stop here; purchasing the ‘Love of my Soul’ earrings helps a street child in Bali go to school. www.anandasoulcreations.com
Divinely feminine, “Love of My Soul” earrings are designed to remind your soul of its sacred purpose. The beautiful organic shape of these earrings is available in Sterling Silver or 22kt Gold Vermeil and comes wrapped in a choice of sparkling Aquamarine, Rose Quartz or Rhodolite beads. In the center floats a sacred ornament representing Pachamama, the mother earth, with all her power, abundance, grace and infinite love.
Through ethical production and full integrity, Ananda Soul jewelry recognizes the light in every person involved in their creation, empowering local Balinese women to create a bright future filled with hope, education, opportunity and prosperity employed in the production of jewelry – as well as helping Balinese street children and deeply honoring the Balinese culture.
Beautiful Bali-based ethical luxury jewelry brand, Ananda Soul Creations, aims to empower women by offering lovingly crafted pieces inspired by spiritual practices, yogic philosophy and ancient traditions. Designed to reflect women's natural beauty and strength, each piece is individually blessed with conscious gems by a Balinese priest, with Sanskrit mantras and affirmations, each carries with it a unique inspirational meaning.
BURG® 27, the first all stainless steel smartwatch.
Available in Stainless Steel, Rose Gold Stainless Steel IP, and Black Stainless Steel IP, the roundshaped BURG 27 marries an over 20 year history of BURG lifestyle fashion experience by Hermen van den Burg with the most advanced wearable technology in the industry. Part of the 2015 BURG Wearables Collection, the BURG 27 is the first smartwatch to offer the new advanced Media Tek Chip; newest Android 4.4 OS with voice activation; Health/Sleep Apps; full Internet browsing; streaming music and video; GPS, Twitter, Facebook, Skype and much more – all with 30% more energy efficiency for a longer battery life. The fashion forward BURG 27 smartwatch functions as a standalone phone, with the ability to make and receive calls and texts without linking to a smartphone. It also includes the new Android 4.4 OS to connect to all Android phones, as well as iOS and other smartphones through Bluetooth. It offers all the functions of a smartphone – phone calls, text, music content, streaming music and video, 2 MP camera, calendar, 1,500 contact list, voice recording, social media, etc. in a fashionable round, stainless steel 48mm size with a 240 x 240 resolution scratch and water resistant touchscreen, todays preferred watch style choice. Designed and founded by lifestyle products designer, Hermen van den Burg, the BURG smartwatch phone is flawlessly designed and provides a fusion of form and function that seamlessly integrates with your luxury lifestyle, rather than forcing you to adapt to it.
LUXURY MOTORS Extex Super Yacht Fabric 142
With a company history steeped in Harrods and British Aerospace to Royal Households and English Heritage, Extex have recently developed a new range called Solar: a pioneering glow-in-the-dark fabric inspired by the ethereal nature of galaxies and star systems. Furnishing the most exclusive superyachts in the world for more than 20 years, Extex fabrics and cushions combine outstanding performance with a luxurious feel; made using advanced yarn technology to offer water repellent, stain resistant, light fast, pre-shrunk and machine washable fabrics. The printing ink contains â€˜photo-luminescentâ€™ particles, which utilise solar energy to absorb light when exposed and emit light when the surroundings are darkened.
Pushing the boundaries of innovation and design, here we feature a plain short pile chenille available in 34 colours in Mull Moss and Solar by day, dusk, night and candlelight. Solarâ€™s galactic spiral design is available in three light colour options; sandy hued Mars, icy grey tones in Neptune and cloudy creams in Venus. www.extex.co.uk Nirvana Yacht Photography: M.Y. NIRVANA - SAM SORGIOVANNI DESIGNS
LUXURY MOTORS Fiennes Restoration
hen on a quest to find the 'best car in the world' many would look no further than Rolls-Royce: the pinnacle of engineering excellence, beautiful design and a prestigious brand matched by none - the most luxurious driving experience ever created.
What then of the best of the best? Which is the finest Rolls-Royce in the world? Doubtless there are several contenders for the crown. However, beyond the Silver Ghosts and Phantoms we have found a wholly unique, perfectly crafted and elegant Rolls-Royce which certainly warrants consideration.
" She has been owned by royalty, credited with saving the lives of her owners, survived an encounter with bears, been submerged in Lake Geneva and witnessed the liberation of Rome. "
Having been lost for decades she has now finally been restored to her former glory with no expense spared by the world-renowned firm of Fiennes Restoration. Classic Cars magazine has described her as "The most glamorous and perfectly-proportioned Rolls-Royce 20/25 ever built". Her name is GRW59, the chassis number Rolls-Royce gave her at birth, and it is thanks to the vision and skill of her owner and restorers, Richard Raynsford and Will Fiennes, that she survives today. These pages tell her story.
A decade-long hunt Richard Raynsford’s decade-long hunt, and 30 year fascination with GRW59 started in 1985; he was listening to his motherin-law Felcie Evill reminisce about the Rolls-Royce that her husband, Brigadier Tom Evill DSO CBE, had bought in Austria in 1948 and brought back to England. Raynsford’s interest was piqued: perhaps it was Felcie’s tone of voice, as well as the car’s disappearance, or a mention of a mysterious prince who once owned it, but he became determined to find the motorcar which had been owned by his wife’s family. All I had, was an old photograph of GRW59, the Rolls-Royce drop-head coupé which had been so loved by the father-inlaw I never met,’ remembers Raynsford. Raynsford started piecing together the car’s long and complicated history but the weave of time could not be untangled until 1996. He placed that old photo in the Rolls-Royce Bulletin and by astonishing coincidence, a Lee Noble of Seattle, in the next issue of the same Bulletin, put a photo of the same car, from the same angle; with the car sitting in his garage, Lee Noble was asking for information about it. Incredibly, neither Noble nor Raynsford saw each other’s articles, but it was a third eagle-eyed enthusiast who alerted them to each other’s existence. The decades lost in America are an obscure time in the car’s life, yet Raynsford’s relentless efforts to piece the car’s lifetime fragments together have yielded exceptional results, and the coincidences do not stop at its discovery, forlorn and neglected, in Seattle. ‘Being reunited with this mythical car after a ten-year search was a highly emotional moment’ admits Raynsford. In January 1997 he flew to an icy Seattle to buy back the car. ‘There was snow thick on the ground, and she was there sitting in pieces.’ Together with Noble, Raynsford packed up the car and its ancillaries. She arrived back in her birthplace two months later, ready for her next wave of adventures, with even more coincidences to follow.
Bodies crafted by the finest artisans of the day A little known fact about early Rolls-Royce motorcars was that specialist coachbuilders, from across the world, built the bodies. This allowed the owner to commission truly bespoke cars, yet another way to display their taste and wealth. GRW59's current body was modelled by Hermann Graber, one of the most famous coachbuilders of his day. Born in 1904, he was the son of a wheelwright and builder of horsedrawn vehicles. In the Thirties he created some of the most stunning bodies of the era, rivalling the designs of Figoni et Falaschi (famed for some of the most outrageous designs of the day for Delahaye), and Saoutchik. Graberâ€™s work is instantly recognisable with its supremely elegant lines, sophistication and class, making his workmanship some of the most sought-after in the world. After extensive research, Raynsford established that there were only two surviving Graber-bodied Rolls-Royces, one locked away in a Swiss museum and the other is GRW59, the only Graber-bodied 20/25, making her one of the most rare (and beautiful) Rolls-Royce motorcars in existence.
Establishing the car’s unique provenance However, more mysteries revealed themselves when Raynsford found that not Graber, but another famed coachbuilder, Georges Gangloff originally bodied the car. This seemed strange, as when Raynsford’s father-in-law bought the car in 1948, it was a drop-head coupé. The plot thickened for Raynsford, who was spurred by the car’s patchy history and the thrill of a chase. ‘The more I discovered about GRW59, the more determined I was to take her back to her former glory,’ said Raynsford about his quest which spanned at least three continents. ‘She is one of those rare machines which seem to live a life of her own.’ To help piece together the history of the car, and to bring her back to her original condition, Raynsford needed the skills and expertise of only the very best restorer. For that, he turned to Will Fiennes, the oldest, most highly-respected and preeminent pre-war Rolls-Royce and Bentley restorer. An Oxford graduate with a PhD in nuclear physics, Fiennes had built his international reputation on an encyclopaedic knowledge of pre-war engineering, running the 30-strong team of craftsmen at Fiennes Restoration. Understanding a car’s history is essential to achieving a proper restoration. It takes a fair amount of dogged determination to achieve the former and exceptional skill to carry out the latter, especially on a car whose past was as elusive as this.
Will Fiennes was also perplexed by a Rolls-Royce whose records showed it as a saloon by Gangloff, but which now sported a different body. Another amazing coincidence solved the mystery: ‘By chance I happened to come across a very attractive Bugatti with a body by Graber; we saw that parts of the Rolls-Royce and Graber Bugatti were very similar. Further analysis confirmed that GRW59’s body was by Graber,’ explains Will Fiennes.
An ‘unwelcome bath’ in Lake Geneva Still, two bodies by two renowned coachbuilders were not the only surprise GRW59 threw at the men who were investigating its past: another illustrious owner stepped up, HRH Field Marshal Prince Sardar Shah Ali Wali Khan Ghazi, Victor of Kabul (1888-1977) and brother to King Shah Nader Khan of Afghanistan (assassinated in 1933). Shah Wali Khan served as Ambassador to the Court of St James London, Berne, Paris, Rome and Warsaw from 1929 to 1945, then became Prime Minister of Afghanistan. Whilst in the prince’s possession, the Rolls-Royce led as colourful a life as that of its owner: In one of many adventures, the prince overshot a bend near the Swiss village of St Gingolph and plunged 60ft into Lake Geneva. Surprisingly, neither he nor GRW59 sustained serious damage. Newspapers at the time covered the story, with pictures of the car being pulled from the lake after 'an unwelcome bath'.
Shah Wali Khan enjoyed a privileged status in Italy during WWII. The relationship between Italy and Afghanistan was strong (the first country to recognise Mussolini’s regime), to the extent that the Afghan prince could drive around Rome unchallenged in an overtly British car whose fuel consumption would have been prohibited even to the indigenous Alfa Romeos of the time. After Shah Wali Khan, the Rolls-Royce became the car of choice for newly married Reverend George Irving, who took the drop-head coupé on honeymoon around the Lakes in Northern Italy. GRW59 then passed to Major Jack Comyn MBE, who wife declared “that car saved my life” after suffering from a head-on collision in the Alps. Thence she went to Colonel David Balmain, who needed a car with a spacious front compartment to accommodate his wooden leg which he had lost whilst saving a boy from a tiger in India.
A decade of searching, followed by a decade of restoring Once back in England, Fiennes had to muster all the skill and expertise of his team to coax GRW59 back to her former glory. ‘Not only had GRW59 been badly damaged by the fire, but earlier repair attempts had damaged her even further,’ Will Fiennes recalls. ‘A particularly complicated area was the hood mechanism, which was significantly distorted. This was not obvious to start with, as it had been extensively repaired in the US, but the repairs masked the problems. The hood had to be dismantled and realigned using laser tools then carefully reassembled.’ As much of the original interior detail, like trim and seats, had not survived the fire, Fiennes’ team of coachwork specialists had to analyse other examples of Graber's period work to manufacture something as close to authentic as possible. ‘We need to recreate hundreds of details: seat-adjusters, door handles, seathinge mechanisms, external chrome body trims,’ says Will Fiennes. Wherever possible, the restoration route was preferred: ‘the windscreen frame is made out of polished aluminium rather than chrome plated brass, as are the cappings that are fitted to the doors’ top edges. It is a feature of that particular model and one we were keen to protect: they had not been destroyed in the fire but – as they are quite delicate – being able to restore them was a real achievement.’ After twelve-years of painstaking restoration from Fiennes and his team, as well as the unwavering support of Raynsford and his family, the Rolls-Royce 20/25 drop-head coupé was ready to woo again.
One of the most decorated cars in history Once back in England, Fiennes had to muster all the skill and expertise of his team to coax GRW59 back to her former glory. ‘Not only had GRW59 been badly damaged by the fire, but earlier repair attempts had damaged her even further,’ Will Fiennes recalls. ‘A particularly complicated area was the hood mechanism, which was significantly distorted. This was not obvious to start with, as it had been extensively repaired in the US, but the repairs masked the problems. The hood had to be dismantled and realigned using laser tools then carefully reassembled.’ As much of the original interior detail, like trim and seats, had not survived the fire, Fiennes’ team of coachwork specialists had to analyse other examples of Graber's period work to manufacture something as close to authentic as possible. ‘We need to recreate hundreds of details: seat-adjusters, door handles, seathinge mechanisms, external chrome body trims,’ says Will Fiennes. Wherever possible, the restoration route was preferred: ‘the windscreen frame is made out of polished aluminium rather than chrome plated brass, as are the cappings that are fitted to the doors’ top edges. It is a feature of that particular model and one we were keen to protect: they had not been destroyed in the fire but – as they are quite delicate – being able to restore them was a real achievement.’ After twelve-years of painstaking restoration from Fiennes and his team, as well as the unwavering support of Raynsford and his family, the Rolls-Royce 20/25 drop-head coupé was ready to woo again.
APPENDIX The restorer Oxford University educated nuclear physicist William Fiennes founded Fiennes Restoration forty years ago, and is internationally renowned for being the leading restorer of Rolls-Royce and Bentley motorcars. Cars restored by Fiennes go on to win at the world's most prestigious concours competitions, and are well known for running better following their restoration than when they originally rolled off the factory floor. In fact, Fiennes exceptional reputation explains why the cars they restore are themselves highly sought after. Will Fiennes explains that the company has seen a surge of interest from car enthusiasts in South East Asia, “the appeal of classic motoring has always been strong across the continent, however, as the wealth and affluence of collectors increases we’re seeing more enthusiasts wishing to add an additional distinctive indicator of taste to their collections, and pre-war Rolls-Royce and Bentleys certainly do that.”
Fiennes’ customers come from all over the world, but there is a growing number across the ASEAN region. They range from enthusiasts seeking to establish their interest with one or two cars as their ‘pride and joy’ through to established collectors with vast collections. Fiennes Restoration is based in Oxfordshire, England, and provides a range of brokering, restoration, coachbuilding, maintenance, servicing and storage services. www.fiennes.co.uk
Expand your horizons ... High quality Aluminium Door & Window Systems Folding Doors 路 Sliding Doors 路 Slide & Turn Doors 路 Windows
SUNFLEX Asia Ltd. | 52/12 Moo 3, T. Bophut, A. Koh Samui | Suratthani 84320 Thailand Tel.: +66 (0) 77 414 412 | Fax: +66 (0) 77 414 413 | www.sunflexasia.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Designed by Gary Fell
2 BEDROOM VILLAS FROM 5.9m THB 3 BEDROOM VILLAS FROM 13.9m THB
MULTI AWARD W I N N I N G
LUXURY SEAVIEW VILLAS
+66 (0)77 952 288 email@example.com www.aquasamuiduo.com
Starting at 10.9 m THB
LITTLE BLACK BOOK OF PROPERTY IN PARADISE
Exclusive properties at exclusive prices. The essential address book for the ultimate investor.
4 Bedrooms Sea View Pool Villa REF. ID: 4BSPV Location: Bangrak Price: (Per Night) 9,000 THB to 17,500 THB Property Details: » Living spaces: 470 m2 » Bedrooms: 4 » Bathrooms: 3 Advantages: » Stunning sea and island views » Fully-equipped modern kitchen
2-Bedroom Pool Villa | Location: Lipa Noi | Price: 2,500 THB to 5,000 THB per night | REF. ID: TPL204 Property Details » Bedrooms: 2 » Bathrooms: 2
Advantages » 200 m. to Idyllic Beach » Consisting of a spacious open-plan kitchen, lounge and dining area
Telephone: +66 (0)80 8936771 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.luxsamui.com
Luxury 2 Bedrooms Sea View | Location: Chaweng | Price: 4,850 THB to 9,650 THB per night | REF. ID: RCW2BA Advantages » Fully fitted kitchen » stunning views sea views RENTALS
Property Details » Bedrooms: 2 » Bathrooms: 3
Luxury 3 Bedrooms Sea View - Pool Villa
Luxury 2 Bedrooms - Pool Villa
REF. ID: SJV11 Location: Choeng Mon Price: 650 USD++ to 1,050 USD++ per night
REF. ID: LT064 Location: Bang Por Price: 375 USD++ to 550 USD++ per night
Property Details: » Living spaces: 364 m2 » Bedrooms: 3 » Bathrooms: 4
Property Details: » Living spaces: 153 m2 » Bedrooms: 2 » Bathrooms: 2
Advantages: » Stunning sea views » private roof deck
Telephone: +66 (0)80 8936771 | E-mail: email@example.com | Website: www.luxsamui.com
Advantages: » Large balcony » Fully furnished » Fully equipped Western kitchen » Private swimming pool
Luxury 4 Bedrooms Residence
Luxury 4 Bedrooms - Pool Villa
REF. ID: BRDVR Location: Bophut Price: 1,100 USD++ to 1,750 USD++ per night
REF. ID: LAL13 Location: Bophut Price: 525 USD++ to 925 USD++ per night
Property Details: » Bedrooms: 4 » Bathrooms: 5
Property Details: » Bedrooms: 4 » Bathrooms: 5
Advantages: » Private infinity edge swimming pool » Direct beach access » Beach Sala ideal for al fresco dining
Advantages: » Infinity swimming pool » Stunning sea views » 4 large bedrooms en suites » Poolside Sala
Luxury 5 Bedrooms Sea View - Pool Villa | Location: Lamai Beach | Price: 1,400 USD to 2,750 USD per night REF. ID: QLL-734353
Property Details » Bedrooms: 5 » Bathrooms: 6
Advantages » Private swimming pool » Direct beach access » Free of charge items: Sea kayaks, Paddle boards
Telephone: +66 (0)80 8936771 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.luxsamui.com
3 Bedrooms Seaview - Pool Villas | Location: Chaweng Noi | Price: 19,500,000 THB
Property Details » Living Spaces: 280 m2 » Bedrooms: 3 » Bathrooms: 4
Advantages » 1km to the beach » Fully furnished with western kitchen » Private swimming pool (32 sqm) » 600 sqm plot
REF. ID: ASRSVFS
3 Bedrooms Beachfront Pool Villa REF. ID: VLABS Location: Lipa Noi Price: 25,000,000 THB Property Details: » Bedrooms: 3 » Bathrooms: 4 Advantages: » Contemporary design and convenient layout » Private pool tiled with natural stone » suitable for wheelchair-bound handicapped people » include interior finish: tiling, leveled and painted walls and ceilings
Telephone: +66 (0)80 8936771 | E-mail: email@example.com | Website: www.luxsamui.com
Luxury 2 Bedrooms Villa | Location: Bangrak | Price: 17,900,000 THB | REF. ID: PLMV56 Property Details » Living Area: 150 m2 » Total Area: 723 m2 » Bedrooms: 2 » Bathrooms: 3 SALES
Advantages » Private Pool with shady sala » Sea View » 300m to beach » Fully furnished » Gated estate with 24 hour security » High rental yield
1 Bedroom Seaview Condo
Luxury 1 Bedroom Apartments
Property Details: » Living Area: 62 m2 » Bedrooms: 1 » Bathrooms: 1
Property Details: » Living Area: 45 m2 » Bedrooms: 1 » Bathrooms: 1
Location: Bangrak | Price: 4,200,000 THB REF. ID: 1BCBB
Advantages: » Luxury interior furniture » Fully-fitted kitchen » Luxurious communal facilities
Location: Fisherman's Village | Price: 3,900,000 THB REF. ID: SAFSM
Advantages: Village just a stone's throw from idyllic white sands and a large choice of fine dining establishments and beachfront cafes.
Telephone: +66 (0)80 8936771 | E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: www.luxsamui.com
Stunning Beach Land Plai Laem (1055 m2)
Stunning sea view plot (1200 m2)
REF. ID: XXH-123751
REF. ID: MLR-354236
Location: Plai Laem | Price: 22,000,000 THB
Property Details: Located in the Boh Phut hills. With a totally unobstructed view from Koh Phan Ngan to the Big Buddha.
Advantages: » Stunning sea view » Views of Koh Phan Ngan » Full infrastructure » 15 mins from Championship Golf Coarse
Property Details: One of the last opportunities to own a small piece of beachland in the desirable North East coast of Koh Samui.
Advantages: » One of the last great plots in Plai Laem » Flat and easy for construction » Centrally located but peaceful » Perfect for individual Villa or Villas
Location: Bophut | Price: 6,000,000 THB
Plai Laem Sea View Land 3.9 Rai (6,240 m2) | Location: Plai Laem | Price: 39,000,000 THB | REF. ID: MHPLL Property Details » Prime Land in sort after Plai Laem, Koh Samui » panoramic views of Bangrak bay » Sealed road and amenities close to Choeng Mon Beach
Advantages » Government concrete road » 3-Phase government electric » Government water supply
Telephone: +66 (0)80 8936771 | E-mail: email@example.com | Website: www.luxsamui.com
Thai Tonic Location: Santithani Project Property Type: Garden View Land Size: 820 sqm Living Area: 244 sqm Specification: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living room, fully equipped kitchen with bar-counter, terrace, 2 balconies and covered parking area for 2 cars Swiming Pool: with build in star lights and chemical free water disinfection (copper-silver-oxidation) Price: THB 8,900,000
Land for sale Location: Santithani Valley & Secret Garden Property Type: Garden and Sea View Specification: all land plots come with infrastructure: concrete road acess / electricity / water supply, located in the North of the island, only 20 minutes from the airport and ferry port, 10 minutes from magnificent Santiburi Golf Country Club, you will found our seven beachfront projects, the panoramic hillside development Santi Thani and our residental offerings of Santithani, Secret Gardens and Santi Thani Valley Price starting at: THB 396,000
Villa Seret Garden SG-4 Location: Santithani Project Property Type: Garden View Land Size: 340 sqm Specification: 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, living room, kitchen, covered terrace Price: THB 4,900,000
Sales Office: Ring Road, km 42.0 8/3 Moo 5, Meanam Koh Samui, Surat Thani Thailand 84330
OK Properties land & house
More Info: www.okpropertiessamui.com +66 (0) 869 869 869 firstname.lastname@example.org
Villa Ban Chok Laab Location: Santithani Project Property Type: Sea View Land Size: 3200 sqm (2 rai) Spacification: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living room, kitchen with dinning room, car park, garden sala Swimming Pool: 14 x6 m Price: THB 16,500,000
Villa ST 16 Location: Santithani Project Property Type: Garden and Sea View Land Size: 820 sqm Living Area: 258 sqm Specification: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 80 sqm living room, kitchen and terrace, fresh water tank, rain water tank Location: Santithani Project Price: THB 6,440,000 * (+ 658,000 THB for additional construction) Additional construction includes: Roof covered drive in, extra 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom
More Info: www.okpropertiessamui.com +66 (0) 869 869 869 email@example.com
OK Properties land & house
Sales Office: Ring Road, km 42.0 8/3 Moo 5, Meanam Koh Samui, Surat Thani Thailand 84330
Samui Invest is your complete property development, construction and investment partner on Koh Samui. Providing the full suite of of services you require to purchase land, build real estate, and grow proÞtable businesses for resale in a thriving luxury destination. Fluent in French. English and Thai, we look forward to Þnding the perfect investment solution for you in while you are in Samui and managing your portfolio for you when you return home.
Telephone: +66 95 804 6954
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Double bedroom houses with terrace Two bathrooms 104m2 Private inÞnity pool. Own parking area. Land 235m2. Ceiling height Ð 3 meters. Each bedroom has air conditioning. The house is fully furnished. 4.800.000 Thb
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Three bedroom houses with terrace Two bathrooms Private inÞnity pool. Own parking area. Each bedroom has air conditioning. The house is fully furnished. 6.600.000 Thb
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Little sea view for sale in Ban Rak Electricity 3 phase Road By Soi Lana 5 Min from Chaweng 5 min from Ban Rak Gentle slope 800 sqm 1.700.000 Thb
Telephone: +66 95 804 6954