Page 1














“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” Saint Augustine of Hippo

Secret Hideaways

Welcome to Cambodia, the “Kingdom of Wonder”.

Grapes And Flavours Christoph Keller only wants the aroma.

Star Chefs

Rolf Fliegauf, the youngest four-starred chef in Switzerland.


Les Cols Pavellons, sleeping under the stars.

Art Treats

Marseille-Provence 2013, a hub for creativity.



02. 2013

1,000 Riel, Cambodia.

xcellence xcellence, Luxaviation and FairJets inflight magazine Publisher: Luxaviation/FairJets Address: Luxaviation Group 4A, rue Borschette, L-1246 Luxembourg Phone: +352 42 52 52-1 Fax: +352 42 71 40 E-mail: Web: Editor in chief: Patrick Hansen (Luxaviation CEO) Editorial: Stephan Lichtenhahn, Geoff Thompson, Magali Migaud, Patrick Bartz, Jutta Bissinger, Christina Heidt, Ralf Wigger, Cédric Evrard. Coordination: Filippa Tiago ( Photography: p. 10: Frédéric Giger/Basel West p. 13: © Blitz Agency p. 14: Valérie Conrot by Eric Chenal p. 16: © Monaco Press Centre Photos; © 34th America’s Cup photo library; “Fête du citron”, © Office de tourisme Menton, p. 17: “Public at the Giardini, Venice”, 54th International Art Exhibition – ILLUMInations, photo: Andrea Avezzù, courtesy La Biennale di Venezia. “Paolo Baratta, President of Biennale di Venezia and Massimiliano Gioni, Director of the 55th International Art Exhibition”, photo: Giorgio Zucchiatti, courtesy: La Biennale di Venezia. p. 18-19: courtesy: Dr. Bruse p. 20: Frédéric Giger/Basel West p. 21: iStockphoto p. 22: Getty Images p. 24: © Luc Benevello p. 26–29: Boivin blue clip, Boucheron bangle and Bulgari ear clips by Symbolic & Chase p. 27: “Suzanne Belperron”, Olivier Baroin archives, DR “Olivier Baroin” p. 28: “Edwige Feuillère”, © Ministère de la Culture Médiathèque du Patrimoine, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais/ Sam Lévin p. 30-39: Getty Images & iStockphoto p. 32 & 34: portraits of Matthieu Ravaux, courtesy Patrick Bartz p. 37: © Knai Bang Chatt and © 2012 Song Saa Hotels and Resorts p. 40: © Stählemühle/ Bernd Kammerer p. 41: © Stählemühle/ SAB Architekten, Jochen Hirschfeld p. 42-43: © Stählemühle/ Ingmar Kurth (still, ripening cellar and tasting room), Jochen Hirschfeld (the mash in the still)

p. 44: © Stählemühle/ SAB Architekten p. 45: © Stählemühle/Ingmar Kurth and Bernd Kammerer (Christoph Keller near his still) p. 46-50: © Giardino Hotel Group, Switzerland: Rolf Fliegauf and Ristorante Ecco p. 52-56: courtesy: Les Cols Pavellons, Catalonia, Spain. p. 55: Getty Images (the volcanic area of Garrotxa) p. 58-59: “Sous la mer, un monde… Méduse 2” © Olivier Ernst p. 60: “Villa Méditerranée” © Boeri Studio “Ouvrir la fenêtre” © Isidro Ferrer Installation sténographiée de Stéphan Muntaner pour la CCI Marseille Provence, © Thomas Serrière p. 61: “Le Corbusier’s Modulor Man”, © Maremagnum / The Image Bank; Studio Eclipse, “Two sink, three float”, 2011 © Jean de Pena; “Festins de Méditerranée” © Les Jnoun Factory; Ville de Marseille © Thomas Serrière p. 62-63: courtesy: FairJets p. 64: Getty Images

Translation/Proofreading: David Swain, Benoit Deeg, Nelly Pairon Conception/Design: binsfeld corporate publishing 14, place du Parc, B.P. 2773, L-1027 Luxembourg Phone: +352 49 68 68-1 Fax: +352 48 87 70 Art Director: Miriam Rosner ( Advertising: binsfeld Aurélie Exposta Phone: +352 49 68 68 -1 Fax: +352 48 87 70 Printing: Bastian Druck GmbH, Germany © 2013 Luxaviation/FairJets xcellence Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission from Luxaviation Group and binsfeld. Opinions expressed in xcellence are not necessarily those of Luxaviation Group and binsfeld. ISSN 2306-4056

Map of Europe France/1819

Dear passenger, Our second issue of xcellence continues the trend set in our inaugural edition of introducing our people who make your travels happen, as well as providing glimpses of exclusive getaway destinations and also snapshots of gastronomy, culture and other unique secrets waiting to be discovered.


n the people side, Dirk Bruse (Founder and CEO of FairJets) reveals his fascinating background and the origins of FairJets. We also have a feature on one of our pilots who talks about our Gulfstream G550, as well as with Marc Molitor whose company Capital4IP helps companies with intangible assets to attract finance. Linking people and art, we travel to Lake Constance where The Alchemist profiles the man whose schnapps has garnered more than 20 international prizes. We also chat with Rolf Fliegauf, the youngest four-starred Michelin chef in Switzerland. This issue also depicts treasures we have unearthed, including design objects spotted around the world from London and Berlin to Taipei and Melbourne. A renowned hunter of “rare and precious treasures” (antique jewellery) describes how studying gemstones can let us in on their fabulous secrets, with a feature too on the Maison Boivin jewellery house.

We look ahead to Marseille as European Capital of Culture, whereas our event agenda features goings-on in France, Italy and the UK. Our secret hideaway focuses on an open-air restaurant beside Angkor Wat in Cambodia. We have also discovered a really unique hotel in Catalonia to share with you: five pavilions in modern architecture set amongst untouched nature. We hope you gain as much enjoyment from reading this edition of our xcellence magazine as we had fun putting it together! Hopefully you will be heard to remark “I never knew that” or “That’s really interesting”, you can also use the enclosed suggestion card to share your comments.

Joachim Krueger

Patrick Hansen

6 Contributors

Stephan Lichtenhahn pages 11 & 18

Magali Migaud

Ralf Wigger

page 24

page 52

Magali, AKA Capitaine Les Mots (“Captain Words”), is a freelance journalist. From her base in Paris, she pursues her passions for cinema, history and good restaurants, and is always on the lookout to meet interesting people.

Ralf spent years as a radio journalist in Germany before making a home near Barcelona with his Spanish wife in 2006. He runs an agency for individual travel and is always on the lookout for authentic and unusual experiences.

Jutta Bissinger page 41 A freelance journalist in Germany, Jutta prefers to write about people who have turned their dreams into reality in the countryside, often in relation with culinary pleasures. She also enjoys traveling when she’s not by the stove entertaining friends.

Stephan lives in Basel and has been working as a freelancer since 1999. He loves exploring Europe by bicycle and also enjoys the lifestyle, the colours and the cuisine of Asian countries.

Geoff Thompson

Patrick Bartz

Christina Heidt

Cédric Evrard

page 12

page 30

page 46

page 58

Geoff came to Luxembourg from Dublin 23 years ago. When he’s not writing for his online newspaper or client projects, he’s either organising events, off fishing, watching rugby or spending quality time with his family.

Patrick is a freelance TV journalist, based in Luxembourg. He is very much a specialist in Africa and Asia, and is just as interested in the arts as in geopolitics. He also enjoys off-road motorcycling and eating good food.

Christina is fascinated by people and their stories, and she tells them with a passion; both as editor of the binsfeld agency in Luxembourg and as a radio and television journalist in Germany.

Ex-journalist and AFP/ Reuters correspondent in Nepal and India, Cédric now concentrates on photo-journalism. Author of “Sanem, un château, une histoire” and “Jean Sabeau - Dans le maquis sanglant de Graide”, he now works for éditions guy binsfeld.

7 Contents



Ready for Take-off

Grapes & Flavours

Lars Neitzke, FairJets

The Alchemist, Christoph Keller




People & Business


Marc Molitor,

Star Chefs


“Incredibly precise and relaxed” ,

14 Hits & Highlights


Valérie Conrot,



Stopovers So close to the stars,



Rolf Fliegauf

Les Cols Pavellons, Catalonia

Don’t Miss Highlights around the world


58 Art Treats


Marseille-Provence 2013

Our Team Dirk Bruse,



FairJets CEO

62 Our Fleet

24 Our Partners

Gulfstream G550

Anaïs Barthe,


The Sherlock Holmes

In the Next Issue

of antique jewellery


30 Secret Hideaways “Pink on the bone”, Siem Reap, Cambodia









Pilot Lars Neitzke in the cockpit of the Gulfstream G550.


BY S tephan L ichtenhahn

Ready for Take-off

Full service for your private jet FairJets takes on the management of private aircraft and professionally ensures that the strict legal safety requirements are fulfilled.


ilot Lars Neitzke gushes, “The Gulfstream G550 is the best. Technologically, this machine is unbeatable, it flies much faster than other commercial aircraft and, at 10,000 kilometres, it has an incredible range.” Put simply, if they book the G550, FairJets clients can fly nonstop from New York to Tokyo. The 46-year-old FairJets captain is sitting in the cockpit of the 72 million EUR aircraft. He points to the four screens which can be made to display all important flight data with just a few clicks. The technological icing on the cake for the G550 is the Heads-Up-Display (HUD): A transparent panel in the pilot’s field of view onto which the most important data are projected. The display can also show thermal images generated by infrared sensors. If, for example, the runway is hidden by fog, it is shown virtually on the display. The sensors calculate its position using the lights arrayed along its edges. This means that, even in difficult conditions, Neitzke is able to land his passengers in total safety and comfort. The Gulfstream G550, in which Neitzke flies businessmen, politicians or showbiz celebrities to any place on Earth, does not belong directly to FairJets, but to a Russian businessman. FairJets, however, is responsible for the jet management of the luxury aircraft. The German company is professionally responsible for the aeroplane and handles all operational, personnel and administrative aspects on behalf of the owner. The reason why owners entrust their jets to the company from Paderborn is that, according EU legislation, owners of high performance complex aircraft like these jets require a comprehensive servicing programme and documentation of airworthiness (Continuing Airworthiness Management). They must be able to demonstrate that they constantly maintain their aircraft and that it is airworthy. This evidence, which

requires quite a bit of effort, can only be provided by a professional organisation like FairJets which possesses the necessary authorisation. At the moment FairJets, together with Luxaviation, has 22 jets under contract. On the one hand, their owners benefit from the knowhow of FairJets’ in-house technical team. They also benefit from the fact that, in the area of jet management, FairJets does things somewhat differently than others: “We know that even owners of private jets need to watch costs,” says Neitzke, “and so we handle jet management more economically than others.” One example of how FairJets reduces costs: If the oxygen mask in the cockpit is defective, for example, certain companies immediately install a new one at a cost of 16,000 EUR. “We, on the other hand, look around for a used mask at 5,000 to 6,000 EUR on behalf of our client.” A further advantage when FairJets takes over the management of a jet: When the jet isn’t in use, the company arranges passengers and ensures better utilisation of the aircraft.


BY G eoff T hompson

People & Business

Capital4IP Value from intangible assets. xcellence met recently with Marc Molitor, Managing Director of Capital4IP, concerning his recent activities in Luxembourg.


apital4IP helps companies with intangible assets to attract finance for expansion. The company was established in the Grand Duchy at the end of 2011 with Marc Molitor at the helm; he utilises expertise on a project basis from partner organisations which include Saphir Capital Partners and Edison Capital Partners, both based in the same building. xcellence: Please tell us about your life abroad, before Capital4IP. Marc Molitor: Born in Luxembourg, I have spent half my life abroad, in the US, Switzerland, Austria and France, but I have been back in the Grand Duchy for three years now. I am an engineer by training, having qualified at the ETH in Switzerland, and I then gained my MBA from INSEAD in France. I worked for Johnson & Johnson at the European HQ in Belgium before moving within the group to Paris, heading up an operational division there prior to becoming General Manager for their Medical Device companies in North Africa. xcellence: How did Capital4IP come about? MM: Intangible assets now account for 80% of balance sheets, yet many companies don’t realise the consequences. Capital4IP was founded to help companies extract financial leverage from their Intellectual Property. This can be done either through locating their IP in a tax-efficient structure in Luxembourg (effective tax rate 5.76%) or obtaining growth capital through a sale and lease-back of their IP assets.

a. Advisory – We take a more holistic approach rather than just patents and brands. We can look at a business asset for financing, etc. b. Managed Services – We can help a company to set up and manage IP holding companies in Luxembourg and we also help grouping IP. c. Financing – We arrange financing for companies, which find it impossible to raise money from banks - as they will not accept intangible guarantees - and which do not want to raise money from private investors, since they do not want to give up control of their company. At Capital4IP we provide a sort of mezzanine financing, providing growth capital to bring their products to other markets. xcellence: In which business sectors does Capital4IP focus? MM: We are currently looking at a group of franchising companies that have a strong brand but few tangible assets to place as guarantees. We are also working with a large drinks company which is heavily involved in marketing, as well as a company in the entertainment sector. In addition, we are working with a company with a portfolio of 200 patents and which is in the process of changing their business operation to a pay-per-use model, to help them to see how they can build their IP into their revenue model.

xcellence: What financing solutions do you oversee? MM: Private money works with certain funds which have committed a certain percentage to various asset classes. That’s fine for the short- and medium-term but in the long-term we aim to put a fund together to attract both private and instixcellence: How exactly does Capital4IP help companies? tutional investors. Presently we are showcasing a MM: The company has a multi-disciplinary approach which also helps regarding asset management and financing – we build associations of people concept which matches a need from companies which are failed by the system yet are attractive with complementary skills. With this, the company operates in three main for private investors. areas:















14 Valérie Conrot

Hits & Highlights

Treasure hunting


At, my online shop, you will find a very personal selection of objects – unusual, beautiful, practical or a bit offbeat, designed to make life a little more cheerful, more sparkling and more colourful: things that will make you smile. Have a look at a very small selection of my BEST OF


Valérie Conrot Treasure hunter at

01 Travel Fever Designed by Jump From Paper Taipei-based designers Chay Su and Rika Lin’s bag designs are lifted from paper… literally. The duo’s twodimensional illustrations of handbags come to life as 3-D, fully functional totes for both men and women. 02 Parrot Necklace / 03 Elephant Couple Necklace Designed by Nach Jewellry The originality of the Nach creations comes from the use of porcelain, alone or combined with other materials (gold-plated brass, leather, cord, feathers, etc.). The world of Nach is full of animals, colours and fruit!



My personal



spotted arou

nd the world

It’s the treasure hunter’s passion to track down a thousand and one little things that take us beyond the everyday, or transform the everyday into something more beautiful. These are treasures that I have gathered in the course of an incessant search for the kinds of objects that I love. And I want to share them with you.

04 03

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw




02 ART



The Swing Table

Many roses

The Candy Room

Cockpit Suite

designed by Christopher Duffy

Street Embroidery project

by Red Design Group

Jumbo Stay

for Duffy London

by Miss Cross Stitch The Candy Room, located in

The world’s first Jumbo Hostel,

Putting a little extra fun into

One night at Berlin’s

the heart of Melbourne, has a

the world’s first hostel built

dinner time and board meetings,

Rüdesheimer Platz, a chair

design that toys with the concept

onboard a real Boeing 747-200

this four-poster table uses its

disappeared. It reappeared in the

of illusion and draws the inner

Jumbo Jet, opened in January

structure to suspend a central

same place again the next day,

child out of the customer us-

2009. In the Cockpit Suite, you

GEO lampshade and eight hang-

but something was different: the

ing a strong connection with

can sleep where pilots were once

ing chairs that sway playfully.

chair had gained an embroidered

childhood, fantasy, fiction

at the controls of the Queen of

This design creates an exception-

pattern full of roses. It wasn’t

and, of course, sweets. Being

the Sky!

ally divergent experience and

long before a bench was em-

strongly influenced by the idea of

Photos by Lioba Schneider and

aesthetic, creating a room within

broidered too. Perhaps some of

designing a playful, simple and

Fredrik Broman

a room, with chairs that float

you saw Miss Cross Stitch as she

somewhat illusional space for the

around the table; it also makes

stitched for 6 hours…

Candy Room, the exaggeration

vacuuming a breeze.

of a ‘room’ idea was formulated.

Photos by Tom Oxley

The application was to use line

artwork on white space to represent a room. projects/CandyRoom.aspx

16 Don’t Miss

Don’t Miss! 02 01

01 / November 2012,

Auckland (NZL) Luna Rossa AC72 and Emirates Team New Zealand AC 72

02 / Monaco Grand Prix

16th February - 6th March 2013 MENTON (FRANCE)

America’s Cup World Series event of 2013. Naples first hosted the America’s Cup World Series in April 2012, drawing over 500,000 spectators. The highlight of the racing was a The Lemon Festival spectacular debut from the Italian Luna Rossa The Lemon Festival is 80 years old and as fresh as Challenge team, which won the fleet racing and finished second in the match racing. ever! The festival shows no sign of losing its zest and pulls out all the stops to continue delighting visitors. Become a modern-day adventurer and set 15th - 26th May 2013 off on a journey around the world: the Biovès Gardens will be the backdrop to your adventures CANNES and you will stop off in India and Egypt. Menton, a town of gardens, is committed to Festival de Cannes preserving the jewel in its crown. The town has gathered together some hundred varieties of Ever since its creation, the Festival de Cannes citrus tree in the Palais Carnolès gardens, so the has remained faithful to its founding purpose: Ministry of Culture has designated it a “Jardin drawing attention to and raising the profile of remarquable” (Remarkable Garden). Menton is films, with the aims of contributing to the authentic and flavourful, just like its lemons… development of cinema, boosting the global film This vibrant pearl of the Mediterranean is not to industry and celebrating cinema internationally. be missed! India will be the guest country at this 66th Festival, the third country after Egypt (2011) and Brazil (2012) to be given a special spotlight. 16th - 21st April 2013 The Cannes spotlight will coincide with Indian cinema’s 100th-anniversary celebration next year. NAPLES The America’s Cup World Series The best sailors in the world will return to Naples, Italy on 16th – 21st April, for the first


02 / Public at the Giardini, 54th International Art Exhibition ILLUMInations, La Biennale di Venezia 2011.

The track, which comprises winding city streets and the famous harbour strip, is genuinely picturesque as drivers drive by landmark monuments such as the Hôtel de Paris, the Casino and, of course, the beautiful, yacht-lined marina!


01 / Paolo Baratta,

President of La Biennale di Venezia and Massimiliano Giori, Director of the 55th International Art Exhibition.

How to get there LUXAVIATION FLIES TO MENTON Nice - Côte d’Azur Airport is located 30 km (18 mi.) from the city of Menton. NAPLES Venice Airport. CANNES Cannes Mandelieu Airport. MONACO Nice - Côte d’Azur Airport is located 21 km (13.8 mi.) from the Principality. ASCOT Farnborough Airport (Business Aviation Centre), Hampshire is located 16 km (10 mi.) from Ascot. VENICE Venice Airport.


23rd - 26th May 2013 MONACO Monaco Grand Prix The Monaco Grand Prix, which started as early as 1929, joined the Formula 1 Championship back in 1948. The track, which comprises winding city streets and the famous harbour strip, is genuinely picturesque as drivers drive by landmark monuments such as the Hôtel de Paris, the Casino and, of course, the beautiful, yacht-lined marina! The track is perhaps the shortest on the Formula 1 calendar, but also the most difficult! It imposes severe constraints on the car: the track’s merciless barriers punish the tiniest mistake by drivers. Such a circuit, where overtaking verges on impossible, requires not just precision driving, but also courage! 18th - 22nd June 2013 ASCOT Royal Ascot 2013 Few sporting venues can match the rich heritage and history of Ascot Racecourse. For almost 250 years, Royal Ascot has established itself as a national institution and the centrepiece of the

British social calendar, as well as being the ultimate stage for the best racehorses in the world. Tradition, pageantry, fashion and style all meet in a glorious setting at one of the most beautiful racecourses in the country. The quality of the horse racing at Royal Ascot is simply outstanding, with £4.5 million in prize money on offer and a total of eighteen “Group” races over the five days. 1st June - 24th November 2013 VENICE 55th Venice Biennale The Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia) – currently presided over by Paolo Baratta – has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Ever since its foundation, it has been at the forefront of researching and promoting new artistic trends. The 55th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia will present, as usual, the National Participations with their own exhibitions in the historic Pavilions of the Giardini, and in the centre of Venice. This edition will also include selected Collateral Events, proposed by international bodies and institutions.

18 Our Team

My goal is

to be the perfect pilot He has flown any number of celebrities all around the world, transported cash to Baghdad for the US Army and flies the Starfighter to the edge of the stratosphere for NASA tests: Dirk Bruse, FairJets CEO, is a pilot to his very core.


lanes are my life,” says Dirk Bruse. “Ever since I was able to think, I wanted to be a pilot. I’ve wanted it since I was six years old.” There were only aeroplane posters on the walls of his childhood room. If he built something out of Lego, “it was always an aeroplane or spaceship,” says the founder and CEO of FairJets. He began flying sailplanes at the age of fourteen – so far, he has spent more than 10,000 hours behind the controls of various aircraft. For years, his passengers have been celebrities: Company heads, actors, musicians, politicians, athletes, TV stars. “Whether Sting, Madonna or Johnny Depp; I’ve flown them all,” he says. Arnold Schwarzenegger has flown with him many times: “A very friendly guy.” Since then, there has been a sword on display in Bruse’s office: A prop from Conan the Barbarian; a personal gift from Schwarzenegger. Transporting tonnes of gold Dirk Bruse has not only carried people through the skies; he has also transported the most ...

BY S tephan L ichtenhahn













Dirk Bruse and his Boeing Stearman from 1941.

20 Our Team

Dirk Bruse in front of the Gulfstream G 550.

... unbelievable cargo. He once flew 2.5 tonnes of gold from Dar es Salaam to Frankfurt for the German government. Because the flight was made using a jet and not a cargo aircraft, Bruse and co. placed the bars on the seats and floor – quite a picture. Even more exciting was the flight to Baghdad during the war in Iraq: He transported over two tonnes of cash for the US Army, all in one-hundred-dollar bills, presumably totalling around 300 million USD. It was troops’ wages, which the US Army traditionally pays out in cash. Bruse says, “It all sounds quite adventurous now, but at the time I felt relatively safe.” Beginning over the Mediterranean he was escorted by two American F-18s, “one to the left, one to the right. That did feel pretty cool”. He’s even had animals on board. He once transported a sick falcon belonging to a sheik in Dubai to Dortmund, where the best veterinarian for the breed was located. The animal travelled in a Falcon jet, of course! A childhood dream long in the realisation

a job as an engineer, he continued with the trade he had learned. He founded a heating installation company, employed fourteen people and was able to afford a 5-series BMW and purchase a flat for himself and his family. Dirk Bruse was 27 when his childhood dream finally came true: In the early nineties pilots were in demand everywhere. He sold everything: Company, car and flat. With that money he passed his pilot’s licence. “I started over completely from scratch. And I’ve never regretted it.”

He began to fly as a private pilot for a CEO before he and business partner Joachim Krüger Dirk Bruse was almost denied his dream job. His took over airline Elbe Air – with great success: parents, who ran a pet shop, thought that being a The company soon had seventy employees and pilot was something for the rich. They demanded business was good. Until September 2001: “After 9/11 all of our aircraft were grounded,” says that their son complete an apprenticeship. At Bruse. He and Krüger sold a majority of their seventeen he began work as a heating installer – shares and then separated themselves from the and quickly knew that, “this can’t be it. At the company entirely in 2005. Bruse took some time weekend I was flying a sailplane solo through off, earned a PhD in engineering and worked for a loopings at 2,400 metres and on Monday I was time as a consultant. In 2007 he founded FairJets back to soldering pipes. It was surreal.” with a business partner: “Four years later, FairJets is the fourth-largest player in the German execuPiloting remained his dream job. Following his tive aircraft market,” he says, not without pride. apprenticeship he therefore passed his university entrance exams by attending night school and It was clear to the 45-year-old: “I wanted to own then studied aerospace technology in Aachen, “so I can build aircraft”. Because he couldn’t find my own aeroplanes again.” Dirk Bruse without


Maldives/Seychelles: The FairJets CEO, who trained as a combat diver in the German Army, loves to visit the archipelago to go diving.

aircraft just doesn’t work. Flying is at the centre of his existence; that much is made clear by a glance through his house: He owns more than two thousand books about aircraft and aviation, including some rare works. “I collect first editions of aviation books,” he says, “one is by Charles Lindbergh, signed by the man himself.” The book is not the only rarity that Bruse owns: In a hangar in Paderborn sits a Boeing Stearman from 1941, “a historic aircraft, which was once used to train American pilots.” Once per year he flies the Stearman to Berlin with like-minded individuals, sometimes taking along a young pilot who has not yet flown a looping, “that’s something every pilot has to do at least once.” A pilot that gives his all That’s typical for Bruse; the man gives his all to aviation. “I want to perfect this job,” he says, “if I’m the best in my profession, then I’ll always have work.” So he never stops learning; he now has is aircraft investigator’s licence and is attending a test pilot school: “My dream is to test new models for Gulfstream. Being a test pilot would be the crowning achievement.” The real highlights for Bruse, however, are the flights in the legendary Starfighter which he

undertakes on behalf of NASA for scientific purposes. “The Starfighter, a product of the Cold War, has always fascinated me. The plane takes ninety seconds to reach an altitude that a passenger plane can only achieve in forty minutes. You fly at 68,000 feet, that’s around 20 kilometres, up at the edge of the stratosphere. Those flights are a dream come true for me.” The NASA experiments show that the FairJets CEO is a well-known man in aviation. That’s also made clear by a birthday invitation from January 2012; from no less a figure than Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, just after Neil Armstrong.

Mixed tropical Fish School swimming over a natural reef, Seychelle.

22 Our Team


The Russian metropolis is one of Dirk Bruse’s favourite European cities: “Moscow has developed into a vibrant and modern city that’s full of life.” Red Square is the most famous city square in Moscow, and arguably one of the most famous in the world. The square separates the Kremlin, the former royal citadel and currently the official residence of the President of Russia, from a historic merchant quarter known as Kitay-gorod. As major streets of Moscow radiate from here in all directions, being promoted to major highways outside the city, the Red Square is often considered the central square of Moscow and of all Russia.

24 Our Partners

Ana誰s Barthe

The Sherlock Holmes of antique jewellery

Ana誰s Barthe / National Gemology Institute (ING)


Anaïs Barthe, Professor of Gemology at the National Gemology Institute (ING) in Paris and an expert on jewellery, is a hunter of rare and precious treasures. I follow in her footsteps, like Doctor Watson shadowing Sherlock Holmes, to learn how to listen to jewellery and precious stones, so that they can let us in on some of their fabulous secrets. To begin with, what is gemology? Gemology is, above all, an applied science, dedicated to the study and knowledge of precious and semi-precious stones, also known as gemstones. A gemologist is someone who knows about, studies and works with gems. What links you to these stones? As a gemologist and jewellery expert, one might say that I have always been in the service of the stones. For me, the study of a rare object is a privileged moment, during which I will tirelessly seek to understand my subject; to decipher it. I study it from all sides, I look what it is hiding and then I can, thanks to the clues I have teased out of it, communicate as faithfully as possible the information collected to the person who has asked me for my expert opinion or even to a potential buyer. What are the different areas of activity of a gemologist and a jewellery expert? They are complementary. Gemologists and experts use the same tools: the eye and the magnifying glass. A gemologist concentrates more on how to detect an imitation; on identifying a reproduction or a treatment the stone has received. At the ING, for example, I teach the students gem analysis, so they can learn how to detect fakes and identify the real thing. The students work with loose stones1 and, to avoid making any mistakes with the result, it is crucial to apply our identification method, step by step and with great scientific rigour. This method, which follows a very exact protocol, is also used by jewel experts, but more exhaustively. They take over when it is a case of identifying a potential restoration that the object has undergone, and they have to establish a fairly exact date for that, as well as giving a valuation. Experts must also not be taken in by fakes and have to question everything they see. It really is thrilling investigative work!


A gem that is cut, but unmounted.

BY M agali M iga ud

What is the difference between an objet and a piece of jewellery? Once mounted in a piece of jewellery, a stone’s appearance is enhanced thanks to the story told by the metal, the gem and the design of the whole ensemble. But when first studying an objet, an expert approaches it in the same kind of way as a doctor sounding a patient’s chest. When they are studying it, what is important is the design, the quality of the stone and the labours of the jeweller, whose handiwork has played a part in shaping this raw object and giving it a soul. Is this knowledge also useful to you in auction houses? Auction houses also call on me to appraise pieces of jewellery, because that is what gives them value. There, my role, as an expert, is to provide a link between the person wanting to part with an object and the person wanting to acquire it, and to lay out its true nature before both of them, along with its qualities, its history and its value, so that it can continue to be worn and to exist. The Granville auction house in Normandy (France) is a wonderful venue for this type of encounter. Florence Rois, the auctioneer with whom I work, organises sublime events which take place by the sea in a setting that is out of the ordinary. Everyone comes to unearth some rare treasure, and I’m there as an expert to talk about jewellery as accurately as possible.


Anaïs Barthe shares with xcelle nce th e secret s of f our rare j ewelle ry pieces .

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The blue clip by Maison Boivin

In 1917, on the death of her husband, René, Jeanne Boivin inherited the renowned Maison Boivin, along with the delicate task of ensuring that it outlived its talented founder. This high jewellery house, founded in the late 19th century, then went into a slight decline, which needed to be nipped in the bud... Thus began a story of women who were as talented as they were avant-garde.

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drew her inspiration from nature to breathe new life into the collections and worked alongside Jeanne until she retired from the business in 1954.

Jeanne Boivin, the 20th century’s foremost woman jewellery designer, did not want to take the limelight and asked the young designer Suzanne Belperron from 1920. Her charisma and talent contributed to forging Maison Boivin an international reputation, of which she quickly became the cornerstone. Wanting to work under her own name, however, in 1932 she left the firm for which she had designed extremely rare collector’s items.

By bringing a number of her creations, such as this iconic blue clip in the style of the architecture so characteristic of the time, into the Art Deco movement, Jeanne Boivin was able to ensure the prestige of her firm. At the time, the influence of geometric shapes, the timeless style and the breathtaking modernity of creations that we still find striking today seduced an iconoclastic intelligentsia composed of maharajahs, aristocrats, writers and fashionable painters, such as Marie Laurencin.

When she left, Jeanne Boivin turned to another young creative force whose career she launched: Juliette Moutard joined Maison Boivin in 1933 and worked with Jeanne’s daughter, Germaine Boivin. Although her creations were sometimes less staggeringly modernist than those emerging from the imagination of Suzanne Belperron, she

During its long existence, Maison Boivin has forged a solidly avant-garde reputation, based as much on the design of the jewellery it has produced as on the image of a flourishing business run by women... ever at the service of a cosmopolitan, demanding and wealthy clientèle, which has always changed with it and stayed loyal.


Suzanne Belperron in her office at Boivin, February 1932 (Olivier Baroin archives).

A René Boivin platinum, white gold and sapphire clip. Geometric design, centring on a large collet-set cabochon sapphire to a tubular surmount wrapped in a line of channel-set angular sugar-loaf sapphires, to cabochon sapphire terminals, 1933. French assay marks, French maker’s marks, weight 26g, accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Françoise Cailles (jewellery expert, specialising in the creations of Maison Boivin).

28 Our Partners

“Médicis” bangle by Boucheron A yellow gold, sapphire and diamond “Médicis” bangle, designed as a series of graduated scroll motifs accented with brilliant-cut diamonds, the cuff embellished with two tapering rows of calibrecut sapphires, French assay marks for 18ct gold and platinum, signed Boucheron Paris, circa 1937.

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Mademoiselle Feuillère’s ring Theatre actress above all and one-time salaried actress at the Comédie Française in Paris, Edwige Feuillère also played a great many parts in the cinema. But if there is one role she played brilliantly over the course of her long career (and at five different theatres), it is that of Marguerite Gauthier in “The Lady of the Camellias”.

ten rubies arranged in a pattern that slopes away, underneath which there are twin rows of cut diamonds. There was a time that it refracted its delicate light into the eyes of Mademoiselle’s famous friends…

Voted “Most Elegant Woman” in 1952, she harboured a particular taste for style and glamour, and owned some exceptional jewellery, including this ring by the renowned Maison Sterlé.

This domed piece, from the late 1950s, is decorated with an oval ruby, surrounded by

Edwige Feuillère


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iend a Girl’s Best Fr Diamonds are d ear clips, ld and diamon go w llo ye of ir A pa nt designed sign, the surmou de r la nu an of each of brilliant-cut within a border ue aq pl al ov as an op set to the ding an oval ho en sp su , ds on diam , stamped nt-cut diamonds ia ill br th wi re cent Italy. Bulgari, made in For any inquiries about these jewellery pieces, please contact Anaïs Barthe,



Secret Hideaways

“Pink on the bone” Only a Frenchman could dream up this place… Next door to the mighty temple complex of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, an open-air restaurant with wooden tables and crisp white linens serves home-made rillettes de canard, charcoal-grilled entrecôtes and fluffy mousse au chocolat, accompanied by fine wines. The owner, Matthieu Ravaux, actually lives on the premises, so you’re technically eating in his dining room…












Covering an area of roughly 125 hectares close to the town of Siem Reap and known as Angkor Wat, the th temple was built by the 12 -century Khmer king Suryavarman II in honour of the Hindu god Vishnu and houses one of his most spectacular legacies: the massive Churning of the Sea of Milk bas-relief.

32 Secret Hideaways

Matthieu Ravaux, owner of the restaurant Chez Sophea.


nce a collection of scattered ruins poking through the jungle canopy in Cambodia, Angkor is now an archaeological park, where the awe-inspiring towers of what is the world’s largest religious building rise up from behind a broad causeway. Covering an area of roughly 125 hectares close to the town of Siem Reap and known as Angkor Wat, it was built by the 12th-century Khmer King Suryavarman II in honour of the Hindu God Vishnu and it houses one of his most spectacular legacies: the massive bas-relief Churning of the Sea of Milk. This monumental piece of art depicts the Hindu creation myth and it is a complicated piece of imagery. In Hindu mythology, 13 precious things including the elixir of immortality were lost in the churning of the cosmic sea. Finding them again required a joint dredging operation between almond-eyed gods (devas) and surly-looking demons (asuras). Assisting in this endeavour was the giant serpent Vasuki, who offered himself as a rope wrapped around Mount Mandara. The actions of the gods and demons caused Vasuki to rotate the mountain and churn the sea into foam, like a giant cosmic blender. This released a seminal fluid that created a divine ambrosia, amrita, the essence of life. The snake was yanked back and forth in a giant tug-of-war that lasted a thousand years. Born of this action are Apsarases,

or celestial dancers, a purely Khmer innovation. The seductive Apsarases promise a joyful existence for those who attain the ultimate incarnation. Angkor Wat is indeed a stirring monument to immortality. Cambodia’s heat and intensity demand long, replenishing lunches. When you’ve had your fill of ancient history, cross the moat to Chez Sophea for a sophisticated meal among the shabby food stalls surrounding the great temple. Here the duck confit and the home-made foie gras are as good as any in France, but be warned: the French chef, Matthieu Ravaux, can be prickly and opinionated at times; he means nothing by it. Ravaux was on a mission back in 1989. The Guimet Museum of Asian Arts, his employer in Paris, dispatched him to Cambodia as a photographer. Ravaux was supposed to conduct a baseline study; an evaluation of the condition of the temples after some 30 years of civil war. Cambodia was administered by Vietnam at the time and the French still took a keen interest in their former colony and protectorate, l’Indochine. Very soon, Matthieu Ravaux fell for the charm of Cambodia, this little-known “Kingdom of Wonder” on the banks of the mighty Mekong. “The kindness of the Cambodian people struck me.

The bas-relief galleries depicting scenes from the Ramayana, Angkor Wat.


Detail from the bas-relief carving Churning of the Sea of Milk at Angkor Wat. The waiting army of elephants depicts heaven.

And the temples generated a profound aesthetic and emotional shock,” he recalls. “I instantly understood that I could not go on living in France, that this here was where I wanted to be!” One year later, Matthieu Ravaux purchased a one-way ticket from Paris to Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, where the Tonlé Sap River drains into the Mekong. His first job in Cambodia was at the helm of UNESCO in the country for a couple of years before, fresh from his wedding with his Khmer wife Sophea, opening their restaurant in 1993. “The country was different back then. Owing to the conflict, there were still bomb craters everywhere and Siem Reap had no electricity,” Matthieu remembers. Monkeys act as a reception committee at Matthieu’s restaurant. He mostly chases them away, as some of them are known to have thieved food from guests’ tables in the past. Debussy’s First Arabesque is drowning out the delicate crackle of a generator far off in the distance. Matthieu steps in with a broad smile on his face, probably because you came alone, or with a friend or family member: he despises large tourist groups and never accepts them. That’s one of the first things he will likely point out when you visit. ...

34 Secret Hideaways

Angkor Wat, which means City Temple, was built during the 12th century by the Khmer King Suryavarman II.

Monkey monuments protecting temple entrance in Angkor Wat.

Chez Sophea easily makes it into the top ten of the “Best Bites Near Sites� category.



01 / Temple of Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat.

02 / Stone carvings of divine dancers, Apsarases in the temple complex of Angkor Wat. 02

... Matthieu has built his restaurant according to the exact criteria of what he would expect from a restaurant as a guest himself. “You are in an establishment, where the staff don’t know what a microwave oven is. We have neither a freezer nor a can opener in here. Just so you know,” he says with a wagging forefinger to an amazed Korean couple sitting at a table next to mine. “Freshly prepared food without a speck of MSG” reads his home-printed menu. In the event that you feel tempted to engage Monsieur Ravaux on this topic, expect a lengthy monologue in which he throws everything he has at bashing the powdery flavour-enhancer, monosodium glutamate. Angkor Wat is currently undergoing a major renovation, but the necessary funding is disappointingly low, so the pace is desperately slow. Matthieu knows the ruins well and he is always keen on sharing a story or two with his guests. After all, the temples are the very reason this guy came to Cambodia in the first place. His detailed information is often more insightful than the sometimes-wacky explanations given by the official guides during the tours, and he may well send you off the beaten track and deeper into the jungle. Until a few years ago, tough road conditions meant that only the bravest travellers ventured to

03 / Buddhist Monk and Apsarases detail at The Bayon in Angkor Thom.


Map of Angkor Wat and the temples of Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

36 Secret Hideaways

“The secret of my fish? I serve it when it’s still pink on the bone!”, he explains with a twinkle in his eyes before joining you at your table for a digestif: a nicely chilled eau-de-vie de poire from the Valais.

the remote Beng Mealea temple, a sprawling sandstone sanctuary that has been nearly consumed by the jungle. But a new route has replaced the single-plank bridges and motorbike-only track, cutting the travel time from half a day to just under an hour by car. Beng Mealea is nearly as big as Angkor Wat but gets a fraction of the visitors. The destruction is breathtaking: towers reduced to tall mounds of rubble, thick webs of tree roots snaking through the walls, and faceless carvings, some with their heads cut off and sold by looters. Still, the place has seen worse: until 2003, the surrounding grounds were littered with land mines. Now the time is ripe for a fresh start. Tourism has rapidly increased in Cambodia over the last decade. Talkative Matthieu Ravaux loves curious tourists. His customers flock in from all the world over. Unlike at some of the more popular temples, you never have the impression that his place is too crowded. If you really hit it off he might just talk you into one of his specialities: Kruen Trey Râ, a deliciously barbecued fish dish with fresh peanuts that is well-spiced but not hot. This particular type of white, freshwater fish can grow up to 40 centimetres in length and lives in the surrounding rice paddies. When the dry season sets in, it can survive without water for three weeks before crawling into a nearby river.

“I don’t go fishing. I just buy it at the market, like everyone else should do in order to bolster the local economy. The same goes for the beef on my menu. I buy local produce only. Do you think I would be foolish enough to import expensive Australian Wagyu, or how do they call it? It would lose its flavour by the time it got here anyway...” Matthieu is an eccentric with an opinion on just about everything.

How to get there Luxaviation flies to CAMBODIA Siem Reap International Airport.

Chez Sophea is certainly not a Michelin-starred establishment and it probably never will be. Nevertheless, if nothing else, this place easily makes it into the top ten of the “Best Bites Near Sites” category! “Le secret du poisson, c’est qu’il doit être rose à l’arête! Toujours rose à l’arête! The secret of my fish? I serve it when it’s still pink on the bone!”, he explains with a twinkle in his eyes before joining you at your table for a digestif: a nicely chilled eau-de-vie de poire from the Valais.

Next page 01 / Song Saa, Bonfire on the beach.

02 / Song Saa, room with view. 03 / Knai Bang Chatt.


Resort to decent

accommodation Song Saa, a staggeringly beautiful new five-star eco-resort on a private island in the unspoilt Cambodian Koh Rong archipelago.

The elegant Amansara in Siem Reap is a former summer residence and guesthouse of the late King Norodom Sihanouk. It derives its name from merging the Sanskrit words aman (peace) and Apsaras (heavenly nymph of ancient Hindu mythology). The tranquil Amansara resort really feels like a friendly home from home, offering a sanctuary after a day out in the heat and humidity. The former royal retreat was built and designed by French architect Laurent Mondet in 1962 and it truly is quintessentially ‘60s in character. Charles de Gaulle, Jackie Kennedy and Josip Broz Tito graced this architectural gem in its heyday. Partly destroyed under the Khmer Rouge thereafter, it was rebuilt in 2002, drawing on old photographs and local knowledge. Upon request, and as a terrific complement to your exploration of its surroundings, Amansara can arrange customised helicopter tours, offering a birds-eye view on the Angkorian civilisation

Amansara www.amanresort t Knai Bang Chat www.knaibangch Resort Private Island Song Saa m

before landing at Banteay Ompeul, one of the remote lost jungle temples, for a delicious al fresco picnic lunch of Khmer delicacies. Knai Bang Chatt, in the remote beach town of Kep on the Gulf of Thailand, offers a perfect break from the sometimes-stifling heat inland. Half a century ago, Kep-sur-Mer, as the French used to call this once fashionable promontory, sported the ocean-side villas of the colonial elite. One of these graceful, Le Corbusier-inspired buildings has been saved and painstakingly restored to its former glory: Knai Bang Chatt. Make sure to check out the local crab market and its informal eateries, housed in somewhat rickety but clean beachfront sheds or jump on a boat and escape for a half-day of snorkelling followed by a barbecued lunch to Koh ThonsĂĄy, also called Rabbit Island, for its beautiful white sand beach with coconut palms and shallow water, home to tropical fish in a dazzling array of colours. Yet another, even more tranquil alternative would be Song Saa: a staggeringly beautiful new five-star eco-resort that is leading the way in sustainable luxury, on a private island in the unspoilt Cambodian Koh Rong archipelago.




38 Secret Hideaways

The Cambodia


The scorching heat and the damp climate, the often bumpy rides on Cambodia’s countless mud tracks and the busy markets take their toll on the most adventurous traveller.

Siem Reap is Cambodia’s gateway to the temples and the jungle beyond: a bustling town and the country’s cultural hub. Wind down by enjoying an Apsara dance show or attend a cello concert in the name of a good cause. Dr Beat “Beatocello” Richner, a Swiss ex-pat, started playing classical music on Sunday nights 20 years ago to raise awareness of the activities of his Kantha Bopha hospitals for sick children. Admission is always free: Dr Richner funds the organisation purely with donations. ( Embark on a half- or full-day cruise on Tonlé Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Tonlé Sap was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1997. More than 1 million people live on and in the transition zone around the lake, on which there are floating markets, schools, churches, flower gardens, vegetable farms, and even police stations. During the wet season,

should know before A few things you of South East heading out to one secrets Asia’s best kept n stination that ca Cambodia is a de t bu d, un ro ar be visited all ye avoid the rainy to nt wa t gh you mi . July and November season, between s it s ha y ainl The monsoon cert sport can come to an tr t bu , charms till in the mud. a complete stands el, rrency is the Ri The country’s cu ur yo ge an ch ed to but you don’t ne ars are widely ll do US as money, bills are always accepted; small bring a spare preferred. Also, r your visa on passport photo fo arrival.

from July to November, water inflow expands the surface area of the lake more than five-fold, inundating the surrounding forested flood plains. Tonlé Sap fisheries supply approximately 80% of the protein consumed in all of Cambodia. Take a speedboat to the furthest reaches of Tonlé Sap, to the halffloating, half-stilted village of Kompong Khleang, or go on safari at Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, one of three core areas of the Tonlé Sap Biosphere Reserve, located at the northwest tip of the lake. More than 120 different bird species inhabit Prek Toal. The swampy forests of Prek Toal are accessible with kayaks and support the largest colonies of storks, pelicans and ibises in all of mainland Southeast Asia. As well as the crowning achievements of Khmer civilization in Siem Reap, the charming colonial vestiges of the capital Phnom Penh and the pristine coastline from Kep to Koh Kong, you should not miss out this country’s more recent past.


River front area of Phnom Penh.

Houseboats on the Tonlé Sap lake, Battambang, Cambodia.

Ravaged in the 1970s by the violence of the Khmer Rouge, the country has re-emerged as a dream destination, bearing witness to the resilience of its people. The Cambodia Landmine Museum is an impressive testimony of this. It is the life’s work of its founder Aki Ra, a man who was groomed to be an instrument of war by the Khmer Rouge regime. In his adult life, the former child soldier has worked to combat the violence in which he once took part, by removing as many as he can of the 6 million landmines and pieces of unexploded ordnance that still mar Cambodia’s countryside. (


“ Each encounter with a brandy as excellent as this, which touches our very soul, leaves a mark on us that never completely fades.� Christoph Keller


BY Jutta B issinger

Grapes & Flavours

The Alchemist Christoph Keller

The villages in the Hegau sit between rolling hills. Meadow orchards line the road leading through the beautiful landscape near Lake Constance. The road becomes narrower and narrower. It isn’t easy to find the Stählemühle – the place chosen by one of the world’s best distillers to go about his work.


he road ends at a farmstead with a house, barns and stables. A cock crows and a bearded bloke in dungarees, a worn fleece jacket and wellies appears in the courtyard. Unruly hair pokes from under his cap. He must be an employee. He is just saying goodbye to a gentleman who disappears with a bottle under his arm and a smile. Then he comes towards us. A firm handshake and a steady gaze. “Christoph Keller. Come on in.” So this, then, is the owner of the Stählemühle; the man whose schnapps has garnered more than 200 international prizes and who, last year, was named one of the world’s ten best distillers by Destillata and Gault Millau – even though distilling has only been his primary occupation for a few short years. At the time, the publisher of art books was looking for a country house with his wife and two small children. “And then we saw this real estate posting: ‘Mill with commercial possibilities and distillation rights (Brennrecht)’. Distillation rights? We thought it meant we were allowed to have fires here.” He grins as he brews a pot of tea. Not the slightest hint of vanity. The tea is served in blue-striped ceramic cups whose irregular shapes sit comfortably in the hand. Art is clearly at home here; whether as books or schnapps, everything about the 43-year-old and his wife Christiane seems to be

artistic. Even the furnishings show this: The flair of the old farmhouse has been wonderfully preserved yet combined with slick designer elements. That’s how the distiller works as well. “I try new things, I experiment. I had a distillery specially built – but I don’t forget the artisanal origins.” It’s Habsburg monarch Maria Theresa who introduced the distilling right in the 18th century. There was too much fruit and the intention was to put it to productive use. “The point wasn’t intoxication; it was all about the medicinal effect of the alcohol,” says Keller. In Germany, the right is attached to a house. If it isn’t used, it expires. So Christoph Keller began to distil. Just for fun. It was then that somebody purchased his publishing house. He had a lot of time on his hands and read everything he could find about distilling; he has a very thorough approach. That sets him apart from many distillers, who learnt the art from their fathers or grandfathers: They started doing when they were very young, just like the grown-ups did. Often without really knowing why. Christoph Keller knows exactly what he is doing. He purposely produces only small batches; only a hundred bottles of certain products exist. All are bottled in dark glass containers based on chemist’s bottles and bearing handwritten labels. “I’m not looking to grow. We don’t have a lot of

The Stählemühle is an old watermill near Lake Constance, southern Germany, built in 1750.

42 Grapes & Flavours

01 / The still has been specially designed, and was

custom-made for Christoph Keller by coppersmith Arnold Holstein. It replaced the old pot still in 2010.

02 / The ripening cellar is an underground building, driven deep into the soil. The constant temperatures help the distillates ripen in glass balloons at ideal temperatures.


people here: My wife and I, one master distiller, two extra hands at harvest time. And that’s how it will stay.” Even though Keller seems to distil everything he finds: Not just cherries, greengages and pears, but also rowanberries, zibarte plums and chokeberries, elderberries, quinces and medlar, even citrus fruits, bananas and herbs, spruce tips, mushrooms and chicory roots. He now has more than 200 spirits on offer, and he intends to continue: “Anything with natural aromas can be distilled.” His goal? “I try to reproduce the entire lifecycle of the plant. From when the fruit blooms to when it falls, every aroma should be contained in its distillate.” He calls the fall of the fruit “Vanitas”, another artistic expression. It’s the name of a Baroque artistic style in which still lives were painted with skulls and rotting fruit to demonstrate transience. Keller isn’t interested in the effect of the alcohol; privately he doesn’t drink a drop and only tastes it professionally. “I only want the aroma,” he repeats. Like an alchemist. He generally only uses fruit from the region and has mapped out trees in the surrounding area so as to know when each one is ripe for the picking. “That makes the distillate clean.” It’s true: A sample of “Wachauer Marille aus dem Maulbeerfass”, an unfiltered and therefore golden speciality, sets off fireworks. The life of an apricot flashes before my inner eye with



“ I try to reproduce the entire lifecycle of the plant. From when the fruit blooms to when it falls, every aroma should be contained in its distillate.”

01 / The little tasting

room with benches, by e15.

02 / The mash in the still, just ready for distillation.



ing and – most of the time – filtering. The spirits then sit in the ripening cellar for a few months in round-bellied bottles before they are “wedded” with water, that is to say brought down to a drinkable alcohol content. “We bring in water from the Black Forest for that. That’s the only place it’s pure enough.” Then the bottles are filled and labelled. The man with the bushy beard sips from the cof- These treasures then wait for buyers, drawn up fee cup and places one hand over the other. They in rows in the warehouse. Not buyers actually, rather connoisseurs able to differentiate between are strong but sensitive. “99 percent of it is the mash; only one percent comes from the distillery an industrially-distilled spirit and a handmade delicacy – and who can appreciate the work of a and the distiller’s ability,” he says. He only profirst-class distiller. duces mash from the best ingredients; the fruit must be “ready to fall from the tree” when they are completely ripe. It is sorted by hand, cleaned and destemmed since any panicle or stem, and even simply being left laying around for too long can lead to the wrong aromas, for example an unwanted sting of vinegar. “For last year’s quince spirit we rubbed each fruit by hand since the furry covering contains disturbing oils.” Cut into small pieces, the fruit is placed in barrels with special strains of yeast and enzymes. We cross the courtyard to the distilling hut. The How to get there mash barrels near the impressive distilling equipLUXAVIATION FLIES TO ment are topped by fermenting bungs which Eigeltingen occasionally rise up as if by magic: They’re Friedrichshafen Airport fermenting. Keller only allows the process to is located 58.9 km (36 mi.) proceed for a short time, then it’s on to distillfrom the village. hints of buds and blooms, green, ripe and overripe fruit. There is also a hint of almonds, since the apricot is part of the bitter almond family, and of wood, all with an unimagined intensity and delicateness. The taste stays on my tongue for a long time, on my palate and in my nose. A masterpiece of distilling. How does he do that?

44 Grapes & Flavours

The house’s reading room – not all the books are about fruits, herbs and the history of distilling!


Christoph Keller’s favourite spirits: Cornel cherry, because it is so complex (e.g. Brand von der Kornelkirsche aus Brachenreuthe, unfiltered, 0.5 l 145 EUR) Rowanberry, because the aroma is so incredibly interesting: It’s 80% marzipan, but also contains wild, herbal, earthy tones. Rowanberries are the ultimate test for distillers since they are so difficult to distil. Producing 1.5 litres of alcohol takes one person three days (e.g. Mährische Vogelbeere im Maulbeerfass, double-distilled, unfiltered, 0.5 l 225 EUR). Spruce tips, because they have hints of resin alongside delicate citrus aromas (e.g. Hegauer Maiwipfelgeist von frischen Fichtensprossen, 0.5 l 85 EUR). Forest raspberries, because they don’t immediately “explode” in the nose but rather display their full fruitiness in the mouth with a hint of leaves and earth (e.g. Hegauer Waldhimbeerbrand, 0.5 l 185 EUR).

Products are also available at top-class restaurants and from exclusive dealers in Germany and Switzerland including: Andreas Murkudis, Berlin Mutterland, Hamburg Schwittenberg, Munich Edition Populaire, Zurich Colekt, Frankfurt

Christoph Keller’s tip For any given distiller, first try the rowanberry spirit and then the forest raspberry spirit: “Then you’ll know if he knows what he’s doing.” Stählemühle spirits can be ordered via the homepage at or via fax, post or e-mail. When Keller is not in the distillery or orchard, he is also happy to provide advice over the phone. Please note: The Stählemühle is not permitted to export its spirits! Stählemühle Aqua Vitae Christoph Keller Stählemühle 1 D-78253 Eigeltingen-Münchhöf Germany Tel. +49 (0)7771 8755-0 Fax +49 (0)7771 8755-11


BY C hristina H eidt

Star Chefs

“ Incredibly precise & relaxed” Rolf Fliegauf Extremely aromatic, natural and authentic compositions; like an explosion in your mouth. Rolf Fliegauf’s cuisine enthuses his guests – during the summer at the Giardino luxury hotel and its Ristorante Ecco in Ascona on the Lago Maggiore and during the winter at Ristorante Ecco on Snow in St Moritz.


e has also very quickly made a name for himself in the professional world – the 31 year-old has earned four Michelin stars in five years for his two restaurants, making him the youngest four-starred chef in Switzerland. Rolf Fliegauf describes his style as “modern aromatic cooking.” A casual and genial chef who loves to experiment. Where does your passion for cooking come from? People say that, as a child, you spent more time in the kitchen than playing with your toys. There’s something to that. In a way, for me there was never any alternative to cooking; it was only very briefly up for discussion when I was a teenager. My parents had a restaurant near Augsburg in southern Germany and I was usually in the kitchen there. I was basically born into it. My real passion though, that only came later.

What do you find particularly fascinating about your job? In that kind of working environment, in the kitchen, you form very different relationships – friendly relationships; I always find that exciting. I’m not one of those chefs who gets loud and throws pans around when things get stressful. At Ecco, the kitchen team is all approximately the same age and we spend a lot of time in close proximity to each other. Do you have any sort of mentor? You learned from the world’s best chefs: Juan Amador in Langen near Frankfurt, Heston Blumenthal in London, Johny Boer in Zwolle, Paco Roncero in Madrid and René Redzepi in Copenhagen. I do have a main mentor. It’s Philippe Frutiger, CEO of Giardino Group S.A. He brought me to


48 Star Chefs

“I love taking a motorboat out on the lake from time to time and am currently working on my golfing handicap.”

his hotel, Hotel Giardino, after sending me on an eight month European tour of the best restaurants, where I did a kind of apprenticeship. I saw so many restaurants in a very short time and learned so many different techniques. I absorbed all of that. And over the years you develop your own style. For example, in one of the really large kitchens I was particularly fascinated by the extremely precise documentation of products and their preparation. So many chefs were at work but everything still went like clockwork.

We place great value on the presentation of our dishes and always think about how we can do things differently. I often seek inspiration when I travel, in restaurants, and then remember the little details that stand out for me. Our cuisine is also very natural – and yet it’s still somewhat eccentric. We don’t have any everyday combinations, but we have any number of surprises. And throughout all of this I remain very detailorientated.

The Guide Michelin describes your cooking as “new and imaginative” and the director of the Hotel Giardino says that you are both, very precise yet relaxed. Do you recognise yourself in those descriptions? Yes, of course (laughs). My work just goes beyond normal work. I am a believer in the idea that you should do what you enjoy alongside people with whom you enjoy doing it. Then, even when there’s a lot of stress, you stay relaxed. And regarding imaginative cuisine, well, I totally agree: In Switzerland our cooking style is unique, unparalleled. And we are very proud of that. Cooking isn’t just a career for you, it’s a calling. What distinguishes your cooking? What do you find important?

Do you have a favourite combination on your menu at the moment? We are always very seasonal, working with products that are currently available from the market. For me, one classic is always foie gras. That’s always on the menu, at the moment in a very unusual combination with sweet and sour onions and a particular type of speck. Foie gras is normally served with fruit, for example apples, but I wanted to go in a different direction; to create something heartier and therefore unusual, in this case presented on a wooden slab. It’s a balancing act, but I think that we got it right with this dish. As a chef, do you also see yourself as an inventor? Where do your ideas come from? The ideas mostly come from the team. One of us comes up with an idea we work together to develop it. I think that you have to be inventive,

How to get there LUXAVIATION FLIES TO Ascona Milano Malpensa Airport is located 127 km (78 mi.) from Ascona.

49 Rolf Fliegauf, 31, has earned four Michelin stars in five years, making him the youngest four-starred chef in Switzerland.

50 Star Chefs

otherwise it just doesn’t work. I often have ideas while I’m driving, when I’m on the move. Then I slowly elaborate on them, and that’s when the insights start to come. Then I need a pen and paper to write it all down. Two stars for each of your restaurants are incredible – three would of course be better. Are you already shooting for that third Michelin star? At the beginning I approached the topic with a bit of inhibition. Now I’m very relaxed. I am sure that if I said now that I wanted a third star at all costs, nothing would come of it. Of course a third Michelin star for Ecco or Ecco on Snow is my main goal, but I’m sure that I am still going to have to wait a bit for that. We will continue to develop our style and demonstrate our potential. And if the restaurant is always fully-booked, then that speaks for itself. You work up to 16 hours per day. What do you do when you have a bit of free time? I love Ticino. The landscape is wonderful and I enjoy living in the region. I love taking a motorboat out on the lake from time to time and am currently working on my golfing handicap. Something else I like to do from time to time: Drive into a valley and eat something very simple.

Ecco Ristorante dino Ascona Hotel Giar gnale 10 Via del Se cona As 2 61 -6 CH d Switzerlan 88 ) 91 785 88 Tel. +41 (0 gi e@ om lc we www.giardi

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HEAD OFFICE Boulevard Royal, 43 l-2955 lUXemBOURg T +352 4797 1 amSTeRdam | BRUSSelS | geneVa | lOndOn | lUXemBOURg | madRId | mOnaCO | mUnICH | PaRIS


BY R alf Wigger


So close to the stars















In the middle of the volcanic area of Garrotxa (Catalonia, Spain), Judit Planella and her husband Joaquim Puigdevall have created a unique oasis unlike anything we have seen before: Modern architecture set amongst untouched nature – a world apart full of unforeseen experiences.


“ And at night,” says Judit, “the stars provide a natural spectacle that is out of this world.” The perfect illusion of sleeping under the stars.




The ceiling, floor and walls every part is constructed almost entirely of glass and steel.

The five pavilions were built along the lines of the square structure of the earlier vegetable garden.


01 / The volcanic area of Garrotxa.

02 / The restaurant is

located in a wonderfullyrestored 15th century building.



narrow gap in a thick wall, ivy hanging from the roof – where is the door? Surrounded by the fragrance of rosemary and thyme, I discover a passage, slip through and find myself in a bare room without any windows or doors. A tall table, no computer, no pictures, no stairs: This is the reception area of Les Cols Pavellons. Judit Planella, the owner, greets me. This woman with large brown eyes immediately senses that the room has had an unusual effect on me. “As soon as our guests enter the reception area, they should be able to leave their everyday lives behind and discover a whole new world. We are an inn, not a hotel,” she says. “We don’t want to restrict ourselves with any categories or stars. Guests shouldn’t arrive with preconceived notions – they should be surprised.” I am indeed surprised, even overwhelmed, as I suddenly realise that everything that I thought I knew about hotels doesn’t apply here. We leave the reception area through a second gap in the wall and find ourselves in the garden of a Catalonian estate. Walking over fine volcanic stone and past steel posts, we reach a narrow walkway bordered by ultramodern cubes. The pavilions, I’m told. Somehow very surreal.


with rounded arches, warm sandstone. The contrast couldn’t be greater. “It all began with my husband’s estate,” explains Judit. “We first converted the restaurant in 2005.” In her sister-in-law Fina Puigdevall’s two-star restaurant guests dine in an atmosphere that makes them feel as if they were sitting in the middle of a garden. Architects with a knack for nature That was also the idea behind the accommodation. Together with internationally-renowned architects RCR1 from Olot, Judit and her husband Joaquim decided to experiment: “We originally wanted to build a country hotel or a few apartments, but each time we met with the architects it became clearer that we really wanted to create something entirely new – accommodation in, and together with, nature.” Here, nature is marked by the volcanic origins of the Garrotxa. Cone-shaped craters, warm springs – even today this region 120 kilometres northwest of Barcelona offers a very different kind of experience.


The firm unites Spanish architects Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem

and Ramón Vilalta, active since 1987 in the Spanish town of Olot (near Girona). In 2010 the architects were welcomed as honorary

I take in the wonderfully-restored 15th century building standing a stone’s throw away; windows

fellows by the American Institute of Architects for their “special importance for architecture and for society”.

56 Stopovers

Mas Le s

The constant splashing of the water and the pebbles make me feel like I’m standing by a forest stream.

After a year filled with numerous meetings and even more doubts, the concept was finally agreed. The five pavilions would be built along the lines of the square structure of the earlier vegetable garden – as cubes flooded with light. Judit opens the door to one of the pavilions and I am overwhelmed once again: The ceiling, floor and walls – every part of the slightly-raised cube is constructed almost entirely of glass and steel. “We know that our guests are surprised once again when they enter the cube. Because we want our guests to be ‘surrounded by nature’, we’ve avoided anything superfluous.” The only furniture in the room is a padded cuboid painted a metallic green. By day it’s a seating area; by night it’s for sleeping. Storage space and a wardrobe are cleverly integrated into the building’s walls – and almost invisible. The glass elements in the floor are slightly roughened with sand; it looks like a stream of lava is flowing below us. Black concrete recalls the region’s volcanic origins. I am drawn by the quiet splashing of a brook. Where is it? Judit laughs and opens the door to the bathroom. Inside, the water trickles over small lava stones over which hangs a large shower head. Steps lead to the pool, laid out with black pebbles. The constant splashing of the water and the

Cols | Avingu da de les Co 17800 ls, 2 Olot ( G irona) SPAIN Tel. + 34 699 813 81 lescol 7 s@lesc olspav ellons .com

pebbles make me feel like I’m standing by a forest stream. “For many visitors, their stay really begins with a long bath. They come into the cube, hear the water and are magically drawn to it.” Unearthly light show How much nature is a part of this pavilion is suddenly made very clear. The sun sets. The many differently-coated glass panes of the cube are filled with an intensive ochre light. The colouring and intensity of the light change by the minute – depending on the position of the sun. Until darkness finally falls, a light show fills the cube. “And at night,” says Judit, “the stars provide a natural spectacle that is out of this world.” The perfect illusion of sleeping under the stars. My visit comes to an end. With glowing eyes and full of pride, Judit tells me, “Our daughter was born almost at the same time as we opened the pavilions. My husband and I are fascinated by how our child and our inn are developing in parallel, how they grow, change continuously and always have their own ideas.” With my head filled with many unexpected impressions and the fragrance of rosemary and thyme, I leave Judit, the reception area and the Les Cols behind me as I exit through the gap in the wall. Back to everyday life. A pity, really.

How to get there Luxaviation flies to Olot (Girona) Girona Costa Brava Airport is located 39 km (24 mi.) from the village of Olot.

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SCP_AD_XCELLENCE_165X220_L1.indd 1

10/8/12 3:02 PM


BY Cé dric E v rard

Art Treats

Marseille-Provence 2013 Culture is taking on a southern twang

Effervescent and rebellious, Marseille is taking on a sizeable challenge this year, by becoming European Capital of Culture. It was a title that this major city wore rather well anyway, marked as it is by its urban patchwork and avant-garde spirit.


o as to be equal to the occasion, the city known in France as the Phoenician City has not held back: over the course of the year, there will be over 400 events, including 60 exhibitions held at sites renovated or built for the occasion. Just one example is the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM), described as a “jewel of light and sensuality, open onto the sea”. Marseille and the surrounding area are therefore expecting a 10% increase in tourist numbers and a healthy impact on local economic life well beyond 2013. All the same, the budget allocated to the event is around 100 million euro! A unifying event The organisers say the programme, which started 12 January this year, is demanding and unifying. It will be built around three themes, “like a story

in three parts”, stresses Jacques Pfister, Chairman of the Marseille-Provence 2013 Association, and will cover areas like the circus, urban culture, street art, cinema and literature. More specifically, “Marseille-Provence accueille le monde” (Marseille-Provence welcomes the world), from January to May, will stress how cosmopolitan and multicultural cities are, with their abundance of new forms of art. “Marseille-Provence à ciel ouvert” (Marseille-Provence in the open air), from June to August, will see a season of exceptional festivals held at original locations in the open air, at which fleeting shows and activities will echo throughout the summer.


om 12 Ja nu ar y to 31 D ec em be r




60 02

Art Treats


“For Marseille and its region, this event constitutes an exceptional opportunity to re-energise their cultural life, to show the world how they are changing and to reinforce their attractiveness internationally”, continues Jacques Pfister. “The strength of our project is that we have been able to bring together all the different energies in our region, whether from Roman Arles, medieval Salon-de-Provence, or industrial Martigues and Istres; from cultural Aix-en-Provence, rural Aubagne or Greek Marseille. As well as the official events, it is a whole region with a bright future that we are suggesting people discover or rediscover.” With “Marseille-Provence aux mille visages” (Marseille-Provence of a thousand faces), from September to December, the art of living together in the public arena will be given pride of place, along with a few iconic figures from the history of Mediterranean art and thought, such as Albert Camus, Le Corbusier or Pier Paolo Pasolini. According to Jacques Pfister, it will be about “supporting contemporary creativity and getting the maximum possible number of people involved”. How will this be done? By organising events in neighbourhoods and schools, but also by offering free entry to shows such as “Métamorphoses, les artistes jouent avec la ville” (Metamorphoses, Artists Play with the City), held

20 September to 6 October in the streets of the Phoenician City, or “La Nuit industrielle” (Industrial Night), which will take a fresh look at the industrial sites of Martigues on 31 August. Surprising collaborations Under the label of Euro-Mediterranean Workshops, around fifty artists have taken over outof-the-ordinary places or dared to form the most unexpected partnerships to display their talents. For example, the choreographer Kitsou Dubois has asked the French Acrobatic Patrol (PAF) to perform unprecedented acrobatic manoeuvres, while Anne-Valérie Gasc will bring to life a real explosion for the public, from the heart of a demolition company. Marseille-Provence 2013 will be able to take advantage of the undisputed fame and aura of the area’s already-existing festivals, such as in Aix-en-Provence or Arles. However, it will also show off other, less well-known ones, such as Marseille’s Jazz des Cinq Continents, Les Suds à Arles (world music) or Marseille’s act’Oral (contemporary writing). The city still has a slightly dodgy reputation; a tiny fly in the ointment for a slick organisation, but the Chairman of the Marseille-Provence 2013

01 / Villa Méditerranée. 02 / “Écritures du réel” (Writing about the Real). From September to December 2013

How to get there Luxaviation flies to MARSEILLE Marseille Provence Airport.



01 / Last creation from

the Belgian company “Studio Eclipse” back to “Envies Rhônements” 2013.

02 / Le Corbusier’s Modulor Man.


Things we love ”Marseille-Provence accueille le monde” Creativity “Les grandes carrioles” (The Big Carts), 13 mobile kitchens run by pairs of artist chefs. ”Marseille-Provence à ciel ouvert” Association is not worried. “Marseille-Provence is a major tourist destination. In image terms, it is true that the various recent tragic events are not making things easy for us. However, the reality is that Marseille-Provence cannot be boiled down to these tragedies, as the media are currently doing. Our plan is strong and we are counting on it to reverse this trend.” Will culture have found its capital? It seems so... Practical issues When? From 12 January to 31 December 2013. News, programme? You can find the programme at this address

Festival “Envies Rhônements” (Yearning for the Rhône), a mix of culture, art and environment on the Rhône delta, in Camargue. ”Marseille-Provence aux mille visages” Exhibition “‘Le Corbusier’, figure emblématique de l’urbanisme à Marseille” (‘Le Corbusier’, Iconic Figure of Marseille’s Urban Development), in Hangar J1. Opéra Slam, presented by Marseille’s Festival of Dance and the Various Arts. Literary festival “Ecritures du réel” (Writing about the Real).

62 Our Fleet

Gulfstream G55o


ur ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550 business jet was manufactured in 2008 and at the time of writing had only accumulated 400 landing cycles. With a capacity for 16 passengers and 4 crew, the 13.39 metre-long cabin (max. width 2.49 m) offers a most comfortable 2.24 m headroom. It is equipped with the Gulfstream PlaneView速 cockpit, the most advanced flight deck in business aviation. The luxurious interior has been designed with executives in mind, offering distinct living areas and temperature zones. The cabin combines productivity with exceptional comfort including a deep table for working courtesy of its advanced technology and a host of communication features enabling contact with the home office. Seating is split between individual reclining leather chairs and a second cabin of upholstered seating which can also be used for catching up on sleep before meetings upon landing.

The jet normally cruises at Mach 0.85 (904 km/h) and can reach a top speed of Mach 0.885 (941 km/h). Its maximum range is 12,501 km and has a cruising altitude of max. 15,500 m. It also offers a substantial 6.4 m3 of luggage space.

Our fleet

Passengers CABIN Length CABIN Width 11 8.66 m 2.19 m S Bombardier Challenger 300 9 8.72 m 2.19 m Cessna Citation C680 Soverign 9 7.70 m 1.68 m Cessna Citation C560 XLS/EXCEL 7+1 5.60 m 1.68 m Cessna C525 CJ1/CJ1+ 5+1 4.27 m 1.49 m CEssna C525B CJ3 6+1 5.02 m 1.47 m Cessna C650 Citation VII 7+1 5.60 m 1.68 m Hawker Beechcraft Premier 1 6 4.11 m 1.65 m Cessna Citation 560 XLS 8 5.8 m 1.7 m SAT Embraer Legacy 600 12 12.95 m 2.1 M c GULFSTREAM G550 D-AVAR 16 + 4 13.39 M 2.49 M Bombardier Challenger 604


Our ultra-long-range Gulfstream G550 business jet was manufactured in 2008 and at the time of writing had only accumulated 400 landing cycles.

CABIN Height Luggage Space Max. range Max. cruisinG speed Company EQuiPMENT 7,458 km 870 km/h Fairjets & Luxaviation Leather seats, AirCon, Lavatory, Galley, Espresso machine, microwave, 1.85 m 3.00 m3 SatCoM, Air Show ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM, CD/DVD 5,741 km 848 km/h Fairjets & Luxaviation Leather seats, AirCon, Lavatory, Galley, SatCoM, CD/DVD, Air Show 1.85 m 3.10 m3 1.73 m 2.83 m3 5,273 km 846 km/h Fairjets Leather seats, AirCon, Lavatory, SatCoM, CD/DVD, Air Show, Oven 1.73 m 2.50 m3 3,815 km 891 km/h Fairjets Leather seats, AirCon, Lavatory, SatCoM, refreshment centre with microwave, power sockets 2,460 km 720 km/h Fairjets Leather seats, AirCon, Lavatory, SatCoM, power sockets 1.46 m 1.96 m3 1.45 m 1.66 m3 3,334 km 850 km/h Fairjets Leather seats, AirCon, Lavatory, power sockets 1.73 m 2.30 m3 5,273 km 891 km/h Fairjets Leather seats, AirCon, Lavatory, Galley, SatCoM, refreshment centre with oven, coat closet 2,519 km 841 km/h Fairjets Leather seats, AirCon, Lavatory 1.68 m 2.20 m3 1.75 m 2.25 m3 3,300 KM 817 km/h Luxaviation Leather seats, power supply, Galley, Microwave, LAVATORY, SATCOM, AIRCON 6,204 km 843 km/h Luxaviation Leather seats, AirCon, vanity & toilet lavatories, Galley/Bar 1.83 m 9.2 M3 with coffee maker, microwave oven, thermal oven, hot cup, coat closet, entertainment cabinet, DVD, Air Show, personal monitors 12,501 KM 941 KM/H FAIRJETS LEATHER SEATS, POWER SUPPLY, LAVATORY, GALLEY, AIRCON 2.24 M 6.4 M 3

64 In the Next Issue

e u s s I t x e N e h In t


Secret Hideaways To this day, mystic Santorini remains a dream destination for travellers in the dark blue Mediterranean Sea. The southernmost of the Cyclades Islands has braved off the fiercest of storms in its multi-millennial history. This most romantic of Greek treasure spots in the Aegean is surrounding a huge caldera, a natural lagoon created by an ancient volcano, that one day had changed the course of the earth, claim the Santorini Islanders...

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