Fifth Chukker Vol 2 Issue 15

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ISSUE 15

Adventures in Luxury

The Grenada Chocolate Fest

Celebrate all things cocoa

Cricket

The pleasant haven for many

Sicily

Cultural crossroads of the Mediterranean

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Contents ISSUE 15

10 EDITOR’S LETTER Yasemen Kaner-White

LAST SEASON AT FIFTH CHUKKER

12 FIFTH CHUKKER DAY Another great day in Windsor for Nigeria’s distressed children. 18 INVESTMENT A Transformative mega primary school project in Kaduna by Access Bank and Fifth Chukker nears completion. 20 FOOD EXPERIENCE Foodies again had the time of their lives at the Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield. 21 CHILDRENS’ DAY The children’s day program at Fifth Chukker brings kids from diverse backgrounds to celebrate togetherness. 23 PINK POLO CELEBRATIONS Push for Breast Cancer awareness once again.

ART IN FOCUS

50 BONHAMS The latest highlights from Bonhams are on every art lover’s wishlist.

TRAVEL 26 S ALZBURG FESTIVAL WILL BE CELEBRATING ITS 100TH BIRTHDAY IN 2020 – DON’T MISS IT! The world’s most important celebration of opera, music and theatre. 39 SICILY – CULTURAL CROSSROADS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN Sicily encapsulates the richness of the Mediterranean world. You can see, hear and taste the legacies of its former rulers – Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Normans, Angevins, Spanish – all over the Med’s largest island. 80 LUXURY TRAVEL HAS A SERIOUS BUSINESS BEHIND IT “The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mind set with which we travel than on the destination we travel to,” Alain de Botton, ‘The Art Of Travel’. 86 BEACHES, BABOONS AND BAREFOOT LUXURY IN THE GAMBIA The Gambia, known as the Smiling Coast of West Africa thanks to the friendliness of the locals, is the smallest country on mainland Africa.


HEALTH FEATURE

98 THE WORLD OF CBD CBD was first discovered in 1940 by Dr Roger Adams, however its structure not fully understood until 1963.

BUSINESS PROFILE

30 THE UNSTOPPABLE RISE OF MOBILE PHONE PAYMENTS Little more than a decade ago, paying for things using your mobile phone was an alien idea to most people.

ADVENTURES IN SPORT

56 THE RISE AND RISE OF THE BIKE BUSINESS In 1885 John Kemp Starley produced the first of a new kind of machine, the safety bicycle. 62 CRICKET CONQUERS THE WORLD! In 2019 India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli earned more than $24 million, while his colleague MS Dhoni took home $21 million.

ADVENTURES IN FASHION

46 SUNNY ROSE A fashion company specializing in handmade handbags, jewelry and the newly introduced ready to wear range of clothing.

70 FASHION UNDRESSED “Lingerie is the first thing you put on and the last thing you take off,” states Paris-based designer Yasmine Eslami. As statements to the significance of lingerie go, this is as powerful as it gets.

CUISINE SCENE

106 A CULTURAL CULINARY TOUR OF EGYPT Now, more than ever is the time to visit Egypt, with recent open access to previously closed archaeological sites, such as the Bent Pyramid and the 4,000 year old Tomb of Mehu. 113 GRENADA’S CARIBBEAN CHOCOLATE FEST When one thinks of chocolate, they may not necessarily know that Grenada is a pioneering leader.

BOOKSHELF

GO WHERE THE ACTION IS

120 No matter what month it is, somewhere around the world there is an event not to be missed, here are a few to tempt you to travel… 122 WHO’S READING FIFTH CHUKKER


UNICEF MESSAGE It is always a call to duty to be associated with rights-based activities that promotes the wellbeing of children. I could recall, in the early days I resumed duties as the Representative of UNICEF Nigeria, I received a full brief on this partnership for children. I also would like to reiterate that private sector partnership is critical in our collective efforts towards expanding strategic collaboration to ensure equity for every child in Nigeria. Children issues are diverse, wide and always a motivating factor for us to do much more to improve the quality of lives of children especially those from the deprived and marginalized families. Therefore, to effectively and efficiently promote the rights of children, UNICEF works with a wide range of development partners, government, individuals, businesses, foundations and civil society organizations to help them realize their full potential. In Nigeria, UNICEF supports the government of Nigeria and its partners to protect the rights of all children across the country and support Nigeria achieve the Sustainable Development Goals for children. The outcome of the 13 - year active partnership has translated very positive results for children in Kaduna state and currently there is a tremendous progress in the education sector. We now have 60 out of 120 classrooms completed constructed with funds raised through this partnership which would establish a model school for children. Looking at the scale of progress, we are positive the remaining 60 classrooms would be completed this year to provide a conducive teaching and learning environment for the children benefiting from this partnership. It is delighting to see this partnership increasingly generate public awareness on issues affecting orphans and creating opportunities for community members to discuss matters that affect children especially those from the poor families. The involvement and commitment expressed by the Kaduna state government is indeed a welcome idea and would greatly help in many respect. This partnership has continuously been a platform to promote the rights of children to leisure, play and active participation on matters affecting them through the joint celebration of children related special events. Moving forward, we strongly recommend for this partnership to expand to reach out to more children in hard to reach communities in Kaduna state and also review the progress of beneficiaries of this initiative. Where are they? What are they doing and what are we supposed to do differently to help them and others grow to their full potential. Finally, on behalf of UNICEF, I would like to reaffirm our commitment to sustain this partnership for children with focus on equity and to make education as the central theme, more importantly, the girl child education, and generally help children realize their rights. Let me use this opportunity to thank Fifthchukker and Access Bank for their support to children and together, through flagship events we can always help children realize their rights to participation and speak out on matters affecting them all year round. It is our hope that these children would be listened to and equally respond positively to their requests by all of us as duty bearers. Thank you.

Peter Hawkins, Representative, UNICEF Nigeria



EDITOR’S LETTER

And so for our latest edition of Fifth Chukker, which you’ll either be reading in a warm clime somewhere or feeling particularly festive in the cold, either way, there are many features within to inspire, intrigue and peak your interest. As always we offer a glimpse of what’s been happening at Fifth Chukker since last edition, which hopefully some of you were able to join in. At the culmination of the annual Pink Polo event in aid of breast cancer, there was a fabulous fashion show for which we feature the designer, Sunny Rose within. Continuing in the arts theme, we visit Salzburg for their famous yearly festival, ahead of the much talked about 100th year celebration in 2020 – book your tickets now. Bonhams share with us their latest highlights, including a rare portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. We delve into the history and fashion of underwear with a special feature on lingerie and take a look at the latest health trend, that looks here to stay; CBD. With travel tales from writers accounts of Sicily and Gambia, no doubt you’ll be booking a trip or if you’re a foodie like me, who also enjoys exploring the globe, perhaps you’ll be taken by

“The business of luxury travel is forever booming and we bring you the latest trends, whilst regular feature ‘Global events around the world’ sheds light on some exciting events to go to”

my Grenada chocolate fest and Egyptian culinary excursions, just get your mobile out to make payment for your holidays; read about mobile payments take-over within. The business of luxury travel is forever booming and we bring you the latest trends, whilst regular feature ‘Global events around the world’ sheds light on some exciting events to go to. Our ‘Bookshelf’ recommendations will help you pick which book to take on your travels. For those of you who play or prefer to watch cricket, our expert guide will teach you the inner workings of the sport. Maybe you keep fit by bike, in which case you’ll enjoy reading about the business of bikes and what’s in vogue in the bike world. The Fifth Chukker team, and myself, wish you a wonderful festive season and a positive start to the New Year.

YASEMEN KANER-WHITE Editor yasemen@parmuto.com

Editor - YASEMEN KANER-WHITE Editorial Team - FRANCESCO FIORILLA, YUSUF SAAB Contributors - YASEMEN KANER-WHITE, BEN WEST, MARY NOVAKOVICH, RICHARD PEACE, LILBY SKAZ, DAVID NICHOLSON, LISA GERALD-SHARP, KATHRYN BURRINGTON, EMMA BRIGHT Photography - IMAGES OF POLO, KLEARPICS, FRANCESCO FIORILLA additional contributors credited Design - TONI BARRINGTON, THE MAGAZINE PRODUCTION COMPANY www.magazineproduction.com

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ACCESS BANK Fifth Chukker Day

Another great day in Windsor for Nigeria’s distressed children

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is Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Pahang, Malaysia, Her Royal Highness Princess Nour Bint Assem of Jordan, governors, minsters and the business elite joined the grand patron and Emir of Kano, HRH Muhammadu Sanusi ll for the latest edition of Access bank Fifth Chukker day at Guards Polo Club. The annual event is the climax to the Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield Polo tournament series promoted by Fifth Chukker polo club since 2003. The tournament is aligned to the UNICEF intervention programme in northern Nigeria geared to improving the educational, health and social needs of millions of orphans and vulnerable children. For the past two years, however, Fifth Chukker and Access bank have leveraged the illustrious event to mobilise funds for a new primary school in Kaduna that will enroll more than 12,000 indigent pupils. Espousing Access Bank’s partnership with Fifth Chukker and UNICEF, managing director Herbert Wigwe stated: “Our continuing support for the Fifth Chukker – UNICEF initiative is predicated on our view of our role as a change agent in Nigeria and Africa that can help institute socio-economic development through responsible business practice, social initiatives and environmental consideration.” Imploring his guests to back the philanthropy push, Wigwe added: “We continue to look for ways through which more resources can be pooled towards supporting these distressed communities and their vulnerable children. We are part of the community and as such should wholly support its well-being.” Access Private Bank UK, who were the official hosts of the event also used the occasion to announce its impressive results for 2018, the year that it joined the three key UK clearing systems and collected the best African Trade Finance Bank Awards from both International Finance and CFI. “All our four strategic business units returned double digit growth and for the eleventh year running the bank was able to report having no nonperforming loans,” said Managing Director Jamie Simmonds. Star singer Asa closed out the event after the conclusion of the day’s two polo matches. The first featured Access bank Fifth Chukker which marginally defeated Kangimi Resorts to win the top prize Access Bank Cup. The Emir of Kano cup was lifted by Shoreline Energy which also narrowly defeated Malcomines by a goal. The Access Bank Cup featured Adamu Atta, Hadi Sirika, Amr Zidane, Ignacio Toccalino, Dinee Mangal and 10-goal superstars Pelon Stirling and Juan Martin Nero. In turn, the Emir of Kano cup paraded Kola Karim Jnr, Tunde Karim, Santiago Estrada, Alfredo Bigatti, Murtala Laushi, Diego White, Tomas Fernandez Llorente and HRH The Prince Regent of Pahang, Malaysia.

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SOCIAL IMPACT INVESTMENT LAST SEASON AT FIFTH CHUKKER

The first phase of a transformative mega primary school by Access Bank and Fifth Chukker nears completion Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15

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SOCIAL IMPACT INVESTMENT A Transformative mega primary school project in Kaduna by Access Bank and Fifth Chukker nears completion The imminent commissioning of the Fifth Chukker primary school in Maraban-Jos, Kaduna, will be a game changer among the several philanthropic initiatives around Nigeria to meliorate infrastructural deficiencies in local area public primary schools through upgrading of facilities and improving of teaching and Learning standards. The new primary school ticks all the boxes consistent with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Four (SDG4) for basic education. It is designed to impact holistic access to quality primary education and positively transform full spectrum outcomes for children of the struggling local area communities. Launched in 2018 and spread out with ample space for all recreational forms and future development, the project, when fully commissioned, will keep more than 12,000 children in school every year and go a long way in mitigating the scourge of hordes of out of school children roaming the streets of northern Nigeria. Inevitably imbibing many features of modernity,

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some striking elements of the school complex include spots of motifs, liberal splashes of colour and substantial window placement offering a very utilitarian and sustainable function of bringing in more natural lighting and reducing artificial light needs. In totality, the school tips the scale not only as an excellent facility for education, but also as a place of comfortable and stimulating atmosphere that will inspire curiosity and ambition in school children. Access Bank managing director Herbert Wigwe has made several site visits to evaluate the progress of the project alongside Fifth Chukker chairman Adamu Atta. Other personalities who have also inspected the project include Access Bank pioneer managing director Aigboje AigImoukhede, Kaduna State governor Nasiru El Rufai, Niger State governor Abubakar Sani Bello, wife of Kaduna state governor and Charity Shield Ambassador Aisha Ummi El Rufai, as well as Indian-born tycoons and school benefactors, Raj Gupta and Rasna Mangharam.

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Food Experience

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oodies again had the time of their lives at the Access Bank UNICEF Charity Shield tournament in Kaduna where a food experience weekend featured Mexican and Moroccan cuisines in culturally bespoke settings. It was an enchanting encore to the previous Charity Shield when master chefs from Argentina, South Africa, Ethiopia and Ghana wowed guests with exotic culinary delights. Blending indigenous ingredients and cooking methods with European and African influences, the Mexican menu ranged from national and regional specialties to Afro-Cuban-Spanish fusion dishes. Among other delicacies, guests tucked into cabritos, tacos, corn tortillas, tamales, grilled meats and cheeses,

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together with complex mole sauces and dips made with multiple ingredients. Quite naturally, it all went down very well with plentiful tequila and the rhythms of Jarabe Tapatio and Salsa. The Moroccan day ultimately descended into a gala night of maghrebian sensations interspersed with a triumphant fashion show by top designer Sunny Rose and live music entertainment by star singer Wande Coal. But the authentic taste of Morocco, where Berber, Arabic and European influences mix to create an adventurous culinary cocktail was in the many tagines which were bursting with flavour from a rich and complex blend of delicious spices imported from Morocco and freshly ground at the venue by the chefs.

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Children’s Day

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he children’s day program at Fifth Chukker brings kids from diverse backgrounds to celebrate togetherness, awareness and childhood with balloons, smiles and friendship. They are also encouraged to apply themselves in several interactive and immersive experiences. Long coordinated with UNICEF, the last children’s day brought environmental consciousness to the fore again as kids learned new techniques in planting and nurturing trees. Previously, they had been sensitized on the negative impacts of environmental litter on human health as well as the desirability of recycling. In addition to painting, craft making, dancing and horse welfare, the boys took to the field for a game of rugby which they thoroughly enjoyed even if it was a first experience for most of them. In other traditional highlights of the charity shield tournament, there was a triumphant fashion extravaganza by Sunny Rose, Maureen Ikem’s top-rated couture house, and the annual official presentation of N10 million to UNICEF by Access Bank. Capping it off was the final of the charity shield which Rubicon retained by edging Malcomines 14-13 in a nail-biting final which concluded Sunday morning after rain had washed out remaining play period the previous day.

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PINK POLO DAY

Push For Breast Cancer Awareness Once Again Yasemen Kaner-White

Tutu

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Six talented lady polo players travelled from Lagos; Natalie Allan HCP mixed -1 ladies +1, South Africa; Tessa Moxon HCP mixed 0 ladies +4, Spain; Angela Walker HCP mixed -1 ladies +1 and Marion Acosta HCP mixed 0 ladies +3 and lastly England; Sarah Wiseman HCP mixed +2 ladies +8 and Rosanna Turk HCP mixed +1 ladies +5 to partake in this year’s Pink Polo games. Apart from Natalie, from Lagos, the rest of the ladies had never been to Nigeria before, so it was a true adventure. Wiseman, who has the highest handicap from the female players said, “Fifth Chukker was such an incredible polo experience and one I will never forget. I got to meet so many wonderful people and experience some wonderful local customs, food and attire! The Pink Polo event for Breast Cancer awareness was done so well, and it was a privilege to be a part of something that will hopefully help so many people in Nigeria”, whilst Allan who also organised the Pink Polo games said “it is always an absolute pleasure spending time at this unique polo facility, which is any polo player’s tropical delight!” Upon arrival to Fifth Chukker, they were greeted by a tailor to measure them for local attire, much to the delight of them all. The next day was spent testing the horses, “the ponies were competitive and responsive so really fun to ride” said Walker, then dinner at the Club House – the fried plantain proved popular! Thursday the 31st kicked off with locals and guests culminating on the field for a day packed with polo; the Pink Polo Exhibition Match and the African Patron’s Cup. “It was surprising to me how well organised the whole polo scene was, well trained horses, a perfect polo field and very experienced referees and players, even the public had a broad understanding of polo.

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Hats off!!” exclaimed Acosta. Players and guests came together, the players dressed in their new brightly coloured beautiful bubu dresses, for a poolside BBQ in the evening, swiftly followed by party time! “The friendliness the people in Nigeria showed us was nothing like I’d ever experienced before” said Turk. Of course the underlying reason for the fun and festivities is to shed light on and educate people around breast cancer. On the 2nd of November, the meeting room at Fifth Chukker, decked out with pink decoration

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and guests dressed in matching pink cloth, everyone listened to Dr Sannom Yates informative lecture. “To be part of the Pink Hope polo event is an incredible honour, to see such positive initiatives and tangible efforts made to raise awareness for breast cancer in Nigeria is incredibly humbling,” said Moxon. Free breast cancer screenings were available for everyone. Having gathered knowledge of what signs to look for and how to check, as well as the treatment available, people were treated to a fantastic feast of Nigerian Street Food. It was an

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utter joy to be able to see, all in one space, the indigenous dishes eaten and celebrated by the 3 main tribes of Nigeria; Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba. The tents were beautifully decorated, the staff in true Nigerian style were welcoming and proud of their offerings. Exceptional presentation and a unique chance to taste such an array of home cooked food, clearly made with love. After trophy presentations, the evening concluded with a grand pink themed gala dinner with the sumptuous sounds of LA singer Norwood Young and a fantastic fashion show, showcasing label Sunny Rose.

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Hofstallgasse View from Cafe Bazar

Salzburg historic street view Felsenreitschule (Riding School)

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g r u b z l Sa A lthough this Alpine city has allure all-yearround; from skiing to Sound of Music shows, one of the biggest attractions is the world’s most important celebration of opera, music and theatre; the Salzburg Festival. The city is set to be a stage for a creative feast, with a special showing of ‘Jedermann’ (Everyman) on the 22nd of August, paying tribute to the play first performed at the inaugural festival in 1920. At the opera and on Sundays expect to see local ladies flaunting their best dirndl and gentleman in authentic lederhosen; normally family heirlooms touting stitching indicating from which area of Austria they derive. It’s always nice to see patriotic people showing off in national dress and it’s certainly an occasion to get all dressed up. The festival came to fruition when the founders Max Reinhardt, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss set off on a mission to bring people together post WW1, whilst strengthening Austrian identity. Salzburg proved to be the best location; a bijou city in comparison to busy metropolitan Vienna, they were determined to make the music accessible for all; even today some performances are free. Reinhardt is quoted as saying it should be… ‘luxury food for the rich and saturated but also food for the needy’. With offerings of premium opera, drama and concerts, all cultured taste buds are catered for. Naturally if you are travelling all the way to the festival, you’ll want to take in your surroundings too and you certainly won’t be let down. Imposing mountains frame the city that inspired the classic ‘Sound of Music’ film, so if you grew up watching it and can hum the words to ‘doe a deer, a female deer, ray a drop of golden sun”… you may like to visit the Sound of Music museum. Even better, would be to take a tour retracing the film spots or indeed stay in Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron, another film spot and a stunning hotel facing an even more stunning Austrian lake; posing in front doesn’t get much more Instagramable. In fact it was also home to Reinhardt for 18 years. For a quirky memorable day, go to the outskirts of Salzburg and visit Hellbrunn, commissioned by the then Prince-Archbishop Marcus Sittikus in 1613, asides from the palace and grounds the showstopper is the tremendous ‘Tricks Fountains’, whose architect; Santino Solari, also designed Salzburg Cathedral. Don’t wear your finest as you may get wet due to hidden water jets which sporadically spritz you as you peruse dinky grottos and water-powered handmade figurines. Exploring Salzburg on foot is best, there have barely been any changes to the largely baroque architecture in the last 400 years which was originally built by the Romans. Go to Mirabel Palace gardens to walk among

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Salzburg Festival will be celebrating its 100th birthday in 2020 – don’t miss it! Yasemen Kaner-White

l a v i t fes Salzburg

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SPECIAL FEATURE - SALZBURG FESTIVAL

Salzburgerland Tourist Office (www.salzburgerland.com) Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron (www.schloss-leopoldskron.com)

Fuschl fishery

The Salzburg Festival 2020 programme was announced on 13th November, dates are 18th July to 30th August. For details and tickets apply online by 7th January 2020 at www.salzburgfestival.at St. Peter’s Monastery & cemetry & Catacombs

morbid Greek mythology sculptures denoting ‘fire, wind, earth and air’ originally created by the Arch Bishop as scaremongering to say, if you trust me, you’ll be fine. Another attraction is Mozart’s birthplace (born in 1756 ), now a museum and still the most visited museum in Austria. He left Salzburg after conflict with the archbishop, he wanted to be internationally renowned and was bored of just composing clerical music. Christian Doppler, also born in Salzburg, who invented ultrasound, whilst acclaimed doesn’t have a museum dedicated to him, instead a street and hospital are named in his honour. Art lovers should head to the Museum of Modern Art, which has a novel entrance inside a mountain. For a spot of shopping and light refreshments go to Getreidegasse, you’ll find everything from traditional Austrian clothes, to ice cream, to luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and of course a host of Mozart paraphernalia. When it comes to cuisine, Austria, which has more organic food than anywhere else in the EU, is rich in offerings. The bustling food market is every morning apart from Sundays, go

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there to get your sausages and huge pretzels in a vast array of flavours. The Salzburger Nockerl cannot be missed; three mini mountains of hot soufflé on top of sweet cranberry or raspberry sauce, cream on side. The chocolate Mozart balls from Furst are the original and best, the company patented the recipe, yet fakes are still on the circuit. A medley of marzipan and pistachio surrounded by nougat and dark chocolate in a little ball is worth trying. Local restaurant Stiftskeller is the oldest restaurant in Europe – some say the world, a 9th century establishment built into a mountain. Originally it was an inn run by monks but now this high-end restaurant with 650 seats, is almost always packed during the festival, so book early. The oldest bakery is St Peter’s Bakery, still functioning with a water mill, go early in the morning for hot brioche. Fried chicken is another local dish and for freshly caught trout with a breath-taking view, go to the Fischerei at hotel Schloss Fuschl. Extend your meal and stay at the hotel set in a natural reserve, with a 1451 wine cellar and fine dining restaurant, you’ll be spoilt.

Mirabell Gardens

Hellbrunn Tricks Fountains

Hellbrunn

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BUSINESS PROFILE - DATA

THE UNSTOPPABLE RISE

of mobile phone payments Ben West

L

ittle more than a decade ago, paying for things using your mobile phone was an alien idea to most people. There’d been a few experiments - for example as early as 1997 Coca Cola vending machines in Helsinki let users pay by text - but the incredibly swift adoption of the concept in recent years is mind-boggling. Things really took off from 2014 when Apple launched its first mobile wallet app, followed by Samsung and Android a year later. Currently, according to a study by Capgemini and BNP Paribas, digital payments total 726 billion transactions annually and it is estimated that by 2022

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mobile payment app transaction values will hit around $14 trillion. Whilst more and more it’s clear that smartphone payments are the future as we move towards a cashless world, their popularity varies greatly from country to country. Such payments are most popular in less affluent countries and the developing world. In a 2017 survey demand for mobile payments was found to be highest in China, Mongolia, Brazil and Kenya, followed by Chile, Colombia, Russia and the Ukraine. However, a number of countries have a long way to go before phone payments are a dominant form of currency. For example, research by global strategy consulting firm Simon-Kucher and Partners found that Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15



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almost 90% of US consumers prefer to pay by cash, credit card or debit card over mobile alternatives. That is despite the country having one of the highest take-ups of smartphones in the world, currently running at around 80%. With ongoing stories in the news about cyber attacks, hacking, malware and the like, many consumers who are so far shunning smartphone payments worry about security and data concerns. Yet using phones is safer than using debit and credit cards. Paying by smartphone removes your raw card data out of the equation, and therefore no cashier or merchant will see your card number or PIN, greatly lessening the chance of fraud. Your debit and credit card information can be used by anyone who manages to capture it. If you’ve ever had your card number skimmed and used for fraudulent purposes, you will be painfully aware of the huge headache it creates to put things right again. Many potential users fear that they are not technologically confident enough to pay with their phone, or worry that they may make a mistake or lose their phone. However, it’s not a steep learning curve that is required to become a smartphone-paying shopper, mistakes can occur during the card-paying process also, and it’s just as easy to lose your cards as your phone. A number of companies have launched mobile wallet products and some of these have flopped. As yet no company has emerged as a clear leader in the field as yet.

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BUSINESS PROFILE - DATA

According to the National Technology Readiness Survey conducted by Rockbridge Associates in 2019, the top mobile phone services (at least 10% of users) in the US were Paypal (63%), ApplePay (20%), Visa Checkout (15%), Samsung Pay (12%), Restaurant Digital Wallet (12%), Android Pay (10%), Walmart Pay (10%), Chase Pay (10%). Five per cent of respondents said they used mobile payment services always, 14% most of the time, 17% half of the time, 35% sometimes and 9% never. Unsurprisingly, the younger generations are using smartphones for payments the greatest. More than 9 in 10 millennials are doing so already, and moving up the age groups, 44% of smartphone users aged 35-44 have a mobile wallet, reducing to 30% for those aged 55-64. Many companies have yet to take up mobile payments as an option for their customers paying for services and goods. But in delaying take-up, they are missing a trick. Restricting ways of paying runs the risk of potential customers using a rival instead because of the lack of payment choice, and many users like how quick and simple it is to make a payment, simply waving their phone over the payment terminal. There’s no need to print receipts or wait for them to be signed, or for the customer to key in their PIN number. It is usually considerably quicker to pay with a mobile device than a credit card and therefore customers are more likely to return because they like - and expect - quick service, especially when paying since that is likely to be their least favourite part of the shopping experience. In turn, quicker processing of customers will invariably increase profits as it is possible to accommodate more customers in the same time period. Not only that, but mobile payment companies often charge less per transaction than credit card companies, further adding potential to increase profits.

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Paying by smartphone provides an opportunity for businesses to gather much more information on the customers they serve than they would usually. A number of mobile payment companies can provide reports on the buying patterns of customers, which can help a business improve on their marketing. Also, once a company is able to recognise its customers by their mobile phone identities, they can be sent promotions such as mobile coupons, and be encouraged to enrol on a mobile-based loyalty programme. The possibility of being paid immediately is another advantage for businesses, especially as delays in payment other ways, such as invoices typically being paid in 30, 60 or 90 days, can cause havoc with cash flow. In the next couple of years, the global use of mobile payments are forecast to surpass the use of credit cards and cash, and become the second most common payment method after debit cards, according to Worldpay’s Global Payment Report of 2018. With that in mind, if you haven’t taken up the use of mobile payments yet, either as a consumer or retailer, isn’t it almost mandatory that you do right now?

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ADVENTURES IN TRAVEL

SICILY cultural crossroads of the Mediterranean Mary Novakovich

L’Etna vista dalla Piana di Catania (Picture from Regione Sicilia)

Ragusa Ibla view ©Adam Batterbee

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Sicily encapsulates the richness of the Mediterranean world. You can see, hear and taste the legacies of its former rulers – Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Normans, Angevins, Spanish – all over the Med’s largest island. It has Europe’s tallest active volcano, beautifully preserved Greek ruins, exquisite Unesco-listed baroque towns, untouched nature reserves and a style and exuberance that are purely Sicilian. Stay a couple of weeks and you might just scratch the surface, but you’ll be hooked. Palermo, the island’s energetic capital, is a melting pot of Arab and Norman influences mixed with medieval and baroque architecture. Explore the impressive baroque palaces surrounding the Quattro Canti crossroads, including the regal Palazzo dei Normanni and its extraordinary mosaic-encrusted Cappella Palatina. You can’t miss Palermo’s monumental cathedral, dating from the 12th century and with 700 years worth of additions and renovations. Take a tour of the roof for superb views of Palermo and beyond. From here it’s a short walk to one of Palermo’s liveliest food markets at Piazza Ballarò. Before leaving the Palermo region, head to the coast at Mondello and relax on its sandy beach. Another detour worth taking is the hilltop town of Monreale, which is crowned by a Norman cathedral. You won’t be far from Corleone, which will forever be etched on the brains of fans of the Godfather films. Nearby are several locations – Bagheria, Palazzo Adriano and Cefalù – that helped to make Cinema Paradiso such a memorable film.

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Carry on westwards for a captivating combination of culture, history, food and scenery. Start with a coastal hike near Scopello in Italy’s first nature reserve, Zingaro, where you can refresh yourself with a dip in one of the coves. At the tip of the peninsula is San Vito Lo Capo, home to one of Sicily’s most beautiful sandy beaches. It’s also the setting for the Cous Cous Fest, which takes over the town for 10 days every September. Chefs from around the world come for a joyous multi-ethnic celebration of this classic North African dish. On your way to the port of Trapani, visit the ancient Greek temple at Segesta before continuing westwards to the medieval hilltop town of Erice. Once you reach Trapani, hop on one of the hydrofoils that take you out to the Egadi Islands – Marettimo, Favignana and Levanzo. This trio of islands is closer to Africa than to mainland Italy, and you can easily see this in the Tunisian-style blue and white cottages in its toy-town villages. There’s a similar out-of-the-way feeling about the volcanic Aeolian Islands towards the east. The smallest, Panarea, is also the most exclusive, with a stream of VIP guests and a tiny harbour thronging with sleek yachts.

Godfather tour in Fiat 500

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Mareme Cisse - Chef Senegal vincitore Campionato del mondo the winner of Cous Cous Fest 2019

Agrigento Valle dei Templi (Picture from Regione Sicilia)

Veer towards the southern coast for a visual feast of Greek history. Dating from the 5th century BC, the Valle dei Templi – Valley of the Temples – is a magnificent collection of seven Doric temples that sit on a ridge below Agrigento. You’ll need a whole day to do justice to these temples and the archaeological museum. But while you’re on this stretch of coast, swim on the beaches of nearby Sciacca and visit its Moorish upper town. It’s also close to the Verdura Resort, the five-star coastal retreat mixing an excellent golf course with a spa and an exceptionally good restaurant. It’s not surprising that Google’s bosses have chosen this Rocco Forte hotel as the location for its annual Google Camp. This “meeting of the minds” for the world’s celebrities attracted such luminaries as Leonardo DiCaprio, Barack Obama, Prince Harry and Katy Perry. Sicily’s western side will whet your appetite for the delights of the east. Put aside several days for a leisurely tour of the Val di Noto in the south-east. It’s here that an earthquake devastated the region in 1693, forcing architects to rebuild whole towns and cities almost from scratch. The result is what became known as Sicilian baroque, a wonderfully ornate architectural style full of elaborate façades, swirling wrought iron and enough statuary to populate the island. These cities are becoming more popular after their starring role in the Sicilian television detective series Inspector Montalbano. Based on the novels by the much-loved (and much-missed) Andrea Camilleri, one of the giants of Italian literature, the series became

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Salina Aeolian Island (Picture from Regione Sicilia) Palermo Cattedrale (Picture from Regione Sicilia)

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ADVENTURES IN TRAVEL

Realmonte (Agrigento) - La Scala dei Turchi (Picture from Regione Sicilia) Noto Cathedral (Picture from Regione Sicilia)

Antica Dolceria Bonajuto (Picture Rocco Rossito)

the most-sold Italian TV series in the world. Deep in the countryside east of Val di Noto is the wonderfully romantic Dimora della Balze, a classy hotel set on a large estate. Noto is one of the most celebrated towns on this very elegant tourist trail. Wander along its main thoroughfare, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, past the wondrous baroque cathedral and its equally illustrious Palazzo Ducezio, which houses the town hall. From here it’s a short drive to the serene landscapes of the Vendicari Nature Reserve, a peaceful land of marshes, lagoons and sandy beaches.

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Fratelli Burgio deli, Ortigia, Siracusa ©Adam Batterbeeps

Ortigia market spice stall ©Adam Batterbee

Head back inland to Modica, whose old town is a marvel of baroque houses stacked on top of each other on opposite sides of a valley. It’s Italy’s capital of chocolate, thanks to the ancient Aztec way it produces cioccolata di Modica, which recently joined the list of protected Italian foods. Sleepy Scicli isn’t as well known as its Val di Noto neighbours, but it’s an agreeably relaxed place to soak up more baroque loveliness. From a café in Via Francesco Mormino Penna, take in the sight of the abandoned San Matteo church that hovers on a limestone cliff above the town. You’ll also find the quietly luxurious Borgo Hedone hotel, whose rooftop Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15


TRAVEL - SICILY

Scicli ©Adam Batterbee Verdura Resort - Golf at Verdura

Locanda Don Serafino, Ragusa ©Adam Batterbee

pools gives you sweeping views of the town. Ragusa should be your next stop, particularly its enchanting lower town, Ragusa Ibla, a maze of meandering lanes and a fine Duomo. Tucked into the hillside below is one of Ragusa’s two restaurants with two Michelin stars, Locanda Don Serafino. Its cuttlefish-ink spaghetti with sea urchins and ricotta is one of the most divine dishes you’ll eat. As you make your way up the eastern coast, stop at Siracusa and, specifically, its old town, Ortigia. Set on its own island, it’s a riot of baroque palaces mixed with Greek ruins. Its morning food market, which includes simple cafés and superior delis, along Via de Benedictis is not to be missed. Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15

Noto street ©Adam Batterbee

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TRAVEL - SICILY

Teatro Greco taormina (Picture from Regione Sicilia)

Traditional boat tour in Mazzaro’ Bay Taormina

Gelati Siciliani

Your next stop should be Catania, whose boisterous daily fish market, the Pescheria, is as much of a spectacle as the city’s glorious baroque architecture and ancient Greek ruins. By now you’ll see the smouldering volcanic peak of Mount Etna, whose otherworldly lunar landscape is relatively easy to explore thanks to the cable car that trundles up from the Rifugio Sapienza. Bring your skis if you’re visiting in winter and whoosh down the slopes at Piano Provenzana and Nicolosi. As a final Sicilian treat, explore the impossibly pretty town of Taormina, whose ancient Teatro Greco amphitheatre offers entrancing views of the sea. Hop on the cable car that leads to beautiful beaches in Mazzarò Bay and Isola Bella. Join the earlyevening passeggiata along the Corso Umberto and feast your eyes on the fashion parade. You’ll easily spot the influence Sicilian fashion designers such as Domenico Dolce of Dolce & Gabbana have had on global style. When the Taormina Film Fest takes place in the Teatro Greco every summer, it’s hard to find a more magical scene in Sicily.

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The beautiful Bay of Mazzarò Taormina

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TRAVEL - SICILY

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ADVENTURES IN FASHION

SUNNY ROSE is a fashion accessories and clothing company established in 2008 that specializes in handmade handbags, jewelry and the newly introduced ready to wear range of clothing. Each of our handbags is handcrafted using precise workmanship and the finest first grade leather, exotic skins and semi precious stones. Our ready to wear range of clothing epitomises meticulous craftsmanship and sophisticated luxury. We use seductively encrusted crystals and semi precious stones to add to the glamorous appeal of the classic fabric palette of this sensual collection. Telephone: 08181400002 Email: info@sunnyroseonline.com Facebook: Sunny Rose Online Twitter: @MI_Sunny_Rose Instagram: @sunnyroseonline

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ADVENTURES IN FASHION

r u o m a l G Maureen Ikem Okogwu is a self taught designer who discovered her passion for design at an early age when rummaging through her mother’s wardrobe and trinket cases. Her talent for creating imaginative drawimgs and love of flamboyant treasures was evident from an early age.

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ADVENTURES IN FASHION

y r u x Lu After studying for an MBA and Masters degree in Public Relations and Mass Communication from the European University in Montreux, Switzerland, she set her sights on creating her own range of handbags, jewelry and clothing. One evening while having dinner in Lausanne, Maureen was spotted by a model agent and a lucrative fashion career took off, resulting in the creation of Sunny Rose.

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ADVENTURES IN FASHION

c i t o x E Maureen has worked with renowned fashion industry heavyweights and her designs have been featured by Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, Harpers Bazaar and Tatler etc.

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ART IN FOCUS

Art

IN FOCUS The Latest Highlights From Bonhams Are On Every Art Lover’s Wishlist

Old Master Paintings London New Bond Street 4 DEC A newly discovered portrait of Queen Elizabeth I is to be offered at Bonhams Old Master Paintings Sale in London on Wednesday 4 December. The portrait, which was previously unknown, is estimated at £150,000-250,000. The painting dates from 1562, four years after Elizabeth came to the throne on the death of her half-sister Mary I. It is one of the earliest pictures of the queen specifically designed to project a fresh and sophisticated image

of her as a youthful monarch radiating a sense of authority and confidence. Portraits produced in the years immediately after her accession showed Elizabeth as stiff, lifeless, and rather dour. The artist is unknown, but circumstantial evidence points strongly to the workshop of the Flemish artist Steven van der Meulen, who was active at the Tudor court during the early part of the first decade of Elizabeth’s reign.

Fine European Ceramics London New Bond Street 4 DEC An exceptionally rare pair of Sèvres bottle coolers from a service commissioned by Madame du Barry, the final maîtresse-entitre of Louis XV, will be offered at Bonhams Fine European Ceramics sale in London on Wednesday 4 December. The pair is estimated at £60,000-80,000. Madame du Barry (1743-1793) rose from humble origins as the illegitimate daughter of a seamstress to become the last, and with Madame de Pompadour, the greatest of the maîtresses-en-titre of Louis XV (The title refers to the chief mistress of the French Kings who enjoyed a semi-official position at court). Famed for her great beauty among the ranks of high society courtesans, she caught the eye of Louis XV in 1768. The King procured a title for her through an arranged marriage with Comte Guillaume du Barry, and in 1769 she was officially presented to the court of Versailles. From then on she was regarded as the maîtresse-en-titre. Louis installed her in the Château de Louveciennes and in a suite of

apartments directly below his own in Versailles itself. He also took the unusual step of including her in the private family gathering on the eve of the wedding of his son, the Dauphin and future Louis XVI, to Marie Antoinette. The service was purchased by Madame du Barry in September 1770. Consisting of only 39 expensive and opulent pieces it was clearly intended as a status symbol, its use confined to intimate suppers with influential figures at court. An ode to the marriage of the Dauphin to Marie Antoinette inscribed on the coolers, can be interpreted as an attempt to curry favour and further cement her position at court. On Louis XV’s death in May 1774, du Barry was banished from court – Marie Antoinette famously disapproved of her, and for many years refused to acknowledge her presence. She eventually returned to Louveciennes, where she lived until her arrest in 1793 during the French Revolution. She was executed in December that year.

A pair of Sèvres bottle coolers from a service for Madame du Barry, circa 1770

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ART IN FOCUS

Workshop of Steven van der Meulen (Antwerp -circa 1564 London) Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I

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ART IN FOCUS

Modern & Contemporary Art London New Bond Street 17 DEC

A trio of custom motorcycles by pioneering street artist D*Face will be offered by Bonhams in the Modern & Contemporary art sale in London on Tuesday 17 December, giving motorcyclists and collectors alike the choice of riding a Spoiled Brat, First Born or Green Terror motorcycle. D*Face, a leading figure in urban contemporary art, is best known for his murals celebrating outcasts and scrutinising society in cities worldwide. As well as the owner and curator of London’s first street-focused contemporary art gallery, ‘StolenSpace’, he has also been a life-long biker, with his first taste of two-wheels riding to school on his father’s motorcycle. In December, his

love of art and motorcycles come together with a collection of bespoke motorcycles he created at his Rebels Alliance Store in Shoreditch. D*face, who has personally customised the trio, has exchanged his usual concrete canvases for motorcycles and transformed them into contemporary works of art. They are represented by this unique trio and this is the first time they are offered at auction. • First Born 2012, estimate £10,000 – 15,000 • Spoiled Brat 2014, estimate £5,000 – 7,000 • Green Terror 2015, estimate £2,800 – 3,500

London Jewels London New Bond Street 4 DEC Vita Sackville-West

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The glittering marriage of Vita Sackville-West, the daughter of the 3rd Lord Sackville, to career diplomat Harold Nicolson in 1913 was the event of the season. The Great Hall at the Sackville’s ancestral home at Knole was laden with wedding presents, including a huge collection of jewellery given to Vita by her mother, Lady Sackville. The previous year, Lady Sackville had marked Vita’s engagement in equally extravagant style with gifts including the Cartier rock crystal and emerald necklace that features in Bonhams London Jewels sale at New Bond Street on Wednesday 4 December. Its estimate is £50,000-70,000. Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962) was a gifted novelist and broadcaster, but is best known as one of the most influential English gardeners of the 20th century. The gardens she created with her husband at their home, Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, are world famous.

Emerald, rock crystal & diamond pendant

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ART IN FOCUS

Prints and Multiples London New Bond Street 11 DEC In the 130th Anniversary year of Jean Cocteau’s birth, an important collection of 46 ceramics by the leading figure of the French avantgarde, will highlight Bonhams Prints and Multiples sale on Wednesday 11 December and Thursday 12 December in London. It is the first time such a large collection of Cocteau ceramics has been offered at auction. Born in 1889, Jean Cocteau was a painter, ceramicist, poet, writer and filmmaker whose wide-ranging career spanned more than 50 years. Growing up in Paris, he became a leading figure of the avantgarde befriending many of the great French art figures of the period, including painters Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani, writer Guillaume Apollinaire and poet Raymond Radiguet among others. He produced his first ceramics in 1957, when he met Marie Madeleine Jolly and Philippe Madeline. In their studio in Villefranche-sur-Mer, up until his death in 1963, Cocteau created more than 300 pieces, holding his first exhibition of ceramic works in Paris in 1958. • Grand Chêvre – partially glazed earthenware vase, Conceived in 1958 and executed in an edition of 20. Estimate: £15,000-20,000.

Grand Chêvre

Fine Books and Manuscripts London Knightsbridge 4 DEC

The complete original artwork for Tim to the Rescue

The complete artwork for the much-loved children’s picture book Tim to the Rescue by Edward Ardizzone is to be offered at Bonham Fine Books and Manuscripts sale in London on Wednesday 4 December. It is estimated at £30,000-50,000. Published by Oxford University Press in 1949, Tim to the Rescue is the third in Ardizzone’s Little Tim series of picture books which began with the publication of Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain in 1936. The adventures of Tim – all of which take place at sea – quickly gripped the imagination of children on both sides of the Atlantic. When Ardizzone returned from military service as an official war artist in World War II, he began work on a new tale, which, like its

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predecessors, he both wrote and illustrated. Tim to the Rescue introduces Ginger, a mischievous cabin boy whose life Tim saves during a storm and who reappears later in the series. Writing in the winter edition of Bonhams Magazine the writer, broadcaster and Ardizzone enthusiast Stephen Fry said, “I only have to catch sight of the name Edward Ardizzone to be transported back to my childhood. The scrap-faced and often undernourished children that people his illustrations never tried to offer me friendship and comfort or to welcome me into an attractive and happy lifestyle – I think that is why I trusted them. They promised a true escape from adult, or cutesy children’s worlds.”

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ART IN FOCUS

Edouard Boubat (1923-1999)� Florence, Paris�

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ART IN FOCUS

A Wonderful Life: Photographs from the Peter Fetterman Collection New York 17 DEC Elliott Erwitt (born 1928)� New York City�

New York - Bonhams Photographs Department celebrates the holiday season with an exceptional single-owner sale of 124 lots from Peter Fetterman’s extraordinary 40-year career. A Wonderful Life: Photographs from the Peter Fetterman Collection will be offered at Bonhams New York on Tuesday, December 17. Fetterman, a highly respected Santa Monica gallery owner, was one of the pioneer residents at Bergamot Station, the Santa Monica center of arts, when it first opened in 1994. A former film producer, Fetterman owns one of the largest collections of classic photographs in the country. Fetterman has now teamed up with Bonhams to curate an eclectic, upbeat and intimate mix of these classic photographs, a selection that reflects his own broad collecting passions – street photography, fashion, landscapes, portraiture and still life – some well-known, others unexpected - all rare finds and by the best loved photographers of the 20th century. Speaking about his own collection, Fetterman said “I have always believed that collecting photography is a form of selfexpression, so each of the images you see in this sale reflect how my journey through life has been enriched at different times and in different ways. There is something in this collection for everyone – for every taste and pocket. What better time of year to pass on these visual treasures to a new generation of collectors than during this festive period?”

Nature & Form: Highlights from the Estate of Alexandre Noll New York 13 DEC New York – On December 13, Bonhams is honored to present the dedicated sale of Alexandre Noll: The Collection of Dominque T, Noll, which encompasses a remarkable selection of furniture, sculpture, paintings, and works on paper. Comprising of 50 lots, this collection is from Alexandre Noll’s grandson and includes many works that include neverbefore seen in public works that span the life and career of the artist. Highlights range from an important monumental traverse to an early bowl, and rare paintings and works on paper. The exhibition is currently on view at Bonhams

Important Monumental Traverses circa 1955�

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Paris until October 18, and the full auction view will open on December 7 at Bonhams New York. Benjamin Walker, Bonhams Global Head of Design, comments: “Alexandre Noll is one of the most highly regarded sculptor-craftsman of the 20th century and we are thrilled to bring this most important and rare collection, that spans his entire career, to auction. We welcome both collectors and admirers of modern design to our free and public exhibitions in Paris and New York for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity see such a complete body of his work.”

Important Monumental Traverses circa 1955�

Sculpture (Untitled) ebony�

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The rise and rise of the

BIKE BUSINESS Richard Peace

I

n1885 John Kemp Starley produced the first of a new kind of machine, the safety bicycle. The name was to distinguish it from its predecessor, the penny-farthing, often seen as a dangerous contraption used only by younger men for sport. That one bold leap meant the new design was the basic template for what became a huge industry based on the simplest, most economic and efficient personal transport machine on the planet.

NATIONAL TO GLOBAL

By the time of the First World War UK’s Raleigh was the world’s biggest bicycle producer, making 52,219 bikes in 1914. There were also strong national industries in the US and France, but today the bicycle industry has become a truly global one dwarfing the early success of Raleigh. After a huge production surge in the 1980s levels rocketed and are currently peaking at around 130 million, more than twice the level of automobile production. The top five bicycle producers – China, India, the EU, Japan and Taiwan (known as the Bicycle Kingdom) – are responsible for 87% of global production. The market is dominated by large groups who either own, control or supply many of the smaller companies. For example Giant, said to be the world’s largest manufacturers of bikes, supplies US companies Scott and Trek as well as making its own brand models. Raleigh’s bike production left the UK decades ago and is now owned by Dutch-based conglomerate Accell. These two behemoths also compete globally with Canadian-based Dorel group, owners of Cannondale and Schwinn. TECHNOLOGIES AND TRIBES

The bike manufacturing boom that started in the 80s was fuelled by technological change and increasingly slick and well-directed marketing. There is a constant quest for lighter yet more sophisticated bikes. Once-exotic materials like carbon fibre have become more prevalent and many ranges of good quality bikes now include a carbon frame option.

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BIKE

The burgeoning of high-tech has certainly helped. For example, premium brand CervĂŠlo uses computational fluid dynamics and wind tunnel testing at the San Diego Air and Space Technology Center in its efforts to produce the fastest, lightest designs. A production revolution may also be just around the corner in the form of 3D printed frames which promise to slash manufacturing times and boost profit margins. Precisely targeted social media campaigns are another valuable tool. These help brands appeal to so-called bike tribes, be they mud warriors on a mountain bike, fashion conscious single-speed city hipsters or so-called road racing mamils (a humorous term meaning middle aged males in lycra that has found its way into the Oxford English Dictionary). THE FUTURE IS ELECTRIC AND CONNECTED

The last decade has seen the swift advance of the electric bike revolution, most notable in continental Europe, especially the Netherlands and Germany. Recently e-bikes became the biggest selling single category in the Dutch cycle market and it appears more than 50% of all bikes sold there will soon be electrically assisted. Motors are now sleeker and more powerful than ever and new technologies, from anti-lock braking to internet connected displays are rapidly pushing designs forward. Bosch motor systems are current e-bike market leaders followed closely by Shimano and Yamaha. Constantly improving cycle infrastructure in cities like Amsterdam and London could even help promote the safe use of larger pedal powered vehicles like the remarkable Bio-Hybrid. THE SOCIAL ASPECT

Cycling has been credited with assisting Victorian women’s independence by providing relatively cheap and easy mobility, despite protests that their new more practical cycling attire was immodest and that female cycling itself was unseemly.

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ADVENTURES IN SPORT

Women Cooking for a Celebration

Today the bike business is still contributing to societal development in all sorts of ways. Dockless bike sharing schemes like Mobike and Lime attracted huge venture capital as part of the new digital economy, whilst allowing city dwellers cheap access to bikes at the swipe of a smartphone. The jury is still out on whether the boom has turned to a permanent bust or whether dockless bike share will see the rise of a new ‘Amazon or urban mobility’. More traditional schemes with docking bays like London’s so-called Boris Bikes or Paris’s Velib appear to be going from strength to strength. Bikes are also playing a key role in economic and social development in Africa. My Boo are a German-Ghanaian manufacturer of bamboo-framed bikes and have pioneered the Yonso Project whereby both newly-recruited and experienced local workers jointly build the frames; fair wages and good working conditions are also part of the deal. Some my Boo profits fund school scholarships and 2019 saw the opening of a My Boo funded school in the area. Other bike schemes that give back to Africa include Re-Cycle and Elephant Bikes. The former collects shipping container loads of secondhand bikes donated by the public which are sent for use in The Gambia and Ghana. Elephant bikes collected many thousands of the unwanted Royal Mail post bikes discarded throughout the UK when RM abandoned their use. They are reconditioned and every time one is purchased by the public it pays for a free one sent to Africa.

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Left page: The Yonso Project Ghana ©My Boo Dockless schemes like Mobike may have boom and bust ©MNXANL Creative Commons Bottom from left to right: My Boo bamboo bike with frame made in Ghana ©My Boo Brompton bikes were virtually handmade in the early days by designer of the bike Andrew Ritchie ©David Henshaw Greyp Superbikes ©Greyp Penny Farthing Racing was a dangerous sport for young men ©Unknown Riese and Muller Electric Cargo Bike ©Richard Peace

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ADVENTURES IN SPORT

Top to bottom: The remarkable Bio Hybrid is legally classed as a bicycle in the EU ©Bio-Hybrid E-bikes are huge in continental Europe ©Bosch Are connected bikes the future ©Greyp

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ADVENTURES IN SPORT

STANDOUT BIKE BRANDS

One route to success in a fiercely competitive market is to stand out from the crowd, which these brands do par excellence.

Koga – Record Breakers The Dutch are renowned for their city bikes but Englishmen Mark Beaumont twice set a round the world record on Koga’s long distance bikes. The top of the line Kimera Premium features the latest electronic gear shifting and only weighs 8.4kg. Riese & Müller – Unique E-bikes Riese & Müller produce a large range of premium quality, uniquely designed e-bikes. Their electric cargo range is hugely innovative and versatile.

Brompton – Brilliantly Engineered Folders Starting out as virtually hand made machines in the 1980s, Bromptons are now the must have rail commuter bike, known for unfolding from the size of a small piece of luggage into a tremendously well made bike with almost the same footprint and riding position as a full sized machine. Such has been its success Brompton has moved from its roots as a microbusiness to an expansive factory in West London producing around 50,000 bikes a year. Greyp – Is this the Future? Greyp makes electric supercars and their e-bikes come with such technologies as fingerprint recognition, built in cameras, gyroscopes and 4G connectivity.

This Koga Went Around the World in 80 Days ©Koga

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Cricket Conquers the world! David Nicholson

T

he pitches are paved with gold! In 2019 India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli earned more than $24 million, while his colleague MS Dhoni took home $21 million. These astronomical figures put them up in the highest earning ranks of international sportspeople, alongside the best-paid stars of basketball, soccer and motorsports. Yet this fantastic wealth is very new to cricket. Until the Indian Premier League (IPL, founded in 2007) took off in the past three or four years, with massive TV and product sponsorship, it had survived as a niche, if hugely loved, pastime. Invented in the 16th century, the game became popular in England in the mid-19th century before spreading elsewhere in the British empire. By the end of the 20th century, seven former British colonies played the game at the highest level alongside England: Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, South Africa and the West Indies. These were the A list, meeting each other regularly in ‘test’ matches lasting up to five days and competing in one day internationals. In the new millennium, more nations bid to join this elite group: Afghanistan, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and the Netherlands among them. Every four years since 1975 the Cricket World Cup has brought together around a dozen countries, although the winner has always come from the A list. Together with the IPL, the growth of the shorter-lasting 20:20 cricket, where each side bowls 20 overs, has attracted thousands of new players, while women’s cricket across different formats is also booming. Today, with the vast new wealth pouring into the sport, its patterns are shifting once more. Where once the sport was the preserve of the upper classes, with the national English team made up of privately-educated men, the stars of the future are as likely to be found on the back streets of a crowded city as the playing fields of Eton.

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ADVENTURES IN SPORT

One UK charitable foundation, Chance to Shine, encourages kids to get involved using a ‘tape-ball’ (a tennis ball wrapped in electrical tape) and a plastic bat, playing 20-minute games in sports halls or community centres. “The sessions provide them with an alternative to hanging out on the streets or sitting at home in front of the TV,” says James Salisbury at Chance to Shine. In some cities, refugees have joined the games, helping them to feel at home and welcome in their new lives. For 10 years, I ran a ‘nomadic’ cricket team. We were based in London but played almost all of our matches outside the city, travelling to other English towns, into the deep countryside, and to cities across Europe. We visited Berlin, Paris, Prague, Copenhagen and Geneva. One thing that we always found, everywhere we went across Europe: many (if not all) of the opposing team players were from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and India. The sport offered them a chance to meet one another and to compete in a sport they loved. We ate some of the best curries we’d ever tasted, but very rarely won any matches – they were far too good for us!

Equipment donated by Lord’s Taverners

Equipment donated by Lord’s Taverners

The countries of the Indian subcontinent are poorly represented in elite sports. At the 2016 Olympic Games, India won one silver and one bronze medal (Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan won none at all). For a country with 1.3 billion people, this is a surprising phenomenon. Indians are just as strong, quick and physically talented as any other nation. The fact is that they channel their sporting energies into cricket. The same is broadly true in the Caribbean, where cricket is adored as the national sport of most West Indian nations and its stars are the icons of the age, on a par with great sprinters such as Usain Bolt. Just as soccer provides a route out of poverty for many young kids in the UK (or allows them to dream of a glamorous future), cricket has that function in the Caribbean.

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ADVENTURES IN SPORT

Top: Samuel Nicholson coming in to bowl in Corfu, Greece. Middle left to right: Butler XI Geneva tour party Ian Hislop and David Nicholson at Arundel Castle Cricket Club Ben Wilkinson and David Nicholson Bottom: Arundel Castle Cricket Club

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ADVENTURES IN SPORT

Equipment donated by Lord’s Taverners

Equipment donated by Lord’s Taverners

More so than soccer, cricket is a sport with its own encompassing lifestyle, based around travel. What could be better than to spend your winters in relaxing on the beaches of Barbados, Tobago and Antigua, then taking in the sights of Cape Town, Sydney and Auckland before heading to the subcontinent in springtime and enjoying the tropical delights of Colombo, the grandeur of Delhi and the bustling charm of Karachi? In the summertime, take a picnic to Lord’s and pop a champagne cork onto the outfield, along with thousands of jolly English supporters. Lord’s is the spiritual home of cricket, the place where many of the greatest contests in the sport have taken place. It hosts the Marylebone Cricket Club

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A VIBRANT HILLTOP OASIS Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff, an exemplary icon in Johannesburg offers a unique and diverse boutique experience for the leisure and business traveller alike. Genuine hyper-personalised service creates meaningful connections: the constant invitation to express yourself – creating your unfiltered Johannesburg story. For more information: fourseasons.com/johannesburg


POLO PEOPLE

Lord’s Taverners Community project in Pocos De Caldas near Minas Gerias and Sao Sebastiao near Brasilia 2017

(MCC), where the queue for membership lasts several decades. In 1950, at a public house next to Lord’s called the Tavern, a group of cricket supporters formed a charity aiming to give disadvantaged and disabled young people a chance to play cricket. The Lord’s Taverners is now one of the largest and most effective sporting charities in the world, taking cricket to hundreds of remote parts of the world and inspiring a love of the sport among a new generation of young people. In May 2019, a donation of cricket equipment from the Lord’s Taverners attracted a huge crowd of kids at the Government Day Secondary School in Asaba, Delta State, Nigeria. “Lord’s Taverners major goal is to make sports accessible to less privileged children who ordinarily

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would not be able to purchase some expensive equipment,” said Edema Fuludu. He said that the students were “very delighted” with the cricket gloves, bats, pads and balls sent out by the foundation. In the past year, Lord’s Taverners has donated more than 12,500 items of equipment to groups in 21 countries, including Gambia, Rwanda, Mexico and Brazil. “The partnership that Lord’s Taverners has given us has been a lifeline to Brazilian cricket,” said Matt Featherstone, president of Cricket Brazil. “There are kids in this town that play cricket every week,” thanks to the kit donations from the UK. Personally, I’ve loved taking cricket to unexplored corners of Europe: it is a tremendously social game, generally played in a spirit of cooperation and fun, accepting people from all backgrounds, races, genders and abilities. “We teach children about respect and fair play,” says James Salisbury at Chance to Shine. “They develop skills like communication, leadership and perseverance that will benefit them throughout their life.” In an ever more turbulent world, cricket offers many people a pleasant haven. For others, millions of dollars! Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15



©Dita Von Teese

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Fashion Undressed Lisa Gerard-Sharp

“Lingerie is the first thing you put on and the last thing you take off,� states Paris-based designer Yasmine Eslami. As statements to the significance of lingerie go, this is as powerful as it gets.

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©Coco de Mer

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here’s little new about lingerie: it acts as a sultry mirror to our times but also celebrates the eternal feminine. Open-crotch undies were all the rage in the 1930s while corsets shift shape with every new generation. Lingerie can be old-school screen siren, playful or provocative, edgy or fashion-forward. As women, our lingerie speaks volumes about our moods and the eroticism of the male gaze. Lingerie is as much about sex as it is about foundational garments, and sex sells. Lingerie is a serious business, with sexy basques underpinned by unsexy balance sheets. Luxe lingerie pays homage to its illustrious history and to shifting social codes. In Elizabethan times, the corset elongated the body and raised the bust while concealing the stomach and hips. The Victorian era may have been the heyday of the corset but our love of shape-shifting means that corsets survive. The First World War meant freedom, with women filling men’s roles and demanding more breathable clothing. Instead, the 1930s ushered in padded cups to flatter smaller busts, followed by shape-enhancing underwired bras. Restriction returned with the girdle to deliver the 1940s desire for an hourglass figure, with hips but small waists. The 1950s favoured curves and corselets, flattering an ultra-feminine form. Freedom swept in with the 1960s and a return to an androgynous look not seen since the 1920s. Corsets were shed and bras burnt. In the biggest social swing of modern times, lingerie celebrated youth culture and a liberation from restrictions.

©Coco de Mer ©Chantelle

BORN TO TEASE

Modernity means a woman comfortable in her own skin but also means messages from the frontline. Madonna pioneered underwear as outerwear, signalling girl-power in her own inimitable way. During her Blond Ambition tour in 1990, Madonna unveiled her conical bra, a Jean Paul Gaultier pink satin creation that she made her own. The message was clear: mess with me at your peril. This message has been taken on board by modern women - except when we want to be messed with, of course. Few contemporary women wish to be crushed into crinolines or whalebone corsets but might be tempted by an itsy-bitsy chainmail basque. Azzedine Alaia’s cropped black leather racerback top looks like something that Naomi Campbell, the label’s muse, would have worn in her peak supermodel days. Lady Gaga channels the same spirit. It’s all about the promise of playfulness. Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15

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ART IN FOCUS

No one does playfulness better than Dita Von Teese. As a true burlesque artiste, Dita puts the tease back into striptease in her seductive shows. A born performer, she channels vintage Hollywood glamour, more Vegas than vice, more sparkle than sleaze. The queen of burlesque launched her own lingerie line five years ago, showcasing “the decadent lingerie I love to wear.” It’s naughty but nice, turning boring bedtimes into boudoir burlesque. American but cosmopolitan, Dita’s old-school glamour is also inspired by the more decadent Parisian designers. Her favourite, Jean Paul Gaultier, is equally playful and provocative; “Jean Paul has a lot of the same obsessions that I do, like corsetry, ballet-peach satin and silks, black silk velvet, bullet bras and girdles.” OOOH LA LA

©Dita Von Teese

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Lingerie, a term invented by the French, means that naughty Parisian chic is still sought after. The language of lingerie is still French and is keen on keeping women in the boudoir, playing at burlesque, preferably dressed in a basque. Several of the top heritage brands are French from top to toe. Typically, the latest publicity campaign by Aubade depicts gorgeous, scantily-clad girls scampering across rooftops in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. It’s a deliciously French fantasy of hide-and-seek, with a Latin lover waiting in the wings for his reward. Aubade promises “seduction on the skin,” and delivers a stockings-and-suspenders flirtiness. Even the brand name evokes love songs and dawn trysts, as does its best-selling basque, called Carnal Kisses (Baisers Charnels). The Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15


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basque uses flesh-coloured tulle, black lace and flirty ribbons to achieve its shameless seductiveness. But it’s not just about sex. Few lingerie brands can lay greater claim to couture status than this Parisian gem. The brand traces its roots back to traditional 19th-century corsetry and ensures a flawless fit. A bra may take two years from design to sales and incorporate upto 24 pieces and a similar number of fabrics. With a seamstress’ eye for detail, Aubade designs feature silky fabrics ranging from Calais lace to floral silks and Swiss embroidery. The current collection is inspired by Art Nouveau and free-spirited muses such as Mata Hari and Isadora Duncan. Chantelle, Aubade’s Parisian compatriot, is a multi-brand group that has been channelling Parisian chic since 1876. Even so, the CL group is an innovative heritage brand that can still cater to fans of couture or street style. Chantal Thomass, the group’s irreverent couture brand, delights in its independent spirit and seeks to challenge stereotypes of sexiness. It strikes an attitude, ranging from rock-and-roll to edgy energy, bursting with sexual confidence. Within all the brands, “being real” is preferred to being perfect, conveying an unattainable notion of beauty. Such internationalism and diversity reflect the lingerie titan’s importance, with a turnover of e400 million, 50 percent outside France, enabled by a 5,500-strong workforce. The savvy brand positions itself in different markets through myriad e-commerce sites. Above all, as a market leader in fine lingerie, Chantelle masters the full business cycle, from design to distribution.

©Coco de Mer

THE BRITISH ARE COMING

British brands tend to excel at crafting classic boudoir pieces that are made for dressing up and undressing. Agent Provocateur is a famous British lingerie brand that believes in “fuss-free fantasy.” This cheeky designer brand was co-founded by Joseph Corré, the son of wacky, fashion fetish pioneer Vivienne Westwood. It sells itself on classy, sexy, retro lingerie that aims at seduction with a smile. You might come in for a silk nightie but come out in bondage, complete with silken whip. Yet the brand increasingly reflects dreamy female moods as well as male desires. For dishevelled sexiness, choose vintage-style lace in pale pink; for darker fantasies, dress in a dominatrix-inspired ensemble, with fishnet stockings and a black lace bustier. Coco de Mer channels a similarly playful vibe, with erotic fantasies dressed in lace and velvet. It began as a naughty boutique in London’s Covent Garden but has grown into a bold brand with empowering yet exhilarating stories to tell. Its backstory lies in sex toys, from blindfolds and handcuffs to sophisticated “spanking tools.” The idea is to spice up your Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15

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©Dita Von Teese

©Aubade

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©Credit?

©Credit?

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sex life by challenging your imagination to match theirs. The sheer quality of the lingerie enhances the pleasure, as does the sophistication of the designs. The jewel-like palette of Coco de Mer’s Eugenia collection is inspired by Gustav Klimt’s richlytextured paintings. The latest collaboration is with Playboy, inspired by the magazine’s vintage covers. Think leopard-spotted glamour on a 1950s Playboy stage set in Hugh Heffner’s neon club. If you are won over by the lingerie, ponder an in-store salon “where you can learn new skills to heighten your pleasure in the bedroom.” Coco de Mer also has a serious side, including in its selection of models and brand ambassadors. Waris Dirie is a chosen role model, an African icon who works to empower and educate women. Aged five, the Somalian-born model was subjected to FGM but has used her modelling status to campaign against the cruel practice, including acting as a UN Special Ambassador. Purely aesthetically, Waris’ tough but toned body also conveys a message of beauty and grace in adversity. The choice of Waris, and other more challenging models, also taps into international trends and the desire for diversity, body positivity and powerful role models. THE SIZZLING INTERNATIONAL SCENE

More mainstream fashion designers have been swift to slip into lingerie lines. Many now speak the language of lingerie, from plunge to padded, from balconette to bustier, from baby doll to body-stocking. It’s all there for the wearing, from Victoria Beckham’s black, lace-trimmed camisoles to Swarovski’s bejewelled lace thongs. Versace, synonymous with more-is-more glamour, has long been a fan of leopard-skin, with animal-print undies signifying female passions. Stella McCartney believes in a softer form of sexy femininity but also boasts lacy, leopard-spotted lingerie. La Perla is the real deal in lingerie, combining sexiness and sophistication in its luxe pieces. Founded by a corset-maker in 1954, the brand is now famous for its embellished silks. Victoria’s Secret is the biggest North American brand and is a powerhouse of selfpromotion. Founded by Roy Raymond in 1977, the owner’s inspiration was boredom: “When I tried to buy lingerie for my wife, I was faced with racks of terry-cloth robes and ugly floral-print nylon nightgowns.” The San Francisco-born brand sells on sexiness and razzmatazz, with celebrity brand ambassadors, such as Taylor Swift. The catwalks are the preserve of supermodels who strut their stuff wearing bejewelled bras. Back in 1996, Claudia Schiffer became their first supermodel to sport a milliondollar bra but today’s creations still feature bras studded with rubies, diamonds and sapphires, at least in the shows. Victoria’s Secret is proof that sex and celebrity sell. At the other end of the scale are niche European brands that deserve to be better-known. Budapest-based Tet Lingerie claims to be “inspired by love,” no less. Founder Tadas Baliutavicius began as a Vogue fashion photographer but succumbed to the seductiveness of the lingerie world. As he puts it, “When love surrounds us, we become happier, and lingerie does the same.” His luxurious creations combine the finest Turkish lace with alluring, flattering designs. Seduction is always in the air, especially if sporting a revealing teddy. Tadas promises that “a sexy chemise paired with a kimono will become a highlight of the evening.” LIVING THE LINGERIE LIFE

Current lingerie trends range from vintage to streetwear, athleisure and sustainability. Expect more crossover between lingerie, swimwear and loungewear, and for more natural fabrics. Seizing on the zeitgeist, many brands boast body positivity, with curvier women sashaying down the catwalk. That said, retro glamour is still in fashion, as is spiced-up sexiness. Writing in French Vogue, Eugenie Trochu sees this season’s daring lingerie collections feature the bondage look: “The Dominatrix, with black leather, vinyl, cages and corsets.” so you can still channel your inner Catwoman in a faux leather bodysuit with a thong clasp and choker neckline. Taken to extremes, lingerie can change your love life. Shameless exhibitionists with bendy bodies can pole-dance in bondage-inspired bodysuits. More modest maidens can pop on a Playboy-inspired baby doll or leopard-spotted bustier. As Dita Von Teese says, “I advocate glamour every day, every minute.” Follow the vintage style icon in bringing a bit of burlesque to the bedroom and beyond. Lovers are unlikely to request a refund. In the words of Joseph Corré, the co-founder of Agent Provocateur, “I believe the sexiest thing a lover can witness a woman doing is loving herself.”

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ADVENTURES IN TRAVEL

Virtuoso Best Newcomer Winner 2019 -- Montage Los Cabos

The Serious Business Behind

LUXURY TRAVEL Yasemen Kaner-White

“The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mind set with which we travel than on the destination we travel to,” Alain de Botton, ‘The Art Of Travel’. Such a fabulous thought provoking book and how very true this quote is; sadly, sometimes the stressful act of planning a trip can be so overwhelming, by the time you’re slumped by the pool in your sparkling hotel, you’re too exhausted to enjoy it. This is why the business of booking on your behalf has been booming for a while, yet only a few companies can deliver. A worthwhile company needs to offer a bespoke service, perks and upgrades, whilst keeping abreast of the latest trends and keeping a step ahead of them. When the word travel is mentioned, more and more the word sustainable follows, something that Virtuoso, the

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leading global network of agencies specialising in luxury and experiential travel, with more than 20,000 advisors, knows all too well. “Sustainability is not a trend, in that sense, but rather an evolution of travel and Virtuoso is committed to being on the cutting edge of innovation in the global travel community,” so says Costas Christ, Global Sustainability Strategist for Virtuoso. Their sustainability mission is clear; to celebrate culture, support local economies and protect the Environment. When booking yourself as opposed to using an advisor, as everything is not transparent and studying the true sustainability of a trip is time consuming, it’s great to know an advisor has your back doing the research for you, so your curated trip gives you a clean conscious. Looking at current and future trends of travel as a business Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15


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Corinthia Hotel, London Spa - Jack Hardy 2019

Corinthia Hotel, London Garden Suite Living Area

Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15

includes AI with more and more hotels using digital technology to log data as well as a way to communicate with their customers, the combination of the personal touch of a travel advisor and AI, cannot be overlooked. Yet even with the rise of Siri and Alexa being at the beck and call of your every need, there is something to be said for the fact that we cannot take the human out of humanity. “Virtuoso is in the business of helping people optimise their memories,” says CEO and Chairman Mathew Upchurch; his most transformative trip? “Africa, you can leave Africa but Africa never leaves you, people go to Rwanda for gorillas but they come back for the people they meet there”. When most people are time-poor cash-rich, calling on experts is a given, because travel advisors have relationships with hoteliers they can often get clients in their preferred suite at short notice for example – who wouldn’t want that! but luxury is personal and open to interpretation and certainly developing in its meaning.

Matthew Upchurch

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Rocky Mountaineer 2020 Must-Have Experiences

Great Migration Must-Have Experiences

Maldives

Luxury isn’t only the hotel fittings, it’s the experience, the increasing need to disconnect to connect, digital detox breaks and self discovery programmes are on the rise and a need for authentic interactive experiences is increasing. People are wanting to live with a family, cook with a family, live like a local, almost a ‘living museum’, which is overtaking the desire to visit standard museums looking at artefacts. Hotels are homing in on looking after the children, their future customers. They know that children into their twenties are using travel to build their personal brands, sharing their adventures and experiences and more importantly the places they visit and hotels they stay in, looking after them is looking after business. Millennials know what they want, they’re aspirational, times are most certainly changing; it is not uncommon now for children to contact hotels asking for a free room in exchange for an Instagram post. So when booking your next trip why not use the expertise of a travel advisor and experience something curated just for you. If you want inspiration on where to go and what to do check out Virtuoso’s top six travel trends 2020:

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Galapagos Islands

Rosewood Hong Kong

1. Un-touristed and Unexpected: With some favourite destinations seeing an untenable rise in demand, the well-travelled luxury set is seeking remote, unspoiled destinations to avoid crowds at over-touristed locales, 2. Country Coupling: Travellers are looking to explore multiple countries, even during shorter journeys 3. Tasty Travels: Culinary travel has transcended a trend to become its own niche, 4. Group Getaways: Gen X-ers, Boomers and even Matures are traveling to bond with friends and others who share their passions or are at the same life stage. 5. EQ Encounters: Today’s traveller is seeking more profound experiences leading to increased emotional intelligence 6. Enjoying the Journey: Upscale travellers are using exclusive services, including meet-and-greets planeside, to avoid the stress of changing terminals, locating gates or waiting in customs lines. For more information, visit www.virtuoso.com.

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Bhutan

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FIFTH CHUKKER POLO & COUNTRY CLUB

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Luxury Accommodation

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Polo. Live it. Love it. www.fifthchukker.com

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KM2, Kaduna to Jos Road, after Maraban-Jos, Kaduna, Nigeria



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BEACHES, BABOONS and BAREFOOT LUXURY in The Gambia Kathryn Burrington

Crabs and fish on Tanji Beach

The Gambia, known as the Smiling Coast of West Africa thanks to the friendliness of the locals, is the smallest country on mainland Africa. It winds its way inland from the Atlantic Ocean following the course of the river of the same name. With over 560 species of birds, it’s popular with birdwatchers. While you won’t find any of Africa’s big five here, you may also see baboons, monitor lizards and crocodiles, and if you venture inland chimpanzees and hippos, not to mention the cheeky vervet monkeys that run-a-muck in many of the hotels’ gardens. Add to this a vibrant, colourful, culture, year-round hot weather and golden sand, palm-fringed beaches that never get overcrowded, even in the height of the season - and you’ve got an exciting holiday destination. Surprisingly, it’s still off many people’s radar. Tourism and agriculture are the main economic activities here, with the former attracting more investment and foreign revenue. With the return to democracy two years ago there’s been a steady trickle of Gambian nationals coming home to start businesses, but unemployment remains high. The main tourist resorts unsurprisingly hug the coastline. Top hotels range from the elegant Moroccan-influenced Coco Ocean, the most luxurious hotel in The Gambia, to a quirky boutique hotel perched on a clifftop. This is Ngala Lodge, home to one of the finest restaurants in the country serving a range of beautifully presented international dishes as well as traditional local cuisine. If you like it spicy, don’t miss their signature dish ‘Hot from Thailand’ a fiery blend of prawns, chicken, butterfish and bacon simmered in a coconut curry sauce with lemongrass, lime leaves and chillies served with coriander dumplings.

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A meeting place for authentic Ethiopian food and traditional beverages.

289 Fox Street, Maboneng, JHB, SA Contact: 0110582977

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BEACH LIFE IN THE GAMBIA

While the sunbeds on the beaches by the hotels can get busy, there’s still plenty of room for building sandcastles with the little ones or a game of football, a popular pastime here. Better still, you don’t have to venture far to find mile after mile of pristine, sandy beaches, backed by palm-trees without a parasol, beach bar or even another soul in sight. The beaches in The Gambia, however, aren’t just for sunbathing. Head to Sanyang on a Sunday and enjoy the local wrestling, one of the oldest traditional sports in West Africa, or on the sands at Tanji watch the brightly painted pirogues as they come into shore. Unloading these local fishing boats gets frantic with gulls squawking overhead and raised voices on the beach as prices are agreed. It’s a colourful cacophony of sights, sounds and smells! It’s here at Tanji fishing village that a day “Cooking with Ida” begins as you shop for ingredients to take back to her courtyard kitchen. Spend the rest of the morning chatting and learning about local life as you prepare a traditional dish such as spicy fish benechin or lime infused chicken yassa. Then relax over a leisurely lunch in the shady garden tucking into your West African feast. At the end of the day, the perfect place for a sundowner is Calypso Beach Bar and Restaurant at the eastern edge of the sands at Cape Point Beach. Sit under a thatch cabana by a freshwater creek and watch the crocodiles and birdlife over a cocktail or a cool Julbrew – The Gambia may be a predominately Muslim country, but that doesn’t stop them brewing their own beer!

Roadside fruit stall

Calypso Beach Bar

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Floating River Lodge at Mandina Lodges

BAREFOOT LUXURY IN THE GAMBIA

If you seek to get away from it all completely, forget the coastal hotels. Head inland and into the jungle. Dotted along the banks of a tributary of the River Gambia in the heart of Makasutu Forest, a handful of floating lodges rise and fall with the tides. They’re simply furnished with a central fourposter bed, a wardrobe and little else. The dark wood floors and walls compliment the African textiles, while the floor to ceiling windows offer a splendid view of the gently flowing river. This is the barefoot luxury of eco-chic Mandina Lodges. If you’re celebrating a special occasion upgrade to the stunning two storey Stilted Lodge or perhaps, you’d prefer the colourful Jungle Lodges, set back from the river. Whichever one you choose, you’re sure to spend part of the time lazing around the stunning free-form pool surrounded by the jungle. To fully appreciate your surroundings, head out on foot or in a canoe with a guide and discover the local wildlife, villages and more. Look out for the resident troop of baboons who regularly rampage through the forest and the resort. Be sure not to leave any toiletries in your open-air bathroom as little baboon hands are fond of running off with anything they might find!

Floating River Lodge at Mandina Lodges

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Ngala Lodge Restaurant

Tanji Creek, Gambia

THE GAMBIA BEYOND THE BEACHES

While the beaches are undoubtedly a huge draw here, it’s well worth exploring further afield. Take a cruise along the river and its tributaries for a relaxing day fishing and bird spotting. Look out for spoonbills, kingfishers and the magnificent Goliath Heron. Alternatively, head offshore in a catamaran for some deep-sea fishing targeting sailfish, marlin and tuna amongst others. If you’d prefer to capture the wildlife with your camera, take the ferry across the river at Banjul and hop over the border to Senegal for a mini safari around Fathala Wildlife Lodge. Spot zebra, giraffes, warthogs and the local rhino, known as Kevin. If you’re lucky, you might also catch a glimpse of the elegant spiral-horned Giant Derby Eland, one of the largest and most striking antelopes in the world. It’s an endangered subspecies that the reserve is fighting to protect. If your passion is shopping, you won’t see any high street names or designer brands here but don’t miss the Gambian markets. While the tourist craft stalls are a fun place to practice your haggling skills head to Albert Market in Banjul for a more authentic experience. Here you’ll find everything for sale from live chickens to second-hand bras, hidden in a maze of narrow alleyways.

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Giant Derby Eland, Fathala

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Giraffe, Fathala

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Gambian ladies in Kotu market

For a truly unique experience, venture upcountry to the Wassu Stones, part of the Stone Circles of Senegambia UNESCO World Heritage listing. Little is known about these laterite pillars and their associated burial mounds, which date back more than 5,000 years, the oldest being a similar age to England’s Stonehenge. One of the most popular tourist sites in The Gambia is the country’s other UNESCO World Heritage Site at Kunta Kinteh Island (formerly James Island). Here a ruined fort bore witness to the thousands of West African slaves that passed this way as captives before transportation to the Americas. Reputedly this included Kunta Kinteh made famous by Alex Haley’s 1976 novel “Roots”. Today, the island is slowly disappearing due to coastal erosion and storm damage. No doubt, another victim of climate change. A visit to the island is a poignant reminder of humankind’s past atrocities and now, increasingly, its present ones too. Back in the coastal resorts each evening, Fula acrobats and energetic drum and dance troupes entertain the tourists. At Ngala Lodge, you might find a lone kora player skilfully weaving his magic with this ancient West African harp. While at Mandina, the only sounds are the crackling of the flames in the fire pit and the night murmurings of the forest. All photography by Kathryn Burrington

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Gambian ladies by pirogue

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Gambian crocodile

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CBD

HEALTH FEATURE

A look at the world of

Emma Bright

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elieve it or not CBD was first discovered in 1940 by Dr Roger Adams, however its structure not fully understood until 1963. CBD was discovered more than 20 years before THC, but THC has dominated the cannabis research until recently. Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the 113 identified cannabinoids in the cannabis plant and it accounts for up to 50% of the plants extract. Just over three years ago the law changed in the UK and it became legal to grow certain strains of low THC Cannabis under the correct licence and procure products that contain CBD against a strict criteria. This happened around the same time as WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) took CBD off its banned list. When CBD first became legal, it happened almost in secret and has crept into society and

is now starting to move from the fringes and make its way to mainstream but still a long way off mainstream. A strong clear up or guidelines along with regulations and education is required before it has widespread acceptance and until it is fully de-stigmatised. The increasing growth in popularity seems to be down to social media, although the market is held back by the huge restrictions on advertising. It seems people are experiencing positive effects with CBD and then sharing it. It has been shown to help with sleep, anxiety, stress and it is also a great natural anti-inflammatory. The Cannabis plant also has a very positive impact on the environment for example the farms where Body and Mind Botanical’s products are grown, they will consume 1100 tonnes of CO2 out of the atmosphere each year!

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HEALTH FEATURE

As many of you would have seen, CBD is available in many forms, but it’s not just CBD that you should look out for. It’s the 113 cannabinoids and the 60+ terpenes and flavonoids that are present naturally in the plant. They all play a part so it always important to look out for a full spectrum product. This means the product has not been altered or messed with to remove elements that are naturally present in the plant. All over the world many different cannabis strains are used to make different products, but not all these are legal in all countries. For example, a CBD product that uses a strain of plant that is grown in America might not be legal in UK. It is an area that needs to be watched more carefully. CBD oils are the most common product within the market. To make the oils, the two most popular types of extraction used is high pressured carbon dioxide and solvent extraction. Body and Mind Botanicals make Cold Pressed Cannabis Oil, being cold pressed means the process of extracting the oil is kept as natural as possible which they feel is extremely important when dealing with the natural Cannabis plant.

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You will see many other products like jogging bottoms, pillows and tampons that have jumped on the band wagon but do not deliver anything more than a talking point. Quality of the CBD is also something very important to look out for. Body and Mind Botanicals adhere to the UK Food Legislation and they want other CBD companies to do the same. For example, the actual amount of CBD should be on the package not just the amount of extract. This is something that many companies make very confusing for the consumer. There should be clear dating, batch codes, traceability standards should be implemented, and independent lab tests are must! Working with seed to sale companies, of which Body and Mind Botanicals are one of just a few is your best bet to ensure you are getting the highest quality product.

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With CBD/Cannabis being one of the biggest growth sectors right now the market is buoyant with investment opportunities as Body and Mind Botanicals have seen by recently closing a successful investment round in record time. However the investment appetite has been damaged by some failed investments in America and Canada. The key isn’t always finding the investment opportunity but ratifying and validating opportunity. Unfortunately, there are a lot of pretenders in the CBD business who essentially are adding their label to someone’s else’s product. Being Certified Organic is very important for any product. Organic is a word that is used quite freely which could be improved through education. But there is hope, the Soil Association is an organisation that can review any company from start to finish. Body and Mind Botanicals have experienced this themselves. With their farms being tested and proven to be pesticide and chemical /toxin free for at least 3 years before their crop could be grown on them and their whole supply chain being Certified Organic. CBD can be a natural and a wonderful product in the right hands. Do your research on the company you are buying it from before purchasing and enjoy the benefits it can offer.

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Experience the

MAGIC Luxury Accommodation

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KM2, Kaduna to Jos Road, after Maraban-Jos, Kaduna, Nigeria

Events


CUISINE SCENE

A Cultural Culinary Tour Of

Egypt Yasemen Kaner-White

Yasemen and Maii in El Feshawi

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ow, more than ever is the time to visit Egypt, with recent open access to previously closed archaeological sites, such as the Bent Pyramid and the 4,000 year old Tomb of Mehu. 2020 will see the soft opening of much awaited; Grand Egyptian Museum. The 2024 full exhibit, will make it the largest museum in the world holding a collection of one culture. My recent trip from Cairo, Luxor, Aswan to El Gouna, gave me a taste of ancient to modern Egypt, with plenty of tasty treats on the way… Mustafa, my guide from Memphis Tours met me as I came off the plane handing me a bar of chocolate the size of his head, whisked me through customs and straight into my car. Up Salah Salim street, one of the longest streets in Cairo, through the affluent New Cairo, past the Cairo Tower; the highest point in Cairo, straight to centrally located Sheraton Cairo Hotel, for another warm welcome. My first day kicked off early with Maii, my Cairo guide, to avoid the scorching heat whilst exploring The Great Pyramid of Cheops. Driving through

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Cairo is a bustling adventure, cars overtake left, right and centre, “the lines on the road are just a suggestion”, exclaimed Maii, with most drivers ignoring them. Makeshift houses line the roads, built illegally by poor farmers on land meant for agriculture, due to there being nowhere else for them to live, the government ignores it. Maii peppered my pyramid tour with interesting historical findings, “30 years ago American studies found that the pyramid workers were not slaves they were actually paid” having found pay rolls nearby. Most of the 25,000 workers were in fact Egyptian farmers, taking them 32 years to complete it. Round the corner she led me to Cheops’s boat museum, a magnificent 40m, 1230 piece structure, receiving less notoriety than the pyramid. It was discovered in 1954 when the area was being prepared for the arrival of the King of Saudi, the donkey of a worker slipped to reveal the dismantled Lebanese cedar wood boat beneath. Most pyramid tops are sparse, having had the fine limestone stolen to make roads as well as the solid gold pyramidion. It’s worth hiring a

professional photographer to capture you in front of quintessentially Egyptian scenes of pyramids and camels; the latter interestingly not indigenous but brought by Arabs in the 7th century, the lack of camel hieroglyphics attest to this. The spectacular 80m long, 20m high Sphinx is still up for debate; was it originally a complete animal and the egotistical King replaced the head with his own? The disproportionate head – uncommon for Egyptians to ignore proportions, has led historians to believe it’s been tampered with. The well-preserved Dahshur Pyramids south of Cairo, Maii insists are worth a visit, giving me yet another reason to return. After pyramids, came the papyrus gallery-come-shop. Watch the papyrus demonstration to learn to detect fake (banana leaf) from real. It’s hard not to be tempted to purchase your own papyrus either personalised or detailing an Egyptian tale. Jewellery shopping is a popular tourist pastime in Cairo, with scarab beetles in a range of gold, silver and precious stones tempting you. Driving on the bridge between Girza and Cairo, overlooking the Nile where people were kayaking, we looked down on the luscious green Golden Island, inhabited only by workers, with a mosque and church to serve them; it was time for lunch on the Zamalek Island at acclaimed Abou El Sid restaurant. A feast of bessara - fava beans, mint, fresh parsley ground together and cooked with cornmeal topped with crunchy onions; heavenly hawawshi – crispy buttery flatbread sandwiching spiced mincemeat, akkaoui tagin - oxtail in a thick tomato and onion stew with rice; pickled carrots; sucuk sausage with tomato, onion, green pepper and cardamom and wheat flatbread to mop it all up. As if there were room, we walked to sought-after sweet shop El Abd to buy some coconut macaroons and semolina based basbousa squares. Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15


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Street seller with sweet liquorice drink

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Stuffed pigeon in Sobi Kaber Mayfair Cruise buffet

Egyptian night on the Mayfair Cruise

Street seller

Market in Nubian village

Cairo

Not dissuaded by Maii’s concern for me trying the naturally sweet liquorice drink from the street seller (my stomach isn’t used to Egyptian tap water – bottle is best), I was glad I did, just for the experience. A perfect-people watching spot is Cairo’s oldest café - El Feshawi, I opted for a cold unsweetened hibiscus tea (also known as Egyptian wine – intensely delicious), which set me up for a stroll through the souk crammed with sheisha smokers, pashminas, spices, henna, decorative pyramids and more. Walking the streets of Shoubra district packed with fruit sellers, street vendors selling fried liver in bread, sweets, sea sponges and clothes, I felt local before an even more local experience; dinner in Sobi Kaber; where I was the only tourist in sight. We started with a punchy ‘salad water’ a spicy reddish water with tomato, cucumber, parsley and dill designed to make the food pass easier. I sipped on freshly pressed guava juice watching the waiter pouring garlicky green molokhia soup made from jute leaves from a great height into bowls, before tahini and aubergine dip with flatbread, salad, sumptuous cinnamon flavoured sogou sausages, fatty luscious tarp sausages, pigeon stuffed with delicate cinnamon spiced rice and muzza – a huge lamb shank, washed down with anise tea. The next day in the ‘the city of a thousand minarets’, so called for the abundance of mosques in Cairo, I went to the two most prominent; Sultan Hassan mosque featuring Egyptian marble and intricate wood and oil paintings from 1356 and opposite Al-Rifa’i Mosque, whether you’re religious or not, entering both is a phenomenal experience for their sheer beauty and grandeur. The Egyptian Museum houses over 100,000 objects, including an ivory and ostrich feather fan in almost perfect condition despite being 3300 years old

Hawawshi

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Molokhia soup

which was found in a tomb; preserved because the Egyptians knew taking out oxygen from the tomb would leave items intact. Yuya’s 20m long papyrus in 37 pieces, considered the oldest book in history at 3400 years old is on display. A myriad of intricate lavish antiquities, mummies – even mummified food in the shape of what it is and tremendous treasures of Tutankhamun are displayed proudly. Maii talked me through the exhibition sharing insights such as old Egyptian philosophy believed the heart was the decision maker, so it was the only organ having been removed, instead of going into a Canopic jar, was stitched back into the body. With only enough room for 20% of the collection to be shown at anytime, the display is ever-changing. Lunch at former street food now restaurant Abou Tarek for Koshary; a medley of lentils, pasta, rice, topped with chickpeas, tomato sauce and crispy fried onions is a must. They say the secret is in his sauce of garlic, vinegar, lemon, ginger and cumin, as well as the chilli sauce. After a sheisha and fresh mint, lemon smoothie, dinner in Omar Sharif’s restaurateur son’s Italian restaurant; La Trattoria for the best lasagne in Cairo, situated in pretty Zamalek Island rounded the day off nicely. One hour 25 minutes flight from Cairo and I was in Aswan, south Egypt that has two seasons; hot and very hot. A population of 1.5 million people, most of which are Nubian, with their own language and slightly darker skin. I met my new Memphis Tour guide Ahmed who took me on a felucca boat ride to Philae Temple, whilst explaining the main parts of Egyptian history, old, middle and the new kingdom on the way. From the first Egyptian King Menes, (2930 BCE - c. 2900 BCE) who unified upper and lower Egypt, to present day President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Aswan market

Dishes in Sobi Kaber

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Abou El Sid restaurant

Aswan was the trading hub between Egypt and Sudan, the latter selling glue, wheat, vegetables, fruits, gold and silver, Egypt offering cotton and essences such as papyrus and lotus. Philae temple also known as the temple of Isis, was the last temple built in the classical Egyptian style, built to honour the goddess and renowned as Egypt’s top temple to visit. We took a motor boat ride past the lush papyrus, guest houses and cattail plants lining the river to the colourful Nubian village; a great place to meet the locals and shop in their craft markets. Ahmed drank a cup of Nile water; seemingly a custom, the Nile (much cleaner here than Cairo) plays a big part in daily life, almost spiritual. Having settled in my cabin aboard the grand monumental Mayfair Cruise, Karem, another attentive Memphis tour guide took me around Aswan by night; with a pressed sugar cane drink in hand, I explored the market with the usual nuts, spices and unusual local delicacies such as fesikh – fermented tilapia fish. After a night being rocked like a baby by the gentle waves aboard the boat, we headed to the Temple of Kom Ombo, uniquely dedicated to two gods; crocodile god Sobek (inspired by crocodiles along the Nile) and Horus the falconheaded god. Here you can see the unusual hieroglyph of a woman (goddess Isis) giving birth. Back to the boat for a buffet lunch, dip in the pool and coffee on the terrace to watch the scenes of Aswan life go by as we sailed on. Thick brown stems of the lush green papyrus, locals on donkeys, tuk tuks, white storks flying, cattle grazing, pharaohs tombs, people washing garments in the Nile, scattered brick apartments, date palm trees ready to be picked, fisherman in wooden boats catching catfish and Nile perch and small shacks at the water edge made up scenes set against the faint hum of music from the deck. Koshary at Abou Tarek

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Tonight was Egyptian night, all donned in Egyptian fancy dress we ate koshery, peas & lamb, chicken shish, lentil soup and an array of sticky sweet baklava, with Egyptian Music beckoning us (my new friends and fellow guests) to dance. The next day Ahmed insisted I skip breakfast on the boat and surprised me with fresh ful (beans) in a spongy soft bread pocket and another filled with falafel (made from broad beans) and French fries from café Safaa in Luxor instead. Now in the West Bank of the Nile, Ahmed explained up until 2004 the government displaced the people living on the mountain to excavate and found loads of temples, two of which were the impressive statues of Hatshepsut and Memnon, Karnak and of course The Valley of the Kings. King Thutmose I, was the first King to be buried there, choosing the area for good limestone and dryness. Gazing at the colourful near-perfect brightly coloured renditions of scenes and hieroglyphics narrating stories and messages made glimpsing into the past easy, as you wander around the 62 tombs, 7 of which can be entered. Luxor is rich in alabaster and factory shops selling ornaments fashioned from it. Sipping on a Turkish coffee in Tutmosis factory I perused alabaster vases, pyramids, tea-light holders and more; green being the most precious, then brown then white. If you get time, eat okra (weka) in Luxor, differing from the version in Cairo – instead a delicious soup. The next day I went to Az Zayniyyah Bahari village to make sun bread with local ladies, who although didn’t speak a word of English made me feel incredibly welcome in their home. The lengthy art of making al-shamsi (sun bread) is dying out with accessible ready-made bread and embracing of carb-free diets, yet some villagers still make the bread in their mud brick ovens as a way of life. The simple wheat dough is kneaded, shaped and left to rise in the sun on handmade mats made from papier-mâché. Eating the sun bread hot from the oven dipped in sugarcane molasses was sweetly satisfying. The ladies of the village came out their houses to show me their children, goats, sugarcane, alfalfa, corn, okra, molokhia and tomato crops. Driving away we stopped to pick some dates from the palm trees. With a wave goodbye to ancient Egypt, I drove 4 hours to the renowned El Gouna resort for the annual Film Festival and a little relaxation after a fascinating filled itinerary. El Gouna, created by the visionary Samih Onsi Sawiris, is a haven; a safe, immaculate, peaceful yet fun resort, eclectic in its offerings, meaning there is something for everybody. Staying in Steigenberger Golf Resort, upon arrival I took the motorboat ferrying guests around the resort from the hotel over to the gym, ready for dinner. I was delighted the hotel buffet had everything Egyptian as well as continental, I opted for fresh Molokhia soup. Ready for some nightlife, I headed to Aurora Club, the place to be seen for live

El Gouna Marina

music and some nibbles; I highly recommend the marrowbone with prawns. The next day I explored some of the 37.9 million square meters of El Gouna by boat, as well as hotels there are waterfront bungalows and two marinas. The architect, I’m told based some designs on the Nubian villages, with an oriental flare. Ancient Sands Hotel and Steinburger are for golfers with the latter having an 18-hole golf course. Originally it was all desert, however Sawiris wanted water flowing through, so actually enabled the real Red Sea to connect to the resort. A lucky few who have bought properties in the seaside destination can call El Gouna home, with amenities from school to hospital to outstanding restaurants and entertainment on their doorstep, people stay year-round. A dip in the pool, watched a film under the stars and ate a super steak dinner in the bustling harbour in The Captain’s Inn rounded off the day. The next day I was ready to explore the desert, Alex Tours offer a fantastic Sunset Quad Safari, where I met Bedouins who hosted us for mint tea and sheisha, our guide pointed out various medicinal plants, shell and coral fossils possibly 1 million years old, beautiful basalt and red granite. The next day, instead of desert it was time to explore by boat, in between dolphin spotting, coral snorkeling, a buffet lunch and freshly cooked local fish, banana boat rides and water sports, I laid on deck soaking up the sun recounting what a fabulous adventure I’d had in Egypt, making plans to return.

Yasemen on Mayfair Cruise deck

Sunbread

Fesikh – fermented tilapia fish

Az Zayniyyah Bahari village

Memphis Tours www.memphistours.com Cairo: Sheraton Cairo Hotel www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/caisi-sheraton-cairo-hotel-and-casino Luxor and Aswan M.S Mayfair Cruise http://mayfaircruises.com El Gouna https://www.elgouna.com

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Nubian village

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Cocoa beans

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Grenada’s Caribbean Chocolate Fest Yasemen Kaner-White

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hen one thinks of chocolate, they may not necessarily know that Grenada is a pioneering leader. Cocoa came to Grenada from Trinidad in 1714, the Grenadian chocolate is sustainable, ethical, organic and most importantly one of the tastiest ‘tree-tobar’ chocolate around. Annually, the Grenada Chocolate Fest celebrates all things cocoa with a range of insightful, fun and inspiring activities to partake in. As well as chocolate knowledge and a newly found appreciation for your mid-afternoon pick-me-up, the Caribbean island has a host of places to visit, sun loungers to lie on and a cuisine worth getting on a plane for. After Dominica, Grenada is the second country in the Caribbean to introduce a single use plastic ban. The True Blue Bay resort, who are Green Globe certified, in the capital St George, a mere 5 minutes drive from Maurice Bishop International Airport, follow suit in environmental living. Their eco-chic ‘Cocoa Pod’ rooms use solar panels and treated rainwater, as do their chlorine-free swimming pools. Magdalena Fielden, co-owner of the popular resort with her husband Russ, is also the founder and organiser of the chocolate fest and therefore the boutique resort hosts many of the chocolate flavoured festivities. My first breakfast at True Blue Bay kicked off, rather aptly with a rich cocoa tea served alongside optional coconut milk – which would give hot chocolate a run for its money any day. Freshly pressed guava juice, omelette, fried potatoes, baked beans spiked with pork

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cubes, banana and chocolate bread, cherry bread pudding and scones with a choice of nutmeg or guava jam completed the mouth-watering (albeit fulsome) meal. After a short walk along the jetty by the sea, a host of chocolate themed treats were planned at the resort. Firstly, Yoga Chocolate Tasting Meditation, as locals and tourists sat alongside each other, with the rustle of the sea breeze, the only noise other than our yoga teacher, gently guiding us through the class, we each savoured cubes of specialist chocolate, exploring the five senses. First we smelled it, snapped it in half to hear the crispness of the break, looked at it, touched it, before at last we let it melt on our tongues and truly tasted it, the experience certainly gave power to an act so often done in haste. The chocolate brunch by the sea was next, where the short ribs in chocolate sauce reigned supreme. Next was Taste With Colour, led by chocolatier Sophie Vanderbecken, we were firstly taught how to really experience the flavour of chocolate. Using your fingers rub a circle 10 times one way on your forehead and then again the other way, same at the top of your cheeks, then use your fingers to brush down either side of your nose 5 times, now blow your nose, ready to really smell it. Note your left side evokes feelings and memories, whilst your right side helps you to find a new reference point. Let the chocolate melt on your tongue, whilst closing your eyes. Next, under the guidance of a local beauty product producer, we made our very own cocoa body scrub and cocoa tea to take home. For those who wouldn’t consider a trip to the Caribbean

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The True Blue Bay resort

Yasemen cutting down cocoa pods at Belmont Estate

True Blue Bay resort

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Belmont Estate

complete without tasting local rum, there is a class dedicated to rum and chocolate pairings at the salubrious beachfront Silversands hotel, which happens to have the longest infinity pool in the Caribbean. complete without tasting local rum, there is a class dedicated to rum and chocolate pairings at the salubrious beachfront Silversands hotel, which happens to have the longest infinity pool in the Caribbean. Colour Tasting With Chocolate, offered another insight. We were given colour wheels and a host of words we could pick from to describe what we tasted, for example lemon, coffee and the more obscure such as smoke and tar. Each word had a colour, lemon would be yellow for example, so we painted the colours denoting what our taste buds picked up whilst eating a particular chocolate, incredibly, I painted almost exactly the same colours as the chocolate bar wrapper of the chocolate in question, without seeing it. My favourite cocoa classes had to be at the chocolate producers premises themselves. Kim Russell, owner of the Crayfish Bay Organic Cocoa Estate told us how he rebuilt the estate following a devastating hurricane. It was fascinating to be led on a tour through the cocoa farm, starting with the trees themselves, learning that pods are ready when the birds pick at them and like wine it depends when the beans are picked, if January it’s acidic, but June when there’s more water content, it’s less acidic. All vines must be removed from the cocoa trees, as they need access to sunlight. Monoculture cannot be implemented for cocoa, they have to grow next to another tree such as coconut, as they are nitrogen fixers. The blossom falls to the ground, giving back to the richness of the soil they grow in. The genetic comes from the tree Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15


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Yasemen sorting cocoa pods Belmont Estate

Taste With Colour

not the seed, so to reproduce you’d have to plant a twig, not a seed. When cutting down the pods, once opened, some beans are black and old inside, many corporations would still use them, unsurprisingly the smaller exclusive chocolate farms such as Crayfish are pickier. Cocoa pods sold on the black market are unreliable; often they are dried on aluminium on the sides of the road, absorbing aluminium taste and car fumes. When professionals cut the pods, even the machete can affect the taste, so they are careful. We could sense their pride and knowledge as they claimed that well-known brands buy and blend their premium cocoa beans with lesser West African beans, from Crayfish however, you are buying single source batches and you can certainly taste the difference. It took Kim and his wife 6 years to develop the bush into a chocolate factory, with a Willie Wonka wink, he showed us his home-made machines fashioned literally out of found rubbish. He explained a cocoa farmer can’t live purely from cocoa, as the price is too low and controlled by corporates and banks, therefore, with sadness in his eyes, he exclaimed the industry in Grenada is dying. He fears what will happen is economic slavery, a large corporation will buy up the industry and employ locals for next to nothing. Sadly, he told us it is not uncommon for children in some parts of West Africa, such as Sierra Leone and Mali, as young as eight are kidnapped and enslaved to work in cocoa farms, so his message is to think before you buy, “it’s best to buy direct and not give huge percentages to corporates” he said. Therefore, on a positive note, he continued, “the only way to survive is to make the chocolate yourself and make a better product”. Another popular estate to visit is one of the oldest cocoa farms on the island - Belmont Estate, who like Crayfish offer tours and excellent single source chocolate. On the tour through the cocoa trees, we were treated to a taste of the bean out of a freshly cut pod, sucking on the creamy flesh covered bean was magical; less floral than a lychee, firmer like a rambutan - delicious. The first few days of drying the cocoa beans are crucial, it is essential not to let mould get through the skin to the bean, so they need to Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15

Cooking at True Blue Bay resort

Spices and chill sauces in the market

Polishing the beans at Belmont Estate

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dry as quickly as possible, the process is called ‘going over’. Chemically it’s the same as every other fermentation such as wine and beer. Fermentation is the most important stage; traditionally breadfruit wood would be used for fermenting boxes. The beans are left covered by green banana leaves and hessian sacks to keep in the heat for 6 days, every two days they are transferred from one box to another to infuse oxygen and give a round bean flavour. Watching the process of the transfer was fascinating; the smells of warm chocolate with a hint of vinegar was overpowering. The slime produced breaks down, as does the acidity, the Ph of the nibs are tested regularly. The liquid that drains off could, if you so wished, be turned into beer. Then the winnowing machine removes the skins from the beans, (the term derives from the original method - wind removing them). Some farms put the skins (usually thrown) through a grinder to make a coffee grain consistency and use them to make tea. Next they are placed on the drying trays, to dry in sunshine for 8 days, a highlight of our experience was walking through them to turn them over. Traditionally workers would ‘dance’ barefoot in a copper pot full of the dried beans, polishing them so they looked good for exporting. Two workers can make 700 bars a day. Their traditional buffet lunch kicked off with mouth-watering callaloo soup with cocoa bread, concluding with homemade cocoa ice-cream, washed down with a freshly pressed cocoa or wax apple juice. You have the chance to make your own cocoa balls for delicious cocoa tea, turn your hand at making a cocoa basket as well as fly a Cocoa-ree Kite (made from cocoa leaves). For another authentic dinner the place to go is undoubtedly BB’s Crabback in St George; order their signature curried goat or on a Friday, the national dish - oil down; a medley of salt fish, salted meat, hard food such as yam, breadfruit or green banana which has been cooked with fresh coconut milk, served as a one pot dish. Wall Street is the place to go for an array of food trucks, selling indigenous dishes such as festival dumplings with salt fish and Caribbean fried chicken. For souvenirs, there

Basket weaving at Belmont Estate

Rum and chocolate pairings at Silversands hotel

True Blue Bay resort

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True Blue Bay resort

True Blue Bay resort

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Market

is the spice market where you can pick up some homemade hot sauce, hand painted calabash shells and fresh local spices such as nutmeg which is so synonymous with the ‘spice island’ that is Grenada, it features on their flag. Have a peek into the nutmeg factory in Gouyave to see the ladies sorting them by hand; as you walk past a sweet smell akin to custard tarts hits you. If time permits, go to sister islands Petite Martinique and Carriacou which claim to have even more traditions, due to being less commercial. If you’re a hiker, head for Mount Saint Catherine, which sits 850 metres above sea level, or walk through some of the 3000 acres of forest reserve land. All beaches are free and open to the public, the most popular beach has to be Grand Anse, spanning over two miles of white sand, local vendors sell drinks, local fruits such as cashew fruit as well as the famous fresh spice necklaces, which you can take home, hang up to dry and use as a decoration to infuse the air with scents of your Grenadian adventure. Grenada Chocolate Fest 2020 (1st-6th May) www.grenadachocolatefest.com Grenada Tourism Authority www.PureGrenada.com True Blue Bay www.truebluebay.com

Kim Russell, owner of the Crayfish Bay Organic Cocoa Estate

True Blue Bay resort

Grand Anse beach

Lunch at Belmont Estate

Lunch at Belmont Estate

Charlie’s Bar

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BOOKSHELF

YOUR

BOOKSHELF Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams Being referred to as “the black Bridget Jones”, this emotional and entertaining view of a south London millennial sees her wrestling with mental health problems, race discrimination and gentrification. A new classic; worthy, timely and ingratiating novel, thirstquenching and long overdue: one that will be treasured by “any type of black girl” as well as any cultured reader.

Winners Take All by Anand Giridharadas Expose into how the global elite use philanthropy to disguise their own refusal to pay taxes, and exposes the alibis and strategies used by those at the top to justify inertia. The examination of the hubris and hypocrisy of the super-rich who claim they are helping the world is brought to life in this tome.

A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes Another recent novel to retell Greek classics from a female perspective, Calliope, muse of epic poetry, answers Homer’s famous invocation – “Sing, Muse” – to bring to life the stories of women who only briefly appear in epic myth. A brave retelling of the Iliad that’s panoramic and playful whilst a serious commentary on the cost of war.

Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez A feminist campaigner account featuring an analysis of the biased data that excludes women in a world designed by men, for men – everything from medical research to phone screen sizes and speechrecognition software. Sheds light on what is already known; women have had to suffer more than men historically and certainly have been treated unequally. This book only goes to show that but with stats to accompany. 118

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Afropean by Johny Pitts The black British TV presenter; Pitts, also photographer and writer, sets out to document the areas of Europe inhabited by people of African descent, to see if there is an “Afropean” community: “A continent of Algerian flea markets, Surinamese shamanism, German reggae and Moorish castles. Yes, all this was part of Europe too.” Readers follow Pitts on his journey to find his ‘tribe’, though it is not clear that he does.

The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells A thorough evaluation of climate change and what the author feels lies ahead; “It is worse, much worse, than you think,” warns Wallace-Wells. Though a relatively short book; given its subject matter, ‘Uninhabitable Earth’ covers a great deal – drought, floods, wildfires, economic crises, political instability, the collapse of the myth of progress, however, it’s not all doom and gloom, so the reader can glimpse moments of hopefulness from the author.

The Way We Eat Now by Bee Wilson Delve into an exploration of modern food and how it has changed our lives, covering meal replacements to the massive rise of plant-based diets. Wilson also advocates how to have a better relationship with what people eat. For anyone who cares about what they consume, determined to have a healthy diet and know about the latest happenings in the world of food, this book can inspire.

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Magical Negro by Morgan Parker Parker’s poems celebrate the everyday just as they tackle ancestral hurt, attempting a poetic escape act to reclaim “the history of black people, adapted from white people”. Poignant, powerful and playful.

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GLOBAL EVENTS

GO WHERE THE ACTION IS No matter what month it is, somewhere around the world there is an event not to be missed, here are a few to tempt you to travel… SNOWBOXX FESTIVAL 21ST-28TH MARCH

SKY LANTERN FESTIVAL 8TH FEBRUARY

HOGMANAY 30TH DECEMBER 1ST JANUARY

procession on the 30th and an impressive music festival on the 31st culminates with the famous ‘Loony Dook Race; swimming in the not so warm waters by the Forth bridge on the outskirts of the city. For art lovers 9 quirky venues display art at venues named Scot:Lands.

JANUARY 2020 DECEMBER 2019 HOGMANAY (SCOTLAND) 30 December – 1 January (every year) Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year. Edinburgh welcomes people for a huge party; bands to watch on various stages, partying, fireworks at midnight, traditional dances to watch and partake in, skating on the massive ice rink, Christmas markets to shop in and a Ferris wheel to go on. The torchlight

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WAKAKUSA YAMAYAKI (JAPAN) 25th January Also known as ‘The Mountain Roast’; on the 4th Saturday in January every year, the dead grass on the hillside of Mount Wakakusayama is set alight after a spectacular fireworks display. There are two theories of the evolution of the festival. The first claims that the burning of the mountainside began during boundary conflicts between Nara’s great

temples (Tōdai-ji and Kōfuku-ji), while another claims the fires were used to drive away wild boars. Once alight the mountain can burn for up to an hour and because of the mountains elevation it is visible from any viewpoint of the city.

FEBRUARY 2020 SKY LANTERN FESTIVAL (TAIWAN) February 8th The Sky Lantern Festival originated in the Xing Dynasty, more than two thousand years ago, so say the elders of Pingxi. At that time, bands of outlaws frequently raided the lowland villages, forcing residents to seek refuge in the mountains. Village watchmen used fire balloons as signals to tell the residents that their houses were safe once

WAKAKUSA YAMAYAKI 25TH JANUARY

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GLOBAL EVENTS

STARS OF THE WHITE NIGHTS 22ND MAY 21ST JULY

alcohol), and a memorable boat parade party on the canals that will have you dancing unconsciously. It’s a festival that can put a smile on everyone’s face!

MAY 2020 STARS OF THE WHITE NIGHTS (RUSSIA) 22nd May to 21st July A collection of festivals; White Nights is a festival extravaganza of the arts; music, opera, ballet, film and outdoor celebrations including the Scarlet Sails, a fleet of red¬-sailed, tall ships with a gunpowder-packed fireworks show, Russian style. Long walks along the River Neva in almost constant daylight reveal roving gypsy bands, jugglers, sword swallowers, fire-eaters and even stoic Russian mimes to surprise and delight.

KINGS DAY APRIL 27TH

JUNE 2020 GLASTONBURY (UK) June 24th to Sunday June 28th

again and when those hiding in the hills saw the celestial flares, they knew it was time to go home. Today these lanterns have two main purposes; one: to display scribbled messages of the hopes and dreams of the purchaser who then release them into the night sky using the power of fire; two they represent the end of the Chinese New Year period and their release symbolises the shedding of out-dated ways, embracing the future.

MARCH 2020 SNOWBOXX FESTIVAL (FRANCE) 21st March - 28th March Every year, Avoriaz is turned into the ultimate winter wonderland. Days are spent cruising the Portes du Soleil, hitting up the Burton Stash Park and dancing on the tables at our Apres village. When evening hits, it’s party time: intimate Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15

igloo raves, massive main stage shows with our world class line up and dancing til dawn at our super cool club shows. The entertainment is endless, from Mountainside bottomless brunches to Paintball Fights in the snow park.

APRIL 2020 KINGS DAY (AMSTERDAM) April 27th Once a year on April 27th Amsterdam turns a very bright shade of orange for King’s Day, which is the King’s birthday (Willem-Alexander of the House of Orange). It’s a fun celebration when the center of the city is car, tram, and bike-free simply because there are too many people on foot. It has a contagious festival-like atmosphere with street vendors, a market day when anyone can sell pretty much anything (except

Glastonbury Festival is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world and a template for all the festivals that have come after it. The difference is that Glastonbury has all the best aspects of being at a festival in one astonishing bundle. It’s like going to another country; a thrilling and vibrant cultural meltingpot and inspirational Brigadoon that appears every year or so. Coming to Glastonbury involves a fair amount of travel, and probably a queue to get in but, when you get past these impediments, you enter a huge tented city, a mini-state under canvas. British law still applies, but the rules of society are a bit different, a little bit freer. Everyone is here to have a wild time in their own way.

GLASTONBURY JUNE 24TH-28TH

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Hajiya Ayeesha Atta

Look who’s reading Fifth Chukker... São Paulo

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Fifth Chukker Magazine | Issue 15


With an ever-growing distribution network reaching 5*hotels, global polo clubs, private jets and corporate lounges to name a few, the Fifth Chukker Magazine community reaches more than 500,000 readers.


Fifth Chukker magazine showcases the luxury lifestyle associated with the international polo set, providing a fantastic unique opportunity for brands to connect with this elite world.


For further information on how to promote your brand and become part of the Fifth Chukker story please contact us directly on info@fifthchukker.com


Advertise in Fifth Chukker magazine – West Africa’s leading polo and lifestyle publication, produced bi-annually (May & October).


The Fifth Chukker Magazine reaches more than 500,000 readers and has a prominent and increasing online following via the Fifth Chukker Website, Facebook and Instagram pages.



Arrive as a guest, depart as a friend

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