NOTED WINTER 2014/15 NOTED-MAGAZINE.COM
3 16 25
FAR LEFT TO CLOCKWISE: Street art in Berlin; ETHOS restaurant; XiN Shan-Shi pendant; Andermatt in Switzerland; Braised beef at Brasserie Blanc; Aqua Mekong travels through Vietnam.
2 THE NOTICEBOARD
Notes to self on things you must do
FEATURE 16 TAKE NOTE
An expert and their craft
FOOD & DRINK 3 FOODIE NOTES
Dining hotspots to hotfoot it to
5 DINING DELIGHTS
Food hangouts that are the talk of town
7 TECH FOR FOODIES
Technology to aid fuss-free eating
15 NECK IT
BEAUTY 17 BEAUTY NOTES
This season’s finest beauty finds
18 MOISTURE SURGE
Skin-saving intensive hydrators
19 MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Super anti-ageing weapons
20 WINTER HAIR-SSENTIALS No more bad winter hair days
8 GIFTS FOR FOODIES
Because everything tastes better with chocolate
9 GIFTS FOR THOSE WHO LIKE A TIPPLE Who doesn’t at this time of year?
10 GIFTS FOR THE HOUSE-PROUD Your home is your theatre, show it off
11 GIFTS FOR TECHIES
Clever gadgets for clever people
12 GIFTS FOR MYSELF
Take care of yourself because you take care of others
TRAVEL 21 TRAVEL NOTES
This season’s best travel hideouts
24 MOUNTING EXCITEMENT IN ANDERMATT
Things are looking up in this small Swiss village
25 CITY ESCAPE: BERLIN
Something to discover at the weekend
26 ROOM WITH A VIEW A trio of scenic bathrooms
14 THE WISHLIST If you only buy one thing, this is it
EDITOR KATE LAM (firstname.lastname@example.org) ART FRANCES LÊ ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED
THE NOTICEBOARD GRIMMS’ FAIRY TALES COME TO LIFE There’s another immersive experience happening down at Westfield Stratford City and it doesn’t involving shopping. Inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales, The Hidden House lets you explore an abandoned building and forest in a bid to track down the sudden disappearance of Little Red Riding Hood without being captured by the Big Bad Wolf yourself. It comes complete with actors, sound, air and scent effects to bring the experience to life. It’s scarier than you think – choose the extreme experience if you’re brave enough. (Tickets cost £10 (adult). Open until 4th Jan 2015. Book at uk.westfield.com)
TRICKS AND THRILLS Cirque du Soleil returns to the Royal Albert Hall with their production KOOZA in the new year. Featuring an entertaining mix of thrilling, heart-stopping acrobatics and goofy, clowning-about slapstick fun, the performance will leave you raving for days. (Runs from 6th Jan – 8th Feb 2015. Tickets available at cirquedusoleil.com)
ICE EXTRAVAGANZA We’ve heard it all before. You say, “It’s just for kids” but we know deep down you’re pretty amazed by it all yourself. We know as we’ve experienced that predicament first-hand. But Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is no place for your inhibitions, just get on down to The Magical Ice Kingdom and get lost among the awe-inspiring ice sculptures. You don’t have to go down the ice slide if you don’t want to, but the ice thrones may prove too tempting. (Hyde Park Winter Wonderland has free entry. Tickets for The Magical Ice Kingdom cost £10 (adult). Open until 4th Jan 2015. hydeparkwinterwonderland. com)
STUDY ART IN STYLE What a wonderful way to spend a lunchtime or evening and fast-track your art knowledge. The London Art Studies team have lined up a series of compelling art lectures ranging from The Legacy of Picasso to The Saatchi Decade and the YBAs (Young British Artists), all led by expert art insiders to give you an insightful and thoroughly immersive learning experience. As for your classroom, we hope the Bulgari Hotel will suffice? Right, we’ll see you there then. (Tickets range from £50 - £175. Various lectures run from Jan – Mar 2015. Book at londonartstudies.com)
ABOVE: Andy Warhol’s Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus
STYLE AND SUSTENANCE THE IVY MARKET GRILL 1 Henrietta Street, London WC2E 8PS. theivymarketgrill.com Adding another venture to his name, Richard Caring’s latest opening in Covent Garden will help fill the void of big sister The Ivy, which closes its doors in the new year for refurbishment. Although it maintains echoes of The Ivy with its interiors, crockery and elements of the menu, this is certainly a more causal, accessible affair, offering delicious allday dining for those in need of sustenance in stylish environs. On the extensive menu, steak (from £18.75) is a given, along with grilled lobster (£27.50) and tuna (£16.75) - pictured. The café and bar also opens up your choices further if you just fancy a quick bite or would prefer something a little stronger.
SKY HIGH DINING SKY GARDEN 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 3BY You wait months to see which restaurant takes the top spot at the skyscraper build affectionately known as the Walkie Talkie, and then three come along at once. Opening in the new year, Sky Garden, which will be operated by rhubarb, will comprise of two restaurants, Fenchurch Seafood Bar & Grill and Darwin Brasserie (pictured) serving modern European cuisine and a cocktail bar, Sky Pod. The space also features a landscaped garden and terrace making it the highest rooftop garden in London, offering sweeping views of the capital against smart and stylish surroundings.
FOOD & DRINK
VEGETARIAN HAVEN ETHOS 48 Eastcastle Street, London W1W 8DX. ethosfoods.com Even for the most dedicated of carnivores, this new opening looks pretty promising, yet there isn’t a trace of meat in sight. Slightly different to your usual sit-downand-order restaurant, this place lets you explore all the dishes on offer up close, displayed around the room on pretty marble pods. It’s almost buffet-style but this isn’t an all-you-can eat (that’s only at weekends at a cost of £17); you pick a plate, help yourself to whatever catches your fancy and pay for the weight of the final plate, which averages at about £10. Choices include BBQ seitan ribs (made from wheat gluten), Japanese misoroasted aubergine and Indian-spiced aloo Scotch eggs. Meat lovers, it’s time to come on over to the other side.
SMOKIN' HOT HOTBOX 46 Commercial Street, London E1 6LT. hotboxlondon. com Following these guys around to every pop-up and residency is hard work, which is why you can now rejoice at the news that they’ve set up a permanent base in Spitalfields. Wonderfully smoky meat is still the order of the day, from beef short ribs and spiced duck pancakes, to pulled pork and spicy hot link sausage sandwiches. Craft beer is available and so is a selection of whisky cocktails to help cleanse the palate. Set in a former street art gallery, the space is small, dark and industrial - all the better to devour your meal in like nobody’s watching.
POSH PATTIES BRGR.CO 127 King’s Road, London SW3 4PW. brgrco.co.uk Sure, London isn’t short on places to grab a great burger but outside of W1 and East London, it starts to get a little tricky being able to reel them off in quick succession. But that’s about to change, in Chelsea for a start – not your usual spot for a juicy beef patty and fries (not just any fries mind, there are Parmesan truffle fries if you want to splash out), because burger joint BRGR. CO have just moved in to the illustrious King’s Road. Here, they’ll be offering up their usual 28-day-aged beef patties alongside very quirky takes on such traditions as afternoon tea, which doesn’t have a scone in sight.
FOOD & DRINK
WELCOME TO THE GLITZ TWORUBA Hilton Hotel, 5 More London Place, Tooley Street, London SE1 2BY. tworuba.com This bar and lounge is very smart and has the feel of a private members’ club – it must be those insanely comfortable highbacked chairs that envelope you in them, creating a real sense of intimacy, where hushed conversations can take place without any interruptions. Conveniently, they make for a perfect shield, hiding you away so others won’t see just how quickly you’ve devoured the street food-inspired dishes they serve up here. Four to five plates should be more than enough for two. There are chorizo balls covered in a tomato sauce (£7.50) which you won’t be able to stop eating – you’ll end up dipping your focaccia in to get every little scrap. The pulled pork sliders (£8) stuffed with a chilli and apple slaw will disappear rapidly, as will the contents of the ‘make your own’ crispy duck pancakes (£7). Leave room for a cocktail or two though, the surroundings are too plush not to do so. With Hendrick’s Gin, elderflower syrup and Champagne, The Elegant (£10) is perfect for the occasion.
DINE LIKE A KING CICCHETTI
30 Wellington Street, London WC2E 7BD. sancarlocicchetti.co.uk Walking past this place, there’s no way you can tell just how much dining space there really is behind those unassuming but pretty, deli-style windows. Inside, it’s a light, bright but snug affair with woodpile-style walls and plenty of mirrors to help widen up the long stretch of space. This is a restaurant you go to if your hunger knows no bounds as the menu is pretty extensive - name an Italian dish and they’ve got it. Thankfully, you don’t have to stick to one main as sharing plates are in order, and four to five plates are recommended between two. Chicken wrapped in pancetta (£8.50) arrive succulent on skewers, handy for preventing your fellow diner from nabbing one too many but the Calabrese pizza with Nduja sausage and buffalo mozzarella (£6.95), although perfectly crisp, needs more of both toppings. On the upside, the sea bass (£12.50) served with friarielli, a Neapolitan broccoli, and gamberoni with chilli and garlic (£10.95) taste wonderfully fresh and are accompanied by well-balanced flavours to lift the meat which should leave you on a high.
DINING DELIGHTS We show you why these foodie hangouts are the talk of the town 5 NOTED-MAGAZINE.COM
THE HOTTEST CHICKS IN TOWN CHICKEN SHOP
The Hoxton Holborn, 199-206 High Holborn, London WC1V 7BD. chickenshop.com Ordinarily, we wouldn’t recommended hanging out in basements for any period of time, but for this place, we’ll make an exception. The name kind of gives the game away but it’s no less satisfying because the headlining rotisserie chicken here is so darn mightily succulent that you’ll start to crave basement life. Featuring an open kitchen, you’ll find yourself gawking, mesmerised by the sight of browning chickens by the fire, and incidentally, you’ll do the same when it arrives at your table. As for the menu, it’s pretty simple - you can have your chicken whole (£15), halved (£8.50) or quartered (£4.50). The sides are just as straightforward - fries, coleslaw, corn on the cob or lettuce and avocado salad (£4 each) and you have two sauces (Hot or Smokey) to accompany it all. Note that Smokey doesn’t refer to it being barbequeflavoured - it’s actually mildly spicy. For dessert, there are good old classics like lemon meringue tart, chocolate brownie or deep-filled apple pie (£5 each) which is brought to your table so you can ‘say when’ depending on your appetite. The restaurant gets through about five to 10 giant apple pies a day, and as for the chicken, easily 50 a day, making this place one super-hot chick magnet.
FOOD & DRINK
A FRENCH CLASS-CHIC BRASSERIE BLANC 8 Charlotte Street, London W1T 2LS. brasserieblanc.com
Fitzrovia is full of cool, buzzy places that you can dip in and out of between meetings and shopping trips but finding somewhere a bit more intimate, almost charming is slightly more difficult, which is why we’ll continue to rave about this fine little dining spot. The newly refurbished interiors – dark oak tables and light wood-panelled walls feel homely, the service is swift and genuinely warm and the food is all the French classics done so very well, all the root qualities of which are akin to that you’d find only in your small, local, family-run-type operation. Dishes include a wonderfully light Morteau sausage potato salad with poached egg (£13.90), a tender six-hour beef short rib with smooth mash and a red wine sauce (£18.50) and of course, plenty of steak (from £11.90), perfectly seasoned. If you need it, the accompanying peppercorn sauce is worth savouring – it contains sliced gherkins and mushrooms which works so well with the meat. There’s a little triumph at every turn here so it should guarantee your repeated visit, it certainly guarantees ours.
MATCHA MADE IN HEAVEN TOMBO 29 Thurloe Place, London SW7 2HQ. tombodeliandcafe.com
If you happen to stumble upon this charming little Japanese café in South Kensington, you’ve got a wonderful find on your hands. Yes, it may seem far too cosy for comfort in the first instance (a good two dozen seats all tightly packed into one room), but you’ll soon forget the intimacy issues once a very sweet staff member settles you down with a tall glass of a refreshingly frothy matcha frappe (£4.95) and a moreish matcha brownie slice (£2.80). If you haven’t realised already, they specialise in serving pure, antioxidant-rich matcha, in traditional tea form but also in desserts, cakes and pastries - all deliciously done at that. For something a bit more substantial, their ‘make your own’ bento boxes (£10.95) are seriously tasty with all sorts of textures from the four assorted sides to keep your palate excited. Sashimi along with various hot noodle and rice bowls are also available if you need warming up in the evenings.
FOOD & DRINK
TECH FOR FOODIES Whether staying in or eating out, let technology aid your quest to make it a fuss-free experience. Here are three food tech brands you need to know about
WHAT’S THE IDEA: A speedy lunch delivery service providing the City and Canary Wharf with healthy and nutritious ‘chef-cooked’ meals. Go online or via the app for the day’s menu. There are only two choices – meat or vegetarian, but they do change daily. Photos and nutritional information are provided and you can even track the location of your delivery driver right up until the call for you to pick up your meal. WHAT’S THE COST: Prices are fixed at £7 inclusive of delivery. WHEN WILL IT ARRIVE: They promise to deliver in under 15 minutes! They have technology that anticipates your order as you browse to help buy time to meet the delivery target. WHO’S IT FOR: Those based in the financial districts who might not have time to grab lunch so would otherwise skip it or snack on something they’re loathed to eat. IS IT ANY GOOD: The executive chef (pictured) has trained with Michelin-starred chefs so knows how to whip up a delicious meal. Dishes are creative and pass the taste test with flying colours - expect near restaurant-quality food. WHERE CAN I GET IT: iOS / eatfirst.co.uk
WHAT’S THE IDEA: An app that lets you book a local London restaurant based on your current location. You can also search for further restaurants by typing in a different postcode. An automatic search displays eight restaurants in your vicinity along with photos, price guidelines and distances. Need more choices? Swipe left on the ones you don’t like for new suggestions. You can also filter results by dress code and check out sample menus and reviews. WHAT’S THE COST: The app is free but meal prices depend on the restaurant. Regular offers are also available and are clearly flagged up. WHEN CAN I BOOK: As soon as right now – the app is designed for spur-of-the-moment bookings. WHO’S IT FOR: People looking for an impromptu meal at a reputable, local restaurant, or more likely, those who just forgot to make dinner reservations. Many a last-minute Londoner will be saved by this app. IS IT ANY GOOD: Yes, it’s a breeze to use, there are some great restaurants available (over 800 including Lima, Benihana and The Palomar) and when you turn up, they do have your booking. WHERE CAN I GET IT: iOS and Android
WHAT’S THE IDEA: A London-based, food delivery service that lets you order from a choice of well-known, popular restaurants, bringing your favourite dishes directly to your door. Type in your postcode and chosen delivery time (same day from noon until 11PM, or the day after) for a list of available restaurants. Filter by cuisine or price and browse the menus before settling on one, then order your dishes and pay online. WHAT’S THE COST: There is usually a minimum order of around £15. Delivery costs £2.50. WHEN WILL IT ARRIVE: Orders take an average of just over 30 minutes for delivery. WHO’S IT FOR: Those who want to dine at their favourite London restaurants but can’t or don’t want to go out. It’s also ideal for group lunches at work when you’re having a manic day. IS IT ANY GOOD: Meals are delicious as you’ll probably opt for old favourites. Delivery times aren’t too far off (you’re at the mercy of traffic) so food is still likely to arrive hot. Most restaurants are central London-based and include Ping Pong, Benito’s Hat and Nando’s. WHERE CAN I GET IT: deliveroo.co.uk
The Marshmallowists Hot Choc Kit £20, themarshmallowists.co.uk If you think any plain old marshmallows with a mug of molten hot chocolate will do, this set will make you think again. There are enough 70% dark chocolate shards for four helpings, a Le Creuset mug and two pairs of gourmet mallows - peppermint and brandy-soaked spiced fruit to liven the whole thing up.
PAUL Buche Roulee Chocolat £28.95, paul-uk.com No prizes for guessing who wins the crown for Best Chocolate Log. This one contains almond biscuit, milk chocolate and dark chocolate mousse. Perfect for whipping out to impress dinner guests and we suspect, attempting to pass off as your own. We don’t blame you.
Rococo Chocolates hamper £195, rococochocolates.com Fancy being your own chocolatier? There’s a kit for that. With all the tools of the trade, plenty of ingredients to start you off and a copy of Mastering the Art of Chocolate by Chantal Coady, founder of Rococo Chocolates, by your side, you’ll be vying for her job in next to no time.
The best Christmas gifts for.....
FOODIES Because everything tastes better with chocolate
Godiva Chef Inspirations £26, godivachocolates.co.uk Now this is a fine showcase of chocolates if there ever was one. Divine flavours such as bananacoconut ganache and Sichuan pepper and black tea mousse are the result of four Godiva chocolatiers taking inspiration from far-flung locations to produce a single, exotic collection that will excite even the most welltravelled of chocolate fiends.
The Wuyi Collection by JING Tea and William Curley £25, jingtea.com and William Curley boutiques If you’re a fan of savouring your chocolate, try pairing it with some tea. Better still, let the experts guide you. This set contains an oolong tea and perfectly matched chocolates – muscovado caramel, Piedmont hazelnut and a specially-created oolong tea-infused caramel.
Thorntons Dreamy Winter Desserts £10, thorntons.co.uk Just when you thought chocolates couldn’t get any better, along comes a box with eight of the most delicious dessert re-workings. Think clementine crème caramel, banoffee pie and chocolate fudge cake – all cased in chocolate. Absolutely divine.
SHOPPING The Tanqueray Collection £110, alexanderandjames.com The ultimate kit for dedicated gin drinkers. With three Tanqueray variants, one for each mini gin and tonic glass and recipe, along with a zest peeler and jigger, you won’t be short of a drink any time soon (or friends pestering you for one for that matter).
The best Christmas gifts for.....
THOSE WHO LIKE A TIPPLE Who doesn’t at this time of year?
Belsazar White Vermouth £24.99, Selfridges Newly launched in the UK, this German vermouth will make you see this traditional drink in a new light. Sweet, with full-bodied notes of peach and orange, and delicate herb and spice tones, you can’t help but have this served neat. Plus, it makes for a wonderful alternative to a dessert wine.
Disaronno wears Versace edition £15, supermarkets nationwide Talk about making an effort, this special edition bottle of Disaronno is adamant not to be outdone in the fashion stakes. Positively bold and opulent - unmistakably Versace, this one-off design makes for a pretty stylish gift for those who love a sweet tipple.
Haig Club £49.99, Selfridges The House of Haig’s latest single grain whisky is certainly striking to behold. It’s a good introduction for beginner whisky drinkers, featuring lighter flavours and notes of butterscotch, toffee and brioche to appeal to new palates.
Absolut Andy Warhol Edition £21.99, Harvey Nichols What a collectable for Andy Warhol fans - and one which will be proudly displayed we’re sure. The latest in Absolut’s art collaborations sees the artist’s original painting of the vodka bottle transferred onto the actual bottle itself. Certainly the exception to your otherwise impeccable recycling habits.
Hendrick’s Minisculinity Pack £18.49, Waitrose A brilliant introductory set with a 35cl bottle of Hendrick’s Gin and cocktail recipe book to get you started. Good things do come in small packages.
Caorunn Gin £28.49, Fortnum & Mason A special addition to your spirit staples, this small batch gin is infused with five traditional Celtic botanicals that leave an aromatic, crisp and slightly drying, lingering finish. Garnish your G&T with a red apple slice to bring out the flavour.
Bowmore Black Rock Gift Pack £44.99, bowmore.com A rich and smoky single malt whisky with notes of burnt orange, cocoa beans and treacle toffee – ideal for rounding off with at the end of a long night. And park your glass on one of the slate coasters so you always know where to find it.
SHOPPING SensiChic Orange & Clove Candle £18.95, sensi-chic.com This is exactly what we want Christmas to smell like – warm with perfectly balanced notes of citrus and spices, fragrant but not overpowering so you can light it all year round. This scent gets it spot on. Anatomy Boutique Arteries plate £50, anatomyboutique.com “That’s a pretty plate. What is it?” “Oh, some arteries.” How’s that for a conversation starter? If like us, you’re mesmerised by the anatomical illustration on this beautiful hand-guilded, bone china plate, you might like to know there’s a whole set with further anatomyinspired designs to impress upon your dining guests.
Farewell print by Georges Barbier and Henri Reidel From £45.99, art.co.uk A gorgeous colour print showcasing the style and elegance of the 1920s. Hopefully it will serve as inspiration for your own celebrations.
Madebyzen Fresh Mint and Grapefruit Candle £21.99, madebyzen.com A bright and beautiful scented candle that fills the room with natural fresh and fruity notes for hours. Better still, the foodgrade wax is toxin-free and the wick is made from pure cotton. Truly heaven scent.
HAM Superhero Rabbit Screen Print From £29, hammade.com This artwork perfectly sums up our mood. A simple and elegant, hand-made screen print featuring a silhouette of a daredevil rabbit is the perfect reminder for always putting a spring in your step.
Zuzunaga Fire Cushion £66, zuzunaga.com What a way to brighten up a room. The pixelated pattern plays with your eyes and adds an instant modern vibrancy.
The best Christmas gifts for.....
Sabichi Owl Cushion £15.50, sabichi.co.uk If you’re after an adorable decorative cushion, this ‘goes with everything’ owl design is a pretty wise choice.
Your home is your theatre, show it off
Stelle Audio Go-Go Speaker £99, stelleaudio.com A brilliant speaker for enjoying music on the go, plus, it firmly ticks the style box. A removable strap allows you to hang it wherever you like (up to 50 feet from a connected Bluetooth device) and you can even mount it onto the handlebars of a bike so you can groove as you move.
The best Christmas gifts for.....
TECHIES Clever gadgets for clever people
Filan Battery Sleeve £100, wowthem.com A clever two-in-one case that protects mini-tablets and e-readers from knocks and scrapes whilst charging it up (via a USB cable) with its built-in power supply. Its rechargeable battery provides four full charges for a smartphone and one full charge for a mini-tablet. Perfect for powering up on the move. MiPow Mirror Power Charger £49.99, mipow.co.uk What a fantastic invention this is. Not only does it provide that much-needed emergency charge which your phone will no doubt need by the end of the night, it’s also a handy little mirror with a built-in backlight so you can power-up and do your make-up simultaneously. How’s that for efficiency?
Osprey London The Salsa iPad Clutch £125, ospreylondon.com Tech-conscious and stylish, every lady needs a clutch like this. Ideally sized to protect your iPad by day, this croc-print leather beauty in a head-turning oxblood red, holds every other essential you need by night.
Huawei TalkBand B1 £99, amazon.co.uk This sleek wearable tech packs a whole lot of function into a single band. There’s a fitness monitor to keep track of your activity levels, an alerts function so you can screen incoming calls and emails, a nifty screen that pops out doubling up as a wireless earpiece so you can make phone calls, and a sleep monitor with a silent vibrating alarm so others aren’t disturbed. A useful piece of kit for day and night.
X-mini KAI 2 Capsule Speaker £39.95, x-mini-com This portable speaker, with ceramic drivers that deliver loud and clear sound, doubles up as an excellent mobile conferencing tool. A clever, built-in noise-cancelling microphone helps to filter out background disturbances so you can hold quality conversations wherever you are.
SHOPPING The Bluebeards Revenge Perfect Man Kit £49.99, bluebeards-revenge.co.uk How about a gentle nudge for your partner in the grooming department, because if it helps him, it helps you? This set has all the essentials to keep him fresh and fragrant – a ‘does what it says on the box’ type of gift.
Tom Ford Patchouli Absolu Eau de Parfum £330, selfridges.com An incredibly rich fragrance that gets to the very heart of a key ingredient in perfumery, patchouli. A unisex scent (although it errs on the masculine-side) that makes for a very handsome gift for your partner, or a very indulgent one for yourself.
The best Christmas gifts for.....
69 Colebrooke Row by Tony Conigliaro £25, 69colebrookerow.com If you’re a dedicated, discerning cocktail drinker, it’s likely you would have stepped foot in the Islington bar that bears the same name as this book. In it, the mixologist (and author) celebrates that very bar and includes 40 of the drinks recipes that have all been served up since its opening.
ERR...MYSELF Because you must take care of yourself because you can take care of others Bulleit and MEATliquor Limited Edition Gift Set £100, meatliquor.com If you love your meat and bourbon, this has everything you could want all boxed up in a solid wooden chest. Inside, you’ll find a bottle of Bulleit Bourbon exclusively signed by founder Tom Bulleit, a julep tin engraved with a cocktail recipe and a specially-bound copy of The MEATliquor Chronicles: Chapter & Verse with a limited edition run of 200, all the proceeds of which will go to charity Meningitis Now.
Avon ANEW Clinical Beauty Heroes Collection £20, avonshop.co.uk With four brilliant anti-ageing products in one simple set, you needn’t worry about your skin not looking its best. Use them all in conjunction with each other for smoother, more even and younger-looking skin.
SHOPPING Carluccio’s Crackers £14.95 (set of six), carluccios.com Now for some table crackers you’ll really fight over. Each of these minis have three delicious gianduja chocolate and hazelnut stars up for grabs. Time to perfect your crackerpulling technique then.
Dreams Thoughts Inspirations Notebook £27, organise-us.com Everyone needs an outlet to capture their thoughts and ideas, so jot yours down inside this lovely embossed journal for safe-keeping.
The Spectacular Tale of Peter Rabbit by Emma Thompson £12.99 (Warne), amazon.co.uk Yes, we know it’s a picture book. For pre-schoolers. But that won’t stop us from gleefully enjoying this story of the beloved Peter Rabbit and his cousin Benjamin and their exciting, forbidden adventure at the fun fair. And about the pictures, they happen to be beautifully illustrated, thank you very much.
Penguin Kids Umbrella £9.99, mountainwarehouse.com OK, so this isn’t actually an item for adults, but just look how cute it is! On the plus side, this means it’s small enough for you to carry around easily…and it works – what else do you need?
Filofax Willow Organiser £30, filofax.co.uk Because pen and paper still does a sterling job, here’s an equally durable and pretty diary to keep your year ahead suitably organised.
Bomb Cosmetics Berry Christmas Gift Set £7.99, bombcosmetics.co.uk Good enough to make your mouth water, this cracker of a gift contains three fantastically fragrant, fruity bath bombs made with essential oils including neroli, sweet orange and chamomile.
50 People of East London by Adam Dant £12.95, hoxtonminipress.com Not only is this book beautifully illustrated, it is uncannily accurate in its profiling of all the diverse personalities that make East London brilliant, from the Creative ‘digital thought leader’ typically found on Great Eastern Street, to the ‘massive bush’-carrying Sunday Flower Market Shopper along Columbia Road.
YOU’RE A ROCK STAR You don’t want a necklace that just makes a statement. You want a necklace that makes everything come to a halt. And we think this super-sized jewelled beauty will do the trick rather nicely. The enormous 225-carat blue topaz, set in 18-carat white gold and diamondencrusted, needs eight claws to hold it firmly in place, each of which feature a set of 3-carat diamonds of their own. Even a triple chain strong enough to hold the weight is necessary. There is no support act here – every single part of this necklace is superlative in its role and determined not to be outshone. Impressive. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. TRESOR PARIS CLUB 7 TOPAZ NECKLACE. JUST UNDER £50,000. TRESORPARIS.CO.UK
FASHION Mawi Thorn De Fluoro Necklace £540, mawi.co.uk You can’t help but be drawn to the vivid green and pearl-like stones but you’ll need a sharp eye to spot the spike clusters adorning the necklace. A warning for all admiring onlookers you can look but don’t dare touch.
Clarice Price Thomas Penumbra Necklace £225, claricepricethomas.com A striking handmade silver pendant with strong architectural shapes reminiscent of the Art Deco era. The glowing rhodolite gemstone will guarantee a few head-turners too.
SWYC Silver Bar Necklace From £24, saywhatyouc.com This has your name all over it. Well, it can do. Just specify your personalisation and it will be handstamped to order.
NECK IT This season’s round-up of our favourite neckwear
Janey Whitehorn Brooklyn Scarf From £45, janeywhitehorn.com Transfixed by the rippling bold colours? Yes, us too. The trick lies in the way the silk scarf is dyed, using rakes, styluses and brushes in a dye bath.
Alexander McQueen Skull Print Scarf £165, Selfridges One for the rebel. Dramatic yet delicate, this monochrome silk-chiffon scarf proves that skulls can be pretty and stylish.
Jeremy Houghton Hounds Scarf £200, piphoweson.com All wrapped up, it looks beautifully abstract but unravel the scarf and you’ll find a lovely piece of artwork of some adorable canine friends.
With 3D-printers now available at many a designer’s disposal, the race is on for the most fantastical and extravagant of pieces but what to do if you’re of an impatient nature? Well, you could try taking note of this jewellery range for starters. Created by Chinese designer Xinran Lu, jewellery brand XiN already boasts three collections that have all been 3D-printed in London and which are now available to buy and wear, with prices ranging from £400 to £8,000. The ‘Shan-Shi’ collection (pictured) – translates as ‘Mountain Lion’ in Chinese, features bold, intricate but minimalist shapes along with luminous gemstones and diamonds that have a mesmerising effect on anyone who catches sight of it. Each piece is designed digitally before being 3D-printed, coated in precious metals and hand-finished with any precious stones added along the way. Here, Xinran gives us some insight into the process behind creating the pieces in his collection.
there are any blemishes, I’ll have to re-start the printing, however, if everything is good, I’ll move on to the finishing. All the surfaces that need to be polished or stone-set are marked and communicated to the technician along with steps for the finishing. For some of the statement pieces, I’ll do some filing and polishing work myself.”
THE PRODUCTION PROCESS
THE FINISHED RESULT
“When I finish a digital model, I send it to the 3D printing workshop. Once I have the 3D printing wax model back, I check the quality and detail before deciding which metal should be used and send the model to casting. When the piece is casted out into metal, I check the form - if
“3D printing is very accurate - it can generate complicated forms that hand-making cannot achieve. The most complicated piece so far is the statement bracelet featuring four lion heads and a new type of opening-catch.”
Cocktail ring. £3,864
Signature ring. £2,208
HOW LONG THE PROCESS TAKES “It takes more than 10 hours to print a wax model in the size of the Shan-Shi signature ring. For some of bigger models, like the bracelet, it takes more than 20 hours. Hand-finishing a plain metal piece takes three to four weeks and pieces with gemstones need an additional two to three weeks.”
See the full collection at xinjewellery.com
Cocktail ring. £3,312
BEAUTY NOTES COLOUR ME BEAUTIFUL This gorgeous all-in-one AERIN Weekend Palette features classic but versatile shades for the eyes, lips and cheeks to help you look effortlessly radiant. Despite the name, this is one to keep in the handbag for use every day. (£48, esteelauder.co.uk)
IT MAKES SCENTS
BUFF AWAY THE ROUGH
RED ALERT This gorgeous, deep red hue nail polish by Nailberry is the perfect accent against your little black dress. (Shade: Le Temps des Cerises. £13.50, nailberry.co.uk)
Although you may be all covered up, it’s still important to slough off those dead cells to keep your skin smooth and polished. This SABON Body Scrub contains sea salt and essential oils so you moisturise as you scrub. (£28, SABON store, Neal Street, London)
Scents from The Library of Fragrance are pretty special. Each one consists of a single, perfectly captured scent which makes it ideal for layering. From the quirky (Waffles) to the more familiar (Lavender), this is the ultimate in personalised scents. (£15, boots.com)
INTENSE DEFENCE The Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream Ultra-Rich, a spin-off of Elemis’ best-selling anti-ageing cream, now comes in a new, intensively nourishing formula to keep the skin better hydrated and protected for longer, so you get the best of both worlds. (£80, timetospa.co.uk)
LOOKING SWEET GET TROPICAL Smother this LUSH African Paradise body conditioner all over your limbs in the shower and wash off for super-soft, fragrant skin. It contains an exotic mix of almond and moringa oils, shea butter and mango juice. (£19.95, lush.co.uk)
The next time you need a sugar hit, snack on these Beauty’in BeautyCandy sweets instead. They’re sugar and fat-free and full of hydrolyzed collagen and essential vitamins so you’ll look and feel better for it. Plus, they’re seriously yummy. (£2.50, Harvey Nichols)
Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Serum £38, medik8.com A potent hydrating serum which infuses the skin with vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid to leave it wonderfully supple and thoroughly quenched. Fantastic for keeping dry and flaky skin at bay during winter but also a saviour for thirsty skin when the weather does turn, eventually.
Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster £52.20, dermalogica.co.uk Dry and parched skin will drink up this brilliant hyaluronic acid-packed serum. It helps to inject moisture into the skin so you see a vast improvement almost instantly with long-lasting results. Perfect for seeing the skin through the cold winter months.
Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture £64, murad.co.uk An excellent day moisturiser that keeps the skin fully hydrated for eight hours. Fruit oils help to strengthen the skin barrier whilst a collagen support complex helps to plump out dehydrated skin. The result is supersoft, smooth and comforted skin, that’s despite the blistering cold.
Malin+Goetz Replenishing Face Cream £55, SpaceNK Not only is this a brilliant intensive moisturiser, soothing dry and flaky skin in an instant, it also helps to repair damaged skin thanks to a widespectrum combination of vitamins and fatty acids. Consider it a step-up from your usual moisturiser when your skin is in real need of TLC.
Don’t let winter get the better of you with these clever, skin-saving intensive hydrators
Thalgo Source Marine Hydra-Marine Serum £46, thalgo.co.uk A beautiful melt-into-the-skin serum that not only floods it with all-day hydration but also tackles the problem of dull-looking skin. Using marinesourced ingredients that are rich in minerals, it helps to detoxify the skin, restoring the luminosity of a freshfaced complexion whilst eliminating dryness.
Fushi Organic Rosehip Oil £29.95, fushi.co.uk Rosehip oil is well-known for its moisturising and healing qualities so use a 100% pure, cold-pressed oil to maximise the benefits. Rich in essential fatty acids, it helps to improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines, as well as any scars over time.
Bodhi & Birch Desert Rose Rejuvenating Face Oil £38, bodhiandbirch.com This fine but highly concentrated oil is full of nourishing and protective qualities thanks to a mixture of natural rose, argan and rosehip oils. It makes for a wonderful night treatment and provides long-lasting moisture for the skin. The anti-ageing benefits are a real bonus.
Turning back the years is a tricky task but pick the right tools and you’ll be set for life. To give you a helping hand, we present a stash of super anti-agers we’d rush to have in our box 1. Gazelli Ultimate Firming Serum £75, gazelliskincare.com Contains White Oil, a natural healing ingredient exclusive to the brand that helps the skin to regenerate at a cellular level so it acts, feels and looks like younger skin would. It’s also wonderfully hydrating so ideal for protecting the skin when temperatures plunge.
2. Time Bomb Collagen Bomb £39, timebombco.com A highly effective cream that is deceiving in its lightness as it comes fully-loaded with antioxidant, regenerative and hydrating ingredients to super-charge your collagen stores. The result is two-fold, helping to boost collagen production whilst protecting what you already have from breaking down.
3. Perricone MD Chloro Plasma £67, perriconemd.co.uk Supplement your daily regime with this anti-ageing treatment mask for an instant youthful boost. It contains chlorophyll, the green pigment found in plants, which helps to purify the skin and deliver antioxidant protection. After rinsing, the skin looks and feels visibly clearer, brighter and smoother. Impressive for just 10 minutes’ work. 4. MitoQ Serum £79, mitoq.com This highly targeted serum helps to fight the blasted free-radicals that contribute to premature skin-ageing at the deepest level. In helping to boost the skin’s ability to protect itself against these aggressors, your skin will naturally look and feel firmer, clearer and healthier in the long term.
5. HoMedics NEWA £199.99, boots.com This clever hand-held gadget uses professional-grade 3DEEP technology to deliver radiofrequency energy deep into the collagen fibres. Here, the heat helps to stimulate fresh collagen which in turn firms out the top layer of skin so it looks tauter. It pays dividends with long term usage so is perfect for those devoted to maintaining a smoother appearance. 6. Transformulas Mid-Life Marine Miracle Creme £41.95, transformulas.com Not only is this great for moisturising the skin thanks to a raft of nourishing marine extracts, it also helps to tighten, lift and firm ageing skin. After two weeks of twice daily use, fine lines are noticeably softened and skin so much smoother. 7. Aromatherapy Associates Rose Infinity Serum £114, aromatherapyassociates.com A powerful botanical serum that uses soy, yeast proteins and gardenia stem cells to kickstart lagging collagen production and re-densify the skin so it is firmer and smoother. Results are more dramatic after three weeks but you’ll notice a marked improvement in texture and radiance after just a few days’ use.
BEAUTY Superfood LX Intelligence £21, superfoodlx.com A brilliant multi-purpose hair treatment that cares and repairs. Use once a week as an intensive moisturising mask to restore dry and lacklustre hair to its former brilliance. Or, use as a blow-dry aid for added protection and softness before styling. The results are superb and hair feels incredibly nourished. Clearly, it works as divinely as it smells.
O&M Seven Day Miracle Moisture Masque £26, net-a-porter.com Using only natural botanical ingredients and nourishing oils such as argan and sweet almond that hair loves, this gorgeous treatment can turn the most unmanageable and unruly of hair around in just seven days. But this is deceiving – we can vouch that dry hair in real need of a moisture injection was softer, shinier and smoother after just one use.
Alterna Caviar Replenishing Moisture Milk £29.95, alternahaircare.com During the winter it can be easy for hair to become dry and brittle so extra hydration is needed to keep it healthy. This leave-in conditioning spray is light enough even for fine hair and infuses it with moisture, increasing its natural levels by more than three times. Hair is left smooth, shiny and cashmere soft. It’s also great for protecting the vibrancy of coloured hair.
Duck & Dry This bright and stylish salon specialises in perfecting speedy but beautiful blow-drys and updos. There are sixteen signature choices (eight blow-dry and eight updo styles) so you can just point at a picture and let the experts get to work. There’s no excuse for not showing off your perfectly lustrous hair with this place around. From £25-£35. 335 - 337 King’s Road, London SW3 5ES. duckanddry.com
We know the season isn’t conducive to perfectly groomed hair, which is why we’ve lined up our favourite haircare picks to help see you through the winter months in style
Situated in the Old Town of Lijiang in China, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, LUX* Lijiang makes for a wonderful base if you’re keen to explore some of the more ancient parts and traditions of the region. Take a walk up to Wenhai Lake, located 3,100 metres above sea level before taking to horseback to re-trace the original trails of the thousand-year old Tea Horse Road. Finish on a high with a trek to the remarkable Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in the world.
Now open for its first ski-season, Adler Mountain Lodge in Italy, a 30-bedroom wooden constructed hotel, offers warm but spacious, chalet style respite from a hard day’s work on the slopes. It is located right on the piste on the Alpe di Siusi, the mountain of which forms part of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so spectacular views of the peaks and rolling pastureland are a given, whether it’s from your room, the pool or sauna.
OUTSTANDING NATURAL BEAUTIES
(The three-night Discovery Package costs approx. £349 per person excluding accommodation. luxresorts.com)
THE ART OF AN ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP Now how about a bespoke, once-in-a-lifetime-style trip when nothing else is quite up to scratch? Leading Culture Destinations are offering a week-long, art-immersive road trip from Los Angeles, California to Marfa, Texas, exploring the artistic scenes of these two starkly different locations. Whilst the former is a burgeoning art hub full of buzzy, independent galleries indicative of a fast-paced, cosmopolitan city, the latter offers a more peculiar but no less extraordinary scene in which galleries, art installations and even fashion boutiques like Prada, sit isolated among a backdrop of desert, cacti and the odd lost pony. Accompanied and commentated by your own personal art consultant, the journey will also be helpfully documented by a fine art photographer chosen in line with your inclinations and you’ll be presented with a unique photographic print of your choice at the end of the journey to commemorate the experience. (£49,999 per person based on two travelling together including all flights, transfers, accommodation and entry fees. leadingculturedestinations.com)
(Rooms from £190 per person on a full-board basis. adler-lodge.com)
MOUNTAIN ADVENTURE Seeing as you’ll be perched 2,000 metres above sea level anyway at Alila Jabal Akhdar, located on the edge of the Oman’s Al Hajar mountain, you might as well explore the rest of the views, life and rugged landscapes from the other plateaus. Jump into one of the hotels 4x4s and they’ll lead you through endless ancient paths and canyons to visit local villages and farmland, passing walnut groves, pomegranate fields and some of the oldest juniper trees on the Arabian peninsula, as well as precarious stone houses constructed against the steep mountain slopes if you dare to look. (The World Above the Mountains experience costs from £34 per person per half day or from £50 per person for full-day tours. Rooms from £180 per person based on two sharing on a bed and breakfast basis. alilahotels.com)
ISLAND ESCAPE Oh to be marooned on a warm, white-sand beach in the Maldives. What a dream. When you just want to kick back and truly relax, a stint on Maafushivaru’s soft sands will do the world of good. The spa, located on a jetty of its own above the water with views of the lagoon, should help too. But if 500 metres of tropical island isn’t enough, hop on over to Lonubo, a private islet just minutes away where you can be left to your own devices - with a few glasses of Champagne, naturally. (Kuoni offers seven nights, all-inclusive with flights from £2,355 per person based on two sharing. maafushivaru.com)
THAT WILL DO ICILY Seeing as we’ve already dipped into single temperatures, what difference will dropping a few more degrees make? After all, if you’re going to be cold, then better to make it worth the while. Land Rover Adventure Travel by Abercrombie & Kent have got the right idea with their adrenaline-pumping Iceland itinerary. Safely aboard Land Rover’s Discovery Sport vehicle, you’ll get to power through Thingvellir National Park and the Golden Circle where you’ll come close to its magnificent geysers, glaciers and waterfalls, then just to keep you on your toes, a change in temperature at the Deildartunguhver Thermal Spring and a dip in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa, a short drive from Reykjavik. (From £3,995 per person for three nights based on two people travelling together. Flights not included. Departure dates are available for Jan and Feb 2015. abercrombiekent.co.uk)
CRUISING THROUGH THE MEKONG Offering a different perspective on discovering Vietnam and Cambodia, Aqua Expeditions’ latest Aqua Mekong luxury vessel will take you leisurely along the river from Siem Reap in north-western Cambodia through to Phnom Penh and then Saigon in Vietnam. Daily river and shore excursions are provided so you get to touch upon land too when you’re not on board exploring the spa, pool, fitness centre or lounge bar. (Three, four and seven-night itineraries are available through aquaexpeditions.com)
WILD THING When you need a break from your own daily routine, how about immersing yourself in the routines of majestic animals on an African safari instead? Yes, we thought you’d be up for that. On board an actionpacked Volcanoes Safaris tour, you’ll do everything from game drives in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park to chimpanzee trekking in Kyambura Gorge. It is at the latter location in which you’ll be lodging too. The open plan bandas all have verandas so you can take in the stunning views of the park and mountains in the distance. (A four-day Kyambura Flying Safari starts from approx. £1,906 per person based on two sharing, inclusive of internal flights, accommodation and safari activities. volcanoessafaris.com)
SUNSHINE FITNESS A fitness holiday might only appeal to the most dedicated of people but what if we said it would take place in St Lucia in the Caribbean? Well, that changes everything. The BodyHoliday is a dream of a wellness retreat and actually, ideal for adrenaline junkies, offering a variation of combat fitness classes and yoga to mountain biking and fencing. The draw though is certainly the watersports, which includes scuba diving, windsurfing and kayaking. You even receive a spa treatment each day to help relieve tired muscles. Getting fit has never seemed so appealing.
SPA IN THE PARK We get it. You love being outdoors, in and amongst nature, but can’t quite bring yourself to set up camp. What you need is a few nights in one of these rather attractive modular eco houses in the middle of northern Portugal’s Pedras Salgadas Spa and Nature Park. Wander along the park’s eight kilometres’ worth of pine and cedar woodland, discovering its natural springs and even a boating lake, but hopefully you should stumble upon the spa facilities which your stay lets you take full advantage of. Do a few laps in the outdoor pool, relax your muscles in the sauna, or warm up in the thermal spa which contains naturally occurring sparkling water. (From approx. £158 per night, per house. pedrassalgadaspark.com)
(From £3,415 per person based on two sharing for seven nights, all-inclusive of flights, meals and activities. healthandfitnesstravel.com)
GET LOST IN THE WILDERNESS What an extraordinary sight. 250 metres from Tasmania’s Lake St Clair shoreline, sits the newly re-developed Pumphouse Point, a 12-room property that can truly boast of one of the most idyllic lake views one could dare to dream up. Surrounded by lush, wild forest and expansive waters, this place sets a perfect serene scene if complete tranquillity is what you’re after. And there’s more beauty to be found in the building itself – it once housed powerful, working water turbines to generate hydro-electricity from the lake and today, those original features remain on show beneath a glass floor in the main lobby area. (Rooms from approx. £135 per person including breakfast. tasmanianodyssey.com)
Mounting excitement in Andermatt The plans have been drawn up and now big changes are afoot in this little Swiss village Nestled in the alpine valley of Urseren, in the Gotthard region in Switzerland, sits the quiet but charming town of Andermatt. Home to 1,600 people, this number is set to snowball as dramatic development of the village takes place to turn it into an attractive, all-year-round destination.
COMING UP Benefiting from an investment of 1.8 billion Swiss Francs (£1.1 billion), completion of the Andermatt Swiss Alps project will see an expansion of the Andermatt-Sedrun ski area to create over 120 kilometres of ski runs, making it the largest ski region in central Switzerland. Olympic skier Bernhard Russi has been drafted in to consult on the runs. The aim is for Andermatt to be able to compete with the bigger, more well-known ski-resorts, and it is getting there slowly but surely. There will also be a clubhouse built to go alongside the already-open 18-hole golf course. Six hotels (4 and 5-star), 490 apartments and about 25 chalets will be built too.
FIVE THINGS TO DO IN ANDERMATT RIGHT NOW 1. SKIING: A brilliant place to develop your skiing technique. There are two mountain areas offering differing terrain so there are plenty of runs to suit all levels whether you’re just starting out or prefer to go off-piste. The NatschenOberalp-Sedrun slopes enjoy a lot of sunshine so are ideal if you want a more scenic approach, whereas Gemsstock’s wider expanses and steep descents make for an excellent, challenging glacier run.
2. GOLF: The 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course sits on the former training ground for the Swiss army and makes for a real picturesque golfing experience. Complete with deep roughs, water traps and holes that run through hills and glens, this green will test even the most seasoned of players. 3. MOUNTAIN BIKING: With 250 kilometres of pure alpine landscape, what an exhilarating way to explore the village and neighbouring mountains during the summer. There are bike tours to suit the casual cyclist or to challenge the avid rider – either way, moving faster through the terrain means you take in so much more of the region. 4. HIKING: Or, keep both feet firmly on the ground and take on a five-day, 85-kilometre super-hike. Gotthard is unique in that it is home to the sources of four rivers, the Rhine, Reuss, Ticino and Rhone that flow to all four points of the compass. The Four Springs Trail takes you to each source, allowing you to experience the wonderful peaks and glaciers of each trail. 5. FONDUE: After tackling the above, you deserve a treat. How about an enormous vat of molten cheese fondue? The one served by the Ochsen restaurant (Gotthardstrasse 72, 6490 Andermatt) is lauded by locals and now we know why. It’s deliciously intoxicating thanks to a generous swig of kirsch and thus, warms the soul. The restaurant is charming too - part of it still retains the original features from the horse stable attached to it.
Andermatt (Gotthardstrasse 4, 6490 Andermatt). Designed by architect JeanMichel Gathy, it is a grand showcase of opulent but warm and intimate alpineAsian influences. Dark wood, metal fittings and stone walls are signature features but the open-plan space means you never feel intimidated by the brooding interiors. Explore the wine and cigar library complete with roaring fireplace, the cheese room with some of the best artisanal cheeses in town, the living room where a ski-butler can attend to your every need avant and apresski and the magnificent spa featuring hydrotherapy pools, steam baths and saunas. Fine-dining also comes with a bit theatre – the main restaurant is centred around four open kitchens so you can watch the chefs at work. Rooms are enormous, wondrously comfortable and high-tech. An iPad allows you to operate the lighting, blinds, fireplace and audio system from anywhere in your room. There are also incredibly thoughtful details throughout, particularly a window that sits perfectly at eye-level across the room so you can gaze into the mountains as you lie in your Acqua di Parma-bubble bath. The build, service, attention to detail and sense of wellbeing after a visit makes this one of the finest hotels we’ve stayed in and certainly one from which you will begin to judge all others by. If you can’t bear to leave, the hotel offers permanent residences for sale from 1.8 million Swiss Francs (£1.1 million).
WHERE TO STAY Sitting majestically in the heart of the resort is five-star hotel The Chedi
For too long East Berlin has been outshining its neighbouring West – a result of the economy shifting focus across due to the Cold War and construction of the Berlin Wall. But 25 years on with the reunification of Germany, the spotlight is back on Berlin’s bustling City West district. Whether you want to delve into Berlin’s history, shop, dine, take in some art and culture or just party, here are the essentials to make your trip worthwhile.
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK Spending time in Berlin means snacking on the city’s beloved currywurst – fried sausage with a sprinkling of curry powder and chips. Kurfurstendamm (“Ku’damm” to locals) in Charlottenburg is home to Bier’s Ku’damm, where you can enjoy your sausage with a glass of Champagne. For a more well-rounded, resolutely elegant, albeit more French affair, try Le Faubourg, a beautiful brasserie at the Sofitel Berlin Kurfurstendamm hotel. Sharing-plate starters are all priced the same so you choose what you want based on flavour, rather than be dictated by prices. Mains are split into classics or more modern twists. The sautéed sea bass with Champagne lentils is divine. If you’re after pretty dishes with wellexecuted flavours, you’ll be very happy here. For a cocktail or two, the Monkey Bar – an uber-cool rooftop bar at the 25hours Hotel on Budapester Strasse is a must. With floor-to-ceiling windows, you can enjoy the most incredible lushgreen, panoramic views over Tiergarten Park and the city. You may end up with more cocktails than intended though – the view just does that to you.
WHERE TO STAY The 17-storey Sofitel Berlin Kurfurstendamm (Augsburger Strasse 41, 10789 Berlin, Germany. sofitel.
com) is a pretty wise choice. Rooms are smart and generously sized with towering views of the Berlin skyline. There’s plenty of art on the walls too and you may notice a series of curious numbers on each canvas. Rumour has it that the artist, Junior Toscanelli, wasn’t best pleased to be so confined to such strict canvas instructions, that he decided to paint those very dimensions onto his artwork as a one-up on those who commissioned the pieces. Either way, the art works in the space and who doesn’t love a good story behind a piece of artwork? Back to the rooms, if you’ve forgotten your toiletries, very wellplayed – Hermes products are provided. There’s even a walk-in-wardrobe-turnedroom-divider with a small mini-bar discreetly fitted into it - very handy indeed. And it may be difficult to prise yourself from the pillows that create an incredible suction-like effect around your head but you must find a way, as you’ll eat like a king at breakfast.
WHERE TO SHOP You really couldn’t have picked a better place to displease your bank manager so terribly. Shopping mecca Kurfurstendamm, a 2.2 mile-long boulevard should be your first port of call, followed by Tauentzienstrasse, home to KaDeWe - the “Harrods” of Berlin. Along Budapester Strasse, there’s Bikini Berlin, a concept mall with plenty of cool boutiques and pop-ups across three floors. The ground floor even features a stretch of window that overlooks Zoo Berlin’s baboon enclosure. If you do want to venture east, head to the hip Mitte district where you can spend the day discovering gems at Hackescher Markt, shopping at highstreet favourites along Friedrichstrasse or at fashion department store Galeries Lafayette.
ABOVE: Aussenansicht Bunker BELOW: Sofitel Berlin Kurfurstendamm
TOP FIVE THINGS TO DO IN BERLIN 1. Sammlung Boros: This is east in Mitte but the Boros Collection is one of the most extraordinary art exhibitions we’ve ever seen. The building, a converted World War II bunker (pictured above), is as fascinating as the pieces contained within it. (sammlung-boros.de). 2. Berlin Wall tour: Explore the history of the Cold War and the dramatic events surrounding the Berlin Wall as you visit the Stasi Museum, the Berlin Wall Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie - one of the city’s most famous border crossings. (visitberlin.de) 3. Zoologischer Garten (Berlin Zoo): An enormous zoo (and aquarium) with over 13,000 of all the usual suspects, bang in the middle of a city. Now there’s an urban jungle for you. (zoo-berlin.de) 4. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church: The only building in Breitscheidplatz Square that was spared by the World World II bombing raid but it still bears the scars today. (gedaechtniskirche-berlin.de) 5. Haus Schwarzenberg: An open house and club, the walls of this bustling nook showcase a mass of incredible street art. It may be in Mitte but it warrants the journey east. (haus-schwarzenberg.org)
25 NOTED-MAGAZINE.COM Art in Hackescher Markt
Aussenansicht Bunker © NOSHE
SOMETHING SPECIAL FOR THE WEEKEND
SOUTH AFRICA If you have trouble seeing where the boundaries of this bathroom begins and ends, then this Singita safari lodge has done its job perfectly. Featuring raw, tactile interiors that really do echo the wild outdoors, this floor-to-ceiling, glass-fronted bathroom overlooks the Sabi Sand Reserve, allowing you to immerse yourself in the wild whilst in the safety and comfort of your bath. But if the view proves too tempting, you can simply step outdoors and into your own private, open-air plunge pool. (Singita Boulders Lodge in Sabi Sand, South Africa. singita.com)
ROOM WITH A VIEW If you think you already spend long enough in the bathroom, prepare to extend that time significantly in aid of these magnificent bathroom views
SWITZERLAND Set on a hill overlooking the town of Saanenland and the vast Bernese Alps is Gstaad Palace, a hotel housing 104 rooms and suites. Among them is a corner Junior Suite, part-built into one of the buildingâ€™s towers which houses this bathtub in its bay window. The three tall windows offer an incredible view over the town and into the mountains, so you can watch the cold bustle in the distance whilst remaining in warm and relaxed surroundings.
MALDIVES Sitting 12 metres above ground amongst the treetops, this spacious treehouse property offers an alternative but no less stunning view of what the Maldives has to offer. Fold back the windows so you can experience the rush of Maldivian air without even stepping outside. Shielded by lush, green palms, this bathroom is a perfectly private space that allows you to refresh and relax whilst high above the hum of activity on the ground.
(Junior Suites Tower at Gstaad Palace in Gstaad, Switzerland. palace.ch)
(Two-bedroom Tree House at Amilla Fushi in the Baa Atoll, Maldives. amilla.mv)