D E S I G N A N D T EC H N I C A L I N N OVAT I O N .
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We assemble every single watch twice.
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and polishing techniques. This is followed by the final assem-
Lange 1 Moon Phase has been assembled for the first time and
bly procedure. When complicated timepieces are involved, this
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if all this takes a little more time. www.alange-soehne.com
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19 NEWS Intriguing new events, design and products
CREATIVE DIRECTION: KIMBERLEY REID PHOTOGRAPHY: CAMERON MCDONALD STYLING: OLGA KOTOVA (SIXLOVE ARTIST MANAGEMENT)
GROOMING: SJANI GROBBELAAR (SUPERNOVA CREATIVE MANAGEMENT)
22 THE FUTURE OF SURGERY IS ROBOTIC Surgical robots are now entering the operating theatre
28 (ANYTHING BUT) PLAIN SAILING The Volvo Ocean Race is no luxury cruise
36 FASHION NEWS From statement pieces to must-have accessories
Clemson delves into the 2018 Haute couture shows
40 TO HAVE AND TO HOLD Why you should buy only the best luxury leather arm candy you can find
MODEL: ROMULO S (FULL CIRCLE MODELS)
FASHION: EMPORIO ARMANI POST-PRODUCTION: JEAN-PIERRE GOUWS
26 MORE THAN WORDS The endangered art of handwriting
38 SHOW AND TELL Fashion writer Helen
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42 BEAUTY NEWS
14 EDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S LETTER Thoughts from the editor
Big Bang Unico. Case in 18K King Gold and ceramic bezel. UNICO column-wheel chronograph. In-house Hublot movement. 72-hour power reserve. Interchangeable strap by a unique attachment.
CO N T EN T S
Notes on the most premium skincare balms, make-up and fragrances
Regardless of your opinion on Formula E racing, it’s intriguing to think ahead
of love, vision and authenticity 86 TASTINGS NEWS Fine food and wine trends from around in the world
81 WHEN IN NEW YORK The hot spots to visit in the city that never sleeps
46 WATCHES NEWS Some of the best innovations at the SIHH 49 LICENSED TO SELL Daytona CEO Justin Davaris talks watch trends 50 MAN OF THE HOUR Concert pianist Jorge Viladoms shares his passion for music around the world
52 DÉCOR NEWS Décor and design news to spark direction and creativity
78 TRAVEL NEWS Your guide to far-flung places and exotic spaces
88 THE BOTANICALS BEAT Wild-foraged ingredients are the latest must-try elements on the drinks menu, says Vicki Sleet 90 EARTH, TREE, BEAN, BAR Jerry Toth wants to reboot the world’s relationship with dark chocolate
62 ACCELERATE NEWS The latest on the modern classics and super performers 65 VULNERABILITY MAKES FOR INNOVATION Car writer Richard Webb on the 2018 Geneva Motor Show
82 NASIKIA: ‘I HEAR, I FEEL’ Nasikia Tented Camps in Tanzania is a legacy
94 THE VERY BEST... Steve Smith on the car he’ll remember forever
66 WHAT DREAMS MAY COME A shamelessly subjective look at the five cars you need to own in your lifetime
54 PINK AND POSTMODERN Tom Dixon has his eye on design trends for the year 72 ELECTRIC YOUTH
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44 JEWELLERY NEWS Classic beauties, audacious moderns and singular spoils
56 SENSUAL SIMPLICITY A Parisian apartment was built as a low-profile frame for the owners’ art collection
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PHOTOGRAPHY: CAMERON MCDONALD. CLOTHING: BEADED WOOL SKIRT AND TIE-BACK TOP BY KAT VAN DUINEN KATVANDUINEN.COM
The year 2018 marks Private Edition’s 10th anniversary. The very first issue was printed in September 2008 but we’re going to be celebrating all year! We hope you’ll join us… As part of our birthday celebrations, we’ve treated ourselves to a little makeover. It’s a stylish redesign to better reflect the incredible stories we tell and the covetable products and brands we feature, as well as to keep up with contemporary design trends. You’ll still know it’s Private Edition, and we’re certainly not losing the fine writing, expert insight, attention to detail and arresting photography. We think you’ll approve. In this issue, there’s a larger-than-usual motoring section, while impressions from the Geneva Motor Show are still in fresh in our minds. Private Edition car writer Richard Webb was there – do read his reflections on and reverence for the automobiles ‘in the flesh’. That’s something else Private Edition will hold onto dearly – our reverence for the authenticity of experience. Our writers and photographers push the boundaries to make sure they bring the most real, in-the-moment, from-the-horse’s-mouth stories to the pages of this magazine. Award-winning health writer Kathy Malherbe spent three hours in theatre observing robotic surgery at the Mediclinic in Durbanville. In her story here, she describes it as ‘a quantum leap in minimally invasive surgery’, and it hints at the future in a big way. I wanted an interview about the Wall Street investment banker turned premium sustainable chocolatier, who now lives in Ecuador. Not content with emailing the questions to the company, food and travel writer Richard Holmes tracked down Jerry Toth of To’ak Chocolate for a one-on-one interview and it was worth it. We also have a high-action, high-drama photo essay on the Volvo Ocean Race. And thanks to the race’s official timekeepers, Omega, I was on those yachts… Only not when they were mid-race, midstorm, midway between Cape Town and Melbourne. When the yachts and their sailors had arrived in Cape Town, we headed out with them for a practice race. As much as I would like to say I had a glimpse of what these intrepid sailors go through, and throw in the term ‘authenticity of experience’, it would be better described as a gentle sail – there was no wind. Where’s that southeaster when you need it?
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A CLEAR HEAD FOR PROPERTY The property market still has a bit of a hangover but a regmaker is on the way.
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end of the market has already started moving again shows that investors are regaining their appetites for the long game. There’s no doubt the property market will strengthen fairly swiftly in line with a far more positive general national sentiment. We’ll see increased activity, there will be more stock, and buyers will invest with much greater confidence than they’ve had in a long time. We’ll also start seeing a price recovery across the country, with steady and stable growth being the hallmark of the year. It seems only fair to conclude with more words of wisdom from Churchill. The percentage-point increase in VAT and the higher fuel levy announced in the budget do indicate further belt-tightening for consumers – but, with any luck, only in the short term while the economy gets back on track. ‘In finance,’ said Churchill, ‘everything that is agreeable is unsound and everything that is sound is disagreeable.’ Both the government and the private sector can’t lose momentum or focus because it’s going to take a sustained collective effort to repair the damage. ‘It is wonderful what great strides can be made when there is a resolute purpose behind them,’ said Churchill, and he was right. Happy house hunting!
LEW GEFFEN (CHAIRMAN) PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED
s South Africa approaches the end of the Q1 2018, I can’t help but think of the straight-talking Sir Winston Churchill and draw parallels between his circumstances as he assumed the mantle of UK prime minister in the year following the start of World War II, and where our country is today. ‘If you’re going through hell, keep going,’ is a quote that is, rightly or wrongly, attributed to Churchill. This sentiment will be familiar to South Africans for a while after Jacob Zuma’s disastrous tenure in the presidency. Again Churchill brings us neatly to the present with: ‘The price of greatness is responsibility.’ It’s something our new president, Cyril Ramaphosa, appears to understand only too well, and all indications are positive so far are that he intends to throw everything at economic recovery, including political stability and cuts to government spending. Not a moment too soon, either. It’s doubtful South Africa would have been able to lurch to 2019’s election day without collateral damage, and the casualties would have come from our populace and the private sector that underpins the economy. Ramaphosa is ensconced in Tuynhuys, and he delivered a well-received State of the Nation Address swiftly followed by a tough-but-hopeful budget by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. Afterwards, amid broadly positive reaction from investors, South African stocks gained and the rand strengthened to levels not seen since 2015. The property market, too, has already come alive over the past couple of months in anticipation of the change of leadership. I’m extremely bullish about Ramaphosa’s ability to lead South Africa into a period of economic prosperity. He is a man of action and he understands business, and in property market terms we’ll see equilibrium returning very soon. The fact that the upper
THE DIGITAL LUXURY GUIDE
PHOTOGRAPHY: ANNIE SPRATT ON UNSPLASH
Private Edition Digital is a dedicated luxury news and lifestyle guide with reviews, opinions and stories about the best, most exclusive cars, watches, art, travel, style and much more. Find us online at PrivateEdition.co.za, or like Private Edition magazine on Facebook and be the first to discover the latest developments and news from the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most covetable brands, curated by the digital team behind Private Edition. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for a roundup of the latest luxury trends and stories every two weeks. For the best life has to offer, PrivateEdition.co.za is an essential resource.
NEWS ASTOUNDING POWER SHIFT It looks like a spaceship on stilts but it’s the world’s first ‘energy positive’ hotel set to be built at the base of the Almlifjellet mountain within the Arctic Circle. The hotel, Svart (which means ‘black’ in Norwegian to reflect the deep-blue ice of the glaciers), was designed by SnØhetta, an Oslo-based firm of architects who were inspired by the fiskehjell – an A-shaped wooden structure used by fishermen in Norway to dry fish. The stilts, in turn, are a tribute to rorbuer, which are traditional fishermen’s houses extended on poles. Suspending the circular hotel above the water on V-shaped stilts will reduce its environmental impact, so the area’s rare plant species and the blue ice of the Svartisen glaciers remain protected. What makes it a ‘powerhouse’ is the fact that it’s designed to produce more energy than it will consume, while running on renewable sources like wind, sun and water. Its distinctive shape means 360˚ views of the surrounding fjords and offers a unique location for watching the aurora borealis – definitely one for the bucket list of the planet-conscious travel set.
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TAKE NOTE Apple everything – we know, we know… But, in fact, the Google Pixelbook is a pretty slick four-in-one design (laptop, tablet, tent and entertainment modes) notebook with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage, and up to 10 hours’ battery life. At just 10,3mm thin, it’s a MacBook Air rival, and has Google Assistant built in. The Assistant can be accessed talking, typing or circling with your Pixelbook Pen. Which brings us to the smart, responsive pen: with virtually no lag, tilt-support and pressure sensitivity, it feels natural, like a pen on paper. The Pixelbook runs on Chrome OS, so it’s browser-based and cloudpowered, and boots up in seconds – all very good things. Not yet in South Africa, so get online to place your order. store.google.com
NO FLIGHT OF FANCY The Volocopter is one of the world’s first passenger drones to take to the skies and can be operated by a pilot or fly on its own. The unique-looking aircraft has a joystick and runs entirely on electricity. The immediate benefits of the Volocopter are striking: bye-bye turbulence, annoying fellow flyers and airport queues; hello to a whole new way of travelling. To explain it, Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter says they’ve pretty much traded in the entire mechanical complexity of today’s helicopters for electronic complexity, which is more lightweight and cost-effective. The Volocopter has undergone many test flights in Duba, where it’s hoped to become part of a commercial pilot programme in the early 2020s. The downside? So far it’s able to fly for only half an hour at a time, or for 27km, at a speed of 50km/h – so it’s only for short trips for now. volocopter.com
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WORDS: CATHERINE DAVIS. PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED
Developments in 3-D printing continue to change the world, and the potential seems to be limitless. Businesses with large budgets were once the only ones able to benefit from 3-D printing, but now the technology has brought easy-to-use, consumer-friendly models to market. Not sure if you need one? Google it – you’ll be surprised how much they can do. Once you know you do want one, pick the BeeVeryCreative by BeeTheFirst. It’s a model with both print quality and actual design in mind – a machine that really wouldn’t look out of place in a modern living room. beeverycreative.com
SOUND ADVICE Audio for outside? What if there’s no Wi-Fi? Build it in. What if it gets wet? Make sure it’s water-resistant. No power source? Design it so it offers 50 hours of playing time. That’s what the Kube designers – they call themselves audiophiles – did. They devised a portable speaker to play sound beautifully in large outdoor spaces. It delivers an astounding 122dB output. kubesound.com
I SPY… Part museum, part interactive funhouse, Spyscape has opened in New York. Housed in a building designed by David Adjaye, it showcases the espionage world’s stories, tools and characters, offering visitors (it’s aimed at adults) the chance to try real spy challenges such as lie-detection in interrogation booths and observation in surveillance missions. The building’s engrossing design is kinetic and foreboding – the sense that you’re being tracked drive home the chilling point that espionage these days isn’t just limited to spies. Corporations, governments and just about everyone else are doing it too, you’ll discover. spyscape.com
NOW HEAR THIS If sensational sound quality is a priority for you, these Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones are worth an audition. The design is strikingly industrial. Its layered metal-andplastic headband construction attenuates vibrations to the ear cups while the handmade microfibre ear pads offer real comfort for long periods of listening. What’s more, Sennheiser’s absorber technology prevents any unwanted peaks and allows all frequency components – even the finest nuances – in the music material to become audible. sennheiser.com
IN THE PINK It may not be an investment piece but there’s something quite ethereal about this digital work of art by Italy-based graphic designer, illustrator and animator Federico Picci, who is a pianist too. With Balloon Concerto, Picci has managed to create an illusion of music in a physical form. It forms part of his fanciful photographic series ‘Filling Spaces’, in which he imagines music materialised as delicate, blush-coloured bubbles. Much like a melodic tune, the dreamy orbs whimsically waft through the air, occupying any empty space with their ethereal presence.
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THE FUTURE OF SURGERY IS ROBOTIC Surgeons are now using miniaturised mechanical instruments and magnified 3D visuals to perform intricate surgery. Health writer KATHY MALHERBE had the opportunity to witness a three-hour operation and describes it as a quantum leap in minimally invasive surgery.
bserving a three-hour robotic surgery feels a little like Alice in Wonderland stepping into a fantasy world populated by a large anthropomorphic creatures. Robotic surgery is not one miracle but a succession of them – a combination of technology, technique, precision and surgical skill. The US manufacturer, Intuitive Surgical, calls it the da Vinci Si HD robotic system and describe it as ‘a sophisticated laparoscopic surgical tool that consists of a surgeon’s console and a patient-side cart with four interactive robotic arms controlled from the console’. With apologies to the copywriter at Intuitive Surgical, this description is
understated and self-effacing. It is not hyperbolic to say the robotic system is the future of urological (and other) surgery, and nothing short of mind-blowing. The robot is quite aptly named after Leonardo da Vinci, who studied anatomy originally as part of his training as an artist and performed dissections before he progressed to mechanical engineering. His study of anatomy led to the design of the first robot known in history.
BEYOND KEYHOLE SURGERY Minimally invasive or keyhole surgery as opposed to open surgery means smaller incisions and quicker recovery time. Robotic surgery, however, is minimally invasive surgery on steroids.
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The surgeon uses miniaturised surgical instruments that fit through a series of 8mm incisions. The robot has mechanical wrists that bend and turn to mimic the movements of surgeon and urologist Dr Gawie Bruwer’s hands during surgery. Mounted on three of the robotic arms, the instruments allow the surgeon maximum range of motion and precision. Dr Bruwer is able to operate all four arms of the da Vinci while looking at a stereoscopic high-definition monitor that gives him a better, more detailed 3-D view of the operating site than the human eye could provide. As he controls it, the robot operates on the patient, translating the surgeon’s hand movements into smaller, more precise actions. Three of the arms are for tools that hold objects and can be interchanged with various operating instruments as well as a
high-intensity 3-D camera. The tips of the arms have full 360° movement capabilities, with 7° of freedom and 540° of rotation. There are also foot controls used to manoeuvre the camera arm, switch to the fourth arm, clutch the arms when ‘hand controls’ need adjusting and activate the energy instruments. It is multitasking of the highest order, and Dr Bruwer operates it with the dexterity of a pathological gamer playing Age of Empires or Star Wars Battlefront on an Xbox. The difference is there is no room for error or novices in this delicate surgery. ‘It’s not something where you just pick up the technique and off you go,’ Dr Bruwer points out. Urologist Dr Pierre van Vollenhoven, who assisted Dr Bruwer in this procedure, agrees: ‘It’s a massive challenge to get to a place where you can start operating with the robot. It’s a huge learning curve.’
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HOW IT WORKS
Once the patient is in theatre, they are anaesthetised and prepped for surgery. This takes longer than for conventional surgery – about 45 minutes. The patient is ‘wrapped in cotton wool’ to protect pressure areas because they’ll have to lie in a difficult position for quite a long time. The laparoscopic ports are placed manually inside the abdominal cavity, giving the surgeons access to the pelvic cavity. Despite its ungainly look, the precise connection is absolutely vital in ensuring that this micro-surgery is safe and efficient. When Dr Bruwer requests an instrument or swab from his console, Dr Van Vollenhoven sends it down one of the ports and the handover takes place with absolute precision inside the pelvic area. One look through the eyepiece and you can see why robotic surgery is so successful. The computer analyses and constructs 3-D footage, giving the surgeon superb vision and depth perception. ‘The magnification is 10x, so you can see even the smallest veins and arteries long before you’d see them with the naked eye,’ says Dr Bruwer. As one surgeon said, ‘It’s as if I’ve miniaturised my body and gone inside the patient.’ Dr Bruwer guides the instruments, lifting the patient’s bladder, cutting through the urethra and isolating and cutting out the cancerous prostate. The assisting surgeon sends a plastic bag down one of the ports into which the enlarged prostate is placed. Dr Bruwer then begins the delicate process of connecting the bladder with the urethra. You can’t help holding your breath as they are slowly pulled together with stitches until the intricate connection is made. It’s a bit like watching an intricate rendezvous between two aircraft to refuel one of them mid-air. Once the surgery is complete, the robot is disconnected and the ports removed. The plastic bag containing the prostate is then removed through a port in the navel and sent to pathology.
The da Vinci is not only a highly sophisticated piece of machinery but also has definite advantages over open surgery. Dr Bruwer says, ‘Since 2007, significant improvements have been made in reducing the length of hospital stay, blood loss, time to full activity, and the reduction of time with a catheter from 20 to seven days. Not only is there a far higher incidence of the return of erectile function, but studies in 2017 have also proven it is a better cancer control for high-grade disease.’ The recovery time is phenomenal indeed. This particular patient was discharged the day after the procedure. No wonder, then, that Dr Bruwer refers to this surgery as ‘the cutting edge of treatment when it comes to significant, aggressive prostate cancer – now, and for many years to come’. The robot may be a technological masterpiece but without the skill of the surgeon it has no value. Training involves 50 to 60 hours on a simulator, followed by practical training in Belgium. The first 12 procedures have to be guided by a ‘proctor’ – someone who is accredited to teach robotic surgery – and the first 25 cases by a roboticaccredited assistant urologist. Perhaps this explains why there are so few hospitals and surgeons using the robot: it is a hard-earned skill. ‘Utilising this advanced technology, our surgeons are able to perform a growing number of complex urological, gynaecological, cardiothoracic and general surgical procedures,’ says Dr Bruwer. ‘Most of my patients ask for this surgery, but some medical aids refuse to pay. It is the preferred surgery worldwide and we plan to operate on some state patients at no cost next year. Many patients come to me of their own accord once diagnosed or ask to be referred by their urologist.’ The robot costs about R23 million so one would expect the cost of surgery to be exorbitant. In fact, at R155 000 it isn’t much more than an open procedure, which costs about R120 000). Without a doubt money well spent.
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It is multitasking of the highest order and Dr Bruwer operates the robot with the dexterity of a teenager playing Age of Empires or Star Wars: Battlefront on an Xbox
The art of handwriting creates a bond between writer and reader. The choice of writing instrument is part of the journey. WORDS DEBBIE HATHWAY
y mother was left-handed and, self-conscious about her slanted scrawl, used to struggle to express herself on paper. To encourage me to craft my script, she bought me a fountain pen when I was in primary school and urged me to learn the art of calligraphy – something similar to what South African lawyer and linguist Deryck Uys taught himself in 1955 to improve his own illegible handwriting. Although Uys was classified legally blind at the time I interviewed him in 2010, when he was 83, I still have a perfectly legible nine-page handwritten letter from him prompted by a discussion about Montblanc writing instruments. Uys had just completed the translation into Afrikaans of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets using a magnifying glass that
enabled him to see three letters at a time. He did it with passion, pride and precision, his choice of words as measured as his thoughts. Handwriting, he explained, can be considered from two aspects: the writer and the reader. As far as the writer is concerned, it involves emotional processes and thought. ‘The Japanese write with a paintbrush and find the process therapeutic. It is art, and not a mechanical chore,’ wrote Uys. ‘In the same way, I find writing italic therapeutic. Italic is also far less fatiguing.’ Yet the interesting part comes with thought processes, he said. ‘One of the most senior advocates in South Africa told me that his thoughts developed with the act of writing. I find the same. ‘As regards the recipient of the writing, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
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MORE THAN WORDS
Do you feel in closer touch with me than if this appeared on your normal email?’ he asked. The answer is obvious.
OF AUTHORS AND PENS Stephen King wrote Dreamcatcher with a fountain pen, mentioning in his author’s note that to ‘write the first draft of such a long book by hand put me in touch with the language as I haven’t been in years. I even wrote one night (during a power outage) by candlelight. One rarely finds such opportunities in the 21st century, and they are to be savoured.’ Award-winning novelist Richard Mason wrote History of a Pleasure Seeker by hand too. After The Lighted Rooms, the first in his collection of stories that focus on South Africa, Mason decided to free up his creative process and write only when he felt like it.’ He wrote History of a Pleasure Seeker the fastest out of any of his books, albeit with a ballpoint pen, in a specially commissioned leather-bound notebook, because he is ‘very against Microsoft Word as a tool for creative writing’. He no doubt would have enjoyed comparing notes with Uys, who said one of the ‘scariest’ words he ever learnt from his sculpture teacher, who used to work in the dairy industry, was ‘homogenisation’. ‘In my youth, milk was delivered in bottles and the cream rose to the top. Now it is all the same. Are we not all being homogenised today?’ This links to the question of how the art of handwriting is being affected by the digital age. It is said that those born after 1979 have no other frame of reference than the electronic world (interestingly, Mason was born in 1978). Pioneers such as Montblanc remain resolute in their pursuit of innovation, constantly pushing boundaries in the expression of fine craftsmanship that has been their trademark for more than a century. And it’s that appreciation for craftsmanship and artistry that forms a common bond among collectors worldwide.
DRAWINGS AND PROTOTYPES At a recent launch in Johannesburg of Great Characters The Beatles, Montblanc’s latest collection of writing instruments,
a select group of aficionados gathered to admire not only the new range but a display of treasured collector’s items never before displayed in this country. Franck Juhel, Montblanc president for Middle East, India and Africa, explained that the design of writing instruments, in line with the Maison’s theme of craftsmanship, takes months of drawings and prototypes before a new creation can be revealed. ‘The Great Characters The Beatles collection was at least two years in the making… That was the first time I saw a drawing,’ he said. ‘Also, when you do a Great Characters edition you have to have all the legal rights to use the names…’ Miles Davis and Andy Warhol have been honoured through such collections too. So why The Beatles? ‘The link is very easy,’ said Juhel. ‘The Beatles did their first public concert in Hamburg and Montblanc was founded in the city.’ Attention to detail is an integral part of the story of each creation. The colours of the uniforms worn on the album cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band are the design inspiration for the Great Characters The Beatles Special Edition, with its psychedelic striped cap and barrel. The shape of the cap top evokes a microphone and the cone resembles a button on a mixing console. The clip is adorned with four moustaches, referencing those sported by each Beatle in some of their most famous portraits. The Beatles Limited Edition 1969 incorporates symbols associated with the album ‘Abbey Road’ on the lacquered cap and barrel, whereas the Great Characters The Beatles Limited Edition 88 (opposite) features a solid gold skeletonised cap and barrel with several metal inlays enhanced with lacquer. It is described as a ‘feat of technical virtuosity’ because the inlays had to be worked separately with filigree detail before they were assembled to create the skeleton. The Montblanc emblem on the cap top is made from Au 750 solid gold, as is the nib on all the editions. The Montblanc tribute to The Beatles includes a special ink in a new psychedelic purple, as well as a notebook.
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‘The Japanese write with a paintbrush and find the process therapeutic. It is art, and not a mechanical chore. In the same way, I find writing italic therapeutic. Italic is also far less fatiguing’
(ANYTHING BUT) PLAIN SAILING Torn sails, broken masts, capsizes and icebergs â&#x20AC;&#x201C; at 45 000 nautical miles and nine months, the Volvo Ocean Race is no luxury cruise. WORDS JAZZ KUSCHKE
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14 January 2018, Day 13 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 4 (Melbourne to Hong Kong): Team Sun Hung Kai/ Scallywag leading the fleet
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ou’re on board a 66-foot (20m) carbon fibre race missile of a yacht. Land is thousands of kilometres away. In fact, you’re closer to the International Space Station than to any major city on earth. Outside, the wind is raging at over 40 knots (75km/h), there is a 6m swell running with monster waves crashing over the bow. The temperature is near zero. Everything is wet and in constant motion. Violent motion. This is just another day in the Southern Ocean. This is the Volvo Ocean Race. You’ve just finished four long hours on deck and you’re about to crash for four precious hours of rest (in a bunk with a safety belt – perhaps the quietest, calmest place on the boat). But first you need to get out of your foul-weather gear and try to stomach some food.
Race. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. There is no ‘downtime’ and no autopilot. Some say it’s an adventure that borders on a psychological experiment. In professional sporting terms it’s more obsession than race. There is no prize money at stake, yet many of the world’s best sailors dedicate years – some, decades even – hunting a win. Race legend has it that sailors would snap toothbrushes in half to save weight, and that one skipper had all crew have their appendixes removed before racing. The concept of the race is simple: it’s a round-theclock, relentless pursuit of competitive edge and the ultimate ocean marathon, pitting the sport’s best sailors against one another across the world’s toughest waters. Since 1973, when it started as the Whitbread Round the World Race, the Volvo Ocean Race has presented what
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PHOTOGRAPHY: AINHOA SANCHEZ; MARTIN KERUZORE AND KONRAD FROST/ VOLVO OCEAN RACE
A tight turn at the start of Leg 4
PHOTO ESSAY Pre-race offshore training on MAPFRE in very strong wind
is arguably the toughest team endurance challenge on the planet. The 2017/18 edition sees teams tackle 45 000 nautical miles (83 340km) around the world, across four oceans, touching six continents and stopping at 12 host cities, including Cape Town, where the race visited in November 2017. This edition (the 13th in the iconic raceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s history), which started in Alicante, Spain, on 22 October 2017 and will finish in The Hague, Netherlands, in June 2018, had a new set of rules incentivising mixed crews of male and female sailors, and more strategic innovation out on the racecourse. It also placed a renewed emphasis on the Southern Ocean. Famous for freezing temperatures, giant waves and epic sailing conditions, the remote Southern Ocean is the heart
Leg 3 from Cape Town to Melbourne, which took in some three weeks of Southern Ocean sailing, came with its fair share of drama
and soul of the Volvo Ocean Race. And, indeed, the 6 500mile (10 460km) Leg 3 from Cape Town to Melbourne, which took in some three weeks of Southern Ocean sailing, came with its fair share of drama. A MAPFRE video (each boat has a non-racing multimedia content creator on board) showed driver Rob Greenhalgh getting swept off the helm by a big wave and, later, Annie Lush on Team Brunel was
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All the boats are identical and their design is as strictly controlled as that of Formula One cars. The One Design Volvo Ocean 65 racing boat came into being for the last edition in 2014/15 and was used again in this race. Team AkzoNobel was the only team racing in a newly built boat â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one that is identical to the existing fleet. The boats from 2014/15 underwent a 15-week refit at the race boatyard facility in Lisbon at a cost of â&#x201A;Ź1 million each.
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swept into the rear guard wire, later to find she’d fractured her back and one foot. It’s brutal. Yet, despite the days (or weeks) of one’s life spent in violent motion, there are moments of perfection. And then, of course, the glory of knowing you’ve completed one of the most gruelling events on the planet.
Follow all the action at volvooceanrace.com
BY THE NUMBERS ▪ 45 000 nautical miles: the theoretical course distance, the longest route in the 44 year ▪ 12 500 nautical miles will be raced in the Southern Ocean, a hostile, freezing environment renowned for boat-breaking storms, three times as much compared with recent editions ▪ 8 months of racing, from October 2017 to June 2018 ▪ 7 teams ▪ 11 legs make up the global race track, with each leg scored separately ▪ 12 landmark host cities ▪ 80+ sailors (the number may vary, as not all of them participate in every leg) ▪ Nearly 30 sailors are participating for the first time ▪ 18 different nationalities ▪ 16 sailors across the 7 teams have won the race before ▪ 12 editions to date, making this the 13th edition ▪ 146 days, 16 hours, 9 minutes and 21 seconds: the total time taken by the 12th-edition winner, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, according to offical race timekeeper Omega
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Sunset on Christmas Eve on Leg 3 from Cape Town to Melbourne on board Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag
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FASHION URBAN EXPLORATION Simple, elegant separates with a modern sportswear influence lend themselves to mixing and layering for mid-season dressing
The Hugo Boss Womenswear Pre-Fall 2018 collection presents a strong female figure with sleek shapes and the occasional Seventies-inspired colour accent. One of the more low-key looks of the collection, this grey pantsuit is the epitome of easy understated dressing that makes a fine impression. Looser slacks – a nod to a more retro fit – and a longer-length jacket lend it a sense of effortless elegance. Worn with a crisp white polo neck, it’s a clean autumn-friendly look. hugoboss.com
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FASHION - NEWS
YEAR OF THE DOG COCOONING ATTIRE Keeping warm while maintaining your sartorial standards is a problem immediately solved by Prada in the form of the quintessential winter down jacket made less utilitarian and more athleisure through sleek design tweaks. A ribbed back and sleeves make it a puffer/jumper hybrid, with a flattering lowprofile nylon-and-down design, and a streamlined silhouette thanks to side slit pockets. prada.com
With a reputation for balancing tradition and modernity, Givenchy, under the leadership of Clare Waight Keller, is perpetuating the maison’s innate sense of confidence and legacy of reinterpreting the rules of sophistication. This Rottweiler clutch encapsulates this ethos of casual chic and proves that the atelier has its finger on the pop-culture pulse. givenchy.com
BOOTS ‘N’ ALL Jimmy Choo never puts a foot wrong when it comes to creating shoes women want to wear – timeless shapes and impeccable detailing have made for iconic designs. The Minerva 65 is a statement boot with a knee–high, pull-on design, mid-height heel and rounded toe. Its smooth leather finish and slightly retro slouchy fit are chic design elements that will never date. A smart back detail of Lockett-inspired studs is the perfect finishing touch to a shoe that finds the sweet spot for both everyday and occasion dressing. jimmychoo.com
CABIN FEVER You can trust Tom Ford to up the ante on even the most conservative of garments. Meet the turtleneck 2.0 – a blend of Italian cashmere and Scottish lamb’s wool in a men’s winter pullover with a twist. Exposed seams and a dimensional stitch pattern make the classic item just that little bit more contemporary. tomford.com
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FASHION - TRENDS
SHOW AND TELL
ome say she has superb style, others disagree. For the royal tour of Norway and Sweden at the beginning of the year, the Duchess of Cambridge was a little risky with her sartorial choices. A lover of Erdem, Catherine (or her stylist?) chose
a gold high-neck gown adorned with a busy floral print. It was, er, a bold choice – and one that went rather well with the colour of the sofa at the residence of the British ambassador. If you’re into fashion like I am, you may well wonder why another frock wasn’t the pick of the day. Something less matronly, perhaps? Even though Erdem’s palette choice for this particular gown was vivid, a high neck complete with frill detail didn’t do Catherine justice. At his Spring/Summer Paris Fashion Week show, designer Erdem Moralioğlu created beautiful pieces that were much softer in look and cut. While sticking to the DNA of the house known for vibrant prints and detailed craftsmanship, Moralioğlu also showcased floral gowns in arresting sea-greens as well as classic black numbers with sprays of delicate flowers and ferns. While these sheath-like gowns (flared elegantly as they taper to the ground) would have needed to be altered to accommodate the expectant duchess, she would have done better to wear one of them. What else could the Duchess have worn, seeing that Paris Fashion Week ended days before she left for Scandi shores? The gorgeous embroidery from Zuhair Murad, whose show was titled ‘Indian Summer’, give many of his black-against-blush gowns a graphic and geometric feel, showing off intricate lattice work in wonderful detail. Ten years ago, while in Dubai, I bought a Zuhair Murad cream lace crossover blouse and the distinctiveness of his use of romantic lace is still very much alive and kicking. In keeping with the season’s love of florals – this is a trend that won’t go away – red flowers and even desert vegetation were embroidered masterfully onto sweeping feminine and delicate dresses made from organdie and chiffon, either in subtly sheer or in precious hues. For lovers of investment suits, there’s no greater master than Armani. The house has always been about mix-and-match. This season, Armani Privé showed nipped-in waistlines for their blazers, with watercolour blouses underneath, worn with silk pants in pastel hues. The whole look was serenely moody, like Impressionist art translated onto fluid fabric that moves with the wearer. Yes, there was the traditional Armani pinstripe (the best Italian designers rarely stray too far from their heritage) but, considering the print had been made into a chic playsuit, this particular piece is certainly just for fun. More fun was had with a bold ‘dice’ coat by Christian Dior (pictured). Maria Grazia Chiuri, creative director at Dior, is said to have traced the history of the couturier behind this famed design house. Mr Dior used to love surrounding himself with artists like Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dalí, Elsa Schiaparelli and Leonor Fini. The latter, in particular, is the one who set the tone for the Spring/Summer couture collection.
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The haute couture Spring/Summer 2018 collections at Paris Fashion Week were like a good page-turner: at once a little bit shocking and deliciously romantic, says fashion writer HELEN CLEMSON.
Everywhere you look there’s another annoying copy of a coveted handbag not made by its maker. The solution? Buy only the best local luxury leather arm candy you can find. WORDS HELEN CLEMSON
itch the tired notion that an investment handbag always has to carry an international label. Adding a beautiful local piece to your collection not only means you are supporting the growth of the South African fashion industry, but also that you celebrate our country’s rich creative skills. We live in a land known for its exotic leathers – as long as they are ethically produced and tastefully crafted, of course. One South African brand that’s got the (luxury) goods is Kat van Duinen. The designer sources grade-AAA leather from authorised farms only and supports the humane production of exotic skins, which forms an invaluable part of South Africa’s economy.
NOT ONLY SKIN DEEP If you want to go all-out local, choose ostrich leather, naturally. The raised points that give ostrich leather its interesting texture are the easiest way to tell this skin from its exotic counterparts. The delicate bumps – covering only a third of the whole hide – are the quill follicles and form the ‘crown’ of the skin. Van Duinen’s pieces come in the deluxe ‘full point’ whereby quill follicles cover the entire piece. This rich texture, the skin’s incredible durability, as well as the intricate process of working with it, make ostrich leather luxurious. Lovers of the undeniably seductive snakeskin will be delighted to know that Kat also uses python, and for good reason. Its lightweight, long-lasting nature, the rarity of sizeable, unblemished hides and the extraordinary skill required to manufacture, dye and finish it, mean that python skin has come to symbolise true decadent style. Yet, arguably, there’s nothing as glorious as croc. There’s nothing like in terms of its value and desirability, thanks to the durability of the skin and the intricate grooves (one of nature’s most striking organic patterns). Kat’s crocodile pieces are made from the highly covetable and elaborate belly area of the hide.
LUXE WITH A CONSCIENCE Another luxury leather label waxing lyrical about the beauty of crocodile is Via La Moda. Under the ownership of Hanspeter Winklmayr, who came to SA from Austria in the early ’90s, the boutique brand’s pieces are made using traditional methods and European techniques. ‘The material we use as the core of our creations has its own unique texture and patterns, and no two pieces will ever be identical,’ says Winklmayr. He, too, sources crocodile skins for his bespoke handbags from ethical farmers and tanners, with whom his company has done business with for many years. ‘The process of commercial farming along these lines ensures that the population of fauna is safeguarded,’ he says. ‘Via La Moda sees itself as somewhat of a guardian and as such follows the guidelines set in place by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in 1975. We firmly believe every hide deserves respect.’
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PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED BY VIA LA MODA
TO HAVE AND TO HOLD
‘There is always a modern minimalism about my cuts: clean lines, no-fuss silhouettes, sleek shapes,’ says Van Duinen. Drawing inspiration from her European heritage (she is Polish), her range is embodied by elegant minimalist and her trademark is a streamlined style that allows the fine exotic leather to do the talking.
‘The material we use as the core of our creations has its own unique texture and patterns, and no two pieces will ever be identical’
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PLATINUM STATUS La Prairie has long distinguished itself as one of the highest quality skincare brands, and its ultrapremium Platinum Rare collection has become the gold standard. Joining that line is the company’s newest rejuvenating unguent, the Platinum Rare Cellular Night Elixir. There’s a complex science behind this new elixir that contains the most precious mineral on earth but the brand promise is quite simple: one drop at night and your skin’s texture and firmness will be improved noticeably and the appearance of lines and wrinkles will be reduced visibly by morning. ‘The serum was designed for evening use because skin is in survival mode all day,’ says Dr Daniel Stangl, Director of Innovation at La Prairie. ‘At night, molecules of elastin are rebuilding and stem cells also build new cells. Sleep is the best time for repairing skin health.’ As one would expect of a product containing platinum, it’s pricey – the 20ml vessel costs R18 900, which works out to R945 per millilitre. The bottle containing the elixir is as beautiful as the precious liquid within - even the top of the dropper is shaped like a gem. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts, and this inside is full of well-researched substance that provides results fast. laprairieswitzerland.com
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WORDS: HELEN CLEMSON, CATHERINE DAVIS. PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED, CAMERON MCDONALD. STYLING: KIMBERLEY REID
BEAUT Y - NEWS
PURPLE REIGN In an ode to the Pantone colour of the year, these fragrant, skin-treating and cosmetic products also have luxury in common.
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Sensai Cellular Performance Wrinkle Repair Essence, Dolce & Gabbana Gloss Fusion Lipstick in Exotic, Bulgari Splendida Magnolia Sensuel EDP, Sisley Phyto-Khol Perfect in Purple, Dolce & Gabbana Pour Femme EDP
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TRUE ROMANCE The camellia, Coco Chanel’s favourite flower, is the inspiration behind the sparkling new Chanel Camélia fine jewellery collection.
WORDS: ?????????? PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED
Included in the elegant range are the likes of the Camélia Précieux ring in white gold set with a pear-cut diamond and 31 smaller diamonds, and Camélia Précieux earrings in 18ct white gold set with 82 brilliant-cut diamonds. The collection has a strong sense of romance, with a nod to vintage design mores and all the boldness one has come to expect from the House of Chanel. Also pictured here is the Coco Crush bangle bracelet in 18ct white gold and diamonds, featuring the House of Chanel’s trademark quilting motif. chanel.com
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JEWELLERY - NEWS
GREEN-EYED MONSTER The serpent is an ancient Greek and Roman symbol of wisdom, vitality and seduction. It’s also the abiding motif incorporated into many a Bulgari piece. In fact, the first item in the Serpenti collection was designed in the ’40s and featured a serpent coiled around the wrist, holding a timepiece in its jaws. This modern rendition is a brilliant pavé-studded diamond bangle bracelet in white gold set with emerald eyes. It’s a beguiling collector’s item with all the pedigree one would expect from this iconic Italian house. bulgari.com
DIAMONDS AND PEARLS Yoko London’s unique combination of blue Tahitian pearls, brilliant diamonds and rose gold in its Blue Rose collection is sure to become a talking point. On the one hand it’s a thoroughly accessible range of ready-towear offerings that are perfect for casual days, and on the other hand there is a level of craftsmanship and quality that sets these magnificent pieces apart. This exquisite ring is the centrepiece of the collection – with 2.43ct of diamonds and a 14mm blue pearl set in 18ct rose gold, it’s a cocktail ring with serious clout. yokolondon.com
MEANINGFUL MODERNITY In a world where the only constant is change, jewellery pieces imbued with meaning and lucky significance are becoming more and more valuable to their wearers. Cartier is tapping into this notion with a sense of whimsy to its Amulette de Cartier collection, which features a series of talismans and symbols. Among them is this delightful necklace with 178 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 4.41ct, as well as onyx and black laquer set in 18ct yellow gold on an 80cm chain. The sizeable collection offers something for every preference of colour and symbol. cartier.com
WORDS: JUSTINE HEWITT. PHOTOGRAPHY: CHANEL, SUPPLIED
SHALL WE DANCE? Quintessential UK brand David Morris is renowned for its use of colour – Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana are said to have been fans of the famed jewellery house. Now a new generation of glamazons is queueing up for its trademark show-stopper pieces both with and without colour. These pearshaped Dancing diamond chandelier earrings, for example, are heirloomsin-the-making for moneyed millennials. The glittering pair comes in at a total of 85.26ct, their dangling design giving them undeniable red-carpet appeal. davidmorris.com
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WATC H E S
ABOUT TIME The 28th edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), held in Geneva in January, attracted more than 20 000 watch aficionados. A record 35 fine-watchmaking Maisons exhibited alongside 18 contemporary workshops at the five-day fair. New setup innovations included mobile White Box studios that provided more opportunities for digital communication, a platform that will be further optimised for next year’s event. Greubel Forsey’s GMT Earth has been artfully designed to present several 3-D features that include a view of the earth from the North to the South Pole. Displaying the globe in its entirety required the complex application of sapphire crystal, which in turn influenced the proportions of the case. The globe is positioned next to the Tourbillon 24 Secondes, Greubel Forsey’s third pivotal invention. Three time zones can be viewed simultaneously on the front of the dial. Turn the watch over and you’ll see 24 time zones displayed with summer and winter times to complement the universal time indicated by the terrestrial globe. Available in white gold, this artwork is limited to 33 pieces. greubelforsey.com
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WATCHES - NEWS
MICROMECHANICAL SPECIALISTS SIHH may be an annual affair but the watches revealed there are often years in the making. It took four years to produce Piaget’s latest revelation in thin timepieces – only, it’s not for sale. At only 2mm thick, the Altiplano Ultimate Concept Watch is the flattest mechanical wristwatch ever made. With five patents pending for the components that contribute to the technical prowess of the ultra-thin movement, aficionados will appreciate the technical mastery required to reimagine the regulating organ, a barrel without cover or drum, a control mechanism that allows selective time settings and winding, a telescopic crown integrated into the case middle, and more precise placement of the watch glass. piaget.com
Officine Panerai’s latest dedication to Galileo Galilei is L’Astronomo Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT. Made to order and personalised to operate in line with the geographical coordinates of a place chosen by the client, this is the first Panerai model to include a moon phase indicator. Another innovation for this sporty model is the use of polarised crystals to indicate the date. panerai.com
JUBILEE EDITION One of the most memorable watches revealed at SIHH is this one by IWC Schaffhausen. The digital hours and minutes display is not new – IWC introduced the then revolutionary movement through its pocket watches in 1884 – but it’s the first time the company has used it in a wristwatch. Suffice to say that it has grabbed the attention of everyone who’s seen it. The IWC Tribute to Pallweber limitededition wristwatches with jumping numerals form part of the Jubilee collection in honour of the company’s 150th anniversary. The timepiece will be available in platinum (25 pieces), red gold (250 pieces) and stainless steel (500 pieces). iwc.com
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WATCHES - NEWS
INGENIOUS INNOVATION This limited-edition Triple Split is among the few thousand wristwatches handcrafted at A. Lange & Söhne annually. The first mechanical split-seconds chronograph in the world to accommodate multi-hour comparative time measurements, this is the accessory you need if you want to compare the times of two opponents on a race track, at a cycle tour or in a marathon. It can also record the times of consecutively starting events, such as the outbound and return legs of a long-haul flight, or add the times of multi-hour events, such as the duration of individual Ironman disciplines. If that grabs your attention, read more about this masterpiece online. alange-soehne.com
Choosing a favourite at the Cartier booth is always a challenge. I gravitate towards the classic collections but you can always count on a mysterious movement to vie for centre stage. The Rotonde de Cartier collection now boasts a Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon as well as a Mysterious Day & Night watch (pictured). The tourbillon is suspended within a fine skeleton and features openworked bridges in the shape of Roman numerals. The numbered edition is limited to 30 pieces and carries the Geneva Seal. The Maison’s incorporation of a day/night indicator in a mysterious movement is a first for fine watchmaking. The sun and moon track the hours, with the retrograde minutes displayed in the bottom half of the dial. cartier.com
When a colleague selects your timepiece as one of his favourites at the fair, that’s high praise indeed. Watch designer Eric Giroud singled out this one by Ulysse Nardin. The Freak Vision, the first automatic watch in the Freak range, is a progression of the Ulysse Nardin InnoVision 2 Concept Watch revealed at SIHH 2017. Time is still indicated by the baguette movement, a ‘flying carousel’ rotating around its own axis, but among several game-changing innovations are a super-light silicium balance wheel with nickel mass elements and stabilising micro-blades, and a case design made thinner by a box-domed crystal. ulysse-nardin.com
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WORDS: DEBBIE HATHWAY. PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED
The industrial designer behind the Ressence e-Crown, Benoît Mintiens, has created a technology that supersedes the mechanism invented by Adrien Philippe in 1842 that enabled watches to be wound and set with a crown instead of a key. ‘It’s a cognitive watch. To set the time, simply tap it twice. The mechanism will teach the digital part the time it shows,’ explains Mintiens to his contemporary, Eric Giroud. ‘The digital part will then keep track of time more precisely and without interruption. Each time you put it on your wrist it will set itself exactly on time.’ And if not, he adds, it will tell you something’s wrong by setting itself to 24:00 (midnight). ressencewatches.com
WATCHES - TRENDS
LICENSED TO SELL Following increased demand last year, luxury watch producers are upbeat about 2018, says JUSTIN DIVARIS, CEO of Daytona.
wiss watch industry executives at this year’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva were cautiously optimistic about the recovery of the watchmaking industry after two tough years. As a result the mood was positive and SIHH was buzzing. As the sole retail agents for Roger Dubuis in South Africa, it was great for us at The Vault to see them celebrate news of their best month ever in December 2017. I’ve been a petrolhead since I was a teenager, and the brand’s partnerships with Lamborghini and Pirelli resonate with me personally and with the business. Most car collectors are watch collectors and vice versa – and Daytona, of which The Vault forms a part, focuses on ‘one customer’ for the niche luxury brands in the group. Daytona was established as a luxury car importer and distributor, whereas the first Vault store was really for pre-owned watches. It started more as a hobby, but the plan always was to open more around the country. On the Roger Dubuis side, there are new watches coming out of their Lamborghini Squadra Corse partnership but, for me, probably more exciting is their Pirelli partnership. (Pirelli is our tyre supplier for Aston Martin and McLaren). The prices of the Lamborghini watches are out of reach for most South Africans whereas the Excalibur Spider Pirelli models are more affordable (in Roger Dubuis terms). Roger Dubuis is one of the main fine watchmaking exhibitors at SIHH while HYT, for which the Vault is also the South African agent, features in the Carré des Horlogers for contemporary watchmakers. Their watches are not cheap
– they do limited-edition releases of about 25 pieces – but their customers obviously want something more bespoke. Designed to tell time by the movement of coloured liquid via a piston system, these watches are highly exclusive and supercool. We ordered four pieces from the HYT H1 collection, which sold within a month. The South African market is worth taking seriously. The top end of the market is not nearly as affected as the rest within the current economic climate. It’s still quite a buoyant market – both in cars and watches. I’m talking McLaren, Rolls-Royce and so forth, and top-end watches such as Rolex and A. Lange & Söhne. Our stores are located in the upmarket Melrose Arch precinct, Menlyn Park Shopping Centre and Sandton City. We’ve aligned them with the international trend towards the boutiqueoriented, store-within-a-store concept, with interiors featuring bespoke furniture designed by the brands and made in Switzerland. Exciting news for The Vault is the addition of the A. Lange & Söhne boutique area in Melrose Arch, which is a first for Africa, and the inclusion of a Rolex boutique area at Menlyn Park. The latter, our second Vault store, is now the premier Rolex location in the country, with a full range in stock. It also has Omega and Montblanc boutique areas. And we’ve opened a standalone Breitling concept store at Sandton City, which is another first for the continent. Our A. Lange & Söhne sales have exceeded expectations. These are arguably the finest watches in the world, and the Triple Split chronograph is the most exciting watch for us this year. CEO Wilhelm Schmid came out for our launch in March 2018, which was fantastic. He recognises that the market’s strong here. And I love showing the world what South Africa is about, showing people that this isn’t some irrelevant place. It will be exciting to see what Omega and Rolex launch at Baselworld this year, and we’re also expecting great things from Breitling, now under new management.
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MAN OF THE HOUR Concert pianist Jorge Viladoms shares his passion for music with audiences around the world – and with children whose talent might just save their lives. WORDS DEBBIE HATHWAY
ngraved in black lacquer on the back of musician Jorge Viladoms’ personalised JaegerLeCoultre Reverso watch are the words ‘Là où est la musique, il n’y a pas de place pour le mal’ (Where there is music, there can be no harm). They appear beneath the silhouette of a young violinist who represents the underprivileged children in Mexico who benefit from Viladoms’ charity foundation, Crescendo con la Musica, which offers them the opportunity to own and play a musical instrument. Described as a pianist with an extraordinary narrative capacity, rare sensibility and profound interpretations, not to mention immense passion, Viladoms only started playing in his late teens on a piano that had belonged to his late grandmother and would have been sold had he not shown interest. He wanted to be a writer or an engineer, while his father, a surgeon, encouraged him to study something to do with the environment because ‘that was the future’.
SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY SHARED When Viladoms was 18 years old, he took a two-year sabbatical to learn French and German, travelled to Switzerland to visit his brother, and stayed. ‘I was so ignorant about the musical world – I had never been to a conservatory – so when I really started playing and learning how to interpret music through my teacher in Switzerland, I began to realise that music is not only my vocation, but also my passion. I stopped writing, stopped everything. I just did music.’ Listed by Quién 50 magazine as one of the top 50 Mexicans whose work is helping to transform their country, Viladoms is determined to use music to change people’s lives as it did his. ‘For kids who have nothing material, music becomes a purpose in their life.’ Preferring the freedom that comes with solo performance, which allows for more interpretation, Viladoms reflects that a professional musician can be self-centred and self-critical, plagued with doubts
around ability and performance, and constantly focused on the need to practise. ‘But then you see what music can do for someone – it makes things relative. In a selfish way, it’s trying to change the lives of those children that makes me even happier than playing concerts. But music and piano have been the base of everything.’ His foundation also provides scholarships for talented young musicians in Switzerland, and he is working on a programme to build a cultural centre in Nigeria. ‘JaegerLeCoultre is partnering with us for the foundation’s annual fundraising gala. That’s one of the things I love about the Maison. We share a sense of social responsibility that we should all have,’ he says.
MUSIC AND TIME When you watch him play, live or on YouTube, it’s easy to imagine Viladoms completely losing track of time when he’s focused on the piano keys. He doesn’t wear a watch when he’s performing, but he says he might when he’s practising. That could mean up to six hours a day for a concert, depending on the programme, or recording a new CD. His latest, From Latin America to Paris, is a collaboration with Lionel Cottet and features unforgettable renditions of music by luminaries such as Ravel and Piazzolla. Viladoms also teaches piano at the Lausanne Conservatory for Music. He owns two Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces, preferring the Reverso for dinners and events – ‘it’s very classy’ – and wearing the Master Geographic when he travels. ‘I travel a lot, so it’s very convenient to see at a glance what time it is in cities around the world. When you’re tired you don’t want to calculate hours, try to work out what time it is in Mexico.’ Clearly admiring of the craftsmanship of the watchmakers, Viladoms appreciates that he and JaegerLeCoultre have shared values. ‘We are both driven by a strength that helps us create emotion through art, and express infinite concepts such as music and time with our instruments.’
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DĂ&#x2030;COR GROUND RULES Interior store Il Lusso, purveyor of fine design, brings international contemporary trends to the South African market
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One of the brands in its impressive stable is Paco Rugs, known for its revolutionary approach to adorning floors. By combining ancient craft traditions with modern design principles via contemporary interpretations, Paco Rugs has transformed the rug into an integral interior element. From updates on traditional patterns to brandnew designs, the common threads here are quality and craftsmanship, with workshops in India, Nepal and Pakistan employing local communities and continuing their cultural legacy to bring it to a present-day market. Through its perpetuation of an ancient craft and its leading-edge approach to aesthetics, the brand offers an artistic take on carpets that can command a whole room. The studio takes this one step further still with a customisation option that offers tailoring of any of the existing designs to suit your specific space, as well as a bespoke design service to create something entirely new and unique. illusso.co.za
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POWER DRESSER This dresser was designed by Greta M Grossman in 1952 but was given the name Gubi 62 because it was thought to be 10 years ahead of its time. The contrast between the glossy black-painted wood and natural American walnut (the designer had a penchant for mixing materials) and the combination of spherical and square elements create a pleasing balance between solidity and delicacy. A testament to the staying power of mid-century lines, its looks current and contemporary despite its age. cremadesign.co.za
HEAD GEAR This mesmerising resin skull by Laurence Le Constant, a Reunion-born, Paris-based artist, is one of a series of skull sculptures created as ‘portraits’ in tribute to women significant to the artist. Beth incorporates rock crystal and feathers in an intriguing play on materiality and texture that makes for a statement decorative piece. jayjeffers-thestore.com
LIGHT-BULB MOMENT Occasionally a lighting design is tantamount to art – where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. That is the case with the mesmerising Blow desk lamp by Pio & Tito Toso for Studio Italia Design at Casarredo. The lamp is made from crystal-clear handblown glass, its dome shape reminiscent of a terrarium. casarredo.co.za
Natural textures have been dominating the wall-covering scene of late, and Maoli by Casamance takes the trend to new heights by incorporating colour and pattern for a multifaceted effect. The wide stripes and ombré blue colourway - aptly named Marine - form a cool, breezy design that lends itself to a laid-back beach cottage and would transform an enclosed verandah space into a tranquil outdoor oasis. Casamance is available at Hertex. hertex.co.za
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DÉCOR - TRENDS
PINK AND POSTMODERN
rom my departure point in the early Eighties welding salvaged steel into furniture, reinvention has been a constant. We like to think of our design studio as more of a laboratory – a place where we can investigate new shapes, carry out research and experiment with our favourite materials, and where craft and industry, art and function can cross over. For these crossovers to really sing, education is essential. The rising importance of practical training in design education is crucial in producing graduates that understand how the industry works, and have the skills and know-how rather than just a theoretical foundation. Having learnt about design through being in the industry rather than gaining a formal education, it’s clear that a theoretical education is no longer the only route to creating a successful lifestyle brand. This more fluid structure also bodes well for collaboration, which is gaining momentum on a small and large scale – from individual designers collaborating to brands co-creating. You don’t want design to exist in a closed capsule when unexpected collaborations have the potential to produce extraordinary stuff. This co-working attitude applies to technology too, because even though some would argue it takes the humanness out of design, design must be informed by technology to give it a final form. They have to coexist, because innovation is fundamental in producing new shapes and new functionalities, and also in making progress possible. Without it, designers are reduced to stylistic changes rather than real newness. In being aware of developments and staying well informed, designers can harness this power so that technology can liberate them.
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There’s a whole new industrial revolution happening under our noses, driven by digitisation, and I think we’re on the brink of another revolution soon: bioengineering, nanotechnology or synthetic materials that are not petrol-based are coming to the fore. Lighting, particularly, is seeing huge technological advances – by virtue of energy-saving LEDs and OLEDs, which have made a huge difference to energy consumption. It’s an exciting time. This cognisance of consumption is spreading to all spheres of design. Our aim should be to create products that reduce waste and consumption, despite this seeming like a contradiction in terms. The best way we, as designers, can do this is by creating pieces that negate the need for constant replacement. Longevity has a different kind of meaning when it comes to colour and material trends, because these are cyclical, and things become new again after enough time. And while this is so, black is always an essential base colour for us – often in velvet for upholstery, patinated in the Beat Light, and also in cast iron. Not because it’s fashionable – more as a satisfying neutral that allows the silhouette of an object to exist without the distraction of colour. Right now the big trend is for pink and postmodernism. I figure the next may well be a swing back to glossy black and stainless steel – a more futuristic, space-age aesthetic as a counter to the current warm, soft mood.
TOM DIXON, designer and leading light on the global design scene (with an OBE), on why a co-working attitude is vital for innovation, and other trends he has his eye on this year.
SENSUAL SIMPLICITY This classical Haussmannian apartment in the heart of old Paris was built as a lowprofile frame for the owner’s art collection, yet its simple, elegant contemporary approach and rich textural aesthetic are all about luxury. WORDS GRAHAM WOOD PHOTOGRAPHS GREG COX STYLING SVEN ALBERDING (BUREAUX)
hen architect Frederic Berthier first encountered this apartment, its classical character was completely obscured. It is in what he calls a classical Parisian building – a 19th-century Haussmannian apartment building – in ‘the real old Paris’: the historical centre of SaintGermain-des-Prés, among the galleries and bookshops and famous cafés where everyone from Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir to Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and James Baldwin would hang out.
A SPACE ODYSSEY ‘The apartment had been decorated by an architect in the ’80s,’ says Berthier. ‘There where angles everywhere, very complicated volumes and corridors…’ The design was the complete antithesis of its classical character. ‘I tried to bring it back,’ he says. ‘My work was mainly to rebuild the rooms as they were before.’ He doesn’t, however, mean that he created a replica of a classical 19thcentury home. To begin with, the apartment didn’t have mouldings or any of the other decorative details of the era – its character was in its proportions: ‘Big entrance, everything square or almost.’ ‘My idea was to create a very lowprofile architecture – very simple,’ says Berthier. His clients collect art and books. ‘They are kind people,’ he says. ‘I wanted to create a soft apartment for them.’ The property, he says, was also to be a frame for the artworks. He stripped out the previous architectural intervention
until he had ‘an empty box’. The walls, like those of a gallery, are white, with the notable exception of the entrance hall, where they are clad in a very dark, glosssealed wood. This reversal of ‘the white box’ is also in the service of art. ‘The black entrance has been created like that for the Anish Kapoor artworks,’ he explains. Kapoor’s acrylic Space as an Object sculptures, which look like rapidly rising bubbles trapped and frozen in time and space, are given their full expression in a dark setting. The dark walls make the boundaries of the entrance hall hard to define. They seem to recede, creating a sense of an infinite space that allows the full drama of the void at the centre of these remarkable artworks to find full expression. Before Berthier established his own architectural studio, he worked for a number of very prestigious architects, including a few years with Jean Nouvel and a longer spell with Philippe Starck – ‘I loved working for him. I learnt so many things. He’s really a smart guy. His level of detail is very high.’
THE ESSENCE OF ARCHITECTURE Ultimately Berthier found that for him, the essence of architecture is really “home”. ‘My main reference is more a shelter than a tower,’ he explains. ‘This is where I found poetry … in simple things.’ Although he found Starck’s ideas-driven approach to architecture impressive and even touching at times, Berthier believes materiality, simplicity and sensuality are more fundamentally important than novelty.
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FEATURE - DECOR Architect Frederic Berthier immediately saw the potential in the apartment, part of a 19thcentury building in the historical centre of Saint-Germain-des-PrĂŠs in Paris
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Apart from stripping away a 1980s alteration to this Saint-Germaindes-Prés apartment and restoring its classic Parisian proportions, Berthier saw his task as creating an architectural frame for his clients’ art collection. He designed the entrance hall specifically to display Space as an Object, Anish Kapoor’s series of acrylic sculptures. Clad in a dark, gloss-sealed wood, the walls serve as a backdrop to the luminosity of the trapped air bubbles in these works, and the opposite of the ‘white cube’ of the archetypal gallery allows the works their full expression. (Kapoor is known for his fascination with black and has the exclusive artistic rights to the world’s blackest pigment, a substance known as Vantablack)
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ABOVE, LEFT A study to the right of the entrance to the home does double duty as a library. The sofa that integrates with the desk behind it was custom designed by the architect, its simplicity exemplary of his approach RIGHT A long, low bookshelf forms a subtle division between the living room and the TV area, where natural textures, neutral colours and a sisal rug contrast with sleek black accents
‘I see my work mostly in creating soft places, to protect people from [the world] outside,’ he explains, in reference to projects in cities where the information overload and pace of change erode peace of mind. ‘I try to create environments where you feel peaceful, with your family, friends or alone, where you can be yourself, disconnect from all that, and take a breath.’ And so it was with this apartment. Beginning with the base of a white box, he enriched it and humanised it with layers of natural and classically Parisian materials: beautiful oak floors, abundant Carrara marble and furniture that celebrates both nature and classicism in its simplicity and proportions. ‘I think we are really peaceful when we connect with nature,’ says Berthier. It’s a connection he celebrates in his understated, neutral design. ‘There is really a lack of nature in Paris. I try to [bring back] some nature with the materials I use.’
NATURAL SELECTION ‘Materials as they are in nature, or almost, are the best for me,’ says Berthier. The wooden floors, the marble in the kitchen and bathrooms, and the ingenious low ledge in the living room for the display of art also underpin nature’s art. ‘It’s always impressive to know that on earth you can find a perfectly white marble with just a perfect grey pattern on it, or an almost black wood. I try to show these kinds of things in my projects.’ The greenery on the balcony adds to this serene atmosphere. ‘You are in the centre of Paris, but you live with the windows open and you see only green,’ Berthier observes. The white walls have another advantage. ‘At the end of the day, when you have an orange sunset, all the white walls take this orange colour,’ he says. ‘You can’t have this if your walls are too dark.’
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‘I try to create environments where you feel peaceful, with your family, friends or alone, where you can be yourself, disconnect from all that, and take a breath’
Although the kitchen, too, is used for the display of art (the layered resin work The Kiss is by British artist Marilène Oliver) this is a fully functional, practical space. It is partially divided from the dining room by wraparound shelves housing the owners’ extensive collection of tableware
Yet the design of this apartment goes beyond its appearance. Berthier’s ‘sensual simplicity’ differs from minimalism in its tactile qualities – warmth, softness, texture. ‘I like to see, but touching things is also very important, even smelling them,’ says Berthier. ‘For example, a part of the low library separating the living room from the TV area is made of cedar. It smells very good; I really love it.’
FROM SIMPLICITY TO SOPHISTICATION Berthier is responsible for the design of a significant number of the fittings and furniture pieces in home. In describing his approach, he speaks of a crossover of minimalism and classicism. ‘I start with classical features and try to erase all that is inessential,’ he says. So, no elaborate detail or decoration – the classicism comes through in the materials and proportions. This pared-down style, again, is a way of celebrating the materials. His furniture
designs are mostly timber, perhaps including marble or leather. Although he spent years working for Starck, who remains one of his design idols, he says that, aesthetically speaking, his own work is closer to the minimalism of the likes of John Pawson, Donald Judd or Rothko. ‘There is no plastic in my projects, only natural things,’ he says. ‘I love wood – it’s the perfect material.’ It’s through Berthier’s contemporary textural approach that the apartment turns simplicity to sophistication. There’s nothing ostentatious and opulent about it, and yet it provides both a calm atmosphere and a rich sensory experience. While the designs of the furniture are stripped of detail in their elegance, they nevertheless connect with the building through their classical proportions and their materials. ‘In the end,’ says the architect, ‘I think that we feel we are in a Parisian apartment.’
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The apartment’s celebration of natural materials – particularly Carrara marble, wood and steel – continues in the kitchen. ‘It had to work well as a display, but also be convenient because they really use the kitchen,’ says Berthier
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THE RETURN OF THE CONVERTIBLE The Aston Martin Volante is an all-new version of the regular, hard-top DB11 that has been with us for a little while now The same elegant looks now come with the defining feature of a convertible roof. Combining the timeless appeal of a fabric hood with the very latest acoustic and insulation materials, the eight-layer roof cossets drivers and passengers from the extremes of weather and wind noise. Folding to a class-leading stack height, the Aston Martin Volanteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hood takes only 14 seconds to lower and 16 to close. It can be operated remotely from the key or while on the move at speeds of up to 49km/h. So smooth. daytona.co.za
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FAMILY-FRIENDLY After a long wait, Mercedes-AMG finally took the wraps off its first four-door AMG GT at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. It’s clear that the AMG GT 4-Door Coupé draws inspiration from the SLS AMG and the more recent AMG GT models. Designed and developed entirely by AMG, the performance arm of Mercedes-Benz, it was conceived with the aim of offering practicality and performance at the same time. The way AMG puts it, this is a vehicle that could be used as a daily ride and will be exciting to drive on a race track. mercedes-benz.co.za
LAVISH POTENTIAL Sometimes a concept car is so aggressively futuristic that it’s hard to see what parts would be able to translate to any production vehicles. And while the Lexus LF-1 Limitless concept is lavish, it’s a more realistic take on the future of the luxury SUV than previously seen from Lexus. Combining the features of a crossover with the performance and comfort of a limousine, it can be powered by a variety of different types of drivetrains, including fuel-cell, electric, hybrid or plug-in hybrid, as well as a conventional internal combustion engine. lexus.co.za
A ‘FULL TANK’ A DAY As the world realises it cannot continue to choke itself with carbon emissions, leading car manufacturers are getting on board with the battery revolution (hopefully we’ll find a way of generating electricity without burning coal, too!) Jaguar has just launched its all-electric I-PACE five-seater SUV, which has a range of just under 500km and a recharging time of only an hour on a fast charge or overnight from a wall socket. A 15 minute charge is the equivalent of 100km. As Jaguar says, imagine waking up every morning with a full tank… jaguar.co.za
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The post-ride coffee stop has become such an entrenched part of cycling: the carbon-fibre herd moving in unison, stopping at fixed watering holes and grunting at each other about potholes and peloton etiquette. One can imagine Sir David Attenborough narrating over some epic drone footage of us as we Strava the heck out of Chapman’s Peak Drive. On these weekend outings every premium brand of bicycle that you can imagine is on show and if standing out in the crowd is one of your cycling goals, Italian powerhouses Bianchi and Scuderia Ferrari may have just the collaboration for you. The racing geometry frame is hand-painted in Italy in either red or black, and standard equipment includes custom 40mm clincher wheels by Fulcrum. She’s fitted with Pirelli P Zero tyres for your high-speed cornering pleasure, and the transmission options include the Campagnolo Super Record EPS or the equally efficient Shimano Dura-Ace Di2. Bianchi’s proven Countervail technology is present, and Ferrari has given us a saddle made from the same 3K carbon fibre used in its performance cars. Even the tape on the handlebars got the Maranello treatment with a luxury black anti-vibration material, courtesy of Astute. scuderiaferrari.bianchi.com
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WORDS: JIM FREEMAN, ZEYD SULAIMAN, CATHERINE DAVIS. PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED
ACCELERATE - TRENDS
VULNERABILITY MAKES FOR INNOVATION AND CREATIVITY If the vision of your automotive future resembles an Amazon Alexa smart helper on wheels, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Private Edition motoring writer RICHARD WEBB cherry-picks the trends from his Geneva Motor Show trip.
PHOTOGRAPHY: SOURCE ©GIMS.SWISS.
rtificial-intelligence-enhanced and autonomous vehicles may not fill you with glee for your future driving pleasure, but these systems will help our cars to recognise our world. We’re on the cusp of a new era in automotive innovation, with facial recognition instead of keys, and hand gestures instead of switches, as well as Amazon Alexa-powered voice commands for many interfaces. That showiest of automotive displays – the Geneva Motor Show – recently led with a soothing balm of genuine innovation and, dare I say, a firm promise of actual driving fun amid the rise of electric-powered cars and self-driving technologies. Some brands have added over-the-top power and innovative drivetrains, while other brands went opulence-mad with exotic silks and bespoke, tailored interiors. Harking back to the day where car interiors were exquisitely crafted from the finest of materials to cosset ostentatious owners, Aston Martin is keeping the tradition alive for their future autonomous
electric cars. Its Lagonda will be the world’s first emissions-free luxury car brand when the production version of the Lagonda Vision Concept will be launched in 2021. The cabin is awash with cashmere, ceramics, carbon fibre and silk, all created by traditional Savile Row tailors, and given the amount of time we spend inside cars, interiors will be a vital differentiator for brands in the future. Porsche loves surprising and was again able to delight with the Mission E Cross Turismo. As car makers play catch-up on the blazing electric vehicle (EV) trail made by Tesla, we’ll see smaller and lighter SUVs like the Mission E. As a luxury electric SUV GT, it defies any automotive pigeonhole. A rear-view mirror camera detects the driver’s gaze and serves up Sport, Chrono, Energy, Performance, Drive or any other required virtual gauges to the driver, while minimising other distractions on the command centre. I’ve spent a lifetime being passionate about cars but lately I’m barely able to distinguish between one identikit SUV and the next (with some notable
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exceptions, like Volvo and BMW). The Jaguar I-PACE, though, seems an unusual SUV – unlike any other I’ve seen – built for people with a social conscience and who love to drive. We keep being reminded that driving isn’t as much fun as it used to be, and with lower speed limits and more congested roads this may be true. Yet cars just keep getting better and better. If saintly EVs and frugal hybrids underwhelm you, delight in the existence of a $3,26 million Bugatti Chiron Sport – a track-focused car ready to do battle with the McLaren Senna. Audi quick-stepped its new A8 and A7 Sportback models with the eighth-generation Audi A6, and Lexus debuted an all-new UX, its first ever compact luxury crossover. Mercedes-Benz warmed over its top-selling C-Class with more power, new styling and E-Classtype Intelligent Drive features. For me, though, an unanswered question was whether the promise of artificial intelligence meant a car would become better over time. For example, does it mean its electronics will learn to deliver a smoother ride eventually, or simply that the algorithms would always deal with the same pothole in the road in the same way? That question is not yet settled, but maybe knowing too much of your future is never a good thing.
Few cars reflect the essence of the collector’s quiddity as this 1967 Citroën DS 21
WHAT DREAMS MAY COME
What if Hamlet was asking the wrong question? What if the real question is not whether to be, but what to buy? RICHARD WEBB takes a whimsical (and subjective) look at the five cars you should own in your lifetime. 6 7 P R I VAT E E D I T I O N 1 0 Y E A R S ISSUE 39
his year, some 420 years after Hamlet was written, the Globe Theatre’s new artistic director, Michelle Terry, announced that the latest season of Shakespeare performances would open with Hamlet and As You Like It. But the ensemble won’t know in advance which play or which role they will perform. To make matters more democratic, the audience chooses what is to be performed on the night. ‘I aim to dismantle theatre hierarchies and to give more power to the casts and audiences of plays in this most egalitarian of spaces’, Terry said. In fact, that’s what the motor industry has been doing for decades. Car makers research, design and make multiple models
ABOVE: Early-Sixties fashion trends were ignored by aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer – the beautiful Jaguar E-type was shaped as a result of wind-tunnel tests OPPOSITE: With no superfluous features, the voluptuous LaFerrari Aperta is both the past and the future at once
and endless versions of them without knowing what the public will ultimately choose. Like the Globe, car brands are listening to their clients more than ever, as we become increasingly sophisticated and demand products that are more reflective of our sense of self. It is in that reflection that I have gazed, endlessly finessing my ‘five car fantasy garage’ as tastes and technology evolves. In my considered opinion, which will change every time you ask me, these are the top five cars you should own before you ‘shuffle off this mortal coil’…
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THE EVOLUTION TO COOL Some are born mad, some achieve madness, and some have madness thrust upon them. The Citroën DS is all of this and you’d be mad not to have driven one once. Launched in 1955, the car belongs in the realm of fairy tales. The otherworldly DS (déesse is French for ‘goddess’) is chinchilla-smooth on the road. Inside, it’s all slim panes of matt fluted metal, simple dials and discreet nickelwork, suggesting the kind exercised over progress rather than overt performance. It was as if it alone caused cars to evolve to a more classical form. I’m not going to pretend that the DS was perfect – but there is very little in the way of authentically cool modern cars that break new ground like this one did.
MOTORING MYTHOLOGY Far from simply being a utensil for mobility, the Jaguar E-type is humanised art, and it marked a change in the mythology of cars. I first clapped eyes on the E-type as an eight-year-old, when a family friend – a bit of a cad, apparently – took me for a blast through the country lanes in his brand-new red 4.2 fixed-head coupé, ostensibly to impress my sister. It ended up embedding itself into my impressionable soul, even though it didn’t impress my sister enough for a repeat performance. Jaguar’s flagship sports car was and still is a tactile and visual wonder – the lines, the tensed haunches and the projectile bonnet combining to create an alchemy of speed and prowess. Even today, driving an E-type is a stunning motoring
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ABOVE: The Land Rover Defender is simply an irreplaceable piece of motoring heritage OPPOSITE: Dawn is the time when everything is transfixed. This arresting Rolls-Royce is in a class all its own
DEFENDER OF THE REALM Every creature fulfils a purpose, and the Land Rover, unveiled in 1948, was immediately acknowledged for its supreme offand on-road driveability. In production for nearly seven decades, what we know as the Defender today is an automotive legend that sadly has been killed off. Which is why you should buy your own piece of history. At best, even the most modern ones only reach 140km/h and do not go from 0-100km/h in less than 14 seconds. Over the years, the status of the ‘Landie’ as the off-road king has simply become accepted, even if it is somewhat agricultural. It remains hugely endearing beyond it being something of a fashion and style statement.
A VERY FAST CAR Just over 70 years ago, a nervous Enzo Ferrari fired up the first car to bear his name, the 125 S. It marked the company’s move into road car production, and the beauty of his dreams have since brought to life some of the world’s most desirable cars. Whereas Enzo thought his first effort was ‘a promising failure’, his company’s latest hypercar, the LaFerrari Aperta, is a triumph of engineering and drama. Designed for the manufacturer’s wealthiest of clients, this limited-edition roadster features the LaFerrari’s hybrid powertrain. The exhaust note is more dramatic than any Hollywood special effects can conjure up, and throttle response is as close to instantaneous as imaginable. Ferrari’s 6,262cc V12 couples with an electric motor to generate a preposterous 708kW.
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experience. This car is a powerful tribute to the Swinging Sixties and to superb British engineering, and is rightly regarded as a blue-chip investment.
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Moving aerodynamic devices are banned in Formula One, but not so for road use. So, at speed, the swooping bodywork channels air through ducts and underbody hi-tech trickery to suck the car onto the road for limpet grip at implausible speeds. Like the Ferraris that have swept before it, the Aperta is an act that seems impossible to follow.
IF A CATHEDRAL COULD BE A CAR… The Rolls-Royce Dawn, that demimonde of automotive statements, is miraculously hushed, even at speed. If class is an aura of confidence – being sure without being cocky – then Dawn carries it off with a self-discipline and surefootedness that few rivals can claim.
It’s a huge car – an automotive equivalent of the great Gothic cathedrals of Notre Dame, Cologne and York Minster. Yet you can simply sit and guide it with gentle fingertip movements, enjoying its fluid accuracy as it slingshots from 0-100km/h in under five seconds. A BMW 6.6-litre twin turbo V12 engine drives the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The Rolls-Royce Dawn is more than just a beautiful motorcar: it showcases its occupants as glamorously as possible. Everyone seemed to think I was terribly important when I was driving one around the Cape Winelands. The world obviously looks very different through the windscreen of the Dawn, so I decided I ‘needed’ to own one. If you like refinement in your big convertibles, this is the grand dame of the luxury world and must be the ultimate choice.
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The 2018 Santiago ePrix was held at the Santiago Street Circuit in the Chilean capital in February
ELECTRIC YOUTH The world is hurtling towards an all-electric future – and regardless of your opinion of Formula E racing, it’s intriguing to think ahead. WORDS JIM FREEMAN
hether you’re enthralled or bored to tears by Formula One motor-racing, if you know anything about cars you’ll be aware that your family car performs better or is a lot safer because a group of people drive round in badly drawn circles very quickly. I know it’s horrible to say but when last – unless you know Formula One very well – do you recall a driver being killed or seriously injured in a Grand Prix? It hardly ever happens because, even though they’re hurtling around a track at speeds in excess of 300km/h and frequently going tyre-to-tyre or clipping the barrier walls, they generally emerge from prangs more or less intact. Score one for R&D for the participants in the Formula One circus. The 21st-century automotive revolution is the move from the internal combustion (petrol or diesel) engine to its pure electrical or ‘hybrid’ counterpart. Currently there are quite a few manufacturers that are making ‘hybrid’ vehicles – mainly a combination of petrol and electrical propulsion systems – and some, like BMW and Tesla, are going the Full Monty with battery power.
GREEN AND GROWING With the move to build ‘green’ cars gaining momentum, it’s logical that an electrical motor-racing equivalent of Formula One should be on the cards. It’s called Formula E: a class of racing that was conceived in 2012 before being launched in Beijing on 13 September 2014. Does the series have the same research and development significance as Formula One? No, and nor do the companies that have committed to participating in Formula E over the next few years – among them Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Jaguar Land Rover, Renault, DS Automobiles (Citroën), Nissan and Mahindra – have the same R&D goals in mind. That does not make their commitment any less important. There is very little that the series will be able to teach manufacturers in terms of safety: a well-designed monocoque is going to protect the driver regardless of the chassis or drivetrain upon which it is mounted. A highly publicised racing series is not going to do much for developing electric engines either. These are already much more energy efficient than their petrol counterparts, and the only contentious issues are battery life and weight. And South African ‘homie’ Elon Musk already seems to be getting these issues sorted.
SO CLOSE AND YET SO FAR… What Musk cannot do anything about is establishing a sustainable and affordable recharging infrastructure for those who do anything other than driving their e-cars
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around the city. At present, you can drive the most efficient ‘pure’ electric car from Cape Town to Swellendam (or Johannesburg to Dullstroom at a pinch) on a single charge – but how do you get back unless you have a facility where you can do an all-night battery recharge? Imagine, though, getting to your girlfriend just as the sun is going down and she tells you to head off home? Petro-electric hybrids extend a vehicle’s range but, effectively, you’re relying on carbon-burning fuels to get you from Point A to Point B without feeling over-guilty about the fact you’re destroying the planet. Western European manufacturers have bought into Formula E because the distances between destinations in their primary target markets are relatively small and the electricity-provision infrastructure is good. That’s why the US car companies are only paying lip service to the series. What Formula E needs to do is make electric cars sexy while people like Musk work on the practicability issues. Audi, the current champion of Formula E manufacturers, is competing in its fourth successive championship this year, albeit for the first time as a full-works team. Its 2017/18 race car, the e-tron FE04, accelerates from 0-100km/h in 3,5 seconds and is capable of a top speed of 225km/h, which is not going to frighten F1, where the top speed recorded is 372,6km/h. ‘Formula E is a young plant that is growing, and the people who have been involved from the very beginning, they take care of it; they know it is sensitive,’ maintains Audi head of motorsport Dieter Gass. ‘That’s the right approach. I hope we can carry on that way.’
CASHING IN ON CACHET Two major issues Formula E has to confront are engine reliability and cachet.
At time of writing, reigning ‘world champion’ Lucas di Grassi had not scored a point in four races and had two consecutive engine failures. Lucas di Grassi? Never heard of him? Until Formula E can attract a Lewis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel to its ranks, the championship will struggle to excite the interest of petrolheads and television broadcasters to the same extent as F1 does, or even the FIA World Endurance Championship series, where sound and fury are the name of the game.
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PHOTOGRAPHY: AUDI COMMUNICATIONS MOTORSPORT/MICHAEL KUNKEL; LAT IMAGES
It’s early days for Formula E. All-electric cars are the wave of the future, and more questions about performance and reliability are being answered week after week. No one can dispute the fact that they’re better for the world than gas guzzlers, but do they really get your motor running?
From left, Lucas di Grassi, Sébastien Buemi, Nelson Piquet Jr and Luca Filippi will contend for pole position at the inaugural ABB FIA Formula E CBMM Niobium Rome E-Prix in April 2018
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TRAVEL SMALL MERCIES The Robertson Small Hotel doesn’t do the town any favours: it’s too gorgeous even to consider leaving for anywhere else.
WORDS: CATHERINE DAVIS, DEBBIE HATHWAY. PHOTOGRAPHY: SUPPLIED
I don’t mean that, of course, because Robertson, in the Breede River Valley, is one of the prettiest towns in the region. And in fact, The Small gives guests a beautiful package of what to explore in the area, promoting the local characters, artisans and produce on offer. The recent renovation curated by Studio Ashby of London has created a special haven in this National Heritage Site. The local design elements include contributions from Alexis Barrell and Michael Chandler. Warm, friendly staff contribute enormously to the sublime atmosphere while offering the highest level of service. You can beat the Robertson heat in summer with a dip in the very blue pool mere steps away from a pool-side suite, or grab a book, feet up, on a sofa on the Victorian wraparound verandah, or pop into the Em Bar for a gin with home-made cordials. Make sure you ask the barman for the story behind the Delft-inspired bar top… therobertsonsmallhotel.com
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TRAVEL - NEWS
ISLAND STYLE On Phu Quoc island in the southwest of Vietnam, La Veranda has a style reminiscent of grand French seaside mansions. The rooms are elegant and airy; wide, shaded verandas wrap around the building; and ceiling fans whirl in the bar. The lush, tropical gardens meet up with a beautiful stretch of beach where swimming and diving are obvious pastimes. The odd island diversion may pull you away from the resort – sail south to small islets, kayak on the river and visit the island markets. laverandaresorts.com
The first time I visited Prana Lodge in Chintsa East I was overwhelmed with memories of childhood family holidays. Stepping onto the top of that sand dune at the end of the garden that leads down to 21km of unspoilt beach, running down to the sea and into the water with hardly another soul in sight, that unmistakable mix of salty air and coastal vegetation… This time it was like returning for a family reunion. Luxury isn’t only about the environment, it’s also about how you feel when you’re in it and the Prana Lodge team has it down pat. I had the Turquoise Suite, one of only eight tucked away in the bush, completely private, expansive, and with its own plunge pool. Soon after my arrival I was whisked off to the spa for an aromatherapy massage that made it almost impossible to stay awake through dinner, but every dish presented by award-winning head chef Jaycee Ferreira and his team made it well worth the effort. Skilled at creating culinary masterpieces, they strive to keep their guests coming back for more. And they do… pranalodge.co.za
ULURU GLORY Australian eco-sensitive boutique retreat Longitude 131º is the only place in the world where you can admire the inimitable postcard vista of Uluru (Ayers Rock) without lifting your head from the pillow. Bespoke furnishings in the cabins include beds draped in organic linen, facing panoramic views of the monolith site through floor-to-ceiling windows, and each tent showcases indigenous artwork. The curvy pool is icy cold and in summer it’s a deliciously surreal experience to float in the chilled water in the searing desert heat. longitude131.com.au
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WHEN IN… NEW YORK
WORDS: LYNETTE BOTHA. PHOTOGRAPHY: ROB BYE ON UNSPLASH
Visiting the city that never sleeps? These are the hot spots not to miss
BRUNCH WEST~BOURNE The all-day menu at recently opened West~bourne makes it a favourite for brunch. Enjoy options like buckwheat Malibu Waffles with vanilla crème fraîche and blackberry jam, and Echo Taco crispy corn tortillas packed with hash browns, American cheese and cos lettuce. Casual yet cool, this neighbourhood eatery is a great spot for a solo coffee with a side of people watching. westbourne.com COCKTAILS PH-D LOUNGE AT DREAM DOWNTOWN Rub shoulders New York’s elite at this opulent rooftop bar, while taking in uninterrupted panoramic views of the Hudson River and the Empire State Building. Order a Cucumber Smash from the cocktail menu and marvel at Manhattan by night. With regulars like Naomi Campbell and Katie Holmes, it’s strongly suggested that you make a reservation. phdterrace.com DINNER L’ATELIER DE JOËL ROBUCHON NEW YORK Located in the Meatpacking District, this modern tasting-counter chain offers exquisitely plated dishes like truffled langoustine ravioli and caramelised free-range quail with foie gras and potato purée. The brainchild of acclaimed chef
and restaurateur Joël Robuchon, who’s racked up 32 Michelin stars for all his restaurants around the world), L’Atelier offers a convivial and interactive dining experience. joelrobuchonusa.com STAY 1 HOTEL BROOKLYN BRIDGE Green goes luxe at the environmentally conscious 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge, which opened its doors late last year. Guests can expect more eco-chic than happy hippie: electric Tesla cars for their exclusive use during their stay, a rooftop pool, an amazing Bamford Haybarn Spa, and ridiculously comfortable hemp-blend mattresses. The boutique hotel was designed by local artists and built using reclaimed materials, and has been voted as one of the best luxury stays in the city. 1hotels.com/brooklyn-bridge RELAX AIRE ANCIENT BATHS NEW YORK Not your average spa, Aire Ancient Baths is hidden in the heart of Tribeca. A series of dimly lit temples offers complete nirvana for mind and body as you journey from bath to bath. There are salt baths, hot baths, ice baths and even wine baths to sink into – best followed by a relaxing massage performed by the highly skilled masseuses. beaire.com/en/aireancient-baths-new-york/
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NASIKIA: ‘I HEAR, I FEEL’ Nasikia Camps in Tanzania is a legacy of love, vision and authenticity. A living memorial to Naseeb Mfinanga who, together with his wife, Donna, had a dream… WORDS KATHY MALHERBE
At night, the bush comes alive with the stirring of the nocturnal hunters, the vigilance of their prey and the cycle of life
t was 25 million years ago that Mother Nature heaved capriciously and tore apart the earth’s crust, creating a jagged rift along Eastern Africa. Massive chunks of earth and rock sank between parallel fault lines, flanked by the rift mountains. The Serengeti was born. Then, a million years ago, her Ngorongoro volcanoes spewed out mineral-rich lava, nourishing the granite landscape so that, after the rains, the plains are awash with short, sweet grass. For this reason the Serengeti, or ‘endless plains’ in the language of the Maasai, is the most famous wildlife habitat in the world.
It is said that the Great Rift Valley is where all humanity evolved and that it is hard-wired into our DNA. This is perhaps one of the reasons why Australian nursing sister Donna Duggan, after doing voluntary work with HIV-positive mothers and babies in Tanzania, made Tanzania her home. The other was meeting Naseeb, who at the time was selling leather shoes and selling them in his little shop. The attraction was instant. So was the idea of starting a feasible business together. The rest is a tale of two charismatic entrepreneurs. ‘Visionaries build what dreamers imagined. We started with one battered Land Rover,’ she says of the beginning of Maasai Wanderings, a destination management company that handles the logistics of travel. They soon realised that referring travellers to other camps was not going to grow their business and so the first of Nasikia Camps
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opened in 2008. The dream was to create an authentic camping experience where guests could feel at one with the bush (nasikia means ‘I hear, I feel’ in Swahili), while still being comfortable and pampered. The duo’s luxury mobile camps were followed by the first permanent camps with en-suite bathrooms in 2015. There are now five camps, and the fact that the entire business is selffunded is testimony to their determination and passion. The newest camp, Ehlane Plains – ehlane means ‘wilderness’ in Zulu – is a worthy memorial to a man who persevered to find the ideal place to ‘hear’ and ‘feel’ the bush. Tragedy struck before Nas could see Ehlane Plains finished: he was one of 11 people who lost their lives on 15 November 2017, when a Cessna aircraft crashed above the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania.
A SENSORY ADVENTURE After flying with Air Excel to Seronera airport, you travel by road to Ehlane Plains. The camp is unobtrusive and so much part of the bush that it’s not until you are almost upon it that you see it. We were the first guests at the new development, so it was a bittersweet moment to step through the door into the magnificent realisation of Nas’s dream. A dream that his team are determined to perpetuate.
‘I don’t know what we would have done without Charles Mwanisawa, the Nasikia Camps operations manager,’ Donna says. ‘After the accident, he kept morale up within a very emotional team during the construction of Ehlane Plains. He is a well-respected leader and pivotal to me in fulfilling Nas’s vision.’ As is guide extraordinaire Johann Lombard, who heads up Camp Development. He says, ‘Nas chose the site for Ehlane Plains because it is in the Soit le Motonyi area, which had been closed for 22 years for cheetah conservation. He bought into the idea of minimum impact on the environment, which is monitored by very strict codes managing the footprint.’ Ehlane Plains is a destination in itself. A day spent in the camp, enjoying the hospitality of the affable and gracious staff and the magnificent food created by the diminutive gourmet chef, Khalid, is a chance to absorb the African bush and just be still. That’s not to say the game drives aren’t magnificent. Lombard, a conversationalist, conservationist and teacher, along with Eddy, the spotter, guide visitors across the plains sprinkled with koppies and the occasional umbrella tree. You can spot a tripod of a giraffe eating wild cucumbers off the ground. A martial eagle with deeply
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It’s the life of Riley for predators in the Serengeti, which was declared a conservation area in 1959
feathered legs, holding its prey in its talons, with that 2,5m wingspan wrapped around it protectively, much like a child shielding test answers from another learner. Two tawny eagles covet the prize but are kept at bay. Two female lions with their cubs, replete after feeding on a freshly killed wildebeest; a satiated cub, its pot belly scuppering all chances of balancing on a branch, eventually gives up and lies paws up, with the sun on its distended tummy. It’s the life of Riley for predators in the Serengeti, which was declared a conservation area in 1959. A topi antelope with a striking reddish-brown to purplish-red coat, glossy in the bright sunlight, poses on his catwalk – a termite mound. It’s clear why the Maasai call this stance bugamina (‘look at me’). In the river, a large, smooth boulder of a hippo suddenly immerses itself and reappears beady-eyed. A leopard melts into the bush as the sun drops off the horizon abruptly. In the African bush this doesn’t signal the end of the day but the start of a 12-hour night shift. The bush now comes alive with the stirring of the nocturnal hunters, the vigilance of their prey, and the cycle of life. Nas’s vision is complete. You hear, you feel.
AFRICA AS A STATE OF MIND What the couple had in mind with these ventures encompasses not only wildlife experiences but also creating job opportunities for locals. More than 200 Tanzanians are employed by the companies, at the camp as well as in Arusha, where the tents are manufactured alongside an engineering, carpentry and design workshop. Donna says it’s all about empowering and multi-skilling. Even though she lost her soulmate and has to raise two children aged five and 11 alone, giving up was never an option. ‘There is a word in Swahili, kupambana, which means ‘to keep struggling, hustling’… with the goal of moving forward to be where you need to be,’ she explains. ‘I have people relying on me who need jobs and, more importantly, through the Naseeb Mfinanga Memorial Trust I need to ensure my husband’s legacy continues, that his spirit lives on. I know he would never want me to give up the fight to reach our goals.’ When you leave Africa, as the plane lifts, you feel that, more than leaving a continent, you are leaving a state of mind and part of your DNA. Whatever awaits you at the other end of your journey will be of a different order of existence. You are reminded of the quote: ‘So Africa smiled a little when you left. We are in you, Africa said, you have not left us yet.’ Donna’s philanthropy both at the schools in the area and in the camps is woven with warmth and caring. It is not surprising that the locals refer to her affectionately as Mama. If your legacy is how many hearts you touch, the difference Nas and Donna have made and keep making is immense.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE Maasai Wanderings and Nasikia Tented Camps – and Donna, in her personal capacity – support five primary schools and facilitate with partners to feed more than 4 000 learners a day. A visit to one of the schools, Matim Primary School in Le Manyatta, makes you realise that it’s not only Nas’s legacy that will be left behind one day but Donna’s too. In addition, she is supporting 118 secondary school learners and four university students. So far her programme has produced doctors, lawyers and accountants, and these learners eternally grateful for the chance to be educated. The principal of Matim Primary School, Mr Lingo, says, ‘Since Donna started helping the school we have moved from 66th position to 18th in the National Grade 7 exams. There used to be six learners to one desk and now three; we have a library, a lunch programme, computers on which the teachers are being taught, more classrooms, garden clubs, netball kit and school uniforms.’ The learners’ commitment is astounding. They walk long distances to arrive at school by 7am and the first hour of the day is spent cleaning the classroom and grounds. The school has nine class rooms for the just over 1 000 learners – still a tight fit, but far better than it used to be.
From left, Johann Lombard, Mr Lingo of Matim Primary School, Dorria Watt and Kathy Malherbe
The trip was made possible by Nasikia Camps and Maasai Wanderings, Air Excel, and Arusha Coffee Lodge by Elewana Collection. To find out more visit nasikiacamps.com or email email@example.com
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TA S T I N G S
One may not cook every recipe (or even any!) from the beautiful tomes of famous chefs but the stories and inspiration behind the creative food served at these phenomenal restaurants always make for a fascinating read. Berselius was born in Stockholm and moved to New York City in 2000. In 2012 he launched the pop-up Frej, which later became Aska (Swedish for ‘ashes’). The restaurant’s second iteration opened in 2016, inside an 1860s warehouse on the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge. The praise was effusive out of the gate. It garnered three stars from the New York Times and two Michelin stars not long after opening. ‘Mr Berselius is the rare chef who thinks like an artist and gets away with it,’ is what New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells had to say. The book details the journey of establishing that acclaimed restaurant and the space it resides in. With a stark and poetic Nordic aesthetic, Aska includes 85 recipes, evocative personal writing and stunning photography. askanyc.com
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WORDS: CATHERINE DAVIS. PHOTOGRAPHY: GENTL AND HYERS; SUPPLIED
Aska is the cookbook debut of Swedish chef Fredrik Berselius, following the reimagining and rebuilding of his two-Michelin-starred restaurant of the same name.
TASTINGS - NEWS
LAND LADY It was May de Lencquesaing’s dream to craft the finest Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend outside of France. ‘At the grand age of 78, I finally discovered Glenelly Estate, in the heart of iconic Stellenbosch – the ideal place for my vision to become reality,’ she says. ‘Selected from the highest and coolest vineyard slopes, these grapes confer to Lady May elegance, exceptional depth and ageing potential. This wine is my legacy.’ The estate’s flagship wine, Lady May, is sourced from a single vineyard. Whereas the 2009 vintage is acclaimed, it’s the 2008 that really holds your attention – it has expression and nuance, with velvety tannins. Elegant and distinguished, like the woman it’s named after. glenellyestate.com
FEAST FOR THE SENSES On a fact-finding mission to South Africa, the head of UNESCO compared Vergelegen Estate’s historic significance to the Cape, with the importance of Versailles to France. The Somerset West wine farm is 317 years old and boasts 18 magnificent gardens, a wine maker judged among the top five in the world and a cultural heritage area spanning 60ha. And one more reason to visit is Camphors at Vergelegen, the restaurant that opened in 2012 as part of a larger investment in the estate and has since developed a formidable culinary reputation. Sommelier Christo Deyzel and executive chef Michael Cooke collaborate on the dining experience from inception. Wine is the starting point, and the food experience is created to highlight and complement it – their combinations are a treat. vergelegen.co.za
NEXT LEVEL Known for its string of contemporary sophisticated eateries, The Kove Collection introduces the newest hot spot on Cape Town’s Camps Bay strip. Chinchilla Rooftop Café & Bar is an exclusive open-air venue and the first of its kind in the area. It’s the location of choice for discerning diners and the sundowner set alike, with the view being the only distraction from the food, music and atmosphere. chinchillarooftop.co.za
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TASTINGS - TRENDS
THE BOTANICALS BEAT Botanical flavours and wild-foraged ingredients are the latest must-try elements on the menus of innovative bars for very good reason, says lifestyle writer VICKI SLEET. have brought us to this point. In South Africa alone there are more than 90 handcrafted varieties, many of which are brimming with local botanical ingredients, from the likes of rooibos and Cape camomile to rose petals, wild rosemary and marula. Aside from gin varieties bursting with botanicals, alcohol-free botanical drinks are on the rise too. Take Symmetry Botanical Tonics – a trio of aromatic cordials (Citrus, Florals or Spice) that can be added to gin and other spirits or soda water, or simply served on ice in a short glass. It’s an intense flavour experience that’s enormously satisfying and refreshing. Symmetry Botanicals are infused with ingredients like buchu, Cape snowbush (wild rosemary) and pelargonium, chosen for their scents and restorative properties.
Another local non-alcoholic creation is The Duchess Virgin Gin & Tonic, which offers all the enjoyment of a botanically infused drink, laced with a good dose of sobriety. The brand’s latest release is a floral base infused with citrus blossoms, primrose and indigenous honeybush extracts. With its beautiful packaging and sugarfree, hangover-free status, it’s becoming the drink du jour for people wanting the flavour without the aftereffects.
t’s clear that going green is a major movement – and not just in the planetsaving sense. Chefs have been shifting their focus to ingredients that are foraged rather than farmed for a while now and it was only a matter of time before distillers and mixologists followed suit. This movement really is more authentic than anything that’s been seen before – just don’t ask your grandparents, who might be inclined to scoff at this ‘new’ trend because it’s the way many of them grew up. They picked surings (yellow oxalis flowers) with their distinctive sour stems on daily walks, pinched quinces from neighbourhood hedges to poach later, and made litres of lemon and wild-mint syrup to enjoy with iced water on stifling hot days. We have our vast and varied natural environs to thank for the plethora of ingredients and inspiration available – from the Cape West Coast to mountainous areas like the Cederberg and Kogelberg, the Cape biosphere, in particular, is immensely rich in off-the-beaten-track edible offerings. A visit to Roushanna Gray of Veld and Sea, a wild-food foraging initiative near Cape Point, reveals just how close to the earth one can actually live. Gray is an outspoken advocate for rediscovering the possibilities of the multitude of wild herbs and flowers found in her immediate surrounds, and regularly runs workshops where she shares her flavour discoveries. In one of her sellout courses she teaches attendees how to make cordials and tinctures from locally foraged bulbs and herbs, and what flavours to marry with which locally made spirits. It’s a thoroughly enlightening experience, waking up one’s taste buds to many once-forgotten, nownew sensations. When it comes to enjoying botanicals steeped and distilled in liquid form, it seems the worldwide craft gin movement may
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EARTH, TREE, BEAN, BAR Jerry Toth has a simple goal. From deep in the rainforests of Ecuador, he wants to reboot the world’s relationship with dark chocolate. Provided you’re prepared to spare $385 for it. WORDS RICHARD HOLMES
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To’ak – pronounced ‘toe-ahk’ – is a fusion of Ecuadorian dialects and translates roughly as ‘earth tree’
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‘Pairing dark chocolate with a Pedro Ximénez sherry is amazing, or a bottle of your favourite whisky or Cognac. See how it comes alive’ it’s sustainable timber, fruit or cacao – then you have a start.’
THE RISE OF A ‘LOST’ VARIETAL In 2007, while living in a hut deep in the Piedra de Plata valley, Toth discovered that the cacao trees on the surrounding farmlands were the revered cultivar Nacional. It was once grown widely in Ecuador until the early 20th century, when a disease called Witches’ Broom decimated the forests and the prized varietal was considered all but extinct. But it turns out a handful of trees survived and thrived in quiet corners. Today Nacional accounts for just five percent of cacao production worldwide, but is prized for its floral aroma and complex flavour profile. It’s also uniquely adapted to the microclimate of Ecuador’s Pacific rainforests, where a sun-baked rainy season gives way to overcast days in the dry months. ‘This area is to cacao what the French province of Burgundy is to wine,’ enthuses Toth, who set about working with fourthgeneration farmers to cultivate and harvest the beans.
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erry Toth, cofounder of exclusive chocolate brand To’ak, speaks the language of a wine maker. He’s passionate about vintage variation and terroir, fermentation techniques and barrel ageing. It’s all a far cry from the somewhat forgettable foil-wrapped treats we’ve come to associate with chocolate. And that’s precisely the point, says Toth. ‘If you look at chocolate historically, in every culture it touched, cacao was considered sacred. It was reserved for warriors and priests and royalty. It’s an idea that we’ve lost over the past 100 years.’ It’s one Toth is working hard to revive, however. Yet he’s not a gourmand on a gluttonous quest. Toth says he first fell in love with cacao through his work in rainforest conservation. ‘Reforestation with cacao is one of the best options in the conservationist’s toolbox. In Ecuador the land is going to be put to productive use. The question is, with what? Worst of all is cattle grazing or slash-and-burn corn, but if you can incentivise farmers to plant trees – whether
ABOVE: Jerry Toth, former Wall Street investment banker turned environmental conservationist and chocolatier, has had an unlikely career trajectory OPPOSITE: Each bar of To’ak chocolate is presented in a handcrafted box of Spanish elm, with an individual number engraved on the case
By 2014 the first To’ak bars were ready, and fast caused a stir with their sky-high price tag. Today, a single 50g bar will set you back $385. If you can find one, that is: To’ak releases just four ‘editions’ each year, with a mere 100 bars per edition. Toth is quick to acknowledge that not everyone is able to afford this offering but hopes that a hyperpremium chocolate will encourage consumers to take cacao more seriously. Because farmers are paid handsomely for their raw cacao and every batch is handcrafted, ‘the only way to make this work economically is to charge a very high price per unit’, he explains. ‘But the price is also a tool we’ve used to create that psychological mind shift around the value of chocolate. ‘We want To’ak to be the opposite of mass production. We produce very few bars so that we can be involved in every stage of production: how the beans are harvested, how they’re handled before they’re roasted, how they’re packaged.’
DARK ARTS Packaging is something To’ak takes seriously. Each bar is presented in a handcrafted wooden box of Spanish elm that includes proprietary tasting utensils and a 116-page booklet telling the story of its provenance and serving as a guide to tasting dark chocolate. ‘Taste it on its own and really get a feeling for it – but I would also pair it with something,’ suggests Toth. ‘A Pedro Ximénez sherry is amazing, or a bottle of your favourite whisky or Cognac. See how it comes alive.’ To’ak is also pushing flavour boundaries with its barrel-aged bars, using oak casks that once held anything from Cognac to Islay single malt. Thanks to its high fat content, the chocolate pulls all of the aromas out of the barrel, enthuses Toth. ‘It’s so subtle, but the peat and salty sea air of Laphroaig is all there, superimposed on this silky chocolate. It’s alchemy.’
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THE VERY BEST…
efore I’d turned the ignition key I knew the Mercedes-Benz you see here would be the best car I’d ever driven. I’ve piloted cars that were considerably faster, offered more assured driving dynamics, and were more advanced in every way – but none quite match the rarity and singular privilege of getting behind the wheel of a 1958 300 SL roadster. The roadster is the convertible version of the fabled 300 SL ‘Gullwing’ and is, in fact, a better car, offering more power through that jewel of a 3.0-litre straight-six engine and better handling courtesy of a revised rear suspension. The supercar of its era, only 1 858 were made and today these beautiful machines are valued north of R20 million. My first sighting of this revered vehicle couldn’t have been better scripted either. Having arranged to meet its owner at dawn
on the Outeniqua Pass above George, I had taken along a 2018 Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster to meet its legendary ancestor. And there, parked in a viewing spot and picked out by the first rays of the rising sun, was the supremely elegant silhouette of the 300 SL. If you think it looks good in pictures, in the flesh it is a breathtaking piece of automotive design – at once both delicate and purposeful – with exquisitely machined metal details that marry fit-for-purpose German pragmatism with mid-century modern aesthetics. As beautiful as it is, I’ve driven enough classic cars to know that, compared with modern sportscars, their performance is merely middling. And that’s the case too with the 300 SL – a modern mid-range Mercedes C-Class sedan is faster. But such comparisons are gauche given the place
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this 300 SL occupies in the pantheon of performance cars. The privilege of driving one far overshadows any perceived deficiencies and, being from a different time, this car requires a different way of driving. Unlike the measured, finger-tip inputs modern sportscars prefer, the 300 SL is unashamedly analogue and requires the application of considerably more muscle to both the steering and the brakes. You also need a degree of finesse to keep these inputs precise and the car balanced… A tricky exercise to get right, but the rewards it offered scything down the recently resurfaced and perfectly cambered Outeniqua Pass were ones that will remain with me forever. Climbing back into the GT C for the trip home was hardly a letdown, but it was not the Mercedes I’d have preferred to keep the keys for.
STEVE SMITH is the editor of Car magazine and the co-author of racing legend Sarel van der Merwe’s autobiography, Supervan and I. He’s had the opportunity to drive just about every modern car out there but the 1958 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster is his favourite.
Exclusive Stellenbosch Retreat Secure sanctuary in access controlled private road. The desire for space and privacy offered by country living is often countered by the need for a secure and carefree environment close to all amenities. Rarely can a lifestyle property be offered in such a discreet location on a highly prized and exceptionally secure cul de sac as the private and access controlled Upper Blauklippen Rd which offers 24 hr security and complete peace of mind. Surrounded by renowned wine farms and bordering the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, this truly tranquil property benefits from clean mountain air, unpolluted water and all just a short drive to Stellenbosch or Somerset West. This is absolutely the ideal location for the country estate of your dreams. Majestically set against the captivating Suurberg Mountain which forms the rear boundary of the property, the enchanting and unrestricted views, which can never be obscured, look out over the small, private vineyard towards Table Mountain. Asking R24 million. Contact George Cilliers 082 496 8296 Office 021 809 2760 Web ref: PGY44J www.sothebysrealty.com
CLIFTON, CAPE TOWN
GREEN POINT, CAPE TOWN
Modern marvel of superfluous bliss. Discover life's finest with this opulent residence, fully-furnished and designed by a Architectural Digest designer. Soaring above the ocean, the 4-bedroom home boasts key features; a large sauna, game room and bar and 10-person movie theatre. Uninterrupted glass walls navigates you from floor to floor, from top entertaining level to a pool with a cascading water feature. Asking R59 million. Contact: Tanya Joubert 082 553 4549, Barak Tomlin 076 750 0501 Office: 021 439 3903 Web ref: 2655883
Two for the price of One. Fabulous views from this home consisting of two separate units of 3 bedrooms and 2 bedrooms, with central lift, on Springbok Road. 2 Pools, 3 garages and extra parking for 3. Bonus - comes with sectional title approval and possible corporate let. Asking R26.5 million. Contact: Lara Kaplan 073 711 4111, Fran Segal 084 983 5278 Office: 021 439 3903 Web ref: 2557521
CAMPS BAY, CAPE TOWN
SEA POINT, CAPE TOWN
Versatile eco-friendly split-level villa with magical mountain backdrop. Entrance hall on the 1st level leads to an internal pvt elevator. The home has 6 bedrooms, 3 of which are self-contained with kitchenettes with the master suite being on the top floor & 5.5 bathrooms. Gourmet kitchen & bar area leads out into the back garden, jacuzzi & pool area alongside the nature reserve. Gorgeous uninterrupted views all-around of the Atlantic Ocean & mountains! The formal sitting & dining room on the same level opens out onto a lovely covered patio in the front of the house. Solar heating, own water tanks, triple garaging, off str parking, excellent security system. Asking R25.995 million Contact: Sandy De Oliveira 083 261 3458, Edith Marsh 083 654 2168 Web ref: 2660700
Brand new lock-up and go apartment high up in trendy location. Stunning resale of the extremely popular and brand new The Solis apartments in prime location Sea Point. Only 11 apartments in this secure block over four storeys. Perched high up and overlooking the Atlantic Seaboard, this 2 bed (mes) apartment with 2 secure parking bays is the ideal investment into Cape Town’s prestigious coast. Front-facing and on the 2nd floor this is an apartment not to be missed. SMEG oven / hob / extractor, secure access control and CCTV and air conditioning are just some of its features. Floor size: 72m² + Terrace 7m² = Totalling 79m². Asking R4.895 million. Contact: Farrah Mia 082 215 1363 Office: 021 439 3903 Web ref: 2635620
To view these properties visit www.sothebysrealty.co.za. Each office is independently owned and operated.
UPPER CLAREMONT, CAPE TOWN
CONSTANTIA UPPER, CAPE TOWN
Beautifully updated lock and go home in a superb location with glorious mountain views. Offering four bedrooms, easy indoor/outdoor flow to covered terrace, manicured garden and pool - this exceptional home has it all! Asking R12 million Contact: Barbara Manning 083 407 3656 Office: 021 673 1240 Web ref: 2493358
Beautifully tucked away in a tree lined avenue a ±500m² designer home, ideal for the family that love to entertain. A feature double volume fully fitted designer kitchen which flows to garden with concertina doors and a symphony of glass & open fireplace. Open style lounge with concertina doors to the large garden, access to the fully fitted media room/study and a separate TV room with glass panel division between living areas. 4 Large bedrooms all en-suite with large windows and access to patio. This ±2529m² property is north facing with level gardens, deep borders, borehole, garden lighting, solar heated pool and built in braai & timber decking. Asking R17.95 million. Contact: Jo 084 404 4120, Rouvaun 071 671 0821, Phyl 082 593 1624 Web ref: 2581723
SIMON’S TOWN, CAPE TOWN
UPPER CONSTANTIA, CAPE TOWN
Spectacular dual living coastal home includes x 2 self-catering apartments! This beautiful modern coastal property close to the beach, offers spacious open plan sea-view living area with central entertainers kitchen and dining area overlooking the sea, with 3 bedrooms all en-suite upstairs. The lower level offers 2 spacious apartments with own separate entrance, opening out to sheltered sunny sea-view pool area and neat coastal garden. The perfect dual living home with income potential! Asking R8 million. Contact: Bev Goldhill 082 445 7239 Office: 021 784 1940 Web ref: 2550239
This is a summertime place for the family offering peace of mind with 24 hour guarded security. A distinctive and striking double volume entrance hall leads through to the light and airy open plan multiple living rooms and informal alfresco lounge with built in braai. The kitchen is open plan with a breakfast counter, SMEG appliances, feature wine rack and separate laundry / scullery and direct access to garage. The living spaces overlook the recently landscaped water wise garden and enjoy a glimpse of the mountain in a quiet and private location. Asking R24.9 million. Contact: Jo 084 404 4120, Rouvaun 071 671 0821, Phyl 082 593 1624 Web ref: 2695162
To view these properties visit www.sothebysrealty.co.za. Each office is independently owned and operated.
NEWLANDS, CAPE TOWN
HOUT BAY, CAPE TOWN
A contemporary interpretation of the traditional London Mews. Cavendish Mews combines 24 hour security, contrasting hues and varied materials with communal streetscapes to create a warm and contemporary environment. The 12 freehold title homes offer three en-suite bedrooms and a double garage with six of the homes providing expansive roof terraces complete with pool and spectacular mountain views. Cavendish Mews is well situated with Cavendish Square just a stroll away, while an enjoyable amble takes you to the heart of Newlands Village. Asking R9.395 million incl vat. Contact: Nina Smith 082 774 4596 Barbara Manning 083 407 3656 Office: 021 673 1240 Web ref: 2520158
Nooitgedacht Estate - Selling off plan. Plots from R2 950 000 incl vat. Plot and Plan from R7 412 129 incl vat. Incorporates modern architectural design, indigenous waterwise gardens, three communal boreholes, fibre connectivity. Gated estate with the luxury of an easy living lifestyle. Close to Llandudno and Hout Bay beaches, mountains and amenities on your doorstep. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! Contact: Anne O’ Kelly 082 491 0029, Terri Steyn 082 777 0748 Office: 021 701 2446 Web ref: 2302787
GEORGE, GARDEN ROUTE
GEORGE, GARDEN ROUTE
This extraordinary home is immaculate both inside and out and has been finished in the estate’s farm house style, with a contemporary edge. The engineered timber flooring, the open plan, superbly styled kitchen and the comfortable flow through to the indoor braai room and out to the walled garden with its sparkling pool, are just some of the appealing features. There are three individually styled bedrooms with ample built-in cupboards and plush carpeting. The main bedroom is luxuriously en-suite to a full bathroom, with doors opening out into the tranquil garden. Double garage with direct access. Asking R2.795 million. Contact: Beatrix de Waal 072 394 8822 Office: 044 873 2519 Web ref: 2573576
This well-proportioned family home, is privately set within an attractive, walled garden. One of the many features, is the self-contained outdoor entertainment building, complete with braai, which opens up with stacking, glass doors. The living areas are spacious and inter-leading and provide excellent flow for the entertaining family, to the outdoor terrace, patio and garden. The kitchen is elegantly fitted and an exceptionally large laundry, catering for the family and visiting friends. Five bedrooms, four of which are en-suite, offer privacy and mountain views from most windows and a guest suite on the ground floor, doubles as a spacious study. Asking R3.95 million. Contact: Marsha Brand 083 266 7294 Office: 044 873 2519 Web ref: 2657613
To view these properties visit www.sothebysrealty.co.za. Each office is independently owned and operated.
STELLENBOSCH, WESTERN CAPE
SOMERSET WEST, WESTERN CAPE
Experience Stellenbosch living at its best in this luxurious contemporary retreat, set in the heart of the Cape Winelands. The crisp lines and open concept creates an inviting space flooded with natural light and beauty. Unfold the stacking glass doors and create indoor/outdoor entertaining in the private, lush, garden with borehole, large patio and deck and inviting pool. This desirable home has 4 air-conditioned en-suite bedrooms with beautiful mountain views. This home has been completely refurbished with stateof-the-art finishes throughout, including designer Italian tiles, underfloor heating, low combustion oven, solar systems, borehole, automated sprinkler systems, alarm and beams. Asking R14.4 million. Marelise Visagie 072 776 2645 Office: 021 809 2760 Web ref: 2676685
This stately homestead offers a most gracious lifestyle! Magnificent ocean and mountain views. The wonderful flow of this homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interleading entertainment areas is immediately apparent upon setting foot in the grand double volume entrance foyer with a sweeping staircase flanked by a formal lounge, complete with a fireplace and a stately dining room. The fabulous outdoor areas continue the themes of abundance and comfort with lush garden terraces, complete with olive and fruit trees as well as vines all maintained by a computerized irrigation system with water tanks and two Boreholes. Asking R33 million. Contact: Chantal Botes 083 702 5460 Office: 021 851 4450 Web ref: 1116512
STELLENBOSCH, WESTERN CAPE
PEARL VALLEY ON VAL DE VIE, WESTERN CAPE
Luxury haven in the heart of Stellenbosch. This upmarket modern flat is situated in a highly sought after complex nestled in the heart of Stellenbosch. Surrounded by top restaurants, art galleries, the botanical garden and access to many other amenities is only one of the reasons why this is such a sought after product. Equipped with state of the art kitchen appliances and fittings, bamboo flooring, air conditioning, alarm, security shutters all add to luxury living. The unit offers a spacious balcony suitable for entertainment as well as basement parking with secure access. Asking R6.595 million Contact: Phoebe van Reenen 082 331 8827, Marelise Visagie 072 776 2645 Office: 021 809 2760 Web ref: 2642840
A stylish contemporary residence with a statement entrance and manicured gardens. A very functional home, centrered around a private paradise courtyard and pool, it is evident that the owner is an interior designer who is accustomed to the very best in quality design, finishes and lifestyle. The home offers 5 bedrooms with a huge master suite in its own wing with endless cupboards, a luxurious bathroom and a sliding door on to the courtyard and pool - a lovely retreat. The large glass doors open up this space to the courtyard and pool as well as to the patio from where there are incredible golf course and mountain views. Asking R18.95 million. Contact: Annelize Reinmuller 076 788 9918, Leigh Robertson 082 882 8243 Office: 021 870 1011 Web ref: 2633431
VALMARY PARK, DURBANVILLE
Exclusive home in prime location situated in a quiet close consisting of 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, guest toilet and office. Great indoor and outdoor entertaining areas consisting of a built in bar leading out to a covered built in braai area. The formal lounge flows to another undercover patio area to a lovely pool and jacuzzi surrounded by decking and set in a tranquil and beautiful low maintenance garden. There is also a separate TV lounge and dining area with a large kitchen with gas hob and scullery with internal access to the double automated garage. Asking R4.995 million. Contact: Dawie du Plessis 083 293 0449 Office: 021 979 4396 Web ref: 2624362
This architecturally designed home presents private, secure and tranquil up market living. Built to meticulous standards, it is set on a prime stand featuring gracious open plan living with a double volume dining area creating a feeling of space. Accommodation includes 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 4 garages. Adjacent neighbourhoods are well established family orientated areas renowned for good schools. Valmary Park is within easy access to the N1 and other main routes, also in close proximity from main shopping centres.Asking R10.5 million. Contact: Nicole Viljoen 084 579 1126, Dawie du Plessis 083 293 0449 Office: 021 979 4396 Web ref: 2602858
CENTURY CITY, CAPE TOWN
CENTURY CITY, CAPE TOWN
Knight’s Bridge. Be on top of the world with this double storey prestigious Penthouse. Look out onto Table Mountain and enjoy 360-degree views of what Cape Town has on offer, with the sunrise above the Tygerberg mountains and the sunset across the Atlantic Ocean. Accommodation: 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 entertainment areas, 2 basement parking bays. Knight’s Bridge well managed sought-after sectional title building located in the centre of Century City next to Canal Walk. Secured with 24hour armed security at the gates. Offers 20m heated pool and equipped gym with lifestyle centre. Asking R7.695 million. Contact: Leandré van Rooyen 082 943 8735 Office: 021 979 4396 Web ref: 2458348
Manhattan Quarter. No costs were spared in the design and aesthetics of this apartment - from the high-quality finishes and appliances in the kitchen, to the bedrooms and bathroom’s sleek design. It offers 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (main with en-suite) in the new and modern Manhattan Quarter building. Basement parking for 2 cars and store room. Asking R2.8 million. Contact: Leandré van Rooyen 082 943 8735 Office: 021 979 4396 Web ref: 2676945
LANGEBAAN, WEST COAST
YZERFONTEIN, WEST COAST
Top designed family home with emphasis on lifestyle and high-end finishes throughout. Taking all weather conditions into account this spectacular home comprise of a secure upstairs section with three en-suite bedrooms, a “pajama” lounge with gas fireplace and breakfast bar. On entering, the fantastic use of space surprises you, although the rooms are all oversized, they are cosy and inviting. The down stairs entertainment area has everything your heart desires – solid mahogany bar, pool table, gas and wood braai fire places, jacuzzi and an informal eating area with sliding doors leading to the patio overlooking the golf course. Asking R 8.45 million. Contact: Louise du Plessis 079 892 6776 Louis-Ras Joubert 060 961 2391 Office: 022 772 1186. Web ref: 2549598
Beach front. A stone through away from breaking waves and Atlantic and fynbos views. An ultra-modern, unique and compact home, designed by renowned architect, Kobus Coetzee, who successfully captured the surrounds and lifestyle with abundance of glass and design. State of the art finishes and fittings, with off the grid living components; solar, batteries and water tanks. Amongst the many offerings of this house, it has a private walk way to the beach, is wheelchair friendly, has a lift, a sauna and a lap pool which is partly indoors, separated by a glass sliding barrier, catering for any weather situation. An exceptional experience. Idyllic. Asking R9.55 million. Contact: Johan Truter 083 383 2659, Office: 022 713 2858 Web ref: 2222911
FERNKLOOF GOLF ESTATE, HERMANUS
Stunning golf course home, flanked by two fairways, mature trees and unspoilt nature, with ultimate privacy and exceptional views. This unusually large property is in the upmarket and popular Lakewood Village. The home consists of 4 en-suite bedrooms, open plan living areas, office with golf course views, wood burning fireplace, air conditioning, oversize double garage, golf cart garage, sophisticated solar inverter system, heated swimming pool, landscaped garden, well point, covered decks surrounding pool and an outside sheltered bar. Asking R15.6 million Contact Brent Hill 083 441 9045 Office: 028 312 4970 Web ref: 2678094
Beautiful double storey home in Hermanus’ most prestigious suburb, with stunning views of surrounding mountains, the ocean and Hermanus’ 27-hole golf course. This stately home with rolling manicured lawns offers four en-suite bedrooms, open plan double volume living areas, formal sitting room and private office with underground cellar. The north facing entertainment area is protected from all the elements and offers a built-in braai, covered patio and heated pool. Double garage, irrigation system, borehole, alarm system and electric fencing. Asking R15 million. Contact: John Quincey 082 798 0221 Office: 028 312 4970 Web ref: 2584677
PLETTENBERG BAY, GARDEN ROUTE
PLETTENBERG BAY, GARDEN ROUTE
Designer home situated in Whale Rock Beach Estate, with panoramic sea views, is an entertainer’s delight offering ample space to accommodate holiday guests or family friends. 5 En-suite bedrooms, various spacious living areas, well-appointed kitchen (leading to separate entertainment area with pizza oven), self-contained flatlet with full kitchen and double garage. The extensive outdoor entertainment areas are found on both levels with 2 heated pools. The lower-level glass passage is strategically placed to create outdoor areas protected from the wind without compromising views. Quality finishes throughout. Boardwalk access to the beach. Asking R40 million + vat (no transfer duty). Contact: Hein Pretorius 083 701 3159 Office: 044 533 2529 Web ref: 2639028
Aquavit is an award-winning, four-star guest house with spectacular views. This unique establishment’s upper-level can be utilized as owner’s private quarters or can be incorporated into the guest accommodation. The mid-level accommodates the reception area, lounge, 2 kitchen and 2 en-suite bedrooms. The pool level enjoys a dedicated wine cellar area with private courtyard, 3 en-suite bedrooms, lounge and extensive patio that leads to the pool and garden. Ample parking, laundry room, storage space and double garage. Unique features such as a central vacuum system, solar geysers and heat pumps. Guest house furnishings included. Asking R17 million + vat (no transfer duty). Contact: Hein Pretorius 083 701 3159 Office: 044 533 2529 Web ref: 2631610
PLETTENBERG BAY, GARDEN ROUTE
PLETTENBERG BAY, GARDEN ROUTE
This magnificently designed 6-bedroom, 5-bathroom panoramic sea view home, with open plan living and entertainment areas, spacious kitchen with separate laundry, scullery and large walk in pantry, additional family TV room with bar and kitchenette downstairs, triple garage, loads of secure off-street parking, covered patios, underfloor heating, American shutter, and heated swimming pool. There is nothing more to be spent on this beautiful home that boasts quality finishes and spectacular views, it has been exceptionally well kept and is being sold fully furnished. Priced to sell! Do not hesitate - arrange to view it before it's sold! Asking R5.6 million. Contact: Paul Jordaan 082 876 0577 Office: 044 533 2529 Web ref: 2644210
Beautiful north-facing 4-bedroom, 4-bathroom home with spectacular views of the river, beach, ocean and mountains. Features include: 2 garages, kitchen with pantry and separate scullery, open-plan dining and lounge area that leads onto a private sea view patio, a separate self-contained flat, private pool with a large tanning and entertainment deck, perimeter walls and alarm system. The architecture offers privacy to the extended family allowing for carefree holidays or a cosy permanent home. Five minutes’ drive
to beautiful beaches and all central town amenities. The discerning investor need look no further than this quality family home. Asking R6.5 million. Contact: Paul Jordaan 082 876 0577 Office: 044 533 2529 Web ref: 2509078
SIMOLA GOLF ESTATE, KNYSNA
The beauty of this home includes the spacious facets of the living areas which have been cleverly designed to ensure a comfortable lifestyle. The various living areas flow throughout the house, from the inside to the outside. The 6 bedrooms en-suite with spa baths & showers, are in separate wings of the home. The 7th bedroom, en-suite is a cottage with its own entrance. Marble & granite open plan kitchen, wine cellar & temperature controlled wine fridge, walk-in pantry, separate scullery, walk-in storage cupboard, built in vacuum cleaning, integrated music system, gym area with the shower converting into a steam room. 3 Garages with a golf cart parking. Landscaped gardens with water features & irrigation. Fully furnished. Asking R27 million. Contact: Cary Carroll 083 654 7304 Web ref: 2495956
Sunny north facing home with panoramic views of the Knysna Estuary, located in sought after Brenton-On-Lake, an area with roaming bushbuck and abundant bird life. The home is architecturally designed with the emphasis on maximizing views. A light entrance hall welcomes you into the home and draws the eye into an open plan living and dining area which delights the senses from every angle. The gourmet kitchen will entice any culinary personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imagination with a separate scullery hidden from sight. This lovely 3 bedroom home boasts an Elm Wood staircase connecting the various levels of the home. Asking R5.95 million. Contact: Sheena Mare 082 432 5180, Candy Mare 082 928 8507, Grant Alexander 082 676 4626 Web ref: 2355628
THESEN ISLAND, KNYSNA
This beautifully restored colonial style home is high on a hill with an amazing 180 degree views over Knysna, the lagoon and the golf course. Four bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms. The main bedroom with its large en-suite bathroom and jacuzzi also has a walk in dressing room. The modern newly built kitchen is situated in the centre of the home leading onto the entertainment areas including the covered braai area. The TV room leads into the main patio and outdoor living area. Large studio or games room, four garages and Koi pond. Asking R4.995 million. Contact: John Lees 083 626 6077 Joey Scheffer 082 901 4090 Office: 044 382 4700 Web ref: 2602508
A north facing Thesen Island property with two houses. The private walk way leads to the 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom guest house on the left and the 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom main house on the waterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edge. The main house features an open plan lounge, dining, kitchen and braai room to the north, leading onto the deck and floating jetty. The living areas flow easily onto the wrap around decks and sheltered entertainment areas overlooking the canal. Double garage. The guest cottage offers the option to split it into 2 separate flats. The perfect holiday home! Asking R11.9 million. Contact: John Lees 083 626 6077, Joey Scheffer 082 901 4090 Office: 044 382 4700 Web ref: 2547688
WESTBROOK, KWAZULU NATAL
HILLTOP ESTATE, KWAZULU NATAL
Overlooking the Indian Ocean, this home was built and designed with luxury and style in mind; complete with top finishes and tiled throughout. Split over 2 levels, this home boasts ample accommodation and reception rooms; superbly ideal for entertaining. Sit on the covered patio and enjoy watching the sun set from the comfort of your private patio. Immaculately maintained garden, lush tropical plants, excellent security, staff accommodation and easy access to the beach. Inclusive of furniture and no transfer duty. Asking R11.6 million. Contact: Colin Moses 082 553 7576 Office: 032 943 2008 Web ref: 2668778
Exquisite family home, yours to own. Split over 2 levels, this freestanding 4 bedroom (all en-suite) townhouse with spacious free-flowing design throughout is worth a look. The entrance hall boasts a beautiful iron balustrade which leads to the upstairs floor of the house where you'll find the 3 bedrooms and study nook. A private en-suite guest room is located on the ground floor. Make use of the fully kitted kitchen designed for the aspiring chef. Extras include covered patio, built in braai and swimming pool. Asking R5.5 million. Contact Colin Moses: 082 553 7576 Web ref: 2165143
ZIMBALI COASTAL ESTATE, KWAZULU NATAL
WESTBROOK, KWAZULU NATAL
Sophisticated, elegant, stylish! Just some of the words to describe this modern 4 bedroom (all en-suite) double storey family home. The entrance hall showcases glass doors and water feature that lead into the open plan living spaces and covered entertainment area. The fully fitted kitchen with high end built-in appliances, is linked to a scullery, laundry and courtyard. Extras include rim-flo pool, wooden deck, a 2nd lounge / TV room, built-in bar and Jacuzzi on lower level. Asking R15 million (includes furniture). Contact: Colin Moses 082 553 7576 Office: 032 943 2008 Web ref: 2615821
From the moment you step out the elevator into the front door, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be spellbound by the quality and glamour it exudes. Be enthralled by the 180-degree panoramic views of the Indian ocean from the comfort of the covered yet fantastically-lit outside living areas. Selling fully furnished with exceptional furniture; all you will need is your suitcases just ready to move in. Superbly maintained with immaculate finishes. One sentence will resonate with you - "This is the Life!" Asking R8.7 million. Contact: Colin Moses 082 553 7576 Office: 032 943 2008 Web ref: 2361643
HERRWOOD PARK, KWAZULU NATAL
LA LUCIA, KWAZULU NATAL
This spacious and stylish home offers open plan living areas with a modern kitchen at the heart of the lounge, dining room and entertainment area, making it perfect for entertaining. Upon arriving you are met by a magnificent koi pond with a beautifully manicured garden. There are 8 bedrooms with the 8 en-suite bathrooms, plus an additional bathroom, as well as an exquisite one bedroom, one bathroom cottage with its own fully fitted kitchen, making this home the perfect fit for a luxurious boutique hotel. This exceptional double storey home enjoys endless ocean views from the expansive balcony. Don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. Asking R10.95 million. Contact: Maurizio Dalle-Vedove 083 301 1946 Web ref: 2554263
The well known and loved 4 star guest house “Villa Siesta” caters to corporate and discerning executive travellers - in a professional and very personalized way. The stylish modern furniture is included at this asking price, making it so much easier for you to step in and continue this successful operation. There is potential to expand business by at least 40%. This well located property began as an extended family home and you also have the option of purchasing it as such. All this potential in a very picturesque setting with magnificent sea views, could so easily be yours. Asking R8.7 million. Contact: Mark Hoinkes 082 255 5906 Web ref: 2415716
LA LUCIA, KWAZULU NATAL
SHEFFIELD BEACH, KWAZULU NATAL
This magnificent home offers an enviable lifestyle akin to the Rich and Famous. The large double volume entrance hall introduces a grand dining room, open plan lounge and bar that opens onto the outdoor patio, pool, jacuzzi, braai and seating area. A modern kitchen with a wine cellar, a scullery and abundant storage space makes life for the master chef exciting. Extra features downstairs include a guest toilet and study. This home has 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. A spacious main bedroom with its own indoor jacuzzi and amazing en-suite. Excellent security, staff accommodation, 3 garages & loads of extra parking. Asking R15.9 million. Contact: Roxanne Du Plessis 081 771 0609 Web ref: 2380357
Situated in an idyllic location on a private road in Sheffield Beach stands this majestic white beach front contemporary Georgian designed home "Raglin House". This exquisite home recently featured on Top Billing was designed by the accomplished Italian Architect, Marko Pallegrini well known for his Italian inspired designs. The home overlooks the Indian Ocean and is situated on a small private beach. It is built to the highest engineering standards and offers top quality finishes. This property offers endless possibilities to a potential buyer and lends itself to becoming a high-end boutique hotel or beach holiday villa. Asking R22 million. Contact: Michelle Taylor 083 653 3696 Web ref: 2500325
BUNKERS HILL, EAST LONDON
NAHOON VALLEY, EAST LONDON
For the unique, for the savvy, for the refined, for the connoisseur of life. Designed for easy luxury living with low maintenance, this contemporary home offers 4 bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, study, wine cellar, large entertainment spaces with sea views, double garage, two double carports and an income generating 2 bedroom flatlet. This exceptional family home in sought after Bunkers Hill offers the best of elegant, sophisticated living with generous accommodation and spacious living rooms combined with luxury finishes. Offering total privacy, magnificent sea views and a gracious lifestyle. Asking R5.9 million. Contact: Ann Nel 083 445 1163 Office: 043 726 0111 Web ref: 2661235
We take great pride in using our expertise, resources, and global connections to perfectly unite extraordinary places with the extraordinary buyers who will cherish them as we do! This unique and exclusive riverside residence is set in a park like garden setting measuring 6764mÂ˛ offering extensive accommodation, 2 lounges, library / study, cocktail bar, expansive patio, pool entertainment lounge with pub, thatched gazebo and much more, namely a large office block, flatlet, staff accommodation, storerooms and carports. The property has 45 meters of river frontage, a private slipway to launch a boat and offers the developer a unique proposition to subdivide and create a unique complex along the banks of the Nahoon River. Asking R18 million. Contact: Ann Nel 083 445 1163 Web ref: 2075815
BASSONIA ESTATE, GAUTENG
Where eagles soar, this family home perched on top of the hill of Bassonia Estate, boasts incredible value with incredible views. This home offers a large family so much space and accommodation features, with top quality features and finishes, all neatly packaged in a secure access controlled estate! Asking R5.9 million. Contact: Genevieve Hutton 082 897 1548 Office: 011 867 3339 Web ref: 2671975
This immaculate home boasts an open plan state of the art kitchen fit for a chef. Separate scullery. Dining room, lounge and guest toilet. TV room opening onto a wooden deck entertainment area and sparkling blue swimming pool. This stunning home is an entertainers dream, for spending special time with your loved ones. 3 spacious bedrooms, 2 modern bathrooms, Study. Staff accommodation. Laundry room Double automated garage with entrance into house. This lovely home is built in the valley of Bassonia surrounded by green lush mountain. Asking R3.495 million. Contact: Desiree Brown 076 502 9601 Office: 011 867 3339 Web ref: 2677603
Contemporary design offering a modern lifestyle with unrivalled patio, trendy garden kitchen and outdoor entertainment lifestyle. Fashionable wine cellar with funky lighting. Lush established garden with rolling lawns. Eco-friendly with solar battery system, LED lighting and solar geysers. Three bedrooms upstairs with the children bedrooms sharing a full bathroom and the master bedroom en-suite. Intimate family lounge by the children bedrooms. The guest suite is also upstairs with a separate staircase, private and separate. North-facing home offering views of the Magalies mountains in the distance. Attractive open-plan kitchen to the dining room and lounge. Outside laundry and staff acc. Asking R7.95 million. Contact: Gert 082 570 0222 Web ref 2516865
If Africa calls, then this magnificent 600mÂ˛ home is for you! Located in a sought-after complex, this African inspired home offers a double volume entrance to living area, expansive covered patio & sparkling pool. Separate dining room with private garden, well-equipped cherry wood and granite kitchen, breakfast nook, separate scullery. The entertainment room incorporates a rustic, custom made, built-in-bar. 4 Spacious bedrooms (2 downstairs / 2 upstairs), 3 bathrooms + pyjama lounge / study. Spacious Grannie flat with 2 bedrooms, open-plan kitchen, bathroom with shower, toilet & basin. 5 Garages. Staff accommodation. Excellent security. Curtains included. Asking R4.4 million. Contact: Elize 082 561 0259, Vanessa 082 3438914 Web ref: 2641297
NORTH RIDING OLIVE CREST ECO ESTATE, RANDBURG
Casually elegant and immaculate. Set in the lush Olive Crest Estate with grand proportions, tastefully finished and easy living flow. Chefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kitchen with built in Siemens double door fridges, second hide away kitchen with huge scullery. 4 Bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs with his and hers dressing rooms. Downstairs one bedroom en-suite with spacious lounge area and a pool room. All recreation rooms down stairs flow out to the allweather under cover patio and veranda. Double volume entrance, open plan lounge, dining room, family room to open plan kitchen. 4 Automated garages, staff acc. 3 Geysers, solar panels for pool, surround sound system, electric fencing, 2 fireplaces, Asking R6 million. Contact: Zona 084 626 6119, Andre 082 806 3997 Web ref: 2697271
A real gem in cul-de-sac with flatlet! Double volume entrance hall and modern lounge with fireplace overlooking the patio and solar heated pool. Entertainment area with built-in bar and gas / wood braai. Modern gas kitchen. Dining room, playroom, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, guest toilet. Office to work from with built in study and doors opening onto balcony. Double automated garage and large open plan flatlet with gas stove and built-in cupboards. Asking R2.7 million. Contact: Ria 082 824 6925 Web ref: 2345834
SOUTHDOWNS ESTATE, CENTURION
SOUTHDOWNS ESTATE, CENTURION
Brilliant in brick, concrete, and steel this is the perfect combination for an awe-inspiring house. The dark stained wood contrasted with the red bricks gives it a touch of sophistication which could blend easily into a more modern-looking home. As we all know, one of the most central spaces in a home is the kitchen. People gather to snack, chat, and even entertain. This kitchen stages an amazing island with a concrete slab countertop that will have you swooning. With 10 large size luxury stainless steel stools, complements the beauty of this island. Asking R8 million. Contact: Samir Jhina 079 812 9007 Office: 012 460 9261 Web ref: 2620738
Exquisite home in Southdowns Estate, literally waiting to be explored and enjoyed. After a well-thought-out planning on the selection of design and materials, a house of perfect flow with well-configured spaces, and fantastic inside-outside relationship rose from the ground. The main entrance boasts a dramatic curved free standing custom marble staircase. Installed by an Italian craftsman, this staircase enhances the open floor plan of this home and allows more light to penetrate the space below. Beautiful Italian tiles throughout and a wall of stone add texture to the airy interior. Asking R16.4 million Contact; Samir Jhina 079 812 9007 Office: 012 460 9261 Web ref: 2242081
FEATHERBROOKE ESTATE, ROODEPOORT
FEATHERBROOKE ESTATE, ROODEPOORT
A home ideal for entertaining, designed with an eye for indoor-outdoor flow, featuring high ceilings, large window frames, outdoor terraces, a chefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s kitchen plus custom appliances and cabinetry throughout. Luxurious bedrooms offer wall to wall spaciousness and bathrooms that will impress all. Entertainment area with built-in-bar leads out to the landscaped garden with sparkling pool. Other amazing extras include under-floor heating, an irrigation system, as well as a gas heater in the master bedroom. A marvel of contemporary construction in an incredibly private, idyllic location, the ultimate retreat with world-class schools and restaurants on your doorstep. A truly luxurious family home. Asking R4.799 million. Contact: Chris Liebenberg 074 117 4971 Web ref: 2513717
No expense was spared in this radiant double volume home boasting views of the lush garden from every angle. A covered patio with a built-in-braai leads out onto a perfectly manicured lawn, drawing you down to the crystalline, solar heated pool. The dining area opens up to the modern country-style kitchen, with a wood-finish centre island that would have even top chefs salivating. A stairway from the family lounge leads up to the enchanting en-suite master suite, with glass stacking doors inviting you out onto the private balcony. Also features a flatlet with its own bathroom and kitchenette. Asking R7.9 million. Contact: Chris Liebenberg 074 117 4971, Gert Nell 072 437 0812 Web ref: 2676215
SILVER LAKES GOLF ESTATE, PRETORIA
SILVER LAKES GOLF ESTATE, PRETORIA
This enchanting home enjoys views to the horizon. Styled in classy symmetry the architectural design are well-balanced offering loads of practical elements while showing a skillful hand in the distinctive fenestration of the architect's planning. A storybook residence inviting the distinguished buyer to a double volume entrance hall with an array of light flowing in from the large windows. Versatile reception areas offer great opportunities to entertain large numbers of people yet also private settings to enjoy as a family. A landmark in Silver Lakes Golf Estate, enjoying magnificent views over the fairway, yet set in a quiet street. Asking R12.7 million. Contact: Juanita du Plessis 082 322 3407 Office: 012 460 9261 Web Ref: 2570115
A memorable home that welcomes you into a double volume entrance hall, finished with exquisite porcelain tiles and wide open spaces that leads you to the various reception areas. The timeless appeal of a classic gem, was transformed with the latest trends and fashion to celebrate the extraordinary and the unique. Sophisticated living is enjoyed within the large reception areas, consisting of lounges with fireplaces and dining rooms inviting the serene views of the fairway into the home. Grandeur & elegance compliments each en-suite bathroom. Located on a golf course offering facilities which include Clubhouse, restaurant, tennis courts, squash courts etc. Asking R10.5 million. Contact: Juanita du Plessis 082 322 3407 Office: 012 460 9261 Web ref: 2676929
CONSTANTIA PARK, PRETORIA
Exclusive lock-up-and-go perfect for the professional couple or small family. An entrance hall with guest toilet offers access to the double automated garages. Three spacious bedrooms with 2 full bathrooms (main en-suite), a well-designed open plan kitchen with granite tops, breakfast nook, scullery/laundry and pantry. This flows to the dining room, lounge and covered patio - ideal for easy entertaining. Spend quality time around the open fireplace at the boma and unwind while you listen to the birds. This low maintenance, full title home is well-built with quality finishes and is in excellent condition. Storeroom and a lovely irrigated garden. Asking R2.4 million. Contact: Sallie Wagner 083 495 8534 Office: 012 460 9261 Web ref: 2573811
Peace and tranquillity prevails in this warm and inviting home. Open plan living areas with fireplace, skylight and stack doors to the patio with views of the pool. Built-in bar close to the games room with a fireplace and a patio. Full en-suite master bedroom with ample cupboard space and a patio with magnificent views. The second North facing bedroom has a full en-suite bathroom with a walk-in dressing room and 3 more bedrooms are serviced by the third bathroom. Double garage, double staff quarters, storeroom and a walk-in save. Alarm system, outside beams, security gates and enough visitors parking. Asking R2.695 million. Contact: Unita Conradie 084 441 8711 Office: 012 460 9261 Web ref: 2660397
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