Page 1

a matter of

taste

master black tie this party season

the art of gifting

Also in this issue

american Odyssey washington uncovered

A gentleman’s guide to wines, whiskIES and watches

there’s more to the us capital than MONUMENTS and museums

first time in boston

how to make the most of the Massachusetts metropolis

GILBERT & GEORGE

lookout mounTAIN parkway is this The BEST short road trip in north america?

arizona explored

the east end duo celebrate 50 years of collaborative art

mr o farrell

FITNESS TIPS FROM THE ENGLAND FLY-HALF

cowboys, cattle and cacti in the grand canyon state

mr c mcgregor

THE Celtic warrior WITH the world at his feet

Mr p plein

THE MAD, MAD WORLD OF THE PLAYBOY DESIGNER

mr g bamford

THE MODIFICATION MAVERICK CREATES A WATCH OF HIS OWN


60 YEARS OF ADVENTURE AND DISCOVERY

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08/09/2017 08/09/2017 15:01 15:01


from the editor issue no.

122

DECEMBER 2017

Edit o r- in-Chi e f Lesley Ellwood

Editor Richard Brown

a s s is ta n t Edi tor S Bethan REES david taylor

J EWEL L E RY EDITOR MHAIRI GRAHAM

The All Blacks are the most successful team in any sport at any level on the planet. They are the only international side to have a winning record against every nation they have played. They have been rated the number one rugby union side in the world for longer than all other international teams combined. They were the first world champions, are the current world champions and hold all the silverware it’s possible to hold. Central to the All Blacks’ success is whakapapa, a spiritual Māori concept that places an individual in a wider context, linking them to a long, unbroken line of descendants that stretches from the beginning of time to eternity. The sun moves along this line, shining a light on a particular player’s moment in history. ‘Better people make better All Blacks,’ the saying goes. Create leaders off the field; you’ll get better leaders on the pitch. Conor McGregor’s philosophical outlook is somewhat less spiritual. “Listen, I am in the fighting game, I don’t care about anything else. I don’t watch the news, I don’t care about politics, I don’t care about other sports. I don’t care about anything I don’t need to care about… Nothing else matters.” So the Irishman said in an interview with Alastair Campbell for GQ in 2015. Campbell has met his share of megalomaniacs, but about McGregor he wrote: “I can’t recall ever being in the presence of a confidence quite like it.” “Mayweather wouldn’t last a minute with me,” McGregor had said. Well, Mayweather did. What was most exceptional about this summer’s super-bout was that the canny Celt had managed to persuade both the IBA and UFC that the fight was feasible in the first place. Read how McGregor then persuaded the rest of the world to buy into his one-man-brand of madness on page 24. Sponsoring Mayweather for the second time in Las Vegas was Hublot. Combat sport isn’t where you’d usually expect to find a luxury Swiss watchmaker. Then again, Hublot has dedicated the last half-decade to redefining how we think about mechanical timepieces. The power couple behind the brand’s stratospheric ascent, CEO Ricardo Guadalupe and chairman Jean-Claude Biver, talk strategy on page 48. As possibly the most important person in watches, Jean-Claude Biver has spent his career successfully predicting where the luxury sector will turn next. He believes bespoke is the next big thing. And so the LVMH watch chief has given leading watch-modifier George Bamford the green light to customise timepieces from Zenith, Bulgari and TAG Heuer. Emboldened, Bamford has now, finally, created a watch of his own (p.44). Some people are so single-minded, so selfassured, so full of a zest for bigger and better that it’s impossible not to be uplifted when you’re swept into their whirlpool. This issue is full of those people.

Richard brown, editor

Hublot’s Ricardo Guadalupe and Jean-Claude Biver

ART E DITOR DANIEL POOLE

G en era l Mana ge r Fiona Smith

Pro du cti on Hugo Wheatley Alice Ford Jamie Steele

Pro pe rt y Di rector Samantha Ratcliffe

Ex ec u t iv e D i r ec tor Sophie Roberts

M a n a g in g Di r ec tor Eren Ellwood

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Cover Image

(p.64): A Matter of Taste, photography by Alexander Beer, alexanderbeerphotography.com

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fine mechanical watchmaking, from japan.

Trimatic symbolizes three Seiko inventions that ensure the highest levels of reliability and durability in its mechanical watches.


issue no.

122

Contributors

contents

DECEMBER 2017

The Philipp Plein Menswear SS15 afterparty was a sign of things to come Photograph: BFANYC, bfa.com

Rob Crossan Rob works regularly for the BBC, and across publications including GQ, The Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph. On page 82, Rob analyses the role Grace Mugabe holds in the downfall of her husband, Robert.

60 on the cover

24 Conor McGregor From plumber to world champion: the Celtic warrior with the world at his feet 28 Owen Farrell Fitness tips from the England fly-half and Saracens all-time top scorer 44 George Bamford The modification maverick creates a watch of his very own 60 Philipp Plein The mad, mad world of fashion’s latest playboy designer 64 A Matter of Taste Master the complicated art of black tie this party season 86 Gilbert & George The East End duo celebrate 50 years of collaborative art 100 Washington Uncovered There’s more to the US capital than monuments and museums 103 First Time in Boston How to make the most of the Massachusetts metropolis 110 Arizona Explored Cowboys, cattle and ancient cacti in the Grand Canyon state

10

city edit

14 the essentials Shearling bomber jackets, stylish snow boots and Connolly’s renaissance 22 the tech Stylish sound from family-owned Ruark – plus, win your own sound system

Nick Savage Nick is editor of London concierge service Innerplace. He provides the lowdown on London’s most hedonistic haunts. Nick looks at the next generation of wine sellers and the digital wine revolution (p.38).

city social

32 Monthly Digest Galvin La Chapelle, edgy Italian chefs and a Christmas drinks cabinet 36 The Bonnie Banks Loch Lomond Distillery’s latest single malt has been 50 years in the making

city collection

48

Out of Office 82 90

Jeremy Taylor

The Power couple Hublot’s Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe talk strategy

Fall from Grace How Robert Mugabe’s wife contributed to his eventual downfall Blowing in the Wind Testing Volvo’s XC90 hybrid at Britain’s most remote wind farm

Jeremy is a freelance features writer and regular contributor to the Financial Times and Sunday Times Magazine. Turn to page 90 for his journey to the tip of Scotland while reviewing the Volvo XC90 hybrid.

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


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21/08/2017 13:35


CITY EDIT One of four wines to achieve Premier Cru (first growth) status in the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855, the original buildings of Château Margaux are recognised as exceptional examples of early 19th-century architecture. To celebrate the buildings’ 200th anniversary, 2015 saw the house invite ‘starchitect’ Lord Norman Foster to add to its architectural heritage, with a series of Neo-Palladian buildings, including cellars (pictured), an underground vinothèque and a research and development centre. That year was also declared a vintage year for the estate’s wine. A limitededition, specially designed 2015 Grand Vin bottle has just been realised. Turn to page 35 for a first look. Image courtesy of Saison d’Or, chateau-margaux.com

The edit (p.12)

Watches that witnessed history and the new DB11 Volante

Conor McGregor (p.24)

From plumber to box office sensation: the Celtic warrior conquers the world

Owen Farrell (p.28)

The England and Saracens fly-half teams up with Hackett


the Edit

The commodities and consumables raising our interest rates this month

THE exhibition

14

no.

01 Ferrari: Under the Skin

everything you ever wanted to know about the brand of the prancing horse

Taking heed from Enzo Ferrari – who once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it” – Sir Terence Conran has realised a lifelong dream in amassing an assortment of rare Ferrari cars and artefacts under one roof – the Design Museum’s, to be precise (which he helped found). “The Ferrari story is truly one of the great adventures of the industrial age,” says Sir Terence. “What excites me so much about this exhibition is the rare opportunity to glimpse behind the scenes and experience the dynamic between engineering, manufacturing and design which produces Ferrari’s magic ingredient.” On display is a collection of incredibly rare Ferraris, including the 250 GTO and the first-ever Ferrari, the 125 S. There’s also the chance to see never-beforeexhibited archival material, such as hand-sculpted models in clay and wood. Ferrari has famously kept its Formula One team in-house, adapting the latest F1 technology for its road cars. As well as showcasing fascinating archive material, Under the Skin offers a glimpse to what the marque has in store for the future. It’s breathtaking, whether you’re a petrol-head or not. From 15 November 2017 to 15 April 2018 at the Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, W8. Entry costs £18, concessions available, designmuseum.org

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


THE book

no.

02 A Man & His Watch

Detailing the world’s most famous watches and the icons that wore them

A new book by Condé Nast Traveler’s men’s style editor, Matt Hranek, takes us on a trip through horological history. Presenting more than 75 of the world’s most revered timepieces, Hranek was granted access to the archives of Cartier, Hermès, Omega, Rolex, TAG Heuer and Zenith, and interviewed owners including Ralph Lauren and Sylvester Stallone. John F. Kennedy’s Presidential Inauguration Omega sits near Steve McQueen’s Heuer Monaco; the Rolex Daytona given to Paul Newman by wife Joanne Woodward, inscribed with “Drive slowly - Joanne” on its caseback, takes its place next to an archaeologist’s 1914 trench watch adorned with shrapnel guard. The world’s ‘other Paul Newman Daytona’ – the same timepiece but engraved with ‘Drive Carefully Me’, again from Joanne – became the world’s most expensive watch in October, when it sold at Phillips’ New York auction house for $17.8m (£13.5m). Newman reportedly wore the watch every day for 15 years. ‘A Man & His Watch: Iconic Watches and Stories from the Men Who Wore Them’ is published by Artisan Books, £28, workman.com

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

15


THE car

the Edit 16

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


Top Speed

Can reach 187mph, 0-62 in 4.1 seconds and 0-100 in 8.8 seconds

Bespoke

More than 70 customisable options are available

Engine

503bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8

Soft Top

Roof can be lowered in 14 seconds and at speeds of up to 31mph

Weight

1,870 KG – 26 KG less than the DB9 Volante

no.

03

the new Aston Martin DB11 Volante

the return of aston’s classic convertible sports GT

The latest iteration of Aston Martin’s Volante range is almost ready for delivery. The DB11 Volante is Aston’s most advanced open-top yet, with rafts of extreme testing to ensure the car stands up to the pressures of the open road. The ‘Life Cycle Durability’ test had engineers subject the convertible roof to more than 100,000 cycles in special weather chambers designed to copy conditions from the world’s harshest environments, effectively fitting a decade of road testing into the space of a month. Prototypes were then taken to real-world locations including the Arctic Circle and Death Valley. The Volante shares the same bonded

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

aluminium structure as its Coupe cousin, making it lighter and more rigid than the DB9. Chief technical officer Max Szwaj explains: “The challenge of creating a convertible car is retaining structural and dynamic integrity. To protect the former you need strength and rigidity, but to preserve the latter you need to keep weight to a minimum. With the DB11 Volante we have maximised the advantages of the DB11’s bonded structure to underpin our new Volante with a structure that’s

26kg lighter and 5 per cent stiffer than its predecessor.” The single piece bonnet and ‘Curlicue’ aerodynamic feature from the Coupe add to the Volante’s sleek look and feel, and reduce drag when opening up the 4.0-litre twin-turbo 510PS V8 engine. Customisable elements are comprehensive: with wood or carbon fibre veneer panels and hood fabric in bordeaux red, black silver or grey silver among the 70 options. Deliveries are expected to start in spring 2018. From £159,900, astonmartin.com

17


no.

04

Shear class AMI, £630

The trend for all things shearling shows no signs of abating. Alexandre Mattiussi’s young Parisian label, AMI, has taken it up a notch with a supersized shearling collar on its wool-blend bomber jacket. The army-green shade and drawn-in hem take plenty of inspiration from the aviation world, and the semi-fitted and fully lined style is designed to slip over shirts and jumpers. The snapfastening throat latch, two front flap pockets, ribbed trims, three internal pockets and two-way zip fastening make the jacket supremely practical, while the tailoring helps it retain its style. What the gang from Top Gun would wear during winter leave. mrporter.com

no.

05

Steady footing

Loro Piana, £1,655

Granted, the Great British winter doesn’t usually see temperatures plummet to call-in-the-huskies sort of levels, but you can never be too careful. Loro Piana, the world’s largest cashmere producer, does a fine line of footwear, as seen by these boots poetically called ‘Snow Walk’. The calfskin is treated with special oils and waxes during the tanning process, lending it a supersoft consistency. The shearling lining can be folded over for an extra stylistic dimension, or folded in for extra warmth. The leather lining is also put on by a process called bagged construction, which, according to Loro Piana, means it fits ‘like a glove’. loropiana.com

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THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


the Edit

no.

06

Connolly’s Renaissance

The luxury brand is back

Starting out in 1878 as a familyrun business of saddlers and shoesmiths, Connolly rapidly grew into the best-known supplier of leather to the automobile industry, working with the likes of Bentley, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Ferrari and Rolls Royce. The brand’s leather also graces the seats of the Coronation

coaches of the British Royal Family, and the benches in the Houses of Parliament. After more than a century at the top, Connolly closed its doors in 2010. However, the brand was reborn in 2016, with a new store and luxury, contemporary clothing ranges for both men and women. Connolly’s new home, No.

4 Clifford Street, is one of Mayfair’s oldest buildings, dating from 1719. The store and showroom cover three floors of the Georgian townhouse, and have been designed by renowned Parisian architects and designers Gilles & Boissier. connollyengland.com

THE essentials

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

19


THE competition

no.

31,500

Number of entries in the 2018 Hasselblad Masters, up by 175 per cent

07

The 2018 Hasselblad Masters

The prestigious photography competition is back for 2018

2001

the Edit

First year of the competition. Anton Corbijn is among the winners

1841

Year that Hasselblad was founded, in Gothenburg, Sweden

Apollo

Almost all photos taken on moon missions have been with Hasselblad cameras

20

One of the world’s most highly-regarded photography competitions is back, and more popular than ever. The Hasselblad Masters, run by Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad, is a biannual competition, open to professionals and ambitious newcomers alike. Photographers were invited to submit three images each, showcasing the best of their talents, to be in with a chance of earning the title of Hasselblad Master. The 2018 edition received 31,500 entries, a staggering upturn of 175 per cent when compared to 2016’s event. 2018 saw 11 category titles up for grabs: aerial, architecture, fine art, fashion/beauty, landscape, portrait, product, under 21, street/

urban, wedding and wildlife. The usual criteria is taken into account, with judges looking for creativity, composition, technique, and concept, with entrants ultimately judged on whether they are seen to have “made a compelling contribution to the art of photography”. Winners – to be announced in January 2018 – are given the title, alongside a cuttingedge medium format Hasselblad camera. The winning works will also be published in Hasselblad’s commemorative Masters book, to be published next year. hasselblad.com/masters

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


Images by some of 2016’s winners, including (clockwise from top left) Ali Rajabi, Swee Oh, David Peskens, Lars van de Goor

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

21


THE sound system

the Edit

no.

08

Stylish Sound

Ruark R7 MK3, £2,300

Win the R2 Mk3

Just in time for Christmas, Ruark is giving you the chance to win the R7’s brother, the R2 Mk3 music streaming system. Equipped with Bluetooth, WiFi, Spotify Connect, DAB and FM tuners, this award-winning sound system is made for your favourite music. Visit luxurylondon.co.uk for competition details

Ruark founder Alan O’Rourke hatched the idea of the R7 through a desire to reinvent the radiogram. The first iteration launched in 2013. Now, the Mk3 improves on its predecessors with an aesthetic that wouldn’t look out of place at London Design Festival, though top-quality sound technology remains at its heart. ruarkaudio.com

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THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


You no longer have to choose between an SUV and a Maserati

Levante GranLusso. Yours. From £62,490 H.R. Owen Maserati London Melton Court, 25-27 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3TD 0333 240 1580 hrowen.co.uk/maserati

Official fuel consumption figures for the New Maserati Levante range in mpg (l/100km): Urban 18.8 (15.0) - 34.4 (8.2), Extra Urban 33.2 (8.5) - 42.8 (6.6), Combined 25.9 (10.9) - 39.2 (7.2). CO2 emissions 253 – 189g/km. Fuel consumption and CO2 figures are based on standard EU tests for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Model shown is a Maserati Levante S GranLusso MY18 at

£84,840 On The Road including optional metallic paint at £680, 20” Nereo alloy wheels at £1,005, Panoramic sunroof at £1,235, Full premium leather interior, Steering wheel in Sabbia leather at £240, Bowers & Wilkins surround system at £2,160 and Driver Assistance Pack Plus at £2,525.

11414 HR Owen Levante GranLusso 210x297_AW.indd 1

10/11/2017 15:40


[ boy in the corner ]

conor mcgregor Following the release of Notorious, the biopic that charts the Irishman’s ascent from benefit claimant to the most compelling sportsman on the planet, Conor McGregor is the Celtic warriorcum-businessman with the world at his feet Words: David Taylor

C

onor McGregor is well-versed in the art of mental disintegration. Former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh coined the term when describing sledging the opposition during matches. Muhammad Ali was the master of distracting the enemy in press conferences and the ring. As with other great sportsmen, the UFC champion’s character both inspires and rankles, his arrogant trash talking and self-promotion a source of entertainment and disdain. His record speaks for itself: 24 fights, 21 wins (18 by knockout), and the first UFC fighter to hold titles in two weight divisions simultaneously, at featherweight and lightweight. He also went toe-to-toe in with Floyd Mayweather, Jr., one of the greatest boxers of all time, in his first professional boxing match, and only lost in round 10 by technical knockout. To distil ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor down to this, however, is to miss the point entirely. New documentary Notorious, directed by fellow Irishman Gavin Fitzgerald, seeks to tell the whole story. Fitzgerald followed McGregor for four years, living with his mother in

a Dublin suburb, where McGregor was struggling to repay debt and forced to share kit, right up to the fight against Mayweather and the biggest pay cheque in fight history – it earned the Irishman a £23m purse, plus another £50m from a split of pay-per-view and gate sales. Earnings from the film haven’t been bad either: Notorious took €103m (£92m) in its opening weekend, immediately becoming the highest-grossing Irish documentary in Irish box-office history. Notorious isn’t a film for fans hoping to see unseen fight footage. It is, however, an insight into the life of the world’s biggest combat sportsman, a probe into the mind of a performer who created a one-man circus and harnessed social media to

promote it around the globe. “If you’re motivated by money and fame, you’re motivated by the wrong things,” McGregor says during an interview in the middle of his MMA purple patch. “Fuck fame – I’m in this game to get paid. When I retire, I want to be fat, lazy and answer to noone. Six holidays a year, a car for every day of the week.” McGregor’s public persona both helps and hinders him. Personality sells tickets, but there’s another side to the armswinging, whiskey-shotting warrior. One of the first people introduced in the film is McGregor’s long-term partner Dee Devlin, who he met in 2008 while still living a modest life in Dublin. Their first child was born earlier this year, and one look at his Instagram page (@thenotoriousmma) will tell you that family is McGregor’s priority. His dedication to his art borders on obsession. The training regime is extreme: nine rounds of Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the morning, followed by 10 rounds of Taekwondo in the evening. The next day, his focus turns to a different aspect of MMA or fitness. Rinse

Conor McGregor: Notorious © Universal Pictures

24

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26

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| interview |

“It was all or nothing with the game. I felt like I had enough talent, I thought it was time to pack up my job and chase my dream” and repeat. Training and success have bred confidence. But even the Notorious gets starstruck. On meeting Arnold Schwarzenegger, McGregor is visibly starstruck, grinning like a Cheshire cat when the Terminator delivers his most famous line: “I’ll be back”. McGregor invites Schwarzenegger to the Mayweather fight, and looks at Dee, mouth agape, when the action star leaves. His ease with a microphone in front of thousands of fans makes it easy to forget that he hasn’t yet reached 30. Then there’s his business portfolio away from the ring. Endorsement deals with Beats by Dre, Monster Energy, Reebok and Bud Light to name but a few. He wants to become a partner in the UFC. He’s making moves in the promotor industry, too. He’s just joined with made-to-measure tailor David August to launch August McGregor, in January 2018, creating suits to emulate his own sense of style. He’s also looking at the drinks industry, with P Diddy and Ciroc Vodka as his inspiration. At the premiere of Notorious, McGregor stated his admiration for the rapper: “You know P Diddy doesn’t even make music? He’s worth $750m (£566m) and he doesn’t even make music – he makes vodka. We’re following this formula.” Unfortunately for the aspiring

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

Irishman, plans to launch his whiskey empire under the Notorious moniker might have hit a snag, after a lawsuit was filed blocking McGregor from trademarking the name across Europe. A Indian pale ale having been already trademarked under the same name. So, what next? There are strong indications that Oscar De La Hoya, winner of 10 titles in six separate weight divisions in boxing, is looking at returning to the ring at 44 to take on McGregor. De La Hoya actually challenged McGregor on his promotions company’s radio show: “I’ve been secretly training. I’m faster than ever and stronger than ever. I know I can take out Conor McGregor in two rounds. I’ll come back for that fight.” It would certainly be another big hit with pay-per-view audiences, and a more realistic chance at victory for McGregor than his boxing debut. McGregor himself has his eye set on returning to the cage for the first time since November 2016, with provisional dates set with the UFC. There might be a stumbling block, however, after McGregor leapt into the cage unauthorised at Bellator 187 – a rival to UFC – to celebrate his friend and teammate Charlie Ward’s win. A scuffle with the referee ensued, followed by calls for a ban. Sanctions seem unlikely though, given that no one pulls in the crowds like McGregor – he’s achieved the biggest pay-per-view MMA audience ever (1.65m vs. Nate Diaz) and the biggest boxing audience, too (6.7m vs. Mayweather). In the film’s opening minutes, we hear from a young McGregor, on his decision to quit his job as a plumber and fight fulltime: “It was all or nothing with the game. I felt like I had enough talent, I thought it was time to pack up my job and chase my dream. And that’s what I’m doing… I’m the fucking future.” ‘Conor McGregor: Notorious’ is available on DVD and digital download from Amazon and iTunes now

27


[ in conversation with ]

OWEN FARRELL As a player central to England’s and Saracens’ success – and the face of Hackett’s A/W17 campaign – Owen Farrell is refreshingly humble. Here are his tips on how best to limber up for a game, and how to cook an unorthodox Christmas dinner Words: Hannah LEMON

W

ith the recent announcement of the 2019 Rugby World Cup fixtures, pressure is building on England’s union team on how best to prepare. And nobody seems better placed to tell us than Owen Farrell. Born in Lancashire, the 26-year-old fly-half started playing league aged eight, but soon followed his father’s footsteps and transferred to union at 14. Three years later he was signed to the Saracens and has gone on to be the team’s all-time leading point scorer. This year alone he was named European Player of the Year at the European Champions Cup, helped England retain the Six Nations cup alongside fellow fly-half and childhood friend George North, and scored the most points of any player in the Lions tour. Do you have any rituals before a game? OF: I wouldn’t call them rituals, but I used to have a specific routine. Now I try to test myself not to do it. I’ve managed to convince myself that it doesn’t make a difference. Are you ever struck by nerves before you walk onto a pitch? OF: Yeah, but there are different ways of getting nervous. Excited, I guess. Excited and nervous, which is a good thing I think. You have the signature head tilt you perform before each kick – is that just for show? OF: People think I’m being a bit weird but there is logic to it. I draw a line from

28

the ball to where I want to hit it, and it’s that trajectory of the ball I try and kick. Is that something that you were taught? OF: I’ve seen other people do it and I kind of liked it. At one point you were the youngest person ever to play English professional rugby. What’s it like having new, young players coming through the ranks? OF: Brilliant. I think younger players are getting better and better, both skillwise and athletically. I don’t see myself as a mentor, though, I just share the experiences I’ve had. I don’t set aside time to sit down and talk about that sort of thing, it just happens pretty naturally by chatting. What is your fitness routine? OF: Being part of a team, you have a schedule laid out for you. We do things a little bit differently to most, I’d say. We have one day a week where we don’t have to go in, but we train a bit more intensely on the day before so we can take a breather before a game and feel fresh for it. We’re surrounded by people who know a lot more about fitness than we do, so we just leave it to them. What’s your diet like? OF: I try to be as balanced as I can. A lot of our meals are at the club so the food is brilliant and ready for us, whatever we

need. Like anything, you try and have a balance to it and make sure you don’t go crazy, but as long as you feel like you’re in good condition then it’s not too bad. How do you avoid injury? OF: Knowing what works for you is massively important and knowing your body. Our routine doesn’t change too much, so my body’s quite used to it. On top of all the normal fitness, everybody does things that works for them, whether it’s stretching or more ‘prehabilitation’ and injury protection. You just figure stuff out along the way. What are you doing for Christmas Day? Have you ever cooked for the family? OF: I think we’re at my house, and no, never! If I’m cooking, I think there’ll have to be a trial run. I might do it on the barbecue. I’ve got one of those Big Green Eggs. Do you get a break from training during the holidays? OF: Saracens have a game against Leicester Tigers on Christmas Eve, so I’ll have the next day off. But the buildup will be exactly like any other week, I guess. Hopefully, I’ll be able to enjoy Christmas Day! Owen Farrell is the new face of Hackett’s A/W17 collection with Fox Brothers, hackett.com

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


Signe d’exception. Available exclusively in fine wine shops and in the best restaurants. champagne-billecart.com


CITY SOCIAL

© Jamie Newson

A bartender pours a drink at Rules Bar, one of 111 bars and pubs in a comprehensive and entertaining new tome by Laura Richards, drinks editor at Time Out London, and artfully shot by photographer Jamie Newson. From old-school boozers to New York-inspired drinking dens, you’re guaranteed to find something for all tastes. 111 London Pubs & Bars That You Shouldn’t Miss by Laura Richards, Emons, £11.99, dauntbooks.co.uk

Monthly Digest (p.32)

Galvin La Chapelle, an edgy Italian & an upgraded drinks cabinet

Luxury wine gifts (p.34)

Fine wine is the obvious go-to place for a prestigious Christmas gift

The Bonnie Banks (p.36)

Loch Lomond Distillery’s 50-year -old whisky is a grand old dram


[ city social ]

The Monthly Digest

shoreditch high street

Galvin La Chapelle

review

liverpool street

Galvin La Chapelle, E1 The Galvin Brothers remain at the forefront of London dining

While they may not be as visable as television chefs Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsay and Michel Roux Jr, the Galvin brothers – that’s Chris and Jeff – have nonetheless built a culinary empire of their own. Both Galvins are distinguished chefs in their own right – they were the only brothers to each hold a Michelin star before they teamed up in 2005. The pair opened their first restaurant, Bistrot de Luxe on Baker Street, to great acclaim – a bistro seemingly plucked straight from the banks of the Seine. Galvin at Windows, on the 28th floor of the Hilton on Park Lane, followed in 2006, gaining its first Michelin Star in 2010. Galvin La Chapelle in Spitalfields, run on a day-to-day basis by Jeff, opened in 2009, earning its first star in 2011. Dad and I visited La Chapelle for supper as part of his birthday celebrations, and after being guided to our corner table and given a glass of Champagne, managed to take in our surroundings for the first time. La Chapelle is set in the grade II listed St. Botolph’s Hall. Built in 1890 as a schoolhouse, it boasts a beautiful, classic Victorian exterior and expansive ceilings. The Galvins have put this height to good use, creating a bright and airy space, with a mezzanine level for private dining that floats over a quarter of the ground floor. The atmosphere itself is halfway between fine dining and relaxed café: the ultra-modern interior – glass, metal and exposed brickwork – in contrast with the otherwise historic confines. The old man has worked his way through a few high-sounding menus in his time, and so on his advice I opted for the Dorset crab lasagne. It didn’t disappoint – it’s easy to see why it’s been one of the restaurant’s most lauded dishes for years. Dad went for the beef carpaccio and pickled shimeji mushrooms, the sourness of the mushrooms pairing well with the velvety carpaccio. For mains, I opted for the roast chateaubriand with truffle, bone marrow and artichokes. The chateaubriand was, as you’d expect from a Michelin venue, nigh on perfect. Dad’s Goosnargh duck with Tokyo turnip and caramelized orange was slightly chewy, but the flavours were big and the juicy bittersweet turnips spot on. For dessert, I had panna cotta with poached peaches, while dad had the Black Forest gateau and cherry sorbet. The panna cotta was light, the peaches adding texture and flavour, while the gateau was an indulgent end to a supremely rich meal. In under a decade, La Chapelle has established itself as a Spitalfields institution. Largely because the menu in St. Botolph’s Hall continues to be as modern and accomplished as the day the Galvins first stepped through the door. galvinrestaurants.com

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THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| NEWS |

Keeping the epicure nourished with the Square Mile’s latest launches and culinary crazes Words: DAVID TAYLOR

New & noteworthy

Passo, EC1 review

The Rum round table, EC2 Get ready for a rum old time

COYA Angel Court has collaborated with spirits giant Bacardi to create the ‘Rum Round Table’ experience. Just one table in the restaurant – an intricatelycarved, six seater beauty – will serve the four course menu of COYA classics and five heady Bacardi cocktails. Highlights include the fresh, Pisco Sourstyled Valle de Pisac, paired with fried squid and giant prawns, and the Manhattan-esque Flor de Naranja, which packs a hefty punch, especially when drunk alongside huge platters of steak, salmon and roast potatoes. The meal is rounded off with the Avellana Frijoles, potentially the most accomplished Espresso Martini I’ve had the pleasure of ending a night with. Get five friends and join the Round Table. COYA and rum – what’s not to like? 31 Throgmorton Street, coyarestaurant.com

Michelin-trained Massimiliano Iaquinto leads the team at new all-day Italian Passo, alongside executive chef Joe Hill (who has worked for Gordon Ramsey and Tom Aikens among others). The aim is simple dishes with quality Italian ingredients, such as ribeye on the bone or orecchiette with octopus ragout. Open from 7am to midnight every day, a DJ will be on the decks from Thursday onwards. 80 City Road, passorestaurant.com

CHRISTMAS DRINKS CABINET Put away the babycham and Eggnog

Blue Label 70cl, £150, Johnnie Walker, whiskyshop.com

Colheita Port 75cl, £32.99, Kopke, waitrose.com

Spiced rum 70cl, £35, Wester, westerspirit.com

2013 Blanc de Blancs, £21, Greyfriars, greyfriarsvineyard. co.uk

26 Moons barrel aged gin 35cl, £95, Martin Miller’s, harveynichols.com

London Dry gin 70cl, £45, Marylebone Gin, ocado.com

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[ city social ]

LUXURY WINE GIFTS 2017 It’s a terrible cliché yet an undeniable fact: the world of fine wine – particularly Champagne – is the obvious place to go for a prestigious Christmas gift. Unlike the latest fashion accessory or gadget, great vintages from the world’s most exclusive vineyards are in short supply, guaranteeing the lucky recipient a memorable and potentially unique present. We’ve selected a few luxurious highlights. Words: James Lawrence

Champagne

Dom Perignon Rosé 2005 Tokujin Yoshioka edition

A gorgeous, majestic Champagne of epic proportions, Dom Perignon’s limited release of its flagship rosé includes a label designed by legendary artist Tokujin Yoshioka, ensuring that the exclusivity rides up several notches. £330, harrods.com

Taittinger Comtes de Champagne 2006

Comte de Champagne, the prestige offering from Taittinger, has long commanded a cult following. Indeed, the members of the Monégasque Royal House of Grimaldi (including Grace Kelly) have always been big fans of Comtes – for years it has been the Champagne served at Monaco’s famous Le Bal de la Rose ball. £99, bbr.com

Gift sets & tours Exclusive wine tour with Arblaster & Clarke

A world leader in organising luxury wine tours, Arblaster & Clarke specialises in only working with small groups and prestigious Châteaux, guaranteeing oenophiles a very bespoke and memorable visit. POA, arblasterandclarke.com

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THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| news |

Penfolds Yattarna Chardonnay 2014

An equal to top white Burgundy in every sense, the Yattarna Chardonnay is considered one of Australia’s finest wines. The 2014 vintage, made in small quantities, is a white wine on another level – strong, perfumed, intense, luscious and moreish. £125, harrods.com

Fine & rare Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg 2011

Just 11,177 bottles of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg were produced in 2011, a wine that critic Hugh Johnson described as having “reserves of flavour beyond imagination”. Produced in minute quantities and selling for crown jewel prices, there are few finer and more exclusive Christmas gifts. £2,200, harveynichols.com

Château Palmer 1990

Rarely seen today, top clarets from the 1990 vintage are in high demand, particularly Château Palmer, darling of critics and connoisseurs for decades. The domaine was purchased by an English general in 1814, and has not looked back since, performing consistently throughout the years alongside the more famous Château Margaux, and is a favourite of the British Royal Family. £340, harveynichols.com

Château Margaux 2015

For the first time in its history, and for this year only, Château Margaux has created a new bottle for its Grand Vin 2015, in celebration of a premium year and of the life of Paul Pontallier, the House’s general manager, who passed away in March 2016. Bottles are decorated with silk screen printing instead of labels, to celebrate the last vintage produced under the supervision of Mr Pontallier Approx. £1,000, biwine.com

WSET luxury wine course

The Vineyard – a Relais & Châteaux 5-star hotel – has created the ultimate gift for wine lovers. On Sunday 21 January, it will be running a one-off WSET Wine Course based on the infamous 1976 “Judgment of Paris”, featuring iconic French and Californian bottles. £800 pp, the-vineyard.co.uk

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

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[ city social ]

world of whisky

the bonnie banks Loch Lomond Distillery’s 50-Year-Old whisky is as special as the loch from which it gets its name Words: David Taylor

I

had my first sip of Loch Lomond Distillery’s Inchmoan as we sailed past an island located in the middle of the distillery’s eponymous home. According to the driver of the boat – and I have no reason not to believe him – this particular islet – in fact, the original Inchmoan – was where women found guilty of adultery were sent. A mere paddle away is another outcrop, where local drunks were deposited. The story goes that not only have whisky barrels been dug up on the latter island (ingenuity knows no bounds), but the drunks regularly attempted to swim between islands. It seems the 18th-century inhabitants of the middle of Loch Lomond knew how to have a good time.

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I had been invited to Loch Lomond Distillery in aid of the launch of its 50-Year-Old single malt. Back on dry land, we entered Cameron House, a five-star baronial mansion on the banks of the Loch, to be greeted by the expansive bar, the whisky list fitting for one of Scotland’s premier venues. The 50-Year-Old was distilled on 19 November 1967, lying in wait for 40 years, before master blender Michael Henry joined Loch Lomond Group in 2007, and chose the cask as the flagship Loch Lomond whisky. We were given a tour of the distillery, including the cooperage, where traditional methods are still used alongside more modern technology. Feeling deeply insecure surrounded by burly, old-school craftsmen, I tried to assert myself by grabbing the hammer and chisel, and immediately lost any remaining respect by daintily chipping away at the barrel ring like I was hanging a small painting on what I thought might be a dividing wall. I needed some way to recover. Luckily, we returned to Cameron House for a tasting of the 50-Year-Old. It starts out spicy, cloves and cinnamon combining with sultanas and a hint of Scottish tablet. The tablet’s silkiness sticks around, but strong fruit flavours take over, most

notably big doses of pineapple and banana, which give way to warm stem ginger and tangy grapefruit. Henry was right to bottle it now: the angels don’t deserve any more of a share. A special drink needs a box to match, and Loch Lomond’s partner Method Studios has gone the extra mile, with handcrafted, solid oak chests imitating the Loch’s dark waters. Each individuallynumbered chest is leather-lined and indigo-dyed until almost black, and hides a solid brass vial miniature for you to indulge in. The tasting was bittersweet; the whisky really is an exceptional expression of Loch Lomond’s single malt, a singularly rich, fruity concoction. I knew, however, that I probably wouldn’t be indulging again for a while (unless a particularly benevolent PR fancies sending a bottle to The City Magazine), such is the exclusivity, delicacy and artistry on display. Slàinte mhath: I’m glad I got to know you. The Loch Lomond 50-Year-Old (46.2% abv) is limited to 60 decanters worldwide, priced at £12,000 and available from select retailers.

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| news |

Royal Salute

30-Year-Old Flask Edition

Five more whiskies that show it’s worth holding on to the cask a little longer

golden oldies

Craigellachie 31-Year-Old

As the winner of the World Best Single Malt at the World Whiskies Awards 2017, it stands to reason that demand for this 31-year-old is peaking. The plus side is there are 4,500 bottles in existence, so the opportunity to indulge should be grasped with both hands. Heralded for its balanced citrus flavours, coupled with exotic fruits and a spicy finish that wouldn’t be out of place in a Moroccan souk, its underlying caramel smoothness belies the hefty 52.2% abv. Simply presented in a well-crafted wooden tube, the praise is well deserved. £1,800, craigellachie.com

Whisky packaging, especially for a special edition, can sometimes veer towards the bling end of the scale. Thankfully, this blended classic comes in an elegant, contemporary porcelain flask from award-winning designer Afroditi Krassa. Its distinctive deep-blue colouring houses a solid and full-bodied blend with a honeyed richness and walnut flourishes on the aftertaste. It would pair well with a fine Cohiba if you had one lying around… With only a limited number of bottles available in specialist shops globally, The Flask Edition embodies the exclusivity of a brand that’s constantly redefining the term liquid asset. Approx. £600 ($790) at select high-end retailers, royalsalute.com

Words: Alistair MacQueen

Dalmore 40-year-old

Released to celebrate master distiller Richard Paterson’s 50 years in whisky, this 40-year-old single malt was maturated in American white oak ex-bourbon casks, and transferred to 30-year-old Gonzalez Byass oloroso sherry butts, before being finished in first fill bourbon barrels. The result is a pleasing mix of orange and coffee notes, with a long liquorice aftertaste. The liquid is housed in a hand-blown decanter by French crystal house Baccarat, and with only 750 available over the next four years, it’s a golden anniversary for sure. £6,000, thedalmore.com

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

Bunnahabhain 46-yearold Eich Bhana Lìr

Translated from Gaelic as “the great waves of the god Lir”, something heavenly has descended from Islay once more. With a bottle hand-crafted by internationally renowned glass-blowers and metalworkers to depict Bunnahabhain Bay, the whisky’s elegant palate and refined balance of citrus and roasted nuts is at odds with other Islay whiskies, so often characterised by their peaty aromas and maritime influences. This really is a special dram from Bunnahabhain, limited to just 198 bottles worldwide. £5,000, bunnahabhain.com

The Last Drop Distillers 1972 Lochside

1972. What a year. If you were there, you probably weren’t aware that a distillery in Montrose was distilling this fine single grain whisky. Having closed in 1992, a paucity of casks are left, but what casks they are. Aniseed and oak on the nose, and hints of honey and floral essences dance on the tongue; the finish is vanilla chocolate all the way down. Only 106 bottles are available, presented in a leather case with a 50ml miniature, and a luxury tasting book in which to record any remarks (or whisky-inspired poetry). £2,400, lastdropdistillers.com

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| news |

[ city social ]

bon viveur

Man-about-town, Innerplace’s Nick Savage, gives you the insider lowdown on London’s most hedonistic haunts

Vin-win The digital wine revolution

T

echnology and wine have been intersecting for some time now. Who can forget the famous Oz Clarke’s Wine Guide for Windows 95? However, it seems to have reached critical mass of late, with software springing up that makes it altogether easier to figure out exactly what you want to drink and how to procure it – often within the hour. This isn’t only confined to our cousins across the pond, where Napa Valley is proximal to Silicon Valley in more ways than mileage. London has played host to a bumper crop of new companies homing in on markets through emerging tech. One of the first wine apps to gain traction in Britain was Vivino, which uses image-recognition technology to connect the wines to a database, giving drinkers the opportunity to write observations and rate the bottles. Berry Bros. & Rudd, which has been trading out of the same shop in St James’s for 300 years, has created an app containing an ocean of information on its stock of 54,000 wines, including tasting notes and maturity guides. It also allows you to view and accept bids on cellared wines. Fine wine merchant and investment advisory company IG Wines is currently launching an app that incorporates a wine database with portfolio management and market analysis software. However, as more of a consumer than an investor, I’ve especially noticed technology connecting with my drinking habits in companies that allow access to wines rarely available at your local bottle shop, often at late notice, with a swift delivery apparatus. Wanderlust Wines and Drop by The 10 Cases are two such companies. Richard Ellison, an erstwhile corporate banker and former chef with a degree in food and wine technology, set up Wanderlust Wines. He wanted to cut out the intermediary and supply wine sourced from small, artisan producers crafted by sustainable means (organically farmed or

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LEFT Richard Ellison CENTRE Ian Campbell and Will Palmer

biodynamic). This not get forgotten about,” he says. “Apps are means that the prices worth downloading but only when they are generally much add loads of value to those who use them. lower than you’d find For wine, I don’t think there is really much at a shop, where mark-ups can be quite point unless you can demonstrate masses of high to offset expenditures on staffing and additional user value via an app, especially rent. Perhaps most notably, everything once you factor in a £30k+ build price. This imported is exclusive to Wanderlust. is why we recently chose not to go the app Ellison has noticed a marked change in route when launching our Wine on Demand buyers, mentioning that his “demographic service (delivered within one hour).” is generally 32-55, a decade younger While I tend to agree, there are some than if you look at the more well-known apps that are immensely handy when you’re merchants.” He adds: “This is down on the fly, particularly if you’re late to some of the more emerging to a party or need to re-up Innerplace is regions and producers that at a friend’s place. Drop is London’s personal lifestyle sit at the core of the type of one such app, developed concierge. Membership provides wines we import. Younger by Ian Campbell and complimentary access to the finest nightclubs, the best restaurants and people are more willing to Will Palmer of winetop private members’ clubs. Innerplace take a risk and not judge shop-cum-restaurant 10 also offers priority bookings, updates on versus your stereotypical Cases in Covent Garden. the latest openings and hosts its own 60-year-old who mainly They’ve managed to edge regular parties. drinks Bordeaux.” ahead of the competition Membership from £50 a month, innerplace.co.uk Wanderlust also runs by delivering within the a wine club, which offers the hour with no minimum personal touch with invitations to spend through a user-friendly, selection tastings as well as introduction aesthetically pleasing interface. to producers and grapes. Ellison opted to Campbell and Palmer noticed a similar eschew the app route, focusing instead on shift in demographic to Wanderlust, noting developing a strong online platform and that their target market is “anyone who shaving the price back further than almost enjoys wine, really”. They say: “We wanted all competitors by charging only a £2 to create something that was approachable, premium versus the 35 per cent fees that un-snobby, and fun to use. Most of us have other London delivery companies charge been in a situation where a bottle – or a to vendors. case – of wine was needed toot sweet but a “I’m still not convinced there are many trip to the shop was a bit of a stretch.” wine apps that will go the distance and Case closed, so to speak.

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


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20/11/2017 22:54


’Tis the season to be jolly

Until 3 January, Christmas By The River will transform the riverside that runs from City Hall to London Bridge City Pier into a festive frenzy of food, drinks, arts and crafts

F

or its fourth year, London Bridge City has decked its halls with boughs of holly for Christmas By The River. Set against the backdrop of some of London’s most loved landmarks, it brings together boutique accessories, artisan stocking fillers, warming drinks and indulgent treats. Whether you’re looking for an alternative spot for afterwork drinks, or somewhere to grab a bite to eat, Christmas By The River has more than 68 stalls with traders from all over the world. Here are some of the highlights:

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| promotion |

THE TRADERS

Doughnut Time

Specialising in hand-dipped doughnuts created in small batches for a big following, the flavours range from the conventional (original glazed, salted caramel, jam and cream) right through to the unique (maple bacon, hibiscus and Nerds). With sites across Australia and now London, it’s always a good time to visit Doughnut Time.

The Lambassadors

Homegrown British lamb from a family farm in Northamptonshire – think lamb chilli cheese fries and lamb wraps. The Lambassadors want to encourage British people to start seeking out British lamb where they can. The meat is cooked over charcoal, sourced from managed woodland or from waste wood products.

Schokokuss Chocolate Kisses

dark and white with coconut. A great gift to take away (they have a shelf life of at least two months), or to indulge in yourself in among the festive frivolities of Christmas By The River.

Snowdonia Cheese Company

Veterans of Christmas By The River, this stall presents cheeses selected from Snowdonia, plus a range of chutneys to complement the cheeses. Nestled in North Wales, the company was established in 2001and began selling at farmers’ markets, and within months was sold in fine-food delicatessens and luxury grocers. Its flagship cheese is the Little Black Bomber, but if you’re in the mood for something more adventurous try its Amber Mist truckle, a mature cheddar warmed through with a generous splash of whisky, or Ginger Spice, medium cheddar with sweet crystallised stem ginger.

with a Raspberry and Mint garnish and a handsome Fever-Tree Mediterranean Tonic.

Turkish the Light

A family-run business from London, Turkish the Light sells handmade and hand painted traditional Turkish patterned ceramic bowls, wall plates, trivets and colourful mosaic glass lamps. Traditional Turkish ceramics, or ‘çini’ as they are known in Turkish are appreciated around the world for their strength, colour and design, and make great gifts.

Eis Haus

Bringing the après-ski experience to the Thames, Eis Haus is a highly portable, container-based bar in a ski resort-style.

Y.T. Patisserie

Your sweet tooth will go into overdrive at Y.T. Patisserie, where brownies, pastries, macaroons and crepes are made by Yohann Thibaud. A trained patisserie chef, Thibaud has travelled the world perfecting his craft and learning local tricks, and he’s combined all of his skills to create Y.T. Patisserie. Stop by for an indulgent treat of white chocolate macarons or a homemade salted caramel crepe.

A schockokuss is a traditional German sweet that dates back to 1829, made with sweetened egg white foam (like marshmallow but not as sticky) and coated in different types of chocolate, including milk,

Jim and Tonic

Serving quality gin on the riverside, Jim and Tonic isn’t your standard G&T offering. Rather than ordering a Gordon’s gin with a Schweppes tonic, here you order with a first name, depending on what you fancy. Pick a character such as a Hank or Penelope. Hank hails from Washington state where the fantastic ‘utility’ Death's Door Gin is from. A simple three botanical mix of juniper, coriander and fennel in the gin is perfectly complemented with Fever-Tree Premium Indian Tonic water and a marshmallow or two. The Penelope is made up of Pinkster Gin, which creates a refreshingly different G&T that’s sure to appeal to seasoned gin drinkers and recent converts. Penelope accessorises herself

Upon arrival, guests are provided with warm coats and gloves (advisable in temperatures between -5 and -7°C) and served a shot in a glass made from ice. Expect DJs on the decks and artisan drinks, while being surrounded by ice installations, including howling wolves and a giant bear. The main attraction, however, has to be the ice throne. The 260 sq m space also includes an outdoor heated area, where there will be a programme of events running across the five weeks, including ice carving and live bands on the roof of the containers. Eis Haus is a place to hang out after work, at weekends, and would make the perfect date night, too – especially if you opt for the VIP package, which includes a glass of Champagne.

Nabi London

The brand’s signature is delicate, handcrafted jewellery with clean lines, using gold, rose gold and silver in a variety of designs. Some of the creations are for London lovers, with rings and necklaces informed by the capital’s skyline. Others pieces take inspiration from Harry Potter and mermaids. Nabi London makes for an interesting and unique gift.

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CITY COLLECTION Following its retro-futuristic concept motorcycle, the B-Rocket, and its aircraftinspired supercar, the Aero-GT, Bell & Ross has created a ‘Bellytanker’ racecar. Originating in the 1940s, the term ‘Bellytank’ referred to the emergency drop tank fitted in the belly of fighter planes, which are now used for the body of high-speed ‘Bellytank’ race cars. Alongside the racer, the watch brand has released two new, vintagelooking, cream-dial timepieces. bellross.com

george bamford (p.44)

the king of customisation CREATES A WATCH OF HIS OWN

jean-claude biver (p.48)

the horologic heroes of the LVMH WATCH CHIEF

ricardo guadalupe

(p.51)

THE HUBLOT CEO ON MAYWEATHER, SMARTWATCHES AND THE 2018 WORLD CUP


[ person of interest ]

george bamford Casting aside conformity for the custom-built, George Bamford has spent the last decade putting the ‘you’ back in luxury through his Mayfair-based modification enterprise. In the wake of an industry-first agreement with LVMH, the king of customisation has now created a watch of his own Words: Richard Brown

I

t was at a dinner party that George the independent coachbuilder that made Bamford’s run at producing one-of-aBamford realised that his beloved, black bespoke bodies during the 1930s and 40s. kind wrist candy for sports stars and his dial Daytona, given to him as an 18th The second was Nike, and what it was doing socialite chums continued until summer birthday present – “yes, I’ll admit it, I was a on a personalisation front. I thought ‘why 2017, when the modification maverick brat back then” – was anything but unique. can’t you do that with watches?’” announced he was changing tack. Crestfallen, but determined to pursue Bamford began blackening stainless In June, BWD revealed an agreement something truly singular, George created steel models from the likes of Rolex, Patek with LVMH. Bamford’s had become the two blackened watches; a Rolex Plexiglass Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Panerai first customisation watch company Submariner and a Rolex to be officially GMT – one for himself authorised by a Swiss and one for his father, watchmaker. RolexJCB billionaire Lord Bamford watches Anthony Bamford (his are a thing no mother, should you longer. Henceforth, have failed to connect the company will the dots, is Lady only be modifying Bamford, founder of watches belonging the Daylesford Organic to the French luxury Farmshops). conglomerate. In 2004, his new So far, LVMHtimepiece strapped owned Zenith has to his wrist, George let Bamford loose embarked on a road on its Pilot Type trip around Italy. “I 20 and Heritage returned with orders Cronometro Tipo from l-r Zenith Type 20 Chrono ‘Ton Up’; Bamford Mayfair; Zenith Pilot Chrono Tipo Cp-2 for 25 more.” And CP-2, the Swiss lo, Bamford Watch watchmaker Department was born. guaranteeing “We started by looking at companies – not, it must be said, always with the warranties even after timepieces have that were doing a similar thing,” explains the blessing of the brands themselves. Coating been customised. Similar deals have 36-year-old from the Mayfair townhouse watches in military-grade PVD (physical been struck with LVMH stablemates he’s subsequently converted into the world’s vapour deposition), BWD created cases TAG Heuer and Bulagri. The former most well-resourced man den (it features and bezels that were virtually scratchhas allowed George to tinker with its a wall of vintage stop clocks and bespoke proof and diamond hard. Autavia, Carrera and Monaco models; sculptures by Natxo Frisuelos). “There were “My mentality was always ‘how can I while the latter’s Octo Velocissimo, Octo two businesses in particular that inspired make this individual? How can I make it Solotempo, Serpenti and Scuba watches me. The first was Bentley and Mulliner, feel special?’” are all now available for personalisation.

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THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| COLLECTION |


| COLLECTION |

“The collaboration with LVMH is one of the most exciting and rewarding achievements we have accomplished as a business,” says Bamford. “To offer our take on these incredible timepieces from Zenith, TAG Heuer and Bulagri – I absolutely could not be happier.” I first met George several years ago. Back then we had talked the revival of British watchmaking. He’d praised the protagonists of that story, in particular Bremont’s Giles and Nick English, and Giles Ellis at Schofield. I ventured that surely he must be harbouring ambitions of his own Bamford-branded watches? “I would never produce my own watch unless it was absolutely right,” he had said. “It would have to be the right price, sit within the right market and allow for personalisation. The mechanical movement is also very important. I would want to have something that’s different, something that will make you would go ‘wow, you’ve combined that with that!’” Grand plans for a mechanical timepiece have been temporarily suspended. Before then we get the battery-powered Bamford Mayfair, a stainless-steel asymmetrical sports watch that evolved from a ‘service’ model that

George’s most-prized timepieces “I’ve got an Omega Ploprof that makes me smile every time I put it on. I’ve got two or three vintage Cartier’s, pieces that I love beyond belief. I’ve got some great dual-dial Rolex’s, with Cartier or Tiffany & Co signed on the dial. I love Girard Perregaux, I like their SeaHawk watch.”

George’s horological heroes “Max Busser, of MB&F, I think he’s a genius, a nutty genius. Do I have one myself? No, I’ll grow up when I say I’ll pay that much for a watch. I like Schofield, I think the Bremont boys do a bloody god job, they’ve really hit it out of the park being the British Omega. “You’ve got to have a name behind a watch. I said Max Busser, not MB&F, because he’s the guy that’s making it go boom, he’s the guy you relate to. It’s like Giles Ellis at Schofield; you realise that’s the story, that’s the real deal.”

Bamford customers would be loaned whenever their timepiece went in for a check up. “Clients became besotted with this service watch,” says George. “When I’d wear one, people would keep trying to buy it off my wrist. Which made me think there was something there.” Choose between a 40mm matte black case with a matte ceramic bezel or a matte grey case with an anodised aluminium bezel. Straps come in rubber, nylon or leather. The Mayfair is water resistant to 10 metres, sports LumiNova indices and houses the ever-reliable Japanese Miyota 2035 movement. “Think of it as a holiday watch,” says George. “Throw it on; take it to the beach; go anywhere with it.” In the flesh, the Mayfair is handsome, well-weighted and reassuringly solid. George says that most of his clients already possess a Rolex or Patek Philippe. For the fun factor alone, expect a Mayfair to join those collections. Zenith x Bamford watches from £8,000, TAG Heuer x Bamford watches from £8,000, Bulgari x Bamford watches from £7,000, Bamford Mayfair, £425 , bamfordwatchdepartment.com

Beating Black and Blue The best battery-powered sports watches for under £1,000 Archive Camper MK1, £55, Timex

C8 Flyer Quartz, £450, Christopher Ward

Originally issued by the US army in 1982, the Camper MK1 makes its return with a remastered military grosgrain strap, a lightweight resin case and contrasting silver crown. endclothing.com

Available with a diamondlike carbon (DLC) or steel finish, the 44mm case of the C8 Flyer Quartz references the Smiths Mk II clock found inside Spitfire aircraft. christopherward.co.uk

Case Size: 36mm Water resistance: 50 metres

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Case Size: 44mm Water resistance: 50 metres

Mallory, £283, Farer Case Size: 39.5mm Water resistance: 50 metres

A stealthy, PVD-coated stainless steel sports watch with luminous numerals and hands, the Mallory is named after the ill-fated British mountaineer George Mallory, who died attempting to summit Everest. farer.com

Canfield Chrono, £825, Shinola

Case Size: 43mm Water resistance: 50 metres

Shinola’s first watch built using a top loaded case construction showcases a refined minute track and slim, diamond-cut hands. It also sports a neatlyframed date window. shinola.co.uk

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


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15.08.17 14:15


[ question & answer ]

For half a decade, Jean-Claude Biver and Ricardo Guadalupe, two of the most pioneering personalities in watch land, have ruled over Hublot, propelling the brand of the Big Bang from the suburbs of Geneva to the vanguard of popular culture Words: Richard Brown

Are you surprised Apple Watch sales now surpass Rolex sales? JCB: Two years ago we knew that Apple would become as big as Rolex. Apple announced that it would be producing 10 million units. Ten million units at $400 average is $4bn, which is already close to Rolex. We knew the potential was huge.

Jean-Claude Biver Head of Watchmaking, LVMH; chairman of the board, Hublot; CEO TAG Heuer; acting CEO Zenith Perhaps the single most important person in mechanical watches, more than spearheading the brands belonging to LVMH, Jean-Claude Biver sets the course for the industry at large. Having served as an apprentice at Audemars Piguet, Biver rebuilt Blancpain, rescued Omega and transformed Hublot into one of the planet’s most lusted-over watchmakers. Is it right to talk about smartwatches and mechanical timepieces in the same conversation? JCB: Yes. If a smartwatch isn’t a watch, what is it? If it’s on your wrist and tells the time, it’s a watch. The smartwatch gives you additional information other than the time, so does the moonphase.

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Was does this mean for the Swiss watch industry? JCB: It’s the best promotion we could ask for. Switzerland is extremely active in watches over $1,000. The majority of the Swiss watch industry’s turnover relates to watches over $2,000. Will people buying a Patek Philippe suddenly say ‘no, I don’t want a Patek Philippe anymore, I want an Apple Watch’? No, they will buy both. What about watch brands operating sub-$1,000? JCB: Watches that are retailing for $300 or $400 and do nothing else except tell the time might have a problem. But the upper brands will just have to say ‘thank you’ to Apple, because Apple is doing a huge promotion. Isn’t it more difficult to sell a watch to kids that have never worn a watch, than to kids that have? Is it easier to sell a pair of John Lobb shoes to someone who has only ever worn Nike trainers, or to someone who has always walked around naked and never worn shoes? How can you sell a naked person a John Lobb shoe? What must this type of brand do to survive? JCB: They can look at what TAG Heuer did – look for agreements, look for partnerships. TAG Heuer has partnered with Intel and Google. TAG Heuer is not in the communication industry; it does not produce chips for phones, so it has no other choice but to enter partnerships.


| COLLECTION collection |

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LVMH has authorised Bamford Watch Department to customise watches from TAG Heuer, Zenith and Bulgari. How much is that an attempt to target a younger demographic? JCB: It’s not just about targeting a younger audience; it’s our answer to a market trend. There is a new wealth class. The rich are becoming richer; their number is increasing every year. These people want individuality, something only they own. It’s a huge difference to have a Mercedes by Mercedes and a Mercedes by AMG. Bamford is allowing customers to individualise our watches in a way we cannot always handle. Doing one-offs costs a fortune. Bamford is the best solution. Zenith’s Defy Lab recently won the Innovation prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2017. How important is the watch to the brand, and to the industry at large? JCB: The Defy is the future of traditional Swiss watchmaking, which has had little technical evolution since 1675 [when Dutch horologist Christiaan Huygens invented the balance spring]. The whole mechanical watch industry has been based on the pendulum; ours is the first innovation that says there is another way to produce a mechanical watch. It has no friction; it doesn’t need oil; it’s not influenced by temperature; it’s not affected by magnetism; how can anyone resist a new system that brings such major improvements? This system will take over as time goes on. Will you make the movement available to other watch manufacturers? JCB: We must! It’s like what happens in Silicon Valley – this sort of technology cannot be just for you. It’s an open concept. It needs to be shared. To what extent do you see yourself as a custodian of Switzerland’s mechanical watch industry? JCB: I’ve spent 42 years in this sector; I have never worked in another field; it’s my passion; it’s my life; it’s my future. I’m not ready to retire now that I am 68! Of course I have a different view on the industry now than I did when I was young. When I was 30 I cared about me, about my brand. When you are 68 you have a generosity; you have a different way of thinking. What has been your most significant achievement? JCB: Sharing knowledge and technology – sharing is the ultimate luxury in life. When you share knowledge, when you share love, assets, experience, mistakes. Sharing makes you rich. Everything that you keep for you is useless because you are going to die. What’s the point of having knowledge if you don’t share it?

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“Of course I have a different view on the industry now than I did when I was young. When I was 30 I cared about me, about my brand” Who are your horologic heroes? JCB: The first was Georges Golay, the former chairman of Audemars Piguet, the man who gave me my first job. For one year he told me to do nothing but learn. Every day I had to sit down and say nothing; just listen. The second was Fritz Ammann, who used to be the boss of Omega. In 1979, when I was 29 years old, he named me product director – at that age! It was

written in the company rules that you had to be 30 before they named you a director – so they had to make an exception for me. This guy believed in me and helped me trust myself. Whoever has helped you trust yourself – they are a god. Also hugely influential was Mr Hayek [Snr]. I worked alongside him for 12 years. When you sit next to a giant for 12 years, something rubs off, you grow yourself – 12 years next to a guy like that, wow!

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| COLLECTION |

brand in that sport, too. The link with Las Vegas is good for us. Our Las Vegas boutique is one of the top five performing in the world. When we sponsor boxing events in the city, we see big sales over that weekend – we see a tangible link.

Ricardo Guadalupe CEO, Hublot In 1994, while serving as product manager at Bulgari, Mr Guadalupe was persuaded by Jean-Claude Biver to join Blancpain, which had been acquired by the Swatch Group two years earlier. In eight years, the duo increased turnover to CHF100 million. When Jean-Claude Biver assumed control of Hublot in 2004, he again persuaded Guadalupe to join him. Their initial aim was to switch from producing 90 per cent quartz watches to producing 90 per cent mechanical timepieces.

The Big Bang Bavaria, the first Big Bang cut from bronze, strapped to a hand-embroidered, deer-leather bracelet, £23,400, hublot.com

You sponsored Floyd Mayweather during the Mayweather-McGregor fight. Given that the bout was dismissed as a charade, was there a risk of Hublot being stained by association? RG: Of course there was a risk. All the professional boxers were saying that it was a fake fight. In the end, everyone was surprised by the quality of the fight. It went to the 10th round. I got to be ringside, third row. When you watch a fight live, you live the fight with the fighter – even I was exhausted. Combat sports aren’t usually where you’d expect to find a luxury Swiss watchmaker. Why does boxing make sense for Hublot? RG: Hublot is a young brand. We try to be different and the first in everything we do. We took the risk of going into football more than 10 years ago; boxing was also a risk but we believed we could be the first watch

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

Has football sponsorship provided similar quantifiable results? RG: This is more difficult to judge. It has allowed us to build the brand because with football you have enormous visibility. Take the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro – over one month we touched billions of people. Of course, not all these people can buy the watch but they now know, at the very least, that Hublot is a watch brand. The success we’ve experienced in the last 10 years suggests that we’ve followed the right strategy. How special was the 2014 Brazil World Cup? RG: It was unique. We decided to do incredible activations from day one until the end. We took over an entire hotel. I stayed there for four weeks, I watched 15 games. We invited more than 1,000 people. It’s something we cannot repeat; Russia will be different. Russia is a huge country so we will focus on cities like Moscow and St Petersburg. Tell us about the new London boutique... RG: We planned to open in December but we are working with a very historical building and issues always come up with such buildings. It will now open in February. London is a key world city for us, along with Paris, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. We are putting this flagship on the same level as our store on Place Vendôme in Paris and on 5th Avenue in New York. Apple is now the world’s most successful ‘watchmaker’. Is the mechanical watch industry doomed? RG: It’s 50 years since the birth of the quartz watch. At that time, we thought the Swiss watch industry would collapse but we found ways to maintain it. There are always these cycles when a new technology comes along. This latest technology is very impressive but whenever a new smartwatch comes out, what do you do with the old one? You throw it away. We position our products as works of art, aesthetically and mechanically. That’s where value is derived. That’s the future of the Swiss mechanical watch industry. Will Hublot bring out a smartwatch of its own? RG: We are open. We are working closely with FIFA. But we will not do a smart watch as a business product. It would be more a smartwatch for referees at the World Cup.

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CANARY WHARF AT CHRISTMAS

canarywharf.com

@yourcanarywharf

@canarywharflondon


Christmas is just around the corner and Canary Wharf is the destination to visit. With endless shops, a whole host of restaurants and bars, a stunning ice rink, full music programme and an impressive lights exhibition, there is no better place to get into the festive spirit

Suede Frill Chain bag, £250, Karen Millen,

STRUT YOUR STUFF Canary Wharf is the go-to place for style inspiration for the social season. Whether it’s a key piece, or an accessory that adds a finishing touch, the call for sartorial style is sure to be answered.

Jubilee Place

ice ice baby Ice Rink Canary Wharf is back. This year key features include a rink-side bar where those of a less adventurous nature can watch the fun, and a skate path leading from the main rink, which is one of London’s largest rinks, with an overhead canopy of trees. Get your skates on!

icerinkcanarywharf.co.uk

Plateau, Canada Place

what’s on

TASTE OF INSPIRATION When it comes to food and drink options, Canary Wharf is brimming with inspiration. As well as an abundance of restaurants and bars (that are sure to be buzzing with atmosphere), the malls have plenty to choose from when it comes to delectable gifts to fill stockings and stomachs, too.

The Parlour, The Park Pavilion

LIGH T UP THE D ARKNESS The spectacular Winter Lights exhibition returns to Canary Wharf from 16-27 January, featuring inspirational works by artists from across the globe. Not to be missed.

Boisdale of Canary Wharf, Cabot Place

singing special Popular singing double act Frank and Dean are set to return to Canary Wharf this month to perform their special Christmas Party show until 30 December at Boisdale of Canary Wharf, in Cabot Place. The duo will be crooning Christmas classics and Rat Pack tunes as they bid to capture the magical spirit of 1962.

boisdale.co.uk

canarywharf.com

@yourcanarywharf

@canarywharflondon


Christmas Calendar C

hristmas is well and truly on its way and there’s plenty for you to eat, drink and be merry about in Canary Wharf this December. As well as boasting a plethora of shops in which to find the best stocking fillers, the malls will play host to a variety of muscians, that will keep you entertained throughout the month. Elsewhere on the Estate, there’s a host of activities bringing Christmas cheer

Everyman cinema, Crossrail Place

to the capital. If you’re a film fanatic, don’t miss your top festive movie being broadcast on the big screen with the family and take your kids for a day of treasure hunting on a treasure trail starring their favourite Christmas characters. Take note of our guide to the top festive events happening in Canary Wharf this month to ensure you have yourself a very merry Christmas.

family film screenings at everyman

Ticketing and Times

There are few things more likely to get you in the Christmas spirit than your favourite festive film. This month, Canary Wharf will be hosting a series of Christmas family film screenings at the Everyman cinema on weekends throughout December and from 21-24 December at 10.30am each day, with popcorn giveaways. Tickets will be priced at £2 each, with all proceeds donated to Richard House Children’s Hospice and Tommy’s. Catch everyone’s favourite festive classic, Home Alone, on Saturday 2, 9, 16, 23 December and Thursday 21 December, and don’t miss family favourite The Polar Express on Sunday 3, 10, 17, 24 December and Friday 22 December. Tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. See canarywharf.com for details.

canarywharf.com

@yourcanarywharf

@canarywharflondon


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what’s on

MINI GOLF

Montogomery Square will play host to a miniature outdoor golf course. It’s free to play and will be available to use from 11am until 4pm weekdays and until 5pm on weekends.

WIN THE PLINTH

The annual ‘Win The Plinth’ competition returns for another year. From 1-22 December, don’t miss your chance to win one of 20 plinths, containing prizes worth up to £500. Visit the competition entry points in Cabot Place and Jubilee Place to enter the free prize draw.

Ta k e n o t e o f t h e t o p festive events in the Wharf and be sure to have yourself a very merry christmas

Local talent Don’t miss the Carols and Candles service at the East Wintergarden on 12 December, when local choirs – including tenants of Canary Wharf – will gather to give their renditions of the best Christmas songs. The proceeds will go to two charities: Tower Hamlets Friends and Neighbours and War Child.

TREASURE TRAIL

Keep kids entertained this season with Canary Wharf ’s Christmas treasure trial. Find and name the festive characters located in the malls to win a prize.

Carols and Candles

Music in the malls Throughout December, the malls will be filled with a host of musical talent as the likes of Ember Trio, Jack Pack, Paul Pashley and Tristan Mackay take to the stage as part of Canary Wharf ’s festive events programme. See canarywharf.com for details. Ember Trio

Jack Pack

Paul Pashley

canarywharf.com

@yourcanarywharf

@canarywharflondon


fashion fix

ALL THE TRIMMINGS

hea

Give the man in your life accessories for their everyday life. Choose a practical bag, a dapper belt, a jazzy scarf or some stylish shoes.

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Touch SmartWatch, £299, Boss, Cabot Place

bos

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the canary Wharf malls boast an impressive selection of menswear stores, for both workwear and casual dressing. pick up a key accessory to put under the t r e e f o r t h at s o m e o n e s p e c i a l this christmas

Soft Shell Bag, £345, Hackett London, Cabot Place

Men’s Brown Feather Buckle Belt, £125, Paul Smith, Cabot Place

Paisley Silk Scarf, £55, Ted Baker, Canada Place

GANT, Canada Place

in the bag

It won’t be hard to pick a bag for the man in your life this Christmas. Canary Wharf has options for both work and play.

Card holder, £65, Sandro Paris, Jubilee Place

Tassel Loafers, £260, The Kooples, Canada Place

sandro paris While Sandro Paris is mostly known for its apparel, make an effort to check out its contemporary accessories.

canarywharf.com

@yourcanarywharf

Woven Detail Holdall, £70, Dune London, Cabot Place

@canarywharflondon


The key

t- h

e av

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Accessories are a key part of any outfit, adding that pop of colour and dressing up or down your look. Whether it’s a pair of heels, some sparkly earrings or a statement handbag, accessories make the best gift to give this Christmas.

Zara, Cabot Place

this seas o

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Accessories

Lucky Rabbit Purse, £195, Paul Smith, Cabot Place

Selena Grace Bag, £375, Coach, Cabot Place

DUNE LONDON For AW17 Dune London have pulled together a whole range of shoes that would make a great Christmas gift. For something a little unique, why not opt for these ‘Queen Bee’ flats.

PAUL SMITH Queen Bee Loafer, £95, Dune London,

PRETTY BAllerinas

For a gift that is both practical and pretty, head to Paul Smith in Cabot Place. Its range of purses will give you gift envy.

No girl can resist a pretty pair of shoes. Luckily Pretty Ballerinas in Jubilee Place is filled with plenty of options to choose from.

Audrey Ballerinas, £199, Pretty Ballerinas, Jubilee Place

Cabot Place

RED HOT ACCESSORIES For gift ideas that are on-trend this Christmas, see our top picks below. This season is all about red and whether you opt for a striking pair of heels, a classically beautiful bag, an elegant laptop holder or some quirky gloves, you’re guaranteed to be giving a gift of pure style.

Button Heel Shoe Boots, £165, Karen Millen, Jubilee Place

Red Lottie Bag, £295, Aspinal of London, Cabot Place

Document Portfolio Case, £369, Boss, Cabot Place

Pom Pom Gloves, £40, Dune London, Cabot Place

canarywharf.com

@yourcanarywharf

@canarywharflondon


SPECIAL EDITION 2017 HÄSTENS TRIBUTE Available for a limited time only

Hästens Tribute is a celebration of our 165 years of bed making expertise, a beautiful exercise in handcraft, quality and aesthetics. Clad in a fresh, modern Taupe Check, Tribute brings a timeless elegance into any bedroom. Its look can be enhanced effortlessly by styling with brights or more neutral tones.

£5,680 (£6,580)

Hästens Tribute with BJ top mattress 160x200cm CHELSEA | 115 FULHAM ROAD, SW3 6RL FITZROVIA | 66–68 MARGARET STREET, W1W 8SR HARRODS | 87-135 BROMPTON ROAD, SW1X 7XL HASTENSLONDON@HASTENSSTORES.COM FULFILLING DREAMS SINCE 1852 HAS T E N S . COM


CITY style The new BOSS Stretch Tailoring range is put to the test by Bayern Munich and Germany footballer Mats Hummels. The suit employs two layers of expanding fabric to keep you comfortable while looking sharp. Back of the net. hugoboss.com

Philipp Plein (p.60)

how the playboy designer became the prince of high fashion

A matter of Taste (p.64)

evening wear, dress watches and jewellery pieces for party season

Saintly Scent (p.78)

The fragrance expert putting his money where his nose is


There ain’t no party like a Plein party. How the playboy designer and King of Bling conquered the planet Words: bethan rees

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| interview |

en wearing women’s furs, women wearing men’s hoodies, leathers emblazoned with oversized logos, blinged-out biker jackets, ex-felons, rapper models, rollercoasters, merrygo-rounds and jet men. Welcome to the mad, mad world of the German designer Philipp Plein, whose fashion shows have become the hottest ticket in style town. With his eponymous brand having gone stratospheric in just a handful of years, everyone is asking the same two questions: who is Philipp Plein and how on earth has he done it? Born in Munich, Plein had a fairly traditional childhood. Growing up in a comfortable home, his parents sent him to Schule Schloss Salem, an elite Swiss boarding school – once attended by Prince Philip – before he enrolled at law school to study business. Reading a newspaper article about how the pet industry was profitable even in a recession, he dropped out of law school, loaned money from his father, and began creating luxury stainless steel dog beds. “Design is one of my biggest passions and I wasn't so much into legal studies,” the now 39-year-old tells me. Dog beds led to furniture to leather goods to handbags. Fashion came as an accident. In 2003, Moët & Chandon asked Plein to design and build an installation at a trade show in Düsseldorf, on the proviso that he could also promote his furniture and handbags. Düsseldorf was followed by Maison et Objet in Paris, where, in order promote a steel clothes rack he was trying to sell, he purchased a selection of army surplus coats and embellished them with diamanté. “I created a parka coat with a Swarovski skull – the same skull I was using on a line of cushions – and received more requests for the parka than any of my other designs,” says Plein. The £8 jackets sold for £160.

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“That was the exact moment I decided to start designing in fashion." Plein claims to have sold so many of the jackets that he became a millionaire out of them. Plein’s first store opened in Monte-Carlo in 2009, where he presented a show inside a brothel. Over the next year, he opened boutiques in Vienna, Moscow, St Tropez, Cannes and Kitzbühel, plus a showroom in Düsseldorf. He debuted his S/S11 collection at Milan Fashion Week in deconsecrated 16th-century church filled with white roses. Pierre Sarkozy (son of the former French president and allegedly the world’s most expensive DJ) provided the soundtrack for the after party and the face of the ad campaign. “I’m a hard worker and I keep chasing my dreams until they become reality. I think that the key of my

success is that I created a brand that represents a lifestyle. You can buy a garment anywhere but when you buy my brand you are taking part of my dream, you become part of a specific community.” In 2016, Plein bought a majority stake in Billionaire Couture from Italian businessman – and disgraced Renault F1 boss – Flavio Briatore. Aesthetically similar to his own flamboyant brand, the label is known for its embellished tuxedos and silk moccasins. In the same year, Plein launched Plein Sport, an activewear brand for well-heeled sports-mad men and women.

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Plein's empire – which he owns outright – currently turns over in excess of $300 million. Not bad for someone who was relatively unknown just three years ago. Plein showcased all three brands at this year's Milan Fashion Week, but it was into his eponymous label that he poured the most resource.“ The S/S18 collection that I presented in Milan was a celebration of the musical Grease: the guys with a cigarette stuck behind their ears, Marlboro packs rolled in their T-shirt sleeves, frayed denim and studded leather. The girls were in bomber jackets, cropped tops, leggings and killer heels. All are meant to be obsessed by speed and fast cars,” says Plein. Then there was New York Fashion Week 2017. Where, at the Hammerstein Ballroon, waiters served burgers and Champagne while Dita Von Teese opened the show with a burlesque performance, followed by a set by the rapper Future. Adriana Lima and Irina Shayk walked the catwalk, alongside other hip hop stars 21 Savage and Rae Sremmurd. Exposed breasts, bondage-inspired body harnesses, destroyed jeans and long-shirts were on the menu. Says Plein, “For me it was the sexiest collection I have ever seen.” It was Plein that gave Jeremy Meeks, aka ‘Prison Bae’, whose handsome mugshot went viral, his first ever catwalk show. When questioned about this decision, Plein says: “I think that he has paid his debt to society and is making every effort to change his life. I think that

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| feature |

giving people a second opportunity is a good thing.” Plein is heavily inspired by the world of hip hop. He uses the stars, such as Fetty Wap, Desiigner and Young Thug, to walk as models, and has hip hop artists perform at his shows. “I am extremely close to the rap scene and I like to choose artists and make them walk my shows, especially in New York where they are so popular. I don’t brief them so much for

the catwalk, just a few inputs because I like that they express their own personality. Hip hop artists match the mood of my collections: strong, audacious and over the top.” Plein's parties are legendary. At one, Paris Hilton took selfies with anyone who asked. A hula hoop dancer performed on the middle of a table while guests ate. Masks have been handed out to help guests hide their inhibitions. Plein has even designed a room in the notorious Jimmy’z nightclub in Monte-Carlo – the Philipp Plein Boom Boom Room. It's dominated by a giant Swarovski-crystal skull and features walls lined with crocodile embossed leather. So what makes a good party? “Cool people, great music, a lot of champagne and of course beautiful women,” says Plein, who doesn’t like the taste of alcohol himself. To his guests, however, he serves ‘Champlein’ – a concoction of Champagne and Red Bull. Understated, refined and elegant aren't words you'd associate with Plein. His greatest knack is for creating a world around him and then granting clients access to that world through his studded, slashed, slogan-sprayed clothes. You're buying into the vision of the scene-stealing, crowd-pleasing, party prince, the playboy of irreverent high fashion. And with his three brands opening a swathe of stores across China and Russia, the Plein partying is spreading all over the world.

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A MATTER OF TASTE ’Tis the season of long lunches and decadent soirées; the time of year to inject some flair into your occasion wear Photography: Alexander Beer styling: Graham Cruz

Glasses, £160, Dsquared2, dsquared2.com; Jumper, £180, Canali, canali.com; Suit, £1,650, Joshua Kane, joshuakanestore.com; Watch, £15,810, Chopard, chopard.com


Table and glassware from a selection at Selfridges, selfridges.com

| xxxx |


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Table and glassware: Left from a selection at Selfridges, selfridges.com Right from a selection at Liberty, libertylondon.com

| style |

HIM Tuxedo, £2,200, Shirt, £540, Bow tie, £95, all DIOR HOMME, dior.com HER Dress, POA, Vivienne Westwood Couture, made-to-order from Vivienne Westwood, 6 Davies Street, W1K; Earrings, £4,950, Spinelli Kilcollin, matchesfashion.com; Necklace, POA, Chopard, as before; Rose gold bracelet with white and icy diamonds, £69,900, De Grisogono, degrisogono.com; Opal ring with diamond, £11,650, Dalseen Kabiri, kabiri.co.uk; Rose gold diamond ring, £8,600, Boodles, boodles.com; White gold ring with diamonds, opal, pink & yellow sapphires and tsavorites, £11,000, James Ganh, jamesganh.com; Ball dangle ring in 18k gold, £1,650, Tiffany & Co, tiffany.co.uk; Circus ring featuring round brilliant cut diamonds set in 18 carat yellow gold, £7,300, Boodles, as before; Rose gold ring with white diamonds and pink sapphires, £24,400, De Grisogono, as before; Link bracelet, £5,600, Tiffany & Co, as before; Bangle, £55,200, Boodles, as before

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Table and glassware: Left & right from a selection at Harvey Nichols, harveynichols.com

HER Silk lace dress, £1,015, Emilio De La Morena, emiliodelamorena.com; Wave Diamond Necklace, POA, Harry Winston, harrywinston.com; Mosaic earrings featuring two cushion shaped sapphires set in platinum with diamonds, POA, Boodles, as before; Crossover Bangle, Diamonds set in Platinum, POA, Harry Winston, as before; Mosaic ring featuring three Ashoka diamonds set in platinum, £18,500, Boodles, as before; Top Kat Herringbone Ring, 18k yellow gold set with white diamond pave centering a pale, marquise cut citrine, £7,800, Stephen Webster, stephenwebster.com; Kensington ring, white gold, emeralds and diamonds, £35,000, James Ganh, as before; Polaris Gris ring, £5,750, Spinelli Kilcollin, matchesfashion.com; ‘Ventaglio ring’ in white gold with black and white diamonds, £28,700, De Grisogono, degrisogono.com; Vintage ring featuring a 10.06-carat pear shaped ruby set in platinum with diamonds, POA, Boodles, as before HIM Black hat with crocodile leather band, £645, Jacquard wool and bronze geometric lurex dinner jacket, £1,940, Poplin stretch cotton evening shirt, £520, Silk bow tie, £230, Billionaire, billionairecouture.com; CT60 Chronograph 42mm watch, £11,200, Tiffany & Co, as before

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Table and glassware: Left from a selecton at Liberty, libertylondon.com Right from a selection at Selfridges, selfridges.com

| STYLE |

HIM Jacket, £1,495, Shirt, £145, Bow tie, £45, all Gieves & Hawkes, gievesandhawkes.com HER Stefanie cropped sleeveless jumpsuit, $1,695 (approx. £1,281), Cushnie et Ochs, cushnieetochs.com; Mink and suede coat, £22,200, Philipp Plein, plein.com; Chandelier earrings with marquise and round white diamond, POA, David Morris, davidmorris.com; Phenomena Sirroco Necklace white diamonds set in white gold, POA, De Beers, debeers.co.uk; Sophie bracelet featuring round brilliant cut diamonds set in platinum, £39,500, Boodles, as before; Moonstone cats eye ring, £4,885, Susan Foster, harrods.com; Dragonfly diamond ring, De Beers, as before; Emotion sapphire ring, £17,273, Fabergé, harrods.com; Rose cut diamond watch with leather strap and diamond deployment buckle, POA, David Morris, as before; Secret cluster bracelet, diamonds set in platinum, POA, Harry Winston, as before; Pear shaped cluster ring, diamonds set in platinum, POA, Harry Winston, as before; Flora & Fauna white gold ring, £10,000, James Ganh, as before; Sophie ring featuring round brilliant cut diamonds set in platinum, £14,500, Boodles, as before

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Table and glassware: Left & right from a selection at Selfridges, selfridges.com

HER Hat, £360, Piers Atkinson, piersatkinson.com; Dress, €3,950 (approx. £3,498), Dolce & Gabbana, dolcegabbana.com; Earrings, £11,400, Stephen Webster, as before; Short necklace; POA, David Morris, as before; Long necklace £52,000, Boodles, as before; Cuff, £10,500, Stephen Webster, as before; Bracelet, POA, Harry Winston, as before; Diamond ring, £7,300, Boodles, as before; Diamond and sapphire ring, POA, Harry Winston, as before; Emerald cocktail ring, POA, Boodles, as before; Rose gold ring with pink and yellow sapphire and diamond, £28,000, James Ganh, as before; Watch, £43,670, Patek Philippe, wempe.com; Cuff, POA, Boodles, as before HIM Dark blue shawl collar jacket, £1,895, white evening shirt, £190, Black bow tie, £95, Dunhill, dunhill.com; Talisman cufflinks, £4,000, De Beers, as before; Midnight Date Moon Phase 42mm Automatic, POA, Harry Winston, as before

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| xxxx |

HAIR: Lewis Pallett @ Eighteen Management using Moroccan Oil, assisted by Anton Alexander MAKE-UP: Jonas Oliver using MAC PRO, assisted by Bethany Rodriguez MODELS: Rachel Joy at Wilhelmina Ben Desombre at Premier PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT: Radi Konstantinov and Nick Rees SET DESIGN: Simon Godfrey Design simongodfreydesign.co.uk food: provided by No 97 restaurant no-97.co.uk

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HOW TO PEACOCK THIS party season

Feeling Dapper 74

Bow ties Up your tie game this year courtesy of Matches Fashion, matchesfashion.com

1. Red velvet and satin, £85, Lanvin 2. Skull and polka dot silk, £120, Alexander McQueen 3. Polka dot silk knit, £95, Dunhill 4. Knitted silk, £110, Lanvin 5. Lightning bolt jacquard silk, £75, Neil Barrett

Dress like a Kingsman

George Cleverley’s exclusive design for Mr Porter

A statement-making pair of patent shoes is vital for party season. Channel the agents of the film Kingsman with this pair of classic, comfortable Oxfords from George Cleverley, made in collaboration with Mr Porter’s Kingsman range. £595, mrporter.com


| style |

On the cuff

Purple stag, £75, Simon Carter, simoncarter.net

Pinkgoldandblackonyx,£2.060, Bulgari, selfridges.com

Skeleton enamelled, £210, Tateossian, mrporter.com

Blazing Planegunmetalandgoldtone, £80, Paul Smith, mrporter.com

18ctgold,jasperandlapislasuli, £3,240, Deakin & Francis, deakinandfrancis.co.uk

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

Choose between traditional Mayfair gentleman or modern Monaco playboy 1. Brampton midnight Grosvenor jacket , £1,100, Favourbrook, favourbrook.com 2. Nemir wool and silk blend tuxedo jacket, £525, Hugo Boss, mtporter.com 3. Crystal and feather embroidered velvet jacket, £7,755, Alexander McQueen, alexandermcqueen.com 4. E  merald velvet jacket, £119, Kin by John Lewis, johnlewis.com

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the Art of Gifting

PHOTOGRAPHY ©Richard Foster

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| STYLE |

1. Document case, £1,800, Connolly, connollyengland.com 2. Armchair ashtray, £POA, Connolly, as above 3. Cigar case, £300, Connolly, as above 4. Strike Gold stapler, £25, Kate Spade New York, katespade.co.uk 5. Belgravia leather pen pot, £150, Linley, davidlinley.com 6. Framed Roger Moore print, £300, Sonic Editions, mrporter.com 7. Superman fountain pen, £1,500, Caran d’Ache, carandache.com 8. Weekender bag, £1,575, Troubadour, troubadourgoods.com

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THE fragrance

Grooming

A

fter more than 20 years in the fragrance game, ex-public relations supremo Michael Donovan – who owns the perfumery, Roullier White – has released his own range of scents, titled St Giles. Having toured the country, speaking to fragrance experts and style journalists, Donovan realised that few purveyors were talking about how different scents actually make us feel. “This is what we all really want to know – perfume is not a long shopping-list of ingredients, nor an ephemeral title hinting at desirability,” says Donovan. “We are all multi-faceted personalities and need an olfactory wardrobe that is multi-functional and fulfils the needs of our daily lives – a scent to make us feel empowered and successful or inspired, glamorous or stylish.” Appropriately, the names within the collection include The Tycoon, The Actress, The Writer, The Mechanic and The Stylist, each having a completely different profile. The Tycoon, for example, progresses from a sharp, fresh opening, through a spiced, warming heart to a heavy-hitting, patchouli-fuelled base. Donovan promises that it takes you “from boardroom to bedroom”. Creed, look out.

The St Giles Collection launches exclusively at Selfridges on 7 December, £130/100ml, selfridges.com

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THE LATEST ISSUE OF

the city magazine DELIVERED TO YOUR DESK FOR FREE EMAIL YOUR NAME, ADDRESS & the company you work for to citydesk@rwmg.co.uk


out of office Malle London’s motorcycle-inspired luggage and apparel, along with the exploits of the brand’s founders, have caught the eye of many an adventurer. Turn to page 94 for the story of Malle’s new 1,000-mile British rally, The Great Mile. mallelondon.com

fall from grace (p.82)

Robert Mugabe is gone. HOW MUCH ARE HIS WIFE’S ambitions TO BLAME?

Blowing in the Wind (p.90)

Visiting Britain’s most remote wind farm in Volvo’s acclaimed XC90 Hybrid

Gilbert & George (p.86)

Celebrating 50 years of the East London artistic duo


FALL FROM

grace “T

here was blood everywhere. She flipped and just kept beating me with the plug. Over and over. I had no idea what was going on. I was surprised. I needed to crawl out of the room before I could run away.” So said Gabriella Engels, a 20 year old model, shortly after posting pictures of herself on social media with a deep gash on her forehead, bruises across her body and a scalp matted with dried blood. It sounded like yet another depressingly familiar tale of domestic violence. Except this time, the alleged perpetrator had a surname known and commonly reviled throughout Africa and beyond. Grace Mugabe, the wife of 93 year old Robert, recently deposed President of Zimbabwe, was accused of using the plug of an extension cord to beat Miss Engels whilst the young model was inside a suite at the Capital West 20 hotel in Johannesburg meeting the 25 year old son of her nonagenarian husband, until recently the oldest state leader on the planet. Whisked back to Zimbabwe from South Africa after the incident in August this year and immediately granted diplomatic immunity, the details as to what triggered Grace Mugabe’s violent rage are vague. Her fierce approach towards supreme power, an ambition wielded with every bit as much force as the extension cord, has resulted in both her and her husband being stripped of power in the face of a military takeover and (at time of writing) facing the prospect of enforced exile to Namibia or Mozambique. So how did Grace go too far? “I’m the wife of the President, I’m the president already,” Grace told the Women’s League of ZanuPF last year, the political party that has been in power, with Robert Mugabe as President, ever since Zimbabwe became independent from the UK in 1980. “I plan and do everything with the President,” she continued. “What more do I want? For now the position of the women boss is enough.”

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The near four decade rule of Robert Mugabe is over. But if the infamous Zimbabwean leader is looking for whom to blame for his downfall, he need look no further than his own wife Words: Rob Crossan

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| FEATURE |

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

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| FEATURE |

The ‘woman boss’ however, made veiled over in preference to her academic an error that looks to be fatal. In early achievements. Despite having been November 2017 it is believed that she was awarded a doctorate from the University the driving force behind her husband’s of Zimbabwe, records show that she dismissal of long term deputy actually only attended the university for Emmerson Mnangagwa. less than three months. A veteran of Zimbabwe’s liberation This farrago of ambition, greed and battles of the 1970’s, Mnangagwa was corruption in the higher echelons of dismissed for ‘disloyalty, disrespect, the Mugabe family and Zanu-PF meant deceitfulness and unreliability’, but has that, for the rank and file of the party, now been welcomed back to Zimbabwe the prospect of Grace succeeding her and inaugurated as the new President. husband began to look more and more Supported by the military, unlike Grace, unpalatable. The tide of public opinion the hatred between the two prospective against her within Zimbabwe may look leaders was well known in Zimbabwe with to have changed overnight, but the main Mnangagwa going as far as to accuse Grace opposition party, the Movement for The First Lady of Zimbabwe of trying to poison him with ice cream. Democratic Change (MDC), have been “Why would I kill him?” Grace replied highly critical for years: Born in Benoni, South Africa, Mrs Mugabe to the accusations. “I can’t prepare one cup “Grace Mugabe is a violent, crude, became the President’s mistress while still married to Stanley Goreraza, an air force of an ice cream to kill Mnangagwa. Who is uncouth and disgraceful character. pilot serving in the Zimbabwe embassy he? I am the wife of a president!” It is very unfortunate that South in China. She married the Zimbabwean Grace, at 52 almost exactly half her Africa decided to grant her diplomatic leader in 1996, following the death of Mr husband’s age, has been Robert’s wife since immunity,” the MDC’s spokesperson Obert Mugabe’s first wife through cancer, in an 1996 though their relationship began four Gutu was quoted as saying, soon after extravagant Catholic Mass, lauded as the years earlier whilst Mugabe’s first wife, Sally, Grace arrived back in Zimbabwe following Wedding of the Century by the country’s press. The couple have three children. was in the latter stages of terminal cancer. the assault upon Gabriella Engels. Working as one of the myriad secretaries The Mugabes and violence appear In 2014, Mrs Mugabe was given a to the President’s Office, Grace’s married life to be common bedfellows beyond the doctorate in sociology by the University of got off to a quiet start, her main hobby being President and the First Lady. Grace Zimbabwe only two months after enrolling to jet off on shopping holidays to Hong Kong claimed she was travelling to South Africa at the university. After observers from and Europe; the Zimbabwean press nickwhen the attack on Engels occurred in the European Union were barred from examining Zimbabwe’s 2002 elections, the naming her ‘Gucci Grace’ due to her designer order to have treatment on an injured EU imposed sanctions on 71 members of binges. One expedition in Paris in the late leg (a reason for travel which, according the Zimbabwe leadership, including Grace 1990’s clocked up a bill of over £75,000. to many South African and Zimbabwean Mugabe. The United States instituted This began to change in 2009 when she lawyers, should have made her exempt similar restrictions. repeatedly punched a photographer in the from diplomatic immunity). Her other face who took pictures of her whilst she reason for travelling was to see her sons, was out shopping in Hong Kong. Robert Jnr and Bellarmine Chatunga. Despite once claiming that her husband could ‘rule from the The two men, neither of whom have any recorded interest grave’, Robert’s advanced old age presented Grace with what in politics, are known for posting photographs of themselves many local critics believe was an increasingly blatant attempt to on social media partying with legions of women. keep power within the family. Kicked out of their apartment in the affluent “Grace has always been bad news for Zimbabwe”, says Gordon Johannesburg suburb of Sandton for what has been Glyn Jones, a UK based Zimbabwean who was co-founder of the described as ‘unacceptable behaviour’ that left a security London ‘Zimfest’ festival which ran between 2008 and 2011. officer at the block with a broken leg and arm, Grace “The problem now is not just who follows Bob,” he had flown across the border to help them find new living continues. “It’s that there is now a whole generation of quarters when the attack on Engels took place. Zimbabweans who have With the Mugabe family never known anything as thought to have around one adults except the corruption, billion US dollars in various violence and cronyism of the accounts around the world, latter years of the Mugabe it would not be difficult for regime. It’s left the moral Grace and her children (she compass of the country also has one daughter with absolutely off point and Robert) to jump ship and it will take generations to resume a life of international recover from that.” retail therapy now that her Although Grace has country has rejected her. become something of an expert at spending money, her prowess “She’s the Lady Macbeth of Zimbabwe”, concurs Gordon at earning it is less impressive. She has already presided over Glyn Jones. several failed mining businesses and, when these faltered, “If you spend $1.4 million on a diamond ring (as Grace turned to dairy farming, taking over five farms whose previous, allegedly did last year) and spend so much money on foreign white, owners were expelled from the country under the trips that the European Union imposes sanctions on your auspices of the violent land reform measures taking in the early family, eventually the people are going to say ‘enough’.” years of the last decade. “I don’t even care. Ignorance is bliss”, said Grace in a recent Diplomatic cables given to WikiLeaks state that Grace has documentary interview in response to questions about the also been involved in the illegal mining of diamonds in the east criticism levelled at her. Her ‘bliss’, should it continue, looks of the country. set to be relocated far away from the fulcrum of Zimbabwean This chequered business history can hardly be discreetly power that she, and her Gucci collection, coveted so much.

Grace Mugabe

“There is now a whole generation of Zimbabweans who have never known anything as adults except the corruption, violence and cronyism of the latter years of the Mugabe regime”

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| xxxx |

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE Robert Mugabe with first wife Sally during a 1983 state visit to the United States; Mugabe in the Netherlands, 1982; Mugabe and Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2015

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[ furious compassion ]

gilbert & george Gilbert Prousch and George Passmore met as students in London and began a unique artistic and personal partnership that’s lasted 50 years (and counting). A new exhibition celebrates half a century of their life-long art project Words: Hannah & Mark Hayes-Westall

I

n 1967 The Beatle’s released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, anti-Vietnam war protesters colonised Washington’s Lincoln Memorial, Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing world championship title for refusing the draft, and the Summer of Love got underway in a fug of pot smoke and tiedye. In the midst of the technicolour hippy swirl, a new intake at London’s St Martin’s School of Art began its lectures and when Italian Gilbert Prousch met Plymouthborn George Passmore, an extraordinary, unique partnership was formed which, along with setting an unmatched sartorial standard for artists everywhere, arguably changed the face of art and the way we think about much in contemporary life. As a monumental exhibition of new work marking 50 years of Gilbert & George opens in Bermondsey’s White Cube Gallery, we look at some of the ways in which the output of the elegant duo has affected the art world, society’s thinking about itself, and even this magazine’s home, the City of London. Since the earliest days of their partnership the artists have explored themes around the elements of existence, from love, sex and fear to religion, racism, corruption and death, creating their often shocking work within walking distance

of their home in the East End, an area they see as a microcosm. “Nothing happens in the world that doesn’t happen in the East End,” George has been reported as saying. The principle underlining all of Gilbert & George’s work is ‘Art for All’ – a slogan they created almost as soon as they began working together, the democratic nature of their guiding concept resulting in ongoing innovation in the way that their art is found, created and experienced. Rebelling initially against the strictures of modernism and abstraction then in fashion, their first piece of work,The Singing Sculpture (1969), saw the two artists dressed in matching tweed suits,

their hands and faces covered in coloured metallic powders, standing on a table on the steps of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, singing along and moving to a recording of the song Underneath the Arches, a 1930s song that, despite being a bittersweet celebration of life as a tramp, had become a global hit. The performance garnered immediate acclaim and was performed around the world for the next eight years, with the artists sometimes performing for up to eight hours at a stretch, making their name with an emotionally affecting work that helped to alter the then prevalent view of contemporary art as emotionless, intellectual exercise focused on theory. Famously, Gilbert & George claim not to read ‘art books’, referencing philosophical, religious and historical texts in interviews, and saying in a conversation with the art critic Wolf Jahn: “We wanted to do something attractive and emotional. We didn’t want to do this grubby, fake-serious stuff.” They regard themselves as ‘living sculptures’, adherents to the belief that as artists, everything they do is art, and refer to all of their work, whether drawn, painted, based on photography or performed, as sculptures. This idea evolved from the creation of The Drinking Sculptures (1972), a

ABOVE Mint Beards, 2015, 254 x 302 cm, courtesy White Cube OPPOSITE The artists set out for breakfast at Jeff’s Café, Brune Street. Seated are the Artist’s friends George Crompton and Tara McKerr, courtesy White Cube

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largely photographic and film series created when the artists decided to begin drinking and creating what they thought of as decadent artworks – pictures. Realising that through their performance, and by including themselves in the pictures they had become art objects themselves, they concluded that it didn’t matter whether they were in a gallery or not, their existence had become the art work. Fans of Ziggy Stardust (whose creator David Bowie was a collector of Gilbert & George) will recognise the impact that this idea had on the world of 360° image creation and manipulation, and perhaps see its effects in the era of Kardashian-led celebrity culture. The large-scale photographic works for which Gilbert & George are perhaps best known began with the artists photographing passing locals from the windows of their Fournier Street home,

then extended into recruiting models for works they photographed in a professional studio set up within their house. Work such as Existers (1984), Hope (1984) and Fallers (1984) show collages of images of local young men and boys from the then very disadvantaged neighbourhood alongside the artists, who adopt poses suggesting that they are all on the same level. Discussing the work, George, in conversation with the art critic François Jonquet, said that the art world “couldn’t handle works of modern art showing young people from neighbourhoods where they themselves didn’t want to live, where they wouldn’t even choose to go”. The anger at a society failing itself seems to live vividly at the heart of much of Gilbert & George’s work, the flipside of what seems to be a deeply felt compassion for the people making up that society. In the ‘London Pictures’ series, the artists

Gilbert & George celebrate 50 years of their partnership with a show of works that seem to capture an age of futility

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| art |

SEE THE WORKs Gilbert & George: The Beard Pictures And Their Fuckosophy 22 November 2017 – 28 January 2018 White Cube 144-152 Bermondsey St London, SE1 whitecube.com

collected 3,712 posters advertising newspaper headlines, grouping them by the words that recurred, bomb, body, kill, hunted etc, and arranged frames of recoloured text with their faces and images of their house just visible through the black and red text, lost in the welter of a city apparently determined to describe itself through violent terminology alone. In a new exhibition at White Cube Bermondsey (details left), Gilbert & George celebrate 50 years of their partnership with a show of works that seem to capture an age of futility. Called ‘The Beard Pictures’, the giant photographic works show the artists sporting extravagant, surreal beards made of wire mesh, or beer foam, or rabbits with snakes for tongues, surrounded by images of burglar alarms and adverts for bouncers, builders, sex workers. Redolent of both religious belief and secular hipsterdom, the beards take on symbolic roles in the images, what art writer Michael Bracewell refers to as a depiction that is “both mask and meaning; a sign of the times”. As ever with their art, these works seem to be simultaneously a despairing commentary and a desperate plea for society to pay attention to the situation it has created for itself. Gilbert & George represented the United Kingdom at the 51st International Venice Biennale in 2005, and won the prestigious Turner Prize in 1984. In May 2017, Gilbert & George were elected to the Royal Academy of Arts, the first time in the organisation’s history that two people have been elected as one artist member. It’s an accolade that perhaps

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

underscores the effectiveness of their ‘Art for All’ approach, confirming both their impact and the depth of admiration in which the duo is held. As George once told an interviewer: “Gilbert gets embarrassed by all this praise, but I rather bask in it. All we do we do for our love of art. But all we’ve ever wanted is to be loved.”

from Left to Right Bearding Along, 2016, 226 x 317 cm © Gilbert & George, Courtesy White Cube; Gilbert & George, photo by Julian Cottrell; Beardout, 2016, 226 x 254 cm © Gilbert & George, Courtesy White Cube; Singing Sculpture, 1970, ® Gilbert & George

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BLOWING IN THE 90

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| MOTORING |

sc

ot

land

Dounreay

Volvo’s acclaimed XC90 hybrid is also good for the planet – if only there was a plug socket at Britain’s most remote wind farm Words: Jeremy Taylor

T

WIND luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

he 33 turbines at Strathy North produce enough electricity to power 64,000 homes. Perched on the northern tip of Scotland, the wind farm is incredibly remote and battered by winds of up to 90mph. I’ve driven here from London in a Volvo XC90 T8. The luxury SUV mates a 9.2 kW electric motor with a 316bhp petrol engine to give the seven-seater a remarkable turn of speed. The 1,200-mile round trip should allow plenty of opportunity to understand why this family chariot has been a huge success for Volvo – doubling sales targets since it was launched in summer 2016. There is, however, one point that has to be cleared up from the start. I have no chance of achieving the 134mpg claimed for the twin engine. The car can run for 31 miles on electric power only around the capital – emitting just 49g/km. On a high-speed dash to Scotland, 32mpg is the norm, with a supercharged 2.0 petrol doing most of the work. It’s a startling revelation to some, but the methodology for calculating official mpg figures is currently very much in favour of hybrids. Economy is measured over a short distance in lab conditions, mostly using electric power and therefore wildly inaccurate. Perhaps ‘real world’ figures would allow the public to make a more informed decision about which power plant to buy. It’s the same for all manufacturers – not just Volvo. Locating Britain’s most remote wind farm isn’t as straightforward as I first thought. I call Scottish and Southern Electricity to help with that problem. SSE

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the vitals

Price: £64,365 Engine: 1969cc & 9.2kW motor Power: 407bhp 0-62mph: 5.6 seconds Top speed: 143mph Economy: 134.5mpg (hybrid mode) Boot space: 314 litres

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has hundreds of wind turbines dotted around the UK, and employs more than 20,000 people. After some debate, they picked Strathy North, west of Dounreay research station, in Caithness. It’s a long way from anywhere – which is probably why the UK Atomic Energy Authority chose Dounreay as a nuclear base. Strathy exports 67.6 mW of clean, green electricity to the National Grid. It should make it the perfect destination for an eco-friendly Volvo. Driving through Scotland during the winter demands forward planning. In the technology-packed T8, that also means hours spent slogging through a manual to fully appreciate this advanced SUV. So with the T8’s 86bhp electric motor silently charging next to my house, I settle in the driver’s seat to view the user guide. The pages are uploaded on an eight-inch, iPad-style infotainment system. There’s so much to get through – six driving modes, preconditioning (setting the climate before you get in) and a raft of ‘driver support functions’ that take acronyms to a whole new level. Unfortunately, the Sensus system isn’t as intuitive as I had hoped. Perhaps recognising technophobes like me might not want to tap, slide and sometimes curse their way through the menus, Volvo does leave a basic ‘Quick Guide’ in the glovebox. There’s also a smart phone app, or an online manual to save trees. The 31 miles of electric charge have gone before I reach the M25. By the time I reach the Lake District, the T8 not surprisingly needs more fuel. And because there’s little braking on a motorway trip, the hybrid battery isn’t getting a chance to recharge either. At least on the motorway I can try out the latest

Pilot Assist feature, which now works at speeds of up to 81mph. This semi-autonomous system is a mix of adaptive cruise control and automatic steering. It gives the steering wheel a gentle nudge if I drift towards the white lines. The A9 through the Cairngorms isn’t the best road to test the T8’s 0-62mph time of 5.6 seconds. It has more cameras than Dixons. Instead, I’m luxuriating in a Scandinavian interior of unparalleled quality. The R-Design sports seats are a little firm for my aching hips, even with the optional air suspension.

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| MOTORING |

Also plug in with this… BMW X5 xDrive40e (from £58,000)

Otherwise, it’s so light and airy in the cabin, so un-Germanic. I lose contact with DAB radio just north of Perth but the 1,400W Bowers & Wilkins system sounds superb. After a charge in Inverness, the road winds north along the east coast through windswept, no-nonsense fishing villages like Golspie, Helmsdale and Dunbeath. It’s a road made for the Twin Engine’s combined 401bhp. A car weighing almost two-and-a-half tons and measuring over 16ft has no right to handle this well. With so many free-range deer, Volvo’s large animaldetection system could be useful too. I make Strathy half an hour early. Glorious sunshine can’t disguise the fact that this is a region shaped by the power of a biting wind. Even the place names sound tough – Brawl, Swordly and Bighouse. I’m zipped into a coat designed for Everest but my ears are freezing. SSE manager Willie Caithness is waiting for me near the entrance. The 47-year-old used to work on fishing trawlers and has a suitably weatherworn face. The thermometer in the T8 is reading 0 deg, but Willie assures me this is positively balmy for the time of year. It takes five hours to walk the circumference of the wind farm. Even driving in down a four-mile access track, we’re not allowed to go faster than a snail’s pace. It’s a chance for the XC90 to nimbly negotiate a series of potholes before we arrive at the base. I was expecting a couple of Portakabins. Instead, it’s a proper building with rest rooms, a canteen and a huge warehouse that houses the transformer.

After eating a freshly baked doughnut, there’s an intensive 30-minute health and safety briefing that could have been written by somebody at Volvo. The most relevant warning is ice – shafts of the stuff that accumulate on the 40-metre blades and detach as they melt. The chunks are big enough to write-off a car, or get you airlifted to the nearest hospital. I follow Willie’s truck in the Volvo to Turbine 11. The views are stunning – the staff here have logged otters, hen harriers and golden eagles from the top of the tower. Today, T11 is shut down for maintenance and I’m not allowed to climb it because of health and safety. To be honest, the vista is perfect from ground zero. At maximum speed, each £2million turbine creates enough energy to power 2,000 1kW heaters every hour. I let Willie do the calculations but that’s equivalent to fully charging 217 T8 batteries all at the same time. The 69-metre tower houses a lift big enough for two men to be carried to the top, although older models require the technician to climb ladders. I also find a three-pin plug socket, but it only provides 110 volts for power tools – ironically, not enough juice to re-charge the T8. Plans have been approved to install another 47 turbines at Strathy, which might give Willie a good argument to upgrade from his Ford Ranger doublecab to a more environmentally-friendly T8. They’ll just have to change those plug sockets first…

I lose contact with DAB radio just north of Perth but the 1,400W Bowers & Wilkins system sounds superb

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

BMW’s enduringly popular SUV gets the hybrid treatment, with a plug-in 111bhp electric motor capable of 19 miles and a 2.0 turbocharged petrol engine, producing 309bhp combined. However, emissions are 78g/km – nowhere near as good as the Volvo and still above the Congestion Charge threshold. The interior is pure BMW. The centrepiece is a widescreen sat nav, surrounded by lashings of brushed metal and leather. Again, the XC90 has the edge, thanks to a large iPad-style screen that operates many of the controls, removing the need for dials and buttons. The 40e isn’t as cool as the funky BMW i3 city car, but then it comes with a lot more interior space. It also has the benefit of a higher ride height and the feeling of safety that comes with it – especially if you like a seat with a view. The four-wheel drive X5 also has sporty BMW handling – which in turn encourages you to press on and bring the petrol engine in to play. The switch between both modes is super-smooth, helped by an eight-speed gearbox. The Volvo is more practical, comfortable and refined, but the lure of a BMW badge will attract many buyers.

bmw.co.uk

Jeremy Taylor was kept warm in a North Face Himalayan Parka, thenorthface.co.uk

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Hugh Francis Anderson embarks on a

1,000-mile motorcycle rally from the north of Scotland to the Cornish coast

Photography: fabio AFFUSO

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| motoring |

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The third stage, a staggering 12-hour ride, brought us hard through Snowdonia and deep into the Brecon Beacons

ray of sunlight breaks through the heavy clouds, moisture hangs in the air, and the raucous sound of gurgling motorcycle engines reverberates all around. I’m at the Castle of Mey, Scotland, on the start line of the inaugural The Great Mile rally. Founded by cousins Robert Nightingale and Jonny Cazzolla, who own the motorcycle-inspired luggage and apparel brand Malle London, The Great Mile was created to be the ultimate motorcycle adventure. “I was on a research trip in Mongolia last year with my wife, where we joined part of a 1,000-kilometre horse race,” says Nightingale. “It was brutal; the excitement, camaraderie and determination was contagious, and I thought, ‘imagine this for motorcycles’.” And lo, The Great Mile was born. As the flag drops on the first stage of this four-day adventure, so too does the rain. Avid motorcyclists, 100 of them, riding an array of vintage and custom motorcycles, hastily throw on their waterproofs and begin the long 350-mile ride through the Scottish Highlands. It’s wet, it’s cold, but it’s more beautiful than we could have imagined. The 1,200cc café-racer Harley-Davidson Sportster that I’m riding purrs happily beneath me as we travel along part of the infamous North Coast 500 route, before turning south along Loch Ness and into Glencoe for the night. The rain eases off as evening approaches, and we all gladly consume a hearty meal before bedding down in tipis erected under pine trees.

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The murmuring of my fellow riding comrades wakes me early on the second day, and the sun splayed on our tent in a welcome sight. Jumping aboard our steeds once again, we hammer on through the Lake District, where Windermere and Coniston glisten in the sporadic sunshine, and the summer greens of the flora around hint at their imminent metamorphosis. With only basic directions on our route cards, we get lost many times, but the smile never leaves our faces, a wondrous sense of adventure remaining throughout. Another early morning, another bright day. The weather is in our favour once again, and we’re all glad about it. The third stage, a staggering 12-hour ride, brought us hard through Snowdonia and deep into the Brecon Beacons, and we exhaustedly dragged our bodies to our tents, knowing that the following day would be our last. Naturally, the heavens did not stay on our side, and thunderous rain roused us early on the final morning and drenched us all within seconds. Few things are as uncomfortable as riding a motorcycle through the pouring rain, and remaining sodden for the entire day. This being the last day, however, an excitable energy almost wiped the rain from thought. And so we rode stubbornly into the driving rain, through Exmoor and Dartmoor, and down to The Lizard, where the sun finally appeared, as if in appreciation of our exploratory feat. The Great Mile is an ode to the can-do attitude of Britons. Come rain or shine, the steadfast determination to ride across the country on machines that are far more suited to the streets of London than the wilds of the British Isles, is, for me at least, a joyous celebration of man, machine and adventure.

Get The kit M al l e’ s o n e- st o p ou t f i t t i ng sho p

2017 Malle Mile limited edition race poster, £25

Remi commute tote bag, £215

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Morgan oiled canvas tool roll, £159

Alexander passport wallet, £59.99

Jack messenger bag, £339

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“So in America when the sun goes down and I sit on the old broken-down river pier watching the long, long skies over New Jersey and sense all that raw land that rolls in one unbelievable huge bulge over to the West Coast, and all that road going, all the people dreaming in the immensity of it...” Part 5, ‘On the Road’, Jack Kerouac

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capital / Washington DC

Washington Uncovered Away from the monuments and museums, the American capital is having a moment, spurred by a $200 million refurbishment of the most famous hotel in the country Words: Sara Lawrence

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s you would expect from the American capital, home of the Pentagon, the White House and more museums, memorials and monuments than you can count, Washington DC is stuffed full of impressive, historic neoclassical buildings. It is also home to a growing list of killer restaurants, chic nightspots and a hipster scene, which makes it a much more happening place to spend a few days than you might expect.

Yes, politicos and business do tend to dominate the headlines here, but there are also 20 colleges and universities in and around the city, meaning students actually make up a much bigger percentage of the geography and spirit of the place than the policy makers. And when you set your mind to exploring the lesser known parts of DC, the cool factor appears front and centre. Scandal fans – and that’s all of us, right? – will be thrilled to hear that after

being closed for business for nearly a decade the historic, iconic Watergate Hotel has undergone a $200 million refurbishment, reopening its infamous doors late last year. Rather than shy away from connections with the eponymous 1972 break-in that forced President Richard Nixon to resign before he was impeached, the hotel has embraced it. ‘No need to break in’ read the plastic key cards you receive at check-in. ‘I stole this from The Watergate Hotel’ is emblazoned on the in-room pencils. In the hotel's most genius PR move, Room 214, scene of the bugging that brought down Tricky Dicky, has just launched as ‘The Scandal Suite’, coinciding with the 45th anniversary of the notorious break-in, and the final season of mega-popular TV show Scandal.

The Food Scene

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The restaurant scene in DC is exploding, largely thanks to Michelin, which came here for the first time in 2016, making it the fourth American city to appear with the guide after New York, San Francisco and Chicago. Nine restaurants in Washington have now achieved a one-star rating, while three have two stars. One-star Kinship in Mount Vernon Square is run by a chef and front-ofhouse couple who used to work for Thomas Keller at The French Laundry. Expect innovative and surprising modern-American meals in a set of stunning rooms. My favourite restaurant is Masseria, a trendy, one-star venue deep in a warehouse yard in NOMA – North of Massachusetts Avenue. This is the sort of place that makes you exhale when you walk in because it’s so instantly cool.

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opposite page US Capitol Building, courtesy of Shutterstock top right Suite at The Watergate Hotel below The bar in The Watergate Hotel

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The kitchen is open-plan, the constantly changing tasting menu based on simple Italian flavours cooked with an upscale contemporary twist. Chef Nick Stefanelli is opening another restaurant in the forthcoming Wharf development and I urge you to go to every single one of his restaurants that you can find. For the best brunch in the city, head to Eastern Market – a bit like Shoreditch – on a Saturday or Sunday and find a humble-looking stand called Market Lunch. Ignore the name, come early and be prepared to wait in line for the most mouth-wateringly delicious and cheapas-chips specials. The battle for seats can be fierce but is oh-so worth it. Items lean towards Southern comfort, and I highly recommend the blue buck pancakes, crab cake platter and breakfast sandwich – or just order one of everything on the menu, I promise you won’t regret it. Then take time to wander the jewellery, arts & crafts and vintage clothing stalls outside. The Haunted & Historic Georgetown walking tour with Andrew of Fiat Luxe Tours DC was a fun way to spend a couple of hours learning about the beautiful buildings and their more interesting inhabitants. He is happy to customise any sort of tour you might prefer, walking or otherwise, including the National Mall, the Smithsonian Museums and an

The restaurant scene in DC is exploding, largely thanks to Michelin, which came here for the first time in 2016

LGBT history extravaganza. Definitely put The Phillips Collection, Washington’s answer to The Frick in NYC, on your schedule, and hang out with a few Rothkos, Renoir’s sumptuous Luncheon of the Boating Party, El Greco, Van Gogh and Matisse to name just a few. Arlington National Cemetery is just across the river and well worth a few hours of your stay. It’s a sprawling, green and serene 624 acres and contains over 40,000 graves including those of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The monuments, museums and big galleries are free to enter and the city is very walkable. For a holiday that ticks all the boxes in one small city, you really can’t beat Washington DC.

The Hotel

The Watergate Hotel is located in the historic and beautiful neighbourhood of Georgetown. A 15-minute walk along the scenic Potomac River, the John F. Kennedy Centre for Performing Arts is a short stroll up the hill and various monuments and memorials are accessible on foot. If scotch, single malts, bourbons or ryes float your boat, then The Next Whisky Bar on the hotel’s ground floor is a must-visit. A sinuous wall of bottles carves out a swanky bar area in the lobby with sculptural Mad Men-style red chairs and dedicated whisky sommeliers on hand to discuss the 300+ varieties from around the world. These, in a move sure to delight purists, are served with only two mixers: water and/or ice. The food and beverage offering is shamelessly indulgent across all on-site outlets but the upscale Americanwith-a-French-twist cuisine served at Kingbird – open all day for breakfast, lunch and dinner – is especially enjoyable. Renowned designer Ron Arad’s elegant yet retro interiors are complemented by views of the Potomac and hark back to an old-school era with spiral chandeliers, tornado-shaped stainless steel columns and a swirling palette of red, black and chrome. The rooftop bar, Top of the Gate, is the coolest place to hang out in the whole city, as evidenced by the long queues that form every Friday and Saturday night. Make sure you book a couple of the outdoor sofas so you can kick back with delicious cocktails, enjoy a few of the sublime stone-baked pizzas and soak up the vibes. If you’re lucky, you will see the presidential helicopter flying to and from the Pentagon as you take in the next level views of the Potomac – at sunset it’s truly magical. Head to the Argentta Spa in the basement and book the 90-minute gamechanging ‘couture’ facial with Ludmilla – I promise you will see and feel the incredible elasticity and youthful results for at least a couple of weeks afterwards. Rooms are on point and service is faultless – The Watergate is back with a vengeance. The Watergate Hotel, rooms from $300 per night, thewatergatehotel.com

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Massachusetts / Boston

FIRST TIME IN BOSTON One of the oldest cities in the United States, Boston was the scene of several events instrumental to America gaining its independence. Today, the city enjoys one of the highest qualities of life in any of the country’s major conurbations Words: Rob Crossan

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e was, as the poem goes: ‘impatient to mount and ride, booted and spurred, with a heavy stride’. For a man who made the most important horse ride in American history, one would expect his residence to have been granted a more noble purpose after his death than a flophouse (doss house) and a cigar factory. Yet, the home of Paul Revere, now the oldest house in Boston and once the lodgings of the spy whose night ride played a major role in the battle for American independence, had a rough time prior to its current status as a humble shrine to a great American rebel.

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But this is Boston all over; a city that seldom sees the appeal in bombast. It may have one of the highest qualities of life of any American city, one of the lowest crime rates and some of the most beautiful parks and green spaces. But, like Paul Revere’s house, it prefers not to show off about it too much. Built around 1680, this bijou post-andbeam house, which still contains some period furniture, was only turned into a museum in 1902 by Paul Revere’s greatgrandson. Nearly two centuries earlier, his ancestor, a silversmith by trade, earned his place in history by riding at nightfall to Lexington, Massachusetts, on the night of April 18 1775 to warn patriot leaders John Hancock and Samuel Adams of an imminent British invasion, an event immortalised in a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, published in the Atlantic Monthly in 1861. Today the house, tucked into a wealth of later development in the North End 'hood of Boston’ is frenetic with visitors keen to explore such a fine architectural survivor, albeit one which, after its stint as a flophouse, had its top floor demolished. Were Paul Revere around today, he and his horse would struggle to negotiate the narrow streets, but they’d be pleased to find so much green space.

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The Rose F Kennedy Greenway (named after the mother of JFK who lived and worked here as a young senator) is an almost two-mile long stretch of parkland and footpaths that winds from Chinatown in the east, all the way through to the North End. Peppered with installation art, murals, food trucks, zip lines, beer stands and fairground rides, this, difficult as it is to envisage now, was once the site of a


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interior is worth lingering in for a quite staggeringly perfect ‘cannolo' – ricotta cheese and cream bulging out from a tight tube of sweet pastry. It is a brisk 45-minute walk (or a quick trip on the creaky Green Line trolley) to the Beacon Hill district that the true blue-blooded refinement of Boston reaches its apex. The brownstones and Greek revival and Gothic homes of this leafy, lamp-lit neighbourhood has been the place that Henry James, Louisa May Alcott and Robert Frost have all called home. These days, the most famous resident is former Secretary of State John Kerry, though locals have noticed that the

Secret Service detail who prowled around nearby has now all but vanished. The older families here are still known as the ‘Boston Brahmins’ for their place at the top of the social pecking order (in Hinduism, Brahmins are sacred priests). Yet there is nothing overly haughty about this neighbourhood. Rather, the prevailing mood on a sun-dappled afternoon as the flowering trees drip blossom onto the paving slabs is that of contentment without smugness and a firm commitment to the mores of discretion and humbleness. The soft hum of sports cars reversing into some of America’s most expensive parking spots (one went for $560,000 in Beacon Hill last year) is the dominant sound of movement these days. But, as the late afternoon turns into a sunset, bleaching the cobbles hues of jade and grapefruit and the old-fashioned street lights come on, it’s not so difficult to imagine the distant thunder of hooves and the fleeting passing shadow of a dissident on horseback. Longfellow’s lines still resonate at the time of nightfall: ‘In the hour of darkness and peril and need, the people will waken and listen to hear. The hurrying hoofbeats of that steed, and the midnight message of Paul Revere’.

clockwise from top left Acorn Street; the Old State House; skyline seen from Piers Park; The Museum of Fine Arts; Boston public gardens; skyline over Boston Common. All courtesy of Shutterstock

Should you loiter outside for long enough, there’s a good chance of Ray Liotta driving up and stepping out of a coupé

much-reviled elevated highway built after the Second World War for the burgeoning motor generation to power through Boston without stopping. The ‘Big Dig’, a near two-decade project, has put the expressway underground, creating the Greenway, which, for the first time in decades, means that the waterfront, the Financial District and the North End are now linked up and reachable on foot. It is the latter district that has opened up the most since the removal of the expressway. Still with a large, and very visible Italian presence, the North End has the kind of old-style trattorias, coffee shops and restaurants where one feels that, should you loiter outside for long enough, there’s a good chance of Ray Liotta driving up and stepping out of a coupé, replete in point collar and camel coat. Yet an influx of young professionals to the North End has done nothing to dim the popularity of restaurants like Daily Catch, a space with an interior barely larger than a snooker table, where calamari are served up fried, stuffed and marinated with the minimum of pretension. Maria’s Pastry Shop looks humdrum from the outside, but the utilitarian

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Norwegian flies from London Gatwick direct to Boston with return fares beginning from £210. Upgrade to Premium from £720 return, norwegian.com. For more information on Boston and New England go to massvacation.com and bostonusa.com

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GEORGIA - alabama - tennessee / Lookout Mountain

Go Tell It On The Spanning three states and 93 miles of waterfalls, canyons, caves and parks, Lookout Mountain Parkway is touted as the most scenic short road trip in the United States Words: Kevin Pilley

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t's easy to get lost on Lookout Mountain. So you have to be constantly on the lookout for a bandy-legged man to ask the way. You can always trust a bandy man down south. He’s usually a local. We were trying to find the Chanticleer Inn. Which according to our maps was in Tennessee and Alabama. And probably Georgia too. We spotted a suitably bow-legged man who was hobbling down the pavement like a steer with a split hoof. We pulled over and rolled down the window of our reasonablypriced 'intermediate' rental car with 'Florida – The Sunshine State' on the plates.

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“Howdy,” we said. He tipped his hat and we asked him the way to the hotel. He thought a while and then thought some more. Invisible tumbleweeds rolled past him. Then he decided to answer. “You know Oberon?” he asked. Our jaws dropped. “How about Peter Pan? And Cinderella?” Our sat nav lady clearly didn’t, so why should we? She had been struck mute by Lookout Mountain. It is a very disorientating part of the world. You can lose an hour just by turning right. Eastern Time suddenly becomes Central if you don’t know where you’re going. He pointed down the road. “Look out for fairyland! And Mother Goose!” We got out of there like a bee-stung stallion. The next bandy man had more decisive directions, “Follow Red Riding Hood to Pied Piper.” Before we could get the gear into shift

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he said, “You into big boulders? Because this is the place to see ’em.” He frowned and squinted and turned his head as if to rid himself of a tobacco wad. “You sure don’t look like fairy folk.” He coughed. And got candid. “Nor gnome rustlers.” At 93 miles, spanning three states, Lookout Mountain Parkway proclaims itself as ‘The most scenic short drive in the US’. The bumf uses words like breathtaking and truly awesome. Which some of the tailbacks, queues and directions certainly are. The road trip is best done in the autumn. With the yellowing poplars, scarlet dogwoods, flaming-orange maples and shedding hemlocks and hickories. The Parkway is a foliologist’s delight. It is also less busy in autumn. There aren’t

Mountain states

spans three states, stretchING across Lookout Mountain ridge IN NORTHWEST GEORGIA, from Gadsden, Alabama to Chattanooga, Tennessee

The “Last battle of the Cherokees” and the decisive Union victory in the Civil War Battle of Lookout Mountain

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so many backcountry campers, backpackers, dirt pass fanatics, geocachers, kids on owl prowl summer camps, hang gliders, overlook enthusiasts, rocky outcrop fans, wild cavers, yurt lovers, zip liners, whitewater fetishists, canyon climbers and various other abseiling people. Or boulder and elf fans. All I knew about Lookout Mountain was that the tennis player Roscoe Tanner came from there and, like many other places, it staged some significant battles. Like the Battle of the Clouds (1777) and Last Battle of the Cherokees (1794). I didn’t know it was 2,389ft high and, being a mountain ridge, it goes on and on for nearly 100 miles into Alabama. Driving down it you get to see the Deep South in one day. From the mountain’s must-see Lover’s Leap, if you can look over the three deep group of schoolchildren, you can see seven states including Virginia, South and North Carolina.

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You can visit Rock City and enjoy vertigo as well as the Fat Man’s Squeeze rock formation and kitschy Fairyland Caverns. Rock City was developed in the 1920s as a resort by Garnet Carter and his wife, Frieda who suffered from OCFD (Obsessive Compulsie Fairy Disorder). He built the country’s first miniature golf course and she decorated the caves with elves, goblins and other sprites. She was also fixated with nursery rhymes. Walking around the top of Lookout Mountain you have to get used to people approaching you and asking if you are headed for the Fairy Dell. The Hart family’s luxurious 1930s Chanticleer Inn B&B, opposite the iconic Rock City attraction, is fairly fairy-free and boasts private baths and private exterior entrances as well as a boccia court. Backyard boccia is the Confederate version of boules and pétanque. In the southern states of the US a jack is called a pallina. It is a classy, romantic, from $175-a-night place. The inn provides boxed truffles and hand-dipped chocolate-coated strawberries. The Parkway road trip starts in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where you can go Whoo! Whoo! in the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel in the restored terminal station. The song made famous by the Glenn Miller Band in 1941 was written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren while

travelling on the Southern Railway’s Birmingham Special from New York to Chattanooga (meaning rock dwelling). The Chattanooga Choo Choo doesn’t refer to any particular train. And Birmingham Special hasn’t got the same ring to it. You can see a similar train to the old wood-burning loco in the city’s station complex. You can eat and sleep on board in Pullman cars. While in’ Nooga you have to visit The International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum. Tennessee is a very historic place. It is the birthplace of the recovery and rescue tow truck. And therefore the birthplace of impounding. In 1916, Ernest Holmes Snr. invented the tow truck, and a replica of the first is on show along with other classics and a Wall of the Fallen, commemorating those heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in the service of the motoring public. Chattanooga also boasts the Bessie Smith Cultural Center, a museum dedicated to the Empress of the Blues. Out on the road in backwaters country we didn’t come across any cross-eyed fiddle players. Or any chewbacon or hayseeds in grubby dungarees. Or the stereotypical southern hardscrabbled, snaggle-toothed hicks who don’t take too kindly to folk looking at their mesh-backed distributor caps, hold a straw stalk in the

side of their mouths, a blowing jug in one hand and a customised family heirloom pitchfork in the other. Who live in a pile of old Studebacker tyres. The Dukes of Hazzard and Jed Clampetts were few. The hillbilly count low. And bandy men short on the ground. After Ruby Falls (the 145ft underground waterfall was discovered in 1928 and named after a speleologist’s wife) comes Cloudland Canyon State Park (in Georgia) with its waterfalls, cascading creeks, sandstone gorge and ADA – (American Disability Association) accessible boardwalks on the western edge of Lookout Mountain and the Cumberland Plateau. Then it’s Mentone (part of the southwestern Appalachian Mountains) and Cloudmont, the country’s most southerly ski resort with its 275 people slope limit, 1,800ft elevation and pony lifts. Further on, there’s the 107ft DeSoto Falls and 'America’s Most Amazing Mile', the 72.7 per cent gauge Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, apparently the steepest railway in the world. Which gives you the chance to fall backwards into the lap of ladies with the colour of fried whole catfish. And scream along with kids with grilles across their teeth. And suffer vertigo alongside a man with very large thighs. The last leg of a drive that allows you to see more states, more natural wonders, more fairies and bow-legged locals in a day than anywhere in the nation, takes you through Fort Payne which once produced more than half the socks worn in the US.

You see and feel what 10,000 cubic feet of travelling water per second looks like

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clockwise from far left Noccalula Falls; traditional weathered barn in southern Appalachia; Walnut Street pedestrian bridge across the Tennessee River, Shutterstock.

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And Cagle’s Crossroads. Better known as Dog Town, named because it was a popular base for hunting folk. And their dogs. If you haven’t had enough waterfalls you must also visit Alabama’s highest waterfall at the Little River Canyon State Preserve. Standing beside the 133ft Grace’s High Falls in full spate you see and feel what 10,000 cubic feet of travelling water per second looks like. Little River is meant to be the country’s highest mountaintop river. You might also meet a Leaf Peeper. Or Forest Bather. Or two. “Me? I’m a big sourwood fan. But my wife here roots for redbuds,” my Mr Peeper said, mistaking me for a mixed hardwood guy. “The southern Appalachians are great for cove hardwoods like yellow buckeye and sweet maple.” “Don’t forget the shagbark hickory, honey,” added his wife. Leaf-dropping is rife in north-east Alabama – The Yellowhammer State. They had done Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains. And ticked off the leaf fall trails on Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s

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highest peak. They had photograph after photograph to prove it. They showed me the back of their camera for 10 minutes. “New England is where it’s at from October. If you are into your mellow apricots. But Alabama is real underrated. It can produce some pretty neat colour vibrations.” He jerked a thumb at his wife. “She’s in her element in dense woodland.” It was a serious attempt at flattery. “She gets real strung out if she ain’t up to her

ankles in leaf mould. It’s all about the fall and the falls, man.” The Lookout Mountain Scenic Parkway ends near Gadsden, Alabama, at the Noccalula Falls, which has a statue dedicated to a suicide. It is of a Cherokee girl who threw herself over the edge after being ordered to marry a man she didn’t love. A gentleman there with an impressive Custer beard and array of tattoos and highly trustworthy bandiness had a theory. He pointed down at the statue’s huge feet. “The lady just couldn’t live any longer with them size 12s.” American Airlines flies to Chattanooga from London Heathrow, via Charlotte Douglas and Dallas/Fort Worth from £503 return pp. (inc. taxes). Fly in Business Class from £2,698. return pp. (inc. taxes), aa.co.uk, 0844 369 9899; A week’s car hire from Chattanooga Lovell Field Airport, drop off Montgomery Dannelly Airport costs from £244 for an economy car (Chevrolet Spark or similar), hertz.co.uk; stayatchanticleer.com

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ARIZONA / Scottsdale

scottsdale state

From cowboys and ancient cacti to helicopters and sprawling shopping malls, there’s more to the Grand Canyon State than spectacular scenery

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hey just lay down, there it is, baby comes out,” Lori Bridwell is describing a cow giving birth. We are on a tour of her cattle ranch at the Lorill Equestrian Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. “We’ve had some issues,” she says, “we’ve lost some cows; some firsttime heifers from a big-headed bull.” She points to a black and white one, a Belted Galloway (or an “Oreo cow”) who “doesn’t do too well in the heat”. Temperatures can reach 50°C in Arizona, poor cow. I’m learning about ranch life as I have just enrolled at the Arizona Cowboy College, where Bridwell is the owner and president. After the cattle, our group of cowboydreaming city slickers is introduced to the horses and shown how to approach and groom them, before saddling up for a ride around the paddock. Due to my lack of horse riding experience, I’m assigned the reassuringly slow-moving Tito. Once in the saddle, everyone is warned to keep a safe distance because Tito is “a kicker”. Despite donning a borrowed stetson, I’m not feeling like Billy the Kid yet, but it’s early days for us in Arizona. It seems fitting to start with the cattle – after all, herding cows on a ranch while on horseback is the very definition of ‘cowboy’ – the symbol of the American West. Arizona once branded itself the 'West's Most Western Town.' Once upon a time, there were more cattle than people in the area. Indeed 'cattle' constitutes one of the five Cs that Arizona is famous for – copper, cotton, citrus, and climate the others. Cacti is another unofficial C, specifically the Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea). Pronounced sah-wah-ro, these tall, columnar cacti are iconic of the American West as a whole, thanks to their proliferation in Western films, despite being exclusively found in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert.

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Way out West

McDowell Sonoran Preserve ©Tom Mackie

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“In the right conditions, they can grow to between 40 and 60 ft tall and live for up to 200 years,” says a local guide during our early-morning hike through Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. It dawns on me that some of the older cacti surrounding us would have been around (just a lot smaller) during some of Arizona’s big historical moments, including the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral – the infamous Old West gun battle in Tombstone, Az – in 1881, and the Powell Geographic Expedition of 1869, when U.S. Army Major John Wesley Powell made his now famous expedition to the American West by travelling along the “impassable” Colorado River and through the unexplored Grand Canyon. Some 60 years earlier, President Thomas Jefferson had initiated Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery expedition, with an aim to explore and survey the lands west of the Mississippi River ( following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, he wasn’t sure what land he’d bought). While this didn’t pass through Arizona (or the part of New Mexico as the area was known at the time), this journey was credited with clearing the path for westward expansion and, later, the rhetoric of Manifest Destiny – the belief that the expansion of the United States throughout the American continents was both justified and inevitable. A visit to the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona is a must – especially as now you don’t have to risk life and limb on a 19th-century boat along the Colorado River to get there. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the canyon measures over 270 miles long, is up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep. It’s an emotive and mind-blowing vision to behold. From Scottsdale, which is around 10 miles from the state capital Phoenix, we booked a Fly and Hike Tour with

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Westwind Air Service to experience the luxury of flying over the canyon before getting up close and personal with it. Boarding a Westwind Cessna from Deer Valley Airport, the flight of a lifetime takes you over the desert landscape of Tonto National Forest, the red rocks of Sedona, the green plains of the Coconino Plateau and the Grand Canyon itself – flying over the widest and deepest part. After landing we are led on a hike down the Grand Canyon South Rim. Being winter, there is snow on the ground and, on our descent, we have to stand to the side to let mountain mules pass. They are carrying soil to drop down on the icy lower levels. “Always stand on the inside,” our guide advises, as the mules could kick out ( first Tito, now the mules, what is it with me and kickers?). No one really knows exactly how old the Grand Canyon is, but it is believed that the Colorado River began carving the canyon about six million years ago. Further studies indicate that the process could have actually started 70 million years ago, and signs of Native American inhabitation can be traced back 12,000 years. Be sure to stop for a photo at the aptly named Ooh Aah Point. Halfway through our hike, we stop for a picnic that our guide retrieves from

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| americaN ROADTRIP |

clockwise from above McDowell Sonoran Preserve at sunrise ©Lonna Tucker; The Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Christmas; South Kaibab Trail at the Grand Canyon; Tombstone; Saguaro; Grand Canyon Ooh Aah point

Considered one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the canyon measures more than 270 miles long, is up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep his backpack. This is as surreal as eating sandwiches on 70-million-year-old rock sounds. If you have a bucket list, consider adding this to it. Old West meets modern luxury in Scottsdale. Downtown, in the Old Town, you’re greeted by a lassoing cowboy on the welcome sign and lone stars on the side walk. The silhouettes of Saguaro cacti, stetsons and cowboy boots abound and you even can walk through genuine saloon doors at Scottsdale's oldest cowboy saloon, Rusty Spur. Having a locally brewed beer while the locals dance to live country music will make you feel like you’ve stepped into the set of a Western, and if you want to look the part it’s here that you’ll find the best quality boots in Saba’s, while Watson’s will fit you out for a hat. Downtown is also home to the glossy Scottsdale Fashion Square, which is as cosmopolitan as shopping districts come. Luxury brands including Cartier, Gucci, Burberry and Bulgari have boutiques in the mall – one of the 20 largest in the US.

The Food Scene

Scottsdale’s foodie scene is diverse, but Mexican influence is apparent in bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood. For unadulterated Mexicana head to The Mission, a glamorous restaurant where the lip-smacking guacamole is made at the side of your table. Fans of gourmet cuisine should book a table at FnB Restaurant, which is famous for its farm-to-table-style dishes paired with excellent local wines. Co-owner

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

Charleen Badman is one of Arizona’s most celebrated chefs, and is known as the veggie whisperer for her ability to coax the best flavour out of locally grown vegetables. For lunch or brunch, Hash Kitchen “has a cult following”, says co-founder and executive chef Joey Maggiore. Possibly because it has a build-your-own Bloody Mary Bar. Choose between houseinfused vodkas with flavours including smoked salmon, pickle, Calabrian chili, cilantro lime and bacon and 50 toppings (meatballs, egg rolls, pickled cactus, beef jerky and artisan cheeses to name a few). For a lighter lunch, try the signature ‘Stetson Chopped’ salad at Cowboy Ciao. For an authentic Arizona experience that will take a health and safety-conscious Brit way out of their comfort zone head to a rodeo at Buffalo Chip Saloon in Cave Creek on a Friday night to watch live bull riding and partake in line dancing. We watched on, bemused and amazed, as 21st-century cowboys clung onto bucking bulls for as long as possible. In fact, anybody can have a go for $40, and there’s a kids event too. Four- to sixyear-olds sit on sheep (in a phenomenon known as mutton busting), while older children, spurs and all, ride calves. Once the rodeo’s over, everybody retreats inside to the bar – where old cowboy boots hang from the ceiling – to enjoy live country music. If we hadn’t realised this back on the ranch, this jolly excursion drummed it home that c owboy spirit is alive and kicking in the Grand Canyon State.

The Hotel

The Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa opened last year and features locally sourced art as well as all mod cons – it’s a designlover’s dream. The backdrop of Camelback Mountain can be seen from the resort, which features floor-to-ceiling windows and mid-century modern design. The swimming pool is a sheer luxury in the desert, complete with poolside cabanas. For a more traditional stay, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has been designed in a Spanish colonial style with south-westerly comfort. The sprawling resort goes to town with festivities and is famous for its extensive Christmas lights display. Last year’s Christmas at The Princess included three million holiday lights, a four-storey musical tree festooned with 70,000 LED lights, a 6,000sq. ft Desert Ice Skating Rink, S’mores Land and Santa’s Secret Headquarters. Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa, from $139 in summer (low season for Arizona) and $459 in season, andaz.hyatt.com Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, summer rates from $169, last weekend of summer from $229, standard rooms in shoulder season start from $299-$329, October $449, November $299-$399 and December $199$349. Taxes, a resort fee and parking are additional, experiencescottsdale.com

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READY FOR OCCUPATION

SHOW HOMES AVAILABLE

LUXURY LIVING IN THE HEART OF WESTMINSTER

1, 2 & 3 BEDROOM APARTMENTS

2 4 H O U R C O N C I E R G E , P R I VAT E G Y M A N D S E C U R E U N D E R G R O U N D C A R P A R K I N G * RESIDENTS’ ROOF TERRACE C L O S E T O W E S T M I N S T E R A N D S T J A M E S ’ S P A R K T U B E S TAT I O N S B E A U T I F U L V I E W S O V E R W E S T M I N S T E R A N D T H E C I T Y **

PRICES FROM £899,000 R E G I S T E R YO U R I N T E R E S T AT

WESTMINSTERQ UARTER.COM PLEASE CALL

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020 3004 4434

* TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY. **PLOT SPECIFIC. ALL INFORMATION IS CORRECT AT THE TIME OF GOING TO PRESS. CGI IS INDICATIVE ONLY AND PHOTOGRAPHS DEPICT THE SHOW APARTMENT, GYM AND CONCIERGE.

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19/10/2017 16:41


Covering: THE CITY, WAPPING, SHAD THAMES, SHOREDITCH & ISLINGTON

grand tour

a penthouse show home opens at royal arsenal riverside

Image courtesy of Berkeley Homes. See page 128 for more information


MOVE Faster. Sell with Knight Frank

Our understanding of the everchanging market enables us to price your property accurately, so you can rely on Knight Frank to get you moving. Call us today on  020 8166 5375 to arrange your free market appraisal. KnightFrank.co.uk/wapping wapping@knightfrank.com      

Guide price: £899,950

The Gatehouse, Wapping E1W A unique and beautifully presented apartment in this picturesque listed development in the heart of Wapping. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, reception room with open plan kitchen, 24 hour porterage, parking. Approximately 109 sq m (1,177 sq ft). Leasehold with approximately 95 years remaining.  Office: 020 8166 5375 wappingsales@knightfrank.com

@KnightFrank KnightFrank.co.uk

Guide price: £1,895,000

Chimney Court, Wapping E1W A bespoke penthouse apartment in a listed converted soap factory with a 525 sq ft private terrace. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, reception room with open plan kitchen, roof terrace, porter, parking. Approximately 311 sq m (3,357 sq ft). Leasehold approximately 981 years remaining.  020 8166 5375  wappingsales@knightfrank.com

City Mag December 2017

08/11/2017 15:23:10

Cit


10

FOUND. Your perfect tenant. Let with Knight Frank

Our local expertise and global network mean that we can find a reliable tenant for your property; and with an average tenancy of nearly two years, Knight Frank not only helps you find them – but keep them as well. If you are considering letting a property this year, please contact us on 020 8166 5366 or visit KnightFrank.co.uk/lettings        

Guide price: £750 per week

London Dock, Wapping E1W

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A fantastic newly built apartment situated in Wapping moments from Tower Bridge and the City. 2 double bedrooms, (1 en suite), reception room, fully integrated kitchen, 2 balconies, 24 hour concierge and access to the health and fitness suite. EPC: B. Approximately 88 sq m (944 sq ft). Available furnished. wappinglettings@knightfrank.com Office: 020 8166 5366

All potential tenants should be advised that, as well as rent, an administration fee of £276 will apply when renting a property. Please ask us for more information about other fees that may apply or visit KnightFrank.co.uk/tenantcharges

@KnightFrank KnightFrank.co.uk

Guide price: £550 per week

Halcyon Wharf, Wapping E1W Set on the second floor of this modern portered development, moments from St Katharine Docks. 2 bedrooms, bathroom, dual aspect reception room with open plan kitchen, storage, balcony and parking. EPC: C. Approximately 70.8 sq m (762 sq ft). Available furnished. wappinglettings@knightfrank.com Office: 020 8166 5366

City magazine Lettings December

15/11/2017 16:13:08


FOUND YOUR PERFECT TENANT. LET WITH KNIGHT FRANK

To find out how we can help you please contact us KnightFrank.co.uk/aldgate aldgatelettings@knightfrank.com 020 3823 9930  

Guide price: £580 per week

Roman House, The City EC2Y

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A stylish one bedroom apartment located on the sixth floor in The City. Bedroom, bathroom, reception room with stunning City views, open plan kitchen with luxury amenities, 24 hour concierge, lift, residents' gym. Available furnished. EPC: B. Approximately 49 sq m (527 sq ft). aldgatelettings@knightfrank.com Office: 020 3823 9930

All potential tenants should be advised that as well as rent, an administration fee of £276 and referencing fees of £48 per person will apply when renting a property. Please ask us for more information about other fees that may apply or visit KnightFrank.co.uk/tenantcharges

@KnightFrank KnightFrank.co.uk

Guide price: £825 per week

Bezier Apartments, Old Street EC1Y A stunning two bedroom apartment in a luxurious development. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, large reception room with open plan kitchen, 2 balconies, 24 hour concierge, gym, spa facilities, roof terrace. Available furnished. EPC: B. Approximately 99 sq m (1,069 sq ft). aldgatelettings@knightfrank.com Office: 020 3823 9930

City Magazine December 2017

07/11/2017 15:59:40


| property |

EXPERT VIEWS

The Knight Frank Wapping office gives us the lowdown on the current market and the months ahead

Lee O’Neill

Gary Hall

associate and head of sales

regional partner

W

e entered autumn with a trophy-esque book of instructions and focused sellers. This had been created throughout the summer with sensible market appraisals, constant client feedback and accurate updates on the ever-changing market. Encouragingly, like last year, we’ve seen a sharp upturn in demand as we enter the late autumn and early winter markets and autumn has once again brought our best period of agreed sales during the calendar year. As such, ‘pent-up demand’ is fast becoming an autumnal trend. As well as pent-up demand, another phrase we’ve coined is ‘buyer due diligence’.

We’ll see a good number of buyers try to obtain fixed rate mortgage products fearing a further increase in interest rates The key to our sustained successes in 2017 has been good buyers – we pull on applicants from the entire database of Knight Frank, which is substantial, but it’s been our ability to identify, to offer counsel and give confidence through success to incoming buyers that has separated us. Without doubt, buyers are cautious. They are looking at everything and often in multiple areas, but they are starting to see transaction volumes increase and this, along with the witnessed pent-up demand, has led to a very productive period. As 2017 draws to an end and we start to look at 2018, I feel we will see a steady market. We’ll hit the opening quarter on the back of positive transaction levels in late 2017 and we’ll see a good number of buyers try to obtain fixed rate mortgage products fearing a further increase in interest rates. But as ever, vendors will need to be sensible and patient in regards to the market conditions.

W

hile 2017 has been a successful year, there have been many challenges and changes. Average rental values in prime central London dipped 0.1 per cent in the three months to September, the smallest quarterly decline in almost two years. Average rents were down three per cent year-on-year, the most modest decline since June 2016, underlining how a slowdown in new lettings stock is putting upwards pressure on rental values. The number of properties coming onto the market between January and August was up just 2.2 per cent yearon-year, compared to an equivalent jump of 33 per cent between 2015 and 2016. Higher supply was the result of slower activity and pricing uncertainty in the sales market following a succession of tax hikes, which meant more owners decided to let rather than sell. However, this trend has started to reverse as asking prices adjust and demand improves. While the availability of lettings properties has become more muted, demand is rising, which is also boosting rental values. The number of new prospective tenants registering in the first eight months of this year increased 19.6 per cent and viewing levels were 25 per cent higher than last year. Furthermore, the number of tenancies agreed in the first eight months of the year was 19 per cent higher than 2016. The imbalance between new levels of supply and demand suggests the market is likely to tip back in the favour of landlords after a period when tenants have benefitted from higher supply levels and falling rental values. There is no sign that recent tax changes for landlords have exacerbated the trend for declining levels of new stock in any material way by prompting landlords to sell. Recent tax changes include the reduction of tax relief on mortgage interest, the loss of the wearand-tear allowance and a three per cent stamp duty levy for buy-to-let investors. While there are fewer buy-to-let mortgages issued in the UK than before the three per cent stamp duty introduced in April 2016, Knight Frank data shows there was a 9.8 per cent rise in the number of landlords who re-let their property in prime central London in the year to August 2017. This underlines the fact there has been no large-scale exit from the buy-to-let sector.

Knight Frank Wapping, 1 Wapping High Street, E1W, 020 7480 6848, knightfrank.co.uk luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

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Mayfair Showroom 66 Grosvenor Street, London, W1K 3JL 28 offices in central London and over 60 across the capital

High Holborn, WC1V ÂŁ2,995,000

This three bedroom penthouse apartment is split over the top three floors and benefits from a large roof garden with decked flooring. The property has been finished to a high standard throughout and has an open plan kitchen/reception room and two modern bathrooms, energy rating c. Dexters Covent Garden 020 7067 2424

Northchurch Road, N1 ÂŁ2,500,000

A stucco fronted semi-detached villa located in De Beauvoir. This property has three reception rooms with an open plan kitchen, four bedrooms and two bathrooms. Further benefits include a conservatory, a study and a south facing garden, energy rating e. Dexters Islington 020 7483 6373

dexters.co.uk


Essex Street, WC2R £2,400 per week

An immaculate interior designed three bedroom, three bathroom apartment on the fourth floor of the exclusive Aldwych Chambers development. The property has a newly integrated smart home system which controls the lighting, blinds, heating and the televisions, energy rating c. Dexters Covent Garden 020 7067 2400

Treveris Street, SE1 £1,900 per week

A modern three bedroom, three bathroom penthouse apartment arranged over three floors with a balcony on each level and large private terrace off the second reception. The apartment has a separate kitchen, two reception rooms and bathrooms with limestone flooring, energy rating c. Dexters London Bridge 020 7650 5101

dexters.co.uk

Tenants fees apply: £180 per tenancy towards administration, £60 reference fee per tenant and £144 towards the end of tenancy check out report (all inc VAT).


Glamis Place, Wapping E1W

Tequila Wharf, Limehouse E14

Ea2 are pleased to offer for sale this modern built 5th floor apartment within this Ea2 are pleased to offer for sale this modern built 1st floor apartment within this gated and popular canal side development.The apartment benefits from an open plan secure and centrally located development.The apartment benefits from a lounge, Wellington Terrace, Wapping E1W lounge and fully fitted kitchen, double bedroom, 3 piece bathroom suite£695,000 and balcony spacious separate fully fitted kitchen, double bedroom and 4 piece bathroom suite. 2Wood double bedroom, 2 storey house set within this gated CCTV development. Theviews property modernised to include with towardshas thebeen Canaryfully Wharf district. Laminate wood floors. Security entryfloors. Security entry-phone system. Gas central heating.Allocated parking double replacement ceilings, wood floors, , alarm, central system operated viacentral remote control, smart phoneThe orapartment is conveniently phone system. Gas heating. Porterage/security. space.Theglazing, apartment is conveniently located close to multiple transport links heating to located close Secure to multiple transport linksparking to includespace. Limehouse station. include Shadwell and Fully Limehouse internet. Lounge. fittedstations. kitchen. Double bedrooms with fitted wardrobes. Garden. Underground

Potential extend into the subject to planning permission. Close to Wapping station and local amenities. Rental to Price: £370 Perloft Week Price: £399,999

Breezers Court, West Wapping E1W

Regent Canal House, Limehouse E14

Ea2 are pleased to offer for sale this modern built 3rd floor 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom ea2 are pleased to be able to offer for sale this top floor warehouse conversion.The apartment. The apartment benefits from a spacious fully fitted kitchen and lounge apartment consists of an open plan lounge and kitchen with breakfast bar. Lounge with with duel aspect windows. Spacious roof terrace with south facing views of double height ceilings and galleried bedroom. 2nd bedroom with double height ceilings Tudor House,Tower Bridge, SE1 £1,595,000 Limehosue Marina and the Canary Wharf district. Laminate wood floor. Security and galleried study area/3rd bedroom. The apartment benefits from 2 bathrooms and 6th floor Doubleincluding Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Plan Reception Room, large balcony. Master bedroom with space. en-suite entry-phone system. Secure underground parking Close to Limehouse stations a wealth of luxury character2 features exposed brickwork andOpen cast iron beams. The and walk isinwell wardrobe. Integrated Kitchen, Balcony, 24Hill Hour Porter by Estates, Residents Gymnasium, Swimming andHarrods local bus routes. apartment positionedModern being close to St Katharine’s Dock and Tower stations.

Pool, Lifts to all floors. Close to Local Shopping Facilities, Walking Distance toPrice: London£750,000 Bridge. Price: £875,000

ea2 Estate ea2 Estate AgencyAgency Heritage | 35a Court Wapping | 8-10High Sampson StreetStreet | Wapping | Wapping | London | London E1W 1NR E1W 1NA t: 020 7702 3456 t: 020 7702 3456 | f: 020 7702 9168 www.ea2group.com | enquiries@ea2group.com www.ea2.co.uk | property@ea2group.com


Goodhart Place, Limehouse E14

Coopers Close, Bethnal Green E1

Rental Price: £330 Per Week

Rental Price: £400 Per Week

Pierhead Wharf, West Wapping E1W

Sovereign Court, Wapping E1W

ea2 are pleased to offer to rent this two double bedroom 1st and 2nd floor ea2 are delighted to be able to offer for rent this delightful, one double bedroom, maisonette in a quite cul-de-sac. Lounge with laminate flooring, separate kitchen, raised ground floor apartment within this sought after gated development in RodingThe Mews, Wapping Bathroom and private parking. close to Bethnal Green Tube£1,300 Station. per week Limehouse. property comprises of aE1W double bedroom and direct dock views. ea2 are pleased to be able to show you this 6 bedroom 4 bathroom house for rental with a garden. This property is a Reception with superb views overlooking Limehouse Marina. Spacious fitted kitchen. very unique property and hasavailable. views over theclose canal. Would suit 6 professional people. Close to Tower Hill and Wapping Hyperoptic broadband connection Situated to Limehouse DLR station and offering easyand access intoto Canary Wharf and the City. Overground close Waitrose.

Ea2 are pleased to offer for rent this 2 bedroom recently refurbished apartment set ea2 are pleased to offer to rent this characterful listed 3 bedroom, 2 receptions with this quite square.The apartment benefits from lounge, fitted kitchen, bathroom and 3 bathroom Georgian house within The Pierhead. Set over four storeys and at and wood floors. 24 hour porterage/security. Close to Wapping and Shadwell stations, approximately 2000 sq ft, features include high ceilings, wooden flooring and large Cascades Tower, Docklands E14 £500 per week local bus routes and amenities. windows, feature staircase and above average size kitchen with plenty of storage. 2 double bedroom, 2 bathroom 11thft.Within floor apartment this Parking space. The property is over 2,000sq easy access towithin the City ansecure modern development. Comprising a reception room Wharf. with water/ City views, fitted kitchen, master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe & en suite bathroom, additional Canary ‘Waitrose’ supermarket is nearby.

shower £995 room. Per Balcony. Swimming pool, Gymnasium & Tennis court. Concierge. Rental Price: £450 Per Week Price: Week

ea2 Agency Estate Agency | 35a Wapping StreetStreet | Wapping | London E1W E1W 1NR 1NA ea2 Estate Heritage Court | 8-10High Sampson | Wapping | London 020 7702 3456 t: 020 7702t: 3456 | f: 020 7702 9168 www.ea2group.com | enquiries@ea2group.com www.ea2.co.uk | property@ea2group.com


Beckenham 020 8663 4433 Bromley 020 8315 5544

Chislehurst 020 8295 4900 Locksbottom 01689 882 988

Orpington 01689 661 400 West Wickham 020 8432 7373

Beckenham BR3 Occupying approximately 0.8 of an acre is this exceptional Arts and Crafts family residence.

£3,250,000 F/H Five bedrooms

Five bathrooms

Four receptions

EER C

Contact Beckenham 020 8663 4433

West Wickham BR4

Orpington BR6

Impressive detached house offering 1,900 sqft of accommodation and a South West facing garden.

Beautifully kept four bedroom detached home tucked away in a secluded cul-de-sac just off Goddington Lane.

£850,000 F/H

£840,000 F/H

Five bedrooms

Two bathrooms

Four bedrooms

Two bathrooms

Two receptions

EER E

Two receptions

EER C

Contact West Wickham 020 8432 7373

The Acorn Group, incorporating:

Contact Orpington 01689 661 400

langfordrussell.co.uk


R A R E . B E AU T I FU L. T I ME LE SS. APART M E N TS U N V E IL IN G S O O N

B e come ne ig hbou r s with Ce n tral S ain t Mar tin s, Lou is Vuitton, Eve ry ma n Cin e ma an d th e n ew Th omas H e ath e r wick d e s ig ne d s hop p in g d e stin ation , Coal Drop s Yard . B e p a rt of Lon d on ’s b e st con n e cte d n e ig h b ou r h ood . ST U DIO APART ME NTS FRO M £ 810,000*

New show apartments unveiling soon, register your interest at gasholderslondon.co.uk or book an appointment on +44 (0)20 7205 2392 to meet with a member of the team at 14-15 Stable Street, London, N1C 4AB * P r i c e c o r r e c t a t t i m e o f g o i n g to p r e s s .


SE1

Discover penthouse living in Waterloo Final 2 penthouses remain, book your appointment today Located right next to Waterloo, these unique penthouses benefit from views of the London skyline, including the London Eye and have access to a secluded communal garden, all just a few minutes walk from Waterloo station. 3 bedroom penthouses priced from ÂŁ1,194,995 Ready to move into now valentineplacese1@crestnicholson.com | 1-19 Valentine Place, London, SE1 8QH

www.valentineplaceSE1.com External and Show Home photography. Pricing correct on 14.11.17.

0203 437 0448


2 YEAR 5% NET RENTAL YIELD GUARANTEE FiftySevenEast is a unique collection of contemporary one, two and three bedroom apartments. The development has been meticulously crafted with every feature carefully considered, resulting in a fusion of luxury, innovation and originality. FiftySevenEast features a residents’ lobby, 24-hour concierge and cycle storage. FiftySevenEast is conveniently located adjacent to Dalston Kingsland Station providing links into the City. Purchase a 3 bedroom apartment at FiftySevenEast and receive: • Designer furniture pack supplied by Hatch Interiors • Contract, administration and check-in charges paid • Letting and management fees paid •Ground rent and service charge paid •No void periods •Inventory and deposit registration charges paid

Three bedroom apartments from £825,000* Show apartment open to view, contact us to arrange a viewing: Call: 020 3818 8819

Email: fiftyseveneast@taylorwimpey.com

Website: FiftySevenEast.com Selling Agents

CGI and Photography are indicative only. *Plot specific. Prices and information are correct at time of going to press.

the_city_magazine_full_page_1.5.indd 1

21/11/2017 13:28


INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO Royal Arsenal Riverside, SE18

S

et over 88 acres, with homes surrounded by parkland, riverside and broad squares, Royal Arsenal Riverside is a significant new development in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. If river vistas are high on your property wish list, then prioritise viewing its penthouses, which sit along one kilometre of riverside. A new show room for these has just opened to help give interested buyers a sense of the grandeur of the five individually designed spaces, which are located in the Berkeley Homes development’s Waterfront I building. Textured wood finishes, a muted colour palette and reflective surfaces by CID Interieurs pay homage to the Thames-side location and bring polished luxury yachts to mind. The penthouses are two- and three-bedroom duplexes and

range from 1,014 sq ft to 1,640 sq ft. Open plan layouts make the most of the expansive views over the water, facing Canary Wharf and the Thames Barrier, while ample balcony space allows residents to also enjoy the riverscape from outdoors. You can even commute by boat on the Thames Clipper. Its on-site Woolwich Arsenal Pier will transport residents to Greenwich, Canary Wharf and London Bridge in less than 30 minutes. The new Crossrail Elizabeth Line will also have a station on site from 2018, and trains are set to reach Canary Wharf in eight minutes and Bond Street in 22. As for amenities in the wider development, The Waterside Club combines a 20m pool, sauna, steam room, and gym, while additional benefits of being a penthouse resident include access to a cinema room and a 24-hour concierge service.

PRICE: from ÂŁ1,295,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment 020 8108 7155 royalarsenalriverside.co.uk

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THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


| property |

luxurylondon.co.uk | THE CITY Magazine

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| property |

Insider Knowledge CHARLOTTE RUSSELL, JLL RESIDENTIAL IN STRATFORD

Sales activity in Stratford strengthens as we head into Q4

J

LL’s Stratford office opened its doors just over 18 months ago and since then, this busy corner of east London has grown rapidly. In 2017 alone, almost 1,000 new homes have completed in developments including Glasshouse Gardens, the Azure building, Chobham Manor, River Heights and Capital Towers. With so much going on in the area, buying or renting in Stratford is starting to become a lifestyle choice rather than a decision influenced by budget or access to transport. The facilities and accessibility of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park really allow Stratford residents to connect with London’s Olympic Legacy. Events that have taken place this year, include the World Taekwondo Grand Prix and the World Championships in Athletics. JLL’s Stratford team recommend visiting the ArcelorMittal Orbit, which holds the world’s longest tunnel slide. Stratford’s transformation is about more than housing and leisure, however. A steady influx of established and growing businesses are basing themselves in the area, attracted by commercial projects such as International Quarter London by Lendlease. IQL’s next resident will be Transport for London, which will move into its new office this month.

LETTINGS

Stratford’s lettings team has had a busy summer, with an influx of new City and Canary Wharf-based professionals choosing to make their homes in the area. The second phase of Glasshouse Gardens completed just before autumn: Cassia Point offers a gym, 24-hour concierge and views across the Olympic Park. Onebedroom apartments have achieved rents of £1,500-£1,700pcm. Two-bed apartments are available from £1,900-£2,200pcm and three-beds from £3,000pcm. With Stratford now firmly on the map as a rental destination, we’re looking forward to the buzz that will accompany the launch of Telford’s Stratosphere development. One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are available to let within Stratosphere, all of which benefit from access to a sky gym, concierge and residents’ lounge.

SALES

Stratford’s sales market has slowed since the end of summer, but activity levels are now picking up. The first week of October

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Stratford’s transformation is about more than housing and leisure, however. A steady influx of established and growing businesses are basing themselves in the area saw our office triple the number of sales it completed compared to the first week of September. Applicants remain cautious, but we are finding that this makes them more willing to move quickly when the right opportunity arises. We are still seeing a lot of interest in developments that are yet to complete, both from investors and potential owneroccupiers. One of the most high profile of these projects is Telford Homes' Stratosphere, where we have a wide selection of properties for sale. Elsewhere in Stratford, we have just been instructed on a lovely three-bedroom apartment in the Glasshouse Gardens development. Properties in this development rarely come to market and we have received a lot of interest.

We are starting to see more enquiries from families considering a move to Stratford, attracted by its blend of good transport links and family-friendly attractions across Westfield and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Finally, JLL has been instructed by Hill/ Peabody on one of the phases in Fish Island Village. This development sits in fashionable Hackney Wick, which is being heavily regenerated. Due for completion in 2018 and situated in a peaceful canal-side location, Fish Island Village has a lot to offer families of all sizes, with a range of interesting cafes, restaurants and independent shops. JLL Stratford, Unex Tower, 5 Station Street, E15 1DA, 020 8104 1110

THE CITY Magazine | luxurylondon.co.uk


THE FINEST RIVER VIEW IN LONDON WATERFRONT PENTHOUSE SHOWHOME NOW LAUNCHED – ARRANGE A VIEWING TODAY Simply stunning: the new penthouse Showhome at Waterfront is the ultimate in luxury, with breathtaking views up and down the river to Canary Wharf, the City and the Thames Barrier. Royal Arsenal Riverside is an amazing destination. Residents can relax in the sumptuous spa facilities of The Waterside Club, and enjoy on-site dining, riverside walks, shopping, and a forthcoming Crossrail station.

A limited collection of 2 and 3 bedroom duplex penthouses available. Prices from ÂŁ1,295,000. Viewing by appointment only - call 020 3504 4095 to register your interest Sales & Marketing Suite open 10am to 6pm (Thursdays until 8pm) Imperial Building, No. 2 Duke of Wellington Avenue, Royal Arsenal Riverside, Woolwich, London SE18 6FR Photography is indicative only. Prices and information correct at time of going to press.

www.royalarsenalriverside.co.uk Proud to be a member of the Berkeley Group of companies


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The City Magazine December 2017  

Welcome to the December edition of The City magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles an...

The City Magazine December 2017  

Welcome to the December edition of The City magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles an...

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