4x4 WARS The super SUVs taking luxury to new limits
INSIDE SIHH The hottest timepieces from the fashion week of watches
Golf for revolutionaries What happened when Guevara beat Castro
Oldman From New Cross council estate to national treasure
Mr Balthazar Fabricius
The bookmaker putting the glamour back into gambling
Mr Vince Cable
The Lib Dem leader on Brexit, young voters and the next election
Messrs Freud & Bacon
The fascinating bond between the masters of figurative painting
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from the editor issue no.
m a n a g in g Edi tor Richard Brown
c o n t e n t d i r e ctor dawn alford
a s s is ta n t Edi tors david taylor Melissa emerson
J EWEL L E RY EDITOR MHAIRI GRAHAM
If anyone ever made the case for the virtue of keeping your head down and working your nuts off, it was Gary Oldman. Since emerging in the late 1980s as de facto leader of the ‘Brit Pack’ – a group of talented, thirstyfor-it actors that included Tim Roth, Rupert Everett, Miranda Richardson, Colin Firth and Daniel Day-Lewis – the working class lad from New Cross has done nothing but graft. After graduating from the Young People’s Theatre in Greenwich – where he studied while working on a factory assembly line before beheading pigs in an abattoir – Oldman spent the 80s traversing the length of the UK with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Roles in various indie Brit flicks followed before performances in Sid and Nancy (’86) and Prick Up Your Ears (’87) paved the way for Hollywood. A string of villainous parts in Air Force One, JFK, The Fifth Element and Lost in Space helped “put food on the table” but didn’t necessarily generate the kudos of some of Oldman’s earlier work. His performance in Prick Up Your Ears has been ranked number 62 in Premiere magazine’s 100 Greatest Performances of All Time; while Nil by Mouth (’97), the semi-biographical tale of life in south east London which Oldman wrote and directed – it contains more C-bombs than any other film in history – won two BAFTAs and three British Independent Film Awards. “Gary Oldman is, hands down, the greatest actor that’s ever lived,” said an aspiring Tom Hardy. “I think Oldman was the actor of my generation, certainly in Britain, who we all admired most,” said Colin Firth. An actors’ actor always, the unsung hero of cinema is finally receiving the recognition he deserves. Following commercial turns in the Harry Potter and Batman franchises, the Hollywood nearly-man was lauded in 2011’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy before landing what might just be his career-defining role playing Sir Winston Churchill in the WWII biopic Darkest Hour. In January, Oldman faced Daniel Day-Lewis in the Best Actor category at the Golden Globes, Day-Lewis having been nominated for his depiction of a dressmaker in Phantom Thread. Oldman won. And did so again at the BAFTAs. Ahead of this month’s Oscars, Oldman steps into the limelight on page 80. If you’ve yet to see Darkest Hour, it’s worth catching at the cinema before it’s too late. “Continuous effort is the key to unlocking our potential,” Churchill once said. Just see the meritorious efforts of Mr Oldman.
ART E DITOR Laddawan Juhong
Ge n era l M anag e r Fiona Smith
Pro du cti on Hugo Wheatley Alice Ford Jamie Steele
Pro pe rt y Di re ctor Samantha Ratcliffe
Ex e c u t iv e D i r e ctor Sophie Roberts
M a n a g in g Di r ector Eren Ellwood
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Cover Image (p.80):
Star of Darkest Hour and Oscar-hopeful Mr Gary Oldman, photo by Michael Buckner
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The Rolls-Royce Cullinan will be the company’s first SUV, named after the largest flawless diamond ever found
Rob Crossan Rob works regularly for the BBC and across publications including GQ, The Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph. This month, Rob looks back at the deep and tumultuous friendship between Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon (p. 86).
72 on the cover
22 Balthazar Fabricius The bespoke bookmaker putting the glamour back into gambling 26 sir Vince Cable The Liberal Democrat leader on Brexit, young voters and the next election 43 Inside SIHH The hottest timepieces from the fashion week of watches 72 4x4 Wars The super SUVs taking luxury to new adventurous heights 80 Gary Oldman The actor who went from New Cross council estate to national treasure 86 Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon The fascinating bond between the masters of figurative painting 86 Golf for Revolutionaries When Guevara beat Castro; the potted history of golf in Cuba
14 Lalit London The flagship British hotel from India’s luxury hoteliers provides the best of both worlds 16 The Dragon Road Land Rover’s most audacious challenge yet
32 Monthly digest Sky-high dining, incredibly rare port, and the best steak in the world 34 Soho a go-go A wave of openings in London’s spiritual centre shows Soho is having a moment
Kevin Pilley Kevin is the former chief staff writer of PUNCH Magazine, and is also – allegedly – the UK’s most published travel writer. Turn to page 100 for Kevin’s potted history of golf among revolutionaries in communist Cuba.
58 Style Brief BOSS Black is out to smarten up your spring wardrobe 60 Get out what you put in Take an athlete’s approach to your morning grooming routine 62 London Fashion Week The trends that caught our eye on the catwalk
70 Motoring news The Lister Thunder, the new Mercedes-Benz A-Class and the McLaren Senna
94 Pent-up Luxury The penthouses, suites and villas upping the luxury travel game 95 A sense of Malay The traditional core of modern Kuala Lumpur
Nick savage Editor of specialist concierge service Innerplace, Nick has the low-down when it comes to London’s most luxurious haunts. On page 34, Nick documents the latest openings in a resurgent Soho.
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CITY LIFE F e b r u a r y
2 0 1 8
Image: DBOX for Macklowe Properties & CIM Group
New York City’s 432 Park Avenue is a record breaker. Not only is the 1,396ft tower the world’s tallest residential building, it’s apartments have collectively sold for more than any other building in Manhattan’s history – netting its co-developers CIM Group and Macklowe Properties more than $2 billion. It helped that 48 of the residences were sold for in excess of $20 million each. 432parkavenue.com
The Edit Driving to Heaven’s Gate and dining in Suburbia
Sir Vince Cable
The b o o k m a k e r m a k i n g gambling glamorous ag a i n
why the Lib Dems are heading for a comeback
The commodities and consumables raising our interest rates this month
The flagship British hotel from India’s luxury hoteliers showcases the best of both worlds
As the first overseas hotel from luxury Indian group Lalit Suri, The Lalit London blends the richness of Indian culture with the tradition of Victorian England. The hotel is based in a Grade II-listed property that used to house St Olave’s Grammar School and Lambeth College, and the scholastic influence has been used to good effect throughout the hotel. The 70 bedrooms are all individually designed, with rooms on the top floor featuring 30fthigh ceilings. The former Great Hall is now home to The Lalit’s pan-Indian restaurant, Baluchi, decorated with royal blue, handblown Hyderabadi chandeliers and handmade silk tapestries. Baluchi offers dishes from a comprehensive range of Indian states – Kashmir, Bengal, Kerala, Goa, Rajasthan and Delhi – with highlights including Suroor e Shorba (Keralan-style lobster bisque, coconut and cognac) and Teen Ka Meetha (carrot fudge, salted chilli chocolate marquise and cardamom brûlée). The hotel also hosts the award-winning Rejuve spa, offering Ayurvedic treatments and therapies, and a 24-hour gym. 181 Tooley Street, SE1, thelalit.com/the-lalit-london
The Dragon Road
the RANGE ROVER SPORT ‘PHEV’ becomes the FIRST SUV TO CLIMB TO HEAVEN’S GATE
of the Inferno downhill course in Mürren, Switzerland. Its latest pitted the Range Rover Sport Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and Ho-Pin Tung, Formula E competitor and winner of the Le Mans 24 Hour
race, against the Dragon Road. The challenge? To race the 99 turns on the 11.3km Tianmen Mountain Road, China, up to the mythical Heaven’s Gate rock arch – then climb the 999 steps to the top.
The road to Heaven’s Gate is notoriously one of the world’s toughest drives, and the summit stairway reaches a 45-degree angle. The P400e used its Ingenium petrol engine/electric battery power
train to its full capacity in order to complete the challenge. On completing the climb, the visibly relieved Tung said “electric motors deliver instant torque, which gives you that extra boost”. landrover.co.uk
Land Rover is well known for its audacious challenges: a recordsetting hill climb at Pikes Peak, USA; another record crossing of the Arabian Peninsula’s ‘Empty Quarter’ desert; a 2,170m descent
2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine
electric motor working side by side with the engine
The hybrid produces rapid-fire torque
from the bottom of Tianmen Mountain Road to the summit
to reach the mythical natural stone arch of Heavenâ€™s Gate
supercars need tuning; luxury watches need winding
The majority of automatic watches have a power reserve of between two and four days. This means they will continue to tick autonomously for between 48 and 96 hours from a fully wound state. After that, your watch will have run flat and you’ll need to rotate it yourself before setting the correct time. Doing so turns an oscillating weight which winds a mainspring which powers the watch. Alternatively, you invest in a watch winder that ensures your timepiece always runs on time. With a history that stretches back 184 years, LA-based, familyrun Wolf is the world’s leading manufacturer of watch winders. Last year the company was chosen as the sole supplier of watch winders for all Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Goldsmiths Luxury stores. The rotation options on the Roadster 8-piece winder (right) range from 300-1200 turns per day. The direction of rotation can be set clockwise, anticlockwise or bi-directional. The watch cuff has also been designed to fit watch cases up to 52mm in size. Or there’s the 12-piece Atlas 1834 safe (above), with a highgloss titanium/onyx exterior, custom anti-tarnish drawers and Bluetooth-controlled winders. For the man who really does have everything. £2,599; £23,899, wolf1834.co.uk
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A new collection from the thoroughly stylish, thoroughly London eyewear brand
A cult brand ever since bands like Oasis, The Brand New Heavies and The Young Disciples started wearing them in the 1990s, Kirk Originals has recently released its new ‘Made in England’ collection. Founded in 1919 in London, Kirk’s first frames were created on a converted sewing machine. Fast forward 70-odd years, and the brand became the go-to name for shade-wearing celebs: other notable wearers including Mick Jagger, The Smiths, Paul
Weller, Samuel L. Jackson, Antony Hopkins and this month’s cover star, Gary Oldman. The eight pairs in the new collection take a minimum of 72 hours to make, assemble and polish and are inspired by the classic frames of the 50s and 60s. The silhouettes range from aviator, to D-shape, to oversized rounds, and have bold fronts with lighter shades at the temples to create a strong front look. £425, kirkoriginals.com
Restaurant No 97
Sophisticated cooking and relaxed dining make No 97 worth the trip to Suburbia
For a fine dining venue away from the bustle of the Square Mile, No 97, in leafy Surbiton, merges the atmosphere of a top London restaurant with the cuisine and friendliness of the countryside. The menu is guided by the seasons and uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create modern European food. The brainchild of husband and wife team Sam and Alex Berry, No 97 weaves the couple’s experiences and travels into a menu of beautiful,
delicate flavours that are presented in visually arresting arrangements. Highlights include the charred leek, parsnip velouté and leek ash; grey mullet, okra curry, tomato fondue and Padrón peppers; and pear three ways with chocolate ganache. The setting, again, is a wellbalanced mix of city and country. The upstairs dining and bar area is light and modern, and the chefs are visible through an open kitchen. Downstairs, alongisde the dedicated gin bar, the garden room
adds touches of rural life such as fur blankets and fresh lavender. Seating for dining is limited, and the restaurant fills up quickly, so booking is paramount. Weekend diners can make the most of a Boozy Brunch with bottomless prosecco, mimosas or sangria. Chin-chin! 97 Maple Rd, Surbiton KT6 no-97.co.uk
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The Colour of
Money Dedicated to the well-connected and seriously well-heeled, Balthazar Fabricius and his bespoke bookmakers Fitzdares are putting the glamour back into gambling Words: Richard Brown
ith a name like his, Balthazar Fabricius was never destined for a job in IT. Yet despite being brought up on the Goodwood Estate by a father who served as Lord March’s racecourse manager – he named his son after the protagonist in J.P. Donleavy’s novel The Beastly Beatitudes Of Balthazar B – real-life Balthazar says his entry into bookmaking was purely coincidence. “I graduated from King’s College London with a degree in Spanish and a love of music and sport,” explains the 38-year-old. “As one does, I started frantically sending out CVs left, right and centre and managed to secure a place on a graduate scheme run by Ladbrokes.” Three and a half years later, Fabricius approached Zac and Ben Goldsmith, whom he’d met during the Ladbrokes World Spoofing Championships (a pub game in which contestants guess the number of coins held in the hand of another player) with a business proposition. “I wanted to herald a return to the grassroots principles
of betting,” says Fabricius. “I wanted to re-establish the personal relationship that used to exist between punter and bookmaker.” The Goldsmiths bought in and in 2006 Fitzdares was founded. What does your experience tell you about why people gamble? Gambling for many people is an escape from the stresses of everyday life. Bookmaking in its simplest form is a game. You’re trying to win money off me, and I’m trying to win money off you. That’s what it boils down to. It’s a game of knowledge and confidence. What elements of traditional bookmaking does Fitzdares aim to reinstate? The romance; the integrity. I love the fact that gambling debts weren’t enforceable by law until very recently. It was all done on a handshake and the whites of the client’s eyes. The relationship that you had with your bookmaker was akin to the one that you’d have with
lu x u ry lon don.co.u k
your bank manager or priest. We aim to restore that personal relationship.
sure most people who backed McGregor did so probably knowing he wasn’t going to win, but they really hoped he would.
Where did the name Fitzdares come from? Elizabeth Fitzdare, who was Balthazar B’s love interest in the J.P. Donleavy novel.
What did you make of Leicester City winning the Premier League? Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable. We did actually have someone back Leicester at a very big price. Don’t you think it’s remarkable how quickly people have forgotten how staggering that result was? Truly remarkable.
How does Fitzdares work? We have a members’ club philosophy but we’re not snobby about who we take on. We set up an analogue, telephone business. Every member has their own personal telephone number. There’s no password or account number, we know immediately who’s calling. We invented text message betting, which is very popular. But we also knew we needed to be digital so we’ve spent the last couple of years building our own app. You can now call, text, or place bets through our app.
Tell us about the events Fitzdares puts on itself... We try to do one big event a year. Historically, we’ve hosted events at the White Turf races in St Moritz and held Breeders’ Cup nights at the Mandarin Oriental and the Savoy. We also hosted ‘Fighting Futures’, a boxing event at The Ned with 2020 Olympic prospects.
How many members do you have? Around 5,000.
Last year you helped build a cricket pitch in Rwanda… Yes, that was an amazing project that we played a small part in – to open Rwanda’s first official cricket ground on what had been a killing field during the genocide. It was completely impossible not to buy into that story. It opened to great success. It’s also now a place for people to get HIV tests.
On what events can members bet? Anything. All kinds of sport, Strictly Come Dancing, anything. Someone asked me for a price on a friend becoming the next England football manager. We put a price on that, and designed a bet certificate that they framed and put in their downstairs loo. It’s those little things that give us our kicks.
And you were involved with another cricket project in the West Indies? Yes, with a documentary called Fire in Babylon led Ben Goldsmith. It told the phenomenal story of the West Indies cricket team. Cricket is the only sport that the West Indies compete in together. There’s no West Indies rugby, football or athletics team. In athletics, it’s Jamaica, Barbados etc. But for cricket, this small group of disjointed islands come together to play. For 18 years they were unbeaten at Test level: no-one could touch them – the Clive Lloyd era, with Viv Richards and Brian Lara at the end. We gave away thousands of DVDs to all the schools in the West Indies with the idea that they’d someday win the World Cup again. It’s now on the national curriculum.
In 2012 you fought documentary filmmaker Arthur Landon in a white collar boxing match. Why? I had just found out that my wife and I were having twins. I thought ‘bloody hell, once these lads start running around, for the first time in my life, I might have to be in shape’. I thought, if I’m going to do this, I should probably sign up to something that will scare the living daylights out of me into training. It actually started to feel like a rite of passage, because back in the day, lots of bookmakers were boxers – the two are quite closely aligned. The fight was close; I came second. Arthur has subsequently become a good friend. Which recent event has proved particularly lucrative to you? I won’t pretend we took lots of money on the event, but the BBC Sports Personality of the Year was a real surprise. Anthony Joshua was 8/1 on and he was beaten by Mo Farah. How about the Mayweather vs McGregor fight? That, in truth, was a good result for bookmakers. Mayweather was always a very short price, but as it got closer to the event, there was a lot of support for McGregor. I’m
from top: Joey Epshon (red) Jack Johnstone (blue); Lauren Gildersleeve (Left) and Poppy Cross (Right); Mary-Clare Winwood (Left) and Ben Elliot (Middle) Clementine Nicholson (Right); Susanna Warren (Left) and Carly Collins (Right)
How can the bookmaking industry improve its own game? By focusing on the customer. Customer service can be a very unsexy thing to talk about, but it’s crucial – it’s why we choose one newsagent or coffee shop over another. We need to constantly remind ourselves that we’re in the service and entertainment industry. Our raison d’être has got to be having the best interests of our customers at heart. If you don’t look after your customers, then you have no business. To apply to Fitzdares, see fitzdares.com
lu x u ry lon don.co.u k
mountain The Liberal Democrat leader on Brexit, student fees, and competing at the next election Words: James Lawrence
n today’s divided and highly toxic political climate, Sir Vince Cable is mercifully rational. Assuming leadership of the Liberal Democrats in July 2017, Cable’s résumé includes working as an economic adviser to the Kenyan Government from 1966–68, and for Shell in the mid 90s as chief economist. His political career has been no less distinguished – defecting to the newly formed Social Democratic Party in 1982, Cable has since served as Lib Dem deputy leader, Treasury Spokesperson and Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills in the Cameron–Clegg coalition government. He joined the Commons in 1997 as MP for Twickenham, a seat he regained in the June 2017 snap election. Yet for a time it seemed that Cable had left politics entirely. Following his defeat in the 2015 election, Cable was apparently enjoying a productive retirement, writing books, taking up academic posts, and working to get a community bank off the ground. “I lost my seat in 2015 for a very simple reason; the scaremongering campaign by the Conservatives, supported by the Murdoch press, that the electorate would get hard-line socialism in a coalition between Ed Miliband and the SNP if the Conservatives lost,” says Cable. Cable hadn’t reckoned on a snap election. The local party wanted him to stand again on the grounds that he had “brand value”. He says returning to politics “wasn’t totally free of hard choices,” but there is a sense he is up for the challenge, especially at a time of especially partisan politics. Moreover, his own popularity within the party is rock solid – Cable was appointed party leader in July 2017 without any internal conflict. Why return to politics now, at a time when electoral support is at a record low? In June 2017 the Lib Dems managed to gain a few seats – currently a dozen – but their vote share was a shameful 7.4 per cent compared with 23 per cent in the 2010 general election, when they won 57 seats. Many have suggested that Nick Clegg’s infamous tuition fee U-turn was the beginning of the end for the party. “The tuition fee issue has been overstated by the media – what is clear is that party support fell almost immediately after we formed the coalition; the tuition fee issue came later, resulting in a loss of trust and so on, but that wasn’t the key reason for the loss of support,” argues Cable. A key figure in the 2010 coalition talks, particularly the unsuccessful negotiations with Labour, Cable observes that the Cameron–Clegg coalition was “a good thing for the country, but bad for the party.” Indeed, just weeks into the newly formed government, support levels for the Lib Dems collapsed, a testament, Cable argues, to the inherent tribalism of British politics. “Members of the electorate never forgave us for working with the Tories, but it’s equally fair to say that we stopped some bad legislation going through, and achieved a lot in the national interest. The political price we paid, however, was dear.”
lu x u ry lon don.co.u k
I can’t dispel the feeling that Cable might have bitten off more than he can chew. However, Cable is optimistic that the party is ready to take on the massive problems facing the UK, and will play an important role in the political landscape over the coming years. “The party has record membership, which is bigger than the Tory party and, crucially, we have party unity,” he says. “There is a massive schism in the Labour and Conservative parties. The only reason they don’t split is because of the first-past-the-post system, which is deeply unhelpful to schismatic groups. But in essence, they hate each other – I’m leading a focused, competent, balanced team. We always do well at by-elections; what we need to do is upgrade our public opinion rating before the next general election.” Cable is also at pains to avoid the mistakes of his predecessor, Tim Farron, whose refusal to clarify his position on gay marriage is widely believed to have done considerable damage to the party’s image. “Farron clearly didn’t distinguish between his religious convictions and his role as the leader of the Liberal party, defending gay rights – he put himself in an untenable position,” he concedes. At this point in our conversation, I’m starting to feel a little disconcerted. Sitting in the Royal Over Seas League building in St James’s, there is something deeply ‘unpolitical’ about the man. Where is the spin? Every question is answered directly; nothing is dodged. Indeed, after our conversation, Cable proceeds to answer a series of questions from guests at The London Grill Club, an informal Q&A session organised by David Selves. A successful hotelier and charity auctioneer, Selves initially started the club as part of the London Press Club’s programme of events. However, with the potential sensitivity of issues and guests, The London Grill Club is now an entity in its own right with no political or industry allegiances. “We need to get the positive messages out there,” explains Cable to the group, in reference to his willingness to return to the media spotlight. A consummate diplomat, Cable is also not afraid of ruffling feathers – he likened Theresa May’s attack on rootless “citizens of nowhere” to the language used by Stalin, later suggesting to Andrew Marr that “Brexit may never happen”. I ask Cable if the media are correct in their analysis regarding May’s “weak and ineffectual leadership” – the party’s internal divisions have been well-documented. “After the election, commentators were predicting a quick death for her leadership, but I’ve always believed she would be with us for a few more years,” notes Cable. “The party’s problems are caused by a mixture of clashes of ideology and personal ambition; there is a big difference between people who believe in maximum Brexit and people like [Philip] Hammond who want to minimise the damage. It’s a pretty unappetising cocktail of stuff, although if they sit down and think rationally, they’ll realise that they have to stick with May until Brexit is completed.”
Incidentally, at the time of writing May is 61, while Cable is pushing 75. So it’s an obvious but inevitable question – how does he respond to criticism that he’s simply too old to lead the party? “Roger Federer was asked the same question this week – his response that ‘age is just a number’ pretty much sums up my feelings,” laughs Cable. “Moreover, part of our core vote is young people and the idea that young people only want young politicians is absurd. I’ve visited several campuses recently and the response has been very enthusiastic, despite the Clegg tuition fee hangover.” Unsurprisingly, Cable is in favour of reducing the voting age across England and Wales to 16, noting that in Scotland, political sophistication among young people is “very high.” “British democracy is clearly in serious trouble – we have an elected house that produces very strange outcomes and a second chamber of appointed politicians that don’t represent anybody,” says Cable. “I’m also in favour of reforming the party funding system and further devolution of powers to local government,” he adds. Of course, his overriding focus today is Brexit, and campaigning for a second referendum on the final exit deal reached between the government and Brussels. “If Parliament decides that the final deal is bad for the UK and rejects it unilaterally without a public mandate, I think there would be a massive backlash,” he argues. “I’m actually not generally in favour of referendums and deciding complex issues via binary choices, but the public do need a say on whatever deal we end up with.” He adds that the idea of voter fatigue is “a nonsense”, believing that the public want a second chance to clarify their feelings on the most divisive issue for a generation. “The real tragedy of Brexit,” says Cable, “is that it was a case of the old shafting the young, over 65s voting with nostalgia for a Great Britain that is long gone.” Cable believes that Farage never expected to win, and notes that David Cameron and Geroge Osborne fought the campaign in 2016 in “a highly complacent way”. The Lib Dem leader has also been highly critical of Labour’s response to the debate, criticising Jeremy Corbyn for “sitting on his hands,” and offering no challenge to the government’s handling of the negotiations. “Labour, or at least Corbyn’s inner circle is not trying to sabotage Brexit because of his historical views on the EU as a force for bad – a capitalist club trying to prevent Corbyn’s vision of a much-enlarged state taking back control in the UK. “It’s an unholy alliance between the
right and left.” Perhaps Cable’s biggest regret is Brexit’s ability to blind the government and electorate to more pressing issues facing the UK. “Brexit is sucking the life out of government and parliament,” he observes. “Major issues like housing, health care, pension reform and industrial strategy are all being parked, which is regrettable to say the least.” On housing, he advocates a programme of “massive housebuilding,” which is hardly controversial, although he concedes that the problems stretch deeper than a lack of supply. “Monetary policy and loose credit has also greatly
contributed to these problems in the housing market,” says Cable. “We need more social housing – the state simply isn’t fulfilling that need at present.” Cable also worries that levels of personal debt – a defining cause of the 2008 financial crash – are again rising to dangerous levels. “If you look at the personal debt to GDP ratio, it is getting back to 2008–09 levels,” he says, gravely. “Mortgage debt for households borrowing very heavily against an appreciating housing market is becoming a bigger problem – we may well get into negative equity territory, although it’s not as extreme as it was in 2008.” It is the subject of education, though, that really ignites the man’s passion. Born into a working-class family in York, Cable benefited from a free university education at Cambridge. He agrees that “all the parties
have let students down”, but admonishes Corbyn’s pledge to abolish fees and write off student debt as fantasy economics. “I defend what we did,” he says. “British universities were facing a crisis of funding and if you look at the decline of Scottish universities, it is precisely because they lack enough sources of income.” According to Cable, at the time, Peter Mandelson’s solution was to simply shift money from FE colleges to universities, something he found “abhorrent”. Instead, Cable proposes introducing “learning accounts” – grants for everyone over the age of 18, regardless of whether or not they go to university, to cash in as part payment for a degree or some other form of training, or to be reserved for study in later life. It’s a bold solution to what he describes as “the chronic lack of equity and social mobility in our society.” “The catalysts for unprecedented levels of social inequality are numerous – young working people find it impossible to get on the property ladder, real wage stagnation for almost a decade and the aftermath of the financial crisis have all left their mark,” he says. “I want the UK to become a fairer place, with opportunities for all.” Before policies can be formulated, however, there is a battle to be waged over Brexit. Labour MP Chuka Umunna recently announced his decision to chair an umbrella group of nine organisations mounting a push for close links to Europe. They’re urging for a soft Brexit and are calling for the public’s voice to be heard, possibly through an exit deal referendum. Meanwhile, the PM appears committed to staying the course, even if the cost to the UK economy is dear. “Britain must stay inside the Customs Unions and Single Market,” Cable says. “It is simply not in our national interest to sever ties with the EU.” Does he believe that May will survive long enough to take part in the next general election? “Once Brexit is behind us, I imagine she will resign,” he says. “I’m ready to fight another election, but I don’t think anyone else has the appetite for it.” Cable’s press secretary then signals his departure, hastening my final question: does he plan to move to the House of Lords if the Lib Dems perform badly? “I’ve actually already been offered a place in the Lords, but I turned it down. “My place is within the party, as an elected Member of Parliament serving in the public interest, a position I intend to maintain as long as I possibly can.” A sentiment not commonly seen in today’s political climate – a parliamentarian who seemingly puts the nation’s interests before his own.
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Dining on Cloud Nine The venison at Fenchurch Restaurant. Situated on the 37th floor the Walkie Talkie, the contemporary British eatery is the destination for this monthâ€™s review on page 32
p. 33 New and Noteworthy The worldâ€™s best steak & rarest bottles of port
all go-go in soho the latest launches lighting up theatre land
Review: Fenchurch, EC3
‘Dinner with a view’ just doesn’t do this restaurant in the sky justice Words: David Taylor
There aren’t many restaurants where you’re scanned for dangerous materials at the door. Then again, there aren’t many on the 37th floor of one of London’s tallest skyscrapers. Sitting atop 20 Fenchurch – or the Walkie Talkie, to most people – and above the building’s ‘Sky Garden’ panoramic bar-cum-viewing platform, Fenchurch Restaurant would have almost unparalleled views of the City were it not for the girders and palm trees blocking the way for half of the venue. Luckily, my guest and I landed a great vantage point (when booking, ask for a view of St Paul’s). In comparison to other skyhigh restaurants, Fenchurch is a smaller affair, which actually serves to enhance the personal experience. While it would be easy to rest on your lofty laurels and provide service as an afterthought, here the staff are eager to connect with diners, asking them about their favourite meals
Keeping the Epicure nourished with the latest launches and culinary crazes
As many wallets will attest, it’s a pretty expensive night spent at the top of the Walkie Talkie and then making suggestions. I started with scallops and orange chutney; my guest had the smoked eel. While the scallops themselves were delicious, the orange chutney was a little on the strange side. The eel was an unexpected hit, setting up the mains nicely. We went meaty for our next course, with veal and beef shin respectively. Both were masterfully prepared, and cooked exactly to order – although I could have done with a little more of the veal. The dessert was the highlight of the evening. I chose the bahibé 45 per cent milk chocolate bar with salted popcorn ice cream. No worries about portion size here: chocolate mousse atop a chocolate sponge atop a crumbling chocolate biscuit base, all smothered in – you guessed it – chocolate, was almost too much even for my typically Scottish sweet tooth. I also, somewhat indulgently,
went for the recommended dessert wine, a 2014 Bertani Recioto della Valpolicella, an Italian wine where the grapes are dried for 150 days on traditional cane mats before fermentation. It was worth the wait: the cherry-chocolate wine paired beautifully with the cocoa behemoth I’d ordered. As many wallets will attest, it’s a pretty expensive night spent at the top of the Walkie Talkie. Of course, you’re paying for the experience as much as anything else, and the atmosphere and quality of cooking are high-end. I’d make a joke about being on cloud nine after the meal, but that would be overdoing it, right? skygarden.london/fenchurch
Humble Grape has opened on Devonshire Row, offering the best wines from small, family-owned vineyards. humblegrape.co.uk
FOOD & DRINK
New & noteworthy
Restaurants Hawksmoor Spitalfields, E1
The original Hawksmoor has reopened on Commercial Street. The first venue in the now London-wide steak empire, Hawksmoor Spitalfields was launched on the site of a former Turkish grill, and over the past 12 years has seen its younger siblings open with brand new bespoke designs. The long-awaited refurbishment modernises the interior while retaining Hawksmoor’s lived-in aesthetic. thehawksmoor.com
The World’s End, SW10
The last Drop Port
Hunter of the world’s most exclusive wines and spirits, The Last Drop Distillers has expanded its drinks offering. Alongside the roster of super-rare whiskies and cognacs, with which the brand has cornered the premium market, it has released its first fortified wine collection to celebrate 10 years in the business. The Centenario Port Duo date from 1870 and 1970 respectively, meaning there’s a century of tawny for you to enjoy. There are only 770 sets available worldwide, so make sure you don’t skimp on the cheese.
The King’s Road’s best steak restaurant, The World’s End Market, has stepped up its game by securing exlusive UK rights to sell El Capricho cuts, dubbed ‘the best steak in the world’. Each steak is dry-aged individually for at least 90 days to ensure a succulent finish. The steaks add to an already impressive line-up of fresh oysters and sashimi, locally-sourced chicken and lamb and fresh seafood. theworldsendmarket.com
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[ city social ]
Man-about-town, Innerplace’s Nick Savage, gives you the insider lowdown on London’s most hedonistic haunts
Soho a go-go A wave of new openings in London’s social centre shows that the old girl is far from finished
oho. It’s amazing how much those two syllables pack in. The breadth of historical personages that once called it home – from William Blake to Karl Marx to Oscar Wilde to the Sex Pistols – telegraphs the myriad traditions, identities and communities that make up one of the capital’s most diverse neighbourhoods. While those in Hackney may call it, well, hackneyed, Soho never lets you down when in need of a big night. As such, there has been a spate of new restaurants
that have opened over the past six months, riveting the attention of punters and pundits alike. As a neighbourhood that never sleeps, it’s refreshing to see a hotel open its doors, particularly in one of Soho’s most storied establishments. Kettner’s Townhouse was purchased and refurbished by the Soho House Group, which has a proven track record of bringing historic properties up to speed (such as The Ned), and acts as a nice complement to Dean Street Townhouse. On the first floor you’ll find a champagne bar across from a piano lounge, adjoining the standalone modern European restaurant. August
Innerplace is London’s personal lifestyle concierge. Membership provides complimentary access to the finest nightclubs, the best restaurants and top private members’ clubs. Innerplace also offers priority bookings, updates on the latest openings and hosts its own regular parties. Membership from £50 a month, innerplace.co.uk
Kettner opened his eponymous venue in 1867 and was rumoured to be the first chef to cook French cuisine in London. You’ll find the Gallic menu updated for the chic, contemporary set frequenting Soho House venues. The rooms upstairs have been updated sensitively, adding modern notes to traditional Georgian design. Kettner’s looks poised to carry its legacy forward with aplomb. Nearby on Rupert Street, another historical institution has been reimagined. The Blue Posts has been one of Soho’s premier pubs since the 18th century. Now it has a food and beverage offering worth its salt, as Layo and Zoë Paskin of The Palomar and The Barbary have moved in to transform the 275-yearold public house into a threestorey shrine to all things gourmet. They’ve enlisted the efforts of Nacho Pinilla to helm the elevenperson counter-dining kitchen bar in the beer cellar, named Evelyn’s Table, whilst on the ground floor they will continue to run the main pub, with a cocktail bar – the Mulwray – on the first floor. The team behind Anatolian restaurant Yosma have also chosen Rupert Street for their newest eatery, Hovarda, serving Aegean-inspired
Clockwise from top: Hovarda; Pastaio; Rambla; Kettner’s; Mullet at Hovarda, Patricia Niven
grilled fish and meat that straddles the cuisines of Turkey and Greece. The interiors are stunning, replete with smoky glass, Bentwood chairs and mosaic tiling. It’s been compared to some of the livelier Manhattan restaurants – once seated you’d rather not leave, and upstairs you’ll find a bar with DJ that retains a late-night crowd. Last year, one of London’s biggest developments in food was the reasonably priced yet top-quality pasta restaurant, and Soho lays claim to one of the capital’s best: Pastaio, launched on Ganton Street by Stevie Parle of Palatino and Craft London fame. The cafeteria-style venue features an openplan kitchen where guests can watch a pasta maker (pastaio) craft rigatoni and tagliatelle, not to mention a few other, more recherché options. Victor Garvey has created quite a stir with his Iberian venture Rambla on Dean Street. The 60-cover site has evolved from a great spillover for those averse to queueing at Barrafina to a Spanish force of nature and a destination in its own right. Bringing to mind Barcelona’s beachfront restaurants, the Mediterranean menu has attracted much fanfare. And this is just over the past six months. List the spaces that have opened this decade or the institutions that have lasted a century or more, and it drives home the centrality of Soho. It is and will always remain a rare flower that continues to bloom.
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Signe dâ€™exception. Available exclusively in fine wine shops and in the best restaurants. champagne-billecart.com
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The neon likeness of Richard James stands guard over his bespoke store on Clifford Street, Mayfair. The store itself has been extended upwards, and now spans three floors, which showcase the brandâ€™s bespoke and made-to-measure tailoring. Thereâ€™s also a customer lounge and bar, and more than 15,000 English and Italian cloth samples. richard-james.com/bespoke
The Style Brief
Behind the scenes at the fashion week of watches
Boss Black is out to smarten up spring
london fashion week
The trends that caught our eye on the catwalk
image credit: diamond foundry
Carbon COPY A
s you wiggle your finger, it dances and sparkles in the light, throwing out rainbow hues that make you gasp and coo. But what if I told you that the diamond you are admiring came not from beneath the Earth’s surface, but a pristine lab in Silicon Valley? Would it change how you feel about it? This is a question worth considering as science now gives us the option of buying diamonds created by humans. In labs across the world, from Germany to China, men and women in white coats are recreating the exact same conditions that turned carbon into diamonds all those millions of years ago. And it’s working. Not be confused with cubic zirconia or rhinestones, lab-grown diamonds are real and have the same optical and gemological properties as mined diamonds. Even trained gemmologists sometimes can’t tell the difference. As the mecca for emerging tech, Silicon Valley has been one of the first places to really invest in the creation of lab-grown diamonds. The company leading the pack – or at least attracting the most famous investors, including Leonardo DiCaprio – is Diamond Foundry. With slick marketing that focuses on the ethical advantages of lab-grown stones (no mining, no exploitation, a clear supply chain), it is trying to change the way we feel about diamonds. “If you ask people abstractly whether they would buy a synthetic diamond, people tend to be disinclined,” admits Diamond Foundry’s chief executive Martin Roscheisen. “But that’s like asking someone in 1990 whether they would buy an electric
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Would you wear a diamond grown in a laboratory? We investigate the future of Silicon Valley’s sparklers Words: Rachael Taylor
car, at a time when the only electric cars in existence were golf carts. When people see our diamonds in a store and understand their cultivation, there is zero resistance. Cultivated diamonds are simply a better product all around. It’s like organic food – it’s better food.” For those in the coffee queue with a thumbprint at the ready to buy their organic decaf soya latte using Apple Pay, this probably seems like a no-brainer. But for the romantics among us, the story that has been told for generations about diamonds forming slowly beneath the surface of the Earth over millions of years is less easily unravelled. To start with, says Roscheisen, that story is false: “It takes two full weeks of continuous operation to create a [Diamond Foundry] diamond, which is 100 times slower than Earth itself forms them. Diamonds in earth form within two to three hours.” While the discovery of diamonds might take millions of years, the process starts with intense heat and enormous pressure 100 miles below the surface of the Earth, and when an eruption shoots the material upwards, cooling it rapidly, it is in this moment that diamonds as we know them are formed. These are the same conditions now being replicated above ground to create the 100,000 carats of lab-grown diamonds that Diamond Foundry is producing every year. Then, of course, there is the grimier side of the romantic mining story that jewellers don’t want you to think about when you’re selecting an engagement ring. While a very low percentage of diamonds are from conflict areas – it is estimated to be about one per cent – that does not mean that the 99 per cent of
diamonds guaranteed by industry watchdog, the Kimberley Process, are ethically and environmentally sourced. The gemstone industry has a real problem with traceability, and while strides are being made – actor Salma Hayek recently auctioned off a 4.11ct emerald for charity mothers2mothers at her London home, donated by Fabergé and laser inscribed with a reference number, allowing its journey from a Gemfields mine in Zambia to be traced – if you ask a dealer where your exact stone has come from, it is
“A lot of customers like the fact that they are getting more diamond for their money” unlikely they could tell you with full certainty. In a glass-fronted boutique within Soho’s fashionable Ham Yard Hotel, there is a jeweller, Anabela Chan, who can guarantee you that every one of the diamonds and brightly coloured gemstones you’ll see within her chic golden displays are genuine and ethically sourced. That’s because every last one of them – from rich purple amethysts and fuchsia sapphires to canary yellow diamonds, and even black opal – was grown in a lab. “I trained as a fine jeweller in a very traditional way, but when I was in my second year I met a friend who was in footwear design but whose family were in the gemstone business, so I asked her why she was doing footwear,” says Chan, whose designs have all the hallmarks of Bond Street but not the exorbitant price tags. “She said, ‘If you’ve seen what I’ve seen and know what I know, you wouldn’t want to be a part of that industry either’. It was a life-changing moment.” While a very small minority of Chan’s clients do come to her because of the lab-grown angle, most fall in love with the designs first and discover the origin of the stones – and, pleasantly, the prices – second. “When you look at stones, you can see how beautiful they are,” says Chan, whose clients will mix her pieces into collections dominated by pricier, mined gems. “There’s no difference optically, and value-wise I think we are creating pieces that people enjoy wearing rather than keeping in the safe. Clients feel comfortable to travel with them and flamboyant, colourful, dramatic pieces can be enjoyed by a younger demographic as they can now afford them.” Ethics aside, the lower price of lab-grown diamonds is a major draw. At ethical jeweller Cred, which has an appointment-only boutique in Clerkenwell, all its fairtrade gold engagement rings are offered with either ethically sourced diamonds mined in Canada or Namibia, or lab-grown diamonds. Swapping the stone from mined to labgrown can save you up to 30 per cent. “Some customers still want the allure of a natural stone, the romance,” says Cred owner Alan Frampton,
IMAGES courtesy of anabela chan. Below syanyonja collection,courtesy of cred
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whose biggest lab-grown diamond sale to date was a 1ct oval cut. “However, a lot of customers like the fact that they are getting more diamond for their money with a lab-grown, and love that they get all the beauty of a sparkly diamond without the cost to the environment, safe in the knowledge that no-one has been harmed in the process.” Last year, Atelier Swarovski – from the family of the same name that made its fortune from faux sparkle – launched its own collection of fine jewellery that set its trademark crystals next to lab-grown diamonds. American Horror Story actor Emma Roberts wore some of the pieces on the red carpet at the 2017 Oscars, marking a watershed moment for lab-grown diamonds being taken seriously. The question that remains is whether lab-grown diamonds will hold their value, as their mined predecessors have done. Will they follow the tech path and drop in price as increased production boosts supply? Or will they mimic cultured pearls, which took the place of natural pearls in the 1920s? Though prices initially plummeted, cultured pearls, once considered pretenders, are now highly soughtafter luxuries. And good news for anyone with a mined diamond in their possession: the price of natural pearls skyrocketed even further.
CURIO COLLECTION S T E R L I N G S I LV E R V E R M E I L W I T H S E M I - P R E C I O U S S T O N E S A N D D I A M O N D S
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The Montblanc pavillion at SIHH2018
Fashion Week for Watches The first horological outing of 2018 reveals an industry in optimistic spirits – even if reissues and reinventions remain the order of the day Words: Richard Brown
ewind to this time last year and the mechanical watch industry was a ship in troubled waters. A perfect storm of global socio-economic suckerpunches had pummelled the sector into recession. In 2015, for the first time since 2009, Swiss watch exports had shrunk. Shipments fell a further 10 per cent in 2016. Thirteen of the 15 largest markets were in decline. Industry captains either abandoned their ships or were forced to walk the plank. Crews were culled. It was horological Armageddon. Or so it seemed. What a difference 12 months make. After some major internal shakedowns, CEO swaps and strategic product realignment, brands are already reaping the rewards of redirecting their attentions to grassroots collections. Annual exports grew by 2.7 per cent in 2017, almost breaking the CHF 20 billion (£15 billion) mark (the industry peaked at CHF 22.2 billion in 2014). So, what’s the forecast for 2018? As the first major trade show of the year, January’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, or SIHH, serves as a good barometer for the state of the industry at large. Attended by 35 mostly premium brands belonging chiefly to the Richemont
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group, a significant slice of the show is dedicated to haute horology – that highfalutin, high-fashion end of watchmaking – yet among the tourbillons and super-complications there are enough timepieces destined for the real world to make the show relevant to real people. What did we learn from the 2018 instalment? An allround sense of optimism suggests that it’s back to business as usual: Richard Mille did what it does best, launching an £828,500 carbon fibre, scratch-resistant timepiece with Argentinian polo player Pablo Mac Donough; Piaget invited Ryan Reynolds to its tiki-themed pavilion to talk about the updated Altiplano collection; while IWC once again hosted a gala evening attended by Cate Blanchett, Bradley Cooper and Adriana Lima. Amid the champagne receptions and celebrity roll calls, a swathe of significant timepieces made their debuts. Some were as expensive as houses, but many others limbo-ed their way into that price point we call, for want of a better word, the ‘affordable’ watch segment. Watch crisis? What watch crisis?
Royal Oak Offshore Camouflage £26,100, Audemars Piguet
While some watch brands have spent the previous two years battening down the hatches, there are notable exceptions. Hublot recorded its most successful ever year in 2016, while in the same period that other great purveyor of brawny sports watches, Audemars Piguet, increased sales to CHF 900 million (£690 million). For 2018, AP releases the Royal Oak RD#2. As the world’s thinnest automatic perpetual calendar, the watch made more noise than almost any other at SIHH 2018. Elsewhere, within a cosmic collection of around new 80 references, the pimped-out Royal Oak Offshore ‘Camouflage’ affirmed Audemars Piguet’s playful side. Perhaps with one eye on the burgeoning customisation trend, the 44mm chronograph features a khaki ceramic bezel, pushpieces and screw-locked crown. Eye-catching orange chrono hands pop against a subtle beige dial and brown sub-dials. The original Royal Oak Offshore was launched in 1993 with the intention of enticing a younger, more fashion-forward clientele. Consider the Camouflage a natural evolution of that ambition. audemarspiguet.com
FiftySix Collection, from £10,500, Vacheron Constantin
The golden age of watch design is generally considered to have run from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s. Not only did that two-decade period bequeath us with the blueprints for the archetypal dive watch – Blancpain’s 50 Fathoms arrived in 1953, one year before Rolex’s Submariner – it also laid down the design codes for both the classic chronograph – we got Breitling’s Navitimer in 1952; Omega’s Speedmaster in 1957; and the Rolex Daytona in 1963 – as well as the luxury sports watch; see Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak (1972), Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and the IWC Ingenieur (both of ’76). Launched near the start of those halcyon days was 1956’s lessercelebrated Reference 6073 from Vacheron Constantin. It was one of the manufacture’s first watches to house a self-winding movement and also one of its first to be water resistant, thanks to an innovative multi-sided caseback. It’s become customary for brands to revisit their back catalogues but few watchmakers are lucky enough to stumble across such handsome specimens in their caches. Updated by way of a new movement, transparent caseback and a polished and satin-brushed 22-carat open-worked oscillating weight, the new FiftySix range consists of three 40mm watches, available in either gold or steel. The entry-level model will tell you the time and date; the mid-range displays the date, day and a power-reserve indicator; while the most complicated comes with a complete calendar with precision moon phase. Past meets present. vacheron-constantin.com
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In 2010, Hermès introduced the Carré H, a highly legible square timepiece created by eminent French designer and architect Marc Berthier. The timepiece now returns in an enlarged 38x38mm steel case with right-angled guilloché dial, available in dark grey or black. An automatic movement, visible through a sapphire crystal caseback, provides a 50-hour power reserve. hermes.com
FROM £9,400, Girard-Perregaux Two years after its return to the Girard-Perregaux portfolio, the brand’s luxury sports watch, the Laureato, is bolstered by a range of new chronographs. The familiar hobnail dial remains, joined by three ‘snailed’ sub-dials. The case – available at 38mm and 42mm, and in 18ct rose gold or stainless steel – now comes with crown guards and octagonal screw-down pushers. Take the rose-gold version to a depth of 50 metres, or steel model to 100 metres. girard-perregaux.com
1858 Automatic, £2,990, Montblanc
Reinterpreting 1920s pocket watches from movementmaker Minerva, Montblanc’s 1858 collection consists of five different designs. The entry-level, time-only 1858 Automatic is the cleanest and comes closest to looking like a genuine heritage piece. A bronze bezel sits on top of a 40mm stainless steel case. Choose between a black or smoked champagne dial, adorned with beige luminescent Arabic numerals and an outer railway-minute track. An engraving of the Mont Blanc mountain on the case back is a visual nod to the iconic peak that inspired the maison’s founders. montblanc.com
£11,300, Jaeger-LeCoultre Nice-looking watch, you say, but what’s with the three crowns? Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Polaris Memovox is a diver’s watch equipped with an alarm you set via the top crown. Divers can use the middle crown to set an inner rotating bezel, while the bottom crown sets the time. The Calibre 956 that makes it all happen is a direct descendant of the first Jaeger-LeCoultre automatic alarm watch from 1950s. It features a striking gong mechanism, in addition to a central seconds and instant-jump date-change system. The movement is a rare example of a movement that has been in production, although continually updated, for more than 60 years. Only 1,000 Polaris Memovox watches will be made. Expect them to be hoovered up by collectors. jaeger-lecoultre.com
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Six of the Best Sandy Madhvani, showroom manager at David M Robinson in Canary Wharf, selects his standout watches from SIHH 2018 Quotes: Sandy Madhvani
Words: Richard Brown
Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition ‘150 Years’,
Tribute to Pallweber Edition ‘150 Years’, from £20,500, IWC
from £5,500, Cartier
“The rounded angles of the Santos dial, the seamless curve of the horns, and the exposed screws made for an iconic watch that inspired countless reinterpretations. Now, the legend makes its return.” Gordon Gekko’s era-defining squarefaced statement watch is back. Created in 1904 for the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Santos is widely considered the world’s first pilot’s watch, and also credited for popularising wristwatches among men. For more than a century, the Santos swelled, softened at the edges and experimented with materials, before it disappeared from boutiques and Cartier’s website completely in 2016. Now, 40 years since the launch of the first Santos in steel, the collection returns with tapered edges and a ‘quick switch’ strap system. There are two sizes available – medium (35.1x41.9mm) and large (39.8x47.5mm) – and three material options: stainless steel, all gold (yellow or pink) and two-tone (yellow gold and steel). The large is equipped with a date window and is available in skeletonised form. All are fitted with an automatic mechanical movement.
“The totalisers on this sporty chronograph are especially spectacular against the white dial. A soft-iron inner case keeps the movement safe from magnetic fields, and the sapphire glass is protected against sudden drops in pressure.” As has become custom, on the second night of SIHH, IWC hosted a celebrity-packed gala dinner, this year featuring performances from Aloe Blacc and Paloma Faith and attended by James Marsden, Dev Patel, Valtteri Bottas and David Coulthard. Back at its pavilion within Geneva’s Palexpo centre, the brand was introducing buyers and press to its Jubilee collection: 27 limited-edition watches from the Portugieser, Porto¬fino, Pilot’s and Da Vinci families. One of the most striking tool watches of the show was the stainless steel Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition 150 Years, its white lacquered dial working beautifully against black indices and blued hands. Only 1,000 of the 43mm automatics will be produced.
“The in-house 94200 calibre inside this piece advances the display discs by using a separate wheel train with a barrel of its own. The fact that the flow of power in the main wheel train is uninfluenced guarantees a precise rate and a 60-hour power reserve.” In 1885, 17 years after it was founded by American watchmaker F.A. Jones, the International Watch Company purchased the rights to a pocket watch movement designed by Austrian engineer Josef Pallweber. The revolutionary calibre displayed hours and minutes in large digital numerals on rotating discs. It was manufactured for two years as a pocket watch between 1885 and 1887. Inspired, and to mark its 150th anniversary, IWC now incorporates a digital hours and minutes display in a wristwatch for the first time. Three limited-edition, hand-wound Tribute to Pallweber watches with jumping numerals will be produced; 25 in platinum (£50,950), 250 in red gold (£31,950) and 500 in stainless steel (£20,500). In the flesh, the portly 45mm timepiece is as beguiling today as the pocket watch that inspired it would have been a century and half ago.
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Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT,
“Panerai’s hand-wound P.2005/GLS calibre incorporates a tourbillon escapement, which can be admired from the front and the back thanks to the sophisticated work of skeletonising the movement and the absence of an actual dial.” Panerai has presented its first watch with a moon phase. The latest L’Astronomo – or, to give the model its full-fat name, the Luminor 1950 Tourbillon Moon Phases Equation of Time GMT – is an updated version of a watch launched in 2010 to mark the 400th anniversary of the invention of the telescope. That natty gadget allowed Galileo to track the movement of the moon and stars. Fittingly, the 50mm brushed titanium L’Astronomo is equipped with a GMT, a date and month indicator and will display sunrise/ sunset times, equation of time and the phases of the moon. Made to order, each watch is personalised to operate in accordance with the geographical coordinates of a place chosen by the client, so that the indication of the moon phases will always relate to the sky above that location.
Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 42mm, £5,500, Panerai
“A retro-looking automatic with a date window, small seconds and three-day power reserve. What’s not to like? Panerai at its classic best.”
05 Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Acciaio 38mm, £5,100, Panerai
“The new Luminor Due is an elegant, minimalist sports watch that’s now suitable for every wrist and situation.”
Despite being Panerai’s slimmest collection, the Luminor Due still packs plenty of presence on the wrist. If you are hankering for something a little beefier than the 38mm version, but like your watches lean enough to slip under a shirt sleeve, the new Due is also available in 42mm form. Sporting Panerai’s signature bridge-protected winding crown, the anthracite dial of this stainless steel watch features a satiné soleil finish and the brand’s customary large luminous hour markers. It comes with a vintage-feel brown leather with contrasting beige stitching.
As the watch sector swelled between 2000 and 2014, so did the watches. After the industry stuttered, spluttered and then shrank in 2015 and 2016, case sizes contracted in line with the confidence of watch companies. Now that Panerai, that leading proponent in cuff-shredding wristwear, has launched its first ever 38mm timepiece, we can officially declare the oversized watch trend dead. The daintiest Panerai ever, the stainless steel Luminor Due is only 11.20 mm thick and equipped with an automatic in-house movement. A small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock sits opposite a date window at 3 o’clock. Despite being available with straps in lime green and baby blue, this is not, says Panerai, a ladies’ watch. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge.
David M Robinson, Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf, E14, davidmrobinson.co.uk
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From Venice with love Photography: Alexander Beer Stylist: Marco Ferra Models: Danny Beauchamp & Maja Krag Hair and Makeup: Mamrez Abbasi
Trousers, £171, Entre Amis, entreamis.it; Sunglasses, £154, Clan Milano, clanmilano.com; Shirt, £176, and jacket, £522, Tagliatore, tagliatore.com
This page: Jacket, £513, and shirt, £124, Tagliatore, tagliatore.it; Trousers, £141, Madame Berwich, berwich.com; Sunglasses, £155, Clan Milano, clanmilano.com
Opposite page: Jacket, £2,508, Isaia, isaia.it; Shirt, £140, Alessandro Gherardi, alessandrogherardi.com
Jacket, £575, trousers, £239, and shirt, £212, Christian Pellizzari, christianpellizzari.it
This page: Smoking jacket, £2,628, and shirt, £464, Isaia, isaia.it; Sunglasses, £154, Clan Milano, clanmilano.com
Opposite page: Dress, £905, earrings, £236, and collar, £453, Elisabetta Franchi, elisabettafranchi.com
This page: Dress, £8,850, Antonio Riva, antonioriva.com
Opposite page: Jacket, £575, trousers, £239, and shirt £212, Christian Pellizzari, christianpellizzari.it Special thanks to The Gritti Palace Hotel, thegrittipalace.com
re turn your overcoat to the wardrobe, s p r in g i s he r e w hi c h me a n s t he b l a z e r i s b a c k
Back in Black
Boss black offers a spring wardrobe with an edge
Black is the new black. Again. The latest capsule collection from BOSS brings together its fashion and fragrance divisions to create the Black Edition collection. The 10-piece capsule is all-black, meaning that, in theory, each piece fits together. From split skirts and sheer panel dresses to sharp suiting and sportswear separates, there are staple pieces for women and men who want a new base for their wardrobe. Modern technical fabrics combined with classic style: welcome to spring. hugoboss.com
A subtle pattern is a good bet for spring. Etro, known for its bohemian paisley and floral designs, takes a more sophisticated route here. £810, farfetch.com
Hopsack blend jacket
Trust Cucinelli to create the perfect spring blazer. Made from a linen, wool and silk blend, it’s lightweight and is cut for a modern fit. £2,060, harrods.com
Unstructured suit jacket
Definitely one for the warmer side of the season. Boglioli’s stretch cotton and linen blend jacket is the epitome of smart casual – bang on the money for weddings and garden parties. Matching trousers are available. £555, mrporter.com
For a smart Neapolitan vibe, the ‘Sailor’ double-breasted jacket is cut from Super 130s wool, a high grade of wool that balances a sturdy durability with light comfort. £1,750, mrporter.com
A suit to Travel In
Always a good choice, a Paul Smith jacket is usually a pretty versatile option in the wardrobe, but this suit takes it up a notch. It comes from the brand’s ‘A Suit To Travel In’ collection, designed to look as good stepping off the plane as it did at check-in. Made in Italy (of course), the half-canvas suit is constructed using a wool and mohair-blend fabric to create a cloth that recovers quickly, bouncing back into shape, meaning no more tired, creased suits. £775, paulsmith.com
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Get out what you put in The HIIT of Skincare Founded by a skincare professional, a former international rugby player, and a GB rower, Proverb Skincare has a pragmatic approach to your morning routine, creating the 4x4x4 regime â€“ 4 products, 4 movements, 4 minutes. Itâ€™s also the only male collection to be endorsed by the Environmental Working Group, and comes with an app to personalise your daily regimen. Fronted by model and former rugby pro Thom Evans, Proverb takes high-performance sport mentality and brings it to skincare. proverbskin.com
Neck Extension x 4
Helps tighten the jaw and add definition Use: skin resistance training supplement
Eye Lift x 4
Reduces the signs of ageing, wakes you up, releases tension and focuses the mind Use: skin strengthening serum
Face Push Press x 4
Lifts the cheeks and fights that pesky gravity Use: cleanse and shave nutrient mud
Forehead Fly x 4
Reduces tension and helps to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles Use: hydration/oil balance pro moisturiser
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www.abbottsflooring.co.uk | 020 8980 4158
470-480 Roman Road | London | E3 5LU
Es tabli sh ed i n 1 8 82, Abb ottâ€™s rem ains a family company
For four gen eration s our f loor ing, fabric and interior s experts have tu r ned d rea ms into rea lity
The trends and moments that got everyone talking this season Words: MELISSA EMERSON
bye, bye bailey
The Burberry show was Christopher Bailey’s last as president and chief creative officer of the brand, as he steps down after 17 years at the creative helm. Over 1300 guests including Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell turned out in force to watch his farewell show, and you can buy a piece of his history, with a capsule collection of reissued pieces from the 80s and 90s now available for immediate purchase. uk.burberry.com
a multisensory installation ‘Spectrum’ by United Visual Artists was the backdrop to the burberry show
good hair day
Hairstylist Sam McKnight created wild ponytails at the Halpern show. Front sections were slick but the pony was brushed back, crimped, curled, plaited and brushed some more for a multitextured bird’s nest of a ‘do. Syd Hayes crafted a similarly voluminous look on models at the Sadie Williams presentation, using 30-inch hair extensions. halpernstudio.com; sammcknight.com
Make-up artist Monica Marmo’s vision for Delpozo was a simple look that played with the contrast between matte skin and metallic eyes. You won’t be able to get your hands on the shimmering silvery grey shade from the Mahe Eyeshadow Quad until later this year, but the silky smooth gel-like eye paint in Interstellar is your best bet for now. narscosmetics.co.uk
FA S H I O N
Amongst all the glamour, glitz and excess, highly useful accessories were high on some designer’s priority lists this season. An orange high-vis number went down the catwalk at Burberry, while at House of Holland, plaid suits were paired with chunky boots and climbingstyle belts.
house of holland a/w18
fyodor golan a/w18
taste the rainbow
Cara Delevingne swept along the the catwalk to close the Burberry show in a faux fur rainbow-striped cape, lined with the house’s classic check. The brand said it is dedicating its collection to the celebration of LGBTQ communities. And other collections followed suit with rainbow brights too, from Ashish’s tinsel-like jumpsuit to Fyodor Golan’s silk sporty ensemble. uk.burberry.com; ashish.co.uk; fyodorgolan.co.uk
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The award for best front row has to go to Richard Quinn, whose show saw Anna Wintour sitting next to Her Majesty The Queen. The monarch arrived to present Quinn with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. It is only his second collection since graduating from Central Saint Martins’ MA programme. richardquinn.london edwin mohney, Central Saint Martins MA image credit: Chris Moore at Catwalking.
LOW RES liam johnson, Central Saint Martins MA image credit: Chris Moore at Catwalking
fur and feathers
Fluffy footwear was everywhere at LFW, from relaxed sliders at Shrimps – faux fur is at the heart of the brand – and paired with a suit at Ashley Williams. Preen went for an altogether more shaggy look with heels fringed so you can almost mop the floor as you walk. Simone Rocha opted for Cousin Itt-like hairy slippers.
The Central Saint Martin’s MA show gave us what was quite possibly the most Instagrammed – and definitely the most affordable – look from LFW, a paddling pool. Edwin Mohney’s surreal inflatable dress designs closed the show, and considering the MA show has launched the careers of designers including Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, perhaps Mohney is onto something.
FA S H I O N
image credit: jason purple
Mary Katrantzou set up her label in 2008 and this season’s tenth anniversary presentation shows she’s cemented her reputation as the queen of prints. Inspired by decorative objects, interiors and art, this A/W18 collection blends Bauhaus modernism and Victorian ostentation. marykatrantzou.com
Tulle, lace and loosely plaited hair in bows brought a gentle romanticism to the Simone Rocha show. Fitting elements for a presentation that took place under the chandeliers in the ballrooms of London’s Goldsmith’s Hall. Cues were taken from the lesserknown portrait work of Britain’s foremost landscape painter John Constable, while plaid and pointy shoes gave these Victorian women a tomboy edge. simonerocha.com
one to watch
Non-profit initiative Fashion East supports emerging designers and gives three womenswear and three menswear designers the opportunity to present a catwalk collection each season. The beneficiary everyone was talking about this time – Symonds Pearmain. symondspearmain.com
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cal klein F
Keep your eyes peeled for brand new Calvin Klein Underwear opening it’s doors in Canary Wharf this March
rom Mark Wahlberg and Justin
of Vogue magazine. Its popularity
Bieber to Kate Moss and, most
continued to soar and soon the chic
recently, the Kardashian and
and contemporary underwear became the underwear to own.
Jenner clan, there certainly isn’t a shortage of famous faces who have
The brand has since branched out
represented the iconic brand that is
with its offering now encompassing
Calvin Klein Underwear. So learning
beautiful lingerie, nightwear and
that it was due to open in Canary
swimwear for both men and women.
Wharf’s Cabot Place at the beginning
Its new S/S18 collection features a
of March was music to our ears. Not
range of provocative, cutting-edge
only has the underwear proven to be
products with the innovative design
consistently popular for over 25 years,
and superior fit and quality that people
it has become a status symbol in its
have to come to expect of it. Explore
own right. And it’s exactly what Canary
the new store for the monochrome
Wharf has been missing.
Calvin Klein classics or opt for a
Calvin Klein first set up shop in New York, back in 1968 and by 1969 it had featured on the front cover
colourful piece just in time for spring.
Calvin Klein Underwear, Cabot Place; calvinklein.co.uk
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lv i n pa rt n e r s h i p
Underwear briefs, £33
Calvin Klein Underwear is set to open in Cabot Place, in early March. Discover its range of underwear, nightwear and swimwear.
Its new S/S18 collection f e at u r e s a r a n g e o f p r o v o c at i v e , cutting-edge products with i n n o v at i v e d e s i g n a n d s u p e r i o r fit and quality l u x u ry l o n d o n .c o.u k
THE LATEST ISSUE OF
the city magazine DELIVERED TO YOUR DESK FOR FREE EMAIL YOUR NAME, ADDRESS & the company you work for to email@example.com
OFFICE The C37 is Alfa Romeo Sauberâ€™s challenger for the 2018 Formula One championship, which kicks off with the Australian Grand Prix on 25 March. sauberf1team.com
The super SUV s ta k i n g luxu ry to a n e w l e v e l
From New cross council estate to national treasure
The giants of figurative art together again
Bacon and Freud
words: hugh francis anderson
The supercars, hot hatches & SUVS destined for a forecourt near you
The rumble of Thunder
lister launches its most powerful and luxurious model to date
The Jaguar F-Type marked a poignant moment in the evolution of Jaguar when it launched in 2014. The model put Jaguar back on the supercar map and won plaudits throughout the industry. Now the car is having another moment of glory with Cambridge-based car builder, Lister. Famed for producing high-performing racing cars in the 1950s, alongside numerous performance-enhanced Jaguar D-Types, Listerâ€™s attention has now turned to the F-Type. The Lister Thunder tunes a 5-litre V8 to produce 666bhp, almost 100bhp more than the range-topping F-Type SVR, and is now capable of 0-60mph in 3.2 seconds. Top speed is 208mph. Just 99 are available to purchase at the (relatively) reasonable price of ÂŁ140,000 (see the McLaren Senna opposite). listercars.com
a class of its own
the hottest of hatchbacks gets even hotter
The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is currently the highest selling Mercedes in the UK. The all-new version has received a subtle facelift, with a more aggressive bonnet and a lower stance to offer sportier looks and better handling. It also receives numerous technological
upgrades inside, most interestingly an augmented-reality system, which places the navigation over the top of a live video from the front-facing camera. Both diesel and petrol versions will be offered and will be capable of 114bhp and 161bhp respectively.
Already an important car in the hot-hatch category, the new model is set to further dominate over the BMW 1 Series, the Volkswagen Golf and the Audi A3. The 2018 A-Class goes on sale this month with prices expected to start from £24,000. mercedes-benz.co.uk
mclaren unleashes the senna
McLaren’s motorsport DNA legalised for the road
Ahead of the unveiling of the Senna at the Geneva Motor Show this month, McLaren has released the all-important specifications of its most track-focused model yet. Hurling out an impressive 789bhp from its 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the supercar will supposedly achieve 0-62mph in just 2.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 211mph. An enormous rear wing, alongside active-aero, provides the Senna with up to 800kg of downforce (at 250km/h). Weighing just 1,198kg, it is the lightest road car since the F1. Naturally, all 500 of the models that will be made have already been sold, each for a tasty £750,000. In fact, one was recently sold at a charity auction for a whopping £2 million, even though no one outside of McLaren has seen it in the flesh. mclaren.com
Battle of the Heavyweights 2018 will be the year of the â€˜Superâ€™ SUV as even more manufacturers hope to capitalise on a sector that shows no signs of slowing. The City Magazine reviews the best 4X4s money can currently buy and previews the premium people carriers being rushed into production Words: Jeremy Taylor & Richard Brown
he world of luxury motoring is about to step up a gear as Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini and Aston Martin launch big-budget SUVs onto the market for the very first time. The automotive equivalent of a Swiss Army knife, this new generation of super sports utility vehicles will blend outsize practicality with astonishing performance. These are SUVs that will carry the family and a pet pooch, yet still crack
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the 0-62mph barrier in less than five seconds. Even Ferrari boss, Sergio Marchionne, has reportedly said the company will build an SUV in the future – although a production decision will not be made until 2020. Meanwhile, a Ferrarideveloped 503bhp engine for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is due in the summer. In the meantime, here’s a round-up of the best SSUVs either currently on the market or scheduled for the road in the next 12 months…
The first look at the Rolls-Royce Cullinan
Bentley Bentayga Diesel The success of Bentley’s first ever off-roader created a 4X4 space race among all other luxury car marques. So just how good is the SUV everyone else is now chasing? Words: Richard Brown
Price: from £135,800 Engine: 4.0-litre V8, 429bhp 0-62mph: 4.8 seconds Top speed: 168 mph Economy: 35.8mpg
When the EXP 9 F concept first batted its eyelashes at the motoring press in 2012, attendees at the Geneva Motor Show reacted as if Bentley had just pulled back the curtain and committed hara-kari. ‘Monster!’ they screamed, as they passed around the sick bowl. And, to be fair, they had a point. The goggle-eyed wagon looked like Woody Allen from the front and Kim Kardashian from behind. Three years later, the EXP 9 F had morphed into the Bentayga; a sporty, streamlined off-roader this time more akin to the Porsche Cayenne than a Thames barge. Its gaping, Frankenstein headlights were now flush with the rest of the car; its face rearranged to resemble something closer to the Continental’s. Even still, at first glance, she was hardly a looker. Not that any of this mattered, of course. Bentley’s first SUV was always going to sell faster than the company could rush it off the production line. Marketing the motor as the quickest and most expensive 4x4 ever created only helped to fuel pre-orders. First in line was HM The Queen. Enough people queued up behind her for the entire initial production run to sell out in advance. Bentley had planned to produce 3,500 Bentaygas a year. In 2016, it sold 5,586. The SUV became the company’s most popular model immediately, outselling the Continental by more than double. So just how high has Bentley set the Super SUV benchmark? We collected our ice-white press car from the belly of Westfield Shepherd’s Bush, where H.R. Owen Bentley has a showroom. The V8 diesel option retails from £135,800 (the Bentayga is also available with a V8 petrol engine and in allsinging W12 mode). Ours had been upgraded with £69,580 worth of extras. These included contrasting stitching, for a paltry £1,560, veneered picnic tables, a snip at £1,640 and a boot mat for £495 – the bargain of the lot. When we told the Bentley attendant that we were heading for Cornwall, he said we should get there and back on one tank of fuel. We looked at him as if he were mad and took off for the high cliffs of the south west. The first ‘F*#k Me!’ moment came on the M4 when the traffic cleared and my right foot suddenly got a little heavy. The Bentayga can’t boast best in class acceleration. It will get you from 0 to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds, but the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, BMW X5 M and Ranger Rover Sport SVR will all get you there quicker. Really, though, the Bentayga exists in a class of its own. It shouldn’t be possible for
anything that weighs 3.25 tonnes – that’s 250kg more than the Range Rover Sport SVR – to possess this turn of pace. Certainly nothing as smooth, silent and lavishly upholstered. The V8 engine under the hood is capable of 429 bhp and 900 Nm of torque, making it the most powerful diesel SUV ever created. The surge of power you get with a tap of the right pedal is simply extraordinary. Bentley has the driving position nailed. Steering is so light you can sneeze and accidentally change lanes. Seats are armchair comfortable. It’s the difference between Cineworld and Everyman Cinema; you pay a premium for plumper surroundings, but afterwards everything else seems plasticky and cheap. ‘F*#k Me!’ moment number two came after we connected the Spotify on my phone via Bluetooth to the car’s Naim sound system, effortless even for this Luddite. Bentley has had the good sense to make the infotainment system touch screen, doing away with any dangerously distracting, infuriatingly over-sensitive rotary controller. Back to that sound system. It adds £6,615 to the inventory but morphs the car into the editing suite of a music studio. Our cabin reverberated with more bass than a deep house super-club in a disused air hangar in Ibiza. If you want to know what the car is capable of off-road, you’ll have to consult the internet. The fear of having to explain to the Bentley press team how I’d managed to beach the Bentayga on a stretch of sand near Padstow was enough to persuade me to stick to the tarmac. Proper, bolder motoring journalists that have taken the car off-piste all sing of its cross-country credentials. What I can tell you is that the Bentayga has serious presence. And not just because it is physically cosmic (14cm longer and 15cm wider than a typical Range Rover). Point its basking shark grill towards the rear end of whatever is in front on the motorway, and you’ll soon have the lane to yourself. People in more affordable posh cars – which is everyone – pretend not to look at you. You can feel the buyer’s remorse – particularly among drivers of Porsche Cayennes and Maserati Levantes. You’ve all gone out and bought a shiny new dinner suit. You’re the only one wearing Tom Ford. The Bentayga is also remarkably agile. Nothing tests a man’s mettle like manoeuvring out of a tight spot in front of other men. This is especially true when you’re evidently an out-of-towner driving a status symbol down a one-lane track lined by high-sided dry-stone walls. Thankfully, the Benayga’s front and rear cameras and 360-degree parking sensors made reversing into a passing spot (almost) no stress at all. Keep calm and look smug as you avoid scratching those pearly-silver 21-inch rims. Boot space isn’t huge. We tried to cram the sister’s two Akitas in there. We might have managed had it not been for the severelyangled rear windscreen – a win for aerodynamics over practicality. Perhaps a blessing, given that £500 boot mat. Not so much of a problem was two weekend bags, a couple of picnic hampers and four pairs of wellington boots. You look forward to getting back in the Bentayga. You find excuses to stay in her longer. Did we get to Cornwall and back on one tank? No, but we might have, had we not opted for the long way, the scenic route, between every beauty spot and pretty fishing village. Ashamedly, we got more out of the Bentley than we did out of Boscastle. After a week of narrow lanes and near scrapes it was back to the motorway, where you realise just how good the Bentayga is. Speed typically comes at the cost of comfort; comfort compromises speed. The Bentayga sacrifices nothing. You’ll get to 62mph in the same time as an Aston Martin Vantage. But do so from the comfort of a suite at the Four Seasons. Primus inter pares. First among equals. For the moment, the Bentayga simply doesn’t have any. H.R. Owen Bentley, Westfield, W12, hrowen.co.uk
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Bentley Bentayga W12 Price: from £162,700 Engine: 5,950cc 12-cyl, 608bhp 0-62mph: 4.0 secs Economy: 21.6mpg
With a top speed of 187mph, the W12 has been making hay at the top end of the four-wheel drive sector since it was launched in 2016, well ahead of rivals. There are special-edition Bentaygas for fishing and falconry, a Breitling Tourbillon clock costing £110,000, or a Mulliner hamper at £21,000. However, it will be fascinating to see how Bentley responds when the new rash of SSUVs finally arrives in 2018. Whatever you think about the styling, the cabin is a wondrous place to sit. I recently drove the W12 for a week and felt like I had signed in to an exclusive gentleman’s club. Everything within touching distance is made of something luxurious that has been stitched together by craftsmen. That tranquillity is shattered with a blip of the accelerator. It brings a 6.0-litre, 600bhp W12 engine to life with startling effect. Effortless power means this £162,700 Bentayga will sprint to 60mph in 4.0 seconds – quite outrageous for a car weighing this much. What’s not to like? Well, the fuel bills can be eyewatering but there are ‘modest’ diesel options to ease the pain on your wallet. JT
Maserati Levante S Sports Utility Vehicles should be fast and practical – does the new Maserati Levante measure up? Words: Jeremy Taylor
Price: from £70,755 Engine: 3.0-litre V6, 424bhp 0-60mph: 5.2 seconds Top speed: 164 mph Economy: 25.9mpg
How do manufacturers emphasis the ‘S’ in their SUV? Maserati’s answer is to inject some Ferrari spirit into a petrol version of the Levante. The 275bhp diesel model sent Maserati sales soaring when it was launched in 2016. But British buyers had to wait more than a year to get their hands on the tastier 424bhp S, with a petrol engine built by Ferrari. Levante is the first sports utility vehicle in Maserati’s 104-year history. The svelte styling is rivalled only by Alfa Romeo’s new Stelvio. The Audi Q5 looks positively dull by comparison. And while German SUVs are more likely to hold their value, wouldn’t you rather drive home from work in a Maserati? Displaying a trident badge on the grille makes every journey an occasion. To prove the point, Maserati invited me on a 1,000-mile drive from Goodwood to its Italian headquarters in Modena. The three-day journey would be a chance to see if the company’s newest offering is as smart as it looks. A key rival for the Range Rover Sport and Porsche Cayenne, the Levante S will have to be good to enter such a crowded marketplace. Storming down the coast road south from Calais, the extra power of the S is immediately apparent. While the diesel does the job adequately, the S has more than a splash of attitude. Wind up the twin-turbo V6, hear those quad exhaust pipes crackle and I defy you not to have a rush of blood
to the head. There are more roomy SUVs that offer better economy but Ferrari has done a fine job injecting some flair in the Levante. The engine is unique to the S and won’t appear in any rival cars from the Fiat group. If the rasping exhaust doesn’t get you noticed, the gaping front grille of the Levante surely will. Pulling in to the Hostellerie La Briqueterie in Vinay, even Parisian guests can’t resist a peek. The Maserati has a distinctive look all of its own. The next day, I’m in the Alps en route to Switzerland. The S has an Intelligent Sport mode that ensures the drivetrain is always in the right gear to maximise torque. For twisty mountain roads with few overtaking opportunities, it’s the perfect car. Inside, Levante is really rather beautiful. It doesn’t have an ugly screen bolted to the top of the dashboard, while the quality of the leather is exceptional. And there’s plenty of time to enjoy it, stuck in a 90-minute traffic jam into Geneva. On the fast-flowing Italian motorways into Modena, even the locals seem impressed by the S. You know you’re driving something special when the passenger in the car behind films your every move. Maserati plans to launch a hybrid version of the Levante but, truthfully, if your budget will stretch to the S, I’d have no hesitation in recommending it. An SUV for the extrovert that turns heads for all the right reasons.
Range Rover Sport SVR Price: from £97,625 Engine: 5.0-litre V8, 567 bhp 0-62mph: 4.5 secs Top speed: 175.8 mph Economy: 22 mpg
Porsche Cayenne Turbo S Price: from £121,550 Engine: 4.8-litre V8, 550 bhp 0-62mph: 3.9 secs Top speed: 177 mph Economy: Not Available
Faster still is the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, which will keep up with a supercar yet costs around the same as the SVR. Unfortunately, the latest 2018 model also has styling issues – note the huge grille modelled in the shape of a dumbbell. Oddly, it makes the Cayenne look less Porsche-like than ever. Look beyond that and this is a world-class SSUV. This version has a new chassis, more power and is slightly lighter. Combined with Porsche driving dynamics, it makes for a typically competent and entertaining vehicle. The latest engine is a 4.0 litre twin turbo V8, mated to a new, eight-speed auto gearbox. The car is quieter, more refined and more frugal than ever before, too. It’s also more expensive at £121,550. Loaded with technology and bags of space, this is a luxurious jack-of-all-trades, for people in a serious hurry. JT
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At the more ‘affordable’ £100,000 end of the luxury SUV market (£99,680) will be the facelifted Range Rover Sport SVR, due out shortly. Powered by an upgraded, supercharged V8 that produces 567bhp, the 0-62mph sprint is reduced to 4.3 seconds. Now, Range Rovers have long been the embodiment of good taste but I’m not sure the red and black leather interior in my SVR does the cabin any favours. It’s no wonder the Sport has a slightly ‘downmarket’ image in some circles. Whatever you think of the styling, there’s no denying the SVR is a phenomenal driving machine. Fuel is guzzled at an alarming rate but it is ridiculously fast, either on a motorway or across country. If the SVR doesn’t get you recognised just hit the sports exhaust button. The grumble from the quad tailpipes is stupidly loud. Also launching in the spring is the Sport P400e, Jaguar Land Rover’s first plug-in hybrid model and good for 101mpg, if you believe the official figures. JT
ALL Words: Jeremy Taylor
Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupé
Tesla Model X 100D Price: from £90,800 Engine: 449kW electric motor,
Price: from £104,075 Engine: 5.5-litre V8, 585 bhp 0-62mph: 4.2 seconds
BMW X6 40d
0-60mph: 2.9 secs Top speed: 155 mph
Top speed: 155 mph
Range: 351 miles
Economy: 23.7 mpg Price: from £62,020
Mercedes model badging is as clear as UK Brexit plans but the GLE is essentially a lower, streamlined version of the ML that’s more driver-focused. If you can’t bring yourself to drive a conventional SSUV, what about an SUC? BMW started the trend with the X6 M, Mercedes refined it with the GLE 63 S Coupé. Restricted boot capacity, yes, but a more streamlined shape makes it easier on the eye. No downsizing to a more economical engine here: the 63 S is loaded with a glorious if dated 5.5-litre V8. It’s ridiculously raucous but who buys a super SUV to be sensible? The GLE Coupé is a big-boned bruiser of a vehicle. It stands on 22-inch wheels, pumps out a throaty soundtrack and rivals the Lamborghini for outrageousness. It’s a Marmite car. I’m somewhere in the middle because with air suspension and excellent handling, the 63 S makes light work of almost anything you can throw at it. A joy around town, awesome on a high-speed continental dash. Rear visibility and back seat space are restricted but to feel it thunder to 60mph in 4.2 seconds is worth the £104,075 ticket.
Engine: 2993cc 6-cyl, 313bhp 0-60mph: 5.8 secs Top speed: 147 mph Economy: 40.9mpg
I never warmed to the oddlooking X6 until I had the chance to drive the 40d. Suddenly, I didn’t care about a heavily-stylised rear-end that ate into interior space. Without a family and their belongings, the BMW works. The X6 divides opinion. On the road, it has neat handling for such a big car, aided by fourwheel drive and some enormous wheels. Hard suspension makes it a bit clunky around town but not unbearable. The interior is pure BMW. I’m a big fan of the wide infotainment screen, which is one of the best on the market. It’s just a shame the carbuncle doesn’t lower into the dashboard when not in use. For even more power try either the 50d, or the outrageously fast 50i petrol. The mid-range 40d has more than enough grunt, however.
The SUV of the future? Well, it’s actually here now with eye-catching gull-wing doors and a 17-inch infotainment screen. Model X is a seven-seater like no other – but will it work for you? The great bits about the Tesla are also the most annoying. Those roof-hinged doors are a showstopper – they also don’t work so well in a multi-storey car park, or in a tight space. And while the Model X is supercar quick, I still couldn’t get over my range anxiety when pressing the accelerator hard. Would I have enough juice left in the battery pack to get home? Styling is more coupé than SUV but with four-wheel drive and space for seven, it is immensely practical. There’s no engine up front either, which frees up a good amount of space under the bonnet for more luggage. Loaded with batteries, the Model X is heavy but still glides around a fast corner in silence. If ever in doubt, just remember that you have more than enough performance on tap to compete with a Porsche 911 Turbo…
Lamborghini Urus Price: from £165,000 Engine: 4.0-litre V8, 641 bhp 0-62mph: 3.6 secs Top speed: 190 mph Economy: 18.5 mpg
First off the blocks for 2018 is the Lamborghini Urus. Unveiled in Italy in December, the 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 looks every bit as bonkers as the company’s Huracan and Aventador supercars. Built on the same underpinnings as the Bentley Bentayga, Audi Q7 and Porsche Cayenne – Lamborghini is part of the Volkswagen Group after all – the squat, dramatic styling has already polarised opinions. What isn’t in question is the all-wheel drive performance: 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 189mph. Practical? The suede-lined boot measures a whopping 616 litres, enough for an awful lot of shopping bags. Due for launch in the summer, Urus isn’t Lamborghini’s first SUV. That honour belongs to the LM002, a beastly looking ‘truck’ from the 1980s that featured a 5.2-litre Countach engine. Weighing 2.7 tonnes, it guzzled fuel at an alarming rate and became known as the ‘Rambo Lambo’. The new Urus will be priced from £165,000 and being a lifestyle vehicle, you can choose some reassuringly expensive accessories to match. Apart from the obligatory designer luggage, step into a pair of Enzo Bonafè moccasins, or wrap up in a limited-edition jacket made by Hettabretz.
Rolls-Royce is being rather coy about the name of its first SUV. After years of speculation, its working title, Cullinan, is now its official moniker. The name of the largest diamond ever found seems suitably grand for an SUV that appears enormous in every spy shot. This long-awaited gem will likely to be powered by a V12 and offer four-wheel drive in a Rolls for the first time. Otherwise, details like price and exact launch date are scarce. But as this will likely be the most expensive SUV ever built and equipped with the most prestigious of badges, there will be no shortage of takers. The company has also branded its car with new acronym HSV, or high-sided vehicle. Isn’t that commonly known as a lorry?
Aston Martin DBX
The DBX will likely be a plaything for the future James Bond. It won’t arrive until late 2019, around the same time as the next 007 movie. Drawings and a concept show car suggest a svelte and more stylish assault on the crossover market. Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer says that unlike some other SUVs, the DBX has not sacrificed any beauty to achieve practicality and performance. If he’s right, it could be the car that puts the company into the black for the first time in its history. It will share aluminium architecture with the DB11 and offer both V8 and V12 engines – the latter expected to top 600bhp. There is also talk of a hybrid that could shatter the 0-62mph time of 4.0 seconds for the current fastest SUV, the Bentley Bentayga W12.
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Oldman: My darkest hours
are in the
Although one of the world’s greatest actors, the East Londoner says his Docklands’ roots – and being a father – keep his size tens firmly on the ground Words: Dawn Alford
Interview Courtesy of Dan Rowley/BIFA/ REX/Shutterstock
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ou can take the boy out of London. But when it comes to Gary Oldman, you can never take London out of the boy. The actor extraordinaire, and inspiration to a new generation of thespians, resolutely retains the down-to-earth attitude of his New Cross council estate start in life. Our home-grown Oscar nominated star of Darkest Hour, lives in LA these days, but has his priorities sorted: “You’ve got to have a decent cup of tea, so I have Typhoo tea bags,” he laughs. “And Colman’s mustard, Yorkshire puddings – things like that.” He turns 60 this month and recently married his fifth wife Gisele Schmidt, yet despite his wealth, fame and accolades, he has never felt the need to gloss over his working-class roots. Born Gary Leonard Oldman in south-east London, he is the son of sailor and welder Leonard and housewife Kathleen. He has two younger sisters, Jackie, and Laila Morse, who went on to star as Mo in Eastenders. He has talked about how his father – an alcoholic who worked in the Docklands – left the family ‘with not even two ha’pennies to rub together’ when he was seven. When we meet, he is chic in a beautifully-cut dark suit and black-rimmed glasses and appears a million miles away from the constraints of his poor upbringing. He clearly loves talking about home. “London changes so quickly and it was a very different place for me when I was growing up. “In a way, it’s lost a lot of that raw edge that it had, particularly around where I grew up. I’m not sure that’s such a bad thing. The transformation has been incredible, and now we will never go back to that version of the city.” The young Gary attended West Greenwich School in Deptford, leaving at the age of 16 to work in a sports store and then the now-defunct British Home Stores. A Millwall supporter, he was stunned and thrilled when a few years ago, his mother Kathleen, now 92, regaled him with the fact his dad played briefly for the team. “Just after the war, mum ran a boarding house for Millwall players. I knew already that my dad was somehow involved with the reserve team, but two weeks ago my mum said, ‘Oh yeah, your dad played for Millwall.’ It turned out that when he was young he had a couple of first-team games.
“I was in the kitchen, making tea. I said, ‘What are you talking about? You tell me this now?’ “I was rather surprised to discover that my dad – albeit for five minutes – had been a professional footballer. I was quite chuffed, and proud.” Life for Gary in east London took a turn for the better when, following a succession of unskilled jobs, he won a place to study at the Rose Bruford College in Kent. The first part of his acting career was spent in the theatre and that’s how he expected it to continue. It all changed in 1986 when Oldman was offered the chance to play self-destructive, doomed Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious in the biopic Sid and Nancy. He nearly turned it down: “I read the script and I just thought it was a load of rubbish. I didn’t want to do it and my agent said, ‘Well, they are paying you £35,000,’ which was a fortune in those days. “I was getting 80 quid a week at the Royal Court Theatre company and I thought, ‘I could do with a flat.’ So I went and did it, and it changed things for me overnight.” The following year he married actress Lesley Manville, best known for dramas Cranford and River. He left her in 1989, three months after the birth of their son Alfie, now 29. The following year he wed Hollywood star Uma Thurman but that marriage lasted only two years. Uma later observed: “It was immature and rebellious. It is infantile to marry your first boyfriend, which Gary was, in my case.” Oldman remains pretty philosophical about his marriages, remarking: “I’m not proud to say it, but I’ve had a few goes at it, so I’ve probably learnt something.” After landing his first Hollywood roles in the early 90s, with parts including Lee Harvey Oswald in 1991’s JFK, he celebrated his success by hell-raising with fellow hardpartying stars including Kiefer Sutherland. His boozing, already out of control, began to really take its toll and Oldman said at the time that he realised he’d die if he didn’t get into rehab. He has now been sober for more than 20 years. In 1997 he produced, directed and starred in Nil By Mouth, the knuckle-hard portrait of a south-east London family. His own history appeared to be at its core and Oldman even shot his characters getting drunk in his dad’s former local – the Five Bells. Twenty years later, it remains one of the greatest British films and ensured Gary’s history with the London area would be immortalised forever. Just after the release, Oldman married photographer Donya Fiorentino whom he’d met at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. They had two sons but this third marriage ended in 2001 following public and acrimonious accusations from both parties. He was later granted sole custody of the
Interview Gary Oldman and Paul Smith, courtesy of james mason photography
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Gary Oldman with his fifth wife Gisele Schmidt, courtesy of Tinseltown/ shutterstock.com
‘Working is good for you. It gives you a sense of value. It’s important to get out there and do something’
boys – Charlie, who is now 20 and an aspiring photographer, and Gulliver, 18, a model. They live with him in LA. Gary said of that time: “I woke up one day and was a 43-year-old single dad with two kids. It wasn’t exactly what I’d planned, but there it was in front of me. So I just made a decision to be at home more.” And he has relished it ever since. “It’s been wonderful. They are my greatest accomplishment.” Today, he says he has instilled in his boys the working-class mindset and that they should always be responsible for putting food on the table. He says: “Working is good for you. It gives you a sense of value and it’s important to get out there and do something. I say to my kids, ‘You have to work. And you have to provide for your family.’ I’ve never been on the dole. I would always find things to do.” Big-money roles – as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter films and Commissioner Gordon in the Batman trilogy – came along at the perfect time. “They allowed me, certainly financially, to really be at home with the kids. I’d make a Harry Potter movie for six weeks and then I’d have maybe seven months at home. It worked well.” In 2008 he married for a fourth time, to musician Alexandra Edenborough, but she filed for divorce in 2015. Following this, Oldman apologised to the Hollywood elite after he appeared to support Mel Gibson who had been accused of anti-Semitism. Oldman at the time offered a heartfelt apology and defied the odds to land his role in Darkest Hour. Talking to me, he’s full of humility, reflection and charm. His suave appearance contrasts with that accent that remains straight from the ruthless, unforgiving concrete of 1960s south-east London.
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About his most famous role to date as Churchill, he explains: “Playing him was a joy and a torture in equal measure. It was an arduous journey to get into him, finding all those moving pieces and putting him together. But when I did, what a joy. What a pure joy.” Insisting he never goes “full method”, Oldman admits to feeling that he was indeed channelling Britain’s most loved Prime Minister. “My wife said to me – which I loved – ‘I go to sleep with Winston Churchill and I wake up with Gary’.” Deliberating over the role, and not just because of the gruelling four-hour make-up and costume process undertaken for 48 consecutive days, Oldman had to reach into reserves of courage not plumbed for several decades. He looks thoughtful as he says: “There was always this big fat pink elephant in the room, asking me how I was going to pull this off. “I wanted to say no but I mulled over it. There was a lot of pensive soul-searching. But once that seed was planted, I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I would never get a chance like this again.” He adds with a wry smile: “I listened to some of his speeches over and over, learning the gravitas of his timbre. And then I recorded myself on my iPhone giving it a try. It was horrible, but there was something there. Something worked. And it was really my wife Gisele, who said to me, ‘Are you really going to give up the opportunity to say those words? You’ll always regret it’.” It is obvious that Oldman’s childhood helped shape him. His first home in Hatcham Park Road in SE14 stays in his mind, as does the Five Bells pub. That he overcame such a start speaks volumes about him and he believes his roots, while not always easy, enabled him to never give up on finding the right partner. He married fifth wife Gisele, an art curator, quietly last September. He says: “You know, sometimes you have to go through things first. I’ve gone through my thing and we’re like peas in a pod. “I’m nearly 60 and at last I think I’ve come home.” And he is convinced that this time, it will last — that his own dark hours are over for good.
Freud & Bacon:
the Art of the Gamble A new Tate Britain show exhibiting rarely seen works by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud casts new light on the compelling and strange friendship between two 20th century master artists Words: Rob Crossan
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enniless, tired and in desperate need of a drink, a 39-year-old Dublin-born artist climbed a steep and worn staircase on Soho’s Dean Street sometime in early 1949. He was met at the top by a woman who was later described by the jazz musician George Melly as “a benevolent witch… who loved money.” That ‘witch’ was Muriel Belcher, proprietor of the newly opened Colony Room, a members-only drinking club designed in order to avoid the archaic licensing laws of British pubs at the time which meant they had to close in the afternoons. That artist was Francis Bacon who quickly struck up a deal with Belcher: for the princely sum of £10 and free drinks Bacon would be obliged to persuade his wealthier friends to come and spend money in what would, over the following five decades, become one of the most famous, and most intimidating, drinking dens in London. Regarded as a petri dish of dark green walls, overflowing ashtrays and reckless overindulgence, it was in this filthy room, with the ferocious Belcher looking on from her perch on a bar stool by the
door, that Francis and a preternaturally good-looking younger man, the grandson of Sigmund Freud, began to drink together. For the next two decades it was in the Colony Room and the surrounding Soho streets that Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, two of greatest figurative painters of the 20th century, bonded, argued, drank, gambled and drank some more. The new Tate Britain exhibition shows some rarely seen works created over the decades when Freud and Bacon were closest friends alongside work by contemporaries including Frank Auerbach and Paula Rego. The paintings, such as Bacon’s claustrophobic and furious ‘Portrait of Isabel Rawsthorne’ from 1966 and Freud’s contemplative portraits of Auerbach from a decade later display the divergence between Lucian’s slow process of working and Bacon’s more rapid style. Away from the canvas, however, the two men’s styles dovetailed more clearly, each using their friendship to egg the other onto ever greater degrees of excess. Freud was 13 years Bacon’s junior and, despite his striking looks, that there is no evidence whatsoever that the openly gay Bacon
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Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon bonded, argued, drank, gambled and drank some more
Opening page: Lucian Freud, ‘Man’s Head (Self Portrait II)’, 1963 Previous page: Francis Bacon, ‘Study for Portrait of Lucian Freud’, 1964 Above: Francis Bacon, ‘Triptych’, 1974
ever attempted to seduce the man with whom he spent at least a few hours of every single day from the late ’40s until the early 70s. Freud’s second wife, Caroline Blackwood, once remarked that she and Freud had dinner with Bacon, “nearly every night for more or less the whole of my marriage... We also had lunch.” When the avid womaniser Freud was away from Blackwood, his rapport with Bacon was centred on a clear mutual respect for each other’s work (one that would end towards the end of the ’70s as the friendship soured) and a fierce commitment to gambling. Bacon, notoriously disdainful of money, was a colossal help to Freud in the early days of their friendship, doling out wads of cash to him, and seemingly anyone else who asked for it. Freud’s dependence on – at that time – the more established star for money went some way towards establishing a sense of inferiority to Bacon that never seems to have quite dissolved, despite Freud’s eventual totemic status in the global art world. “Bacon talked about packing a lot of things into one single brushstroke, which
“Only by going too far,” Bacon once said, “can you go far enough” amused and excited me,” Freud once said. “I knew it was a million miles from anything I could ever do.” In terms of technique, vision and clarity, it’s hard to fathom Freud here. What the younger artist seems to be referring to is perhaps more related to Bacon’s admittance that images came into his mind almost completely ready-made, akin to film slides dropping into his field of vision. To Freud, this must have seemed an enviable alternative to the hundreds of hours of labour he would spend over his own portraits. “You can’t eat it”, Freud once remarked in a discussion about the supposed usefulness, or otherwise, of art. This existential doctrine of negation, that appeared to fuel both men, was manifested in epic bouts at the roulette wheel and catastrophic losses at the racetrack. On one betting bender in the 60s Freud came back home after losing every penny he had, only to sell his car and bet the entire proceeds on a horse. When he lost that, he calmly returned home again to paint. Bacon, not to be outdone, would be seen around Soho Square, scattering the money he’d won at the bookies like birdseed on the grass. “Only by going too far,” he once said, “can you go far enough”. The reckless, extreme attitude towards life that both men took as a philosophy appears to have flowed over into the auction market for their work in recent times. At Christie’s New York in 2013, Bacon’s ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud’, a three-part portrait of his friend dating from 1969 went for $142.4 million (just under £90 million at the time), making it the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction up to that point.
Clockwise from below: Walter Sickert, ‘Nuit d’été’, c.1906; Francis Bacon, ‘Portrait’, 1962; Lucian Freud, ‘Sleeping by the Lion Carpet’, 1996
Convinced that figurative painting could still have relevance in a mid-20th century London art world fixated on emerging themes of abstraction, it is perhaps Freud and Bacon’s defiance of the trends of the time which has done more than anything else to confirm their legacy and the eye-boggling value of their work. ‘Three Studies’ is, unsurprisingly, not on display at this Tate show. But something far more intriguing will be present: namely a portrait by Bacon of Freud that hasn’t been seen in public since 1965. An angst-ridden image of the human figure, bare-chested and curled into the corner of a dark room beneath a single lightbulb, the painting stands over six feet high and was originally part of a triptych which Bacon then split into separate works. It was first unveiled in 1964 at the group exhibition Aspects of XX Century Art held at Bacon’s gallery Marlborough Fine Art. It then travelled from the Kunstverein in Hamburg to Stockholm’s Moderna Museet over the following year as part of a solo show of Bacon’s work. It then transferred into private hands and has not been seen in public since. It all couldn’t last of course. The vast egos of both Bacon and Freud were bound to prove insurmountable obstacles at some point. An argument in the 70s was never fully put to bed and Freud became openly scathing about Bacon’s later work, calling the art he produced in the 80s ‘ghastly’. By the time Bacon died in 1992 (his wake was held in the Colony Room), the two still weren’t speaking. With Freud now also dead, the tales of their allday champagne binges in Soho, Freud’s diet of eating woodcock for breakfast and Bacon’s ardour for a failed burglar named George Dyer all reek of a vanished age and a lost Soho of long lunches, full ashtrays and ribald bohemia. It’s these stories around Freud and Bacon’s friendship, new chapters of which occasionally still emerge from the fading memories of those who knew both men, that create new reasons to keep reassessing their phenomenal output in new shades and cadences. Whether they were ‘frenemies’, confidants or simply playmates, their love, admiration and later dislike for each other continues to tell us so much about the art of friendship and the capability of an alliance to produce love, power and poison. “Who can I tear to pieces, if not my friends?” said Bacon. “If they were not my friends, I could not do such violence to them.”
Clockwise from below: Cecily Brown, ‘Boy with a Cat’, 2015; Euan Uglow, ‘Georgia’, 1973; Paula Rego, ‘The Family’, 1988; Jenny Saville, ‘Reverse’, 2002-3; Frank Auerbach, ‘Head of Jake’, 1997
All Too Human: Bacon, Freud and a Century of Painting Life runs at Tate Britain from Feb 28th- Aug 27th, tate.org.uk
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The natural healing retreat at the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco resort and spa immerses guests in the forests and landscape of Italyâ€™s famously-picturesque central region. Here, there are cookery classes geared towards boosting the immune system, while full body massages are available looking over the mountains. renaissancetuscany.com
p. 95 Pent-up Luxury The WORLDâ€™S MOST EXCLUSIVE penthouses & villas
p. 96 A sense of malay The VERY Traditional foundations of modern Kuala Lumpur
Around the World
escape the rat race with the latest in luxury travel
One of the biggest music and drama festivals in the world will include 206 performances over 42 days at 18 venues, with highlights such as Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Richard Strauss’s Salome. Online ticket sales open on 23 March, with the festival beginning 20 July. Before then, the Whitsun festival (18-21 May) marks the 150th anniversary of Rossini’s death with a programme dedicated to the Italian composer. salzburgerfestspiele.at
Sat on the shores of Lake Inari in Finland, 250km north of the Arctic Circle, Hotel Nangu has collaborated with Northern Lights company The Aurora Zone to release imagery of Nangu’s first major solar storm. Northern Lights short break from £1,685pp, theaurorazone.com
Hyatt Centric La Rosière
The resort of La Rosière is a few kilometres from Mont Blanc and lies in the Espace San Bernardo, linking France with Italy via 160km of some of the snowiest slopes in the country. The Hyatt Centric is its first four-star luxury hotel, and is owned by an Anglo-French couple who have been in the area for 30 years. From €290/couple, hotellarosiere.com
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Pent-up Paradise For an extra slice of the good life relax in one of these recently launched or refurbished penthouses and villas
Principe di Savoia, Milan
Hamish Niven Photography
The crowning glory of Hotel Principe di Savoia, overlooking Milan’s Piazza della Repubblica, is the Presidential Suite: Italian design with gold, wood and velvet; living room with fireplace; crystalstocked dining room, three bedrooms packed with art and antiques, and a Pompeii-style spa with a large swimming pool. dorchestercollection.com
Cape Town The four-bedroom Moondance Villa is located at the foothills of Lions Head in the most exclusive part of Cape Town’s Fresnaye, and boasts views across the Atlantic Ocean. It has everything: open-plan lounges, bars, dining and living rooms; Koi ponds; a private lift above an indoor water feature; a swimming pool with underpool bar; and a cinema room. It also has the largest private gym on the Atlantic seaboard. 50moondance.com
Casa Anderson, Trancoso
The paradisiacal village of Trancoso, in Brazil’s Bahia region, is home to a new group of villas by Uxua Casa hotel. The five properties are available to rent, including one owned by CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper, and include a farmhouse and converted fisherman’s cottage. uxuaalma.com
Canggu COMO Uma Canggu is the brand’s third luxury resort in Bali, and lies in Canggu, a coastal village and six-milelong beach that enjoys some of the island’s best waves for surfing. Alongside the 119 rooms are one- and twobedroom residences, and threebedroom duplex penthouses with individual rooftop pools. comohotels.com
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A sense of
malay Kuala Lumpur may like to boast of its thrusting modernity, but the leftovers of an earlier age lie all around â€“ if you know where to look Words: Rob Crossan
here’s a faint, and very familiar, noise that’s just about audible above the clanging, screeching, coughing and wheezing traffic that arthritically crawls around Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur. With a veritable forest of skyscrapers in the distance, the soft thwack of leather on willow is a sound as incongruous in this setting as is the small structure to the side of the grass; a red-tiled Tudor-beamed house which really should be at the end of a driveway in Esher or Henley. Despite the heat and despite the humidity and despite the quite startling strangeness of the atavistic Royal Selangor Club house overlooking the expanse of soft
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green, the cricket match taking place in front of me is attracting a small crowd. There’s a lack of red-nosed Panamahatted, Telegraph-reading Pimm’s sippers scattered around the pitch. But then again, 60 years after independence from the colonial yoke of the British Empire, you wouldn’t really expect there to be. The generation that brought cricket to Malaysia may be long gone. But there’s a surprising amount of empire remnants that have survived in a city which,
although eager to flex its 21st century muscle, has a structural backbone which still clearly has its origins in the drawing rooms and gin palaces of England. The cricket pitch at Merdeka Square is the equivalent of there being a baseball pitch in the middle of Times Square. Or transplanting Lord’s and placing it in the centre of Piccadilly Circus. Yet, gazing to my right, on the other side of the parping masses of coaches, taxis and mopeds, is the bricks and mortar equivalent of a monarchical, triumphal crescendo blast of horns. The Sultan Abdul Samad building is a bordering-on-the-preposterous riot of Moorish meets Moghul meets Greenwich
Mean Time with its copper-covered onionshaped domes, horseshoe arches, gothic columns, spiral stairways and immense, creamy-white clock tower. Compiled in 1897 as the central government administration building, its completion marked Kuala Lumpur’s emergence as a major player and burgeoning rival to the nearby, and more developed island of Singapore, commencing a rivalry that continues to this day between the two cities. Gazing upon it in the late afternoon sun, the Sultan Abdul Samad strikes me as having the same level of flamboyant, mildly unhinged grandiosity of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, in terms of its almost day-glo riot of swirls, cupolas, bombast and hubris which betrays the sense of decadent abandon contrasting so portentously with the earlier solemnity of colonial architecture. Perhaps by this stage, designers such as Charles Edwin Spooner, who dreamt up this, one of the most ambitious monuments to Empire, knew that the end was nigh and a kind of ‘last days of Rome’ sense of fin de siècle abandon slowly slunk across those inkstained drawing boards back in Whitehall. Yet, below the well-heeled colonial top brass was a layer of administrators, traders and bureaucrats who wrestled with the torpor and heat without the Elysian environs of these kind of palaces to retreat to.
Maizurah Ariff/ shutterstock.com
‘What to do if your servant has malaria’ reads one yellowed newspaper clipping on the wall The Coliseum Café, opened in 1921, was built to cater for the more blue-collar stalwarts of the KL expat scene. And today, almost a century later, it continues to thrive as one of the oldest bars and restaurants in Malaysia, serving up oxtail soup, steaks and chicken and mushroom pies on starched tablecloths adorned with bottles of Heinz and Worcestershire sauce. The adjoining bar has, in more recent years, become a second home for the older generation of merchants and traders from the Little India ‘hood which now spills over onto Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman where the Coliseum is situated. Sinking into my wooden Parker Knoll easy chair and sipping an ice cold half pint of Tiger draught, I cast my eye over a couple of dozen old-timers, shuffling playing cards over the Formica tables, ordering sandwiches over the colossal heavy wood bar counter and taking white hankies to mop the beads of sweat from their heads as the ceiling fan above slowly twirls. ‘What to do if your servant has malaria’ reads one yellowed newspaper clipping on the wall. For the Coliseum, its faded stucco and air of graceful decline have been revived by a new generation of workers simply seeking unpretentious release from the daily grind. Yet, more indigenous elements of KL’s past are still, miraculously, intact, even further into the heart of the city. Kampung Baru is like no other neighbourhood in no other major urban hub on the planet. A traditional rural Malay village, all the way down to the 19th century
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Abd. Halim Hadi/ shutterstock.com
clapboard wooden houses, verdant plants, bijou Hindu temples, winding lanes and gentlemen taking preprandial bicycle rides, this is the equivalent of finding a Siberian village in the heart of Moscow or a Highlands hamlet in the heart of a Glasgow sink estate. Due to the Byzantine complexity of how the land here is divided up, mostly into tiny plots handed down over four or more generations, there is a distinct sense of stubborn resistance to Kampung Baru. The skyscrapers seem to be almost biting at the heels of the lanes here. Rumours of gargantuan offers by developers to buy land are a source of daily gossip. Yet, for now, almost nobody seems to want to sell. Taking a tiny plastic stool at a roadside street food stand serving immense portions of the unofficial national dish of ‘nasi lemak’ I get chatting to one elderly lady slowly working her way through a bowl of coconut-infused rice and cuttlefish as dusk descends on this urban village. “I’m not going to sell,” she insists. “I don’t care how much they offer. This place is just as important as any damn skyscraper. People need to learn that glass
and steel don’t make a city – people do. They always have and they always will. We’re going nowhere.” Rob travelled with Qatar Airways which flies from London to Kuala Lumpur via Doha with return fares starting from £498.97, qatarairways.com
Rob stayed at the Mandarin Oriental in central Kuala Lumpur, which can also organise airport transfers. Rooms start from £230 per night, mandarinoriental.com
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revolutionaries The potted history of golf in Cuba Words : Kevin Pilley
idel didn’t do mufti. He wasn’t one for collared shirts, tailored Dockers-style shorts or spikes. He set his own dress code. On the golf course, he preferred jackboots, a beret and basic hospital orderly clothing which passed for combat fatigues. He lined up putts with a cigar. He putted left handed and drove right, employing an orthodox knuckle-down-the-barrel baseball grip. He insisted his caddie wore a holstered pistol. Revolutions come and go. But the historic landmarks and sights of Cuba remain the same. Habana Vieja, the 60,000 classic fin sedans, bicitaxi rickshaws, the Che Guevara Mausoleum in Santa Clara, the 1930-built Hotel Nacional de Cuba on the Malecón, the 1929 El Capitolio building, Hemingway’s Finca Vigía house, the Isla de la Juventud (Isle of Youth) prison, Fidel Castro’s Finca Biran birthplace in eastern Oriente and his final resting place, the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery. And, of course, the golf clubs. In the lobby of the five-star all-inclusive Hotel Meliá Las Américas in Varadero are photographs of the golfing greats – Jones, Hagen, Hogan, Watson, Trevino – and Che Guevara. The world’s most famous guerrilla caddied in Argentina. He suffered from asthma as a child and his father got him to carry his clubs to get some fresh air. Six months before the Bay of Pigs invasion (1961) Guevara beat Castro in a golf match held at now defunct Colinas de Villarreal course. It was a propaganda exercise mocking Kennedy. Castro lost, shooting 157, and promptly banned golf. He considered it elitist and bourgeois. It was a symbol of social exclusion and capitalistic decadence. Ploughing up golf courses was part of his utopian dream of social progress. One became an art school. Another, barracks. Castro preferred baseball – he had his own team, ‘Los Barbudos’ (The Bearded Ones). He loathed golf. His stance never changed. His son, Antonio, golfs. Cuba has one of the highest adult literacy rates in
Castro lost, shooting 157, and promptly banned golf. He considered it elitist and bourgeois
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the world. It has the second most doctors per capita, behind Qatar. But the largest island in the Caribbean now has just two golf courses and, out of a population of eleven million, only forty registered golfers. And two pros. A golf revolution is underway in a country where one green fee is the equivalent of three months’ wages. Golf is spearheading the tourism drive with several new golf resorts planned. The nine-hole Donald Ross-designed Havana Golf Club (the Rovers Athletic Club) was founded by the English in 1911. Moving to the airport road in 1953, it somehow survived the 1959 Revolution. It is still an upand-down diplomats’ course. Flags are tatty red rags on bamboo poles. Yardages are painted on tree trunks. There are thirtyfive members, and twenty regular players. All foreign, mostly embassy officials. Eighteen holes costs approximately £39. Pro Johan Vega gives lessons but no-one wants them. The club hosted professional tournaments and attracted big names like Sam Snead, Gene Sarazen, Billy Casper and Arnold Palmer. It still holds the Commonwealth Tournament and the Canada Cup annually. The close link between Cuban golf and Canada is revealed on the greens at Varadero Golf Club, two hours from Havana (green fees approx. £77). The golf
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Previous page: Che Guevara on the golf course, Alberto Korda; Titleist ball and golf scene by Stuart Abraham above: Guevara and Fidel Castro playing a round, Alberto Korda; bottom image by Stuart Abraham
markers have the Canadian flag on one side and the Cuban on the other. All the TaylorMade rental clubs come from Canada. All the golf buggies, too. Henrik Stenson won a European Challenge Tour Grand final there in 2000. The course is attached to the allinclusive Hotel Meliá Las Américas. Its golf specialist Reynaldo León Díaz trained in British Columbia. “We have regular showcase tournaments. Like the Meliá Las Américas Cup in May, Varadero golf tournament in September and Mélia Cuba Golf Cup in October. We set up the first golf academy in Cuba. Canadian pros came over every year. Not anymore.” Pro Pedro Klein’s favourite hole is the par-3 eighth, with the beach and Gulf of Mexico down the left. It is called Paradise. Other good holes are Iguana ( fourth), Nice Dream (par-3 sixth), Devil’s Smile (15th) and the last, The Watchman, named after a Mayan
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stone statue, and a 150-yard pull off the tee with its pink The Holiday Place offers seashell markers. many holidays to Cuba, holidayplace.co.uk Xanadú is the place to stay. Not Citizen Kane’s legendary 49,000-acre Virgin Atlantic flies twice a Xanadu. Or Hearst Castle, California week from London Gatwick which inspired it. to Havana and is offering Or Bill Gates’s aptly-named return fares Xanadu 2.0 home overlooking Lake from £479 per person. Washington in Medina. virginatlantic.com It’s the early 20th Century “stately pleasure dome” on the Gulf of Mexico in Varadero. Xanadú is currently having a much-needed 940,000 CUC (approx. £675,000) makeover. The 1927 four-storey, eight-bedroom beachfront Xanadú Mansion on the San Bernardino bluff overlooking the Gulf of Mexico was built by FrenchAmerican chemical magnate, Irénée du Pont. He retired to Cuba, buying himself 180 hectares of the Hicacos Peninsula. This included 8km of beach. Du Pont installed the largest privately owned organ in all of Latin America. The $11,000 organ is still in the basement but is no longer operational. It used to work automatically and manually. Two shafts carried the music to the balcony and the lobby. It called guests Black and white to dinner. Precious dark hard woods were brought image by Alberto from Santiago de Cuba for Xanadu’s ceilings, stair rails Korda; right by Stuart Abraham; and columns. Floors and bathrooms were made from above and below shots of Xanadú by Cuban, Italian and Spanish marble. The Visual Explorer/ shutterstock.com The Cuban Xanadú cost over a million dollars to
build. The gardens were planted with coconut, banana, avocado and papaya trees. Parrots and cockatoos were imported to make the Cuban version of Xanadu “more tropically enchanting”. At £200 a night (half board) you can stay in the six second-floor rooms – Califa, Oasis, Irénée, Samarkanda, Marco Polo and Kubla Khan – and enjoy the view of the sea and scaffolding. Its restaurant menu offers £32 Lobster du Pontstyle (warm Caribbean lobster salad with soya) and Canadian/ Uruguayan Chateaubriand (£27). Chef Lima’s signature desserts are chocolate fondant and apple pie. Xanadú has its own extensive cigar menu. A Cohiba Behike 54 costs £32. You have to smoke it outside on one of the two putting greens. It has been said that Cuba has three main problems: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cuban haute cuisine and golf began at Xanadú. In 1933, a hurricane swept away five holes outside the front door. More than $10,000 worth of soil was needed to reopen the course in 1936. A green fee was a buck. Half went to the caddy and the rest to a local school. In 1963, on the same day du Pont died at the age of eighty-five, Xanadú’s Las Americas restaurant was officially opened by Russian engineer and cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova. Only in Cuba. Says Reynaldo: “The thing I like most is driving a golf buggy. In Cuba we don’t all drive around in flash 1950s Yank tanks. Most of us walk. Or get the bus.” varaderogolfclub.com
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e v e n ts
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w w w. j ohnnas s ar i .co.uk
THE FINEST RIVER VIEW IN LONDON WATERFRONT PENTHOUSE COLLECTION ARRANGE A VIEWING TODAY Simply stunning: the new penthouse collection at Waterfront is the ultimate in luxury, with breathtaking views up and down the river to Canary Wharf, the City and the Thames Barrier. Residents can relax in the sumptuous spa facilities of The Waterside Club and enjoy on-site dining, riverside walks and shopping. Not to mention the on-site Crossrail station, due to open in December 2018, which will provide a world-class, high capacity railway, delivering faster journey times to central London and Heathrow.
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
SHOW APARTMENT NOW OPEN 47 contemporary 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments in Pimlico, London.
- Excellent Zone 1 transport links from Victoria, Pimlico & Sloane Square
Prices from ÂŁ799,000
- High quality specifications and spacious interiors - Balconies or terraces*
Move in Q2 2018 Register your interest Eburyplace.co.uk | 020 3319 3515
- Secure underground parking
SELLING AGENT *Terms and conditions apply. Balconies are plot specific, please speak to sales advisor. All information is correct at the time of going to press. CGI is indicative only.
& property showcasing the finest homes in your area
c o v e r i n g c a n a r y w h a r f, t h e r o y a l d o c k s , s t r a t f o r d , b o w & w a p p i n g
window of opportunity rooms with a vie w at this br and ne w south london de velopment
A townhouse master suite at Wells Park Place by Crest Nicholson. See page 122
Exchange Building, Shoreditch E1 A two bedroom two bathroom apartment in the Exchange Building A duplex apartment with extraordinary views over the City of London. Built between 1900 and 1910 as a telephone exchange, the building was converted to flats in 2000. 2 bedrooms, reception/kitchen, 2 bathrooms, parking, concierge. EPC: D. Approximately 174.8 sq m (1,882 sq ft). Leasehold: approximately 978 years remaining
Guide price: £2,250,000
KnightFrank.co.uk/aldgate email@example.com 020 3544 0712
City Magazine Feb 2018 1 page (70 Exchange Building)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Guide price: £595,000
Newlands Quay, Wapping E1W Set on the third and top floor and offering excellent natural light and panoramic views is this duplex apartment with 4 balconies overlooking the popular Shadwell Basin. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, reception room, kitchen, parking. EPC: E. Approximately 80 sq m (862 sq ft). Leasehold: approximately 968 years remaining. Office: 020 8166 5375 email@example.com
Guide price: £950,000
Halcyon Wharf, Wapping E1W With views over the Thames, this refurbished apartment has floor to ceiling windows and a good sized terrace. 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, reception room with open plan kitchen. EPC: C. Approximately 74 sq m (800 sq ft). Leasehold: approximately 980 years remaining. Office: 020 8166 5375 firstname.lastname@example.org
City Mag March 2018
FOUND YOUR PERFECT TENANT LET WITH KNIGHT FRANK
Our understanding of the everchanging market enables us to price your property accurately, so you can get back to what you love sooner. Call us today on 020 3823 9930 to arrange your free market appraisal. KnightFrank.co.uk/aldgate email@example.com 020 3823 9930 Guide price: £525 per week
Wiverton Tower, Aldgate E1 A stylish one bedroom apartment located on the fifteenth floor in Aldgate Place. Bedroom, modern bathroom, open plan lounge and fully fitted kitchen with access to a winter garden, 24 hour concierge, residents' gym and communal roof terrace. Available furnished. EPC: B. firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 020 3823 9930
All potential tenants should be advised that, as well as rent, an administration fee of £288 and referencing fees of £48 per person will apply when renting a property. There will also be a £48 charge to register your deposit with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme if applicable. (All fees shown are inclusive of VAT.) Please ask us for more information about other fees that will apply or visit www.knightfrank.co.uk/tenantfees.
Guide price: £800 per week
Bezier Apartments, City Road EC1Y A modern two bedroom apartment set on the ninth floor of a luxurious development. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, reception room leading onto a balcony, open plan kitchen. The apartment benefits from 24 hour concierge, sauna and gym. Available furnished. EPC: B. email@example.com Office: 020 3823 9930
City Magazine March 2018
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 All potential tenants should be advised that, as well as rent, an Guide price: £800 per week
Hermitage Court, Wapping E1W
A smart three bedroom apartment comprising of a master bedroom with ensuite, open plan reception room with contemporary kitchen and stunning centre island. EPC: C. Approximately 160 sq m (1,722 sq ft). Available furnished.
administration fee of £288 and referencing fees of £48 per person will apply when renting a property. There will also be a £48 charge to register your deposit with the Tenancy Deposit Scheme if applicable. (All fees shown are inclusive of VAT.) Please ask us for more information about other fees that will apply or visit www.knightfrank.co.uk/tenantfees.
firstname.lastname@example.org Office: 020 8166 5366
Guide price: £525 per week
Ariel House, Wapping E1W Set within the prestigious London Dock, this one bedroom apartment benefits from 24 hour concierge, CCTV security system, access to the health and fitness suite, comfort cooling and wooden flooring. EPC: B. Approximately 57 sq m (614 sq ft). email@example.com Office: 020 8166 5366
the bigger picture Whether it’s street art or the property market, Andrew Groocock of Knight Frank has a discerning eye
hen it comes to street art, Andrew Groocock knows his Banksy from his Basquiat. He might be Knight Frank’s regional partner for the City and east London as well as head of sales in Canary Wharf, but out of office, he can be found at auctions, galleries, and on London’s streets, searching for the next big thing. We meet in the basement ‘Banksy Bunker’ at the Hang-Up Gallery in Stoke
Newington. The gallery has dealt in Banksy prints for nearly a decade and is now one of the biggest dealers in original prints by the artist. Groocock is a big fan, not least because of the artist’s contribution to his new home in north London. “The Banksy that I’m going to sell at the moment is going to pay for my new kitchen,” he laughs, but before I can start gleaning insider investment tips, he swiftly assures me it’s all a fluke. “I collect all
sorts, not purely street art, and for every thing I buy that’s gone up in value, there are probably 10 things that are not worth the paper they are printed on any more. I do genuinely just buy pieces that I want to look at every day, and when you get something at the end of it, that’s a bonus.” Big name Banksy might be a particular favourite, but Groocock likes the potential for discovering new talent that street art can bring. “If I see something I like when
image credit: sarel jansen
I’m out on the streets, I try and get in touch with the artist directly, and see if they’ll do an original. Trying to read their signatures is an art in itself though,” he laughs. He’s even turned it into something of a treasure hunt for his young daughter. “There’s an artist called Ludo who I knew had been over here and done three pieces. I wanted to go out and find them, so I took her with me, and she loves it – it’s exciting when you find it. I’ve started an Instagram account of her with lots of street art as well.”
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East London has long been Groocock’s stomping ground when it comes to property too. “I’m based in Canary Wharf and that’s where I cut my teeth over the years.” He also looks after the Aldgate, Battersea, Islington, Kings Cross, Riverside, Tower Bridge and Wapping offices for Knight Frank. Clearly a man of many talents, Groocock did however take a career detour in the restaurant industry first, working for John McClement, who had a Michelin-star restaurant and a series of bistros in west London. “I did a law degree when I went to university but I always wanted to be a chef.” The long and unsociable hours soon took their toll however. “I miss the buzz of the Saturday night service where you’re constantly turning tables and it’s running smoothly, but it takes over your life. Then someone suggested estate agency to me.” It was perhaps the hospitality experience that gave him the edge as a sales negotiator. “The job was all about people and service, like it was at the restaurants, which is the key to everything in estate agency.” From primarily covering the City, SE1 and E1, Groocock’s role looking after eight offices today means he has a much broader perspective. “Every single office – and the market it looks after – is totally different. When one is having an absolute flier, there’ll be another saying this is as hard as we’ve had it. There’s no correlation as such.” The turbulent times in the last 18 months haven’t helped. “With Brexit, the general election, and the additional three per cent stamp duty on buying a second home, there’s always been something that has caused the market to stall. It feels like we have a clearer run now though. December was a good month. It’s a bit of an estate agency myth that it’s a quiet one. People are buying houses all the time and we did a number of deals in the week leading up to Christmas. January was good too.” So where’s performing well? “King’s Cross has a huge amount of interest at the moment. Facebook is saying it’s looking to go there, while Google and Central Saint Martins – who Knight Frank works with to sponsor the graduate show – are there already. That area in terms of regeneration is amazing. And One Park Drive in Canary Wharf, by Herzog & de Meuron, is the pinnacle of property in that area so sales rates of those flats have been incredible.”
Art’s prospects too are on the up, according to Knight Frank’s own Luxury Investment Index (KFLII). It ranks the performance of various types of assets and in its most recent report, compiled by Andrew Shirley, classic cars dropped, jewellery had an excellent year after a number of record-breaking sales at auction, and art was up seven per cent. “There was a sale recently at Christie’s that set the highest price ever paid at auction for a piece of art,” Groocock points out, referring to the $450.3 million sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, the only known painting by the Renaissance master still held in a private collection. Banksy’s work may not have reached such dizzying heights at auction, but people seem more keen than ever to collect his, and other street artists’, work. “People are even cutting out Banksy’s works,” says Groocock. “There was one in SE1 on the side of a house, and someone put a board up around it and cut it out, and that original is now in a private collection. That’s not what it was intended for. It’s intended for the masses.” Although many artists prefer to keep it that way, Groocock is seeing a shift. “A lot of ‘proper’ graffiti artists wouldn’t dream of going into the gallery world but I do think the line is becoming more blurred now. “Jean-Michel Basquiat’s roots are as a graffiti artist but the Barbican did a show on him recently. The Barbican is very strict about graffiti and if there’s anything done in its grounds they will get rid of it immediately, yet they are holding a Basquiat exhibition. Banksy found it slightly ironic so he went and did a piece on a wall down there and it’s now covered in Perspex and...the Barbican wants it.” Groocock does however maintain his belief in the transient nature of street art. “It’s there just for the moment. If people go along and tag it and do other stuff over the top of it, that’s what it’s about. That’s how it evolves on the street.” The question of whether he has himself ever taken a hand to a spray can has to be asked. “Not that I’d admit” is the response. A coincidence perhaps, that Banksy’s identity is yet to be revealed. Knight Frank, 18/19 Cabot Square, E14, 020 3733 1754, knightfrank.co.uk Hang-Up Gallery, 81 Stoke Newington Road, N16, 020 3667 4550, hanguppictures.com
Mayfair Showroom 66 Grosvenor Street, London, W1K 3JL 28 offices in central London and over 60 across the capital
Warwick Court, WC1R ÂŁ1,650,000
A luxury two bedroom, two bathroom Georgian conversion located in Warwick Court moments from bustling Covent Garden. The property has a reception room with three large sash windows, a modern kitchen/diner with floor to ceiling windows, a terrace and air-conditioning, energy rating b. Dexters Bloomsbury 020 7833 4466
Martello Street, E8 ÂŁ1,250,000
A four double bedroom house arranged over three floors on London Fields. The property has recently been refurbished to a high standard with stylish features throughout. Further benefits include two bathrooms, wooden sash windows and a private garden, energy rating g. Dexters Hackney 020 7247 2440
Soho Square, W1D £1,595 per week
This three bedroom apartment within a prominent Grade II Listed house has been meticulously designed throughout and is located on one of the West End’s sought after garden squares. The property benefits from three reception rooms, three bathrooms, a study and a private terrace, energy rating d. Dexters Fitzrovia 020 7067 2402
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 Tenants fees apply: £180 per tenancy towards administration, £60 reference fee per tenant and £144 for a professional check in (All inc of VAT).
BICK L E Y, BR 1
Incentives available for reservations made before 1st April*
Sat Nav Ref: BR1 2AP
Show home available to view by appointment
Now complete and ready to move in A stunning collection of four magnificent, detached four and five bedroom executive homes proudly situated on Woodlands Road, Bickley. Now complete and ready to move in, these thoughtfully designed homes boast an impressive 3,554-3,913 sq ft of accommodation arranged over four floors. Each home benefits from a cinema room, leisure/games room and an integral garage with off-street parking for two cars. Woodlands Place is ideally located for an easy commute into Central London and access to some of the best schools in the Bromley Borough.
Prices from ÂŁ1,595,000 *Terms and conditions apply
Book to view now 020 8315 6996, acornnewhomes.co.uk
FINAL PHASE NOW LAUNCHED
NOW COMPLETE AND READY TO MOVE IN Zanara Court is proud to present a newly released collection of two and three bedroom duplex loft-style apartments, and a magnificent three bedroom penthouse with lift access and a fabulous private terrace. All of these apartments offer spacious accommodation ranging from 1,012-1,216 sqft and are finished to a high standard. Ideally located for Sydenham station offering direct services into Central London including Canada Water in approximately 15 minutes as well as London Bridge and Shoreditch High Street.
Prices from ÂŁ625,000
Sat Nav Ref: SE26 5QW
Book to view the show home now: 020 8315 6996 | acornnewhomes.co.uk
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
Bickley BR1 Built in 2014 and located on one of Chislehurst’s premier roads is this exceptional detached family home.
OIEO £2,500,000 F/H Five bedrooms
Contact Chislehurst 020 8295 4900
Located behind electric gates on a large plot is this truly unique, five bedroom detached residence.
Eyot House is a hidden gem set amidst delightful gardens in the sought after village of Shoreham.
Contact Locksbottom 01689 882 988
The Acorn Group, incorporating:
Contact Orpington 01689 661 400
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EXPECT MORE OF EVERY THING ACCEPT NOTHING LESS ABERFELDY VILLAGE, E14 Studio Apartments From £314,950 1 Bedroom Apartments From £399,950 2 Bedroom Apartments From £459,950 ●
Zone 2 location, just 4 minutes from Canary Wharf * & 12 minutes from Bank**
Excellent rental yields
Contemporary luxury specification
Beautifully landscaped linear park
Gym, 24-Hour Concierge & Media Lounge
MARKETING SUITE OPEN 10am-6pm Mon-Sat 10am-4pm Sun
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Prices correct at time of issue. *Fastest journey time from Canning Town station, source: tfl.gov.uk **Fastest journey time from East India station, source: tfl.gov.uk
020 8168 0021 firstname.lastname@example.org
London Square Spitalfields is a stylish collection of 49 one-, two- and threebedroom apartments on Commercial Street. Both the City’s historic landmarks and vibrant Shoreditch are on its doorstep, and the development’s aptly-named Leadenhall, Billingsgate and Broadway buildings are set around the beautifullylandscaped Mallon Gardens and Grade II-listed Toynbee Hall. Transport links are excellent with Aldgate and Aldgate East stations just a short walk away, while the market, independent shops and eateries of Spitalfields are also nearby. The apartments are designed to appeal to discerning purchasers and are luxuriously appointed with timber flooring in the main living areas, underfloor heating, stylish SieMatic kitchens with integrated appliances and wine coolers, and spacious bedrooms. All properties also have a secure video entry system, outdoor space in the form of a terrace, balcony or garden, and the additional luxury of having access to a concierge service. The beautiful two-bedroom 874 sq ft show apartment – launching this month – occupies a dual aspect, ground floor plot with its own private entrance and garden, so potential residents can get the full picture. Inside, Suna Interior Design has combined monochrome tones and gold hues with industrial-inspired wall lamps and raw metal accessories. Apartments will be ready for occupation from this winter.
From £705,000 for a onebedroom home 0333 666 0110 londonsquare.co.uk
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ALL OF LONDON, ALL AROUND CONTEMPORARY ONE, TWO AND THREE BEDROOM APARTMENTS IN LONDON’S MOST ECLECTIC QUARTER
Just three minutes’ walk from Aldgate East Tube Station, where the City meets the vibrant East End, London Square Spitalfields is a stylish collection of one, two and three bedroom apartments set around the beautifully landscaped grounds of Mallon Gardens and Grade II listed Toynbee Hall. Intelligently designed and well-appointed, each apartment has a private balcony, winter garden or terrace and all benefit from a concierge service.
Prices from £705,000 To arrange your appointment call 0333 666 0929 or email Spitalfields@londonsquare.co.uk The Sales Suite, Commercial Street, London, E1 7SA. Open Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 6pm, Wednesday 11am - 8pm.
Call 0333 666 0929 or email Spitalfields@londonsquare.co.uk
External computer generated image depicts London Square Spitalfields and is indicative only. Internal computer generated image depicts Apartment 10 at London Square Spitalfields and are indicative only. Details and price are correct at time of going to press, January 2018.
PENTHOUSES WITH A VIE W SE1’s Coda Collection at The Music Box are ready to move into. Each offer panoramic London skyline views, inspirational architecture and outstanding interiors. • Final 3 penthouses from £2,500,000 • 24 hour concierge service • Great Zone 1 location • 2 minute walk to Southwark tube station*
020 3772 7725 themusicboxse1.com
* S O U R C E G O O G L E . PR I C E S A N D I N FO R M ATI O N CO R R EC T AT TI M E O F PR I NTI N G . PH OTO G R A PH D EPI C T S A CO DA CO L L EC TI O N PENTH O U S E TER R AC E .
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An exclusive exclusive invitation… invitation… An OneTower TowerBridge Bridgeoffers offersa afive fivestar starliving livingexperience experienceononthe theSouth SouthBank, Bank,with withone oneofofthe theworld’s world’smost mosticonic iconic One landmarksasasitsitsbackdrop. backdrop.A Aplethora plethoraofofexciting excitingnew newretail retailand andcommercial commercialsignings signingsincluding includingBridge BridgeTheatre, Theatre, landmarks London’slargest largestnew newtheatre theatreinin40 40years, years,and andThe TheIvyIvyrestaurant restaurantwill willmake makeOne OneTower TowerBridge Bridgethe themost mostsought sought London’s afterdestination destinationininLondon. London. after Withjust justa afew fewhomes homesremaining, remaining,there thereisisnonobetter bettertime timetotodiscover discoverlife lifeatatOne OneTower TowerBridge. Bridge. With
Joinus usfor forthe thelaunch launchofofour ourlatest latestshow showapartment: apartment:28th 28thFebruary February6pm 6pm– –9pm 9pm Join Placesare arelimited limitedtotoplease pleaseRSVP RSVPtotoconfirm confirmyour yourattendance attendanceon on0203 0203432 4320889 0889 Places bedroomhomes homesavailable. available.Prices Pricesfrom from£3,650,000 £3,650,000 22&&33bedroom Sales&&Marketing MarketingSuite, Suite,off offPotters PottersField FieldPark, Park,London, London,SE1 SE12AA 2AA Sales Call0203 0203432 4320889 0889ororvisit: visit:www.onetowerbridge.co.uk www.onetowerbridge.co.uk Call Prices and details correct time going press. Prices and details correct at at time of of going to to press.
www.onetowerbridge.co.uk www.onetowerbridge.co.uk Proud a member Berkeley Group companies Proud to to bebe a member of of thethe Berkeley Group of of companies
INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO Price
from £535,000 for a two-bedroom apartment, from £1,299,995 for a four-bedroom townhouse 020 3437 0472 crestnicholson.com
WELLS PARK PLACE, SE26 Crest Nicholson’s new London development, Wells Park Place, is a collection of 46 homes located in the leafy suburb of Sydenham Hill in south-east London. The hill is one of London’s highest points, and the development’s elevated position means residents will enjoy far-reaching views across London. Reaching the city below is just as simple, with regular trains taking just 15 minutes to reach Victoria, from Sydenham Hill station. The two- and threebedroom apartments have one secure underground parking space each, while the four-bedroom townhouses
have two. All properties also come with ample private outside space. The spacious townhouses are spread over three or four storeys, and the master bedroom’s enormous windows stand at 5m tall, to maximise both the views and natural light. The gardens of these properties are also south-east facing for maximum sunshine. For further outdoor space, Crystal Palace Park and Mayow Park are within walking distance. If provision for family life is high on the priority list, the area also boasts three independent schools: Dulwich College, James Allen’s Girls’ School and Alleyn’s School, as well as four comprehensive schools all rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted.
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Wake up to this view every morning... An idyllic collection of townhouses at one of London’s highest point, Sydenham Hill
Zone 3 | 23 minutes* to central London | Incredible views over London & Kent | Quiet, leafy surroundings | Close to some of London’s best schools | Nestled between Dulwich & Crystal Palace | Incredibly spacious 1,801-2,156 sq ft Property to sell? Speak to us about how we can help you sell your current home. 4 bedroom townhouses from £1,299,995 Visit our Sales & Marketing Suite Exeter Place | Sydenham | London | SE26 6RP
Travel times taken from Google Maps. Show Home photography of 4 bedroom, 4 storey townhouse. Pricing correct on 21.02.18.
0203 437 0488
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Published on Mar 1, 2018