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As simple as black and white There has never been a better time to take advantage of the exceptional finance deals available across the new Lotus Elise Black and White Editions.
For details of more finance offers available, please contact your nearest dealer
Fuel economy figures for the Elise range: mpg (l/100km). Urban 24.4/23.9 (11.6/11.8), Extra Urban 45.6/44.1 (6.2/6.4), Combined 34.4/33.2 (8.2/8.5) CO2 emissions 196/199g/km.
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The Elise Black and White Editions are available in both the dazzling Elise R and the exhilarating Elise SC. Both models have been tuned to offer a unique driving experience which only a Lotus can; it’s just a case of deciding which one works in harmony with you.
Low Monthly Payment Purchase Plan Model OTR Price Deposit First Monthly Payment 35 Monthly Payments Final Payment Amount of Credit Total Amount Payable Facility Fee*
Elise R Black and White £33,319.00 £9,750.00 £520.00 £375.00 £13,948.63 £23,569.00 £37,343.63 £145.00
7.2% APR Typical
50:50 Purchase Plan Model OTR Price Deposit First Monthly Payment 11 Monthly Payments Final Payment Amount of Credit Total Amount Payable Facility Fee*
Elise SC Black and White £39,925.00 £19,962.50 £0.00 £0.00 £19,962.50 £19,962.50 £39,925.00 £0.00
0.0% APR Typical
Finance subject to status. Retail customers only. Indemnities may be required. Subject to availability at participating UK Lotus dealers for vehicles registered before 30/09/09. * Payable with the first instalment. Details correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change without notice. Lotus Finance Ltd, CF10 5BH.
contents COVER STORIES 14 EURO-SCEPTIC? The impacts of the united Europe 20 RETRO RIP Nostalgia rules with retro culture 25 YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS Meet the whizz kids 86 DECLINE OF THE BRITISH PUB The end of a centuries-old tradition?
F E AT U R E S 19 THE LOST ART OF HANDWRITING Save the skill of penmanship
44 Fashion Luxury leathers
22 CORPORATE VENUES Top choices for business entertaining
59 THE TREND Sim Smith presents the latest in interiors news
29 THE HEART OF CAP FERRAT Kate Harrison travels to the South of France
74 GREEN GOLF The environmental effects
33 24 HOURS IN... Cape Town 34 EASTERN TRADITION Hong Kong in the first of a two-part series 38 LATIN TIME Cuban influence in luxury watches
40 HEELING POWER Claire Adler meets Olga Berluti
78 WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS? Lawrence Barretto goes to NASCAR
84 START A COLLECTION Opportunities to buy at Messum’s
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26 BUSINESS & FINANCE NEWS 64 MOTORING 80 GADGETS 82 CULTURE 86 FOOD & DRINK 94 LIFE COACHING 96 CITYLIFE RECOMMENDS
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CITYLIFE MAGAZINES Editor: Lesley Ellwood Editorial Director: Kate Harrison Deputy Editor: Josephine O’Donoghue Arts Editor: Carol Cordrey Motoring Editor: Matthew Carter Beauty Editor: Kate Hughes Fashion Editor: Lucie Dodds Finance Executive: Kätlin Maasik Sales Director: Eren Ellwood P.A. to Sales Director: Ella Kilgarriff Graphic Designers: James Britton, Hiren Chandarana, Laddawan Juhong PR & Marketing Manager: Rebecca Walton Managing Director: Giles Ellwood P.A. to Managing Director: Charlotte Evans
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CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE: Claire Adler is a London based freelance journalist, specialising in jewellery, watches and luxury. Her work has appeared in the Financial Times, the Daily Mail, the Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Times, Spectator Business, Wallpaper*, Intelligent Life and House & Garden. She also writes for fashion news service WGSN, hotel magazine IN London and magazines published by Bentley, Harrods and Watches of Switzerland, amongst others.
Jamie Carter is a freelance journalist based in Cardiff. Specialising in gadgets and technology, Jamie has written for the likes of T3, Home Cinema Choice and The Guardian as well as a number of websites. He writes on flatscreen TVs for What Video and What Plasma magazines and away from technology is also a regular contributor to BBC History and Real Travel magazines.
Martin Bamford is one of the youngest and most successful financial planners in the UK. He runs his own firm of financial advisers – Informed Choice – and regularly contributes to various financial publications. His personal finance book The Money Tree, published in 2006, is a best seller.
Kate Hughes has an established reputation as one of the UK's leading celebrity hair and make-up artists. A regular guest beauty presenter on television, she has worked with a wide selection of actors, presenters, musicians and models. Kate's hair and make-up consultancy, 'It's All About You', transforms women for weddings, special occasions and red carpet events.
Dr. David Kuo is one of the UK’s leading commentators on money matters. He is a Director at the popular investing website The Motley Fool – Fool.co.uk. As well as providing daily insight and financial news for BBC London’s (97.4FM) Breakfast Show , he also presents Money Talk – the Fool’s weekly podcasts where guests from the world of money thrash out the financial issues of the day.
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EURO-SCEPTIC? Jessica Harrison looks at the realities of an increasingly united Europe, and the possibility of working in the EU
Prague bridges at sunset
icture the scene: you step out into the morning sunshine of a European capital and pick up a croissant for breakfast en-route to the office. After work you wind down with a glass of red wine in one of the city’s numerous squares before heading off to sample some local cuisine. The Central line at rush hour is fast becoming a distant memory, as are expensive rents, bad coffee and perpetual drizzle. And even if you do ever feel homesick, London is always an easy hop away by plane or Eurostar. For many, this is a dream made achievable thanks to European Union legislation that permits citizens to work in another country without the need for a work permit. Employees are entitled to the same treatment as native workers and are not obliged to leave as soon as their working contract expires. Although we often hear about the influx of foreign workers into the UK as a result of this policy, it has also enabled thousands of British citizens to relocate abroad in order to benefit from exciting career opportunities and better working prospects. The attractions of spending a stint working in another member state are irresistible; you can pick up a new language, enjoy shorter working hours, experience a different culture – or just be thankful to be missing out on the British weather. Working in Europe could mean anything from enjoying the non-stop partying of Barcelona, to revelling in Geneva’s luxury lifestyle or exploring the unexpected in Tallinn. In fact, some expats would say that the only downside to life in their adopted country is the inevitable sight of drunken and sunburnt Brits out on raucous stag and hen dos (!) Even if you decide to return home later, the experience of working in Europe is likely to be extremely beneficial in career terms. A period spent abroad will suggest to future employers that you are someone who is open-minded, willing to take on new challenges and unafraid of the unknown – all
highly attractive qualities in a candidate. Europe, argue its supporters, is a land of opportunity. Historic state borders have melted away so that trade can flourish. National divisions of pan-European companies cooperate together to share best practices; individuals benefit from new opportunities abroad. Everyone’s a winner – or are they? The reality is that this utopian view is far from being shared by all. The EU has its detractors, and they’re not just concerned about the often ridiculed (if recently relaxed) regulations on puny peaches and bendy bananas. For example, despite the success the single currency has enjoyed (over 60 per cent of EU citizens now use it), Britons remain deeply sceptical about the possibility of it being adopted here. Some stress the economic disadvantages of joining the euro, and the fact that we would no longer be able to set our own interest rates. But for many others, mistrust of the euro is rooted in an emotional reaction: the sense of the pound being part of our heritage, our nationality.
It may be weak at the moment – its notes grubby at the corners and its coins slightly tarnished – but we still wouldn’t choose to trade it in for
steadily, anxiety inevitably grows that outsiders from other countries will take local jobs. The recent European elections reflected this mood, with centre-right and far-right parties gaining ground across the board. Notoriously, the British National Party won two seats in anything else. the elections – It sometimes seems as if the British despite the efforts have an almost compulsive tendency of the mainstream to criticise their homeland – to complain parties and the Hope about its weather, berate its culture of binge not Hate campaign, which drinking, sigh over its culinary deficiencies. fought vigorously against the organisation And yet most of us still want to maintain in the run-up to the elections. In the a certain distance from our glamorous context of deep economic and political European neighbours (notwithstanding their gloom, the idea of an open Europe – one impressive cuisines and enviable ability to which ensures that citizens can work stop after the second glass of wine). We’re where they choose –suddenly seems happy to enjoy cheap holidays in Europe the optimistic project of another, more thanks to budget prosperous age. airlines, or even In fact, the Tellingly, the phrase for this is to spend a year reality is that the distinctly Anglo-Saxon ‘le or two working Britain is no binge drinking’ in one of its longer the capitals, but we promised land remain ambivalent about any closer political it once seemed to many foreign workers. or economic relationship. For better or Unemployment in the UK is at its highest for worse, our defensive island mentality since 1995, and it isn’t clear how long this appears to be hardwired in us. trend will continue. Many workers in lowIn fact, this concern about an erosion paid jobs (particularly those from countries of national identity is not just confined to such as Poland, which only joined the EU Britain. In France for example, newspapers in 2004) are now returning home as the have recently decried the growing tendency pound loses its value. At the other end of the amongst young people to drink alcohol with income scale, London’s celebrated position the express purpose of getting drunk as as a glittering financial capital has undergone quickly as possible. Sound familiar? Tellingly, a battering in recent months. Many the phrase for this is the distinctly AngloEuropean employees, hired in the boom Saxon le binge drinking. France also struggles times by management consultancies and to keep a grip on its language, as imports private equity firms, have either lost their such as ‘un email’ and ‘le shopping’ overtake jobs or had their pay cut, and are leaving the the native equivalents in popularity. Is it capital in droves. inevitable that nations become increasingly Daniel Fernandez, a Spaniard who has homogenous and less individual under the been living in London for 18 months, lost his smothering embrace of Europe? job at a picture agency several months ago. In a time of recession, these underlying “I contacted the company’s Spanish offices to tensions about European integration and see if it would be possible to transfer there,” national identity are brought sharply into he says, “But they told me they’d had to focus. With unemployment figures rising make employees redundant months before
the London office did. The situation is even worse in Spain than it is here.” It’s certainly true that British workers hoping to escape the problems of the recession here are likely to face even greater disappointment abroad. Across Europe, job offers are drying up and lines on unemployment graphs are soaring alarmingly upwards: in Spain for example, official EU figures show that unemployment rose from 11 per cent in June 2008 to 18.7 per centin May 2009. In comparison, Britain is still faring well. Nevertheless, it’s not all bad. The European Union can also provide a lifeline in difficult times, most impressively through its little-known Leonardo da Vinci scheme. The aim of this programme is to help European citizens acquire new skills, knowledge and competences, with the ultimate goal of bolstering the European labour market. Participants from the UK can apply for placements in nine EU countries, including Italy, Austria and Greece, and are then given the opportunity to spend three months in their chosen country. The scheme pays for their flights, accommodation (often with a local host family) and language training, as well as organising a ten-week work placement for them. This can be a golden opportunity for those hit by the recession. Isabel Bennett was working for a PR company based in London when she found out that her employers were
unable to renew her short-term contract. “It was just before Christmas, and it was impossible to find work,” she recalls. “After a month, I had to leave London.” She applied to the Leonardo scheme and was accepted for a placement based in the town of Ales, in the south of France. “I had a fantastic time,” she says. “There were fifteen of us on the scheme – a mixture of British and Italians – and a lot of us were in the same boat, struggling to find work because of the recession.” Although Isabel’s placement wasn’t related to her previous job, it gave her the chance to learn new skills and improve her French – as well as filling what otherwise would have been a blank space on her CV. “I was really glad to be keeping busy, rather than moping around in England hoping a job would turn up. I think a recession can be a good opportunity to do something different – I would never have applied for this if I hadn’t lost my job, but I’m really pleased I’ve done it.” It may not be as easy to find a dream job on the continent as it was a few years ago, but the current slump won’t last forever. Opportunities will open up again and may even be available now for those who know where to look. And in the meantime, we’ll just have to make do with plenty of long weekends in Florence and mini-breaks to Lisbon… n For more information, visit www.leonardo.org.uk
f o t r a t s o l e h T anship m n e p For a generation who spend most of their working and leisure time typing on a computer, who pay for goods with a Chip and Pin number, and who have replaced postcards and letters with texts and emails; has the skill of handwriting been lost forever? Josephine O’Donoghue considers the implications of the lost art of penmanship
hen was the last time you received a letter? A real letter.You know what I mean; proper writing paper, a matching envelope, real ink from a real fountain pen, a hand-addressed envelope and a first-class stamp. For most, they won’t be able to remember the last time they received a proper letter, least of all one written in ink, in the traditional cursive style of handwriting that used to be taught in school. Handwriting is technically still taught in school (along with grammar and spelling) but it is no longer given dedicated classtime – it’s taught as part of general reading and writing, but only in as much time as the teacher chooses to give. Why does such a vital life-skill receive such little attention within formal education? A study and survey from the Institute of Education found that few primary schools have consistent policies to ensure children learn to write legibly, fluently and quickly; although the curriculum demands legibility and consistent size, the guidelines are not specific enough for schools to set strict styles or practice time. Only one-third of teachers
have been shown how to teach handwriting in their teacher training courses, so as a new generation of teachers (often with poor hand-writing skills themselves) enters the profession, the chances of our children developing an aesthetically pleasing handwriting style diminishes further. Research from Lloyds TSB Insurance Survey reported that one in three children has a computer in their bedroom, further eliminating the use of traditional handwriting in favour of typing. For children who do not confidently develop a personal writing style in the early years, building on that skill becomes increasingly difficult in secondary school. With typing used frequently in class-work and coursework, the pressure of handwriting (without regular practice) in exams can impact academic results in a dramatic way. However, the lack of handwriting skills affects not only those students struggling with secondary and university exams, but those in the workplace. In 2001, for example, a court case was thrown out because lawyers could not read the policeman’s written report; in 2005 a nurse’s illegible scrawl caused a patient to
overdose and die on ten times too much insulin; and mistakes are frequently made in garbled office telephone messages, scrawled memos and unreadable order forms. Small mistakes born from scribbled mistakes can cost companies tens of thousands if they are not checked. As parents bemoan the state of children’s handwriting, students struggle to articulate themselves fluently and quickly in exams, and employers struggle to find candidates with a complete skill set, perhaps we should re-consider the importance of hand-writing. One researcher for the Institute of Education, Rhona Stainthorp, says: “For many years, handwriting has been the Cinderella skill of literacy. [But] the ability to handwrite legibly is not an optional extra; it is essential for everyone, even in this age of computer technology”. So, next time you go to send an email, consider whether a hand-written note to a colleague might encourage a prompter response; whether a love letter on paper might be treasured a good many years more; and whether this occasional handwriting practice might benefit you in the long-term. n
Josh Sims explores the recurring trends of the retro lifestyle
here was a time when the point of fashion was innovation. It could shock.The mini-skirt could stop traffic. Punk’s rips and pins could start a riot. Art was about challenging the status quo. Picasso’s cubism, Dali’s surrealism, the Bauhaus’s minimalism, Warhol’s commercialism belonged to a time when isms encapsulated a new way of seeing rather than another Sunday supplement trend. ‘New’ now seems an almost offensive word. Fashion has always looked back but now that is all it does, Prada to the 1960s, Gucci to the 70s, streetwear to the 80s. Celebrities become style icons not for their ability to dress themselves without a stylist, but because they wear an old – sorry, ‘vintage’ - dress. Without an avantgarde of any influence, fashion simply looks to the past to create something more akin to costume than clothing. And fashion is not alone. In music, rehashed low-fi guitar bands are hailed. There is sufficient interest to warrant to revival of the Human League, Duran Duran and Abba. In design, mid-century (and that’s middle of the last one, not this) is the dominant style. Car makers’ most talked about hits of the last decade
are cute re-imaginings of the looks of past eras, be it Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, the Beetle, Mini or Ford’s Mustang. Lifestyle trends don’t break new ground but pull out the dressing-up box to play at nostalgia chic: Rat Pack cool fostered the return of the cocktail, tailoring and the Lindyhop. Indeed, ‘the return’ is the key buzz-phrase of today’s trends, with both eyes firmly on yesteryear. There is already the entire 20th century to plunder and the more of the 21st that passes, the more there will be. After all, the past has all the time in the world to wait for the present to admire it. One could call it laziness; cashing in easy sales without the need for original thought. It is the industrial equivalent of the midnight essay, copied from the text-book. In part, retro is a braking mechanism. The technology of the machine and computer age means that everything happens everywhere almost instantaneously, with a global media ensuring that everyone everywhere knows about it. Fashion, for instance, now comprises less a set of seasonal dictatorial directions, as a freeform pick’n’mix. The new, or what passes for it, doesn’t have the opportunity to take root or explain itself before it has been trumped by something newer vying for our attention. As it is happening, history always looks messy and confusing, but the space to look back gives clarity again. Retro
is the opportunity to regain perspective and make life tangible. We once revolted by generating the innovative, challenging or even confrontational - the stuff of the future. Now we revolt to the past. It is a special, contemporary kind of past, of course, not one of history. This process of retrofication does not come with understanding of what has gone before so much as a superficial appreciation of its looks and styles. Retro is history without context, repackaged as commodity, filtering out the downsides of the past and selecting only the attractive – we get, for example, 50s fandom without the rationing. After all, said Franklin Adams, “Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory”. That great cultural escape clause of recent years, irony, also allows us to adopt retro products and lifestyles without making ourselves look dated. The appreciation of the past is packaged as fun, sometimes camp but always part of the knowing world of shared references, rather than any kind of sad longing. This is more than mere nostalgia, the naive assumption that past times were better than today’s second-rate society. For many of the retro-active, their retro is brand new second-hand, a discovery of the past’s style from times before they were born – the media constantly re-running the past, making it alive and accessible today. The 60s, for instance, are as prevalent today as they were, well, in the 60s. Because so
many creatives, in advertising, TV, film and fashion in particular, are now at a stage in their careers where they can at last call the shots, it has prompted a wave of romantic recreations from their youth. It is, however, also a search for authenticity. Part of the problem with modern culture is its disposability. Retro reflects a desire for those things that have passed the test of time, one all the more exacerbated by recession and its curtailed economic choices. Retro eases our option paralysis. This is the very crux of old-school, be the object sneakers or side-table. This is why old arcade games still appeal, why old comics have more appeal to some grownups than glossy lifestyle magazines, and why vinyl remains the choice for many over ‘sterile’ CDs. It all leaves our elders laughing. The curse of retro is that the older we get, the more we develop our own perspective on history, the more we realise the true provenance of those things that excite ‘the youngsters’ and recognise that it has all been done before. To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born, of course, is to always remain a child. Cicero said that in 46BC (although that’s far too retro for most). Certainly there is some irony in the fact that those eras of greatest influence throughout following decades - the 1920, 30s and 60s - were also times that most passionately looked to the future. In 1925, the Exposition Internationale des Art
Decoratifs et Industriels Moderne was held to explore modernism. There was only one criteria for entry: the idea, design or product had to be entirely new. The effect of the world fair was to inspire the likes of Raymond Loewy, Norman Bel Geddes and Henry Dreyfuss and to define the look of the next two decades. Similarly, Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 30s was genuinely embraced as the ‘Roosevelt Revolution’. In the early 60s, Kennedy announced that the US would place a man on the moon by the end of the decade. It did. These were big, future-flavoured ideas for future-flavoured times. And they are worth feeling nostalgic about. The problem is that today’s retroactivity encourages derivation rather than inspiration. Looking back is easy. It is all there already, in the textbooks, in the archives, endlessly repeated on TV. Looking forward to produce truly original work is tough. There should be concern that the effort, time and investment required to do so are in ever-shorter supply. New York design guru Karim Rashid, an ardent futurist, has calculated that the average western person touches some 500 objects a day.Yet, he adds, there is just a one percent chance of touching something new. His mantra, encapsulating the need to push on rather than hark back, is “Thank God the 20th Century is over”. It doesn’t seem to be over yet. n
CORPORATE VENUES Kelly Green showcases the top corporate venues across the capital, for every event from client cocktails to annual conferences
Alexandra Palace Alexandra Palace is one of the most elegant and unique venues in London; a beautiful historic building with an unrivalled setting of 196 acres of delightful parkland, offering breath-taking panoramic views of the City. The range of impressive halls and distinctive function rooms, totalling 13,000sq metres, can accommodate a range of party sizes from 10–8,250. Offering stylish and flexible facilities for major conferences, luxurious banquets, large-scale exhibitions, product launches, presentations, concerts, themed hospitality events, meetings and corporate fun-days it is a very versatile space. Alexandra Palace is able to comfortably seat 5,000 in one of London’s largest banqueting halls and is easily accessible to all forms of transport with free on-site parking for up to 2,000 cars. For more information call 020 8365 2121, email sales@ alexandrapalace.com or visit www.alexandrapalace.com
East Wintergarden is a stunning events venue in the heart of Canary Wharf. The spectacular glass covered atrium is a unique event space boasting a light and elegant atmosphere – perfect for hosting exhibitions, cocktail parties, launches, receptions, fashion shows, dinners and press events. East Wintergarden features a 27 metre high arched glass roof structure, 682 sq metres of uninterrupted Italian marbl e floor, and steamed beech wooden wall panelling. The venue includes the Gallery, suspended above the main floor, which can accommodate up to 250 for receptions, and the Promenade Room, which is a multimedia, theatre style meeting room, large enough for 40 people. Whether your event is for 50 or 1,000, East Wintergarden provides the solution with flair, expertise and imagination. For more information call 020 7418 2725/ 2782, fax 020 7512 9117, email email@example.com or visit www.eastwintergarden.com
The Science Museum The Science Museum, which celebrated its one hundredth anniversary as an independent organisation on 26 June, is a multi award-winning, unique London venue. It provides a variety of spaces for all events including conferences, award ceremonies, gala dinners, product launches, trade exhibitions, fashion shows, film screenings and music concerts. Eight core galleries are available for hire before 10am or after 6pm daily, ranging from the ambient and traditional to the contemporary and highly interactive, covering a broad spectrum of subject matter. In addition, there are two dedicated and completely contrasting daytime venues for up to 100 people, a 416-seat IMAX cinema and a selection of blank-canvas spaces ranging from 666-950 sq metres. A rolling programme of special exhibitions and specialist subject galleries of varying size are also available. For more information call 020 7942 4340, email science.eventsoffice@ nmsi.ac.uk or visit www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/functions
LONDON MARRIOTT WEST INDIA QUAY
Impress clients, create a great atmosphere and enjoy fantastic views over Canary Wharf, The O2 and Victoria Dock from the meeting rooms at The Crowne Plaza Docklands. The conference and banqueting facilities at The Crowne Plaza Docklands feature a wide range of services for up to 275 delegates. Corporate clients have a choice of rooms suitable for training, seminars, boardroom meetings, interviews, and private dinners (or even a wonderful wedding). All rooms boast natural daylight, state-of-the-art equipment and attentive staff on hand to help with any extra requirements. The Crowne Plaza Docklands offers everything the discerning client would expect from a luxurious and contemporary hotel, to make any event a success.
Rising above the vibrant Canary Wharf district and its captivating array of international business, chic shops, restaurants, pubs and wine bars, the five star London Marriott Hotel West India Quay mirrors the best of the preferred hotels in London. For a corporate setting, the hotel boasts a range of Business & Meeting Rooms including; 14 meeting rooms with a maximum capacity of 300 people all with high-speed Internet access; the West India Quay Ballroom with a dedicated kitchen; stateof-the-art technology and skilled AV-Technicians; tailored events, theming services and special touches in flexible space; and innovative menus and themed catering from award-winning chef.
For more information, visit www.crowneplazadocklands.co.uk
For more information, visit www.marriott.co.uk
DOCKMASTER’S HOUSE Dockmaster’s House provides a long awaited vitality and charm to London’s financial district. This magnificent listed Georgian building boasts several lavish private rooms and offers a sophisticated space for those wishing to drink or entertain in an exclusive environment. This is a versatile venue and can accommodate parties for meetings, launches, private dining, cocktail parties, drinks receptions or press events. The Cellar Bar and garden are wonderful for summer barbeques for up to 350 guests, or the smaller spaces within the bar can be hired for 50 guests. The venue offers bespoke packages for all corporate entertainment and events and the Strover Room can accommodate 50 seated or 70 standing. The Cube has capacity for 20 seated or 30 standing; The Lounge for 20 seated or 45 standing; and the dining rooms can accommodate up to 150 seated. The total venue seated can take 250 seated guests or 900 standing. For further information, visit www.dockmastershouse. com or contact Mishalle Deepchand, Events & Marketing Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 7345 0345 or 07501 722012
YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS The second in a three part series, Kelly Green meets the creators of Auctomatic and finds out more about the creation of their company
arjeet and Kulveer Taggar are the great minds behind Auctomatic; a software tool used for the ‘online marketplace’. The concept was born soon after the pair finished university, securing them a place in an elite group of young entrepreneurs. While studying law at Oxford, Harjeet finished as a Finalist in the National Graduate of the Year Competition and was also voted one of the Freshminds ‘50 Ones to Watch’. He co-founded www.boso.com (the largest online student marketplace in the UK) with Kulveer and after working with several international law firms Harjeet decided to build his own company. Kulveer had already started investing in property during his time as a student in Oxford and he went on to be a founding member and President of the Oxford Entrepreneurs Society, the largest student entrepreneurship society in the UK. After graduation he worked as an investment banker with Deutsche Bank but “after developing an allergy to tailored suits and cufflinks”, he left to work on Auctomatic full time. We met up with Harjeet to find out more.
What was the initial concept/idea behind Auctomatic?
Our initial idea was to create a central marketplace for students where they could buy and sell items. While doing this, we saw a bigger opportunity in developing online tools that enabled sellers to list their items on multiple marketplaces across the web e.g. ebay, amazon, google product search, etc. We decided to start building these tools, with the goal of making the process of selling online simple and easy for everyone. We began by focusing on building tools for ebay sellers and by charging a commission to sellers to use our tools we had a solid revenue model in place.
When did you realise that your idea might be good enough to turn into a successful business?
You never know if your idea is good enough to become a successful business until it becomes a successful business. There’s a huge leap of faith involved. If you think you’ve got a product that people will want to use and pay for, then you just have to get your head down and focus on getting the distribution and scale you need to build a successful business. How long after the initial idea was the commercial company launched?
We had our first live product within eight weeks of coming up with the initial idea. It was a very simple tool providing a tidier listing form for ebay. How did you turn ideas into a tangible product?
We searched for people with the necessary technical expertise to build the software and then worked with them to take the ideas in our heads into the production stage. I don’t believe in having detailed design specifications and functional documents. When you’re building web software, all you need is a little HTML knowledge and you can start creating simple web pages to build a structure for the product; then you just continually tweak and change, until you have a product that can be launched to the public. Were you taken seriously as a young entrepreneur or have you encountered difficulties?
We had a few instances where people tried to use our age as a way to get leverage over us, but we had a simple rule. If we felt like someone was treating us differently because of our age, we always walked away and didn’t do business with them – however exciting the business proposition appeared to be. There are plenty of challenges to face
as a young entrepreneur that are out of your control; therefore you want to make the right choices when you do have control. What is the unique element within Auctomatic?
We were the first tool in our space to really pay attention to the user interface and experience. There are a myriad different tools out there, all performing hundreds of different functions – most of which confused and baffled their users. We stripped things down to the bare minimum and put ourselves in the shoes of our users. We wanted to give users a simple but powerful product and we were the first tool to really do that. Do you still work for the company or are you working on something new?
Auctomatic was acquired by Live Current Media in 2008, which is where I’m working now, as part of the acquistion deal. We’ve decided to focus on using the Auctomatic software internally on the e-commerce platforms available at Live Current Media in order to streamline the supply process on shopping destinations such as www.perfume. com. We have autonomy to continue operating as a start-up and we’re enjoying the additional resources we have available to us as part of a larger organisation. What would be your advice to other young people who want to turn their new ideas into business ventures?
Just get out there and do something.You will meet a more diverse and interesting group of people as an entrepreneur and you’ll learn so much more than if you go into a traditional career path.
For more information, visit www.auctomatic.com
news SCHOOL LEAVERS GIVEN A HELPING HAND
Thousands of internships are to be made available to help school leavers and graduates find work during the recession. A Graduate Talent Pool website will list around 2,000 internships at first, with more promised within months.There will also be work placements for nongraduates, including 10,000 places for 18 to 21year olds who have not been to university. The Graduate Talent Pool was welcomed by National Union of Students president Wes Streeting; he said recent graduates were facing the worst employment circumstances for a generation, and the internships plan would help to develop their skills and build up their experience. “Offering access to internships and work opportunities is infinitely preferable to the permanent economic and social scars of long-term unemployment.”
AIRLINE BUSINESS BOOMING Budget airline Easyjet has stated that foreign holidaymakers taking advantage of the strong euro have left the company resilient, even in the midst of the global downturn. Rival airlines cutting back on services have also helped boost passenger numbers by 2.8 per cent between April and June. Revenue from extra charges such as checked-in baggage and in-flight food jumped by 34 per cent and total sales were up 12 per cent to £721m. Last month, Easyjet’s rival Ryanair said that its annual profits would be at the lower end of market expectations.
HOUSING MARKET PICKS UP According to the Land Registry, house prices in England and Wales have risen month-on-month for the first time since January 2008. The 0.1 per cent rise in June compared with May brought the value of the average home to £153,046, the survey found. The figures revealed a flattening of prices, although the value of the average home was down 14 per cent on the same month a year earlier. “This is the first time in over a year that the monthly change has been positive,” the Land Registry said. Signs of a further pick-up in the housing market have been revealed in the latest figures from the Bank of England. The number of mortgages approved for house purchases in June rose to 47,584, up from 44,169 the previous month and the highest number since April 2008. June was the fifth month in a row that approvals have risen. “I think the mortgage approvals data suggests that the market is improving gradually, and in our view it will continue to improve over the next coming months”, said Amit Kara, economist at UBS.
GLOBAL BANKING & MARKETS FOUND FROM BEST BRADSbusiness RECREATED PMS
RISE IN PROFITS
SANTANDER SUCCESS The UK operations of Spanish banking group Santander (including Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley) saw revenues up 20 per cent in the first half of 2009. Santander stated that a growing range of investments, credit cards and insurance had helped the UK business. Earlier this year, Santander confirmed it was to rebrand all 1,300 of its UK High Street brands by the end of 2010. Industry analysts say that Santander had avoided the worst of the banking crisis through its policy of conservative lending and buying assets when they were cheap. .
The merged Automobile Association and Saga conglomerate (Britain’s second largest private equity-owned business), has reported a 13 per cent leap in top-line operating profits, easing the pressure on its £4.8bn debt. The business, known as Acromas, has benefited from continued merger cost savings and robust sales across many of its core products, ranging from breakdown cover to home insurance. Top-line operating profit for the year to 31 January reached £547m. Turnover rose 4.4 per cent to £1.6bn on a pro-forma basis. Barclays is understood to hold a large proportion of the £4.8bn debt raised by Acromas’s private equity owners Charterhouse, Permira and CVC just two weeks before the credit markets froze.
WEBSITES TO CHARGE FOR ONLINE NEWS According to Financial Times editor, Lionel Barber, “almost all” news groups will be charging for online content within a year. Barber stated that building online platforms that charge readers on an articleby-article or subscription basis was one of the key challenges of the future. In May, Rupert Murdoch also said that it was probable his News Corporation newspaper websites would start charging for access within a year. “How these online payment models work and how much revenue they can generate is still up in the air,” Barber said, “But I confidently predict that almost all news organisations will be charging for content.”The NewYork Times could begin charging for online news this month, and The Financial Times website (www.ft.com), has more than 1.3 million non-paying registered users worldwide, with another 110,000 paying subscribers.
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Kate Harrison indulges in a trip to the South of France, the playground of the rich and famous; where nothing is too much to ask, and luxury comes as standard
or those in search of the ultimate luxury travel experience (read impeccable service, stunning surroundings and indulgent hotel facilities), look no further than the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat. If there was ever a luxury getaway for the rich and famous (the kind of place where everything is taken care of before you even think of it, and personal privacy is paramount), this is it. Located at the tip of the CapFerrat peninsula with unrivalled views of the Mediterranean Sea, the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat is, quite literally, the most amazing hotel I have ever seen. Situated between nearby Nice and Monaco, the hotel is housed in a pristine white mansion (alongside a new modern annex addition), tucked away amongst a multitude of pine trees and colourful flowers, in a 17 acre private playground of beautiful scenery. The legendary Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, which recently celebrated its 100th birthday, has re-opened having undergone a glamorous refurbishment by internationally acclaimed
designer, Pierre Yves Rochon. The hotel now comprises 49 rooms and 24 suites, and guests can expect elegant furnishings in noble materials and fabrics, bathrooms decorated with rare marbles, and spectacular sea or pine-forest views. The hotel’s new annex is a seamless and sensitive addition with tasteful and elegant decor, and the pool rooms are a beautiful setting for a relaxing break away. The ultimate choice of accommodation is the private villa residence, Villa Rose-Pierre, which is elegantly located in 2.5 acres of pine forest, surrounded by scented gardens. Overlooking the sea, with its own private pool and tennis court, Villa Rose-Pierre is a haven of peace, hidden from the outside world. Inside the main hotel is a truly unforgettably beautiful lobby, featuring an unusual baroque chandelier of crystal birds enclosed within a silver lantern, reflecting light into the room. It’s no wonder that the rich and famous flock to the Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat year after year; the uber-glamorous hotel is the
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epitome of elegance, with a chic, timeless decor throughout and breathtaking scenery. Walking through the lobby, looking out onto the gardens, I observed what appeared to be a field of green grass, but as I walked down from the lobby into the gardens I discovered that it was not a field, but cleverly trimmed treetops. The 17 acres of lushly landscaped gardens that extend from the entrance of the hotel grounds down to the rocky shore, are the work of famed landscape designer, Jean Mus. Offering incredible panoramic views of the Mediterranean, these unusual, blossoming, and flawlessly manicured seafront gardens are serene and romantic, making them the perfect escape from everyday life (and a popular spot for proposals I’m sure). I spent most of my time at the foot of these tranquil gardens, in the quiet and relaxing Club Dauphin. Access to Club Dauphin is an experience in itself, via a private air-conditioned funicular down the cliff-side. Dominating the rocks, the Club Dauphin
offers a 360m² Olympic-sized infinity pool, stretching into the Mediterranean both in vision and colour with its mirror-like heated sea water. The pool at the Grand Hotel (as well as being utterly
swimming pool or the sea. Pierre has used this effective method with the countless hotel guests he has taught to swim over the years, including royalty, movie stars, athletes, rock music legends, Charlie Chaplin’s children, and
an unusual baroque chandelier of crystal birds, enclosed within a silver lantern, reflects light into the room
beautiful), is linked to Pierre Gruneberg, the hotel’s resident swimming instructor, who has been teaching hotel guests to swim since 1950. I met the ultracharming Pierre Gruneberg and saw first hand his famous ‘saladbowl’ method, which involves combating a fear of water by simply learning to breathe in a common salad bowl filled with water. Not until a student is comfortable with using proper breathing techniques on dry land, does Pierre allow them to enter a
regular Grand-Hotel guests. For lunch, Club Dauphin’s restaurant serves delicious food with Mediterranean flavours, and those who wish to spend a day in absolute peace and tranquillity can enjoy Club Dauphin’s private seaside cabins. Alternatively, Le Cap is an exquisite dining experience not to be missed. The gourmet Michelin starred restaurant demonstrates the hotel’s gastronomic heritage; the menu features dishes with
extraordinary flavours and the head chef’s creations are inventively influenced by the Provence region. The Grand-Hôtel du CapFerrat is quite deservedly a member of the Leading Hotels of the World. Feeling every inch the glamorous Hollywood princess, my lasting memory will be of lying by the poolside, overlooking the endless blue water with the smell of the sea in the air; I could not imagine anywhere else in the world more luxurious. n
GRAND HOTEL DU CAP-FERRAT The Grand Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, rooms from €560 per room per night based on two people sharing a superior room. For reservations call The Leading Hotels of the World toll free on 00800 2888 8882 or visit www.lhw.com
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CAPE TOWN Stephanie Baxter explores the vibrant city of Cape Town in just 24 hours
or those who haven’t been to South Africa, you may think of it simply as a place where the people have nice accents, the weather is nice and they play a lot of rugby. Having just returned from Cape Town myself, I can say with certainty that it’s impossible to grasp a sense of South Africa unless you’ve experienced it firsthand. I was truly blown away by the country’s beauty, and was surprised to learn how green and lush its countryside is. The region surrounding Cape Town is particularly well-blessed in the aesthetics department; its imposing mountains and stretching vineyards are reminiscent of those of the Massif Central in France. In fact, Cape Town is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to... 9.00am: Spier Wine Estate Despite not being officially located in Cape Town, the Spier Wine Estate in nearby Stellenbosch is a must-see to get a real taste of South Africa, and is only an hour away from the city by car. Set amid one thousand stunning hectares, Spier boasts some of the loveliest views of in the region. If this estate was in England, it would probably be owned by the National Trust. The estate includes a luxurious hotel and craft market, but the highlights are most definitely the wine-tasting centre and the Cheetah Outreach programme, the latter of which is an education facility that hand-rears cheetahs in an attempt to increase global awareness of the most endangered big cat in the world. Here, you can get up close and personal with them, which makes for the most extraordinary experience. 1.00pm: Lunch Take a taxi into the main city of Cape Town to the V&A Waterfront. Situated between Table Mountain and Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated), the harbour offers wonderful views of Table
Bay. Harrie’s Pannekoek Huis Restaurant is the perfect place for an informal and relaxed lunch, where you can sit and eat outside in order to take in the scenery. Be sure to make room for dessert; their pancakes with sugar, syrup and extra chocolate sauce are to die for. You should also have enough time to visit the African Trading Port, a quaint souvenir and curiosity shop that just oozes the colonial feel that the whole harbour is infused with. 3.00pm: Robben Island From the V&A Waterfront you can book a tour of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent much of his time in prison. Learning about the heritage of South Africa and some of the people well-known for their anti-apartheid activism, this is a moving and emotional visit. The 3.5 hour tour includes the return ferry trip across the bay, a visit to the Maximum Security Prison, interaction with an ex-political prisoner and a 45-minute bus tour with a guide providing insightful commentary. Watch out for whales on the ferry ride to and from the island, as the bay is a famous haunt of theirs.
I would recommend the Mussels to start, followed by the Twice Cooked Chicken or the Fillet of Beef Rossini, both of which are absolutely exquisite. Don’t miss the Don Pedros, a creamy after-dinner drink made with a South African cream-based liquer mixed with ice-cream. 10.00pm: After-dinner drinks Heading back to the V&A Waterfront at night is a must, as it allows you a completely different, but equally wonderful, view of the harbour. Make your way to OYO Restaurant and Cocktail Bar at the Victoria & Albert Hotel and take up a position on the quayside Terrace, so that you can enjoy another Don Pedro, alfresco. n
7.00pm: Dinner One of South Africa’s best-kept secrets is that it is a haven for foodies! The best restaurant I visited was Beluga. Since 1999 it has attracted many famous faces including Bill Clinton, Samuel L. Jackson, Kevin Spacey and Tiger Woods, and has also won critical acclaim by being named as one of the Top 60 New Restaurants in the World by Condé Nast Traveller Magazine. A nice walk from the waterfront to the restaurant in the heart of the city will allow you to work up an appetite and
Photos 1,2,3 by Stephanie Baxter
TRADITIONS Hong Kong is an intoxicating mix of old and new, where modern meets traditional in perfect harmony. Kate Harrison finds out how to get the most out of this ancient city
ong Kong has had a turbulent history to say the least. Growing from a scarcely habitable rock into one of the wealthiest urban hubs in the world has been a long and arduous process. Sometime around 25-220AD, Hong Kong was attached to the southern province of Guangdong – a neglected island on a remote corner of the vast Chinese empire, occupied by farmers, fishermen, and pirates, who hid among the rocky islands that would one day be home to legions of skyscrapers. Over the next 1,600 years, Hong Kong grew into small trading post under the Chinese Empire, but on the outbreak of the Opium wars the British were offered control of Hong Kong in exchange for the removal of their troops from Chinese territory. At the time the British took control of Hong Kong (meaning ‘Fragrant Harbour’) it was little more than a small town consisting of around twenty buildings. However, the British exploited its position in the sheltered harbour
in order to create a permanent outpost to conduct trade from in the Far East. By 1900 Hong Kong’s population had skyrocketed to 265,000 and it was dangerously overcrowded. In order to properly support their population, the British petitioned China for a land extension and the land mass of Hong Kong was increased by 90 per cent. After suffering through disease and poverty, Hong Kong gradually developed into a more substantial city. Events such as the Japanese occupation and the rise of communism threatened to halt the city’s growth prematurely; however Hong Kong was spared by China largely due to its power as a centre for commerce. Using virtually inexhaustible pools of cheap labour from China, Hong Kong kept growing at an astounding rate. Even now, after the 1997 handover to China, Hong Kong’s highly capitalist system has allowed it to continue amassing a huge source of wealth, and the trendy metropolis shows no signs of slowing.
A sense of trAdition While these days Hong Kong has a cutting edge reputation (which we will cover more in the September instalment of our Hong Kong series) it still remains tied to its ancient and fascinating heritage; and there is no shortage of ways to enjoy traditional luxury on a visit to the island. Perhaps one of the best examples of Hong Kong’s rich colonial heritage is The Peninsula Hotel, a Hong Kong stalwart and magnificent example of ancient luxury fused with modern decadence. Situated on Victoria Harbour with stunning views across the bay, the hotel has 300 incredible rooms, including 54 truly luxurious suites. With services available such as a fleet of Rolls Royce cars, a helicopter for ‘flightseeing’ tours, the China Clipper plane for hire and an extensive boutique shopping arcade, The Peninsula exudes a classic, old world charm. The exquisite Marco Polo suite, situated in the old building, is perhaps one of the best examples of cultural style and ancient traditions. A stunning view across the bay through a large arched window greets you as you enter the vast suite. There are two sublime bedrooms, a stunning marble bathroom, living and dining rooms all decorated in traditional oriental style, but despite the size of the suite, it feels intimate and warm. All the suites at the hotel come with numerous benefits, and we particularly enjoyed the complimentary on-demand use of the Rolls Royce, which we used to sightsee and visit classic bars, such as Feather Boa. Parisian in style, all velvet curtains, gold ceilings and luxuriant sofas, this former antiques store – whose furniture has been conveniently left behind – is speakeasy secret, impossible to find, and therefore cool in the extreme. Cocktails are the order of the day here, try a daiquiri or whisky based cocktail, which the bar is famous for.
ClAssiCAl dining However, we didn’t always venture out of the hotel to eat and drink, as the various award-winning restaurants and bars at The Peninsula provide a wealth of options. The classically designed Spring Moon is a must; decorated in a traditional Chinese décor it serves a range of oriental dishes, the dim sum is a particular highlight. We also enjoyed matching different Chinese teas to our food. Gaddis – a French restaurant – provides the most romantic evening at the hotel, with live dancing and personalised menus. If you want something a bit more fun, try Felix. With great views over the harbour, this trendy bar and restaurant serves contemporary food and is open late – we partied the night away with some excellent cocktails. The Verandah is also a great choice if you are blessed with some good weather – with the sun beating through the windows, relaxing on some cane furniture, the presence of slowly twirling ceiling fans and palm trees transport you back to height of colonial Hong Kong. The Peninsula have recently opened a fabulous new bar called Salon de Ning, which is very boudoir and a very popular, stylish hang out. We were escorted down a staircase by a lady in a chungsam to ring an old fashioned doorbell at the entrance to a huge Chinese door, with a post box on the front. The top of the box opened to reveal a slit where a video of eyes looked us up and down, before allowing us to enter. Inside the bar is a stage for a jazz band and really cool seating arrangements with little havens set back from the main area, each with a different theme. Salon de Ning also boasts a dancing parlour, Moroccan area and Alpine section. I sat in the dancing parlour which was really
vibrant and buzzing; huge gilded frames had pictures of dancers in them but it was actually an old grainy video of people dancing within the frame rather than a static image. While you’ll be lucky to get some great sunshine, the weather can occasionally be quite muggy in Hong Kong, and the hotel’s spa offers the perfect respite from the heat. Unwind with a signature Espa massage in one of sumptuous treatment rooms, overlooking the harbour. I also loved the refreshing ice fountains – a cool blast of bliss – and the crystal steam rooms, Finnish saunas and rooftop pool were all top quality. And while old world charm is still important, the hotel is not short on modern luxuries with wireless internet, touch control air con, DVD players and DVD library, plasma screen televisions and satellite conferencing facilities. We literally wanted for nothing. Sights to see To get a real sense of the ancient history steeped in this incredible city, The Hong Kong Story at The Hong Kong Museum of History really helped put things in context. Designed as a kind of reconstruction of the last 400 million years, right up to the handover in 1997, I loved the way the exhibition involved you in the history. Whether it was peeping in the windows of the opium dens, wandering through a 6,000 year old jungle, riding a double-decker tram through the 1930s dimly lit streets, or watching a film on the British invasion from inside a model version of a fort – everything gave you a real sense of the history of this incredible city. There are also numerous original documents and objects to wonder at, including various letters, photographs and weapons from the Japanese Occupation in 1941-45. A visit to Hong Kong is also not complete without a trip up the Peak to take advantage of the incredible views; travel up via the funicular tram on a near vertical climb. Once you’ve absorbed the scenery, enjoy lunch at the Peak
The Verandah at The Peninsula Peninsula Exterior
The Peninsula Suite
Café, a romantic Oriental-style restaurant, with views over the jungle on the south side of the island. Enjoy a cool class of wine and some innovative Pan Asian food, while relishing the view of the South China Sea. For the full colonial experience you should also check out the oldest Anglican Church in Asia, St John’s Catherdral, and spend some time on the waterfront, at Kowloon’s promenade, with its various museums and shops. We finished off our busy day sightseeing with a relaxing drink on our own private balcony back at The Peninsula, drinking in the view and listening to the energetic bustle of this intoxicating city. n
The Peninsula Hotel Salisbury Rd, Kowloon, Hong Kong, 00 852 2920 2888 Feather Boa 38 Staunton St, Hong Kong, 00 852 2857 2586 Hong Kong Museum of History 100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, 00 852 2724 9042 The Peak Café 121 Peak Road, 00 852 2849 7868 St John’s Church Po Lam Road North, New Territories, www.stjohnscathedral.org.hk
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LATIN TIME Josh Sims discovers the finest Cuban watch masterpieces, reborn for the modern era
assimo Rossi has an image problem. His watches may be top-end mechanical timepieces with a pedigree that is hard to match, but while most serious watches are considered such, in part for a heritage that strongly links them to the watch-making industries of Switzerland or Germany, his brand, Cuervo Y Sobrinos, looks back to a Caribbean island better known for its radical politics. Working around the different reactions to Cuervo Y Sobronos’ beginnings in Cuba has been a challenge. After half a century of gathering dust, today the brand is effectively a new one, unknown to many, despite its amazing back-story. In 1882 Armando Rio y Cuervo and his brothers set up shop in Havana to develop the watch-making business established by their uncle Ramon. It did rather well, building a fantasy-like customer base including Einstein, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway and Clark Gable, opening stores in Paris, Baden and the Swiss watch-making capital of La-Chaux-de-Fonds. This was the golden age that saw Havana described as Las Vegas with an ocean. And then, in 1958, came Castro and the socialist reforms that saw an exodus of family businesses; among them those behind Bacardi rum, Montecristo and Romeo Y Julieta cigars, and Cuervo. The Cuervo family literally drove to the store one day, packed as much of the stock as they could into suitcases and left the island. A month later, the company folded. Its rediscovery is an equally amazing story. Some 40 years later, the brand’s now president Marzio Villa visited the abandoned
shop and, like the Marie Celeste, found it untouched; the safe full of 25 vintage watch movements and sketches of all of Cuervo’s pre-Castro designs. He undertook to buy the brand and had the designs re-made, albeit larger and thicker to suit modern tastes. This summer the brand will open its first flagship store – a 130sqm area, half museum, half boutique and entirely in old Havana. The store is a testament as much to changing times in Cuba as it is for Cuervo. For the new-but-old watch brand it is also a way of re-building its niche position as a purveyor of typically rectangular, 1940s-style but otherwise original watch designs. These models are attractively old-fashioned in creamy, tobacco-coloured looks but modern in technology – and the only Swiss-made
luxury watch brand with a Latin heritage. “That Latin spirit tends to emphasise enjoying your life, which is why there is the idea in Cuba that life goes more slowly because you enjoy every second. It’s the same connoisseur spirit that goes into the enjoyment of Cuban cigars.You can’t rush one.You have to sit down, maybe at the weekend, and indulge in it. And we think Cuervo can capture the same spirit in watches,” says Rossi, the brand’s Managing Director. “It’s for people who already have other pleasures in their lives and take time out to indulge them. They’re not living life at 200kmph until they’re 70 and then dying.” The re-launch of the Swiss-made, Cuban heritage brand has not been without its difficulties, chiefly that, as Rossi puts it, “of
convincing people that Cuba, as it has been known during its Communist years, can be associated with positive values – a problem that Russian goods have faced too.You can’t create that pre-Castro status the brand had artificially. But there is a demand now for the spirit of Hemingway and Churchill, the gentleman’s club attitude of that period, and that we can do.” Cuervo may also benefit from a reaction among watch consumers against recent years’ trend for outsized, overtly macho and modern styles in favour of a more simple classicism that is at once less vulgar in recessionary times but also more about authenticity. Already established are its two signature styles, each presented in a cigar boxstyle case; the Esplendido, with its retrograde
date display, day-of-the-week sub-dial and 42-hour power reserve display, and the Art Deco-style Prominente, with its curved, oblong case and carbon fibre detailing. For those who want a truly historical watch, look out for the planned limited edition gold chronograph with a prestige Venus movement dating to the 1940s. Reborn it may be, but Cuervo Y Sobrinos is growing up fast. It is already beginning to think of itself as less of a watch brand and more as a lifestyle brand; pens are in the pipeline for an international launch, and a jewellery collection may follow. “The rediscovery of the brand may be a story of romance,” says Rossi, “but we are looking forward. We are obviously not a typical Swiss watch company.” n
HEELING POWER Olga Berluti, the world’s only female bootmaker, notices men’s feet before she notices their faces. Perhaps that’s a good thing, since she also charges up to £100,000 for a pair of shoes, says Claire Adler
aris-based Olga Berluti is mad about feet. Her ancestors have been in the business of making shoes since 1895, so you could say she’s following in their footsteps. But it’s more than that. She’s driven by the strength of her convictions – the essence of which came to her as a child while growing up in an Italian convent. “The foot is the foundation of the cathedral that is the human body, it’s both a comfortable casing and an emblematic protective shield,” says Olga theatrically. “This strange passion came to me in a convent when I was six. I was fascinated by a Christ on the Cross hanging in the corridor leading up to the chapel. The daily sight of those nails hammered into the flesh stayed in my mind – the source of my vocation. Since my grandfather and my uncle were well-established bootmakers, I decided I would devote my life to taking care of men’s feet and put into those shoes so much love and skill that they would last a lifetime.” Many of Olga’s shoes are indeed worn for a lifetime and sometimes passed down to the next generation. When a father recently came to the Paris boutique to have his old pair of Berlutis repaired, his intention was to hand them down to his son. Since his son was still young, he didn’t think it would be right for him to own a brand new pair. “I put all my love and care into that repair, added
patches where the leather was a bit more worn and brought out even more than the original beauty of the shoes. When the father saw his old shoes, he fell in love with them yet again, kept them for himself and bought a new pair for the son,” says Olga. Today, the family business – now partly owned by luxury goods giant LVMH – counts Robert de Niro, Gérard Depardieu and closer to home, London property moguls the Candy brothers, amongst its customers. Entering the business in the early 1960s, Olga brought with her a free spirit; she complemented Berluti’s traditional aristocratic clientele with creative, musical and artistic stars, drawn in by her quirky style and her new approaches to dyes and pigments. But most importantly, Olga always made sure her most imaginative clients viewed commissioning Berluti shoes not simply as a purchase, but a creative collaboration. To this day, she has her favourites. “At Berluti the client is the protagonist, the artist at the heart of the creation. The clients I love have been active in my creations. Exceptional clients like Yves Saint Laurent, Andy Warhol, Picasso and Dali taught me everything with their high demands. With each pair I made for Warhol, he presented me with an artistic or technical problem and it was up to me to solve it.” Olga still owns contoured wooden models of deceased customer’s feet – known as lasts – which she has taken the liberty of decorating. The last for the chairman of Rolls Royce has mother of pearl button bodywork and is mounted on wheels. The Duke of Windsor’s is
wrapped in pink and green tartan and studded with pins, while Italian film maker Federico Fellini’s is draped in purple silk beneath a porcelain cherub. Some clients have even inspired shoe collections of their own – there is a scar design in honour of African princes, the Lasso range with its cowboy feel, and piercings and tattoos alluding to Japanese culture. Though you can pick up a pair of Berluti’s newest off the shelf Pierre collection for a cool £820, Maison Berluti’s most expensive shoes or boots are fashioned from exotic leathers, with handmade embroidery crafted in a haute couture workshop, sometimes incorporating vintage fabric which is nowadays impossible to find, or bearing rare, antique buttons. Some time ago, Olga noticed a young chef frequenting her shop every Saturday. He would admire the same pair of Berlutis every time and had decided to pay 100 francs on each visit towards the purchase of his dream shoes. One Saturday, the chef began chatting to a regular Berluti customer, a wealthy banker. A friendship developed and the banker ended up financing the opening of a restaurant for the young chef. So deep is Olga’s passion for shoes that in 1992 she invented an eccentric shoe-polishing event that sounds rather like a gentleman’s club version of extreme ironing. She called it the Swann Club, envisioning soirées designed to evoke the happiness of childhood. It sees grown up billionaires routinely gathering together to polish their shoes.Yes, really. A small invitee-only côterie of Berluti customers meet twice a year in beautiful surroundings – it might be the Hotel Crillon in Paris or a privately owned chateau – to dine, discuss the aesthetics of shoemaking and then get on to the business of polishing their shoes. “It is a true ritual with time honoured gestures,” explains Olga. “The table cloth is removed, polishes are presented, squares of noble Venetian linen are wrapped around fingers. The men take off their shoes and place them on the table. Under my lead and supervision, they begin to clean, nourish and massage their Berlutis. After this they begin to buff.” Traditionally water is used for moisture, but hardcore aficionados have been using champagne for centuries. “Only the real Berluti connoisseur knows how to use the most exquisite champagne to polish their Venezia leather shoes,” says Olga. It’s a question of chemistry – the acidity of the champagne removes the extra fat of the shoe polish and enhances colour transparencies. After all this time on the job, Olga still remains the only woman in this exclusive gentleman’s club. It seems she would have it no other way. “For all of these different and unique types of men, I may be at times the mother, the fiancée, the little girl, the sister, the lover and even the grandmother. But first and foremost I remain the bootmaker.” n
Leopard scarf, Crumpet, £197 www.crumpetengland.com Leopard print peep-toe heeled pumps, Christian Louboutin, £595 www.matchesfashion.com
JUNGLE Raina Linden presents the latest animal prints Black Leopard Print Collar Top, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, £56 www.my-wardrobe.com Large Odetta ponyskin bag, Jimmy Choo, £1,625 www.net-a-porter.com
Leopard Print Swimsuit, D&G Dolce&Gabbana, £62 www.my-wardrobe.com
Animal-print chiffon dress, Single, £395 www.net-a-porter.com
Leopard sunglasses, YSL, £145 www.matchesfashion.com
Animal Print Donut Earring, Topshop, £15 www.topshop.com
Biker suede leather boots, Jimmy Choo, £650 www.net-a-porter.com
Animal Sequin Highwaisted, Topshop, £25 www.topshop.com
the fabric of the season
Photography by: Anthony Edwin at One Photographic Fashion Editor: Lucie Dodds
Black leather Deepika suspender/shorts set £245 Agent Provocateur 020 7623 0229. Black body £89 and opaque tights £18 both Wolford. Black buckle boots £680 Rupert Sanderson 020 7491 2427 www.rupertsanderson.co.uk
Black stretch leather one-shoulder body £950 and black stretch leather leggings £1,250 both Jitrois www.jitrois.com Black lace Sophie waspie £165 Agent Provocateur as before. Black lace jacket. £599, Jaeger London www.jaeger.co.uk
Black leather sleeved print jacket £875 Alexander Wang at Harvey Nichols 020 7235 5000 www.shopharveynichols.com. Black stretch leather ¾ trousers £1,450 Jitrois as before. Metallic stilettos £460 Rupert Sanderson as before
Black denim dress and black laced ankle boots TopShop Unique. www.topshop.com Black leather trousers ÂŁ825 Vince at Harvey Nichols as before
Black stretch leather one-shoulder body £950 and black leather ‘Quickie’ zip trousers £1,450 both Jitrois as before. Black gloves £70 Furla 020 7434 3812 www.furla.com
Model: Ksenia at FM Model Management. Hair: Choccy at www.onemakeuphairandstyling.com using L’Oreal Make-up: Yvette Redmond at Tiger Creative www.tigercreativelondon. com using Sisley. Hydra-Global Hydratation Intense Anti-Age Instant Perfect Phyto-Teint Eclat Phyto-Sourcils Perfect in Blond Phyto-Ombre Eclat longue tenue Eye Shadow in Vanilla 1 PhytoMascara Ultra FaCil in 1 Black Rouge à Lèvres Hydratant Longue Tenue in L29 Sisley Make-up Brushes
REST RECUPERATION Indulge yourself with my pick of 5* hotel spas, says Kate Hughes
STATELY OPULENCE The spa at Lucknam Park offers a wide range of luxury treatments by Anne Semonin and Carita. This is a real hideaway haven, where visitors can leave everyday life behind them and relax within the heart of the English countryside .This superb hotel combines country charm with a contemporary spa; why not take a stroll in the beautiful gardens and then try one of the signature treatments. We love the Herbal pumice body experience, a definite must-have. Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa Colerne Chippenham Wiltshire SN14 8AZ 01225 740 537 www.lucknampark.com
COUNTRYSIDE ESCAPE The spa at Gleneagles by Espa is located in the secluded Perthshire countryside. The award winning spacious spa is an ideal retreat for luxury spa breaks, offering a range of relaxing treatments to renew and restore the mind and body. The heat experiences are a powerful and therapeutic way to stimulate, cleanse and renew your skin, after which you can relax in the wonderful crystal steam room or hot sauna cabin. Cool down with a refreshing ice rub, or an arctic mist shower and totally revive your senses. The Gleneagles Hotel Auchterarder Perthshire, PH3 1HF 0800 389 3737 www.gleneagles.com
COUNTRY ESTATE Escape from todayâ€™s stresses at the Sequoia spa within The Grove, Hertfordshire. Just 18 miles from central London, this relaxed hotel has contemporary interiors set in stunning landscaped gardens. The spa has thirteen treatment rooms and a VIP suite for couples delivering luxurious treatments with lasting results. Indulge yourself in one of the spas signature treatments such as the Purra Karma; a synchronised four handed massage! The Grove Chandlers Cross Hertfordshire, WD3 4TG 01923 807 807 www.thegrove.co.uk
ASIAN INFLUENCE Within the sophisticated Metropolitan Hotel Park Lane, guests will find the Como Shambala Urban Escape Spa, representing the holistic heart of the hotel. Day visitors and hotel guests can better their physical and mental equilibrium by way of the gorgeous range of Asian treatments, including Thai massage, Reiki and Shiatsu. We tried the Purify holistic facial and it was probably the best facial I have ever experienced! The Metropolitan London Old Park Lane, London, W1K 1LB 0207 447 1047 www.comoshambala.bz
CITY ESCAPE The Malmaison Hotel in Manchester is home to Le Petit Spa; â€œthe little room of inner city peaceâ€?. This tranquil urban spa offers a real break from city life and is a great place to recharge and unwind with a range of great treatments and packages to suit all tastes. The total holistic body care treatment is designed to relax and de-stress and I can certainly say it does just that. The Malmaison Piccadilly Manchester, M1 1LZ 0161 278 1000 www.malmaison.com
CONTEMPORARY COMFORT Health du Vin is an intimate spa sanctuary in the fantastic Hotel du Vin in Cheltenham. This welcoming and relaxed hotel is a real home from home. The hotel also boasts an outstanding wine cellar which is great for girly tasting sessions; so forget detoxing and indulge yourself with luxury treatments in the spa, and a glass of wine afterwards. We love the life saving back treatment, perfect for reliving muscle tension. Hotel du Vin Parabola Road Cheltenham, GL50 3QA 01242 588 450 www.hotelduvin.com
famous for business
fabulous for fashion
OVER 200 SHOPS, CAFéS, BARS AND RESTAURANTS, ONE ICONIC LOCATION.
The brand new Charles Tyrwhitt store has opened in Canada Place, Canary Wharf providing a luxurious environment in which to browse outstanding quality formal and casual menswear and womenswear, with dark mahogany fixtures, light oak flooring and, at 1,700 square foot, equals the size of our flagship store on Jermyn Street. The new store has opened just in time to showcase the brand new Charles Tyrwhitt autumn 2009 collection, which you’ll find in store from Wednesday 19th August. This season, we head back to our roots as traditional British elements trickle into the new range, with modern details sprinkled throughout. Classic English, Italian and our contemporary Black Label suits remain a staple of the Tyrwhitt collection. An array of multibuy offers are available on the new range, and we offer a range of services including alterations, monogramming and gift wrapping. Visit our store in Canada Place, Canary Wharf E14 5AH or contact us on 0845 337 3 337.
sky herringbone classic shirt £29.95 SE034SKY £60 Silver & Purple Multi Stripe Handmade Woven Tie £29.95 TH415MPU £60 Enamel Radish & Sky Geo Links £24.95 LE206PKB £50
Pink PoPlin classic shirt £29.95 SP015LPK £60 Royal Fleur de Lys Woven Tie £24.95 TW356RYL £50 Enamel Royal & Pink Stripe Links £24.95 LE203PNA £50
grey & PurPle check classic shirt £29.95 SC090PUG £60 Purple & Silver Stripe Woven Tie £24.95 TW385DPU £50 Enamel Purple & Dark Grey Links £24.95 LE200DPU £50
white PoPlin slim fit shirt FP007WHT £60 £29.95 Red Blue Tartan Handmade Woven Tie TH427RDB £70 £34.95 Enamel Blue Links LE195BLU £50 £24.95
Whilst stocks last Whilst stocks last
© 2009 R EISS JUBILEE PLACE 020 7519 6176
CABOT PLACE 020 7718 8762
FABULOUS 20th August â€“ 5th September 2009
Supported by Canon
Amtico Brintons Crucial Trading Dalsouple Karndean Luxaflex Pergo Porcelanosa Vincent Sheppard
Amtico and Wood
Blinds and flooring Weâ€™ve got it all covered
470-480 Roman Road London E3 5LU 0800 716 783 www.abbottsflooring.co.uk
Sim Smith finds out what to see, where to go and what to buy this month
Barbara Hepworth, Two Forms (Maori), 1971, carved slate, Unique.
When the day is over head to the Bombay Sapphire Dusk Bar at Somerset House. The bar designed by Design Research Studio under the creative direction of internationally renowned designer Tom Dixon will be open daily 10am-Midnight serving a seasonal food menu and bespoke Bombay Sapphire cocktails. Entrance is free but if you fancy something a little special, from 10 August - 18 October, Bombay Sapphire is to run a Gintelligentsia master class in the art of mixology. Groups of 4-8 can learn trade secrets from some of London’s top mixologists. Tickets cost £20.00 per person and include complimentary cocktails. Open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 7pm.
Head down to the Beaux Arts Summer Show in Cork Street W1, for an exhibition of recent acquisitions and new work from the gallery’s artists. The gallery who originally represented artists such as Frink, Chadwick and Frost some 25 years ago continues to show established works alongside a dynamic mixture of young and emerging artists. Show ends 5 September.
020 7845 4653 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bombaysapphiredusk.com
Manhattan duvet cover double £105.00, Manhattan pillowcases from £20.00.
Beaux Arts, 22 Cork Street London, W1S 3NA 020 7437 5799 www.beauxartslondon.co.uk
Treat yourself to a night in or at least a good night’s sleep with this new range available at John Lewis. Terence Conran has teamed up with the store to create a new range of 400-thread-count bed linen. The Heirloom Collection takes its inspiration from some of the world’s most chic locations giving your home a sense of luxury and comfort. With beautiful detailing and muted tones, selected pieces can easily be added to your current collection or if you feel like a treat this month why not invest in a whole set.
Laura Ashley will launch a new range of wallpapers this month. Showcasing 24 new colour ways taken from 150 original prints, you really will be spoilt for choice this season. Inspiration has been taken from oriental embroidered silks, antique French wallpaper and archived prints. The Heritage brand includes some exquisite finishes including pearlescent papers and antiqued silver and bronze inks. All papers are manufactured in the UK and are sourced from sustainable and renewable forests. 0871 230 2301 www.lauraashley.com
Wedgewood will celebrate their 250th Anniversary this summer and to commemorate the occasion will launch the Distinguished House of Wedgewood collection exclusively at Harrods. The collection is based on delicate archive designs, all hand crafted by artisans. Lord Wedgewood will host a champagne afternoon tea in the Georgian restaurant on 20 August to launch the collection. Tickets are priced at £45.00 per person. 020 7730 1234 ext 22189
Experience the very best in American design at the Ralph Lauren luxury furniture and lighting gallery, Harrods. The showroom and design centre opened this summer on the 3rd Floor to accompany the newly launched gift and object room. Be inspired by iconic urban classics and decorative accessories bringing a sense of modern elegance into your home. 0845 605 1234 www.ralphlaurenhome.com Mayfair Tufted Chair, from £3,350
Bentwood and Tubular Steel Collections, from £214
Tatton wallpaper in Charcoal & Bronze, £26 per roll.
08456 049 049 www.johnlewis.com
Japanese store Muji, known for its ergonomic, straight laced design is now working in association with German furniture maker Thonet. Together they have reinterpreted two historically important styles of chair dating back to 1859 for the modern market. The collection will be available from 1 August at Muji. 6-17 Tottenham Court Road, London, W1P 9DP 0207 436 1779 www.muji.co.uk
This summer it’s all about keeping it simple, naturally... says Sim Smith
ne of the most prolific turns in the interiors industry is a distinct revival of all things natural. With top design houses fusing raw materials and traditional production techniques, the future seems to be promoting our heritage in ways unforeseen by many trend predictions. This move may seem regressive in its rejection of ‘modern’ materials but instead has proved evolutionary in its philosophy. The primary focus lies with craftsmanship, with designers examining the production techniques of old and adapting them to the modern day. We have seen a renaissance of handcrafted objects, modern takes on time-honoured techniques, creating traditional pieces for the contemporary home. Materials such as stone, wood and glass have been sculpted into clean, simple structures, strengthening ties between our homes and the outdoors, technology and nature, past and present. Their design is contemporary, usually based around natural forms and their pure materials. Lights glow through hessian structures taking us back to our childhood, to campsite fires and canvas tents. Seating and tables are solid, whole creations in wood, metal and marble often hand beaten or carved with details such as wood grain and veined marble left untouched. Accessories seem meticulously constructed, knitted, woven and carved. Paint, wallpaper and even home fragrances follow a similar thread taking inspiration from everything from semi precious stones to straw and timber. There is a subtle play with texture, the juxtaposition of rough and smooth that we see in nature, tree barks, shell like forms and woven twine. It is this tangible theme that when transported into our homes makes them feel not only luxurious but informal and welcoming. The functionality of these objects looks back to a bygone era, to the ancients of Korea, Japan and China. These pieces differ however, in their combination of form and function. History has given them gravitas and simplicity but modem design has transformed seemingly mundane objects into beautiful yet still usable forms. We are looking at liveable luxury. Gone are the minimalist interiors we have seen in recent years and now we are making way for the comfortable home. A home with a sense of individuality, adorned with one off pieces, a nostalgic and personal home. With this trend, the home is seen as a retreat, a calming space of pure organic forms, of symmetry and balance. This movement will no doubt form a part of contemporary design history; beautifully designed and crafted, these pieces will prove the perfect heirloom for future generations.
Topaz candle, £28, Nina Campbell 020 7225 1011 www.ninacampbell.com
Rosewood and buffalo horn Oval salad servers, £31.10, David Mellor 020 7730 4259 www.davidmellordesign.com
Carved wood raw candelabra in white, by Jens Fager, £129, Skandium 020 7584 2066 www.skandium.com
Hand hammered Indra high table in aluminium, £149, Habitat 08444 99 1111 www.habitat.net
Cedar wood Bora Bora chair, by Terry Dwan for Riva 1920, £3,995, Loft Living at Selfridges 020 7 318 3062 www.loft-living.com
Solid oak and lacquer Saga sideboard by Christophe Declourt, £4,080, Roche Bobois 020 8874 9818 www.roche-bobois.com
Stone flooring Piedra Plana extra, from £63.70 for a 400mm x 400mm x 20mm tile, Stone Age 020 7384 9090 www.stone-age.co.uk
Cotton towels, £30 each, DAY Birger et Mikkelsen 020 7432 8088 www.day.dk
Straw No.53 Estate Eggshell Paint, £41.50 for 2.5L 01202 876141 www.farrow-ball.com
Sweet armchair in black, £1,290, Stained oak sweet 41 side table in white, £398, Cotton knitted sweet 40 pouffe in blue, £506, Gervasoni 020 8373 2434 email@example.com
Mouth blown glass lamp in grey, by Harri Koskinen for Muuto, £199, Skandium 020 7584 2066 www.skandium.com
Grey veined carrara marble stump occasional table, £1287, Ligne Roset 020 7426 9670 www.ligne-roset.co.uk
Canvas and anodised metal Fork floor lamp, by Successful Living from Diesel, £483 and matching Fork table lamp, £322, Foscarini 0800 37 62 518 www.foscarini.com
White alabaster and borosilicate rod other sculpture, by Stephanie Carlton Smith, works from £1800, Waterhouse & Dodd Fine Art 020 7734 7800 www.waterhousedodd.com Metal bowl in black, £55, BoConcept 0845 605 0565 www.boconcept.co.uk
Stoneware and glass Tonale tableware collection, by David Chipperfield, from £7, Alessi 020 7518 9090 www.alessi.com
Non woven scrap wood wallpaper, £199 per nine metre roll, Studio Ditte 0031 627 02 01 04 www.studioditte.nl
Brushed stainless steel leaf bowls, by Georg Jensen, £115 for a set of three, Vessel Gallery 020 7727 8001 www.vesselgallery.com
The ADDRESS BOOK
Sim Smith strolls down some of London’s interiors shopping hotspots. This month: Upper Street, Islington and a few little streets off of the beaten track...
8 a After Noah This shop made me feel like a little girl again. Stuffed full with trinket boxes, books and jewellery displayed on antique and vintage furniture, this gem of a shop had me hooked. A great place for gifts and one off finds, there is a toy shop too, complete with a mini sweet counter proudly displaying everything from Sherbet Dib Dabs to Parma Violets.
b Atelier Abigail Ahern Designer and author Abigail Ahern’s shop has long been a
9 beacon for aspiring home makers and established designers alike. The store is an enchanting mix of her handpicked collections and eccentric finds offering a refreshing twist to the interiors market. This curious shop with its unique sense of style seduces the senses out of their comfort zone into the realms of fantasy and surrealism. From pink neon English bulldog lights to red ceramic hands reaching out from the walls doubling up as coat hooks, this place really is the last word in quirk.
c Broad Gallery The Broad Gallery looks like it
has been picked straight out of New York. With its slick black exterior and exposed brick walls inside, the immaculate space is reminiscent of a smaller version of Chelsea art galleries. The gallery specialises in 20th Century works on paper by some of the most distinguished artists of the modern era including Marc Chagall, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso. Stop by for a browse through their extensive collection of limited edition original lithographs, etchings and mixed media prints.
d David Scotcher Somewhere in this space, clad floor to ceiling in swathes of fabric, samples and swatches you will find a very helpful and knowledgeable member of staff. Always busy, and a staple stop off for locals in search of some bespoke upholstery and curtain making, David Scotcher caters for all tastes in this charming shop. From retro classics to modern pieces, they are able to advise on fabrics, finishes and restoration. e Harvey Jones A simplistic shop front leads onto this colourful kitchen showroom. Not minimalist or overly styled, their designs are thoughtful and functional. All kitchens are handcrafted and hand painted in any colour and come with a bespoke range of handles, worktops and appliances. Harvey Jones have been making kitchens from their Cambridgeshire workshop for over 25 years and combine the feel of a country kitchen with urban design.
f Reve Lloyd If you’re searching for something a little unusual, head to Reve Lloyd for a bit
of inspiration. From one off carved cedar wood chests from Afghanistan to Ethiopian honey pots decorated with cowrie shells, you will be sure to find some extraordinary pieces for your home. They stock many vintage classics too and offer a full interior design service.
g Smug Just off the beaten track, Upper Street houses a great little shop. Situated on Camden passage right by the antiques market is Smug, the lifestyle store. Lizzie Evans, owner and interior designer, has filled the space with bright melamine kitchenware, retro glassware, handmade toys and chic ceramics. The look is young, fun and eccentric and works well with the one off pieces of 1960s furniture that she has collected over the past few years. There are a few really special pieces of art on the walls too. This store is definitely worth a visit. h Turn on Antiques One road back from Upper Street lies a lovely antique shop. Little did I know that this modest exterior would house one of the most fascinating collections. Specialists in their field, Turn on Antiques are the original purveyors and suppliers of lighting for period homes, museums, hotels and collectors.
i Worlds End tiles Worlds End tiles offers prebooked appointments at its Angel showroom. There is a tile studio in house, showcasing products in porcelain, ceramic, glass, stone and mosaic. Whether it’s a contemporary or classic look that you’re after, the extensive product library and specialists on hand will be able to find the perfect look for you.
The Getty Images Gallery is the perfect venue for your corporate function. Please contact us for further details.
Eren Ellwood takes the Exige to Silverstone to push the limits of Lotus
otus; Silverstone Circuit; track day; three elements that go exceptionally well together, as a dozen of our readers found out last month. A day out at the home of the British Grand Prix was on offer in our last issue with 12 lucky readers winning the opportunity of getting our Lotus on track; arguably the only place to truly realise the Exige’s potential in the safest possible environment. After an initial welcome and safety briefing, we were split into two groups with one group taken off to do a series of laps around the Grand Prix circuit, and the other taking part in a timed auto-test. To run an auto-test you need one oversized car park with plenty of run off area, and a tight and twisting course created out of cones. The idea is to drive through the course as quickly as possible without hitting a cone. This involves frenetic cornering, aggressive braking and acceleration all accompanied by unreserved encouragement from a professional race instructor in the passenger seat. The end result is an adrenalin-fuelled rush, which made me laugh like a lunatic for the entire lap. After a few practice runs, we entered the competitive element (fastest time would win a bottle of champagne) which meant the pressure was on – especially for me, as everyone felt I had an unfair advantage, having got to know the car over the last few months. I, of course, disagreed. But ultimately it would all be down to what the stopwatch said. Before the groups swapped and we tackled the track as the others tried the auto-test, there was time for a light lunch interspersed with plenty of bravado – mainly from the men in the group. Alongside the chance to compare notes and size each other up, we were also able to check out some of the other models in the Lotus family, including the much-awaited Evora. The one on show was actually the Silverstone demonstrator and it was a welcome distraction from the butterflies that were slowly building in anticipation of the much higher speed track practice, that was still to come. After a quick briefing I was chosen to take to the track first. The first thing that you notice once you’re on the circuit is just how wide it is – and it’s then that you appreciate just how fast the Grand Prix guys are going to need its entire width.
Soon it was my turn to emulate Lewis Hamilton’s driving prowess and with a professional race instructor at my side (feeding instructions at an incredible rate) I felt fairly comfortable. That is until I realised that the first lap was a slow one just to familiarise myself with the track layout... On the first flying lap, the pace picked up dramatically. This was definitely a progressive learning curve. As I took more and more speed into each corner, finding the right line and hitting the apex to get the best exit I realised just how capable the Exige really is. And how forgiving. Thanks to its light weight and even balance, it really does flatter the fast amateur driver. There were a couple of times where I lost concentration momentarily; in some of the other supercars that I’ve driven I would surely have been facing backwards or, worse, been buried in the barriers – in the Exige I found myself pushing on. After five more laps (and despite feeling that I’d really started to get the hang of it), it was time for me to come in. I’m sure they’ve worked out that this is near enough the point where confidence and ego start to take over. Now that everyone had been out, it was time to find out who had the goods and who didn’t. I knew from the idle banter earlier that a couple of our readers had some previous track experience, but deep down I was feeling confident! There was definitely some tension in the air as Oliver, our host from Lotus Silverstone, prepared to read out the results. It started to look good, I wasn’t last. In fact, my time had placed me third, slightly disappointing but respectable enough I thought. I could hold my head up... until Oliver then decided to tell everyone that in my efforts to get the best time, I had actually hit one of the cones. That automatically resulted in a 10 second penalty and put me just short of dead last. It was only a graze, honest. With this in mind I’m already preparing my comeback and I’m looking for challengers. We’ll be running another track event in the next 4-6 weeks, and if you want to join us just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your name, company and a contact phone number. n Good luck.
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MISSING THE TARGET Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, says Matthew Carter, itâ€™s the X-Bow, a car for the exhibitionist in us all
here are many ways of drawing attention to yourself – travelling naked on the Tube, for example, would do it. But trundling around the M25 in a bright orange KTM X-Bow is a pretty effective alternative. Looking something like a prop from an ‘Alien’ movie, the KTM is one of those rare machines that always has a clear road ahead of it; when drivers see it in their rear-view mirror they automatically move over to let it pass, better to see what on earth it is. And that’s a good question. KTM is an Austrian firm best known for making bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles. The X-Bow (say it “Crossbow”) is their first attempt at a car, but given the company’s motorcycle background it’s perhaps not so surprising that they forgot a number of important elements when designing the thing – features such as doors, windscreen, a roof. The X-Bow is a sort of grown-up kart. Getting in to the driver’s seat is an art in its own right. First you remove the steering wheel (a £968 option), then clamber over the sidepod before standing on the seat and gradually lowering yourself into position. Then you have to get out again in order to retrieve the steering wheel from where you left it… The seat itself is fixed, so to find the perfect driving position you adjust the steering wheel and the pedal box. Given its total lack of weather or wind proofing, this is not a car to drive in short sleeves and sunglasses. As the adverts say, ‘Think Bike!’ A set of bike waterproofs is de rigueur as is a crash helmet. If it rains, you and the car get wet, but given that the interior is entirely plastic (and KTM itself says you can hose down the interior if it gets dirty), that’s not a problem. The X-Bow, then, is not like ordinary cars. In fact, it’s a track day special, a lightweight, mid-engined two-seater with absolutely no concessions to creature comforts. It’s made from a combination of aluminium composite, fibreglass and carbon-kevlar composite materials with bodywork designed for maximum downforce. There are no weighty driver aids – no power steering, no servo assistance for the brakes, no electronic traction control – but none are needed, given that its natural habitat is the race track. Power comes from nothing more exotic than a 240bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged Audi engine – just like the one in an A3 – but in something that weighs next to nothing it’s more than enough. Besides, the KTM is not about top speed, but about acceleration and the way the car goes around bends. The combination of race-tuned suspension and high levels of downforce mean the X-Bow is formidably fast around the race track. So what am I doing on the M25? Simple. The X-Bow is road legal so you can drive to your tracks days, and I’m checking it out as a road car. And to be brutal, once the initial euphoria has died down, it’s not that much fun. I first realise something’s up when I can’t read the matrix signs on the motorway – the entire warning sign is literally a blur. And that’s a direct result of the lack of a windscreen.
It’s not the rain that’ll get you when driving the X-Bow, but the buffeting of the wind. Up to 70mph, the wind is battering your helmet left and right as if it were an angry Mike Tyson. Over 70mph and it starts trying to rip the helmet off. Little wonder double vision comes as standard. There’s one other major problem with this particular KTM on the motorway; it’s a left hooker and it’s damn near impossible to see what’s coming up on the outside thanks to non-existent over-the-shoulder visibility and rear-view mirrors that vibrate in the breeze. Thankfully, UK-bound KTMs are available in right-hand drive. Best to get off the motorway, then… And on a good, well-surfaced, British B-road the KTM at last starts to make a little more sense. It’s a car that appeals to the senses and there’s no question that it’s a serious piece of
kit. The soundtrack appeals, mainly thanks to the addition of £1,400-worth of sports exhaust, but the way it grips is near unbelievable. This is matched by steering so direct that you just will it through the corners and although you can feel every surface change and every lump and bump in the tarmac through the seat of your pants, the ride itself is remarkably compliant. The only thing to remember is that it’s better to watch the road ahead than be mesmerised by watching the wheels turning or the exposed front suspension at work. It’s also beautifully made. Constructed using racecar principles – and there is a racing series for the car – it feels notably safe within the cockpit despite being so exposed. So would I buy one? Not a chance. For starters it’s not cheap. The base X-Bow Street will set you back just under £50K while the test car was £54K with a few bits added on. The road legal Superlight
version, meanwhile, is more than £79K. But it goes deeper than that. At speed (whether on road or on track), the battering you get from the wind turns what should be an exhilarating drive into an ordeal. Currently the car comes with a see-through wind deflector that’s just 70mm tall. Surely it would be possible to increase that to deflect the airstream over the driver’s head with out spoiling the look of the beast? No, if I was looking for a track car, my money would head in the direction of a Caterham 7 or, if I fancied a roof over my head, a Lotus Elise SC or Exige. And if I bought one second-hand, I’d have enough money left over for a half-decent road car, something like a VW Scirocco perhaps. Besides, as any naked tube rider knows, sometimes you don’t want to draw attention to yourself. n For details of KTM’s UK sales outlets go to www.ktm-x-bow.com
SUNNY SIDE UP Fiat has a huge hit on its hands with the new 500C, reckons Matthew Carter. And never mind that it’s not really a full convertible…
don’t know about you, but I reckon £3,000 sounds rather a lot to pay for a sunroof. That’s the premium Fiat wants to turn the chic 500 into the 500C. For while they’d have you believe the C stands for convertible; in truth the soft-top element of the new baby Fiat is little more than a fulllength sunroof. But you know what? It really doesn’t matter. Such is the appeal of the 500C that most buyers won’t even stop to consider such things. Back in the very beginning – well, 1957 – the first modern incarnation of the Fiat 500 had a fabric roof that folded down on top of its engine lid. In creating the latest interpretation of the 500, Fiat has moved the engine to the front of the car, but in other respects the detail design of today’s 500 is faithful to the original. So as far as the 500C is concerned, that means a full-length fabric roof that slots in between the roof rails and side pillars. What’s more, it works. By keeping the sides of the roof in place, Fiat’s baby is stiffer than many convertibles and that, in turn, leads to less body shake over rough ground and less buffeting from the wind when the roof is down. For a car that’s going to spend most of its life buzzing around the city, it’s the perfect solution. The roof itself is an excellent piece of design. It’s fully lined and comes in three colour choices – ivory, red or black to contrast with the body colour. Operated electrically, it can be opened or closed on the move (up to 37mph) and has three settings: halfway as a conventional sunroof; to the ‘spoiler’ position, which keeps the glass rear window in place; or fully retracted. It can also be operated via the key fob, so you can lower the hood as you walk back to where you parked it. The quality of the hood is matched by the quality of the rest of the car. Fiats have come
a long way in the past few years and the 500C stands scrutiny alongside much more expensive machines. As does the ride and handling; at launch, the ride in the 500 was too bouncy and the steering lifeless - problems that did not affect the Ford Ka which is, effectively, a Fiat 500 in drag. Ford engineers transformed their version by adding a rear anti-roll bar and tinkering with suspension settings… and now Fiat has done the same. The changes are more than worthwhile and will appear on the saloon in the near future. As with the hatchback, there are three engine options in the 500C: 1.2 and 1.4 petrol and a 1.3 diesel. The diesel’s a bit gruff so unless huge annual mileages will be covered, petrol is the way to go. The 1.2 is sweeter and just perfect for the city, but the 1.4 makes life more comfortable on a longer journey. And there are two basic versions, the oddly named Pop or Lounge. Both get electric windows, power steering, seven airbags and the roof. They also get air conditioning, which is an extra on the equivalent hatch so the £3,000 premium for the convertible isn’t quite so steep after all. A £1,400 upgrade for the Lounge represents excellent value for money as it adds alloy wheels, climate control, rear parking sensors, ESP, a leather steering wheel and Fiat’s excellent Blue&Me hands-free system with Bluetooth for the phone, voice recognition and a USB port for the iPod. There’s also a great palette of colours to choose from, with some of the coolest names in the business… how about Cha Cha Cha Azure, Funk White, Electroclash Grey or Goth-Metal Blue? Problems? Just a couple. It’s a small city car so don’t expect to find a huge boot or space in the back for two burly rugby
players: the rear seats are child-sized. And when the roof is down and the sun is shining, you can’t read the digital dials on the speedo, while the folded roof will be all you can see in the rear view mirror. But those are easy enough problems to live with (as is the price).The range starts at £11,300 for the 1.2 Pop, but my choice would be the 1.4 Lounge at £13,905.Three grand for a sunroof?Yes, but what a sunroof. n
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friend of mine drives a Jaguar XJ. He adores the car in all but one respect. He loves the ride, the performance and the handling. He loves its presence and the fact that it’s a Jaguar. But he hates the fact that the rest of the world thinks it’s an old man’s car. Thing is, it is an old man’s car. The styling hasn’t moved on from the first of the breed – and that was launched in 1968. But that’s all about to change. Led by design director Ian Callum, Jaguar’s team have finally created an XJ for the 21st Century. It combines daring modernity and desirability yet remains a Jaguar at heart. Forgive the jingoistic remark, but at last Britain has a car to worry the German top brass. The new XJ couldn’t have happened without the XF, and shares some design cues with the strong selling mid-range Jag. But the XJ pushes the design envelope still further; as Callum says, “The older I get, the bigger the risks I want to take.” While the grille is reminiscent of the XF’s, it’s bigger and bolder on the XJ, while the ‘raptor-like eyes’ of the headlights are narrower and more sinister. The side view combines four doors with a coupe profile, while the roof is a panoramic glass panel. Perhaps the most controversial element is the rear with its upright rear lights and the darkened C-pillar designed to create the illusion of a wider rear screen. Looks odd in pictures but works well on the real thing. The interior, meanwhile, is a work of art combining traditional wood ‘n’ leather with state-of-the-art electronic displays. There’ll be three engine options – 3.0-litre diesel plus two 5.0-litre V8 petrols in normally aspirated and supercharged forms – with prices starting at £52,500 and rising to £88,000 for the long wheelbase supercharged Supersport. Deliveries start next January. My friend has placed an order and feels 20 years younger already. n
JAG GETS RADICAL
GOL FING Josh Sims explores the environmental impact of the golf course
t’s no wonder a lot of people see golf courses as ‘green desert’,” says Tom Gillespie, owner of Brighouse Golf Club course in Dumfries and Galloway, winner of the BIGGA (British and International Golf Greenkeepers’ Association) Golf Environment Award. “It’s gross negligence not to enhance a course’s capacity for wildlife and to introduce sound environmental policies.” Indeed, in many ways the award flies in the face of public perception of golf courses as developments that flatten vast tracts of land and then micro-manage the area purely for the benefit of a game. It’s certainly true that historically, golf course management has deserved this reputation. Critics have complained that the proliferation of course building brings about a loss of bio-diversity and has a negative visual impact on the landscape – the number of courses in Europe increased by 80 per cent during the 1990s, and with golf the world’s most popular sport, the demand for more golf courses is only set to increase. There are ongoing perceived problems too as a result of day to day care. With drinkable water becoming as rare as oil in some parts of the world, here is a sport that soaks up over 476 billion gallons every year in the US alone, just to keep greens looking verdant. Then there has been the widespread use of chemicals to hamper inconvenient growth – chemicals that might run into local water courses and damage the food chain from the bottom up. The true picture in the UK, however, is less like the public image. “Golf courses have been seen as a very negative use of land,” concedes Bob Taylor, senior ecologist at the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI), an independent body that advises Open Championship venues on environmental sensitivities of courses. “Historically courses are there for the few, and the masses often can’t even get onto them to walk the dog. That experience has skewed perception. People don’t get the opportunity to experience their ecological benefits.” Ecological benefits? Recent years have seen golf courses – between them accounting for a massive 160,000 hectares of land in the UK – clean up their acts. Over watering, it has been discovered, actually encourages the growth
of grass types that can slow the run of the ball, so most watering on progressive courses is designed to replace only that lost through evaporation. Chemicals, similarly, where they are used, tend to be focused on the greens, which account for less than 10 per cent of the average course area. “It still remains important that the golf community gets the message across because courses are generally still not perceived as a positive form of land management,” says Steve Isaacs, assistant director for golf course management for the Royal & Ancient, golf’s spiritual home. “Part of the problem is that a lot of golfers, to be honest, aren’t that bothered. They take the birdsong for granted.” Indeed, half of most courses are left to nature, creating a valuable natural habitat that quite possibly wasn’t there before.
Half of most courses are left to nature, creatIng a valuable natural HabItat tHat quIte possIbly wasn’t tHere before. Over 100 courses across the UK have areas designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest which can’t be touched. The 3,000 or so courses across the UK also represent every type of landscape, from marsh to woodland to coastal scrub, such that, “many courses are effectively nature reserves,” says Taylor. He cites the prestigious Royal St. George in Kent – the only place in the UK where you will find the lizard orchid or the brightwave moth. The UK’s courses create connectivity throughout the countryside that provides
vital corridors for migration for species when their other habitats are lost. “There are not enough official nature reserves to safeguard more than a fraction of the wildlife we have,” says Taylor. “Golf courses are essential for wildlife. Course managers are no longer managing for golf only.” Recent advances have included the use of more drought-tolerant turf-grass species, improved targeting of irrigation to cut back wastage and utilising alternative water sources, by storing rain water for use during summer for instance, diverting run-off from buildings and car parks or recycling water from the club amenities. Sophisticated weather monitoring systems ensure courses are not watered right before it rains while some courses are providing an important means of disposing of cities’ effluent water. High-residue worm killers have been banned by law since the 1990s and natural alternatives to keeping them away from the surface explored, including the use of curry powder. And while golf courses use only a tiny fraction of the chemicals used in agriculture, chemical use is being further curtailed at many clubs by advanced turf management. “That said, cutting out chemical use altogether is very difficult,” adds Gillespie. “Absolute minimum should be used but it is necessary to combat weeds and worncasting – when you have £750,000 riding on a single putt, you can’t have it disrupted by a worm cast.” It is getting the environmental message across that remains the challenge, both to make club management and their greenkeepers more environmentally-aware, as well as the local authorities who are increasingly refusing planning permission for courses without an environmental plan of action. “There is a creeping ‘Americanisation’ in golf management, that idea that all fairways should look as perfect as they do at Augusta and that needs to be resisted,” says the STRI’s Taylor. “It’s harder to get that message to the golfers themselves – especially the kind that, when you’re making an area of the course fit for butterflies, quips whether the butterflies are going to play golf.We’ve got to get to them involved to make the full positive environmental benefit of golf courses work.” n
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A HERCULEAN TASK Lawrence Barretto takes a look at the super-athletes who will be competing in next month’s Triathlon World Championship Grand Final down under
ack in 1974, a group of friends began training together in Mission Bay, South California. Many of them were runners, others swimmers and some cyclists and it wasn’t long before their competitive nature got the better of them with training sessions transforming into informal races. This inspired duo Jack Johnstone and Don Shanahan to come up with the idea of a triathlon – combining all three disciplines together to form a truly Herculean task. So on 25 September 1974, the world’s first triathlon was held in Mission Bay where 46 competitors tackled a 10km run, 8km cycle and 500m swim. The winner was the fastest man or woman to cross the line, without stopping in between each event. Since then, the sport has grown exponentially, winning an inaugural place in the Olympic Games in 2000, and it’s been there ever since. The event has evolved too, with distances varying to cater for the masses. There’s a lighter version called the Super Sprint for beginners involving a 400m swim, 10km cycle and 2.5k run increasing up to a gruelling Ironman Triathlon
demanding a 3.8km swim, 180km cycling, and 42.2km run – the equivalent of a full marathon – just to finish you off. THE SPORT After a mass start, the race remains continuous, with no stops between the three legs making changeovers or transitions vital to race strategy. The event kicks off with an open-water swim followed by a punishing bike ride and gruelling run to the finish. Each individual event requires the skill and tactics equal to elite swimmers, cyclists and runners who only have one sport to concentrate on. Women are expected to finish in just over two hours, with men requiring about an hour and 50 minutes. Today, triathlon clubs are springing up in almost every major city and thousands of races being held every year across the globe. THE EVENT Next month, one of the most prestigious and important events on the road to London
2012 takes places on Australia’s Gold Coast – the inaugural Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series Grand Final. This year, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) introduced a new competitive series consisting of seven first-class triathlon events, culminating in a Grand Final with $3 million in prize money up for grabs. The competitors will pick up points in each event, which uses the Olympic distance of 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and 10km run, in order to qualify for the Grand Final which runs from 9-13 September. THE COMPETITORS Luckily for Britain, our triathletes look to be improving for the big one in 2012. Not only do we have the reigning women’s world champion in Helen Jenkins (nee Tucker) but also the star male performer of this year’s inaugural World Championship Series, Alistair Brownlee who is battling with
Spain’s Javier Gomez for the title of world number one. Jenkins, 25 has been impressive this season, showing no signs of trouble with her Achilles tendon which has caused her problems in the past. Her biggest competition will come in the form of Aussies Emma Moffatt and Emma Snowsill who have been the standout two this season. Meanwhile, Brownlee, 21, seems like a man possessed as he utterly dominated the World Championship series this year despite his limited experience in big time competitions. The quietly spoken Yorkshire man has been a breath of fresh air on the tour, taking the challenge to his rivals with some blistering attacks on the bike and running legs and will be the one to watch in the men’s event. n For more information on the Dextro Energy Triathlon – ITU World Championship Series Grand Final, visit www.worldtriathlongoldcoast.com
Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey)
WHAT’S ALL THE FUSS ABOUT?
Lawrence Barretto flies to Dallas Fort Worth to experience the thrills and spills of America’s most popular motorsport
ASCAR is somewhat of a foreign language on our shores, but for over 75 million Americans, the blindingly quick, action-packed stock car racing series is quite simply a way of life. For the thirteenth consecutive year and second time in 2009, the series will return to the lone star state of Texas and the metropolitan city of Fort Worth for round 34 of the championship at the Texas Motor Speedway this November. Fans from across the country will descend on the circuit in their motor-homes for three days of camping, BBQs, drinking, meeting their heroes and watching some bumper to bumper racing. What better way to spend your weekend
away from the stresses of daily life and the misery of the recession? Whether it be a certain car manufacturer such as Chevrolet or Toyota, a particular sponsor like Old Spice or Lowes Hardware store, the colour of the car or simply the driver’s charisma and style, every fan has their favourite who they’ll support through thick and thin. Here in the UK, we might buy the team shirt of our favourite football team – but for a NASCAR fan, they’ll have the cap, shirt, jacket, shoes, sunglasses, flag, quilt cover, cool box, sun visor, tattoo – you name it, they’ve got it. Perhaps the secret to the sport’s popularity is the access to drivers. “I think the accessibility of the drivers to the fans has made the sport
Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota (Photo by Robert Laberge)
very popular. They can buy passes which let them into the ‘Garage’ area where the drivers are more accessible,” said Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Racing car. “Also, I think the cars, although over the years have gone away from looking like what a street car looks like, are still a lot closer than say a Formula one car, so I think people can relate the racing to their own machine.”
2008/09 Getty Images
What is NasCaR? Nearly ever week of the year, drivers pitch up at a race track somewhere in America with a 5.9 litre V8 engine beast that’s stripped of all the fancy technology that you see in Formula 1, putting the emphasis on the driver’s ability and delivering some outstandingly close racing. For 500 laps and over two and a half hours, drivers will have to maintain concentration as they weave their way around a 1.5 mile oval, overtaking on nearly every corner while travelling at over 200mph and trying desperately to avoid hitting the large concrete wall that surrounds the circuit. “NASCAR has implemented a lot of restrictions on the cars development which has kept the sport extremely competitive but made the racing very exciting,” said Vickers. “You get a lot of lead changes, a lot of excitement and plenty of door to door racing. We still have bumpers, and we use them!” the ChampioNship NASCAR is split into two main championships – the Sprint Cup which is the equivalent of Formula 1 and the headline event of the weekend and the Nationwide Cup which is a secondary, low cost but equally exciting formula. Each championship runs 43 drivers who race bumper-to-bumper for over 500 laps of an oval circuit, as they vie for a spot in Victory Circle at the end of the race. And with the field rarely separated by more than a few inches, accidents and ‘wrecks’, as they’re called, are common. “After a race, there won’t be two inches without a scratch but that’s just another day at the racetrack,” said #42 driver Juan Pablo Montoya who made the move from Formula One across the pond to race for the Earnhardt Ganassi Racing team two years ago. Every time there’s a spin, an accident or a piece of debris littering the race track, a caution is called across the whole race track instructing everyone to slow down. The drivers often use this opportunity to pit, adding yet more excitement and lead changes to the race. “You could be leading coming in and then have a bad pit stop or you get blocked in and you come out 15th,” said Montoya, and it’s not uncommon to see maybe seven or eight stops in one race, with some drivers coming in lap after lap until they’ve got a step up change correct. On the surface, it looks like all NASCAR drivers do is turn the steering wheel to the left four times around an oval, but it’s more of a challenge than you may think. With no computer data allowed at the race track, drivers need to describe problems with the car to their mechanics, and then pit to try out the changes. Tougher still, because they can’t see out of their windows either side, each driver has a ‘spotter’ who stands at the top of the grandstand with a pair of binoculars and commentates to the driver on their position in relation to their rivals putting more pressure on a driver’s reactions and decision making.
the DRiveRs Despite a lack of British interest on the driver front, the championship is full of colourful characters who enjoy huge followings across America. The firm favourite is Dale Earnhardt Jr, the #88 AMP Energy/National Guard Chevrolet driver, who despite his lack of competitiveness in recent years, is mobbed literally everywhere he goes. Then there is the former champion Jeff Gordon, perhaps the most famous name outside of the USA, who runs his own #24 team and the current champion Jimmie Johnson as the next two most popular drivers. All three are in their thirties and potentially at the peak of their careers, but in NASCAR, there is no age limit. Mark Martin, who turned 50 earlier this year, has rolled back the years to savour victory on numerous occasions this year while Morgan Shepherd, 67, has put off cashing in his pension to run and race his own team in the Nationwide series. “I still love to get into a race car,” said Shepherd. “I love the adrenalin of the competition, and trying to beat the next man with what you’ve got.We know we don’t have a full blown team but we take what we’ve got and we outrun teams that have got big sponsors and it’s got money.”
the people’s RaCe Lastly, and perhaps the greatest thing about the series is that anyone can technically enter a NASCAR race. All you have to do is build a car to meet the regulations, and you can pitch up at the circuit on qualifying day and attempt to qualify. The top 36 drivers in the championship get through automatically, leaving seven places available to independent or factory based entries. Without an elitist tag, it’s no wonder NASCAR is so popular across the pond. n For more information on the NASCAR championship, visit www.nascar.com
GADGETS JAMIE CARTER checks out this month’s technological offerings
MADE IN BRITAIN
Grab an iPod dock or digital clock radio for £50 and you’re likely to be disappointed with the flimsiness of the sound. For the real deal, head for this luscious R2i Tabletop Stereo from British brand Vita Audio. A universal iPod dock, DAB radio tuner and even DAB+ tuner prove the R2i’s future-proof credentials, but it’s this brand’s nicely solid and effortlessly simple, illuminated RotoDial that makes it such a cinch to use. Its unusually high 20W output is enough for any study or bedroom, while its classy Rich Walnut, Dream White or Midnight Black veneer lends an extra touch of class. Vita Audio R2i Tabletop Stereo £279.99-£299.99 www.vitaaudio.com
SETTING THE STANDARD
Luxury brand Marantz is promising the last word in Blu-ray playback from its upcoming UD9004 – and as a deck costing £5,500 it should do! Also capable of upscaling DVDs and playing music from Super Audio CDs using cutting-edge circuitry, the UD9004 is designed to be a no-holds-barred reference product for both hi-def pictures and sound, uniquely using separate HDMI outputs for each. Marantz UD9004 Blu-ray player £5,500 www.marantz.co.uk
SHOWING SOME ENTERPRISE
Those of us still wondering why we’re not yet wearing Star Trek-style ‘comm’ badges on our chests should take heart from Orange’s ‘Future Phones’ promotion. The mobile network will be unleashing at least three exclusive phones this year that break the mould, starting with this touchscreen watch phone from LG. Featuring a Bluetooth headset, built-in speaker and a touchscreen interface, this handcrafted 3G video phone is only available for a limited time. LG GD910 Touchscreen Watch Phone £TBC www.orange.co.uk
Fancy an invisible HD Ready TV in your bathroom à la luxury hotels and spas? Aquavision’s water and steam-proof TVs can be tailor-made to fit any space using either a standard LCD screen, or a mirrored glass finish – rendering it almost completely invisible. The sizes range from 10-inch to 40-inch, which can also be fitted together to make an entire mirrored TV wall. Aquavision Bespoke Waterproof TVs 10-40inch £TBC www.aquavision.co.uk
Could Ultra Wideband be about to change the way we share information? The new technology – essentially a faster version of Bluetooth or WiFi – has found its first use in a ‘PSD’, or ‘personal sharing device’. Available in black, grey and pink, Leyio’s PSD can send digital content (photos, mp3s, movies, business cards, business files and web links) to another Leyio device with just a flick of the wrist. Protected by a fingerprint scanner, the PSD has a 16GB Flash memory, and uses a slot for a USB stick to ‘shuttle’ files to almost any other device. Leyio Personal Sharing Device £129 www.expansys.com
Another slice of space-age thinking comes from AQUiVO, which has borrowed tech used in NASA’s Space Shuttle for its outdoor LCD TVs. A special resin used inside the screens kills reflections and means they’re completely visible even in direct sunlight, as well as being dust and water-proof. Accompanied by a waterproof remote and available in 32-inch and 42-inch models, these outdoor screens could come in handy with the World Cup now just a football season away. AQUiVO 32-inch/42-inch sunlight readable screens £3,500-£4,600 www.aquivo.co.uk
Though they’re significantly cheaper than last year’s crop, Apple is promising 40 per cent longer battery life on its latest MacBook Pro laptops. Lasting as much as eight hours on one charge, these 13-inch, 15-inch and 17-inch laptops have a glass ‘Multi-Touch’ trackpad built into the all-in-one aluminum body.To achieve their innate slimness a conventional CD/DVD drive has been dumped, replaced by a card slot that can handle SD cards and others. Apple MacBook Pro laptop £899-£1,849 www.apple.com
Various gadgets that help you spray digital media around the home are available for pounds, but they’re a world away from a true multi-room audio and video server. Capable of pushing Full HD video around your home while it simultaneously sends music to two other rooms, Living Control’s new Studio3 MediaServer is one of the best value around. It uniquely supports digital media files such as AVI, MP4, Quicktime HD, DivX and H.264 files, but best of all the Studio3’s dynamic and gorgeous interface can be controlled direct from an app on your iPhone. Living Control Studio3 £4,995 www.livingcontrol.com
NO STRINGS ATTACHED
Another British company, Cello Electronics, has launched the first HD Ready TVs that can record Freeview programmes to an SD card – meaning anything you record can be watched on a computer. Using the same cards as most cameras, Cello’s new 22in, 26in and 32in LCD TVs – which will be also be sold under the Soundwave brand – each have two SD card slots for recording two programmes simultaneously, and even a built-in DVD player. Cello Electronics LCD TVs w/SD card recording £399.99-£469.99 www.celloelectronics.com
After years of ugly glass shelves and metal poles, the humble TV table is moving into the twenty-first century. Chumming-up with design gurus Studio Conran, Alphason has put together this range of Contemporary Natural Studio furniture designed as much for its looks as its ability to hide home entertainment equipment and discs. Using deep grain wood and satin white door and drawer fronts, the CNS AV1500 has a real wood veneer in a choice of oak, cherry or walnut. Alphason Conran CNS-AV1500 £999 www.alphasondesigns.com
LET ME ENTERTAIN YOU Ahead of his West End comeback, Brian Conley – one of Britain’s best loved entertainers – talks to Kaye Holland about weight gain, waxing and why Hairspray is a tonic for our times
rian Conley is easy to like. A human whisky in a world full of weak lager men, the man is remarkably cooperative and willing to give this interview the same effort and energy he puts into his musical labours. He has a new project to promote (Brian has landed the plum role of larger than life Edna Turnblad in Hairspray), which is why our conversation is taking place. Nonetheless there are no awkward moments. Sharp, funny, great company and in possession of levels of charisma that border on super-human, Brian has not so much kissed the blarney stone as eaten it. By his own admission, the 47 year old Londoner was “born to be in showbiz.” Since his schooldays when he used humour to combat his dyslexia, Brian has “been making people laugh. I don’t regret being dyslexic because it has made me what I am. Being in the remedial class at school – back then dyslexia wasn’t recognised – made me put all my eggs in one basket and concentrate on making it.” Brian started out as a telly warm up man for Terry Wogan, Noel Edmonds and the late Kenny Everett before proving his talent as an all round entertainer; Conley’s career has taken in comedy, acting, singing, dancing and presenting both in the theatre and on television and film (most recently Equilibrium with Christian Bale).Yet its theatre he favours: “I love live. I do like telly but you can’t beat a real top show with a live orchestra.You don’t earn an awful lot of money, but what you get out of it is professionalism that’s second to none.” No one trick pony, Brian’s CV boasts a healthy balance of roles from Dangerous Brian, Nick “it’s a puppet” Frisby and Harold Hill from Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man. But it was his star turn eleven years ago in the Olivier award winning musical, Jolson, of which he is justifiably most
proud. “It really was a huge turning point in my career,” he says. “I had been put in a box as an entertainer rather than a serious heavyweight actor, but Jolson made everyone sit up and say ‘there’s more to this guy than we thought’”. As will his new role as an 18 stone woman from Baltimore in hit musical Hairspray. “Wearing a dress and heels every night and being married to Nigel Planer wasn’t something I expected to be doing and in front of thousands of people,” laughs Conley. Certainly his commitment to the project isn’t in doubt and there’s no knocking the sacrifices he has made for the show. “I’ve had to wax my chest and shave my sideburns – which I really miss – but it’s the eyelashes that get me; it’s like wearing boxing gloves on your eyes. However I have had the wonderful bonus of being told to eat as much as I want to fill the fat suit.” Like his alter ego, Brian loves his food, “I’m an easy touch with curry – although for the amount I’m eating I’m surprised I haven’t put on more weight.” Conley is clearly delighted with the role: “It’s a great show that has comedy, songs and a young cast that oozes energy.You come out with a huge smile on your face which is what it’s all about.” Brian will be appearing in Hairspray until December when he will make his annual pilgrimage into panto-land but hopes “fingers crossed, I will come back.” “If I have a couple of weeks off, I get itchy and at a party I am the person who will break the ice and make sure everyone has a good time. I need to entertain.” n
C A NARY WHA RF art sculpture in the workplace Student Art in One CAnAdA SquAre
An exhibition is underway in One Canada Square showcasing student art from the University of East London’s School of Architecture and the Visual Arts. The exhibition, called ONE15, is by 15 MA in Fine Art students with much of the artwork made especially for the exhibition. It is the fourth time in the past eight years that Canary Wharf has exhibited work from one of London’s foremost art schools as part of its Sculpture in theWorkplace programme.
windOw gAllerieS A showcase for up-and-coming artists, designers and crafts people in Cabot Place East and Canada Place Retail Malls. 2 – 28 AuguSt Jarah Stoop A distinctive set of accessories is offered by Jarah Stoop, using a diverse range of materials such as wood, leather, metal and ceramics. Her signature works are bold colours and exquisite detailing. David Piddock David Piddock blends fact and fiction inspired by street art and the ‘Old Masters’ to depict mysterious urban landscapes. He shows two paintings with a Canary Wharf setting.
Some of the more intriguing art works include Flies, by Heather Langford, which consists of over thirty 30cm-long clear plastic house flies on the glass of the lobby and Cracked Earth by Elisabeth Bond, who has created huge woodcuts printed onto paper, drawing inspiration from the mudflats at East India Dock near Canary Wharf.
arts and I am continually impressed by the quality and creativity of young and lessestablished artists working locally.”
Sally Williams, Public Art Consultant at Canary Wharf Group said “East London is developing as a centre for culture and the
The exhibition is free and runs until 21 August 2009. Most of the art works on display are for sale.
The CommuniTy Gallery
Situated in Canada Place Mall, the community gallery is devoted to work produced by local art projects.
1 July – 31 august Stitches in Time Limehouse is the home to Stitches in Time, a voluntary organisation that creates inspiring work with the local community through textiles. It also offers practice space for artists. In the past year it has carried out 13 projects involving over 600 local residents, who produced over 500 items.
ArtScene by CAROL CORDREY - firstname.lastname@example.org
START A COLLECTION Art is still a safe bet in uncertain economic climates
Clockwise from above: Study of the Racehorse, Crytical; Reclining Negress; Summer; The Weir; The Dressing Room; SAC Queue 2008
onsidering the eye-watering prices of art throughout the past decade, it is easy to feel that you have to be rich to be an art collector. The truth is that many people had to begin collecting on tight budgets so they bought modest works, such as drawings, limited edition prints, small scale paintings or maquettes by well known artists or unfashionable ones. Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, for example, started collecting Victorian art in the 1960s when it was out of favour and, therefore, affordable to him as an aspiring composer. These days his collection ranks as one of the finest and most valuable in the world! The current economic situation may seem an unlikely time for me to be encouraging you to spend your hard-earned money on collecting art but there are two excellent reasons for doing so: Firstly, the timeless rule of “supply-and-demand” means that there are great bargains to be found; secondly, buying a piece of art is exciting, and with all the present political and financial gloom, everyone needs their spirits lifting right now. The question is, where to start? One answer is Messum’s. For the past six years this highly respected and long established London gallery has been encouraging new buyers to feel confident about art through
its annual, three day event appropriately named, Start a Collection. It takes place this month and over 100 works from the gallery’s existing stock will be put on sale at heavily discounted prices ranging from £20-£14,500. After the sale, they revert to their original prices. You can take a look at the art from 31st July when the catalogue goes online but a word or two of advice: There will be work by some renowned names so serious collectors will be quick to spot them too! Also, anyone can reserve the art online but for the first half hour of the opening day only – from 8.00am on Thursday, 20th August - priority will be given to buyers in the actual gallery. Last year, a buyer from Nottingham was first in the queue at 3.00am to ensure he could get his hands on a piece by the late Sir Terry Frost RA! Here is a small selection of the bargains on offer but remember that the whole point of this sale is for you to take an enjoyable plunge into buying the art you like, safe in the knowledge that Messum’s is offering genuine discounts on work by very good quality artists. Sir Jacob Epstein was famed for his sculpture but he was an occasional painter and illustrator too. His many public commissions included a monumental bronze group for Coventry Cathedral (1958). His pencil drawing, Reclining Negress, is reduced from £8,850 to £3,850. Evocative, beautifully painted, uncluttered beach and architectural images dominated by intensely blue skies were the hallmark of the late John Miller. His Greek scene is reduced from £5,850 to £1,250. Sculptor and graphic artist, Dame Elisabeth Frink, produced the bronze, life-sized Horse and Rider in London’s Piccadilly among her numerous public and private commissions. Her pencil drawing of a reclining horse is reduced from £19,850 to £8,500. From childhood, Lucy Kemp-Welch sketched and painted wild ponies in the New Forest and throughout her long artistic life she became masterly at capturing the individuality and sensitivity of horses. Study of the Racehorse, Cryptical is reduced from £9,850 to £3,850.
Dame Laura Knight RA was a highly popular painter of realistic, colourful circus and ballet scenes before being appointed an Official War Artist during the Second World War. The Dressing Room is reduced from £38,500 to £14,500. Julian Trevelyan RA was a distinguished painter and printmaker who influenced
students such as David Hockney and Ron Kitaj during his role as Head of Etching at the Royal College of Art. TheWeir 1963 is reduced from £16,850 to £5,850. One final word of advice: Wear comfortable shoes and take an umbrella; Messum’s will do the rest and that includes providing the essential coffee! n
Start a Collection Messum’s 8 Cork Street London W1S 3LJ 20 August 8am-7pm, 21 August 9am-6pm, 22 August 10am-5pm. Catalogue online from 31 July www.startacollection.com Tel: 020 7437 5545
THE DECLINE OF BRITISH PUBS Kelly Green laments the decline of the traditional English watering hole
t the end of a long and tiring day, invitations for after-work drinks reverberate around the streets and offices of the City, conjuring up a sudden thirst for pint-sized refreshments. In the past, hearing the quintessentially British phrase, “Fancy a pint?” would have generated expectations of meeting with friends and colleagues amidst the cosy setting of the Great British pub. Long regarded as a beacon of ‘Britishness’, the pub has been loved for centuries for being a place to relax and unwind with a cold beverage in hand, in surroundings not too dissimilar to your own front room. Today, however, it seems that the modern consumer is expecting more than just traditional pub charm, and the suggestion of a post-work beverage no longer lures us straight to the beloved British local, but instead into any one of the stylish cocktail bars, gastro-pub chains, or sophisticated wine bars that line the streets of the City. As a result, the British pub is finding
itself unable to compete with these new demands, and every day five or six pubs are calling last orders for the final time. The Great British pub has formed a unique part of our country’s heritage since the eleventh century, and has played a vital role in communities across Britain by providing a supervised environment for responsible alcohol consumption. This year, the importance of the pub was acknowledged when the ‘Great English Pub’ industry (which together with the brewing industry contributes approximately £28bn a year to the UK economy), was awarded VisitEngland’s Enjoy England Excellence Award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism. This award recognised the integral part pubs play in the fabric of English life, and the opportunity they provide for domestic and international visitors to meet local people and enjoy local foods and drink. Yet despite this, there is currently an average of 36 pubs a week shutting down – a glum statistic when compared with two a week in 2005. Disappearing along with the pub is our national beverage, beer, with total beer sales in pubs down to their lowest level
in almost 40 years, a level equivalent to that of the Great Depression of the 1930s. One of the main reasons for this decline in beer sales is the fact that beer duties have risen drastically over recent years. In 2008, the Government increased Beer Tax by 18 per cent, and increased it further still in 2009’s budget, despite receiving low public and government support, and the efforts of campaigns such as Axe the Beer Tax Save the Beer. This means that today, if you buy a pint of beer for £2.50, you will be paying a mammoth 80p in tax, which is one of the highest tax rates in the world. Subsequently, the government now makes fifty times the brewers profit on each pint sold, which inevitably is effecting the brewers, who are already suffering as a result of soaring prices of barley, malt, glass, aluminium and energy. As beer sales are the key source of pub profit, this rise in beer tax has had a devastating effect on pubs, with more than 2,700 pubs closing down since 2008’s budget, causing 20,000 job losses. Pubs are also having to compete with cheap supermarket lager and super-cheap student bar prices, which are encouraging people to drink at home or in bars that promote drinks offers. Combine this with increasingly sophisticated home entertainment, a general drop in alcohol consumption (according to the British Beer and Pub Association figures) and rising costs of living, and there is a resulting social trend away from drinking in pubs that is leaving many simply unable to trade profitably. This trend has not been helped by the smoking ban, affecting many urban pubs that were unable to offer an attractive outside area for smokers. So the British pub as we all know and love it is being forced to make changes. Many see the traditional pub institution as outdated, probably due to the fact that originally, pubs were designed to cater for a male dominated working society,
whereas now they need to consider not only working men, but women and children as well. Like all industries, the beer and pub industries need to adapt to appeal to new consumer tastes and lifestyles, and consequently food is now served in 80 per cent of all pubs, with over one billion meals sold every year (figures compiled by Axe the Beer Tax campaign). The pubs that remain are recognising that they must embrace modern tastes and innovations, such as stylish refurbishments, updated menus and specialised wine lists if they want to survive; but will they still be able to retain their rustic British charms if they do? n
THE BEST BRITISH PUBS IN LONDON The Marquess Tavern 32 Canonbury Street Islington, N1 2TB www.marquesstavern.co.uk The White Horse 1-3 Parson’s Green London, SW6 4UL www.whitehorsesw6.com The Princess Louise 208-209 High Holborn Holborn, WC1V 7BW 020 7405 8816
RECOMMENDATION: Wagamama Wagamama serves delicious and freshly ‘cooked to order’ noodle and rice dishes, along with fresh juices, japanese beer, sake and hot drinks. All served by friendly staff in a sleek, well-designed, canteen-style restaurant. Check out wagamama.com for more information
Argentinian GAUCHO CANARY 29 Westferry Circus Canary Wharf, E14 020 7987 9494 GAUCHO O2 The O2 Peninsula Square, SE10 020 8858 7711
European INSIDE RESTAURANT 19 Greenwich South Street Greenwich, SE10 020 8265 5060
French PLATEAU Canada Place, E14 020 7715 7100
Gastro Pub THE GUN 27 Coldharbour Lane, E14 020 7515 5222 THE NARROW 44 Narrow Street, E14 020 7592 7950
Indian Dockmasters 1 Hertsmere Road London E14 8JJ 020 7345 0345
Jubilee Place, 45 Bank Street, London, E14 5NY +44 (0) 20 7516 9009
Signature Dish Yaki soba Set Menu Children’s and Take Away menus available Recommended Wine Sake Opening Times Mon – Sat 11.30am-10pm; Sun: 12-9pm Average price per head £15
The Clifton 1 Whitechapel Road, E1 020 7377 5533 MEMSAHEB 65-67 Amsterdam Road Docklands, E14 020 7538 3008 The Rogue Trader 25 Westferry Road, E14 020 7517 9233
Japanese ITSU Level 2, Cabot Place East Canary Wharf, E14 020 7512 5790
Mexican CHILI’S GRILL & BAR 2nd Floor, Cabot Place Canary Wharf, E14 020 7363 5678
AMERIGO VESPUCCI 25 Cabot Square MacKenzie Walk, E14 020 7513 0288
MEZ RESTAURANT 571 Manchester Road, E14 020 7005 0421
CARLUCCIO’S 2 Reuters Plaza, E14 020 7719 1749
NiNA’S TAZA EXPRESS 322 Burdett Road, E14 020 7093 3552
18-20 Cabot Square, E14 4PH 020 7345 9192 LA FIGA 45 Narrow Street, E14 020 7790 0077 QUADRATO The Four Seasons Hotel 46 Westferry Circus, E14 020 7510 1857 ZERO SETTE 2 Western Gateway Royal Victoria Dock, E16 020 7476 6564
CURVE Marriott Hotel, West India Quay 22 Hertsmere Road, E14 020 7517 2808 FIRST EDITION 25 Cabot Square Canary Wharf, E14 020 7513 0300
Spanish EL FARO Turnberry Quay, E14 020 7987 5511
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Tor to Door is a Farm Based Butchery in the heart of the Dartmoor National Park in Devon where we rear free range beef, lamb and pork. We are Soil Association registered Organic and our herds of beef and lamb graze on the open commons of Dartmoor which is also designated an “Environmentally Sensitive Area”. All our pigs are reared free range on our 500 acre farm. All animals are grass fed and it has recently been proven that animals reared with a varied diet of moorland vegetation are richer in nutrients and minerals than lowland pasture fed animals. The animals we rear are only Native or Rare Breed British Breeds; Beef – Aberdeen Angus, South Devon, Galloway Lamb – Scotch Blackface Pork – Saddleback
Tor to Door Butchery & Holwell Farm Cottages in the heart of the Dartmoor National Park, Devon Holwell Farm offers luxury, 5 star self-catering, holiday cottages, (sleeping between 6 and 8 people in each). Holwell is Dartmoor’s most prestigious collection of quality Holiday Cottages on a working farm in an utterly stunning location between the famous land marks of Haytor and Widecombe in the Moor.
This year we won the “Best Pork Sausage in Devon” award with our handmade selection. We also offer Award Winning Pork Pies and Pasties.
Voted number 19 in the Sunday Times “Top 100 Holiday Destinations on the Planet” last year, the cottages have been lovingly restored to combine the unique character of the buildings with the demands of a discerning 21st century family. Dogs and children very welcome!
You are guaranteed of 100% traceability with our meat which can be ordered as bespoke or pre-selected boxes from our website at; www.tortodoor.co.uk
Walking... riding... cycling... hawking... fishing or just plain relaxing No noise or light pollution either !
All meat is delivered to you Fresh and Cut to Order. Tel. 01647 221335. Email. firstname.lastname@example.org
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Rebecca Walton samples the pan-Asian delicacies that the Great Eastern Dining Room has to offer
horeditch is fast becoming the home of hip and trendy hangouts, and the Great Eastern Dining Room fits perfectly into this genre. With its dark wooden flooring, striking lighting and feature wallpaper, you can see why the young pretty things feel at home; but there is one thing that truly sets the Great Eastern Dining Room apart from the rest, and that’s the sheer quality of their food. The pan-Asian menu has an abundance of tantalising dishes to try with a good selection in each category. The descriptions of each dish are short and concise, allowing the food to speak for itself. For those who want to know more, the waiting staff have an excellent knowledge of the menu and are more than willing to help you with your choices. After being shown to our table we decided to test the cocktail menu – Great Eastern Dining Room also has a very successful late night cocktail bar, ‘below 54’ – and I must say, for the cocktail connoisseurs among you, these are a must. I tried the Eastern Sunset (£7.00), a blend of pomegranate, passion fruit and velvet falernum delicately shaken with just enough Santa Theresa gran reserve rum to ensure a good kick. My friend opted for a Sloe Apple Daiquiri (£7.00) which had the perfect combination of apple flavours, sloe gin and good quality rum to produce a wonderful drink. When ordering from the extensive menu, we called upon our wonderfully attentive waitress for advice; I would suggest this to anyone who is a ‘Great Eastern virgin’ as they are able to suggest combinations that complement each other whilst allowing you to taste the multitude of flavours represented. We finally settled upon a selection of dishes; from the dim sum we tried the Miso Roasted Pumpkin Gyoza which were a
wonderful interpretation of traditional style dumplings, the special of the day which was Black Cod, Prawn Dumplings with Miso (just divine), and the Chilli Salt Squid which was cooked to perfection and had just the right amount of flavour to leave you wanting more. We followed this with a portion of the Tempura Tiger Prawns; the batter was light and crisp and the prawns in the centre were beautifully tender. The accompanying Jalapeno Dipping Sauce left a tingle on your lips and for those less daring, the citrus infused Ponzu Sauce complimented the prawns to perfection. To finish off our first course, we had a platter of the Asparagus and Red Pepper Uramaki which were full of flavour. We followed with a Black Cod dish with Sweet Miso and the Sizzling Beef Toban Yaki. The Black Cod was cooked beautifully and melted in your mouth, and the sweet flavours of the miso complimented the delicate fish; definitely one of the highlights of the entire meal. The Beef Toban Yaki was another dish full of flavours; the beef was tender and tasty, and the vegetables (including shitake mushrooms and spring onions) really helped to pull all of the robust flavours together. Not to be outdone by our earlier dishes we opted to share a dessert; the Warm Chocolate Pudding (just as every dish that came before) was fabulous. Light, yet gooey in the middle, we savoured every mouthful. The Great Eastern Dining Room really has something for everybody, whether you are relaxing with a group of friends at the weekend, taking colleagues to lunch or heading out on a date – you will find that the atmosphere alone is enough to ensure you enjoy your visit and that’s before you even taste the food. n www.greateasterndining.co.uk
SHOW ME THE EARNINGS! Long term earnings and the stock market
hose that remember the film Jerry Maguire starring Tom Cruise as an aggressive sports agent, will no doubt remember the classic line “Show me the money!” But my question to the stock market this month is: “Show me the earnings!” If you cut through all the stock market hype and expose the ultimate core issue, the truth is that companies are not making as much money as they have in the past. Call me old-fashioned, but making a profit is the ultimate goal for any business. So far, the stock market has managed to bounce on the hope of earnings improving, rather than any sign of true recovery. For investors there is nothing more important than earnings. Investor psychology, popular opinion, hopes and dreams, accounting tricks and positive statements can get you by in the shortterm, but over the long-term the only thing that matters is the ability for companies to earn profits in their business operations. Without long-term earnings, no company can survive. A business in a capitalist economy must earn money or else face certain doom over the long run. So here is my problem: whilst stocks (and I refer to the S&P500 as it’s the broadest index), have fallen and are down over 40 per cent since the November 2007 high, the earnings have fallen even further. One of the first basics of stock investing is when the price to earnings ratio (PE) is low, then stocks are inexpensive. When the PE is high compared to historic ranges, then the stocks are expensive. Historically a PE of around 20 has been the normal. So, whilst share prices are down 40 per cent, the PE on the S&P500 (according to my calculations) is a whopping 100. Now I
know that many will disagree and say that I am using trailing earnings (and being overly pessimistic), but even by the Standard & Poors figures, it’s over 60. My point is that regardless of how you dice and slice the PE, it’s historically high and either two things will have to happen: a) earnings will need to accelerate exponentially in the next few years, or b) share prices will need to fall maybe another 50 per cent from current levels and earnings need to still go up. This game of ‘beating the analysis estimates’ is wearing thin, setting the bar artificially low so when the earnings (or rather lack of ) are released, the media pundits can announce them as “better than expected”. But this is nothing more than a confidence trick. For my own trading I am building up short positions in various sectors as well as the major indices. On the buy side I like US Treasury Bonds which you can spread bet or you can buy spread bet the ETF tracker. Whilst I don’t like T Bonds long term, for the short term (and I mean between now and the end of the year), I see Treasury Bonds moving up as stock moves down. Also, I don’t see any inflation pressures until 2010, so no inflation will help T bonds. One of the few companies that I do like at present is Kraft Foods (KFT); at $25.50 it offers a yield of 4.5 per cent and should hold up well in any downturn The company also stands to benefit from a fall in commodity prices. Kraft reports its second quarter on 4 August after the market close, and I expect a solid performance. Kraft has many respected middle of the market brands such as Milka Chocolate, Maxwell House, Oreo cookies, Ritz Crackers and Philadelphia Cheese to name a few. n
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WHEN CHOICE IS BAD FOR YOU Freedom to choose – it sounds wonderful doesn’t it? by Raj Persaud, Consultant Psychiatrist
t’s the mantra on which governments are elected; but is it really what we want, and is it good for us? To argue that we want less choice seems paradoxical, but it is possible that it’s the reality. The freedom to choose only has meaning if there is a choice. Today, you might walk into a coffee shop and the choice appears infinite – a few years ago it was black or white, with or without sugar. A wide choice can become bewildering, and there is some new psychological research which suggests that we don’t actually want too much choice. Amongst other consequences, we wonder if we have made the correct choice. Being offered massive choice as a benefit hinges on other issues within us; do we have the ability to choose? Are we knowledgeable enough; do we have the time; and do we even care that much? To choose well and wisely requires us to be educated to a level that means we can exercise that choice well. We have to become experts in everything. Do you want to be a coffee expert or do you just want a coffee? Could it be that being forced to choose induces a stress of its own? Combined with the uncertainty that we have made the right choice, we could end up being worse off with choice, than without. There is also new research from nutrition experts which suggests that too much choice is bad for us in other ways. For example, imagine you are trying to lose weight and are presented with two options at the hotel you arrive at for your summer holiday.You can either select your meal from the buffet groaning under the weight of a large variety of food, or choose from a set menu of just a few choices. Let’s assume, for the sake of this experiment, that the calorie content of both choices is the same. Which is the better option to go for if you want to lose weight? The correct answer is that it is better to choose from the menu (and stick to the menu throughout the holiday), if you want
to lose weight. This may sound tedious, but the smaller variety of foods has an increased positive effect on the body. Let’s try another experiment. Imagine you are a jam manufacturer, and want to get consumers to taste your jam. If you set up a tasting booth to lure members of the public to try some jam for free, how are you going to get them to stop and have a taste? In practice, 20 per cent more people stopped to try jam at a tasting booth, if it had more varieties available to taste. In other words there is something very powerful about variety of food in front of us to stimulate more eating. Researchers Abigail Remick, Janet Polivy and Patricia Pliner based at the University of Toronto have recently reviewed the latest research on which factors assist us in exercising restraint in our eating. Their paper (published in the prestigious academic journal Psychological Bulletin) is entitled ‘Internal and External Moderators of the Effect of Variety on Food Intake’. Their review focused on the issue of food variety – it’s possible that current scientific understanding of the obesity epidemic has made a fundamental mistake in understanding its true causes. The focus amongst nutritionists and dieticians is on the amount we eat but is it possible that the real culprit lies in the variety of food currently available to us? If we look back through history, one of the reasons people exercised more dietary restraint was simply that they tended to have to eat the same things over and over again. This was undoubtedly very boring. As a result we tended not to eat as much. The explosion in food variety available to us today means that every meal, indeed every snack, almost every mouthful can be of wildly different foods, and this means we never get bored. Could it be that variety is not just the spice of life, but the true killer when it comes to causing us to overeat? The research into variety of diet and its impact
on how much we eat has produced several interesting findings. Let’s take an example like the kind of food associated with over-eating and therefore weight gain; chocolate. If we put you on a desert island where there was nothing but the most expensive and luxurious chocolate to eat – what do you imagine would happen? If we came back to visit (and weigh) you in six months time would you have gained or lost weight? Most of us imagine we would have ballooned out enormously on the chocolate diet. In fact the research in this area suggests the opposite is most likely to happen – we would have lost weight! This is because studies on how much we like a particular food type finds that we start by loving the food, but as we eat it, our preference for it drops off dramatically during the course of the meal. If we have eaten a lot of anything – even something we crave – our liking for that food plummets to a low. Our appreciation for that food gradually climbs again, the further away we get from the last time we ate it. In other words, we would have very quickly got sick of chocolate on our desert island, if there was nothing else to eat. As a result, we would end up eating less and less until we hardly eat at all, so dissatisfied would we be by our monotonous diet. This increased boredom with meals (causing people to eat less) was noticed particularly by armies in recent times. Soldiers often complain of their monotonous rations and as a result eat less and less while out in the field. This produces weight loss with negative consequences when it came to strength and stamina. Armies have in recent times made extensive efforts to increase meal variety to directly tackle the weight loss effects of monotonous diets. So, if you want to lose weight one of the best things you can do it turn down the choice in your life. There is also evidence that if you want to be happier, it’s better to reduce the choice available to you. n www.drrajpersaud.com
AO0106 City Mag Aug09 297x210
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TRAVEL ESSENTIALS For all the holiday essentials, men should head over to SpaceNK to pick up the Men’s Wash Bag. This smart wash kit contains travel sizes Eau de Toilette, Shave Cream and Body Wash, all infused with the woody oriental notes of the classic scent.
KID’S CHIC Check out this unique children’s boutique, Love Me Again. Stocking new and nearly new children’s clothes and toys (including some designer labels), the store also has a fantastic online party bag service with handpicked toys and treats for girls and boys. www.love-me-again.co.uk
Men’s Wash Bag, £29.36 www.spacenk.co.uk
SHOE STYLE Autumn Winter 2009 sees Fashion Fringe shoes finalist Sophie Gittins debut a collection of luxuriously delectable heels to effortlessly update your style from the feet up. Simplified silhouettes are enhanced by sumptuous materials, rich in textural contrast and punctuated by sharp architectural detail. As a delightful finishing touch, a signature, luxurious golden bumblebee is embossed on the sole of each shoe. www.sophiegittins.com www.ninaandlola.com
TREASURE TROVE If you are looking for something unique for a loved one or just something special visit John Haynes The Jewellers, a treasure trove of magnificent jewellery and silver, both new and antique. With a breathtaking selection for all budgets and tastes and offering a quality and personal service to clients since 1959 – it really is worth a visit. 0207 621 0358 www.johnhaynesthejewellers.co.uk
THE MODERN GENT Enjoy an evening of film, food and stylish cocktails to celebrate the leading modern gentlemen on the silver screen with SMIRNOFF BLACK® screenings at Bluebird. The screenings will take place every Wednesday until 2 September. Tickets include entry to the film, a Smirnoff Black cocktail, a main course and a dessert. To book call 020 7559 1000 Tickets £25
ONLY ROSES If in search of the perfect rose, look no further than OnlyRoses. Their roses are grown with love in the fertile volcanic soils of the Andes in Ecuador where the endlessly bright climate ensures thick, luscious and velvety petals in a selection of fabulous colours and those long, strong dark stems. Visit www.only-roses.com, or pop in store at 257 Old Brompton Road, London SW5
TIME FOR TREATS
STRICTLY COME PLOUGHMAN’S
Godiva Chocolatier introduces the new Summer Party Box (£29), the perfect sunny day treat. Whether you are relaxing in the garden, meeting friends on Primrose Hill or having a Friday afternoon office indulgence, Godiva’s selection of the tastiest treats, hand-dipped in chocolate, are sure to be the ultimate in picnic chic.
Does your local pub provide the perfect Ploughman’s? Does the café on the corner make a mighty cheese meal? West Country Farmhouse Cheese-makers, has launched a search for the nation’s best Ploughman’s platter. Email scp@farmhousecheesemakers. com and let them know who you think serves the best Ploughman’s Lunch in the Capital.
Godiva Boutique, 150 Fenchurch Street, EC3 www.godiva.be
The closing date is 31 Aug. 2009. www.farmhousecheesemakers.com
Next time you have a sugar craving, why not try the delicious, all natural, handmade cupcakes at Birley’s Sandwiches in Canary Wharf and the City. Choose from Chocolate, Vanilla or Carrot Cake flavours to have as individual treats or for colleagues, friends and clients back in the office!
With their blood-red juice and sweet-tart taste, blackcurrants make a gorgeous intensely flavoured jam. Made in small batches in a converted coach house in Suffolk, this recipe includes a splash of claret to deepen the flavour even further. Fantastic with buttery croissants, cream teas or spooned onto creamy rice pudding.
£4 per jar www.jamieoliver.com
ICE CREAM DELIGHT
BLONDIES & BROWNIES
Freggo, the UK and Europe’s first Argentine ice cream bar offers an intoxicating and funky environment for ice cream lovers to indulge, perfectly located in the heart of London’s West End. Flavours include Malbec & Berries, Dulce de Leche with Chocolate Chips, and Milk and Argentine Chocolate.
All brownies are handmade to order and flavours include: The Chav – with edible bling (gold and silver leaf); The Brazilian – with dark chocolate and nuts; The Airhead – with melted marshmallows; Blondie – with white chocolate;, The Big Tease – a blondie with white chocolate maltesers; The Hot Blonde – with white chocolate and chilli; and The Dirty Blonde – with milk chocolate chunks.
Open from 9am-2am every MondaySaturday and until midnight on Sunday www.freggo.co.uk
CAN A RY WHAR F EV E NTS Canary Wharf Jazz festival 13 – 16 August Canada Square Park FREE
Some of the best jazz performers in the UK will be swinging Canada Square Park this summer with a series of lunchtime and evening concerts. ‘Must-see’ acts in the 3rd annual Canary Wharf Jazz Festival include the acclaimed Gilad Atzmon, the Cuban-educated Omar Puenta and the creative musician and composer Mike Westbrook. Thursday, 13 August
Martha lewis’ Café aman – 1 - 2.15pm Friday, 14 August
tom Cawley’s Curios – 1 - 2.15pm Omar Puente – 7pm - 8.15pm Saturday, 15 August
twelves trio – 1 - 2.15pm lizzy Parks – 2.45 - 4pm Porkchop feat. James Morton – 4.30 - 5.45pm lauren Dalrymple – 6.15 - 7.30pm Gilad atzmon’s Orient house ensemble – 8 - 9.15pm Sunday, 16 August
Brandon allen Quintet – 1 - 2.15pm soweto Kinch Quartet – 2.45 - 4pm
Soweto Kinch Quartet
the B-sides feat. Mary Pearce – 4.30 - 5.45pm Mike Westbrook Band ‘Off abbey road’ – 6.15 - 7.30pm Visit www.mycanarywharf.com
ROBERTO PLA & HIS LATIN ORCHESTRA
Outdoor events at Canary Wharf are well attended and space is limited and available on a first come first served basis. Portable furniture, glass bottles or glasses are not permitted. All details are correct at time of publication.
6 August 7.30pm Canada Square Park FREE
Formed in 1988, one of UK’s most popular Latin bands, Roberto Pla and his Latin Orchestra, exclusively perform Salsa, Cumbia and Afro-Cuban flavours at Canada Square Park, bringing forward South American culture and music to Canary Wharf.
SUMMER SCREEN Until 27 August Canada Square Park FREE
The big screen in Canada Square Park is in place for much of August. It features live Formula 1 Grand Prix action from Turkey and Spain on 9 and 23 August, and the best of BBC entertainment, news and current affairs in-between times. The Park Bar, also in Canada Square Park, offers one of Canary Wharf’s best al fresco drinking spots, perfect for a slightly longer lunch break or an evening drink.
THE PASADENA ROOF ORCHESTRA AND THE JIVING LINDY HOPPERS 20 August 7.30pm Canada Square Park FREE
A one off opportunity to experience the energetic joining of swing and hot music brought by the wellknown Pasadena Roof Orchestra, accompanied by The Jiving Lindy Hoppers, who perform The Lindy Hop in its original 1920s style.The fusion of the two is guaranteed to provide a thrilling performance.
THE ROYAL PHILHARMONIC CONCERT ORCHESTRA 27 August 7.30pm Canada Square Park FREE
If in the mood for some romance or thinking where to go for a special date, then consider a summer evening with a glass of wine at Canada Square Park listening to Rossini’s William Tell Overture, Elgar’s Salut d’Amour and Dvorak’s Slavonic Dance No.8 brought by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Other operatic pieces include Jerusalem, Rule Britannia, and Land of Hope and Glory.
CANARY WHARF FILM FESTIVAL 3-7 September In and around Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf Film Festival was established in 2007 to bring creative and commercial minds together. Over four days the festival offers an exciting programme of local, national and international short films, highlighting Canary Wharf’s growing reputation as a new creative hub. Visit www.cwff.org.uk
Cat Hughes and Chris Ellis previews the latest films
Broken Embraces by Chris Ellis
4/5 Out 28 August
Also on this month
Traitor By Catrin Hughes
Don Cheadle stars in this intense spy thriller, which sees his character Samir Horn, a devout Muslim, become embroiled in a terrorist plot. FBI Agent Roy Claydon (Guy Pearce) heads up the investigation into the dangerous conspiracy, and all clues seem to head back to Horn – a former US Special Operations Officer. He is linked to a prison break in Yemen, a bombing in Nice and raid in London. But Horn is not quite as he seems; obsessed with discovering the truth, Claydon tracks Horn across the globe as he retreats deeper and deeper in the shadows.
0871 200 2000 www.cineworld.co.uk 11 Hertsmere Rd, West India Quay
Lanzarote Â©Emilio Pereda/Paola Ardizzoni
Mercifully the film was not dubbed, which gives an authenticity and a true texture to the art form. Like so many European films, Broken Embraces cannot be accused of trying too hard; it’s a heart-warming story, that is beautifully shot. If the next film on your list is something like Transformers, then this may not exactly be your cup of tea, but I urge you to see it as an example of how films should be.
Madrid Â©Emilio Pereda/Paola Ardizzoni
Broken Embraces is Spanish drama/thriller telling the story of a blind man Mateo Blanco (Lluis Homar) who fourteen years earlier lost his sight and the love of his life, Lena (Penelope Cruz) in brutal car crash. Following the death of Ernesto Martel (Jose Luis Gomez), the truth of that fateful night is revealed. Written and directed by Pedro Almodovar, alongside cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, the creators have produced a visually compelling movie where the fadeouts say more then any dialogue could. In the midst of the drama there are some very funny moments to break up the story; Ruben Ochandiano gives a wonderful portrayal of a homosexual teenager, and Cruz offers some cheerful comedic timing. Although starting slowly, the film is certainly intriguing; the audience becomes involved with the characters, and the story when it finally unfolds is captivating.
Directed by Jeffery Nachmanoff and co written by Hollywood comedian Steve Martin, I had high hopes for Traitor. But unfortunately it didn’t quite meet up to its pedigree. The plot was littered with holes and several aspects of the story are not fully explained. It’s not quite as good as Syriana but much better than Body of Lies; the film falls in the middle, it’s just okay. In its defence, Cheadle was fantastic – as he always is. He carried the film and made it much more enjoyable. The DVD’s special features include commentary with director Jeffery Nachmanoff and Don Cheadle, action feature and exotic location feature. Out 31 August
This month’s chicest film must be Coco Before Chanel; starring Audrey Tautou, the film tells the story of how orphan Gabrielle Chanel worked her way up through society and become Coco, the fashion world’s most famous figure and muse (31 July). Starring John Travolta and Denzel Washington, The Taking of Pelham 123 sees New York subway dispatcher Walter Garber have a chaotic day when a subway train is highjacked (31 July). G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra stars Sienna Miller and Brendan Fraser; G.I. Joe is the star operative in a secret organisation dedicated to fighting the evil COBRA. It’s said to be a cross between X-men and James Bond (7 August). Final Destination is back but this time in 3D; after cheating death the characters begin to die one by one in ever more imaginative and gruesome ways (28 August).
C A NARY WHA R F n e ws Carbon-Busting Canary Wharf Wins Mayor’s Awards Canary Wharf Group scooped some of the top awards at the Mayor of London’s Green500 and Better Building Partnership Awards in June. The organisation received the Green500 Platinum award for its carbon reduction efforts; a commendation in the Green500 ‘Engager’ awards for communicating green learning to staff, tenants and the local community; and a Better Building Partnership Gold Award for carbon performance. John Garwood, Group Company Secretary at Canary Wharf Group, was delighted, saying: “Canary Wharf is growing rapidly, and we need to operate in environmentally sustainable ways to maintain this growth. Canary Wharf Group’s Corporate Responsibility Report 2008 is available for download at www.greencanarywharf.com
David Hodge from Canary Wharf Contractors accepts the Better Building Partnerships award from Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.
Returning Songs to School Playgrounds
At Risk Youths COP Canary Wharf Help
Tower Hamlets school playgrounds are alive with songs, thanks to the efforts of Canary Wharf Group plc and internationally renowned choir Ex Cathedra. The Singing Playgrounds project, sponsored by Canary Wharf Group, saw Ex Cathedra vocal tutors visit 12 schools in the Tower Hamlets area over the past year to train selected children to lead their peers in songs and singing games in the playground. A group of 250 of the child song leaders gave a celebratory performance in the East Wintergarden at Canary Wharf in July. Singing Playgrounds has important social and personal benefits according to Howard Dawber, Strategic Advisor at Canary Wharf Group: “It brings children of different cultures together to sing songs from around the world. It also teaches leadership, encourages creativity and most importantly, it’s fun,” he said. The programme aims to train 1,000 song leaders by the time of the 2012 Olympics, each encouraging fellow Tower Hamlets children to take up singing.
Over 400 Tower Hamlets’ teenagers identified as “at risk” of getting into trouble with the law have been given a strong chance of turning their life around thanks to a scheme run by the Metropolitan Police and Canary Wharf Group. The Community Orientated Policing, or ‘COP’ course, brings together 14-17 year olds from around the Borough for an intensive five-day development programme. It encourages good citizenship and team work, identifying role models, helping with career choices and monitoring participants’ post-graduation. The course aims to break down barriers between different cultural groups in the local community and between local youths and the police. Graduates of the COP course have a re-offending rate of around 10 per cent; much improved from the expected rate of around 50-70 per cent. The course encourages graduates into the uniformed public services such as police cadets, Scouts or to undertake the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme. The 20 latest course participants were honoured at a graduation ceremony and parade at the Territorial Army Centre in Mile End Road, attended by the Councillor Lutfa Begum, Deputy Mayor of London Borough of Tower Hamlets and Alex Kuye,Young Mayor for Tower Hamlets. Richard Kemp, Director of Security at Canary Wharf said “Investing in these local youngsters is important; Canary Wharf Group aims to make a lasting, positive difference in these young people’s lives.”
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Protections for Fixed Term Workers xxxxxxxxxx
Dear Clare I’ve been working at my company for six years on a series of fixed contracts which, until now, have kept being renewed. My contract is due to come to an end soon and I’m worried that I won’t be kept on (I haven’t been getting on with my new boss). Do I have any rights since I’m not a permanent employee?
As a fixed-term worker, you have the same rights to unfair dismissal and redundancy protection as a permanent employee if your contract is not renewed. Expiry of your contract is treated as dismissal and must be for one of the potentially fair dismissal reasons: capability; conduct; redundancy; contravention of a statutory obligation; retirement; or some other substantial reason. Furthermore, there must be a fair procedure. Dismissing you because you haven’t been getting on with your boss does not normally fit into any of the above
Martin’$ Money Matter$
Don’t be a victim of financial fraud Martin Bamford, Chartered Financial Planner, Informed Choice
ews of a major alleged UK Ponzi scheme defrauding unsuspecting investors sadly comes as little surprise. During difficult economic times it seems that some investors become more susceptible to the temptation of unfeasibly high returns. A Ponzi fraud takes place where investors are led to believe that they are getting investment returns when they are really receiving money from new investors; a fraud like this can run for decades. This time it seems that hundreds of UK investors could have lost up to £500m of their
cash by investing through an unregulated London-based company. This is still under investigation by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and City of London Police, but early indications are not promising. Those caught up in this alleged fraud appear to be many of the same type of people as those affected by the well publicised Bernie Madoff fraud in the US. This includes celebrities, sports stars and high profile businessmen. That is not to say that the rest of us cannot be subject to financial fraud as well. A more common type of financial fraud
fair reasons, except possibly in extreme cases. You may therefore have an unfair dismissal claim if your contract is not renewed. A tribunal will most commonly award a basic and a compensatory award (the latter capped at £66,200) for a successful unfair dismissal claim. You are also protected by the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002, which protect you from being treated less favourably than a comparable permanent employee by reason of your fixed term-status.They apply to the terms of your contract and being subjected to any detriment, such as failure to promote you because of your fixed term status. A tribunal may, amongst other orders, award you compensation. You may already be a permanent employee. Employees who have been continuously employed on successive fixed-term contracts for four or more years are automatically deemed to be permanent employees, unless the company can show that the continued use of a fixed term contract is objectively justified. If your contract is not renewed, consider appealing against the decision under any internal procedure and remember that very strict and short time limits apply if you want to bring a tribunal claim. I hope this helps.
Best wishes Clare
Clare Murray is managing partner at employment law firm, CM Murray LLP, based in CanaryWharf. To submit a query, email firstname.lastname@example.org The contents of this column are for general purposes only. Specialist legal advice should be taken regarding specific circumstances
is the ‘boiler room’ scam.This involves high-pressure telephone selling, usually originating from overseas, to convince UK investors to buy what turn out to be worthless company shares. Some recent figures from the FSA suggest that the average victim of a boiler room scam loses £20,000.They tend to target older, male, experienced investors, with London and the South East the main targets.The fraudsters typically pick their victims from details published on shareholder registers, in the belief that if you have invested in shares in the past you are more likely to do so again. However, there are some simple steps you can take to stop yourself from becoming a victim of financial fraud. You should only ever take financial advice from a firm which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.You can check the FSA register at www.
fsa.gov.uk. If you take advice or purchase investments from an unregulated firm, you will have no recourse if it turns out to be bad or fraudulent advice. Authorised firms are covered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which gives you a degree of protection if the worst was to happen. If an investment opportunity seems too good to be true, it probably is.The victims of this alleged UK Ponzi fraud were being offered returns of between 6% and 12% a month! Returns of this level each year might be considered excessive given the current economic conditions. Finally, always do your due diligence before making an investment. A referral from a friend or business colleague is a reasonable starting point, but before investing you should ensure that you understand what the investment is and how it works. n
Common Investing Mistakes Dr David Kuo, Director at the popular financial website The Motley Fool – Fool.co.uk
e all make investing mistakes. Sometimes they are just tiny gaffes that we can laugh off as schoolboy errors. But at other times they are major clangers that leave us out of sorts, out of pocket and out of our minds. But whatever the blunder, it is through mistakes that we learn to become better investors. Or as actress Sophia Loren once said: “Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.” So, in the interest of a fuller investing life, here are some of the general howlers that many investors have owned up to over the years.
Investing under the influence of tipsters
This falls into the general category of believing everything you read. To be a good investor it is important to digest as much information available about companies you are interested in. These could be official company accounts or even casual press reports. Occasionally, though, you may also come across tipsters. Their arguments can be so persuasive that they can draw your finger to the buy or sell button in search of quick profits. The solution, however, is never to put your faith in tipsters but to use their opinions as a starting point for more indepth research of your own. Blowing in the wind
Buying shares without a subsequent sell strategy can often be a recipe for disaster. It’s like jumping in a car and tearing down the road without deciding where you are going. We are not talking here about nonstop
trading, but how you go about valuing shares. Just as you buy shares because you believe they offer value, it is also important to consider a price, above which the shares then become overvalued. Accordingly, you should sell when those shares are overpriced. Going like the clappers
Overtrading or trading too often is very easy to do. But it can also hurt your overall performance. That’s because whenever you buy and sell shares, you pay commission to a broker, and each deal then eats into your returns. Given that the average long-term return for investing in shares is around nine per cent it is vital not to allow anything
Sophia Loren once said: “Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.” eat into the returns. For example, every £1,000 invested in the stock market should produce a pot worth £5,600 after 20 years. But the pot would shrink to less than £4,000 if the annual return is cut by a couple of percentage points because you’ve been unnecessarily paying commissions to brokers. There’s something else to consider too. How many times have you, for instance, sold a share only to see it carry on rising? Perhaps you have been too pessimistic with your valuations, and in turn focused too much on short-term gains. If you find that this is happening too frequently, then it’s time to revisit your buy and sell strategy.
Not knowing when to fold
This is something we do much too regularly. We tend to hang on to our losers because acknowledging we may have bought a dud is a painful admission to make. However, shares are valued on what they are capable of in the future not on past performance. It is also worth bearing in mind that whilst you are sitting on losers, your money could have been better invested elsewhere. So, just as football coaches will swap and sell players in the transfer market to keep their teams fresh and poised to win games, your portfolio can benefit from the same strategy too. Not Reinvesting Your Dividends
All too often dividend cheques are deposited into bank accounts and spent. However, dividends, and reinvesting those dividends are a vital part of stock market investing. It is the underlying principle behind compounding, which uses the proceeds from dividends to invest in more shares that then generate more dividends. It is estimated that over half the total stock market returns comes from dividends. But to benefit, the dividends have to be re-invested. Making mistakes is part and parcel of investing. But learning from our mistakes is the best way to improve and become a better investor. Or as Jack Welch the former boss of General Electric once said: “I’ve learned that mistakes can often be as good a teacher as success.” The Motley Fool – Fool.co.uk
Our guide to this month’s top events
BANGERS AND MASH
THE HOUSE OF THE HOLY AFRO
This is a series of music-based events currently taking place at Proud Galleries every Friday. Expect to see anything from live caricature, to kissing games. Sit back and enjoy the music; past acts include New Young Pony Club, Dirty Pretty Things and Babyshambles.
A slick, glamorous package of Afrokitsch to electrify your eyes, ears and bodies on the dance floor! This show features internationally renowned DJ Dino Moran, Africa’s biggest DJ export. He’s headlined super clubs, such as Pacha Ibiza, Ministry of Sound London and Tank in Sydney.
Proud Camden The Horse Hospital Chalk Farm Road NW1 8AH 020 7482 386 www.proud.co.uk
Rich Mix 35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA 02076137490 www.richmix.org.uk
ONCE ON THIS ISLAND
This big scary monster is back at Greenwich Theatre! Join Mouse on an adventurous journey through the deep dark wood in this magical, musical adaptation of the award winning picture book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
Based on The Little Mermaid, this Caribbean musical is vibrant and passionate with infectious reggae and Calypso rhythms. It tells the story of a beautiful peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy Creole planter.
Greenwich Theatre Crooms Hill, SE10 8ES www.greenwichtheatre.org.uk
Hackney Empire 291 Mare Street, E8 1EJ 02089852424 www.hackneyempire.co.uk
Until 16 August
ART & EXHIBITIONS
ROYAL ACADEMY’S SUMMER EXHIBITION
Now in its 241st year the Royal Academy summer exhibition continues the tradition of displaying a wide range of new work by both established and unknown artist in all media including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and architecture. Royal Academy London, W1 020 7300 5995 www.royalacademy.org.uk
Shotgun Impro perform Whose Line Is It Anyway – style fast-paced comedy, with no rehearsal, no preparation and no script. We take audience suggestions and ideas, and reveal their underlying magnificence. Stratford Circus Theatre square, E15 1BX 08443572625 www.stratford-circus.com
Until 30 August
Until August 31
ART & EXHIBITIONS
ART & EXHIBITIONS
ETHELBURGA TOWER: AT HOME IN A HIGH RISE
Opening 40 years after the Apollo 11 moon landings, this exhibition does not seek to mark the world-shaping event, but rather doubt if it took place at all. Featuring works by Tom Dale, William Hogarth, Aleksandra Mir, Karen Russo and many more. Southbank Centre 0871 663 2500 www.southbankcentre.co.uk
Photographer Mark Cowper took photos of his own home and that of his neighbours in Ethelburga tower in Battersea. Taken from the same position in same room, these photographs provide a life affirming view into the way we live today. Geffrye Museum 020 7739 9893 www.geffrye-museum.org.uk
Until 5 September
Until 12 September
ART & EXHIBITIONS
BBC PROMS 2009
The Albemarle Gallery introduces a collective exhibition which strives to escape the boundaries of normality. View paintings and sculptures of a surreal nature by eight artists exploring their sometimes bizarre imaginations.
Now in its 115th year the world greatest classical music festival returns to the Royal Albert Hall. With tickets costing as little as £5 you have no excuse but to join the fun!
© BBC - Chris Christodoulou
The Albemarle Gallery 49 Albemarle Street, W1S 4JR 020 7499 1616 www.albemarlegallery.com
The Royal Albert Hall Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP 020 7589 8212 www.bbc.co.uk/proms/2009 www.royalalberthall.com
Until 13 September
Until 18 September
ART & EXHIBITIONS
ART & EXHIBITIONS
QUEEN: THE UNSEEN ARCHIVE
RANKIN LIVE! & RETROSPECTIVE
Proud Central presents an intimate photographic portrait of legendary rock band Queen - launching to coincide with the anniversary of the band’s final gig and showcasing revealing never before seen images.
Rankin Live! is a radical twist on the traditional exhibition format featuring two shows in one: Shoot Me Rankin, the ongoing photo shoot of 1000 individuals, whose portraits will be immediately included in the exhibition; and the Retrospective, including 600 images selected from a vast portfolio of work.
32 John Adam Street London, WC2N 6BP 020 7839 4942 20 7839 4942 www.proud.co.uk © Rankin
Old Truman Brewery Brick Lane www.rankin.co.uk
Until 20 September ART & EXHIBITIONS LIVE FOREVER: ELIZABETH PEYTON This exhibition is the first major survey of painter Elizabeth Peyton with over 60 works on show including paintings, drawings and prints. As a painter of modern life, Peyton’s portraits reveal an empathetic and intimate relationship with her subjects. Whitechapel Gallery 77-82 Whitechapel High Street London E1 7QX 020 7522 7888 www.whitechapelgallery.org
TIME OFF EVENTS 13 August – 16 August
Canary Wharf Jazz Festival
Canary Wharf Film Festival
Canada Square Park FREE Visit www.mycanarywharf.com.
In and around Canary Wharf www.cwff.org.uk
Twilight Delights Roberto Pla & His Latin Orchestra
Until 21 August
Canada Square Park FREE
Until 20 September
ART & EXHIBITION
Twilight Delights The Pasadena Roof Orchestra and the Jiving Lindy Hoppers
BEYOND THESE WALLS The South London Gallery is turned back to front by artist Tue Greenfort as part of the new exhibition, Beyond These Walls. 65 Peckham Road London SE5 8UH www.southlondongallery.org
Canary Wharf Events in August
Canada Square Park FREE 27 August
Twilight Delights - The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra Canada Square Park FREE Until 27 August
Summer Screen Canada Square Park FREE
One 15 – Art from University of East London Lobby, One Canada Square FREE 2-28 August
The Window Galleries Jarah Stoop David Piddock Cabot Place East and Canada Place Retail Malls FREE Until 31 August
The Community Gallery Stitches in Time Canada Place Retail Mall FREE
© poppy oil Ken Howard Courtesy of the Artist and Richard Green
Our guide to this month’s top events
Until 25 September
ART & EXHIBITIONS
ART & EXHIBITIONS
INDIA – TAKE THREE
Royal Academician, Ken Howard exhibits his recent collection in the Friends room. The subjects in this exhibition reflect the artist’s passions and experiences of his life in London, Venice and Cornwall, three of his favourite places.
Three rising stars of Indian Avant Garde, Anju Dodiya (who exhibited in the main hall at this years Venice Biennale), Alexis Kersey and Alwar Balasubramaniam showcase their latest work.
Royal Academy London W1 020 7300 5995 www.royalacademy.org.uk
Kings Road Gallery 436 Kings Road, SW10 0LJ www.kingsroadartgallery.com
Until 27 September
ART & EXHIBITIONS
MARISCAL DRAWING LIFE
Take a magical journey this summer, as the Natural History Museum comes alive with the brand new Butterfly Jungle. Travel from the dark depths of the forest floor, to the heady heights of the tree canopy, and experience the magic and beauty of live butterflies and other rainforest creatures.
The first UK exhibition of Spanish designer and artist Javier Mariscal; regarded as one of the world’s most innovative and original designers of our time, Mariscal’s work spans kooky cartoon characters to stunning interiors.
National History Museum Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD 020 7942 5000 www.nhm.ac.uk
Design Museum 28 Shad Thames, SE1 2YD 0870 833 9955 www.designmuseum.org
Witness the transformation of one of London’s prime venues, Old Billngsgate Market, into a traditional Oktoberfest, buzzing with live music and complete with unlimited steins of delicious Paulaner beer served to your table by Heidi and Helmut.
Prices start from £1200 + VAT per table of 10 For more information or to book, please contact IMG:
T: 020 8233 5879 • E: email@example.com www.londonbierfest.com
When you need shade from the Sun or shelter form the rain, we have the solutions. Do you need more covered space, want to dine alfresco with out the worry of rain clouds spoiling the occasion or do you need to protect your loved ones and your furnishings from harmful UV rays? SBI can solve these problems with top quality products from the continent. Sliding patio roofs open when you want the Sun & close when it rains. For luxury alfresco lifestyle choose a bespoke awning or patio roof that you can use all year round.
for your FREE home consultation & SAVE £££’s in our Summer SALE
Visit our on line showroom
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Masters HALF PAGE Canary Wharf:Layout 1 23/06/2009 15:28 Page 1
Commercial Cars & Couriers
2009 CONFIRMED PLAYERS INCLUDE: PAT RAFTER • GORAN IVANISEVIC • STEFAN EDBERG Tel: 0207 790 1144 or 0207 790 3939
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Fax: 0207 423 9488 | email@example.com | www.commercialcars.co.uk Tour Sponsor
Commercial Street, E1
1 bed from £399,950 2 beds from £500,000
Dundee Court, E1W
A selection of one and two bedroom Docklands apartments finished to a high standard and firstname.lastname@example.org offering many original features, ideally located 020 7456 6800 for access to The City and Liverpool Street Station. Due for completion in September 2009.
A well presented 3 bedroom warehouse conversion, offering partial river views, an allocated parking space and daytime porterage.
Empire Square West, SE1
Belgrave Court, E14
2 bedroom apartment in this much sought after development offering spectacular views, a roof terrace, protected parking and 24 hour porterage.
New Providence Wharf, E14 A 2 double bedroom (1 en suite) apartment with generous terrace overlooking superb water gardens, a large terrace, 24 hour porterage, protected parking and leisure facilities available on site.
020 7456 6800
020 7456 6800
A 5th floor dual aspect apartment in the Canary Wharf prestigious Canary Riverside development, email@example.com offering 2 double bedroom, 2 bathrooms 020 7531 2500 (1 ensuite), 2 balconies, a parking space and 24 hour security.
West India Quay, E14
A superb 31st floor duplex penthouse with Canary Wharf Canary Wharf firstname.lastname@example.org arguably the best views in London, offering 3 email@example.com bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, large rooftop terrace, 020 7531 2500 020 7531 2500 underground parking and porter.
New Providence Wharf, E14 An Impressive and Immaculately Presented Penthouse Apartment. Located in the popular New Providence Wharf development this spacious penthouse occupies the premier position on the 18th floor. n n n n n
3 bedrooms 2 en suite bathrooms Balcony with river views Parking Concierge
ÂŁ2,800,000 Canary Wharf firstname.lastname@example.org
020 7531 2500
Orion Point, Canary Wharf, E14 This ground floor flat measures approximately 84.63 sq m (911 sq ft) and affords well proportioned accommodation. Situated within a well maintained and sought after riverside development with 24 hour concierge and leisure facilities. Leasehold £345,000 Knight Frank Canary Wharf Sales 020 7512 9955 email@example.com
Lockesfield Place, Canary Wharf, E14 Spacious and light three bedroom townhouse situated within a well maintained purpose built development. Presented in good order throughout, the house benefits from a private “double width” patio garden. Share of Freehold £475,000 Knight Frank Canary Wharf Sales 020 7512 9955 firstname.lastname@example.org
Boardwalk Place, Canary Wharf, E14 Well proportioned two bedroom apartment situated on the second floor of sought after purpose built development. The property is presented in good order throughout and benefits from a private balcony with views to Blackwall Basin. Leasehold £395,000 Knight Frank Canary Wharf Sales 020 7512 9955 email@example.com
St Davids Square, Canary Wharf, E14 A spacious west facing two bedroom duplex penthouse situated on the top two floors of a well maintained purpose built development. There is a private balcony which can be accessed from all principal rooms and offers views to the river. Leasehold £535,000 Knight Frank Canary Wharf Sales 020 7512 9955 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ontario Tower, Fairmont Avenue, Canary Wharf E14 We are proud to offer a rare opportunity to rent this three double bedroom, three bathroom duplex apartment found within Ontario Tower. Conveniently located within easy reach of Blackwall DLR with easy access into Canary Wharf/Bank, close to CW Jubilee Line station. Unfurnished. £1250 per week Knight Frank Canary Wharf Lettings 020 7512 9955 email@example.com
Coldharbour, Canary Wharf E14 A newly refurbished, and well proportioned, four bedroom house. At 2284 sq ft and featuring easterly views over the river the house includes a well appointed kitchen/breakfast room leading onto a riverside patio, a large first-floor reception room with access to a balcony and a separate study. Over the next two floors, there are four good double bedrooms (ensuite), further reception space, private terraces and off street parking. £1200 per week Knight Frank Canary Wharf Lettings 020 7512 9955 firstname.lastname@example.org
Boardwalk Place, Canary Wharf E14 A rare opportunity to enjoy a penthouse in the Boardwalk Place. Within walking distance of Canary Wharf, the apartment boasts views of Thames and benefits from a large terrace from which to enjoy them. Two double and one single bedrooms, two bathrooms (one en-suite). A generous open plan kitchen and reception room, secure parking and 24 hour porterage. £450 per week Knight Frank Canary Wharf Lettings 020 7512 9955 email@example.com
No. 1 West India Quay, Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf E14 A one double bedroom apartment found within an award winning development. This apartment features floor to ceiling windows with South facing views and brand new style open plan kitchen. Conveniently located near West India Quay DLR (access to Bank in 15 mins) and Canary Wharf Jubilee Line station. Furnished to a high standard and available now. £450 per week Knight Frank Canary Wharf Lettings 020 7512 9955 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tasman Court, E14
Bright and spacious apartment with two double bedrooms offering Superb period property located in Coldharbour. Beautifully presented Humber Road, SE3 £369,995 St Johns Park, SE3 £335,000 St Josephs Vale £310,000 ample fitted storage, the master with en-suite. Open plan living space, one bedroom furnished property located near Blackwall DLR and the Two bedroom, two bathroom purpose built flat situated in the ever Situated in the heart of the Westcombe Park area we strongly urge an First floor one bedroom converted apartment offering stylish fitted kitchen and separate utility room. Moments walk infamous Gun gastro pub. Canary WharfPark also closecontemporaryliving by. popularSt Joseph’s Vale development so this flat isfrom sure toIsland prove immediate appointment to view ideally located for Westcombe with all the charm offully the era. Accommodation popular with the city professionals. and Maze Hill BR. comprises lounge to front, immaculateGardens kitchen and luxury DLRbathroom. and Greenwich foot tunnel. Available 1st August 2009. Available Jul 09. Furnished.
Gaselle Street, E14
Dovecote Place, E14
A well furnished, second floor two £309,995 bedroom apartment on Gaselle An exceptional two bedroomDacre apartment in the SE13 Watergardens development. Eltham Road, SE12 Lee Terrace, SE3 £460,000 Gardens, £285,000 Street. Ideally situated in proximity to Blackwall DLR, this property is Set 300m from Canada Water station, access to accommodation Canary Wharf, thethree Citylevels and Hall floor two bedroom conversion represents one not to be missed. In Three bedroom garden flat offered with sole use of an 80’ private Purpose build maisonette with set over addition is a pretty 30’ private rear garden off street parking. garden. A short walk from the village, the benefits a andgives a great feel of light andboasts space. A allocated location whichparking, is popular withinthere easy walking distance ofand Canary Wharf. theproperty Westalso End arefrom all easy! This furnished property The property is conveniently located for local shops and BR stations. 20’9 reception room, modern fitted kitchen, off street parking. with first time buyers. Available Now. Furnished. solid wood flooring, granite work surfaces, lift and concierge facilities.
Discovery Dock West, E14
Eaton House, E14
Beautifully offering twoBraxfield double bedrooms, Two bedroom, two bathroom 7th flView oor apartment located in the heart Shell Roadfurnished SE13 spacious apartment £395,000 Road SE4 £449,995 Church House SE4 £329,900 two bathrooms, largehome. reception with balcony and opena very planwell presented three ofbedroom Canary Wharf, walk from everything Wharf to A attractive bay fronted Victorian Lounge withroom doors dividing, A charming period terracemoments A wonderful opportunity to purchasethe this unique fourhas bedroom quality fitted kitchen/diner which leads ontois a secluded rear to South house, situated very popular roadoffer. and is offered no on-fixtures and detached family house, located oak on a quiet street close to all the local kitchen. The development ideallylawned situated Quay DLRin astation High with quality fittings including flooring, granite garden, three good size bedrooms. going chain. amenities and benefits from no on-going chain and Canary Wharfs local amenities. Available Now. Furnished. work tops and comfort cooling. Available furnished 15th August.
Canary Wharf Office - 020 7715 9700 email@example.com Canary Wharf Office - 020 www.kingsturge.co.uk 7715 9700 With London offices in Knightsbridge, Canary Wharf, Blackheath and Greenwich firstname.lastname@example.org www.kingsturge.co.uk
With London offices in Knightsbridge, Canary Wharf, Blackheath, Brockley and Greenwich
Beaulieu Lodge, E14
Edison Building, E14
A highly desirable and recently refurbished one bedroom apartment in This recently refurbished two bedroom apartment isStpresented in SE3 Humber Road, SE3 £369,995 Johns Park, £335,000 St Josephs Vale £310,000 bedroom, offering two bathroom purposefacilities built flat situated in the ever Situated in the condition heart of the Westcombe Park area we urge an floor one bedroom converted apartment offering stylish the sought after Millennium Two Harbour, on-site including excellent and situated in strongly the ever popularFirst ‘Millennium Drive’ popularSt Joseph’s Vale development so this flat is sure to prove immediate appointment to view ideally located for Westcombe Park contemporaryliving with all the charm of the era. Accommodation gym, Jacuzzi, sauna and 24 hour concierge. Located on the fringe of the private estate, only a short walk from Island Gardens DLR. Offered popular with the city professionals. and Maze Hill BR. comprises lounge to front, immaculate kitchen and luxury bathroom. Canary Wharf business district. One allocated parking space included. with a private Garage.
Taeping Street, E14
Hera Court, E14
Eltham Road, SE12 £309,995 Lee Terrace, SE3 £460,000 Dacre Gardens, SE13 £285,000 A recently refurbished two bedroom house situated on a private road A highly desirable one bedroom apartment in Cyclops Wharf, a sought Hall floor two bedroom conversion represents one not to be missed. In Three bedroom garden flat offered with sole use of an 80’ private Purpose build maisonette with accommodation set over three levels in a quiet leafy partrearofgarden the Isle Dogs. a good sized after & gated riverside on-site 24is popular hour addition there isand a pretty 30’ private and offof street parking.Boastsgarden. A short walk from the village, the property also benefits from a development andgives a greatoffering feel of light and space. Afacilities, location which The propertyto is conveniently for local shops andstation BR stations. reception room, modern fitted kitchen, off street parking. with first time buyers. garden the rear.located Mudchute DLR is a short20’9 walk away and concierge and secure allocated parking. provides direct links to Canary Wharf / the City.
Vanguard Building, E14 £395,000 £380,000 Leasehold Belgrave, E14 £650,000 Leasehold Shell Road SE13 Braxfield Road SE4 £449,995 Church View House SE4 £329,900 A attractive bay fronted home. Lounge with doors dividing,in Canary Wharf, A charming very well presented three bedroom period A wonderful opportunity to is purchase this unique bedroom One of the mostVictorian sought after developments seta just a short This luxury twoterrace bedroom 5th floor apartment presented infour excellent quality fitted kitchen/diner which leads onto a secluded lawned rear house, situated in a very popular road and is offered with no ondetached family house, located on a quiet street close to all the local stroll the local bars, shops and restaurants. Within 5 minutes walk of the condition and offers commanding views offrom thenoThames. The development garden,to three good size bedrooms. going chain. amenities and benefits on-going chain DLR and Tube, this property will suit City and Canary Wharf professionals offers security, concierge, proximity to a Virgin Active Health Spa and alike. The development also offers gym and 24 hour concierge. Canary Wharf’s local restaurants. Includes one secure parking space. Office - 020 7715 9700 Canary Wharf Office www.kingsturge.co.uk email@example.com www.kingsturge.co.uk London offiinces in Knightsbridge, Canary Wharf, Blackheath and Greenwich With With London offices Knightsbridge, Canary Wharf, Blackheath, Brockley and Greenwich
Adriatic Building, E14 • 2 bedrooms • 2 bathrooms • Underground parking • 24 hour concierge • Business centre • Balcony
Goodhart Place, E14 • 2 bedrooms • 2 bathrooms • Secure parking • Day concierge • Marina views • 2 balconies
Orion Point, E14
Imperial House, E14
• Luxury 1 bedroom • Stunning river views • 7th floor • Modern spec • Fully fitted kitchen • Gym & 24hr Porter
• 2 bedroom apartment • Wood flooring • Separate kitchen • Good size balcony • Concierge • Gym
Wheatsheaf Close, E14
Sirius Building, E1W
Wharfside Point, E14
The Listed Building, E1W
• 2 bedrooms • Dock views • Allocated parking • 2 bathrooms • Second floor • Separate kitchen
• Penthouse • 3 bedrooms • 2 bathrooms • Two terraces • Secure parking • River views
• Brand new property • 21st floor • 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom • Amazing views • Concierge • Modern décor
• Warehouse conversion • 2 bedroom apartment • Porter • Secure parking • Available unfurnished • Fitted kitchen
Manilla Street, E14
Langbourne Place, E14
Bullivant St, E14
Ratcliffe Wharf, E14
• Newly refurbished • Spacious house • 4 double bedrooms • 2 bathrooms • Spacious lounge • Parking on driveway
• 2,500 sq ft property • Warehouse conversion • 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom • Direct river views • Immaculate condition • Short term lets
• 2 bedrooms • Roof terrace • Underground parking • Study • Two bathrooms • Modern development
• 2 bedrooms • Secure parking • 2 bathrooms • Juliet balcony • Concierge • Riverside development
OMBUDSMAN FOR ESTATE AGENTS
There are ‘Docklands’ agents and there’s Rubicon. Due to an increasing demand we are seeking new instructions in sales and lettings. We are currently offering exclusive discounts and rates, please contact our offices for more information. property specialists in sales lettings management Limehouse
65 Narrow Street Limehouse, London E14 8DP tel 020 7987 8887 fax 020 7987 8777 email firstname.lastname@example.org
154 westferry Road Isle of Dogs, London E14 3RY tel 020 7093 8380 fax 020 7987 5410 email email@example.com
BarriEr Point £650,000
• 3 bed duplex riverside apartment • 2 ensuite bathrooms • Spectacular views of the Thames Barrier
• Award winning development • Home automation system • Secure underground parking
£399,000 • 2 bed 2 bath apartment • Secure parking • Gated development
• Large balcony • Canary Wharf views • Gym and Concierge
• 2 double bedrooms • 12th floor, 881 sq ft • Stunning balcony views
£379.950 • 2 bed 2 bath warehouse conversion • Floor to ceiling windows
• Balcony with water views • Allocated parking • Share of freehold
nEW ProvidEnCE Wharf
£550 PEr WEEK
£800 PEr WEEK
• Secure underground parking • 24 hour concierge • Minutes walk to Canary Wharf
• Stunning 2 bed 2 bath flat • Fully Furnished including TV • Short walk to Canary Wharf
• On site gym, Jacuzzi & swimming pool • Secure underground parking
Penthouse of the month West India Quay A superb 31st floor duplex penthouse with arguably the best views in London.
3 bedrooms 3 bathrooms
Asking Price ÂŁ3,400,000
large rooftop terrace underground parking
Canary Wharf firstname.lastname@example.org
020 7531 2500
Buying a property? You need a Buyer’s Agent not an estate agent Recent Success Story The specialist team at Paper Rocket recently found & negotiated the purchase of a 2 bed apartment in Docklands for a busy city couple Alex and Kerry
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The team at Paper Rocket can • Save you money • Save you time • Save you stress • Save you dealing with hundreds of estate agents! All of this brought to you on a no-find no-fee basis Amount Alex and Kerry had to spend: £375,000 Asking price of property found:
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£349,000 Price negotiated by us: £325,000 Our Fee: £3,250 Total Saving:
T 020 7038 8534 E email@example.com
10:37:02 pm 15/2/05
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London's Finest Properties
Ontario Tower, Canary Wharf E14
• Stunning 23rd floor Suite • Unparalleled views to the river & Canary Wharf • Exceptional specification • Ultra contemporary riverside landmark building • 24 hr concierge/Spa centre/leisure facilities and room service available
No 1 Pepys Street, EC3
• 2nd floor 1 bedroom apartment in this popular block • Excellent condition with extremely modern kitchen and bathroom • Includes existing furniture pack • Close proximity to Fenchurch St and Tower Hill stations • Secure underground parking
We urgently require 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments for awaiting, company and professional tenants. For all management properties we will take our fees on a monthly basis.
One West India Quay, Canary Wharf E14 £565,000 • Spectacular 1 bedroom/2 bathroom apartment • Arguably Canary Wharf’s most prestigious development • Superior specification and highly contemporary fittings • Unparalleled views of Canary Wharf • Located next to DLR and shopping malls
City Quarter, Leman Street, EC1
• 4th floor two bed/two bath apartment • Fantastic location next to Tower Hill • Highly contemporary fixtures and fittings • Balcony with views onto tranquil courtyard and watergardens
Sales | Lettings | Corporate Services | Property Management www.liferesidential.co.uk
Central London 020 7582 7989
West London 020 8896 9990
Docklands 020 7476 0125
Deptford & Greenwich 020 8692 2244
London's Finest Properties
Ontario Tower, Canary Wharf E14
from £250 PW
• A Selection of Suites • Fully Furnished • Balcony • Many On-site Amenities • 24hr Concierge Service • Nr. Blackwall DLR
Oceanis Apartments, Royal Victoria Docks E16 £355 PW • Two Bedrooms • Fully Furnished • 9th Floor Apartment • Balcony • Parking • 24hr Concierge Service
Parliament View, Albert Embarkment SE1
• Two double bedrooms • Ensuite to Master Bedroom • Stunning views of Houses of Parliament • Air conditioning • Residents Gymnasium
Westgate Apartments, Excel E16
• Two Bedrooms • Fully Furnished • 7th Floor Apartment • Balcony • Designated Parking • 24hr Concierge Service
New Providence Wharf, E14
• Two Bedrooms • River Facing • 6th Floor Apartment • Balcony • Leisure facilities • 24hr Concierge Service
Elm Quay Court, Nine Elms Lane SW8
• Two Double Bedrooms • Vast River view • Interior designed • 24 hour concierge • Leisure complex • Short walk to Vauxhall station
Sales | Lettings | Corporate Services | Property Management www.liferesidential.co.uk
Central London 020 7582 7989
West London 020 8896 9990
Docklands 020 7476 0125
Deptford & Greenwich 020 8692 2244
CANARY WHARF CITYLIFE AUGUST 2009 ART • INTERIORS • FASHION • MOTORING • BEAUTY • SHOPPING • BUSINESS • GADGETS • FOOD & DRINK • UK & INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY
I S S U E 49
CANARY WHARF CITYLIFE
AUGUST 2009 • ISSUE 49
The impacts of a united Europe
Meet the creators of Auctomatic
Nostalgia rules with retro culture
DECLINE OF THE BRITISH PUB
The end of a centuries-old tradition?
UK & International
Canary Wharf August 09