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Behind the Seams

Goldie Locks

Local wedding dress designer Lisa Redman takes Ellen Millard on the journey of a bespoke gown

Founders of jewellery brand Loquet London Laura Bailey and Sheherazade Goldsmith unlock the secret to their success



Ring the Changes

New Romantics

From the outfits worn to the rituals performed, discover the different wedding traditions from around the world

Discover the bridal trends for 2017, from embellished gowns, daring cuts, elaborate ruffles and 21st century detailing



The Line of Beauty

Flour Girls

Elie Saab discusses his debut bridalwear collection and the obstacles he overcame on his journey to couture royalty

Meet London’s three leading female wedding cake designers who ditched their day jobs to pursue a life of baking

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On the Cover... In the world of bridalwear, it’s easy to predict what might grace the runway each season: probably a few cathedral-length trains, presumably a scattering of embellished pieces and definitely a plethora of white gowns. And yet, it’s a collection that we at NHHP look forward to each year, for the principal designers in the bridalwear world never fail to deliver a striking array of exquisite dresses. For Spring 2017, the likes of Jenny Packham, Vivienne Westwood and Nicholas Oakwell Couture embraced embellishment in a big way, while Suzanne Neville kept it classic with lace embroidery. Discover our pick of the crop on pages 54 to 61.

Cover image: Photography: Phillip Waterman; Stylist: Alexandria Reid

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Notting hill & Holland Park F e b r u a ry 2 0 1 7 s i s s u e 0 4 9 Editor Olivia Sharpe Assistant Editor Ellen Millard Editorial Assistant Lauren Stevens Senior Designer Catherine Johnson Design Intern Paris Fielder Brand Consistency Laddawan Juhong Production Hugo Wheatley Alice Ford Jamie Steele Client Relationship Director Friday Dalrymple Executive Director Sophie Roberts General Manager Fiona Fenwick


Managing Director Eren Ellwood

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From the EDITOR “The times, they are a-changin’,” said Bob Dylan. This could not have been a more apt description of 2016, which featured a series of world-changing events. Of course, not all change is good, but when it comes to the institution of marriage – which has evolved significantly in recent years to embrace individuality and liberalism – there are many positives to list. With this in mind and it being our dedicated bridal issue, Ellen Millard considers the different nuptial traditions from around the world – from breaking old porcelain in Germany as an act of good luck to the Australian buck’s night – as well as the international designers championing Eastern bridal couture in London, on pages 18 to 21. Lebanese designer Elie Saab is often credited with bridging the gap between Eastern and Western cultures with his haute couture designs. Having started his career creating bespoke bridalwear, last year saw him launch his first official collection. The man responsible for putting Lebanon on the fashion map speaks to Katy Parker about his traditional, yet daring bridal collection and what’s next for his eponymous label (p.22). Back here in London, there are many local designers of whom we can be proud, including Notting Hill-based couturier Lisa Redman. She sits down with us in her atelier to talk through the journey of creating a bespoke wedding dress and how she has learnt to cope with the occasional bridezilla moment on pages 14 to 17. If you are in need of further inspiration for what to wear on your wedding day, then head over to our fashion shoot, which features all of the most stunning looks from Spring 2017 (p.54). From elaborate embellishments and romantic ruffles to higher hemlines and 21st century detailing, the modern bride has never been more bold. Elsewhere, Angelina Villa-Clarke sniffs out the haute parfumerie houses that are creating rare, artisanal scents on pages 76 to 79.


Olivia Sharpe Follow us on Twitter @KandCMagazine or email with any comments

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Behind the Seams Notting Hill couturier Lisa Redman takes Ellen Millard through the journey of a bespoke wedding dress, from the artwork to the alter – and the occasional bridezilla moments that happen in between Stepping into Lisa Redman’s atelier is like entering an alternate world. Tucked at the end of a corridor in an unassuming office block just off Ladbroke Grove, the bijou workshop-cum-dressing room seems light years away from the hectic streets that surround Portobello Market. A pink kettle bubbles away on a matching roseshaded kitchen unit, Classic FM punctuates the air with symphony after symphony, and Rachel Vosper candles fill the space with a floral bouquet. In the middle of the room, a vintage screen embroidered with motifs of heron birds vies for first place as the most visually striking object, narrowly missing out to the rail of lavish clothing that lines the opposite wall. It’s here that Redman designs her luxurious gowns, where her clients come for consultations and where, behind the aforementioned room divider, her machinist weaves each creation together. Rolls of calico and the latest fabric for Redman’s 2017 ready-to-wear collection wait patiently for their turn, ready to be stitched into a bespoke outfit for the next lucky customer. Having cut her teeth working for the likes of Betty Jackson, Calvin Klein, Coast and Elspeth Gibson, Redman started her eponymous label 10 years ago, specialising in by-appointment-only evening and bridalwear. Her pieces tend to be very classic, with strong, clean cuts and simple shapes jazzed up with beading, lace appliqué or a fur trim. The designer has become somewhat of a whispered secret in the luxury fashion world, with a loyal and often enigmatic clientele. “Quite often, my clients don’t want to tell their friends about us, which is really useful,” she says, sarcastically. “They want to keep it as their little thing, which means you end up not getting many referrals. Or, if you do, it’ll be a client who’s 40 referring somebody who’s 70, so there’s no competition between them.”

It’s not the most ideal business plan, but then again, it’s this level of intimacy and exclusivity that attracts Redman’s clients, particularly when it comes to the bridal side. From the sketches to the stitching, each design is made entirely in-house by a small team of five. “I couldn’t achieve what I do unless I did it in-house. If I sent everything off to a factory, I wouldn’t be able to maintain control over it and cater to the client’s every whim,” she explains. “Quite often, you end up getting a bride who has already gone out and had a look at other dresses on the high street, but didn’t find the right one. They like a bit of this and a bit of that and they love the idea of lace, but they didn’t like the cheap version, and we can cater to all of that.” Each commission begins with a consultation with Redman, whose natural down-to-earth attitude no doubt calms even the most frazzled of brides. “They tell me their vision and we’ll go through the whole thing – the flowers, where their wedding is and how many people are going – to get a feel for what it’s going to be like,” she tells me. “They do often come with some sort of idea of what they’re after, but we also use my collection as a starting point.” Initial ideas mapped out, Redman and her assistant will


All images courtesy of: Lisa Redman Bridal collection

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sketch out the design and, once they’ve received the seal of approval from the client, a prototype will be made out of calico. First, a pattern cutter will turn the designer’s drawings into a life-sized model; then, the machinist will stitch the first sample together, ready for a fitting with the bride. “They’ll probably have two or three fittings and then a couple more in the real cloth,” Redman explains. “But it can really depend on what sort of character they are; some of the girls can be quite nervous so they’ll want to try it on over and over again. Others will just have it made and then try it on right at the end.” Redman’s designs can range from classic shift dresses with a beaded trim to massive lace ballgowns with cathedral-length trains. Applying beading and appliqué lace is a painstaking and time-consuming process, and the designer’s highly skilled seamstress spends hours ensuring that each embellishment is stitched to perfection. As is to be expected, bespoke wedding dress design doesn’t come without its problems, and Redman has received her fair share of tricky brides, from those who want the dress to be designed in a way that just won’t technically work, to the ones who become infatuated with a certain style that may not suit them. Her biggest bug bear is last-minute changes to an outfit, whether it be to the shoes, underwear or jewellery, all of which can affect the cut of the dress. But, rather unusually, the most memorable bridezilla moment that Redman has witnessed came not from the blushing bride, but her mother. “She wanted to wear white,” she says, laughing. “She kept saying that she thought the bride’s dress looked silver and it was a bit, but


her daughter was less than impressed. We managed to talk her into something that was more of a mink colour.” When it comes to fashion, Redman admits to having a soft spot for brands such as Dior (“it’s just scrumptious”), Erdem and Roksanda, but tends to ignore trends and stick to the house style that her loyal customers know and love, being more inspired by designs from the 1940s and 1950s than contemporary fashion. She was also heavily influenced by her grandmother, whose passion for handmade clothing instilled in Redman her love of design. “When I was six, I inherited a trunk of clothes from my grandmother that she’d had made for her when she was in her 20s,” she recalls. “They were all left in tissue paper and in the backs they’d not only have the label showing where they were from, but the name of who had made them and the date of when it had been made. She

“There’s something about Notting Hill that still has a bit of character about it” also had loads of long gloves and bags covered in hand embroidery. I loved opening that trunk.” When not holed up in her atelier working on a new design, Redman spends time in Notting Hill with her husband and their six-year-old son, dining at Pizza East and Snaps + Rye. She’s lived near Ladbroke Grove for 16 years and still finds the area as inspiring as she did when she first arrived. “The other day I saw a little girl wearing the cutest pleated drop waist dress and I thought ‘Oh my god, I want to do to a grown-up version of that’. I like that it keeps you on your toes. My son goes to school near Kensington High Street and I love it there because it’s all very civilised and beautiful, but there’s something about Notting Hill that still has a bit of character about it. There’s always something to look at and I think that’s very inspiring.” By appointment only, 2-4 Exmoor Street, W11, 020 8968 1234,

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Image courtesy of: Red Dot Jewels Photography: Khush Wedding Magazine (UK)


Ring the

Changes Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue – the wedding traditions we honour in the UK range from the sublime to the ridiculous, and we’re not alone. From the outfits that are worn to the rituals performed, Ellen Millard discovers the ceremonial nuances found across the globe WE’RE ALL GUILTY of the occasional cry at a wedding. An emotional day, coupled with copious amounts of alcohol, is guaranteed to reduce even the hardiest of guests to a sniffle. A friend of mine went to one ceremony that was so moving, even the cake was in tiers (sorry). But at a traditional wedding in the Sichuan province of China, the act of sobbing discreetly into a handkerchief is only the half of it. Instead, starting one month before the main event, a bride will cry for one hour every day. As the big day draws closer, female relatives and friends will join in with this soggy ceremony, until every woman is bawling. It would be safe to presume that at this point the groom would have a rather bad case of misgivings – a fair assumption given that his impending nuptials have, quite literally, reduced everyone to tears – but the weepy tradition is in fact one of joy, said to symbolise the start of a happy marriage. In Britain, we are far too reserved for such an open display of emotion, instead preferring to reveal our feelings through the medium of drinking, often undertaken at a stag or hen party. Similar acts of liberation are performed across the globe, with the US favouring bachelor and bachelorette parties and the Australians a boozy buck’s night. France reigns as the cheerful champion with enterrement de vie de garçon, which translates to ‘the burial of life as a boy’, while in Germany wedding guests come together the night before to celebrate with Polterabend – a custom during which old porcelain is broken, an act that is said to bring good luck.

Finding fortune and avoiding a lifetime of adversity produce an array of unusual – and often superstitious – acts around the world; in the UK, it’s seen as bad luck for the groom to see the bride’s dress before the wedding, while in the Philippines it’s considered disastrous if the outfit is tried on the day before. In Italy, Sunday is believed to be the luckiest day on which to be betrothed, and heaven forbid the bride should wear gold on the day of her wedding. Scottish tradition sees the happy couple covered in alcohol, treacle, ash, feathers and flour to ward off evil spirits, while Kenyan brides are spat on by their father to avoid jinxing good fortune. As if the whole affair wasn’t stressful enough, Italian couples must face a series of challenges en route to the ceremony to put their marriage skills to the test; tasks include calming a crying baby and undertaking a series of household chores. Similarly, German newlyweds will saw a log in half in front of their guests in a ceremony known as Baumstamm Sägen. In Romania, the bride’s family will pretend to kidnap her, and her husband-to-be must win her back through romantic gestures and bribes involving drinks and money. When it comes to the bride’s dress, a traditional white affair, although often striking, seems to be one of the more simple ensembles out there. Colourful gowns and heavy embellishment are abundant across the globe, making the ivory frock made famous by Queen Victoria appear somewhat demure in comparison. Red is the colour traditionally favoured by Indian and Chinese brides; both types of design, while vastly different, are equally stunning, with gold embroidery

Colourful gowns and heavy embellishment are abundant around the world

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woven onto a scarlet background. Aashni Anshul Doshi, founder of Notting Hill-based Aashni + Co ( specialises in Indian and South Asian couture, a market she decided to tap into after struggling to find an appropriate engagement outfit for herself. “Indian weddings can go on for a week, so you need at least six outfits. I had to live in India for six months so that I wouldn’t have to travel back and forth for all of the fittings,” she tells me. “That’s how the idea for the store came about; there was a clear gap and no one else was around to fill it.” Now her boutique stocks a medley of dazzling designs that range from the more traditional affair (fashion label Sabyasachi is the best for conventional bridalwear) to contemporary designs (designer Anamika Khanna merges western silhouettes with Indian embroidery). The mix highlights the changing nature of Indian weddings, particularly for those who live in the West. “People are slowly getting into different colours, so different shades of red, pinks, corals, oranges and greens. Nowadays, parents are more open to accepting different styles,” Doshi says. “But on the other hand, we’re seeing a lot of young brides who actually want to stick with the tradition because they quite like it and want to embrace it.” Jewellery also features heavily in Indian bridal design, with tradition dictating that there are nine pivotal ornaments a bride should wear. A wedding ring is, of course, essential; earrings are worn to ward off evil spirits that might enter the body; a musical payal, or anklet, announces the arrival of a new bride in her husband’s house; and a bajuband, or armlet, and bangles represent luck and safety, and vary in colour depending on the region the bride is from. A kamarbandh is a striking belt that provides added sparkle to the dress; and haar neckpieces are heavy and often gold, while a mangalsutra is put on by the groom and will be worn for as long as the bride or her husband is alive. On the toes, a bride will wear rings, or bichyas, as they are known in Hindi, and in the hair a maang tikka is worn, a hair accessory with a pendant that falls over the forehead, said to signify the union of the bride and groom on a spiritual, physical and emotional level. Finally, the nath, or nose ring, is said to have acupunctural values: legend has it that women who have their noses pierced experience less menstrual pain and have an easier childbirth, while today the nath symbolises a woman’s virginity, and is removed on her wedding night. UK-based Red Dot Jewels ( was founded by Shalini Patel and specialises in Indian-inspired silver and semi-precious jewellery, offering brides a more contemporary take on their culture’s traditional trinkets. Brands such as Azuni London (that shot to fame when the Duchess of Cambridge wore a pair of its semi-precious drop earrings) and Ritika Sachdeva bring a touch of Asian couture to the West with their intricate designs.

Wanting to recognise your heritage on one of the most important days of your life is understandable, and one London-based designer is trying her hardest to keep her culture’s bridalwear alive. Shukri Hashi Bridal ( offers Somali-British hybrid dresses, playing on western shapes but with a nod to the traditional Somali print. Usually made from cotton and worn as a wrap, the design is instead printed onto tulle, chiffon and satin and cut into voluminous dresses. “When I would go to weddings, I would think about the traditional Somali print and how it was a shame that the showstopper has become a white dress,” she explains. “I’ve never been to Somalia in my life and to me it’s always been an education, learning about where I come from and where my parents grew up; it’s important no matter where you live to know your heritage. I want every Somali bride to have a touch of her culture on her wedding day.” From the outfits worn to the rituals upheld, newlyweds across the globe embrace their culture’s ageold traditions to mark the start of their lives together as a married couple. Whatever your background, choosing to spend the rest of your life with another person is no mean feat, so it’s little wonder that the ceremonies celebrating the decision are ones of great significance, a fact that is undifferentiated across the globe. From the six-day celebrations in India to the 24hour bashes elsewhere in the world, jubilations for the happy couple are ones of extravagance in ways that are fascinating, no matter what culture you belong to – just know that, should you ever be invited to a wedding in Sichuan, a tissue or two will be sure to come in handy.

From left to right: Sabyasachi; Gaurav Gupta; both images courtesy of: Aashni + Co


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This page: Elie Saab Bridal A/W17 Opposite page: Elie Saab Resort 2017


Beauty The Line of

A self-taught designer who put Lebanon on the fashion map, Elie Saab is renowned the world over for his jawdropping red-carpet gowns. He speaks to KATY PARKER about overcoming obstacles, his return to bridalwear and Middle Eastern influences

rom a very young age, I would spend my time watching people – the way they walk or dress. I wouldn’t see them as they were, but as they could be if they were dressed differently.” Elie Saab is reminiscing. And as he does so, it quickly becomes clear that here sits a man who was never in any doubt as to his calling in life. He continues: “I used to look at the world around me in a different way from other children. My perspective on women was different: I have always been surrounded by beautiful women who inspire me, and I wanted to underline their personalities.” The eldest son of a wood merchant, the selftaught fashion designer is one of the most illustrious talents to come out of Lebanon, becoming the first Lebanese designer to dress an Oscar winner in 2002, when Halle Berry wore one of his burgundy gowns to collect her Academy Award for Best Actress. Raised in Beirut, Saab started sewing as a child and by the age of eight had already turned his attention to fashion and design. His tools were anything that came to hand; he raided his mother’s wardrobe for lace, cut patterns out of newspapers and used his sister as a model. The preparation paid off. In 1981, Saab moved to Paris to study fashion, before returning to his hometown to launch his eponymous label a year later, when he was just 18 years old. “I was only a teenager when I began my career,” he says, “but I knew where I was headed. Working in fashion was more my destiny than anything else.” Briefly specialising in bridal couture when he was starting out, Saab’s steadfastness soon caught the eyes of women the world over and his exquisite designs have since been seen on numerous Oscar-nominated actresses, Grammy award-winning singers, and royal

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family members – Queen Rania of Jordan wore one of his dresses for her coronation in 1999. Scroll through the ‘best dressed’ image gallery of any star-studded event, and you will be greeted by a dazzling array of glamorous figures wearing Saab’s creations. Now, the designer is returning to his roots with his first official bridal collection – a line of 27 striking gowns, each beautifully designed with intricate embroidery, heavy embellishment and soft textures. “Bridalwear is something that is close to my heart, as I started my career by creating wedding dresses,” he tells me. “I have seen such an evolution in the market, from the format of ceremonies to the type of bride and her desires. I wanted to focus on these interesting developments and explore who the Elie Saab bride is today.” One glance at the collection will tell you that the Elie Saab bride is traditional yet daring, opting for classic shapes but with off-the-shoulder cuts, voluminous tulle skirts and appliqué florals. Each dress could just as easily be worn walking down the runway as it could down the aisle and, as is to be expected, Saab’s passion for detail has not been downplayed. “I wanted the collection to reflect the codes of the house, while introducing a new and distinctive line,” he explains. “It presents the essentials of feminine and daring silhouettes as well as signature embroideries and draperies.” I ask the designer if it was always his desire to carve out a niche in show-stopping couture. “I started my


business more than 30 years ago by creating evening gowns and wedding dresses because that was what I wanted to do and what inspired me. I always found that my inspiration was limitless when creating haute couture.” While nowadays he is in demand by the likes of Rihanna, Helen Mirren, and everyone in between, it took time – almost 20 years, in fact – for Hollywood to sit up and pay attention to the dressmaker from Beirut. In an industry dominated by French and Italian designers, Saab was something of a pioneer. “The industry was non-existent in the region when I started as a teenager, so I’m proud of having created a profession that didn’t exist in my country before.” In this sense, Saab feels a certain sense of responsibility to emerging Lebanese talent, prompting him to launch a fashion degree in collaboration with both the London College of Fashion and the Lebanese American University.

“I like to visit art galleries and exhibitions that might be a source of inspiration for a future collection”

“I want to help and encourage talented young generations to pursue a career in fashion design,” he tells me. Saab’s original clients were the well-heeled women of Beirut, who were drawn to his feminine yet structured silhouettes, delicate attention to detail and use of rich fabrics, lace, detailed embroidery, pearls, crystals and silk threads. Today, his fans are drawn to much the same aspects, but it is his unique fusion of Eastern and Western cultures that really sets Saab apart. He describes how he is influenced by the Middle East – its “culture and richness” – while “living in Beirut has been a great source of creativity”, particularly “in the luxurious fabrics and intricate embroideries that I choose”. Saab’s S/S17 collection, however, displayed a lighter, more playful side. Showcased in Paris, it was inspired by 1970s disco and the golden era of Studio 54, Saab tells me: “in an effusive mix of pattern, colour, texture and tailoring of bold sensuality.” Heralding a new era of “easy glamour”, the collection was a triumphant blend of “the lightness of summer and the extravagance of evening wear”.

This page: Elie Saab Bridal A/W17 Right & below: both Elie Saab Resort 2017


It has been a busy time for Saab, who, alongside his return to bridalwear and the brand’s seasonal shows, unveiled a new four-storey flagship on Bruton Street, with another to come on New York’s Madison Avenue. In his London-based boutiques in Mayfair and on Brompton Road, there is an obvious emphasis on customer experience: the need for shoppers to take their time, to feel the fabrics, to immerse themselves in the splendour of couture. With this in mind, I wonder how Saab views the world of e-commerce, and whether he thinks digital has a place in the rarefied world of luxury fashion. He seems wary. “I appreciate the role online has played in globalisation,” he says. “However, the digital sphere is a double-edged sword, which can have a positive or negative impact on the brand. “For me, it’s important to stay true to the brand DNA – and at the same time maintain a common ground between the online and offline portrayal of the Elie Saab universe.” And what of the designer’s personal universe – does he ever find a quiet moment to relax? “My day revolves around my work,” he describes, “but when I find the time, I like to visit art galleries and exhibitions that might be a source of inspiration for a future collection. I try to relax in the evenings by spending time with family and friends.” For Saab, the focus for the future is maintaining the quality for which the brand is renowned. He assures me that, while it is expanding – having launched an eyewear line in January – it will never be mainstream. “It should, and always will, remain high-end and highly desirable.” Well, Mr Saab, you had me at hello. 87-135 Brompton Road, SW1X,

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From Paris with Love Chaumet is a jewellery brand steeped in romance. It was founded in Paris in 1780 by Marie-Étienne Nitot, who was one of the official jewellers to Napoléan I, who would commission spectacular jewels for his wife, Joséphine. Fast forward to today and the house is still putting the happiness of couples first; last year saw it open its first boutique dedicated solely to marriage at 12 Place Vendôme in Paris. Following in this tradition, Chaumet has now launched a special Paris city guide app, which invites couples to rediscover the romantic French capital with recommendations on its best boutique hotels, shops, restaurants and bars, and cultural walking tours. You, Me, Paris, available to download from the App Store in English, French and Mandarin Chinese,

L’Amour à Paris campaign, image courtesy of: Chaumet

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A Cut

Choosing an engagement ring is always difficult, but choosing an antique ring can be a minefield if you don’t know where to look. Olivia Sharpe speaks to the experts about how to find the perfect age-old engagement ring “They don’t make them the way they used to” is a phrase we have all heard the older generation spout. While it may be hackneyed, there is often a lot of truth in it, particularly when applied to antique and vintage engagement rings. Of course, you can’t go wrong with a modern engagement ring, but there are many benefits to choosing antique and if you’re in the market for a one of a kind, I don’t believe anything else quite compares. There are various different periods from which to choose, including Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco, all of which have their own defining styles. So how do you differentiate between them? Georgian rings, undoubtedly the rarest and hardest to find, are characterised by their closed-back settings and use of rose-cut diamonds. Platinum had not yet been discovered, so rings were typically set in 18-karat gold with silver then added on top, as this was the only white metal they had at the time. “This is why you will often find Georgian rings look quite dark in colour because the silver has tarnished over time,” explains Susannah Lovis, an expert in antique jewellery. Some of the most popular designs included cluster rings, the five-stone

This page, clockwise from top left: 4.58-carat vintage cushion-cut Ceylon sapphire ring, POA, Hancocks; 1970s Oscar Heyman & Brothers ruby diamond platinum cluster ring, £46,000,; 1.28-carat fancy yellow diamond old mine cushion-cut ring, POA, Hancocks; Cushion-cut diamond ring, £65,000, Susannah Lovis; 4.09-carat early Asscher-cut diamond in vintage ring with baguette-cut diamond accents, POA, Hancocks

ring (similar to a modern-day band) and the single and double-heart styles. Many factors influenced the evolution of the engagement ring in the Victorian period, including the opening of the African diamond mines in the 1870s, the discovery of platinum (which replaced gold and silver settings) and the introduction of lower-karat gold alloys. Notably, the solitaire engagement ring, one of the most popular styles today, made its debut during this time. The rings of the Edwardian era are distinguished by their elaborate floral and garland designs, colourful gemstones (used to accent surrounding diamonds), and inclusion of pearls, while the pared-back, clean and geometric lines of the Art Deco styles are arguably the most recognisable of all. This is, of course, just a rough guide and only an expert would be able to give you a comprehensive insight. When it comes to finding the perfect antique engagement ring, your best port of call is the Burlington Arcade. This vintage jewellery treasure trove is where the aforementioned Lovis has been based for the past 20 years. Her extensive collection includes pieces dating from the Georgian period right up to the 1970s. Lovis explains how the demand for antique

collection This page, clockwise from top left: Ruby diamond three-stone ring, POA, from The Antique Jewellery Company at Grays Antique Centre; Emerald and diamond ring, £19,900, Susannah Lovis; Ruby, sapphire and diamond double heart ring, 1860, POA, from Mariad Antiques at Grays Antiques Centre; French ruby and diamond marquise ring, c.1910, POA, Lucas Rarities Ltd.

and vintage rings has never waned as customers will forever be drawn to owning an original piece. “You can go and find modern engagement rings on Bond Street in any of the big-name jewellers, but there’s no point in us trying to compete with them,” she says. “Often, our customers see the charm in antique and vintage rings, but they don’t quite understand why they like them.” For Lovis, she believes the main reason why her clients prefer antique to modern is down to the cut of the diamond, which has changed dramatically over the years due to technological innovations. “People don’t make them the way they used to, diamond-wise,” she explains. “Diamonds now are cut to perfect proportions by lasers to achieve the ultimate internal reflection of light, whereas diamonds in the Victorian and Edwardian eras were cut by hand, making each one completely unique.” The most notable difference you will spot between an old-cut and modern diamond is its sparkle. The earliest form of a modern brilliant-cut, old-cut diamonds were purposefully shaped to give off the maximum amount of sparkle under candlelight, whereas today’s cutters prioritise the size of the stone. Diamonds remain the most popular, even when it comes to antique engagement rings. Grays Antiques Centre in Mayfair specialises in these, having around 40 to 50 different styles in varying prices and sizes that date from 1920 to 1935. Grays dealer Robin Haydock explains how many of his clients are looking for a traditional four-claw diamond setting, but like the idea of antique because they want something different from the modern machine-made rings that dominate the current market. “If you were to look around a dinner table at what people were wearing, you’d see quite a lot of uniformity,” he comments. “Most people are concerned about the diamond’s colour and quality, but a piece from the 1920s is going to stand out irrespective of colour or clarity.” Like Lovis, Haydock notes how all the handwork that went into making engagement rings during this period was extremely detailed and intricate; for example, jewellers would typically hand file the claws, giving them a beautiful lacy pattern that you just won’t see today. It is finer details such as these that help the likes of Haydock distinguish between a genuine Art Deco ring

and an imitation, of which there are many. As a member of LAPADA (the Association of Art & Antiques Dealers), he is obligated to honour its code of practice in offering clients the best advice and guaranteeing with due diligence that he can trace a piece’s origins. In-depth research and discovering the best stones from around the world are what motivate Guy Burton, the bespoke jewellery director at Hancocks London in Burlington Arcade. He and his family bought the jewellery business, first established in 1849, in 1992 and they have successfully brought antique jewellery into the 21st century with their contemporary approach. Unlike a traditional antique store which can often appear cluttered and stuffy, Hancocks is clean and minimal. Burton specialises in sourcing old-cut stones and arranging them in a modern setting. However, he refuses to adopt contemporary methods such as CAD design to create his pieces, believing the old hand-craftsmanship methods to be infinitely superior. This is therefore why all of the pieces are made in the workshop the company has employed since 1850. “The easiest way to think of it is like a Savile Row suit,” he says. “You get the best tailors who make the finest suits because it’s the attention to detail. You’re never going to get an old-cut stone that’s 100 per cent symmetrical so a ring can take up to two months to be made properly.” Burton is passionate about Art Deco stones and prides himself on being able to source the best thanks to his impressive list of contacts, many of whom are based in America (where much of our period jewellery was exported to during the 20th century and where this kind of jewellery continues to hold the biggest market worldwide). “The antique world is a very small niche and community, and it’s a dealer of passions,” he states. While it’s not difficult to find old-cut stones, the vast majority of them are badly cut so the jeweller must wade through a lot of rough before finding the perfect diamond. Many of Burton’s commissions are bespoke and one of his most recent was a beautiful Art Deco engagement ring featuring a 1.93-carat central stone. “This is how all emerald cuts should look,” he argues. “The hallmark is these really big cut corners which give it its geometric faceted pattern. Craftsmen wouldn’t do that now because clients’ main

“Diamonds in the Victorian and Edwardian eras were cut by hand, making each one completely unique”

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concern today is size and retaining as much of the diamond’s weight as possible.” Another preoccupation people often have is with colour, the myth being that the whiter the stone, the better it is. But as Burton points out, colour is not a quality test for a stone, but merely a question of how much nitrogen it contains. Saying that, whiter stones are undoubtedly the more coveted, hence their higher value, but Burton has sourced some beautiful yellower stones, too. One in particular is a 9.66-carat old European brilliant-cut diamond ring; graded M and L on the colour spectrum, this gives the piece its attractive soft yellowy hue, which has been cleverly offset with an 18-karat yellow gold carved hoop. While diamonds are the number-one choice for engagement rings, coloured gemstones are also highly sought after. According to Lovis, sapphires continue to be the most in vogue (no doubt partly due to the Duchess of Cambridge’s inherited ring), but emeralds have come back in a big way and she has several dating back to the Victorian period. Although there is a prevailing myth that these gemstones make for bad engagement rings due to them being brittle, she stresses that this is a common misconception and they are in fact very tough. Dynamic and forward-thinking antique dealer Sam Loxton, who has been running London-based antiques store Lucas Rarities Ltd. for several years, has many rings intended for those looking for something unconventional – including a large number of 20thcentury signed pieces by the likes of René Boivin, Suzanne Belperron and Pierre Sterlé. Along with sourcing period and vintage pieces, Loxton will refashion old jewels that have been brought in by clients, which is a service Lovis also offers. One of her clients recently came in with a five-stone ring she

had inherited which was too big for her, so Lovis turned it into a three-stone ring and made earrings out of the remaining diamonds. To highlight how the antique jewellery world has moved with the times in recent years, you can now also source a vast array of antique and vintage jewellery online at, which carries engagement rings dating from the Georgian period onwards. Lovis believes that our love for reworking something old and transforming it into something new is what has kept the antique jewellery market thriving all these years. “Women get an idea of what they want as their engagement ring from a young age,” she says. “If their mother wore a solitaire ring, then that’s what they inevitably want. The idea of vintage and reusing comes from childhood and it stays with us as adults.”

Clockwise from top right: Black-andwhite shot of Hancocks store front, Burlington Arcade; Shapiro & Co. jewellery stand at Grays Antique Centre; Susannah Lovis store front, Burlington Arcade


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Tie the knot in the Fitzrovia Chapel and then celebrate with a stunning reception right next door. Percy & Founders is adjacent to the Chapel and has a series of amazing spaces for your special day, plus the unrivalled convenience of all your requirements under one (gorgeous) roof.

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Image courtesy of: ©Cartier

Green with Envy

A Labour of Love Like the Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra pendant or the Bulgari B.zero1 ring, Cartier’s Love bracelet is an iconic piece of jewellery every woman should own. Designed by Aldo Cipullo in 1969, this unique cuff was inspired by ancient cultures and the concept of a chastity belt, and is fitted onto the wearer using a small screwdriver to symbolise eternal love and devotion. The timeless piece has been reinterpreted this year into a more delicate version, with rings now also available, but otherwise it remains true to the original design, with its classic oval shape punctuated with screws. Love bangle, from £3,250, 143-144 Sloane Street, SW1X,

At the end of last year, Pantone announced ‘Greenery’ – described as “a fresh and zesty yellowgreen shade that evokes the first days of spring” – as the 2017 Colour of the Year. Taking this as their cue, jewellery designers’ 2017 collections are positively bursting with this refreshing shade. British jeweller Theo Fennell’s latest collection, for instance, includes a number of green-hued gemstones, such as the new Bee Different pendant featuring a green tourmaline offset with 18-karat yellow and white gold, and the mesmerising tourmaline and diamond Halo Wave ring with 18-karat white gold. Visit the store to discover more. Green tourmaline Bee Different pendant on 18-inch chain and Halo Wave ring, both POA, Theo Fennell, 169 Fulham Road, SW3,

Merveilles to Behold To New Extremes Launched in early 2016 as an open-ended collection, Extremely Piaget has been expanded this year to include eight new pieces that exemplify the maison’s masterful jewellery techniques. The latest Palm Tree jewels have been based on an emblem of Piaget and have been brought to life using an innovative goldsmithing technique unique to the house: the Palace Decor. The engraving process endows gold with a mesh-like texture akin to raw silk and gives the leaves their shimmering, naturalistic quality. Extremely Piaget, POA,


The new Les Merveilles collection by family jewellers Boghossian introduces a groundbreaking new diamond-setting technique to the world of jewellery design, which captures the purest light reflection in diamonds. By setting stones using the smallest amount of metal possible, this permits an uninterrupted flow of light, thereby enhancing the overall brilliance of the diamonds. It has taken Boghossian craftsmen four years of experimentation to achieve and has been highlighted in a pair of diamond hoop earrings, which shine vividly, and a reversible necklace that can be worn two ways: one side set with rubies, the other with diamonds. From a selection,

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Goldie LOCKS As jewellery brand Loquet London opens its first pop-up store, founders and friends Laura Bailey and Sheherazade Goldsmith tell Ellen Millard about their mission to modernise classic jewellery pieces hen interviewing the founders of a jewellery brand, one would expect to hear stories of treasures passed down through generations, perhaps of a jewellery box filled with family heirlooms, and precious gifts from loved ones. I imagine that this is the sort of story Sheherazade Goldsmith – one of the two creators of bespoke jewellery label Loquet London – would have regaled me with during our chat, had she not had a rather unfortunate incident happen to her not long before. “I recently had all of my jewellery stolen; they took everything,” she tells me. “I ended up with nothing except one ring that I bought when I sold my first book.” Fortunately, the author and environmentalist has a wealth of charms, bracelets and necklaces at her fingertips as the co-founder of Loquet London, which she launched nearly four years ago with her friend Laura Bailey. Inspired by a gift from her son and the age-old tradition of wearing lockets as treasured keepsakes, Goldsmith floated the idea of a bespoke necklace that combined classic pendants with small charms during a dinner with Bailey. “It was almost a dreamlike conversation; Sheherazade had quite a clear idea of how it would be, both emotionally and in terms of engineering,” Bailey explains. “We talked about it around the table and then just carried on talking. We did a lot of research and spoke with people we trusted. From that first conversation to the launch it happened fairly quickly; it was only about six months.”

Clockwise from main image: Laura Bailey and Sheherazade Goldsmith, photography: Nick Haddow; Rainbow pastel locket with diamond and sapphire, £5,800; Medium heart locket, from £450; All chains from £90; Heart locket ring, from £400; Puzzle rings, from £290 each; Round locket ring, from £400; All charms pictured from £30


The final concept centres around a small glass pendant in which customers can place charms of their choice, from birthstones to initials, to tokens of luck or religious symbols. Each design is completely custommade, allowing the client to become the designer. “We were very aware of a desire for bespoke, emotional gifts in a broad sense, but we wanted to apply that specifically to jewellery,” Bailey explains. “A lot of our initial conversations about the brand were about storytelling and how emotional we felt about our own jewellery.” For their necklaces, Bailey chose L and T charms symbolising her children’s names (Luc and Lola Tiger), as well as a shooting star, an emerald and a garnet, while Goldsmith opted for her children’s birthstones, a rainbow and a lily of the valley – all of which hang on a diamond chain. The lockets are available in spherical or heart-shaped designs, and in gold, silver, diamond

or sapphire styles. The brand has expanded to include bracelets, stacking rings, earrings and, more recently, a line of locket rings, which launched last year. There are plans to expand the label further, with Bailey hinting at a potential range of stationery or holiday mementos to tie in with the founders’ loves of letter writing and travelling. For now, they are busy with their first pop-up shop, which launched at the end of last year on Belgravia’s Elizabeth Street, offering customers the chance to view the entire collection, which was previously limited to online. “We had so many requests from clients for a store; a space came up on one of the most romantic streets in London,” Goldsmith recalls. “It really fits in with what the brand is – contemporary and fun. It was the perfect opportunity at the right time.” The space is light and airy, decorated with Germans ErmiČs-designed cabinets, Fritz Neth chairs and a Massimo Vitali beach scene. It’s ideally situated on one of Belgravia’s busiest streets, an area in which the pair feel “lucky” to be based. “It sounds funny, but it’s quite nice that it’s not on either of our doorsteps; it feels more like an excursion and a treat going there,” says Bailey. “And to be neighbours to both a church and a delicious café [Baker & Spice] seemed extremely fortuitous, so we moved very fast – as always.” Since launching in 2013, Loquet London has rocketed from a simple idea shared around a kitchen table to a force to be reckoned with in the jewellery world, garnering a fan base that includes the likes of Alexa Chung, Brie Larson and Julia Roberts. Friends first and business partners later, the pair put their speedy trajectory down to a mutual respect and understanding. “We have very different roles even though we’re partners; Sheherazade is driving the business full-time whereas I have a multilayered working life, but we complement and support each other both personally and professionally,” Bailey explains. Plans for the future are being kept under wraps, with the two assuring me that the pop-up isn’t a teaser for a long-term project, but “you never know what’s going to happen”. At the moment, focus is very much on growing the brand. “We’re continuing to develop the collection with the same enthusiasm and to keep moving forward,” says Goldsmith. “We’re still quite a young company, so there’s a lot more to come.” The Loquet London pop-up is open until 31 January, 58 Elizabeth Street, SW1W,

The pair put their speedy trajectory down to a mutual respect and understanding

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Thin Blue Line

Left Hand Drive

The quickest way to success is to identify what you’re good at, and then learn to do it better than anyone else. For 60 years, Piaget’s ‘thing’ has been thinness, or, more accurately, the slimness of its movements. In 1957, the manufacture launched the Calibre 9P, the first ‘ultra-thin’ handwound mechanical movement at 2mm. In 1960, the Calibre 12P officially became the thinnest automatic movement at 2.3 mm. Now, 15 years after presenting the Calibre 600P (then the world’s thinnest tourbillon) and three years after the Altiplano 900P (the thinnest hand-wound mechanical timepiece, ever), the brand has unveiled a new, anniversaryinspired Altiplano 60 collection. First to join the series are two 18-karat white gold, time-only pieces: a 38mm hand-wound watch and a 43mm self-winding alternative. Expect further elegant additions to land later in the year. Altiplano 60th Anniversary Collection, £16,100 (38mm), £21,500 (43mm),

Astute market positioning makes Tudor the masters of the mid-market tool watch. No other brand offers such high specs at such consumer-friendly prices, which explains the prevalence of Tudor timepieces on the wrists of so many watch editors. A case in point, and you’ll applaud the pun here, is the brand’s latest creation, the Pelagos LHD, or Left Hand Drive, a watch that positions its winding crown at 9 o’clock rather than 3 o’clock. Intended for the right-hand wrists of lefties, the dive watch houses a COSC-certified in-house movement inside a titanium and steel case that’s equipped with a helium escape valve. The watch is waterproof to 500 metres and boasts an impressive 70-hour power reserve. A unidirectional rotating bezel provides the sort of satisfying ‘click’ that audibly sounds out the words ‘quality control’. All of this for £3,020. Bravo.

News In Brief Apple closes Selfridges watch concession – Despite

TAG’s Smartwatch Success Story TAG Heuer celebrates a year in which it sold 50,000 of its Connected watches by issuing a new version of the timepiece in 18-karat rose gold. Sales of the smartwatch helped TAG Heuer record 10 per cent growth in 2016, during a year in which worldwide exports of Swiss watches declined by 11 per cent in the first 10 months. TAG Heuer’s chief executive, Jean-Claude Biver, told Reuters he expected sales to increase to 150,000 in 2017. The 46mm TAG Heuer Connected rose gold watch features 4GB memory, a new lithium battery capable of providing an entire day of autonomy, a small microphone enabling the wearer to communicate with it using Google Voice, and is water-resistant to ‘everyday wear’. The original titanium version retails for £1,100. The rose gold variety arrives at £7,500.


Bremont backs out of Basel – Bremont has

launching its second series smartwatch just last autumn, Apple is closing its groundfloor watch concession in Selfridges. While Apple leads the smartwatch sector by a considerable margin, the announcement follows lower-than-forecast sales figures. Shock departure of Zenith CEO – At the start of January, Zenith abruptly announced it had parted ways with former CEO Aldo Magada. Jean-Claude Biver, watch president at Zenith parent company LVMH, takes over short-term management.

decided not to exhibit at the world’s largest watch fair, Baselworld, choosing instead to showcase its 2017 collection on home turf. The Bremont Townhouse takes up residence in London at 33 Fitzroy Square for a week from 27 February. Switzerland buys back £1 billion worth of watches in 2016 – During a year

in which sales slumped across Asia and Europe (the UK excluded), Swiss watchmakers were forced to buy back an unprecedented number of units from stockists faced with unsold inventories. “Almost 1.3 billion francs worth of timepieces were sent back in the first 10 months”, says Bloomberg.

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coming up roses From a small flower shop in Islington to one of the world’s most celebrated British florists, Paula Pryke’s career trajectory has blossomed since she started her eponymous company. Now she’s planting new seeds with her sixth book, Floristry Now, a guide to the art of flower arranging for novices and experts alike. The latest tome from the green-fingered maverick offers an all-encompassing look into the process behind flower arrangement, from mixing colour, form, shape and texture to getting creative with foliage and fruit. Available from 16 February, £25, published by Jacqui Small,

Image courtesy of: Paula Pryke, Floristry Now

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Diana: a fashion story Twenty years after her death, Diana: Her Fashion Story, a new exhibition celebrating the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, opens at Kensington Palace this February. Rebecca Wallersteiner speaks to Eleri Lynn, the exhibition’s curator, about the Princess’ love of fashion it is hard to believe that this year is the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. The first of many commemorations taking place throughout the course of the year will start this February at Kensington Palace, the Princess’s former home, which will be opening its doors to visitors from around the world for its new exhibition, Diana: Her Fashion Story. While this exhibition is not the first of its kind (Kensington Palace hosted Diana: A Princess Remembered in 2007), it will be the largest to date, with 26 of her outfits on display. Some of her most memorable gowns, jackets and blouses have been loaned by collections from around the world for the exhibit, which has been given the approval of her sons, the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, both of whom currently reside at the Palace. “The extraordinary collection of garments will range from the glamorous evening gowns worn on engagements in the 1980s to the chic Catherine Walker suits that made up Diana’s ‘working wardrobe’ in the 1990s,” comments Eleri Lynn, the exhibition’s curator. Diana’s relationship with her favourite fashion designers will be explored through a display of some of their original sketches, created for her during the design process. Throughout history, clothes have been a powerful tool for royal and political figures in communicating their desired public persona, and this is still very much the case today. For Diana, clothes played a crucial part in creating an image loved by both the camera and the public, and the exhibition will chart her fashion evolution from the demure outfits of her first public appearances as a shy teenager to the elegance and poise she exuded in later life. “Princess Diana was one of the most photographed women in the world and every fashion choice she made was closely scrutinised. Our exhibition explores the story of a young woman who quickly had to learn the rules of royal and diplomatic dressing, and in the process put the spotlight on the British fashion industry and its designers.” From the beginning, when she was being courted by Prince Charles, Lady Diana Spencer’s (as she was

then known) fresh-faced beauty captured the headlines and her look was widely copied – the ruffled collar blouses, hair and flat shoes (she was taller than Prince Charles). As a nursery school teacher in the early 1980s, she favoured a modest Laura Ashley style – romantic and floral – looking back nostalgically to the 19th century. Indeed, it seemed everything she wore fascinated the global fashion press and the public. A star exhibit, which will be remembered by many of us who were around at the time, is the demure, pale pink David Emanuel blouse she wore for a Vogue portrait by Lord Snowdon in 1981, which coincided with the announcement of her engagement. A few days later, Diana undertook her first public engagement as Prince Charles’s fiancée, attending a concert at Goldsmiths’ Hall, which drew huge media coverage. She raised some eyebrows among the older generation (as well as some fashion editors) by wearing a black, strapless taffeta ballgown with a daring low neckline by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, which showed off her enviable décolletage and figure. This would be the first of several daring outfits worn by Diana who, as Lynn notes, “was quite adventurous” in her tastes, “despite royal constraints”. It was partly this rebellious streak, no doubt, that made the press and public fall in love with her. In the 1980s, Diana’s patronage of home-grown designers such as the Emanuels, Catherine Walker and Bruce Oldfield made them household names and gave the British fashion industry a much-needed boost. These designers, in turn, helped her develop her glamorous and unique style. Like her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, today, Diana complied with the strict royal fashion code during her marriage to Prince Charles by adopting modest hemlines, hats and dense materials. However, she did make mistakes, from which she learned valuable lessons. One particularly charming fashion faux pas occurred when she was photographed aged 19, wearing a chiffon-like, transparent skirt which showed off her long legs, to the delight of the

spotlight Black off-the-shoulder cocktail dress, Christina Stambolian, Princess Diana Archive, ŠGetty Images

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Clockwise from top right: David Emanuel engagement blouse, Kensington Palace ©Historic Royal Palaces; Lady Diana Spencer and Princes Charles on the day of their engagement announcement, wearing blue dress by Cojana, Tim Graham Photo Library, ©Getty Images; Daytime blue tartan suit, David Emanuel, Kensington Palace ©Historic Royal Palaces

paparazzi. Unlike HM The Queen, she also rarely wore gloves. Another highlight will be the midnight blue velvet gown designed by Victor Edelstein and worn by the Princess when she famously danced with John Travolta at a White House gala dinner, in 1985. This now iconic dress was one of 15 outfits offered in a charity auction at Christie’s New York in 1997, against the backdrop of a global media frenzy. In her characteristically disarming manner, she dealt professionally with the huge publicity the sale attracted and charmed guests at the reception. Diana sadly died in Paris just two months afterwards. She was wearing this Edelstein dress when she sat for her last official portrait before her death, which was bought for £100,000 by an American collector. Another star exhibit, a blue tartan Emanuel suit, worn for an official visit to Venice in the 1980s, will go on display to the public for the first time. During her years living at Kensington Palace, the Princess enjoyed the changing floral displays in the Sunken Garden and would often stop to chat to the gardeners. Therefore, a temporary tribute, called the White Garden, will shortly be planted in her honour, filled with some of her favourite flowers. From April, the garden will be a blanket of white spring perennials, including forget-me-nots, fragrant narcissi and tulips, while the summer will see a more exuberant display of white roses, cosmos daisies and billows of gaura. Prince Harry and the Duke of Cambridge will be announcing other commemorative events taking place later this year, including a charity concert. Anna Wintour once said, “Create your own style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” This is precisely what Princess Diana did and is the reason why her look became so iconic – and why her fashion legacy will live on forever. Diana: Her Fashion Story, from 24 February, Kensington Palace; The White Garden at Kensington Palace Spring/ Summer 2017,


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Illustration: Mai Osawa

Images courtesy of: Vessel Gallery

LOCAL LIFE Plain Beauty

Amsterdam-based artist and designer Maarten Vrolijk is known for enhancing everyday objects by manipulating shapes, colours and materials to create detailed and unexpected pieces of art. His works have previously been exhibited in several major museums around the world, including MoMA in New York, and this February his latest collection will be displayed in Notting Hill’s Vessel Gallery. Not to be missed. 1 February – 4 March, 114 Kensington Park Road, W11,

Artificial Intelligence

To mark the fascinating 500-year history of robots, the Science Museum’s latest exhibition charts humans’ ongoing quest to recreate ourselves in mechanised form with a display of more than 100 robots. From a 16thcentury mechanical monk to robots found in modern-day research labs, this will be the most significant and unique collection of humanoid robots to have ever been displayed to the public, who will be allowed to interact with some of the 12 working robots on display from five different periods and places in history. Visitors will also see how robots in society have been shaped by technology and religious beliefs over the past five centuries, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at the latest robotic research. Robots, £15 for adults, £13 concessions, 8 February – 3 September, Science Museum, Exhibition Road, SW7,

Logan House living area

Articulated iron manikin with book, photography: ©The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Memory Lane

A new housing development has been built on the site that was once home to the Michael MacOwan Theatre – formerly part of LAMDA, the oldest drama school in the UK. The location is well known among A-list stars, having once been the school where British actors Benedict Cumberbatch and David Suchet trained, and is also a short distance from Garden Lodge, the former home of Queen’s frontman Freddie Mercury. The historical significance of the nownamed Logan House has been marked with a Blue Plaque from the Heritage Foundation. Logan House, 1 Logan Place, Kensington, W8,

spotlight on the royal borough of Kensington & Chelsea: news, events, reviews & local interest stories

Back on the Bandwagon The Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge has launched a gym programme membership, offering premium and platinum memberships. As well as cardio and resistance training, members set goals with world-renowned Ruben Tabares – one of the most in-demand strength and conditioning coaches in the world – have personal training sessions and at least one spa treatment. It’s the ideal way to continue the New Year, new health kick mantra into February. From £3,950, 020 235 2000, 66 Knightsbridge, SW1X,

Good Reads Editor at Julie Hoegh shares her top five books to keep you busy in the new year His Bloody Project, Graeme Macrae Burnet This clever literary crime novel set in a Scottish crofting community in Victorian times is a psychological drama that will leave you guessing right to the horrifying end £8.99 Les Dîners de Gala, Salvador & Gala Dalí A beautiful cookbook by Salvador Dalí and his wife originally published in the 1970s. The recipes come seasoned with Dalí’s wacky illustrations and photos – a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach £44.99

Top of the Range Following 20 years of success in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, Sydney-based flower company Roses Only has arrived in London just in time for Valentine’s Day. The roses are handpicked by experts from fair trade farms across the globe and each rose is nurtured to produce the exceptionally large blooms and long stems for which the brand is known. Every day, Roses Only’s florists select only the most beautiful roses in order to create their unforgettable signature gift boxes. From £29.95,

Wedding Planners

Back due to popular demand, Chelsea’s Secret Wedding Fair returns for a Hollywood-themed afternoon. This year, the focus is on luxury and exclusivity – guests will be treated to a bridal catwalk show, while London’s finest suppliers will be on hand to inspire future brides. VIP guests will also receive a goody bag full of exclusive gifts and product discounts. 12 February, £5 for general admission or £18 for a VIP ticket, Chelsea Old Town Hall, SW3,

The Return, Hisham Matar The gripping true story of Hisham Matar’s return to his homeland Libya in 2012, just after Colonel Gaddafi’s fall, and 22 years after his father disappeared without trace £14.99 The Leopard, Tomasi di Lampedusa This steaming hot classic, set in Sicily during the 1860s as Italy is about to be unified, follows the aristocratic Salina family and their fall from grace £9.99

Image courtesy of:

Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi One of 2017’s most anticipated debut novels tells the story of the diverging lives of half-sisters and slaves Effia and Esi during the slave trade £12.99 Available at Daunt Books, 112-114 Holland Park Avenue, W11,

covering kensington, chelsea, knightsbridge, holland park & notting hill

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ART ANTIQUES BY rebecca wallersteiner

A Splash of Colour

Images courtesy of: Parallax Art Fair

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be brimming with colour and creativity when more than 200 artists from around the world – working in a variety of media including painting, drawing, sculpture, glass, jewellery and ceramics – present their work at the Parallax Art Fair – Europe’s largest independent art and design event. If you’d like to buy an original piece but don’t know where to start, the artists will be on hand to talk you through their work. And who knows? You might even bump into past visitor Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones – or win a £1,000 piece of art simply by handing in a free ticket. During the fair, German jeweller Mirjam Verhoef will be giving jewellery demonstrations so you can learn how to make a future heirloom. 25-26 February, Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, SW3, free tickets available at

Freeze Frame

Curtains (2014) Anaglyph video installation, 5.1 sound 50 mins, looped ©2016,

Prepare to be blown away by Edge of Tomorrow, the Serpentine Gallery’s first solo exhibition of New York artist Lucy Raven’s experimental film installations, which explores her obsession with time and space. “I like the fact that discontinuities – things that happen between the capture of single frames (preparations, distractions, naps, new ideas) – have the potential to present a sort of ghost story in the gap between on-screen images,” comments Raven. At the heart of the show, a cinematic space will play the animated film Curtains (2014), in which a series of still stereoscopic images converge and diverge, becoming momentarily three-dimensional when viewed through 3D glasses. Accompanying the exhibition, a programme of film evenings curated by Raven will transform the Serpentine into an intimate, velvetcurtained space – ideal for a dark winter’s night. Lucy Raven: Edge of Tomorrow, until 12 February, Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Gardens, W2,

Hot Fruit, Arthur Lanyon, image courtesy of: Lacey Contemporary Gallery

Artist of the


Lindsay Pickett at The Muse gallery

Images courtesy of: Lindsay Pickett

For more than a decade, The Muse gallery (winner of Time Out’s prestigious Love London Awards 2016) has supported emerging artists. From 2 February, a solo show of new paintings by Londonbased artist Lindsay Pickett, who is internationally known for his surrealist and fantasy themes, will be unveiled. “Pickett’s dreamy landscapes, executed in oil on canvas, linen and board, reveal hidden aspects of well-known London places set against strange juxtapositions of imagined architecture and faraway lands,” comments Gosia LapsaMalawska, one of the gallery’s artists in residence. “He experiments with drawings and photography to create his extraordinary, surrealist cityscapes, animals and figures.” Pickett’s striking work reflects the diverse influences of Salvador Dalí, René Magritte, Hieronymus Bosch and contemporary sci-fi art. Solo show of Lindsay Pickett at The Muse gallery, Portobello Road, 2-19 February,

Mixed Bag At the Lacey Contemporary Gallery this February, a medley of artists will unveil their new works. Among them, Angela Smith is best known for her sinuous, semiabstract paintings, executed by pouring paint directly on to the canvas, rather like Jackson Pollock – but close examination reveals a careful application of the paint. Arthur Lanyon is the grandson of the great St Ives painter, Peter Lanyon, and son of artist Matthew. The latest in the dynasty, Arthur Lanyon (his painting, Hot Fruit, pictured right) brings the boldness of his stroke and colour to his vibrant work, inspired by nature, triggering the memory of sound, movement or smell. In contrast, Mexican-born Geoff Diego Litherland’s boldly coloured abstract paintings, influenced by the way in which the

films of his hero, Stanley Kubrick, challenge our perception of the world. Winter exhibition, 1-25 February, Lacey Contemporary Gallery, 8 Clarendon Cross, W11,

Image courtesy of: Saatchi Gallery

Bright and Bold Now in its 13th edition, Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects, opens its doors once again at the Saatchi Gallery, courtesy of the Crafts Council. Art lovers will find beautiful, original pieces of ceramics, glass, jewellery, paintings and furniture from more than 30 exhibitors, all of whom will be delighted to share their expertise with you. Highlights include a dreamy immersive installation by recent Royal College of Art graduate Katie Spragg, presented by the Flow Gallery, and art dealer Katie Jones’s ethereal pieces of Japanese works. Accompanying the fair, there will be a programme of talks and events given by leading figures in the worlds of art, architecture, design and fashion. Collect: The International Art Fair for Contemporary Objects, 2-6 February, Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, SW3,

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L-R: Memories of Manhattan, Simon Hennessey; Watercolour Box, Javier Banegas; images courtesy of: Plus One Gallery

Christien Meindertsma, Fibre Market, ©Labadie / Van Tour

All You Need is Love Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World, the Design Museum’s first exhibition since opening, presents 11 installations by 11 of the world’s most exciting and experimental interdisciplinary designers and architects of the 21st century. These include innovative fashion designer Hussein Chalayan, Muji art director Kenya Hara and Bogota-based art collective Arquitectura Expandida, to name a few. Together, they confront important, controversial issues facing society today, such as Brexit, the environment and consumerism. Chinese fashion designer Ma Ke’s project Wuyong or ‘Useless’ rejects disposable fast fashion in favour of artistically crafted clothes, while Dutch product designer Christien Meindertsma’s installation, Fibre Market, explores recycling textiles. Fear and Love: Reactions to a Complex World, until 23 April, Design Museum, Kensington High Street, W8,

Back To Reality Founded by Maggie Bollaert and Colin Petit 15 years ago, the Plus One Gallery in Battersea focuses on hyperrealist art, a movement which aims to create a heightened sense of reality. Its origins lie in the works of American art luminaries such as Edward Hopper, Robert Rauschenberg, Thomas Eakins and 1970s photorealists, who combined photographic techniques with painting. From 25 January, the gallery will present the Winter Show, bringing together mixed works from 42 hyperrealist artists from around the world. Antonis Titakis will unveil his atmospheric new seascapes, Javier Banegas’ exuberantly colourful paintings will be sure to brighten even the gloomiest February day, and an intriguing collaboration of sculptural works by Paul Day, Peter Demetz, Caroline d’Andlau Hombourg and Rogério Timóteo is not to be missed. Winter Show 2017, 25 January – 25 February, with an opening reception from 6-8pm on 24 January, at the Plus One Gallery,

L-R: Edward Lear, 1812-1888, from Wandreth Moss, to be exhibited as part of the Loan Exhibition from Eton College Collections. Reproduced by permission of the Provost and Fellows of Eton College; Constellation III, Joan Mirò, 1893 - 1983, lithograph, 78 x 57.5cm £19,320. To be exhibited by Wallector

Hussein Chalayan, The Room Tone, ©Chalayan and Intel

Paper Trail

Arquitectura Expandida, Potocinema, ©Harold Guyaux and Arquitectura Expandida


If you haven’t already, put a date in your diary for the Works on Paper Fair at the Royal Geographical Society, taking place this month. Celebrating its 21st year, it brings together leading dealers (some of whom will only exhibit at this event) in early, Victorian, modern and contemporary art, all on paper. Highlights this year include Constellation III, a stunning lithograph by Joan Miró priced at £18,320, being exhibited by Wallector. A special exhibition of 40 rarely displayed 18th and 19th century watercolours, lent by Eton College, includes a ravishing watercolour of Château d’Arques-labataille near Dieppe by J.M.W. Turner, along with works by Edward Lear and Alexander Cozens, the latter of whom taught drawing at Eton in the 1760s – the best collection of watercolours belonging to any British school. Tickets: £20, Works on Paper Fair, at the Royal Geographical Society, 9-12 February, 1 Kensington Gore, SW7,

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B R YA N E L L E RY b r o n z e p o r t ra i t s

commissions undertaken b r ya n e l l e r y. c o m

Milano: Galleria V. Emanuele


Available at Harrods, Selfridges, John Lewis and

fashion Bloom of youth The early signs of spring are the inspiration behind Mira Zwillinger’s 2017 bridal collection, a nod to the first buds born and the rebirth of nature as the weather warms up. Whisper of Blossom embraces the new season with overtly floral motifs, sheer fabrics and delicate embroidery. As with Zwillinger’s previous collections, the beauty is in the detail – sweeping trains are dotted with floral appliqué and fragile lace wraps around shoulders, while shapes are ethereal with voluminous tulle skirts and beaded bodices. POA,

Photography: Alexander Lipkin

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Work of Art Bridalwear takes an exciting turn as fashion house Viktor & Rolf launches its debut collection for A/W17 this month. Collaborating with established wedding dress designer Justin Alexander, together they have created a truly artistic collection of asymmetric shapes, graphic lines and bold cuts, fusing elements of classic couture with signature Viktor & Rolf features. A modern take on romantic design, the collection includes elegant A-line and column dresses, with voluminous skirts, oversized bows and enlarged flowers adding a unique twist to the feminine styles. From £4,000,

Image courtesy of: Viktor & Rolf

Sun Kissed Popular Australian fashion brand Zimmermann brings a spot of sunshine to Belgravia with the launch of its exclusive pop-up at Salt on Elizabeth Street. Inside the boutique you will now find a carefully curated selection of pieces from the brand’s runway and ready-towear collections. Stephanie Almeida, the founder of Salt, has long been a fan of the Aussie label: “We are so excited to be running this exclusive collaboration,” she comments. “Salt has stocked Zimmermann since we launched in 2012 and its swimwear and resort range have flown off the shelves.” The pop-up will run until the end of February – we suggest you get there before it’s too late. From £180, 77 Elizabeth Street, SW1W,

HER STYLE By lauren stevens

Whit Woo After much customer demand for its wedding guest attire, London-based brand Whistles decided it was about time it launched a bridalwear collection, which is available as of this month. Designed for the modern bride, the exclusive line offers seven limited pieces in a range of classic and contemporary shapes, from strapless silk to highneck lace dresses finished with subtle detailing, such as detachable trains and scalloped edges. Whistles Wedding, available from 1 February, £499-£699,

Beach Bunny

Barn Chic

It’s time to stock up on your beach apparel and who better to turn to than American-born swimwear designer Lisa Marie Fernandez, a woman well versed on show-stopping sun-lounger attire? For Resort ‘17, she has created a range of staple pieces in a Latin-inspired colour palette of white, lemon yellow, tomato red and sea blue. The striking collection presents swimsuits and bikinis alongside longer dresses and flirty co-ords, suitable for wearing both on and off the beach. From £280, available at Harvey Nichols

The 2017 bridalwear collection by Jenny Packham has been inspired by a bohemian lifestyle. Glitter and beaded lace sparkle on gypsy-inspired sleeves and tulle trains, which arrive in a seasonal colour palette of soft pinks, barley and greens. The flattering silhouettes are adorned with wild flowers and foliage, while plunging necklines and backless dresses offer a contemporary look. From £2,750,

Rock Chic Zadig & Voltaire is known for its rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic and it hasn’t disappointed with its new bag for 2017, christened James. The brand has designed the perfect tote for both day and night, available in smooth black leather and cool blue python skin, and finished with gold, silver and bronze zips. Made in two sizes, the bag can be worn on the shoulder or handheld for a more sophisticated look. From £430, 182 Westbourne Grove, W11,

Savage Beauty

Spring Bird

Sabina Savage presents a new collection of beautiful hand-drawn silk, wool and cashmere scarves for her S/S17 collection, Alchemie Chinoiserie. The beautifully hand-drawn illustrations tell the story of animals trapped in an ancient Chinese alchemist’s chest and are heavy in detail and colour. Each piece is hand designed in London before travelling to Como in Italy, where they are produced to the highest quality by local artisans. The collection introduces new shapes and fabrics, including rectangular scarves in jacquard, which have been woven in a luxurious wool and silk blend. From £84, available at Harrods,

Nature is the inspiration behind Jimmy Choo’s S/S17 collection, with which creative director Sandra Choi pays homage to the beauty of the hummingbird. “The 21st century has become so fast-paced that we often forget to be still enough to look around and marvel at the wonders we co-exist with,” she comments. Characterised by cut-outs, glitter and flowers, the bold and colourful collection also takes inspiration from the unique style of artists such as Frida Kahlo and David Bowie. From £425, 32 Sloane Street, SW1X,

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New Romantics The Spring 2017 bride is swathed in tulle, embracing embellishment and 3D florals, and braving unusual cuts. Discover the latest in bridal couture from the likes of Jenny Packham, Vivienne Westwood and Suzanne Neville Photographer: Phillip Waterman

Stylist: Alexandria Reid

Dress, ÂŁ5,650, Monique Lhuillier,; Earrings, ÂŁ67, Jenny Packham, 3A Carlos Place, Mount Street, W1K; Ring, POA, Bee Goddess, available at Harrods

Above / Dress, POA, Nicholas Oakwell Couture,; Shoes, £395, Sophia Webster, Left / Dress, £3,640; Earrings, £67, both Jenny Packham, as before

Dress, POA, Vivienne Westwood Bridal and Couture, 6 Davies Street, W1K,; Earrings, ÂŁ7,100, Buccellati, available at Harrods

Above / Dress, £4,840, Vivienne Westwood Bridal and Couture, as before; Earrings, POA, Bee Goddess, as before Right / Dress, from £3,650, Suzanne Neville, 29 Beauchamp Place, SW3,; Earrings, £7,100, Buccellati, as before

Model: Maddie @ Premier Model Management Make-up: Lica Fensome @ Stella Creative Artists HAIR: Betty Bee Stylist’s assistant: Annie Ounstead Photographer’s assistant: Kai Gurung Shot on location at the Cecil Brewer Staircase in Heal’s, Tottenham Court Road, W1T,


@luxurylondonofficial 

@luxurylondonofficial 


Images courtesy of: Taylor Morris Eyewear x Morgan Motor Sunglasses

Hit the Road When one thinks of 1930s racing goggles, fashionable is rarely what springs to mind. And yet, the new style of sunglasses by specs specialist Taylor Morris, which mirrors this classic shape, is certainly a sight to behold. Designed in collaboration with Morgan Motor Company – a natural partner given the brand’s dedication to British craftsmanship – the new style pays homage to the classic Morgan 3 Wheeler car with its uniquely shaped frame and retro design. Choose from oak, walnut and mahogany styles. £240 each, available exclusively at Harvey Nichols

Image courtesy of: Roberto Cavall

Image courtesy of: Frescobol Carioca

HIS STYLE By Ellen Millard

The Fine Print Green Sleeves The lush botanical gardens of Rio de Janeiro offer a more peaceful tourist spot than the often chaotic Christ the Redeemer, with 54 hectares of blooming flora and more than 6,000 species of plant to see. It’s little wonder, then, that Brazilian-influenced fashion brand Frescobol Carioca has modelled its S/S17 collection on the green space. Jardim Botânico presents the label’s signature swim shorts in four new prints named after plants found in the garden. The new styles, which reference the park with miniature leaf motifs, are available in two shapes and 16 colours. From £145,

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The flamboyant wardrobes of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Rod Stewart in the 1970s were Peter Dundas’ calling points when designing the Roberto Cavalli S/S17 collection – a bohemian medley of suede fringing, dyed denim and heavy embroidery. Available from February, the new range marries 1970s style with Native American and Moroccan influences, resulting in an explosion of colour, texture and prints. Boot cut jeans and leather jackets are the more subtle options available, while the more daring among you may be tempted to brave the mustard suit, floral kimono or Navajo-inspired cape. From £250, 20-22 Sloane Street, SW1X,

Image courtesy of: BOSS

Who’s the Boss? For the discerning gentleman, BOSS presents the Elegance range, a line of leather bags to cater for every need. Created with practicality in mind, the clean designs of the document case, tote bag, backpack and holdall offer perennial appeal and look to become wardrobe staples for many. Unlined to provide a lighter weight, each bag is available in shades of navy blue, black and taupe. From £650, 55 Brompton Road, SW3,



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Cutting Edge Since launching in 1953, luxury Italian brand Rossana has taken the kitchen industry by storm, setting the benchmark for quality and innovation with its groundbreaking designs. The brand’s seminal Isola model was first introduced at MoMA in New York’s Italy, The New Domestic Landscape exhibition in 1972, an original concept and philosophy that acknowledged the kitchen as a modern work of art. 2017 sees the launch of a new generation of Isola model; named K in K out, the multi-functional centrepiece transforms electronically from a kitchen island unit to an occasional dining facility and preparation top. Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, the latest edition of the classic model is the epitome of modern living and technology. POA,

Image courtesy of: Rossana

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Home Away Interior design-led hotels are not just something to write home about. camilla apcar reports on the hoteliers with their own shops and furniture collections that recreate the holiday spirit back in London


Clockwise from top: Armani Ambassador suite; Le Bristol Paris; Soho Home Whichford tea set; Palazzo Versace Imperial Suite living room

t is every general manager’s dream and worst nightmare, all in one question from a guest: “Where can I buy this exact table lamp, doorknob, cushion or armoire?” Yet the savviest hoteliers already have a contingency plan for such compliments – a shop on site or online, a little black book that holds their interior designer’s contact details for private commissions or their own line of homewares. The style stakes set by increasingly designled hotels are ever rising, and travellers looking to bring a piece of their favourite hotel home can find not just the same glassware and trinkets from suites, but entire bedroom sets, floorings and finishing flourishes, too. Two significant interior collections from hospitality behemoths launched last year: Soho Home, by Soho House Group, and Eden Being, through Eden Rock Group and Oetker Collection (responsible for The Lanesborough and Le Bristol Paris). “Eden Being is about capturing memories, the unique special something that will forever remind you of your time at one of Oetker Collection’s properties,” says Eden Being CEO Daniela Ott. Among the e-tailer’s most desirable pieces are Louis XV and XVI furnishings from Le Bristol Paris, with an edit of wooden chests and consoles, Fontainebleau headboards and stools that conjure supreme decadence and elegance. Creating one’s own 18th-century parlour or boudoir is but a few clicks away; the site can be filtered by hotel or product, with furniture then made to order in France by 18th-century specialist Taillardat. The comforts of five Soho Houses became available online at Soho Home in September. Perhaps the most distinctive look is from the Oxfordshire Soho Farmhouse, where “we sourced lots of vintage pieces locally from Tetbury and surrounding antique shops,” says design director Linda Boronkay. Products include a chic ceramic collection plus sofas and armchairs made by craftsmen in the north of England, using traditional techniques. Designer hotels have their own solutions at the ready. While many of the interiors and amenities at Armani’s hotel in Dubai are bespoke, guests enamoured with its muted and checkered style can visit Armani/Casa’s showrooms in Dubai’s Design District or at Chelsea Harbour’s Design Centre. Every piece is designed by Giorgio himself. The keenest followers can employ the brand’s dedicated

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interior design studio (ensuring luxe living without the risk of one’s home resembling a showroom itself). At Palazzo Versace Dubai, each piece of furniture has been designed exclusively for the hotel, drawing inspiration from the fashion house’s archive. “The interiors showcase the Versace lifestyle through the contemporary eye of artistic director Donatella Versace, where everything is opulent,” says general manager Sandra Tikal. Barely a head can turn without spotting the trademark Medusa head and Greek key motifs, and although bathrobes and towels are always popular requests, it’s the peacock, horse and falcon cushions that really attract attention. These can only be purchased at Palazzo Versace Dubai itself, while chinaware, vases and lumiere glasses embellished with a three-dimensional Medusa can be found in Versace Home boutiques the world over, including one on Sloane Street. In the two Imperial suites on the Palazzo’s top floors, everything is available to order from the latest Versace Home collections. “From the moment anyone enters, they are mesmerised,” says Tikal. “The majestic bedhead designs are a favourite with both men and women, as are the chandeliers and wallpapers.” The first suite showcases the plush, textured and neoclassical Vanitas collection, with intricately patterned poufs, elegant table lamps and panelled sofas. The linear Via Gesù in the second suite features chairs with swirling arms and plenty of modern Medusas. Top interior designers have long lent their expertise to the hotel industry: Patricia Urquiola at Lake Como’s Il Sereno, Marcel Wanders in South Beach and Manhattan, and Axel Vervoordt soon to come at the Bayerischer Hof in Munich. And when COMO Point Yamu opened in Phuket in November 2013, Paola Navone wrought her first hotel interior project with aplomb. Point Yamu’s general manager Andy Kunz says guests often enquire about even the smallest of details. The hotel is happy to oblige, whether giving up



spares, redirecting guests to the hotel’s shop that sells a selection of Navone’s wares (glassware and china are particularly popular), or putting them in touch with the artists whose work line the walls. “We recently had a gentleman from Dubai stay whose daughter liked the furniture so much that he bought a variety for her new house as a present,” Kunz recalls. “What’s important nowadays is to be differentiated from other hotels. It’s usually the people and level of service that allow this, but design also has a strong influence. Point Yamu is very different from any property you could find in Phuket or Thailand. It’s a move away from the sort of ‘cookie-cutter’ rooms that you might find elsewhere.” Kunz continues: “In the past you’d take a picture and make a photo album... some people might take a bit of sand from beaches they’ve stayed at – this is just the same.” The interior designer of Singita’s 12 chic safari camps and lodges across Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa is Boyd Ferguson. Since 1993 he has defined and redefined the safari aesthetic with natural materials and contemporarycum-tribal panache. In another on-site wonder emporium, his homewares – and locally handcrafted pieces – are stocked in Singita’s colonial farmhouse shops. The devil does, sometimes, lie in the detail. During a major renovation of The Franklin in Knightsbridge last summer, Anouska Hempel used Lapicida’s new collection of stone accessories for floors, walls, tables and objects. “Lapicida is a marvellous old-fashioned company with an awful lot of sensational workmanship at its fingertips,” says Hempel. “The hotel is supposed to look like an Italian home in London, so anybody can have a go at that with ease.” And at Six Senses Zighy Bay in Oman, terracotta goat sculptures – a symbol of this mountainous part of the country – are sold in the resort’s boutique (alongside Middle Eastern rugs handmade by Omani women). The goats can also be made into a table lamp by staff, who drill a hole into the top. The ultimate souvenir.,,,,,,,

Point Yamu Bay Suite bathroom


Each suite at The Arts Club features a standalone Catchpole & Rye clawfoot bathtub. The cast iron and enamelled Saracen design is made at the bathroom specialist’s foundry in Kent – painted black or polished. From £4,000,

Four Seasons’ twin, full, queen or king-size bed – mattress, box spring, topper (firm or plush) and all – can be ordered directly through one of its hotels or resorts. From roughly £1,810,

This stained beachwood Louis XVI armchair matches bespoke furniture made for Le Bristol Paris, and can be upholstered with an aristocratic flourish in an array of other fabrics used throughout the hotel. £2,719,

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All brand names, product names, and trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Certain trademarks, registered trademarks, and trade names may be used in this document to refer to either the entities claiming the marks and names or their products. Crestron disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others. Crestron is not responsible for errors in typography or photography. Š 2016 Crestron, Ltd.



BY lauren stevens

Imagea courtesy of: House of Hackney

Be Our Guest Spring 2017 sees a new venture for House of Hackney, which has collaborated with marquee specialist LPM Bohemia and an array of industry experts to offer a personalised wedding package. Clients can cherrypick from a range of services, including cakes from esteemed baker Lily Vanilli and calligraphy by Lamplighter London, or opt for a private consultation in-store, where they can choose everything from the flowers to the soft furnishings and fabrics – all themed around House of Hackney’s signature prints, of course. From a selection,

Image courtesy of: And So To Bed

Turning Tables Vietnam’s arresting landscape is the source of inspiration for Christian Liaigre’s newly refurbished Fulham Road showroom. A black-and-white photograph of the picturesque country hangs in the new space, which, along with the designer’s latest collection, has been created to match the monochrome shot. Liaigre’s signature Phocee table is among the furniture that has been reintroduced in new styles to complement the redesign. The limited-edition centre table has been inspired by natural materials such as unvarnished wood, linen, silk and cotton, and features a bronze base with a Carrara marble top (a wooden top is also available) and black patina finish. It arrives in a number of different woods, in either solid or veneer. From £20,360 for the Phocee Table (pictured), 66-70 Fulham Road, SW3,

Perfect Illusion The latest collection from The Lighting Store offers a modern take on the traditional chandelier. Fonte Di Luce, the clever Kolarzdesigned range, gives the impression that its crystals are emerging from the walls themselves, made all the more impressive by the concealed LED bulbs. Crafted using clear Swarovski crystals, the lighting illusion makes for a truly magical addition to the home. From £1,650,

Snooze Control Luxury bed specialist And So To Bed presents a luxurious new range of linen and velvet styles for 2017. Among the latest products is the Richmond, a classic bed frame that has been designed in a deep azure blue shade and crafted from plush velvet. The model is classically-shaped, but has been modernised with handcrafted dark wood legs and decorative studs for added sparkle. Lie-ins have never looked so good. From £1,750, 591-593 King’s Road, SW6,


Green ‘Greenery’ has been hailed as the 2017 Colour of the Year by Pantone, a bright and revitalising shade that represents the beginnings of spring. Get the look with our top homeware picks

Sustainable Style

Greek Key Peruvian Llama flat weave rug, from £795,

Those conscious of their ecological footprint should look to Notting Hill’s newest resident for environmentally friendly furniture. Specialising in reclaimed teak, Raft sources the finest recycled wood to craft beautiful pieces for the home. The brand’s teak collection is the largest of its kind in the world and is handmade by a team of 300 artisans sourced locally from its factory in Indonesia. Discover the range for yourself in the new store, which spans 2,500 sq ft and has been designed to match the label’s sleek and high-quality approach. 160-162 Notting Hill Gate, W11, Large green enamel jug, £40,

Antonia bone inlay chest of drawers, £1,295,

Image courtesy of: Raft

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Aspen armchair, £995,


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HEALTH BEAUTY BY Olivia sharpe Image courtesy of: Jamie Stevens

Making the Cut If hairdresser Jamie Stevens has one bug bear, it’s the phrase parroted by many members of his industry: “What are we doing today?” As the expert, Stevens believes he should dictate his clients’ hairstyle. “I want to take that burden of choosing their hair cut or colour off the client,” he says. “We’re the experts; we know what will suit you – your face shape, your body, your lifestyle, your hair texture. You wouldn’t expect a mechanic to ask what to do to your car at an MOT, or a doctor to ask what medicine they should prescribe – you’re there for their expertise. We can tell you what your perfect style is and create that for you.” While this might sound a bit tyrannical, you can be sure that your hair is in safe hands with Stevens. As well as having been awarded numerous accolades, he has also been the official hairdresser in-residence for The X Factor for the past five years. But when he’s not styling the perfectly coiffed tresses of Cheryl and Rita Ora, he’s working at his salon in Kensington.

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The family-run business comprises Stevens, his sister Tasha – HJ’s British Colourist of the Year Nominee in 2013 and 2015 – her husband, Jonathan Andrew, the artistic director, as well as six other stylists of varying levels. I arrive for my cut and colour at the salon, which is situated down the quiet and residential street, Russell Gardens, and am greeted warmly by the receptionist. Almost immediately, I am whisked into a chair and introduced to Stevens, whose calm, relaxed but professional manner puts me instantly at ease. I must admit to being a bit of a control freak when it comes to my hair. And yet, that isn’t to say I don’t like experimenting and very often I will bravely give stylists free reign to do what they like with my extraordinarily thick mane. However, on this occasion, I have a very clear idea of what I’m after and so arrive armed with a phone full of snaps of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Khloé Kardashian – both of whom have recently been sporting the big hair trend of 2016, the long bob or ‘lob’ as it has been dubbed.

While Stevens and I are in full agreement that I bear no resemblance to either Rosie or Khloé (although naturally he is too polite to say), we are on the same wavelength when it comes to my hair style. He agrees that cutting it short would suit my face and bone structure, and suggests I go even shorter, modelling Alexa Chung’s coveted locks. So after drawing a deep breath, I let him and his sister – who is delighted to hear that I want to go even blonder with my highlights while still maintaining a natural look – work their magic. After a few hours of intense pampering and gossiping (mainly about what goes on behind-thescenes of The X Factor, although sadly Stevens turns out to be the soul of discretion and won’t reveal anything), my new hairstyle is unveiled. And it’s safe to say that I’ve never been happier. So the next time you hear the words, “What shall we do today?”, I suggest you run a mile – and in the direction of Jamie Stevens’ salon. Jamie Stevens, 9 Russell Gardens, W14, 020 7371 1944,




BY ellen millard

Break the Code Red, black, gold, white and beige: these are the colours that Chanel’s global creative make-up and colour designer Lucia Pica believes embody the brand and shaped the life of its founder, Gabrielle. As such, it’s these shades that form the crux of Chanel’s S/S17 collection, Coco Codes, a contrasting line of both warm and dramatic hues. The highlight is the limited-edition Coco Code Exclusive Creation, a blush palette comprising two matte and two satin shades, best worn together for a radiant effect. £49,

The Thick of It If, like us, your hair is suffering from winter-induced lack of volume, fret no more: Hershesons has introduced a thickening hair cut for tired tresses, promising to boost barnets and give instantly fuller and thicker locks. Designed by stylist Scott Ade, the new style has been created specifically for clients with fine hair who, he says, struggle to find a volumising look that doesn’t require too much maintenance. The result is a choppy cut that is adapted to suit each person’s face and – best of all – can be rough dried, straightened or left to dry naturally. From £70, available at Harvey Nichols Beauty Lounge

Smooth Operator Having changed the make-up game with its Radiant Creamy Concealer, Nars is introducing a new matte version for 2017 – and we’re expecting great things. Hailed by the brand as the “highest-coverage concealer yet”, the Soft Matte Complete Concealer has an oil-free formula that boasts natural-looking coverage and the ability to smooth imperfections. Pick it up from 1 February in 16 shades, ranging from chantilly to dark coffee. £23 each,

Image courtesy of: Chanel

Eau, My In the contemporary world of perfumery, the bottle is often just as alluring as its scented contents, catching the eyes of passers-by with its crystal casing. During the 1920s, such a thing was rather uncommon, given that solid perfumes were the preferred olfactory form. For 2017, Diptyque has returned to the traditional style, presenting Eau Rose, the latest edition to the brand’s permanent collection, as a balm. Combining centifolia and damask roses with lychee, honey and cedar, the fragrant wax is placed directly on the skin for optimum performance. Those who prefer not to stray from tradition needn’t worry – the scent can be purchased in a liquid form, too. £30 for the solid perfume, 195 Westbourne Grove, W11,

Face Time Work out without lifting a finger at FaceGym’s new flagship studio on the King’s Road, a two-floor spa specialising in non-invasive facials. The new space offers the brand’s signature facial workouts – which use innovative face-lifting techniques, ultrasound, radio frequency and cryotherapy – as well as the Open Beauty Lab concept, a service that aims to help you incorporate natural ingredients into your skincare routine. Finally, a workout we can get on board with. 352 King’s Road, SW3, Image courtesy of: FaceGym


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Image courtesy of: Shutterstock



A spritz of fragrance may be a frivolous thing, but the type of scent we spray can also be a sign of the zeitgeist. This year, gone are the big, bold uniform scents that are easily accessible and in are rare, unusual and unique fragrances. Is it a sign of a growing trend of individualism? Angelina Villa-Clarke investigates


A few years back, if you asked a woman what fragrance she was wearing, it would probably have been a big-brand name. Perfumes, of course, have long been the ‘entry point’ to purchasing a designer label, with every major fashion house having a line-up of scents bearing their designer’s signature. But, echoing what is happening in the travel and culinary industries, our tastes are changing in favour of something more unique and artisanal. “There’s no doubt about it; everyone wants an unusual perfume,” says James Craven, a fragrance archivist at Les Senteurs, a perfumery that specialises in niche scents. “In this age of exaggerated supercommunication and the instant gratification of social media, celebrity and fame have come too close and are too cheap. The cognoscenti now demand something arcane, rare and unknown... a scent that will mark them out as an individual, an original, a rara avis.” While the hyper-rich can commission a bespoke scent, which can take years to make and costs tens of thousands of pounds, the growing niche perfume market bridges the gap between bespoke and high street. “At the moment, the quest for a rare or limitededition fragrance is a very popular trend in the luxury market,” agrees perfume expert Michael Donovan. “It reflects the celebration of the individual. In the 1980s and 1990s, brands defined us, but those days are gone. Perfume is now seen as an expression of our personality. What’s more, our increased knowledge of notes and ingredients and their provenance is challenging perfumers to create more and more idiosyncratic scents. For many of these artisans, it is a joy to create the extraordinary rather than a generic, one-size-fits-all fragrance.” According to the NPD Group, a leading market research company, niche scents have contributed 40 per cent of the total growth of the fragrance market this year. Limited numbers, hard-to-source ingredients and handcrafted bottles, however, mean that these fragrances manage to retain an air of exclusivity. And, after all, there’s nothing better than someone asking what perfume you are wearing, and then being able to have an air of secrecy around it, citing an unusual brand name. It speaks volumes about our taste. Ironically, these days, most of the well-known perfume labels are also quietly carving out their own slice of the action. This is sometimes seen as an ‘haute couture’ line for their perfume offering – Christian Dior has its Collection Privée, Givenchy has L’Atelier and Chanel Les Exclusifs. Non-commercial and hard to source – Chanel’s line, for instance, is only available in a handful of stores – the idea is to create an instant appeal through their rarity. “We are more confident about fragrance now and we have learned to appreciate great scent,” says Donovan. “Consequently, we are entering the second golden age of perfume – the first was the 1920s – with perfumers displaying outstanding creativity.”


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o m it

a b i l i s d uo f r a t r e s c u r r e n



Palace Oud by Thameen

Outrageous by Frédéric Malle

With only 100 bottles made, this spicy blend, which has been aged for 12 years and contains rare Indian Oud, is not even on show at Selfridges, where it is exclusively sold. Like contraband, it is kept ‘under the counter’ so that only those ‘in the know’ will ask for it. Costing £2,750 for 30ml, it comes in a handmade crystal decanter. “I designed this fragrance around the ingredients,” says Basel Binjabr, the founder of Thameen. “We had an exclusive agarwood from India, which, like cognac, gets silky smooth over time. We then teamed it with the most expensive rose in the world – the Taif Rose – along with Egyptian jasmine and cedarwood from the Atlas Mountains. It really is the most luxurious jus.”

Born into the perfume industry, Frédéric Malle is the grandson of Serge Heftler-Louiche, who created the Parfums Christian Dior. Over the years he has worked as a consultant for the likes of Christian Lacroix and Hermès, and alongside some of the truly great noses of our era. His label is considered one of the original artisan brands. His latest fragrance, Outrageous, launching in February, is a collaboration with legendary perfumer Sophia Grojsman. Based on the culture and colour of Brazil, it combines bergamot, tangerine and green apple with cinnamon, musk and ambroxan. It’s what Frédéric describes as “clean sex appeal”.

Perfumer H by Lyn Harris Better known for her perfume label Miller Harris, Lyn Harris, the only classically trained female nose in the UK, has embarked on a new venture to cater for the latest appetite for unusual fragrances. Perfumer H, an intimate perfume atelier in Marylebone, offers a three-tiered range: a paredback seasonal collection (think: Rain Cloud for spring, Pine for winter), pre-made one-of-a-kind scents known as Laboratory Editions (the formula is exclusively yours), and a personalised perfume service, starting from £15,000. “We live in a world where there is too much of everything and too much of the same,” she says. “The bubble has burst and people want to spend their money on less, but have the best. Smell is so expressive of who we are, how we feel or who we want to be. It’s a magical escape and so the fragrance has to have integrity on lots of different levels.”


Petit Matin & Grand Soir campaign, image courtesy of: Francis Kurkdjian, photography: Nathalie Baetens

À La Rose Extrait by Maison Francis Kurkdjian Renowned as the creator of Jean Paul Gaultier’s Le Male, created when he was just 26, Francis Kurkdjian is also regarded as one of most unique and original perfumers of our time. His past ventures have included trying to recreate the 18th-century perfume worn by Marie Antoinette, inventing giant olfactory installations and opening one of the first bespoke fragrance ateliers in Paris in 2009. His latest offering is À La Rose Extrait. Costing £1,200 for 70ml, the pink juice is intrinsically feminine, and is made with 4,000 roses from Grasse and Bulgaria. It comes in a hand-engraved bottle in a chic, mirrored case.

Narcisse Noir by Caron One of the truly great perfume houses, Caron was founded in Paris in 1904. Its ‘parfums rare’ is a coterie of its most important scents, dating back 100 years. Produced in their original bottles, they are in a pure perfume form – as they would have originally been worn. A cult fragrance in the 1920s, but currently enjoying a low-key revival, is Narcisse Noir. It was created in 1911 by Ernest Daltroff, who was considered the greatest nose of the period. Combining rose and orange blossom with sandalwood and musk, it is a sensual, daring scent and comes with a high calibre of devotees. From the silent screen siren Gloria Swanson, who is said to have demanded that the set of the film Sunset Boulevard be scented with it, to Dita Von Teese – this is as glamorous as perfume gets.

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Fiesta by Ramón Monegal Based in Barcelona is the Spanish cult label Ramón Monegal, which last year celebrated its centenary. Headed up by a fourth-generation master perfumer, the brand boasts a rich history in the olfactory industry. Its latest offering is Fiesta, a limited-edition fragrance described as an “homage to love and to Spain”. Multi-layered and costing £400 for 50ml (you can find it exclusively in Harrods), it ranges from top notes of sea molecule and peach blended with rose and osmanthus, to a base of heliotrope and cotton candy. “For me, a fragrance starts to become ‘rare’ when it distances itself from the trends influenced by marketing,” Monegal says. “Today, more than ever, customers want to communicate a unique personal image. They look for perfumes that aren’t available to everyone.”


Kids KINGDOM BY lauren stevens Image courtesy of: Balmain

Join the Army After much demand for mini versions of his seminal designs (most notably from celebrity couple Kim Kardashian and Kanye West), Olivier Rousteing – the visionary creative director of Balmain – decided to launch a collection exclusively for kids last year. The S/S17 collection is now here and making its debut in the Harrods childrenswear department, comprising stylish military-inspired clothing and accessories for both girls and boys aged six to 14 years old. Signature pieces include Japanese denim jeans and quilted bomber jackets. From £120, available at Harrods

Take a Dip

Memory Lane

Luxury children’s swimwear brand Sunuva has teamed up with Liberty London to create a limitededition unique print for girls. Liberty’s classic ditzy floral design has been fused with the swimwear brand’s favourite neon shades to create a fun and bright holiday print. The floral capsule collection offers the perfect summer holiday wardrobe, offering a variety of swimwear and beachwear. Babies up to 24 months can stay comfy in towelled onesies and rompers, while girls up to the age of 14 can choose from a selection of printed playsuits and dresses. From £19,

Sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all the little things that are special to us; items which should be cherished often get separated, lost around the house or forgotten about. Meminio has thus created a memory case, designed for storing family keepsakes all in one place. Whether it’s photos, certificates of achievement or your child’s first pair of baby shoes, the beautiful bonded leather case comes with separate compartments for organising memorabilia. It can also be personalised with a gold embossed luggage tag, making for the perfect gift item. From £120,

Wag of Tricks When New Zealand journalist and dog lover Sarah Hall grew tired of searching for the perfect dog-walking bag, she decided to create it herself. With the help of fellow Kiwi and designer Sonya Cotter, she created a functional and stylish bag – the Dog Walker – that enables a stroll round the park and a pit stop at the coffee shop all in one trip. The nifty tote comes complete with a slim-line water bottle and pocket, a collapsible dog bowl, litter bag dispenser and separate pockets for personal items – working perfectly for both pups and their owners. £70,

Photography: Frank Perrin



Baby Steps

Picture Perfect French childrenswear brand Bonpoint’s collection for S/S17 is truly picturesque, inspired by some of the most renowned visual artists. Brightly coloured items mirror the quirky aesthetic of director Wes Anderson’s films, while exotic prints are inspired by the work of photographer Massimo Vitali and the Palm Springs photographs by Robert Doisneau. Pink is a key shade this season, among other vibrant hues inspired by the palette of artist Paul Gauguin. From £80,

On the Go Known for its practical and stylish products, nursery brand Silver Cross has designed the ultimate travel solution for families. The label’s new Wave pram comes complete with a carrycot (suitable for newborns) and a three-way-reclining reversible seat, both of which are appropriate for use on foot or in the car. Extra accessories can also be purchased to accommodate a second child, providing flexibility for families on the go. From £995,

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Little fashionistas can now follow in their mother’s footsteps with Aquazzura’s debut Mini range. Launching for S/S17, the collection captures the playful essence of the brand in miniature form, so loyal clients of the women’s range can now purchase girly and comfortable versions for their children. Classic styles such as the label’s signature Christy flats have been reinterpreted for little feet, reaching a whole new generation of Aquazzura fans. From £195, available at Harrods

Story Time The Royal Albert Hall is hosting a number of events for children to enjoy during the February half-term holidays, including a live performance of Lisa Stubbs’ classic picture book, Lily and Bear. Taking place in the venue’s Elgar Room, the story about a little girl and her drawing of a bear that comes to life has been adapted into a musical, telling a wonderful tale of friendship. 14 February, £12.22 including booking fee, Royal Albert Hall,


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high life

hIDE AND SOUK The life of a fashion designer is often one of jet-setting and hotel-hopping, so it’s little wonder that many of the industry’s principals have gone on to create their own stylish retreats. From Versace’s outposts in Dubai and Australia to Armani’s Milanese guest house, there’s no shortage of chic suites in which to stay. The latest is Jasper Conran’s L’Hôtel Marrakech, located in the heart of the city’s medina. The 19th-century riad has been kitted out with Conran’s personal collection of antiques, textiles and artwork, a mix of ornate wooden furniture and jazzy upholstery that stands out against the mainly white walls. The space has been restored by craftsmen using local materials, resulting in a tranquil space that strikes a balance between classic Moroccan decor and contemporary style. From €345, Image courtesy of: Jasper Conran

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Closer to Home

White House Down Inspired by its commanding position next to the Presidential Palace and Haw Phra Kaew – a former temple built to house the Emerald Buddha – the latest hotel by the Akaryn group has brought supreme grandeur to the heart of Vientiane in Laos. With just 32 spacious suites, The President by Akaryn offers an exclusive sanctuary for guests away from the bustle of the city. It houses a choice of six dining options, an Ayurah Wellness Centre, and a private members’ club. The President by Akaryn opens in February, with stays starting from USD 278 per night, including breakfast,

No. 38 The Park, Cheltenham

Images courtesy of: Akaryn Hotel Group

Images courtesy of: Alila Fort Bishangarh, Alila Hotels & Resorts

Hold the Fort Fortify yourself following your January detox with a stay at the Alila Fort Bishangarh in Jaipur, which is due to open at the end of February. Situated on a granite hill in the Aravali Range, the new heritage resort has been converted from a 230-year-old fort and is said to be the only one of its kind in the world. Its original fortification features remain intact, but within the two-metre thick ancient walls – which have stood the test of time – you will now find 59 stately suites, an Alila Spa, two restaurants, coffee lounge, bar and cigar room, wine cellar and library. In the grounds, there is a pool with a terrace, juice bar, fitness centre and children’s club. What more could you possibly need? Opens in February, rates at Alila Fort Bishangarh will start from USD 400 per room, per night based on two sharing on a room-only basis,


The Dukes of Hazzard A piece of British heritage has arrived in Dubai in the form of luxury Mayfair hotel, Dukes. The five-star London establishment has opened a sister hotel in the Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest manmade island. Spread over 15 floors, it boasts 506 rooms, including 279 bedrooms, 64 suites and 227 apartments, as well as 20 suites on the Duchess floor, which is exclusive to female guests. There are also three restaurants, an outdoor infinity pool with ocean views, indoor pool and private beach. Dukes Dubai has stayed true to the original hotel’s English charm through its decor, which sees a number of British suppliers – such as Floris London, Andrew Martin and Liberty Fabrics – putting their signature stamp on it. Nightly rates start from DHS 959 for a standard room, including breakfast for two,

As part of a series of events taking place throughout 2017, The Lucky Onion – the Cotswoldsbased hotel and restaurant group – has announced its February line-up. This month, head chef of East London restaurant Merchants Tavern, Neil Borthwick, will host a special seasonal supper at No. 38 The Park – The Lucky Onion’s elegant Georgian townhouse hotel situated close to Cheltenham racecourse – on 23 February. Before the dinner, guests will be treated to a talk given by former Sunday Times columnist Lucas Hollweg, who will discuss his career as a self-taught cook and food columnist, and his celebrated cookbook, Good Things to Eat. Tickets for the Neil Borthwick supper and pre-dinner talk with Lucas Hollweg on 23 February, £60pp; a one-night stay at No. 38 The Park for a standard room, £145,

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Rather than jumping on the detoxing bandwagon with a high-octane fitness regime for 2017, JENNIFER MASON refreshes body and mind with a visit to Puglia’s Borgo Egnazia ON THE OUTSKIRTS of the small town of Fasano in Puglia is a luxury hotel that has been designed specifically to blend in with the surrounding countryside. Built as a traditional village or borgo, you’ll find rooms, two-storey suites and larger villas hidden within the enclave. A cross between a charming Puglian hamlet and a Hollywood movie set, Borgo Egnazia is full of surprises at every turn. Arriving after dark is a truly magical experience. Strolling through the corridors, the alcoves of which are dimly lit by hundreds of candles, we eventually find our way out of the hotel building (where there’s a selection of rooms that offer more traditional accommodation) and wander through the stone arch, which marks the entrance to the borgo. Paved streets and narrow alleyways flanked by whitewashed stone buildings in the traditional Puglian style lead out onto a truly mesmerising sight: the village square, lit by hundreds of flickering lanterns. It’s not hard to see why Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel chose this as the place to host their wedding. Still mentally planning my own nuptials, I receive the key to my very own townhouse. Decorated inside and out

with the accoutrements of a sustainable, eco-conscious neighbourhood (think wheat sheaves and wellies), I pause in my exploration on my Juliet balcony. When the sun rises, I’m certainly not disappointed by the terrace garden, or the panoramic views from the private roof terrace. I’ve come to Borgo Egnazia to experience its famous Vair Spa, but the rest of the hotel deserves a mention, too. In the daytime, the walls sparkle bright white in the sunshine. Delicious aromas linger in the air; the food will have you happily returning for seconds (and thirds), and while it’s easy to get lost in the twisting corridors, you won’t mind a bit. In fact, the hotel’s architect, Pino Brescia, designed it deliberately to combat the modern preoccupation with shuttling from one destination to another without appreciating the journey. The longer I spend here, the more I yearn to lie down and let life wash over me for a while. Thankfully, quiet nooks and crannies in which to curl up and read, or simply relax, are in plentiful supply. If it’s complete ‘can’t move a muscle’ relaxation you’re searching for, though, then a visit to the Vair Spa is a must. Forget your typical spa menu of massages and facials; at Vair the experience is tailored to suit both your physical and psychological needs.


I’ve been recommended the spa’s three-day Tarant Programme. Described as a ‘vital revolution to retrieve instinct and truthfulness’, this women-only treatment includes the psycho-aromatherapy (which uses your sense of smell to reveal your body’s subconscious cries for help). Following a conversation with spa director Patrizia Bortolin, I try a number of treatments (including the Abbel Bel facial that has me in a blissful state almost immediately). But if there’s one particular experience that has me both intrigued and slightly apprehensive, it’s the avemmari session with the spa’s shaman, Stefano Battaglia. Through his deep intuition and knowledge of ancient techniques, Battaglia begins by quizzing me on my lifestyle and what I want to change or rediscover about myself. After our initial conversation, Battaglia uses various techniques to connect physically with my inner psyche. Through a series of pressure points and holds I feel key points of tension being unlocked (from areas such as my stomach, where I didn’t even realise I was holding my stress) and even find myself in a trance-like state when Battaglia moves to support and realign my neck. Once I’m back in the land of the conscious (just about), we discuss how I feel and Battaglia offers some

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valuable advice on how I can recapture this feeling every day. Thankfully, his tips include a large glass of wine (Italian, of course!) so I know it’s advice I can happily follow. After three days of pure escapism, it’s time to return to the real world. I don’t think I’ve ever been more reluctant to leave a place – and it’s not just because of the beauty of the surroundings, or the plushness of the spa. There’s a deep sense of peace here that has made it remarkably easy to embrace the wellness teachings. Back in London, it’s a feeling I hold on to: the sensation of sun on my face, the scent of lemon groves, which I use as a mental talisman to ward off the overwhelming chaos of life in the big city.

more information Borgo Egnazia has rooms from €220 a night, based on two adults sharing on a B&B basis. The Tarant Programme at the Vair Spa costs €1,250, excluding accommodation. For further information and bookings, visit


Rosa Alpina hotel, Alta Badia

Cross country centre in SarĂŠ/Armentarola Photography: Freddy Planinschek



Chris Allsop goes on the hunt for the finest Michelin-starred cuisine during Alta Badia’s annual Gourmet Skisafari in the Italian Dolomites


o more,” my friend Martin croaks from his bed, as the alarm goes. “I can’t take it anymore.” We’ve been in the picturesque ski village of San Cassiano in Italy’s Alto Adige (also known as South Tyrol) for two nights. On both evenings, we’ve dined extremely well, as one tends to do in a village with the highest percentage of Michelin stars to population in the country (three stars for a total of 700 people). My friend and I are taking part in the Gourmet Skisafari – an annual event which involves traversing Alto

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Adige’s Alta Badia ski resort in search of the rifugios (mountain huts) that are participating in this season’s decadent on-snow culinary feast. This unique safari’s Big Five are the culinary artists crafting these high-altitude titbits. The starry lineup includes Norbert Niederkofler, chef at the two Michelin star St. Hubertus restaurant at our hotel, the Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa, as well as Italy’s youngest Michelin chef, Matteo Metullio, from La Siriola at Hotel Ciasa Salares. Acquire a safari pass for €50 (the ticket includes five glasses of perfectly paired Tyrolean vino), and you can ski hut to hut on a gastro-odyssey, with the stunning Dolomite mountains as your backdrop. Dishes are served between 11am and 3pm so we breakfast up mountain to ensure that we capitalise on Michelin time. A bubble lift floats us up into pristine December skies, and pretty soon we’re sipping cappuccinos and munching custard pastries by Piz Boè Alpine Lounge’s blazing fire. Amid the chatter and the rustle of ski gear is a sense of excitement: Day One. Besides the area’s Michelin clout, Alto Adige/ South Tyrol is one of those intriguing border regions with its own customs and dialect. Alta Badia, in turn, is not the quickest ski area to reach – two hours by AvisRent-A-Mercedes from Austria’s Innsbruck Airport via a scenic mountain highway – but on arrival you realise that it’s worth the trouble. As you enter the resort, passing a sign declaring it a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the landscape morphs from forested alpine regularity to soaring Dolomitic verve.

Clockwise from top right: Hallway, Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa, San Cassiano, Alta Badia; South Tyrol is known for its white wines, Gourmet Skisafari, photography: Freddy Planinschek; Chef Nicola Laera at Ütia Col Alt preparing roast Bleggio rabbit with its livers, photography: Freddy Planinschek



We’re admiring this jagged panorama from Ütia Col Alt’s outdoor terrace, having arrived a little early for our first course. Behind us, Nicola Laera and his sous chef are completing their preparations. While we wait for roast Bleggio rabbit with its livers, pumpkin, chestnuts, and Sauris ham powder, we enjoy glasses of crisp, locally produced pinot grigio. Logistically, it made sense for this to be our first stop, although I am somewhat nervous about liver for elevenses. It’s 10.30am when we tuck into our gamey plateful. In the brisk mountain air, the earthy chestnuts are a perfect foil for the rabbit’s sticky richness, balanced beautifully by the wine’s gentle acidity. Fired up by the sheer perfection of this first stop, we make a beeline for the next. Immediately, we take a wrong turn down an endlessly snaking blue piste. Eschewing the fold-out map, I switch to Google Maps and the way to the Ütia I Tablá hut is digitally mapped out. We ascend. At the top, chef Esat Akyildiz has travelled all the way from The Ritz-Carlton Almaty, Kazakhstan, to serve us “Kespe Sorpa” noodles with aromatic bouillon. The broth is as mild and warming as we hoped, a tactical decision to switch gears on the palate ahead of our third destination, Norbert Niederkofler at Ütia de Bioch, and an anticipated return to richness. En route to hut three, we share our chairlift with a small boy. Halfway along, the child drops one of his ski poles onto the no man’s land below. He chatters to himself in the local dialect of Ladin, apparently inconsolable. I give him an encouraging pat on the shoulder. It’s a long ride. By 11:58am, we’re having our third glass of wine poured – an Alto Adige pinot bianco. We wave at the bearded Niederkofler who is circulating merrily among the diners. The dish, tortellini filled with braised veal cheek and served in bouillon, hits a deep umami note. Where servings are concerned, we’ve now had a full meal. Everything from here on in is unashamed gluttony. Two hearty lads in green corduroy shorts are belting out favourites on their accordions when we arrive at Piz Arlara. While the delightful variety of the cuisine is expected on this foodie pilgrimage, less anticipated is the engaging variance in hut ambiance and style. Piz


Arlara, with its red check tablecloths matching the waiters’ shirts, is on the cosy, traditional end of the spectrum. Chef Probost’s spiced Alta Badia tartare is as fresh and bracing as the breeze that steals the precisely plated-up parsley sprig from my fourth dish of the day. On to the final stop, and I find myself, for the first time, in a hurry to eat a sweetbread. Cavalier with our planning, we go wrong again, but how wrong can having to ski an unexpected extra piste really be? Route corrected, we catch a lift to Club Moritzino. When it’s time to get off, Martin traps the chairlift release beneath his snowboard and we fall flat on our faces. A lift operator ambles over to check that we two safarists, lying face down in the snow, are unhurt, but his amused expression suggests that this ungainly display is not the first he has witnessed during Skisafari. Chastened, we walk the last 200m to the hut where young up-and-comer Matteo Metullio is waiting with a sweetbread of fried veal on scampi with smoked Jerusalem artichoke froth, and liquorice and aniseed salsa. It is now 3pm, the sky has clouded over and the wind whips, but Metullio and his team are still outside catering for stragglers like us. Despite having the elements against him, his presentation is faultless. We duck into Club Moritzino and find a cosy corner in which to savour the grand finale. Safari complete, we clink glasses. “On to dinner?” I suggest. Martin is too content to even wince.

MORE INFORMATION Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa, San Cassiano has rooms available from €430 per night, based on two adults sharing a Deluxe Double room. Rates include breakfast, taxes and services and exclude tourist tax, EasyJet flies from London Gatwick and Luton to Innsbruck Airport from £28 (one way includes all taxes, based on two people on the same booking), For further information about the Gourmet Skisafari, visit

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When it comes to the ‘best time to visit’ a place, Stockholm is fortunate in that there is no specific time. It is a city for all seasons, whether it be autumn to winter, when it transforms into a scene out of Disney’s Frozen with its ice skating-friendly canals and frost-covered parks, or spring and summer, when brighter days reawaken its naturally green spaces. I went at the start of Scandinavian spring in April which was, in my opinion, ideal. There was still a chill in the air, but most days were bright and sunny, making it possible to walk around and unearth the Swedish capital’s many cultural credentials. The city is a jigsaw of 14 islands connected by bridges and canals, so it can be difficult at first to get your bearings – I would highly recommend a walking tour as opposed to a boat sightseeing excursion, which doesn’t give you the full picture of this fair city. History and culture are truly omnipresent in Stockholm. Begin at The Royal Palace, which remains the official residence of the Swedish monarch, before strolling down to Gamla Stan (the Old Town), where Stockholm was founded in the 13th century. The winding cobbled streets, coloured townhouses (each colour depicting a different era), vaulted cellars and beautiful churches recall the city’s medieval history. Here you will find Den Gyldene Freden, a restaurant that is largely unchanged since the day it opened in 1722 and, as such, has earned its place in the Guinness World Records. Skeppsholmen, otherwise known as ‘museum island’, is east of here, while the main commercial and shopping districts are in the north. Finally, go south to trendy Södermalm for a taste of modern Sweden, where quirky vintage stores, Swedish fashion brands and Instagram-worthy cafés await you. From museums and galleries to restaurants and shops, there’s so much to see and do. So what are you waiting for?

Weekend Break In...


Check In While touring with his band last year, Johnny Depp reportedly checked into an £8,000-a-night suite at Stockholm’s Grand Hôtel. Opened in 1874, this historic five-star hotel has hosted not just Hollywood’s elite, but also dignitaries, Nobel Prize laureates and world leaders. Its positioning is unparalleled; right on the waterfront, our suite overlooked the Royal Palace and the Old Town. Traditionalists will love the grand decor, with glittering chandeliers, gilded pillars and the spectacular Spegelsalen (“Hall of Mirrors”) ballroom. Modern touches can be found in the trendy one Michelin star restaurant, Matbaren, headed up by Sweden’s hottest chef, Mathias Dahlgren, who is credited with the revival of Swedish cuisine and who will also be running a brand new restaurant concept within the hotel as of February when it opens. Breakfast at the hotel is another highlight; served in The Veranda restaurant, the sumptuous buffet gears

Olivia Sharpe finds herself captivated by the history, culture and cuisine of Sweden’s capital Images courtesy of: Grand Hôtel, Stockholm/Shutterstock


you up for your day of sightseeing with a smorgasbord of continental and Swedish offerings. And if you have no idea how to begin your tourist excursion, never fear: Marcus, the brilliant concierge, will guide you wherever you need to go and, being the true man about town, will make sure to get you into the best restaurants at a moment’s notice. Rates at the Grand Hôtel start from 3,700 SEK per night for a Superior Double room, breakfast excluded,

Editor’s Checklist Scandi Style

Louise Grand 14-karat gold pearl ring, £740, Sophie Bille Brahe,

Dining Out With more than 1,000 restaurants, eight of which were given Michelin stars in 2013, you can be certain to be well catered-for in Stockholm. Famed for its seafood offerings, a great lunchtime spot is Sturehof, situated in Stureplan – this public square, complete with luxury boutiques and top-notch restaurants, is Stockholm’s answer to Mayfair. Here, wonderful seasonal dishes show off the local produce and Swedish husmanskost (traditional fare). In the evenings, neighbourhood restaurant Aubergine gets it right, offering a buzzy and lively setting while serving up excellent food, with dedicated truffle weeks that aren’t to be missed. For fancier fare, Operakällaren combines an opulent setting with decadent European haute cuisine courtesy of chef de cuisine Stefano Catenacci. Impeccable service sees no traces of snobbery or pretension; whether you opt for the three-, four- or seven-course menu, each guest is given a theatrical experience, with lots of little add-ons in-between courses that make the overall dining experience truly memorable.,,

Jumper, £140, Filippa K,

Canada fringed wool scarf, £140, Acne Studios,

Cultural Tour If you want to soak up as much culture as possible, then head straight to Djurgården. Since the 15th century, it has been deemed royal land and is where city’s most famed attractions and museums are situated just a few doors down from one another. A must-visit is the Vasa Museum; this houses the world’s only preserved 17thcentury ship, which made nautical history when it set sail in 1628, only to sink 30 minutes later. Next, dance on over to ABBA: The Museum, which tells the story of the country’s most famous musical export through memorabilia, documentaries and replicas of the band members’ dressing rooms. Those of you with a passion for visual art should then pay a visit to Fotografiska, the waterside photographic museum (formerly an old customs house) in the Södermalm district. After viewing works by the world’s best contemporary photographers, head upstairs to the top-floor restaurant where you will find the best views overlooking the city (not to mention some lofty prices).,,

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Nulania stretch-twill coat, £475, By Malene Birger,

Trainers, £99, COS,


Peruvian Promise

With its Pisco Bar and Latino vibes, the party is in full swing at COYA Mayfair this February


Peru: home to a vibrant swathe of the Amazon rainforest and ancient Incan cities perched high in the Andes, is on many an intrepid traveller’s bucket list. But if your bank balance won’t stretch to a roundtrip ticket to Lima after the excesses of the festive season, there’s always COYA. As the winter blues set in, the Mayfair institution promises to keep the pisco sours and party atmosphere flowing. Set across two floors, everything from the dedicated art collection to the distressed colonial-chic decor is a nod to vibrant South American culture. COYA is home to a Peruvian restaurant, a members’ club, which hosts pop-up exhibitions, and the aforementioned Pisco Bar, where a roster of live bands and DJs perform on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. If its track record is anything to go by, COYA knows how to throw a soirée. Together with its sibling outposts in Miami and Dubai, it plays host to some legendary celebrations throughout the year – from the annual White Party thrown in June to commemorate the Incan Empire and worship the arrival of the sun god, to the traditional Day of the Dead celebrations in May. But even when we visit on a drizzly Tuesday evening, the atmosphere in the dimly lit lower ground floor bar is lively. The comfy banquettes prove to be the perfect place to batten down the hatches with a Mama-Quilla (a blend of vodka, fresh grapefruit, watermelon, Campari

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and homemade tonic). There’s a dedicated pisco library to lace your sour with whatever you fancy, but you can’t go wrong with the classic – a concoction of lime, sugar, egg white and Amargo bitters. If you’re in need of a little kick, however, the punchy chilli margarita with its jalapeñoinfused Don Julio Blanco tequila, avocado purée and lashings of lime should do the trick. If pisco isn’t your poison, you can also branch out with the help of the Flavour Map, an interactive menu compass designed according to four defining taste metrics. After attempting to navigate the 160 different spirit varieties, a visit to the adjacent restaurant is advisable – not least because executive chef Sanjay Dwivedi’s Peruvian-inspired cuisine made with modern British seasonal ingredients is exquisite. If you can, get a seat near the open ceviche bar and robata grill, so you can watch the chefs prepare traditional tiraditos (try the atun chifa – yellowfin tuna with soy, sesame seeds and shrimp cracker; and the tiradito de hiramasa – kingfish with dashi, truffle oil and chives). The foodie offerings are not confined to the evening, however. This winter COYA has also introduced an express lunch menu, consisting of the likes of ensalada de quinoa and costillas de cerdo (pork back ribs with a tamarind glaze for those who are yet to be initiated when it comes to Peruvian cuisine) that can be paired with a wine flight, or fresh juices for the virtuous. Finish off the meal with the coconut mousse served with pineapple sorbet and lime. Other highlights include the Sunday brunch offering, which you can opt to make bottomless, with the addition of refillable champagne, Peruvian punch and Bloody Marys. There’s also a crèche available if you need a break from the kids. Plans are in the pipeline for a second London venue, which will bring samba, sours and sea bass ceviche to the City in 2017. The opening date has yet to be confirmed, so in the meantime you’ll have to shimmy on down to Piccadilly for your party fix. Make ours a lemongrass pisco. The Express Lunch menu is available Monday to Saturday, £26 for three courses or £38 with a wine pairing, COYA Mayfair, 118 Piccadilly, W1J,




BY ellen millard

Cruz Control The early bird catches the gourmet meal at Casa Cruz, which is now offering a weekend lunch menu for the first time. The Notting Hill-based eatery specialises in Argentinean-inspired dishes, but will be presenting an all-round European affair for its new time slot. Pop in for octopus carpaccio, handmade pasta, salt-baked sea bass and whole roasted beef fillet, best enjoyed on the outdoor terrace during the warmer months and, for the rest of the year, in the confines of the romantic dining area. 123 Clarendon Road, W11,

Say It With Chocolate

Hai There “Have you had dinner?” is a question that’s usually followed by the where-to-eat conundrum. Fortunately, Jason Atherton’s latest venture promises to solve this common dilemma. Hai Cenato, which translates to English as the aforementioned question, will be the chef’s first Italian eatery, offering a selection of small plates, pastas, grills and pizzas, the latter of which has been made in the custom-built pizza oven. Drinks will be served at the in-house Drunken Oyster bar, which will specialise in Italian cocktails. Saluti! Opens 1 February, 2 Sir Simon Milton Square, SW1E,

Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than presenting your better half with an excuse to stuff their face with chocolate, and Godiva’s Valentine’s Day offering is a good way to show your appreciation. The Buffet de Gateaux collection comprises delectable bites inspired by cake recipes from around the world. Indulge in lemon cheesecake, crème brulée, sachertorte and strawberry shortcake delights, all presented in a box illustrated by American artist Sarajo Frieden. £20,

It’s a Date The best new bars and drinks in London to wow your loved ones with this Valentine’s Day

A Cause for Celebration What better way to celebrate an occasion than with a glass of The Macallan’s finest? At the end of 2016, the single malt whisky brand’s head of education, Daryl Haldane, marked the turn of the year with a tasting event at Hedonism Wines, during which guests were treated to samples of five of The Macallan’s exquisite expressions. For Valentine’s Day, lead by Haldane’s example and treat your loved one to a tipple or two. Our recommendations are The Macallan Fine Oak 12-year-old, a lighter blend whisky matured in three casks and best used for cocktails; Sherry Oak 12-year-old, a fruity expression balanced with woodsmoke and spice, and matured in the most expensive casks available; or Rare Cask, a particularly extraordinary whisky developed in no less than 16 of the finest casks at The Macallan Distillery, which are specially selected by the Master Whisky Maker. Discover The Macallan’s full range at Hedonism Wines, Harrods and Harvey Nichols.

The Distillery Portobello Road Gin’s director Tom Coates discusses The Distillery, London’s first spirit-themed hotel Portobello Road Gin has seen an unfathomable amount of growth since we started in our humble flat above the Portobello Star. It was where we educated guests on the fascinating and often miserable history of London dry gin. The idea for The Distillery was a little while in development, mainly because we had outgrown our original space.

Long Island Iced Tee For the teetotals among you comes an alcohol-free bar at Harvey Nichols, where the fifth-floor terrace has been taken over by Seedlip. The creator of the world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spirits is offering healthy cocktails for those forgoing their favourite tipples. Sours, Martinis and Hot Toddies are available alongside light bites, as well as cocktail masterclasses and – rather unusually – the chance to build your own terrarium. Until 5 February, Harvey Nichols Fifth Floor Terrace

The Distillery is quite a unique concept. As the name suggests, there is, of course, a distillery in the basement area, and our museum, The Ginstitute, has moved there so that the gin-making experience can continue. There’s also a little off-licence where people can buy Portobello Road Gin; there are two completely different bars; there’s a private dining room; and there are three boutique guest rooms that overlook Portobello Market. The most exciting part for me is the Resting Room, which is something that I think is truly unique to London. It’s a timeless bar serving a fantastic range of spirits, the majority of which are made on-site by us as proud purveyors of all London spirits – not just gin. We’ve sourced hand-built barrels that are suspended above the bar and our menu is based around these constantly aging drinks. There’s nothing quite like strolling down Portobello Road Market when you’re going to work on a Saturday. It’s such bustling and eclectic place and hopefully we’ve captured some of that in The Distillery. The three rooms right at the top have beautiful views looking all the way down Portobello Road, which still has that encapsulating charm that it has always had. 186 Portobello Road, W11,

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Soho’s Got Talent Rémy Martin’s private members’ club returns with a three-week pop-up in the heart of Soho. Pooling together the talents of some of London’s best mixologists, designers, fashion icons and culinary stars, the pop-up will feature a boutique offering a selection of the brand’s cognac. The Gallery space will offer lifestyle masterclasses, which members can enjoy while sampling tasty bites and cocktails. When the sun goes down, The Basement area will keep the party going with music and mixologists. 16 February – 4 March, 147 Wardour Street, W1F,


Flour Girls Three leading female wedding cake designers tell Ellen Millard why they ditched their day jobs to pursue a life of baking The first of my friends to get married has set the organisational bar astronomically high. Spreadsheets have been created, scrapbooks designed and budgets strategically planned right down to the final penny. With nearly a year still to go before the big day, the dress, shoes and jewellery have been bought, a make-up artist has been booked, and the groomsmen and bridesmaid outfits planned. In fact, only one area has caused somewhat of a hiccup: the cake. For the bride-to-be, a traditional affair with classic white icing was the obvious choice, but her Lego-obsessed groom was hoping for a rather more colourful creation. The result is expected to be a half-andhalf concoction, with miniature Lego blocks spilling down one side and a clean, ornate design featuring on the other.

Each designer specialises in high-end baking with exquisite designs I imagine such an effortless compromise is the stuff of dreams for Rosalind Miller, Elizabeth Solaru and Victoria Watkin-Jones, three wedding cake designers whose extravagant creations can take months of planning. Each specialises in high-end baking with exquisite designs that have captured the attention of royalty, Olympians and celebrities alike, and, as such, their clientele can often be rather demanding. From the baking disasters they’d rather forget to the memorable moments that have elevated them to wedding cake stardom, here they share their experiences crafting sugary treats into edible artwork.


Rosalind Miller Cakes

also did a life-sized gingerbread house for the Harrods Christmas window in 2015, which took a long time to do. We had to deliver it in three sections because it wouldn’t fit otherwise.

Former arts lecturer Rosalind Miller sells her award-winning creations in Harrods and supplies some of London’s most prestigious wedding venues

Working with my daughter Yasmine is great. It was difficult to start with, going from a purely mother-daughter relationship to working together professionally and it took a few months, but I think now we get on very well. It’s lovely to have someone that you can completely put your faith in.

I trained as a textiles designer and then worked as a lecturer at Central Saint Martins for 10 years. I had been to New York and visited Magnolia Bakery when my hours got cut. I decided to take a stall out at Greenwich Market and started selling cupcakes with little sugar flowers on them. I believed cupcakes would be a passing trend so I started making wedding cakes instead, and they took off.

We’re working on our 2017 collection at the moment. The new cakes are probably going to be a lot less formal. There seems to be a swing away from the very formal stuff. There will be quite a lot of texture and probably some metallics – we’re still coming up with ideas.

Baking is something I’ve always done and enjoyed. I always knew I could bake a good cake, but I’ve never had any training. I’ve always been a designer so I look at what sort of trends are in and try to adapt that to a cake. I look at couture dresses from brands such as Ralph & Russo, because they have beautiful detailing, and I look at interior design, or I might just base a cake on a section of my garden. I keep my eyes open to see what’s around. We’ve done a few very extravagant cakes for royal families in the Middle East. For one couple in Doha, we made a whole dessert table that was 15 metres long and had hundreds of mini cakes, meringues, macarons and three wedding cakes, all decorated with sugar flowers. To see it all come together is very rewarding. We

We will be releasing another website called Confections by Rosalind Miller Cakes, which is going to have a range of non-bespoke, more affordable cakes. They will have a similar aesthetic to the bespoke designs, but they’ll come in a certain size and colour and they’ll mostly be celebratory. We’ve also done a beautiful range of afternoon teacakes that are covered with butter cream. It’s something we’ve wanted to do for a while.

Victoria Made A love of Japanese arts and a desire for a more creative life saw Victoria Watkin-Jones leave the fitness industry for a career in cake design I’d always had a knack for baking. I used to bake a lot with my Nan when I was younger and my first job was as a catering manager. I moved away from that and ended up in the fitness industry for about eight years and then when the baking craze kicked off again a few years ago, it drew me back. There were a lot of cupcake businesses at the time and I wanted to do something a bit more niche and creative; wedding cakes just seemed like the perfect thing. A lot of clients do like my designs as seen. If not, we have a chat about what the venue’s going to be like, whether they have any themes, colours or floral decorations in mind, and then what flavours they want as well. I go away with all of the information, create a few options for them and then we go from there; it can be quite a short process or quite a long one, depending on the couple’s request.

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I love Japanese art and a lot of my cakes have an oriental feel to them. My ideas come from anywhere and everywhere, really; art, fashion, but definitely not other cakes. Timing is all very dependent on the decoration. Something covered in sugar flowers can take a couple of weeks. Baking tends to take three days depending on the size of the cake, but it’s the decoration that takes the most time. I try to limit myself to one cake per week as it keeps it nice and personal. Working as a lone artist, I don’t want to spread myself too thin – no pun intended. I was commissioned to fly out to Abu Dhabi to create a cake for the Sheikh’s daughter in 2014, which was pretty crazy. I also did a homecoming cake for Jessica Ennis when the Olympics were on. I made my sculptural cake [left] for a trade show that was looking for something futuristic. There wasn’t much research behind it – I just played around and it grew; it was all quite fluid. I haven’t done a lot of sculptural-style cakes for a while so I’ll probably go back to that this year.


Drinking&dining Photography: Cristina Rossi

Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium Ex-City dweller Elizabeth Solaru swapped the boardroom for the ballroom when she set up her wedding cake business in 2006 I fell into baking by accident. I was originally a scientist and then became a headhunter in the City, but I’d baked since I was a child. After I left my job, I went into cakes full-time. I love the prettiness of weddings and the romance; I find the whole lead-up very exciting. There’s a joke among cake makers that we don’t see objects for what they are; we see cake design in everything. Pantone colours are a massive source of inspiration for me. I adore jewellery and love high fashion houses such as Dolce & Gabbana and Victor & Rolf, as well as bridal designers like Vera Wang and Jenny Packham. Another thing I’ve started looking at is painted watercolour effects, which looks lovely on a cake. The wedding cake we did at the Shangri-La in Paris was the most extravagant I’ve done. The wedding was only for 60 people, but they wanted a massive eight-tier cake, and they also had a 12-foot long dessert table. As a baker, I want to see crumbs. I want the whole thing demolished because if it’s not then you think they hated it. For me, the challenge of making it and the memories are enough and, if I’m lucky, I’ll have an image that will last forever. Every cake we do is different so – believe it or not – by the time we get to the end of one cake, we’re thinking about the next challenge. I once had a bride call me up a month before her wedding in a really bad mood. We’d chosen a regal cake design, we’d signed a contract and everything was locked – and then she told me she wanted a fairytale cake instead. She went into full bridezilla mode. I agreed to do the cake that she wanted and it ended up going in The Huffington Post, which was really weird because it is still such a bad memory – but it happened to be the cake that went viral. Anyone who tells you they haven’t had any baking disasters is lying. Very early on I had a cake collapse, but luckily it was a birthday party and the celebrant didn’t realise. One time one of my suppliers added an anti-caking agent to the icing sugar and everybody had problems. That’s why you’ve got to buy premium stuff. To celebrate my business’ 10-year anniversary, I wrote a book called Opulencia to showcase some of my favourite cake designs over the years. It was a little bit of a vanity project, but it was something I’ve always wanted to do; I just never had the opportunity. To my utter shock, the book was really well received, so I was very pleased with that. We had a foodie couple who had a Japanese-themed wedding, and they wanted a wasabi and white chocolate cake with a plum jam filling. It actually ended up being really nice, despite how it sounds! Because it’s a wedding, most people don’t tend to go that crazy, but you will find that one out of 100 brides is not afraid to go against the grain. As long as the cake ends up looking beautiful then they’re happy.


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of Change

Walk down any reasonably smart London street and you’ll see it everywhere… the sports utility vehicle or SUV. Wherever you look, you’ll find Audi Q5s and Q7s, BMW X3s and X5s, Discos, Evoques and Range Rover Sports and, of course, the car that arguably started it all: the Porsche Cayenne. It’s a strange beast, the SUV. It’s big, often too big for cramped city streets, but that doesn’t deter London drivers, who ram them into car park spaces that are really designed for superminis. So why are they so popular? Ironically, their sheer size is part of it. When behind the wheel of an SUV, you are untouchable… you have a sense of security you simply won’t get in a Smart. And because they are built to conquer the great outdoors, they treat London’s ragged speed bumps with such contempt that you seldom realise when you’ve driven over one. That’s why Jaguar has joined in the fun with the F-Pace, why even Rolls-Royce is working on an SUV (under the code name Project Cullinan), and finally why Maserati recently launched the Levante. There’s a lot riding on the shoulders of the Levante. The car, named after a warm easterly wind that blows through the Mediterranean, will double the marque’s annual sales, making it the most significant

Maserati is the latest car manufacturer to build an SUV but, as Matthew Carter discovers, Levante is more performance car than mud-plugger


Maserati for many a year. It’s also the first Maserati that’s equally at home in the woods as it is pounding down the autostrada, thanks to its all-wheel drive chassis and an air suspension system that allows it to venture off-road. Switching a control on the centre console to off-road mode raises the ride height by 40mm to give it a little more ground clearance in case there are too many obstacles in the way. It works well enough: a quick trip down a very wet, muddy and slippery track barely has the Levante breaking into a sweat, despite the lack of grip. Standard features such as hill descent control make off-roading as easy as driving down the high street… though, in truth, Levante is best viewed as 4x4lite. Like most of its rivals, Levante will spend the majority of its time on-road, which is why Maserati has elected to make the car’s primary focus one of on-road performance rather than off-road prowess. Underneath its imposing body lies the chassis of the performance-oriented Ghibli sports saloon, albeit with that intelligent Q4 four-wheel drive system as standard. The system is set up so that in normal use, the car’s natural condition is to be rear-wheel drive to give the chassis a sporting edge. Yet if the going gets tricky, such as a road covered in wet leaves or a snowy mountain pass – the electronic controls spend their time monitoring the grip and diverting the engine torque to where it’s needed most. Up to 50 per cent of the torque can be shifted from the rear axle to the front in all of 150ms. Air suspension automatically lowers the normal ride height by 35mm at speed for better aerodynamic efficiency, while torque vectoring, another standard feature, distributes more engine torque to the outside wheels (while gently braking the inner ones) when cornering to sharpen chassis response. The chassis also has a Sport setting to tighten the suspension settings when pressing on. There can be no denying that Levante has masses of on-road presence. Dominated by a simply huge grille and with several Maserati signature touches, such as the three air vents on either front wing, Levante is as curvaceous as most SUVs are boxy. It’s more coupé than square-rigger, so it has a high-waisted side profile, powerful rear haunches and a sloping roof line. It also has frameless doors just like a sports car. That shape is efficient, too, with a best in class Cd figure of 0.31. Levante is also the first Maserati to be fitted with an Air Shutter (now also found on Quattroporte) behind the grille, which optimises air flow around the car when it’s not needed for cooling. Inside, there’s ample space for five people and their luggage, and its design lives up to Maserati’s reputation for producing some of the best interiors, with

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plenty of wood and leather on display. If this is a little on the traditional side for you, you can pay extra for a smattering of carbon fibre trim bits. It’s also well equipped; however, only by plundering the options list will you get all the kit you need: the ‘luxury’ pack, a hefty £5,950 addition to the basic price, gives you 19-inch alloys, premium leather interior, heated front seats and a surround view camera. Of more merit is the £1,450 Driver Assistance Pack, which includes advanced safety features such as adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and lane departure warning. Comfort levels are high in Normal mode and suitably taut in Sport mode, and despite its high-sided body and sheer bulk – Levante is notably heavier than its immediate competitors – this big Maser handles well. If there’s one fault, it can be found under the bonnet. Most of the Levantes sold in the UK will be powered by a 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel made for Maserati by Italian firm VM. The engine has been around for some time and while it is reasonably powerful, it’s lacking when it comes to refinement. It’s gruff and needs to be revved if you want to extract the performance claimed. And the more you rev it, the gruffer it gets. The diesel is the only engine that will be available at launch, but there are a pair of 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine waiting in the wings, including a twin-turbo version that develops 430hp and is made for Maserati by stablemate Ferrari. This is a glorious engine, one that turns Levante into a snarling beast. Of course, it’s not for everyone – and would be wasted on the school run – as it’s thirsty and the emissions verge on the anti-social, but nonetheless it underlines Levante’s performance SUV credentials. That’s not to say the diesel is without merit and every Levante comes with one standard feature that is unavailable on any of the rivals: the Maserati Trident badge. If you want to stand out among the massed ranks of suburban SUVs, a Maserati is the only way to go.

under the bonnet Car: Maserati Levante Diesel Price: £54,335 Engine: Front-mounted, 2,987cc, turbocharged V6 diesel Power: 275hp Performance: 142mph max, 0-62mph in 6.9 secs Drive: Four-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic transmission


Photography: Dave Benett Ben Goldsmith & Jemima Jones

Andrea Dellal

By Invitation Only What: Charlotte Olympia x Paperless Post Dinner WHEN: 7 December WHERE: Albert’s, 92b Old Brompton Road, SW7 Who: Charlotte Dellal, Alexa Hirschfeld, Ben Goldsmith, Elisa Sednaoui Dellal, Jay Jopling and Jasmine Guinness WhY: Albert’s was adorned from top to bottom in Charlotte Olympia-themed decorations to celebrate the launch of the brand’s collaboration with Paperless Post. The designer’s new illustrated invites, which were created in partnership with the online boutique, were represented by giant leopard cut-outs, which covered the tables alongside other whacky paper accessories. Guests were welcomed with a Dirty Martini before indulging in a three-course meal of burrata and tomatoes, monkfish with Parma ham and raspberry cheesecake.

Charlotte Dellal, Jay Jopling & Alexa Hirschfeld

Top Specs

Margo Stilley & Alice Naylor-Leyland

What: Taylor Morris x Morgan Motor Launch Party WHEN: 8 December WHERE: Project 109, Harvey Nichols, SW1X Who: Hugo Taylor, Charlie Morris and Craig McGinlay WhY: Eyewear brand Taylor Morris’s co-founders Hugo Taylor and Charlie Morris invited guests along to concept space Project 109 at Harvey Nichols to celebrate their debut collaboration with British car manufacturer Morgan Motor. Along with a display of the new frames, there was a live DJ set by Emma Shenkman, and artist Melissa Greenwood revealed her illustration of the collection.

Lucinda Cook & Elisa Sednaoui Dellal Maxim Crewe & Margo Stilley

Best of British

Adele Mildred & Jasmine Guinness

Charlotte Dellal Images courtesy of: Burberry

Olivia Grant, Rhiannon Rees & James Wright Brad Wrightson, Russell Tovey & Robert Diament

Russell Tovey & Simon Oldfield

outside the


Tanya Burr

Russell Tovey & Olivia Grant

Olivia Grant

What: The Fashion Awards 2016 WHEN: 5 December WHERE: Royal Albert Hall, SW7 Who: Gigi Hadid, Lady Gaga, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, David Beckham OBE and Dame Anna Wintour WhY: The British Fashion Council’s annual awards ceremony was held in partnership with Swarovski at the Royal Albert Hall. Hosted by comedian Jack Whitehall, the event was attended by members of the fashion elite, including supermodels Kate Moss and Gigi Hadid, and editor of American Vogue Dame Anna Wintour. Simone Rocha was crowned best British Womenswear Designer, while Craig Green was awarded the gong for best Menswear Designer and Alexander McQueen for top British Brand.

Tell Tale What: Burberry and Pin Drop Studio’s Live Reading WHEN: 20 December WHERE: Thomas’s Café, 5 Vigo Street, W1S Who: Russell Tovey, Olivia Grant, Tanya Burr, Lionel Shriver and James Wright WhY: Following the release of Burberry’s Christmas campaign film, The Tale of Thomas Burberry, in November, British actor Russell Tovey treated guests at Burberry’s in-store Thomas’s Café to a live reading in association with Pin Drop Studio and a showing of the stylish flick. In honour of Sir Ernest Shackleton, who was portrayed by Dominic West in the mini movie, the extract was read from the explorer’s memoir, South, a personal account of his Endurance expedition to the Antarctic. Shackleton had a strong connection with the fashion house, having worn Burberry’s classic gabardine coats for three of his explorations in the early 20th century.

LONDON LIVING Photography: Vitae Photography Doina Ciobanu & Hugo Taylor

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Stable Outlook

New figures reveal UK economy is stabilising following the EU referendum

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Featured Estate Agents NOTTING HILL 301 Westbourne Grove W11 2QA 020 7717 5311 CHELSEA 7–9 Tryon Street SW3 3LG 020 7014 3800

CHELSEA 60 Sloane Avenue SW3 3DD 020 7594 4740 KENSINGTON 116 Kensington High Street W8 7RW 020 7937 7244 NOTTING HILL 30 Ledbury Road W11 2AB 020 3040 8585

440 King’s Road SW10 0LH 020 7351 2383 CHELSEA 102 Draycott Avenue SW3 3AD 020 7589 2000

NOTTING HILL 10 Lambton Place W11 2SH 020 7221 1117

CHELSEA 45 Sloane Avenue SW3 3DH 020 7225 1225 KENSINGTON 172 Kensington Church Street W8 4BN 020 7792 1881 KENSINGTON GATE 22 Gloucester Road SW7 4RB 020 7581 1152 NOTTING HILL 299 Westbourne Grove W11 2QA 020 7727 7777 SOUTH KENSINGTON 25-27 Harrington Road SW7 3EU 020 7581 8888

HOLLAND PARK & NOTTING HILL 8 Addison Avenue W11 4QR 020 7371 1111

KENSINGTON 38 Gloucester Road SW7 4QT 020 7581 0154 BAYSWATER 78 Westbourne Grove W2 5RT 020 7221 7817

NOTTING HILL 17 Kensington Park Road W11 2EU 020 7727 1717

NOTTING HILL 10 Clarendon Road W11 3AA 020 7229 1414

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 37 Alexander Street W2 5NU 020 7908 9338

SLOANE SQUARE 7 Lower Sloane Street SW1W 8AH 020 7717 5317 MAYFAIR 48 Berkeley Square W1J 5AX 020 3284 1888 CHELSEA 58 Fulham Road SW3 6HH 020 7225 6700 HOLLAND PARK 13 Addison Avenue W11 4QS 020 7602 2352 CHELSEA 134 Fulham Road SW10 9PY 020 7717 5291 HAMPTONS COUNTRY HOUSE

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KNIGHTSBRIDGE 82 Brompton Road SW3 1ER 020 7225 6506 PADDINGTON 4c Praed Street W2 1JX 020 7717 5313

8 Chertsey Street Surrey GU1 4HD 01483 339740 BELGRAVIA 1 Motcomb Street SW1X 8JX 020 7235 8861

CHELSEA 2 Cale Street SW3 3QU 020 7399 5010 KENSINGTON 375 Kensington High Street W14 8QH 020 7087 5696

KENSINGTON 8 Hornton Street W8 4NW 020 7937 9371

KNIGHTSBRIDGE 168 Brompton Road SW3 1HW 020 7584 2044

CHELSEA 117 Sydney Street SW3 6NR 020 7351 7822

KNIGHTSBRIDGE 174 Brompton Road SW3 1HP 020 7306 1610 EARLS COURT 243 Old Brompton Road SW5 9HP 020 7740 2020 FULHAM 825-827 Fulham Road SW6 5HG 020 3486 2280

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NOTTING HILL 298 Westbourne Grove W11 2PS 020 7229 0229

North Kensington 136 Lancaster Road W11 1QU 020 7313 8350

SOUTH KENSINGTON 157 Gloucester Road SW7 4TH 020 7871 4111

Notting Hill 2-6 Kensington Park Road W11 3BU 020 7313 2890


South Kensington 29 Harrington Road SW7 3HD 020 7590 0800

29 Effie Road SW6 1EN 020 7731 0051 HOLLAND PARK 128 Holland Park Avenue W11 4UE 020 3542 2111 SOUTH KENSINGTON 29 Harrington Road

CHELSEA 352a King’s Road SW3 5UU 020 7349 4300 FULHAM 203 New King’s Road SW6 4SR 020 7751 2400 Hyde Park 1 Craven Terrace W2 3QD 020 7871 5060 KENSINGTON 54-56 Kensington Church Street W8 4DB 020 7938 4311

s l u x u ry l o n d o n . c o. u k s

CHELSEA 196-200 Fulham Road SW10 9PN 020 7578 9000 KENSINGTON 145 Kensington Church Street W8 7LP 020 7535 3300 KNIGHTSBRIDGE 188 Brompton Road SW3 1HQ 020 7581 5234 Notting Hill 168 Westbourne Grove W11 2RW 020 7727 5750

020 3040 6370

BELGRAVIA 82-83 Chester Square SW1W 9JH 020 7881 7722

KNIGHTSBRIDGE 66 Sloane Street SW1X 9SH 020 7235 9959 NOTTING HILL 303 Westbourne Grove W11 2QA 020 7221 1111 SOUTH KENSINGTON 90 Old Brompton Road SW7 3LQ 020 7581 7000 1 Montpelier Street SW7 1EX 020 7591 0288


KENSINGTON 103 Kensington Church Street W8 7LN 020 7938 3666

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SLOANE STREET 139 Sloane Street SW1X 9AY 020 7730 0822 BELGRAVIA 77-79 Ebury Street SW1W 0NZ 020 3714 0749 Chelsea Rawlings House 2a Milner Street SW3 2PU 020 7591 5570 Earls Court 246 Old Brompton Road SW5 ODE 020 7835 0620 Holland Park 57 Norland Square W11 4QJ 020 7605 6890

Kensington 118 Kensington Church Street W8 4BH 020 7727 1500 Knightsbridge & Chelsea 289 Brompton Road SW3 2DY 020 7589 6616 Notting Hill 178 Westbourne Grove W11 2RH 020 7727 3227 South Kensington 123a Gloucester Road SW7 4TE 020 7373 5052 Chelsea 5 Anderson Street SW3 3LU 020 7225 0277

CHELSEA 43 Cadogan Street SW3 2PR 020 7225 3866 WEST CHELSEA 140 Fulham Road SW10 9PY 020 7373 1010


Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington W8 A wonderful stucco fronted family home A mid terrace house in one of Kensington's most popular tree lined streets with a west facing garden. The house is presented in good order throughout and benefits from excellent ceiling heights. 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, double reception room, kitchen/breakfast room, dining room, wine store, guest cloakroom, balcony, garden. The property is also offered with planning consent to extend by 1,023 sq ft. EPC: E. Approximately 286 sq m (3,088 sq ft). Freehold 020 3551 5156  


Needham Road, Notting Hill W11 A beautifully presented four/five bedroom town house A Grade II listed beautiful semi-detached house with excellent entertaining space, located in this popular location just off Westbourne Grove. Master bedroom with en suite bathroom and shower room, 4 further bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, double reception room, morning room, kitchen/dining room, guest cloakroom, balcony, patio/garden. Approximately 252 sq m (2,702 sq ft). Freehold 020 8166 5449 Chestertons Notting Hill sales.NottingHill.enquiries 020 3040 8585    

Guide price: £5,250,000


MOVE. Faster. Sell with Knight Frank. Our understanding of the everchanging market enables us to price your property accurately, so you can rely on Knight Frank to get you moving. Call us today for a free market appraisal of your property.    

Guide Guide price £1,200,000

Redcliffe Square, Chelsea SW10 A beautifully refurbished second floor flat with stunning views over the fabulous garden square with high ceilings and plenty of period character. 2 bedrooms, bathroom, reception room/kitchen. EPC: C. Approximately 62.4 sq m (672 sq ft). Office: 020 3641 5903 020 3641 5903  


Manresa Road, Chelsea SW3 Situated in one of Chelsea's newest addresses, this is a special penthouse apartment that has rooftop views across the area. 4 double bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, reception/dining room, kitchen, roof terrace. EPC: B. Approximately 298 sq m (3,209 sq ft). Office: 020 3641 5903                                       

Ken & Chel - Feb 2017

10/01/2017 09:58:22



MOVE. FASTER. SELL WITH KNIGHT FRANK. Our understanding of the ever-changing market enables us to price your property accurately, so you can rely on Knight Frank to get you moving.   Call us today to arrange your free market appraisal. 020 3641 5913 Guide price: £8,650,000

Parkside, Knightsbridge SW1X A meticulously designed lateral apartment with views over Hyde Park. 4 bedrooms ﴾all en suite﴿, open plan reception room/dining area/kitchen, balcony, utility room, lifts, 24 hour porter. EPC: D. Approximately 223 sq m (2,406 sq ft). Joint Agents: Rokstone Office: 020 3641 5913



Guide price: £8,950,000

Princes Gate, Knightsbridge SW7 A turnkey lateral apartment within a highly desirable apartment building overlooking Hyde Park. 4 bedrooms (all en suite), reception room, kitchen, lift, 24 hour porter, communal garden. EPC: B. Approximately 200 sq m (2,158 sq ft). Joint Agent: Chestertons Office: 020 3641 5913

Kensington & Chelsea Feb 2017 Parkside & Princes Gate, 24

05/01/2017 11:56:27

The Lansbury, Basil Street, Knightsbridge SW3 Beautifully designed three bedroom penthouse Overlooking Harrods, this stunning penthouse is situated in a boutique modern development and is equipped with exquisite furnishings and bespoke details throughout. Master bedroom with dressing room and en suite, 2 further bedrooms (both en suite), large open plan reception room, study, kitchen/breakfast room, guest cloakroom, terrace, lift, underground parking, porter. EPC: A. Approximately 286 sq m (3,083 sq ft).   Available furnished 020 3641 6019    

Guide price: £7,750 per week All potential tenants should be advised that as well as rent, an administration fee of £276 and referencing fees of £48 per person will apply when renting a property. Please ask us for more information about other fees that may apply or visit

K&C Februarary 2017 - lettings


22/12/2016 17:37:48



Property News

Journal of Prime Property

PRIME RESI provides us with a comprehensive monthly round-up of key news about the local luxury property market

Knighton Place exterior

Hennessy House, Chiswick, Paul Archer Design

Luxury Knightsbridge scheme crowdfunds £1m There may be a lot of talk about a slowdown at the top end of the London property market, but small-time investors still seem pretty keen to get involved. High-end property crowdfunding platform CapitalRise has already closed its third project, raising £1m for a 42,000 sq ft superprime Knightsbridge development in just 71 hours, with individual contributions starting from as little as £1,000. The swift close means the firm – run by Finchatton founders Alex Michelin and Andrew Dunn, with Uma Rajah (formerly head of product at Wonga Group) as CEO – has successfully raised £3m since it launched in July; firstly on Eaton Square, then on Grosvenor Square, and now on Yeoman’s Row. All projects have been joint ventures with Finchatton. Warren Cottage extension & renovation, Kingston, McGarry-Moon Architects Ltd.

Knighton Place entrance

Demand for home extensions and refurbishment

Knighton Place bedroom

s l u x u ry l o n d o n . c o. u k s

Demand for whole-house refurbishment work on £1m+ homes has jumped by nearly a third over the last year, according to one firm’s workload. It may not be a comprehensive survey of the state of play, but it makes sense given pretty universal reports of tanking transaction levels in London’s upper-value echelons. Design-led residential construction firm Qualitas says it has just had a record year, and is starting 2017 with a “full book of projects” ranging between £250,000 and £1.25m, as owners balk at moving costs that include that punchy 12% top-rate SDLT bill. The number of whole-house refurbishments for properties worth more than £1m in 2016 was, as a result, 30% higher than in 2015. As more homeowners opt to save on the tax bill by staying put and redeveloping their properties, refurbishment projects seems to be getting more ambitious. Basements which span the whole footprint of the property and part of the garden are now the norm, reports Qualitas, and luxury features such as wine rooms are increasingly becoming standard practice. Qualitas estimates that the average spend on refurbishment has increased by 50% over the past two years; that 80% of projects include a basement, compared to 50% two years ago; and that 50% of whole-house projects due to start by the firm in 2017 feature a wine room. Tapping into this ‘grow-your-home’ trend, a new exhibition at the The Building Centre on Store Street in Fitzrovia is showcasing the best of London’s home extensions. Don’t Move, Improve!, as it has been aptly named, runs from 27 January to 29 March.


Impressive central skylight creates a bright and airy living space

Matching people and property in London for over 160 years.

Essex Villas W8 £11,500,000 A magnificent detached period property with a private garden, five double bedrooms and high ceilings throughout, situated in the desirable Phillimore Estate next to Holland Park. Freehold. EPC=E

• Five bedrooms • Approx. 4,100 sqft • Next to Holland Park • Prime location Kensington Sales: 020 8033 9025

St. St.Marks MarksRoad RoadW10 W10£4,750,000 £4,750,000 An Animposing imposingsix-bedroom six-bedroomred-brick red-brickproperty propertywhich whichisisimmaculately immaculatelypresented presentedthroughout, throughout, with withaa37 37ftftwest westfacing facinggarden gardenand andonly onlyaashort shortwalk walkfrom fromPortobello PortobelloRoad. Road.Freehold. Freehold.EPC=F EPC=F Beautifulsix-bedroom six-bedroomhouse house••Large Largegarden garden••Approx Approx4,000 4,000sqft sqft••High Highceilings ceilings ••Beautiful

North NorthKensington KensingtonSales: Sales: 020 0207313 73138350

Breaking New Ground JLL’s sales director Tim des Forges and lettings director David Mills tell Ellen Millard about setting up their new office on Chelsea’s Cale Street Above/ xxxxx

The Piccadilly line is suffering from severe delays and, as such, the platforms at Knightsbridge station are heaving. Outside is no quieter, with a bevy of tourists clustering around the doors of Harrods and dotting the pavements of Brompton Road, which is, as always, teeming with a throng of cars. JLL’s office is an oasis of calm compared to the chaos outside, but it’s easy to see why sales director Tim des Forges and lettings director David Mills are looking forward to opening their new hub on the considerably more tranquil Cale Street – which will be opening this year. But it’s not all for a quieter life; on the contrary, Chelsea has been a focal point for the agency ever since it was founded in 1868 and the new office promises to be a hive of activity for the team. “Moving to Chelsea is very much a natural progression for us,” des Forges begins. “The Knightsbridge office has been on Brompton Road for nearly 150 years and since the beginning Chelsea has been one of our natural areas, as are South Kensington and Kensington. It’s a natural place

Photography: Sarel Jansen

for us to open an office and it’s a good starting point for doing more in prime central London.” Previously working under the W.A.Ellis banner, des Forges and Mills will open the Chelsea office early this year as part of JLL, which bought the W.A.Ellis brand in 2014. While the new name may not immediately strike a chord with Chelsea residents, the pair are confident that the team’s vast experience in the Royal Borough will reassure potential vendors. “The challenge for us is opening this new office in quite a traditional area,” Mills explains. “Although JLL is an extremely well-known global brand, it’s not so well-known on a high-street basis, so it’s going to be a new name for the people who live in Chelsea. What we’re hoping is that, by filling the office with professionals who have been in the industry and in the area for many years, we can hit the ground running.” It’s an ideal location for the brand, the lettings team of which represents three of the biggest estates that operate in the area: Cadogan,


Martin’s Properties and Sloane Stanley. Des Forges and Mills have clocked up 27 years of working in Chelsea between them – and that’s not mentioning the other members of the team, who are just as keyed up on the ins and outs of the Royal Borough – so the experienced staff of the new office will give it the edge on its competitors. “There will be certain people who will think that all those who they knew at W.A.Ellis have gone, but that’s not the case,” des Forges promises. “You may not have heard of the name JLL, but hopefully you’ll have heard of the people, and those are the ones who are going to be selling your property. Vendors will meet a lot of agents, but it’s the ones with experience in the area who can go in and say, ‘I remember selling this’ or ‘I sold a similar one next door’.” As well as a wealth of experience, the merger has offered a plethora of opportunities thanks to the company’s vast array of global affiliates. “The network around the world is unrivalled and all of the offices are wholly owned by JLL,” des Forges says. “Ultimately, we want to combine that huge experience within the new office with knowing how to deal with enquiries that are coming in from around the world, too.” The new office will balance domestic and international requests and, unlike other JLL branches which are often based within a development, the Chelsea hub will thrive in a more traditional, high-street environment, with the sleek contemporary look of the brand coupled with a more traditional approach. As they have worked in the area for a large part of their careers, it’s understandable that the pair are keen to move and are looking forward to working in the heart of the district. “A lot of buyers phone me up and say, ‘I want to be near Sloane Square’, and I know why,” des Forges says. “I find Chelsea very peaceful, especially if you go away from the tubes; it’s absolutely stunning and there’s a real history there with the beautiful houses and old pubs. I’ve always liked it, from the moment I started working there. It’s got a good vibe.” Given that 2016 was a rather tumultuous year for the property market, it wouldn’t be surprising if they were concerned about how it will fare in 2017, but both are feeling fairly relaxed about the situation as they know that their new location will always be high on the list of covetable addresses. “There will always be a demand in Chelsea,” Mills says. “People with children at school want to be in that villagey environment and there will always be a need for that. What’s nice about Chelsea is that it’s close to other lovely areas. You’ve got the river, you can look across to Battersea Park, you’ve got South Kensington around the corner; it’s literally all within walking distance. It’s not a nice area miles from other nice areas; it’s got everything.” It’s certainly going to be an interesting year for the team, which will be starting fresh with a new brand name, new office and new location – but there’s no doubt that the venture will prosper. “We’re bringing this huge global brand that has an incredible network to the high street and we hope to make a success of it,” Mills replies when I ask why people should choose JLL – but des Forges has a rather more succinct answer to my question that frankly hits the nail on the head: “Because we're the best”. 2 Cale Street, SW3 3QU, 020 7399 5010,

s l u x u ry l on d on . c o. u k s

Above/ xxxxx

Exterior, King's Road, SW3 To let, £695 per week

Interior, King's Road, SW3 To let, £695 per week

Astell Street, SW3, Sold in October, guide price £5,400,000



The Little Boltons, Chelsea SW10 Guide price £1,995 per week


Opening a new door in Chelsea Clients always have been, and always will be our priority. Having operated in Chelsea for nearly 150 years as W.A.Ellis, our new JLL office on Cale Street is a natural progression and the perfect platform from which to continue delivering first class service to our clients in the area. We look forward to helping you with all your property needs in 2017. Opening soon: JLL Chelsea 2 Cale Street SW3 3QU

Cadogan Square, Knightsbridge SW1X Guide price £15,000 per week


Queen’s Gate Place, South Kensington SW7 Guide price £6,500,000 | Share of freehold


West Eaton Place, Belgravia SW1 Guide price £8,950,000 | Freehold


Same great people, different name History shows that a name change brings even greater recognition and appeal. Two years ago, W.A.Ellis became part of the JLL family and from 2017 will officially change its name to JLL. Same expert team, same intimate knowledge of the prime Central London property market, now backed up by our global expertise. And with our new sales and lettings office on Cale Street, Chelsea opening in January, we can help you bring your property to the world stage. JLL Knightsbridge 174 Brompton Road, London SW3 1HP | +44 (0)20 7306 1600 JLL Chelsea 2 Cale Street, London SW3 3QU | +44 (0)20 7399 5010

Golden Cross Mews, Notting Hill W11

ÂŁ950 per week

Located on a quiet and secure street just moments from the buzzy Portobello Road, is this two bedroom mews house with off-street parking for one car and private roof terrace. The corner property is designed with air and light in mind, with the reception room opening up on to a juliet balcony, and the master bedroom leading onto the roof terrace. EPC rating C. Approximately 1,626 sq ft (151 sq m). Reception room | Kitchen | Two bedrooms | Bathroom | Shower room | Juliet balcony | Roof terrace | Off street parking | Secure gated development

Furnished or Unfurnished

77-79 Ebury Street, London SW1W 0NZ +44 20 7495 9580 |

Collingham Road, Kensington SW5


A bright two bedroom apartment set on the second floor of an imposing white stucco fronted Victorian building close to the vibrant Gloucester Road. The building is the only one of its kind that enables all residents to have direct access into the beautiful Courtfield Gardens from the rear of the building. EPC rating D. Approximately 777 sq ft (72 sq m). Reception room | Kitchen | Two bedrooms | Two Bathrooms | Access to gardens | Lift | Period Features | Good Location

Share of Freehold

Joint Agent: Farleys 020 7589 1234

© 2016 UK Sotheby’s International Realty. All rights reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty is a registered trademark licensed to UK Sotheby’s International Realty in the UK. Each offïce is independently owned and operated. All information non - contractual, approximate and subject to error, change and withdrawal without notice. Rent excludes administration fees. Please contact our offïces who can provide this information.

A quirky one-bedroom Artist’s Studio in Chelsea Avenue Studios, Sydney Close SW3 • 1300 sq ft • Uncommon volume and light • Potential to add value Guide price £2,250,000

• Unique and unusual opportunity • Discreetly and privately located • EPC rating D

CHELSEA OFFICE: T: 020 7225 6700

Leasehold: Approximately 82 years 9 months


FULLY REFURBISHED ONE/TWO- BEDROOM TRIPLEX APARTMENT AIRLIE GARDENS, KENSIGNTON W8 • En suite Master bedroom • Bay fronted reception room • Exceptional design features Guide price £1,300,000

• Access to communal gardens • 814sq ft / 75.62sq m • EPC rating D

KENSINGTON OFFICE: T: 020 3650 4600

Leasehold: Approximately 97 years


Jubilee Place, Chelsea, SW3 A period Chelsea townhouse with great street appeal, fully modernised and with a front garden and garage. The property mixes a traditional style, with up to date conveniences such as a centralised audio visual system with wireless control, Lutron QS intelligent building lighting, underfloor heating and comfort cooling. There is a cinema/TV room with complete hi-tech discreet surround sound system, a separate gym and a top of the range Boffi kitchen, open plan with a dining area. The three bedrooms and the staff room all have en suite bath/shower rooms. All furniture is available by separate negotiation. EPC Rating C.

Guide Price: £6,500,000 Freehold





ÂŁ3,150,000 freehold

3 bedrooms | reception | kitchen | dining area | 3 bathrooms | garden | off-street parking | garage | Epc D


£1,795,000 leasehold

bedroom | open-plan reception and kitchen | bathroom | high ceilings | communal garden | Epc F

10 Clarendon Road London W11 3AA

020 7229 1414

What value do you place on peace of mind with your family’s treasures?

• UK Residential Removals • Worldwide Relocations • Weekly European Removals • Storage Services • Car Transportation & Storage • Office & Commercial Moving • Antiques, Fine Art Packing, Storing & Moving Telephone: 020 3773 5796 E-Mail:

Memb No: A001

FS 23942


Elm Park Gardens, Chelsea, SW10 A stunning 4th & 5th floor penthouse apartment, immaculately refurbished and available immediately for a long let. The flat measures approximately 1,643 sq/ft and features wooden floors throughout and a stunning 26ft west facing roof terrace. Fifth floor: Open-plan reception room, kitchen, dining room with access to large roof terrace. Fourth floor: 2 double bedrooms. 3rd bedroom / dressing room / study. 2 bathrooms. Lift

PRICE: ÂŁ1,400 Per Week Freehold/Unfurnished

020 7591 0288 | |

LEW1086 MAL K&C FEB17_OL.indd 1

03/01/2017 15:17

Albert Court, Prince Consort Road, SW7 2,928 SQ.FT/272 SQ.M

An elegant and beautifully appointed apartment with 3 en-suite bedrooms and impressive entertaining space. Recently undergone an extensive and meticulous program of refurbishment and Interior designed by Jane Churchill. Albert Court is one of London’s most prestigious mansion buildings with 24-hour concierge/porters, adjacent to The Royal Albert Hall and a short walk to Kensington Gardens/Hyde Park.

Price £7,950,000 Offers Invited

SHARE OF FREEHOLD 020 7590 9339

Rutland Gardens, Knightsbridge, SW7 5,080 SQ.FT/472 SQ.M

An exceptional, interior designed house with six bedrooms, each bedroom has an en-suite bathroom/shower room. Superbly located opposite Hyde Park in a private gated road with 24 hour security. Accommodation:

Queen’s Gate Terrace, SW7

Reception Room : Dining Room : Kitchen/Breakfast Room : Study : Media Room : Cloakroom/W.C : Laundry Room : Master Bedroom with En-Suite 630 SQ.FT/58 SQ.M Bathroom, Dressing Room & Private Roof Terrace : Five Further Bedrooms with En-Suite Facility : Roof Terrace : Passenger lift: Parking For Two Cars. A fabulous one bedroom, raised ground floor flat with an impressive reception room, en-suite shower room and guest cloakroom. The specification includes a B&O entertainment system, Lutron lighting, VRV comfort cooling system and underfloor heating.

Price: £13,800,000 FREEHOLD Price £1,250,000 SHARE OF FREEHOLD 020 7590 9339 020 7590 9339 38 GLOucESTER ROaD, Sw7 38 Gloucester Road, SW7




A Golden Age LifeCare Residences raises the bar for nursing care with new Battersea-based suites Photography: Luke Hayes

Luxury retirement specialist LifeCare Residences has unveiled the Albert Suites, a new nursing facility adjacent to Battersea Park. Launched at the end of 2016, the 30 exclusive suites have set a benchmark in nursing care for London, providing an enriched quality of life with a discreet and dignified provision of care, which is tailored to meet the unique needs of each resident. Offering an optimised environment for recuperation and rehabilitation, as well as a safe environment designed to manage ongoing medical conditions, the Albert Suites facility has been designed to reassure both residents and their loved ones that all needs – whether psychological, social, or spiritual – will be met. Residents of the retirement village are given access to professional care 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in the privacy of their own well-appointed suite. All carers are highly trained to manage a breadth of complex care needs and circumstances, ranging from rehabilitation, short-term convalescence and post-operative support to long-term nursing or palliative care. With a choice of sizes to suit every individual's needs, each of the Albert Suites has a calm, welcoming atmosphere and features high-quality furnishings and fittings, including a kitchenette and an en-suite bathroom, along with top of the range medical equipment. The spaces have been designed to ensure optimum comfort and come equipped with a flat-screen television, Sky TV subscription and WiFi access. Residents can, if they desire, personalise the space with their own furnishings.


There is also access to a host of hotel-inspired facilities, such as 24-hour room service, a chef-led menu that provides restaurant-plated meals and a café that offers refreshments each day. The on-site executive chef works closely with the trained nursing staff to ensure that each person's dietary requirements are met. “The Albert Suites at Battersea Place sets a new standard in bespoke, dignified nursing care for London. Offering residents peace of mind that all facets of their care will be accommodated, we aim to provide a newfound, enriched quality of life for each person, regardless of their circumstance,” Richard Davis, LifeCare Residences’ CEO, says. “It’s crucial to highlight the calibre of staff that we have to administer highly complex and sensitive care to our residents in the Albert Suites – each of them is credited for their personal warmth, empathy and optimism, appreciates the art of anticipation and is dedicated to delivering the highest standard of care.” Along with a its highly skilled team of carers, the Albert Suites has a full-time lifestyle coordinator, who is on hand to devise a calendar of activities that meet the needs and reflect the interests of those living there. A minibus – designed to suit all levels of mobility – provides access to regular outings around London and to tranquil countryside retreats. Residents can also revel in their close proximity to Battersea Park, an ideal location for outings with families and friends. For more information, please contact the Albert Suites team on 020 7924 8601,

s l u x u ry l o n d o n . c o. u k s

20 Montpelier Street Knightsbridge London SW7 1HD


5 Bedrooms | 5 Bathrooms | Entrance Hall 2 Bedrooms |2 | 4 Bedrooms | 4| En Suite Bathrooms Entrance Hall | Dining/Reception Bathrooms | Kitchen/Reception Guest Cloakroom | 2 Reception Rooms| Room | Kitchen | 3,099 sqft | Room | 718 sqRoom ft | Lift | EPC ERoom | Kitchen/Dining | Laundry Balcony | Garden | Porter | 2,418 sq ft | Integral Garage | Garage | EPC E Additional off-street Parking | Access to This wonderful apartment with | superb Belgrave Square Gardens EPC C An excellently proportions, is proportioned arranged overand the bright groundtwo double bedroom apartment, within the and first floor of this sought afterhouse Art Deco An end-of-terrace freehold mews heart of South Kensington. Positioned on building Theofflat delivers situated inwith arguably Belgravia’ s most the second floor (with lift) of this attractive excellent 5 house double desirable entertaining locations. Thisspace, low built period building, the flat benefits bedrooms, 5 bathrooms of whichfrom three was disassembled; comprehensively rebuiltare wooden floors in thisbenefitting stunning semithe open en-suite, plus separate guest cloakroom. and fully modernised from plan living room with fully-fitted kitchen. The enjoysincluding air-conditioning latestapartment technologyalso advances airThe apartment further comprises a master throughout, use of a beautiful private conditioning, Lutron lighting, motorised blinds, with modern en suite bathroom, garden large garage, which is abedroom built inand entertainment system, underfloor secondand bedroom and additional accessed onaCadogan Lane. with Theshower building heating fully fitted kitchen Miele room. The property is flooded natural is a short walk from the international and Gaggenau appliances. The with property also light, offering an east-west exposure and amenities of Knightsbridge, Chelsea enjoys private use of an integral garageand as dualasviews Gardens Belgravia asover wellEvelyn as nearby Sloane Square well additional off-street parking inalongside the mews Chelsea’s roof tops. Underground station (CircleBelgrave & DistrictSquare Lines) and access to the prestigious providing easy transport links. gardens, subject to separate negotiations.

£5,950,000 £1,550,000,STC STC £6,750,000

Leasehold, Plus Share Freehold Leasehold (121 years of remaining) Freehold

HAY’S MEWS, W1 CLAREVILLE GROVE EATON PLACE, SW1X MEWS, 2 Bedrooms ||22Bathrooms Kitchen/ Entrance HallSW7 Bedrooms | 2

Reception Room |En 1,230 sqft | Bathrooms (1 en|Suite) | Kitchen/Dining/ Two Bedrooms Suite Bathroom | Separate Hill Street Entrance Porter| Reception Room 855 sq ft ||Basement Shower Room ||Guest Cloakroom | CCTV Room Surveillance | Private Large Storage | Shared Terrace | Access Reception/Dining Room | Kitchen | Garage | EPC E to Belgrave Square Gardens Utility Room | 915 sq ft | EPC E A andflatthoughtfully refurbished flat, with Annewly elegant with plentiful charm, occupying A charming mews house idyllically allocated large garage; set within a private approximately 855 sq ft of lateral space on the positioned in this quiet cobbled cobbled benefitting fromcul-de-sac, 24 period hour third floormews of thisand well-located handsome within theand heart of South Kensington. porterage CCTV surveillance. The property building. Arranged over the full width of the The property islong presented in immaculate features 32ftprincipal double reception with building,athe reception roomroom is flooded condition and has been carefully designed 5 windows overlooking Hays Mews and an with natural light from its south-facing aspects throughoutkitchen. with Italian solidlevel wood floors integrated The upper comprises over the street. In addition to the expansive anddouble contemporary furnishings. This attractive two bedrooms which are served sitting area, the room boasts a bespoke house benefits from can southbe by two additionally bathrooms. This maisonette integrated kitchen and space for dining; perfect westerly aspects and plentiful natural light. accessed from both Hays Mews via a secure for open-plan entertaining. The apartment Clareville Grove Mews is a via secure gated gated entrance or alternatively the portered awards admission to a superb shared terrace, lane, located atatthe north end ofSaddle Clareville entrance located 33 Hill Street. Yard positioned to the peaceful rear of the first floor, Street, moments for from the bountiful amenities isoverlooking well positioned the many boutiques of Belgrave Mews. Occupiers’ can and restaurants, theinternationally area is famous for. Mount Street and the renowned also enjoy exclusive access to Belgrave Square shops, restaurants and clubs of Mayfair. gardens, subject to the usual consents.

£2,000 £1,250 Per PerWeek Week £1,900,000 STC

Unfurnished Furnished (174 years remaining) Leasehold

T: +44 +44 (0)20 (0)20 3770 3770 3474 3474 T:

Property News PRIME RESI provides us with a comprehensive monthly round-up of key news about the local luxury property market

CGI shot of The Illuminated River Foundation

Stable Outlook 2017 is set to be a positive one as figures reveal that the UK economy is stabilising post EU referendum, argues Elena Dimova, managing director of CENTURY 21 Sophia Elena

If confidence in the stock market is anything to go by, 2017 might surprise a few pundits. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the FTSE 100 have both set all-time high records in recent weeks. The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the UK economy performed better than expected in the quarter following the vote to leave the EU. The British Chambers of Commerce claims confidence is returning. The chief economist of the Bank of England, Andy Haldane, was recently quoted saying, “Maybe some of the scariest stories politically will be shown to be just that – scare stories,” and highlighted the shortcomings of economic analysis to predict the future, especially in major change

Stability, confidence and realism in the property market are key scenarios. According to figures just released by the International Monetary Fund, UK GDP grew the fastest of the advanced economies (US, UK, Japan, Germany, France, Italy and Canada) in 2016. We are not necessarily suggesting price rises for prime central London property. The last thing the property market needs is a boom-and-bust cycle. Stability, confidence and realism are key. This allows people to plan for their futures, knowing that the asset they are buying or selling is not going to lose or gain substantial value in a short period of time. No one wants to sell when, in the back of their minds, there is the possibility that the market could be 10% higher next year, or buy if they think it will be cheaper in 12 months. The first few days of the year have been very encouraging. People are already out looking on both the sales and rental market fronts. On the sales side, weaker sterling definitely plays a part in continued overseas interest. On the rental side, we are starting to see overseas tenants moving to the UK for work again, something which seemed to be less of a feature for a while. We expect prices to be stable in 2017, for buyers and sellers to make decisions and for activity to return to the property market. CENTURY 21 Sophia Elena, 10 Clarendon Road, W11 3AA, 020 7229 1414,

The River Thames set to be illuminated Central London’s bridges are going to become a lot brighter and prettier, thanks to a winning design from American artist Leo Villareal. The man responsible for creating The Bay Lights on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge recently won a competition to light up 17 of the Thames’ crossings in a grand citywide art/design project, in collaboraton with British architecture practice Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. Villareal and the architecture firm’s magical three-stage idea was selected from a shortlist of six, and aims to “enliven the Thames using dynamic light”, according to its designers. Villareal trained as a sculptor and has been working with light and computer programming for more than a decade, creating major installations, sculptures and public projects that have captivated audiences all over the world. His work is in the permanent collections of museums, including MoMA in New York and the National

The Illuminated River Foundation has a strong panel of heavyweight supporters from both public and private sectors Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Most recently in London, he participated in the Hayward Gallery’s acclaimed exhibition, Light Show. Award-winning architecture firm Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands has worked on major projects across London, including the Golden Jubilee footbridges, and has a 25-year relationship with communities and businesses in London’s South Bank, having created the area’s urban design strategy and worked with the Coin Street Community Builders to regenerate the area through the development of cooperative housing and commercial ventures to support new urban-realm initiatives. The Illuminated River Foundation has a strong panel of heavyweight supporters from both public and private sectors, including the Mayor of London and the City of London Corporation, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Thames Estuary Partnership, and Westminster City Council, to name but a few. The plan is to raise funds for the costs of the project from private and philanthropic sources rather than the public purse. The foundation has already announced the first pledges totalling £10m in November (including £5m from the Arcadia Fund and £5m from the Rothschild Foundation).


PrimeQResi Journal of Prime Property

Earl’s Court

Call to Action nick crayson, founder of Crayson, calls for all agents to stand their ground and be realistic with asking and guide prices in order to prevent the property market from destabilising

Capco calls to up homes count in Earl’s Court Capital & Counties Properties (Capco) is aiming to build an extra 2,500 new homes on its 77-acre Earl’s Court site, taking the total to 10,000 as the development reaches “a significant set of milestones” – including an end to demolition works. Works have now started and the first new residents are moving in to their new homes at Lillie Square (part of Sir Terry Farrell’s 10.1m sq ft master plan for the area). Capco has also brought in the biggest crane ever to be used in London; a 110-metre high heavy lifting crane (the same size as West London’s tallest building, the Empress State), in order to lift portal beams out from over the Underground lines that run under the former Exhibition Centre site. This on-site activity comes as the firm declares “a new ambition” to deliver an extra 2,500 homes – on top of the 7,500 already planned – as part of representations to the Mayor’s London Plan consultation. Sadiq Khan promised to review the Earl’s Court plans before his election, flagging concerns about affordable housing provisions (1,500 of the 7,500). The new representations submitted “signal how the site could accommodate up to 10,000 homes, additional affordable housing levels and a greater diversity of housing types”. The former Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre site is being brought forward by Earl’s Court Partnership Limited, a joint venture owned 63% by Capco and 37% by Transport for London. Farrell’s master plan, which was given consent in 2013, aims to create “four new urban villages and a 21st century high street”. The scheme is expected to take between 15 and 20 years to complete.

s l u x ury l on d on . co. uk s

Never has so much been done by so many with so little to show for it. These could be the words of a major statesman after capitulation in battle. The property sector in central London is at war and the front-line troops need to be properly equipped. These are the people who define the property market and so it is them to whom the public looks to defend our bricks and mortar from attack. Those in high positions are dealing with issues such as SDLT and post EU referendum uncertainty – both of which we know have led to a very challenging market. However, it is the daily battles being fought at the front line that are the most important. The conversations at property front doors and on the phones between buyers and agents, and agents and their clients, are the most important, as they happen daily. The troops need to have the answers ready to questions such as, “Why should I pay the guide price if the market is down?” To which the answer from so many agents is: “Well, the vendor will consider offers…” Research has shown me that this is a standard response and this is a monstrous failure on agents’ part. Overvaluations are killing the market and agents need to face up to the stark realities and set realistic prices from the offset. Dreadful pricing is destabilising the market. Secondly, agents need to have confidence in their asking or guide prices; otherwise, we may as well open the door even wider to the no-service brigade who operate so mysteriously online. At Crayson, we have just accepted a guide price offer on a very nice house, and why shouldn’t we have? We have ceased viewings and I have turned away buyers who simply will not accept that it is under offer at the full price. I told one buyer who simply would not listen to me: “… if it was for sale for 25p then would you believe me?” The madly skewed and out-of-shape pricing nonsense is akin to shooting oneself in the foot. Terrified of not winning instructions for various reasons, agents are still falling foul of this basic faux pas. How long is it going to take for people to learn? This is not all agents, of course – it’s a minority – but they are the ones who often win the instruction, as vendors usually can’t help the temptation of giving it a go for that extra few hundred thousand, or whatever the figure might be. London property needs some vocal leaders to take it out of the bleak landscape and into lush new pastures. Crayson, 10 Lambton Place, W11 2SH, 020 7221 1117,


Bloom Park Road, Fulham, SW6

£750 per week* Furnished

An exceptional two double bedroom garden maisonette which has undergone a full renovation programme, located a short walk from Parsons Green. Open plan reception room/kitchen | Two double bedrooms | Bathroom | Shower room | Garden Own front door | EPC Rating D 1,205 sq ft (112 sq m)

Fulham 0207 731 7100 * The following Tenant charges may apply prior to tenancy commencement: Tenancy Agreement £222 (inv VAT) Credit Reference per application £54 (inc VAT). All advertised prices are excluded and other associated services.

60 Offices across England and Scotland, including prime Central London.

Pont Street, Knightsbridge, SW1X 

£2,250 per week* Furnished

A refurbished penthouse (with lift) with exceptional views seen from the decked roof terrace. Reception room | Three bedrooms | Three bathrooms | Roof terrace | EPC rating C 1,781 sq ft (165 sq m)

Knightsbridge 0207 235 9959 * The following Tenant charges may apply prior to tenancy commencement: Tenancy Agreement £222 (inv VAT) Credit Reference per application £54 (inc VAT). All advertised prices are excluded and other associated services.



Courtfield Gardens, South Kensington, SW5 


An exceptional two bedroom apartment on the raised ground floor of this portered building. Reception room | Dining room | Kitchen/Breakfast room | Master bedroom | En suite | Second Double bedroom Family Bathroom | Porter | Communal gardens | EPC rating D 1442 sq ft (134 sq m)

West Chelsea SW10 0207 373 1010

60 Offices across England and Scotland, including prime Central London.

Cadogan Square, Knightsbridge, SW1X

ÂŁ2,780,000 Leasehold

A well balanced west facing two bedroom apartment with great ceiling heights. Presented in excellent order throughout. Entrance hall | Kitchen | Reception room | Master bedroom suite | Second double bedroom | Two further bathrooms | Lift | Caretaker 1,162 sq ft (108 sq m)

Knightsbridge 0207 235 9959



Redesdale Street, Chelsea, SW3 

ÂŁ4,275,000 Freehold

A well-presented four bedroom Freehold family house with an attractive landscaped garden, and exceptional double garage, for car enthusiasts. Entrance hall | Open plan reception room | Kitchen/breakfast room | Dining Room Master bedroom with en suite bathroom | Three further bedrooms | Family bathroom Ensuite shower room | Double garage | Guest Cloakroom | Garden | EPC E

Chelsea 0207 225 3866

60 Offices across England and Scotland, including prime Central London.

Wilbraham Place, Knightsbridge, SW1

ÂŁ8,200,000 Share of Freehold

A superb first floor lateral apartment in this prestigious Knightsbridge mansion block. Entrance hall | Two reception rooms | Kitchen | Master bedroom with bathroom and dressing room | Two further double bedrooms with either a bath or shower room | Study/Bedroom 4 | Utility room | Porter 2,925 sq ft (271 sq m)

Knightsbridge 020 3813 9270



Notting Hill & Holland Park Magazine February 2017  

The sister to the Kensington & Chelsea Magazine showcases news concerning local residents and events happening in and around the Royal Borou...