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All she wants for Christmas...
10 | The Final Chapter Ahead of the last episode on Christmas Day, the cast of Downton Abbey look back fondly on the past six series
14 | Dressed to Impress Discover the art of window dressing with Louis Vuitton’s new book
38 | Some Like it Haute Marylebone’s WilliamVintage celebrates the launch of its first contemporary collection with Liberty London
56 | Joan of Art Dame Joan Collins reveals all about selfies, make-up tips and her Timeless Beauty range
70 | Fruits of the Loom Interior designer Kit Kemp of Firmdale Hotels fame on her creative vision and new book Every Room Tells a Story
78 | Toy Story Harrods’ reopened Toy Kingdom takes us on a trip down memory lane
98 | Suite Dreams Celebrate Christmas in style at the best hotel suites London has to offer
regulars - 19 -
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- 33 -
fashion & beauty
- 63 -
HOME & interiors
- 75 -
health & family
- 87 -
food & drink
- 95 -
the art of travel
- 109 -
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december 2015 / ISSUE 65 acting Editor Lauren Romano Collection Editor Annabel Harrison Contributing Editors Richard Brown Olivia Sharpe editorial assistant Ellen Millard Sub Editor Jasmine Phillips Senior Designer Daniel Poole Production Hugo Wheatley Oscar Viney Jamie Steele Alice Ford Client Relationship Director Friday Dalrymple Executive Director Sophie Roberts General Manager Fiona Fenwick Managing Director Eren Ellwood Proudly published and printed in the UK by
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From the editor What do you get the ultimate perfectionist for Christmas? After meeting Dame Joan Collins, Gabrielle Lane thinks the meticulous Dynasty star wouldn’t be too disappointed with a selfie stick. “Just don’t ever look at the camera if you don’t have make-up on,” she warns. The glamorous 82-year-old opens up about flattering filters, beauty rituals and passing on the acting baton to her god-daughter Cara Delevingne (p.56). With department stores rushing to unveil their most show-stopping Christmas displays, Ellen Millard investigates the history of window dressing with a little help from Louis Vuitton’s latest book. She meets the team behind some of the fashion house’s most memorable exhibits, which include gold dinosaur skeletons and supersized ostriches (p.14). As leisurely window shopping gives way to panic buying, take some pointers from our gift guides (p.36 & p.52). Anyone looking for a new bag might want to drop a few hints about the latest Ella Rabener tote, which launches this month. I talk fashion, finance and mews houses with Marylebone’s rising design star (p.49). Meanwhile I also discover the must-have toys of the season on a visit to the newly revamped Toy Kingdom at Harrods (p.78). If you’re struggling for cooking inspiration take a leaf out of experimental culinary duo Bompas & Parr’s recipe book. Ahead of the launch of their British Museum of Food Annabel Harrison quizzes the pair about their last supper. Breathable cocktail clouds, steaks cooked by volcanic lava and monumental jelly sculptures – it’s a far cry from the standard turkey with all the trimmings (p.90). And if you want to escape it all, check out our round-up of the most sumptuous suites in the capital for a staycation (p.98) or plan a road trip around the sunnier climes of Australia’s east coast to enjoy the waves, wine and endless selfie opportunities from Byron Bay to Barossa Valley (p.102). Don’t forget to pack your Santa hat...
Lauren Lauren Romano Acting Editor
On the cover Dame Joan Collins, photo © Fadil Berisha joancollinsbeauty.com
Other titles by RWMG
All images courtesy of: ITV Pictures
Fi n al Chapter The
As the last episode of Downton Abbey hits our TV screens on Christmas Day, Liz Parry meets the cast members bidding a fond farewell to the phenomenally successful period drama
or the past five years, audiences around the world have been enthralled by the trials and tribulations of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants living on the Downton Abbey estate. But, as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, and the sixth series, which premiered in September, was the final chapter in this historical saga. However, in typical television drama style, this is thankfully not actually the end, as we still have the much-anticipated Christmas special to go, which will no doubt draw in a recordbreaking number of spectators in the UK and across the globe. With an average of 11 million viewers over the last six series, Downton Abbey is the highest-rated UK drama of the past decade. Screened in more than 250 territories worldwide and with a cult following in the US, it’s nothing short of a global phenomenon, which isn’t bad going for what on the surface sounds like just another strait-laced Sunday evening period drama. Created by BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Julian Fellowes and set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey (which, in reality, is Highclere Castle, the country seat of the Earl of Carnarvon), the series has run through a chain of famous historical events, from the sinking of the RMS Titanic and the outbreak of the First World War to the formation of the Irish Free State. Along the way there have been births and deaths, steamy affairs and horrid crimes; downstairs the murky pasts of the staff (especially the ever unfortunate Mr and Mrs Bates) keep the local policeman busy. Fellowes is understandably reluctant to be bidding farewell to the rich and complex characters he created. “They have been
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so real to me for six years,” he says, “so I do have a little sadness. I’m sorry to see them go because I’ve enjoyed their creation. I’m very unlikely to be involved in anything that is as successful again and so, of course, I say goodbye to these golden years with a slight pang, but it seems the right time to bow out while we’re still firing.” The final series begins in 1925 and the reorganisation of the health service and restructuring of the workforce have been central themes. At the start of the show, a lifelong family friend of the Crawleys is hit by a financial crisis and with talk of downsizing the staff at Downton, it was starting to look as though the servants (led by the forever potstirring Barrow) might be about to stage a revolt after years of dutiful service. Meanwhile, Lady Mary found herself being blackmailed over an incident in her past and Branson made a welcome appearance, somewhat overshadowing the wedding nuptials of Mrs Hughes and Mr Carson. However, apart from the horrifying moment when the Earl of Grantham’s stomach ulcer bursts at dinner with health minister Neville Chamberlain (a gruesome event which left viewers wondering if they had tuned into an episode of Game of Thrones), the sixth series has, on the whole, not proven to be as nail-
biting as those previous. Nevertheless, it has certainly still managed to draw in a healthy number of viewers as people are eager to discover the eventual fates of Lady Mary and Lady Edith. The love life of the former is now resolved, having married Henry Talbot in the final episode, while things are as complicated as ever for the latter, who was left by Bertie Pelham after he discovered Marigold’s true identity. As to be expected, ITV is refusing to comment on what the Christmas special will include, but judging from the loose strings that still need to be tied up, we can be sure that it will not be devoid of drama. One recently confirmed character set to return is Lady Rose Aldridge, played by Lily James, who we last saw leaving for New York with her new husband. In a previous episode, Lady Mary read a letter from Rose which suggests she might be pregnant, and with lady’s maid Anna also due, there is a good chance Downton will have its very own Christmas miracle baby. Dame Maggie Smith, whose portrayal of the inimitable Dowager Countess Violet Crawley has made the show for many, jokes that she is shocked at having made it to the end of the series. “Just before this I had done about ten years of Harry Potter,” she comments. “I felt very old indeed by the time I got to the Dowager. I’m honestly just surprised that I got through it and I’m still here.” When questioned as to what she will be doing next, Smith replies with her trademark wit: “I’m going to be lying down, for quite some time. And the other thing I will be doing is watching it – I’ll get the box set and have a good look.” As well as established stars Hugh Bonneville and Shirley MacLaine, relative newcomers such as Michelle Dockery, Lily James and Dan Stevens have become household names over the course of the series, with many of them going on to star in successful Hollywood films (James was cast as Cinderella and Stevens is gearing up to take the lead as the beast in the remake of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast). “It’s been an education for us, especially working alongside Maggie and Hugh,” says Dockery, who plays the caustic Lady Mary Crawley. “It was six years ago when we started and we were so young. It has been brilliant training in a way – it’s like an extension of drama school.” There have certainly been some complex and gripping storylines over the years involving characters from both upstairs and downstairs. We have seen Lady Mary embroiled in a sex scandal, become tragically widowed and then involved in a love triangle, leaving a string of disappointed suitors in her wake. Viewers have been gripped by the relationship between lady’s maid Anna and valet Bates, which has been so cruelly scarred
“It was six years ago when we started and we were so young. It has been brilliant training in a way – it’s like an extension of drama school”
by rape and murder. But there have been plenty of light-hearted and joyous moments too and more than a few laughs predominantly thanks to the Dowager’s famous one-liners and putdowns. “That’s all © Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com down to Julian,” says Maggie Smith, modestly. “They are wonderful and I get accused of making things up but I’m afraid they’re all Julian.” As Earl of Grantham, Hugh Bonneville portrays one of the most pivotal characters in the series, but he has a rather different take on who the real star of the show is. “The most central character of the whole thing is actually the house,” he comments. “And I think that’s what’s the strength of the piece; that we are all visitors of Downton, but it’s the house that’s the real core of the piece and we’re all lucky to be there.”
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The various cast members have spoken in the past about the great camaraderie among them and the respect they have for the crew. Unsurprisingly, the last day on set was an emotional experience for everyone. “I started to thank the crew that work incredibly hard and I was gone,” recalls Jim Carter, who plays the butler, Carson. It’s a role that has earned him four Emmy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category. “And I looked round and Lee – the big rigger – was in tears. Everyone was a total mess. I’ve never done a TV series like this before.” So is this really the end for Downton Abbey? Not necessarily, as rumours are circulating about the possibility of a film – and, intriguingly, Fellowes isn’t exactly denying them. “Were there to be a movie, its strength has to be that it’s exactly like the TV show, but at the same time completely different,” he says ambiguously. “And that would set up a number of really interesting challenges and a whole other medium for the audience to enjoy – if and when it happens.” The final episode of Downton Abbey will be aired on 25 December, itv.com/downtonabbey
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Dressed Impress to
As Louis Vuitton publishes a new book about its eye-catching window displays, Ellen Millard explores the history behind window dressing and the shops pulling out the stops this Christmas
can’t decide if it’s impressive or obscene that at one point the windows of Louis Vuitton’s Fifth Avenue store in New York were cleaned on an hourly basis, a necessity thanks to the number of nose and fingerprint marks left by captivated window shoppers. “Think of it as the smudge test: the blurrier the window, the more powerful the display behind it,” writes fashion journalist Vanessa Friedman in the foreword of the label’s new book, Windows. The display in question was the 2012 explosion of polka dots, tentacles and bubble-gum pink that came courtesy of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who was at the time launching a collection with the fashion house. Across the globe the brand’s stores were decked out with the artist’s creations, which comprised 23,696 tentacles and 50 million dots in total. A life-
sized model of Kusama stood in the middle of the pink construction, so realistic that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the real red-wigged 86-year-old. “It was a joy to work with such an icon,” Louis Vuitton’s visual creative director Faye McLeod tells me. “I’ve never seen so many people engage with a display before. It’s that interaction that is so important to me, and what really drew me to window dressing in the first place. You can’t control the way the viewer interacts with a window.” Such is the power of Louis Vuitton’s displays. Puzzling, enchanting and face-against-the-glass enthralling, window dressing is an art that McLeod and her colleague Ansel Thompson have perfected. McLeod, who studied fashion design at Cardonald College in Glasgow, learnt her trade at Selfridges, Topshop and Liberty, which is where she met
Above: Yayoi Kusama display, photo by Stephane Muratet ® Louis Vuitton Malletier
Thompson. The pair hit it off immediately, and when McLeod moved to Louis Vuitton, Thompson followed six months later. Together they’ve created 35 windows for the French fashion house, constructing small armies of Kate Moss-inspired French maids; ostriches with comically long necks; fully functioning Ferris wheels; golden dinosaur skeletons; a circus scene complete with an orange argyle-print elephant; striped monkeys balancing on gold palm leaves; and a flight of vibrant hot air balloons floating above the ready-to-wear collection. And that’s just for starters. All of the above and
more feature in the new Assouline tome, a visual archive that collects the best of the team’s hard work and provides insight into the lengthy planning process behind each display. “It was important to include the savoir faire of making windows,” McLeod explains. “Production is pivotal to the idea. At Louis Vuitton we are involved in the creation all the way through to the installation.” McLeod, Thompson and their cohort of visual merchandisers are charged with dressing the windows of the seven flagship stores five times a year, with each one requiring a separate ‘how to’ kit that fits the individual
“Think of it as the smudge test: the blurrier the window, the more powerful the display”
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store’s specifications. In the case of the ChampsÉlysées outlet, the windows are 23 feet high, 13 feet wide and three feet deep, and often take five days (and several sets of ladders) to decorate, a stark contrast to the early 1900s displays that involved little more than a tower of the label’s signature trunks. When once the notion of window dressing was simply piling your best products high, 21st century displays involve big budgets and oodles of time and in many cases are as important as the goods sold inside. The idea of visual merchandising first began in London during the late 18th century, made possible by the Industrial Revolution and the consequent increased availability of plate glass. Charing Cross-based tailor Francis Place is said to have been one of the first retailers to put his wares on show, a decision that was controversial at the time. Despite initial misgivings, London’s storefronts quickly became a staple attraction, and window shopping a popular pastime among the working class. Across the pond, the concept of special ‘holiday’ windows was coined by R.H. Macy of Macy’s in New York, but it is Harry Gordon Selfridge that is credited as the first to design displays that told a story, bringing the idea over to the UK in 1909.
“We want to grab people’s attention, entertain them, make them think, surprise them and draw them in”
Since its inception, Selfridges’ 24 windows have become one of Oxford Street’s most popular sartorial attractions, and anyone who’s walked past in a hurry will know what a challenge dodging the camera-clad tangle of tourists outside is. One particular pictureperfect window caused such a commotion that the Metropolitan Police had to intervene, requesting that artist Alison Jackson’s models of Tony Blair and
Top row: Ostrich displays, both photos by Melvyn Vincent; Panda and dolls display and Orient Express display, both photos by Stephane Muratet; Left: Dinosaur display, photo by Melvyn Vincent; All images ® Louis Vuitton Malletier
David Beckham be taken down as the scarily realistic statues brought traffic to a standstill. “Our window displays are the first impression we give anyone walking by our building, so they are extremely important,” senior windows manager Hannah Emslie tells me. “We treat our windows like the cover of a glossy magazine. We want to grab people’s attention, entertain them, make them think, surprise them and draw them in.” The displays are changed every two months, and can take up to six months to construct. As with most retailers, Christmas is the time when Selfridges goes to town and this year is no exception. The department store claims its zodiac-inspired display is the first festive themed window in the world to be unveiled this year, with each of the glass booths dedicated to a different star sign. “The theme was agreed over a year ago,” Emslie tells me. “The planning process lasts about a year, from idea sign-off to implementation. We already know what the display will be next Christmas.” Lara Jensen, Nina Ricci and Maiko Takeda are among the designers whose work is involved in the display, but the top prize goes to the Royal Greenwich Observatory, which helped to build an orrery – a model of the solar system – and even gave Selfridges’ visual merchandising team a six-week course on the correct placements of the planets. From educating staff to engineering global displays, no expense is spared when it comes to dressing the windows of the biggest brands in the world. Luckily for the team at Louis Vuitton the label has a rich and well-documented history, and as such its archives are readily available to access when needed. “It is the starting point to many of our windows,” McLeod explains. “Past, present
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and future is key to creation. There’s nothing more fun than rooting around the archive and digging out treasures to inspire us.” In their office, McLeod and Thompson have a collection of eccentric mementoes that they look to for inspiration, from an old typewriter found at a Brooklyn flea market and a miniature safe from Brazil to a handmade rabbit’s head from photographer Todd Selby and a paper fortune-teller sculpture bought at a Miami gallery. “We find inspiration everywhere. We are eyes wide open people,” McLeod tells me. “Travel, art, architecture, flea markets, stores, the internet… we constantly challenge ourselves. Our team is very curious in its mind set and rebellious in spirit.” The success of 21st century window dressing certainly makes a case for bricks-and-mortar in an age of online shopping, and McLeod and her team are working hard to make sure that Louis Vuitton’s displays are remembered for years to come. “We’ve been adding our windows to the archive, so in the future whoever is working here can find all our creations and use them, like Gaston-Louis Vuitton did for us with his drawings in 1927.” As Christmas arrives and London’s major shopping destinations light up with festive decorations, eyes will be drawn to the impressive displays fronting the capital’s biggest stores. “I have always thought of window dressing as freeze frame theatre,” McLeod says. And no doubt people will be queueing around the block to get a front row view of this year’s festive show. Pass the popcorn. Louis Vuitton Windows is out this month, £550 published by Assouline, 196A Piccadilly, W1J assouline.com
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True romance Five of the most respected jewellery experts – namely, Maria Doulton, Nina Hald, Vivienne Becker, Joanna Hardy and Suzy Menkes – have collaborated on a book exploring the history of one of the most exclusive British jewellery houses; Graff Diamonds. Founded by Laurence Graff OBE in 1960, the heavyweight jeweller is by no means one of the oldest in the business, but it has still managed to knock out much of its competition due to its impressive number of precious gems of unprecedented size and brilliance that have been released over the past six decades. These include the 118-carat Delaire Sunrise, the Graff Constellation (the largest D Flawless round diamond in the world) and the Lesotho Promise. All of these have been pictured alongside words by the founder himself within the tome. Graff by Maria Doulton, Nina Hald, Vivienne Becker, Joanna Hardy and Suzy Menkes, £65 Rizzoli New York, rizzoliusa.com
Photography by Adam Whitehead
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Jewellery news By Olivia Sharpe
Black swan Italian jewellery brand Damiani’s latest collection pays tribute to one of its country’s most legendary muses; actress Sophia Loren. Capturing her unique beauty and grace, pieces include the Acqua diamond necklace with matching earrings, featuring a soft and feminine circular design. The standout piece from the collection is undoubtedly the stunning Masterpiece necklace in white gold. With 1,350 diamonds (totalling 81 carats), this one-of-a-kind creation is an apt tribute to one of Italy’s brightest stars.
Cut to ribbons Mikimoto has released its ad campaign for 2015-16 (shot by David Bellemere in New York), which stars not only model Esther Heesch but also the equally beautiful Ribbon necklace. Highlighting why the brand has become renowned for being the world’s foremost purveyor of the finest cultured pearls, the piece features lustrous white South Sea pearls that have been seamlessly embedded within a stream of 18-carat white gold and diamonds. It comes accompanied by a pair of matching earrings but with only one of four of the sets being made for the European market, I suggest you do not hesitate in snapping them up.
The Sophia Loren Collection, POA damiani.com
Ribbon necklace, POA Mikimoto, 179 New Bond Street, W1S; mikimoto.co.uk
The turning on of the Christmas lights on Bond Street is one of the most anticipated events in the capital’s festive calendar. Mayfair jeweller Hirsh London has chosen to highlight this occasion by designing a Peacock necklace inspired by the dazzling lights. Jason Hirsh comments:
“We created the Peacock necklace in partnership with the Bond Street Association to celebrate the beauty of London at Christmas time. It is completely handmade in platinum with diamonds, opals and a rare Brazilian Paraiba tourmaline”
Continuing their joint mission to champion sustainable luxury, Chopard and Livia Firth (who is the creative director of EcoAge) have once again collaborated, on this occasion launching a diffusion range created solely from 18-carat Fairmined gold. Named after the Palme d’Or award given at Cannes Film Festival, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, Palme Verte is made up of four pieces, starting from an affordable £1,550 (ring) up to £7,000 (bracelet) – thereby dispelling the myth that ethical jewellery can only be expensive. chopard.co.uk
Peacock necklace, £50,000, available at Hirsh London, 13 Grafton Street, W1S; hirshlondon.com
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Watch news By Richard Brown
Hublot doubles production space Hublot’s rumbustious Jean-Claude Biver – chairman, cheese maker and the most famous man in watchmaking – was on characteristic form at the recent opening of the company’s second manufacturing facility. Innovation, he roared, must be everywhere at Hublot HQ: “The receptionist must be innovative, the driver must be innovative, I must be innovative.” Biver has certainly been that, transforming Hublot in a decade from a company teetering towards obscurity into the global money maker that operates 73 stores around the world and counts José Mourinho and Usain Bolt among its ambassadors. Model Bar Refaeli, Fiat heir Lapo Elkann and Pelé attended the opening, which coincides with the tenth anniversary of the Big Bang collection and represents a huge return on investment for a brand that has become the king of celebrity endorsement. hublot.com Michel Pont, Lapo Elkann, Pelé & Jean-Claude Biver celebrate the opening of Hublot’s second manufacture
Panerai’s first ladies watch? Panerai might just have released its first ladies watch. While the company falls short of branding it as such, the size of the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio – at 42mm, it’s part of the smallest collection offered by the brand – and its lime-green strap suggest that this watch is destined for female wrists, where it will look positively spectacular. Perhaps Panerai is responding to the popularity of its pieces among fashion circles. Best looking women’s watch of 2015? Gotta be. Even if it’s not. Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio £5,700, panerai.com
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One to watch
Allun Michaels, store manager at Fraser Hart in Brent Cross, selects his watch of the month:
“Zenith’s evergreen El Primero model has been taken in a new, sportier direction for 2015. A larger 46mm case houses the legendary high-beat movement and also boasts an impressive 200m water resistance. A two-tone metallic dial and a choice of straps finish off the look.” Right: El Primero Sport, £7,400, Zenith Fraser Hart, Brent Cross, 020 8732 8459 BrentCross@fraserhart.co.uk, @FHBrentCross
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Night at the
Having descended from the eponymous founder of Italian jewellery house Buccellati, Andrea and his daughter Lucrezia took their design cues from the familyâ€™s love of opera to create their new collection, writes Olivia Sharpe ďƒľ
Photography by Peter Lindbergh
lthough running the risk of sounding like a philistine, I have never liked opera, having never experienced that Pretty Woman epiphany moment. However, when it comes to Buccellati’s new Opera jewellery collection, this is a whole different matter. Composed of more than 100 one-of-a-kind pieces, the recurring operatic theme is evident in the range’s central pattern, which is inspired by the great opera houses in Milan, where Buccellati has historic ties (its first boutique opened there in 1919). The score of floral motifs running through the collection also relates to the house’s logo, which makes reference to the dome of the church San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in Rome. Buccellati has consistently been influenced by the artistic styles from the Renaissance, Venetian Gothic and neo-medieval periods, and this was something Andrea, the company’s president and creative director, wanted to continue. “Opera is a very classic Buccellati design. I think as a company we are still very keen to keep our traditions alive.” I meet him and his daughter Lucrezia, Buccellati’s chief designer, in the historic Spencer House on one of their flying visits to London (Andrea is based in Milan, while Lucrezia lives in New York), a location that ideally sets the scene for this grand collection. As an ode to its heritage, the duo has worked hard to maintain Buccellati’s signature style within Opera, incorporating different types of gold, along with its trademark handengraving techniques. This has been presented in the beautiful gold bracelets that have been meticulously etched to resemble satin, as well as in the rings featuring handmade lace patterns (created by sawing pentagonshaped holes into the metal with a fine blade). Dating as far back as the Renaissance period, Andrea notes that Buccellati is one of the few jewellers left that is familiar with these 400-year-old techniques. “Engraving is a special art that was used hundreds of years ago, whereby you make a design directly onto the gold, which gives it a different contrast of colour and makes it look like silk. Over the years, many jewellers have forgotten this art. We have 100 workshops (and 250 artisans), most of which are based in Milan, but also Venice and Florence, and they have all grown in the same way: two generations, the father and the son, working together.” This familial culture has always been inherent to Buccellati; founded by Mario Buccellati, the company has remained in the family since the beginning. As young as 12, third-generation Andrea knew that he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps. At 16, he began learning the trade of selecting precious gemstones and manufacturing jewellery, also juggling school. By the age of 18, he was working full time: “I decided that I didn’t want to go to university because
“I decided that I didn’t want to go to university because I knew the best education would be at my father’s side”
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I knew the best education would be at my father’s side.” Despite Buccellati having sold a sizeable chunk of its stake to private equity firm Clessidra in 2013 (66 per cent, to be precise), Mario continues to be at the forefront of the company, along with his daughter Lucrezia (the founder’s greatgranddaughter), who was recently appointed the brand’s first female designer. Over the past two years, the company has seen rapid changes, including the launch of an engagement ring collection, a redesign of its logo and website, and the appointment of two new ambassadors, as part of its ongoing efforts to expand globally. For Lucrezia, therefore, Opera has particular resonance, representing “a complete 360˚ of what Buccellati has gone through and achieved in the last two to three years.” As well as maintaining its heritage, Lucrezia and Andrea were also keen to move forward and highlight the evolution of Buccellati through Opera, creating a collection that was, according to Andrea, still “timeless but also more accessible, simple and wearable”. This is very much where 26-year-old Lucrezia came in. Unlike her forefathers, she did not immediately know whether she wanted to be involved in the family business, although she inherited their creative flair. “I was always very artistic,” she comments. “There was a period when I wanted to be an architect, then I went through a phase where I was more involved with fashion, jewellery and accessories. I was travelling a lot, but then I was given the opportunity to work part-time in New York with Buccellati and I knew I was making the right decision.” For Lucrezia, it is essential that Buccellati’s collections “capture a new generation of women”. In spite of being just 19 when she started out, Lucrezia did not let this perturb her, believing that she could bring something new to the table. Unlike her father, whom she notes is more focused on the overall “beauty of jewellery as a piece of art”, she has an innate understanding of how women like to wear accessories today. Despite being a generation apart, Andrea believes that he and his daughter complement each other, creating the perfect balancing act between the old and the new. “She is more contemporary and focused on modern concepts. She’s very active in explaining how she wants to wear the piece so when she makes designs, I help her to create and find the right balance.” With Andrea and Lucrezia now at the helm, is there no stopping this Milanese jeweller? Not until the fat lady sings. Opera collection, available at 33 Albemarle Street, W1S 020 7629 5616, buccellati.com
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Model behaviour Ron Falloon’s name may not be as instantly recognisable as his counterparts David Bailey, Richard Avedon and Norman Parkinson, but the photographer has certainly made his mark on history, as he is often credited as ‘the man who shot the 1960s’. This month his work will be sold at Hampstead gallery Zebra One, where rare photographs of Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy will be on sale alongside a never-before-seen contact sheet featuring Cilla Black at The Royal Variety Performance in 1964. From £1,400, Zebra One Gallery 1 Perrin’s Court, NW3, zebraonegallery.com Image © Ron Falloon Courtesy of Zebra One Gallery
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A stroke of genius This month Hampstead’s Catto Gallery will showcase the work of Alex Russell Flint and James Mortimer. Russell Flint, the great-grandson of Scottish artist Sir William Russell Flint, will exhibit paintings inspired by his great-grandfather and American artist Ted Seth Jacobs, while Mortimer’s paintings will blur the boundary between reality and dreams, recounting images of monkeys in wheat fields and men holding crocodiles in scenes inspired by his travels.
19 November – 8 December 100 Heath Street, NW3, cattogallery.co.uk
By Ellen Millard
Blast from the past For stocking fillers with a difference, head down to the late-night shopping event at Alfies Antique Market, where you can pick up one-off trinkets, jewellery and homewares while enjoying vintage music and complimentary canapés. Browse the treasures of more than 300 dealers and, for a truly unique gift, take advantage of the in-house engravers and bespoke jewellers. If you’re more of a leave-it-to-the-last-minute kind of person, don’t worry; the market will be open until Christmas Eve. Christmas Shopping Party 3 December, 5pm-9pm 13-25 Church Street, NW8 alfiesantiques.com
O Christmas tree Take a leaf out of pop-up store The Christmas Forest’s book and decorate your home for a good cause this holiday. The shop will donate money to Tree Aid to plant a tree in the Sahel region of the African drylands every time it sells one of its own. This year Finsbury Park will be one of the many areas in London to welcome the cause, where home-grown trees will be sold alongside holly, wreaths, mistletoe and mince pies. Carole Collier, unused suede and damascene bag; Louise Verber Antiques, 1940s ice jug; Robinson Antiques, Nymølle large plate by Bjørn Wiinblad c1960
25 November – 24 December, 8am-10pm Endymion Road, N4, christmasforest.co.uk
spotlight Christmas Penguins at ZSL London Zoo; Meet Santa at ZSL London Zoo © ZSL
Animal charm Santa Claus is coming to (Camden) town this Christmas, where ZSL London Zoo will be holding its Meet Santa experience. St Nick’s team of trusty elves will be on hand to guide guests to the fairytale grotto, where kids will get the chance to speak to the man himself and receive a Christmas gift before meeting his herd of reindeer outside. Afterwards learn how to make treats for the animals in the Keepers Little Helper workshop and get creative with Christmas arts and crafts. £10 per person, 5-24 December Regent’s Park, NW1, zsl.org
Clockwise from left: Outlaw; Pom Pom; The Knife Thrower's Assistant, all by Alex Russell Flint, courtesy of Catto Gallery
One of the best things about northwest London is its community feel, and there’s no better way to get to know your neighbours than visiting the area’s local markets. This month sees the start of the Village Market, a new artisan fair in St John’s Wood that will sell one-off pieces, antiques, homewares and local delicacies every Saturday – a great way to support local businesses and pick up unique Christmas gifts at the same time. Every Saturday from 14 November, St John's Wood Church, Lord’s Roundabout, NW8
“If you don't know where you are going, any road can take you there” – Lewis Carroll Down the rabbit hole While celebrations for the 150th birthday of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland have been happening all year, it’s offical anniversary has only just arrived. To toast the date, the British Library will be exhibiting Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript with John Tenniel’s illustrations, alongside subsequent editions by Mervyn Peake, Salvador Dali and Ralph Steadman. The free exhibition will take over the library’s front hall gallery, where music, films and computer games inspired by the beloved book will also be on show. 20 November – 17 April 96 Euston Road, NW1, bl.uk lu x u r y l o n d o n .c o.u k
An illustration of Alice at the Hatter's tea party from W.H. Walker’s illustrated edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1907); An illustration of Alice with the Red Queen from an illustrated edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Charles Robinson (1907); both © The British Library Board
Red loop, Wall, 2015, courtesy of Pangolin London
Twist and shout Pangolin London will welcome Danish artist Merete Rasmussen this month with an exhibition of her vibrant ceramic sculptures. In collaboration with Pangolin Editions – the European sculpture foundry affiliated with the King’s Cross gallery – the artist departs from her usual style of stoneware clay and coiling techniques to work with bronze for the very first time. Four bronze sculptures will be exhibited alongside new ceramic works made specially for the show. 4 December – 16 January Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 pangolinlondon.com Vantage | 29
n his swaggering pomp, Otto Preminger stood beside Alfred Hitchcock as one of the few Hollywood film directors familiar to the general cinema-going public. His name beside the movie title alone made it a surefire guarantee that it would be worth seeing. Within the industry he was not so widely loved. His nickname ‘Otto the Terrible’ arose from his frequent tantrums on set. director, released in 1944. But his box office touch The definitive film noir, was seldom questioned, it is one of the coolest, and in a place like Los most elegant films of its Angeles, where the word era; its dreamy aura as money was always spelt intoxicating now as when with a capital “M”, that it was first screened. was what counted. Yet Preminger, given It’s now nearly 40 production duties, very years since Hitchcock and nearly didn’t get the Preminger made their final directing assignment films, but whereas the that he craved, thanks to former is still recognised tension between himself as a genius, his output and Zanuck. Part way regularly reassessed, through shooting Laura, revived and rescreened, he managed to persuade Preminger has largely sunk the reluctant Zanuck to from view. The British hook the original director Film Institute’s release Rouben Mamoulian from of The Otto Preminger the set. Preminger went on to create movie history, Film Noir Collection on Blu-ray may not greatly alter though Mamoulian’s contribution to this piece of that state of affairs, but released on the 110th tenth screen magic should not be forgotten either. anniversary of his birth, it’s as timely as it is merited. A haunting study of obsession, Laura has a Preminger was born in 1905 in Wiznitz, a town suitably poignant score by David Raksin which, when in today’s Ukraine, the son of a high-ranking Jewish supplied with a lyric by Johnny Mercer, became a lawyer. He’d arrived in Hollywood in the mid-1930s, much-loved swing-era standard, recorded by everyone having departed his homeland with a sense of alarm at from Woody Herman to Frank Sinatra and Nat King the rising sympathy for Hitler felt by many of his fellow Cole. The subtle, otherworldly cinematography comes countrymen. With experience of acting and directing in courtesy of Joseph LaShelle. The film also cast two the theatre, it didn’t take long for the European emigré Preminger favourites Gene Tierney, as with the confident, man-about-town air the mysterious lady of the film title, and to make his presence felt. But his volatile Dana Andrews, as the detective who falls personality led to clashes with Darryl for her, in the lead roles. F. Zanuck of Twentieth Century Fox, Tierney was considered one of who described him as “that Austrian Hollywood’s most striking, sophisticated autocrat”. Many others disliked him beauties at the time. While she had an for being, as the distinguished critic angelic aura, there was enough of the Andrew Sarris put it: “a director with the enigma about her to make her a suitable personality of a producer”. choice for casting as the femme fatale. Laura was Preminger’s major The soft-spoken Andrews, his voice breakthrough film as a commercial
Jack Watkins revisits the works of one of film noir’s most notorious directors, Otto Preminger
A typical Premingeresque quality of these films is the refusal to judge the protagonists, whatever their failings
carrying a deep, velvety timbre and a suggestion of a slur, was similarly able to project ambiguity and his downbeat air was perfect for the film noir genre. It’s no surprise that Preminger used them again, and they feature in all three films from the new BFI collection: Andrews starring in Fallen Angel (1945), Tierney in Whirlpool (1949), and the pair reunited once more in Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950). This trio of films, along with Angel Face (1952), in which Jean Simmons, aged 23, gave one of her best performances as a potential murderess, her wide-eyed inscrutability suggestive of a devil or angel in turn, is probably the most atmospheric film Preminger ever made. In Fallen Angel, Andrews, typically, plays a downat-heel press agent with a questionable past, who drifts into a small Californian town one night with just a dollar in his pocket. Romancing two of the locals – one of them played by Linda Darnell who unlike Gene Tierney is definitely not a good girl – when he is suspected of the murder of one of them, he launches his own bid to clear his name. The low-key lighting for the night scenes and the mood and pacing are all in the classic hard-boiled film noir tradition. Whirlpool, more melodrama than noir, was an example of what Orson Welles called “dollar book Freud”, with Tierney playing a well-heeled lady that is arrested for shoplifting. When she is examined by a hypnotist who claims he can see into the minds of women, the theft is diagnosed as a symptom of mental illness. With sumptuous photography, it also has a screenplay by Ben Hecht, one of Hollywood’s sharpest scriptwriters. Hecht was on board again for Where the Sidewalk Ends, but the settings here are vastly different. This is a world of cheap cafés, seedy boarding houses and rain slicked pavements: very different to the gloss and glamour of Laura and Whirlpool, but still directed and shot in a distinctly noir way. Andrews, a sadly underrated and underused screen actor, whose career would shortly pitch into steep decline and be wrecked by alcoholism, was once more perfect for the part of the cop with a chip on his shoulder. Tierney plays a fashion model, with whom Andrews predictably falls in love while investigating the murder of her husband. A typical Preminger-esque quality of these films is the refusal to judge the protagonists, whatever their failings. “Everyone has his reasons” was the credo of the great French director Jean Renoir, and
it was evidently something that lay at the heart of Preminger’s philosophy, too. In later years he would tackle taboo subjects. The Moon is Blue (1953) wasn’t a great film, but its use of hitherto banned words struck a significant nail in the coffin of Hollywood’s sanctimonious, much derided Production Code. The Man With the Golden Arm (1955) cast Frank Sinatra as a heroin addict. Carmen Jones (1954) and Porgy and Bess (1959) helped break down racial barriers by their widespread casting of black actors. Advise & Consent (1962) included a scene in a gay bar. By the 1960s, Preminger’s films were becoming more sprawling in structure, losing some of their intimacy, and there would be some unpleasant bustups with his actors. Better to remember the great director for his 1940s gems and his classic work with Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney who, like the man himself, were two bright names from the past whose best films deserve shouting from the rooftops.
The Otto Preminger Film Nior Collection is available at the BFI, bfi.org.uk
Clockwise from far left: Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney in Where the Sidewalk Ends; Dana Andrews as police detective Dixon in Where the Sidewalk Ends; Gene Tierney and Richard Conte in Whirlpool; Drifter Eric Stanton, played by Dana Andrews, propping up the bar in Fallen Angel, all courtesy of BFI stills
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Moon walk You might not have taken design cues from the crew of the Apollo 11 before, but things have gone interstellar at Jimmy Choo this season following its collaboration with Moon Boot. Giancarlo Zanatta created the original Moon Boot in 1970, just a year after the first lunar landing, inspired by the footwear worn by Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins. Its limited-edition capsule collection with Jimmy Choo might not meet outer space safety regulations – it’ll be a while before the glossy patent numbers studded with black Swarovski crystals make it onto astronauts’ kit lists – but the shearling-lined boots, available in a selection of long and short styles will take you to at least Chamonix and beyond… Moon Boot Classic from £495, jimmychoo.com
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Fashion news By Ellen Millard
A touch of frost Trust Annie Leibovitz to deliver the best campaign image of the season. Shooting for Moncler, the photographer ventured to south-eastern Iceland to produce the atmospheric snap, drawing inspiration from Nordic sagas and Slavic folklore. Back in the real world, the label’s A/W15 collection comprises its signature down jackets and a new biker range of puffa coats that even the hardiest of motorcycle enthusiasts wouldn’t mind finding under the Christmas tree. moncler.co.uk
Art for art’s sake Back in 2002, Bottega Veneta’s creative director Tomas Maier launched the Art of Collaboration, a project that saw world-famous photographers and contemporary artists contribute to the label’s seasonal campaign. Now, 13 years since its inception and with more than 1,000 photographs under its belt, the fashion house has launched a book of the project’s work. With images by Lord Snowdon, Peter Lindbergh and Steven Meisel, the chunky tome offers an extensive visual history of the brand. Bottega Veneta: Art of Collaboration by Tomas Maier £90, rizzolibookstore.com Above: Bottega Veneta, Art of Collaboration by Tomas Maier, Rizzoli New York 2015. Photographer: Robert Longo
Good as Miu Miu Miu didn’t let modesty get in the way when it came to naming its Christmas collection, christening the line Les Exceptionnels, which humbly translates to ‘The Greats’. Fortunately, the range delivers on its promise, offering jazzed up versions of its signature shoulder and top handle bags with pastel embellishments, fur panels and the label’s famous matelassé design. From £1,160, miumiu.com
Leather report Radley’s signature Scotty has been shelved (or kennelled, if you’ll excuse the pun) for its latest collection, a collaborative range with designer Jonathan Saunders. Combining Radley’s long history of bag-making with Saunders’ quirky style, the line comprises graphic print backpacks and block colour totes crafted from supple calf leather and finished off with gold hardware. The range is the first in a two-part series, with the next expected in February.
Globe trotter As the creative director of Chanel, Fendi and his eponymous label, it’s safe to say that Karl Lagerfeld and his fluffy Birman cat Choupette get around, so much so that the designer has launched a capsule collection themed around his travels. Karl Around the World comprises lounge wear, handbags and travel accessories decorated with iron-on patches in the form of cameras, aeroplanes and cat eyes. Snap up the range from Lagerfeld’s newly launched e-commerce site, karl.com – a portal dedicated, unsurprisingly, to all things Karl.
From £65, radley.co.uk
Sole survivor Not every trend is a good one, and the rise of ‘ugly’ footwear has been a Marmite one at best. From Dad sandals to backless kangaroo fur loafers (thanks for that one, Gucci), unattractive shoestoppers came thick and fast this year. Personally, we’re looking forward to leaving it all behind in the new year, and what better way to start than with Aquazzura and Poppy Delevingne’s new collection? Inspired by the model’s travels, the line of delicate strappy sandals, suede boots and metallic lace-up pumps in tan, coral and turquoise adds a much welcome summer vibe to the winter season.
From £39, karl.com
From a selection, aquazzura.com
Pure and simple Neutral is the word best used when describing Fabiana Filippi’s new range. Camel trousers, stone coats and grey knits take centre stage in the Italian label’s A/W15 collection, with comfort at the helm of every design. Snap up the line at the brand’s new Mayfair store, where its classic ethos is matched with rustic vintage décor.
The cat’s out of the bag: Charlotte Olympia has launched a limited edition range of Kitty flats inspired by rock legends Elvis Presley, The Sex Pistols and Kiss. The Kitty Unplugged collection sees the sweet pumps jazzed up with tartan print, lilac velvet – featuring an embroidered quiff à la Presley – and giant sunglasses, in a makeover that truly is the cat’s whiskers. £465, charlotteolympia.com
42 Conduit Street, W1S fabianafilippi.com
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Another Dimension ďƒľ Photography Ian Walsh
stylist Vanissa Antonious
Clockwise from top left: Nicobar shoes, £625, Christian Louboutin, 17 Mount Street, W1K; Gold-plated resin earrings, £210, Marni, net-a-porter.com; Sculptural heel sandal, £1,395, Salvatore Ferragamo, 24 Old Bond Street, W1S; Thick bamboo cuff, £220, Arme De L’Amour, armedelamour.com; Mini Charm clutch, £595, Jimmy Choo, jimmychoo.com; Between the Lines sandals, £575, Charlotte Olympia, net-a-porter.com; Geometric Pandora clutch, £1,195, Charlotte Olympia, as before
Some Like it King of vintage, stylist to the stars and designer of his own contemporary collection, William Banks-Blaney of WilliamVintage talks to Ellen Millard about working with Liberty and discovering haute couture in the most unlikely of places
hile dealers on Antiques Roadshow are in the market for rare silverware, antique crockery and first edition books, vintage haute couture is more William Banks-Blaney’s thing. “I always say I’m 50 per cent private investigator, 50 per cent treasure hunter,” the King of Vintage – so called by Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar – laughs. “From Manhattan to Milton Keynes, I’m always on the lookout.” The fashion expert and founder of WilliamVintage has been scouring the globe for designer pieces since 2009, filling his Marylebone store with Chanel cocktail dresses, Balmain ball gowns and sparkly Pierre Cardin numbers that the likes of Tilda Swinton, Victoria Beckham and Rihanna are snapping up. A trained art historian, former art and antiques dealer and interior designer, BanksBlaney has always appreciated design, but it was a lack of quality in vintage retail that led him to set up his business. “I’ve always loved vintage but I would often get quite frustrated because the actual retail process wasn’t particularly enjoyable. Either the clothes hadn’t been dry-cleaned or the staff hadn’t checked to make sure the buttons were secure,” he tells me. “I thought about all the women I know who like PHOTOGRAPHER : Dvora @fashionistable MODEL : Twiga Mermet (Premier Model Management) HAIR : Heath Massi MAKE-UP : Sophie Everett
Hardly a red carpet event goes by without a starlet being snapped in something from WilliamVintage’s carefully selected crop of couture
the idea of vintage, but would prefer a curated, edited selection that’s in perfect condition and is still relevant to the 21st century.” And so, after a couple of (very successful) pop-up sessions with friends and family, WilliamVintage was born, a by-appointment-only store just off New Cavendish Street with a treasure trove of secondhand haute couture sourced from around the world. Nowadays hardly a red carpet event goes by without a starlet being snapped in something from WilliamVintage’s carefully selected crop of couture. Part of the brand’s appeal is its indifference to trends. “I only buy what I like,” Banks-Blaney says. “I don’t buy thinking ‘oh, that’s hot right now’, or ‘that’s on trend’. The whole point for us is that we are ahead of the curve, so I just buy pieces that really appeal
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to me.” Stand-out styles can be found anywhere, from friends and family members to museums, and can often pop up in the strangest of places. “The best one was when I went to see the mother of a friend of mine. She took me to the barn at the bottom of her garden and inside were 17 pieces of the Courrèges haute couture collection from 1968. She had loved clothes her whole life and had really looked after them, so they were as good as the day they were made.”
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WilliamVintage has established itself not just in Britain but globally as a go-to for vintage couture, and since its inception in 2009 has expanded to include two pop-up stores at Selfridges and Browns in Mayfair, an online outlet and a book, 25 Dresses: Iconic Moments in Twentieth-Century Fashion, a collection of WilliamVintage’s best finds. Now, six years on since his store first t opened, Banks-Blaney has put his sartorial knowhow to the test by creating his own contemporary collection in collaboration with Liberty. “I’ve been a massive fan of Liberty for many years, because I always thought it was wonderful that it could be such a big store but have a real reputation for excellence and innovation yet still feel individual. We’d been thinking quite strategically about a contemporary collection for the last couple of years, and we suddenly realised what a lovely collaboration it would be if in fact it were with Liberty.” The result is a ready-to-wear line of block-colour coats, trousers and dresses in navy, camel, white and hot pink. Timeless shaping is at the helm of the collection and the long-line tunics layered over flared trousers, cocktail dresses and classic coats will fit seamlessly into any wardrobe. A signature Liberty floral peeks out from the lining of every piece in the collection, a vibrant print carefully selected from the 43,000-strong archive. “Rather than having to spend three years going through the entire archive, Alex McCarthy [Liberty’s collaboration print designer] and I worked on a really tight brief,” he tells me. “I wanted the print to be almost psychedelic, really strong and really London. We found Kaleidoscopic, which is actually from 1961 but looks like it could be from the late 1960s. It was ahead of its time.” Originally produced on cotton and in just one colour, Banks-Blaney re-coloured the design in three new shades, and printed it onto silk for a more luxurious feel. Each piece from the collection is made in England using traditional hand-finishing techniques of couture darting, ruching and delicate seaming, an aspect that Banks-Blaney was particularly keen on. “Having the collection made in England is a nice fit for WilliamVintage because we value quality construction and a heritage approach, and of course it’s perfect for Liberty as well.” Unsurprisingly, Banks-Blaney delved into fashion’s archives for inspiration, channelling designers from the late 1960s like Maggy Rouff, Lanvin, Marc Bowan for Christian Dior and Balmain. Although reluctant to pinpoint his favourite era, he admits that the late 1960s is his “sweet spot” in vintage, and that clothes from that period always sell quickly at
“ Contemporary fashion hasn’t been this strong since the 1960s”
WilliamVintage. “It was such a time of huge positive change around the world and I think the clothes really celebrated that. Through most of that decade haute couture was really struggling because street style became really strong, but by the late 1960s it had absorbed that and become much younger, with fantastic cuts and solid colours.” As such, it’s the 1960s that he suggests you look to if you want to introduce vintage to your wardrobe. “I’d start with something that you know you could incorporate really easily into your look, so don’t choose something that you’ll need to buy a new pair of shoes or cut your hair for,” he says. “Start off with a fantastic coat from the 1960s in a bright pop of colour that you can throw over what you wear to work or your jeans at the weekend.” A born-and-bred Londoner, Banks-Blaney can normally be found having breakfast in Galleria on New Cavendish Street, having his hair cut in Atherton Cox and shopping in Matches. “I think historically
while Paris might be the centre for haute couture, the more exciting fashion movements have come out of London,” he says animatedly when I ask if he thinks the capital is a global fashion hub. “Contemporary fashion hasn’t been this strong since the 1960s. The stand-out designers are the ones whose work is really going to grow and garner interest over the years, like Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders, Roksanda and Erdem.” Back at WilliamVintage, designers who were once described as ‘up-and-coming’ (but are now iconic) line the rails, from Ossie Clark and Balenciaga to Yves Saint Laurent. With a contemporary collection under his belt and a second in the pipeline, there’s every chance Banks-Blaney’s own creations will one day appear among the couture archives, but for now, with a ready-to-wear line, a book and a thriving store, he’s doing a pretty good job at standing out in the fashion world in his own way. They don’t call him the King of Vintage for nothing.
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William for Liberty is available at Liberty London, from £305 Regent Street, W1B liberty.co.uk Shop William Banks-Blaney’s vintage collection at WilliamVintage, 2 Marylebone Street, W1G, williamvintage.com
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Wool Dress, £520, Jonathan Simkhai, available at Selfridges; Boots, £695, Christian Louboutin, christianlouboutin.com
Wrap up this winter in oversized chunky knits in bold colours, loose-fitting trousers and leather boots ďƒľ Photography Rachael Louise May
stylist Elizabeth Hoadly
Opposite Jumper, £500, skirt, £295, both Max Mara, maxmara.com; Turtleneck, £495, Fendi, fendi.com Below Red jumper, £530, Moncler, moncler.com; Multicolour wool trousers, £1,700, Fendi, as before; Boots, £895, Jimmy Choo, jimmychoo.com
Opposite Yellow jumper, £450, trousers, £325, both Sportmax, sportmax.com; Boots, £1,125, Nicholas Kirkwood, matchesfashion.com Below Roll-neck sweater, £805, Sportmax, matchesfashion.com HAIR & MAKE-UP Fabio Vivan @ Toni & Guy Victoria; Gosia Byliniak using BECCA Cosmetics PHOTOGRAPHER'S ASSISTANT Benny J Johnson MODEL Lottie @ FM Models Shot on location at Hotel Café Royal, Regent Street, W1B hotelcaferoyal.com
Clutch Control Venture capital firms and clutch bags aren’t two things you’d expect to hear in one sentence, but Marylebone-based bag designer Ella Rabener knows a thing or two about the fashion and finance markets, as Lauren Romano discovers
long with the rule book, designers are forever throwing the dictionary out of the window too. For every normcore ensemble, epaulette or D’Orsay shoe that makes it down the catwalk to approving whispers, Anna Wintour and the couture clad army in the FROW might as well be speaking another language. As someone who learned her neats from her knife pleats the hard way (it turns out some designers can get a bit peeved when you refer to the former as ‘patterned socks’) it’s refreshing to meet someone who doesn’t speak fluent fashion, although
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Ella Rabener’s bags certainly aren’t suffering for it. The creations of the former management consultant turned designer have been gracing glossy magazine pages since the launch of her eponymous label earlier this year. Rabener’s fashion 101 has been a baptism of fire. “At the beginning I didn’t know what I could or couldn’t do. I’d end up drawing something and then the factory would look at it and say: ‘how are we supposed to get a sewing machine in there?’” While she was learning, Rabener enlisted the help of a small workshop in East London so she could pop in every other day to watch. “I was very aware that I had to educate myself,” she says.
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“There will always be people who want the Chanel logo, but I design for someone who is searching for something a bit different”
Rabener’s is a career trajectory that is becoming all too familiar. Burnt out bankers becoming bakers, coders swapping their hard drives for a hammer and chisel, traders taking stock and picking up a paintbrush – the City is hardly known for its creative outlets. There are obvious advantages for doing things this way around. Having strong financial backing is always handy when starting a new job, but for Rabener the move from finance to fashion has been as much about risk aversion than the realisation of a childhood dream. We meet at the National Portrait Gallery where, it turns out, she is also a bit of an expert on Giacometti, talking me through the sculptures and heavily lined paintings with the attention to detail of an art critic. Is that another calling missed? “At school in Germany I was torn between my love of art and visual mediums and mathematics, but there wasn’t really a way to bring those interests together except maybe in architecture,” she admits. “I thought ‘what if I can’t connect with fashion people? What if I’m too normal to fit in?’” Business consultancy eventually won the battle of head over heart and Rabener ended up consulting, naturally gravitating towards fashion clients. In
the end she decided to go it alone, but rather than ease herself in gently with her first venture, she relocated to Moscow to set up interiors website Westwing, which is now established in 16 countries. It was her husband who prompted the move back to London where the pair settled in Marylebone’s Gloucester Place. The bag line was born in March last year. Since then Rabener has designed seven styles and is working on the prototype for a new tote due to launch this month, so I suspect it must her Germanic efficiency talking when she laments of her prodigious output: “I didn’t realise it would take so long. “I knew I didn’t want to do something crazy different because that’s not my style. I wanted to design for women like myself; professionals who want a bag that’s elegant enough to wear to work but that
shows off some of their personality too,” she explains. Dressed in wide-legged grey trousers, patent courts and a cream coloured sweater, Rabener doesn’t strike me as the type who slavishly follows every trend. Her go-to tote hangs from her arm. The spacious Avery in buttery soft caramel leather with beautiful rose gold hardwear has been designed with someone who carries around everything but the kitchen sink in mind. There are two interior pockets large enough to hold a 14-inch laptop and A4 documents (or the latest issue of Vantage). Instead of a zipped pocket, a detachable leather pouch is kept in place with two hidden magnets and doubles as a clutch bag, while the front compartment is big enough for an iPad or tablet. Rabener flashes a coy smile when I ask how many bags she owns. She has lost count but remembers the excitement she felt buying her first Chloé. “I still love it but it annoys me that I’ve seen so many other women carrying it around, that’s why I decided to make my collections very limited [only 100 editions of each style are available].” Rabener became frustrated by the astronomical price tags too. Her bags aren’t a pittance, but Italian calf leather and the production costs at the family-run factory in Florence don’t come cheap. “Often when you invest in a designer bag you are buying into the brand name. I felt that there was a gap opening up in the luxury market for a middle ground to target those who want subtle, rather than in-your-face luxury. There will always be people who want the Chanel logo, but I design for someone who is searching for something a bit different.” Her latest model, the Bryanston – a top handle tote with an asymmetrical flap – will no doubt stand out from the Mulberry Bayswater crowd. A current bestseller, the Chiltern, a 70s-inspired fringed number finished with signature hammered rose gold triangles, takes its moniker from Marylebone’s hottest street. “I love this area – it’s central but not touristy. When you go up Marylebone High Street you still get the feeling that you are a local, even though it’s not that far away from Oxford Street where there are a gazillion tourists. It’s got brilliant restaurants too. The crab doughnuts at Chiltern Firehouse are just amazing. It deserves the hype. I love the individual vibe around here,” she says. “Plus Marylebone has mews houses, which I really love. They are a whole world in themselves. When you walk past you see them tucked away like a cute London hinterland.” At the moment Rabener is looking for local stockists for her bags, although
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she admits that finding the right independent multi-brand boutiques can be difficult. And it’s about to get harder as from this month she will also be juggling another day job. It seems Rabener wasn’t ready to hang up her briefcase quite yet (although the Avery is a very practical alternative) as she has launched online investment manager Scalable Capital. “I don’t know how graduates do it,” she admits, adding that she took the decision to self-fund her bag business so she wouldn’t have to relinquish control. “I think it’s tough for those starting out and looking for financial backing. A lot of venture capital firms are very tech focused and often the investors are men, so they might not be the right audience to assess the potential of your product.” Navigating global investment markets by day and designing handbags at night, Rabener is a multitasking force to be reckoned with. Thankfully ‘multitasking’ is a word the fash pack, and the public for that matter, understands. The Bryanston launches this month, ellarabener.com
Readers can use the code “Vantage” to receive 25 per cent off all bags, except sale items. Valid until 31 December
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Follow Suit Photography Ian Walsh
Clockwise from top left: Square optical frame glasses, £235, Tom Ford, tomford.com; Velvet bow tie, £80, Lanvin, mrporter.com; Thomas cufflinks, £140, Alice Made This, alicemadethis.com; Greggo shoe, £545, Christian Louboutin, 17 Mount Street, W1K; Gold-plated cufflinks, £190, Lanvin, as before; Polka dot wool and silk blend pocket square, £55, Paul Smith, mrporter.com; Knitted tie, £65, Hugo Boss, 122 New Bond Street, W1S; Miles cap-toe Oxford shoe, £440, Mr. Hare, mrporter.com
stylist Vanissa Antonious
Beauty news By Ellen Millard
Scent of occasion The days of advent calendars as we know them are numbered. Why? Because Jo Malone London has released a 24-door Christmas countdown jam-packed with mini beauty treats in the style of the label’s Gloucester Place house. What’s more, its Christmas crackers will spare you from cheesy one-liners – there’s little room for jokes thanks to the likes of the Peony and Blush Suede Body Crème, the Lime Basil and Mandarin Body and Hand Wash and the Blackberry and Bay Cologne. From £32 for a small cracker, 101 Regent Street, W1B, jomalone.co.uk
Tiny dancer If you, like us, can’t imagine Christmas without a trip to see the Sugar Plum Fairy pointe step her way through Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, then a Penhaligon’s gift set may just be the present for you. Patterns taken from the costumes of the ballet’s famous characters decorate the decadent boxes, in which its signature scents are housed. What’s more, the Empressa and Vaara gift sets double up as a music box complete with spinning ballerinas, so you can join in with the pirouettes at home. From £38, 125 Regent Street, W1B, penhaligons.com
Magic tricks Prepare yourself for the impending party season by snapping up MAC’s Magic of the Night collection. Glitter eyeshadows in a new colour-drenched pigment come in dark shades of purple, navy and charcoal grey, while lipsticks veer to the rouge side of the colour wheel with deep burgundy, rose pink and matte fuchsia shades. Add a slick of the new Pearlglide Intense Eyeliner and hit the town. From £13.50, maccosmetics.co.uk
There is much to expect from a Cire Trudon candle, thanks to a history that dates back to the 1600s and a client list that name drops Louis XV and Napoleon. Luckily the label lives up to the historical hype with its festive trio of Nativity-inspired wicks. Opt for Gasparde for tangy notes of mandarin, Gabriel for cashmere wood and leather and Melchior for myrrh and benzoin. £70 each, 36 Chiltern Street W1U, trudon.com
In the Our pick of the latest must-have handbag essentials
1. Chanel has added to its renowned Sublimage collection with L’Extrait, a serum specifically created for damaged skin. Using vanilla planifolia (or as Chanel calls it, the ‘green diamond’), the concoction boasts active ingredients that work to repair, regenerate and protect your skin. £370, chanel.com 2. Love is in the air at YSL Beauty, which has
dedicated its latest range to the act of romance, decking its Rouge Pur Couture lipsticks – available in mostly red shades with a few pink tones thrown in for good measure – in a limited-edition lip print. Pucker up. £26 each, yslbeauty.co.uk
3. Fans of Guerlain’s 2008 Radiance Concentrate
with Pure Gold will be pleased to hear of its return. The 24-karat gold primer certainly leans towards the more lavish end of the beauty spectrum, but when it leaves skin moisturised, smooth and radiant, what’s not to like? £44.50, available at Harrods
4. The Midas Touch is in full force over at Dior, which has named its Christmas collection ‘A State of Gold’. Teaming the festive colour with khaki, charcoal, nude and mauve, the fashion house paints a glittering picture with its 5 Couleurs palette. From £43, dior.com 5. Diptyque has expanded its 34 Bazar range to
include a second Essences Insensées fragrance, this time focusing on jasmine. Grown in Grasse and picked at the end of the season when it is at its most potent, the fragrant flora is combined with orange flower blossom and basil to create a unique scent. £100, diptyqueparis.co.uk
6. Tom Ford welcomes back its Lips and Boys collection for the winter season, with the return of 25 bestselling shades and the release of an additional 25 colours in a new pearlescent, metallised finish. Named after the men that Ford admires, each lipstick can be worn alone or layered up to create a unique colour. £27 each, tomford.com 7. Those still striving to achieve that tricky smoky
eye look should snap up Charlotte Tilbury’s Colour Chameleon eye pencils. Take your pick from new shades of khaki-gold, mink, violet, indigo and glittery black or buy all five in the Christmas gift set. £19 each or £90 for a gift box, charlottetilbury.com
8. Salvatore Ferragamo Parfums has released a solid
version of its Signorina Eleganza fragrance that comes in the form of a gold necklace. A bauble-shaped locket opens up to reveal the grapefruit, pear and almond perfume, strung on a handy gold chain so you can use it at a moment’s notice. £39, available at Harrods
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As she launches new products to her Timeless Beauty collection, Dame Joan Collins tells Gabrielle Lane about her personal stock of caviar, educating Cara Delevingne and not leaving the house without lipstick
t is Urban Retreat founder and beauty entrepreneur George Hammer who puts an encounter with Dame Joan Collins into words for me. “In our business you meet a lot of people and get involved with cosmetics and brands, but meeting Joan was the first time I ever met the real deal.” Hammer and I speak at Claridge’s where Collins is launching the next phase of their collective project, Joan Collins Timeless Beauty, a make-up range of rich colours, heavy duty textures and powerful scents. The room is full of her friends – clad in sunglasses and black suits – and a smattering of journalists who are quickly ushered in to admire the products lined up on tables around the edge of the suite, and quickly ushered out again. A few brave souls break ranks and ask for a selfie with the lady herself, defying the rules that only the in-house photographer can take snaps. Everyone else looks on curiously. Joan Collins has a strong presence, an old-school movie star glamour, created only in part by her convincing portrayal of a notorious alpha-female in 1980s television hit Dynasty. When we sit down, she tells me she is wearing a couture dress of her own design fastened with a huge plate of gold jewellery, vintage Chanel earrings and a Buccellati bracelet. Paired with long black satin gloves, kitten heels and a Chanel clutch it’s a striking look for 3pm in the afternoon and one that is positively marketable for Hammer and brand managing director Mitchell Field,
who in 2014 first offered the British actress the chance to turn her passion for beauty into a collection of lipsticks, foundations and perfume. Today, I am genuinely surprised to realise that the host is 82. She looks 15 years younger as she glides around the room, and insists “I am a perfectionist; I like everything to be perfect.” The Joan Collins look takes time and money of course: a member of her entourage spends 45 minutes giving me the defined eyes and berry-coloured lip she favours. But, she knows that. “My approach to beauty is discipline, use absolutely every product you have for giving the best advantage – you’re not going to get good skin unless you use the right products,” Collins explains. “Always wear foundation, because it protects your skin and the elements are so destructive today.” Typical of her demands of the make-up collection (Hammer jokes that Collins is more particular than the international brands he works with) the foundation in the Timeless Beauty range is called First Base and is made with hyaluronic acid to retain moisture and give the impression of plumper skin, an anti-ageing complex and UV filters. In a show of approval, Collins also wears a fuchsia lip colour from her own Divine Lips line – the shade is named Alexis after her Dynasty character. “This is one of my favourites, but when I’m feeling more dramatic I like Helene [red] a lot and Piper [a pale raspberry
Images © Fadil Berisha
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Divine Lips Lipstick in Amanda, £18
pink tone] when I’m just running around. I never used to like lipstick as a teenager, then as I got older I liked it, and now I wouldn’t go out without it; I think it makes you feel very confident.” Candidly, she admits she didn’t have very high selfesteem in the past. “Like all young girls, I didn’t think I was particularly good looking and I didn’t have parents who told me I was pretty. My father was not one for compliments so I was not secure in myself at all. The first time someone told me I was ‘pretty’ was when I was five and the hairdresser told me I had beautiful eyes.” Today, she shares both beauty and career advice with her god-daughter Cara Delevingne, who is one of the most photographed models of the moment. “I gave Cara advice a long time ago, when she was 16 or 17,” begins Collins. “We celebrated her birthday every year at a beach restaurant called Voile Rouge [in the French Riviera], and she was always in the sun; I would say ‘Cara, keep your face out of it’. And then she mentioned that she wanted to become an actress and I repeated the famous line from Jack Nicholson – ‘just what the world needs, another actress!’ I said ‘the chance of making it is one in ten thousand, you’ve really got to work at it, you’ve really got to study’. She did, she’s a very clever girl and she’s also a very talented musician and a great actress.” Given that Delevingne’s image has been promoted in an era of social media, I ask if Collins thinks endless online photo streams are stripping the intrigue and mystery from beauty. “No, I think it’s fun,” she says. “I went out with my son Sacha and his girlfriend last night and we were taking selfies of ourselves; I think it’s amazing what you can do. I’ve just been working with Liz Hurley, who takes selfies all the time.” Perhaps alluding to mobile phone filters that enhance images, she continues conspiratorially: “She has some kind of beauty thing on her phone... but I think it’s wonderful. Compact Duo Lipstick Women can try different looks on, & Powder, £34 different hairstyles, different lipstick colours and check it out themselves. It’s magical. But don’t ever look at [the camera] if you don’t have make-up on,” she laughs. It is when we are talking about how else Collins pampers herself that her husband Percy appears.
“I like being at home in the most luxurious surroundings. That means great lighting, candles, pillows – and yes, caviar”
Eye Definition Kit, £25
Smartly dressed, he is protective of Joan throughout the afternoon, steering her neatly through the throng of well-wishers that line the corridors as she navigates from the lounge for interviews and the welcome area. “Her luxuries? Caviar!” He quips. “That’s my little treat that I have once in a while,” Collins smiles. “I also like pillows and candles, although I don’t need aromatic candles as I have a fragrance diffuser.” As part of a Body & Soul sub-collection Collins has also overseen the creation of a home scent that mirrors the citrus, musk and woody base of her eau de parfum, named I Am Woman. It’s heady and reminds me of the powdery scent of vintage make-up. “I like being at home in the most luxurious surroundings,” Collins continues. “That means great lighting, candles, pillows – and yes, caviar.” She tells me she’ll be spending Christmas in Los Angeles. “I think afterwards I’m going away somewhere with Percy, my sister’s three children, their husbands and her six grandchildren.” She also mentions spending time with her sister, the novelist Jackie, who sadly passed away just one week after this interview. There has been speculation that Joan discovered Jackie was suffering from cancer just days earlier. Having met Joan, the sad news only served to remind me how much of a professional she is. A woman who can still dominate a room at 82, work a crowd with more charisma that anyone five decades younger – someone who embodies the expression ‘the show must go on’. Having stayed for cocktails, I see Collins an hour after the launch, walking through the hotel. “Are you still here?” she smiles. Still dressed head-to-toe in black, with a lipstick she was insistent was “berry not pink,” and her trademark full curls, she looks enviably glamorous. Seizing the opportunity I join the rulebreakers in asking for a photo. She obliges, not before a member of the hotel team appears and frantically tells her PR that he has “more water ready.” Although Timeless Beauty managing director Field says: “Joan is very soft really. She’s a great lady – and nothing like the soap opera character,” I’m not so sure that Collins is any less starry than you and I imagine. But she is indeed the real deal – the perfect beauty ambassador. joancollinsbeauty.com Contour Eyebrow Pencil Duo, £14
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W Tinsel Town As the party season approaches, Ellen Millard scouts the capital’s best beauty services to create the ultimate festive look
hile Eartha Kitt’s letter to Santa asks for a ’54 convertible (in light blue), Bing Crosby’s dreaming of a white Christmas and Mariah doesn’t want anything other than you, we’ll be content with a less bushy pair of brows, a jazzy manicure and a blow dry. Discover the places to go and the products to use for a glamorous makeover this Christmas, so by the time Saint Nick drops down the chimney you’ll be prepped and ready for your (s)elfie.
Newly opened DryBy has nailed the speedy manicure with its express service that gives you shaped and polished nails in just 30 minutes. For those with a bit more time on their hands, the luxury spa manicure offers an extra indulgent treatment with thorough nail and cuticle work, exfoliation and a hand massage. Finish off the look with some festive sparkle courtesy of DryBy’s extensive nail art range, including gold beads and geometric designs.
It’s all very well and good letting your eyebrows do their own thing when you look like Cara Delevingne, but for the rest of us the threading angels at Nails and Brows are on hand to salvage any plucking disasters (we’ve all been there). It was founded by Sherrille Riley, who saw a gap in the market for premium grooming at a not-sopremium price. Get your eyebrows tidied up, reshaped or completely made over with a personalised service tailored to you. How’s that for highbrow?
74 Mortimer Street, W1W, dryby.co.uk
31 Berkeley Street, W1J, nailsandbrows.me
All wrapped up Christmas is the time to indulge so look no further than the House of Elemis, which is launching a special treatment package for the festive season. The Wrap Up for Christmas collection amalgamates three of Elemis’s best treatments designed to salvage weather-weary skin. The session will begin with the Hot Mineral Body Boost, a revitalising body treatment that involves the brand’s innovative Amber and Quartz Crystal bed, before moving on to the super-hydrating Sweet Orchid Body Wrap and rounding off the treatment with the brand’s famous Pro Collagen Age Defying Facial. £280, 2 Lancashire Court, W1S, elemis.com
Scissor sisters Colourist to supermodels (see Twiggy’s blonde tresses) and actors alike, hairdresser Daniel Galvin OBE has been gifting the beauty world with his scissorsmith magic since the 1960s. By experimenting with black coffee, lemon juice, henna and red wine to create semi-permanent shades, Galvin transformed the hairdressing world with his unique colouring techniques. Your locks will be in safe hands with the team at the Marylebone flagship salon, which offers cuts, blow dries and up dos of all shapes and sizes, and an entire floor dedicated to colour services. 58-60 George Street, W1U, danielgalvin.com
Pucker up Dazzling make-up tips come courtesy of Lisa Eldridge this season, whose new book Face Paint presents a history of face and body decoration. With a client list that includes Cindy Crawford, Kate Winslet and Keira Knightley, Eldridge certainly knows her way around a make-up palette, so there’s no better person to look to for advice. Discover the heritage and cultural influences of make-up and what the future holds in this enlightening tome jam-packed with images by famous photographers, including Irving Penn, Raymond Meier and David Bailey. Face Paint: The Story of Make-up by Lisa Eldridge is out now, £18.99, published by Abrams Image amazon.co.uk Left: Liz Collins / Trunk Archive; Above: Cuneyt Akeroglu; Both from Face Paint: The Story of Make-up by Lisa Eldridge Courtesy of Abrams Image
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Wireless speakers that make a statement
Lifestyle choice From the catwalk to the couch, Temperley London has taken snippets of its A/W15 collection of intricately embroidered bohemian gowns and transferred them onto home accessories. The brand has branched into the lifestyle arena for the first time, with a Winter Bohemia range that includes pieces to dress you and your home to impress, so you can trade in your treadbare slippers for an elegant smoking shoe or wrap up with a floral emblazoned blanket shawl. Adorned with bold folk inspired patterns configured in heavy satin stitch, the range is available in a dazzling palette of topaz, turmeric, hibiscus and shimmering metallic. From ÂŁ295, temperleylondon.com Image courtesy of Temperley London
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Interiors news By Anna Thornhill
The white stuff “The real beauty of white is that whoever we are and whatever our style is, it always works in some way in a home. Trends come and go but the desire for a simpler, cleaner style of decorating continues to grow,” comments Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company. To create your own white Christmas take inspiration from the festive collection of candles, tableware and decorations, all available in the brand’s trademark shade. 12 Marylebone High Street, W1U thewhitecompany.com
Beyond the pines Nothing conjures up Christmas quite like the smell of cloves, cinnamon and cedarwood – and fragrance brand Lilou et Loïc’s latest winter range incorporates all three. Founders Malin Wright and Aldis Firman have bottled the scent of Scandinavia in their simple yet luxurious fragrances. Warm and spicy scents feature in both the small signature candles (which burn for up to 50 hours) and larger emperor candles (which burn for up to 300 hours), keeping your house smelling fresh and festive all winter long. Scented Emperor candles with four wicks, £230; Signature Scented candles £35, lilouetloic.com
Scarlett fever We spend nearly a third of our lives in bed, so a snap decision about your sheets can cost you many sleepless nights. Interiors firm Elizabeth Scarlett has selected breathable cottons for its new bedding collection, comprising duvet covers, pillowcases and quilts. The brand was founded by Belsize Park local Elizabeth Elsey, and the latest range includes intricate tilework motifs and colourful elephants that have been embroidered onto the 220-thread count cotton in slumber-friendly layouts. From £35, elizabethscarlett.com
The wood from the trees
Put your feet up Textile embroiderer Victoria Bain has taken her geometric shapes, chinoiserie and customised monograms to the next level by embellishing a collection of Whistler Leather. The range is displayed in three palettes (colourful, neutral and dark charcoal/metallic), which can be applied to four designs – or you can customise the pattern for your own footstool or sofa.
Whatever your Christmas theme – whether you plan to go to town with tinsel or favour a more minimalist approach – you’ll find decorations to match at Joanna Wood. Among the golden pears and pomegranates, you can pick up cheery robins and cute woodland animals. In keeping with the forest theme, there are also plenty of dainty copper foliage dishes for pistachios, mince pies, chocolate coins – or whatever supplies you need to feed the five thousand.
Custom embroidered hide from £250 per sq ft; cushions from £420; footstool from £2,050, available from Whistler Leather, whistlerleather.com
From £5, joannawood.co.uk
Silver service The limited edition five-piece silver tea service by Georg Jensen and Australian industrial designer Marc Newson is one of the most exclusive tea sets on the market. Newson’s innovative design matched with the impeccable craftsmanship of Jensen’s silversmith skills means the set, of which there are only ten, took six months to create. Mammoth tusk and natural rattan elevate the design further, while also complementing its industrial, pared-down look. Stick the kettle on... Tea set £82,000 available from Georg Jensen, 89 Mount Street W1K, georgjensen.com
A new leaf
Iron man Upgrade your gadgets with the new Paul Smith No. 9 leather collection. The range features repeating circle patterns embossed on iPad cases and card holders in a rainbow of 11 colours, inspired by the iron façade of the brand’s flagship No. 9 Albemarle Street store. The drumdyed English calfskin used in the designs went through five stages of evaluation before being finished with a soft yet hard-wearing lacquered finish, so it should by sturdy enough to withstand the daily commute.
French artist Joy de Rohan Chabot has unveiled a collection of five chairs inspired by the changing seasons. The bronzed winter chair, made from intricately wrought metal, featuring intertwined red vines (and a lone golden snail) will make a statement on any patio, although you’ll have to wait a while until it’s warm enough to use outside. POA, joyderohanchabot.com
From £130, 9 Albemarle Street W1S, paulsmith.co.uk
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Part y People As we prepare to deck the halls for the festive season, the founders of events company Ruby J chat to Ellen Millard about their top tips for planning the perfect gathering, whether the guest list includes your in-laws or Russian oligarchs
here’s no doubt that organising a wedding is a stressful affair, often making a bridezilla out of even the most militantly planned wives-to-be. While everybody hopes they’ll replicate K-Mid and breeze down the aisle with poise towards a Prince (a girl can dream), the reality is more likely Monica from Friends style pandemonium, complete with a headset, an unyielding seating plan and a strict minute-by-minute schedule. Whatever the occasion, being a host is no easy task, and more often than not it’s better to leave it to the professionals. Cue Ruby J Events. “We are the ultimate hostesses whatever the event,” smiles co-founder Lucie Robins. “People employ us to take on that role so they don’t have to worry about what’s happening.” Robins and her business partner Joanna Greenfield have been saving the day with Ruby J since 2009, engineering weddings and birthday parties as well as corporate shindigs for Russian oligarchs, the London 2012 Olympics and the Super Bowl in the States. Having met at different events company, the pair branched out on their own after spotting a gap in the market for meticulously planned parties at a lower cost and Ruby J – an amalgamation of Robins’ nickname and Greenfield’s first initial – was born. As the Christmas season arrives – and with it the challenge of keeping relatives well fed and watered – it seems there’s no better duo to look to for party planning advice. “I’m usually
All photography by Rob Cadman
the host of a big fat Christmas lunch,” Robins laughs. “I love all the preparations, which I start at least three weeks before. I try to challenge myself to make it better than the previous year.” It’s this strategic planning that’s seen Ruby J edge its way into the party scene at an impressively quick pace, hosting a private dinner for an international watch company for its second ever commission. The pair hate name dropping and are reluctant to single out specific clients, but one event they are more than happy to discuss is the London Olympics. As bragging rights go, getting the opportunity to work at the 2012 games not long after starting out is a pretty big deal. “There was a buzz about the city when the Olympics were happening, so that whole project was really special to us,” Greenfield says. “We organised a string of weekly dinners for broadcasters and at the last party the American Olympic team showed up. If somebody had asked us five years ago what our dream event would be, we would have said the Olympics, so we’re lucky to have ticked that one off the list already.”
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The end results of weeks of party planning and spread sheet collating are private banquets for CEOs, weddings with sets that require 48-hour builds and extravagant birthday parties with fibre-optic dance floors. Abundant bouquets sit pretty on decadent table tops, strobe lights flash around the room and sparkling dance floors look like they could have been lifted from the set of Strictly Come Dancing; no expense is spared when it comes to décor, and even in Robins’ north-west London apartment the team have put on an impressive festive spread of silver accessories and blossoming Rob Van Helden flowers for our shoot. With offices in London and New York the team isn’t short of design inspiration, and street art, shop windows and fashion play a big part in the creative process. “We work with trends, with fashion and with what we see around us and that does definitely come across in the events,” Robins says. “We find inspiration in everything from architecture to Instagram.” More often than not the duo is given complete creative control. “Clients do come to us and say ‘help’,”
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Greenfield laughs. “Our Olympics contract started exactly like that, they said: ‘we have 200 people coming every week: go!’ It was fantastic.” With Christmas on the horizon, the team will have no trouble assembling colour schemes, themes and decorations for upcoming festivities, and while larger soirées will warrant a more lavish get-up, the founders suggest a minimalist approach if you’re hosting at home. Whether you’ll be in charge of entertaining a hundred or a handful, swot up on Ruby J’s top party tips below for the dos and don’ts of Christmas celebrations.
The food “With Christmas parties, food and drink is obviously the main event. We always make sure there are plenty of nibbles circulating at the beginning with cocktails, followed by a substantial three-course menu and then midnight munchies on the dance floor, to soak up all the alcohol before the moves get even more questionable. Christmas lunch is always a strain on waistbands so something light but delicious to get the taste buds going is a good idea to start, like ceviche for a burst of freshness, or mini tacos. The showstopper at Christmas always has to be a traditional turkey feast, with plenty of delicious stuffing and all the trimmings.”
“People often think Christmas parties must be red, green and gold, but we prefer to incorporate subtle details”
“A festive cocktail on arrival is a no-brainer – it’s a good conversation starter or ice breaker for guests who don’t know each other. It’s easy to sacrifice quality for quantity when it comes to drinks, but make sure you don’t scrimp on some decent bottles of wine. We usually end the night with a great single malt whisky for the boys and a refreshing glass of rosé champagne for the ladies.”
The décor “People often think Christmas parties must be red, green and gold, but we prefer to incorporate subtle details, so you don’t have that cheesy aspect. We always focus on one really special feature, like an amazing painting on the wall and then keep everything else simple. We want people to walk around a room and pick up on different things. The table should be festive but stylish, and not too over the top. Keep the colour scheme simple with three or four complementing shades. Personalised gifts at each of your guests’ place settings will be well received and it’s not Christmas without crackers!”
The small space conundrum “My apartment in New York is typically small, but I always reserve a corner for something Christmassy. Try to keep the lighting as bright as possible rather than
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dark, and never over clutter. You don’t want to make it feel claustrophobic, so don’t jam too much into a small space and string tinsel everywhere just because you want to wow people. Simple is the name of the game again here.”
The tree alternative
“Small spaces make it tricky to accomodate a tree, and if you’d rather not be picking pine needles out of your slippers for weeks afterwards, bouquets of beautiful flowers and scented candles are a good alternative to inject some festive spirit into your home.”
The entertainment “The vibe of any party is key. Ultimately, Christmas is one of the few times of the year when people can really let their hair down. Getting people up on the dance floor can be a challenge, so keep the music upbeat and the drinks flowing. For larger parties, live musicians are always fun as they can be interactive with your guests, which keeps the the party spirit alive. For a small gathering, some light background music is perfect, whether this is from your own playlist or a solo saxophone player or harpist. You don’t want to overwhelm everyone so they feel like they can’t talk among themselves.”
The host “Prep is the most important thing, so you’re not flustered on the day. Smile and relax. A good hostess is is unflappable and is able to enjoy the experience and this will very much come across to your guests.” rubyjevents.com
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FruitsLoom of the
Interior designer and co-founder of Firmdale Hotels Kit Kemp tells Lauren Romano about her creative vision, how she spins a yarn in every space she transforms and her new book Every Room Tells a Story
irmdale Hotels’ Kit Kemp isn’t a white emulsion kind of interior designer. Her love of colour is almost in the same league at Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s love of MDF. No two rooms in the boutique hotel empire that she founded with her husband Tim 30 years ago are the same. Vibrant, whimsical details and a kaleidoscopic rainbow of contrasting shades, prints and textures await. There are ten-foot-tall panthers, neon artwork, embroidered tailor’s mannequins in place of coat hooks, specially commissioned sculptures and trinkets sourced from around the globe. “Hotels should be living things, not stuffy institutions,” says the designer, who fell into the role because it was the only feasible way she could work alongside her property developer husband. “He and I have different ways of working, but we always agree in the end,” she smiles. “If he says something’s wrong, it usually is.” It’s been a busy couple of years for the pair. They launched their biggest hotel to date, Ham Yard, last year complete with a theatre, bowling alley and shopping
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strip, which occupies a vast plot in Soho, and are poised to open their second New York outpost. Kit’s latest book, Every Room Tells a Story is also out this month, which explores the power of design in setting a scene. Here she shares her design story so far…
Storytelling is at the heart of everything I do. The stories behind a certain fabric or an artist always pique my curiosity to know more. I weave their meaning into the tales I try to create in a room. It’s what makes a space intriguing beyond being just lovely to look at; stories draw you in, captivate your imagination and make you become a part of a narrative rather than standing on the outside simply looking in. This is why I decided to call my second book Every Room Tells a Story – to share the way a room can come to life in a way that is warm and welcoming but also spiritually uplifting and exciting.
No matter where I worked, I was always asked to redesign space in some way, shape or form. Ideas were never a problem and I was always a whizz on
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the sewing machine. When I met my husband Tim, I had my own graphics company called Barnacle Communique. He was a property developer and I was upgrading some of his properties. We decided to do something different and have a go at creating a small boutique hotel together, which was how Firmdale Hotels was born.
“It’s like baking a cake: I don’t want it to look like I bought it in a shop. It should have bits falling off the edge”
Staying in a hotel should be an adventure. Tim and I always felt disappointed staying in large hotels, which offer what felt like a vacuum-packed experience. Some hotels estranged us from the surroundings rather than making us feel part of the thrill of travelling. It is important to convey a sense of arrival and the character of a building should make you feel like an individual. The first hotel I designed was the Dorset Square Hotel in 1985. It was a Regency townhouse and was called the first country house hotel in London at the time. I had the opportunity to redo it from top to bottom in 2012. It was fantastic to totally reinvent the building and make it sing another song. I loved every minute of it and realised that even though we have grown up, our original enthusiasm and vision have stayed with us; the kernel of creativity remains intact.
objects we use are produced in the UK. I would rather pay a bit more to have them made close to home. The interior touches at my hotels are down to different craftsmen. If I’m inspired by their work, I commission them to create something. For instance, Sue Lawty designed the ribbon of pebbles in the entrance to the Haymarket Hotel when she was an artist in residence at the V&A.
My process of creation depends very much on the surrounding architecture and local area. For Ham Yard we embraced the bustling central location in the heart of Soho and absorbed the energy and vitality into creating spaces that buzz by using colour, pattern, texture and details that let your imagination run riot. At the moment I’m excited to be working on my second New York property, The Whitby Hotel, set to open mid-2016. It’s located on 56th Street between 5th & 6th Avenues. It is in such a fantastic location that our design will have to do it justice!
I’m so busy working on our hotels that I never get around to my own house. My home has a bit of a homemade look about it, which I like. I don’t think it should be too tailored. It’s like baking a cake: I don’t want it to look like I bought it in a shop. It should have bits falling off the edge. A home should tell a story about who lives there and that’s what my house is like. My personal style is colourful and carefree. I love folk art, handmade crafts, embroidery, collage and beautiful materials that last and feel good. Interiors should be fun – everyone should embrace colour.
My favourite building in London is The Natural History Museum which is opposite our design studio. Alfred Waterhouse’s Grade
Wherever I go, I've always got my eyes open for design. Whether it’s admiring the fabulous hand-dyed blankets in South America, the wonderful bright colours of Mexico or the metal work in India, I’m constantly looking at things with design in mind. I think pure minimalism is more of a masculine thing. I love good detailing and I think it’s definitely a feminine trait to want to make things cosier. I don’t think I have a recognisable trademark because I want every project to be considered individual, but certainly I have a recognisable hand: it comes from a love of fabrics, texture, tone and colour. My work should appeal to all the senses and be carefree and artless.
I-listed terracotta clad masterpiece is part of the backdrop of studio life and I never get bored of its presence or its celebration of the natural world. I find inspiration in the small details; the creatures carved into the walls seem both mythical and real. My children used to play in the gardens when they were at school. They accepted it as part of their childhood and I hope they will be influenced by it always.
Every Room Tells a Story by Kit Kemp, published by Hardie Grant, £30 firmdalehotels.com All photography by Simon Brown
In Ham Yard Hotel, there are three driftwood crocodiles suspended above the dancefloor in the bowling alley. Most of the
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Return of the mac Burberry has dedicated its Christmas campaign to the BAFTA award-winning film and musical Billy Elliot, which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. In the three-minute film directed by Burberry boss Christopher Bailey, a star-studded cast mimics the hit film’s famous opening sequence. Romeo Beckham, James Corden, Naomi Campbell and Sir Elton John are among the all-British team sporting Burberry’s signature cashmere scarves and trench coats. The film will run alongside a still campaign shot by Mario Testino to coincide with the release of the label’s festive collection. 121 Regent Street, W1B, burberry.com Image courtesy of Burberry
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Family news By Ellen Millard
Goldie locks Hanging out by the lockers might be frowned upon at school, but there are no problems with doing this in your own home. Deck out your children’s bedrooms with The Locker Collection’s range of quirky interiors, now available in the UK for the first time thanks to kids’ boutique Nubie. Take your pick from locker-inspired desks that wouldn't look out of place in Saved by the Bell, wooden wardrobes in dusty blue shades and tipi-shaped shelving units for storage solutions with a twist. From £75, nubie.co.uk
Whale of a time
Winnie the Pooh has his red T-shirt, Paddington his duffle coat, and Rupert his trusty yellow scarf, but the dapper bears of the fictional world aren’t a patch on Steiff’s latest offering – a limited edition bear sporting a stripy Mulberry jumper. The stylish ted should be snapped up quickly, as only 150 have been made.
Fans of The Gruffalo and Emily Brown and the Thing will love Jacksons Lane’s forthcoming play by Tall Stories, The Snail and the Whale. Charting the journey a snail takes riding on the fins of a humpback whale, the entertaining play, suitable for children aged four and above, brings Julia Donaldson’s muchloved book to life.
£12.95, 5 December – 3 January, 11am and 2pm Jacksons Lane, 269a Archway Road, N6, jacksonslane.org.uk
’Tis the season to be Polly Get your skates on Skateboarding isn’t usually the first thing you think of when winter arrives, and yet Paul Smith has designed his junior A/W15 collection with the sport in mind. Shunning the gloomy December weather of the capital for the sunsoaked skate parks of Venice Beach, Smith has designed maroon chinos, colourful jackets and beanie hats inspired by the proskaters of Los Angeles. Kneepads at the ready…
Nine months is a long time, and as your bump gets bigger so does the challenge of getting dressed. Luckily Just Polly has arrived. The stylish maternity wear brand is giving pregnancy a makeover with linen dresses, relaxed shirts and soft knits. Designed with discreet nursing panels and coordinating modesty blankets, fashion-conscious mums-to-be can stay stylish during and after pregnancy. From £19, justpolly.co.uk
From £11 paulsmith.co.uk
Copycats Not only do iCandy’s pushchairs make carting a newborn around all the more easier, but its latest mini MiPeach prams in Royal and Bubblegum will keep accompanying toddlers happy, too. The adorable buggies not only look like the real deal but feature the same reversible seat, puncture proof tires and enough space in the reclining chair for their favourite toy to join in the fun. £180, icandyworld.com
Double trouble Whether five or 35, many a doting daughter has borrowed from her mum’s wardrobe. But, if you don’t fancy having your Chloé jumper decorated with mashed banana, then the label’s kidswear collection is on hand to make a ‘mini-me’ transformation all the more possible. Comprising teal biker jackets, tan Chelsea boots and black faux fur coats, Chloé’s latest range is ideal for trendy tots who think of mum as their number one style icon. From £20, childrensalon.com
School of rock Fashion’s bad boy Jean Paul Gaultier has been rocking the sartorial scene since 1976 with his quirky style and punk-influenced collections. His kids’ range is a pared down version of his ready-to-wear line, and this season the focus is on clashing prints. Vibrant tartan and graphic shapes feature on trousers, shirts and couture dresses perfect for mini rock ‘n’ rollers. Team the look with some Dr Martens and hit the mosh (or sand) pit. From £31, alexandalexa.com
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Lauren Romano gets a blast from Christmas past on a visit to the newly reopened Toy Kingdom at Harrods
can’t remember the exact year of the best Christmas of all time, but judging by the grainy VHS recording of me ripping wrapping paper, my high ponytail complete with sequinned scrunchie swinging from side to side, it must have been around 1995. It was a pretty good year: the Spice Girls played on loop on my Walkman, I could drop The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air rap at will, cinnamon scented gel pens were the height of stationery sophistication and Melissa Joan Hart was Clarissa Darling (aka my style icon). And then to top
it off Santa left me the Dream Phone game under the tree. Admittedly my euphoria soon died down when I realised that my secret admirer was always Dale (I had to resign myself to the fact that dreamboat Steve was obviously playing hard to get), but still, Christmas didn’t get much better. As a grown-up you can only get so excited about cookbooks and boxsets, no matter how many glasses of fizz you’ve had before breakfast. Christmas just isn’t as fun when there aren’t Furbies, Mr Frosty Ice Makers and The Sims involved. If the young people
I spot glued to their screens on the Tube during half term are anything to go by, kids today are an altogether more advanced breed. After all, they know their way around a hashtag and they get around by Air Runner. To the tech-savvy, high-definition generation, Tamagotchis must look prehistoric, so the fact that my tour of Harrods’ newly reopened Toy Kingdom turned out to be a trip down memory lane was a welcome surprise. “Movie classics are set for a comeback in the world of toys,” Annalise Fard, director of home and toys at Harrods explains, name-checking films that even much older generations will remember. The hotly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens has spawned a new range of light sabers, robots, LEGO falcon spaceships – you name it, it’s probably got Luke Skywalker written all over it. The remake of Thunderbirds has propelled Jeff Tracy and his co-pilots back into the spotlight too. I’m at the Toy Kingdom seven weeks before Christmas. It’s taken months of renovation to get the toy department (which has been open since 1894) ready for the most important time of the year. Downstairs a throng
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of eager shoppers has formed hoping to be first in line for the Father Christmas grotto, and hundreds of pairs of little hands and streaming noses are pressed against the glass. Window dressing is a serious business (flick to page 14 to find out more) and this year Harrods has upped the ante with an animated film to run alongside its world-famous displays that have been designed to replicate stage sets. In the Burberry window, teddy bears enjoy a night out at the theatre, Balenciaga has a swinging circus performer and mice are busy manning the Stella McCartney production line. Meanwhile under the floorboards (which have been installed at children’s eye level) a flurry of festive critters are hard at work preparing a Christmas celebration of their own. As the clock strikes 10am and the guards unlock the doors the display is soon forgotten. By one minute past ten the floodgates are open and it’s every man, woman and child for themselves. Navigating Toy Kingdom is a bit overwhelming, so for those who want to arm themselves against the crowds and grab and go, the department has helpfully rounded up the top gifts for each of the 12 days of Christmas because partridges and pear trees just won’t cut it in 2015...
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Mane attraction From animatronic reindeers to six-foot tall giraffes, menacing polar bears and regal, national anthem-playing bears, Steiff has the monopoly on exemplary crafted teddies. This month sees the launch of a special Christmas bear, but if you’re shopping for something a little bit different, this lion is perfect for enacting scenes from The Lion King. Steiff Lion, £3,299
Brick by brick For a lesson in how to use LEGO, budding architects can take inspiration from the impressive Harrods model on display. It took a year to construct the replica of the department store, using a total of 72,000 pieces (including LEGO croissants as cornices). If you’ve yet to master a structurally sound twoup two-down then the LEGO advent calendar is a good place to start. Instead of a chocolate you might get a bulldozer, a plane or a street light.
Take the reins The first Game Boy computer games were launching when the Stevenson Brothers decided to set up a business making rocking horses. It was a brave move, but more than three decades later the twins are still crafting Ayres dapple greys and majestic chestnut thoroughbreds. Commission your own bespoke creation over at the toy concierge.
LEGO advent calendar, £22.95
All dolled up From eating cherries to wetting nappies, dolls have come a long way since the Cabbage Patch Kids. This year the doll every little girl wants in her replica Silver Cross pram is Charlotte, the Bonnie & Pearl creation with Rapunzel-like hair, a great wardrobe to match and ambitions to be a vet. Step aside Baby All Gone.
Stevenson Brothers rocking horse POA
Bonnie & Pearl Charlotte doll, £89.95
Off the scale The wheel deal Chances are your five-year-old won’t have mastered braking, let alone parallel parking, so this nifty little Henes Broon Ride-on runner is ideal. It’s operated by the road traffic controller (aka Mum and Dad), who will do all the tricky navigating so little ones can cruise on over to the playground without any collisions. Henes Broon Ride-on car, £1,499
Hot on the heels of Scalextric, Anki Overdrive is in pole-position to win the title of best racing car track of all time. Each vehicle has its own arsenal of weaponary, from flame-throwers to sonic beams, as well as different speeds and firepower. Download the Anki Overdrive app to channel your inner Lewis Hamilton from the sofa. Anki Overdrive Starter Kit, £149.99
We can’t let it go!
Memorising the words to the Frozen soundtrack might as well be on the Key Stage 1 National Curriculum. Never before has a Disney film caused such a stir. Elsa is everywhere; from walkietalkies and scooters to pencil cases and this Frozen Castle of Arendelle and Ice Palace playset, which comes with its own Olaf the snowman.
Weeks of planning go into a Blue Peter ‘here’s one I made earlier’. Anthea Turner made it look so easy, while we spent weeks collecting washing up liquid bottles and tin foil. The papier mâché Tracy Island didn’t exactly go to plan – the DIY take on the secret headquarters of Jeff Tracy left a lot to the imagination. Coming to the rescue, this playset has a secret compartment for the Thunderbirds vehicle – something no amount of PVA glue could ever achieve.
Disney Frozen playset, £179
Thunderbirds Tracy Island playset £79.95
Sindy says While Barbie has long had her obvious merits (namely Ken and the Dreamhouse) the elegant Sindys of old always had the best hairdos. So it’s crimpers and brushes to the ready following the news that American doll brand Tonner has bought back a range of the retro dolls, including this Just Like A Princess Sindy. Tonner Sindy Just Like A Princess doll, £129
Hogwarts and all It wouldn’t be Christmas without the annual repeat of Harry Potter on the box, or the annual explanation of the backstory to Grandad, before he falls asleep during the opening credits. Director David Yates is a fan of backstories too; his forthcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (also written by J.K. Rowling) documents the life of writer Newt Scamander 70 years before Harry reads his book at school. In anticipation of the release Warner Bros. has designed a corner of Toy Kingdom, filling it with Gryffindor jumpers, figurines and these replica wands. Harry Potter wand, £34.95
May the force be with you New look Barbie has undergone countless transformations over the years, but no matter whether she’s kitted out in her doctor’s scrubs or is topping up her Malibu tan in a two-piece, she has always stayed sassy. This year, to celebrate its tenth anniversary, Japanese lifestyle brand Tokidoki has designed two limited edition dolls that are exclusive to Harrods. The new Barbie has bubblegum pink hair, colourful body art and lots of attitude. Barbie Black Label Tokidoki doll, £77.95
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Unless you have been living in a galaxy far far away, it can’t have escaped your notice that the next instalment of the Star Wars saga is released this month. Among the sabers, Darth Vader busts and replica stormtrooper outfits, this small remotecontrolled BB-8 Droid robot is set to induce panic buying to rival that of Arnie in Jingle All the Way. They’ll be flying off the shelves faster than you can say Jedi. Star Wars BB-8 Droid £149 Vantage | 81
Every 2 minutes
someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer.
early diagnosis and treatment has led to a major increase in survival rates. our team of highly experienced consultants and oncologists will support you at every stage of your journey.
Call our team today www.thewellingtonhospital.com
020 7483 5000
Health & fitness news By Ellen Millard
ASK THE BODYDOCTOR
Come train or shine
David Marshall, aka the Bodydoctor, considers whether weight cardio training or resistance training is more effective for weight loss
Don’t let the winter weather rain on your workout parade. The second drop of NikeLab’s A/W15 Women’s Training collection has arrived and it offers stylish, practical sportswear inspired by the contours of the body. Including thermal tights, a training scarf and breathable wind breakers, the collection is ideal for exercising during the colder months. Now there really is no excuse. From a selection, nike.com
You time Crammed with ten essential oils, Olverum’s Bath Oil is a treat for the nose as well as the skin. Eucalyptus, lavender and juniper are just a few of the many ingredients packed into this aromatic concoction, which can help relieve stress as well as aching muscles and joints. Pour a generous dose into a steaming hot tub, lock the door and relax… £23.50 for 125ml, olverum.com
“Resistance is more beneficial to fat loss because muscle is the engine where fat is burnt. It’s a misconception that doing cardiovascular exercise will burn fat. How much fat you burn is only dictated by the amount of lean muscle you have. Think of it as the muscle being the engine; if you have a lot of muscle, you have a big engine. Big engines need a lot of fuel, so you have to create lean muscle. By that I don’t mean big muscles, I mean that your body composition is good and your body fat is low. Then you’ll have a faster metabolism and you burn more calories. You can take two genetically identical people and put one of them on a cardio programme and one of them on a resistance programme, and I know from more than 30 years of experience that the person doing the resistance programme will always lose more body fat. And they’ll probably increase their cardiovascular fitness just as much as someone doing a moderate cardiovascular programme.” For personal training or to sign up to the six-week fitness programme, contact David Marshall at The Bodydoctor, 36 South Audley Street W1, bodydoctor.com
On the move Bad news for Boris and his bikes: Ted Baker has teamed up with bicycle maker Quella to design three stylish made-to-order models that put Santander Cycles in the shade. Available in red, green or blue, each bicycle features copper plating, a steel frame and a Brooks England leather saddle and bar tape. Rather oddly inspired by salmon swimming upstream and the idea that we should all move against the current, Ted Baker has named the bikes after fish. Whether you choose the Redfinn, the Bluetail or the Greengill, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that your ride is off the scale. £1,995, quellabicycle.com lu x u r y l o n d o n .c o.u k
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Forecast the future of your health Good health and wellbeing is vital for success in both business and in life. Is it time you considered a health screen?
PRIVATE GP SERVICES AT THE WELLINGTON HOSPITAL Our private GP service provides: Blood tests • Immunisations • Travel vaccinations • General health checks including ECGs, urine tests, weight control, cholesterol and blood pressure checks • Wound care • Well women services, including family planning, cervical smears and breast checks
There has been a noticeable shift in the health and wellbeing advice coming from organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Sarah Cannon Research Institute and Cancer Research UK. Looking after your health increases the chance of avoiding problems later in life. Having a health check is one way to start. A basic wellbeing screening can give an overview of health issues including cholesterol, blood pressure and general state of mind. After all, if you don’t know your body’s current state, how are you going to make positive changes?
Why consider health screening?
Screening is also a way of finding out if a well person has a higher risk of health problems in the future. It enables earlier treatment and information, helping you make informed decisions about your wellbeing. Some reasons for undertaking screening include: 1 Peace of mind 2 Manage your lifestyle (lose weight, relieve stress etc). 3 Regular minor ailments or regularly feel tired 4 Family history of a condition 5 Family member recently diagnosed with a health problem
Types of tests
Considering your reasons can narrow down the type of test that suits you: • Wellbeing Screening – suitable for reasons 1, 2 and 3 • Area specific screening i.e. Breast, Bowel or Cervical Screening – suitable for reasons 1, 3, 4 and 5 • Genetic Testing – suitable for reasons 4 and 5. Counsellors are often favoured over health professionals; they can help determine if you need screening and offer support. • Fitness assessments - suitable for reasons 1 and 2, useful for those training for competitions as they can be tailored for specific sports
Where can I go for screening?
The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) advises the NHS on which screening programmes to offer. NHS England currently offers: • Cervical Screening for women aged 26-64. Offered every three years from ages 26-49, every five years between the ages of 50-64 • Breast Screening for women aged 50-70. Women over 70 can self-refer • Bowel Cancer Screening for men and women aged 5574, as a home testing kit or a bowel scope • Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening offered to men at 65 Additional health checks are available from private GPs or independent screening centres. If you don’t match NHS screening ages or have specific concerns, tests can be undertaken after a consultation with a health professional. Different packages are available, from basic blood and cholesterol, to more specific testing including audiology and prostate cancer. It is worth talking to your GP first to avoid unnecessary tests.
Many companies now offer employees access to occupational health teams and wellness screening. Every job holds different pressures affecting physical and mental health. Screening offers support while helping you to stay at the top of your game.
Things to consider
When considering screening, remember your body is unique, from food tolerance to activity levels. Be honest about your lifestyle and why you want a health check. The information you provide helps tailor tests to your needs.
You may need to make lifestyle changes for health screening to improve your wellbeing. Before going for screening, think about your routine. Consider keeping a diary, noting how you feel and what you eat and drink. Some questions to think about: • Do you exercise regularly, how often and what intensity? • Do you drink alcohol regularly? • Is your diet varied and balanced? • Do you smoke and how often? • How intense is your job? Do you regularly work more than 40 hours a week?
For further information, or if you would like to arrange an appointment at The Wellington Hospital, please contact the Enquiry Helpline on 020 7483 5000 or visit thewellingtonhospital.com
hOME & INTERIORS promotion
A Perfect Match Wren Kitchens presents an exclusive range of Linda Barker kitchens, incorporating the thoughtful finishing touches you’d expect from expert interior design specialist Linda Barker The collaboration between Wren Kitchens and Linda Barker began back in 2012 when Wren Kitchens donated a kitchen to a family of flood victims, which was shown on a programme that Linda was presenting. Wren started talking to Linda and it soon became clear that they shared the same values; Wren are proud to be a family-owned business, with roots in Yorkshire where Linda herself is also from. Linda admired Wren’s ambition to completely transform the UK kitchen market, and the collaboration blossomed from there, with Linda becoming Wren’s creative director. They soon began working on an exclusive kitchen collection which would provide consumers with the biggest choice of kitchen door styles and colours in the UK, all manufactured in the UK at Wren’s own factories in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. This collection was a year in the making, and launched UKwide at the end of 2013. There are eight door styles to explore and 40 sumptuous shades chosen exclusively by Linda herself for her collection, each available in a gloss, eggshell or matt finish. Traditional dovetail jointing on solid oak drawer boxes reflects the level of quality: another opulent feature unique to the Linda Barker collection, which comes with a lifetime guarantee. Last year Linda had her own Wren kitchen installed in her beautiful Yorkshire home. She wanted to make the most of the space, creating an environment where she could entertain and enjoy the countryside through her floor-toceiling windows. She chose the sculptured door style with complementary colour palette, combining Gullwing, Royal Purple and Damson to great effect. “All the internal fittings are beautifully lined in oak, and the design maximises the space available, so that, although no structural changes were made, I feel as if I have a much bigger kitchen with more storage space.” Linda is now heavily involved with Wren’s kitchen designer training at its head office, ‘The Nest’ in North Lincolnshire. At the end of the designers’ two-week induction, Linda provides a specialist interior design session, encouraging trainees to experiment with colour and offering advice on everything from kitchen layouts to the latest appliances and trends. Linda has become a part of the Wren family, but she is more than just the face of Wren, it’s a synergy that is cemented in her passion for interiors and love of the brand. To view the entire range and book a design appointment, visit wrenkitchens.com
Season’s eatings If your true love is struggling to get hold of three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree, then why not ask for a tasty treat from Melrose and Morgan instead? The grocer is celebrating 12 years in business, and to mark the occasion it will be holding a 12-day Christmas countdown with recipes, prizes and tips. What’s more, seasonal treats will be on sale during the festive period, including the shop’s award-winning marzipan topped Christmas cake (pictured), a traditional plum pudding and jewelled mince pies. Elasticated waistbands at the ready… 42 Gloucester Avenue, NW1 melroseandmorgan.com
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Work it out If you spot Bavarian javelin throwers Franz and Hans bulking up on bratwurst at The German Gymnasium, don’t read too much into it. The new dining destination in King’s Cross is so named because it’s made itself at home in a former gym. It’s London’s oldest, and opened in 1865 as a purpose-built training space for the German Gymnastics Society. The complex incorporates a huge restaurant, grand café, bars and a terrace and serves central European dishes like veal schnitzel or beef broth with shaved black truffle. And if that’s not enough to get you taking a detour from SoulCycle, it’s the only gym we know that has a patisserie counter filled with homemade doughnuts, Sachertorte and strudel. The detox can wait until January. 1 King’s Boulevard, N1C germangymnasium.com
Food & drink news By Lauren Romano
The whole nine yards You might not recognise his name, but you’ve probably seen Jun Tanaka cooking on Saturday Kitchen or manning one of his popular Street Kitchen Airstreams. Fresh from The Pearl in Holborn, Tanaka is set to open his first solo restaurant The Ninth (it’s the ninth restaurant he has worked at, in case you’re wondering). The Frenchleaning Mediterranean neighbourhood bistro is designed by the people behind Odette’s in Primrose Hill. There’s a bar on the ground floor and an upstairs dining room where oxtail croquettes, razor clam ceviche, salted beef cheeks and other pickled, brined and cured specialities will feature on the sharing menu. What was that name again?
It’s blinis at the ready at 45 Jermyn Street, Fortnum & Mason’s new all-day dining room, which replaces the 60-year-old The Fountain restaurant. Around-the-clock eats include marmite crumpets with fried eggs, snails with gorgonzola and garlic butter and late night monkfish curries (supper is served from 10pm), but the biggest buzz has been reserved for the roaming caviar trolley, laden with Iranian Beluga 000, Golden Oscietra and Siberian Sturgeon pearls that are weighed at the table and served with toast, baked new potatoes and scrambled eggs. 45 Jermyn Street, SW1 45jermynst.com
The second coming Japanese chef Yoshihiro Murata might have seven Michelin stars for his restaurants in Kyoto and Tokyo, but his first attempt to crack the UK with Chrysan in 2012 was short lived. He’s hoping it’s second time lucky as he opens Tokimeitē. With Wagyu beef, sake and skewers from the robata grill on the menu it looks as though he’ll be sticking around a little longer. 23 Conduit Street, W1S, tokimeite.com
22 Charlotte Street, W1T theninthlondon.com
The Holly and the Ivy We’ve had the original, the Market Grill and the (Chelsea) Garden – now for the café. Lauren Romano tries out The Ivy’s latest opening in Marylebone Lane
hen it comes to restaurants, hype can be both a blessing and a curse. You might have a soft spot for the likes of Bao, Portland and Kitty Fisher’s, but so does everybody else. And so sincere is this mass appreciation of steamed buns and lamb cutlets that every table, bar stool and sofa will be permanently occupied, even at 6pm on a Monday evening. The undisputed blockbuster opening of the year, Sexy Fish, has had the paparazzi working overtime and everyone else stuck on hold waiting to reserve a table in eyeshot of the Beckhams this side of Christmas. But over in Marylebone, another of Caprice Holdings’ latest venues, The Ivy Café, has arrived with less fanfare. Its predecessor needs little introduction. After nearly 100 years serving fish and chips to an Ivor Novellodecorated crowd, The Ivy had a facelift in the spring. Since then it has spawned several new outposts, with spinoffs in Covent Garden, Chelsea and now Marylebone. The ‘café’ is unmistakably part of the family; there’s an antique brass top bar, marble floor tiles and bulbous pendant lighting dimmed low. The immaculately whiteclothed tables are pushed close enough together for whispers to drift between those huddled over their chicken liver parfait. Mobiles are frowned upon, so thankfully there’s no alternative but to make conversation or eavesdrop on someone else’s. The all-day menu has everything covered, from breakfast crumpets to post theatre sirloin steaks. We start with a couple of Garden of the Abbey cocktails, a refreshing blend of elderflower vodka, cucumber, apple, lime and cider sparkle as we wait for the starters. I smell the white onion soup
I smell the white onion soup before it arrives, with an oversized flaky cheese straw angled precariously
Garden of the Abbey cocktail Photo © Paul WinchFurness
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before it arrives, with an oversized flaky cheese straw angled precariously from the velvety stew. The buffalo mozzarella with roasted squash, pumpkin seeds, sourdough croutons and flecks of red chilli sits in indulgent puddles of cream that cut through the sweet, hot and nutty melange of flavours beautifully. We bypass the rest of the menu and head straight for the classics. I have high hopes for the famous Ivy shepherd’s pie and it doesn’t disappoint, although in my haste I burn my tongue with the first forkful of piping hot Keen’s cheddar-laced mash. A fruity Tempranillo momentarily distracts me as I wait for the slow braised chunks of lamb shoulder to cool to a less lava-like temperature, as does a similarly comforting salmon and smoked haddock fish cake drenched in hollandaise sauce. The flourless chocolate cake with kirsch-soaked cherries is not as light as I imagined it would be, but the tangy mango and blood orange sorbets make up for it. There might not be as much hype about The Ivy Café as some other openings this month, but like the original, it won’t be long before it needs no introduction. And in the meantime you can still get a table without having the reservation line on speed dial. 96 Marylebone Lane, W1U theivycafemarylebone.com
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Circumstance Sam Bompas, one half of experimental dining duo Bompas & Parr, talks to Annabel Harrison about the British Museum of Food, his brand’s most outlandish and curious creations and exactly how he plans to make use of a full-scale iceberg
n hour into researching the achievements of Bompas & Parr, I am struck by piquant job envy. I do love my own job, but after browsing through the kaleidoscopically bright website, showcasing projects ranging from meat jewellery and multisensory fireworks to coffee in space and cooking with lava (or lightning – whatever strikes your fancy), I am sure that I could get used to this fantastical world. Sam Bompas and Harry Parr started off as jellymongers (what a profession) so their areas of collective expertise include jelly, installations, feasting and parties, cocktails and canapés and products (they’ve also published four books to date). They’re partial to a good banquet, whether it hinges on ‘architectural jelly’, being ‘upside down’ or ‘dirt’. Even their brand name, although a simple surname hybrid, sounds like a 20th century village sweetshop, which I imagine would be owned by two curmudgeonly gentlemen and stocked with shelf after shelf of glass jars, filled with toffees, bonbons, humbugs and liquorice. I digress but, as I realise when speaking to Sam that afternoon, digression is a Bompas & Parr strength. Conversation topics, although all foodrelated, leapfrog from bananas to Bake Off via Borough Market, icebergs and the digestive bolus. From L-R: Cooking with lightning, image courtesy of Bompas & Parr; an adventure hamper © Nathan Pask
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Sam has an offbeat sense of humour. His answer to ‘what is luxury to you?’ is “gourmet bathing. I love luxurious communal bathing experiences” – and I just can’t tell if he’s joking. He is “about storytelling”, he tells me. “To use a restaurant analogy [to describe our partnership], I’d do all the front of house stuff and Harry would be in the kitchen making everything”. The duo specialises in “flavour-based experience design, culinary research, architectural installations and contemporary food design” and I believe their latest project, the British Museum of Food, will become their largest and most enduring. What’s behind this colossus of an idea? “We thought: ‘Why hasn’t a British Museum of Food been done before?’ so we decided to build it,” Sam replies. Clearly the Bompas & Parr team is not hampered by the faff of hierarchical decision making. “Food is very much part of the zeitgeist; it’s moved in terms of the way that people define their identities, largely thanks to social media. Food is now the most photographed thing in the world. We want to do something a little bit like what the Design Museum is doing with design but for food,” he continues. “We do a lot of work with it, so we’re well placed to make something extraordinary with something that’s perishable, to give people compelling experiences without having to sit down and have a meal.” The British Museum of Food will be based in Borough Market – “our dream location” – until January before moving to a more permanent home.
“ If money were no object, Sam would drag an iceberg from the Arctic Circle down to New York and turn it into cocktails”
Sam explains that the museum aims to explore food as entertainment and to invite us to reassess our relationship with it. He is most excited by The Butterfly Effect section, which explores global food security. “While being a very important issue, it’s not very sexy so we thought the way to bring it to life on site is to have a butterfly house where you’ll be able to interact with the pollinating insects keeping bananas alive, while sneaking in some learning too.” Be the Bolus area will allow us to “learn about the digestive tract and how important it is, in the most visceral way
possible”. He stresses that this will not be a typical museum: “We don’t want to make a temple to sacred objects. We want to create a living, breathing, active experience where people can come and be part of the creative process and to start the debate about what the British Museum of Food should be.” Its motto is ‘from Field to Table, Mouth and Beyond’… and to be honest, ‘beyond’ typifies almost any Bompas & Parr pursuit. Sam’s interest in food as an extraordinary substance began in childhood. “The very first cookbook I had was Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes… Actually in our professional career, in many cases inadvertently, we have done some of his most epic dishes – from waterfalls that mix chocolate to the world’s first flavour-changing chewing gum.” His earliest food-related memory is going to Medieval Times in LA, where “meat is served by wenches and diners cheer for knights in armour bashing each other with maces. It’s when I first experienced the integration of dining and theatre – how you bring other art forms into the culinary realm to give people something that is even more exciting than a normal meal. [At the museum], we want to generate a sense of wonder about what’s going into people’s mouths, as happens at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but experiences need to be entertaining and informative as well.” It’s clear that Sam and Harry are leading the charge in a new era of culinary champions; the so-called ‘celebrity chefs’ have had their moment and now it’s about what Sam calls “food heroes”. I’d consider Bompas and Parr two of these, while Sam mentions the amateur cooks winning Bake Off and local artisans, namechecking some of his favourite traders at Borough Market. “We love Utobeer and The Rake, the original craft beer site in London. I love Soul Food too, and Bread
Ahead, set up by Justin Gellatly, head pastry chef at St John. It does the most wildly brilliant doughnuts in all the land.” ‘Wildly brilliant’ is a phrase that nods to Sam’s descriptive turns of phrase and passion for food. If it were an emotion, to Sam it would be “joy and generosity” and he describes his last supper so vividly I can almost taste it. “I’ll work backwards. We’ll finish with a jelly, which is very close to our wobbly hearts – it’s quite celebratory and uplifting as well – so perhaps elderflower and champagne stuffed full of raspberries. For the main course, the most epic meat cooked with volcanic lava, using 1,000-yearold rock, heated to 1,350 degrees for the most intense meal possible. We’d use our breathable cloud of cocktail to start – it’s nice and boozy but leaves the stomach free for what’s yet to come.” Imaginations run wild at Bompas & Parr. They have an extensive library, housing not only cookbooks but also tomes on topics as varied as “pyrotechnics, chemistry, alchemy, history and ideas about popular spectacles across time” and research leads to kernels of ideas that experts can then help bring to fruition. Sam and Harry have recently commissioned a chalice made out of a human skull – “which has the signs of the zodiac on it so you can sup libations through your very own star sign” – and if money were no object, Sam would “drag an iceberg from the Arctic Circle down to New York and then turn that into cocktails. We’ve worked with a physicist at Cambridge University who has proven that it is a thousand times more energy efficient than using conventional ice makers. We have an environmental impetus as well. I can’t wait to do it!” The British Museum of Food is now open bmof.org; bompasandparr.com
Clockwise from top left: Experimenting with liquid nitrogen in the kitchen © Stefan Braun; an eye-catching jelly © Ann Charlott Ommedal; party food with a twist © Nathan Pask; a wedding jelly banquet © Chris Terry
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the art of TRAVEL The Kate escape If you’re still on the hunt for an extra special Christmas present for your nearest and dearest and have £2.5 million to spare, what about a Cotswolds bolthole designed by Kate Moss? The supermodel has partnered with country estate The Lakes by yoo to design a fivebedroom holiday home. Set in 650 forest-filled acres, The Barnhouse is billed as a home from home, if your pad happens to have an outdoor pool, artwork by Damien Hirst and a bespoke mirrored four-poster bed, that is. As well as canoeing, fishing and sailing on the doorstep, the exclusive lakeside development offers the serene Orchard Spa together with personal training from the Matt Roberts team, private chefs and room service for those who want a taste of the model lifestyle. Wrapping paper not included. The Barnhouse, from £2.5m, thelakesbyyoo.com
Photo by Mel Yates, courtesy of thelakesbyyoo.com
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Travel news By Lauren Romano
Expect gingerbread houses and handcrafted presents galore as Berlin pulls out all the stops at its sprawling Christmas market The festive season is a divisive time of year. Those who have been swaddled in thermals since October prepare to jet off in search of winter sun faster than you can say ‘flu jab’, while others turn up Bing Crosby and dream of a white Christmas. It’s the latter who will be enchanted by Berlin in December. There are plenty of reasons to visit the city – from its history to its experimental art scene – but arrive at Christmas and you won’t be able to escape the festive markets, 50 of which spring up across the city. The biggest is found around KaiserWilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, where a 20-metre tall fir tree and hundreds of stalls selling artwork, decorations and mulled wine are rolled in for the occasion, bringing two million visitors a year in their wake.
Your toes might be numb by the time you’ve fought the world and his wife to the front of the stollen queue, but you can warm up back at Das Stue. The boutique hotel overlooks the Tiergarten and Berlin Zoo and offers uninterrupted views of the animal kingdom from its 23 generously sized suites. Inside, nooks and crannies have been transformed into cosy reading corners and the charcoal grey colour scheme offers a canvas for bright artwork and sculptures. The best room in the house, the Bel Etage suite, comes with use of an Audi sports car, so you can cruise the city in style before heading to dinner at 5 Cinco for a tasting menu by Michelin-starred chef Paco Pérez.
Rooms from €231 a night, das-stue.com
Food glorious food
Witness the fitness It’s estimated that four million Brits take a career break due to stress. Armed with these statistics, the team at Health and Fitness Travel has launched the ultimate wellness trip. Twenty countries can be incorporated into a year-long itinerary that includes yoga classes in the Caribbean and tai chi on Vietnam’s Marble Mountains. Adventurous types can hike 700m up the Gros Pitons in St Lucia, zipline through the rainforest, or safari in South Africa, and return with a weight lifted from their shoulders (and bank balance).
Tea thyme You’re never far from your next meal at Thyme. The cuisine at the idyllic country estate in the Cotswolds is dictated by the seasons and the abundance of natural produce found nearby. Its awardwinning cookery school follows ingredients from planting to the plate and hosts demonstrations, garden tours and foraging lessons. Classes cover everything from Indian spices to bread making and you can get all the family around the stove for a bespoke session.
From £156,000 healthandfitnesstravel.com
Cookery classes from £145 thyme.co.uk
First Porto call If you think dry January is overrated you’ll be in good company at The Yeatman Hotel in Porto, which is launching a wine school early next year. In preparation, wine director Beatriz Machado will be previewing the school at the Christmas Wine Weekend from 3-6 December. With more than 25,000 bottles in its extensive wine cellar, guests will be given a crash course in the 1,300 Portuguese varieties, including Porto’s signature fortified Port, learn about the different wine regions and their distinctions and have the opportunity to quiz the producers. It’s a new year’s resolution we can drink to. From €245 a night, the-yeatman-hotel.com
Life of Thai Patong is a backpacker’s rite of passage. But if its nightclubs and bars have worn you out, head to Keemala, which opens this month. It’s tucked away in the rainforest with views of the Andaman Sea in the distance. The wellness-focused retreat consists of 38 pool villas constructed from intricate woven frames nestled among the foliage. Good health and wellbeing is at the top of the agenda here: the hotel offers talks on traditional Asian healing methods, yoga and meditation classes as well as nature walks. Get better acquainted with the new you at the tranquil spa before hopping on the fiveminute shuttle bus to Kamala beach.
Oceans apart Shanti Maurice in Mauritius has launched a new food concept, Aquacasia, to celebrate the culinary diversity of the Indian Ocean’s islands. Chef Willibald Reinbacher travelled to Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, the Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Réunion and Indonesia to pick up inspiration from food traders keen to share their family recipes. The end result is a menu of more than 50 indigenous dishes, served at the hotel’s laidback restaurant Stars, which is dangerously close to the in-house Rum Shed. From £235 a night shantimaurice.com
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Suite Dreams When it comes to presents good things might come in small packages, but the same can’t be said of hotel suites. Vantage checks into the best rooms in town
here’s nothing like family feuds bubbling to the surface after a glass of Buck’s Fizz, or a ruthless Monopoly land-grab with your nearest and dearest to make the Christmas cheer quickly wear thin. If you want to escape the festive cabin fever without stepping foot on a plane or getting stuck in an traffic jam with nothing but The Pogues on loop on the radio, hang up your paper party hat, hail down a cab and enjoy a staycation in one of London’s most sumptuous suites...
Royal Suite, Mandarin Oriental Best for: Scenery and shopping A stay at The Royal Suite at the Mandarin Oriental offers the best of both worlds. On the one hand you, and up to 40 guests (should you choose to extend the invitation), can relax and enjoy the views out over Hyde Park. And on the other, buzzing Knightsbridge and its array of boutiques and department stores is right on the doorstep. Inside there’s plenty more going for the three-bedroom suite. The décor is sumptuous yet comfortable; the colour palette of golds, duck-egg blues and aubergine embossed wallpaper is offset by contemporary styling and novel details such as fibre optic chandeliers in the bathroom and steam room.
And if the prospect of having your own steam room wasn’t enough to contemplate moving in permanently, guests will enjoy surveying the selection of artworks from Halcyon Gallery on the walls, which are available to buy, should you wish to treat yourself.
Don’t forget to: Ditch the sprouts and book a table at Dinner by Heston Blumenthal From £18,000 a night, mandarinoriental.com
Oscar Suite, Hotel Café Royal Best for: Design devotees Hotel Café Royal has been the place to let down one’s hair since 1865. From Oscar Wilde to the abdicating Edward VIII, tête-à-têtes in the infamous Grill Room have been helped along the way throughout the decades thanks, in part, to the exemplar wine list. Opened by a bankrupt French wine merchant fleeing the clutches of his Parisian creditors, Hotel Café Royal has a reputation for having one of the best wine cellars in the world. After a four-year renovation Café Royal reopened in 2012 as a hotel. Today corks from French wines continue to be popped alongside another distinctly Gallic tipple: absinthe, which flows from fountains in the Green Bar. Elsewhere the much-loved Grill Room of old has been transformed into the Oscar Wilde Bar where the original Louis XVI décor has been preserved in all its gilded gold glory and champagne is the order of the day. And this is all before you make it upstairs.
Set above bustling Regent Street, the seven signature suites and two wings are eclectically styled – from the Club Suite, whose cameo paintings depict the changing face of Napoleon through the ages, to the Tudor Suite with enough mock wooden panelling to please Henry VIII. The Dome Penthouse, with its show-stopping copper rotunda (complete with an LED lighting system projected onto the domed ceiling to get the party started) is particularly impressive. If you’re not planning to throw a soirée, however, the set-up in the Oscar suite should suffice. Nestled in the eaves of the hotel the one-bedroom space has an effortlessly impressive oriental charm that is a far cry from the often formulaic style found in most hotel rooms. The bed, with its Frette linen, is the stuff that power-napping dreams are made of, especially when you can nod off safe in the knowledge that you’ll wake up to a dip in the Carrara marble bath. Douse yourself in Floris bath products, light some candles and put your relaxation playlist on the wireless stereo so you can listen to Driving Home for Christmas without actually driving anywhere at all.
Nestled in the eaves of the hotel the one-bedroom space has an effortlessly impressive oriental charm
Don’t forget to: Check out The Club at Café Royal. Suite stayers get access to creative hub the Studio for networking and relaxing as well as The Domino restaurant. From £2,195 a night, hotelcaferoyal.com
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Shangri-La Suite, Shangri-La at The Shard Best for: A room with a view Why settle for just a butler when you can have a private chef and chauffeur too? The hospitality dream team presiding over the Shangri-La Suite has every aspect of your stay covered, but in typical Shangri-La fashion, the squad exists discreetly in the background, second guessing your every whim and executing it with flawless precision. It might not be quite up in the clouds, but the largest suite within the hotel is situated on the 39th floor, where the views are undoubtedly the clincher. The sense of perspective shifts at every turn offering a moving portrait of London that is impossible to take your eyes off. There’s even a telescope so you can play eye spy with the likes of the Tate Modern, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tower Bridge and the City of London. As the (private) lift pings shut behind you, there’s 188 square metres of living space to enjoy. It is sprawling. Creative gurus Francesca Muzio and Maria Silvia Orlandini have not scrimped on the finishings; from silk wallpaper and bespoke furniture to a Bose sound system installed throughout and what has got to be the capital’s best tub. Found in a choice spot looking out over a horizon of skyscrapers, on a good day you can see for 40 miles as the Jacuzzi bubbles away. Specially integrated sun-shielding windows mean you won’t be
On a good day you can see for 40 miles as the Jacuzzi bubbles away
blinded by the (demonstrably absent) winter sun either. The high-tech streak continues in the bedroom too, with patented bodycontouring mattresses that are so good you might have to summon your butler to bring you breakfast in bed, prepared in the butler’s pantry. If you do manage to tear yourself away from your suite for a couple of hours, hit Ting restaurant to sample the exquisite European menu with subtle Asian influences, including signature dishes like Welsh lamb glazed with mirin, sake and soy sauce. Found on level 52 is the vertigo-inducing Skypool where you can work off the fusion food with some lengths while enjoying the sights of St Paul’s Cathedral, the London Eye and Westminster. The Shangri-La Suite might be one of the most expensive in the capital, but birdseye views of some of London’s most famous landmarks are, as they say, priceless.
Don’t forget to: Enjoy a sunset cocktail at Gŏng, the destination bar on the 52nd floor. From £10,000 a night, Shangri-la.com
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Daniella Isaacs heads off the beaten track, enjoying the waves and wine on the east coast of Australia from Byron Bay to Barossa Valley ďƒľ
Byron Bay Headland, Australia
s tourist traps go, our Stonehenge, Buckingham Palace and Brighton Pier seem rather pedestrian when compared with the likes of the Sydney Opera House, Ayers Rock and the Great Barrier Reef, not to mention the year-round sunshine and, if an episode of Home and Away is anything to go by, a bikini-clad population that keeps business ticking over nicely at many a modelling agency. These sights top popular destinations lists, but there are plenty more where they came from, found dotted along Australiaâ€™s rugged east coast. Whether you want to sip the finest Shiraz in the panoramic Barossa Valley, surf the waves in bohemian Byron or snorkel from a secluded bay off Hayman Island, add these hotels to your holiday down under wish listâ€Ś
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The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa If there is one spot on the east coast of Australia that acts as a sanctuary for wellbeing, relaxation and natural beauty, then Byron Bay is it. Byron is blessed with the perfect waves, the perfect climate, and (frustratingly) endless perfect-looking people. Relaxation is the name of the game at The Byron at Byron. Private timber boardwalks meander through the rainforest to stunning Lake Tallow, passing romantic bridges, pagodas, creeks and ponds. The 92 suites are hidden away within this stretch of rainforest where wallabies chill in the trees and native birds can be heard humming all day long. It’s a truly magical spot. The wellness team organise daily yoga sessions on the spa deck as well as a self-guided meditation walk at sunset, which turns out to be a smooth introduction to bohemian Byron life. If the daily stresses still haven’t lifted, then booking into the wellness centre will do the trick. With six treatment rooms and more than 30 treatments to choose from, the focus is on providing utter relaxation. The Ultimate Face and Body Therapy is a must; commencing with an invigorating body brush, the scrub is followed by a full body aromatic massage as well as a sleep-inducing salt foot bath. I ditch the gym (although it is open 24 hours a day for anyone that way inclined) and head for the 25-metre infinity pool, where my lap
Although it’s very easy to spend the entire holiday lazing, it is worth venturing out of the hotel to explore the beauty of the bay
target is soon forgotten as I hit the Balinese beds instead for a post front crawl lounge, Martini in hand. Afterwards a trip to the hotel’s restaurant is a must. Steamed mussels with kaffir, chilli, lemongrass and lime is just one example of the fusion dishes that Aussies do so well. It’s hard to eat badly in Oz, and the menu at The Byron celebrates east coast produce with passion. Although it’s very easy to spend the entire holiday lazing, it is worth venturing out of the hotel on one of its vintage shopper bikes to explore the beauty of the bay. Cycle to the Cape Byron Lighthouse – a perfect spot for watching the sun set behind huge waves. The hotel also offers free tours to the local farmers’ market on a Thursday morning where guests can sample the vibrancy of the local produce. Be sure to walk over the road to Roadhouse Bay for a typically Australian brunch or to listen to some live blues come evening. The younger crowd should leave the bikes at home and head to La La Land – a buzzy rooftop cocktail bar where surfer staff rustle up potent creations that’ll make your head sore in the morning. Thankfully at The Byron they’ll be a sun lounger with your name on it the next day. From £172 per night, thebyronatbyron.com.au
One&Only, Hayman Island As the plane descends over the glistening waters surrounding the Whitsunday Islands, I am deep in thought about what motivates us to jet off and relocate somewhere new. Perhaps the primary reason for voyaging to the other side of the world is to get almost as far away as is literally possible from it all. When we clock on to holiday time, daily stresses dissolve, and for once we can be as selfish as we want in deciding what we want to do and how we want to do it. And I can think of no better destination to experience this glorified existence than the One&Only Hayman Island. Proceedings begin (as all should) with a glass of Perrier-Jouët as we are greeted and led to the Sun Goddess (One&Only’s cruiser) for a 50-minute boat ride to the island. The short journey skimming the Coral Sea provides the perfect opportunity to witness the glory of the Whitsunday archipelago; out of 74 islands only seven are inhabited and sparsely at that. As I view the sandy coves scattered in the distance I imagine that Hayman looks just as it did hundreds, if not thousands of years ago; pristine beaches, scrubby mountain peaks and a shoreline illuminated by shoals of electric coral fish. The only slight difference perhaps is that today upon this tiny strip of civilisation, 500 linen-clad staff are waiting in the distance to attend to our every need. As the boat anchors in the small harbour the welcome party pulls up with a phalanx of golf buggies in tow. There is a choice of three distinct resting spots on
The star treatment here is the Ocean Dreaming massage, where the appointment time is subject to the day’s tides
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the island. If you enjoy taking an early morning dip, then a villa in the One&Only Pool Wing should be top choice. The pool here is the real deal; an inviting 8.7 million litres of crystal clear ocean have made their way into its shimmering depths. If you’d rather take every opportunity to feel the warm white sands between your toes then the Beach Wing is just as exclusive, and each villa features a private plunge pool with a back door that leads straight onto the shore. Rumour has it that Mariah Carey opted for one of these totally secluded villas on a family holiday last year. Unlike Mariah, I choose to stay in the Hayman Island Wing Suite, which surpasses all my diva needs. Understated elegance, pale linen furnishings, Acqua di Parma toiletries, egg baths for two and the crowning glory: a muslin-draped king-size bed which looks so inviting that it is seriously tempting to spend my first afternoon tucked up between the sheets. I resist; if this holiday is the chance for me to live the A-list version of life then there is a lot more to tick off the list. The first strikethrough comes at the spa, which is inspired by the natural surroundings of the Whitsundays. On arrival, I am handed a glass of iced herbal tea and the afternoon quickly passes in a haze of fragrant essential oils. The star treatment here is the Ocean Dreaming massage, where the appointment time is subject to the day’s tides. Guests are taken onto the beach and are then invited to recline on a massage bed that looks out onto the turquoise sea. As the tide comes in the bed bobs along on the relaxing waves. Post massage I up the relaxation factor with a Pedi:Mani signature treatment (there are only 15 studios in the world, so I know my digits are in good hands). The therapist spends 90 minutes addressing my poorly kept toes. He buffs, exfoliates and massages until my nails are sparkling, so much so that I cannot wait to show them off and slip on my gold wedges for a very special dinner. I take my seat at the hottest table on the island – Paspaley Chef’s Table – with the dozen other hotel guests. The evening commences with pearl-inspired cocktails (a heady mix of coconut milk, chilli, rum
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and freshly squeezed pineapple juice), which we sip on the beach illuminated by fire torches. We are then led through the surprisingly calm kitchen where the head chef is waiting to beguile us with his tasting menu. The seven-course meal includes some of the finest seafood I have ever tasted but it is the final course which has us all raving – a chocolate dome filled with honeycomb pieces and chocolate praline which slowly melts as we pour hazelnut sauce over the gold leaf-covered surface. Dinner finishes with a delightful nightcap and I sink into bed dreaming of the following day’s perfectly planned itinerary. After sampling almost everything on the breakfast buffet, I work it off with a circuit-based Bodyism training session, divised by trainer to the stars James Duigan (if he’s good enough for Rosie Huntington-Whiteley…). Just as I begin to worry that my itinerary is too strenuous for a true utopian existence, I am jetted
off in a small speedboat to the secluded Blue Pearl Bay and am given a deck chair, wicker picnic basket, snorkel and wetsuit. The driver bids me goodbye and promises to return whenever I have had enough of island bliss. Hours are spent chasing the flash and glimmer of the coral fish. It’s nothing short of mindblowing to see a world of coral formations thriving around my feet in the shallow waters. Back on dry land I spend my final evening at one of the resort’s restaurants Amici. A woodfire (gluten free) pizza partnered with a large glass of Pinot Noir provides the perfect finale to my trip (although the trainer at Bodyism would no doubt disagree). As I watch the island dissolve in the distance the next morning, I feel confident in the knowledge that I have succeeded in my mission to find the good life. From £400 per night, hayman.oneandonlyresorts.com
The Louise, Barossa Valley History hangs as heavy in the air as the smell of fermenting grapes in Barossa. Many of the wineries have been operating here since German immigrants settled among these low rolling hills in the early 19th century and planted vines to ensure they would have a delicious accompaniment for their strudel and bratwurst. Driving the short and scenic route from the bustling city of Adelaide, a sense of calm descends on first glance of the lush vineyards that define the region. The Louise sits right in the centre of the valley and is the perfect spot to experience all there is to offer in the wine haven. Surrounded by leafy vineyards, which are ripe with activity on my trip as it is vintage season, this small country hotel sums up all that the Barossa is famed for; great food, even better wine and endless
opportunities for panoramic vistas. The 15 secluded suites sit on the hillside with views of the tumbling, endless stretches of vineyard below. The charm of the hotel and the region in general comes from the overwhelming sense of old-fashioned community spirit. Chris Gattermayr and her husband Werner have been offering tours of the valley for more than 20 years (head to barossavalleytours.com if you’re interested). As they drive their guests down winding roads, the couple give a friendly wave to the locals passing by and stop off at only the most revered cellar doors to taste the elite list of wines. Top choice is the 164-year old Seppeltsfield Winery, which offers a very special historical experience. Each visitor gets the chance to sample a tawny port, which
has been preserved since the year of his or her birth. My great aunt’s very mature 103-year-old tipple is so sweet it tastes like a dessert in a glass. The winery also houses Fino, a delicious Italian tapas eatery – the perfect place to refuel after a morning of tasting. Other top spots for oenophiles include Rockford, which uses pioneer-era equipment to create a stellar range of wines. It’s worth sipping on its muchadmired sparkling Black Shiraz while watching the team hard at work. The Louise knows exactly how to care for its (slightly inebriated) guests. On returning from a day of winetasting, it offers an in-room massage, which turns out to be the perfect precursor to a deep and satisfying slumber. But be sure to set an alarm for your power nap because you cannot make a visit to The Louise without booking in to The Appellation, the finest restaurant in the valley. The tasting menu
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offers a seven-course journey through the bounty of south Australian cuisine. From succulent Hutton Vale lamb to a plate of carefully foraged mushrooms; the restaurant proves that where great grapes grow, great produce follows. Although it would be easy to spend the entire trip exploring the 100 wineries within the region, if you need an afternoon off, you can enjoy breakfast with the kangaroos. After a 15-minute hike in the bushland, a local guide will throw out a picnic rug and plate up a gourmet spread while the curious ’roos bounce along in the distance. The Louise offers many other excursions too; from artisan workshops to private cookery lessons, but if you just want to indulge your inner sommelier and perfect the art of intellectual wine speak, you’re certainly in the right place. Cheers to that. From £312 per night, thelouise.com.au
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Property Listings See below for estate agents in your area
Arlington Residential 8 Wellington Road NW8 9SP 020 7722 3322 arlingtonresidential.co.uk
Aston Chase 69 / 71 Park Road NW1 6XU 020 7724 4724 astonchase.com
Hanover 102 St John’s Wood Terrace NW8 6PL 020 7722 2223 49 Welbeck Street W1G 9XN 020 8128 0675 hanover-residential.com
ian green residential 28 De Walden House Allitsen Road, NW8 020 7586 1000 iangreenresidential.com
Laurence Leigh 60 Queens Grove NW8 6ER 020 7483 0101 laurenceleigh.com
Marsh & Parsons 35 Maida Vale W9 1TP 020 7368 4458 27 Parkway NW1 7PN 020 7244 2200
PHILLIPS HARROD 85-87 Bayham Street NW1 OAG 0207 1234 152 phillipsharrod.com
Property Divas 34a Rosslyn Hill NW3 1NH 020 7431 8000 propertydivas.com
91 Salusbury Road NW6 6NH 020 7624 4513 marshandparsons.co.uk Knight Frank 5-7 Wellington Place NW8 7PB 020 7586 2777
Globe Apartments 45 Chiltern Street W1U 6LU 020 7034 3430 globeapt.com
79-81 Heath Street NW3 6UG 020 7431 8686 55 Baker Street W1U 8EW 020 3435 6440
Hamptons International 99 St John’s Wood Terrace NW8 6PL 020 7717 5319 21 Heath Street NW3 6TR 020 7717 5301 hamptons.co.uk
RUNWILD MEDIA GROUP
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60 Salusbury Road NW6 6NP 020 3815 3020 2c England’s Lane NW3 4TG 020 3815 3350 knightfrank.co.uk
Parkheath 208 Haverstock Hill NW3 2AG 020 7431 1234 8a Canfield Gardens NW6 3BS 020 7625 4567
Savills 7 Perrin’s Court NW3 1QS 020 7472 5000 15 St John’s Wood High Street NW8 7NG 020 3043 3600 savills.co.uk
savills.co.uk 192 West End Lane NW6 1SG 020 7794 7111 148 Kentish Town Road NW1 9QB 020 7485 0400 parkheath.com
TK International 16-20 Heath Street NW3 6TE 020 7794 8700 t-k.co.uk
If you would like to appear within the property pages of VANTAGE, contact Friday Dalrymple, property manager, on 020 7987 4320 or email@example.com
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P R O P E RT Y Showcasing the finest HOMES & PROPERTY from the best estate agents
Elegant& exclusive The latest prime properties
Sole Selling Agents Aston Chase
Prince Albert Road, Primrose Hill NW1 Six bedroom stucco fronted house for sale A beautiful stucco fronted semi-detached property with views overlooking Regents Park. Master bedroom with dressing room and en suite, 5 further bedrooms (1 en suite), 4 bathrooms, kitchen/breakfast room, dining room, drawing room, study, kitchenette, rear garden, patio, driveway. EPC: E. Approximately 372 sq m (4,006 sq ft). Leasehold: approximately 67 years and 10 months remaining
Guide price: £6,950,000
KnightFrank.co.uk/st-johns-wood firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7586 2777
8 Prince Albert Road - Vantage December 2015 -v4
Marlborough Place, St John's Wood NW8 Low built detached five bedroom house Located on one of the prime roads on the west side of St John's Wood. On the market for the first time in 27 years, with a beautifully landscaped garden and sitting behind a gated wall. Master bedroom with dressing room and en suite bathroom, 4 further bedrooms, 3 further bathrooms, sitting room, reception room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, garage, off street parking for 3 cars. EPC: F. Approximately 368 sq m (3,959 sq ft). Freehold
Guide price: £8,000,000
KnightFrank.co.uk/st-johns-wood email@example.com 020 7586 2777
17 Marlborough Place - Vantage December 2015 -v2
Brondesbury Villas, Queen's Park NW6 Newly refurbished split level maisonette A substantial and well proportioned 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom maisonette benefiting from its own entrance, private garden and high ceilings. EPC: C. Approximately 176.4 sq m (1,899 sq ft). Leasehold
Guide price: £1,600,000
KnightFrank.co.uk/queenspark firstname.lastname@example.org 0208 022 5466
Vantage - December - Queen's Park
The Avenue, Queen's Park NW6 Interior designed family home in a prime position A unique opportunity to purchase a family house in a prime position in Queen's Park facing Tiverton Green. The house has been newly refurbished to an exceptional standard, providing an open plan kitchen and living space, a further reception room, south facing garden, 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. EPC: D. Approximately 304.6 sq m (3,279 sq ft). Freehold
Guide Price: £3,300,000
KnightFrank.co.uk/queenspark email@example.com 0208 022 5466
Vantage - December - Queen's Park
L E T T I N G YO U C E L E B R AT E
’Tis the season to be jolly – so whether you’re looking for a home to rent in the capital or have a property to let, Aston Chase is here to help, leaving you free to enjoy the holiday season. We understand that paying close attention to the individual needs of every client is the hallmark of excellent service. Our expertise honed in lettings and property management over the last 30 years makes us adept at carefully matching discerning tenants with quality properties and providing a service that’s second to none. We call this service ‘Letiquette.’ Our meticulous approach ensures that whether you’re a landlord or a tenant, you’ll soon be celebrating. Letiquette — The Art of Letting. 6 9 – 7 1 PA R K R O A D | L O N D O N | N W 1 6 X U | T + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 7 7 2 4 4 724 | A S T O N C H A S E.C OM
TELEGRAPH HILL HAMPSTEAD NW3 FREEHOLD ÂŁ7,950,000 SOLE AGENT
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A prominent detached residence (492sq m/ 5,296sq ft) situated on a 0.24 acre plot within this secure gated domain, located only moments from Hampstead Heath. A stunning double volume reception hall with striking walnut veneer sculptured feature staircase leads through to an exceptional ground floor living space ideal for large scale entertaining.
ACCOMMODATION AND AMENITIES Principal bedroom with his & hers dressing rooms, his en-suite shower room & her en-suite bathroom, 4 further bedrooms with en-suite bath/shower rooms, large triple zone reception room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, study, cinema/games room, guest cloakroom, utility room, kitchenette/servery, management system that centrally controls the heating & ventilation, underfloor heating, sound insulated private screening room, Lutron homeworks lighting, Speakercraft multi-room audio system with ceiling speakers and iPod dock, alarm linked panic buttons, CCTV security, videophone entry, garage, first floor terrace, double terraced rear garden, summer house, off street parking for 2 cars.
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6 9 â€“ 7 1 PA R K R O A D LO N D O N N W 1 6XU 020 7 7 24 47 24
WILLOWBROOK WHITE LODGE CLOSE N2 FREEHOLD GUIDE PRICE ÂŁ7,950,000 JOINT SOLE AGENT
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A fantastic opportunity to purchase a substantial low built detached freehold house (635.5sq m/6,840sq ft) situated just off The Bishops Avenue. Arranged over two floors only and benefiting from lateral living, this property provides off street parking via a carriage driveway, a double garage, six bedrooms and a principal bedroom suite with private balcony.
ACCOMMODATION AND AMENITIES Principal bedroom with dressing room, en-suite bathroom & private balcony, 6 further bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, grand double height reception hall, large drawing room, study, dining room, family room, kitchen/breakfast room, double garage, patio/terrace, private parking, air conditioning, security system, Lutron lighting, irrigation system, approximately 4 years left on the NHBC. EPC=B.
PARK SQUARE EAST REGENT’S PARK NW1 CROWN ESTATE LEASE 138 YEARS £8,950,000 JOINT SOLE AGENT
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6 9 – 7 1 PA R K R O A D LO N D O N N W 1 6XU 020 7 7 24 47 24
A substantial Grade I Listed four/five bedroom family home (392sq m/4,225sq ft) with direct views overlooking the extensive private communal gardens. The house is well presented throughout with an abundance of light and benefits from high ceilings and many original features. Park Square East can be found on the eastern side of Regent’s Park and is conveniently situated within easy reach of Marylebone.
ACCOMMODATION AND AMENITIES Principal bedroom with dressing room & en-suite bathroom, 3/4 further bedrooms (1 with en-suite bathroom), family bathroom, shower room, kitchen/breakfast room, dining room, study/bedroom 5, library, study, utility room, space within secure lock-up garage, residents’ Crown parking, patio garden, private communal gardens with tennis courts, storage vaults.
Belsize Park NW3 ÂŁ1,695,000
In a prime location between Belsize Village and Swiss Cottage an elegant apartment on the raised ground floor of a stucco Belsize villa.
1325 sq ft/123 sq m 26â€™ period reception 2 double bedrooms plus study High ceilings, wood floors Share of freehold Contact Belsize Park Office 020 7431 1234
South Hampstead 020 7625 4567 firstname.lastname@example.org
Belsize Park 020 7431 1234 email@example.com
West Hampstead 020 7794 7111 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kentish Town 020 7485 0400 email@example.com
Property Management 020 7722 6777 firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Office 020 7794 7111 email@example.com
South Hampstead Conservation Area NW6 £1,275,000
Within a handsome detached property, a spacious apartment with private section of garden, close to multiple transport amenities.
1232 sq ft/114 sq m Bright 21’ reception 16’ master bedroom 2 further double bedrooms Private entrance and garden area Contact South Hampstead Office 020 7625 4567
South Hampstead 020 7625 4567 firstname.lastname@example.org
Belsize Park 020 7431 1234 email@example.com
West Hampstead 020 7794 7111 firstname.lastname@example.org
Kentish Town 020 7485 0400 email@example.com
Property Management 020 7722 6777 firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Office 020 7794 7111 email@example.com
Greville Place St John’s Wood, NW6 POA
Daleham Mews Belsize Park, NW3 £2,495,000 Freehold
An elegant six bedroom Grade II listed house built in 1819 offering flexible accommodation over three floors with an expansive and mature south facing private garden, benefitting from a separate guest annex, double garage and off street parking. Set on a stunning tree lined road off Abbey Road, Greville Place is positioned conveniently close to Regents Park and Lords Cricket Ground.
A charming freehold period mews house (2,122 sq ft / 197 sq m) currently arranged as two flats, which subject to full planning consent, can be converted back into a single dwelling. The vendor has received pre-application approval from Camden to convert the flats back into a single dwelling - further details available upon request. There is also an integral single lock up garage.
Penthouse Aberdeen Court Little Venice, W9 £2,995,000 Leasehold
Avenue Close Avenue Road, NW8 £2,695,000 Leasehold
A newly constructed three bed penthouse apartment (1,935 sq ft / 180 sq m) offering the best of lateral luxury living with breath-taking panoramic views across London. The entire entertaining space is fashioned from beautiful natural wood inspired floor tiling with underfloor heating and boasts unique features such as a spectacular domed dining room and direct lift access in to the apartment. Impeccably designed by Hyde House Interiors.
A stunning three double bedroom bright and spacious apartment which has been meticulously renovated to an extremely high standard located within this desirable portered development. The property benefits from replacement windows with a dual outlook onto the manicured communal gardens of which there is direct access from the 20’ reception room, plus first come first served off street parking and basement storage.
020 7722 2223 | www.hanover-residential.com
Viceroy Court Prince Albert Road, NW8 £2,295,000 Leasehold
Walsingham Queensmead, NW8 £1,795,000 Leasehold
An elegant interior designed three bed family apartment (1268 sq ft / 118 sq m) located on the fourth floor of this classic 1930’s portered building opposite Regent’s Park. This beautiful home provides flowing accommodation with a bright Westerly aspect and access to a private balcony with park views. This premier building benefits from passenger lifts and a magnificent communal roof terrace with panoramic views across an iconic London skyline.
An exceptional three bedroom apartment (1,363 sq ft / 127 sq m) located on the second floor of this sought after modern block in St Johns Wood. This extremely bright, contemporary apartment features a truly impressive double reception room with access to a balcony and a well-appointed modern fully fitted eat-in kitchen. Benefits include secure lock up garage, limited off street parking for two additional cars, long lease and passenger lifts.
Bristol Gardens Little Venice, W9 £1,375,000 Share of Freehold
Pavilion Apartments St Johns Wood Road, NW8 £1,075,000 Share of Freehold
A beautifully presented duplex apartment situated in a period conversion in the heart of Little Venice. The property benefits from an abundance of light and a stunning private roof terrace. Accommodation comprises: Reception room, kitchen, master bedroom with en-suite bathroom, second double bedroom and shower room. Moments away from Warwick Ave (Bakerloo line) and Little Venice canal. Share of freehold.
A bright and spacious one bedroom apartment situated on the sixth floor of this luxury modern apartment building in St John’s Wood. The property features well laid out accommodation with an open plan kitchen dining/reception room, bedroom with a generously sized en suite bathroom and spacious hallway with separate guest WC. The property also benefits from secure underground parking and excellent 24 hour porterage.
020 7722 2223 | www.hanover-residential.com
LIVE IN AMAZING KING’S CROSS Granary Square is home to the University of the Arts London and the setting for al fresco dining and a diverse annual programme of events.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE PLACE You have restaurants, cafes, parks and fountains; you have shops, squares and the joys of a canal; you have the best national and international rail connections in London and an extraordinary choice of some of the Capital’s most extraordinary homes. Move in now and experience living at King’s Cross.
You have 6 tube lines, 3 mainline stations and a Eurostar. Live just 5 minutes from Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden and a mere 8 minutes from Victoria.
Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)20 7205 4349 kingscross.co.uk/homes Marketing suite: The Plimsoll Building, 1 Handyside Street, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4BP
Live in London’s Green Belt countryside... Between Hadley Wood Golf Course and the 400 acre Trent Country Park
Superior apartment suites with a difference at
...only 36 minutes to the West End Short walk to Cockfosters station (Piccadilly line to Leicester Square) • 2 miles inside the M25
A collection of just eight superior apartment suites set within private gated landscaped grounds. You will be simply amazed by the space, size and unrivalled specification of each unique suite. • Three bedroom suites • Landscaped private gardens & terraces • Spectacular galleried entrance hall • Uniformed concierge • Lift access to all floors • Secure basement parking
Prices from £1.95m
Show Apartment Open - 10am to 5pm daily 020 8441 9555
Renaissance, 359 Cockfosters Road, Hadley Wood, Herts EN4 0JT
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020 3327 0298
TRIP ADVISOR REVIEWERS K N OW HE AV EN W HEN THE Y SEE IT.
It’s always good to listen to people who’ve actually been to a destination. So we’re proud of what you’ll read on Trip Advisor about Saint Peter’s Bay, Barbados. This select collection of properties is beautifully designed, equipped – and just a few shimmering steps from the fabulous beach and ocean. Around you, the best of everything: pampering, watersports, fitness, gastronomy and all the fun a family can handle. Join us. Come for a holiday and, who knows, even acquire your own piece of heaven.
UNNA Luxury Resorts & Residences
Visit stpetersbaybarbados.com and then call 0800 097 0847
THE WORLD AGREES, IT’S A WORLD APART.
Life on the Water
Bethan Rees catches up with Daniel Jackson, sales manager at Marsh & Parsonsâ€™ Little Venice office, to find out more about this not-so-secret pocket of London
Photography by Sarel Jansen
ucked away just north of Paddington lies Little Venice, an oasis of calm that sits where the Grand Union Canal and Regent’s Canal meet makes you forget the madness that is just moments away. Its charm is undeniable, even in the frosty winter months. Little Venice, which is thought to have been so-called by poet Robert Browning, incorporates the area south of Maida Vale and its tree-line streets and Georgian terraces make it a picturesque and popular location. In a prime position on nearby Maida Vale is Marsh & Parsons’ Little Venice office, where sales manager Daniel Jackson has been based since 2011. He previously worked in Ladbroke Grove and has seen the clear migration to this part of west London. “It’s so central, but also peaceful and quiet. It’s always been a popular destination for buyers,” he explains. “In 2011 and 2012 this area was slightly undervalued and underrated – a bit of a middle-ground as a gateway to other places. But in 2013 and 2014 there was a huge increase in demand and the prices shot up.” The variation of property in this part of west London is what gives it some of its charm – anything from £400,000 studio flats to £5 million family homes, albeit the latter doesn’t come onto the market very often as Jackson explains. “The properties with expansive communal gardens are extremely popular as they give residents access to a large and relatively private amount of outside space. These types of property always generate a lot of interest.” The market experiences the greatest activity around the £1.5 million and below mark, something that is reflective of the changing demographic of the area over the last four years. “Originally there was a strong pull from nearby St John’s Wood, Notting Hill and Kensington, with a similar settled buyer looking for a little more value and space, but now, the area is attracting first-time buyers from as far as Shoreditch, Camden, West Hampstead and Marylebone – all over the place,” he explains. But why are people coming to the area where W2 meets W9? “I find that the main thing people are looking for at the moment is good transport connections. Here, you’ve got Maida Vale station, Warwick Avenue station and Paddington station nearby. Obviously there are other lovely things about the area too. It’s seen as a little green oasis and people love that. There are communal gardens, the canal, boutique cafés, independent greengrocers, residents’ clubs, great schools and a real community feel,” he adds. As a local, I ask Jackson how he would spend his dream weekend in the area. “I’d take a walk along
the canal to admire the boats; it’s such a beautiful place. In the summer I’d certainly pop to The Waterway or The Summerhouse and on a Sunday I’d head to the Truscott Arms for a roast. Also, Maguro, in my opinion, serves the best sushi in London,” he says. “For the green-fingered, I’d recommend going to Clifton Nurseries.” And as the year comes to a close, what does Jackson expect to see happen to the market in 2016? “There’s a misconception at the moment that the market has slowed down, but we’ve seen things flourishing this autumn, so I’m pretty optimistic about next year. There are a lot of forces against the upper end of the market due to stamp duty increases and the threat of interest rates rising, but once people get used to these changes, the market should return to normal.”
“Properties with expansive communal gardens are extremely popular”
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35 Maida Vale, W9, 020 7993 3050 marshandparsons.co.uk
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Delancey Street NW1 ÂŁ2,650,000 An impressive grand Georgian four-bedroom house, boasting fantastic space throughout and arranged over five levels, located on a prime street close to Regentâ€™s Park in Camden Town. Freehold. EPC=D
Camden: 020 7244 2200 email@example.com
Clifton Gardens W9 ÂŁ2,595,000 A stunning three-bedroom lateral apartment spanning two stucco-fronted houses and backing onto an award winning communal garden in Little Venice. Share of Feehold. EPC=D
Little Venice: 020 7993 3050 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Welcome to the December edition of The Vantage magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles...