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contents Off to a good start


10 Reese revealed

Her name was once synonymous with girls'-night-in movie marathons, but these days Reese Witherspoon is focusing on more gritty female roles


Ever seen a Hollywood hero checking the time on his iPhone? Of course not. We lift the lid on the classier side of product placement

Meet Philip Mould OBE, whose sleuth-like approach to ancient portraits has led to accolades, fame and even a spot on the telly

An exclusive extract from author Jacqueline Rose's Women in Dark Times




Dubini is in the money with its debut coin designs

Statement gems for the red carpet and beyond


Naomi Campbell dresses to kill


Natuzzi has us sitting comfortably

66 game of throws

Style tips from the couple behind Marylebone's latest interior's mecca, Caravane

Health & Family


Burberry's new Bee Bag and Balmain's London flagship

Glam Rock revisited: a modern twist on 1970s silhouttes

This month's handbag essentials


Embrace the MPH Method

Food & Drink 81 wishlist Piccolino's cicchetti bar

82 foodie favourites

Top spots for a romantic date and Gordon Ramsay's new Heddon Street opening

84 the spice of life


New lines at Net-a-sporter

76 you better shape up

56 best of beauty

Jason Brooks' stunning London Sketchbook

Bright ideas from Tom Dixon

Princess slippers from Swarovski

48 reflected glory

35 February diary

63 WishlisT

71 Wishlist





40 true detective


18 screen time

Explore the work of French photographer Robert Doisneau


Tony Kitous's Comptoir Libanais eateries are bringing modern mezze to the masses

Travel 89 WISHLIST Check in to the Hospital Club



96 you shall go to the ball


The best cultural and foodie spots


Take a turn around Vienna for the Coffeehouse Owners' Ball

98 good morning vietnam

Retreat to Six Senses Con Dao for a taste of responsible luxury

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From the editor


’m probably not the only one whose childhood would have been a bit less glossy without Reese Witherspoon. Serious film buffs may dismiss her early work as ‘fluff’, but I’m not embarrassed to admit that Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama, are still some of my favourite films of all time. I mastered her ‘car devil’ face (a full editorial desk poll couldn’t find a more eloquent way to describe it, but you know what I mean) as well as the failsafe bend… and snap! Since then, her more challenging roles in Walk the Line, which won her an Academy Award for her portrayal of June Carter, as well as Water for Elephants, have seen her shrug off the ditzy blonde persona and demand to be taken seriously. Her latest and most gruelling performance in Wild, which chronicles one woman's 1,100-mile journey, both physically and emotionally, has been building both a BAFTA and Oscar buzz ever since the Toronto International Film Festival in September, with industry pros confident that the 38-year-old actress has a viable chance of bagging both best actress gongs. While she admits to feeling “lost as an artist” in recent years, Reese has always been a star in our eyes. Read Camilla Davies’ interview on page 10. With red carpet season on the horizon, as well as love-it-orloathe-it Valentine’s Day, get your fill of whimsical dresses and gems with our romantic jewellery story (p.24). And may I suggest some gift, getaway and restaurant ideas for 14 February – just look for the 'Ed's pick' icon on our news pages. Elsewhere, Mike Peake meets one of London’s most influential art dealers, Philip Mould OBE, whose sleuth-like approach to ancient portraits has led to accolades, fame and a spot on the telly (p. 40). And Gabrielle Lane takes on a fitness challenge at the hands of Matt Hodges (p. 76) before rewarding herself with a food-filled sojourn on the Côte d'Azur (p. 92). As Oscar Wilde once said, “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Kari Colmans

Editor Follow us on Twitter @VantageNW

Reese Revealed, p. 10

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Featureflash /

i n t e rv i e w


revealed In the early noughties Reese Witherspoon’s name was synonymous with popcorn and girls’ nights in as she claimed her corner of Hollywood with star performances in Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde and Sweet Home Alabama. But these days America’s Southern Belle is focusing her gaze on more gritty female roles – and she has the nominations to prove it, writes Camilla Davies


he last months of winter spell short days, thermal socks and shallow pockets. But as Londoners battle to maintain their New Year’s resolutions, the grey skies of early 2015 also signal the unveiling of much anticipated award nominations ahead of February’s grandiose cinematic celebrations. The hotly tipped films of the season include Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper, and Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game. As ever, a plethora of worthy films are set to pick up gongs, but sugar-turned-spice actress Reese Witherspoon’s performance in Wild has been building both a BAFTA and Oscar buzz ever since the Toronto International Film Festival in September. Industry pros are confident that the 38-year-old actress has a viable chance of bagging both best actress gongs this month – she won her first Academy Award for playing June Carter in Walk the Line.

Despite her previous Oscar success in 2006, she has admitted to feeling “lost as an artist” in recent years – though personally, if not professionally, it’s been a very busy decade. The actress was famously married to actor Ryan Phillippe for nine years until their bitter divorce in 2007. Column inches racked up with allegations of his repeated infidelity, and Witherspoon went on to marry Hollywood agent Jim Toth four years later. The couple have a twoyear-old son, Tennessee, as well as her two children with Philippe; Ava, 15, and Deacon, 10. Then came her shocking 2013 arrest for disorderly conduct when, after her husband was pulled over for driving under the influence, the actress decided to disastrously pull the ‘do you know who I am?’ card on the officer. The recording went viral, losing the actress a few fans (Legally Blonde’s Elle Woods definitely wouldn’t condone that behaviour) although it did


arguably change the public’s outdated perception of Witherspoon as a Southern princess. After reading the nonfiction book Wild, in which Cheryl Strayed depicts the redemptive Pacific Crest Trail hike she embarked upon in her early twenties after a divorce, drug addiction and the loss of her mother, Witherspoon simply knew she had to bring Strayed’s evocative words to the big screen through her production company Pacific Standard. “I knew that if I took it to a studio first and had them finance it, they wouldn't want me in the role,” she says. She worried that “they would want to tone down the material and make it a lot less raw.” On meeting Strayed for the first time, “I told her that her story was so moving and meant so much to me,”

“I've never done sex scenes like that before and I was feeling a lot of anxiety” says Witherspoon. Having won the rights, the actress and producer was then aware that Strayed would be watching the final product. And the shoot was hardly a walk in the park. “On the first day of shooting I was freezing,” Witherspoon recalls. Struggling to even assemble her tent, as real-life Strayed would have to do every day for the three months it took to hike the trail, the actress had her doubts. “I went back to my hotel and called my husband and complained to him, ‘I’m not going to be able to handle this. This is too cold.’ He said, ‘When you sign on to do a movie called Wild – a movie about a woman hiking over 1,000 miles – did you think that that was going to be fun?’” If camping wasn’t the actress’s strong point to begin with, then the physicality of re-enacting Strayed’s journey would also prove problematic; the hiker didn’t name her backpack ‘Monster’ without good reason.

i n t e rv i e w Film stills courtesy of Wild

“At the beginning of the shoot I was thinking that we would just stuff newspapers in the backpack and I would fake having to carry around all that weight,” admits Witherspoon. “But then [director] Jean-Marc looked at me walking around with the pack and he said, 'Non, zee pack is not right, we must make it heav-ee-er.' “So from that point on I start carrying around a 65lb backpack instead of a 45lb pack, which I suppose added some realism. If you see me grimacing while I'm carrying that backpack around I can tell you there wasn’t a lot of acting involved in that!” she laughs. Witherspoon managed to overcome the physical hurdles, but she stumbled when it came to Wild’s explicit nudity, something which, in a 20-year career, she’d so far managed to avoid. “I've never done sex scenes like that before and I was feeling a lot of anxiety the closer we came to starting

production.” In crisis, Witherspoon even called her lawyer to try and get out of the film, “because I didn't feel I could do it. I was frantic with worry and told him: ‘I can’t make this movie. I’m going to have to be rawer, more emotional, more sexually explicit than I’ve been in any movie.’” Fortunately, Witherspoon’s inner-circle was able to convince her to take the plunge. “I decided that after feeling unhappy with a lot of the work I had been doing that this was the kind of role I had been looking for, and so I had better toughen up and get on with the job.” Wild’s sex scenes may have been daunting to shoot, but any nudity served a purpose beyond the generic audience-boost, complementing an affecting portrayal of a woman on a path to rediscovering herself. Saying resolutely that, “we should be telling a lot more stories about women like this,” Witherspoon asks: “How many times will you see a film like Wild, where the woman ends up with no man, no money, no family, no opportunity, but she still has a happy ending?” With Hollywood still suffering a deficit in credible female lead roles, it’s refreshing to see this year’s awards line up. Jennifer Aniston notably carried gritty indie production Cake this year, and Witherspoon is taking not one but two films to the red carpet this season, having also produced Gone Girl, an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s detective bestseller in which Oscar-nominated Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck star as Amy and Nick Dunne, the couple at the centre of a disappearance with startling circumstances. A busy press schedule has seen the actress globetrotting to keep up with demand, hitting London’s Leicester Square premiere in a gorgeous snakeskin fitted floor-length number. It’s no surprise she’s suitably content. “I feel very good about my work,” she affirms. “I'm very excited about the work I'm doing as a producer and being part of Gone Girl and other projects. It's a lot of work but there’s so much satisfaction in knowing that you're creating something for yourself and not just waiting for things to happen.” With a busy year ahead, and the chance of an Oscar nod, there's no doubt that things are only going one way for Reese. “Before Wild my frustration had been building up over a period of time. Even though I didn't know exactly what types of projects I wanted to make, I knew I wanted to find and develop movies with strong and dynamic female characters.” And who better than Elle Woods to defend the bonds of sisterhood. n

Wild is in cinemas now


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C70 D-TYPE – LIMITED EDITION Sir William Lyons designed Jaguar’s legendary D-Type Long Nose racing car with one purpose in mind – to win at Le Mans. In 1957 the non-works Ecurie Ecosse team’s resplendent Flag Metal Blue D-Type, driven by Ron Flockhart and Ivor Bueb, completed a stunning hat-trick of victories for the marque. This 500 piece limited edition is a tribute to one of the finest cars and greatest achievements in British motorsport history.

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wish list

SWING INTO ORBIT Flying in as part of the new collections for 2015 is Robinson Pelham’s new Asteroid ring. Revolving around the concept of the solar system, the piece has become a staple of the luxury jeweller and every collection sees it reintroduced with a different stone. The Paraiba tourmaline, fast becoming one of the industry’s most fashionable gemstones, takes centre stage this time round, with its vivid blue-green hue showcased in all its brilliance. The exceptional rarity of this stone (one Paraiba tourmaline is mined for every 10,000 diamonds) makes it ideal for this particular collection. When it comes to other new pieces launching, this year sees an explosion of kaleidoscopic colour and bold shapes in the Oxygen collections, while the Evoke range brings a more subdued elegance.

Paraiba Asteroid ring, £18,000 Robinson Pelham, 30 Elystan Street, SW3;



watch news Saving the Seas Sister brand of that other great purveyor of ‘affordable luxury’, Frédérique Constant, Alpina was revived in 2002 to provide first-time watch buyers with a Swiss-made, mechanical timepiece that they could actually afford. Whereas Frédérique Constant does the same thing with traditionally-designed watches, Alpina has carved a niche within the sports watch sector. For each purchase of the Alpiner 4 Race for Water Chronograph, the company will contribute £33 to Race for Water, the international organisation dedicated to the preservation of water. The watch costs £2,180, and for that price you will be the proud owner of a well-made, self-winding chronograph, as well as the knowledge that only seven others will find their way to UK shores.

Alpiner 4 Race For Water Chronograph, £2,180;

Saxon Sophistication Like A. Lange & Söhne below, Glashütte Original is a brand that embodies the historic tradition of fine mechanical watchmaking. The manufacturer is renowned for a number of extraordinary complications, among them exquisitely engineered chronographs. Taking its dedication to stopwatches further than ever before, the company’s Calibre 37-01 is the first it has conceived and built specifically as a chronograph movement. It debuts inside the Senator Chronograph Panorama Date, which is available with either a platinum or red gold case. It’s hard to pick between the two.

Senator Chronograph Panorama Date, £36,800;

one to watch Allun Michaels, store manager at Fraser Hart in Brent Cross, selects his watch of the month:

“A reissue of the Tudor ‘Monte Carlo’ from the 1970s, this model was originally inspired by the roulette wheels of Monaco’s Casino. A great way to wear a vintage style watch, yet have the confidence of a brand new piece. The watch comes on a metal bracelet and a complimentary fabric strap is included” Heritage Chronograph Blue, £3,010, Tudor Fraser Hart, Brent Cross, 020 8732 8459 @FHBrentCross


Living Legend


Few brands have the ability to unite watch enthusiasts in universal adulation. Rolex is one, Patek Philippe the obvious other. A third is A. Lange & Söhne. To discuss the value of a ‘Lange’ is to talk not about popularity or price but, specifically, aesthetics and craftsmanship. Take the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst for example – an infallibly gorgeous oneminute tourbillon with stop seconds, a black enamelled dial and artisanal finishes, enclosed in a 38.5mm platinum case. It will cost you £140k. You pay for what you get.

Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, £140,000;


time Ever seen a Hollywood hero checking the time on his iPhone? Of course not, says Alex Doak, as he lifts the lid on the classier side of product placement



From top: Daniel Craig in Skyfall wearing an Omega Seamaster watch; Interstellar, 2014. Photography: Melinda Sue Gordon; Left page and bottom image: Nick English and Mark Strong in Kingsman: The Secret Service, 2014. Photography: Jaap Buitendijk

poiler alert (sort of). Autumn’s smashhit spectacular Interstellar featured two Hamilton watches and one of them played a big role. No, make that a HUGE role. To the extent that Matthew McConaughey’s dimension-straddling spaceman of the future owes his life to this resolutely old-fashioned concoction of springs and cogs. True watch nerds would have noticed from the screen-filling close-ups (logo nice and prominent) that despite its vintage styling, the watch is actually a custom build. In fact, Hamilton has gladly bent to the wishes of Hollywood costume departments for more than 60 years now, garnering over 400 film appearances as a result, from Elvis Presley’s wrist candy in Blue Hawaii to Interstellar’s sci-fi forebear, 2001: A Space Odyssey. IWC Pilot’s Watch But consider this: despite the Chronograph Top Gun specific requests of Interstellar’s production team, even Hamilton was taken aback when the film started. The team had no idea about its starring role, least of all expected it. Why? Because, unlike the clunking Ford Mondeos of Casino Royale fame, or all those label-forward Pepsi bottles in Back to the Future, the placement of watches in films is a reassuringly gentlemanly affair; the studio approaches Switzerland, not vice versa, and money rarely changes hands. After all, a high-end wristwatch is a highly personal choice – something that speaks volumes about its wearer (average Joe and Hollywood idol alike), thus making it a bigger priority for the costume department than accounts. It also speaks of refinement and quiet expertise, Hamilton Khaki Special Edition Interstellar, worn by Murph above the gaudy notion of a paid-for appearance. (played by Jessica Chastain) So while you might think that Jeremy Renner’s chunky IWC ‘Top Gun’ chronograph in The Bourne Legacy is a deliberate bit of product placement, as IWC’s PR manager Sophie Hue-Williams reveals, it’s more civilised than that. “Our team in the US market has an excellent relationship with many of the studios,” she reveals, “and they often get approached directly, requesting a selection of watches be sent over to the costume department. continues, “tend to fall within the second type: ‘prop No money exchanges hands,” she reiterates. “The watch placement’; a scripted necessity, a shorthand for what is chosen purely in line with whether it fits with the the director wants to get across about a character or character or the film setting.” setting. For example, there’s Colin Firth’s Bremont in It’s a common situation, attests Darryl Collis, the new Kingsman film. This reinforces his character’s whose company Seesaw Media is the UK’s most Britishness, sense of tradition and military background.” successful product placement agency, responsible for Kingsman: The Secret Service is the very first equipping Mr Renner with a Belstaff jacket to perfectly cinematic outing for Bremont, after years of casual complement his matt-black IWC. “The first type of endorsement from the likes of Tom Cruise, Bear Grylls product placement is where guarantees are made,” and Taylor Lautner. And in keeping with the HenleyCollis explains. “In other words, ‘I will pay you X, and on-Thames watchmaker’s plucky, keen-as-mustard you’ll give me Y; a nice logo shot for example, in return Britishness, it came about almost accidentally, after the for you smashing up 85 of our cars.’ But watches,” he film’s director Matthew Vaughn spotted a Bremont on


The Bremont Kingsman watch in rose gold, £14,495

a colleague’s wrist. “This was a really lovely tie-up,” says co-founder Nick English, “which happened very organically, without placement fees being involved, which is wonderful. Matthew is a big watch fan and one area he was particularly interested in, other than the British angle, was Bremont’s strong tie with the military and other special units around the world. There was real credibility here which I think is important if the watch is going to be taken seriously in this film.” Of course, there are exceptions to the trend, and you never get far talking product placement without mentioning James Bond – a cinematic franchise that hasn’t so much made product placement an art form

“Kingsman’s director was very interested in Bremont’s strong tie with the military” as a cash cow. Necessarily so, it must be said, as EON Productions are obliged to raise as much as a third of its budget through deals with the likes of Sony, Bollinger, Ford, Heineken (famously trumped in Skyfall by Macallan, who didn’t pay a penny) and Omega watches too, for an undisclosed fee. After all, Bond’s wristwatch has always played a starring role in his outlandish exploits, whether it’s dissecting a train or unzipping a woman’s dress. And in stark contrast to Cubby Broccoli having to provide Sean Connery with his own Rolex Submariner in Dr No (1962) after Rolex declined to loan one, the modern deal is a rare example of a movie watch falling within Darryl Collis’s first category, where arrangements are struck and guarantees are made. “Which makes for some rather unsubtle moments in the film,” as Collis wryly notes. “At the beginning of Skyfall, when Bond

is ripping the train apart with a Caterpillar digger, audiences are left asking questions when the camera lingered on a close-up of Daniel Craig’s left hand, changing gear… Until they spotted the perfectly in-focus Seamaster Aqua Terra on his wrist.” But despite these awkward-but-necessary moments, it will come as a huge relief to watch fans to learn that it was actually Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming who originally chose Omega, not the accountants. The blue-dial Seamaster 300M diving watch to be precise, for 1995’s Goldeneye. “The colour blue really suited Pierce [Brosnan],” she recalls. “I dressed him in lots of blue shirts and the blue bezel and dial of the Seamaster matched perfectly. Plus, blue suited Commander Bond’s naval background. Of course, I had to check that Omega would be interested in placing its watches on Bond!” Hemming adds with a


Left: Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Taron Egerton in Kingsman: The Secret Service, 2014. Photography: Jaap Buitendijk

 TELLING THE WRONG TIME  Sometimes, Hollywood doesn’t get it quite right but you’d have to be quite the horology connoisseur to spot the examples below: Quartz watch, Pearl Harbor (2001)

The Bremont Kingsman watch in black, £4,395

Despite so many other historical inaccuracies, it looked like Michael Bay had got it right with Josh Hartnett’s WWII-style military watch until a close-up revealed its seconds hand ticking once a second, as if driven by quartz technology, which didn’t come about until the 70s. Omega X-33 ‘Bulgari’, Minority Report (2002) Tom Cruise’s character is racing to clear his name from a predicted act of murder and the countdown to the act itself is courtesy of an Omega X-33 Speedmaster digital watch, re-branded by CGI as a Bulgari. Nope, we don’t know why, either. Beeping Panerai PAM074, The Transporter (2002)

glint in her eye. “But I was utterly convinced that Commander Bond, a naval man, a diver, and a discreet gentleman of the world would wear this tough but sophisticated watch.” Because of Hemming’s careful consideration back in the 90s, the relationship between Omega and Bond remains a sensible one that, unlike Heineken, we as the audience readily buy into. And it perpetuates what’s arguably the longest watches-in-movies saga in cinematic history. A saga of such obsessive detail and debate that it has helped inspire a fan site called exactly that: Watches in Movies. All the Bond films are in there, but a casual browse reveals the sheer

A getaway driver played by Jason Statham awaits his cue during the tense opening scene of the teenageboy cult classic. His finely engineered mechanical chronograph ticks down to zero hour, at which point it emits a distinctly electronic ‘beep’. Patek Philippe ‘Calatrava’, Drive (2011) Another getaway driver for hire, Ryan Gosling’s ‘driver’ wore a Patek gifted by his father in the original book by James Sallis. The dubbed ticking noise was wrong enough in the film but the major gaff was using flimsy fakes rather than the real thing.

Omega 600m Seamaster

It was costume designer Lindy Hemming who chose Omega for Bond to wear in 1995’s Goldeneye scale of Hollywood’s love affair with a decent watch, from The A-Team to Zulu. “I would say that the prop masters do a fine job,” says James Enloe, the owner and administrator of “It’s their job, after all, to make the character look ‘right’ and the good ones do that very well. “But while the most popular brands tend to be Rolex, Casio, Omega, TAG Heuer or Breitling, the really fun ones are the lesser known brands, like Sjöö Sandström (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) or Alsta (Jaws). In fact,” Enloe concludes, “the Alsta in Jaws is the perfect example of what makes watch-spotting fun at the movies; just the pride of knowing what the actor is wearing.” So, just as Props or Costume choose their watches for a very good reason, it’s now down to you to appreciate their choice… and have a good stab guessing what it is in the process. n



jewellerynews Empire of the Sun Fashion designers and jewellers alike have been cashing in on the recently resurrected ancient coin trend and the latest to follow suit is newly launched brand Dubini. Founded by Benedetta Dubini, the designer looks to her Italian heritage to create her collections, the latest of which, entitled Empires, features coins emblazoned with the faces of some of the greatest Roman and Greek historical and mythical figures, from Artemis to Alexander the Great. The pieces are set in 18-karat yellow gold and feature a multitude of coloured stones, thereby paying tribute to the rich history of Italian craftsmanship.

Cutting Edge In time for Valentine’s Day, Tiffany & Co has created the ultimate romantic range of high jewellery pieces, the Tiffany Enchant heart collection:

These romantic designs have been inspired by the intricate patterns of traditional 19th-century gates that border sumptuous gardens and grand estates. Tiffany’s designers have contrasted these ornate jewels with a clean-lined bracelet of 18-karat white gold covered with more than nine carats of diamonds and over 55 carats of vibrant spinels Above: Enchant hinged bracelet with spinels and diamonds in 18-karat white gold and line bracelet; Key on fine chain, Both POA, Tiffany & Co.,


Fly Me to the Moon


She may have only come under the radar in 2009 but London-based jewellery designer Noor Fares’ career has already taken off into the stratosphere; her coveted pieces are currently stocked in Liberty and in the UK (to name two). Her latest collection, Tilsam, meaning talisman in Arabic, revolves around the sphere, or orb, as its central theme and includes beautifully carved rings and pendants in clear quartz, moonstone, rose quartz and labradorite. The jeweller has also drawn upon astrology with Eclipse, a series of rings complete with gold and diamonds which refer back to astrological instruments used in the past to record the stars. Far from being stargazing nonsense, this is, in our opinion, Fares’ best collection yet.

Holy Trinity There are some high jewellery brands you can always rely on, when seeking out that perfect gift for a special occasion, and one of these is Cartier. This year sees the French jeweller adapting its Trinity Ruban Solitaire ring, the ultimate symbol of love which was first popularised in the 1920s by Jean Cocteau, into a pair of earrings and matching necklace, creating the perfect bridal or engagement ring set.

ELIZABETH STREET ELIZABETH STREET SW1 SW1 Bespoke fine jewellery We invite you to visit our website 59 Elizabeth Street, London, SW1W 9PP +44 (0)207 730 1901

Asymmetric silk gown, £725, CH Carolina Herrera; Pré Catalan earrings in pink gold and pink quartz, £5,900 Dior Joaillerie,; Flora and Fauna ring, £9,449 Joubi,; Shyne black gold ring, £2,895 Machalka at Kabiri, 37 Marylebone Road, W1U


hour Chic, statement jewels for the red carpet and beyond

Photography / Rachell Smith stylist / Nisha Grewal

ABOVE Beige and black sequin dress, POA, Giorgio Armani,; Dark Forest dip-dye earrings, £290, Parisian dip-dye knuckle ring, £250, and circle ring, £170, Katie Rowland, Black cuff earring, £65, Joubi, as before; Nico ring, Selin Kent at Kabiri, £1,220, as before

RIGHT Rose cobweb tulle dress, POA, Burberry Prorsum, Studded Talon Earrings, £395, Katie Rowland, as before Fly By Night Large Crystal Haze ring set in 18kt white gold with amethyst and black diamonds, £6,950 and Fly By Night Small Crystal Haze ring set in 18kt white gold with amethyst and black diamonds, £3,500 both Stephen Webster, Diamini Three Rows Ring, £945, Lovingstone at Kabiri, as before Rhodium cage ring, £125, Joubi, as before Shyne Black Gold Ring, £2,895, Machalka at Kabiri, as before

ABOVE Pink silk dress, POA, Chloé, Thorn Stem band set in 18kt white gold with pave black diamonds, £1,000 Thorn Stem Infinite Cuff set in 18kt white gold with pave white diamonds, £10,000 Forget Me Knot Crystal Haze cuff set in 18kt white gold with hematite and white diamonds, £27,100 and Magnipheasant Feathers earrings set in 18kt white gold with black diamonds, £8,150 all Stephen Webster, as before

LEFT Pink gown, POA, Georges Chakra,; White diamond and purple amethyst Orchid Earrings £21,400, Shawish Genève,

Wine-coloured gown, POA, Georges Chakra, as before; 18kt yellow gold and diamond Sabre earrings, POA and The Serpent’s Trace bracelet in white gold and diamond, yellow gold, and rose gold, POA all Shaun Leane,; Zelle ear cuff in rose gold with stones, £135, Katie Rowland, as before Three layers ring, £1,745, Dima at Kabiri, as before Hair Stylist: Yoshitaka Miyazaki Using L'Oreal Professionnel Paris Make-up Artist: Megumi MATSUNO @ Carol Hayes Management Using MAC MODEL: OR DANIEL STYLIST’s AssistantS: Laura Rogliano and Sophia Rousset Photographer’s Assistant: Jessica Ralph BACKDROPS: Raj Tent Club /

Fall in love with hand-crafted furniture New designs released daily



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Perfect at the foot of the bed, the Juliette reworks the classic Gustavian bench to make a refined addition to any interior. Just £199, usually £326 in high-end retailers.

A handsome armchair, with curl up appeal, the Windsor exudes classic, 19th-century English style and timelessness. Just £399, usually £744 in high-end retailers.

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leap of faith When actress and Vantage contributor Daniella Isaacs spoke with her 101-yearold Jewish great aunt Nancy, the family matriarch revealed a story about a proposal from a non-Jewish man many years ago. Having turned him down for fear of the reaction from family and friends, she never married anyone else. This inspired the award-winning play Mush and Me by Karla Crome which previews at JW3 this month, after receiving rave reviews and the Holden Street Theatres Award at Edinburgh Fringe. The play tells a modern day love story between a Jewish girl named Gabby and a Muslim boy named Mush, who are united by a mutual love of hummus, but remain at odds over religious and family ties. The play will have you laughing, cringing and crying at the familiar themes, as cultural pressures and contemporary life collide.

2-3 February JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, NW3



Vue Interieure de la Morgue, Courtesy of Wellcome Library, London


THE SCENE OF THE CRIME Following a £17.5 million redevelopment, Wellcome Collection introduces Forensics: the anatomy of crime to its newly refurbished space this month. Discovering the history, science and art of forensic medicine, visitors will be taken on a journey from crime scene to courtroom, exploring the specialisms of those involved in the delicate processes of collecting, analysing and presenting medical evidence. With original evidence, photographs, artworks and film footage, it will tell the stories of victims, suspects and investigators of violent crimes, and our enduring cultural fascination with death and detection.

26 February – 21 June 183 Euston Road, NW1 From left: High Ground at Reeth, 2014; Coming Home from the Hill, 2014, both Dione Verulam



After a sell-out run last year Downstairs at Hampstead Theatre, Peter Souter’s Hello/ Goodbye is now detouring to the Main Stage. It’s a new year and a fresh start for Juliet. As she is moving into her new flat, she is met by a strange man who insists it’s actually his flat, not hers and he won’t leave. Juliet’s biggest problem is that her unexpected flatmate is actually quite good looking…

This month the Rebecca Hossack Gallery welcomes the first solo show from Lady Dione, Countess of Verulam. Revealing a romantic portrayal of British pastimes, aristocracy and travel, with influences from Matisse, Braque and Cézanne, she uses a range of medias to draw on her love for “family, the house and the land”. Her signature collages are created from pieces of her old lithographs, monoprints and paintings.

21 January – 28 February Eton Avenue, NW3

9 February – 8 March 2A Conway Street, W1T


in the spotlight

A Taste of London As Jason Brooks brings the big smoke to life with his stunning new illustration book, London Sketchbook, we take a sneak peak with an exclusive extract


perpetual work in progress, where the greatest constant is change itself, London is a city of contrasts. The muddy tidal shore of the grey-green River Thames is strewn with evidence of two thousand years of history, dating back to Roman ‘Londinium’ and beyond, while the glittering glass and polished steel of modern buildings soar above streets teeming with the Londoners of today. Unbound by any grand plan, the original walled city has grown with an organic, illimitable energy to form a vibrant 21st century metropolis of 7.5 million inhabitants who speak over 300 languages. My first experiences of the city, at the age of six or seven, were on day trips when my mother and I would meet my grandfather on the steps of one of its great art galleries or museums. He would always be immaculately dressed – a prototypical city gent in a smart navy suit, complete with briefcase, hat and umbrella – and the day would invariably involve a brisk walk, during which he would share his encyclopedic knowledge of the city. Every street name would have a story attached, each corner a secret history to be revealed. There would be dates and facts and uproarious laughter. Later I arrived in London as an art student enrolled at Saint Martin’s. This was a fantastic and formative time for me, when life and London were full of energy and opportunity. During my student years, I was fortunate enough to live in, and get to know, many different areas, from Brixton to Bayswater, Ladbroke Grove, Soho, Willesden Green and Covent Garden. At the time it was unusual to use computers as tools to make artwork, so we were encouraged to draw from life, to paint, sculpt, make collages and take photographs. In this spirit of playful experimentation, I have tried to capture something of my London to share with you. n

Every street name would have a story attached, each corner a secret history to be revealed

Jason Brooks began working for British Vogue after winning the Vogue Sotheby’s Cecil Beaton Award for Fashion Illustration. London Sketchbook by Jason Brooks, £19.95,, is out now All illustrations courtesy of Jason Brooks and London Sketchbook


BESPOKE HANDMADE FURNITURE London Showroom +44 (0) 207 2264 569




As Taschen releases a major monograph of the French photographer Robert Doisneau, written by his friend Jean Claude Gautrand, Jack Watkins explores his life and work

he French poet Jacques Prévert was fond of telling the story of how his friend Robert Doisneau was on the scene when a truck ran over a flock of sheep and its dogs. Instead of photographing the carnage, the gentle cameraman simply went to comfort the shepherd. “Yes, I really couldn’t have done anything else,” recalled Doisneau, when asked about the event in a later interview. “There was this bloody mess, the ewes that were still moving and had to be finished off: I didn’t want to show that.” And the man whose lifelong method was the antithesis of that of a news photographer went on to decry the modern obsession with images depicting cruelty and extremes of violence. “Sensationalism,” he said, “is often a confession of inability to see.” There was a time when Doisneau, with his humour and whimsy, his warmth and humanity, his interest

in capturing the incidental aspects of life, was deeply unfashionable. Highbrow critics of the stuffier kind looked down on his work, and younger practitioners, seeking something more hard-edged, turned elsewhere for inspiration. Happily, towards the end of his life he was rediscovered, and became a celebrated figure, feted with awards and the subject of documentaries. A humble man, he took it all in good spirit. He was a gifted raconteur, vividly describing the “old Paris”, but he remained completely unchanged by the attention, refusing to accept high fees for his work since he was, in his own opinion, simply an “artisan photographer.” And now, 20 years after his death in 1994, aged 81, his place among the greats is hardly questioned, which is why Taschen has just published a major monograph, written by Doisneau’s friend Jean Claude Gautrand, with a preface by the photographer’s daughters, Francine Deroudille and Annette Doisneau.


The best portrait photos of Doisneau capture the mischievous twinkle in his eye and the weathered grin. He looks as much fun as the playful subjects of his photographs, a one-man rebuttal of the stereotypical stand-offish Parisian. Doisneau was the Paris street artist, par excellence: “I know every step of the way from Montrouge to the Porte de Clignacourt. I can’t go 400 yards without coming across someone I know: a bistrot-owner, a carpenter, a printer or just someone off the street,” he said. Born in Gentilly, in the city’s southern suburbs, in 1912, the apartment he’d take in Montrouge in 1937 remained his home for the rest of his life. Expressing a total lack of interest in travel – “the thought of finding myself on the shores of the Pacific or Lake Baikal is frankly terrifying” – he admitted he had turned down assignments because he couldn’t bear the idea of being away from home for more than three days at a stretch. Thank goodness for that. Doisneau unearthed magic on the streets of his native city, something which arose from his familiarity and ease with the terrain and its population.

The man who loved people and crowd scenes still found room to allow his compositions to breathe Some of his most famous images, such as Mademoiselle Anita (1951), arose from his nocturnal ambles through the basement clubs of Montparnasse and the Left Bank, where he encountered Café Society intellectuals like Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, and singers like Juliette Gréco. Of Anita he reflected: “Aura is the name given to that kind of neon light that glows around certain people, setting them apart for a brief instant. You have to snap it quick because movement can destroy it: ‘Don’t move, please don’t change anything, I’ll explain later.’ She must have been aware of the effect she was creating, because she didn’t even raise her eyes, she stuck to the pose of stubborn modesty that suited her so well.” Although his most celebrated picture of all Kiss by the Town Hall (Le Baiser de l’Hôtel de Ville), one of a series of images of lovers in Paris commissioned by Life, was a staged shot. The background was authentic, though of course, as Doisneau recalled, the young couple “weren’t interested in the fact that the old Hôtel de Ville, behind them, had burned down in 1871, and was rebuilt by Ballu and Deperthes in 1874.” One of the things that made, and still makes this image work, is the sense of space around the infatuated couple, even though they are surrounded by people and traffic. And this is a regular feature in Doisneau’s pictures. The man who loved people and crowd scenes still found room to allow his compositions to breathe. Perhaps it was because, when he started out, he was

scene Previous page: Towing on the Champ-de-Mars, Paris, 1943 This page, clockwise from top left: Creatures of Dreams, Rue Mouffetard, Paris, 1952; Bespectacled Concierge, Rue Jacob, Paris, 1945; Black and White Coffee, Joinville-le-Pont, 1948 . All images © 2014 Atelier Robert Doisneau, Paris

so shy and too embarrassed to approach strangers, preferring to take snaps of cobblestones, or fences covered in peeling posters. Most of his early photos, as he once said, have “lots of air round them.” Doisneau described himself as a “pêcheur d’images” (fisher of images), explaining how he’d find a promising setting, prepare by ensuring the scene was well-framed and then lie in wait for people to come along and pose “of their own free will.” It didn’t always work and he’d speak good-humouredly of the times he got nothing more than one man and his dog. “When you’ve been standing there for two hours you begin to long for things to hot up. If only a shepherd from the Landes would come by on his great stilts, or a whole gaggle of English girls. I don’t know. You go on hoping.” The results when it did work were enchanting, though. There may never before have been a photographer with such a gentle humour as Doisneau. It would be a stony individual who could not raise a smile at Three Children in the Park (1971), for instance. As you look at these pictures, you can almost sense him at your side, nudging you with a wink or a smile. Even though he photographed for the French Resistance during the war – his photo of a Fallen Horse (1942) he saw as a metaphor of his nation’s fortunes – he took no pictures of violence, focusing instead on character, and even managing to capture two lovers in embrace in Love and Barbed Wire (1944) in the Jardin des Tuileries. But it would be wrong to depict him as a grinning lightweight without a hinterland. Towards the end of his career, he was commissioned to revisit his old haunts in the suburbs, and he lamented how secret spots of private delight had been replaced by soulless concrete blocks. People, he said, almost seemed out of place in landscapes where, previously, there had been “nooks and crannies everywhere”. These are lonely pictures, somehow, and the smile has been replaced by a rueful grimace. They are executed using black and white film, but so too were the earlier ones – yet these seem shot through with colour and vivacity. Doisneau once said: “There are days when simply seeing feels like happiness itself. You feel so rich, the elation seems almost excessive and you want to share it.” Photography has been used for a variety of reasons over the decades, but for utilising its life affirming capacities, there’s never been anyone like Robert Doisneau. n

Robert Doisneau, by Jean Claude Gautrand, £44.99, is published by Taschen,



detective The tiniest of brushstrokes can offer the most valuable of clues to London art dealer Philip Mould OBE, whose sleuth-like approach to ancient portraits has led to accolades, fame, and even a spot on the telly, writes Mike Peake


f ever you set aside a slice of the family gold to invest in art, there’s a good chance a steep learning curve will follow as you get to grips with things like provenance, signatures, and the murky world of art fraud. If it’s a centuries-old portrait that takes your fancy, the same painting will probably be on the radar of Philip Mould, whose expertise in the field of identifying priceless historical portraits has earned him the nickname ‘The Sherlock Holmes of Art’. When Philip isn’t at his gallery in Mayfair or at home in Kensington, the 54-year-old art lover is scouring the world for ‘lost’ artworks or helping to identify treasures that had previously slipped through the cracks. And if you think that sounds like a ruddy exciting job, you’d be right: by his own admission, Philip considers himself “the luckiest person I know.” Over the past two decades, Philip’s profile has

“Art is an image-led market and sometimes beautiful paintings by relatively unknown artists can be easier to sell than ‘uninteresting’ pieces by a household name” risen enormously thanks to the discovery of what was hailed as the only known portrait of Henry VIII’s elder brother Prince Arthur, as well as “the other half” of Thomas Gainsborough’s first ever painting. Appearances as an expert on Antiques Roadshow and also as co-presenter (alongside Fiona Bruce) of BBC1’s Fake Or Fortune?, where the two investigate mysteries behind different pieces of art, have also helped cement Philip’s reputation as a leading specialist. If you’ve a mystery painting of an 18th century gentleman in the living room and haven’t a clue what it is, he’s your man. “Every artist has his or her own handwriting in stylistic terms,” says Philip, explaining how he sets about trying to identify who painted what. “There’s the way they apply the paint, the way they express things like faces or drapery, the way they handle

light. There’s a huge difference between one artist and another and the more you get your eye’s [on] – just like the more you taste interesting food or good wine and become something of a connoisseur – the more you familiarise yourself with the differences.” Philip first got a taste for art during a visit to the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool with his father when he was a young boy. “My father pointed to a Turner painting and said, ‘Do you know, that one painting is worth as much as all the other pictures in the room?’,” recalls Philip, fondly. “That’s how I became interested in art.” An unfortunate, but necessary, part of Philip’s job is sometimes having to tell owners that the painting on their mantelpiece is not what they think. Their ensuing expressions tend to run the full gauntlet of anger, misery and frustration – and it can all be quite unpleasant. “What happens is, as paintings get handed down through the family, myth coalesces into fact,” explains Philip. “When you say something isn’t what they think it is, it’s almost as if you’re insulting their ancestors.” Ugly scenes aside, the day job is an interesting mix of tracking down rare pieces all over the world, a spot of investigating, and perhaps spending time with an art restorer. “Dropping in on my restorer is like doing a ward visit,” Philip says. “All these pictures are in various states of undress and in the process of being repaired. You’re always trying to work out what the artist intended and what the picture should look like.” Interestingly, it’s not always about who painted it: art is an image-led market and sometimes beautiful paintings by relatively unknown artists can be easier to sell than ‘uninteresting’ pieces by a household name. It’s what makes scouring a car boot sale so alluring to so many: if it’s old and original, it might be worth shelling out a few pounds for, although Philip cautions that if we were to buy 100 random paintings that way, only one of them would likely have any great value.


“They are out there,” he smiles, “but what I would say is that nothing brings oxygen to the brain quicker than financial risk. If you did buy 100 paintings and 99 of them turned out to be worthless, I guarantee that the next time you’d be more discerning and make better choices.” For Philip, making the right choices is everything. He assesses the aesthetics of a painting first and foremost, and then gets to work with the trusty halogen torch that he takes everywhere. “Its intense white light gives the capacity for the most phenomenal visual insight,” he explains. “It can almost look through the painting to really get to grips with what you’re looking at. My torch is my second pair of eyes.” With his torch he can spot both evidence of a certain artist’s handiwork or the telltale signs of a forgery. Fakery, incidentally, is rife, particularly on eBay, Philip says. The current trend is to sell what has been termed a “trapper” – a piece of artwork that leads giddy amateur collectors to believe that they’re picking up a bargain. “You have something that looks like a Picasso, is ‘signed’ by Picasso, it’s got old nails in it and old exhibition labels on the back and it looks and smells like a Picasso,” says Philip. To avoid making fraudulent claims, the seller merely advertises it as ‘French school, 20th century’. It is the buyer who fills in the blanks – and then bids. Thanks to his involvement with the London blue plaques scheme – he is on the committee which decides where to erect them next – Philip has a soft spot for Hampstead because so many eminent people have lived there and the area is home to an unusually high concentration of these muchloved historic signposts. He also thinks that Highgate Cemetery is “marvellous” because it is the resting ground of so many of the famous people whose faces have appeared in the portraits he’s sold. There are reminders of his work almost everywhere he looks, such as the time he found himself looking at the walls of Buckingham Palace and spotted a Van Dyck painting that they didn’t even know they had. “It was in the Royal Collection and I think it was one of those pictures where the identity had been lost,” he says, adding that he did “what anyone would do in those circumstances” and told them. “I just helped them to re-find it,” says Philip, modestly. What he’s neglecting to point out, of course, is that he quite possibly added a zero to the value of her Majesty’s forgotten painting in the process. n

Philip is the president of Plantlife International and chairman of Kids In Museums. A new series of Fake Or Fortune? will air on BBC One this year,


OUT OF THE DARK Jacqueline Rose

As celebrated author Jacqueline Rose releases Women in Dark Times, a compelling new book about extraordinary women who have a shared history to tell, we present an exclusive extract that links Rose’s central characters: painter Charlotte Salomon, creative thinker Rosa Luxemburg and Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe



t is time to return to what feminism has to tell And Marilyn Monroe, contrary to the dismissals or us. It is time to make the case for what women even mockery she so often attracts, is also, I argue, to be have uniquely to say about the perils of our seen and respected as a consummate performer, a brilliant modern world. I say ‘women’ but of course artiste in whose hands – or rather across whose body and I mean ‘some women’. No feminism should face – the dreams of Hollywood, in a post-war America claim to speak on behalf of all women. straining under the weight of its own ideals, receive their I will be following the paths of individual women most thorough and ultimately tragic exposure. who have taught me how to think differently, and who All three are therefore truth-tellers who lay bare can help us forge a new language for feminism. One the ugly secrets of the consensus, the way of the world that allows women to claim their place in the world, but which the corrupt, powerful and over-privileged in the which also burrows beneath its surface to confront the West never stop telling us – no more so than now – is subterranean aspects of history and the human mind, the only way that the world must and always will be. both of which play their part in driving the world on The fact that they are women is key. If one of my aims its course, but which our dominant in this book is to add their names Marilyn Monroe in The Prince and the political vocabularies most often to the already distinguished Showgirl, 1957 © Milton H. Greene cannot bear to face. We need to ancestry, the foremothers, draw on women’s ability to tell of modern feminism, it is not that other story, to enter that because they saw themselves as domain and then return to tell feminists – they did not – but the tale. We need, I will argue here, because I believe that each one a scandalous feminism, one which of them, in the way they embraces without inhibition the understood and negotiated the most painful, outrageous aspects of perils of their lives, has something the human heart, giving them their urgent to say to feminism today. place at the very core of the world One thing they have in that feminism wants to create. common is their suffering. But This book begins with the if each of them is stricken, story of three women who create they also make themselves the their lives in the face of incredible subjects of their own destiny odds. Whether they do so despite (destiny as distinct from fate, or because of those odds is a which condemns all its players question which each of them in advance). Each of them trawls embodies, a question they put as the darkness of their inner life, much to us as to themselves. It will where their own most anguished also tell the story, more starkly, of the odds that women, voices reside, in order to understand what impedes in the worst of cases, can find themselves up against. For them but also in search of the resources to defy their me, the three women are survivors, although the idea own predicaments. If they attract me so deeply, it may at first glance seem strange, since each could also be is because not one of them makes the mistake – said to have died before her time. They have everything as I see it – of believing that effective existence in to teach us about the complex reckoning – the traffic – the real world must come at the expense of the most between the cruelties of the heart and of the world. Each painful forms of self-knowledge. Subject to violence, one belongs to the last century, in which prosperity and they also take their lives into their own hands. They killing multiplied in ways previously unknown. In this are never – any of them – solely the victims of their book, death shadows the lives of women whose energy, history, even if that history finally kills them. n whose fierce protest against the constraints and injustice of the modern world, is still exemplary today. See Jacqueline Rose and Helena Kennedy QC offer I see them as artists, women who etch words and a new version of feminism for the 21st century as images out of living history and their own flesh. One part of Jewish Book Week. most obviously perhaps – she is famous in her own 7pm, 23 February, tickets £12.50 way, but for many might also be the least familiar: Hall 1, Kings Place, 90 York Way, N1 the German-Jewish painter Charlotte Salomon, who Jewish Book Week runs 21 February – 1 March poured on to the page – over a thousand gouaches painted in an extraordinary rush of two years between 1940 and 1942 – the colours and musical notes of her epoch in combinations and shapes never seen before or since. But Rosa Luxemburg, with whom I begin, was also an artist – a wordsmith who wrote poems, as well as painting, and whose political speeches and Women in Dark Times, letters sing as much as they exhort, cajole and proclaim. by Jacqueline Rose, In her work, the revolutionary potential of the first £20, Bloomsbury, decades of the twentieth century is gifted with a language painstakingly crafted to its task.



wish list

PARTNERS IN CRIME Naomi Campbell will be embodying her mercurial femme fatale caricature for Agent Provocateur’s SS15 ‘Wanted Badly’ campaign, inspired by David Lynch and Brian de Palma’s glamorous, high-drama thrillers, The Lost Highway and Body Double. The story, shot by Ellen von Unwerth, features the model in a range of sensual ensembles at various staged crime scenes using handcuffs, shovels and car bonnets for added effect. Choose the Payge in bright green or Karlie (pictured) in purple and pink for a bold statement, or a touch of Honney in the brand’s signature red lace for a more sophisticated look. Get on the case.


STYLE Update dior makes the cut Renowned for its quirky and discerning edit, fashion emporium Dover Street Market reopened in mid-January with new collections from Miu Miu, Thom Browne and Dior in its midst. Dior’s new space features Raf Simons' 2015 cruise collection, White Flag, which was inspired by classic American style – think suede skirts and outerwear, patchwork coats and more than a handful of ‘power’ looks that enable the house to demonstrate its flair for structured bodices and A-line silhouettes.


INTRODUCING THE BEE BAG Bright, playful and with more than a dose of British eccentricity, the Bee Bag is Burberry’s newest handbag creation, launching as part of The Birds and Bees ready-to-wear collection. Intended to be paired with layered tulle dresses and waspish waists, the leather bowling bags have a vintage feel and come in a huge variety of colours.

From £1,450, 121 Regent Street, W1B

Up until now, if you wanted to own a piece of decadent Balmain design (shoulder pads, leather and heavy embellishment are almost ubiquitous) you’d have to shop online or travel to Paris. So those who prefer to try on their biker jackets and blazers before purchasing will be thrilled to hear that the brand has opened its first EDITOR'S store outside of the French PICK capital in London. The glamorous space has been styled by furniture designers André Arbus and Jean Royère.

Shoes, £1,190, 69 South Audley Street, W1K


LILY & LIONEL BEACHWEAR arrives Having made everyone fall in love with her detailed scarf prints, which typically depict scenes of nature, Lily & Lionel founder Alice Stone, who lives in Belsize Park, has designed her first beachwear collection. The line includes silk kimonos and maxi skirts adorned with butterflies and flowers, as well as co-ordinating swimwear pieces produced in partnership with Gottex.

CHLOÉ CLASSICS We typically think of Chloé as a provider of flirty looks in caramel and cream colours, of chiffon gowns in champagne and blush, and of silk blouses and lace slips, but its resort 2015 collection is punchier and very wearable thanks to navy sweaters and wrapdresses and flashes of fern green tailoring. Creative director Clare WaightKeller was inspired by the architect Le Corbusier, which means blouses have dramatic oversized shapes and entire looks play with proportion – that’s boxy jackets worn with flowing maxi skirts, to you and I.

ESCADA’S NEW PRINTS This month, Escada unveils its collaboration with the artist Thilo Westermann which sees his graphic still-life prints adorn its dresses and separates. Westermann’s motifs are created by etching millions of minute dots onto glass before transferring them onto the fabric, and in monochrome and fuchsia the effect is modern and striking. Escada’s fashion director Daniel Wingate is said to have discovered Westermann’s work in a German gallery and was astounded by the detail and care of his designs.

ART IN STORE AT JIMMY CHOO Jimmy Choo will be hoping the investment in the interior of its New Bond Street Townhouse does for sales figures what Burberry’s electronic rain showers in Regent Street did in 2013. The brand has enlisted British artist Shirazeh Houshiary, an exhibitor at Lisson Gallery in Marylebone, to create a colourful 8.6-metre aluminium brick sculpture that extends through the stairwell of the store. The sculpture is supposed to represent the curving movement of a female descending staircase and was chosen to represent the power and elegance of Sandra Choi’s shoe designs.

27 New Bond Street, W1S



GLORY Put a modern twist on 1970s silhouettes for a grown up take on glam rock nostalgia Photography / Dominic Nicholls stylist / Hayley Caine

White sequined Virginne Deluxe blazer, £500, and New Play Deluxe shorts, £125, Zadig & Voltaire, 23-24 Hampstead High Street, NW3; Black silk scarf, £130, Marni,; Mini cuff with chain, £1,380, Betony Vernon, Dover Street Market, 27 Dover Street, W1S

Black velvet blazer, £1,037, and matching easy pant, £660, Raquel Allegra,; Black silk scarf, £130, Marni, as before; Black leather heels, £615, Gianvito Rossi, 108 Mount Street, W1K

Studded James black crepe blazer, £575, A.L.C, as before; Knee Seam Leather-Like jean, £260, 7 For All Mankind,; Embellished leather bag, £1,240, Marni, as before

Black velvet star top, ÂŁ285, Anglomania by Vivienne Westwood, 6 Davies Street, W1K; Safety pin earrings, ÂŁ180, Julien David, Dover Street Market, as before

Princess black tulle dress, £585, Alice and Olivia,; Studded leather jacket, £2,020, A.L.C, HAIR STYLIST: Meggie Cousland @ Carol Hayes Management using Kiehl’s Since 1851 MAKE-UP ARTIST: Margo Holder @ LHA represents using Nars PHOTOGRAPHER'S ASSISTANT: Aurora Scheftel MODEL: Honey @ Elite Model Management ART DIRECTOR: Delia Sievers Shot on location at Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel, Park Lane, W1K,


design Chiatsin Puah, founder of the luxury startup fashion label My-Perfect-T, takes inspiration from the elements to create unique designs that reflect her passion for the environment. Hannah lemon reports


tarting a new company can be a daunting process but Chiatsin Puah seems unfazed by the finer details of commerce; her sweet manner and neat appearance is balanced by a fierce business acumen. But after studying Russian and politics at university, followed by a master’s degree in European business, it seems strange that she wanted to enter the world of fashion. “I’ve always been passionate about it. It’s something I have never had to think about; it’s been quite innate, in a way,” she informs me, in a soft, clipped London accent. “The master’s in business is what triggered me off in wanting to start my own label, My-Perfect-T.” Chiatsin’s style is subtle but distinguished; a few diamonds sparkle delicately from her rings and necklace, and she is wearing a shirt from her online startup, which she founded in 2013. I admire the pattern of little black penguins sprinkled on white silk – an apt outfit for the winter months. “I believe that getting dressed in the morning should be a pleasure and not a chore,” she

explains. “A top is such a versatile garment and it is the most changeable element of an outfit. You can wear the same pair of skinny black jeans, but change the top and accessories for a new look. It may seem like you’ve taken hours to get ready, when really it’s been a matter of minutes.” This has led to the creation of the readyto-wear, simple silhouettes of shirts and tops as well as a collection of matching scarves through the two-man company, made up of Chiatsin and her print designer. The prints can be worn in a variety of styles and all of them are produced in a limited quantity. I ask where Chiatsin gets inspiration from. “I take lots of photographs, of things as simple as a pattern on a leaf, and think ‘that would look great on a top’. It doesn’t sound very concise but that’s how it comes together,” she laughs. These images comprise four collections, signifying the four elements; earth, air, fire and water. “I realised my ideas were all rooted in these ancient classical elements,” says Chiatsin. “And coming from an Oriental background, there’s the whole idea of chi and feng shui and how everything flows as one. I wanted to create something in fashion that was a bit more deep rooted.” All the materials are made from natural yarns such as stretch silk, satin, and silk crêpe de chine, which are weighted differently according to the season. There is also a fifth element to the label, which provides clients with a boutique service; they can ask for individual prints or use their own photos as inspiration for customised designs. This is the answer to Chiatsin’s pet hate. “I don’t


like it when you buy a top and see it on everyone else. And it hurts more if it’s an expensive brand!” With an interest in nature comes a passion for the environment, and Chiatsin aims to make her production process as ethical as possible, printing all the designs in the UK. She recently returned from a trip to the Maldives where she was pursuing her interest in diving and taking underwater pictures to inspire a future collection. “I am thinking of taking a part-time marine biology course. Although, I’m not sure I’ll have time for it,” she admits. “At the resort we stayed in I was able to do some coral gardening. I love supporting charities and helping to protect the environment.” She set up the Playtime collection to reflect this and is in the process of selecting charities that will receive a percentage of the profits. The office is based off Latimer Road in Notting Hill, a short commute from her home near Brompton Cross in Chelsea. “I feel lucky that I get to experience both worlds. Although sometimes I feel I’m not cool enough for Notting Hill! I would love to have a shop on Westbourne Grove.” There is a pop-up planned later this year along the King’s Road but her sights are set on going global. World domination may seem an ambitious target but Chiatsin is quietly confident. “We are working with an online shopping site in China so we will have a customer base there soon and I am also in talks with people from Dubai. 2015 is going to be a big year.” n




2 5

best of


BEauty February


1. Judo Red and Bamboo White are the two shades chosen by Victoria Beckham as she partners with Nails Inc to create polishes reflecting the SS15 collection from her more youthful fashion line Victoria, Victoria Beckham. Available from February, the colours even get a specially adapted frosted bottle (matte black or white with glass panels) under orders of the fashion designer, and are enriched with bamboo extract (which contains silica) to encourage extra shine.

Judo Red and Bamboo White, £45, 2. When the team at MAC Cosmetics dreamt up its new collection Ultimate, bold luxury was key. It invested in modern, multifaceted chrome cases that you’d be proud to leave on a dressing table and rich make-up colours intended to make a statement. Catharina is its latest hot pink lipstick, with a smooth texture and vibrant finish.

£20, MAC Cosmetics,


3. So popular was Van Cleef & Arpels’ Aqua Oriens fragrance when it arrived in 2012 that the limited edition scent is being relaunched this February, completely unchanged. Created by perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer, the scent contains notes of pear, lime, honeysuckle, orange blossom, musk and amber.

£54, Van Cleef & Arpels, 4. Two months before it is available nationwide, Boots is unveiling Little Black Primer by Estée Lauder on its shelves. The multi-tasking lash tint offers subtle colour and enhancement when used by itself for ‘natural’ days or can be added as a water resistant top coat to enhance the appearance and staying power of your favourite mascara. Available exclusively until April.

£20, Estée Lauder, 5. Effective skincare is all about building a routine and so we were intrigued by this 7-Day Skin Detox Mineral Brightening Peel – there’s something reassuring about undertaking one beauty step every day and feeling the skin tingle with activity. The detailed regime, which includes doses of exfoliation and vitamin C, has been launched by Bare Minerals: persevere and your skin will look much brighter before the week is out.

£59, Bare Minerals,


beauty Update THE NATURAL LOOK Nars has built a reputation on vibrant colours and collections inspired by the likes of Andy Warhol, but for spring its creative director François Nars has opted for an altogether more natural finish. Tilda Swinton stars in the campaign for the second instalment of Portraits by the Artist, a series of different beauty looks. Porto Venere Eye Paint gives lids an even tone and slight gloss, while the lipstick in Liguria lifts the complexion.

Eye paint in Porto Venere, £18.50 and lipstick in Liguria, £19.50

inside the box Giraffes, parrots, flowers and ‘fuzzy cats’ tell us that the Paul & Joe Beauté packaging team has the most fun. Yet again the brand is issuing a themed collection full of easy-to-wear shades for spring, wrapped in pretty prints. Lipsticks are available in coral (Ménagerie), red (Canari) and beige (Renard), while nail varnishes are inspired by classic French styles and have been issued in white (Ours Polaire), pastel pink (Perroquet Rose) and pale green (Tortue Verte) to name a few.

From £7

feet first The Liberty branch of Margaret Dabbs foot care clinic may have just received a makeover of its own, but the renowned salon has also launched an at-home kit to help maintain pedicured feet. Simply named 3 Step Kit, it includes a professional foot file to buff away hard skin and an exfoliating foot mousse and hydrating foot lotion to soothe and refresh. The products are enriched with organic emu oil, which Margaret Dabbs praises for its antiageing properties and insists on using for all clients.

£67, Great Marlborough Street, W1F 020 7494 4492


BUY ME ROSES If 12 red roses prove elusive this month, opt for 400, blended in the form of a new eau de parfum from Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Inspired by love, À La Rose is a floral and woody blend of damascena and centifolia roses which were used to create sweet top notes. Combined with bergamot, orange, cedar and magnolia blossom to make it a little crisper, the resulting fragrance is elegant and feminine. Having won the Prix François Coty in 2001 for his lifetime achievements in the industry, Francis Kurkdjian founded his own perfume house in Paris in 2009 with business partner Marc Chaya.

70ml £145,


TAKE TO THIS LIKE WATER If the thought of slathering on serum before bed has always felt unnatural, try the new Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum from Chanel, specifically designed to feel like water on contact with the skin. The formulation is enriched with camellia oil and blue ginger in microscopic droplets to give the appearance of plump and hydrated skin – and leaves a refreshing, non-oily sensation on application.


THE £100,000 VALENTINE’S PACKAGE Extravagant lovebirds that are looking to enhance their time at the Rosewood London’s Sense Spa can now choose to arrive for a couples massage by helicopter and chauffeur driven Jaguar. As part of a decadent Valentine’s package organised by the hotel, guests also receive a personally created candle by Roja Dove, before a cookery course in the private dining room, jazz and champagne on the terrace of the Garden House Suite. Gifts including bespoke jewellery by Shaun Leane.

252 High Holborn, WC1V 020 7829 9888;



Come up smelling of oranges Gabrielle Lane has a citrus-scented experience at The Grove’s Sequoia spa


n a weekend in December, as the temperature hit freezing, I was cocooned in at the beautiful country house hotel The Grove, wondering how I’d found myself in a position where the therapist at its Sequoia Spa was spraying the scent of fresh oranges around a candlelit treatment room for my benefit. Some kind of exotic meditative chant played through the speakers, followed swiftly by dolphin song. Later, having stretched out my desk-bound muscles, the therapist would slather me from head-totoe in Natura Bissé’s C+C Vitamin Souffle Mask which I happen to know costs £32 for a little tube, before wrapping me in cling film to help the various balms and oils soak into the skin. It felt outrageous. If you’ve ever – with annoyance – discovered your other half using your expensive moisturiser, spare a thought for the accounts team at The Grove. The hotel has partnered with top skincare brand Natura Bisse for treatments including the Orangery Experience, and as a result is indulging its well-heeled clientele with just under two hours of luxury pampering on request, involving full body applications of its award-winning products. The Orangery Experience is inspired by The Grove’s four acre Victorian garden and makes use of Natura Bissé’s C+C Vitamin line which is (predictably) packed with Vitamin C, a natural antioxidant that soothes and protects the skin. After a foot bath to commence the treatment, exfoliation begins and the scrub immediately transforms any lizard-like patches of skin that have been hiding beneath the wooly tights. Then the citrus mousse is used to moisturise before it’s showered off and clients are treated to a massage with a warm, bitter orange balm. The technique at Sequoia involves Thai, yoga-type manipulation of the muscles and joints to ease out any pain and tension by lifting, pulling and rotating the limbs. The therapists combine this with other popular styles too – such as acupressure head massages – for pure relaxation. An accompanying facial is then tailored to fight signs of ageing and tiredness and a C+C Vitamin Complex (a super serum) is worked into the skin with anti-ageing movements to brighten and tone. The orange scent works wonders for the mood too – rather than feeling sleepy, you feel energised after your treatment, and ready to make the most of an evening at the beautiful hotel. Sequoia has just undergone a nine-month renovation programme which has gifted it with a great


sauna and steam room, as well as a smart relaxation area constructed around a lighting and bubble installation, so you can easily while away time with friends. Alternatively, if you choose to stay overnight, an executive suite in the main mansion with gorgeous pine floors, a sunken bath tub and a separate lounge area will give you all the space you need and the best views over the surrounding 300 acres of countryside. Dinner at hotel restaurant The Glasshouse is a lively and casual buffet affair with delicious roast meats, oriental dishes, fresh seafood and tempting cakes and desserts. Orange is definitely the new black. n

The Orangery Experience, £190 01923 807 807,

Lilou et Lo誰c L O N D O N

H E AV E N S C E N T. . .

3kg Scented Candle From The Emperor Collection

Suppliers of quality bespoke doors and ironmongery to some of the UK’s finest homes. Showrooms: Esher, Surrey & Chelsea Harbour 01932 851 081 or 0207 376 7000


wish list

SOPHISTICATED STYLE Add a touch of glamour to your desktop with these new sculptural Tom Dixon glass vases, inspired by British heritage. Featuring hand-painted copper detailing and cast iron treasure boxes with magnifying pressed-glass crystal lids, the strong silhouettes are perfect for long-stemmed roses or small tight bunches for a touch of tabletop architecture. The brand will also be expanding its stationery offering this month for an extra decorative boost.


Interiors inspiration SPRING AWAKENING For it's new season offering, Designer's Guild home store was influenced by traditional Chinese landscape painting and the art of calligraphy. Its fabrics, wallcoverings and home accessories represent the ancient paintings of bamboo, willow trees, temples and blossom but with an added contemporary twist. With sophisticated shades of charcoal, pearl and sepia combined with pink, jade and yellow, we challenge you not to feel inspired.

76 Marylebone High Street, W1U

SMOOTH MOVE New designs from Italian furniture house Natuzzi combine luxury style with hi-tech features. For example, the Re-vive (pictured) has a weight compensating mechanism so that it can recline with perfect balance. The base of the chair is designed to rotate full circle, and it even comes with a matching tilting ottoman. Available in both leather and fabric, in a range of colours including turquoise, brown, white and black, it's anything but a lazy boy choice.

Natuzzi Re-vive from ÂŁ2,150


THE WRITING’S ON THE WALL There can be no better way to spend a romantic weekend than at The Corinthia’s jaw-dropping spa, followed by dinner at Massimo. While you’re there, pop along to see top graphologist Emma Bache, who will be available for on-the-spot handwriting analysis for couples wishing to test their relationship compatability on Valentine's Day. With only a sample of handwriting Emma can reveal the personality of each individual and establish whether their true love really is meant to be. Don’t write it off before you’ve tried it.

Corinthia Hotel London will be offering this experience to guests dining at the hotel on Saturday 14 February from 3-11pm,


SPILLED SECRETS Since 2010, Marylebone’s Darkroom has brought undiscovered designers to the spotlight. Its signature black-walled space reveals a mixture of unique and stylish products, from jewellery to interiors, and has recently welcomed the work of ceramicist Sophie Southgate. Although she's a newbie to the professional art scene, Sophie has developed her own signature style, filling interior spaces with her unusually shaped 'vessels' and splashes of bright colour.

£125-£360 each 52 Lamb’s Conduit Street, WC1N

COME DINE WITH ME Vera Wang and Wedgwood continue to collaborate with the launch of the Vera Organza Dinnerware collection. The designer, known for her iconic wedding dresses, translates the layering and textures of her evening gowns into this home range with sculpted white-on-white bone china. Featuring everything you would need from a five piece place setting to a cereal bowl, this collection is ideal for everyday use as well as for entertaining guests.

£60 for five-piece place setting

TAKE A SEAT The latest range by The Sofa and Chair Company has been designed to suit a London hotel as much as a trendy pied-à-terre. The T-shape of the Portman Chair (pictured) and its stud embellishment gives an edge to its luxury feel, complimented by the side table (pictured) with its brushed brass detail. All of the furniture is made in its west London workshop, which is home to London’s largest fabric collection.

Portman chair with studs, £1,545 and boutique side table, £2,490 (all prices exclude fabric)


game of throws Parisian interior design brand Caravane recently opened the doors to its first international store in Marylebone. Amy Green meets the husband and wife owners, VÊronique and Jack-Eric Piedeleu, to talk about London’s love for all things French




aving arranged to meet Véronique first thing on a Friday morning at Marylebone’s Caravane, I arrived a few minutes early in order to scan the room: it’s spacious, boutique-like and très, très chic. “We are always trying to see things with a twist,” she later tells me, “I like to find things that can be surprising.” With plates functioning as mirrors and lantern-inspired lighting, along with the combinations of different coloured fabrics layered together as bedding, the boutique has a ‘we-justthrew-this-together’ vibe that we all know is so hard to achieve. And while I need no convincing, Véronique assures me of the time and energy taken to perfect the design. “In our shop in Paris we change the display around four times a year. Here we’ll try to do it three times a year to correspond with the art shows. Every time you finish one – you have to think to the next.” To my surprise, our meeting was a family affair. I was greeted by both owners and also by their daughter Capucine, who sits with us while we discuss everything from home decorating – “be daring but not too daring” – to the mother-daughter Victoria’s Secret outing they are planning for the weekend. Though it would have been easy to veer off track, we are here to discuss the brand’s move to London after 20 years as a successful interiors stalwart overseas. “Paris is no more sparkling,” Véronique explains, in her delightfully accented Anglaise. “My husband and I, we really love London... It’s refreshing for us when we come here.” Caravane has set up shop just off Marylebone High Street, and while choosing the location was not easy for them, they are pleased with the attention they have received from both their British and international customers. When I ask why the capital’s high street has been embracing an ever-increasing number of French names of late, Véronique suggests that this is reciprocal, with many English brands having also found homes in Paris. “Caravane has a similar clientele to the many French fashion brands that are present in Marylebone.” With Jack-Eric taking charge of sales, marketing and finance, Véronique is the authority on everything style-related. Yet when I ask her who decides the décor at home, she modestly insists “it is a balance”, combining JackEric’s technical experience and her eye for colour, texture and dimensions. Her grandmother was an antique dealer and from a young age Véronique was captivated by “all things vintage. I also very much like fabrics and colours. My first wish was to be a stylist but it was not possible”. After studying business

and working in marketing and product development, she went on to establish De Fil En Image, a company dealing with artistic leisure activities. Then, 12 years ago, her and Jack-Eric began working together and soon decided to pursue a business venture that was more creatively fulfilling. With four stores in Paris, each Caravane maintains a sense of personality and spirit that is regarded by the company as more important than following trends. Véronique explains; “we create using our intuition. Our looks are timeless and cosmopolitan and nourished by our sensitivity.” Her genuine enthusiasm for interior design has fuelled her desire to travel all over the world in search of unique pieces. “I like Istanbul because it’s quite modern and also very authentic – it’s a nice place. We go to India often and we’ll try to discover Vietnam this year and the craftsmanship there, which we haven’t yet worked with. I think it will be interesting for us.” Maintaining close relationships with local craftsmen and suppliers


“A home must express your way of life, it needs to be comfortable and most importantly it needs to have an element of fantasy” very important to Véronique and whether they are in London, Paris or abroad, she sets aside time to scour local markets. She recommends trawling the stalls at Kempton Park, Golborne Road and Marylebone’s Alfies to uncover vintage-inspired and original products. For Véronique, there are no rules to follow when styling a home. Armed with “a light touch and your soul”, I am told that anything is possible when it comes to interior decorating (apart from what she can only translate as “bling-bling”, which is declared a firm nono). They’re also currently refurbishing their new house in Paris and insist that while they don’t want the home

to be a showroom for their wares, they of course will be developing items that they are personally passionate about. She advises that “a home must express your way of life, it needs to be comfortable and most importantly it needs to have an element of fantasy”. Two decades on from its launch, I ask what we should be expecting from the brand in the future. Ever mindful of the family nature of the business, she grins and says “speak with my husband”. n

38-40 New Cavendish Street, W1G 020 7486 5233;


The Emilia

Classic, Elegant & Sophisticated

fa m i ly

wish list

IF THE SHOE FITS If you were worried that Disney’s new Cinderella film production, starring Lily James and Helena Bonham Carter, may lack a bit of the original’s sparkle, then knowing that 1.7 million Swarovski crystals were used in the costumes should set your mind at ease. As well as the glittering ball gowns, created in collaboration with the Academy Award winning costume designer Sandy Powell, the iconic glass slippers, which play such a pivotal role in the classic fairy tale, took approximately 150 hours to make and feature 221 facets in a light-reflecting Crystal Blue Aurora Borealis coating. Each shoe is made up of three crystal pieces and weighs in at just over 1kg.

Cinderella will be released through Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on 27 March. For more information, visit waltdisneystudiosUK Cinderella © 2014 Disney Enterprises


nurserynews having a bubble Bubble London returns this month showcasing more than 280 exhibitors from across the childrenswear industry who come to sell their wares. Presenting the very latest for the little fashionistas, from clothing, footwear and accessories to gifts and products for the home, there's even an organic and fairtrade section. Don't miss the Bubble Rising Star awards for the best debuting launch brand to ensure you're the first to snap up its wares.

1-2 February, Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, N1

leading the way Baker & Bray is a London-based luxury dog accessories company founded by a chap called Richard Thurlby. Inspired to name it after his grandmothers, who were both avid knitters and sewers, British leather specialist Alma has created a collection of dog leads and collars for the brand, handmade in its Whitechapel factory. Go simple for an understated pooch or choose embossed crocodile leather for a look with a bit more bite.

Collars £94, leads £106

valley of the dolls A new exhibition, Small Stories: At Home in a Doll’s House, showcases 12 doll’s houses made over the last 300 years. Each model, from the Georgian townhouse to newly-built hi-rise apartments, will tell its own story, drawing upon themes like changes in design, the history of the home and family relationships. Appealing to adults and children, visitors can interact with the display, pressing buttons to activate character narration. The finale of the exhibition is a specially commissioned art installation Dream House, with fantasy rooms created by 20 designers.

V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, E2 Until 6 September, free admission

fa m i ly

CHIC CHICK Artistic director for Sonia Rykiel, Julie de Libran, has launched a capsule collection for Rykiel Enfant. Stirred by her childhood memories of her mother wearing the clothes of Rykiel in the 1970s and 1980s, the French designer has created a range for little girls up to age 14. With shades of olive green, dark red, cream, navy blue and black, each piece is styled with the brand's signature SR diamanté detailing and offers a twist on its regular children’s style.

DREAMING OF SUNSHINE After starting off with a simple line of knitwear, childrenswear brand Aravore turns 10 this year and has recently been awarded the Positive Luxury Butterfly for its high-quality organic products. Designer and creative director Yanina Aubrey explains that the subtle colours, fine detailing and vintage influences reflect her daughter’s fascination with the

Available from February,

outdoors, also encompassed by the use of raw materials. This season, Aravore is collaborating with textile company Pilar, from Paraguay. Introducing a print inspired by the childhood memory of getting your first bike, this range will tie in with its theme of nostalgia.

SLEEP EASY Always looking for new ways to innovate, iCandy has launched a new pushchair – the Peach All-Terrain, available in Toucan (black with neon yellow piping) and Sneaker (grey with coral piping). With three action air-filled tyres, quick release swivel front wheel spins and soft touch sport fabric, it promises a smooth experience for both baby and parent. Its easy-lift, lie-flat carrycot is suitable for babies from birth and is practical for overnight sleeping.


Available from mid February £640,

horse and buggy Based on the book by Russell Hoban, Peaceful Lion Productions presents Rosie’s Magic Horse at Jackon's Lane theatre this month; a tale of aspiration, friendship, adventure and mischief. Little Rosie collects ice-lolly sticks in her box and dreams of helping her parents pay the bills. At the stroke of midnight, a horse magically appears out of the box and asks “Where to?” Rosie replies: “Anywhere with treasure!” Beginning an exciting adventure together, they discover ice-lolly mountains by the sea, caskets of gold and pirates.

8 February, 269a Archway Road, N6



health & fitness MAKE A SPLASH Swim and surf are big areas for Net-a-sporter next season, the luxury retail website’s dedicated workout-gear edit. As well as exclusive collections from swimwear brands Lisa Marie Fernandez and Zimmermann (right), the site will welcome Duskii (left) to its online stage – a luxurious collection of high-performance activewear for the water. Aiming to draw in the seasoned swimmer, surfer, diver or sailor, its gorgeous mix-and-match neoprene suits and separates are light, warm, thin, supple and stretchy, providing varying levels of thermal comfort. We’re diving in head first.

coco nuts We drink it. We cook with it. And now we’re being told to rub it all over ourselves, courtesy of the Bulgari Spa’s exclusive Jax Coco Body Experience. Making use of the finest coconut oil, ideal for rehydrating the skin just in time for spring, the utterly idyllic treatment begins with a warming exfoliation, combining Himalayan salts mixed with Jax Coco coconut oil, followed by a bespoke massage with the enriching elixir, massaged in by an expert therapist with the use of hot stones. The purest organic coconut oil in the world, made using one of the most advanced triple centrifuge processes available, it retains the maximum amount of the fruit’s nutritional value by avoiding exposure to hot temperatures. Aside from leaving you smelling like a pool-side cocktail, you’ll be silky smooth and serenely stress free.

£200 for 60 minutes,

butter up


Friends Aldis Firman and Malin Wright took their innate Scandinavian eye for exquisite design and combined it with their passion for scent and home décor to found Lilou et Loic. Named after Malin’s daughter Lilou, and the young girl’s imaginary winged-friend Loic, each piece in the bath, body and home fragrance collection exudes understated style with its gentle colour palettes and clean lines, while filling your senses with delicious scents. We love the rich and creamy body butter: while the shea butter base guarantees silky skin, the beautiful boxes can be resused to hold trinkets or tealights. Choose the complementary bath foam in True Pomegranate if you’re feeling fruity.

Bath Foam, £78 and Body Butter, £58,


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you better shape up Unlikely gym bunny Gabrielle Lane embarks on a quest to improve her fitness with the MPH Method and shares tips for those looking to change their lifestyle in 2015


y name is Gabrielle, I’m a size 8 and I eat pasta five times a week. If you have ever found yourself wondering if the tomato sauce for your fusilli constitutes one of your recommended five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables, this feature is for you. The Guardian newspaper would call me a Tofi (the acronym it has coined for people it believes are thin on the outside, fat inside); my friends call me ‘lucky’, but Matt Hodges, the personal trainer behind the MPH Method – and the man in charge of showing me exactly what it takes to be super fit – has some more illuminating reflections on our workouts. “When I start with someone it’s always important to get them to build strength so that we’re able to carry on adding in high intensity workouts without risk of injury,” he begins, rather innocuously enough. “This is why we tackle some of the bigger movements first, which you quite rightly found hard. Also, with you personally, we were going to tackle the imbalances in your feet (especially the right foot) and the knock-on effect it had with your knees and your hips. You also had the task of battling through a lack of co-ordination.” A natural-born sportswoman I am not. Sent to investigate whether having a personal training and nutrition team really does mean ‘we can all look like that’ [cue popular celebrity image] and much more importantly, assess how feasible and worthwhile it is to make diet and exercise changes, I trained with Matt five times a week in December and haven’t looked back. Under Matt’s guidance the MPH Method offers a lifestyle overhaul and a huge amount of support to those with specific goals, whether it’s former or current professional athletes seeking an improvement in performance, those desiring weight loss or members of the forgotten demographic – the average person who has lost sight of health and wellbeing under a pile of deadlines and ‘life admin’ and just wants to feel good. In combination with a carefully tailored programme of strength and conditioning in the gym, clients also work with nutritionist and hormone coach Rosie Millen (more on this later), nutritionist Sonal

Shah, osteopath and physiotherapist Tim Allardyce and sports massage therapist Sarah Dewey to ensure that they start to look, feel and move well. The process gets results – but here’s what I learnt along the way:

1. Choose a personal trainer you like “The more training you do, the more benefit you’ll get. No excuses,” says Matt. Typically with the MPH Method, clients train four times a week for an hour per session. It sounds obvious enough but the key here is the psychological benefit, because the greater the impact you see, the more likely you are to persevere. What about those of us with busy schedules? “There are 168 hours in a week,” says Matt. “You should be able to spare more than one of them.” As you’re spending so much time with your Personal Trainer (PT), choose one that you like. Matt Hodges is used to training clients of all fitness levels at studios in Putney and St John’s Wood; the latter has a good musical playlist and a ‘fitness café’ upstairs serving healthy food and smoothies (banana, honey, milk and spirulina). It’s the little things that make a difference as you’re striving for your 40th lunge.

2. There might be a less obvious reason you’re not losing weight “I originally set up the MPH Method because I wanted to offer the public the most scientific way of assessing their bodies and tailoring a training programme,” says Matt. The team uses full body Dexa scanning (a sophisticated type of X-ray) to calculate levels of fat and lean muscle mass, giving the most accurate picture available as to what’s going on inside you. Nutritionist Rosie Millen is also an expert on devising meal plans based on comprehensive hormone tests which are often undertaken at the beginning of the programme. Do you crave salt and carry your weight around the waist? You may have dysfunctional adrenal glands and abnormally high levels of cortisol.


3. You can’t out-train a poor diet Whether or not there’s a non-chocolate cake related cause for your body shape and fitness levels, Rosie is on hand to tailor dietary advice. If you’re attempting to slim down and train regularly, the key is so eat more protein and fewer carbohydrates – and it’s even more protein than you think. In my case, Rosie suggested that 40 per cent of my daily calorie intake came from protein, 30 per cent from carbohydrates and 30 per cent from healthy fats. Eating five small meals a day helps to keep energy levels up and blood sugar levels steady, which is even likely to improve the quality of your sleep.

4. Don’t fear weight training One of the best things you can do to shape and tone your body is to hit the gym’s weight room. This is where you should expect to spend most of your time, likely visiting the treadmills only for ‘interval sprints’ or short bursts of speed and rest over 10-20 minutes. “It’s incredibly important to bust the myth that women become bulky if they lift too many weights,” says Matt. “Women should think of using weights as a way of sculpting their curves and flattening out conditioned areas of their body.” In practice this means varied circuits of kettlebells, dumbbells and step-ups with weights – and less visible sweating.

working out in other ways. “Large compound (multi joint) exercises that recruit the abdominals like deadlifting, squatting, lunging and pull-ups (to name a few) work the abs in a much more functional way,” says Matt. “That said, hanging knee raises and isometric exercises (holding positions like the plank) work like a dream for good ab strength.” Matt’s sessions incorporate all of the above in circuit style rotations with a high number of repetitions. Lunges? That’s 12 on each leg, three times over, with a little bit of monkey bar action in the middle. No joke. Matt Hodges is adamant that good personal training should aim to tone all muscle groups as part of a holistic package of physio and dietary support. “If I can get a client to be balanced in a short amount of time – nutritionally, hormonally, and physically – then they will undoubtedly feel great and my job is done.” n

020 8748 0514

5. Don’t try and focus on your abs Sit-ups are not the most effective route to a washboard stomach. In fact, you can ditch them completely – if you’re

Image courtesy of Nike


In rhythm Consultant Cardiologist Dr Julian Jarman discusses the options available to treat atrial fibrillation

health promotion

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common heart rhythm disturbance, with approximately 50,000 cases diagnosed each year in the UK alone. Currently, those aged 40 or over have a one in four chance of developing AF during their lifetime. Most likely to manifest as an irregular heartbeat, AF is also the leading preventable cause of strokes. Importantly, treatment options have changed radically in recent years. What is atrial fibrillation? AF is an irregularity in the rhythm of the upper chambers of the heart, causing them to ‘quiver’ without ‘effective contraction’. Although it is not immediately lifethreatening, AF causes a rapid and irregular pulse, which reduces the heart’s efficiency. In addition to this, ineffective contraction can cause blood pooling and blood clots which may lead to a stroke. What are the symptoms? Most common are: • Rapid, irregular palpitations in the chest • Increased fatigue • Breathlessness In more extreme cases: • Chest pain • Dizziness • Fainting How to detect AF Recent campaigns have emphasised the importance of pulse checks, particularly if you are experiencing any of the associated symptoms listed above. An electrocardiogram (ECG) can also diagnose continuously present AF, but for those with intermittent episodes, it can be harder to detect and diagnose. ECGs can be worn for several days, and there are even smartphone attachments and apps to track your heart rate at any time. The most sensitive test is a loop recorder – a small monitor implanted below the skin which tracks every heartbeat, for up to two years. Drugs to prevent stroke AF detection is critical in the prevention of potential risks of a stroke, as medication can be prescribed. However, even in patients with known AF, only 55 per cent of those who should take blood thinners currently receive

them. Treatment options were previously limited to aspirin or warfarin, a blood thinner that requires monitoring through frequent blood tests. Recently, however, the options have changed radically, with aspirin no longer recommended as it is said to have little benefit. New drug alternatives to warfarin have also become available such as the novel oral anticoagulants. These do not require monitoring, making them more convenient, with a significantly lower risk of bleeding compared to warfarin.

Catheter ablation is more effective than drug therapy and attempts to eliminate AF completely. Ablation, or cauterisation, electrically isolates the pulmonary veins from the rest of the heart, preventing the rhythm from starting. The procedure is performed with minimal access via the leg veins, and usually under general anaesthetic. As the technique has matured, the success rates in experienced centres have also improved. Recent studies also suggest that the treatment may reduce the risk of stroke associated with AF.

Left atrial appendage occlusion devices Recently, devices have been developed which can seal the left atrial appendage; the structure in which blood clots form. This option can prevent stroke without requiring blood thinners, working as effectively as warfarin without the same long-term risks of bleeding. Surgery is quick, with implantation involving a one hour procedure under general anaesthetic.

How can I reduce my risk of AF? As with most cardiac conditions, a generally healthy lifestyle helps prevention e.g. a healthy diet, keeping weight in check, stopping smoking and taking moderate exercise. However, for AF these two factors are particularly important: • Keep your blood pressure in check • Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume

Catheter ablation therapy Although drugs can control symptoms in some patients, many have ongoing symptoms despite the use of medication.

If you think you may have AF or are experiencing associated symptoms, arrange an appointment with a doctor to check your pulse and discuss the options available to you.

For further information or if you would like to arrange an appointment at The Wellington Hospital, contact the hospital Enquiry Helpline on 020 7483 5000 or visit


escape A tranquil oasis amidst the hustle & bustle of Mayfair. A unique dining experience begins as you walk down a tree-lined pathway to reach The Greenhouse. London fades away and calm descends. Michelin-starred chef Arnaud Bignon’s acclaimed light touch with highly flavoured dishes brings a thrilling dimension to classic French cuisine. Make your reservation today at

The Greenhouse, 27a Hay’s Mews Mayfair, London, W1J 5NY 020 7499 3331


wish list

RAISING THE BAR If you’re sick of trying to get a table at Bocca di Lupo for any night less than a year from now, then head to Piccolino’s new lower-ground Cicchetti Bar for a taste of northern Italy without the attitude. The interior, designed by award-winning Robert Angell Design International, is smart and stylish with chrome accents and dark mirrors, offset by banquette seating and leather stools surrounding the bar. The cocktail menu features a selection of bellinis, including elderflower fizz – a blend of Belvoir elderflower and prosecco – as well as fine Italian wines and liquers. While the waitresses suggest four to six dishes between two, may we recommend doubling that, to save missing out on a truly exceptional dinner: tuna tartare, frito misto and beef ragu and mozzarella arancini balls were all stand-out plates.

21 Heddon Street, W1B 020 7287 4029


Foodie favourites

best for valentine’s day

close for comfort Before the southern US cuisine craze took the capital by storm, Lockhart was bringing a smart, modern and very sexy twist to the hot and tasty flavours of Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico. Head downstairs to the dimly lit bar for cocktails laced with mezcal and mango jalapeño purée, as well as a comprehensive and varied wine

list, before soaking it up with mallard gumbo, devilled crab and shrimp and grits. The cosy atmosphere, top food, and excellent service lend a natural ‘we don’t even need to try’ romantic vibe to this Marylebone-based gem.

22-24 Seymour Place, W1H; 020 3011 5400



Fera, meaning ‘wild’ in Latin, has taken the Simon Rogan ‘foraged’ food philosophy and turned it into the most sensational restaurant to have opened last year. We scored it top points when we reviewed it in August: from the smiley, attentive, down-right delightful waitress to the stunning Art Deco interiors, designed by Guy Oliver, it fulfils the finedining special occasion checkbox without being in the least bit stuffy. Opt for the fun and delicious 10-course tasting menu and finish off by feeding each other the stunning petite fours before retreating upstairs to the Claridge’s Suite. Live by Rogan’s ethos and make your other half forage for the ring in the iced beech leaf with nitro sweet cheese.

49 Brook Street, W1K; 020 7107 8888

hot-to-trot As queen of sensual glamour Dita von Teese says “heels and red lipstick will put the fear of God into people”. Don a fabulous frock because you have a date with the most fiercely-guarded guest-list in town. If you manage to get a table, order chargrilled iberico pork and blackened salmon with sea kale and trout roe, or perch at the bar with enough snacks to keep you going at a steady pace while the

champagne flows. Naysayers may be screaming “what’s all the fuss about” but we think it’s still as hot as ever.

1 Chiltern Street, W1U; 020 7073 7676

a seasoned romance While it may be Karam Sethi’s Mayfair restaurant Gymkhana that clogged the column inches when it opened last summer, the original modern-Indian outpost by no means suffers from ‘first pancake’ syndrome. Awarded a Michelin star in 2012, you can bank on the best Indian food you have ever eaten (ever) but with the charming and intimate surrounds of a

restaurant that never felt it had something to prove. Order wild tiger prawns and lamb chops from the Tandoor and seafood biryani and Dorset brown crab for mains, providing you’re not planning on a garlicfree kiss goodnight.

15-17 Blandford Street, W1U; 020 7935 5624


Restaurant Review

Heddon our hands


Kari Colmans is left nonplussed after a trip to Gordon Ramsay’s latest opening

uch is human nature that most people who walk into Gordon Ramsay’s new Heddon Street Kitchen will want it to be ghastly. The shouty chef with the world’s most expressive forehead has cemented his celebrity-profile by telling family-fronted cafés and self-taught chefs how bad their food is from here to the US via the Costa del Sol. His personal life has been splashed across the tabloids, but he’s got a swish new mullet and rock-hard abs, and this Stretch Armstrong isn’t afraid to keep on expanding for as long as he can cook. Personally, I’ve only eaten in one of Ramsay’s other restaurants – Maze – and it was great on both occasions. I’m also a fan of his guiltypleasure trashy TV shows, and particularly enjoyed his recent lashing at the hands of Jonathan Ross, which he always takes in good humour. And, for these reasons, I was really really hoping to love Heddon Street Kitchen. But love is a very strong word. We visit on a Thursday evening just a week or so after opening and it’s full with a mixture of shopping-laden walk-ins, post-work diners and early Christmas-party punters. The space is huge and a bit soulless, despite the open kitchen, exposed pipes and natty light fixtures, but the banquettes are smart and everyone seems to be having a good time. The menu arrives and my husband and I both have a bit of a Michael McIntyre at the buffet moment – “I don’t even like muesli but I want muuuueeesssli!” Quite frankly, it’s enormous (exactly what Ramsay tells his

quivering subjects not to do) and just a sample of the starters covers almost every continental cuisine I can think of: potted beef brisket, California maki rolls, cured meat with pickles, rigatoni with mozzarella and tomatoes. We decide to go semi-Asian for starters and order hamachi with yuzukosho, pecan nut and pecan oil which is too thick-cut and a bit cold, as well as being so drenched in peanut fragrance that you may as well be licking the lid of the Sun-Pat jar, which is all well and good, but only with a crumpet and not a slab of raw fish. The spicy tuna tartare with chilli garlic, sesame oil and wonton crisps is much better and far more subtle in texture and flavour, while the tamarind-spiced chicken wing floater is also okay. For mains, my red wine-braised short ribs with swede mash and gremolata is a bit stringy and cloying, and I only manage a third of it, while the other half’s 30 day-aged English rib-eye steak is tasty but a tad well done. The hand-cut chips are too big,

closer to the size of bananas. The service is so quick that we decide to go for dessert in order to stretch out the evening a bit, along with a glass of sherry. The maple and banana upside-down cake, served with vanilla ice cream, arrives in less than five minutes, which makes us wonder quite how freshly prepared it is. It’s delicious and gloopy and naughty and unctuous, but reminds us both of the M&S syrup sponge that you put in the microwave and guzzle in the kitchen before anyone can see, causing you to burn your entire oesophagus. Which is no slight on the pudding, by the way: this isn’t just any syrup cake… While nothing (except the hamachi) is bad per se, nothing is excellent. Everything is just… fine. And although I wouldn’t rush back for dinner, upstairs the bar looks a lot more lively, while the dedicated dessert bar for puddings and milkshake-based cocktails seems atmospheric, and a lovely place to spend an evening for drinks. Kitchen nightmares this is not… but nor is it the stuff of foodie dreams. n

3-9 Heddon Street, W1B 020 7592 1212;



spiceof LIFE

Presented with a feast that even she couldn’t make a dent in, Kari Colmans meets restaurateur Tony Kitous, whose Comptoir Libanais eateries brought modern Middle Eastern mezze to the masses way before Ottolenghi and co


n England, if someone serves you a meal and you only eat half of what’s on your plate, you feel rude because people will think you didn’t like the food. For me, if I give you something and you finish everything, that means I have been rude because I didn’t give you enough!” Having been served a spread that could feed a rugby team, and listened to Tony Kitous talk about his passion for food for just about the longest time an interview has ever run on, no other quote in my harissa-splashed and somewhat lengthy notes could better sum up my lunch. Before Yotam Ottolenghi was selling pomegranate molasses to the middle-class masses – and Palomar was making headlines for its “l’chaim”-shouting chefs – Kitous was bringing cool, accessible Middle Eastern cuisine to the capital’s seasoned foodies. Growing up in Algeria, Kitous came over to London for a holiday at the age of 18, spent his first night sleeping in Victoria Station, and then the next three months in a north London squat with other travellers. He managed to find work in restaurants, often taking on two to three shifts back to back, grafting up to 18 hours in a day. But he thought of it as an adventure, one that started off as a “holiday” and in the end laid the foundations for a career that few are probably more deserving. He’s nostalgic about his childhood family get-togethers, which saw his mother, grandmother and the rest of the women in the family gather in the kitchen, and is still adamant that nobody is a better chef than his mother, with whom he’s still very close. The eldest in a brood of seven kids, he’d often cook up ingenious ways to earn some extra money by using what he had in the cupboard. “When I was as young as 10 I would go to the nearby football stadium, where our team was the local equivalent of Manchester

United, so whenever they played it was a sell-out. I’d wake up early in the morning, buy tickets and then go and sell them on. By late morning I would sell out so I’d go home and my mum would help me prepare things like sardine or merguez sandwiches with harissa and fresh lemonade to sell. I come from a very humble family and I never knew what that word ‘pocket money’ was. I knew that if I wanted some spare money then I had to go out there and work for it. That’s what I think of as my first experience in hospitality. People say where did you learn everything in life? I say on the street.” Kitous’s more conventional Lebanese restaurant (at least to the English mind), Levant, was the first to open its doors when he was only 22 years old. Comptoir Libanais came second in 2008 on both Wigmore Street and at Westfield shopping centre, and there are now 13 outposts, with more to follow across England this year. Comptoir is more of your Ottolenghi-meets-Leon style eatery, a trendy, beautifully decorated buzzing canteen, ideal for takeaways as well as casual lunches and dinners, focusing on stunning Lebanese ingredients served in a modern way to a metropolitan audience. “I wanted to do for Lebanese food, what the Italians have done for Italian food in Britain,” he says, as the first dish of our traditional feast at Levant arrives. “Lebanese food offers a huge variety: it’s healthy, you can eat it on a day-to-day basis, it’s very easy to make, and it’s not one of those cuisines that you either love or hate. I could make you breakfast lunch and dinner for two weeks and for each meal you’d have three or four different mezze. When you talk about Italian food, you don’t think of it as Italian like you would Indian or Chinese food; it is just nice food that you eat every day without thinking about its origin. I want this food to be on people’s tables without them thinking about it.”




While Kitous is not actually from Lebanon, he shrugs with an “agghh” hand motion that signals a same same but different philosophy. “We borrow each other’s ingredients, each other’s dishes and everyone claims it as their own. But it’s all about sharing.” Traditional dips and flatbreads arrive in quick succession: hummus and baba ganoush as well as a few surprises, including a moreish pink, beetroot-infused yoghurt; muhammarah, a spicy red pepper and roasted mixed nut dip; and koussa bil tahini, a courgette purée infused with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and yoghurt. “I came on holiday and I am still on holiday because I’m enjoying this so much!” he beams as he shovels each dip onto a sliver of bread and practically feeds me with his own hands. I take the morsels before they actually reach my lips and try to contain my inner Jewish mother with all the doubledipping. “This, for me, doesn’t feel like work – it’s like I’m receiving someone at home, that’s how it feels. I realised this week that it was 21 years since I opened my first restaurant – wow! People say it’s a long time but I didn’t see the time go. I don’t do fashionable or trendy. What I’m doing is what we’ve been doing as a culture for hundreds of years. Sharing is not a new thing for us. It’s honest, real, healthy food. For me, it’s not about restaurant cuisine. It’s about home-cooked food.” A second course starts filtering through: kibbé lahmé, fried lamb and cracked wheat parcels filled with onions, minced meat and pine nuts, as well as a few vegetarians varieties of pumpkin with walnuts and pomegranate molasses; halloumi, feta cheese and parsley; and spinach and sumac. Grilled halloumi steaks, soujoc (home-made spicy sausages) and a Lebanese pizza combining the two is put before me, as well as a range of salads, chargrilled chicken wings and spicy sautéed potatoes, to be washed down with a choice of two teas and four jugs of colourful lemonades and a never-ending supply of crispy za’atar-covered bread. “The moment someone sits down we just give them food!” he says, as if this is a normal occurrence for a Monday lunchtime, especially when he’s on a convenient juice diet in training for one of the many marathons he’s always running for charity. “Any time of the day – people say ‘ah what a waste’ but we don’t waste. You know if we have way too much food to eat the next day we just share it with our

neighbours. In our culture we serve a lot of food because that is how we show hospitality, that’s how when someone walks in we make them feel welcome.” Unable to make much of a dent on my own, Kitous insists on packing up every dish for me to take home for dinner (met with a cartoon-like drool from the other half, who couldn’t believe his luck on what’s usually DIY dinner night). He also hands me a beautiful basket that he picked up in a souk in Morocco years ago, which he bought in bulk and now saves to fill with presents (they also line the shelves at Comptoir). It’s overflowing with both of his beautiful cookbooks – Comptoir Libanais and Comptoir Libanais Express – as well as a tower of baklava, teas, spices, and all other manner of exotic treats. It’s so heavy that he insists on carrying the whole lot to my next destination, a good 15-minute walk away, after my refusal to let him put me in a cab all the way home. He genuinely wants to know my opinion once I’ve tried each spice at home: “When I need an opinion or advice I only ask my female friends – please the woman and you also please the man.” Kitous is a talker and it’s hard to get a word in edgeways, but above anything, his passion, dedication, and genuine generosity of spirit make him one of the most interesting people I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing a delicious 30-course lunch with. He’s constantly on the go with meetings scheduled hourly, but he doesn’t look at his watch once. While he says he’s not interested in breaking the celebrity chef world, I’m not totally convinced. He admires people like Jamie Oliver, who have made good food more accessible. “Oliver is a guy who stayed true to who he was, he is very humble and he cooks for everyone and that’s what our food is, it’s for everyone,” but his worst fear in life is for someone to say “he used to be good”, something that, eventually, seems to come with the celebrity chef territory, when the star of the show spreads themselves too thinly. But all he’d have to do was bring the critics in for a smattering of dishes and they’d be eating out of the palm of his hand. n

“Jamie Oliver is a guy who stayed true to who he was; he cooks for everyone”

Comptoir Libanais, 65 Wigmore Street, W1U 020 7935 1110; Levant, Jason Court, 76 Wigmore Street, W1U 020 7224 1111; Both recipe books are available at


not just a hotel,

a way of life










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wish list

CHECKING IN We’ve always liked The Hospital Club, a little haven of artistic activity in the heart of bustling, tourist-thronged Covent Garden. Its latest news involves the opening of 15 unique bedrooms back in January, complete with brain power tool kits by the School of Life and an erotic mini bar courtesy of Holloway Smith Noir. Lucky guests will also have access to the Club’s full offering, including production and screening facilities and member events. Thanks to the Bedroom Art Programme, each room will feature original work by an emerging artist from the Club’s community; we’re particularly intrigued to see what Alyson Mowat, Dominic Beattie, Rick Guest, Jacob Love and Harriet Clare will install in their rooms.



in February

Bedfordshire, UK


Cherish every hour with your better half with a romantic weekend a little closer to home Having hosted a number of heads of state and royal subjects over the years (the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh spent part of their honeymoon in one of the vast state bedrooms), the mansion house at Luton Hoo dates from the late 18th century. Today, the historic property and its stunning grounds, which reopened after a £60m refurbishment in 2007, have set the scene for a number of Hollywood blockbusters including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Enigma, Eyes Wide Shut and Vanity Fair. Settle for no less than the vast Queen Mary suite, a favourite with Johnny Depp when he’s filming nearby, for sprawling space and old-fashioned regal decadence. Expect champagne and canapés on arrival followed by a sumptuous five-course candlelit dinner of fresh crab, Jerusalem artichoke soufflé and dark chocolate fondant in the awardwinning Wernher Restaurant. Make full use of the spa the following morning and take a walk through the sprawling gardens for a spot of country air.

The Valentine’s Day package at Luton Hoo Hotel starts from £210 per person,; 01582 734437

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winter A NIGHT TO winners REMEMBER 


Suite dreams

A LEISURELY BATH Steeped in history, the genteel city of Bath offers Regency buildings and healing waters in abundance. Spa goddesses can bathe in the waters within the privacy of their own suites at the new Gainsborough hotel, where the mineral-rich liquid flows from the bath taps. Occupying a trio of dashing Grade II-listed Georgian buildings, the spa is the star of the show here: accessed via an

underground tunnel, three large pools are spread across a light-filled Roman atrium – not so different from what Jane Austen might have enjoyed in her day. Meander out of town to explore the dramatic valleys and pretty villages of Somerset.

Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel is one of London’s most iconic properties in which to lay your head. Overlooking Hyde Park, its luxurious bedrooms and newly refurbished suites, which were unveiled in December, strike the perfect balance of classic and contemporary, remaining true to the hotel’s history and grandeur. Combine your stay with luxurious treatments at Sanrizz and dinner at JW Steakhouse.

The Gainsborough is due to open this spring,

easy peasy Japan’s Shinkansen bullet train welcomes a brand new line in March 2015, which will dramatically reduce travelling time from the capital Tokyo to Kanazawa, one of Japan’s lesser-visited cities on the west coast. With an historic samurai district, the only Geisha community outside of Kyoto and the exquisite Kenrokuen gardens to admire, it’s definitely one to add to the wishlist. And if you’ve ever dreamed of sleeping in a century-old ryokan (Japanese inn) and sipping tea the traditional way, make sure you reserve a room at Asadaya. Trains not really your thing? Don’t worry, Inside Japan can arrange helicopter transfers from Kyoto.

Inside Japan Tours has a 14-night self-guided trip visiting Kanazawa from £2,650 per person


Testing the water

© Design Hotels™

IF WALLS COULD TALK Amid the revitalisation of Berlin’s City West, the illustrious Hotel Zoo is poised for a grand comeback. First constructed as a private residence in 1891, the new look hotel features a ‘catwalk carpet’ by Diane von Fürstenberg, woven with images of giant leopards, which leads to a ‘floating reception’, bridging the space to the hotel’s design centrepiece, the Living Room. Here, crimson sofas and violet Tom Dixon wing chairs strike the balance between hard lines and home comforts, while seven-metre high floor-to-ceiling industrial windows fill the room with light. All the rooms are kitted out with towels and nightshirts by Maison Martin Margiela, but those wanting to add to the glitz and galmour can choose from two sixth-floor penthouse suites.

You may have to make it a fortnight to remember when you consider the length of the flight, but it will be well-worth it once you’ve set eyes on Baros Maldives’ brand new water pool villas. Located at the tip of the board walk, overlooking a lagoon with stunning views over the sea, couples will relish the total privacy. Unlike the majority of other hotel chains in the area, Baros Maldives is an independent, luxury Maldivian-owned and run resort, and recently won the World Travel Award as the Most Romantic Resort in the Indian Ocean 2014 for the second year running.


Detour de

France If you’re going to ‘do the south of France’, seek out culinary excellence and culture, writes Gabrielle Lane

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hen it comes to travel, sometimes the so-called ‘clichéd trips’ are the best. I came to this conclusion while dozing on a sun lounger at the Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel & Spa – in the name of research, of course. It was October, it was still 25°C on the Côte D’Azur (I had cynically packed for autumn) and the waves were lapping against the smooth slice of terrace that planked the water. Some of my group had agreed to go and jetski, but I’d chosen the ‘minding the towels’ option – always a winner. Putting the cinematic draw of Cannes aside, the status of the south of France as a chic holiday destination is arguably built on (mostly) yearround sun, good food and wine – all of which the newly renovated hotel encourages in abundance. A smart and discreet property, 20 minutes from the centre of Cannes, it perches above its own private bay with a pool and sun loungers spread before it. Inside, while decorative screens and flashes of violet upholstery nod to Asian interiors, its style is generally modern and simple; understated luxury presents itself in the form of huge balconies and suite terraces, the thread count of the starched linen that transforms beds into plump marshmallows, and the delicious restaurant offerings.

On arrival we ate a salad quaking under the weight of fresh seafood in Bistrot M, followed by thick, juicy steaks served on boards with flutes of champagne. Later in our stay we dined at the Moya Beach restaurant where the sea bass was grilled alfresco and a dessert counter groaned with choux pastry, cheesecakes, fruits and truffles. Then, satisfied that both options were brilliant, we booked a table at popular sister property Tiara Yaktsa, just a two minute golf-cart ride away, which is rumoured to have been visited by more than one culinary awards panel recently, under the direction of chef Fabrice Giraud. Should it receive some kind of official salute soon, bookings will become even harder to come by, so it’s worth seeking out the haute cuisine of L’Or Bleu Restaurant at least once: duck foie gras, artful slivers of smoked salmon with dill cream and chocolate mousse form part of a continentalthemed tasting menu that seemed to never end. Once you’ve acclimatised to the indulgent, ‘we’re in the south of France you know’ way of life, there is plenty to explore in the area, and car hire is a must. The nearby city of Antibes Juans-les-pins is home to the Picasso museum (the painter stayed in the area in 1946) but it’s more tempting to take a laissez-faire approach, stumbling from the Antibes food and craft market

If you can only manage one break from the sun lounger, choose the breath-taking Saint-Paul de Vence


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 NEED TO KNOW  Rates at Tiara Miramar Beach Hotel & Spa start from €160 per night (approx. £127) based on two sharing a double room on a B&B basis.;;;


through the traditional cobbled streets to the fortified walls that remain from its time as a Roman port. However, if you can only manage one break from the sun lounger, choose the breathtaking Saint-Paul de Vence, a hilltop settlement steeped in medieval history which is flanked by ramparts built under the orders of Francois I of France in the 16th century to protect it from an advance by Charles V of Spain. It’s one of the most beautiful and romantic villages in Provence; the views over the valleys here are spectacular. With the surrounding hills cloaked in vines, olive groves and flowers, it’s easy to see why the area became a retreat for artists in the 1920s, who came to be inspired by the scenery and to paint in the bright sunlight. Sites of interest within the walls of Saint-Paul de Vence include The Collegiate Church (constructed between the 14th-18th century), which includes stucco and frescoes from 1680s and The Folon chapel, which was transformed by modern mosaics and sculpture by Jean-Michel Folon in 2005 in a project that embodies the religious and artistic heritage of the village. However, if masterpieces are specifically of interest, the quickest way to acknowledge the area’s cultural links is with a tour of the nearby Fondation Maeght, which houses the collection of renowned Cannes art dealers Aime and Marguerite Maeght. Whatever you’re view on abstract pieces, there is something very special about being able to debate it as you stand in front of huge original canvases by Henri Matisse. Of course, few will want to depart the south of France without an evening in Cannes. A walk along the famous Promenade de la Croisette will give you all the photo opportunities you need with yachts and giant cinema posters. Then, if you’ve had enough of rich food and full-bodied wines, follow the locals flocking to the laid-back Yo’Mo Lounge and Restaurant for drinks and Lebanese sharing plates in a relaxed atmosphere. If you haven’t yet had your fill, exploit Cannes’ high-end boutiques that line the roads behind the harbour and venture out of town to Restaurant L’Oasis for supper. The two Michelinstar restaurant fuses Asian and French dishes in the setting of a tropical garden lit by candles and lanterns. Immaculately dressed waiters serve fine wines and neatly presented dishes, before wheeling out a trolley piled high with decadent desserts and cheeses. The south of France is definitely a cliché, but a good one. n



he crescent facade of the Hofburg Palace is patterned with coloured lights. The bowlerhatted driver of my lantern-lit fiaker – a Viennese horse and carriage – cuts under a domed archway, turning towards the grand entrance. Our horses’ hooves clip over the cobbles. Tourists glance up and wave. Limos slow to let us pass. It’s a surreal, Cinderella moment. I’ve been invited to one of the most exotic events in the Viennese calendar: the extravagant Kaffeesiederball, the Coffeehouse Owners’ Ball. A gloved hand helps me down from the carriage, the driver tips his hat and I’m swept inside. Just 24 hours ago, it was a very different story... It’s 8.30am on a chilly Saturday morning. I’ve just been chastised for wearing jeans and have been sent to the cloakroom to find “more appropriate footwear”. (I’m wearing trainers, but it seems their pink laces have caused particular concern). Luckily, I threw a pair of shoes into my bag at the last minute. I return, suitably shod and get a nod of approval. The jeans, for now, are forgotten. I’m at the Thomas Kraml dance school in Vienna. My teachers, Vanda and Seref, are very nice, but it’s clear they favour a no nonsense approach. It’s ball season in the city and it’s taken very seriously indeed. The history of the Viennese ball goes back to the Congress of Vienna in 1814 when politicians gathered to haggle over the division of Europe after the Napoleanic wars. The Habsburg monarchy, keen to keep negotiations friendly, organised dances for entertainment. Today, after the Opera Ball, the Coffeehouse Owners’ Ball is the most prestigious event in the Viennese social calendar. Costing around £110 to get in, the 6,000 tickets sell out in weeks. The ball includes performances by the state ballet, while two orchestras, 10 jazz bands and various musical ensembles provide entertainment throughout the night. For one evening only, members of the public are given access to every stateroom, grand staircase and hidden royal corridor in the Hofburg, an area so vast it takes almost an hour just to stroll round. With a prized ticket to such a glittering event, the very least I could do was learn a Viennese waltz – especially in the city that gave rise to its name. “We’re inept,” my partner wails, half an hour into our lesson. His cheeks are flushed and his upper body so rigid he looks like a robot. Vanda is grieved. She suggests we focus on the quadrille. It’s a kind of 19th century square dance that’s traditionally performed at midnight. I get the impression it gives the inept a chance to take to the floor. Vanda shouts directions as a jaunty tune blares out of her iPod. Moments later we’re counting, instinctively and out loud, with her. The quadrille is complicated but I convince my partner it’s nothing more than a baroque barn dance. (“It’s just marching, turning, bowing and foot stamping,” I whisper). He relaxes;



Karen Bowerman takes a turn around Vienna

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BALL to prepare for the Coffeehouse Owners’ Ball

 NEED TO KNOW  For more information on Vienna, visit For more on the Coffeehouse Owners’ Ball, visit Lipizzaner Stallions,; Schönbrunn Palace,; Thomas Kraml dance school,

Vanda smiles. I think, at last, we please her. Our lesson over, I return to my hotel. Given I’ve come for a ball at the Hofburg, I’ve decided it’s only fitting to stay in a palace of my own: Kempinski’s glorious five star Palais Hansen on the city’s famous Ringstrasse. Dinner at Edvard, its Michelin starred restaurant, is a gourmet’s delight. Even the amuse-bouche of goose liver, “a little greeting” presented by my delightful waiter, Tobias, is exceptional. A cauliflower curry with crumble and salmon with liquorice follow. But it’s the blood orange and carrot dessert that’s the real gem, with its fresh, delicate zing and quirky presentation: balancing partially on the rim of the plate with the rest sitting regally below. I spend the next morning at the sumptuous Schönbrunn, another imperial palace, where a six year old Mozart played his first royal concert. Then it’s off to the imperial treasury for coronets decorated with diamonds and the crown of the Austrian empire, topped with a sapphire the size of a bath plug. There’s also a 16th century unicorn’s horn (not a real one, of course – it’s the tusk of a narwhale.) Sparkle of a different kind is on offer at Schlumberger, where I have a private tour of the winemaker’s cellars. “We’re the Austrian answer to champagne”, my guide says, revealing that they’re also providing the bubbly for my ball. He says that although sparkling wine doesn’t have the reputation of Champagne, theirs repeatedly ranks alongside LaurentPerrier and Veuve Clicquot in blind tastings. I sip it happily enough the following evening, as amid swirling gowns, sparkling rhinestones and the odd, over the top tiara – I’m swept off my feet by the full-scale glamour of the Coffeehouse Owners’ Ball. (I give the waltz my very best shot). It’s an early start the following day with one treat to go: a prime seat in what was once the imperial box for a performance of Vienna’s famous Lipizzaner stallions at the palace’s baroque riding school. The horses are born grey but turn white with age. They enter the arena with their necks arched and heads poised. Then they pick up their hooves and dance – pirouettes, a polka and a pas de deux. There’s the flick of a tail, the flap of a rider’s tailcoat and the odd horsey grunt. But the beasts are so balletic and their movements so precise that within minutes they seem no longer animals but a troupe of highly-sophisticated lifesize, mechanical toys. Equine Stepford Wives, perhaps? The audience is captivated – so quiet you can hear the pad of hooves in the sawdust. The finale is to Strauss. Instantly I know I’ve heard the jolly tune before. It’s the Fledermaus quadrille of my ball. The stallions weave in and out of each other with elegance and ease. I bristle as I recall how my partner and I floundered. As I lean in to watch even closer, I’m convinced every horse is grinning. n


good morning

vietnam Jonny Clark takes a magical, eco-meets-luxury trip to Six Senses Con Dao, for an authentic taste of Vietnamese culture

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s the propellers come to a stop, and the doors open to the small turboprop aircraft, you are immediately hit by the smell of the flora around the small and rarely used runway on Con Dao. After a lengthy journey, there is a certain sense of accomplishment, as you can’t help but feel you couldn’t be further from London life. Con Dao has only 7,000 inhabitants, and over half of these are Vietnamese military who use the island to train. The remaining natives are split through three fairly small towns and villages, still comparatively untouched by tourism and the western world. And it is for this very reason that Six Senses picked the spot to open a resort four years ago. One of only five resorts on the island, the Six Senses brand is renowned as one of the leaders in its field the world over – and for good reason, as each location boasts its own unique style and character, situated in remote and authentic destinations away from the touch of mass tourism. Con Dao is no different, with its beautifully weathered wooden Vietnamese houses, resembling a (pretty deluxe) village. Although the resort champions sustainable tourism, there are no compromises on decadence. Socalled Guest Experience Makers are always on-hand to meet every whim. Ours, named Sam, genuinely wants to provide the best possible experience for us, and she is a credit to the resort.

The villas run along the sandy beach, each with a commanding view of the private bay We are taken to our villa by buggy (they are always just a phone call away), having a tour of the property on the way, which features a kids’ club, library, resort boutique, outdoor cinema, ice-cream room and bar area, along with an authentic Vietnamese kitchen, all situated in the main resort area. But Six Senses Con Dao is a master of illusion, offering far more than initially meets the eye. Tucked away from the main resort village is a gym, spa, observatory, beachside pool and main restaurant. The villas run along the long sandy beach, each with a commanding view of the private bay in front, and range from onebedroom properties through to much grander threeand four-bedroom villas, which are by far the best option for families or small groups. Our home for the week is a three-bedroom residential villa right on the beachfront, and is, if anything, excessively spacious: split over three separate buildings, two of which are large bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms, while the central building contains both a smaller rear-facing bedroom and a large living area including a fully stocked kitchen, it has more than enough space for two. Exceptionally equipped, expect mod-con staples plus additions such as an indoor and outdoor sound system, a large


private infinity pool (larger than most hotel pools), and luxurious bathrooms including outdoor showers and large daybeds. To get around the resort, pick up a bicycle, which as well as a romantic idea, is the perfect way to get from spa to bar. While it is easy to become a lux hermit, we decide to head out into the jungle to see the rest of this historic island. Six Senses offers some excellent tours, taken in the comfort of one of its air-conditioned cars. The Local Life tour is our choice, which takes us out into the heart of the island, where we visit temples, pagodas, the working harbour and the market at its heart. The trip itself is well worth the few hours away from paradise, and is an eye opener to a much simpler way of life. After a quick stop at a temple, we brave 168 steps up the side of a mountain that overlooks a lotus field and the rest of the island. At the top is the most impressive Buddhist pagoda, looked after by a solitary monk who prays throughout the day, while the local villagers tend to the building and its gardens to pay thanks. It’s at this point where I really see what Six Senses is aiming to do by providing travellers with a personal

experience, that doesn’t impact on the local communities, apart from supporting them in a positive way. When we enter the marketplace, we aren’t assaulted by vendors trying to sell cheap imports; this is a working market for locals and, as such, is far more magical to observe. On one of our outings into the thriving centre, we visit a pearl shop, situated just outside the bustling and commercially-driven harbour. We are pleased to discover an array of broken oyster shells outside, that are obviously not farmed, being shucked and prepped for sale (even the mother of pearl was delicately removed by hand). It is rare to see such cottage industry, with locals making a living without the mark-up of their obvious international competitors. The products are still incredibly affordable (and beautiful) for international travellers, and the venture ensures a great income for the locals who work there. As well as offering excursions like this, the resort actively tries to promote the conservation of the environment and wildlife including the local sea turtles and monkeys, and it’s worthwhile asking what the resort has on offer when booking. It should be noted that Six Senses only recommends its own tours, which follow this

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ethos: while you may not see the famous local long-tail macaque monkey, you rest easy knowing they are being looked after in the wild. The Con Dao National Park takes up more than 83 per cent of the archipelago’s total area, with more than 50 square miles of marine reserve that cannot be fished. The park itself has also embarked on a $16.5m development plan through to 2020, to help finance the protection of the natural resources, research into the area and promote ecotourism. Vietnam as a whole is in the midst of a wider transformation, as highlighted recently by such TV programmes as The Mekong River with Sue Perkins. Education is bringing an understanding of ecology to the inhabitants of Con Dao, and while there is still a large tourism trade on the mainland exploiting the local flora and fauna, Con Dao is seemingly unscathed. But it’s not all highbrow: Six Senses Con Dao can also be a hedonist’s paradise. Its famous trademark Six Senses Spa offers a wealth of treatments to seduce you into a deep relaxation coma, while the bar with its daybeds offers a relaxing place to dine during the day and night, and, when the cinema is open, offers complimentary popcorn. For a more gastronomic

experience, the main restaurant is a foodie heaven, with a generous buffet breakfast and fine dining options in the evening that wouldn’t be out of place in central London, including Vietnamese special nights for a flavour of the island. Also worth a try is the in-villa barbecue, a feast of freshly grilled meat and seafood. Before we know it, seven nights have come to an end, but for those who want to continue their experience of Vietnam, Six Senses also has another property in the north, situated at Ninh Van Bay, which offers a completely different experience, but with the same luxury-meets-eco ethos. n

 NEED TO KNOW  You can fly to Ho Chi Minh with Etihad from London in ultimate luxury starting at £560 for economy and £2,470 for business plus tax. Business class passengers can experience the airline’s Six Senses Spa in their lounges in both London and Abu Dhabi. On arrival, Six Senses can organise a one hour connecting flight to Con Dao.;


Property Listings See below for estate agents in your area

Arlington Residential 8 Wellington Road NW8 9SP 020 7722 3322

Hanover Residential 102 St John’s Wood Terrace NW8 6PL 020 7722 2223

Laurence Leigh 020 7483 0101

49 Welbeck Street W1G 9XN 020 8128 0675 Marsh & Parsons 35 Maida Vale W9 1TP 020 7368 4458

Aston Chase 69 / 71 Park Road NW1 6XU 020 7724 4724

Savills 7 Perrin’s Court NW3 1QS 020 7472 5000 15 St John’s Wood High Street NW8 7NG 020 3043 3600 ian green residential 28 De Walden House Allitsen Road, NW8 020 7586 1000 Parkheath 208 Haverstock Hill NW3 2AG 020 7431 1234

Globe Apartments 45 Chiltern Street London W1U 6LU 020 7034 3430

Knight Frank 5-7 Wellington Place NW8 7PB 020 7586 2777 79-81 Heath Street NW3 6UG  020 7431 8686

Hamptons International 99 St John’s Wood Terrace NW8 6PL 020 7717 5319

55 Baker Street W1U 8EW 020 3435 6440

TK International 16-20 Heath Street NW3 6TE 020 7794 8700

8a Canfield Gardens NW6 3BS 020 7625 4567 192 West End Lane NW6 1SG 020 7794 7111 148 Kentish Town Road NW1 9QB 020 7485 0400

21 Heath Street NW3 6TR 020 7717 5301



If you would like to appear within the property pages of VANTAGE, contact Felicity Morgan-Harvey, property manager, on 020 7987 4320 or

Vantage P R O P E RT Y

showcasing the

finest HOMES & PROPERTY from the best estate agents

Elegant & exclusive The latest prime properties

Image courtesy of Parkheath

Photography © Sarel Jansen


performer With a general election on the horizon, James Simpson, partner at Knight Frank’s St John’s Wood office, explains why he’s positive about the market for 2015


eeting at a beautiful house on Marlborough Place on a dreary Thursday morning in January, James Simpson is cheerful regardless of the relentless wind and rain outside. At odds with the less optimistic reports in the media, he is confident that 2015 will go on to be as successful, if not more so, than 2014. “In my opinion, what we’ve seen over the last few weeks is that people are still viewing the general election as being quite far away,” says James. “It’s not at the forefront of people’s minds. Perhaps a few weeks before it takes place we will see it affecting the local market. But right now, it doesn’t seem to be having much of an impact at all. Last year, the surprising stamp duty changes were predicted to adversely affect the market, but in fact, we actually noticed it acting as a catalyst for an increased number of transactions. While of course the mansion tax could have an impact on the local market, following recent changes to stamp duty land tax by George Osbourne, it appears less tenable.” While once St John’s Wood was seen by some as a London suburb on ‘the wrong side of Regent’s Park’, knowledgeable and commercially aware buyers are now fully realising its investment potential, with it being spoken about in the same breath as Kensington, Mayfair, Knightsbridge and Belgravia – i.e. a prime area of central London. Its wide streets, local amenities and great transport links are continuing to attract an increasing number of high-net-worth individuals as well as A-list names from the music and arts industries and world-renowned international investors. “The market in St John’s Wood has always been steady and gradual,” says James. “When the market elsewhere has dropped off, prices have rarely gone down, while similarly when the market elsewhere is frenetic, prices haven’t then gone through the roof. That’s because St John’s Wood presents a real market – real people live here, in real houses, with their families. It’s not full of empty pied à terres, so if the market goes

flat, the people here just don’t move. There may be fewer transactions in so-called quieter times, but the values of the properties aren’t affected. We tend to say the market in this area is contra-cyclical – when other areas are seeing vendors selling up, we see an increase in purchases and vice versa. The purchasers and vendors are educated and commercially aware, which often presents an opportunity for a great deal to be done.” And while of course the properties in other areas are also great investments, you won’t get the choice and variety that you do in St John’s Wood anywhere else in London, James explains. “There is a greater choice of houses in this area worth £10m-15m than in any other prime central London location. The variety is phenomenal. Take a highly sought-after road such as Hamilton Terrace, and you have around 200 houses to choose from at an average price of £10m. Where else in prime central London can offer that?” With an impeccable name in the industry, James and the Knight Frank team understand the importance


of balancing their investment in local know-how and customer service with global research and technological development. “In my lifetime, the market has gone from being domestic to totally global; across time zones, continents and languages. But at the end of the day, it’s still a people business. Our clients want straightforward advice, clarity, integrity, a clear market strategy that is personal to them and the right house at the right price. It’s become all too easy for some estate agents to upload their stock onto the internet and then sit back and wait, but there are still those agents out there who are prioritising valuable one to one customer service. And it’s important to learn and experience all the nuances associated with that.” As well as investing heavily in global and online technology – including a website service that recognises the location of your server and delivers all your documentation in up to 20 different languages – the team at Knight Frank is at the forefront of compiling the latest leading market research. But James knows

the importance of maintaining an impeccable local reputation alongside catering to an ever expanding global market. “One thing that drives us to always perform at the top of our game is the strength of the local competition. We are constantly on our toes, striving to be even better.” With expansions planned across South America – from Brazil to Argentina and Venezuela – the team is experienced in dealing with high-net-worth individuals looking to buy properties all over the world. However, having been an industry name for more than a century, Knight Frank knows the London property market inside out, and knows how it will fare in the face of a general election or under other potential catalyst for change. “You get peaks and troughs, but generally, the prime central London property market only goes one way,” says James. n

5-7 Wellington Place, NW8 020 7586 2777;


The Penthouse, St John's Wood NW8 Opportunity to acquire an unmodernised penthouse

With panoramic views of Regent's Park and London City Skyscape, The Penthouse occupies the 10th and 11th floor of this striking apartment block designed by Farrell/Grimshaw. The space can be built out to 6,610 sq ft with 4 secure parking spaces, direct lift access and a resident caretaker.‐johns‐wood 020 7586 2777

Share of Freehold Guide price: £5,000,000 ﴾SJW140232﴿

The Penthouse, Park Road - Vantage Feb 2015 rm

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Marlborough Place, St John's Wood NW8 Newly refurbished house in the heart of St Johns Wood

7 bedrooms ﴾3 with en suite﴿, sitting room, dining room, kitchen/breakfast room, library, family room, 2 guest WC's, 2 family bathrooms, laundry room, roof garden, balcony, garden room, garage, private parking. Planning for circa 3,000 sq ft in the basement. EPC F. Approximately 573 sq m ﴾6,163 sq ft﴿‐johns‐wood 020 7586 2777

Freehold Guide price: £17,500,000 ﴾SJW140207﴿

Please note the reception room and kitchen images are CGIs.

59 Marlbrough Place - Vantage Feb 2015 NEW

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The brave and powerful horse is both industrious and alert, qualities that Aston Chase share with our equine friend. As one of the most prolific and successful independent estate agents in Central and North West London for the last 30 years, Aston Chase have helped many a client navigate through uncertain times. If you’re looking to sell before this year’s General Election, let us lead you on the path to success.


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




ACCOMMODATION Principal Bedroom with En-Suite Bathroom and Dressing Room, Two Further Bedrooms, Two Further En-Suite Bathrooms, Vaulted Reception Room, Galleried Sitting Area, Family Room, Reception Hall, Dining Room, Kitchen, Utility Room, Guest Cloakroom, Staff Bedroom with Kitchenette. AMENITIES Large Indoor Swimming Pool, 80ft Garden, Courtyard, Off Street Parking for Three cars, Garage.

A very rare opportunity to acquire an exceptional and truly unique period Villa (432 sq m/4,654 sq ft) featuring stunning vaulted formal rooms that are well complemented by a large contemporary open plan living area and an equally impressive indoor swimming pool complex. Marlborough Place is situated within close proximity to The American School in London and is within easy reach of St John’s Wood and Maida Vale Underground Stations (Jubilee and Bakerloo Lines).




hot property


Once home to such luminaries as Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game) and David Ben-Gurion, Maida Vale has always been a much sought-after residential district, comprising the northern part of Paddington, the western tip of St John’s Wood and the south end of Kilburn. This stunning detached Victorian house presents a rare opportunity to invest in the area: the four double bedrooms and three bathrooms are all in excellent condition having been completely refurbished a few

years ago. The impressive house also offers fantastic entertaining space, including a wonderful kitchen and breakfast room with bi-folding doors leading to the private rear terrace. Additional benefits include a study with access to a balcony, a large utility room, air conditioning, underfloor heating and off-street parking for two cars behind secure gates. Just a short walk from Regent’s Canal, Maida Vale station and Little Venice’s shopping and transport amenities, it’s a property worthy of its eminent location.


Sutherland Avenue, W9 ÂŁ5,950,000 FREEHOLD Hanover Residential

020 7722 2223 113

Sold on First Impressions

Belsize Park NW3 ÂŁ1,700,000

In a signature stucco Belsize villa a spacious apartment with 70ft walled garden to the rear. Located within the Belsize Village, Belsize Park, Swiss Cottage triangle.

1378 sq ft/128 sq m 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms 27’ reception opening to garden Well proportioned kitchen/diner Private mature garden Contact Belsize Park Office 020 7431 1234

South Hampstead 020 7625 4567

Belsize Park 020 7431 1234

West Hampstead 020 7794 7111

Kentish Town 020 7485 0400

Property Management 020 7722 6777

Head Office 020 7794 7111

Ellerdale Road NW3 ÂŁ1,400,000

In a prime Hampstead location an elegant first floor apartment with private balcony. Sale includes share of freehold.

1006 sq ft/93 sq m 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms 18’ kitchen Reception opening to balcony Moments from Hampstead Village Contact Belsize Park Office 020 7431 1234

South Hampstead 020 7625 4567

Belsize Park 020 7431 1234

West Hampstead 020 7794 7111

Kentish Town 020 7485 0400

Property Management 020 7722 6777

Head Office 020 7794 7111

Priory Road NW6 ÂŁ1,250,000

Spacious split level upper maisonette accessed via a private entrance and set within an attractive double-fronted house. Sale includes the entire freehold interest.

1529 sq ft/142 sq m 20’7 main reception 2nd reception/dining room 4 bedrooms Original features throughout Contact South Hampstead Office 020 7625 4567

South Hampstead 020 7625 4567

Belsize Park 020 7431 1234

West Hampstead 020 7794 7111

Kentish Town 020 7485 0400

Property Management 020 7722 6777

Head Office 020 7794 7111

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GUIDE PRICE £4,975,000

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Hamilton Terrace St John’s Wood, NW8 A semi detached house (2,665 sq ft / 247 sq m) located on one of St John’s Wood’s premier tree lined roads. The house offers spacious accommodation over three floors, off street parking and a south-west facing paved rear garden. The house is currently held on a 34 year lease.

£2,950,000 Leasehold

Winnington Road, Hampstead Garden Suburb, N2 A unique and exciting opportunity to acquire a double fronted detached house with carriage driveway located on Winnington Road in the heart of Hampstead Garden Suburb. The house, which spans some 5,300 sq.ft / 492 sq.m, requires complete modernisation.Planning permission had previously been granted to add a substantial basement leisure complex but this has since lapsed.

ÂŁ5,500,000 Freehold

West End Office

St Johns Wood Office

49 Welbeck Street, London, W1G 9XN

102 St John’s Wood Terrace, London NW8 6PL

020 7486 9665

020 7722 2223 / 020 7483 0101

Elgin Mews South, Maida Vale, W9 An outstanding and stylish 4 bedroom mews house comprising approximately 1, 830 sq ft /170 sq m. The internal accommodation is arranged over three floors and boasts an impressive master bedroom suite, with a separate dressing room, occupying the entire top floor of the house. The dressing area opens on to a delightful and secluded southerly facing roof terrace. The house, which has been interior designed throughout, is presented in excellent decorative condition and benefits from light, spacious accommodation. Elgin Mews South is a charming cobbled mews situated off Randolph Avenue, within a hundred yards of transport and shopping facilities including Maida Vale underground station (Bakerloo line).

Freehold Asking Price: ÂŁ2,600,000

JSA - Aston Chase


A substantial Ambassadorial residence situated in the heart of Hampstead Village. This property has been refurbished to an exacting standard throughout and features a master bedroom with his and hers dressing rooms and bathrooms, five further bedrooms, four further bathrooms, a staff bedroom and bathroom, four reception rooms, a fabulous eat-in kitchen with seating area, guest WC, indoor swimming pool with hot tub and steam room, gymnasium, cinema room and car port. EPC rating C.

£11,950,000 • FREEHOLD • JSA KNIGHT FRANK 020 7431 8686

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A magnificent four bedroom first floor apartment offered in immaculate condition and benefiting from two private terraces totalling 646 sq ft (60 sq m), facing Hampstead Heath. In addition the apartment provides secure underground parking for 2 cars and porterage. Accommodation: Reception hall, reception room, dining room, sitting room, kitchen/breakfast room, utility room, master bedroom with en-suite dressing room and bathroom, three further bedrooms, two further bathrooms (one en-suite), extensive store rooms. EPC rating C.



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The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings

Drawing of St Dunstan-in-the-West by SPAB Scholar Ptolomy Dean

Founded by William Morris, the SPAB protects the historic environment from decay, damage and demolition. It responds to threats to old buildings, trains building professionals, craftspeople, homeowners and volunteers and gives advice about maintenance and repairs. Since 1877 countless buildings have been saved for future generations.

Information about maintaining your home is available through events, courses, lectures, publications and telephone advice. To support our work why not join the SPAB? Members receive a quarterly magazine, our list of historic properties for sale and access to our regional activities. 020 7377 1644 A charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England & Wales. Company no: 5743962 Charity no: 1113753 37 Spital Square, London E1 6DY


If you have owned your flat for 2 years or more you have the right to a 90 year lease extension, and the longer you leave it before you extend, the more it will cost you.

myleasehold have been helping residential leaseholders to extend their leases since 2004.

45 Chiltern Street London W1U 6LU 1

For more information and for a free consultation, call us on 020 7034 3435, e-mail or visit our website and use our FREE lease extension calculator.

12/01/2015 11:32

Period property, extensively refurbished just off Harley Street

Matching people and property in London for 150 years.

Elgin Mansions W9 ÂŁ1,200,000 This elegant first floor, two-bedroom mansion flat benefits from charming period features and access to communal gardens. Share of Freehold.

Little Venice: 020 7993 3050

Gloucester Avenue NW1 ÂŁ1,200,000 Located in the desirable Primrose Hill area, this stunning two-bedroom duplex apartment boasts a large dual aspect reception room leading out to a pretty terrace. Share of Freehold. EPC=E

Camden: 020 7244 2200

Vantage magazine February 2015  

Welcome to the February edition of The Vantage magazine, celebrating the dynamism of the area and bringing you the latest features, articles...