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Boutique Village Local Luxury in Primrose Hill




Fashion, frills and flowers


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contents Feature

Classic Couture Classic Couture

10 At Home in Style

Interior designer Anna Dodonova opens her gorgeous home

12 Spotlight On...



G  littering Primrose Hill


Ezra Patchett


Fashion Editor:

Lucie Dodds

Yellow chiffon layered dress, to order, Bruce Oldfield, 27 Beauchamp Place, London SW3 020 7584 1363,, pearl drop necklace, £95, Fenwick, New Bond Street W1 020 7629 9161, tan patent ‘Glint’ ankle boots, £550, Jimmy Choo 24:7, 020 7823 1051,

20 Vintage Style

spotlight feature

Classical spring looks

27 Fashion Forward We meet Cocorose London founder Janan Leo

28 Wedding Wonderland

The most glamorous guide to the big day


52 Ageing Gracefully


Primrose Hill

Gabrielle Lane discovers the dazzling boutiques, beautiful period homes and lush green spaces which draw some of the city’s most glamorous residents to NW1


here are few London suburbs which have generated as much media interest in recent years as Primrose Hill. Thanks to its many famous inhabitants, this vibrant and beautiful village has become just as much known for glitz, glamour and excess as its undoubted charm and elegance.

When exploring the area, it is easy to understand why Primrose Hill has become one of the capital’s most desirable addresses.

History Situated on the north side of Regents Park, Primrose Hill once formed part of the hunting grounds of Henry VIII. In 1842 the picturesque nature spot

was declared a public open space for all to enjoy, which continues to provide breathtaking views of the city to the south-east and Hampstead and Belsize Park to the North-West. Poet and illustrator William Blake is just one eminent creative who has immortalised the majesty of the hill and its surroundings in his work. Blake was a religious visionary who used imagery

Leading directly from Primrose Hill itself, Regents Park Road demonstrates that an artistic and chic vibe continues

Nearest the park sits the flagship clothing emporium ANNA featuring its eclectic eponymous collection of casual wear and cashmere alongside wearable pieces from the likes of Michael Kors, Farhi and Joseph. Heading back through the village will take you to Pamela Shiffer, where the founder is renowned for her slick editing of the latest drops, including sharp white blazers by Nocturne, watercolour silks by Gustav and cropped lace jackets by Hoss Intropia. Erskine Road is the setting for the flagship Triyoga Centre which has become one of Europe’s leading destinations of its kind. In keeping with the area’s fashionable reputation, the first classes were conducted back in 2000 as yoga and Pilates were emerging as the capital’s fitness craze du jour. Over a decade later the relaxing retreat offers a range of workshops

homes & property

More luxurious home entertainment


he world ‘paradise’ is brandished all too often when considering overseas destinations. However, few could disagree that the Indian Ocean archipelago of The Maldives is deserving of such a term. Set in azure blue waters, each island is cloaked in sweeping white sands and lush greenery with exotic wildlife, friendly locals and an idyllic climate as standard. So beautiful are the resorts that they are protected by a national commitment to the environment which has seen The Maldives emerge as a benchmark for ecological responsibility worldwide. It is clear why visitors feel that they never want to leave and thanks to the rights which have now been granted to overseas investors, acquiring a holiday home on the islands is now possible for those wanting enduring access to peace and privacy. The Six Senses property group are amongst the first to offer a slice of the luxurious Maldivian experience, for keeps. This April, the company will launch fifteen ocean-front retreats on the isle of Lamauu to serve as the ultimate glamorous hideaways. In addition to the breathtaking views, each of the two bedroom villas has its own pool and has been designed to maximise light and space as well as withstand any unforeseen environmental impact. Local materials, natural colours and comfortable yet chic styling give each of the living areas a relaxing ambience, which is reinforced by a dedicated butler service to cater to the guests’ every whim. The villas are set within the environs of one of the most lavish five star resorts in The Maldives, which will also enable residents to benefit from top class amenities available at the hotel when desired, with the added benefit of a personal discount on services. Residents can enjoy dining on international and creative cuisine at the restaurant Longitude,

Mint Polo in the Park event

Connoisseur 65 Bliss in Bali

Preview the new W Spa

66 Pyramid of Dreams


to prevail. The glamorous avenue is lined with smart boutiques, gallery spaces, independent bookstores and vintage jewellers, while organic cafes, street-side grocers and open-fronted florists testify to an exclusive lifestyle. Notable additions to the area include the emporium ‘Lost in Beauty’ a mecca for the latest indulgent products and treatments which is designed to reflect the decadence and mystery of a Victorian apothecary. Clients can benefit from a range of excellent make-up services and join the after-hours beauty club to enjoy champagne-fuelled previews in a luxurious studio setting. The boutique is just one that has acquired a following with the elite fashion press, although undoubtedly trendsetters are attracted to the area for its range of vintage and high-end clothing outlets.


60 Champagne and Chukkas

of ‘pillars of gold’ and the ‘spiritual sun’ on Primrose Hill in Chapter II of his 19th century piece entitled ‘Jerusalem’. Sylvia Plath is another poet who chose this area of North West London as her home during the 1960s. Whilst the darker tone of her work is wellknown, Plath also wrote poems of the stillness and beauty which she found while out walking. In one such piece she describes ‘the edge of my green island’ and ‘the great roses’ she saw. An experience on Primrose Hill has also been credited as the inspiration behind the Beatles song ‘Fool on the Hill’ and has been referred to in the Blur song ‘For Tomorrow’ which includes the lyrics, ‘the view’s so nice’.

55 High-tech Home Cinema

Matthew Carter reviews the latest Volvo

Images by Saskia Beresford,

Beachside escapes in Egypt

70 Boutique London

Discover the capital’s newest hotels

whilst reclining on a daybed set above the water. Alternatively the Organic Restaurant is a great place to sample fresh fish and local produce whilst suspended above the resort’s own private garden. Other opportunities include delicacy-tasting and glasses of wine at the top of a 6.4m tower rising out of the ocean, cookery classes, deluxe spa treatments and champagne and popcorn in the open air cinema. Locals are also renowned for their hospitality and are keen to assist with any further requirements, fostering a keen sense of community, far from the isolation one might associate with such an escape. The islands are famed for their fishing and scuba diving options, which any newcomer will be able to enjoy. The purchase of leasehold Six Senses Private Residence is not just delightfully indulgent. The move makes perfect financial sense too. The properties are set to benefit from huge rental yields as part of a lease-back scheme and are fully transferrable, enabling owners to profit from capital appreciation. The Maldives is also free of income tax, capital gains tax and acquisition taxes and although the initial lease period is 44 years this will automatically increase to the maximum government-approved entitlement, if and when, legislative changes are made. Villa owners will also be offered preferential rates on other Six Senses and Soneva resorts globally, as well as four free transfers from Malé International Airport each year which take approximately 40 minutes. As Robert Green, director of Cluttons Resorts has said: ‘The Maldives is the latest and most exciting destination to enter the luxury property market. Location, design and the level of service are all important factors in determining which developments are successful and these Six Senses Residences tick every box.’ n

Move to

The Maldives The Maldivan governMenT has now declared ThaT foreign naTionals can buy properTy on The islands and There is no prospecT More luxurious Than your own privaTe residence, says gabrielle lane




19 fashion

57 sport

102 Property Latest

35 interiors

65 travel

41 health & beauty

77 food & drink

116 Costa Rican Casa

52 motoring

82 out & about

55 gadgets

87 property

The capital is booming

A gorgeous second home abroad

ASTB_A4_Vantage_Mag_April11.indd 1

15/3/11 14:29:33

about us...


Homes, interiors, interviews, gardens, food, family, fashion and travel: Every month VANTAGE delivers the definitive lifestyle guide boasting the best life has to offer. With carefully selected lead interviews and stories, our team of writers brings to life the people, personalities and places that are both relevant and inspirational. VANTAGE is the latest publication from dynamic, independent publishing house Runwild Media (RWM). The ethos of high-quality and intelligent editorial combined with a stylish aesthetic has helped them carve a niche in the field of luxury publishing. Specialising in bespoke, luxury titles with exclusive partnerships (including Canary Wharf Group, British Land, The Royal Exchange, Visit London, The O2 and many more) the company is rapidly expanding its portfolio with many new exciting magazine launches coming soon.










Editor in Chief Lesley Ellwood

Editorial Director Kate Harrison


Emma Mills

Fashion Editor Lucie Dodds

Editorial Assistants Gabrielle Lane Richard Brown

Head Designer


Hiren Chandarana

Senior Designer Laddawan Juhong


Ashley Lewis

Production Manager Fiona Fenwick

Production Daniel Harris

Advertising Manager Kate Oxbrow


1. Jamie Carter is

a freelance journalist specialising in gadgets and technology. Jamie has written for the likes of T3, Home Cinema Choice and The Guardian as well as a number of websites.

2. Saskia Beresford

is a photographer specialising in street photography and portraits. Her work was recently included in Documenting Contemporary London at the Royal Academy of Arts.

Giles Ellwood

3. Matthew Carter is

a London-based freelance journalist who’s been writing about cars for most of his working life. A former editor of Autocar magazine, he is a serial car owner.

Managing Director Eren Ellwood

16 Heron Quay, Canary Wharf London E14 4JB T: 020 7987 4320 F: 020 7005 0045



Boutique Village LocaL Luxury in Primrose HiLL

Runwild Media Ltd. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Runwild Media Ltd. takes no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters. All rights reserved.

Wedding Wonderland, p. 28 Runwild Media Group Publishers of: Canary Wharf magazine The City magazine, Vicinitee VENUE – The official magazine of The O2




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Subscriptions: A free online subscription service is available to VANTAGE, e-mail for further details.

from the editor...


As wedding season beckons, it fills the Vantage team with the sort of giddy excitement usually reserved for Christmas morning. Now is the time to indulge in bold colours, divine presents, country weekends away and glamorous celebrations in beautiful locations. And, if you are actually arranging your own wedding this year, then you’ll be starting to think about everything from flowers to favours. Our essential six page wedding spread is a vital tool in the search, looking at everything from the initial planning, rings and photographers, to the perhaps even more crucial issues of dresses and suits. Get the marital lowdown on p.28. Amidst all this wedding talk, we’ll also be glued to our screens to see Kate and William take that all important step, as well as finally finding out which designer she staked the most important fashion decision of her life on. Where will you be watching? Perhaps an overnight stay at one of the fabulous new openings in the city that is making London one of the top hotel destinations in the world would be a good place? Gabrielle Lane explores boutique London on p.70. It’s prudent this month, with everything else going on, not to forget Mother’s Day, and we’ve selected three perfect ways to make the most important woman in all our lives feel special (p.78); as well as reviewing Gordon Ramsay’s

sensational pub and restaurant The Warrington, in Maida Vale (p.81). And with Spring full in bloom you might well be thinking of a little interior redesign. You couldn’t go wrong by speaking to interior designer and local resident, Anna Dodonova, whose divine furniture store, Anna Casa, offers some of the most sumptuous and unique pieces around. We meet her to talk about designing homes across the globe and the village lifestyle in St John’s Wood on p.10. Also not to be missed this month is essential wedding fashion and ball gowns on p.20, a guide to the independent shops and boutiques in Primrose Hill (p.12), and inspiring ideas for modern kitchens with a classic twist (p.36); as well as luxury escapes to Sharm el Sheikh (p.66), divine massages at Chuan Spa, Langham Hotel (p.42) and a look forward to the essential summer event, Polo in the Park (p.60). It’s a veritable bumper Spring issue! Enjoy The Royal Wedding...

Emma Mills Editor

Images by Saskia Beresford,

Classy Sitting in her stunning home in the heart of St John’s Wood, Anna Dodonova looks every inch the stylish interior designer. She talks to Emma Mills about designing furniture, creating outstanding spaces and living locally


f appearances matter, then Anna Dodonova has got it covered. Her home, and her fashion sense, are top notch. In towering heels, chic black trousers and stunning statement jewellery, she relaxes amid stylish lighting, plush sofas, bespoke flowers and one off art pieces, her beloved Pomeranian Pushkin scampering around at her feet. With a home overlooking Lords, a successful furniture store, Anna Casa, in Chelsea Harbour and an international interior design service under her belt, Anna has certainly established herself as successful London businesswoman. “I love London,” she says. “For a designer it’s so inspiring to work with such a cosmopolitan range of clients. My base in Chelsea Harbour means I’m surrounded by creative people too, which I love.”

Having moved to London four years ago after studying graphic design in Berlin, she started working predominantly as a freelance designer, indulging a creative passion she has had since childhood: “I was drawing and painting from a young age, I had private lessons throughout school, and then did three years at University which was great for me; East Berlin is a very creative place and was a great environment to work in.” Anna then worked for an advertising agency but found the work wasn’t as creative as she had hoped. “I am an artist inside,” she admits with a smile. “I decided to come to London because Germany is not as developed as the UK in terms of interior design. And I absolutely loved it from the minute I got here.” Anna first lived in Mayfair before moving to St John’s Wood and opening her furniture store in


Chelsea. “I have such a passion for high end brands and this allows me to pick and choose all the things I love even if I can’t use them for my clients. It made sense for my work to be in Chelsea and for me to live in North West London because I like to get the space from work and it is quieter up here. Mayfair was fun but there were buses and traffic going past all the time. I like the local community feeling. Regent’s Park when the weather is good is wonderful. I get on my bike in the mornings and it gives me energy to start the day. I love St John’s Wood high street - it’s like a little village, I know people here and I have my favourite bakery, drycleaners, fish shop. It’s perfect.” Despite wanting space from work, Anna admits that very rarely is she not working. “I don’t like not to work. Hate to be bored. Even when I’m on holiday I last two hours on the beach and then I have to check my emails!” Perhaps this tireless work ethic isn’t surprising, considering how much her business has grown in just four years. Having recently opened a design studio next to her showroom, and about to launch a comprehensive website that deals with the interior design side of her business as well as being a portal to buy her furniture online, she is also working with various designers to design and make her own furniture, while still travelling globally as part of her business. “Being able to design is about envisaging what I want, and then getting it made. A table I worked on with one of my furniture clients is now being developed to a whole collection which is being presented at the Milan fair.” Times are good, then. But they weren’t always; the economic crash brought real challenges to the luxury interior and fashion industries, and Anna wasn’t alone in feeling the pinch. “The crisis was hard,” she recalls. “It was a big challenge. But I have to say, I was lucky because of my choice to open in the Design Centre in Chelsea. It’s a big family, with a real sense of support. On the high street you can be quite isolated but I have


people around who know what they’re doing, and I can ask advice, which is really helpful. I’ve never run a shop before or had my own business but everyone was so supportive.” Not afraid to ask for help and advice when you need it is an admirable quality and one Anna has made use of across her business. The interior design side of things doesn’t just cover furnishings and accessories; she can, if required, manage the whole project, working with architects, contractors, surveyors, council offices and lawyers. “I’ve had to learn a lot about things I never thought I’d need to know but it’s also been down to a small team that I trust. I have to make the right choice and that choice is about choosing the right people. It’s one of the hardest jobs, but you build that network slowly; you don’t try and jump over yourself.” Despite not having experience in running her own business, Anna has found that, because of her passion, so much of the work she does is second nature. “My favourite part of the role is the connection with the client. You feel great when you bring your ideas to them and they love it. I love what I do - my hobby is my work!” n

Anna’s top style tips “My own personal style is modern mixed with classic. I like to make things personal, mixing brands and styles together. And I try to learn from my clients too. When you enter someone’s home you see their own personal style, and often the cultural influences behind that. It’s fascinating.” 1. Use lots of neutrals and light colours. Mix in other colours according to the seasonal trends and achieve a positive atmosphere. 2. Plan ahead. Planning is very important before you start anything; in particular think about the foot traffic to and from each room and plan for this to flow easily. 3. Avoid filling up interior spaces with lots of furniture - less is definitely more.  Give pieces the chance to stand out and leave as much room and air between them as possible. 4. If you like one particular style or period, rather than filling a room with everything in the same style, choose one personal piece to make a central focus. This makes the space more interesting. If you don’t have one piece that can do this, keep it simple with a selection of little accent pieces. 5. Invest in good yet stylish pieces of furniture for storage and organise all your bits and pieces. I recommend that only a small amount of books, accessories and collectables are left out so your interior is kept neat and stylish at all times.


Images by Saskia Beresford,


Primrose Hill

Gabrielle Lane discovers the dazzling boutiques, beautiful period homes and lush green spaces which draw some of the city’s most glamorous residents to NW1


here are few London suburbs which have generated as much media interest in recent years as Primrose Hill. Thanks to its many famous inhabitants, this vibrant and beautiful village has become just as much known for glitz, glamour and excess as its undoubted charm and elegance.

When exploring the area, it is easy to understand why Primrose Hill has become one of the capital’s most desirable addresses.

History Situated on the north side of Regents Park, Primrose Hill once formed part of the hunting grounds of Henry VIII. In 1842 the picturesque nature spot

was declared a public open space for all to enjoy, which continues to provide breathtaking views of the city to the south-east and Hampstead and Belsize Park to the North-West. Poet and illustrator William Blake is just one eminent creative who has immortalised the majesty of the hill and its surroundings in his work. Blake was a religious visionary who used imagery


of ‘pillars of gold’ and the ‘spiritual sun’ on Primrose Hill in Chapter II of his 19th century piece entitled ‘Jerusalem’. Sylvia Plath is another poet who chose this area of North West London as her home during the 1960s. Whilst the darker tone of her work is wellknown, Plath also wrote poems of the stillness and beauty which she found while out walking. In one such piece she describes ‘the edge of my green island’ and ‘the great roses’ she saw. An experience on Primrose Hill has also been credited as the inspiration behind the Beatles song ‘Fool on the Hill’ and has been referred to in the Blur song ‘For Tomorrow’ which includes the lyrics, ‘the view’s so nice’.

Amenities Leading directly from Primrose Hill itself, Regents Park Road demonstrates that an artistic and chic vibe continues

to prevail. The glamorous avenue is lined with smart boutiques, gallery spaces, independent bookstores and vintage jewellers, while organic cafes, street-side grocers and open-fronted florists testify to an exclusive lifestyle. Notable additions to the area include the emporium ‘Lost in Beauty’ a mecca for the latest indulgent products and treatments which is designed to reflect the decadence and mystery of a Victorian apothecary. Clients can benefit from a range of excellent make-up services and join the after-hours beauty club to enjoy champagne-fuelled previews in a luxurious studio setting. The boutique is just one that has acquired a following with the elite fashion press, although undoubtedly trendsetters are attracted to the area for its range of vintage and high-end clothing outlets.


Nearest the park sits the flagship clothing emporium ANNA featuring its eclectic eponymous collection of casual wear and cashmere alongside wearable pieces from the likes of Michael Kors, Farhi and Joseph. Heading back through the village will take you to Pamela Shiffer, where the founder is renowned for her slick editing of the latest drops, including sharp white blazers by Nocturne, watercolour silks by Gustav and cropped lace jackets by Hoss Intropia. Erskine Road is the setting for the flagship Triyoga Centre which has become one of Europe’s leading destinations of its kind. In keeping with the area’s fashionable reputation, the first classes were conducted back in 2000 as yoga and Pilates were emerging as the capital’s fitness craze du jour. Over a decade later the relaxing retreat offers a range of workshops


feature spotlight

and courses from both resident and international tutors, as well as a comprehensive programme of massage, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and intuitive guidance - a therapeutic and spiritual exercise. For refreshment, local residents often dine at Odette’s, a restaurant which has become an icon since opening over forty years ago. Restored alcoves, low ceilings and appliquéd banquettes create an intimate ambience in which to sample dishes including roasted turbot and hand-dived scallops.

Community The unique amenities and beauty of the area foster an abundant community spirit. Primrose Hill has hit the headlines for preventing an outlet of the coffee chain Starbucks opening within its bounds, as petitioners felt that it would compromise the independent vibe of the area. As well as ensuring the


Conservation status of the area is acknowledged, the Community Association also holds jumble sales, cabaret evenings and a delightful summer fair. On Tuesday 7 April one of many discussion evenings will be held, this time exploring the life of former local resident Sylvia Plath.

Primrose Hill hit the headlines for preventing coffee chain Starbucks opening a branch here. Residents felt it would compromise the area’s independent vibe City Living For those who wish to join the Primrose Hill set, prices are unsurprisingly at a premium. The area is dominated by spectacular Victorian terrace homes ideally suited for

family living and demand continues to outstrip supply. Accordingly, the homes consistently avoid wider market depreciation in value. Aside from the interior space and expansive greenery available nearby, the area’s schools also have an excellent academic reputation and many local children attend the independent establishments of nearby Hampstead. For weekends, London Zoo is nearby, as are the vibrant, cultural delights of Camden with its famous market, bars and restaurants. The local underground stations are Swiss Cottage and Chalk Farm on the Jubilee and Northern lines respectively, ensuring that central London is also easily accessible during the week for the many media and banking professionals who have made Primrose Hill their home. It is hard to imagine anyone who would not want to join them. n


01490 297x210 Vantage Mag Std_Layout 1 21/03/2011 10:10 Page 1

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‘S1, the millionaire’s kitchen

A Style, status and sophistication, the S1 kitchen from Urban Interior sets a new standard in luxury living

buget of £200,000 for a new kitchen isn’t exactly a typical sum. But the S1 from Urban Interior is no ordinary cooking environment. Designed by award-winning SieMatic, groundbreaking, modern aesthetics have been combined with state-of-the-art technology to produce a glamorous yet functional entertaining space. The key feature of the S1 is a unique multimedia ‘SmartBoard’ device which enables operation of various integrated electronic appliances. Users are able to view internal and external temperature readings, operate the extractor hood or switch on

the integrated LCDTV at the touch of a button. The display also enables manipulation of an advanced lighting system, which can provide ultra illumination during food preparation times or bathe the kitchen in an atmospheric deep purple glow, during social occasions. For the latter, the integrated Ipod dock will also allow music to set the mood. Various colour finishes available, including Truffle Grey shown here, ensure that such advanced features are not at the expense of striking and sleek appearance. n


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09/03/2011 15:36




news Fashion Week Fabulous

Guts for Garters

One of the most eagerly awaited AW11 shows was that of House of Holland at London Fashion Week. It did not disappoint. Design guru, and local resident Henry Holland, sent models sashaying down the catwalk in colourful tweed, box pleated skirts and pearl embroidery to wide acclaim. While chic tailoring and traditional fabrics alluded to a more mature muse, the playful approach for which Holland is renowned was omnipresent. Woollen hosiery was given a fluoro finish, housecoats were worn with logo t-shirts and crochet designs were studded with Swarovski crystals. However, one of the most eye-catching features was the use of prints inspired by pensioners’ pastimes. Tights and silk blouses were just some of the pieces splashed with images of budgerigars, bingo paraphernalia and Afghan blankets to quaint and quirky effect. Elegant, wearable and fun, it is no surprise that critics are declaring this the best House of Holland collection to date.

The new Camden boutique Guts for Garters is not only a brand new store, but the manifestation of an entirely new concept. Founders Rachel Chudley and Cassie Beadle have created an eclectic space in which fashion, art and design is interchangeable. The boutique will run through three themed installations, with the first being the ‘Royal We’ and pieces have been commissioned from both established and emerging talents. Vivienne Westwood and Norman Hartnell are amongst those who have offered their support to the project and will display beautiful archive pieces, to compliment the range of vintage treasures and contemporary clothing available to explore and enjoy. 305 Royal College Street, NW1

Quote of the month:

British style is selfconfident and fearless.



erickson beamon bangles

Only a small proportion of the glamorous designs which debut on the world’s catwalks are put into production. With the rest of the creations no less stylish, this new members-only portal enables the purchase of directional looks straight off the runway. Arguably each of the items are even more desirable owing to their exclusivity.

ballet beautiful

It is fitting that luxe jewellery line Erickson Beamon had its inception on the catwalk. Since three friends created bespoke accessories to accompany a clothing collection in 1983, the vintage-inspired designs have earned a huge following; and it’s not hard to see why. The latest pieces retain the eye-catching appeal of signature EB across multiple unique themes. This gorgeous bangle is a hand-assembled array of semi-precious gemstones in deep greens and blues from the lustrous Bossa Nova range.



The film Black Swan is not only winning a warm reception, and an Oscar, for its artistic excellence. The light fabrics and gentle colour palette of the costumes are perfect for Spring. Wear soft silk, lace details and tones of heather, peach and petal pink for an ultra feminine look. ANNA in Primrose Hill is a great place to find relevant styles, with this Malene Birger shirt dress a prime example. The cream hue and loose cut are fashionable, yet the waist-tie and pockets are figure-flattering and add interest. ANNA, 126 Regents Park Road, NW1 8XL


ure re




Ezra Patchett

Fashion Editor:

Lucie Dodds

Yellow chiffon layered dress, to order, Bruce Oldfield, 27 Beauchamp Place, London SW3 020 7584 1363,, pearl drop necklace, £95, Fenwick, New Bond Street W1 020 7629 9161, tan patent ‘Glint’ ankle boots, £550, Jimmy Choo 24:7, 020 7823 1051,

Blue stripe taffeta dress, £400, Vivienne Westwood at Harvey Nichols, blue roses hat, £658, Rachel Trevor Morgan, drop pearl earrings, £88, Basia Zarzycka 52 Sloane Square SW1, 020 7730 1660,

Green silk dress, to order, Bruce Oldfield, as before, pearl bracelets, ÂŁ39 each, Fenwick as before

Peach lace halter neck ‘Cherie’ bra, £79, Myla, 0844 873 6111, White taffeta skirt, £3,575, Monique L’Huiller at Browns Hinde Street W1 020 7514 0056, Cream leather gloves, £400, Jasper Conran Couture , 36 Sackville Street W1 020 7292 9080,

Make-Up: Kate Hughes using Dove Spa-Count Your Blessings Illuminating Day Cream and Sisley Radiant Immediate Lift. SPF15 Tinted Moisturiser in Light, Creamy Concealer in Ivory Sheer, Loose Powder in Pale Yellow Sheer, Colour Cheek Tint in Sheer Coral, Metallic Eyeshadow in Burnt Sugar, Eyeshadow in Taupe Brown Pencil in Ash and Lip Colour in Black Maple. All Bobbi Brown

Hair: Luke Anthony

Pale pink bustier, £1,000, cream tiered skirt, £4,450, Jasper Conran as before Chiffon net and chain necklace, £495, Lanvin at Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ, 020 7235 5000













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Long before the success of Black Swan, the stylish foldable ballet pumps from Cocorose London were becoming a cult classic. Gabrielle Lane met founder Janan Leo to talk BAFTA partnerships, award nominations and exclusive stockists


t is the fashion versus function dilemma that every female has encountered at one time. The need to look chic, but feel comfortable. The feeling that one must juggle the roles of a glamorous city slicker and a practical goddess, and run, sometimes literally, between the two. It was the hectic nature of London life which inspired Janan Leno to create an attractive yet casual shoe which the wearer could keep easily to hand. “I needed something that was convenient, that didn’t require me to pop home when I had to change clothes,” she explains. Cocorose London has now seen three incredibly successful years and numerous stylish collections, from those of vibrant satin and gemstones to the soft palette of this season’s taupe and pink designs. Each pair of the pumps folds neatly upon itself to enable the shoes to fit inside a handbag or glove compartment until required. The concept is simple yet ingenious and many agree. Following the successful inclusion of Cocorose London ballet pumps into the gift bags awarded to nominees and presenters at the 2010 BAFTAs, this year organisers requested that the company create an exclusive BAFTA shoe. Understandably Janan was delighted, ‘The Bafta collaboration was something which I’m so proud that we have been able to do. Seeing the shoes progress from initial sketches to the final product was amazing. It was such an honour!”

Understandably however, picking one defining moment of business success is difficult for the young entrepreneur, who at just 30 years old is watching Cocorose London expand to international markets as diverse as Australia and Milan. “We are taking the brand to a global level, it’s so exciting,” she explains, although she is equally proud to be stocked in some of London’s luxury department stores. The ballet pumps are now available in the glamorous environs of Fortnum and Mason and Fenwick, and recent partners include the likes of Vera Wang and Theory. Living in Muswell Hill, Janan is hugely fond of London’s eclectic shopping scene. “Muswell Hill is just lovely,” she says. “It’s very much part of London but also a retreat from the fast pace. There are great boutiques, many other stores and nice restaurants.” Having been conceptualised in such a fashionable and forward-thinking location, this year will see a greater focus placed on the company’s local operations with an increasing drive to return Cocorose manufacturing to the UK. The collection for Autumn 2011 will have a luxury heritage theme and be produced on home soil in association with the British Footwear Association. Initial reaction for the new collection is extremely positive. Cocorose London and Janan Leo continue to put their best foot forward. n


MarryMe? The wedding is the single most important day of any couple’s relationship, celebrating their promise to spend their lives together. We look at the best and most beautiful options to make your wedding exactly as you dreamt it would be


love you’. Once these three little words are exchanged, there are four even more important words to utter, the answer to which dictates the path of the rest of your life. ‘Will you marry me?’ is a question filled with love, excitement, nerves and expectation, a moment which will resurface again and again as friends and family ask eagerly about every romantic, thoughtful or personal touch. The proposal was once solely a challenge for the man in a relationship and his prerogative to decide how, where and when. Now it is acceptable, although much rarer, for the woman to ask the man. This is just one sign of how much times have changed in the world of weddings; despite the tradition for white wedding dresses, set by Queen Victoria in 1840, brides can now be seen gliding down the aisle in anything from pale pink to vivid scarlet, sequins or even dramatic black. For the proposal, the pressure is on to deliver the perfect moment and, of course, the perfect ring. Elle Blakeman discusses the rules of engagement, considering the ‘Four C’s’ (cut, clarity, carat and colour) and how many month’s salary should be saved up for this all-important item of jewellery (subject to as many excited questions as the proposal itself). For the traditional girls, look to Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Hirsh or De Beers for classically beautiful rings, or, for modern girls who want to break the mould, consider colourful Boodles, romantic Shaun Leane or OTT Steven Webster rings. While this decision chiefly concerns the man (‘If he doesn’t choose the right ring, he’s not the right man’, one girl piped up indignantly at the suggestion of the woman choosing her own ring), for every bride, the biggest decision concerns The Dress. Everything else at the wedding can revolve around it, from the bridesmaids’ dresses and flowers to the mode of transport to the venue. Gabrielle Lane examines this season’s fashions ahead of the Royal Wedding, including those from rumoured Royal dress designer Bruce Oldfield, and amid S/S11 catwalk collection launches. Traditionally, the groom’s suit pales into insignificance next to such glamorous gowns, but, thanks to designer du jour Ozwald Boateng, this is changing. Bright and bespoke are very definitely the themes of the moment for the man who relishes making men look masculine but beautiful. In this day and age, no momentous occasion is allowed to pass undocumented so take the time to search for the perfect photographer: this is an investment in terms of both time and cost to make sure your memories of the day are beautifully and thoughtfully captured. Choose one of K&E Photography’s top photojournalists or contact independent photographer David McNeil but ensure you book well in advance as the best of the best are highly sought after. So raise a glass to all those contemplating weddings, whether as bride, groom, guest or forward planner: it will be well worth the preparation. n

' There is no greater risk than matrimony. But there is nothing happier than a happy marriage.' Benjamin Disraeli, 1870, in a letter to Queen Victoria’s daughter Louise upon announcement of her engagement



The Ring

The Traditionalist:

Elle Blakeman explores the rules of engagement rings, the history of which dates back to 1477; Archduke Maximilian sealed his proposal promise to Mary of Burgandy by placing a diamond ring on the third finger of her left hand, believed to have a vein that led straight to the heart

Owning a huge percentage of the diamond market, De Beers is in fact responsible for the current tradition of a solitaire diamond engagement ring. This Aura Cushion platinum ring, with a single De Beers diamond surrounded by a brilliant circle of diamond pave, is both exquisite and timeless, and will serve as a beautiful ring to pass down in the family for generations to come.


oday, men can blame the Archduke for a serious amount of pressure when it comes to choosing what has become a symbol of love, devotion and perhaps most importantly, taste. The ‘rules’ are seemingly endless, from the ‘Four C’s’ (cut, clarity, carat and colour) to the cost (tradition suggests two month’s salary is ideal), but what matters most is that you both love it. Whether your beloved is a traditionalist or a wild child at heart, there is the perfect ring for everyone.

The Daydreamer:

Tiffany& Co.

It’s up there with being locked in a tower waiting to be saved by a handsome prince/ investment banker – the little blue box. Pictures flood to a girl’s mind upon seeing one of these, Audrey Hepburn in her LBD and pearls, beautiful, rosy-cheeked children playing in the snow... in short, the perfect life awaits. Whilst Tiffany & Co. can’t promise the idyllic world portrayed in their campaigns, they can certainly help you get off to a hopeful start with this stunning Lucida solitaire ring, with its exclusive Tiffany cut and diamond band.

The Rebel:

De Beers

The New Romantic:

2010’s Designer of the Year, Shaun Leane has built a cult following with his sublime contemporary pieces. With fans including Sarah Jessica Parker and Daphne Guinness, and iconic pieces renowned for pushing boundaries, he has worked with fashion’s elite, from Givenchy to Alexander McQueen. This avant-garde white gold and diamond solitaire ring from the ‘Entwined’ collection is exhilaratingly fresh, whilst maintaining a sense of tradition, and will certainly win points on up-to-date jewellery knowledge from your significant other.

The Modernist:

The Classicist:


Keep it classic with Cartier’s breathtaking solitaire ring, which is all the bolder for its simplicity. The clean band draws the eye directly to the flawless diamond, producing an effect of pure, opulent glamour.

Boodles A coloured diamond can be a stunning and individual alternative to the more widely used white versions. This natural yellow diamond from Boodles, set among clusters of smaller white diamonds, is a beautiful example of how colour can add a modern twist to a classic piece. The vintage setting looks divine and keeps it from being too radical.

Stephen Webster

Like snowflakes, no two women are alike. Therefore whilst some dream of big white weddings, others would rather shake things up a little. Enter the king of rock ’n’ roll jewellery. This white gold and pave Steven Webster ring, set with white diamonds and the extremely rare tanzanite is perfect for those who like to live on the edge (or rather, those proposing to someone who does). Part of the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ collection, this one being ‘Lust’, this ring is a seductively wicked token of affection and sure to draw the eye, and a smile, for years to come.

Shaun Leane

The Princess:


For the princess in your life, choose a cushion cut diamond ring from the Regal collection. Hirsh are famous for their engagement rings and, given that they believe ‘every piece is a work of art’, you are guaranteed to find something special. The regal rings also come in a beautiful champagne colour. n


The Dress

Magnificent, memorable and made-to-measure. Gabrielle Lane considers the long-standing significance of the wedding dress and the latest stunning designs


s 29 April and the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton approaches, there is no greater speculation than that which surrounds the dress she will wear on the big day. Whilst the level of intrigue demonstrates perfectly that the bride’s attire is a hugely important part of such an occasion, of course this excitement is far from reserved for Royal Weddings. Mark Niemierko, one of London’s most exclusive wedding planners, has been organising lavish, society weddings for over a decade. He is in no doubt about the significance of the bride’s choice: ‘the dress is massively important,’ he declares. “No matter how much detail, time and money have been spent on flowers and decor as part of my client’s weddings, you can’t avoid the anticipation of everyone at the ceremony; the guests are waiting to see the dress.” This is a sentiment echoed by the work of acclaimed designer Bruce Oldfield, the man widely tipped to create Middleton’s dress. His spring collection is a romantic array of striking silhouettes, flowing silk and flourishes of tulle from a soft, traditional colour palette and it is clear that the pieces command attention for their sheer beauty. When explaining his creative approach, Oldfield also alludes to the purpose of such glamorous gowns. He states that ‘she [the bride] should be herself at her very best,’ and great care is taken to use flattering cuts which accentuate a wearer’s assets and conceal any imperfections. However, requests to the label do indicate that certain wedding dress features have a broad appeal, regardless of a bride-to-be’s shape or style. The colour white has seemed an almost obligatory choice since Queen Victoria’s dramatic wedding gown of 1840 which started the trend, and whilst there have been many recent enquiries about voluminous skirts, lace remains a perennially popular detail. In addition to the gowns of Bruce Oldfield, brides-to-be who are eager to explore home-grown design talent during such a prominent summer in British monastic history will love the S/S11 options from Jenny Packham. Packham has captured fashion’s wider fascination for all things ballet with her new styles and critics have praised the unapologetically decadent collection for its smooth lines and attention to detail. The layers of silk chiffon and pleated corsetry of the Minerva design have a truly ethereal quality whilst there is a classical vintage edge to the Eden, which features molten gold and silver embroidering and Swarovski crystal embellishment. Mark Niemierko has witnessed first-hand the enthusiasm surrounding such styles. ‘The ballerina trend from the movie Black Swan has inspired brides. We are seeing romantic dresses, hair worn in buns and soft colour, whether blush pinks, blue sashes or green underlays.’ For those who find dress decisions tricky, there is help at hand. One of the most sought-after services is provided by Browns Boutique, part of the stylish department store. Upon appointment, brides-to-be can benefit from expert guidance and the exclusive availability of dresses by Oscar de la Renta, Peter Langer and Monique Lhullier in an intimate setting. However, by far the most exciting new addition to the Browns wedding service is in the form of the flagship Vera Wang boutique operating from a dedicated site. Whilst the couture gowns are iconic symbols of luxury, they are also internationally renowned for their creativity and uniqueness; diaphanous tulle, antique lace and heather hues are just some of the breathtaking details inspiring the next generation of discerning brides. Regardless of a bride-to-be’s preferences, the availability of excellent advisory services and an exquisite range of high-end wedding gowns in London ensures that is not only Catherine Middleton who will look and feel like a Princess on her special day. n

Top to bottom: Bruce Oldfield, S/S11 Jenny Packham, S/S11 Matthew Williamson A/W 11



The Suit

While a wedding dress is only worn once, the purchase of a suit provides a groom with the opportunity to invest in something for life, says Richard Brown


uckingham Palace has informed us that HRH Prince William will be wearing a military uniform on his wedding day, a choice that echoes the decision made by both his father HRH Prince of Wales and uncle, the Duke of York. Although the Palace hasn’t gone as far as to specify which uniform William will sport, it’s likely to be either the blue military-dress of the Royal Air Force or the scarlet jacket and black trousers of the Irish Guards, of whom William recently became Colonel. While the stateliness of regimental uniforms may be the ideal choice for members of the British services, grooms who have not served in the armed forces can still appear the epitome of refinement. Dress coats, frock coats, morning suits, three-pieces and even fancy dress costumes are an option for the big day, but one type of wedding wear has stood the test of time: the lounge suit. Choices regarding the style of shoe, shirt, tie and accessories are of course largely governed by personal preference but nothing cuts a figure of true style quite like a high-quality suit. What’s more, spend money wisely and you’ll have something that will suit a whole range of social occasions. Of course, when it comes to top-of-the-range suits, one place has earned a reputation above all others: Savile Row. Home to the flagship stores of many of England’s most highly regarded tailors, Savile Row has become synonymous with class and sophistication. After two centuries of bespoke dressmaking, the street has become renowned around the world for the quality and elegance of its suits. And while the Row may have a client list that includes everyone from princes to prime ministers, a bespoke suit can make anyone feel like a movie star. Number 30 Savile Row is home to the flagship store of Ozwald Boateng, the acclaimed designer and Muswell Hill resident, who earned an OBE in 2006 for his brilliant work. Ozwald is celebrated, not just for honouring the traditions of fine British tailoring, but for infusing his work with a contemporary twist. As one would expect, the Boateng flagship is a gallery-like setting adorned with the sharpest cuts, but it also awash with a vivid tones including mauve, lime and peacock silks. While these exuberant choices may initially appear unusual for wedding attire, the opposite is true. Many discerning grooms-to-be can be seen selecting fabrics, shirts and ties for their big day and Boateng has been credited with bringing an entirely new relevance and audience to bespoke couture. Indeed the popularity of his unique style shows that the glamour and personalisation of wedding attire is far from reserved for the bride’s dress. This is echoed in Boateng’s approach which aims to make men appear masculine but beautiful: “Suits need to make the wearer feel the best they have ever felt, but the groom should also fulfil the bride’s expectations on the day,” says the designer. However, unlike a dramatic wedding gown, a fabulous wedding suit possesses far greater versatility and can see one through numerous personal occasions, from birthdays to baptisms. Therefore, it can be regarded as an even more essential investment. “If you feel good in a suit, you want to be able to wear it again and again, so it’s worth choosing a high quality design,” remarked one Savile Row client. The wider appeal of well-fitting, super smart pieces is embodied by the success of Boateng’s styles on fashion’s main stage and he continues to produce two ready-to-wear collections each year, having designed for power house Givenchy from 2003-2007. If there was ever a time to join the critics in their appreciation of high quality craftsmanship, it is on your wedding day. n


The Planning

Unless you elope, or choose to have an extremely intimate wedding, there is no doubt that the most special day of your life can also feel like the most stressful. Annabel Harrison speaks to top wedding planners to find out how to avoid this scenario


ondon-based wedding planner SiobhĂ n Craven-Robbins has been planning weddings for more than 15 years and has amassed a wealth of knowledge about how best to organise the most stylish, elegant and beautiful weddings, as well as what pitfalls to avoid. Here are her key pointers in planning the day of your dreams.

Personalisation Every couple believes, rightly so, that their wedding will be the most romantic, most beautiful and most perfect of all weddings and, of course, the key to doing this is giving the whole day a personal touch. Naming tables after something relevant to the couple is a popular theme: SiobhĂ n has known couples call tables the names of places they have visited, favourite restaurants and romantic couples throughout history. At another wedding, she asked all the guests to reply with their favourite poem or lyric; these were then compiled into mini books and given as a wedding favour to each guest. A nod to heritage is also a good way to personalise a wedding; acknowledge your roots with Russian dancers, Mariachi bands or Indian decoration.


Managing budgets


There is no doubt that weddings are becoming more and more expensive. Choose in which areas you’re prepared to economise (and which you’re not) and cut costs accordingly. Easy ways to cut costs without, importantly, it showing, are: buying a good Prosecco or Cava instead of champagne; using a great DJ instead of a band; serving cake as dessert; choosing the wow-factor of masses of one type of (inexpensive) flower; and deciding upon a common cover for invitations, order of service and menus - doing them in one print run works out much less expensive and then you just have the inserts to print.  

As soon as possible:

Golden rules

• Order dress • Start invitations (which always take longer to ‘tweak’ than anticipated)

• Timing. A wedding shouldn’t be too long. Ensure the day is nicely paced and that guests are always being wined, dined or entertained. • Great entertainment. A close-up magician, caricature artist or similar work well during a drinks reception. They circulate amongst the guests, entertaining them and also acting as an icebreaker by getting them to interact. • Lighting. Change it for the evening reception: lights should be dimmed and the dance floor illuminated. This creates an instant buzz and is conducive to dancing, as somehow dancing in daylight or bright light never feels quite right. • Insurance. Take out wedding insurance as soon as you start paying deposits, which are non-refundable; if illness or accident did occur and prevent the wedding taking place when scheduled, you could be considerably out of pocket. It is a nominal cost for peace of mind. • Relax. Above all, you must remember to relax and enjoy your day. Hosts who are enjoying their own party are the best example for guests to follow. With this, I leave you to your planning. One thing is for sure: for every decision, booking or order, ‘the sooner the better’ should be your rule of thumb. Failing that, there are brilliant planning people who can make everything happen for you so that you can have the wedding of your dreams without the hassle. n

Photography: David McNeil,


• Book venue and ceremony officiant

6-8 months before: • Book photographer and videographer • Book band and all entertainment • Book cars and transport

6 months before:

NIEMIERKO With a decade of event experience, Niemierko is another great choice for wedding planning. Founded by Mark Niemierko, Niemierko specialises in weddings, civil partnerships and social events for stylish and savvy clientele. The personality in a wedding is of utmost importance to Niemierko so they start by getting to know a couple, so as to fully understand their style, passions, likes and dislikes. Mark tells me that, typically, he prefers the venue to be the first element of a couple’s wedding plans that is signed off and confirmed: “once that’s in place I can then focus on details, logistics and other key elements, including the dress. However, on occasions where we have a tight lead time, we do the dress and venue at the earliest stage”. Most shops require dresses to be ordered six months in advance, although he has had to deal with much tighter timeframes than this; in one extreme instance, “we arranged for a Bride to select her dress on the day of the wedding! It’s all about making the impossible happen for my Brides”. In the wake of the furore about the possible wedding dress choices for the Kates (Middleton and Moss), does Mark think the focus on the dress has changed in recent times? He agrees that yes, it has; “looking at my family’s wedding photos, there has always been a trend of short, long and so forth. I think it’s more about the bride and her personality.  The dress really needs to match that - a bride should always look herself on her wedding day”.


A Perfect wedding in France We can turn your dreams into reality We can help you with all aspects of your wedding planning. We have excellent contacts in the beautiful Aveyron, Midi Pyrenees. Fluent in English and French, with 20 years experience in event planning.

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news INTERIORS BY ARIA From chaise longues to cosmetics, Aria is Islington’s treasure trove of luxury lifestyle goods housed in the imposing Barnsbury Hall. In a place where classical French dressers blend perfectly with side tables of neon Perspex, antiques are set upon starkly contemporary shelving scenes and you’re as likely to find sleek leather and chrome fittings as stylish, retro upholstery and porcelain teacups. This season sees several new pieces with a cool and quirky twist on display. The glass-topped dining table has an eye-catching origami-style base which captures an emerging interiors trend for strong industrial shapes. Cartoon print vases and bookends are bold yet fun and cutting edge kitchenware offers real choice for gourmands. So desirable is the signature Aria look that the store now offers a unique interior design service. Upon appointment, two experienced consultants can recommend which of the latest furnishings and fittings would suit your requirements.

SAVE THE DATE London’s favourite antiques event is returning to Battersea Park from the 3 May 2011. Over a hundred independent traders will descend on the area with a range of fine art, lighting, accessories and textiles as part of the five day interiors event. There will also be an attentiongrabbing design feature to inspire visitors, which this time will take the form of a Zen Garden. The space will explore Buddist ideals of serenity and contemplation through sculpture, artwork and furniture which have been donated by exhibitors.


Graham and Green, 164 Regents Park Road, NW1 8XN

If you’ve stayed at The Hempel, you’ll be familiar with the stylish nature of the five star surroundings. The boutique hotel has 50 individually designed guest rooms with a modern and fashionable feel. To capture the lively spirit of the integrated No. 35 restaurant, a series of six fine bone china dinner plates has been created in partnership with Central Saint Martin’s graduate Yasmin Sandytia. Each limited edition plate is adorned with a stylish illustration depicting life at the hotel and is available alone or as part of the set. This ensures they work as unique and functional items of crockery or as an attractive gift for display.

HOME OR AWAY These stylish black and tan trunks are just some of the items new to local luxury furniture boutique Graham and Green. The three pieces are available as a set and serve as both a unique storage solution and a handsome home feature. The trunks also embody the founders’ love of travelling and native crafts which has propelled their enthusiasm to source beautiful items. The two Graham and Green premises, including the Regents Park Road shop, offer a range of high-end lifestyle wares including handmade Chinese lanterns, cosy armchairs in powder blue velvet and grand cabinets inlaid with mother of pearl. In addition to the trunks, lacquered black medicine chests, French dressers and ornate decorative screens are popular Spring additions which are also available online.


the trend The kitchen is the perfect place to explore all things cool and contemporary. Combine smooth edges and sleek finishes with bold design features and flashes of vivid colour

BeauxArts 02 kitchen, from £30,000 SieMatic,

Smeg right hand hinge FAB32QVE Fridge Freezer £1330, Next,

Erik Jorgensen Donna Chair, £760, Mac & Mac

Carrs Sterling Silver Champagne Flute £554, My Deco,

Menu Double Candleholder, £89.95 Harvey Nichols,



Meyer Infinite Ciculon Pans, from £18.71 John Lewis,

Naifu 67 Paris 6 Piece Knife Set, £179 Chefs Knife Store,

Linea teal cast iron cookware, from £50 House of Fraser,

Three-oven AGA, from £6122.56, AGA

Edge Sio sink, £635, Astracast,


High-gloss kitchen with Parapan acrylic, from £30,000 Mowlem & Co.,

Elite 3.8L Food Processor, £280 Cuisinart,

Linea rubber wood endgrain chopping board, £22.40, House of Fraser

Linea solid oak pestle and mortar, £20 House of Fraser,

Le Creuset black apron £27, House of Fraser


Peugeot Silver-plated mignonette salt and pepper milk set, £204.25, Salt and Pepper Mills Plus

Emilia Quick Mill, £795, The Coffee Machine



Cookery School

Divertimenti is a culinary cornerstone for professional and amateur chefs alike. Discover over 5,000 items in store and online at 33-34 Marylebone High St, London W1U 4PT, 020 7935 0689. 227-229 Brompton Road, London SW3 2EP, 020 7581 8065. 4 Christ’s Lane, Cambridge CB1 1NP, 01223 313431.


If your old pan has gone to pot then bring it into Divertimenti and get...

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£10 off a new one!

*Terms & Conditions The £10 offer can only be redeemed in store, against the purchase of a new pan with a retail price of £40 or more. Divertimenti will not give a refund in cash or create a credit that can be redeemed against any other product. This offer is valid until 30th May 2011. Divertimenti reserves the right to withdraw this offer at any time without prior notice. This offer may not be used in conjunction with any other offers, discounts or promotional vouchers or coupons. This offer is not available online.


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Must-have Colour



Spring with NARS It is of little surprise that cosmetics super brand Nars have chosen model Iris Strubegger to front their campaign for the new season. Her cool, androgynous appeal embodies the contemporary edge to their Spring colour palette. With make-up ranges so often awash with insipid pastels at this time of year, the subtle shimmers and jewelled earth tones of the new range are chic and fresh. The Calanque eyeshadow trio is a key addition. The rich matte caramel, platinum and bronze tones are enlivened with flecks of gold and translate easily from day to night, whether worn individually or layered for a smouldering finish. Enhance the metallic sheen with the ingenious Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Hollywood which works as a block tone, liner or highlighter. Those who are familiar with existing Nars products will also love the lip colours which have been inspired by the brand’s cultish blush range. The smooth, glittery glosses are fast-acquiring a devoted following of their own. Available at Space NK 62 Hampstead High Street, NW3 1QH

treatment of the month: sleep diagnostic programme A comprehensive diagnostic and treatment programme for sleep disturbance has been launched by one of the world’s leading spa and well-being resorts. The beautiful and peaceful environment is an ideal place to undertake the two-day analysis session which uses video polysomnography and electronic monitoring of the sleep cycle to identify issues causing insomnia and fatigue. Following a two-night stay in the stateof-the-art suite, guests will receive a detailed medical consultation about potential problems along with discussion of appropriate remedies. This examination is seen as invaluable in addressing immediate concerns such as low energy levels and poor concentration, as well as preventing effects on work and family life. Throughout the stay, a range of other facilities and services are also available. Breakfast is provided along with daily fitness and relaxation sessions. There is also complimentary access to the spa area with its thermal pool, three saunas and a variety of beauty and massage packages.


Power pouts were put firmly back into the spotlight as award season attendees sported scarlet lip colour. Whether taking inspiration from the glossy finish of Gucci SS11, or the matte plum of Dior Haute Couture, now is the time to go bold. This Tom Ford Private Blend Lip Color in Cherry Lush is a super glamorous choice. £35,

Must-have trend luscious locks

From flirty up-dos to tumbling waves, BAFTA hair was sleek and shiny. The creative team of Charles Worthington were the ones responsible, tending to the tresses of actresses Emilia Fox and Bonnie Wright, to name a few. The new Soft & Silky range from CW includes shampoo, conditioner and satin styling spray with white truffle oil and orchid extract to achieve smooth results at home. From £5.10

Must-have item

luxury fragrance

€2,643 (approximately £2,270)

Be one of only 1,000 women in the world to acquire Clive Christian No. 1 perfume this year. The fragrance is produced in minimal quantities owing to its high concentration of exquisite and rare ingredients. Top notes of lemon and bergamot give the scent a freshness while its lingering base of vanilla with pimento, benzoin and tonka bean is warm and seductive. The crystal bottle design also ensures No. 1 looks stylish on any dressing table.



concierge beauty

Chuan Serenity The new Chuan Spa at The Langham hotel is a fabulous addition for body, mind and spirit says Gabrielle Lane


huan Spa is not just another luxury escape. It is an international phenomenon. With the huge success of the signature Chinese garden themed retreats in Auckland, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Shanghai, Chuan Spa is now available exclusively at The Langham.

Approach The Chuan Spa is the first retreat in Europe to apply the therapeutic principles of traditional Chinese medicine to its treatment programme. The aim here is not only to relax and revitalise, but to rebalance the elements which underpin physical and mental harmony. Think aromatic steam experiences, candle-lit water bathing rituals and the invigorating alternation of heat and ice.

Surroundings As expected from its setting at one of London’s grandest hotels, Chuan Spa is a super stylish haven in the heart of the capital. The design has a strong


oriental influence with natural textures and earthy hues used throughout the treatment areas to evoke tranquillity. The contemplation room is an attractive pavilion of chandeliers and sleek leather loungers, perfect for posttreatment reflection.

Treatments The spa offers a range of Thalgo and Chuan signature packages. There are brightening oxygen facials, incredible mineral body wraps enriched with sea salt and seaweed petals and specialised massage techniques. What really sets Chuan apart however, are the authentic medicine based therapies available. Stimulate the body’s healing energy with an acupuncture session, maintain general health with the heat sensations of moxibustion and soothe the skin with the practice of Ho Guan, or cupping, a la our favourite local girl, Gwyneth. n Chuan Spa, The Langham Hotel, 1c Portland Place, Regent Street, W1B 1JA

Spa Spotlight ... Chuan Signature Harmony Massage According to the literature, this wasn’t a treatment. It was a holistic journey. So my expectations were high as I entered Chuan Spa. I was not disappointed. In English ‘Chuan’ means serene course of water and all guests are offered complimentary use of the luxurious wet spa facilities ahead of their booking. The aromatic sauna and steam room loosens congested muscles while the vitality pool and cool showers are designed to refresh and reawaken the spirit. Needless to say the whole environment looks incredible! In the treatment room the therapist seeks to align each guest with their Wu Xing element (metal, wood, water, fire or earth) and the experience feels incredibly personal. A delicate blend of essential oils are used to compliment the mood in combination with a range of massage techniques. The traditional strokes are great for soothing aching muscles (and feel simply divine!) while the ancient art of acupressure is then employed to relieve any blockages in energy. Utter bliss.

Make sure this year’s bonus pays dividends.

For our members, the benefits of Club Wembley for clients, colleagues, friends and family are as astonishing and long lasting as the memories of our world class events themselves. Join us now and you can enjoy The FA Cup Final, The UEFA Champions League Final*, show stopping concerts, England’s Euro 2012 qualifiers all with the exquisite hospitality you’d expect. To make our club your club call Chris Crouch on 020 8795 9521 and you and your guests will be here in time for The FA Cup Semi Finals.

*UEFA Champions League Final and concerts are not included within the Club Wembley membership. Wembley Stadium will however try to secure tickets for these events wherever possible.

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21/03/2011 09:46

health & fitness


Look Great, Feel Great

health & fitness


Embrace the cold An increasing array of cryotherapy treatments are now available across the capital. The application of cold temperatures to the body is not only wonderfully invigorating but also aids the body’s natural functions. One of the latest developments within this area is the creation of Glacial Shells. The moulded shapes are crafted from natural seashell and cool the skin from the inside out. The use of the objects as part of a specially developed massage treatment is said to help increase circulation, rid the body of toxins and boost the immune system. It is proving popular with those experiencing IBS, stress and menstrual cramps.

It’s time to ditch the unflattering sweats in favour of some altogether more glamorous work-out attire. The new collection from fitness clothing favourite Sweaty Betty is inspired by the film Atonement and features delicate pieces with an ultra-feminine silhouette. The designs include hipster shorts with a tonal lace jacquard pattern and long-length soft ruched camisoles in apricot. Although stylish, each of the garments preserves the technology which makes them suitable for exercise, such as sweat-wicking fabrics and adjustable straps for complete support.

Available at Urban Retreat, Harrods from March 2011

Run Free Undoubtedly one of the greatest indications of the fitness value of the ElliptiGO is its conception by two competitive Iron Man triathletes. The outdoor cross-training bicycle tones and strengthens core muscles as part of a leisurely cardiovascular workout. The device was designed to alleviate the joint pain associated with regular running on tarmac, yet the pedalling profile is a closer replication of the activity than existing steppers you might find at the gym. This makes it a valuable tool for building endurance as well as a great choice for those undertaking rehabilitation after injury. The ability to cruise along at speeds in excess of 25mph, as well as navigate various terrains, will also ensure the bike is an interesting, as well as beneficial, addition to any training regime. £1,599,

This time it’s personal If you’ve not yet visited the boutique fitness studios Movers & Shapers, set aside half an hour. The short time frame is all that is required twice weekly by the expert team, who have created intimate centres for well-being which offer courses to fit in with a hectic lifestyle. The local outlets in West Hampstead, Stanmore and Muswell Hill provide personalised Power Plate and Pilates sessions, as well as boundless encouragement to address all aspects of healthy living. Emphasis is placed on undertaking exercise in relaxed and friendly surroundings which feel more like a beauty salon than an intimidating gym. There is a chic seating area for relaxing in and an attractive retail space stocking accessories, body products, organic apparel and home equipment. 148 West End Lane, London, NW6 1SD

Brought to you in association with The Wellington Hospital, one of the world’s leading private hospitals.


A vision of independence Richard Packard, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at The Wellington Hospital and Arnott Eye Associates, discusses recent advances in cataract and lens surgery

A seamless surgery No stitches are required to close these tiny wounds now, and therefore there is no need to remove them at some point after the surgery. The shape of the eye is hardly altered by these very small incisions so that the eye recovers from the operation optically in about two weeks, where previously this might have taken up to three months. My incisions are only about 2mm in size. A safe surgery The current machinery used to perform the phacoemulsification procedure now allows surgeons to remove almost all cataracts very safely with minimal effects on the eye.

In the 30 or so years since I started performing minimally invasive cataract surgery using phacoemulsification (emulsifying the hard cataractous lens nucleus inside the eye, rather than removing it all together) there have been dramatic changes in the way that this surgery has been carried out. The materials, design and capabilities of the intraocular lenses available for implantation after the human lens has been removed have also seen huge advances. The advent of foldable lenses has also meant we can reduce the space through which we insert the new lens, from 7mm to 2mm.

In the next few years it will be possible to use laser energy to perform specific parts of the cataract procedure, including making the incisions, creating an accurate circular opening in the lens and softening the cataract. A progressive surgery To accompany all this technology, there are now lenses available which correct not just distance vision as before, but near vision as well. These lenses are essentially of two types, accommodative and pseudo-accommodative. The former works by gently adjusting certain structures within the eye to change its focus. The latter types can focus both near and distance simultaneously, and the patient adapts to see what is in focus at any one time.

new developments: sulcoflex lens Another interesting lens development in the past year has helped to correct residual visual issues in patients who have had lens implant surgery in the past and might be still wearing glasses for near or distance. This may be due to no correction of astigmatism, an inability to read or simply that the preoperative measurements were less than accurate. Lenses can be implanted on top of the one already in the eye as a so called ‘piggyback’. My lens of choice here is the Sulcoflex lens which comes in three varieties. •

The first is to correct a slight imbalance in the existing lens power.

The second can do this but also correct astigmatism

The third can correct near and distance vision to improve spectacle independence.

Piggyback lenses using the Sulcoflex lens range offers the surgeon and patient a straight forward method of enhancing post surgery vision.

I find that most patients prefer a pseudo-accommodative lens, as it gives them the best balance of near and distance vision. However with these lenses available light has to be divided up between distance and near which may influence the quality of distance vision in lower light conditions. This is more a theoretical issue than a practical one and patients do not generally complain about their distance vision even when the light is poor. Greater independence My lens of choice is called the ReStor lens and I have implanted these in some 500 patients over the past 6 years. A third of these actually had the surgery, not for removing cataracts, but simply to become more spectacle independent. In that time there have been a number of improvements in the design of the lens so that issues about haloes around lights at night, reading too close and poor intermediate vision have largely been addressed. The latest version of the lens will also allow astigmatism to be corrected as well. My results in overall spectacle independence with the ReStor lens are similar to global experience with about 90% not using glasses for most tasks. As lens designs continue to improve and the holy grail of a lens that can mimic the youthful human lens becomes a reality, more and more patients will come forward for lens surgery as they reach middle age. Until that time we have very good lenses available which, to those for whom freedom from near and distance glasses is important, offer a very reasonable solution providing they understand the limitations.

CATARACTS: The Lowdown •

A cataract is a clouding that develops in the lens of the eye and obstructs the passage of light to the retina at the back

This clouding gradually worsens over time and thus increasingly diminishes the sight

Cataracts usually affect both the eyes but generally start in one

Cataracts can occur at any age but are commonest in the elderly

The word ‘cataract’ derived initially from Arabic, was then adopted by Latin ‘cataracta’ meaning ‘waterfall’. It is thought that it refers to the way rapidly running water turns white as it falls, metaphorically replicating the appearance of opaque cataracts.

Treatment Treatments for cataracts involves surgical removal of the opacifying lens through a small incision and its replacement with a permanent plastic lens which is usually folded for insertion.. These operations are most often performed using a local anaesthetic and the patient is allowed to go home the same day. There are now a wide range of different lens options including multifocal lenses, which means patients may have less use for glasses after their operation.

Removal of hard cataract

MEET THE EXPERT Richard Packard MD DO FRCS FRCOphth has been at the forefront of the research and teaching of minimally invasive cataract surgery since he started using phacoemulsification in 1979. He has lectured and operated in over 50 countries. He was a Board Member of the European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons from 1999-2007 and is a committee member of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. Over the past five years he has been leading the move to even smaller incisions for cataract and lens surgery which lead to more rapid recovery and better outcomes for patients.


To arrange an appointment at The Wellington Hospital, please contact The Enquiry Helpline on 0207 483 5148 or visit


The Wellington Hospital, located in St John’s Wood, is one of the world’s leading private hospitals It has an international reputation for outstanding care in areas of medicine including: cardiac services, neurosurgery, liver and HPB medicine, acute neurological rehabilitation, gynaecology, orthopaedics and many more

Patients can enjoy luxury accommodation, together with a warm and friendly service, all of which create a caring environment and a comfortable hospital experience.

Our team of consultants and medical professionals are capable of dealing with a wide range of complex medical and surgical problems. And all our services are supported by our Medical and Surgical Admission Units. Image courtesy of Siemens

Our diagnostic services include: 64 Slice CT Scanner Ultrasound X-ray MRI

Our award-winning Intensive Care Unit combines the highest quality of critical care nursing, with 24/7 access to Intensive Care specialists and support services.

We are investing in the latest technology‌ Each area of the hospital is equipped with the very latest diagnostic and surgical technology, which enables our specialists to diagnose complex medical conditions with speed and accuracy. Many of our consultants are experts in the latest surgical techniques, including keyhole and robotic surgery. This skill combined with cutting-edge technology, can allow our patients to return to daily activities faster. New technology includes: da Vinci Si Robot Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS) PET CT

The Acute Neurological Rehabilitation Unit, is the largest of its kind in the private sector. Its services include:

Physiotherapy Speech and Language Balance Centre Occupational Therapy Hydrotherapy Neuropsychology

With a fully integrated service, The Wellington Hospital can provide each patient with the care and support they need.

For an expert consultation call our team today The Wellington Hospital Wellington Place, St John’s Wood London. NW8 9LE

Telephone: 0207 483 5148 / Fax: 0207 483 5618

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Return of the classic

B Alvis returns to business to give its 1930s sports tourer a 21st century makeover

ack in the 1930s and 40s, car manufacturer Alvis was synonymous with sumptuous style and top of the range performance, having built the world’s first front wheel drive production car, designed the world’s first all synchromesh gear box, and initiated the first British car with independent front suspension. Everything from the concept of an Alvis car to the finished rolling chassis was designed and engineered by the company themselves and complemented by a range of eye-catching

bodywork and striking classic design. Now, the newly reformed Alvis Car Company comes rolling into the 21st century by resuming production of the famous Alvis 4.3 Litre model 72 years after the last car was produced. Manufactured from the original drawings, the 4.3 Litre Alvis in-line six cylinder engine is faithful to the 1936 design, in maintaining all of its period character and quality. The only difference is that by using modern materials, fuel injection and engine management, the Alvis powerplant will deliver more horsepower. Not that anyone is likely to complain. n


Blood Volvo is working hard to appeal to younger owners. But Matthew Carter isn’t convinced that all their efforts will reap the right rewards


oing anything special in April? If not, why not head down to Mayrhofen in Austria for a week-long music and snow festival called Snowbombing? The organisers, who clearly don’t believe in modesty, call it the Greatest Show on Snow and a quick glance at some of the artists appearing will surely confirm that stance. Why, among the bands there’s The Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs and Summer Camp, while among the DJs there’s Whole Sick, Skumkid & Moi and we mustn’t forget Rattus Rattus and Klose One (Urban Nerds). Sounds...unmissable. Volvo clearly thinks so. The Swedish brand, now under Chinese ownership, has handed over sufficient sponsorship cash to ensure this year’s event is known as Volvo Snowbombing 2011. According to the company, “Snowbombing, like Volvo, is a brand on the move and we share many similar values making the headline partnership an ideal match.” So dear old Auntie Volvo, purveyor of square-rigger estates to antique dealers, feels it needs to change its staid image. Fair enough, but is ‘getting down with the kids’ really the best way of going about it? I’d argue not, especially as the company is already doing a great deal to change that image. The new S60 and V60, for example, are Volvos with curves, and with the new R-Design versions, they even have sufficient style to tempt drivers away from their BMWs and Audis. In Volvo-speak, ‘S’ stands for saloon and ‘V’ means versatile, though as far as the V60 goes it’s not quite as versatile as it could be. Volvo calls the V60 a sportswagen and talks about its coupé-like styling, conveniently forgetting to mention that its boot space – surely the reason why people buy estates in the first place – is actually less than the ‘smaller’ V50. Still, if that’s the sacrifice needed to get a shapely Volvo, then so be it. Without a doubt the V60 is the best looking Volvo there has ever been with swooping lines, bold curves and a tapering rear end. The R-Design package adds an aggressive look quite unlike Volvos of old with a new front bumper, featuring a smart piano-black insert while the rear end has a new diffuser and twin exhaust pipes. The chassis has been lowered by 15 millimetres and

it’s been given stiffer springs, while the sporting image is completed by attractive 18 inch five spoke ‘diamond cut’ alloy wheels. Inside there are sports seats, a three spoke sporting steering wheel, aluminium sports pedals and – this is important – blue tinted instrument dials. You get the picture: this is a sporting Volvo ready to carry skis and snowboards, rather than old wardrobes. Fortunately it drives with rather more spirit than a traditional Volvo, especially in top-of-the-range T6 AWD guise. Power comes from a turbocharged 3.0 litre straight six-cylinder engine pumping out 304hp and driving all four wheels. The downside of a big petrol engine is that fuel economy and emission are hardly favourable and, as a result, most V60 will be smaller diesels. The most popular will probably be the D3, a 2.0-litre five-cylinder diesel with 163hp and a hefty 400Nm of torque, but it is front wheel drive only. That alone means it’s not as fun to drive as a BMW 3-series Touring, though it will give the Audi A4 Avant a run for its money. And it beats both when it comes to interior ambiance. Audi is the master of clean, modern and practical cabins, but it now has a serious rival. More remarkably, despite the stiffer chassis and the big wheels, the V60 R-Design rides pretty well over our pockmarked roads. And while the chassis is not as taut as the BMW, a phalanx of electronic aides will make sure that the car will do its best to get you out of trouble if you try a little too hard, and the same goes for the raft of safety kit. Volvo is synonymous with safety, of course, and equipment like City Safety, which will take over the brakes if it feels a collision is imminent, really does move the game on. So it’s safe, good-looking, reasonably powerful in midrange diesel form and comfortable and while the boot isn’t huge, it’s okay for most occasions. In premium form it’s well equipped, too, with sat nav, leather and a DAB sound system as standard – though asking extra for Bluetooth phone connectivity is a bit cheeky on a car costing a couple of hundred quid short of £30,000. Whether fans of Skumkid & Moi will be prepared, or able, to spend that sort of money on a Volvo is another matter. I guess we’ll see when next year’s Snowbombing sponsorship deal is announced. n



IN BRIEF Car: Volvo V60 D3 R-Design Premium Price: ÂŁ29,420 Engine: 1,998 five-cylinder diesel Power: 163 hp Drive: Front-wheel drive


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Jamie Carter presents the month’s hottest gadgets

The ultimate home cinema TV? Flat screen televisions used to make a stylish statement and Philips’ uniquely shaped Cinema 21:9 rolls back the years; you won’t find another TV on sale today that makes as much of an impact as this. At 58 inches across, this LEDbacklit screen may sound like an behemoth but it’s actually fairly easy to house; as well as being relatively slim, it’s as low in profile as a 42-inch TV because of its key feature – a super-wide stretched screen. Despite movies having been filmed and projected in cinemas in CinemaScope or ‘letterbox’ format for years, Philips is the only brand that has cottoned on to the fact that movie lovers just don’t want to see black bars above and below the action. Measured in 21:9 proportions – a good deal bigger than the 16:9 measurement of regular widescreens – the 58PFL9955H presents CinemaScope films (whether from TV, DVD or Blu-ray) in their natural state. Install it in your living room and it certainly gets a smile started; how often do us gadget-weary types do that? While the 58PFL9955H does indeed get rid of black bars at the top and bottom, there is a trade-off that sees anything other than CinemasScope-size footage – all TV, games and many DVDs – shown with black bars down each side. As such, you could say that this screen is purely for a home cinema and specifically for

new gadgets

JVC GS-TD1 3D Full HD camcorder, £1,600

anyone who wants to watch movies in daylight. Firstly, that’s not a great idea – movies should always be watched with the lights on low, in our opinion – and secondly, black bars on the sides of TV programmes aren’t nearly as annoying as on Bluray movies because the picture isn’t ‘shrink to fit’. There’s more to the 58PFL9955H than CinemaScope, with built-in 3D compatibility as its ‘crowning feature’. It ought to be, but it’s actually rather underwhelming; the glasses are comfy enough and the picture is fairly bright, but the 3D effect just isn’t as clear as it should be. The backgrounds and close-ups have serious 3D wow factor, but the middle of the picture is a bit of a mess. Back to 2D Blu-ray, the 58PFL9955H delivers silky, pin-sharp hi-definition, with a feature called Perfect Natural Motion introducing an in-your-face fluidity to pictures. It’s decidedly un-cinematic and does have a few side effects, but it’s worth exploring. Also equipped with three-sided Ambilight – a feature still exclusive to Philips – the unusually proportioned 58PFL9955H is certain to leave a huge grin on your face.

Philips 58PFL9955H Cinema 21:9 Platinum 58-inch LED TV, £4,000

Devialet D-Premier amplifier/DAC, £10,900

Yamaha Silent Guitar, £400


Polo Press ad Run Wild Media_Layout 1 18/02/2011 11:15 Page 1





Start the weekend early on City Friday, enjoy the charms of Ladies Day and see it through to the thrilling conclusion of Finals Day and the Veuve Clicquot Polo Party. And if the polo isn’t enough, visit our Harrods Food Court, Shopping Village, The Mahiki Bar or the famous Punch Bowl Pub. Contact us now for more information on our range of hospitality packages to suit any budget T: +44(0)20 7 936 5284 • E: For programme advertising contact Runwild Group on 020 7987 4320 or email





Snooker Loopy The 16 players who made it through March’s qualifying rounds will join the world’s top 16 seeded players in the Betfred World Snooker Championship this month. Held in Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, the championship is the highlight of the snooker calendar, worth the most ranking points and highest prize money. Spectators will witness the likes of John Higgins, Mark Williams and Neil Robertson battle it out for the coveted trophy. World Snooker Championship 2011 16 April – 2 May 2011

Marathon Mission The capital’s streets will once again be a sea of neon vests and fancy dress costumes on 17 April as over thirty thousand people aim to complete the 31st London Marathon. Runners will brave blisters and pain to raise millions of pounds for charity in the world’s largest annual fund raising event. Reigning men’s champion Tsegaye Kebede and women’s champion Liliya Shobukhova will return to defend their Virgin London Marathon titles in races that feature the most accomplished names in marathon running.

If you are not tackling the course yourself, the London Marathon provides a fantastic spectator day out, with bands, stalls and street acts helping to create a party style atmosphere. Head to Tower Bridge to cheer runners as they pass the 12 mile mark, or make your way to the Embankment to applaud those nearing the end of their gruelling journey. The 2011 Virgin London Marathon 17 April 2011

The World’s Greatest Steeplechase You don’t have to be a horse racing enthusiast to enjoy the exhilaration of the Grand National. The world’s most famous steeplechase attracts an audience of 500 million people in 140 countries, many of whom seldom watch the sport at any other time during the year. The 2011 John Smith’s Grand National will see 40 of the world’s finest horses aim to complete two full circuits of the 2¼ mile course, negotiating 30 testing fences, including the infamous Becher’s Brook and The Chair. Jonjo O’Neill’s ‘Don’t Push It’ claimed victory last year and is likely to be ridden by AP McCoy again this year. ‘Ballabriggs’ and ‘Niche Market’ are ante-post favourites but as the past has proved, when it comes to the Grand National, an outside bet is always worth a flutter. The John Smith’s Grand National 9 April 2011

Skaters set for Slovakia

2011 sees Slovakia host the Ice Hockey World Championships for the first time. The tournament will take place in Bratislava and Košice between 29 April and 15 May. The competition has become heavily dominated by the “big six” – Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. However, improvements in Slovakia’s form mean that they go in to this year’s tournament as serious title contenders. Ice Hockey World Championships 29 April – 15 May 2011

Say what?

To describe the agony of a marathon to someone who has never run it is like trying to explain colour to someone who was born blind. Canadian marathon record holder and triple winner of Japan’s Fukuoko Marathon, Jerome Drayto


Mastersmagic With the first major golf tournament of the season set to kick off this month, Lee Brooks speaks to BBC Sport commentator Andrew Cotter to find out what makes The Masters at Augusta so special


or any golfing aficionado, The Masters is the symbol that spring has finally arrived. With the cold, dark winter becoming a distant memory, it’s time to watch the world’s best golfers lace up those pristine shoes, polish the driver and give that tiny white ball a good whack down the fairway at the first of four Majors on the European and USPGA golf tours. It’s held at Augusta National in Georgia in the United States on the second weekend in April and is the only Major to be played at the same course every year. “That’s why it’s so special,” muses BBC Sport’s Andrew Cotter, who’ll be commentating on The Masters this year. “It’s one of the most beautiful courses in the world and there’s just nothing else like it. It’s just unique.” Appearance is of primary importance at The Masters, so

each year, the club closes off the course for a few months before the tournament to make sure it’s in absolutely pristine condition. They aim to get the course to blossom with vibrant colours just in time for the first ball being hit: but while the course may look beautiful and inviting, it couldn’t be more deceptive. Famous for its intense undulations on both the greens and the fairways, Augusta can turn on you like a course possessed. The wind can pick up, the rain can lash down and the bunkers can suddenly expand just as the competition starts to intensify. One such hole that can provide a mighty challenge is the 12th, one of three holes called Amen Corner; “It’s a short par 3, 155 yards or so, but every single player would take a par there. It’s so, so dangerous – you could either win or lose your Masters there. I remember Fred Couples in 1992. Although his ball rolled back towards the water, it



may think Wimbledon’s tennis ticketing system is tough, it’s almost impossible to come by a Masters ticket, because once you have one, it belongs to you and your family for life, meaning you get the same crowds year in, year out. “It is perhaps a little bit less rowdy because of that,” said Cotter. “But when things get going on the back nine on the Sunday of The Masters, it can be as noisy as anything. The sound is held in by the trees on the course to create this sort of amphitheatre. When Jack Nicklaus won there in 1986, the noise was just incredible.” As always, all eyes will be on Tiger Woods. He may have lost some of his appeal since the much-publicised misdemeanours in his private life, but he is still the most talked-about player in the world. Cotter doesn’t believe Woods is going to win The Masters, “because his putting isn’t good enough any more. One thing about Tiger was his intimidation factor, which used to get him a couple of shots, but that’s gone now. I don’t think he has it. Whether he’ll win another major or not, I’m not sure, but I can’t see it happening at The Masters.” Last year’s champion was American Phil Mickelson, who held his nerve to collect his third green jacket, and Cotter fancies the American’s chances of repeating that feat this year. “Even though he hasn’t been playing well, I wouldn’t rule him out because he seems to be inspired by the place and always steps up to the plate.” When it comes to British golf, Cotter reckons this year’s tournament could produce our first champion since Nick Faldo in 1996. “Paul Casey has had good runs at Augusta in the past, and of course there’s former world number one Lee Westwood, who pushed Mickelson all the way last year.” Is this Britain’s best chance to cure 15 years of hurt? Well, that’s for the golfing gods to decide. n Andrew Cotter will be commentating on The Masters for BBC Sport with highlights and live coverage on BBC Two, BBC Red Button and BBC Radio 5 live from Thursday 7 April to Sunday 10 April.

remained, incredibly, on the bank. That day he was lucky and he went on to win The Masters. It could have been ever so different though.” As the only Major never to change course, The Masters’ quirky traditions don’t stop there. It is the only Major to be classed as an invitational tournament; only a select number of players are invited to compete, depending on their world ranking. Past champions are given a lifetime pass to compete at the tournament whenever they like, irrespective of their form, and as well as a traditional trophy, the winners are handed a green jacket on the 18th green to symbolise their inclusion into one of the most exclusive clubs in golf. What’s more, the crowd is invitational too. While many


MINT Polo in the park Looking towards the fast approaching summer, we delve into the luxurious world of MINT Polo in the Park. Now in its third year this three-day quintessential British Summer party really is not to be missed


s summer arrives, so does the polo season and where better to see some of the best polo in the world and to cheer on our very own MINT Team London, than here in central London, Hurlingham Park in Fulham to be precise. In a corner of south west London, MINT Polo in the Park is uniting our summer park solstice with the most traditional sport of polo. Hurlingham Park in Fulham is a name synonymous with polo, having hosted the game since 1874, with the Club’s committee drawing up the official rules all the way back in 1875. Their third annual event, MINT Polo in the Park, draws an eclectic mix of people from all walks of life, who join together for one reason; to enjoy their summer days in the most quintessentially British manner possible. A far cry from its elitist perceptions, the three day long MINT Polo in the Park celebration caters for, and indulges, the growing numbers of the public who are showing an interest in the sport, with a new high-octane spectator friendly format of the game. The three day event features three amazing days of polo, with a new round-robin format allowing you to see your home team whether you’re a true Brit for MINT Team London or an Aussie for IG Index Team Sydney, each and every day. Friday 3 June sees City Friday arrive, and you can be forgiven for not expecting much work to be done on this day. Many London companies are taking a half-day and using City Friday as the excuse for the official Summer Party. CEO of City Events, Rory Heron, who runs MINT Polo in the Park, comments: “Every London company has a Summer and Christmas Party. We are now offering the most incredible opportunity to entertain your colleagues, your top performing team and of course all of your clients with a variety of packages to suit all budgets including grandstand tickets, family and group packages, VIP hospitality at the Hurlingham Club and Harrods Hampers at Hurlingham Park.” Saturday 4 June is Ladies Day and we all love a good excuse to dress up and bask in the sun, but we doubt we can match the beauty of Elle MacPherson whose range of skincare products, Invisible Zinc, is one of the event sponsors. Much like Ascot, the aesthetics of the event focuses on fashion and beauty, with stunning designer dresses, the latest sunglasses and an obligatory flute of Veuve Clicquot champagne. Property sponsors Chesterton Humberts’ dedicated in-house historian explains that the Grade II listed building has a rich history with the story of polo at its core. When it comes to the finest British sport, there really is no place like Hurlingham to experience it.

The big finals day on Sunday 5 June sees a large and much improved Kid’s Zone, encouraging families to come along and even to try their hand at polo on one of the wooden horses provided by Ascot Park Polo Club. After winning London Sport Attraction of the Year in 2010, the Hurlingham event has this year revamped its appeal by both extending its existing attractions and adding entirely new ones. Their exquisite Veuve Clicquot Champagne Garden will see an extension, meaning more room and an excellent view of the polo. For those who like to be up close and personal with the action, the pitch side bars will also be larger this year, along with the corporate enclosure which features all new tea and picnic marquees. A delectable selection of the UK’s finest food will be on offer as Harrods introduces its food court to the event, including all the iconic Harrods restaurants, built around a traditional bandstand. MINT Polo in the Park also has some developments from 2010, with new pitchside bars from celebrity favourite Guy Ritchie’s The Punchbowl Pub and cocktail bar Mahiki, which promise to create a lively atmosphere equal to the vibrancy of the game. The hottest ticket of them all, has to be the Veuve Clicquot Michelin Experience at The Hurlingham Club. Two Star Michelin rated chef, John Campbell, has designed an incredible four-course tasting menu to be paired with the Vintage Veuve Clicquot Cave Privee range. The Veuve Clicquot Michelin Experience, is only available for a maximum of 16 distinguished guests, and takes place in the private Reading Room in the old part of The Hurlingham Club. The 2011 MINT Polo in the Park is set to see city firms battling it out in the boardrooms and on the polo field as the sponsored teams competing in the high-octane challenge include: Team MINT London, Team City AM New York, Team Otkritie Moscow, Team Gaucho Buenos Aires and Team IG Index Sydney. The players themselves will be driven to the event in ultimate luxury by the vehicle partners, Audi, and, with more polo being played at the event than ever before, every part of the three day event guarantees an experience as rich in entertainment as in intensity. n

2011 MINT Polo in the Park is set to see city firms battling it out in the boardrooms and on the polo field

For further information or to book tickets check out or see interactive content at For VIP enquiries please call 0207 936 2584




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hose deemed eminent enough to join the ranks of the Barradoro club will certainly find rewards for their success. The 100 successful members (there’s a rigorous interview process) will be invited to partake in an extravagant world tour taking place in July 2011, incorporating seven cities in seven days. The first stop is the vibrant city of Tokyo, where some of the most successful musical performers will stage a welcoming spectacle at the foothills of Mount Fuji. The next seven days will see enduring luxury in the form of a gourmet banquet on the

Shanghai waterfront, high profile entertainment in Abu Dhabi and a cultural spectacle in Istanbul as well VIP fashion, entertainment and after-parties in London, New York and LA. As you’d expect, such a vibrant social schedule is offset by the most indulgent hospitality services. Michelin-starred chefs ensure refreshment whilst five-star hotels, private jets and limousines make the worldwide transitions smooth and stylish. n Membership application packs can be downloaded from


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five star dining



Those who find fine cuisine a real delight when travelling abroad should visit La Pergola at Rome Cavalieri, part of the Waldorf Astoria Collection. The restaurant has just maintained its three Michelin star rating for the sixth year running, following the publication of the latest eponymous guide. The award recognises exceptional catering which is worth a special journey and La Pergola is one of the few hotel establishments to receive the honour under the guidance of talented head chef Heinz Beck. Heinz credits his inspiration as people and places, and creates dishes which honour traditions and favourites with an interesting twist. Among the new dishes set to tantalise diners this year are a delicious warm carpaccio of tuna on papa al pomodoro and spaghetti with fresh white shrimps marinated in lime.

The Wow factor The pictures speak for themselves. The W Retreat and Spa in Bali is a breath-taking place to escape and unwind. Not least because an indulgent treatment range is available 24-hours a day to refresh, revive and reinvigorate. Sweeping white beaches, glittering swimming pools, renowned golfing facilities and a cutting edge fitness centre are also available as standard. Guest rooms are unapologetically lavish. Ocean views, king-size beds and a detailed music library set the mood. It is luxury epitomised.

However, the W retreat is different from its serene rivals. It is also the location of choice for those requiring ultimate contemporary glitz. Traditional Balinese ceremonies are just as much on the agenda as VIP fashion shows and music events, reflecting the eclectic nature and wide appeal of the local area. A typical evening could be spent sampling the resort’s concept restaurants and glamorous cocktail bars. The W Bali blends partying and pampering seamlessly.

Travel Fact According to a Cost of Living Survey from the consultancy Mercer, Luanda in Angola is the most expensive city in which to reside for expatriates. The result is based on a price comparison of over two hundred items, including transport.

Website of the month: Relaxation isn’t typically associated with business trips, but this is set to change with the opening of the luxurious new Missoni hotel in Kuwait City, which is perfect for the corporate jetset. The stunning venture combines the chic interior styling of the eminent Italian design house with the renowned hospitality of the Rezidor Group. The result is a sophisticated development which includes a Six Senses spa, vibrant restaurant serving fine Italian cuisine and fashionable lounge areas with panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf.

Kuwait Goes Couture From illustrious fashion previews to exclusive award ceremonies, Paragon Elite organise access to the world’s most glamorous events. The lifestyle service is renowned for both its creativity and efficiency and all manner of occasions can be suggested and managed. Combine multiple excursions into an actionpacked itinerary through the Elite Travel club. Possible themes include a stay deep in the Costa Rican rainforest and an expedition to Antarctica.

Brought to you in association with Small Luxury Hotels of the World, an unsurpassable collection of over 500 hotels spanning 70 countries, which offer an infinite variety of experiences.



Offering sun, sea and sand as well as the height of luxury, Sharm el Sheikh is the perfect destination for families in need of an action-packed break, and couples in need of some exclusive luxury. Emma Fitzmaurice checks out what’s on offer


he site of Sharm el Sheikh shows up as early as 1762 on a Spanish map but, until about 1968, it was nothing more than a quiet fishing community. However, in recent years, Sharm el Sheikh has become one of Egypt’s best-known and most visited beach resorts. In fact, in recent years, the Egyptian government has worked hard to spread around the holidaymakers by developing or encouraging the development of many other beach resorts – but Sharm remains the leading tourist spot in the Sinai and there are a number of reasons for this. First of all, it is a year-round resort, hot in the summer, but pleasant and warm in the winter, and it has an international airport that attracts both private and international charter flights – flight time from the UK is only four and a half hours, with minimal transfer time once you land. Next, the area on the tip of the Southern Sinai features some of the world’s most amazing underwater scenery. Here, one finds crystal clear water, rare and beautiful reefs, and an incredible variety of exotic fish amongst the colourful coral. Much of this can be seen simply by snorkelling off the coast, but of course it is well known worldwide for scuba diving, with easy access to some of the Red Sea’s most prominent and interesting dive sites. Just to the south of Sharm, on the very tip of the Sinai, is also one of Egypt’s oldest and most beautiful, mostly underwater protectorates, Ras Mohamed. To accommodate divers, Sharm has every possible amenity, including first-rate dive shops, centres and boats. Many of these are operated by Europeans, and they also provide excellent diving training. A few of the oldest include the Camel Dive Centre and South Sinai Divers. There is more to Sharm, however, than the beaches, sea and landscape. It is a well-developed area that almost seems more like a European resort than Egyptian, with

refined facilities and amenities including, these days, some more budget-oriented accommodations as well as five star hotels equal to most elsewhere in the world. And, while one is capable of spending any budget at their disposal here, for most Europeans, it remains a relatively inexpensive alternative to more costly beach resort alternatives elsewhere. Add to this the fact that, because of the number of tourists who continually pour into Sharm, there is just about every activity a holidaymaker could hope to find; name a water sport and it can be found here. There is also every other activity from off-roading to championship golf. The resort consists of three main areas: the old town, Sharm el Maya (Moya), and its bay; a number of other bays, where most of the tourist facilities are located, though in fact some very fine resorts are located elsewhere; and El Hadaba, where there are vacations villas, apartments, condominiums and a few hotels. Out of all the bays, probably Na’ama Bay, which means “pleasant” in Hebrew, is best known, and this is also where the most hotels are located. Up the coast just a bit, near the airport, one finds some of the newer, very exclusive hotels, including the Four Seasons, the Hyatt, the Intercontinental, another Hilton, the Sheraton, and the Movenpick Golf Hotel, which was host to Egypt’s first professional golf tournament. A number of other hotels are scattered about, including the Ritz Carlton and the Hilton Waterfalls to the south of Na’ama Bay nearer to downtown. Sharm el Sheikh is really, in the end, an extravaganza of entertainment in a beach setting backed by the natural wonders and historic enclaves of the Sinai. Let there be no doubt that Sharm is a tourist town with little other purpose, but the community has taken pride in making it more than a holiday destination. For further information, visit



FOR INDULGENT FAMILY HOLIDAYS: THE RITZ CARLTON An immense blue horizon greets Emma Fitzmaurice as she walks into the huge reception area of the Ritz Carlton Sharm el Sheikh as glass replaces walls and makes the most of the hotel’s spectacular setting on the edge of the Red Sea The startling inky blue of the water is complemented by the deep green of the constantly watered lawns. Amazingly, after the arid, rocky terrain I’d crossed to get here, the extensive gardens are ablaze with blossom and flowers. Here you feel you are in your own oasis and the myriad other hotels don’t impose. The beach is private and boasts a multi-award-winning dive centre with a free trial session in any of the seven pools if you’re feeling adventurous. Two sides of my ground-floor deluxe corner room are floor-to-ceiling glass with stunning sea views and doors which open onto a spacious tiled patio leading to hammock swinging enticingly from two tree trunks, manicured lawn and coral beach. I can literally walk out of my ‘front’ door and head into the inviting sea to discover the multitude of colours that await beneath. Generously proportioned, the room has a full-size bath and separate shower, two deep armchairs and a decadently comfortable king-size bed. A wide-screen satellite television, minibar and kettle complete the home comforts. The pools, beach and gardens were never crowded and it was always possible to find a pleasant and secluded spot, within the

orbit of obliging, unobtrusive staff. Even though there are 321 rooms they are spread out over 100,000 square metres. This, and the fact that the beach area is a series of small coves rather than a single swathe of sand, adds to the feeling of peace and exclusivity. Beach umbrellas are permanent aesthetic features, woven from wicker and installed on palm trunks and the wooden loungers have thick mattresses. I found lunch at the relaxed, open-air, beach restaurant The Waves was a delightful experience with light, refreshing options in the setting of the Red Sea and the gentle breeze. Alternatively swim up to The Pyramid Bar & Grill for the signature grilled steak sandwich, fortunately there’s the lazy river back. Italian, Japanese and Arabian restaurants are the other dining options; Fayrouz is a great experience with authentic and modern Lebanese flavours and the El Kahn terrace with colourful rugs, brass lamps, Arabesque lamps and traditional cushion seating. And for the romantically inclined, candlelit dinners can be arranged in individual pagodas along the shore. There’s nightly entertainment in the Lobby Bar and lowkey activities during the day, as well as a children’s club. Kids will love the lazy river and water park. This is not hi-de-hi, though. The focus is on relaxing, fine dining and diving. Although we didn’t get the time to enjoy it, the Spa with its ten treatment rooms is very popular. It includes two couple’s rooms, a Thai massage room, Arabian massage tent overlooking the Red Sea and a full-service beauty salon. If you do want to focus on the Spa then the Red Sea Spa package comes highly recommended; this includes bed and breakfast, choice of spa treatment, one hour tennis session and airport transfers. For me the exclusive setting, tropical gardens and amazing techni coloured sea life on my doorstep made this stay memorable. For further information call 0020 693661919 or visit


connoisseur travel


Luxury, luxury, luxury is what we have come to expect from the Four Seasons Hotels, but this one is a little different, perhaps a little more inspired says Hermione Murray Currently, the Four Seasons is not only considered to be the finest hotel in Sharm, but it has also been ranked by the Egyptian Hotel Association as the finest resort in Egypt from the moment it was built. An ultimate luxury abode may not be for everyone, but then again, this isn’t the typical offering and everyone we have spoken to who has stayed at the hotel loves it. There are no stuffy staff here. They are both professional and super helpful and the resort is very well known for being quiet and relaxing. What’s more, even at full capacity there always seems to be space. Entering the hotel requires going through a few security measures, which might very well be expected since the hotel caters to some very special celebrity and political guests. Once through security however, guests are met at the reception area with lovely cold, lemon fragranced face towels and strawberry and banana fruit drinks, which are a welcome treat. After a painless and efficient check-in, travelling to your room is done à la golf cart. The resort’s rooms are clustered in villas that climb up a gentle hillside with the main resort building at the top along with all the family suites. The accommodation options include 136 private guest rooms, 27 of which are suites. All of them have a balcony or terrace, and most have stunning Red Sea views. Standard rooms and suites are spacious but if you need more room with your view then the Royal suite is the ultimate decadent experience, with stylish accommodation over 490 square metres that also includes several terraces,


a private garden, an outdoor pool and its own private beach. Of course, there are the typical amenities one expects of a good hotel, such as a pool and a number of fine restaurants, though none of these facilities could be described as typical. The hotel features five restaurants and grills. Our favourite was The Arabesque - an open concept restaurant that offers indoor and al fresco dining in the main building. Its Ablaq design is exquisite. It offers Mediterranean, Moroccan and Lebanese cuisine, and specialises in Middle Eastern mezzah and fresh seafood. More upscale, the Il Frantoio serves authentic Italian regional (northern Italy) cuisine in an intimate atmosphere. The heated, free-form main pool features a landscaped pool deck, island bar, private canvas cabanas, and even underwater music (yes, underwater music) and views of the Red Sea. There is no need to rise early, towel in hand, in order to find a suitable space. Of course, here in Sharm, the Four Seasons is indeed a beach resort, and therefore offers considerably expanded facilities. The private beach belonging to the Four Seasons stretches 100 metres and has imported, smooth white sand. Otherwise, the hotel has all the facilities one might expect from the best of the best; a tennis club, complete fitness centre and health and beauty spa and of course, dive centre. To conclude it is worth noting that The Four Seasons, Sharm is considered to not only the finest hotel in Egypt, but one of only a handful of the finest in the world. Rates start from £310 per room per night on a bed and breakfast basis (including tax). n For further information call 00800 6488 6488 or visit

Haute Hotels London is fast-becoming the luxury hotel capital of the world. From chic and boutique to unapologetic grandeur, Gabrielle Lane explores the city’s finest new additions for 2011


ith an imminent Royal Wedding and the Olympics in the offing, it’s of little surprise that the worldwide gaze is firmly fixed upon London as the destination du jour. Among the discerning visitors are the great and the good who play and stay in some of the capital’s finest hotels, and whether seeking lavish surroundings, first class restaurants, hightech facilities or fashionable bars, this year sees them spoilt for choice.

Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane This European flagship hotel reopened on 31 January following a multi-million pound refurbishment. The result sees the property perfectly reflect its glamorous and vibrant setting in the heart of Mayfair. Designers were keen to capture the nature of the adjacent Hyde Park; the hotel has its own private garden while second floor guest rooms possess their own outside terraces. Visitors to the rooftop spa will also appreciate the fabulous views from the floor-to-ceiling windows and the popular concept restaurant now features an extensive conservatory which bathes it in light. Long-time Four Seasons collaborator Pierre-Yves Rochon has achieved his aim of a ‘clubby and contemporary’ ambience by using marble fireplaces, dark wood panelling and Scottish tartan throughout, alongside vivid flashes of scarlet and gilt. Choose for: Unparalleled views of Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and London Eye. Hamilton Place, Park Lane, W1J 7DR

W London Leicester Square W continue to conceptualise their hotels within the glittering realms of film, fashion, music and design, to great effect. This ten-storey edifice in London’s cultural

heartland is wrapped in translucent glass which changes colour according to current events, ambience and time of day. Inside, double height curved nightclub spaces, a slick cocktail venue, mirror ball installations and backlit suites continue the ultra-modern theme. The hotel prides itself on functioning as a bespoke lifestyle service. There are state-of-the art fitness facilities and luxurious spa packages as well as a definitive concierge service offering everything from exclusive VIP concert tickets to an impromptu fashion show. Choose for: Drinks, dinner, dancing and a completely exclusive feel. 10 Wardour Street, Leicester Square, W1D 6QF

Corinthia Hotel London Elegance is the word that epitomises this new launch, thanks to the expertise of the world renowned interior designers at David Collins Studio. Vast lobbies, spacious suites and high ceilings give it a stately and fresh feel, whilst the lounge areas, restaurant and destination bars are comfortable retreats with a calming taupe and olive colour palette.



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In addition to the seasonal specialities of main restaurant The Northall, the hotel has its own Massimo Restaurant and Oyster Bar for those seeking high quality, fresh fish dishes. The Corinthia also cements its casting as a leading lifestyle destination with a luxury boutique inspired by landmark shopping venue Harrods. Choose for: All your beauty requirements. The second hair salon of Daniel Galvin OBE will open at the hotel alongside a flagship ESPA retreat. Whitehall Place, City of London, SW1A 2BD

St Pancras Renaissance Hotel This May, 138 years to the day that the Midland Grand Hotel opened in Euston Road, the striking gothic building will be officially unveiled as a new five star Marriott retreat. The property remains a stunning example of Victorian architecture and a £150m renovation project has preserved many original features including the grand entrance hall. The elaborate foyer has featured in many films and music videos over the years and is famed for its ornate murals, 50-foot high windows and vaulted, gold-leaf ceiling.

An open fireplace, traditional afternoon tea and hearty cuisine have been planned with a homely and welcoming ambience in mind. Choose for: Business with pleasure. The hotel is equipped with the finest video conferencing facilities, high-speed wireless internet and two media lounges. Eccleston Square, SW1V 1PB

The Zetter Townhouse

A new extension will ensure all manner of modern requirements are satisfied, with a large event hall and private club among the amenities. Choose for: A glamorous travel base. The adjoining St Pancras International Station is not only a gateway to London, but home of the Eurostar terminal. Euston Road, NW1 2AR

Following on from the resounding success of city hotel The Zetter, a sister property is set to open just across the cobbles from the original, offering eleven rooms and two deluxe suites in a beautiful period property. ‘ZTH’ as it is dubbed, will have a theatrical and eccentric interior brimming with art and antiques, in accordance with the quintessentially British vision of designer Russell Sage. Although plans remain closely guarded, it has also been revealed that the hotel will be a showcase a number of exciting collaborations. Cocktail guru Tony Conigliaro has created 12 bespoke drinks which honour the Georgian legacy of the site, Bruno Loubet will once again oversee Zetter cuisine and Henrietta Lovell of The Rare Tea Company will preside over afternoon refreshment. Choose for: Complete privacy, as the townhouse can be hired exclusively. n 49-50 St John’s Square, EC1V 4JJ

Eccleston Square Hotel Hotly-tipped design talent Olivia Byrne has transformed a Georgian townhouse in Pimlico into a luxurious and contemporary city retreat. Her artistic flair is evident in every smooth surface, sharp accent and slick accessory, from the black crystal chandeliers to the monochrome herringbone floor tiles. State-of-the-art technology also ensures the hotel will remain cutting edge over time; electronically adjustable beds, blue tooth iPod connections and 46-inch 3D televisions are just some of the futuristic extras. A comprehensive interface also controls the heating, lighting and curtains and guests can select music and lighting to suit their mood.


let us lead you into


We have intoxicating ways to awaken your senses. Be tempted by five indulgent spas, hand-picked from over 520 hotels in more than 70 countries

with Small Luxury Hotels of the World™

Azura, Mozambique Nothing is hurried in the Azura Spa. Gentle breezes caress the face, massage strokes mimic the mesmerising beat of African drums, and genuine diamond dust is used in an indulgent ‘Diamonds are Forever’ blissful body scrub.

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Alexander House Hotel & Utopia Spa, West Sussex Heal your body and soothe your soul at this tranquil spa where subterranean plunge pools, domed ceilings and Grecian columns sit comfortably within a grand country house in 120 acres of rolling Sussex parkland.

Gut Klostermühle, Germany Treat yourself to an escape from everyday life and a cure for the mind, body and soul at this stunning nature resort and medical spa whose emphasis is on encouraging a healthy lifestyle in a wonderfully relaxing environment.

Huvafen Fushi, Maldives

Mykonos Grand, Greece Succumb to the touch of Gold Finger - a gold body polish, before being wrapped in a delicately scented golden ‘envelope’ at this stylish and restful enclave located, according to Greek Mythology, where God Apollo was born.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ Over 520 hotels in more than 70 countries View all our special offers at Experience another World

Go with the flow in a haze of multi-coloured marine life in the underwater treatment rooms of Lime Spa, where cutting edge spa technology and the very latest in water therapies blend deliciously with soothing architecture and heavenly treatments.


Easter at

Canary Wharf Embrace Easter and celebrate spring by indulging in Canary Wharf’s chocolate creations, culinary treats and seasonal accessories

Enjoy Easter at the Four Seasons

Parlour Pleasure

Easter Sunday at Roka

The Tuscan Easter Sunday brunch at the Four Seasons’ Quadrato restaurant, one of Canary Wharf’s most stylish eateries, offers seafood, terrines, cheese, roasts, homemade bread and desserts along with breakfast favourites. Other special activities for Easter include an Easter egg hunt and a children’s egg decorating station. Adults can enjoy the unique day for £65.00 and children (ages 5 12 year olds) for £35.00.

Food is something The Parlour takes very seriously. Wherever possible, the team ensures they always source local and seasonal ingredients. Visit this Easter Sunday, whether for morning breakfast, a light lunch or Sunday Roast, you’ll find a menu full of freshness and innovation. If it’s a treat you’re after then why not indulge in one of The Parlour’s tempting array of mouth-watering cocktails.

At a loss about what to do and what to eat on Easter Sunday? For a warm and inviting environment and cuisine based around energy and flavour, head to Roka Canary Wharf. Celebrate the day in style by booking the chef’s table, where the menu is personally designed for you by Head Chef Yoshiaki Muranaka. In addition to the restaurant’s cocktail and wine lists, there is also a wide selection of shochu infusions.

Four Seasons Hotel, 46 Westferry Circus 020 7510 1999

The Parlour, The Park Pavillion 0845 468 0100

Roka, The Park Pavillion 020 7636 5228

Chocolate Indulgence Easter wouldn’t be Easter without some chocolate indulgence. Forget the diet for one weekend and spoil yourself or a loved one by choosing from Waitrose’s wide selection of Easter Eggs. Choose a deliciously decadent dark Belgian chocolate egg or, for bite-sized treats, the Florianne Belgian Chocolate Praline Gull Eggs.

Waitrose Food & Home, Canada Place 020 7719 0300 Belgian Dark Egg, £14 Florianna Belgian Gull eggs, £6

By Royal Appointment Founded in 1875, Charbonnel et Walker is one of Britain’s earliest chocolatiers. As chocolate manufacturers to Her Majesty The Queen, the company is renowned for its plain chocolate, made from the finest dark couverture. Celebrate Easter with one of Charbonnel et Walker’s mouth-watering hand-made eggs, each filled with an assortment of the company’s most delicious chocolates.

Charbonnel et Walker, Cabot Place 020 7512 9168 Milk Chocolate Assortment Egg 225g, £22, or 450g, £36

Easter Bunny

Luxury Leather

Spring has finally sprung: celebrate warmer days with a Links of London sterling silver Bertie the bunny charm. Bertie will brighten up your day even during April Showers. Or for a special Easter gift for little girls and loved ones, there’s the company’s sterling silver Easter duckling charm.

Spruce up your wardrobe this spring with a trip to Aspinal of London this Easter. Choose from a range of beautiful journals, wallets, bags and other leather goods, all made to an unsurpassed quality and design.

Aspinal of London Cabot Place 020 7719 0727

Links of London, Jubilee Place 020 7591 1767

Hepburn in Turquoise Lizard £495 Padlock Keyring, £45

Easter Bunny Charm, £55, Easter Duckling Charm, £45

Easter Sparkle

Fresh as a Daisy

Easter doesn’t have to be all about chocolate and bunnies. It’s also a time to socialise with friends and family. Ensure that you look a million dollars while doing so, with Tiffany’s stunning platinum butterfly, bumble bee and dragonfly pendants. Prices of the graceful, feminine pendants range between £2,250 and £3,250.

Tiffany & Co., Cabot Place 020 7409 2790

Sweet Treats The essence of cakes as mini works of art is captured at Canary Wharf’s Sweet Couture, cake boutique. Specialising in memorably delicious, freshly-baked cakes, cupcakes and small bites, Sweet Couture’s daily menu includes flavours such as Peanut Butter, Red Velvet and indulgent chocolate, perfect for ending (or breaking) Lent.

Appear as fresh as the newly sprouting flowers with Space NK’s Eve Lom Intense Hydration Serum, an intense moisturising treatment containing hyaluron for long-lasting skin hydration, protection and plumping over the whole Easter break.

Space NK, Cabot Place 020 7719 1902 Eve Lom Intense Hydration Serum, £75

White Ideas While The White Company may be known for beautiful duvet covers, pillows, fitted sheets and luxurious towels, pay a visit to the Canary Wharf store this Easter for a range of seasonal gifts including a striking Flower Press and charming Mini Bluebell Bunny.

The White Company, Cabot Place 020 7719 6381

Sweet Couture, Cake Boutique Coming soon to Canada Place

Flower Press, £15

Cards Galore

Spring Scent

If you’re struggling for last minute Easter cards and gifts, Cards Galore is here to help. Specializing in greeting cards for all occasions, including a wide range of handmade creations, the company also provides a great selection of gift collectables and novelties. Spoil someone this season with their adorable lamb slippers.

Treat yourself to Crabtree and Evelyn’s Lavender Essentials kit. The elegant printed tote opens to hold cosmetics, jewellery, and uplifting lavender bath and body essentials for Easter getaways. Infuse your house with the smell of spring with one of the company’s scented poured candles, infused with the irresistible scent of lavender, iris or rosewater.

Cards Galore Cabot Place, Canada Place & Jubilee Place 020 7719 6506

Lamb Slipper Socks, £17.95

Mini Bluebell Bunny, £17

Crabtree & Evelyn, Cabot Place 020 7719 1758

Lavender Essentials £35, Scented Poured Candle, £22

A GRADE II LISTED GEORGIAN TOWNHOUSE OFFERING OVER 30 EVENT SPACES FOR 2-300 GUESTS IN THE HEART OF LONDON’S WEST END To arrange a private show around call our Venue Service Team on 020 7307 2474 or email


food & drink


Spring Celebration

food & drink

To celebrate Japanese Cherry Blossom Season, the roof top terrace of authentic restaurant Aqua Kyoto is to be transformed into an elegant spring time destination. The already stylish eatery is known for its setting atop one of London’s most iconic buildings at 30 Argyll Street and features a spectacular sunken sushi bar and sumibiyaki charcoal grill. Throughout May guests will be able to enjoy the beauty of floral Japan in picturesque surroundings of Sakura cherry blossom. The practice of dining under Sakura trees is a centuries old custom which symbolises love and good fortune and diners will be able to indulge the tradition with speciallycreated cocktails and aesthetically appropriate dishes. Options include pink tempura, a blossom sushi platter, and pink and white scallops cooked in lobster coral.


A Landmark Occasion

NEWS: A trip to the UK’s most awarded chocolatier of the last year is an obvious choice for Easter. The Chelseabased emporium Demarquette offers a range of rare fine cocoas combined with fresh ingredients for both delicious and inventive flavour. Options include the acclaimed ‘Orient Collection’, a selection of seven ganaches infused with jasmine and matcha green tea, lemongrass and lime and even Szechuan pepper!

forms just part of the Landmark’s fabulously foodie events for the big day which are sure to create a memorable Bank Holiday weekend. A suitably romantic supper is also available in the spectacular glass topped atrium where truffle salad, mushroom and pecorino pasta and succulent crown of lamb are sure to be popular. Post meal, guests can retire to their luxurious bedroom suite, before being served a full English breakfast the following morning.

Food lingo:



Gambas This is the name for a Spanish dish of sautéed prawns. Traditionally enjoyed as part of tapas or appetizers, the prawns can be cooked in peppercorn sauce, with garlic or with chopped chilli peppers. The dish can be prepared at home within ten minutes, for a quick and easy snack.

Comfort food is love on a plate. Sandra Lee cooking show presenter

Enjoy the day of the Royal Wedding with a champagne brunch, fit for a King. The beautiful Winter Garden restaurant of the Landmark Hotel will play host to special dining event on Friday 29 April with televised coverage of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The celebratory feast will include tempting treats such as smoked salmon and sirloin of beef alongside favourites like blackberry trifle. A vast range of choices for children will also ensure it is a great occasion for all the family. The brunch

This is a brilliant place to source gifts for the food savvy. The service has a range of gourmet foodstuffs from acclaimed, independent providers which come in stylish packaging. The website is especially useful when requiring rare treats; the 1893 baron de lustrac armagnac is just one incredible present.


connoisseur food & drink

In Fairness to Wine

Three of a Kind... Mother’s Day Treats


Love That Wine’s Pieter Rosenthal explores what Fairtrade means to the wine market

raditionally, we tend to look towards Fairtrade coffee, tea and chocolate and often perceive these to be better than their non-Fairtrade counterparts. And we are willing to pay a premium for them. With wine, the story seems to be a bit less clear: the perception seems to be of wine made by large cooperatives of varying quality, but certainly not worth any premium. Or at least, that was the case in the past. Have things changed? The advantages of Fairtrade for the wine market are straightforward. The wines we see on our shelves are, by and large, from three countries: South Africa, Argentina and Chile. Fairtrade is about achieving fairness on a number of areas such as workers’ pay, working conditions, better prices and sustainability, not only environmentally but also in the pricing strategy; trade prices should never fall lower than market price. This addresses some of the issues of conventional trade, which can undermine the poorest producers. In researching this column, I was surprised at how extensive the range of Fairtrade has become, and I was mainly considering just what supermarkets are offering. The Co-op, always a bit of a front-runner when it comes to Fairtrade, still has a large range, with particularly strong offerings from Argentina and South Africa. Sainsbury’s was another retailer with a good selection of Fairtrade wines under their own label, particularly from South Africa. At Tesco I only found one white and one red wine in their own label range, and Asda didn’t have a single one. Ultimately, the proof is in the wine and having tasted through a large selection, I am impressed with the offering from the Co-op: the wines are dependable, particularly those from Argentina. Sainsbury’s is also offering a fairly extensive selection from South Africa with some more premium products in the ‘Taste The Difference’ range. I think these wines are worth their price tag, so pick one up with your coffee and chocolates this month and support a worthwhile cause. n

LOCAL FAVOURITE Odette’s Bryn Williams, resident chef at this well-loved local restaurant, has created a special lunch menu for Mother’s Day, based on recipes handed down to him by his own mother. At £35 per head, it includes a choice of four starters, mains and desserts, with comforting classics such as chicken liver parfait, goat’s cheese, beetroot and honey salad, roast saddle of Welsh lamb, Scottish halibut, British cheeses, chocolate mousse and bakewell tart. Bryn says: “Growing up on a farm, I learnt to appreciate food and its origins from a very early age. I used to love cooking with my mother and many of the dishes that I make today have been passed down through the generations of women in my family.” 130 Regent’s Park Road NW1 8XL 020 7586 8569


IN THE CITY Charlotte Street Hotel For something a little bit different head to The Charlotte Street Hotel, where lucky mothers can be treated to a delicious lunch, dinner or afternoon tea complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rose Champagne in the glamorous Oscar restaurant, followed by a private screening of new film Morning Glory, starring hearthrobs Harrison Ford and Jeff Goldblum. The food and


film menus cost £40 per person, and for groups of four or more, mum’s lunch, dinner or afternoon tea is complimentary. 15-17 Charlotte Street W1T 1RJ 020 7806 2000

FURTHER AFIELD Stoke Park, Windsor Get out of the city for the weekend and make use of the Mothering Sunday package at Stoke Park in Berkshire, a magnificent mansion house set in a captivating parkland. The £498pp package includes one night’s accommodation, three course dinner, breakfast, 55 minute spa treatment, fresh flowers, luxury Stoke Park hand-selected chocolates box, one SPC luxury hand & body lotion gift. Rate based on two people sharing a twin or double room. Stoke Park, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire, SL2 4PG 01753 717171




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food & drink



gastro Fresh seasonal produce is the order of the day at The Warrington in Maida Vale, but served with the kind of stylish aplomb you expect from the Ramsay stable, says Emma Mills


he Warrington in Maida Vale is technically the same formula as Gordon Ramsay’s other pubs – great building and location, tarted up and tuned up, offering posh nosh in posh settings. I’ve enjoyed Ramsay’s other North West London endeavour, York & Albany, for some years now. Bringing a certain level of swank to an otherwise more casual Camden location, the restaurant is chic and stylish, and adds a certain glamorous overture, with its luxurious bar and exclusive on-site deli, Nonna’s. And The Narrow, in unlikely Limehouse, is equally aspirational, focusing on the more rustic qualities of good ale and hearty food served in warm, classic surrounds with views of the Thames. The Warrington therefore should follow suit. And while it does to some extent – smart décor, refurb, good food – it has managed to maintain the real essence of what made it such a popular pub in its previous incarnations over the last 150 years. The welcoming bar area downstairs still has its mosaic floor and pillared portico as well as a series of features from an early

The welcoming bar area downstairs still has its mosaic floor and pillared portico

restoration in the 19th Century using an old ship interior, including its fire place, bar and staircase. These days the pub downstairs is a warm, casual place to enjoy a drink, while the restaurant and private dining room upstairs provide a smarter place to eat. We kicked off with a glass of champagne and some delicious homemade bread before delving into the seared Berkshire pigeon breast, chickpea croutons and baked quince and pressed salt beef with wholegrain mustard, buckwheat toast and watercress, which made up our starters. The pigeon was a unique dish, with plenty of flavours and textures, while the salt beef made a more manly plate, strong and bold, it was expertly cooked. We were also encouraged to try the double-baked Westcombe cheddar soufflé with pistachio vinaigrette – a perfect example of any chef’s ability to master the French classics – and it was indeed an amazing treat, expertly cooked and bursting with flavour. We moved onto sea bass with Falmouth bay prawn bisque, sprouting broccoli and saffron potatoes and pan-fried cod with salsify fritters, muscatel grapes, capers and tender shoots. The cod was another good

dish, the fritters offering a salty punch with the tender cod, but the sea bass and prawn bisque was a revelation. Strong, bold flavours, the bisque was smooth and rich, adding a delicious accompaniment to the tasty fish. We finished off with a bitter chocolate brownie, orange marmalade and vanilla ice cream and ginger and vanilla cheesecake with spiced pear – the latter of which was an especially exciting dish, creamy and sweet with a good ginger kick. Service was efficient and friendly, if a touch over-effusive, but we were welllooked after, and the wine options were varied and impressive. Our sommelier had a good knowledge of the wine list and offered us a couple of wines to try before suggesting we went for their 2005 Rioja Reserva, Vina Cerrada which at £33.50 was excellent value. What I liked about The Warrington was its character. You could stop here for anything as simple as a swift half in the bar, to a lengthy special occasion or Sunday lunch in their private billiard room, and the place would always feel just right. Neither pretentious nor casual, it offers great food in a really welcoming, stylish setting. n





Escape Those with a penchant for oil, watercolour and pastel artwork will love the eye-catching gallery space Llewellyn Alexander. And its latest exhibitions do not disappoint. From March 14 the gallery will display the remarkable work of one of the country’s most eminent landscape painters. The latest scenes from Jeremy Barlow are warm and atmospheric depictions of daily life. Barlow is renowned for his superb eye for detail and technical skill and has expertly captured the relaxed lifestyle and streaming sunlight of the Mediterranean, following a recent trip to the continent. A longstanding member of the Royal Society of British Artists, Barlow is an annual and popular inclusion at Llewellyn Alexander. 124-126 The Cut, Waterloo, SE1 8LN


shop: There’s nothing like an entirely fun and frivolous item of costume jewellery and local designer Marisa Spinello is one of the most kitsch and covetable creators of the moment. The Central Saint Martin’s graduate designs and hand constructs each individual piece in her London studio and has attracted a wide celebrity following for her work. Think vintage trinkets reworked into brooches, rustic gold details and charms threaded onto antique lace and ribbon with bold enthusiasm.

The Cabbages & Frocks Market in Marylebone has become a Saturday afternoon tradition for locals who enjoy an eclectic range of food and fashion each week. On the 7th May its typical range of organic delicacies, vintage clothing, jewellery and glassware will be supplemented with a fun range of treats for your four-legged friend. The Dog Day afternoon will feature a host of stalls and demonstrations oriented towards pampered pooches, including synchronised obedience and trick sequences and competitions to find the ‘waggiest’ tails, best-looking breeds and doggie lookalikes. Marylebone High Street, W1U 5BA

out & about


Drink The King’s Club is an opulent and exclusive enclave within Shake Zulu, London’s newest iconic venue. The gold-washed, tribal-inspired surroundings are adorned with imposing statues, glittering gilt carvings and striking furniture, making it a really attractive and interesting location for drinks. As a member you can enjoy late night sets from world class DJs, champagne and cocktails and a late night spread of caviar and oysters with up to three of your nominated guests. You’ll also be gifted with tickets to premier events and wine tasting sessions as well as receiving priority booking for the chef’s table in the restaurant, should you be tempted by a seven course feast of South African cuisine. Stables Market, Camden, NW1 8AB

Order There are two delicious Melrose & Morgan grocery shops and kitchens within North West London, both of which have a deservedly loyal following. The homely delicatessens serve a range of fresh produce including pastries, organic salmon, fine cheeses and antipasti and are a great place to

catch up over lunch with friends. However, jars of M&M goodness are now available for home delivery. Choose from marmalades flavoured with citrus and honey, traditional winter vegetable piccalilli or ruby red beetroot chutney.




From the 31 March the inaugural London Antique Rug and Textile Art Fair will share the delights of antique and beautiful textiles with discerning collectors and interior designers. A wide range of styles will be available from the rare and exquisite to the modern and affordable. Each piece has cultural merit with origins including Central Asia and Persia. 63 Penfold Street, NW8 8PQ

Spice up your Sunday lunch plans with a visit to the cool and contemporary Pan-Asian restaurant, XO. The Belsize Park eatery has become a firm favourite with fashionistas and its mood lighting and sleek black and zesty decor give it style credentials to rival the delicious food on offer. Expect a continental fusion of rich curries and elegant dim sum inspired by travels to the East, followed by refreshing exotic berries and smooth white chocolate for dessert. 29 Belsize Lane, NW3 5AS

Le Labo is the exclsuive perfume house founded by two experts from the Armani fragrance stable. Scents are mixed by hand on the spot using fine ingredients from the French Riviera. From March to May customers will have the opportunity to practice the skilled art with a series of creative workshops. 28A Devonshire Street, W1G 6PS, 020 3441 1535


See below for a list of our valued partners and stockists of Vantage

Toni & Guy

30 Heath Street NW3 6TE 020 7431 7421 Toni & Guy

8 Marylebone High Street W1U 4NN 020 7935 7900 Vaishaly Clinic 51 Paddington Street W1U 4HR 020 7224 6088

Health & Fitness The Diagnostic Clinic

50 New Cavendish Street W1G 8TL 020 7009 4650

Hair + Beauty Beauty Boutique

17 Flask Walk NW3 1HJ 020 7431 9111


Joshua Altbeck 82 St. John’s Wood High Street NW8 7SH 020 7722 1225

Chuan Spa

1c Portland Place, Regent Street W1B 1JA 020 7973 7550

Mad Lillies 34 Heath Street NW3 6TE 0207 435 3869

Courtenay Chemist

Margaret Dabbs Foot Clinic & Nail Spa

Gielly Green 42-44 George Street W1U 7ES 020 7034 3060

Renew Medica Oriel Court, 12 Heath Street NW3 6TE 0844 576 8306

3 St. John’s Wood High Street NW8 7NG 020 7722 3814

7 New Cavendish Street W1G 8UU 020 7487 5510

Wellington Place, St Johns Wood, NW8 9LE 020 7483 5090

Interiors hülsta Rolf Benz Westend

23-25 Baker Street W1U 8EQ 020 7034 1930

If you are a local business and would like to stock Vantage please contact Ella Kilgarriff on 020 7987 4320

Mark Wilkinson Furniture

41 St. John’s Wood High Street NW8 7NJ 020 7586 9579 Skandinteriors

57 South End NW3 2QB 0779 464 0937

Food + Drink Brasserie Gérard

Gelato Mio


Ginger & White

Out + About

138 St. John’s Wood High Street NW8 7SE 020 0011 3889

122 St. John’s Wood High Street NW8 7SG 020 7722 0400

4A-5A Perrins Court NW3 1QS 0207 431 9098

Cafe Luc

Harry Morgan

50 Marylebone High Street W1U 5HN 020 7258 9878 Café Rouge

120 St. John’s Wood High Street NW8 7SG 020 7722 8366 Cocorino Alimentari

18 Chiltern Street W1U 7QA 020 7935 0860

29-31 St. John’s Wood High Street NW8 7NH 020 7722 1869 Jeroboams

1 St. John’s Wood High Street NW8 7NG 020 7722 4020 The Providores and Tapas Room

109 Marylebone High Street W1U 4RX 020 7935 6175

66 Hampstead High Street NW3 1QP 0207 435 8602

Everyman Cinema Hampstead

5 Holly Bush Vale NW3 6TX 0871 906 9060

Everyman Cinema Baker Street

96-98 Baker Street W1U 6TJ 0871 906 9060

Everyman Cinema Belsize Park

203 Haverstock Hill NW3 4QG 0871 906 9060


PROPERTY Showcasing the finest homes in your area

dk Interiors Photographer: Fisher Hart











If you would like to appear within the property pages of VANTAGE, contact Kate Oxbrow, property manager on 020 7987 4320 or


Park Square West, Regents Park NW1

Impressive property has been sympathetically refurbished An unusually wide Stucco fronted Regency house in Regent’s Park. Master bedroom with 2 en suite dressing rooms and en suite bathroom, 6 further bedrooms (4 with en suite), shower room, 3 reception rooms, library, kitchen/dining room, gym, guest WC, private landscaped gardens. Leasehold 143 years 6 months POA

(281867) 020 7586 2777

The Old Chapel, St Johns Wood NW8 Grand design

A historic former church just off St John’s Wood High Street with planning permission to convert into a truly unique and breathtaking residential house of approximately 14,000sq.ft incorporating reception area with vast triple height ceiling, swimming pool and underground parking. Freehold POA (270801 ) 020 7586 2777


Downshire Hill, Hampstead, NW3 Simply stunning English heritage home

A stunning stucco fronted house found on one of the most sought after addresses in London. This wonderful home has been elegantly refurbished and is well proportioned throughout, making this is a rare gem in the heart of Hampstead. 4 Bedrooms, 3 Reception Rooms, 2 Bathrooms, garden.

Freehold Guide price ÂŁ3,000,000 (281867) 020 7431 8686

Oakhill Avenue, Hampstead, NW3 Newly refurbished double fronted detached house

A truly stunning double fronted detached house in this desirable road with an 18m indoor swimming pool, gym and a large cinema room. Seven bedrooms, six bathrooms (all en suites), kitchen / family room, dining room, servery, drawing room, library, study / tv room, staff room with kitchen and en suite bathroom, cinema room, gymnasium, guest WC, private indoor swimming pool, changing room with shower room and WC, garden, private parking. Freehold Guide price ÂŁ17,500,000 (HAM080087 ) 020 7431 8686

classically elegant If any London home provides the beautiful open spaces and luxury amenities of a country residence, it is this magnificent property

homes & property


t John’s Wood is frequently described as ‘leafy, stylish and sought-after’. And deservedly so. The neighbourhood is a sophisticated gem dotted with fine regency architecture, independent shops and restaurants and set close to some of the capital’s most attractive parklands. Although, the area in general is a lovely place to live, certain addresses possess a cachet and none more so, than the elegant Avenue Road. There are a number of grand properties on the street with this residence being the product of a painstaking, two year renovation project undertaken by Capital Residential Management, who have emerged as a foremost developer of prime London homes. The Grade II Listed facade and historical interior features of the building have been carefully restored and this is evident in the classical fireplaces, ceiling roses and cornicing, which give the property a regal feel. However, honouring the grand traditions of the building has not come at the expense of uber contemporary design, masterminded by a top secret, international team. The house is perfectly conceptualised for modern living. There are seven bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, as well as his and hers dressing rooms for the principal suite, making it the perfect family home. Touch-pad interfaces allow careful control of music libraries, ambient Lutron lighting installations

and heating for ultimate convenience, while the kitchen is a sleek ebony gloss and granite design with state-of-the-art, Wolf and Miele appliances. However, it is the entertaining spaces which set this house apart from its glamorous rivals. The dining room is a stately hall dressed in rich mahogany and atmospheric murals. Although the sheer decadence would make it a great place to share a meal with guests, an art-deco style, mirror clad-wall and dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows give it a fresh and fashionable edge during the day. A luxurious cinema lounge is bedecked in plum velvet, with a high-definition projector, surroundsound system and Blue Ray capabilities producing a theatre environment which can be enjoyed alongside a fitted bar. In the games room, residents can enjoy a game of pool before taking a swim in the spot lit personal spa area, which also features a steam room, sauna and fully equipped gymnasium. The selling agent agrees that such facilities are rare: “These are the kind of amenities which one would usually associate with lateral homes outside London and such locations are much less appealing to overseas buyers wanting instant access to central London,” says managing director Mark Pollack. Outside, the garden has been landscaped in a thoughtful and contemporary style to provide a visually striking yet practical space. The area is naturally screened from the adjoining properties and its south-westerly orientation guarantees it catches the sun throughout the afternoon. There also remains space for substantial off-road parking. A double garage for two large cars can be used in addition to a sweeping carriage driveway which allows ample parking to the front. While one may wonder what kind of upkeep such a large property will require, attention-to-detail has ensured that an entire mews house has been retained for staff. The accommodation features two en suite bedrooms and a separate kitchen in the grounds of the main house which is ideally suited for a nanny or gardener. It is clear that this property represents the successful transformation of a listed period residence to a classically contemporary lifestyle home. n Contact: Mark Pollack, 020 7724 4724


A unique opportunity to acquire a substantial (522sq m/5,942sq ft) family home discreetly situated off Highgate West Hill, standing in grounds of almost 3/4 of an acre. The property which has been well maintained by the current owners features expansive well planned entertaining areas including a large conservatory and a library with the capacity to store some 3,000 books together with well balanced bedroom accommodation.

Robin Grove HIGHGATE


& AMENITIES Principal Bedroom with En-Suite Bathroom, 5 Further bedrooms, 3 Further Bathrooms (1 En-Suite), Shower Room, Drawing Room, Dining Room, Sitting Room, Library/Study, Conservatory, Kitchen/Breakfast Room, Guest Cloakroom, Utility Room, 3 Store Rooms, Extensive West-Facing Rear Garden, Landscaped Front Garden, Garaging for 2 Cars, Additional Private Residents Off Street Parking




ST EDMUNDS TERRACE ST JOHN’S WOOD NW8 £6,150,000 FREEHOLD A bright & spacious period villa refurbished to an extremely high standard throughout featuring an impressive double length drawing room and further benefiting from a roof terrace with views towards Regent’s Park. St Edmunds Terrace is conveniently located close to all the amenities of St John’s Wood High Street including St John’s Wood Underground Station (Jubilee Line) whilst only moments from the open spaces of both Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill. ACCOMMODATION AND AMENITIES Principal Bedroom with Dressing Room & En-Suite Bathroom, 4/5 Further Bedrooms, 1 Further Bathroom (En-Suite), 3 Further Shower Rooms (En-Suite), Double Length Drawing Room, Kitchen/Breakfast Room, Bedroom 6/Study, 2 Guest Cloakrooms, Lift, Storage, Balcony, Roof Terrace. JOINT SOLE AGENT

REGENT’S PARK OFFICE 69–71 PARK ROAD LONDON NW1 6XU T –020 7724 4724 F –020 7724 6160

ORDNANCE HILL ST JOHN’S WOOD NW8 £3,500,000 FREEHOLD A light and airy end of terrace 3/4 bedroom family home (221sq m/2,381sq ft) arranged over four floors which has been the subject of a complete refurbishment programme. The property features a contemporary Poggenpohl fitted kitchen and further benefits from a landscaped rear garden and off street parking for 4 cars. Ordnance Hill is located on the favoured east side of St John’s Wood within walking distance of the local shopping and transport facilities of St John’s Wood High Street including St John’s Wood Underground Station (Jubilee Line). ACCOMMODATION AND AMENITIES Principal Bedroom with En-Suite Bathroom & Dressing Room, 2/3 Further Bedrooms, 2 Shower Rooms (1 En-Suite), Drawing Room, Fully Fitted Kitchen Open-Plan with Family/Dining Area, Utility Room, Guest Cloakroom, Landscaped Rear Garden, Off Street Parking for 4 Cars. JOINT SOLE AGENT

Steeles Studios NW3 - £2,750,000 A former artist’s studio dating from 1872, this spectacular home includes a 30ft double volume galleried reception Belsize Park office 020 7431 1234

Belsize Park 020 7431 1234 South Hampstead 020 7625 4567 West Hampstead 020 7794 7111

4 double bedrooms, 3 bathrooms • Access via inner + outer courtyards • 43ft cottage-style walled garden • Secure off street parking •

Hollycroft Avenue NW3 - £2,250,000 A rarely available upper maisonette in the Hampstead Crofts set within a semi-detached period conversion Belsize Park office 020 7431 1234

Belsize Park 020 7431 1234 South Hampstead 020 7625 4567 West Hampstead 020 7794 7111

1946 sq ft internal accommodation • 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms • 35ft double reception • Private entrance and terrace •

Golders Hill Park NW11 - £1,195,000 A detached family house in an elevated position, with a secluded southerly garden and off street parking West Hampstead office 020 7794 7111

Belsize Park 020 7431 1234 South Hampstead 020 7625 4567 West Hampstead 020 7794 7111

1840 sq ft internal accommodation • 4 double bedrooms, 3 bathrooms • 66ft garden with home office • Off street parking for two cars •

Redington Gardens NW3 - £1,200 pw Within a detached Hampstead property, an exceptional ground level apartment with patio and off street parking West Hampstead office 020 7794 7111

Belsize Park 020 7431 1234 South Hampstead 020 7625 4567 West Hampstead 020 7794 7111

3 double bedrooms, 2 bathrooms Private entrance Off street parking Furnished or unfurnished

• • • •

Property Latest By Ben West

£1bn profit One Hyde Park, the world’s most expensive apartments is set to dramatically exceed expectations. Developers Candy and Candy say their luxury residential development, One Hyde Park, is going to result in a substantial profit of over £1bn. There are less than 30 apartments left on the market, with 50 having already been sold. Prices start at around £6.5m for a one-bedroom apartment, while one penthouse was recently sold

for £135m, with property experts saying it was the most expensive property in the world. Retail space on the ground floor has also been sold to Rolex and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, netting the developers another cool £50m. The ambitious Candy brothers are renowned in the industry for their lavish developments, but the One Hyde Park project is their most ambitious and expensive yet. Though it has also proved to be the most profitable.

Market comment “New properties are finally beginning to come onto the market, replenishing the depleted stock levels we experienced for so much of the last year,” says Ed Mead, director at London estate agents Douglas and Gordon, of the current market. “Sellers are more savvy about overvaluations and if they aren’t selling at the expected price, they are starting to talk at levels where an increasing number of buyers seem prepared to pay. “Similar to last year, the market seems late but volumes will not get off the ground until May as vendors are choosing to launch their property after the April/May bank holidays and the Royal wedding. The impending one per cent stamp duty rise on properties over £1m next month has generated a flurry of buyers hurriedly offering on properties to complete ahead of the rise. Whilst this has helped the number of sales in the first two months of this year, we’re preparing for stock levels and interest for properties over the £1m mark to be less in the second half of 2011.” 

homes & property

Spruce up your home for a spring sale

With spring in the air, and traditionally the busiest selling time of the year approaching, now is perhaps the optimum time for home movers to put their property on the market. But in order to achieve the best possible price, it is important to give your property a spring health check and carry out essential repair and maintenance work following the long winter. Check exterior brickwork for cracked brickwork and crumbled cement, and repair before moisture has a chance to seep in. Damp can take hold extremely quickly and will be instantly picked up on a survey. Check the roof - wind and weather damage can exacerbate loose and

missing roof tiles. Look for cracks in the roofing felt. Visit the loft to look for indications of problems like watermarks on roof timbers or daylight showing through. Clean out blockages in gutters to avoid leaks and check for cracks and other damage. Clean paths and patios of any debris. Make sure leaves and debris aren’t blocking airbricks and vents, which could lead to damp.  Wind and damp can cause considerable damage to wooden fences and sheds, so treat them with a wood preservative or paint to smarten them up and prevent rotting. Winter weather can cause exterior wall paint to flake or fall off, exposing the brickwork underneath. This can really impact on the overall impression of your property, so repaint if necessary. Spring is an excellent time to get your chimney inspected and swept by a chimney sweep, which reduces the risk of fires after heavy winter use. Adjust central heating to a summer setting to save energy. Bleed radiators to banish air pockets, which helps keep the heating system in top condition. Spring is also the perfect time to organise an annual boiler service.

Pipped to the Property Post Agents operating within the prime London property sector are reporting the fierce return of gazumping in the capital. The practice involves potential buyers offering a sum in excess of an asking price, or previously agreed deal, to acquire their desired home. The return of the tactic is a key reflection of London’s buoyant luxury market which continues to flourish despite the wider downtown in the rest of the UK. London is increasingly seen as a safe place for investment in the wake of political instability in the Middle East and there continues to be a relative lack of high-end housing available. The chief executive of Marsh & Parsons has said: ‘Competition amongst buyers has heated up. There is substantial demand from international cash buyers and anyone who thinks they can now bid below an asking price is dreaming.’ Gazumping is also proving popular in the wake of bonus season, which has seen those in the City rush to invest in property before the 5 April tax levy is applied to properties worth over £1m. Cash incentives are being used to encourage vendors to sell quickly and almost one in four properties in London is now sold ‘off-market’. The practice is likely to continue because this in turn makes high-end property which is available through agents, more limited and ultimately more desirable.

New guide for landlords Just published, is the new edition of Renting & Letting, a Which? Essential Guide. This definitive handbook for all landlords and tenants is packed with detailed information on your rights and obligations. It guides you through the possible pitfalls and explains vital financial and legal considerations in an accessible, jargon-free manner. Written by property expert Kate Faulkner, Renting & Letting is fully updated for 2011 and includes details on tenants’ rights, landlord’s obligations, key safety certificates, making the most of your investment and tips on renovation and maintenance. For more information, visit




A superb three bedroom garden apartment laid out across the ground floor of an attractive, double fronted house on Aberdare Gardens, which is arguably South Hampstead’s most desirable road. The property has period charm and many original features which have been blended with contemporary design. The apartment is presented in immaculate condition and provides generous living space. Highlights

include the expansive open plan reception and entertaining area, which includes a 17’2 x 16’ reception room, a conservatory dining room and 17’4 x 15’ kitchen with views of the secluded private rear garden, which is accessed through glazed French doors from the kitchen and dining area. Each of the three spacious and bright bedrooms is well-appointed and has fitted wardrobes. The Master

homes & property

suite also has a luxurious bathroom. Aberdare Gardens is one of the most popular and desirable roads in the South Hampstead Conservation Area. Tree lined and quiet, it is within easy walking distance of Waitrose and The O2 centre and the excellent transport links of Finchley Road, Swiss Cottage and West Hampstead giving First Captial Connect, London Overground, Jubilee and Metropolitan line access.

South Hampstead, NW6 ÂŁ1,395,000 Share of Freehold


020 7794 7111 105


Pavilion Apartments, London, NW8 £575.00 – £1,600.00 per week A range of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments.

St Johns Wood Office 020 7722 2131

Finchley Road, London, NW8 £1,000.00 per week

A beautifully newly refurbished apartment on the third floor of this well maintained block.

St Johns Wood Office 020 7722 2131

The Hamptons International team always go further to meet your personal property needs, whatever they may be. Over 97% of our clients say they would recommend us to others. Let us show you why.


Wellington Road, London, NW8 £900.00 per week

A spacious three bedroom, two bathroom, penthouse apartment.

St Johns Wood Office 020 7722 2131

Avenue Road, London, NW8 £1,300.00 per week Hamptons are pleased to offer this spacious fifth floor apartment. St Johns Wood Office 020 7722 2131

Here. There. Everywhere. We were the first UK estate agency to launch an app for iPad, and an app for iPhone, and our website has hundreds of thousands of visitors each month. Wether you want to buy, sell, let or rent, it couldn’t be easier.

Share of freehold GUIde PrICe ÂŁ1,450,000 S o l e aG e N T

Hampstead NW3 A four double bedroom, two bathroom duplex apartment of approximately 1,700 sq ft arranged over the second and third floors of this attractive period house, presented in immaculate condition throughout. Located on one of Hampstead’s premier roads, this fine apartment is within 150 meters of Hampstead Village with its numerous cafes, restaurants, shops and transport links.

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Hampstead Village NW3 A five bedroom mid terraced Victorian house (2,321 sq ft), which has recently been sympathetically restored and refurbished with flair and is located in this desirable road in the centre of Hampstead Village.


The house is further enhanced by a landscaped tiered patio garden and is superbly located off of Hampstead High Street.

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Knightsbridge Office: 020 7225 0878

Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1K A beautifully refurbished first floor flat in this renowned portered building opposite Hyde Park in Mayfair. Comprising three large double bedrooms, two bathrooms (including a luxury master suite with dressing room) and finished to the highest of standards throughout. Benefiting from excellent natural light, large windows and a quiet setting. The building is able to offer excellent services including maids and valet parking.

ÂŁ3,500,000 Rental Price: ÂŁ3,100 per week Leasehold

St Johns Wood Office: 020 7586 5929

Maida Vale, London, W9 Meticulously designed by Danish architects Claus & Jeanette Thottrup is this garden apartment renovated to an exacting standard. The property boasts a host of features including oak flooring, double bedrooms, custom made limestone bathrooms complete with Viola chromed fittings, Clipsal digital mood-lighting system plus an integrated Bose sound and video system linked across the apartment. Further features include Aliplast double glazed fully folding doors, high spec Hunza outdoor lighting, quality decked garden with sprinkler system, plus heating lamps.

POA Leasehold

A beautiful and spacious maisonette in a period stucco fronted house

Clifton Gardens W9 ÂŁ1,395,000 Situated within Connaught House, a very desirable building set back off Clifton Road, this property comprises a reception room with fabulous views over the communal garden and tennis court, a formal dinning room, a large kitchen breakfast/room, guest cloakroom, master bedroom with an en suite bathroom, three further double bedrooms and a family bathroom. Share of Freehold. Sole Agents.

LITTLE VENICE: 020 7993 3050

text marsh1750 to 84840

A spacious and modern house with off street parking in a prime location

Maida Vale W9 ÂŁ2,500 per week This stunning family house comprises a double reception room, a drawing room, utility room, a fully fitted kitchen and a conservatory, which leads out onto the garden. The bedroom accomodation boasts five double bedrooms, three bathrooms, off street parking and a large private garden. The property is located on Maida Vale moments from Maida Vale station. LITTLE VENICE: 020 7993 3050

youtube/ marshandparsons


Local know how. Better results.

Costa Rican Casa If you’ve not considered Central America as the location for a luxurious overseas property, then lavish design, exclusivity and an incomparably glamorous address will surely tempt you, says Gabrielle Lane


ituated just nine kilometres west of the Costa Rican capital San Jose, is the valley town of Escazu. The literal meaning of its name is ‘resting stone’ so it is highly appropriate that the region has become the destination du-jour for affluent expatriates desiring a beautiful retreat. Even in the domain of luxurious hideaways, the latest apartment complex available through Signature Residences Worldwide is rather special. The gorgeous building of four two and three bedroom homes was conceptualised by renowned architect Carlos Barrenecha, who has created an elegant design which captures the grandeur of New York’s 5th Avenue. The magnificent space would make fabulous and exclusive accommodation for a large family or group

of friends, yet the high quality finish also equips it superbly for the premium rental market. Each of the apartments is lavishly appointed. Throughout their interior, the expansive nature of the living areas and careful inclusion of high-tech facilities is immediately identifiable as the work of a talented designer. That is, if you were not already convinced by features including full-length windows, grand foyers, formal dining areas and the fine marble details within the penthouse. Although outside areas are important for any holiday destination, the year-round sunshine in Costa Rica makes glamorous exterior entertaining areas imperative. At this estate, the heated swimming pool and large green sun terrace with breath-taking views are the perfect spots in which

homes & property

to relax with friends or family. An ample covered garage and further visitors parking ensure that it is also a convenient venue for socialising. In a further demonstration of attention-to-detail, Barrenecha has also ensured that each individual apartment has a private maid’s quarters with full bathroom to meet the needs of the busy professional who desires ultimate relaxation. In spite of the modern luxury of the estate, the property does manage to maintain a traditional Costa Rican feel. The refined European styling is blended with colonial aspects and indigenous influences through a splendid collection of fine art, furniture and exotic gems. This juxtaposition is echoed by Escazu as a whole. The town has retained its traditional oxcart festival which celebrates local farming history, in addition to a traditional street market which offers fine produce, dancing and parades. However the area is now known for its array of chic bars and restaurants, boutique shopping and nightlife. Those who enjoy golf will also enjoy the 18-hole championship course which is nearby. That is, if you can bear to venture from such a luxurious home. n Bello Horizonte is priced at $3,500,000


Renovation New builds Maintenance Repairs 75 Haverstock Hill, London, NW3 4SL ∙ Tel: 020 33 555 383 Fax: 020 75 868 965 ∙

homes & property

State of the market LETTINGS:


Spring brings new hope for tenants

World events have local impact

Chloe Green, assistant manager at

Vic Chhabria, managing director OF Rescorp

Hamptons International, comments on

Residential, comments on the current trends in the

the current trends in the rental market

residential sales market

With spring around the corner and the clocks moving forward we at Hamptons International are looking forward to brighter evenings and an even brighter outlook for the rentals market in St John’s Wood. As we move into our second quarter a fundamental driver of the prime rental market is the strength of the financial and business services sector across London. The UK economy has continued to show signs of economic growth thus providing more jobs and the need for housing for corporate clients. Recent activity levels have been exceptionally high for this time of year; demand is continuing to outweigh supply and corporate enquiries are back with healthy budgets – as a result we can look forward to a fantastic spring! So far this year the number of tenants registering across our network of UK offices is up 36% compared with last year and offers are also up by 36% with new instructions up by 30%, the lettings market is more than moving its booming! St John’s Wood in particular presents a great opportunity for tenants and landlords alike. The area remains a solid investment for those looking for good rental yields, offering everything from good deals on one bedroom properties to a solid weekly income on larger houses which are popular with families and those recently relocated to the city from abroad. For renters, while costs can be high, value is never in doubt. St John’s Wood is one of the most popular areas in London for affluent families and provides excellent links to Canary Wharf, Soho and Mayfair, coupled with a real sense of community. With rental demands outstripping supply, the rental market is looking like an attractive investment opportunity. Landlords are benefiting from rising rentals and almost non-existent void periods in some cases. This considerably improves yields on their investments. We are therefore seeing a rise again in international buyers and investment landlords.

St John’s Wood is, in my humble opinion, an oasis in the city offering an urban lifestyle in a suburban surrounding. But what is happening here from a property perspective? Over the past 18 months the pound has remained relatively low which has enticed a lot of foreign buyers. This, coupled with banks offering low financing for such investors, creating strong demand but a scarcity of good properties. The result is a buoyant market where buyers outnumber sellers and the economy of NW8 continues to improve.    Further growth in the future seems likely, with a couple of catalysts creating new opportunities. Traditionally, money from the Middle East has always found its way to London. While this has continued over the last decade, in recent years there has also been considerable money invested in the newly liberalised locations of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. However, the recent turbulent events in the Middle East; both their own economical turbulence and the political unrest, mean these destinations have severely suffered, resulting, more than ever before, in money finding its way to Mayfair, Knightsbridge and St John’s Wood.  In addition, we now have less than 500 days to the Olympics and London’s presence on the world map will be felt more than ever. Add together relatively low interest rates continuing for the next two to three years and as home buyers you might well find yourself in the right place at the right time. Make no mistake, London is in bull run - miss this opportunity and you will be waiting a long time for the next one. These are bold statements, which I agree most economists and politicians would not put their names too, but from my experience, ground knowledge, intuition and a passion for property I think things are on the up. And that’s certainly the advice I’m giving my clients.

Hamptons International St John’s Wood Office 020 7722 2131

Vic Chhabria Rescorp Residential 0203 348 8000


New website launching in April 11 Hanover Gate Mansions Park Road, London NW1 4SJ T: 0203 348 8000 F: 0203 348 8800 E: W:

Properties sold by Rescorp... London House

North Gate

Embassy Court

Avenue Road

To sell your property call 0203 348 8000

Move to

the Maldives The Maldivan government has now declared that foreign nationals can buy property on the islands and there is no prospect more luxurious than your own Private Residence, says Gabrielle Lane

homes & property


he world ‘paradise’ is brandished all too often when considering overseas destinations. However, few could disagree that the Indian Ocean archipelago of The Maldives is deserving of such a term. Set in azure blue waters, each island is cloaked in sweeping white sands and lush greenery with exotic wildlife, friendly locals and an idyllic climate as standard. So beautiful are the resorts that they are protected by a national commitment to the environment which has seen The Maldives emerge as a benchmark for ecological responsibility worldwide. It is clear why visitors feel that they never want to leave and thanks to the rights which have now been granted to overseas investors, acquiring a holiday home on the islands is now possible for those wanting enduring access to peace and privacy. The Six Senses property group are amongst the first to offer a slice of the luxurious Maldivian experience, for keeps. This April, the company will launch fifteen ocean-front retreats on the isle of Lamauu to serve as the ultimate glamorous hideaways. In addition to the breathtaking views, each of the two bedroom villas has its own pool and has been designed to maximise light and space as well as withstand any unforeseen environmental impact. Local materials, natural colours and comfortable yet chic styling give each of the living areas a relaxing ambience, which is reinforced by a dedicated butler service to cater to the guests’ every whim. The villas are set within the environs of one of the most lavish five star resorts in The Maldives, which will also enable residents to benefit from top class amenities available at the hotel when desired, with the added benefit of a personal discount on services. Residents can enjoy dining on international and creative cuisine at the restaurant Longitude,

whilst reclining on a daybed set above the water. Alternatively the Organic Restaurant is a great place to sample fresh fish and local produce whilst suspended above the resort’s own private garden. Other opportunities include delicacy-tasting and glasses of wine at the top of a 6.4m tower rising out of the ocean, cookery classes, deluxe spa treatments and champagne and popcorn in the open air cinema. Locals are also renowned for their hospitality and are keen to assist with any further requirements, fostering a keen sense of community, far from the isolation one might associate with such an escape. The islands are famed for their fishing and scuba diving options, which any newcomer will be able to enjoy. The purchase of leasehold Six Senses Private Residence is not just delightfully indulgent. The move makes perfect financial sense too. The properties are set to benefit from huge rental yields as part of a lease-back scheme and are fully transferrable, enabling owners to profit from capital appreciation. The Maldives is also free of income tax, capital gains tax and acquisition taxes and although the initial lease period is 44 years this will automatically increase to the maximum government-approved entitlement, if and when, legislative changes are made. Villa owners will also be offered preferential rates on other Six Senses and Soneva resorts globally, as well as four free transfers from Malé International Airport each year which take approximately 40 minutes. As Robert Green, director of Cluttons Resorts has said: ‘The Maldives is the latest and most exciting destination to enter the luxury property market. Location, design and the level of service are all important factors in determining which developments are successful and these Six Senses Residences tick every box.’ n


ph. Andrea Pancino C








VG Studio at

inspirations vision


design Tel: 01302 760040

BENTINCK CLOSE, ST JOHN’S WOOD NW8 A delightful three bedroom, two bathroom apartment (1,457 sq ft / 135 sq m) situated on the first floor of this highly regarded purpose built block on Prince Albert Road. The apartment is offered in good decorative condition throughout and features an impressive double reception room with beautiful parquet flooring and is being sold with the benefit of a share of the freehold. The block benefits from porterage, passenger lift, communal courtyard and basement storage. Bentinck Close is located in an enviable position opposite Regents Park.

Sole Agent

Share of Freehold


020 7372 4499

MEADOWBANK, PRIMROSE HILL, NW3 A delightful four bedroom, three reception room, end of terrace town house located in this highly desirable development directly opposite Primrose Hill. The house offers spacious living accommodation with three bathrooms, one being en-suite to the master bedroom, study, eat in kitchen and a utility room. The property benefits from off street parking for two cars, garage, patio and a spectacular roof terrace with far reaching views.

Sole Agent



CUMBERLAND TERRACE, REGENTS PARK, NW1 A magnificent two/three bedroom first floor apartment situated in an enviable position in the centre of one of Regent Park's finest Nash Terraces. The apartment features high ceilings and a private 48ft terrace with spectacular west facing views over Regent's Park. In addition, there is a self contained one bedroom apartment situated in Cumberland Terrace Mews, separate maids room, basement storage, garage and off street parking.

Principal Agent



020 7372 4499

Hamilton Gardens, St John’s Wood, NW8 £2,950,000 FREEHOLD An immaculately presented, mid-terraced Victorian house (2,695 sq ft/ 250 sq m), situated in this quiet enclave on the West side of St John’s Wood. The house is offered in excellent decorative condition throughout and benefits from a private rear garden, beautiful kitchen/breakfast room and elegant reception rooms. Hamilton Gardens is located approximately half a mile from The American School in London, St John’s Wood High Street and underground station (Jubilee Line).

T: 020 7372 4499

Joint Sole Agent

homes & property

Divine Divas The newest addition of a walk-in and browse property gallery to the lobby area displaying available rental and sales properties.



Hampstead-based Property Divas are set to celebrate a hugely successful four years in business this summer and it’s easy to see why

n August 2007 directors Sharron Nachoom and Helen Duncan joined forces and combined twenty years of industry experience to launch their bespoke property company covering North West London. The result is Property Divas, a boutique style agency offering a comprehensive range of lettings, sales and bespoke property management services in Hampstead and the surrounding area. The motivation for the two founders was clear, in that they wanted to provide exemplary service to customers and offer a full range of services across the property spectrum. Diversification is one aspect which has set the business apart from its competitors. Property Divas work closely with acclaimed, local, interior designers, architects, builders and both legal and financial advisors, creating a convenient professional portal for landlords and vendors alike. However, while its broad expertise certainly gives the company distinction in the marketplace, the agency welcomes being instructed as joint or sole agents with many long-standing corporate competitors. Helen Duncan agrees: “We have focused on building a solid reputation based on sound, quality advice, not supposition, and are being considered alongside those who have been around for more than 30 years, which is a great compliment for a young company like ours.” Both Sharron and Helen are adamant that their team are pivotal to such success and regard a thriving company as a natural by-product of exemplary service. In their open-plan office, effective communication and interaction between departments is crucial and the experienced staff are encouraged to input on company strategy. Treating customers with honesty and integrity is key, and staff are wellequipped to provide impartial consultation throughout each property process. This close relationship with customers is expressed in various ways. “The staff we have brought on board have a wealth of knowledge to impart,” says Helen.

“We can assist both vendors’ pre-sale and landlords pre-let by suggesting improvements to optimise sales and rental yields with access, should they wish, to our established contractor database. The success of what we have achieved to date means our client base grows, as people come back to us time and time again”. Property Divas not only spends time cultivating a loyal clientele in person, but is equally committed to developing their online presence with the sales and lettings stock available through nine major portals, thereby constantly raising brand awareness and ensuring the properties are widely accessible to customers. From a user’s perspective, the website is intended to be as helpful as possible. Continual investment ensures that new tools are integrated into the system with data updated daily ensuring a super efficient service. A rolling carousel of properties not only showcases available options but serves as an illustration of the diversity of quality negotiations Property Divas is involved with. In essence, it is their belief that there is a customer for every property regardless of price and stature, so long as it is compliant and duly ‘suited and booted’! Having such a strong online presence is entirely deliberate and a key aspect of the business. “The real asset is that our website is not a standard sales or lettings package. In essence it is an evolving platform that we continue to mould as our customer requirements change and as we grow and diversify.” Such foresight certainly seems admirable, and when you ask the directors how Property Divas has endured throughout complex economic times the response is quite simple: “There is a place for any organisation – regardless of the climate in which it operates - which offers something different for the consumer. We set ourselves apart by the personal service we strive to offer every day.” n For further information call: 020 7431 8000 or visit

Let The Divas do the footwork... lettings




bespoke property management


property finder service

Property Divas Limited, 34a Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead, NW3 1NH 020 7431 8000 Shoe by Jonathan Kelsey

Photograph by Nerida Howard


Vantage Magazine April 2011 St Johns Wood Edition  

All the lastest on interiors, food and drink, fashion, interviews, beauty, family, homes and gardens and travel in this dedicated luxury lif...

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