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YOUR MAJESTY Introducing the new flagship of Gulf Craft. Their largest yacht is now for sale. MAJESTY 175 BUILT: 175ft (53.3m), 2019, Gulf Craft, UAE PRICE ON APPLICATION Represented for sale by Burgess as Central Agents
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MIAMI | MOSCOW | PALMA | ATHENS | BEVERLY HILLS | SINGAPORE | TOKYO
Chefs HEIKO NIEDER The Dolder Grand, Zurich
44 NATHAN OUTLAW Burj Al Arab, Dubai
32 RAINER BECKER Zuma Restaurants UAE
56 ALI SALEM MUSBEH AL BADAWI Mezlai, Emirates Palace Hotel UAE
Lifestyle SPECIALS Diary dates and goings on around the globe.
14 ART A look at MOCO, the Amsterdam Art museum housed in an early-20th-century townhouse, featuring inventive works by Dalí & Banksy.
27 CHECK IN Putting wellness in the spotlight, FOUR explores some of the world’s most luxurious health & spa resorts.
90 TRAVEL Find out more about why Penang is the ideal travel destination this season.
100 INTERIOR DESIGN FOUR welcomes interior design icon, Guy Oliver to talk about some of his favourite projects.
12 LIFESTYLE FOUR finds out more about Armani/Casa from design icon Giorgio Armani.
20 CHEF SAFARI World-renowned chef, Gaggan Anand, takes us on a our of Bangkok to look at the city’s best food & drink offerings.
82 LUXURY LAYOVER FOUR spends a luxury weekend exploring London: the dynamic metropolis with a buzzing gastronomic scene.
94 DESIGN HOTELS FOUR checks into Anatara’s luxury hotel offerings on Sir Bani Yas Island, the largest natural island of the UAE.
104 BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS In the latest column from Jeremy Jauncey, we explore some of his favourite city break stop-offs.
LEAD YOUR OWN STORY
uxury design and décor is in the air for our latest edition, as we look at one of the most recognisable names in the business, created by flamboyant socialite and celebrity, Giorgio Armani. In this issue, we also talk to founder of MOCO Gallery in Amsterdam, Kim Logchies, about the so-called ‘Rock Stars of Art’ that are featured in the museum. Elsewhere, we celebrate the best the season has to offer in the events diary, covering the next three months of social must-do’s, ensuring you start 2018 with a bang. FOUR also shares some of the best Bangkok haunts according to Chef Gaggan Anand, and speaks to four culinary wizards; Hieko Nieder of The Dolder Grand, Rainer Becker of world renowned Zuma restaurants, seafood expert Nathan Outlaw, from Dubai’s famous ‘underwater’ restaurant Al Mahara in the Burj Al Arab, and Ali Salem Ebdowa of Mezlai at the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi to find out more about their award winning international kitchens. FOUR also offers you an exclusive column from Beautiful Destinations’ founder and CEO, Jeremy Jauncey, who shares with us his latest hotlist for instagram-worthy escapades in 2018; jets you off to London for a luxury weekend in the British capital, as well as Malaysia’s island of culture, Penang, in our travel section; as well as exploring fitness and wellness destinations that are the talk of the season’s getaways. There’s lots more inside, and don’t forget to visit four-magazine.com for daily recipes, interviews and features.
CREZVATIC PVT LTD TMA House, 1st Floor, 16th Road, Wagle Estate, Near Dwarka Hotel, Thane(W), Thane, Maharashtra 400604 T. +917506506144 FOUNDER OF CREZVATIC PVT LTD Sushil Bapat PUBLISHING DIRECTORS Amit Kothari Gautam Kapoor BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TEAM Fabian Pereira Faisal Sheikh EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kate Jackson CHIEF DESIGNER Pieter Stander DESIGNER Rama Meher CONTRIBUTORS Constantin von Dalwyck Jeremy Jauncey Sophie Ritchie OPERATIONS MANAGER Barbora Katjalova
Kate Jackson Editor-in-chief Keep up to date with our website at four-magazine.com
OPERATIONS TEAM Hemant Patil Anuja Palande © CREZVATIC PVT LTD FOUR Magazine Middle East is published under license to Crezvatic Pvt Ltd in India, from Sloane Internattional DMCC, United Arab Emirates. Sloane International DMCC and FOUR Magazine do not exercise any management control over or sell any advertising in FOUR Magazine Middle East or its publisher. www.four-magazine.com COVER ‘Macaron’ by Jean Cazals
SIRIUS AQUAMARINE 6V 119.6 x 52 x 51 cm (HxWxD) 47.1 x 20.5 x 20.1 in (HxWxD) VDS III or IV | EN 1143-1 ca. 480 kg
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Specials Get a load of this quarter’s sensory pleasures. M O N T E C A R LO
Monaco Grand Prix Held each year on the circuit de Monaco, the Grand Prix epitomises everything that’s great about Formula One racing: speed, glamour, passion, noise and a hint of danger. The circuit leaves no margin for error, as the cars are within very close proximity to the Armco barriers. With it being next to impossible to overtake, and with cars running at maximum downforce, the track demands a huge about of concentration. Therefore qualifying is critical during the Grand Prix and is the one race of the year that every driver dreams of winning. A combination of precision driving, technical excellence and sheer bravery is required to win in Monte Carlo, facets which highlight the differences between the great and the good in Formula One. Some great names have ended their races in the barriers here, most notably Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher. To win in Monaco places a driver’s name on a list that includes many of history’s all-time greats. www.formula1.com DOHA
Laundromat Exhibition by Ai Weiwei Ai Weiwei’s Laundromat is a traveling installation that brings the current European migrant crisis into sharp focus. The work is centered around a vast makeshift camp near the village of Idomeni, on the border with the Republic of Macedonia. As part of his recently released documentary Human Flow, Ai Weiwei has borne witness to the brutal plight of refugees worldwide. Ai Weiwei and his team reverently collected, washed and organized the possessions they haphazardly left behind in an effort to preserve their tumultuous experience. Working in a wide range of media from architecture to social media, Ai Weiwei is renowned for elevating art practice into a call for action on major geopolitical issues impacting global communities. firestation.org.qa 12
This three-day event features industry leaders in food and beverage, as well as complete solutions for industrial kitchens. It is the premier showcase for culinary innovation! Malaysia welcomes the World Association of Chefs to the vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur. World Association of Chefs, the world-renowned trade association for culinary professionals worldwide, will be hosting their eagerly anticipated biennial event, the Worldchefs Congress & Expo, a truly global gathering of the most influential culinary body worldwide. www.worldchefs2018.org SINGAPORE
Singapore Night Festival
NATIONAL HERITAGE BOARD; AI WEIWEI STUDIO
IMAGES © FÉDÉRATION INTERNATIONALE DE L’AUTOMOBILE; BRAS BASAH.BUGIS;
Worldchefs Congress & Expo 2018
As Singapore’s largest outdoor performing arts festival, the Night Festival is integral in bolstering the arts, culture and heritage scene in Singapore. Having celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2017, this year promised to deliver even more innovation and creativity, especially from local talents, and international collaborations. The Festival kicks off on 18 August with the annual Night Lights, its enthralling showcase of light art installations. It culminates in three evenings of revelry on 24, 25 and 26 August, featuring world-class artists, roving acts and exciting performances, all adding their own magic to the celebration. nightfestival.sg 13
Armani/Casa The art of living Launched in 2000, Armani/Casa brings Giorgio Armani’s philosophy of style to the world of home interiors. With over 15 years of experience, Armani/Casa and interior design studio continue to set the standard for living - the perfect environment: an intimate and comfortable space in which to relax, unwind and entertain.
REDEFINING THE BOUNDARIES OF TASTE
During its 17 years of existence, Armani/Casa has never ceased to evolve, develop and grow into a comprehensive collection of furniture, accessories, rugs, lamps and textiles, innovative concepts for the kitchen and bathroom, as well as Armani/Casa Interior Design Studio - for individuals and property developers that can follow a project from the conceptual stage through to the management of construction. The distinctive style of Armani/Casa combines a range of different inspirations and design codes that together form a harmonious interior or product. You can often see Giorgio’s natural predilection for 30’s and 40’s inspired designs, as well as the cultures of the Far East. These recurrent themes can be noted in the choice and designs of the precious materials, sophisticated finishes, splendid textiles and immaculate creations in all of Armani/Casa’s interiors and products. However, Giorgio’s creative flair for interiors began much earlier than 17 years ago, with his pioneering design product dating back to 1982. The design in question was the Logo Lamp - the very same lamp that illuminated his Milan offices in Via Durini during his cover shoot for Time Magazine. Naturally, when the home collection was then 14
launched, this lamp become the first product of the new collection as well the graphic element of the Armani/Casa Logo – a symbol of elegance and minimalism characteristic of his style even today. It’s in these details and designs that you really get to see a glimpse of Giorgio Armani’s aesthetic philosophy – an expression of a cultivated stylistic code that, while untouched by seasonal trends, is nevertheless the result of contemporary research. It enables the creation of many different stylistic atmospheres, which can best respond to the variety of different wishes and desires of consumers for their residential needs. The unifying principle throughout is one of essentiality and sophisticated elegance. MILAN ICON
For over 7 years Armani/Casa’s iconic Milan flagship store took up residence in Via Sant’Andrea, but in April of this year the growing design studio and atelier moved to a new location – the former De Padova space – a pillar in the history of the city’s design. For the occasion, the Logo Lamp was redesigned in a special limited edition version. »
A DYNAMIC ATELIER
Replicating the spirit of a large design studio, the welcoming, refined location conveys a feeling of space thanks to its soaring ceiling, which is interrupted by a mezzanine that overlooks the ground floor. But it’s the sculptural staircase connecting all floor levels that captures the gaze, with its sleek lines in pale oak that give an ethereal vibe to the large expanse. “The new Armani/Casa store in Milan is a project I followed with particular care. I imagined it as the large setting of a lifestyle and a way of living that expands the Armani style to a wider audience. And the beautiful Neoclassic Corso Venezia provides the perfect frame for the store. It’s a vehicle for ideas, concepts and a vision of design that expresses elegance as a timeless pleasure. Here, furniture and objects are not just exhibited, but actually tell the story of a lifetime.” Giorgio Armani says of the store’s »
« The new Armani/Casa address on Corso Venezia is as suitably distinctive and luxurious as the brand itself: boasting prize position on one of Milan’s most beautiful streets, a large, historic thoroughfare and renowned international tourist destination. “Design is an essential part of my ideal lifestyle, and this new store gives me the opportunity of showing my entire collection for the home,’ says Giorgio Armani. ‘It’s an imposing, though not monumental, property, which I envisaged as a studio – flexible, versatile and constantly evolving.” The largest Armani/Casa store in the world, the new location boasts sixteen windows at street level and just as many on each of the two floors above the entrance. Thin, vertical slit platinum metal mesh screens hung on the street side shop windows filter the light from the outside, allowing a muted view of the furniture displayed. The aforementioned Logo Lamp features as a motif on every window, its image visible on the mesh screens. A symbol of Armani/Casa, this simple lamp motif is also found inside, carved in the wood panels that cover the walls on the ground floor. 16
PREVIOUS PAGE Armani/ Casa flagship store in Milan. THIS PAGE The unique and distinctive designs of Armani/Casa draw inspiration from 30’s, 40’s and the Far East. FOLLOWING PAGE Armani/ Casa and Armani/Casa Interior Design Studio embody the design style of it’s creator Giorgio Armani.
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DESIGN « dynamic, which underlines the sense of a constantly evolving project, a living environment and bold creativity. Organised on four floors, the store also acts as showroom for the entire collection. The season’s novelties, including furniture, lamps, upholstered pieces and accessories are displayed on the ground floor; accessories, wallpaper and fabrics are showcased on the mezzanine, overlooking the ground floor; and the first floor houses the permanent collection, with limited edition and iconic pieces. The basement contains technical products: kitchens with accessories, bathrooms with relevant wall and floor coverings, and textiles. DESIGN EVOLUTION
Apart from the relocation of the flagship store, the most notable milestone in Armani/Casa’s design quest was the development of Armani/Casa Interior Design Studio. In 2004, Giorgio Armani teamed up with Emaar Properties PJSC to start working plans to create luxury design hotels, with the Italian Designer’s signature style being at the heart of the venues. Known globally for his passion for detail and perfection, Armani/Casa Design Studio was initially asked to add character and personality to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. With the roaring success that ensued, the initiative was then repeated in Milan, as well as Miami, Istanbul, Mumbai, Manila, Tel Aviv, Chengdu and more recently, London. Speaking about the design studio, Giorgio Armani says: “For the past decade my Interior Design Studio has been working on outstanding projects all over the world, coming up with new creative solutions in which an aesthetic of luxurious simplicity is interpreted through the local culture and ethos.”
“For the past decade my Interior Design Studio has been working on outstanding projects all over the world, coming up with new creative solutions in which an aesthetic of luxurious simplicity is interpreted through the local culture and ethos.”
Just as the design philosophy of the designer – an approach that represents ‘Made in Italy’ – changed the world of fashion, his interior design has changed our concepts of ease and comfort within architectural spaces. His signature aesthetic is a taste for luxurious simplicity and this sums up this designer’s profound identity. It is this sensibility that affects all the senses and is transformed into a cultural factor underlining the uniqueness of his projects, revealing their profound harmony with their surroundings. Iconographic elements characterising different places and cultures and the inspiration of encountering new materials and unusual colours, provide the basic stylistic inspiration for each individual project. With a growing legacy of design icons behind him, only time will tell what the next generation of Armani/Casa creations will impart on the world of interiors. 18
FREE THE ARTISTS, FREE THE WORLD Moco Museum, or The Modern Contemporary Museum Amsterdam, focuses on established pioneers and the so-called ‘rock stars’ of the art world, making a wide range of contemporary art available to the general public, FOUR speaks to museum co-founder Kim Logchies about keeping up to date on the underground art scene. My husband and I met at a meditation weekend 20 years ago. He had just started to work in art, and I was a therapist at the time. After selling my first house a year later, I bought him a realistic painting of a Buddhist monk. It was probably around this time that my interest in the art world was piqued. However, looking back, my first boyfriend put a 10m-high piece, which stated ‘Kim is Art’, on the wall of my school when I was 14. So, I guess it was in stars already. “Now, we have had LionelGallery, in the art district of Amsterdam, for nearly 20 years. People from all over the world kept telling us how much they liked our place and our eye for art, and thanked us for showing art differently. At this point that we decided to bring it to a larger platform. “What makes Moco Museum different, I think, is that people feel that we are not from the museum world; we have our own vision about what is it to enjoy art. We are
also strong believers in the fact that there are some really big artists right now who can use some spotlight. “At the same time, I meet young people who cannot tell me who Andy Warhol was, or Roy Lichtenstein. So, bringing the icons from the past combined with the icons of now leaves them with a wide spectrum of knowledge. And, of course, the building itself is a cute mansion between the giants on the museum square. “We currently show Banksy and Lichtenstein. The visitors love Banksy, and the millennials embrace his art. They love all the pieces that are normally hidden in houses and are now shown for the first time in public. “After 20 years in art we have a great network, but since the opening of Moco in 2016 we meet so many nice people who want to be involved. They try to help us by giving us art from their collections – or at least try and offer good suggestions about where we can source works or ideas for future displays. »
« “Right now, our guests love the works of Banksy and the Roy Lichtenstein 3D room that are on display, but everyone has his or her own particular favourites. For example, I read in a newspaper recently that Moco Museum was a favourite of [DJ and producer] Martin Garrix, and that he loved the artists’ quotes that we put on the walls. By reading a lot quotes you really get to know a person, get into their heads, and Warhol and Dalí had great things to say. “Personally I am a big fan of street art, and Banksy is so important for this particular movement. I remember seeing his work and immediately felt that he was the new ‘one to watch’. I love his bold voice that speaks through his images. As a trained therapist, I wanted to change people minds; I wanted to make the world a bit healthier. His piece Keep It Real sends the same message, but in a much faster and direct way. “Apart from Banksy, I also adore works from Os Gemeos, JR, Basquiat, Gerhard Richter and Daniel Arsham, which can move me to tears. I also once saw a Richter, and I just wanted to walk into the painting and never come back. It reawakened the same kind of magical, fairy tale awe that I used to have as a child, but had long forgotten. A painting can give that back to you. “I think more people are getting into collecting art, and that brings a new flavour to the game. The taste »
PREVIOUS PAGE ‘Gas Mask Boy’ by Banksy. RIGHT Kim Logchies in Moco Museum, Amsterdam. BELOW ‘Home Sweet Home’ by Banksy.
“People are looking for the new Harings of this era, and I think Banksy and Kaws are really that.”
“You know, I think we are done reading about how Studio 54 was the best time ever.”
ABOVE Kim and Lionel Logchies. LEFT ‘Voyage’ by Icy & Sot.
« of new collectors is different. Where once it used to be a quiet, elite group of people that was into art, now it is more of a true reflection of society. “You can also see this shift in the type of art that people are interested in, because some artists such as Keith Haring and Basquiat are becoming very expensive. People are now looking for the new Harings of this era, and I think Banksy and Kaws are really that. “My tips for a first-time buyer would be simple: to buy with your heart, but also try to see as much art as you can. To see a true new concept will give you so much energy. I would always advise to put some emerging artists, as well as some icons, in your collection. “The thing I love about Moco the most is that I am always looking forward to the next wonderful adventure. I meet incredible artists and fall in love with their works, and then channel this emotion to my visitors at the museum. For example, our next exhibit in June will be from Icy and Sot – two brothers from Iran who live in New York City. I am also dreaming up some exciting future collaborations with artists, and helping to capture them in books and films. “You know, I think we are done reading about how Studio 54 was the best time ever. Art lives now, and there are some geniuses out there. It is true what [hip hop producer] Swizz Beatz once said: ‘Free the artists, free the world’.”
HEART OF BARCELONA Since its construction in 1991, The Hotel Arts has revolutionized the city’s urban landscape with its unique design and structure. More than 20 years later, the landmark hotel is still an unmistakable icon of Barcelona – not only for its unique architecture, but also for the wealth of outstanding facilities.
ocated right on the beach facing the Port Olímpic, Hotel Arts is the perfect destination to get integrated into the Catalan capital, Barcelona. The hotels extraordinary location offers magnificent views of both Barcelona and the Mediterranean, whilst also remaining discreet and away from the hubbub of the city. CUTTING-EDGE DESIGN In 1991, the famed architect Bruce Graham was commissioned to erect this monumental project that forever changed the city’s skyline. It was then in 1994, that the Hotel Arts opened its doors. The transparency of glass, the warmth of wood and the sophistication of fine fabrics come together in every room at Hotel Arts. They blend in different ways to lend each space distinct personality and character, always under the paradigm of contemporary and refined style.
FIVE RESTAURANTS Without even leaving the building, you can enjoy a wide range of options from breakfast until bedtime. Savor delicious Mediterranean cuisine at Hotel Arts’ five restaurants, designed for every time of day. ABOVE, LEFT Infinity pool & lounge. ABOVE, RIGHT Hotel Arts Barcelona bulding. BELOW Breakfast at Lokal.
THE ONLY SPA WITH CITY VIEWS Only at 43 The Spa can you enjoy deep relaxation at a height of almost 150 meters, while watching the Mediterranean fade into the horizon. ORIGINAL WORKS OF ART Art is the hotel’s common thread and leitmotif: in every room and every hallway you’ll find an original piece of art, all by Spanish artists, many of them Catalan.
Marina 19-21, 08005 Barcelona, Spain +34 932 211 000 | www.hotelartsbarcelona.com
360° VIEWS If there’s one hotel that lets you enjoy a complete panoramic view of the entire city, it’s Hotel Arts. Its spacious and comfortable 483 rooms and suites are distributed across the length and height of its perimeter, offering 360° views. 28 TWO-STORY PENTHOUSES The Hotel Arts penthouses are exclusive two-story apartments located on the top floors of the building that combine the comfort of home and the luxury services of a five-star hotel with unparalleled views. 25
SĂźhring showcases the best of modern German fare inspired by childhood memories, family recipes and years of travelling experience combining the essence of traditional dishes with contemporary Central European influences. All elevated to the level of haute cuisine. Mathias, Thomas and the SĂźhring team invite their guests to their home, offering a warm hospitality in a relaxed, yet elegant environment. No.10, Yen Akat Soi 3, Chongnonsi, Yannawa 10120 Bangkok +66 (0) 2287 1799 restaurantsuhring.com
CHEF SAFARI Kolkata-born chef, Gaggan Anand has made waves on the culinary scene ever since he introduced his progressive gastronomy that infuses Indian dishes with Japanese elements. Now based in Bangkok, he gives us a tour of his favourite places to eat and drink in the buzzing Thai capital. MENYAITTO RAMEN Since it’s opening in 2017, the Bangkok outpost of the famed Japanese venue has had ramen lovers queueing up for hours to get a taste of Menya’s special noodle broth, Itto and homemade noodles. Hailing from Tokyo, Menyaitto Rame is consistently ranked no.1 in Tabelog as Japan’s best ramen. “This place is very famous for its delicious Ramen. It brings authentic Japanese flavours to the heart of Bangkok. Try the signature ramen Tsukemen; cold noodles with hot, dipping soup made of chicken and seafood.” www.menya-itto.com
BELOW Southern Thai cuisine at Khua Kling Pak Sod. RIGHT Award-winning Indian Chef, Gaggan Anand.
KHUA KLING PAK SOD Somewhat of an institution, Khua Kling Pak Sod is famed throughout the land for its authentic Southern Thai home cooking. The recipes at Khua Kling have been passed down through the generations, originally created by the family’s grandmother. They follow the culinary traditions of the TahSae district in Chumpon, where she was born and raised. The ‘home cooking’ concept is built on their personal belief that sharing meals with family at home is the best dining experience, and where you can enjoy good food together with your loved ones. “This family-run restaurant specializes in Southern Thai cuisine, which is a personal favourite of mine. I love the fragrant, the spice, and the choice of flavours of their home-style cuisine.” www.khuaklingpaksod.com
RAAN JAY FAI Located off a busy side street, Jay Fai is the busy restaurant owned by Supinya Junsuta. It specializes in wok dishes, fresh seafood and fried rice, and has even won a Michelin Star in the inaugural Bangkok 2018 Guide for Jay Fai’s notorious creations. “Raan Jay Fai is the restaurant of the eponymous 70 year old who cooks every dish by herself. It’s simple fare but the food is delicious, fresh and has classic Asian wok flavours; Jay Fai really does know her cooking! This place is a must visit for those of you that enjoy crab” www.facebook.com/RaanJayFai KRUA APSORN With over twenty years of service under his belt, chef Chanchawee knows a thing or two about creating classic Thai cuisine. A popular destination with local and die-hard foodies, this family-run restaurant has won favour with » 27
“Kalpapruek offers Thai-style dishes, complemented by Western-style cakes from its in-house bakery. The cakes are legendary and it’s one of the favourite places for Bangkokians to get their birthday or celebratory cakes.” www.kalpapruekrestaurant.com THE COMMONS Built as a community meeting place, The Commons brings together contemporary visions of food, drink and creativity form all over the city. It aims to promote wholesome living and a true sense of community, and offers everything from world cuisine, a vintage store, a florist to high-end audio products. Kids and parents can join in fun activities on our Play Yard, or simply relax on the grass lawn while people gather. “This place is the best to hang out for coffee or quick bite. It has many eating options to choose from, and the building itself is great to chill out it.” thecommonsbkk.com « just about everyone who has eaten there, including the Thai royal family. Boasting a Bib Gourmand, this hidden gem really is not to be missed. “This restaurant is quite special and not many tourists know about it, so it really retains its traditional Thai vibe. It’s basic and rustic, but the food is sublime and worth a trip there. Try the famous fluffy crab omelette, and then if you are still hungry order the classic green curry with fish balls.” KRUA SA ROS JAD Loosely translated as ‘Sa’s kitchen of good, strong taste’, Krua Sa Ros Jad is located on a narrow, unassuming soi just off Vibhavadi. Not particularly striking from the façade, once inside the restaurant opens up into an Aladdin’s cave of Thai antiquities and traditional culinary genius. The owners, who are also in the antique business, offer a menu of fresh Thai produce that has been sourced locally and regionally. “This place is such a special venue. Decorated with beautiful antique furnishings, and showcasing the country’s fresh produce, Krua Sa Ros Jad is like nothing else I’ve been to; the shrimps are to die for!” www.facebook.com/KruaSaRosChad/ KUAY JAB NAI HUAN One of the Yaowarat road hotspots, Kuay Jab Nai Huan is a small street food stall open from 6am until late. It’s famous for the one dish it serves, the Kuay Jab, and often has a queue down the busy street. “One of my Bangkok favourites for a quick snack, I love the street food noodles from Kuay Jab Nai Huan. It’s usually packed, so make sure you get there early and order one of their trademark “Kuay Jab’s’, large rolled rice noodles with crispy pork belly served in a spicy clear soup” KALPAPRUEK Founded back in 1975, Kalpapruek is one of Silom’s earliest contemporary restaurants. It prides itself on offering Thai home cooking but also catering to the Western palette. Serving quality food made with top ingredients and delicious desserts, the restaurant has grown into 3 successful outlets that can be found dotted around the city. 28
ABOVE Located on Thonglor Soi 17, The Commons offers a variety of food and drink options. BELOW David Jacobson’s Smalls bar offers late night drinking and live jazz.
TOT (TEENS OF THAILAND) Located in a renovated shophouse, Teens of Thailand has opted for simplicity when it comes to the menu, serving just one tipple but fashioned in various styles. Hip, contemporary and unpretentious, the venue boasts lascivious photography on bare concrete walls and a great music selection. “TOT is a great bar that keeps its menu simple - Gin and Tonic’s. That’s all they serve, but in a variety of classic, contemporary and innovative forms.” www.facebook.com/teensofthailand SMALLS With moody lighting, seductive crimson materials and a cool retro vibe, David Jacobson and Bruno Tanquerel’s bar is exactly what you want from a laid-back drinking den away from the city’s hubbub. If you want to listen to quality music and enjoy no-nonsense serves of serious alcohol, the Smalls is your bar. “Smalls is definitely one of the coolest bars of the town. Its design is original and the atmosphere is instantly welcoming” www.facebook.com/smallsbkk
AT T H E C A P I TA L’ S PULSING EPICENTER
The Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park opened its doors as the Marriott brand’s largest property in Asia paciﬁc, and the ﬁrst in the region to receive Marriott international’s prestigious “Marquis” designation. Located in downtown Bangkok, the hotel is surrounded by several of the city’s most vibrant shopping, business and entertainment districts. The 1,388 rooms and suites, combined with extensive convention and meeting facilities, as well as an array of diverse dining and recreational facilities, make the property a destination in itself.
BANGKOK MARRIOTT MARQUIS QUEENS’PARK 199 SUKHUMVIT SOI 22, SUKHUMVIT RD., KLONGTON, KLONGTOEY, BANGKOK 10110, THAILAND T: +66 (0) 2 059 5555 E: BOOKBKKMARQUIS@MARRIOTT.COM
W W W. BA N G KO K M A R R I OT TM A RQ U I S.CO M Bangkokmarriottmarquis
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brand | strategy | design
HEIKO NIEDER The Dolder Grand, Zurich
RAINER BECKER Zuma Restaurants UAE
NATHAN OUTLAW Burj Al Arab, Dubai
ALI SALEM MUSBEH AL BADAWI Mezlai, Emirates Palace Hotel UAE
CREATIVE HEAD Heiko Nieder has refined his style and puts a spell on his guests with modern, surprising, and very poignant creations that originate in the mindâ€™s eye. An experience highly recommended by Ingo Scheuermann. P H OTO G R A P H Y BY PA B LO FACC I N E T TO / H E I N Z U N G E R
s you drive up the Adlisberg in Zürich, the majestic Dolder Grand hotel rises on the forest’s edge. A grand hotel at its best. It underwent a substantial renovation by stararchitect Norman Foster between 2004 and 2008, providing it with a new modern glow and shifting the main building, which dates back to 1899, into the right light. It is a special, almost magical, place where you access a unique world. Ambiance, service and quality offered at the highest of levels. It is wonderful when a platform for the best of cuisines is offered in such a setting. At the in-house fine-dining restaurant, simply called The Restaurant, the subtle modern-chic theme is continued. There are truly few more beautiful restaurants in the world. Right from the start, Hamburg-born Heiko Nieder’s culinary developments shine through. Since 2008 he has been refining his style until mastering his current philosophy, which reflects the house ambiance whilst effortlessly integrating with the main concept. How does such a cook come to be and what are the key moments in his development? How does a young cook
emancipate himself from his mentors? In his earlier days, a younger Heiko never wanted to become a cook, as “it makes you get fat,” he reminisces today with a wink, not having ever had any such problems. His grandmother, however, was a cook at the Hamburger Schlachthof canteen, where he would visit during his childhood holidays. The smell was distinctive and the process of creating good food out of select ingredients (in those days one could still find honest homemade food at canteens) left a lasting impression. His family would also consistently cook with local and fresh ingredients. After completing a tea and vanilla import/export internship, Nieder reached the conclusion that a 9 to 5 office job was not suited for him. At the same time, a neighbourhood friend who had trained as a waiter and cook would often take him into the kitchens. By showing him the ins and outs, as well as how to appreciate good quality produce, Nieder had little choice but to learn how to become a cook. Next to the Atlantik, the Vier Jahreszeiten was the go to place for a cook apprenticeship in Hamburg, especially as they offered a variety of positions (banquet and various restaurants), which would provide a broad insight into the profession and »
ABOVE View over Zürich and the main building from The Dolder Grand terrace.
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PREVIOUS PAGE Grapes and mangosteen with coconut, olive oil and jasmine. LEFT Wood pigeon with mostarda, beetroot and red cabbage jus.
« its many processes. “Back then, one would have to wait for a whole year after applying due to high demand, which I spent by branching out into a Page internship that has granted me a deep understanding client-focused service,” explains Nieder. He was ultimately a valuable apprentice and not cheap labour (how it often is nowadays), as the aim was to impart true skills and knowledge. After the completing military service, Nieder worked as a young commis in Hamburg’s legendary Le Canard under the tutelage of Josef Viehhauser — classic cuisine that opened Nieder’s eyes to product quality and the art of ‘less is more’. However, Michael Hoffmann who acted as Viehhauser’s kitchen chef was a defining figure. His positive obsessiveness is a trait that Nieder adopted as his own. “Michael made me into a cook, and with his enthusiasm transmitted his life’s pursuit of the perfect dish,” reminisces Nieder. Adding: “I was recommended my next career step towards Dieter L. Kaufmann by Michael, in order to perfect my craft and precision, a time I still draw from today.” A partnership between Hoffmann and Nieder was planned to take place in the then newly opened Vau in Berlin, which was owned by a regular guest of Viehhauser’s. »
HEIKO NIEDER « “Networking is essential for me, as it has allowed me to go far in both my private and professional life,” says Nieder. However, Nieder did not end up staying at Vau, and moved on to become sous- and then Head chef for Kolja Kleeberg. During this time, Nieder was able to fully exploit his innovative prowess due to the creative freedom and independence that he was offered and this was what drew him there. “Ultimately, we were always a bit ahead of our time at Vau and put on small and big surprises, never to impress but purely to enter new territory. I think that still stands out today.” His networking also put him in touch with the DorintGroup, with whom he planned a gourmet-restaurant at a new hotel in Bonn, where the plan and concept was developed around Nieder being head chef and his close relationship to the restaurant manager. In 2002 L’Orquivit burst onto the scene, with Nieder producing modern yet independent cuisine, which led to the development of the first version of his ‘own’ cuisine, characterised by the varied influences of the then developing internet and numerous visits to restaurants worldwide. In spite of it being the peak
of popularity for molecular gastronomy, Nieder did not let it overly influence him, but did however adopt modern techniques into his repertoire. It was through another friend in his network, Jens Rittemeyer who he met during a stint with Dieter Mueller, that he learnt of an opening as head chef of the newly opened Dolder. After an intense learning process, Nieder began working at The Restaurant in 2008. “Ultimately, it was something in between winning the lottery and a fairytale,” he claims. He then unconsciously initiated the rapid development of the Zürich gourmet scene. Success did not take long to follow, despite the somewhat traditional and expectant Swiss clientele, who gradually succumbed to Nieder’s cuisine — including a midday amuse-bouche menu (“One can definitely find inspiration in Dieter Müllers format”) as a representative cross-section through current menus. “At the moment, we are always busy, the lunch business is worthwhile,” says Nieder. “Ultimately, I simply want to entertain my guests with extraordinary taste experiences, without offering them a show. It also has to be light, so that the guest should always be happy to have one of our homemade pralines at the end of the up to 12-course menu.” »
BELOW Inside the dining room of The Restaurant at The Dolder Grand Hotel. OPPOSITE Turbot with smoked sturgeon, sorrel, banana and caviar.
« How do Heiko Nieder’s taste experiences come to be? First and foremost, with moderate surprises that have not yet been tasted, produced in a particular manner or combination, without being too demanding — Nieder’s kitchen is created with the enthusiasm for a great product: “I cook what I like,” describes Nieder when discussing his first creative steps. On his continuous search for products, Nieder found a sea urchin from the Faroe Islands, which has a slightly sweeter taste than the usual briny tang. He immediately came up with innovative associations, for example; pairing it with cantaloupe and accompanying this with a sensational sesame dressing, using a base of oil made from unroasted and roasted sesame and homemade black tea vinegar, a dialectic of sweetness and earthiness. Thus a wonderful bridge is built between the inherent sweetness of the melon (enriched with sea urchin aroma) and various fungi elements (enoki and silver ear fungi pickled in soybeans as well as their gel) to bring the dish together. The bridge element is composed of rice wine foam, an iodinerich jus composed of samphire and kelp, with Paztizz tops
for herbal accentuation. A way in which sea urchins have certainly never been eaten before - surprising yet catchy, unusual but trustworthy. The entire creative process is solely in Nieder’s head, only after the recipe has been written down do a few samples get prepared, which in turn are used for fine-tuning. “Quite rarely does a thought-up dish turn out to be a flop,” confesses Nieder with radiating proudness and a wink. Such a way of working is only accessible to chefs who possess rich experience paired with a talent for highly associative thinking. Commenting on recent developments, Nieder said: “I have ultimately gotten better since my marriage and the birth of my children, because I move around less and have to concentrate on my immediate surroundings, so in turn my cooking has become even more ‘Nieder’.” And this can be clearly seen, as he has in recent times been utterly unimpressed by popular fashions and trends. Instead he has concentrated on conjuring subtle yet surprising flavours with profound, essential, yet light sauces and is undoubtedly on his best form yet!
ABOVE Urchin, pickled mushrooms, sesame and rice wine foam.
LIVING ON THE EDGE Returning to Europe after a six-year stint in Japan was a clever career move for German-born chef turned restaurateur Rainer Becker, opening his first Japaneseinspired restaurant, Zuma, in London and further expanding his spiralling success into the Middle East, writes Simone MichĂŠ.
RAINER BECKER When I first arrived in Japan, I didn’t really get a kick out of the food or the flavours,” Rainer says. “It took some time getting used to the mellow flavouring and subtle seasoning.” For this chef-turned-restaurateur who has become synonymous with Japanese cuisine the world over, I’m surprised by Rainer’s statement. He’s gone on to culinary fame for his global, Japan-infused brands Zuma, Roka and Shochu Lounge, opening four izakaya-inspired restaurants in the UK and a further seven in cities such as Dubai and Istanbul — all with a mass cult following in the space of just 12 years. Rainer’s flagship restaurant Zuma, in London’s Knightsbridge, is where I met the impeccably dressed bon vivant (he hangs out with celebrities, such as the famous motorsport star Felipe Massa, in his spare time) on a warm day in June. Rainer is the picture of cool, dressed in a crisp white shirt, stone-coloured trousers and a leather jacket, having zipped through the city on his sleek black BMW scooter, which is now parked in front of the restaurant’s glass-fronted exterior. He is undeniably suave. He’s also incredibly warm and approachable, and before long we’re in full conversation about his love of two-wheeled
modes of transport. “I would like a pushbike,” he says, quickly adding: “But it’s not fast enough for me. I need speed.” Speed is one word that has come to define Rainer and his culinary career in some ways over the last few years. For one, Zuma, Knightsbridge — which now has sister concepts in Hong Kong, Turkey, Dubai, Miami, Bangkok and Abu Dhabi — revolves around the traditional Japanese robata-style cuisine, which involves cooking food very quickly over a hot grill for maximum flavour. Then there is the fact of how swiftly Rainer’s concepts have climbed the ranks to culinary fame. Over the years, Rainer’s restaurants have become fine-dining hotspots for ardent foodies and celebrity A-listers alike, including Jay Z, Beyoncé and the Beckhams, who swoon over delicious morsels of sashimi and robata-grilled delicacies. Conversely, I also get the feeling that whatever Rainer does, he’s not afraid to take his time and do it well – and always out of respect for the Japanese culture that has lent itself to his super-successful restaurant concepts. Although Rainer was born and grew up in the Moselle Valley, a picturesque region in Germany on the border with France, he doesn’t take much culinary inspiration from his childhood. Nor did his time spent in Munich or Cologne, where he worked as chef de cuisine in the Hyatt Regency, »
LEFT Becker has Zuma outposts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Turkey, with many more around the world.
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LEFT Watercress salad with avocado and wasabi cucumber dressing. RIGHT Beckerâ€™s signature upscale and sophisticated restaurant style.
RIGHT Tuna tataki with ginger and chillibraised red onion.
“In every Zuma there is something that I love more than the others. In Hong Kong we have a spiral staircase. In Dubai we have two floors and a bar. In Miami, you sit on the river and watch the boats go up and down. In Istanbul you sit by the Bosphorus. If I had to say which one was my favourite, though, it would be this one [Zuma Knightsbridge], because I never expected it to come to this.”
« and his short stint in Australia, working as executive chef at the Park Hyatt Sydney, influence his later path. Rainer’s real culinary inspiration came from the six years he spent in Tokyo where he was head chef at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, responsible for the hotel’s six restaurants. After leaving Japan, Rainer headed to the UK; full of ambition and the desire to open the Japanese-inspired restaurant he’d dreamt about throughout his time in Tokyo. It took a chance encounter with business mogul Arjun Waney to get Zuma off the ground in 2002. When Arjun and Rainer met, Arjun had been looking to open his first restaurant— more specifically, a Japanese restaurant—after he’d failed to get a table at London’s Nobu. “I was looking for someone who would invest in my idea and my hairdresser at the time said he knew this guy who wanted to open a restaurant, so he called up Arjun.” Today, Rainer spends more time as a restaurant man than a chef. He’s extended his culinary empire across the globe and created a second brand—Roka—to meet the growing demand for the unique dining experience Rainer was offering at Zuma. While Rainer’s first love is cooking (“my heart is still in the kitchen and I kind of miss it once in a while,” he adds), spending less time in the kitchen and more time looking »
FIRM FOUNDATIONS Racing drivers, rock stars and revolutionaries – the history of one of the world’s most luxurious private villas in the Seychelles, Residence on the Rocks, is the story of such people.
he biggest heavy-weight boxing match in history took place in 1974, in Kinshasa, Africa. Boxing legend Muhammed Ali made his comeback after knocking out world champ George Foreman. In attendance was a young Swiss hotelier, Karl Ammann, who had been recruited as part of the match’s organising team. Little did he know that his brush with famous people would give rise to one of the most extraordinary luxury hotel developments in the Indian Ocean islands. Indeed, some of the African art Amman collected while in Kinshasa, now adorns Residence on the Rocks. Three time-zones East from Kinshasa, lie the 115 islands of the Seychelles Archipelago. It is a tropical paradise, and for years, land had been acquired by foreigners for their annual retreat. That is until revolution swept across the African continent and the region. Much of the undeveloped land held by foreigners, including the most pristine swath around Intendance Bay in the southern-most part of the main island, Mahé, was nationalised. This land was held by none other than George Harrison of The Beatles and actor Peter Sellers. The title deeds disappeared – tucked away in a local attorney’s office. A few years later, a chance encounter with the racing driver Jackie Stewart resulted in Ammann being introduced to George Harrison’s business manager. Following discussions about the Seychelles, negotiations
ensued to regain the property. By now new developments on the island were gradually being approved under very strict guidelines. When the original deed was finally tracked down, an offer was negotiated and the scene was set for the first five-star luxury hotel to be built on Mahé. As part of the transaction, Ammann retained a high-lying piece of land overlooking the bay, and set out to build one of the world’s most ultra-luxurious villas, Residence on the Rocks. Sparingly used by royalty and stars seeking ultimate privacy, it offers the services of a permanent caretaker couple while also gaining access to the five-star Banyan Tree hotel below. There is also a separate and private guesthouse – ideal for a personal assistant. Designed in a traditional Creole style, the villa comprises a twostorey main building with a central courtyard overlooking an infinity pool that seemingly plunges into the coconut palms framing the ocean below. Whenever the need arises for a magical setting, Residence on the Rocks is the perfect choice.
Contact Karl Ammann t: +254 62 32 448 or t: +44 780 173 284 f: +254 62 32407 e: email@example.com www.residenceontherocks.com 51
RAINER BECKER « after the business side of things has meant he’s been able to expand the Zuma brand to epic proportions. In 2007, Rainer opened a Zuma in Hong Kong. A year later he launched Zuma Dubai and Istanbul as well as a further three Zuma restaurants between 2010 and 2014 to include Zuma Miami, Bangkok and Abu Dhabi. Rainer’s Roka concept has also grown considerably, with openings in London’s Canary Wharf and Mayfair and a Roka in Hong Kong (born at the same time as Zuma Dubai and Istanbul in 2008)—all slightly less formal than their big sister Zuma, but still with Rainer’s signature nod to the robata-style Japanese dishes. “I could have opened more restaurants over the years but I didn’t feel the need. If I focus on one thing, then I do it right. That’s probably why we’ve opened relatively few restaurants since the launch of Zuma Knightsbridge,” he explains. Rainer moved away from Japanese cuisine for the first time in over a decade last year, introducing Oblix on the 32nd floor of The Shard in London. Oblix’s menu references a New York grill, all infused with Rainer’s signature style of upscale, sophisticated, urban dining. “Originally I was approached to open a Zuma there but I said no.” He explains: “I’ve always said that I only want one Zuma in each city so that it keeps it special and unique to that location.”
Most recently Rainer opened a second Zuma in Turkey in the exquisite D-Hotel Maris, which is located where the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas meet, perched on the hillside of the Datça Peninsula. The restaurant is a seasonal pop up that went permanent after a successful first summer. “In every Zuma there is something that I love more than the others. In Hong Kong we have a spiral staircase. In Dubai we have two floors and a bar. In Miami, you sit on the river and watch the boats go up and down. In Istanbul you sit by the Bosphorus. If I had to say which one was my favourite, though, it would be this one [Zuma Knightsbridge], because I never expected it to come to this.” Zuma does tradition meets laidback sophistication like no other. The Knightsbridge restaurant is the perfect example of Rainer’s unique culinary vision and style. “What I loved in Japan was the Japanese pubs called izakaya. They are very similar to Western pubs, but the difference is that they are more food-driven. You always have decent food in Japanese izakayas. I wanted to capture the atmosphere of a traditional izakaya but in a much more sophisticated way. “The bar here,” he says, pointing to the lavish glass island that stands in the centre of Zuma Knightsbridge’s dining room, “breaks the ice, and means that Zuma is not only a restaurant but a place where you can also have a good time. »
LEFT The chef and restaurateur most recently opened a second Zuma in Turkey, at the D-Hotel Maris, which is perched on the hillside of the Datça Peninsula. RIGHT Robata-grilled rib eye with WAFU sauce.
LEFT Green tea and Banana cake with coconut ice cream.
signature robata and sushi counter located around the main dining room complimenting dishes from the kitchen. In the evenings, the bar and lounge feature a DJ counter with live entertainment, and the place becomes more alive. The setting might be glamorous, but Rainer’s food does the talking, especially the signature dishes that have remained on the restaurant’s menu since the restaurant opened. “We change dishes and develop new ones, but not on a regular basis. That’s partly because a lot of these dishes are traditional and also because they are seasonal. Sixty per cent of the dishes are signature dishes, and we don’t change them.” As we talk, we are delivered two of Zuma’s signature dishes, ise ebi, whole native lobster tempura with spicy ponzu, and Wagyu No Sumibiyaki. We also sample a sashimi platter created by Zuma’s sushi master, Endo Kazutoshi. I’m blown away by the intricacy and dedication to authentic Japanese cuisine in each of the dishes, and fascinated as I watch them being prepared in the open kitchen and arrive at the table as and when they’re ready, intended for sharing. I’m curious to see if this culinary megastar ever has any doubts about opening more Zuma outposts. “It’s competitive, and there is always a fear that something could go wrong. But it’s that fear that stops you from being complacent,” he says. “And that competition is what keeps you on the edge.” © DAVID GRIFFEN
« Izakayas are often not designed in any way — they are just a room with tables and benches, but I love design and I wanted a contemporary and timeless restaurant, along with the best food and the best service. But I didn’t want to lose the element of the izakaya ethos, which is having a good time while eating and drinking. I think this is why Zuma has become so successful because you can dress up and feel good, or come in jeans and sneakers and also feel good.” Zuma Abu Dhabi opened its doors in 2014 in a prestigious location on Sowwah Square on Al Maryah Island, representing the core of Abu Dhabi’s new Central Business District – The Manhattan of Abu Dhabi. For the design of the interior, Rainer challenged Noriyoshi Muramatsu of Studio Glitt to create a concept for the restaurant that looks very different to Zuma Dubai but still captures Zuma’s signature style and elegance. What makes the design work so well with Rainer’s food philosophy is that both use few materials and don’t try to change the basic raw material. “It’s all about keeping things clean, using the best material and making sure it stays simple,” Rainer adds. The restaurant is set on one floor and incorporates distinct lounge, bar and restaurant areas along with a small semi-private dining room. And, of course, it reflects the three core elements of its izakaya dining style with a
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ONCE IN A LIFETIME Nathan Outlaw — the celebrated and self-proclaimed ‘hook it then cook it’ British chef known for his expertise in seafood — opened his first dining venture outside of the UK in Dubai in 2016. The location? One of the most iconic hotels in the world: the Burj Al Arab
LEFT The glamorous bluehued Al Mahara.
or many chefs, opening a restaurant outside of their native country is the dream. For others, it’s more important to establish themselves at home first. This is exactly what Brit chef Nathan Outlaw did. He garnered years of experience in other kitchens — notably Rick Stein’s restaurant in Cornwall, England, among many others — he then set about doing the same in his own kitchen. Building his repertoire of recipes, honing his skills and working with local producers and artisans to perfect his craft. Outlaw has four restaurants in the UK — Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Port Isaac; Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, also in Port Isaac; The Mariners Rock, a pub in Rock, and Outlaw’s at The Capital in London — and at the core of his cooking is simplicity. Dishes are neither overegged nor flamboyant, but oozing with elegance. In Outlaw’s 2014 book Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen, Heston Blumenthal says: “[...] I was judging a competition in which [Nathan] was taking part. He served up a risotto that was so beautifully balanced, it stopped me in my tracks and I remember thinking, this chef is definitely going somewhere.” Outlaw’s cuisine takes you straight to the sea — to that calming place that evokes joyous memories of peace and
happiness. He does this through his fresh ingredients and delicate flavour combinations; before you know it the subtle memory of beachside endeavours drifts over you. One of Outlaw’s skills is letting the ingredients breathe on the plate. There’s no overcrowding, nor do the components fight to be heard — or rather tasted. It is only fitting then that the chef partners with what is arguably the world’s most iconic hotel — Dubai’s Burj Al Arab — and its famed ‘underwater’ restaurant Al Mahara for his first overseas project. The hotel is now approaching its 18th birthday and its general manager was keen to liven things up. “Anthony McHale, Burj Al Arab’s general manager, ate in one of my restaurants in Cornwall before he moved [to Dubai]. The hotel opened almost 18 years ago and he told me he wanted to jazz up the dining scene — make it more accessible, more affordable, and seafood restaurant Al Mahara was a key focus,” Outlaw explains. “When he rang me up I thought it was a hoax. He said, ‘I think you’re the right guy to come over and have a look at the restaurant. Knowing your food and how you operate, you’re level headed, you know how to run a good restaurant, so come have a look.’ As soon as I saw the place and saw what it could potentially be, I knew I had to do it; it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.” »
LEFT The restaurant, located within Dubaiâ€™s Burj Al Arab, is exquisite. RIGHT Raw Scallops, Herb Mayonnaise, Caper & Lemon Dressing.
NATHAN OUTLAW « In case you haven’t visited the restaurant before or aren’t familiar with its setting, it’s set in a decadent underwater, well, fish tank. In a way, the roles are reserved and the fish, surrounded by beautiful coral, are looking in on the guests as they dine at the luxurious scallop-back chairs in the blue-lit room. What makes this most decadent of dining rooms unique to Outlaw and his style of hospitality? “For me, classic good cooking, looking after your customers, and great hospitality will never go out of fashion,” he says. “Before the [restaurant’s] revamp, Al Mahara was a fine-dining French restaurant. Today, Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara celebrates a British style of cooking without losing any of its original charm. We simply added ‘the Outlaw touch’ to it and took it up to the next level. Diners can look forward to experiencing a more down to earth style of hospitality, with a fun and buzzing atmosphere,” he adds. The menu serves up classic Outlaw dishes, such as the lobster risotto, orange, basil and spring onions, complemented with other dishes featuring subtle regional touches, such as the citrus-cured brill with anchovy, smoked almonds and basil labneh. While Outlaw has a clear culinary style, his restaurants are unique and fit their locations, instead of fitting a mold.
RIGHT Crispy Oysters, Caviar, Oyster & Cucumber Sauce.
“[My restaurants] are all different, as is the customer base. In the Burj Al Arab, we are offering a four-course menu with a set menu price — six to seven choices for each course that will change seasonally. Each dish on the menu has been created specifically for the Burj Al Arab and the menu is a reflection of my style of cooking, which is one of simplicity, but with complex flavour combinations using local, seasonal, responsibly sourced ingredients.” He continues: “What I like to do with my dishes is let the seafood shine and allow the impact to come through in the taste. I don’t like to play with the fish too much…I like to hook it and then cook it, simple and uncomplicated.” Outlaw says: “The food at Al Mahara is ingredient led and speaks for itself. I love to serve raw, pure seafood, so raw scallops and of course oysters; turbot with a seaweed crust is another of my favourite dishes to cook.” Outlaw’s style of cooking is woven into every menu that he lays his hands on, with, he says “some fantastic British delicacies [delivered] to the Middle Eastern palate, while using local ingredients and experimenting with some local influences”. While Dubai exudes glamour and the promise of a luxury lifestyle, it doesn’t come without trepidation. Access to the best seasonal produce — or rather, the lack of access — means »
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LEFT Guests are met with a floor-to-ceiling aquarium filled with coral and an array of fish. RIGHT Lobster Risotto, Orange, Basil & Spring Onions.
« chefs in this region have to get creative with their sourcing. Outlaw says: “The biggest concern I had opening a restaurant here in Dubai was the quality of the seafood, because I have the best seafood you can probably get in the world where I am in Cornwall. But I got here, opened the fridge, and saw the seafood was brought in from where I live back home. I thought to myself, this isn’t going to be a problem. The Burj Al Arab has been importing the best fish and ingredients from all over the world for 17 years now so I’m really lucky that all the contacts have already been made.” Could he be persuaded to use native seafood? “I’ve been to the Dubai fish market and it’s amazing. I would like to look at using local ingredients in the menu in the future, as I am a big fan of supporting local businesses and products and I’d love to be able to introduce local sustainably sourced seafood. It’s definitely in the plan.” Outlaw’s lobster risotto dish is one of his oldest, having introduced it in his very first restaurant in 2003. Outlaw adds: “I’ve also introduced some really typical British puddings, such as sticky toffee pudding and a treacle tart. “The sticky toffee pudding on the menu is actually my daughter’s recipe. She’s 11 years old and won a Sticky Toffee Championship with it. It was a blind tasting and she was the youngest entrant by far, so I’m very proud to have it on the menu.” »
“What I like to do with my dishes is let the seafood shine and allow the impact to come through in the taste. I don’t like to play with the fish too much…I like to hook it and then cook it, simple and uncomplicated.”
NATHAN OUTLAW « Dubai’s restaurant scene has been heating up (again) for some time, with fellow Brit Jason Atherton opening Marina Social Dubai in 2016 and the Palazzo Versace Dubai launching a series of collaborations with some of the world’s best chefs. So how does this British chef see his own contribution to the restaurant scene faring? “We’ve had a nice mix of customers, from people staying in the hotel to couples who’ve been dining here for so many years and are excited about the changes. Their feedback has been really positive. We’ve had foodies, and people who have flown in from the UK, which is hugely supportive,” Outlaw says. “There was also a gentleman who booked a table for two more nights, which was a massive compliment in itself. We treat everybody the same and what really matters is that they relax, have a great time and enjoy not only the food but the whole experience.” For Outlaw, getting the right team behind the project was key to its success and “a deal breaker”, he reveals. Al Mahara’s head chef is Pete Biggs, who has been working with Outlaw for over 15 years. Biggs was residing at Outlaw’s at The Capital at the time and Outlaw had him and the restaurant’s general manager, Sharon McArthur, flown out to Dubai to get a feel for the project. They were instantly sold. “[...] If they’d said no, I wouldn’t be here because they are the
ones who are going to carry my name on the front of the restaurant,” he says. Outlaw explains that Biggs started with him as an apprentice chef straight out of college. He then opened Outlaw’s at The Capital in Knightsbridge in 2012, which subsequently earned a Michelin star in 2014, adding, “he has a proven track record for producing extraordinary dishes”. While there’s no designated Michelin Guide to Dubai or the UAE, Outlaw firmly believes the Middle East hub has firmly established itself on the foodie map. He says: “Dubai itself has very much claimed its spot and can definitely play with the big boys. As a chef it is one of the places you want to be. The city has attracted top talent from across the globe and offers world-class hospitality. One of the things that really excited me about the opportunity, as well as being in Burj Al Arab, was the fact that it’s a buzzing scene now.” Is Outlaw’s expansion to Dubai the start of a Jason Atherton-style move to (restaurant) world domination? “I never thought I would open a restaurant outside of the UK, to be honest, but the culinary world continues to surprise me. Who knows what is around the corner, but first I want to make a success of Al Mahara and the Burj Al Arab, before I look at doing anything else.
IMAGES: NATHAN OUTLAW AT AL MAHARA, BURJ AL ARAB
RIGHT Sticky Toffee Pudding, Stuffed Dates & Jersey Cream.
PRESERVING AUTHENTICITY Chef Ali Edbowa of Abu Dhabi restaurant Mezlai â€“ the first 5 star Emirati restaurant in the UAE â€“ has opened a window on to the culture and history of Arabian hospitality. Through age-old recipes, Mezlai offers a journey into flavours as old as the sands of north Africa itself, tasting as fresh and inspired as the city it resides in. P H OTO G R A P H Y BY E M I R AT E S PA L AC E
n recent years, the UAE has become a melting pot of international fashion, business and, naturally, gastronomy due to its attractively sunny year-round climate and world-renowned hospitality. Yet certain traditions of the place seem to be falling behind. While restaurants cater to every whim of their international clientele, many have neglected the very essence of the Emirates: the Emirati cuisine itself. In fact, Emirati gastronomy is not only hard to find in the restaurants and hotels of the Emirates, but it is also becoming increasingly overlooked in home kitchens and local eateries, too. However, there is one chef – and restaurant – that is determined to change this, and that is Ali Edbowa of Mezlai, located in the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi.
Having opened in 2010, the restaurant is fast-becoming the go-to destination for any stopover in the area, as it’s one of the first restaurants in the UAE to feature solely Emirati cuisine. “My team and I have dedicated everything into presenting the very best in Emirati cuisine. Our menu concept came out of history of Emirati cuisine, along with my passion for cooking.” With an updated Middle Eastern touch, Chef Ali has created a contemporary Emirati-inspired menu that also suits the palate of a multicultural environment. The restaurant, with its traditional atmosphere, design (something akin to an airy Bedouin tent), and authentic Emirati cuisine will give you an experience to savour, combining both luxury and tradition. »
LEFT Elegant and sophisticated design throughout the restaurant and hotel’s interiors.
LEFT Bethitha â€“ Mezlaiâ€™s signature Emirati dessert. RIGHT The Bedouin tent-inspired dining room at Mezlai.
RIGHT Maghribia with scallops.
“As a teenager, I travelled the world with my father. On vacations in Europe, I would find myself trying to recreate my mother’s dishes whenever I was homesick”
« “Local food and spices inspire me, and this has evolved a lot since I first started,” he explains. “In recent years, I have had to adapt these recipes to cook for people from all over the world, so diversity in my cooking has been very important for me. But, with the history of Emirati cuisine and the constant challenge of offering the very best in fine dining, this extra bit of creativity and paying close attention to guests’ feedback has propelled Emirati cuisine into the spotlight.” Having a track record that includes stints at the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai, as well as training in Italy, Ali is certainly not short of creativity when it comes to his culinary creations. “As a teenager, I travelled the world with my father. On vacations in Europe, I would find myself trying to recreate »
THIS I S NOT J UST A L OU NG E T hi s i s YU Lo unge
Y U : I t â€™s a l l a b o u t y o u !
This is a luxurious experience from the moment you touch down in Mauritius. This is a place where you do not have to wait endlessly for formalities and your luggage.This is your own private space where you can unwind, take advantage of our number of facilities including a shower suite, changing rooms and meeting rooms as well. This is our legendary local hospitality.
This is a Luxury Terminal that provides tailormade groundhandling services, including specialised services to accommodate VIP, diplomatic, cargo and medical evacuation flights. This is a lounge with the largest state of ar t hangar in the Indian Ocean, offering a set of dedicated services to both business jets and helicopter operations.
Mauritius | St Kitts
ALI EDBOWA « my mother’s dishes whenever I was homesick. I also owe my mastery of the art of cooking to Luigi Grosta, who took a chance on me when I was younger and personally took me under his wing. He taught me how to transform ordinary dishes into exquisite gourmet creations that are an expression of everything that is important to me, which is something I still use today at Mezlai. My motto is, ‘Feel and cook what you love, and let your eyes eat before the mouth’. With this in mind, Ali has combined centuries-old desert-style cooking with contemporary techniques and select ingredients from the surrounding seas, mountains, oases and deserts. “I am passionate about putting my twist on traditional recipes, and translating ‘simple’ dishes that originate from
the desert into gourmet creations consistent with the luxury image that the Emirates Palace epitomises. I try to offer experiences that evoke an emotional connection with Emirati cuisine and culture.” The menu at Mezlai successfully channels the spirit of the region and features decadent updates on Arabian staples such as aromatic za’atar, camel, lamb Madfoun, and sweet honey dates, as well as the typical Middle Eastern flavours of saffron, rosewater, and wild oregano. Using the finest offerings of the land, the restaurant also prides itself on using exclusively Emirati products. “I try to source as many of the products as locally and organic as possible. As I’m from the UAE, I don’t tend to trust products that come from outside the country. At home and in my restaurant, you will always find honey, »
LEFT The light and airy restaurant interior at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. RIGHT Shebab with craft cheese.
RIGHT Lamb Makbous.
“At home and in my restaurant, you will always find honey, Arabic spices and ‘nichen’ – a name I have coined for my secret ingredient”
« Arabic spices and ‘nichen’ – a name I have coined for my secret ingredient.” Ali is paving the way for Emirati cuisine, and is putting traditional cooking back on the map. No stopover in Abu Dhabi is now complete without sampling the local flavours and authentic culture of the region at Mezlai. Mezlai is giving modern-day Emirati cuisine an international stage so that the traditions of the past can continue long into the future. “I built Mezlai – my ‘baby’ – from scratch, and it is what it is today because of the passion that my team and I have poured into presenting the very best in Emirati cuisine and creating gastronomic experiences that our guests desire. I have an amazing team that share my commitment and desire to spread the word about Emirati cuisine and preserve its authenticity.
Experience true luxury boutique hotel Le Grill Restaurant BBQ dinner in the Garden Perfect spot for special occasion and celebration Brand new SPA City centre location www.grandmark.cz Tel.: +420 226 226 126
EXTRAVAGANT ENTERTAINMENT IN HK The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong raises global benchmark for hospitality with its new ‘Entertainment Suite’
he Landmark Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong’s newest Entertainment Suite, designed by award-winning Hong Kong architect and designer, Joyce Wang, offers a versatile space of 210m2, ideal for extravagant entertaining whether that be a wedding proposal, baby shower, romantic honeymoon or memorable anniversary holiday. At the heart of the suite is a salon with 4-metre long ‘Cabinet of Delights’, where guests can find boutique wines on tap, rare vintages and a mixologist ‘booth’. Other treats include snacks, a popcorn machine, and sweet and savoury delicacies created by the hotel’s Michelinstar chef. In the living area, audiovisuals include a B&O BeoLab sound system, a concealed 4m x 3.5m cinema screen, latest virtual reality and Play Station gaming equipment. Guests can engage hotel chefs to prepare private dining from a state-of-the-art kitchen, to be served in the stylish dining room that can seat up to 10 diners. For the perfect night’s sleep, the master bedroom showcases the renowned FreshBed sleep system that uses patented climate-control technology for tailored temperatures, and silent ventilation for purified, allergen-free air, combined with an ergonomic mattress. 80
The suite connects seamlessly with an adjacent guestroom should an additional bedroom be required. Intimate, contemporary and ideally placed in the vortex of Hong Kong’s financial and luxury shopping districts, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental is the best starting point to experience the vibrancy of the city including fine dining and signature local restaurants, art galleries, historical landmarks and exciting sight-seeing spots. In the hotel, Chef Richard Ekkebus helms the kitchen at two Michelin-starred Amber restaurant and world renowned musical talents play in the unparalleled exclusivity of MO Bar. PDT is the newest must-visit for cocktail lovers. Recharge and relax at The Oriental Spa with rejuvenating Yoga and Pilates plus the pure pleasures of facials and award winning Signature Treatments.
Reservations can be made by phone: +852 2132 0088, email: lmhkg-reservations@ mohg.com or visiting our website where a virtual tour of the Suite is available: mandarinoriental.com/landmark
IMAGE Â© DAINTREE ECO LODGE & SPA
Travel & Property
Wellness Wonder FOUR travels around the globe to find some of the worldâ€™s best wellness retreats.
2 The InterContinental Riyadh S AU D I A R A B I A
1 Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa AU S T R A L I A
Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa, situated deep in the heart of the magnificent Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia, offers sustainable luxury in a breathtaking location. The tropical retreat is the only boutique accommodation in the World Heritagelisted Daintree Rainforest, boasting 15 eco-friendly bayans in an awe-inspiring setting, which will revitalise all of your senses. Wake up to the sound of birds in the canopy above, take in the majesty of the tall bull kauri trees and discover the lodge’s private, pristine rainforest. Escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life to rejuvenate your body, soul and mind in a breathtaking landscape where time appears to have stood still. Created with the belief that people have their most memorable experiences when they are close to nature, this unique tropical retreat will to change your perspective of the world. Here, sustainability is not just a word that is spread around guests for brownie points; it is a concept that is at the core of the business. The Daintree interpretation of being a sustainable business is one that generates a sustainable profit while benefiting the community and the environment. This includes actively managing environmental, social and economic risks by mitigating negative impacts from operations. Their mission is to provide an environment that allows every guest to have an experience they will never forget. A commitment to the environment does not mean living without comfort, or without enjoying outstanding food and wine in a tropical ambience. Some of the activities undertaken to lighten their footprint include: partnering with Rainforest Rescue to plant 2,500 trees in the Daintree Rainforest; solar panels installed to offset the use of grid-connected energy use; self-sufficient in water usage via rainwater catchment; eco or fair trade accreditation for all amenities and guest toiletries; and general energy-efficiency measures including minimal electrical appliances in rooms (air conditioning is available in the rooms upon request). daintree-ecolodge.com.au PREVIOUS PAGE Aerial view of The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat. LEFT Hidden in the canopies of Queensland’s Daintree Rainforest is the Daintree Eco Lodge & Spa. RIGHT The InterContinental Riyadh is a peaceful sanctuary away in the heart of the city.
Located just five minutes from the city’s exciting, highrise business and shopping district, The InterContinental Riyadh hotel is luxury fitness personified. Here, you find yourself in a haven away from the bustling city where you can practice your golf swing on the exclusive nine-hole course, have a round of tennis, and then cool off in one of two large pools, or you can relax by strolling the hotel’s 40 hectares of exotic landscaped grounds. At the The InterContinental Riyadh you can experience true Saudi hospitality at their various food and beverage offerings. Al Bustan, the Arab-inspired modern all-day dining restaurant, serves a range of local and international dishes, which are all prepared in front of your very eyes from the open kitchen. Sitting in the center of the lobby, Addiwan lounge brings to you an exquisite selection of tea that will delegate your senses, extraordinary European and Asian tea verity will define the meaning to the taste of tea, combine that with light delicacies Addiwan lounge will always be your go to spot for your tendencies. Perfect for casual meetings and social get-togethers, Al Nakheel cafe brings together exquisite delicates, and relaxing atmosphere. The open terrace surrounded with our beautiful garden will make Al Nakheel café the main place for your gatherings. Located within the grounds of Riyadh’s most private location is Palms Golf Club café, offering visitors the opportunity to relax and enjoy fantastic snacks, and a wide selection of beverages while being mesmerized by the stunning view of their 9-hole golf course. Taste the land and ocean at Mondo, the InterContinental Riyadh’s fine dining restaurant. Offering poolside dining and dishes that combine exotic flavours from around the world, the memories of Mondo will last forever. ihg.com/intercontinental
YOUR MEETING IS JUST THE BEGINNING.
N E W YORK L ON DON PARIS
R I YA D H
Beyond luxurious places to suit any gathering, our team provides a seamless service from start to finish and the know-how to make every meeting or event a success. In addition, our Insider Collection offers a range of delegate experiences, which reflect the unique character of each destination. For bookings & information please call 00966114655000 or visit www.intercontinental.com/riyadh
Live the InterContinental life.
DOHA DU B AI B AN GKOK KU AL A L U MPU R SIN GAPORE SHAN GHAI SYDN E Y
3 Shamwari Game Reserve SOUTH AFRICA
Shamwari, meaning ‘my friend’ in the Shona language of Zimbabwe, is the pinnacle of private game reserves. Home to the coveted ‘big five’ and stretching 25,000 hectares over a malaria-free landscape, it offers an award-winning nature experience and is one of the largest private conservation initiatives in Southern Africa. Shamwari is a place where guests can exist in harmony with nature, however fleeting the moment; where freeroaming wildlife traipse the landscape under the relentless African sun. Shamwari incorporates six lodges, each one unique and each with its own essence. Lodges are designed in harmony with their surroundings, where guests can experience nature in sublime comfort. Eagles Crag Lodge is tucked away and surrounded by imposing mountain cliffs, expressing an elegant ambience amid nature’s beauty. Exclusive suites fashioned in glass and stone offer guests expansive views of the surrounding rock faces where the eagles soar. Bayethe Tented Lodge takes its name from the word pronounced ‘by-ye-ti’, meaning ‘I salute you’; the warm African greeting is carried on the fresh valley wind at this tented paradise. The rich vegetation, providing privacy and a feeling of seclusion, shrouds the refined tents of this lodge. Long Lee Manor is a gracious Edwardian-style manor house echoing traditions of the past in colonial-style accommodation, manicured gardens, pools and ponds, terraces and verandas – all overlooking the magnificent plains teaming with wildlife. Riverdene Family Lodge has a welcoming ease and warmth, and is a place where families are always at home. Guests can engage in the Kids on Safari programme, visiting the Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation and Born Free centres. Sarili Lodge is named after a supreme Xhosa chief and offers contemporary comforts perched above the Bushman’s River, overlooking the grassy plains of ancient Africa. This environmentally friendly lodge provides the perfect combination between a colonial and bush experience. Lobengula Lodge is a beautiful and tranquil space tucked away in the depths of the valley bushveld. And the Villa itself mirrors a traditional African kraal enclosed by breathtaking views. shamwari.com
BELOW, LEFT Lobengula Lodge’s entrance hall with its contemporary rustic design. LEFT Surrounded by lush rainforest, The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat is the epitome of discreet luxury. BELOW The serene courtyard pond ensures for a tranquil stay at The Banjaran Retreat.
4 The Banjaran Hotsprings Retreat M A L AY S I A
Described as Malaysia’s first luxury natural hot springs wellness retreat, at The Banjaran guests are invited to abandon all worldly concerns and stresses of life. Surrounded by natural hot springs and a stunning landscape, it’s possible to surrender to absolute serenity and harmony. Located in a 22.7-acre valley in the Ipoh region of Malaysia, The Banjaran is cradled by 260 million-year old towering Paleozoic limestone hills, verdant rainforest, rejuvenating geothermal hot springs, natural caves and cascading waterfalls. With 45 villas to choose from, including; Garden, Lake and Water villas, a pampering Spa and Wellness Centre, plus an array of retreat experiences, The Banjaran allows for a complete relaxation in the most secluded and blissful environment. A dip in the Geothermal Hot Springs pools, or a trip to the Meditation Cave is sure to restore and replenish mind, body and soul, but for those looking to explore the natural surroundings of the retreat, there are also many activities available. Perhaps a hike up the near-vertical limestone hills takes your fancy, or just a relaxing stroll through the jungle is more your bag. Either way, all your outdoor whims are catered for in this immersive retreat. A getaway to The Banjaran Hot Springs retreat is the ultimate for any discerning traveller, who requires utmost seclusion and discretion. Not only are the villas surrounded by natural walls - allowing for privacy and a sense of intimacy - but to remain in keeping with the exclusivity and ideals of The Banjaran, the resort only accepts adults and guests 12 years of age and above. The Banjaran hot spring retreat is a chance to regain balance and rediscover your sense of true self. It’s a unique hideaway designed to luxuriate in, with therapeutic value in mind. This sanctuary of bespoke holistic wellness in the northern state of Perak, can be reached by car in only 15 minutes from Ipoh city, and 2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. thebanjaran.com
PRIVATE LIKE A VILLA. FULLY STAFFED LIKE A LUXURY RESORT.
ANGUILLA | DOMINICAN REPUBLIC | SRI LANKA | THAILAND
ÀNI VILLAS SRI LANKA An all-inclusive beachfront private resort
You won’t know you are nearing Àni Villas Sri Lanka until you have arrived and get greeted by a cluster of staff members offering you cold towel and refreshing iced tea. Set against a backdrop of lush, low-mountain forest, with infinite view of the Indian Ocean and gentle on-shore breeze, the 15-suite all-inclusive private resort offers complete seclusion in a breathtaking surrounding. The property feels like a destination in itself. Reflecting the refined qualities of an elegant island home, Àni Villas Sri Lanka offers generous living areas for families and friends, easily accommodating up to 30 guests, making it a perfect place for theme celebrations. The estate is split into two villas - the eight-bedroom Villa Monara and the seven-bedroom Villa Divia - both are ideal for hosting private groups and can be booked separately or has a whole. Designed for luxurious comfort and appointed with modern conveniences, the villas include a personal general manager and dedicated butlers who quietly attends to your every wish 24 hours a day, ready to create memories to last a lifetime. At the heart of each villa features an open-wall living area, a dining pavilion, a library, a game room, an infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean and a Kid’s pool equipped with a waterslide. And if the facilities don’t convince you, the complimentary amenities
will: high-speed internet throughout the property, unlimited movies and music streaming, all day snack and cocktail service, cooking class, fitness trainer, yoga class, laundry…it’s all yours. The best of all yet, might be the dining options. There is no menu in Àni Villas and no need for one. Your private chef is fluent in Asian and Western cuisine , will surprise you with is Arabic dishes and can prepare anything you ask for; while your private butler will craft unique experience for each and every meal: from casual lunch on the outdoor terrace overlooking the ocean, to barbeque on the beach, candle light dinner in the pool, and gourmet picnic in the tea estate, nothing will be spare. But should you wish to retire from the group, you can always unwind in your secluded suite rooms offering ocean-view windows, a private balcony with plunge pool and day beds, a spacious bathroom made up of outdoor and indoor showers, double vanities, and neck-deep soaking tubs. The property offers a relaxing setting in which to do absolutely nothing - but there’s also plenty of something: waterslides for kids (and kids at heart), daily kid’s activities, complimentary massage treatments, sunset shuffleboard matches, and a tennis court staffed by a resident coach. For guests in search of more, Àni Villas offers wildlife safari in the nearby national parks, whale watching in the Bay of Bengal, and day trip to the nearby tea estate and UNESCO city of Galle Fort. Many guests, however, will understandably opt not to leave the sanctity of their surroundings.
Escape to the city Sophie Ritchie shares how to spend a luxuriously delicious weekend in the British capital, from designer afternoon tea and enchanting cocktails to bespoke Michelin-starred dinners served in your very own hotel suite. WHERE TO STAY
The Principal London For something suave and sleek, the newly reopened – and highly talked about – Principal London is the ideal destination. It embodies regality: there’s even four life-size statues of British queens to greet you at the entrance. Overlooking Bloomsbury’s Russell Square and clad in thé-au-lait terracotta, this gorgeous building was originally designed by Charles Fitzroy Doll in 1898. Now boasting 334 bedrooms, including the impressive two-bedroom Principal suite with sweeping views of Russell Square, it’s the perfect mix of classic British heritage and cool, contemporary features. Enjoy elegant luxury in the form of custom-made beds and furniture, plus ceramic and marble bathrooms for bubble baths in swish surroundings. Rooms are glamorous and full of grandeur – plus plenty of little details that add to the experience. The in-room amenities include Ruark Audio music systems, The Perfumer’s Story by Azzi toiletries and specially commissioned artwork for an added eyeful. Even better, there’s plenty to sink your teeth into. Fitz’s cocktail bar – aptly named after Fitzroy Doll – is decked in sumptuous fabric and dark wood panelling, while also paying homage to tradition with original features such as a large fireplace paired with a striking stained-glass window. Oyster aficionados can delight at Neptune, an all-day dining restaurant that offers enough oysters, caviar and seafood to fill half an ocean. phcompany.com/principal/london-hotel
OPPOSITE Quintessential British architecture of The Principle hotel. BELOW Deluxe Double room at The Principle London. ABOVE Fitz’s Bar at The Principal is the perfect hideaway from the busy city.
The Berkeley Alternatively, for something fashionable and only a few short steps away from some of London’s serious shopping destinations, book a room at The Berkeley hotel. Nestled in Knightsbridge, this award-winning property is all about comfort in the most chic of surroundings. Statement spaces here have been designed by an impressive range of architects – from André Fu and David Collins to Helen Green and John Heah. Art is embodied everywhere throughout – from the striking wood panelled walls to the Prêt-à-Portea afternoon tea. A stay here is like stepping back into the roaring hedonism of the 1920s – there’s a sense of fabulous frivolity. The rooms however, are less flamboyant and emulate subtleness with classic styling and muted colours – think pewter grey and royal blue. If you’re after serious opulence, book the Grand Pavilion Suite. Designed by the interior architect André Fu, this spacious penthouse-style suite is almost entirely enveloped in glass, creating a beautifully lit space to enjoy that comes complete with your own private terrace for city-skyline gazing (with a glass of bubbles in hand, of course). Wool-covered chaise lounges, marble coffee tables and suave leather-accented furniture – now this is how to relax. Plus, if you’re peckish, Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing can even whip up a private feast for up to eight. the-berkeley.co.uk 91
WHERE TO DINE
Sexy Fish A swish Asian seafood and sushi restaurant located in Berkeley Square, Sexy Fish’s interiors are almost as droolworthy as the food. Pop downstairs to see the floor to ceilings aquariums or look up to marvel at a coral-inspired ceiling created by Michael Roberts. The menu, a drool-worthy affair designed by head chef Bjoern Weissgerber, is filled with Asian influences: devour everything from delicate octopus carpaccio to meaty, meltin-the-mouth Japanese wagyu. Sushi fans are in luck – there’s a huge variety with everything from yellowtail sashimi to a more decadent smoked eel and foie gras maki roll. Must-tries include the glazed pork belly skewer and a sumptuous miso-glazed Chilean sea bass with just the right amount of kick. For the dessert fans, raise a fork for the smooth and luxuriant peanut-butter parfait – although the cherry-cheesecakeripple ice-cream makes a pretty good competitor. sexyfish.com
ABOVE Contemporary design and exquisite seafood at Sexy Fish. BELOW Tataki yellowfin tuna at Sexy Fish. RIGHT The dining room at Aquavit.
Aquavit With sleek Scandi design and a range of signature Nordic dishes, the newly Michelin-starred Aquavit is not only trendy but tastebud-tantalising, too. Positioned within St James’s Market, dining here is all about paying homepage to high-quality ingredients with a Nordic-inspired edge. Aquavit’s take on authentic Nordic cuisine with a contemporary twist honours high-quality, fresh, seasonal ingredients. The almost brasserie-like interiors are the work of Martin Brudnizki’s design studio, a sleek space with striking wall-mounted textiles, marble floors and gleaming furnishings. It’s informal and buzzy, making it ideal for a casual lunch. With executive chef Henrik Ritzén at the helm, the modern-day menu is filled with contemporary takes on Nordic seafood and meat classics. Savour everything from duck breast with liquorice, carrots and hazelnuts to the musttry Swedish meatballs, lingonberries and pickled cucumber. Dishes here are beautifully presented, garnished with edible flowers and other pretty details. It’s cool, contemporary and, most of all, a culinary hit. aquavitrestaurants.com Beck at Brown’s Michelin-starred chef Heinz Beck has returned to London with his highly anticipated new restaurant, Beck at Brown’s. Find it in the renowned Brown’s hotel with interiors revamped by Olga Polizzi. With a new casual-dining menu of classic Italian dishes, reinvented using the finest seasonal British ingredients, the plates here are light and luscious. You’ll feel like you’ve been on a road trip through Italy while dining, biting into the flavours of Tuscany and the
TRAVEL Amalfi Coast alike through the range of hearty dishes and interesting cooking techniques. Don’t miss out on the dressed crab to start while the risotto with aged parmesan, artichokes and olive oil could have you believing you were dining for the day in a Milanese kitchen. roccofortehotels.com WHERE TO DRINK
Aviary For fans of chic dining decor, Aviary, the restaurant located on the 10th floor of The Montcalm Hotel makes an ideal summer pitstop. Think plenty of modern-day moments – it’s trendy yet retains a clear elegance at the same time. Walls are lined with mirrors, and large glass circular ceiling lights that wouldn’t look out of place in an archaic railway station hang from the ceiling. Expect opulent pops of colour throughout – bright orange, jade green and silky purples fleck the room. Despite the hedonistic decor, this is a laid-back weekend spot with great service. Staff are attentive and the menu’s firmly committed to backing all things British – Aviary prides itself on sourcing from smallscale British livestock farmers using only the best of the UK’s heritage breeds. The cocktails are undeniably glorious – but it’s Aviary’s terrace view that steals the show. Usually teeming with guests who’ve flocked to gaze at the skyline with champagne or a cocktail in hand, it’s not hard to see why when London’s laid out before you. There’s one word for views like this – stunning. aviarylondon.com Oriole If you prefer your tipples in enchanting surroundings, make a beeline for Oriole. An oasis of mystery, magic and jungle-inspired interiors, this award-winning bar is ideal for escapism. With bright-blue leather seats, walls covered in leafy artwork and soft lighting, this intimate space comes complete with a range of cocktails inspired by ‘old world’ Europe and Africa.
BELOW Award-winning Oriole Bar. ABOVE Indulge your sweet tooth with chocolate expert Paul A Young.
Must-sips include the Kiruna with its hefty kick of Absolut Elyx vodka, honey-bread Aquavit and mulberry leaf-root cider, and you can’t leave London without a sip of the Cape of Good Hope (Plymouth Gin, white port, buchu infusion and zesty grapefruit liqueur). oriolebar.com WHAT TO DO
Paul A Young’s Chocolate masterclass Put your sweet tooth to good use with an expert chocolate masterclass at Paul’s. Learn how to hand-craft your very own chocolates – from truffles to marble slab tempering. Even better, you’ll get to devour the lot afterwards. Book well in advance to avoid missing out. paulayoung.co.uk Afternoon tea at Rosewood London No visit to London could be complete without a little quintessential afternoon tea. The Rosewood’s is one of the best: dig into picture-perfect cakes, finger sandwiches and assorted scones that have all been inspired by five famed modern artists. rosewoodhotels.com/en/london Picnic via Dukes Hotel Enjoy a relaxing picnic with Dukes Hotel’s mouthwatering experience. Served in the nearby Royal Parks, this fun activity comes complete with your own private butler and a hamper of traditional British fare. Ham hock and parsley terrine, anyone? dukeshotel.com 93
The island of cultural colours Penang Island is the ideal destination for every kind of hedonistic traveller, with its spectacular sceneries, a history like no other, world-renowned cuisine and culturally diverse capital city George Town, Sophie Cater writes
etween the calm blue Straits of Malacca and Penang’s cloud-topped inland mountains, the high rises and skyscrapers of George Town, Penang’s capital city, interject grand, colonial buildings, ornate mosques, temples and clan houses. Since UNESCO deemed George Town a World Heritage Site in 2008, the island has been rising as a cultural metropolis, with a polished foodie scene, rich culture and superb architecture. Standing at the crossroads of Asia’s major civilisations, Penang is a multicultural haven with a complex history. Under Britain’s colonial rule from 1786 to 1957, the island became an immigration hub with people coming from mainland Malaysia, China, India and Europe. Today, the island stands as a centre of trade and a hedonistic magnet for national and international visitors. While visiting George Town, the coast-front Eastern & Oriental Hotel (E&O) is a perfect resting point. The hotel captures Penang’s diverse heritage and cosmopolitan future, with its colonial architecture that dates back to 1884 and modern luxury amenities. The suites, which either give onto the city or the Strait of Malacca, are spacious with large beds, balconies, stand-alone baths, waterfall showers and round-the-clock butler service. However, if you fancy a more city-centre stay, the heritage boutique Seven Terraces hotel or the modern and stylish G Hotel Kelawai are ideal. Boasting 18 suites with bespoke décor, the beauty of Seven Terraces lies in the details. Once a row of seven 19th-century Anglo-Chinese terraces, the hotel’s gilded doors, open-air granite courtyard and tessellated walkways are a wink to traditional Chinese design. Contrastingly, G Hotel reflects the modern architecture and design that is prevailing in Penang. The exterior boasts a rainbow-coloured LED façade, while the interior’s chic décor combines bespoke
OPPOSITE The spectacular views over Penang give onto mainland Malaysia. ABOVE Eastern and Oriental Hotel embodies Penang’s colonial history and modern elegance. BELOW G Hotel’s rooftop infinity pool, immersed in the island’s nature.
furniture with contemporary architecture. The choice of 208 rooms range from Deluxe rooms to Premier Suites, all of which have unique features and fantastic views. Embarking on the first of a never-ending amount of meals in Penang, I headed to E&O’s Sarkies buffet. “We Malaysians like to eat. We are never full,” my tour guide from Discovery Overland Holidays tells me with an expectant smile. What began as a small post-flight bite quickly escalates into an hour-long culinary delight: this became the underlying story of the trip. With a loosened belt, I pressed on into George Town’s World Heritage Site. From E&O, I wandered around the waterfront and into the capital’s fascinating historical centre. Heading east along the coast became a where’s where of the Penang’s colonial history, passing the whitewashed grandiose Town and City Halls, the Fort Cornwallis, the Queen Victoria »
« Memorial Clock Tower—tilted as a consequence of bombing in WWII—and the Boustead and German merchant houses. Weaving through the city’s perma-traffic jam, the Clan Jetties emerged. Dominated by the most populated Chew Jetty, buzzing with over 200 families and 70 houses, food and bric-a-brac stalls, tourists and traders, each Jetty is occupied by the descendants of Chinese settlers who separated their communities according to their surnames. Today, the property prices are rising at a huge rate because of the jetties’ great city-centre location. Heading away from the sea and into the charming maze of George Town’s heritage streets, an array of multi-cultural sites pop up at every turn, from St. George’s Church, the first Anglican Church in Southeast Asia, to beautifully adorned mosques and temples, and ancient homes like The Blue Mansion, also known as the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion. Despite the locals wearing their pride for their traditional culture on their sleeves, old buildings are adorned with beautiful graffiti, trendy cafés like The Alley boast western coffees, artsy magazines and quick wi-fi. Modern features pepper the heritage city. With food forever on my mind, I am offered good news: locals deem five meals a day the norm. It’s no wonder the
ABOVE St George’s Church (left) stands at the entrance of George Town’s heritage streets and the Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower (right) was built in 1897 to celebrate her Golden Jubilee. RIGHT The scents from Penang’s street markets’ diverse cuisine: from Thai to Indian and Chinese flavours. BELOW Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion shows off why it’s also known as The Blue Mansion.
island has been said to have the finest street food in Asia. George Town is flooded with food stalls that line nearly every street. The steam from Penang assam laksa billows above a crowd’s head, hungry locals crouch on stalls next to the quickest noodle-maker in the city, the smell of nasi kandar curries lingers on a street corner, a food hall buzzes with busy locals and waiters carrying platters of fresh seafood. And I salivate, slurp and chomp with each and every one of them. With Penang’s vibrant mix of cultures, the local cuisine is hard to unify under one umbrella. It is an eclectic mix of Thai, Indian and Chinese flavours, which, when combined offers nyonya cuisine. In the mornings, from 6-10am, Chowrasta Market (also called the Wet Market), which dates back to the 1800s, displays fresh produce, traditional sweets and goods in the market building and the surrounding roads. Bustling with locals and tourists, it’s recommended to arrive early and eat breakfast with the locals, including laksa, soft-boiled eggs (which aren’t boiled, instead rather raw and gloopy) and a rocketfuel strong coffee. During the day, George Town’s China Town and Little India dominate the areas around Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Stewart, Lebuh Campbell and Market Street »
« in the heart of the city. They stand firm to George Town’s reputation as the most diverse city in Malaysia, and offer a spectacular array of food at low prices. Evenings call for more refined dining, with the options of traditional cuisine or contemporary food. Perut Rumah restaurant, which is adorned with authentic decoration, is well known for its nyonya dishes like kari kapitan chicken curry, jiu hu char vegetable lettuce rolls, or gandum sweet wheat porridge. Alternatively, if you are looking for something more contemporary and chic, head to Seven Terraces’ restaurant, Kebaya, where classic Indo-Chinese dishes are executed with contemporary technique. Or the Macalister Mansion’s Dining Room presents French cuisine with artful execution and modern finesse, and a wonderful bar where you can enjoy more than 300 wines. The G Hotel Kelawai’s rooftop bar, Gravity, offers more of a trendy scene with a spectacular view over the city and a range of cocktails. With such a dynamic and exciting foodie scene, it’s no wonder Penang’s cuisine is gaining exceptional momentum around the world. Although George Town’s historical potency and hedonistic lifestyle offers a wonderful getaway, the island’s less-populated areas are not to be missed. Penang Hill, for example can be visited for the day from Georgetown. Head up the 833m-high hill by funicular (be warned: the hill is steep and sometimes the ride looks a little hairy, but rest assured, the entire system was renovated in 2010 and is quite fun!). Once you reach the top, you’ll have the opportunity to wander around the hilltop and enjoy the beautiful panorama over the city and the Straits, or to take
ABOVE Batu Ferringhi’s palm tree-lined beach offers watersports and the calm, warm waters. BELOW The funicular up to Penang Hill is hair-raisingly steep at points.
As Penang’s sun sets dramatically, Batu Ferringhi’s market rises and becomes alive with knock-off goods, and the beach bars begin their enthusiastic revering of very loud pop music. As Penang’s second most popular tourist destination, you may have to travel a little further afield (and get your camping hat on) to reach the secluded paradise you may be after. Time permitting, head north to Penang’s National Park where, at just an hour and a half guided hike through the jungle or a boat ride away, a secluded beach called Pantai Kerachut is home to a turtle sanctuary. While exploring the national park, keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful and diverse wildlife, including monkeys, dolphins, eagles, wild cats and lizards. Alternatively, head to Penang’s west coast to the beautiful beaches and small fishing communities. Or indulge in the island’s lush Botanic Gardens, butterfly farm, or its huge, well-kempt golf courses. Penang is certainly on a tourism roll, and you should jump on board before it rolls out of control! BLACK BOOK Malaysia Airlines malaysiaairlines.com E&O e-o-hotel.com Seven Terraces seventerraces.com G Hotel Kelawai ghotel.com.my Lonepine Hotel lonepinehotel.com Tropical Spice Gardens tropicalspicegarden.com
a nature tour through the dense and wildlife-rich jungle. With the swelteringly dynamic activities over, catch a private yacht from E&O’s jetty to the island’s popular beachside resort at Batu Ferringhi. Lone Pine Hotel offers a perfect stay with five-star rooms, a wonderful restaurant and a private pool. With a long stretch of soft, white sand, enjoy some water sports or beach walks. The Tropical Spice Garden—just a 10-minute drive away—is worth visiting to learn about how the locals use regional ingredients in their cuisine and medicine. Top it off with a cooking course where you will be taught to create the local dishes you have been indulging in. 98
IMAGES © PENANG VIEW, THE JUBILEE CLOCK TOWER, ST GEORGE CHURCH: SHUTTERSTOCK; STREET MARKET: GWOEII/SHUTTERSTOCK; BATU FERRINGHI BEACH: TUPUNGATO/SHUTTERSTOCK; EASTERN & ORIENTAL: EASTERN & ORIENTAL HOTEL, PENANG; G HOTEL: G HOTEL; CHEONG FATT TZE MANSION: CHEONG FATT TZE MANSION; DUSKY LEAF MONKEY: SPOCE GARDEN.
INTO THE WILD Sir Bani Yas Island, an island located southwest of Abu Dhabi is the largest natural island of the United Arab Emirates. Home to Arabia’s largest wildlife reserve, forty-two phenomenal historical sites, as well as three unique resorts managed by the Thai hospitality group Anantara, Sir Bani Yas Island offers a very unique experience in the United Arab Emirates.
bout 170 km outside of Abu Dhabi is where you will find the Emirati’s most treasured island, Sir Bani Yas. Located on the 87 sq. km island, Anantara manages three resorts where guests can indulge their senses in a natural environment with distinct experiences to fulfill their preferences. The family friendly Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara is decked out in state-of-the-art amenities, and styled with eye-catching Arabian touches and antiquities echoing the UAE’s culture and history. Anantara Al Yamm Villa Resort is located on the Eastern beach of the island and is reminiscent of an ancient pearl fishing village with contemporary style. Finally, Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort is nestled within the Arabian Wildlife Park with an African lodge-like ambience. In 1971, the late ruler and founder of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, established Sir Bani Yas Island as a Royal Nature Reserve. Aiming to ensure the survival of Arabia’s endangered species, he developed a conservation program that focuses on the breeding and relocation of these species. Successfully putting Sheikh Zayed’s vision into practice until today, Sir Bani Yas Island is now home to over 15,000 animals from 30 different species, many of which the International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies as critically endangered, including Sea Turtles, Sand Gazelles, Blackbuck Antelope, Urial Sheep, Barbary Sheep and the Arabian Oryx. Sir Bani 100
ABOVE, LEFT Anantara Al Sahel Villa Resort. ABOVE, RIGHT Anantara Spa. BELOW Desert Islands Resort and Spa by Anantara.
Yas Island plays a significant role in protecting these animals for future generations. Aside from this, forty-two phenomenal archaeological sites have been discovered on Sir Bani Yas Island from when it was conquered by the “Bani Yas tribe”, providing a distinct insight into the island’s history. One of the oldest sites include the remains of a Nestorian Christian monastery, dating back to the late 6th Century AD. All sites can all be explored by guests with the help of resident expert guides at the Anatara resorts.
MODERN HERITAGE Marina Home, the luxury interiors store that has pioneered design across the Middle East for two decades, has recently launched Timothy Oulton’s latest 2018 Collection. Celebrating the romance of past eras and British heritage, Timothy Oulton’s latest 2018 Collection of furniture, lighting and home accessories is brought alive with a bold, modern energy.
arina Home has long been the household name across the Middle East, North Africa, and the Indian subcontinent for all interior and homeware desires. Created by three visionary brothers some twenty years ago, Marina Home is synonymous with quality, creativity and innovation. Each of their distinctive showrooms across 13 cities around the world is an eclectic destination of exploration and discovery. All products are inspired by the surrounding cultures Marina Homes represents and sourced from around the world. By continuously evolving and reinventing itself into its present personality, Marina Home has stayed relevant over the years. The latest move to fuse their years of
ABOVE A selection of the 2018 collection.
expertise with quality design has led to one of the best partnerships yet – Timothy Oulton. Founder and Creative Director Timothy Oulton, is known in the design world for his creative use of natural materials to develop high-quality home wares. Using traditional handcraftsmanship and production techniques, the brand had created a unique and distinctive style that appeals to the discerning buyer of luxury furniture. First launched globally in 2008, the Timothy Oulton brand has been pushing the boundaries of furniture design ever since. Likewise, blending a modern classic style with chic contemporary designs and a rustic edge, ties in seamlessly with the whole design philosophy of Marina Home. Both brands share a flair for combining 101
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rugged modernity with sleek innovation, ensuring that the new collection at Marina Home epitomizes a new realm of design coexistence, sheer indulgence and individuality. The new 2018 collection from Timothy Oulton includes the pioneering use of rock crystal. This colourless, pure, and rare form of quartz becomes almost supernatural in appearance and can only be sourced from the Earth’s crust. With the help of an expert craftsman, every piece of rock crystal in the collection has been hand-selected, cut and polished using only simple tools and traditional methods. Extending throughout the collection is the overriding theme of bespoke handcraftsmanship. Time-honoured techniques such as hand carving, traditional joinery and hand tufting are celebrated in every detail of the new designs. Even the pure materials like century-old reclaimed 102
timber from English mills and distilleries, or aniline leather hides from South America, have been meticulously sourced from across the globe. Timothy Oulton’s unique designs exude the perfect balance of tradition and modernity, inspired by the past but relevant for today.
Discover Timothy Oulton’s timeless collections at the Marina Home showroom Al Barsha, in the cosmopolitan emirate of Dubai. Showcasing unique and distinctive furniture designs handcrafted from the world’s purest materials, the new Timothy Oulton collection is a real feast for the senses: a relaxed yet sophisticated aesthetic in a space packed with drama and intrigue.
ABOVE, LEFT Classic Westminster Sofa and Mimi Leather chairs assortment. ABOVE, RIGHT Flex floor lamp and Aviator Tomcat chair. RIGHT Rock Crystal Rain Drop Chandelier.
DRAWN TO DESIGN Guy Oliver, the interior design star behind Mayfair haunts such as The Connaught and Claridges, talks about the evolution of design in his exclusive new column for FOUR. WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? “I am Scots-Irish by descent. We lived over the place, my parents moved a lot with my father’s job. Throughout the constant moving about, there was family that we often visited in Aberdeenshire. As a boy I loved the landscape there, and always thought of it as home.” HOW DID YOU GET INTO YOUR LINE OF WORK? “From a young age I was drawn to and loved design and the decorative arts, but it wasn’t an obvious career path for someone who had attended my school, which could probably best be described a ‘bear pit’. “I applied to join the Royal Navy as an officer cadet when I was 16; I won a university scholarship and went to Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, and after a year there and at sea went on to Edinburgh University, where I studied in the Faculty of Arts. I took courses in History of Art and Architecture, and the History of Design, and when I was at sea in the holiday periods I was lucky enough to visit the most amazing places. I would read Country Life and The World of Interiors when everyone else was reading Jane’s Defence Weekly. There was an article about a retired designer called Michael Player and his home, which was near my family in Scotland. I wrote to him to ask how I could get into the profession. We met, and after a long interview he wrote to two designers on my behalf. I later ended up training with them both.”
BELOW Guy Oliver with a Sophie Dickens sculpture.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR DESIGN PHILOSOPHY? “Appropriateness, comfort, quality.” WHERE DO YOU GET INSPIRATION FOR THE DESIGNS YOU CREATE? “I travel a lot, I read and watch films, and I dream in 3D. The way that I see design and design solutions is constantly evolving through the prism of my experiences. To me, design is like directing a film in my mind, which can be manifested into physical reality.” CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT MORE ABOUT YOUR DESIGNS IN GENERAL? “I have had long working relationships with a number of private families and properties. There are also more visible projects and these are often the most challenging, but equally they can be the most rewarding. “Fera, the restaurant at Claridge’s, was created at breakneck speed and yet every element was bespoke: I worked night and day for six months to finish it and I love the place. Also, the yacht Malahne, which took three years to restore, was a combination of my love of the sea and my love of design. It will always have a special place in my heart.” CAN YOU EXPLAIN A BIT ABOUT THE BACKGROUND OF YOUR MOST RECENT PROJECT? “There are a number, but the most visible is the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin. The owner is a regular guest at The Connaught in London, where I led the redesign and restoration. He invited me to work on his property, and by degrees we are reestablishing the place as the lead hotel in the city. The Shelbourne is special because its history is central to modern Irish identity and culture, and to Dublin society. This is where the Irish Constitution was drafted in 1922.” HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO YOU THAT YOU SUPPORT LOCAL CRAFTSMEN IN YOUR INTERIOR DESIGN PROJECTS? “This is of paramount importance, but for me, ‘local’ can mean at a county, national, European or global level. True luxury is bespoke. The French say ‘sur mesure’ – literally ‘made to measure’. You can really only achieve this with the best artists and artisans, and their work may not be immediately obvious to the casual observer. There aren’t necessarily any labels.” FAVOURITE INTERIOR YOU WISH YOU HAD DESIGNED? The Alcázar or The Alhambra palace.
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MAS Paints & Chemical Industries, Sharjah, UAE T: +971 6531 1777 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.mas-paints.com
CITY BREAK ESCAPES As the CEO and founder of Beautiful Destinations, Jeremy Jauncey is often on the road for both work and for leisure. Between his frequent stop-offs in various cities around the globe, Jeremy has hand-picked his top city breaks to discover in 2018. An afternoon at the gallery, followed by a strong coffee, is the perfect way to relax and be immersed in Jordanian culture. TALLINN, ESTONIA Estonia’s capital, Tallinn, is a beautiful city made up of cobbled streets and colourful buildings. It has a great arts scene and an eclectic mix of cool bars and restaurants. I especially love the Old Town, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site home to medieval churches and grandiose merchant houses, and Kalamaja, a former fishermen’s district now recognised as one of the city’s trendiest areas. This year, Estonia celebrates its 100th anniversary of independence, so Tallinn will be hosting events throughout the year in to mark the momentous occasion.
Cities are an important part of any destination. When we think of a country, it’s usually its most popular cities that spring to mind and paint a picture of the place in our heads. As CEO and Founder of Beautiful Destinations, I often find myself taking impromptu city breaks across the world. From spending long weekends in capitals to exploring lesser-known spots, I love the hustle and bustle of a city break and how they showcase the heart of a destination. Here are some of my favourite cities to explore: VALLETTA, MALTA The capital city of Malta, Valletta is this year’s European Capital of Culture, so there has never been a better time to visit. Valletta is small in size but packs a punch in terms of things to see and do. It’s easy to spend countless hours here, either by wandering through the narrow streets or simply enjoying a coffee at the Grand Harbour. I would definitely recommend visiting St John’s Co-Cathedral, arguably the most famous sight in Valletta; the interior is breathtaking. In the evenings I like to have a drink at somewhere such as Bridge Bar, a jazz club with a great vibe. AMMAN, JORDAN Amman is one of the most impressive cities I’ve visited. It has a unique contrast of old and new, from traditional souks to a buzzing metropolitan art scene. Many people don’t realise that Amman is only a five-and-a-half-hour flight away from London, so it is the ideal place to spend a long, leisurely weekend. One of my favourite places to visit in Amman is the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, which houses contemporary work of artists from all across the world. 106
ABOVE Aerial view of the historical city of Valletta, Malta. BELOW Night-time view along the Vltava river in Prague.
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA Slightly further afield for a city break, Johannesburg is only two hours ahead of London, so jet lag isn’t as bad as you may expect. Johannesburg is the vibrant heart of South Africa. There’s always something happening in the city, from weekend markets where the smell of food fills the air to late-night cocktail evenings at one of the many rooftop bars. Maboneng is the city’s up-and-coming, hipster-friendly neighbourhood, which has a cool, urban vibe. The nearby nature reserves are a must-visit to truly understand the diversity of this city. PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC No matter how many times I visit Prague, it is a city I will never tire of. Nicknamed ‘the city of a hundred spires’, the Gothic architecture is beautiful, and I can easily spend hours exploring its streets. My top tip for visiting Prague is to wake up early to walk along the Charles Bridge. That way, you can avoid the large crowds of people and take time to admire the views that stretch along the Vltava river.
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