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WHAT EVERY SPORTS SALOON WANTS TO BE WHEN IT GROWS UP.
THE NEW QUATTROPORTE. BY MASERATI. Introducing the new Maserati Quattroporte – a unique fusion of power, refinement and Italian design. Available with GranSport trim featuring an aerodynamic kit, sports seats, gearshift paddles, red brake callipers and 21” Titano Alloy wheels. www.maserati.co.uk Official fuel consumption figures for the New Maserati Quattroporte GTS in mpg (l/100km): Urban 18.1 (15.6), Extra Urban 35.8 (7.9), Combined 26.4 (10.7). CO2 emissions 250g/km. Fuel consumption and CO2 figures are based on standard EU tests for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results.
IN 19 3 4 , B R I TA N N IA D I D N ’ T J U ST RUL E T H E WAV E S
On October 22nd 1934, two exhausted airmen landed on a racecourse in Melbourne, surrounded by cheering crowds. Flying a specially-built De Havilland Comet DH-88, Charles Scott and Tom Campbell Black set a new record, flying the 11,000 miles from England in just 71 hours. The Bremont DH-88 commemorates their aircraft and their achievement. Containing actual material from the record-breaking plane, the Bremont DH-88 is available now in a strictly limited edition. But it won’t be available for long.
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EDITOR’S WORD M
Y NAME IS Mark Hedley. I’m 35. I have a wife, child and mortgage. And… oh god I have to say it now, don’t I? I like… The Fast and the Furious. There it is. I’ve admitted it. It’s such a relief to get that off my chest. (While I’m at it, I don’t like oh-so-trendy negronis – give me a margarita, any day. I find James Corden both talented and amusing – sorry, haters. And, you know what, Little Mix make great pop songs – I won’t hear a word against them.) Since the first installment, where Vin Diesel snarls the line, “It doesn’t matter whether you win by an inch or a mile, winning is winning,” I was hooked into the Furious chain. It’s the ultimate in brain-off, engine-on, NOS-injected guilty pleasures. Fortunately, I know I’m not alone. It has become the ninth largest grossing film franchise of all time, taking more than $3.8bn at the box office across its seven films. That’s more than the Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean or Jurassic Park franchises. Add to this tally the $1bn they expect to make from the new film and it will become bigger than Batman. Yes, there were a few atrocious films among the early sequels. But once The Rock joined the crew, it was back on track. It’s delightfully and unapologetically over the top. Much like Dwayne Johnson himself. As Johnson admits in our cover feature [p72], one of the most enjoyable things about filming Furious is that he gets to deliver lines like, “Daddy’s got to go to work”. This is a man who appreciates the humour in his work. (In contrast to co-star Vin Diesel, who genuinely thought Furious 7 deserved an Oscar.) Johnson is renowned for being one of the nicest guys in the business. That might be one of the reasons they don’t mind paying him so much: he took home around $64.5m in total last year, according to Forbes, making him Hollywood’s highest earner. It may also be because he doesn’t take himself too seriously. I mean, anyone who takes on the roll of David Hasselhoff in the remake of Baywatch understands that life is there to be lived. Oh no… Baywatch! I need to add that to the list, too, don’t I? ■
Mark Hedley, Editor, @mghedley
– Cath Tate Work Tends to Ruin Your Day is out now (Portico, £7.99)
@SQUAREMILE_COM SQUAREMILEUK SQUAREMILE_COM THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS
HANS SCHUMANN Hans Schumann has more than 20 years experience working in law and financial services in the City. The self-styled Masterful Living Coach is author of the book Falling in Love with your Job. This issue he asks if it’s time for you to consider leaving the City. [Turn to 027]
HANNAH SUMMERS Hannah is associate editor of Escapism, the UK’s largest travel magazine. She has won multiple awards for her writing, which often involves getting under the skin of different cultures. This issue, we gave her a slightly less-taxing assignment. [Turn to 086]
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HOLIDAYS ARE JUST LIKE WORK: YOU SPEND YOUR TIME HANGING AROUND WAITING FOR LUNCH
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JEREMY TAYLOR Jeremy Taylor is a features writer for the Financial Times, Sunday Times and Daily Telegraph, specialising in cars and bikes. This issue he travels to New Zealand for the road trip of a lifetime driving a McLaren across the North and South Islands. [Turn to 078]
LAURA MILLAR Laura Millar writes about travel and food – her two favourite things – for titles including Foodism, the Telegraph, and Stylist. As a result, she’s eaten some strange things in her time, in some very unusual places. We sent her off to Beijing to eat some more. [Turn to 109]
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EXPLORE THE PRINCESS LIFESTYLE. JOIN US AT THE LONDON ON WATER SHOW, ST KATHARINE DOCKS, 8-11 JUNE 2017. See Princess at London on Water 2017 and enjoy a private consultation with our team of experts. Let us design the ownership package for you; from total purchase through to syndicated shareholding we have the right expertise and aftercare capabilities to give you total yachting luxury. For more information about the show visit www.princess.co.uk/events or email us directly at email@example.com
RICKY WHITTLE 060
052 . BEAUTIFUL CHAOS
From Slipknot to Slash, music photographer Paul Harries shares his images – and memories – of rock’n’roll’s biggest stars.
060 . RICKY WHITTLE
How does one go about making the move from Hollyoaks to Hollywood? Brit actor Ricky Whittle tells us how he did it, and spills the beans on his starring role in muchhyped new mega-series, American Gods.
066 . THE BEAUTY OF NATURE
Snapper Anup Shah’s atmospheric images of wildlife in the Maasai Mara.
072 . DWAYNE JOHNSON
Ahead of the eighth instalment of The Fast and the Furious, ‘The Rock’ reflects on becoming the highest-paid actor on Earth.
018 . THE EXCHANGE 023 . ART WORK 024 . THE ANALYST 027 . COLUMNS
EXPOSURE 032 . STYLE 035 . ROYAL EXCHANGE 036 . MY WORLD 039 . #WATCHWEWANT 041 . ROLEX 042 . DRIVE TIME
LAND, SEA & AIR SPECIAL
078 . MCLAREN
082 . MASERATI 084 . CLASSIC CAR CLUB 086 . LAMBORGHINI 090 . DREAM MACHINES 096 . BARBADOS 100 . DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
ASSETS 107 . PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE 109 . TRAVEL 114 . WINE 117 . REVIEWS 119 . GOLF COURSES 126 . GOLF APPAREL
HOLDINGS 135 . WATERSIDE LIVING 138 . INVESTMENT
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PHOTOGRAPH by (explosion) Entertainment Pictures / Alamy; (elephants) Anup Shah; (Rosewood) Durston Saylor
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THE EXCHANGE ART WORK THE ANALYST CAREER ADVICE POLITICS
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ART WORK: Marilyn Monroe by Bradley Theodore from maddoxgallery.co.uk
THE E X C H A N G E
THINGS TO DO AFTER THE CITY WORDS Saul Wordsworth
#97 BOMB DISPOSAL EXPERT
▽ BOMBS, EH? All hidden and explodey, nobody likes them. Frankly they should be banned, like wasps. But we can’t ban them so we need people to diffuse them, good and brave people like you. No not you Derek, I said ‘good and brave’ not ‘weird and needy’. First, you’ll need training. Extensive training is vital to weed out the weeds, the hotheads, the alcohol-dependent and the colourblind. No good cutting the green wire when you meant the blue one. Or is it the red one? Oh dear I’m confused. Thankfully bomb disposal experts never get confused, even when you ask them really difficult questions. Next we must consider attire. Wearing a metal suit may give the appearance of safety
WISE GUIDES WORDS Ben Winstanley
WIRELESS SOUND SYSTEMS
but if the bleeder goes off you’ll be in pieces, and I don’t mean emotionally. You might as well show up for work dressed in speedos clutching a pair of wire cutters, though this isn’t advisable. Practical clothing should suffice, plus a rabbit’s foot in the back pocket for luck, obvs. Some experts espouse the ‘eeny meeny miny moe’ method, however this technique is ill-suited to the demands of the role. If you don’t believe me ask Geoff Lime, formerly of this parish, now to be found in Dunstable and Watford, with a couple of fingers in Tring. Advancement in technology means robots are now sent into the field. Unfortunately even robots get scared, especially the modern ones that have thoughts and feelings and can wet themselves just like real people, or Michael Gove. Talking of which, since Gove has had enough of experts, perhaps he’d like to defuse bombs for a day? Certainly worth a show of hands, or a referendum. ■
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For more see saulwordsworth.com
SONOS PLAY:5, £499
▷ Looking for a wireless sound system to stream your music anywhere in the home? Sonos is your answer. Its straightforward setup (plug in, hook up to your wifi, play), minimalist looks and crystal-clear sound make it the market leader for a reason. Take the Play:5. With enough power to pump music around even the largest of rooms, its depth and clarity of sound belie its size. Add into the mix some impressive hardware in the brand’s Trueplay tech (auto-analysing acoustic factors such as room size and speaker placement to optimise sound), and you have one of the slickest, smartest speakers on the market. For more info, see sonos.com
BONUS BUS TER
LOTUS EXIGE SPORT 380, £67,900 WORDS Mark Hedley
▷ The Lotus Exige has always been renowned for its lightness – both of bodyweight and deft touch. And the latest version, the Sport 380, is more lithe than ever. It has a dry weight of just 1,076kg. Pair
RUARK AUDIO MR1 MK2, £329.99
▷ Great sound doesn’t have to come in big packages, just look at Ruark Audio’s Britishdesigned MR1 Mk2 speakers. No taller than 17cm, these low-profile beauties are more than capable of handling whatever your music collection can throw at them. Fancy a bit of Snoop Dogg? G-Funk soundtracks are no problem, with the surprisingly rich bass. In a Guns’n’Roses kind of mood? The sweet treble will rise as Slash shreds. With bluetooth capabilities and the option of connecting them to your TV for a cinematic experience, these might just be one of the best-value speakers available right now. For more info, see ruarkaudio.com
this with a 375hp supercharged V6 engine, and the result is a 0-60mph time of just 3.5 seconds. That’s supercar territory – indeed, it’s the same acceleration as a McLaren 540C in a car costing half the price (the 380 is a relatively frugal £67,900).
But the figures only tell part of the story. To appreciate the Exige Sport 380 fully you have to take it on the track. It’s here where its superb handling comes into its own. It has more downforce than its predecessor thanks to a sizeable carbon wing from the Elise Cup,
plenty of grip from new Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, and a trio of different electronic control systems ranging from safe to sliiiiide. But unlike many track-focussed cars, the Lotus is still approachable – both on and off the circuit. Yes, it feels like a racecar,
but one that you can also take home to meet your mother. There’s even a button on the steering column for keeping the exhaust pipe flaps open for extra grunt. Just make sure you have them closed when you arrive for Sunday lunch. ■ lotuscars.com
DEVIALET SILVER PHANTOM, £1,690
▷ You’d be forgiven if you haven’t heard of Parisian company Devialet just yet, but you will. Not only does the brand have ambitions on bursting Dolby’s bubble as the new leader of sound innovation, its wireless speakers are nothing short of extraordinary – quite literally, if the other-worldly aesthetics of the Silver Phantom are anything to go by. Weighing in at an incredible 3,000 WATTS of amplification, with a bandwidth beyond the human audio frequency of 16Hz to 25kHz, this sonic behemoth is louder (and growlier) than a motorbike at full throttle. Sound rarely gets this ear-bleedingly powerful in one speaker. For more info, see devialet.com
CHRIS PLOWMAN, DIRECTOR, FLOATWORKS
▽ MY EIGHT years in the City were spent as a strategy consultant in asset management, wealth management and investment banking. I worked for Accenture, Deloitte and then set up my own company to carry out contract work across clients such as Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. My most enjoyable times were working on very high profile, strategic projects involving the acquisition or disposal of businesses or the roll-out of new products and services. I also enjoyed the disposable income. Around 2014 I realised that this career was not what I was born to do. I needed to find a life’s mission that would challenge me and make the world a better place to live. A recommendation from my physio led me to try floating – the practice of laying in a large fibre glass pod full of water to enable relaxation – for the first time, and the rest is history. With my business partner I purchased the then-dormant Floatworks in late 2015 and we re-launched the company in April 2016. Since then we’ve achieved 90% occupancy, are ranked the number two London spa on TripAdvisor, and are about to launch our first funding round so we can open our second float centre in summer 2017. ■
ESC APE ARTIS T
For more info see floatworks.com
GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED: HOSPITALITY TABLE FOR FOUR AT THE CEDAR LAWN ON SATURDAY 1 JULY WORTH £1,800 ▷ Any experience at Goodwood is pretty special. But if you want to take it up a gear, then you’ll need to opt for hospitality. We’ve teamed up with Goodwood to offer you the chance to win a table for four at the Festival of Speed’s Cedar Lawn experience. You’ll start the day with breakfast, before enjoying a champagne reception. Next, take up your front row seats in a private grandstand at the start line. From here you’ll be able to smell the smoke from
tyre-shredding burnouts as the largest variety of cars and bikes in the world accelerate away up the iconic Hillclimb. Then you can relax and refuel in the chic setting of the Goodwood Hotel with a mouthwatering array of food and drink from the all-day grazing menu. An elegant yet informal environment, Cedar
Lawn has plenty of casual seating in both indoor and outdoor areas allowing you to make the most of your day however you please. There’s also unlimited wine, beer and soft drinks, providing ample excuse for raising a glass. For your chance to win enter online now at squaremile.com
Go to squaremile.com/ competitions and answer a simple question. T&Cs can be found online.
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A R T WO R K
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BY VICKY SMITH
GET AHEAD Bradley Theodore is a street artist turned art star with a celebrity fanbase ranging from Marc Jacobs to Kate Moss. The subjects of his pieces are pretty well known too, with the likes of Queen Elizabeth II immortalised on canvas in his signature pop-art-meets-Day-of-the-Dead style. This month, the New York native returns to London with his second solo exhibition at Mayfair’s Maddox Gallery, featuring previously unseen sculpture and largescale paintings as well as his pop pieces. ■ Bradley Theodore Second Coming from 21 April-20 May at Maddox Gallery, 9 Maddox St, W1S 2QE
A N A LYS T
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BY BEN WINSTANLEY
A WORK OF ART Spot anything funny about this image? Anything a little off? We didn’t either. But it turns out the largest mount isn’t just a pretty picture, it’s Samsung’s latest TV innovation. Redefining the television as more than a box we sit in front of for a few hours a day, The Frame (geddit?) has more than 100 pieces of art pre-installed so users can utilise the formerly black space of their TV as a canvas for landscape photography, paintings and street art from some of the world’s best artists. Standby or Art Mode? We know which we prefer. ■ Available in white, black and wood veneer. In stores soon.
SEEING CLEARLY: The Frame isn’t just a handsome face, it’s clever, too: Samsung and visionary designer Yves Béhar have developed the first sensor-based display that adapts to the brightness of its environment. Images in Art Mode are faithful to the original without appearing backlit like a screensaver – and can easily trick the uninitiated into thinking they’re real. Movement sensors also mean The Frame is only active while you are in the room: a TV that is genuinely smart.
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O PI N I O N
SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? Feeling jaded by your career in the City? HANS SCHUMANN suggests ways you can be sure that it’s still for you, and what to do if it’s not
NOW BONUSES HAVE been paid out, many in
WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU?
the City will be asking if it’s time to look for a new job, or even an entirely new career. Working in the City has its thrills and rewards: great salaries, status and a stimulating environment. Yet it also has its challenges. Many people I speak to have a nagging question about whether their current job really is all life holds for them. The City has always provided a stressful environment, and the stakes have increased over the last ten years. Following the financial crisis, constant cost-cutting and political instability have brought greater demands on organisations and employees. In particular, in the financial services industry, there has been an ever-increasing amount of regulation, red tape and personal liability for senior executives that can be disheartening. With work taking over your life, you may be asking yourself whether it’s worth
Imagine you are 100 years old and look back at your life with gratitude and fulfilment. You had a great innings. What would you see? Maybe you would see yourself creating a company; inspiring people; spending time with loved ones; pursuing a spiritual journey; travelling; creating a legacy. The answers will guide you in deciding the direction of your career and life.
pursue them. This may require some creative thinking and maybe an adjustment to your role. If you don’t think that’s possible in your current job, you may indeed be better off finding a new one.
WHAT IS YOUR MISSION IN LIFE? Create a personal mission statement, in which you define what you want to devote their life to. It should provide you with a sense of purpose and direction, and also help you set the right priorities. What do you want the rest of your life to be about?
WHAT ENERGISES AND INSPIRES YOU? Since you spend most of your adult life
❱❱ IF YOU DON’T ENJOY YOUR CURRENT JOB, EXPLORE WHAT YOU LOVE DOING MOST. LOOK FOR THE THINGS THAT MEAN A LOT TO YOU
WHAT DOES A HEALTHY LIFE BALANCE LOOK LIKE? Even if you have a job you love, you probably still want to maintain a balance with other areas in your life. Write down all those that are important to you, such as your family, friends, community, fitness or relationship. Rank them by priority. What would a perfect balance between them look like in practice? Be specific, for example: I wouldn’t work on weekends; I want to see friends at least twice a week, or I want to have two holidays each year. Consider the risks of neglecting your personal needs: resentment, frustration, breakdown of relationships, mood swings and even depression or illness.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER all the trouble. One executive director told me that he was beginning to think there must be easier and more rewarding ways of earning a living than in banking. Yet what are your options? Would the grass really be greener working for another company? Would you be brave enough to start all over again in another career – or even set up your own business? Here is my advice: do not do anything until you have thought about answers to the following questions…
at work, it’s best to have a career that inspires and energises you. If you don’t enjoy your current job, I suggest exploring what activities you love doing most; for example, writing articles, researching, analysing data, campaigning for political change or lobbying for environmental issues. Look for things that mean so much to you that you’d do them even if you weren’t paid. Once you know what they are, consider how your current job can allow you to
Once you have answers to the above questions, you will have a great benchmark for your next career decision. Does your current job already allow you to live the way you really want to? If, not what adjustments can you make? Or is it indeed time to move on? You only live once. Make sure you make the most of it. ■ Hans Schumann is author of Falling in Love with Your Job – How to create more fulfilment and excitement in your career, available on Amazon. For more information see hansschumann.com or loveyourjobbook.com
O PI N I O N
A FIGHTING CHANCE As Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, all eyes are fixed on David Davis, and he’s poised and ready for action says IAIN ANDERSON
I KNOW THAT square mile readers enjoy a bit of pugilism – Anthony Joshua and David Haye have graced the magazine’s front covers in the last year or so. But I wanted to let you all know we have thrill seekers in politics too, you know. Plenty of them. Our Brexit Secretary David Davis is known as a bit of a bruiser. The former rugby player has had his nose broken at least three times and that’s not counting anything off the field in the Palace of Westminster. The other month I looked at what I termed the ‘essential relationship’ between chancellor Philip Hammond and Davis. Let’s focus on Davis this time. Known as ‘basher’ and ‘knuckle duster’ to colleagues following his work as a whip under John Major, he – ironically as one of the arch Brexiteers of these days – helped push through the deeper EU integration Maastricht Treaty in the UK Parliament at the time of John Major’s premiership against huge backbench Tory opposition. Davis is not your usual Tory. He was brought up by a single mum in a council
other one that comes to mind is former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown and – believe you me – he’s fairly pugilistic, too. I have always found crossover political relationships fascinating and instructive. Across that divide one of his friends has been Blair’s former spin warrior Alistair Campbell, but I think Brexit must have taken some toll on that relationship as it has with many others. But the same kind of approach towards politics and life can be found in both men. Always quotable, sometimes bombastic and very convinced of their own direction – right or wrong. Word reaches me from Westminster that Alex Salmond and David Davis have also hit if off rather well in recent times. I wonder why? Now, there is one hell of a Faustian pact if ever one was divined. So, he’s a politician who likes the limelight. No surprise there, but it is worth noting how much Davis’s political positioning has changed since the Brexit vote. This time last year Davis was seen as a hard Brexiteer sitting outside Government
❱❱ WORD REACHES ME THAT ALEX SALMOND AND DAVID DAVIS HAVE HIT IT OFF IN RECENT TIMES. NOW THERE’S ONE HELL OF A FAUSTIAN PACT house. While he failed his A levels at grammar school – I wonder what he really thinks of bringing grammars back – he went on to graduate not once but three times – at Warwick, London Business School and later at Harvard. But his tough guy image – and the psychology around his fearlessness – was honed in the SAS wing of the Territorial Army. Unlike in the USA, few politicians can point to active service in this country and very few in the special forces. The only
(you may remember he did fight David Cameron for the Tory leadership in the mid noughties and lost decisively). He has been brought back in to become the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union and is at the forefront of the May administration. He now arguably occupies as important a role as Chancellor and – right now – a much more important role than Foreign Secretary. But he’s been on a journey. I listened to him in autumn last year after he’d emerged
from a cabinet meeting on Brexit. The arch Brexiteer was heard to say “Brexit is fiendishly complicated.” He has moved his language and his thinking much closer to that of Philip Hammond – the Chancellor who backed the Remain cause. They’re now in a similar place on many issues. For them Brexit is about ensuring economic opportunity and least self-harm. And that fleet political footwork shows Davis really as he is – the ultimate political pragmatist. Like his boss Theresa May, Davis seems best when he gets to work on a niche issue. Unlike many politicians he seems to like the detail. Back in 1997, when the Tories lost power to that Labour landslide, Davis could have served in William Hague’s shadow cabinet in a senior role. He was by then already a big Tory beast. But he declined to serve, preferring the post of Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee which he held throughout Labour’s first term. As chair he built the reputation in Westminster, in the media and with Tory members, as the scourge of Government waste. After almost two decades out of Government, Davis is back and right at the epicentre of political life. Having played the long game he is right where he deserves to be. And while he has the image of being a bruiser he is clearly also good at the delicate chess game of politics. So as we enter these Brexit negotiations it looks like the UK has its own pragmatic pugilist. ■
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STYLE BIBLE CHRIS ELVIDGE says that if you
want to be fashion forward this spring, you need to look back. Retro is all the rage – are you cool enough to pull it off?
VEN THE MOST forward-thinking menswear designers can’t resist the occasional glance backwards at the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s all at once. This is particularly clear in the jacket department this SS17, which is stuffed full of retro pieces that neatly update designs from those decades. When it comes to reworking such classics as the Harrington, blouson and bomber jacket, who can really blame them? The best-dressed man in the room will always be the one who is setting the trends, not the one following them. A varsity jacket is a piece of classic Americana that can give casual outfits that cool collegiate feel. This version from Valentino mimics the traditional letterman style. Made in Italy, it has a semi-fitted cut and striped ribbed trims, plus a leather ‘V’ appliqué. Like the original style, it will only get better with age. Wear this with a pair of Chimala jeans, which are crafted in Japan and handdistressed by skilled artisans. The pair featured here are faded and scuffed for a well-worn look. They’re cut in a straight-leg fit and crafted from indigo-dyed denim that will improve in feel the more you wear them. These are best teamed with a versatile basic, like the Gaskell T-shirt from Theory which forms the backbone of a functional wardrobe. It’s cut from lightweight cottonjersey that’s slubbed for a relaxed feel. Finish this look off with a pair of Common Projects leather sneakers, which have gained cult status thanks to their minimalist design and superior shoe construction, and you’ll be fully updated for spring-time style. ■ Valentino leather-appliquéd felted wool-blend varsity jacket, £1,350. Theory Gaskell slim-fit slub cotton-jersey t-shirt, £65. Common projects original Achilles leather sneakers, £290. Chimala cropped distressed denim jeans, £375. All available from mrporter.com
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SHOPPING THE ROYAL EXCHANGE
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The latest luxury launches available at the Royal Exchange, including a special collection by Thomas Pink commemorating the Lions tour
BE THE MAIN MAN The Lions Collection by Thomas Pink takes inspiration from the official outfits of The Lions for the autumn tour of New Zealand. Featuring business and casual wear alongside tailoring and accessories, the collection is perfect for the man who wants to show his sartorial bite. Thomas Pink, 9 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LL
ORLEBAR BROWN To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Orlebar Brown has created a new swim short: the Jack. Made from ultra-lightweight nylon and weighing just 70 grams, the Jack is a more sporting alternative to the brand’s classic tailored look. 14 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LT
PENHALIGON’S Clean up your act with the latest fragrance from Penhaligon’s. Influenced by the baths in which William Penhaligon first found inspiration, Savoy Steam includes the scents of lemon primofiore, eucalyptus oil and fir balsam. 4 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LL
IN THE PINK: Modelled by rugby great Brian O’Driscoll, the Raphaelo dinner jacket is made from luxurious velvet and features subtle NZ 2017 embroidery on the inside. thomaspink.com
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TATEOSSIAN For SS17, Tateossian is reinterpreting some of its iconic models of the past. The Macramé Bamboo bracelet combines the skill of the Macramé technique – which creates textiles using knots – with the simple elegance of bamboo. 1/4 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LL
MY WORLD DIAMONDS
DAZZLING POTENTIAL EHUD LANIADO , global diamond expert and seller of two of the three most expensive diamonds
sold in the history of Sotheby’s, explains why diamonds are a viable long-term investment
DIAMOND STANDARD: Ehud Laniado’s interests in the global diamond industry span mining, exploration, rough and polished diamond valuation, trading, manufacturing, retail and consultancy services. He aims to change the landscape for individuals buying diamonds as well as the way financial institutions view the diamond sector.
NE OF THE most satisfying moments in
my career to date was the night I was privileged enough to sell a 12.03-carat blue diamond: it was the Blue Moon [pictured opposite], at Sotheby’s in Geneva for $48.5m in November 2015. The diamond still holds the world record for the highest price paid per carat for any diamond ever sold at auction – $4.1m. Within minutes of the diamond selling, it was announced that the new buyer would re-name this dazzling, ocean-blue diamond the Blue Moon of Josephine, in honour of his then seven-year-old daughter. Now if that’s not an investment for the future, I don’t know what is. In the last couple of years, I have noticed a growing set of wealthy individuals who believe
diamonds are worthy investment assets. But many people who are potential diamond investors do not yet understand how rare diamonds are and how they are priced, and this can put them off. I believe this is one of the
I have noticed a growing set of wealthy individuals who believe that diamonds are worthy investment assets
biggest challenges facing the diamond industry. I began my career in diamonds more than 40 years ago in the Central African Republic I bought rough diamonds from individual miners extracting diamonds from the ground while I lived with my young family in the heart of the jungle. From the start, I was fascinated with predicting the price that a rough diamond would command once it reached its optimum polished form. After my company Cora International acquired the Blue Moon from South Africa’s Cullinan mine in 2014, I applied my specialist knowledge. My craftspeople and I spent five months assessing the Blue Moon and developing 30 possible models, cutting and polishing each one differently to optimise
the size and purity of the diamond until the perfect solution was achieved. To create a vivid blue 12-carat internally flawless diamond really is as rare as a blue moon. We displayed the stone in the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History before putting it on the block at Sotheby’s. I owe my business success to the diamond industry and I believe diamonds are not just a miracle of nature of the highest order, they are also a viable long-term alternative asset. I would go so far as to say that when the time comes that the public fully understands the true value of diamonds, their true rarity and the way they are priced and sold, then the owner of the Blue Moon of Josephine, or shall I say her father, will understand how little he paid for it. After all, it was bought for the price of a cheap Picasso. The difference between the diamond world and the art world – in which we’ve seen people pay $300m for a Gauguin and more than $250m for a Cézanne – is that art collectors know when they want to re-sell they’ll find a buyer. I believe that when people appreciate the benefits of investing in diamonds, the Blue Moon will re-sell for $200m. Diamonds are a treasure of nature, but more than this, they are rare, which makes them increasingly attractive to investors. According to the Fancy Color Research Foundation, prices for rare yellow, pink and blue diamonds rose 387% between 2005 and 2017. But even a one-carat D flawless diamond is a real rarity. Nature takes millions of years to create one. The depths of the planet are like an impenetrable safe that stores rough diamonds. The minute probability of nature slowly producing a diamond over millions of years, which may or may not rise to the Earth’s surface, may or may not be discovered, may or may not have a perfect colour, may or may
RECORD BREAKERS EHUD LANIADO’S WORLD BEATERS
PHOTOGRAPH (Blue Moon) by Michael Oldford
++ Blue Moon of Josephine, a 12.03 carat flawless fancy vivid blue diamond, sold in November 2015 at Sotheby’s Geneva for $48.5m, which retains the world record for the highest price paid per carat for any diamond at auction ($4.1m). ++ Unique Pink, a 15.38 pear-shaped fancy vivid pink diamond, sold in May 2016 at Sotheby’s Geneva for $31.5m, the highest price ever paid for a fancy vivid pink diamond at auction.
Diamonds are a treasure of nature, but they are also rare, which makes them increasingly attractive to investors not be free of inclusions, is so tiny that these combined factors should propel the value of such rare stones skyward. Out of 127 million carats of rough diamonds mined in 2015, only 1.8 million carats of diamonds – that’s 1.42% – were fit as a wealth preservation asset, defined as H or above in colour and VS or above in clarity. Demand for diamonds is predicted to outpace supply in the coming years as many diamond mines reach the end of their lifespans and global mining companies have invested billions of pounds to discover new diamond sources with relatively little success. It is an unfortunate and widely known truth that anyone buying a diamond at a jewellery store stands to lose a high proportion of the stone’s re-sale value the second they type in the fourth digit of their pin number. I believe the way consumers buy diamonds needs to change. The pricing of diamonds is veiled in some mystery. Most people understand the four
Cs of diamond pricing – the colour, cut, clarity and carat weight of diamonds, which all determine a diamond’s price. But the fact remains, two diamonds categorised as like for like according to the four Cs can exhibit a 20% price differential caused by thousands of small nuances that are known to industry insiders as irregularities. An example is the position of an imperfection in a diamond and its visibility when the stone is set into a ring. For this reason, I advise savvy consumers to buy diamonds direct from reputable manufacturers which they can research online. In addition, I have harnessed my 40 years of expertise documenting diamond prices and my diamond pricing consultancy Mercury Diamond has begun publishing a comprehensive monthly diamond price list online, encompassing thousands of different categories of diamond alongside discounts and premiums based on 500 different irregularities, enabling anyone to buy and sell diamonds at the most accurate market price with confidence. The Mercury Diamond Price List is regularly evaluated by a Big Four accounting firm and it is available for free download via my Instagram bio at @ehudaryelaniado. Knowledge is crucial and would-be investors should always consult a diamond expert, but I believe the day will come when diamonds are as widely viewed as art is today – both for their breathtaking beauty and their wealth preservation potential. ■
CHOOSE YOUR MODEL , CHOOSE YOUR PAINT, CHOOSE YOUR PARTS Customize your Trek
ROLL BACK THE YEARS
Check your sock drawer: a unique search for the oldest Longines watch in the UK has been launched
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HE ANTIQUES ROADSHOW may not exactly
be riveting viewing, but it’s the perfect reminder that you should never throw out old possessions. Just ask the unsuspecting US pilot who strolled onto the American version of the show and discovered that his Rolex 6241 Daytona, bought for $543.38 in 1973, is now worth north of $350,000. Not a bad return on a watch that hadn’t been worn in decades. Of course, it’s rare that us less-fortunate mortals are unknowingly sitting on a veritable gold mine, but that isn’t to say you shouldn’t upturn your sock drawer and dig through your attic just in case. The point is especially true should you happen to own or have inherited a Longines watch in your lifetime. To celebrate the Swiss brand’s 185th anniversary, it’s launching a nationwide search to find the oldest Longines on British shores. The prize? A champagne reception in your honour – or rather your watch’s honour – and a trip to visit Longines’ St Imier museum and factory in Switzerland. OK, it isn’t exactly going to pay off your mortgage, but just think of the watches you might unearth? Just take a look at the 1968 pocket hunter watch [central images, right], with half-view cover in niello-decorated silver and mechanical manually wound Longines calibre. It’s in nearperfect condition – and it could have been your grandfather’s, picked up from a dusty antiques store in Bognor. What a romantic notion… On the other side of the spectrum you might happen to be in possession of legendary physicist Albert Einstein’s watch, gifted to him at a gala dinner organised in his honour in 1931. OK, we’re lying, you won’t have it – there’s only one Albert Einstein (that we know of), and the watch in question was bought at auction in 2008 for a cool $596,000 – but, hey, there’s encouragement if ever it were required. Each week of the competition, Longines will highlight the best stories on its GB Facebook page – who knows, maybe your beloved family heirloom will make the cut. ■ To enter the competition, share an image of your watch with Longines on social media, and include the hashtags #oldestlonginesukand and #oldestlonginesie, or submit an entry on longines.com. Entries close 28 May 2017.
The prize? A champagne reception in your honour – or rather your watch’s honour – and a trip to visit Longines 039
OPERAT IONS ANALYS T NURSE
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IT’S TIME TO EXPLORE
With the launch of its Explorer II 1655, Rolex targeted those who spent a lot of time in the dark. While a little too niche to be an instant hit, the piece is now having its moment in the spotlight, says ADRIAN HAILWOOD
HAT DID YOU want to be when you grew up? Pilot? Yes. Mountaineer? Sure. Deep-sea diver? Sounds fun. Speleologist? Come again. Rolex’s tool-watch range covers land, sea and air with all the attendant glamour of each associated profession. First out was the Explorer, in 1953 – although prototypes were in use before then. Not a radical design but the use of the steel oyster case with a sparse, legible dial created a great, basic, go-anywhere watch. The association with the conquest of Everest did more for Rolex than it ever did for Smiths watches, and variants of this classic have subsequently never been out of production. Later the same year, Rolex addressed the needs of divers, especially as the new scuba equipment was making recreational diving a possibility. The increased water resistance of the Submariner combined with the elapsedtime bezel of the Turn-o-graph and the high-visibility luminous dial met the necessary requirements so completely that, decades later, the DNA of the 1953 original is clear in the contemporary model. Rolex was not the first – and far from the only – watch brand to produce a dive watch but the rugged tool qualities of the product combined with the brand’s marketing prowess make it an enduring favourite. In 1954, Rolex completed its tool-watch trifecta, with the GMT Master. As a watch intended for a specific need, this was pretty niche; designed in conjunction with Pan Am pilots who, as long-haul flights got longer, needed to track multiple time zones. As with the previous models, simplicity of design and ease of use created a design classic, popular to this day with pilots, passengers and anyone who needs to tell the time across continents.
Lack of commercial success brings rarity and if the watch is good looking or seen to be ‘cool’ then prices start to climb squaremile.com
TIME TO SHINE: Rolex’s Explorer II 1655 had a short production life, but is making a comeback, thanks in part to its distinctive 1970s design.
In 1971, Rolex took the production of niche tool-timepieces to the next level with the launch of the Explorer II 1655. Based on the GMT Master but with a fixed bezel, the watch’s only additional feature was to indicate whether the displayed time was AM or PM. This was of interest to users who had no view of outside light for prolonged periods such as, um, cavers. French adventurer and Rolex Laureate JeanFrançois Pernette is considered to be one of the world’s greatest cave explorers and was usually photographed wearing his Explorer II ref 1655. Maybe the target audience was too small or maybe speleologists just didn’t cut it in the role-model department but whatever the reason Rolex only produced the watch until 1984. The replacement 16550 had a very different look and the ability to set the 24-hour hand independently more or less turned it into a style variant of the GMT Master. In the world of watch collecting the
unsuccessful ugly duckling can become a horological swan. Lack of commercial success brings rarity and if the watch is good looking or seen to be ‘cool’ then prices start to climb. The Explorer II 1655 is thought, in some circles, to have the ultimate cool credentials, being referred to as the ‘Steve McQueen’. The Rolex 1665 doesn’t need spurious associations to make it desirable, though. The large orange hand and blocky indices mark it as a true piece of 1970s brutalist design. The angled bezel softens the dramatic-looking dial making it less showy. It is interesting without being overly complicated, and the 24-hour display is no more redundant than most of the chronographs we wear daily. While unusual, it is not super-rare so prices are within reach of most Rolex buyers. If you want an affordable oddity that doesn’t have to live in the safe, you can’t go wrong with an Explorer II. ■ For more information, see fellows.co.uk
THE WHEELS OF TIME The affinity between watches and cars is a long and storied one. From the famous Tag Heuer Monaco to the renowned Rolex Chronograph Daytona, here, weâ€™ve picked our favourite top-fuel timepieces
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LEFT TO RIGHT
Bremont Jaguar MKIII, £3,495,
Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Speed Black, £5,420,
Breitling B55 Supersports Connected, £6,275,
PHOTOGRAPHY by David Harrison
LEFT TO RIGHT
Parmigiani Bugatti Aerolithe, ÂŁ20,000,
parmigiani.com Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph Automatic, ÂŁ3,420,
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona in everose gold, Â£27,450,
Cartier Drive, ÂŁ13,400,
TOP TO BOTTOM
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12, £4,050,
Blancpain L-Evolution Split Second Flyback Chronograph, £35,700,
Cartier Drive, £13,400,
Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox, £7,650,
ITALIAN LUXURY. LUXURY. ITALIAN REALISTICALLY PRICED. PRICED. REALISTICALLY
MAAD DEE IIN N G GLO LOBBAALL M www.madeinglobal.co www.madeinglobal.co
BEAUTIFUL CHAOS RICKY WHITTLE THE BEAUTY OF NATURE DWAYNE JOHNSON
. . . .
052 060 066 072
SMILE FOR THE CAMERA . 052
PHOTOGRAPH: BLACK VEIL BRIDES, LONDON, 2011 by Paul Harries (proud.co.uk)
BIFFY CLYRO: “I have been working with Biffy Clyro for more than ten years and it has been fantastic to see them grow into the arena rock band that they are now. Anyone that has met them will tell you how lovely they are. This shot of Simon [Neil] was taken at their hotel in Madrid before they played at Mad Cool festival last year. A friend of mine said this photo made her ‘feel all funny’ so it had to go in the exhibition.”
LOOK TO THE STARS OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS, ROCK’N’ROLL LENSMAN PAUL HARRIES HAS ESTABLISHED HIMSELF AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S FINEST MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHERS – BUT IT ALL STARTED AT THE BANK OF ENGLAND, SAYS BEN WINSTANLEY
HE WORLD OF rock’n’roll has many
PHOTOGRAPH by Paul Harries
unorthodox entry points – garages, church halls, ads in the newspaper – but it rarely, if ever, begins at the Bank of England. That is unless your name is Paul Harries. Formerly a bank clerk at the BoE, Harries’ break came when he applied for the official photographer position for the venerable institution… He didn’t get the role, but it did inspire him to pursue his passion for photography. As an avid music fan, he first started taking pictures at the legendary Marquee Club in Soho (now defunct) before he got his first paid gig at Kerrang! in 1989. Fast forward 28 years and Harries is not
only the lead lensman for the famed UK rock magazine, but he is also one of the most celebrated photographers in the music industry, particularly respected for his cinematic portrayal of iconic rock bands such as Nirvana, Slash, Metallica, Muse, and Iron Maiden. Harries’ dynamic photography lends itself to the theatre and energy of the rock world. It’s no surprise he attracts performers who play up to the camera, and those who have powerful stage presence. Not many photographers have been invited into the world of Slipknot, after all. ➤ Access All Areas: Photographs by Paul Harries runs from 9 March-23 April at Proud Camden. For more information, see proud.co.uk
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SLIPKNOT: “Slipknot are probably the band I am best known for shooting. I first worked with them in 1999 and I have documented their career ever since. I have so many photos that I had a book published last year called Slipknot: Dysfunctional Family Portraits. This shot was taken in Iowa (the home of Slipknot) while they waited to start a night video shoot for the song ‘Psychosocial’. Not only is this shot very creepy but also a personal favourite of my career.”
PHOTOGRAPH by publinc larit em potinium vid ces blah
SLASH: “This shot of Slash was taken in my hotel room, I had a suite so I could convert it into a studio for a Velvet Revolver shoot in 2004. He arrived first, sat on my bed and just started playing. A private audience with Slash – a real wow moment.”
GREEN DAY: “Backstage in Germany in 2017. I think it is great that a band like Green Day are still happy to have a laugh during a photoshoot. I first worked with them in the 1990s and I’ve done a tonne of shoots with them since. They have always been very popular but working with them during their rise to mega stardom in the American Idiot era was amazing. I will never forget the roar of the crowd when the band came on stage for their Milton Keynes Bowl concert in 2005.”
PHOTOGRAPH by publinc larit em potinium vid ces blah
WHITTLE WEARS: Kingsman blue slim-fit double-breasted windowpane-checked wool suit jacket, £995; Kingsman + Drake’s silkgrenadine tie, £120; Oliver Spencer Lupin cotton pocket square; Thom Sweeney slim-fit cottonpoplin shirt, £235; all from mrporter.com. Crockett & Jones chestnut burnished calf oxfords, £420, crockettandjones.com
Out of the Shadows ONCE KNOWN AS A HOLLYOAKS HEARTTHROB, RICKY WHITTLE IS TAKING THE LEAD ROLE IN THE BIGGEST TV SHOW OF THE YEAR. THE ‘AMERICAN GODS’ STAR TELLS HIS STORY TO MAX WILLIAMS PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON GROOMING BY REBECCA RICHARDS USING COVER FX
ICKY WHITTLE IS an inspirational man.
I didn’t expect to open the article with this sentence but the afternoon spent in his company – first in the square mile studio, then a nearby pub – left me feeling indisputably inspired. It’s no small journey from Dream Team and Hollyoaks – those noughties titans of trash TV – to taking the lead in American Gods, probably the most anticipated show of 2017. Let’s recap. Whittle made his acting debut in 2002, playing Ryan Naysmith of fictional football club Harchester United in Dream Team. Then followed a four-year stint as heartthrob Calvin Valentine in glam soap opera Hollyoaks. At this juncture, Whittle looked destined to play the role of eye-candy in fun, dumb TV shows. A successful stint on Strictly Come Dancing duly followed. Yet Whittle harboured bigger ambitions. After reaching the final of Strictly in 2009, his profile in the UK never higher, Whittle boarded a plane to Los Angeles. He wanted to crack the States, and it seemed a case of now or never. ➤
WHITTLE WEARS: Kingsman slim-fit doublebreasted melton wool overcoat, Â£1,495, from mrporter.com
➤ “It just felt like time. I was getting to an age where I thought if I don’t try it now it’s going be too late. And I don’t want to live with regrets. So I’d rather go over there, risk everything, sacrifice everything, and fail – but at least I tried and gave it a go… I wasn’t scared of failing. I was scared of not trying.” So he tried. He worked with his acting coach. He worked out in the gym. Quit alcohol (it’s water at the pub). Watched films every day to learn from other actors. Browsed YouTube, because “YouTube is an incredible tool to research accents, research acting techniques.” Shunned the many temptations of LA, and worked harder than he ever had before. “I think that’s the difference between making it and not making it. Of course you need that little bit of luck as well. But once it’s there you’ve got to be ready.” There is an inner steel to Whittle, well hidden beneath a warm and engaging personality. Throughout the photoshoot he cracks jokes, gleefully shares anecdotes of shows past. At the end of the shoot he hugs everyone in the room, including one of the design team who had literally just walked in. We adjourn to the pub, which is populated by people in fancy dress – think comedy sombreros, and a woman riding a fake donkey. For one alarming moment it looks like I’ve marched Calvin Valentine into a hen party. Thankfully it seems to be an office bash. He’s easy company, although whenever the bell above the door signals a new arrival he glances up for a second, almost like a fugitive. It’s a common tic among those used to being recognised: a heightened sensitivity to the presence of others. Nobody notices him today – the cap probably helps, as does the lengthy absence from British screens – but I don’t give him long in the shadows. Anyway, America. Success came with his casting in The 100, a dystopian sci-fi drama set after a nuclear apocalypse. Whittle played Lincoln, and he graduated to the main cast in the second and third seasons. But despite the breakthrough, all was not well. “For some reason Jason Rothenberg [the show’s producer] chose to single me out, and professionally bully me out of wanting to be there. He made my job untenable.” Whittle doesn’t know why Rothenberg began cutting Lincoln’s storyline – “a personal vendetta is what it seemed” – but his role became increasingly diminished. “You don’t mind being part of an ensemble, but for the right reasons… As an actor you obviously want to work, and three seconds in an episode is not really what I wanted to do.” He began seeking alternative employment
just as Starz opened casting on a fantasy adaptation called American Gods. If you’ve never heard of American Gods you soon will. Written by Neil Gaiman, a deity of the fantasy genre, the epic novel imagines a war between the old gods of American mythology and the new gods such as media, technology, and the stock market. For 16 years its millions of passionate fans breathlessly awaited what seemed an inevitable transition to the screen. But the scale and complexity of the story proved a barrier – until now. When creating a project of this magnitude, you want to keep the fans onside. Starz invited suggestions via Twitter for casting the key role of protagonist Shadow Moon. Whittle was one of the most popular names for #CastingShadow – yet he knew nothing of the book. A journalist at Comic Con praised his suitability – and “I was like, I have no idea what American Gods is. Who is this Neil Gaiman?” So he did some Googling, spoke to his representatives, let it be known his time on The 100 would soon be over. Starz invited him to audition. And then audition again. And again. “Literally we went through every emotion possible. It was like X-Factor: happy scenes, sad scenes, angry scenes. Scenes with several of the show’s different characters.” The search for Shadow was worldwide. It took 16 auditions for Whittle to win the role. Shadow Moon is a convict, granted early release after his wife dies in a car accident. (It’s a mixed day.) On a plane he meets a loquacious stranger named Mr Wednesday, who recruits Shadow as a bodyguard, and the pair embark on a roadtrip across America. Let’s just say things quickly get weird. Whittle cites the first meeting between Shadow and Wednesday as among his favourite scenes. “We literally bought a full, life-sized plane into the studio. They cut the tail off but the plane was there. Ridiculous! “[The scene] has a cinematic feel: you feel like you’re watching a movie, you don’t feel like you’re watching a TV show.” Ian McShane plays Mr Wednesday, a piece of casting first envisaged by Whittle’s mother.
At Comic Con I was like, I have no idea what American Gods is. Who is this Neil Gaiman?
“Two weeks before he was announced, my mum said, ‘you know who’d be good for Mr Wednesday? Ian McShane.’ Literally two weeks later they announced he was cast, so she wants to take credit for that.” It sounds like Ma Whittle has good instincts: her son could not be more effusive about his co-star. “He is incredible. You heard it here first: he’ll win an award for this. Without doubt. He’s incredible. It’s an absolute pleasure to watch him work.” To prepare for Shadow [described as “big enough and don’t-fuck-with-me enough” to survive prison], Whittle piled on the calories and worked out for four hours a day. He saw both his acting coach and a magic coach – Shadow is a skilled coin manipulator, and Whittle wanted this shown on-screen. “I’m great at kids parties now,” he deadpans. It’s a mark of Whittle’s confidence in the finished product that the huge expectations placed on the show do not perturb him. “The book came out in 2001 so we have 15 years of backing. It was translated into 30 different languages all over the world. We already have an audience, which is fantastic. “With that [fan] backing comes an incredible pressure to portray the show as close to the book as possible. You don’t want to upset the fans – to ruin their love. “So yeah, there’s a lot of pressure, but I really am proud of what we’ve done. I don’t think the fans will be disappointed.” A year after American Gods was first published, Whittle signed for Harchester... The mere mention of Dream Team triggers a yelp of laughter. “It was the perfect dream job for any young lad starting out.” A cult classic, Dream Team documented life at fictional football club Harchester United. I say ‘life’ – playing for Harchester was marginally less dangerous than a career in bomb disposal. Forty two characters were killed off over an eight-year run. “I always wanted to be a footballer as a kid,” says Whittle. “My character Ryan Naysmith ended up playing for England and winning the FA Cup and the Premiership… I won more as a fake footballer than I ever would’ve as a real footballer.” Success blurred the lines between reality and fiction: with the cast invited to the PFA Awards, and Harchester even included on a version of computer game Football Manager. It wasn’t just fun and games. Terence Maynard, who played Ryan’s father, offered his ‘son’ advice that he remembers to this day. “Basically to not act, to feel. If you feel happy then you’re going to look happy, if you feel sad then you’re going to look sad. ➤
➤ Don’t try and act sad and act happy because it’s going to look fake, like you’re acting.” The fruits of this advice are shown in Whittle’s inadvertent use of the term ‘soccer’, much to his dismay. “I can’t believe I just said soccer; I’m so disgusted with myself. I’m so American! I’m traumatised right now.” Thus the perils of cracking the States. Although whatever the success of American Gods, it’s hard to imagine a better job than Dream Team in terms of pure enjoyment. “It really was like a lad’s holiday,” smiles Whittle. “It was incredible. We had so much fun on that show. I believe we’re banned from many hotels… There’s a lot of stories that I’ll have to take to my grave.” Would he be open to a reunion? “I would love if Dream Team did a one-off film, show, special. Without a doubt I’d come back. I think I’m probably one of the only characters who actually survived.” Alas, Calvin Valentine of Hollyoaks proved less fortunate: the police officer turned nightclub manager (keep up) was shot at his own wedding by spurned lover (and his wife’s cousin) Theresa McQueen. Whittle describes his four years on the soap as “my education.” Valentine’s eventful life offered Whittle the chance to play “every emotion possible.” The requirements of shooting five episodes a week, and as many as 15 scenes a day (American Gods shot maybe two a day), taught Whittle to trust his instincts in front of the camera. “As an actor I’ve learned that your first impression [of playing a scene] is usually the right one. So you kind of tend to go with that.” Once scorned as TV junk food, Hollyoaks is proving fertile ground for British acting talent. Nathalie Emmanuel stars in Game of Thrones, Emma Rigby appeared in The Counsellor, and Warren Brown was a regular in Luther. “Hollyoaks is definitely a younger cast so maybe that’s got something to do with it,” says Whittle of his fellow alumni. “They have no ties. You’re not married, you don’t have any children; you have the option to just up roots, and go and try America.” Whittle will be the biggest Hollyoaks
This show is going to be huge, whether I’m ready or not. So if I’m not ready, I really need to be 064
WHITTLE WEARS: Boglioli blue K-jacket slim-fit slub silk and linen-blend blazer, £595; Brioni wool, silk and cashmere-blend rollneck sweater, both from mrporter.com.
success story to date. Is he ready for the higher profile American Gods will bring? “I don’t have a choice. This show is going to be huge, whether I’m ready or not. So if I’m not ready, I need to be ready.” He had a taster during Strictly. He knows the rules. Don’t venture out in public at weekends or in the evening. Avoid crowds. Wear plain clothes (and a cap). Be precise in your movements, plan ahead when possible. “You become very militant with your time, because it’s very rare you get time to yourself.” Film is the next step on the road that has taken him from Harchester to Hollywood. He’d like to do comedy, work with the likes of Sandra Bullock, Melissa McCarthy and Ryan Reynolds. Demonstrate his versatility – and enjoy himself. After all, it’s still a job. “You just want to have fun doing what you do. To work in comedy with great comedic actors would be a lot of fun for me.” I mention Bond, and the response is immediate: “I’d love to play that character. It’s the most iconic character in the world.”
If not Bond, a Bond villain would do. “I’ve not had chance to play the bad guy yet.” A permanent resident of LA, Whittle has no plans to return to England. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t miss home – he misses home a lot. He misses the sarcasm – “Americans have a great sense of humour but they lack crude, dry sarcasm. I’m a lot funnier in the UK, I’m way more hilarious” – and a good Sunday roast. But California has Hollywood, sun and beaches. California suits him, and he suits California. “I really love the positive attitude everyone has out there,” says Ricky Whittle, one of the most positive people I’ve ever met. Walking from the pub, he waxes lyrical about the joy of a good kebab – another British delicacy largely absent Stateside. He won’t be home for long. Soon the cast will be touring the world as the American Gods publicity machine reaches full throttle. On the road again, this time for real. Ricky Whittle has come a long way. I suspect he has much further to go. ■ American Gods starts 1 May on Amazon Prime Video.
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BIG NELLY STYLE PHOTOGRAPHER ANUP SHAH CAPTURES THE SPIRIT OF THE MARA IN THESE STRIKING SHOTS, WHICH MERGE ART WITH NATURE
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PACKING THE TRUNK: Whereas a lion cub reaches adulthood within three years, an elephant calf will take about 18 years and, just like a human baby, will be almost completely reliant on its mother and the rest of its family for the initial phase of its life.
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HAIL THE LION QUEEN: After her three cubs crawled out of their den site, lioness Kisiwa transported each cub in her jaws to another den. A motherâ€™s love, eh?
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SMILE FOR THE CAMERA: This basking crocodile was waiting for the herds to cross the Mara River. A five-metre monster with the jaws of a bulldozer, it just lay there, never seeming to worry or be in a hurry: the herds will come when they come. Patience is a virtue. SEE MORE: The Mara by Anup Shah is published by Natural History Museum books at ÂŁ25; nhmshop.co.uk
SOLID AS A ROCK DWAYNE JOHNSON ROSE TO FAME IN THE WRESTLING RING, BUT BREAKING HOLLYWOOD PROVED TO BE THE ACTOR'S TOUGHEST BATTLE, FINDS JAN JANSSEN
life. He created a massive public following as pro wrestler Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and used the power of his WWF following to help him break into Hollywood with the goal of becoming the top action star in the business. Today, the 6ft 5in, 250lb Johnson occupies precisely that position – and his career (as well as his biceps) are only getting bigger. In April, he returns to his familiar role as the FBI agent Luke Hobbs in Fast and Furious 8 – The Fate of the Furious. The long-running film franchise has already earned $3.8bn at the box office and industry observers are predicting that this latest instalment could well surpass the $1bn mark on its own. “We put a lot of time and effort into this movie and it’s big, cool, and epic,” Johnson says. “We wanted to be sure to make an amazing movie but also create some uneasiness and some questions.” This time out, Hobbs goes up against Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto who is lured back to the dark side. Charlize Theron joins the cast as a mysterious new villain while Scott ➤
PHOTOGRAPHS (including front cover) by Smallz & Raskind/Contour by Getty Images
WAYNE JOHNSON IS always bursting with confidence. Whether he’s greeting his rabid fans, visiting children in a hospital, or promoting his movies, the hulking actor is one of the most vibrant personalities on Earth. And now he’s also the highest-paid actor on Earth, having pocketed $64.5m last year according to Forbes – more than doubling his earnings from the previous year and bumping Robert Downey Jr from the number one spot, which he had occupied for the three previous years. When informed of the news in August, Johnson tweeted: ‘Want to say two things about this. I started with $7 bucks. If I can overcome, so can you. Waffle House on me!’ That kind of eternal optimism has served the 44-year-old Johnson well over the years. Twenty-two years ago, after injuries had derailed his pro football career, Johnson found himself rudderless and recalls “crying by myself on my sofa and feeling that my life was finished.” That was when he discovered the virtues of positive thinking in what became an insatiable quest to make the most out of
ALPHA MALE: [this image] Johnson in character as Mitch Buchanon with co-star Zac Efron in Baywatch; [opposite, from top left] in HBO comedy Ballers; the actor will step back into the shoes of Luke Hobbs in The Fate of the Furious, realsed this month.
➤ Eastwood makes his debut in the franchise playing the younger brother of the late Paul Walker's character. (As it happens, Walker and Eastwood were close friends prior to the former’s November 2013 death in a car accident.) The cast also includes returning players Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Elsa Pataky, and Jason Statham. Johnson admits to being “thrilled” to have a chance to up the ante again in Furious 8, which takes the characters on an epic chase through Cuba, Iceland, and New York City. Says Johnson: “One of the most fun things for me in these films is that I can come up with lines like ‘Daddy’s got to go to work’. We have a lot of lines like that in Fast 8 – we have to deliver!” There have also been reports that the Furious producers have plans to give Johnson
I hope people can look at my life and see that hard work and ambition can take you a long way 074
his own stand-alone Hobbs franchise, although discussions are still ongoing. Meanwhile, Johnson has a shot at starting his own film franchise in Baywatch, the R-rated comedy and big budget remake of the longrunning TV series. Johnson, who takes over David Hasselhoff's role as Mitch Buchanon, was actively involved in developing the reboot which also co-stars Zac Efron and model Kate Upton as CJ Parker, the iconic role first made famous by Pamela Anderson. Johnson is not resting on his laurels. Following last year’s Forbes article he was quick to offer a cautionary note on Instagram to his 80 million followers: “And don’t ever forget where you came from. I was evicted at 14 years old and completely broke by 23. Every day I wake up as if that eviction notice is right around the corner waiting for me, which is why I always say, ‘the wolf is always scratchin’ at the door’. He’s scratchin’ cause he’s hungry and never satisfied. We embrace and respect our past (even if it was fucked up), but we never let it define our future. Let’s stay hungry and chase that greatness.” And greatness is something that Johnson has in spades…
THE INTERVIEW Q: Was being ranked the highest-paid actor in the world an important milestone for you?
JOHNSON: It’s exciting and it’s incredibly gratifying. But anything I’ve accomplished is the result of having great self-belief and determination to succeed in life. I had to pick myself up off the floor and work very hard to make my way back in life. Trying to find work in Hollywood, I had that scratch and claw mentality where you just keep pushing and fighting until you get one job, then the next, and keep moving forward. I hope a lot of people can look at my life and see that hard work and ambition can take you a long way.
Q: You’re getting to act in all kinds of movies these days. You had an action comedy with Kevin Hart (Central Intelligence), voiced an animated character in Moana, and now you Baywatch coming up. Are you consciously moving away from just action films?
JOHNSON: I always believed that I needed to do all kinds of movies including comedies and family films – and not just action movies – if I wanted to grow as an actor. I’m also very comfortable doing comedy because I love to laugh, and I love so much being able to make other people laugh. I think it’s important to have a healthy spirit, and I want to be able to share my spirit and enthusiasm with everyone. squaremile.com
Q: You often lend your support to children’s charities. Was your love of children one of the reasons that made you want to do Moana?
JOHNSON: I’ve done family films before and this one was very special. It was great to work with the people at Disney – and be part of a movie that children and families can enjoy. I also embrace the ‘aloha spirit’ that is part of the film and which is very meaningful to me and to Polynesian culture. Whenever I go to Hawaii or other islands in the Pacific I always feel the energy of those places and a movie set in that world resonates very deeply with me. It’s my culture and while I was working on it I noticed the grandmother in the film is very much like my grandmother. That really touched me, and I can tell you that never in my entire career have I ever cried as much as I did making Moana. It was a very special experience. Q: What were your high school years like?
PHOTOGRAPHS (Baywatch) by ZUMA Press; (Ballers) Collection Christophel / Alamy Stock Photo; (Furious) Atlaspix; all from Alamy Stock Photo
JOHNSON: I had some hard times. I had a lot of problems with my identity and figuring out who I was and who I wanted to be. I was getting into a lot of trouble early on in high school and I was arrested multiple times when I was 15 and 16. I was mixed up and sports are what turned my life around and gave me something to focus on, and gave me some purpose and direction in life. All kids need that – and I was lucky enough to find that. During my last year in high school I won a full scholarship to the University of Miami and we won a national championship. Thanks to bodybuilding I was able to gain self respect and set definite goals in my life. I tried to model myself after Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, and I knew that one day I would get into acting.
after that it was very hard for me to get parts. I made it a point to learn everything about how the business works and do whatever it takes to succeed. So I tried doing comedies like Be Cool and Get Smart because comedy came naturally to me and I knew I was good at it.
Q: Do you ever miss your wrestling days when you would appear before massive crowds or is acting a much easier way to earn a living? JOHNSON: Wrestling in front of a live audience is an extraordinary feeling. You feel such an incredible energy when you’re in the ring. It takes a physical toll, but it’s incredibly exciting. Acting is very different, of course. You need to be able to show a wide range of emotions and create many different kinds of characters as opposed to one. Up on the screen, I get to fall in love, be funny, or be very dramatic. When you’re in the ring, the beating you put on your opponent is the only thing that counts. Q: You have two children [Jasmine, one, from long-time girlfriend Lauren Hashian and 15-year-old Simone, from his first wife, Dany Garcia, who still works as his manager]. How
have you evolved as a father over the years?
JOHNSON: I think it takes time for guys to figure out who they are and what kind of life they want. Gradually you realise, ‘Oh, this is who I am. This is who I’m comfortable being,’ and you begin checking off all those boxes about what you’ve dreamed about achieving and that gives you more confidence. And as you get older, you find that there are more boxes out there and more goals that you set for yourself. Q: What is the most important advice you could offer to your children?
JOHNSON: The number one thing is to have confidence in yourself. You need to believe that you are good enough and that you can accomplish what you set your mind to do. You’ve also got to learn how to block out all the noise and all the things that distract you from your dreams and ambitions. You’ve got to listen to that little voice inside you that tells you that you are good enough and that you can realise your dreams. ■ The Fate of the Furious is due for release on 14 April. Baywatch is due for release on 2 June.
Q: As it turned out, you learnt a lot about the art of performing during your wrestling glory days in the WWE. Were you always thinking about conquering Hollywood at some point?
JOHNSON: It was always my dream to be an actor. Watching Rocky changed my life – and that character became my role model. I got into wrestling because that was a family tradition [his father was a wrestler], and it was a good way of making a name for myself that could one day lead to Hollywood. I actually developed my own Hercules project long before I actually got to play in the (2014) film but no one took me seriously. I had to slowly, very slowly, work my way into the business doing films like The Mummy Returns (2001) and The Scorpion King (2003) and even
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MCLAREN LAMBORGHINI DREAM MACHINES BARBADOS
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THE SCENIC ROUTE . 078
THE DRIVE OF A LIFETIME WE SENT JEREMY TAYLOR TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD TO JOIN A GROUP OF WEALTHY McLAREN OWNERS ON THE ULTIMATE ROAD TRIP. NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT…
’M TEARING DOWN the back straight of
New Zealand’s fastest racetrack with the speedometer touching 150mph. In the rearview mirror I can see Bruno Senna’s McLaren glued to my bumper – not far behind is Le Mans legend Derek Bell in a 675 LT. Our three cars are jostling for position but now my McLaren 570S coupé is about to be overhauled. With a blip of the throttle, both Senna and Bell have passed by me, the only ignominy is that Senna has time to lower the driver’s window and wave. The next machine to glide by with tailpipes roaring is the holy grail of supercars. The 240mph McLaren F1 dates back to 1992 and is the most expensive modern classic on the used
car market. Just 106 were made and prices now reach a heady £15m. Shortly after, I’m overtaken by a P1 – the limited edition, plug-in hypercar was launched in 2013 as a successor to the F1. The electricpetrol drivetrain produces a massive 904bhp and accelerates to 125mph in 6.8 seconds. This smorgasbord of automotive exotica might sound like fantasy if it wasn’t for real. I’m 11,000 miles from home and taking part in the drive of a lifetime – an eight-day tour through the spiritual home of McLaren on some of the finest roads in the southern hemisphere. The Surrey-based supercar maker wanted to commemorate the life of their Kiwi-born founder, Bruce McLaren, with a full-blown adventure down under. The Epic New Zealand Road Tour was several years in the making but has been worth the wait. Only McLaren owners – and me – have been invited on the trip, paying up to £50,000 to travel from as far away as California, Hong Kong and Lebanon to join in the fun. And I’m here mingling with owners at the Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, who seem equally amazed, too. Back in the pit lane, I chat with Derek Bell about the experience. The fivetime Le Mans winner was briefly a McLaren driver in the late 1960s. “If Bruce could have seen the McLaren road cars that took part in this tour he would have been gobsmacked. It would have been a very proud moment for him to be here.” Beside him is Bruce’s daughter Amanda, as well as former Williams F1 driver Bruno Senna, nephew of the legendary Ayrton, who won three F1 championships for McLaren. He
is now a McLaren test driver himself. Our exclusive drive from Auckland to Queenstown has wound its way down the country on a route designed to exploit the car’s potential to the full. I’ve now swapped my 570S for a 570GT – the entry-level McLaren grand tourer costs £154,000 and is perfectly designed for a long-distance trip like this. Inside, the GT cockpit is more lavishly equipped than the standard 570S. It feels lighter, thanks to a panoramic glass roof, plus a show-stopping, side-hinged glass panel at the rear that provides an extra 220 litres of luggage space on the parcel shelf. (Another 130 litres are under the bonnet). It’s a beautiful place to sit but even more exhilarating to drive. The miles down from Auckland to Wellington, at the south of North Island, give me a chance to sample the tweaks that have been made to the powertrain, suspension and steering that make the GT the most usable car in the McLaren stable. Unfortunately, that means trying to stick to a maximum speed of 62mph in a 204mph car. Officers here hand out tickets just for cutting corners and motorists can lose their driving licence for exceeding the limit by just 25mph. New Zealand may be similar in size to the UK, but with a head count of just over four million, the roads are refreshingly empty. The population does have a voracious appetite for motorsport and thousands have lined our route to see the McLaren cavalcade pass. Bruce McLaren was born in Auckland in 1937, where his parents ran a service station. He entered his first hill-climb in an Austin 7 Ulster when he was just 14. Later, he won ➤
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CHASING CARS: The spectacular scenery of New Zealand provides a suitably majestic backdrop for two McLarens driven by motoring royalty.
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ON THE ROAD: [this image] The 1,040-mile route of the Epic New Zealand Road Tour took in some of the country’s most arresting sights; [below] locals were impressed by the convoy.
➤ the New Zealand Grand Prix Association’s Driver To Europe scheme for promising racers. McLaren joined the Cooper factory team in England alongside Jack Brabham and won the 1959 United States Grand Prix – the youngest ever winner. After more victories he set up McLaren Motor Racing, which competed in F1 and then very successfully in Can-Am. McLaren died on the Lavant straight at Goodwood in 1970 while testing a new CanAm car. He wrote in a 1964 motor racing book: “To do something well is so worthwhile that to die trying to do better cannot be foolhardy.” Trying to manoeuvre so many low-slung vehicles onto the ferry between North and South islands the next day might have had expensive consequences, but McLarens boast electronic height adjustment that takes the scrape out of the loading process – especially
•• MCLARENS HAVE THE RARE ABILITY TO MAKE ANY DRIVER FEEL LIKE THEY’RE A TRACKHARDENED RACER 080
useful for multi-storey car parks, too. Soon the tour is passing through the stunning Marlborough Sounds on a four-hour crossing. Below deck is probably the most expensive car cargo the ship has ever carried. The scenery suddenly steps up a gear as the tour reaches South Island. The original route was scrapped at the last minute to avoid the earthquake-hit Christchurch region, so I’m given directions down the west coast instead. My GT may be the baby of the fleet but it’s immensely fast. The paddle gear-shifters on the steering column beg to be used, giving the McLaren the rare ability to make any driver feel like a track-hardened racer. The new route takes us down the scenic coast to Punakaiki, in the Paparoa National Park. Highway 6 also provides some of the most enjoyable bends in the country. The McLaren adventure is big news on New Zealand television. Nightly coverage means more spectators on the road with each passing day, applauding the cars as we pass through every village and intersection. And it’s hard not to feel the enthusiasm for McLaren. The F1 team may not be what it was but the company’s latest road cars feel more youthful, exclusive and ‘modern’ than the best of Porsche, Mercedes or Audi. After 1,040 miles, the final day is just what every supercar owners wants – a session in
McLaren’s track-focussed GT4 supercar. At the wheel is former British Touring Car Championship driver, Danny Buxton. The racing version of the 570S throws more G than a fighter plane, as it throws me around the Highlands Motorsport Park, near Queenstown. That night, I ask Amanda McLaren what her father might have thought of the event. “I think he would have felt very honoured. He was an incredibly proud Kiwi and returned home as often as he could. You only have to look at the response from residents here, almost 50 years after he died, to see how his memory lives on in these new cars.” ■
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HEAD FOR THE HILLS A GOOD DRIVE WITH GREAT LOOKS: THE MASERATI LEVANTE IMPRESSES GRAHAM COURTNEY IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
T WASN’T SO long ago when the thought of a
luxury car maker producing a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) would have been laughable. But now they’re all at it. The Porsche Cayenne paved the way, and then the Audi Q7. More recently the Bentley Bentayga and Jaguar F-Pace have taken the mantle. It won’t be long before a Lamborghini arrives. There’s even an Aston Martin SUV on the drawing board. Somehow, we doubt that Ferrari will go down the SUV route but, to be honest, a few years ago you would have said the same thing about Italian stablemate Maserati. One of the latest SUVs to arrive on our shores is the Maserati Levante, named after a Mediterranean wind. At the moment the Levante range is a tad limited – there’s only one. Although you can expect different engines to appear eventually, we have to manage with a 3.0 V6 diesel unit. Before you dip into the options list, this will set you back £54,335. (A petrol variant is rumoured to be on the way) For such a big vehicle, it feels quicker than the figures suggest. 0-60mph takes 6.9 seconds; top speed is 142mph. Go easily and you won’t be far away from 40mpg. You’ll be pleased to read that the Levante has typical Italian flair. There’s a real sense of get-up-and-go. Squeeze the throttle and the slick automatic gearbox changes very smoothly. Permanent four-wheel drive helps
with roadholding and allows you to traverse a muddy field, reverse a boat into a lake, or get you home safely on a slippery night. The only slight complaint would be the engine note. On start-up or at town speeds, it sounds a tad unrefined. Put it this way, you definitely know that you’ve got an oil burner under the bonnet. However, once you get onto a dual carriageway, it all fades away and becomes very relaxed indeed. The Levante will make a great long-distance cruiser. If you want to hustle along a country lane, the Levante is actually surprisingly agile. There’s very little body roll and, if you use the paddles behind the steering wheel to change gear, it’s really good fun, too. The interior is roomy and very smart. It’s well equipped with leather upholstery, sat nav, keyless entry, heated front and rear seats, air con, touch screen and a host of safety features all included as standard. Maserati fans were no doubt rather surprised when the idea of an SUV was mooted. Thankfully, they needn’t have worried. It stands out from direct competition purely because it has a certain character. It’s good to drive, good to travel in and looks sharp. For those folk who fancy an SUV which has a rarity factor, the Maserati Levante could be right up their private drive. ■ For more information, see maserati.co.uk
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3.0-ltr V6 DIESEL
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1964 JAGUAR E-TYPE SERIES 1: Just one of the fabulous cars available to drive as a member of Hoxton based Classic Car Club for a fixed annual fee. Drive this car from £165 per day including unlimited mileage.
Fast from the past Love classic cars but don’t have the time or the expertise to maintain one? Don’t worry about it. Join Classic Car Club and enjoy driving some of the most iconic vehicles ever made, without the stress
SSEMBLED IN LONDON in 1995, Classic Car Club is the private members’ club that puts you behind the wheel of some of the greatest automobiles known to man. You don’t need any mechanical know-how to sign up, just an eye for the aesthetic and an
•• You don’t need any mechanical know-how, just an appreciation of the finer things in life 084
appreciation for the finer things in life. All the heartaches of classic car ownership – storage, maintenance and insurance to name a few – fall on our broad and experienced shoulders, leaving you free to enjoy the wind in your hair and sun on your face without a care in the world. Hell, we’re so generous that we even throw in unlimited mileage. From iconic 1960s E-Types and Mercedes SLs to classic Fiat 500s, we have something sublime for every occasion, be it a romantic break, a week touring the continent or just plain old-fashioned styling it around town. We even have a smattering of motorcycles for those of you who like to throw a leg over. Our London HQ is a 20,000sq ft
underground lair that’s located just off Hoxton Square, while our Manhattan branch is at Pier 76, a stunning waterside premises that enjoys great sunsets over the Hudson. And the best bit – you can use cars in NYC through your London membership. In addition to the cars there is a great social calendar of events to attend and an amazing line-up of added benefits through a plethora of carefully selected brand partners and friends. ■ Membership is capped to maintain great availability. To find out how to apply, call 020 7739 7579 or see
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8 • 9 • 10 SEPTEMBER
GREEN WITH ENVY: Get behind the wheel of a Lamborghini and traverse the streets of Paris and Versailles in style (while turning a few heads, too).
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BULL RUN THE BEST WAY TO EXPLORE FRANCE? DRIVING AROUND IT IN A LAMBORGHINI OF COURSE, SAYS HANNAH SUMMERS
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’LL FESS UP NOW: the last time I drove a Lamborghini I took a corner at more than 140mph, rear ended a Ferrari 599XX and spun off the track into a wild cheering crowd. I walked away unharmed. Of course this stop-the-race black-flag incident actually took place in a video game – I’m a journalist not a billionaire. And why is a 30-year-old hussy like me sitting inside playing video games, I hear you ask? Well, it’s fun isn’t it? Beats going for a run. And secondly, for a long time I thought my chances of driving a real Lamborghini were slim to none. Well, now all that’s changed. Because Waldorf Astoria – the luxury hotel group that is home to some of the plushest hotels on the planet, scattered across some of the most dazzling destinations – has introduced a new Lambo driving experience for its guests. Yes you, the average punter, instead of dropping thousands on your own Italian supercar, can now take one for a spin on your holiday, and save your hard-earned cash for that sensible Volvo estate (it’s had decent reviews, to be fair). My session takes place on the sun-dappled back lanes of Versailles, that historic, Palaceboasting city located just 30 minutes outside of Paris. And don’t worry if you simply can’t stand the French; over the next year, a pristine Pantone palette of Lamborghinis will be shipped to a selection of the group’s hotels, allowing you to speed along the sun-scorched, desert-fringed roads of Utah or rev around the ancient cobbles of Rome.
Today is a roof-down kinda day. The warm spring sunshine glints off the Skittle-red paint, catching the golden bull on the car’s badge. Tawny leaves swirl in the gentle wind, and the V10 engine of my Huracan LP 610-4 Spyder growls at the vaguest touch of the accelerator. Beside me, thrown back into his soft leather seat, sits Patric, my baby-skinned instructor. Here’s a man who started his professional driving career spinning go-karts around tracks. There’s hope for us yet. The famous Italian marque may have made its name back in 1948 as a tractor manufacturer, but according to Patric, it’s come on a long way since then (no shit). “Lamborghinis aren’t just a racing car, but they’re great for on the streets, and driving to the shops, too,” he tells me as I drive. Guests are free to cruise solo and follow another car in the fleet, or an instructor-cum-pro driver can jump in for the ride. I choose the latter, because when else will I have 30 minutes to hear about the career highlights of a professional Lamborghini racing driver? In fact, Patric’s easy conversation is a welcome distraction. There’s €230,000-worth of supercar in my hands and the locals of Versailles aren’t afraid to remind me. People screech to a halt on roundabouts desperate for a picture, others pause mid zebra crossing for a look, and mesmerised bus drivers slow down to give way. When you can’t see us you can hear us. Tapping the Spyder into sports mode I speed away at a green light. The engine ➤
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MAKING TRACKS: When it comes to exploring a new city, Lamborghinis beat a tourist-bus tour any day, if you ask us.
➤ screams in pleasure. I whoop in delight. Patric laughs and tells me to slow the hell down. Of course, it’s not all split-second accelerations at traffic lights – these are functioning roads, after all. During slower stretches we have a chance to appreciate the sites, from the intricately designed off-white façade of the huge Palace of Versailles to the golden-hued fields that line our 15km route. We crawl through the pretty tree-lined backstreets of the city to an exhilarating exhaust soundtrack. Patric encourages me to dip the throttle and rev the engine so that a
•• I DIP THE THROTTLE AND REV THE ENGINE. A MAN SWEARS – AND THEN GESTURES FOR ME TO DO IT AGAIN 088
throaty growl roars out across the cobbles. A man stares, scowls, swears. Then he immediately gestures for me to do it again. With the sights behind us, I’m soon back at the hotel. With a sweat-inducing, reverse-park manoeuvre, I squeeze into a parking space, take some obligatory pictures, thank Patric for his guidance, and collapse into a velvet armchair to compose myself. If the Lamborghini Spyder is a spectacular drive, the Trianon Versailles is a fitting partner. The opulent hotel is located inside the Versailles gardens, a UNESCO-certified site of more than 20,000 trees and flowers, and, of course, the famous Versailles palace. My bedroom is an elegant ensemble of high ceilings, huge glass windows and a bed big enough for ten, with lilac flourishes complementing the luxurious drapes and lamp-lit corners. Elsewhere, the hotel is bathed in natural light – from the long marble entrance corridor, where arm chairs and sofas sit beneath glittering white stone and chandeliers, to the two world-acclaimed Gordon Ramsay restaurants.
Ornate lights line the ceilings of the vast room of restaurant Le Veranda, which is thoughtfully adorned with monochrome floors and a collection of large bay trees. Any table would be a winner, but mine sits close to the floor-to-ceiling window, allowing me to take in the most calming views and frolicking baby goats of the Parc de Versailles. The menu is extensive – from delicate and soft lamb to light, fresh slow-roasted tomato gazpacho. I opt for a burrata salad, and am soon presented with a plump, soft-white mound of creamy soft cheese, which is paired with a crunchy, delicately dressed salad. A chocolate-coated dessert is tempting, but the sun-drenched gardens beckon. I settle into a garden chair and sip a frothy macchiato, but the quiet calm is soon punctured by a loud and an unmistakable sound. In the distance, a V10 engine erupts. Despite how comfortable I am, I know exactly which seat I’d rather be sat in. ■ The Lamborghini and Waldorf Astoria Driving Experience is available at five hotels in 2017. See
waldorfastoria3.hilton.com for details.
DEUS EX MACHINA WHETHER TO RENT OR BUY, THE WORLD’S BEST DREAM MACHINES ARE WAITING FOR YOU. BY JACK DONNE AND GRAHAM COURNTEY
CHARTER A YACHT YACHTING PARTNERS INTERNATIONAL
Luxury doesn’t come much more versatile than chartering a superyacht. Not only can you wake up with a different view every day, but you have a huge range of holiday experiences to pick from. Whether it’s romantic, family, zen, active, adventurous – the only limitations are your imagination and your wallet. Of course, the beauty of charter is that you don’t need to have a billionaire’s budget to afford it. With Yachting Partners International (YPI), prices start from £25,000 a week. For something as impressive as Axioma [pictured], you’re going to need a little more, though. From €520,000 a week, you can charter this astonishing 72m superyacht. Designed by the renowned Alberto Pinto, it was built with the philosophy of offering guests the ultimate well-being experience. It accommodates up to 12 guests, and features an infinity pool, a large hottub with a swim-in bar, fully equipped gym, massage room and steam room, as well as amazing alfresco dining and a 3D cinema room. Your summer in the Mediterranean has just received a considerable upgrade… For more information, visit ypigroup.com
LAND, SEA & AIR
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DUCATI X DIAVAL S
How’s this for a bit of Italian design? The first thing you notice about the Ducati X Diaval S is how long it is. It has a wheelbase of almost 1.7metres. You also sit very low down with outstretched arms and legs. It’s all very un-Ducati, which has obviously decided that it can no longer ignore the growing trend – especially in the USA – for lolloping cruisers. You expect Ducati engines to scream. Not so with the Diaval. Peak power (154bhp) from the 1,262cc engine arrives below 5,000rpm. Having said that, drop a couple of cogs, open the taps, and there’s a serious burst of acceleration. It has a split personality – and you’ll be sure to like both of them. £18,795, ducatiuk.com
HONDA CMX500 REBEL
BMW’s retro café R Nine T motorbike has been a hot seller – and now it’s added a Scrambler to the range. It features an air-cooled, flat-twin 1,200cc boxer engine, which has stood for hallmark design, powerful torque and a unique sound for more than nine decades. Thanks to its upright riding position and big springs, it’s comfy, too.
The Yamaha YZF-R1 is a true super-sports motorbike, developed by nine-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi. Performance from the 998cc 200bhp 4-cylinder, 16-valve engine is astonishing: 0-60mph takes round 2.5 seconds, although you’ll need to be a skilled rider to achieve that. Top speed is rumoured to be 180mph.
The new Honda Rebel is so new, it’s not on sale yet (out later this spring). It mixes old and new school with its fat-tyre ‘bobber’ style. It will be fitted with an A2 licence-friendly 471cc eight-valve, twincylinder engine, which means it’s the first realistic chance for reasonably new or young bikers to get their hands on machinery with street-cred.
From £10,550; bmw.com
PHOTOGRAPH (BMW) by Daniel Kraus Photoworks
BMW R NINE T SCRAMBLER
LOTUS EVORA SPORT 410 The new, class-leading Lotus Evora Sport 410 is massively lighter, has more power and greater aerodynamic efficiency, so with a 0-60 mph time of 3.9 secs and a top speed of 190 mph, this new generation of Evora is a pure-bred supercar. For more inFormation contact your local dealer or visit lotuscars.com Bell & colvill (Horsley) ltd Surrey, KT24 6DG tel: 01483 281000 /LotusCars
castle lotus Essex, CM23 5PJ tel: 01279 813907
HeXaGon lotus North London, N2 0NL tel: 0208 3485151
HoFmanns Oxfordshire, RG9 1HG tel: 01491 848800 GroupLotus
FUEL CONSUMPTION Lotus Sport 410 (mpg* [l/100 km]) Urban 20.8 (13.6), Extra Urban 39.8 (7.1), Combined 29.1 (9.7), CO2 emissions 230 g/km. *Performance results may vary depending upon the specification of the particular vehicle, environmental conditions, driving style and other factors. MPG figures are obtained from laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles and may not reflect real driving results. Published MPG figures and performance results are intended for comparisons between vehicles only. Verification of performance results should not be attempted on public roads . Lotus recommends that all local speed and safety laws must be obeyed and safety belts worn at all times.
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JET SETTER GULFSTREAM G280
It’s difficult to think of Gulfstream having an ‘entry level’ model, but the G280 is certainly its baby. It specialises in both high altitude and short runways, making it an incredibly versatile jet. It will happily cruise at Mach 0.80, but you’d have no idea you were travelling so fast thanks to industryleading cabin sound levels. Equipped with two Honeywell HTF7250G engines, each providing 7,624 pounds of thrust (that’s a lot, by the way), it can reach a flight level of 43,000 feet in just 20 minutes. It now has 59 world speed records in total to its name – buy one and you could go for the 60th. ■ For more info, see gulfstream.com
GLORY DAYS: Goodwood is home to some of the Season’s most popular events: from the high-octane Festival of Speed, where you can see some of the world’s most impressive cars and bikes, to the Revival, which celebrates the golden age of motor racing.
Full speed ahead What’s your summer schedule like? With the Season fast on the approach, it’s time to get your calendar sorted. Consider Goodwood as the perfect base for a day of entertaining in the sunshine
NE OF THE world’s rarest cars is hurtling towards you on a track that’s tighter than your average country lane. Behind the wheel is a world-famous racing driver who you may get the chance to have a chat to over a beer later on that day. An original Spitfire thunders overhead echoing the chorus of a V12 warming up for its turn on the track. This is just an average moment at Goodwood – and when it comes to hospitality, it sure beats a round of golf. As a stalwart of the Season scene, Goodwood is a golden choice, with its worldrenowned motorsport events providing the perfect excuse to ditch the City, don your summer finest and head to West Sussex for a day doing something everyone will enjoy. Kicking things off from 29 June-2 July is Goodwood’s legendary Festival of Speed. Dubbed the ‘largest motoring garden party in
the world’, the spectacular gathering brings together the world’s greatest cars and bikes as well as motorsport legends past and present on the manicured lawns outside Grade I-listed Goodwood House. It’s a full-throttle assault on the senses, where you can watch a dazzling array of the planet’s rarest and most glamorous cars tackle the famous Goodwood Hillclimb. To really appreciate the event in style, Goodwood’s hospitality pavilions are your best bet. Brand new for 2017 is the Clark Pavilion: it’s located at the most dramatic corner of the Hillclimb Course, which has seen its fair share of thrills and spills. With both indoor and outdoor areas, guests can get an up-close view of the action, enjoying food and drinks while experts take care of the driving on the track. For those who prefer something a little more classic, Goodwood Revival from 8-10 September is the place to immerse yourself in
the glamour of motor racing’s gilded age. It’s the only historic race meeting to be staged in period dress giving it a fun and frivolous feel. That said, the motors are very serious, with more than 100,000 people heading to the event to see some of history’s most remarkable cars. Booking the Goodwood Mess hospitality area will add a dose of theatrical happenings, and ensure a jolly good time. Whichever occasion you choose, what’s for certain is an unrivalled atmosphere at a unique event that’s a key part of the British summer social calendar. Multiple Goodwood winner Roy Salvadori once said, “Give me Goodwood on a summer’s day and you can forget the rest of the world.” If ever there was a place to spend a day ‘out of office’, this is it. ■ To enquire about any of Goodwood’s hospitality products please call the team on 01243 755 054 or visit goodwood.com/hospitality
STILL WATERS, RUM DEEP RUM IS A PRETTY BIG DEAL IN BARBADOS, AND RESISTANCE IS FUTILE. JON HAWKINS FINDS HIMSELF CHARMED BY THE SPIRIT OF THE ISLAND â€“ IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE
PHOTOGRAPH by blah
LAND, SEA & AIR
OU GET TWO for the price of one at John
Moore Bar in Weston, Barbados. Not on the drinks, sadly – though they’ll hardly break the bank – but on the place itself, which has exactly the kind of split personality that you want from a rum shop. The front of the bar sits metres from the narrow, potholed highway that runs up the northwest coast of Barbados from Holetown to Speightstown, its brightly painted façade – emblazoned with branding for Mount Gay Rum – drawing in thirsty punters to the long copper bar like a tractor beam. The back, however, might as well be on a different planet – let alone facing in a different direction. Open to the elements and jacked up on breezeblocks above pure white sand, it looks out over the kind of beach you’ve seen in pictures and dismissed straight away as Photoshopped to within an inch of its life. The sea’s too clear and blue, the sky has a light but uniform dusting of clouds that can’t possibly be genuine, and there’s absolutely no way that bright blue fishing boat was ever really on that beach. Except that it was, it’s all real, and there’s a bar sitting right next to it. So, with that in mind, you’ll get some idea of how they roll in this part of the world when I tell you the front of John Moore Bar – with its tarmac views, soundtrack of grumbling traffic, but immediate access to alcohol – was packed, while the beach-view tables were empty.
A RUM COVE There are, I’m told by a reliable source, more than 1,800 rum shops on Barbados. Given it has a total area of just 431sq km and a population of 284,644, that’s more than four rum shops per square kilometre and one for every 150-odd people. To put things into perspective, the UK has 225 times more people and is 565 times bigger, yet only has 29 times as many pubs (52,750, since you ask – and that number’s sadly falling by the month). “Rum shops are the cornerstone of the community,” explains Darrio Prescod, who also goes by the name ‘Mr Mount Gay’ and is the brand ambassador for the country’s oldest
brand of rum. “You go there to find out what’s currently going on in the neighborhood; what the word on the street is.” They don’t all have beaches for gardens like John Moore Bar, but they do mostly adhere to a tried-and-tested formula of simple, shacklike construction, bright exteriors (often in the colours of alcohol brands or phone networks) and a scattering of tables filled with loudly chattering locals drinking rum or beer. Put simply, if you want to know anything about Barbados and its inhabitants, then you really need to know about its rum shops – and you need to know about rum. Though its claim isn’t totally without contention (ask a Brazilian), Barbados is generally thought to be the birthplace of rum. Sugar cane was introduced to the island in the 1630s by British colonialists, who deforested the land and imported slaves from Africa to provide forced labour, as Barbados grew to become a sugar-producing powerhouse. The unwanted byproducts of extracting sugar from sugar cane – including molasses and ‘skimmings’ – were often dumped in the ocean, until planters realised they would ferment to create a sweet, alcoholic drink. Though it was given the early, somewhat ominous, name of ‘kill devil’, this rough and fiery drink would eventually become known as rumbullion, which was then shortened to rum. In 1703,
Mount Gay was born when the ironically named John Sobers inherited a distillery and asked his friend Sir John Gay to run it. Though the distillery is in the north of the island, and the molasses used to make it is imported (the island’s focus is tourism rather than sugar production these days), the Mount Gay visitor centre, where I meet Darrio for a tour, is off the Spring Garden Highway on the outskirts of the capital, Bridgetown, in the southwest. The tour begins, obviously, with a rum punch (it’s 9.30am), and ends on a platform over the warehouse where bottling and packaging takes place. The pace on the production line is slow and unhurried, and sweet, burnt-toffee notes from the rum mingle in the air with the smell of cardboard boxes and the clinking of bottles. The quiet efficiency in the bottling room is deceptive. Or, to put it another way, if you weren’t already aware of the importance of the stuff to Barbadians, you wouldn’t necessarily think anything remarkable was going on. But this – and the 50,000 American white-oak barrels that once held bourbon and are now filled with maturing Mount Gay rum – is a very literal source of national pride. Instead, the places where islanders go to pay tribute to the spirit their predecessors created are the rum shops, and as I discover as I travel around the island visiting them, ➤
ART IMITATES LIFE: A vibrant mural decorates Tallie’s Rum Store near Holetown on the west coast of Barbados.
PHOTOGRAPH (Rum shop) by Michael Lawrence/Getty images
•• IF YOU WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT BARBADOS, THEN YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ITS RUM SHOPS squaremile.com
TO-DO LIST: [this image] Bottom Bay on the east coast, renowned for its unmanicured appearance; [below L-R] a rum bar in Oistins; Nigel Benn Auntie Bar, which is – unsurprisingly – owned by boxer Nigel Benn’s auntie; [opposite] John Moore Bar is located right on the beach.
➤ they themselves are a distillation of the island’s people – laid-back, totally charming and welcoming to anyone and everyone. My wife and I have barely walked through the door of John Moore Bar before a couple of locals have freed up chairs and put drinks in front of us before we’ve even sat down. We’re soon being enthusiastically questioned about where we’re from and – of most interest to them – what I could possibly have done to deserve being the designated driver, and therefore unable to down eyepoppingly strong rum punch. “You’ll have to have beer instead,” they decide. This, Darrio tells me, has nothing to do with tourism, but it “speaks to the culture and the close-knit society” in Barbados. “You can pull up at a rum shop and meet someone you don’t know, and you could soon be sharing a bottle
of rum and having an argument about cricket. From there the conversation can go absolutely anywhere – all around the world.”
PRECIOUS METALS Our base in Barbados is in the west of the island, often known as the Platinum Coast, owing to the twinkling stretches of sand and silver-blue seas that are clear and calm. Running from just north of Bridgetown in the south to Speightstown (pronounced ‘spikestown’) in the north, it’s where you’ll find most of the island’s most desirable resorts sitting on impossibly beautiful beaches where tall palms and leafy manchineel trees provide shady spots on the sand. As it turns out, we’ve lucked upon just about the best place to position ourselves, not just because it’s pure catnip for beach lovers
like us, but because it’s easy to travel to just about anywhere else. Barbados – the most easterly island in the Caribbean Sea – has a distorted-kidney-bean shape, with most of the resorts clustered around the south and west of the island. To serve these, and the capital Bridgetown on the south-west corner, the main highway runs like a coronary artery from Grantley Adams airport in the centre of the south, around Bridgetown and up the west coast. A dense network of small roads fans out from it, covering the quiet interior and windand Atlantic-battered (and savagely pretty) east. This means you can be watching a group of old men playing dominoes and talking politics in a rum shop in Holetown (just a few minutes up the coast from our hotels) one minute, and lying on a totally empty beach in the far south-east of the island less than an hour later. We spend most of our week on the island doing just that – mixing beaches, rum shops, restaurants and more beaches, with a good bit of island exploration thrown in. A number of drives take us out through the sparse and green centre of the island, where we stop off at Earthworks Pottery in the parish of St Thomas to check the out brightly decorated handmade ceramics. Just down the road are the Flower Forest botanical gardens – go there for views of the Atlantic through soaring palms and a mug of numbing bay-leaf tea – and Welchman Hall Gully, which offers a fascinating glimpse of what Barbados’s vegetation would have looked like before colonialists tore it down for sugar cane. You won’t find much of that on the island anymore, but the faithfully preserved plantation house at St Nicholas Abbey has fields of the stuff, which is cultivated and used to make delicious rum. The tiny scale means you can see everything within a small area – from sugar being extracted from cane by the gnashing teeth of an ancient steam-driven machine to distillation, barrelling and bottling. It’s also worth a trip to that remote east coast – take an excellent Island Safari if you don’t have your own wheels – where wild and beautiful beaches are lashed by waves that
•• YOU CAN PULL UP TO A RUM SHOP AND MEET SOMEONE YOU DON’T KNOW, AND SOON BE SHARING A BOTTLE squaremile.com
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PHOTOGRAPHS (sunset) Alan Copson/Getty Images; (Oistans) CJG - Caribbean / Alamy Stock Photo; remaining photos by Jon Hawkins
only those with surfboards bother to brave, and perhaps the impressive of all these is Bottom Bay, in the extreme south-east. Leaving the airport behind us, we pass through small towns packed with chattel houses, more rum shops and churches (which are almost as ubiquitous as those temples to the island’s favourite spirit), and cross over from the parish of Christ Church to Saint Philip. Told to look out for a signed turnoff on our right, we pass dusty road after dusty road (“Is this it? How can it not be this one?”) and are about to give up when we spot a wellhidden sign and drive down a short road that appears to end when it runs off a cliff edge. We’re about to do exactly that when a figure in the distance starts wildly waving his arms in the air in a way that even a nonBarbadian could tell means ‘whatever you idiots are about to do, don’t do it’. He gestures, grinning widely, to a patch of gravel where he’s standing and directs us into what we soon realise is a kind of makeshift car park. Within about 30 seconds, we’re stood holding the green coconuts topped up with rum he’s just sold us, while he explains the geography of the area and recounts stories of his prowess on the cricket pitch. “I’m an all-rounder,” he tells us. He directs us through a narrow gap in the tumbling foliage, and we spill out – still juggling our enormous coconuts (oo-er missus) – onto ice-white sand framed by jagged cliffs and tall palms, while sea that’s so blue you’d swear they dye it, whipped up into fierce frosty peaks, lashes against the beach. It’s one of the most breathtaking beaches I’ve ever seen, and the largely deserted setting is utterly primitive and unmanicured.
•• RUM’S IN OUR VEINS, AND THIS IS ITS BIRTHPLACE. YOU COULD SAY IT’S THE SPIRIT THE COUNTRY WAS BUILT ON liming and grinding on the strip’s main stage to booming calypso music (and more rum). Though we’re smack-bang in the middle of the island’s tourist hub, nothing feels forced or put-on – it’s just there, happening, and we’re just being absorbed into it. We get the same feeling everywhere we go on the island, and we get it again the following morning as we wander along the strip of beach just north of our hotel and spot a turtle bobbing around in the waves. There are people on the sand and in the sea, but no one seems to notice the sedentary interloper – it’s just part of the island’s extraordinary furniture, like the beaches and people and rum. And it’s the latter that provides the heartbeat. “Rum’s in our veins,” Darrio tells me. “This is its birthplace, so when Barbadian people talk about it they’re not just talking about a drink. You could say it’s the spirit the country was built on.” And if you’re looking for proof, head north on the highway to John Moore Bar, order a rum punch and pull up a stool – you’ll see the foundations are strong and deep, and they taste pretty damn good, too. ■ For more information or to plan a trip to Barbados, go to visitbarbados.org
THE CRANE As the oldest continuously operating hotel in the Caribbean, The Crane has had more than a century to get things right – very right. Of course, the setting helps: Crane Beach was declared by USA Today as the best in the Caribbean, and BBC’s Holiday Programme said it was one of the Top 50 Places to Go Before You Die. The swimming doesn't end there – as well as the adult-only Historic Pool, there’s a 1.5-acre cascading pool complex consists of a children’s wading pool, a waterfall pool, and an alfresco Jacuzzi spa pool. Seven bars and restaurants – rangin from Iaaliain to Japanese – make sure you’ll be well looked after all that hard work lazing by the pool. And if you’re still not relaxed enough book in at the Serenity Spa. thecrane.com
FRY HARD: WITH A VENGEANCE Back on the road – and some sort of reality – we head west to the small south-coast fishing town of Oistins where, it being Friday night, what seems like the entire planet has made a pilgrimage to the dozens of grill and rum shacks that pitch up between the coastal road and the sea. Queues of locals and tourists stream out of the most popular ‘restaurants’ (try Pat’s Place for an authentic experience), and the smell of barbecued fish along with the din of loud music and people fill the air. There’s a particularly dense crowd around one of the shacks, the Oistins Academy, where male-heavy groups are going head-to-head in the fiercest game of dominoes I’ve ever seen – a chalkboard nearby, scrawled with an incomprehensible (to me, at least) set of rules, advertises it as the ‘Bragging Rights’ tournament. There’s even an afterparty, just in case you fancy something lower-key than
PHOTOGRAPH by Simon Lewis Studio
GRANDE DESIGNS: Amanera’s focal point is the beautifully designed Casa Grande. The stunning views of Playa Grande beach and the Atlantic beyond make its secondstorey bar the perfect venue to watch the sunset with a nightcap. Life doesn’t get much better.
LAND, SEA & AIR
POWER PLAYA SEARCHING FOR LUXURY THAT LIVES ON THE WILD SIDE, BEN WINSTANLEY HEADS TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
LAYA GRANDE HAS always been special.
A mile-long finger of beach bending outwardly into the Atlantic – a come hither to the waves that crash against its palm-lined shores – it is located near the town of Cabrera in Dominican Republic’s northern María Trinidad Sánchez province. For the locals, it’s where they surfed as children, watched the sunrise, stole kisses from love conquests, and the adventurous dove in search of treasure among the shipwrecks lost to the reefs centuries ago. Until recently, it was an unknown to tourists, far from the primitive five-star resorts scattered across the arid, commercial south, and the affluent Punta Cana in the east. Much has changed since then. The beach may be just as quiet, the embodiment of paradise, but it was never this luxurious. Standing guard atop the 60ft tall western cliffs of Playa Grande is Amanera, the latest hotel from Aman Resorts. Set among 373 acres of lush terrain, the five-star destination opened in November 2015 to widespread acclaim, and has already established itself as one of the finest resorts in the Caribbean. If there’s one thing you can be certain of across the 7,000-plus islands and 28 nations that populate the azure-blue waters of the Caribbean sea it’s that luxury accommodation is never going to be far away. So what rises Amanera above its exclusive neighbours? The answer begins in the journey to its front door. Snaking north from Santo Domingo, the two-hour SUV ride from airport to the resort is an experience in itself. Slicing through marsh and palm-tree plantations, dodging the jagged rocks and mangroves of the Los Haitises
National Park, eventually you pick up the coastal road that leads you further off the beaten track to a rainforested section of the island’s northern coastline and your final destination. Out here in blissful isolation you are free to hike or mountain bike through the rainforest, snorkel among the reefs and wrecks, windand kite-surf, fish, or bathe in the sunlight on a beach that is almost entirely deserted – save for the waiter refilling your caipirinha. Amanera’s is a wild and rugged Dominican Republic, silver-spoon fed to you by one of the most sophisticated resorts in the world; millionaire escapism in situ.
MI CASA ES TU CASA The resort’s trump card may be its staggering location, but the seamless integration of nature and design serves to amplify Amanera’s awe-inspiring surroundings. English architect John Heah created 25 detached casitas (cottages), with flat biodiverse roofs that morph with the lush greenery abounding throughout the property. The effect is best scene from the beach where royal palms, bay grape trees and indigenous flora all but camouflage the small villas into the natural landscape. Up close, however, Heah’s design is bold and contemporary – beautifully employing materials like Indonesian teak, Greek Volakas marble, and striped Dominican aguayo tiles – but never to the point of excess. Bathed in natural light from the floor-toceiling windows, the living areas are built for comfort as well as Instagrammable aesthetics. Case (or is that casa?) in point is the ingenious bathroom design, that creates an inside- ➤
LAND, SEA & AIR
DON’T HATE THE PLAYA: [Left to right] The panoramic view from Amanera’s two-bedroom casita; the 17th hole on Playa Grande golf course.
➤ outside illusion through the use of glass and a small garden. The outdoor areas of each casita are equally well-equipped with comfortable seating aplenty and cooling plunge pools in the premium rooms. Such is the calibre of accommodation, renowned hedge fund manager and frequent Amanera visitor Bill Ackman bought the property’s marquee two-bedroom villa. When its billionaire owner isn’t in residence, the 2,626 sq ft space is a must for those with big budgets. Its expansive terrace and pool occupy the finest position in the resort, with panoramic views of Playa Grande at every turn. Previous occupants have ranged from families to wealthy bachelors hiring a DJ and a private chef to make the most of their moment in the sun. (Our invite must have been lost in the post.)
ONCE MORE UNTO THE BEACH
•• PLAYA GRANDE’S GOLF COURSE IS BUCKET-LIST TERRITORY – UP THERE WITH THE GREATEST IN THE MODERN GAME
reaches out into the ocean in the distance. Left open to the elements as part of Heah’s Balinese-inspired design it offers the best views in the whole property, along with an excellent cocktail list. On a balmy spring evening there are few sights in luxury travel as compelling as the sun setting at Playa Grande, soundtracked by lapping waves and rustling palms. For its part, the ground-floor restaurant is a spacious, breezy affair that flits from Italian, Mediterranean and Caribbean cuisine effortlessly. Locally sourced ingredients, including a daily supply of the freshest fish from a nearby fishing fleet, are used throughout dishes, including a superb fresh scialatelli pasta with rock lobster plucked from Playa Grande’s reefs that morning. For a more informal dining option, walk down to the Club de Playa: set on the beach, its open kitchen is loosely inspired by Chelsea’s River Café, next door to architect Heah’s London office. Fare here ranges from pizzas to ceviches, with a number of exceptional fish dishes offered on the grill, too. Seclusion can be a beautiful thing, but without the presence of good food it could quickly turn into torture. Thankfully such a fate will not befall you here.
PARADISE FOUND Amanera’s moniker, deriving from the Sanskrit word for peace (aman) and the Taino word for water (neara), perfectly encapsulates your experience at this, Dominican Republic’s best destination. Rarely has design fused so perfectly with its surroundings: Playa Grande has always been special but, now, paradise is yours. ■ Rates for Amanera’s Ocean View Hill Casita start at £875. For more information, see aman.com
While the promise of unspoilt shores and quiet luxury will please the beach bums among us, those whose posteriors are reserved for good food, drink, and the occasional game of golf should be equally well accommodated. With ten oceanfront holes along the 60ft cliff tops – the most of any track in the Western Hemisphere – Playa Grande golf course is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the world, and the first offered by an Aman resort. Built in 1997, as one of the last courses designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Snr before his death in 2000, it recently reopened after a large-scale remodel by the revered architect’s son Rees Jones. Equally respected for his gift for design, his 7,250-yard par-72 layout draws on the original’s strength, with visually thrilling holes that offer a tough challenge.
In one of the finest finishing straights in world golf, the closing five holes run along the edge of the cliffs as the ocean roars below. While it’s difficult to choose, our pick is the 470-yard dog-leg right 16th. It asks players to find a narrow fairway before executing a highly demanding uphill hybrid shot from one cliff to another, where the green is located: take a parfour score and run on this exceptional test. Frequently compared to California’s Pebble Beach, and easily rivalling its beauty, Playa Grande’s golf course is bucket-list territory – among the greatest in the game. With PGA professional Julio Santos, the first Dominican to play on the PGA tour, on hand for any players looking for tuition, and the option of a post-round golfer’s massage at Amanera’s spa, this is one of the best overall experiences you can enjoy on a golf course. Having built up an appetite, head to the focal point of the resort, Casa Grande. Heah’s staggering design has all the hallmarks of John Lautner’s architectural marvel, ArangoMarbrisa House in Acapulco: water is the preferred design tool, with the second-storey bar framed entirely by an infinity pool that
JUST AD D WATER
Call us 24/7 on 0330 100 3180 or go to mrandmrssmith.com/summer to find and book your perfect summer stay.
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PHOTOGRAPH: Rosewood Beijing by Durston Saylor
PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE 2017 IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
THE PRIZE WORTH £2,730
WHETHER YOU’RE A DIE-HARD LENSMAN OR A CASUAL INSTAGRAMMER, ENTER THE SQUARE MILE PHOTOGRAPHY PRIZE 2017 FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A LEICA
ALLING ALL CITY snappers: the square mile
PHOTOGRAPH by publianc larit em potinium vid ces blah
Photography Prize is back. This year, it’s sponsored by Leica – the world’s most prestigious camera manufacturer – and the prize is better than ever. The concept is simple: you send us photos of the City, and our judging panel will decide which is the best. The winner takes home a brand new Leica TL as well as a Vario-ElmarTL 18-56 mm lens – worth £2,730 in total. Please send your photographs, with the subject header ‘Photo Prize’, as high res as possible to email@example.com. If they’re really large files, send them via WeTransfer. Each entrant is allowed to submit a maximum of 20 photos. The subject matter can be anything you like as long as it’s shot in the City of London or Canary Wharf. ■ The deadline for entries is 12 September 2017. The
The Leica TL is the only system in its class that combines groundbreaking design, craftsmanship and instinctive use. The camera is crafted from a single block of aluminium, and features a CMOS sensor with 16.5 million pixels, a highresolution touch screen, and a simple layout with just four physical controls. The prize also includes the Leica Vario-Elmar-T 18-56 mm lens – a superb all-round lens that lets you capture richin-detail, high-contrast photos that are sharp from edge to edge and corner to corner, even in unfavourable light.
winner will be announced in the November issue.
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ACCESS GRANTED: The Forbidden City, so-called because the emperors who once lived there restricted access to just their relatives and staff. Nowadays, however, it’s open to everyone.
A BREATHTAKING DESTINATION
Phenomenal architecture, fascinating food, intriguing history and, well, some pretty serious smog – Beijing’s urban sprawl will leave you breathless, in more ways than one, finds LAURA MILLAR
IRST THINGS FIRST: Beijing is big. Mind-
PHOTOGRAPH by DuKai /Getty
bogglingly big. Nearly 22 million people live here, and, while fragrant singer Katie Melua once warbled that there were nine million bicycles in Beijing, now there are approximately 99 million cars* [*this figure may be a slight exaggeration]. Despite the centre of the city being composed of six, concentric, 12-lane ringroads, getting anywhere fast by motorised vehicle is, shall we say, tricky. So, there’s that; and then there’s also the pollution (not helped by the exhaust fumes). One of the most unfortunate side-effects of China’s relentlessly rapid industrialisation, it can blanket the entire city in an eerie grey miasma for days.
But don’t let that spoil your enjoyment. There are, after all, face masks which will protect you, and in the right setting, the murkiness can almost act like a cool Instagram filter. Because you’ll want to be taking multiple photographs here: Beijing is home to some of
In the right setting, Beijing’s smoggy murkiness can almost act like an Instagram filter
the world’s most jaw-dropping sights, from the vast Forbidden City [pictured], which housed the Imperial Court during the Ming and Qing dynasties, to Tiananmen Square, best known for the image of a lone man standing up to the tanks of the Chinese Army in 1989. It’s also the gateway to the best-preserved sections of the Great Wall, has some surprisingly rocking night-life, and rather fabulous shopping. Take a deep breath, and dive in…
WHAT SHOULD I DO? If it’s bucket-list stuff you want to tick off first, make a beeline, like Jon Snow, for the wall. Book a day or half-day tour with a reliable operator (such as viator.com) and stick to ➤
➤ the quieter sections a bit further out of the city, such as Jinshanling or Mutianyu (which comes with the added joy of a toboggan track to whizz down to ground level afterwards); avoid Badaling, which is basically like Oxford Street on Boxing Day. Sure, at only eight metres high, it may be dwarfed by the one in Game of Thrones, but this wall is over 2,000 years old, and originally stood over 13,000 miles long. Dotted with watchtowers and holes for shooting arrows through, it’s a bit of a workout to walk along – a lot of what’s left is, well, crumbling, and composed of rather steep steps, but if it was good enough to keep the Mongolian hordes out, it’s good enough for you to pose on while pretending you’re a really cool ancient Chinese warrior doing kung fu (or was that maybe just me?). The other biggie is the Forbidden City in Dongcheng. Its somewhat unwelcoming name stems from the fact that the emperors who lived there wouldn’t let in anyone who wasn’t related to them, or who didn’t work for them. We’re not really sure why, as it’s absolutely massive – it covers more than 180 acres, and the collection of buildings inside comprise nearly 10,000 rooms – so there would have been plenty of space. As a result, it takes a while to see (bring water. Lots of water). There are nine huge, wooden gates separating various elaborately named wooden structures (such as the Hall of Supreme Harmony or the Palace of Heavenly Purity) dotted throughout vast courtyards. Most of the palace’s artefacts were shipped off to Taiwan in the 1950s so the Japanese wouldn’t get their hands on them, but you can still see various thrones, eccentric diplomatic gifts from foreign leaders (hand-carved marble peach tree, anyone?), and plenty of symbolic statues of animals, particularly lions, which, in China, represent power. Don’t tell Trump. The main way in to the palace is through Tiananmen Square, home to former leader Chairman Mao’s mausoleum (throngs of adoring Chinese still line up to see his shrunken, embalmed form every day). Dating from the 17th century, the square was enlarged in the 1950s to hold nearly a million people, for those military parades it’s still so fond of.
Fancy seeing something a bit more down-toearth? Take a tuk-tuk tour of a hutong, part of Beijing’s historic neighbourhoods, composed of somewhat ripe-smelling narrow alleys behind which surprisingly capacious houses, with courtyards, lurk. With space at such a premium in the city, these often ramshackle dwellings, which have been in families for generations, can sell for millions. When you’ve tired of history, turn your attentions to the shops. You’ll find designer stores in the smart commercial district of Wangfujing, from Chanel to Gucci, Prada and Cartier. They may be a Communist country, but, boy, do the new consumer classes love their bling.
WHERE SHOULD I EAT? China is a country obsessed with food; people still greet each other with the phrase ‘chi le ma’, which means ‘have you eaten yet?’ (which dates back to the days when food was scarce). Happily, there’s no such scarcity now.
You’ve not truly immersed yourself in Beijing until you’ve eaten hotpot: a kind of DIY experience where you choose from a vast array of uncooked ingredients, from squid, offal and beef (mutton is a traditional speciality) to handmade noodles and vegetables, and cook them yourself in a boiling vat of flavoured broth. Get down and dirty with the locals on atmospheric Ghost (or Guijie) Street, a red-lanterned strip of over 200, 24-hour stalls and restaurants to the west of the city. Try your hotpot with fresh bullfrog at WaWa Jiao (tastes like chicken. Keep telling yourself that), or sample the famous crispy Peking duck at Hua Jia Yi Yuan – though for duck which stands, er neck and feathers above the rest, it’s got to be Duck de Chine in Chaoyang or Dongcheng; stuff your pancakes with plum sauce and soak up the buzzy atmosphere. Looking for a more sophisticated experience? Then head for the Temple Restaurant in Dongcheng, near the ➤
PHOTOGRAPHS by Alamy; Getty Images
You’ve not truly immersed yourself in Beijing until you’ve eaten a DIY hotpot
OFF THE WALL: [clockwise from here] Sunrise over the Great Wall of China. Plan your trip carefully to avoid crowds; the colourful side of Tiananmen Square; head to vibrant Guijie Street to enjoy more than 200 24-hour food stalls.
‘Refurbishment has helped Stoke Park offer parkland golf at its best!’ TODAY’S GOLFER ★★★★★
The Ultimate Golf and Country Club... Enjoy all the benefits of a friendly, welcoming and buzzing Golf Club with world class facilities plus the added magic of Stoke Park luxury! There has never been a better time to join as 2017 sees the completion of the full bunker refurbishment on our Colt and Alison courses. For more information about the various memberships available or to join, please call the membership team on 01753 71 71 79 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org Stoke Park, Park Road, Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire SL2 4PG 35 minutes from London, Ascot, Sunningdale,Windsor and Virginia Water and only 7 miles from Heathrow Airport.
Get your kicks in the Soho-like district of Sanlitun, a mix of Blade Runner and Bond Street ➤ Forbidden City, housed, as you might have guessed from the name, in a 600-year old temple compound. The menu covers western favourites from foie gras to caviar and lobster; five courses from around £80. Or try the stylish Capital M for crispy suckling pig with impressive views across to Tiananmen Square.
WHERE’S BEST FOR A DRINK? Get your kicks in the Soho-like district of Sanlitun, a warren-like blend of Blade Runner and Bond Street, lined with designer stores and dive bars. In one window you might see dancers dangling off poles, in another, Miu Miu’s latest collection. Q Bar, on the top floor of the unprepossessing Eastern Inn Hotel, has an open rooftop with a view of the stars (on a smogless night, of course) and makes a mean appletini. The hip crowd heads to Migas, a Mediterranean restaurant with a decked terrace, egg-shaped private pods to cosy up in (very Sketch) and obligatory European DJ. Nearby – if you can find it – Hidden House on Xindong Lu is a speakeasy-style bar accessed through an art store’s antique bookcase. Craving a scotch? Frank by Ala House on Chaowai Avenue has hundreds of ‘em.
contemporary Chinese artists are skillfully curated throughout the building, including the 283 sizeable rooms and suites (if you’re staying in a suite, you’ll have access to the Manor Club lounge, with in-room check in, free laundry, and 24-hour butler). Here, thoughtful touches like placing the desk facing the window, easyto-work lighting, Nespresso machines (with the water topped up daily) and beautiful coffee table books make your room somewhere that you’ll never want to leave. However, we suggest you do, as you’ll fall in love with the pool, 830sq metres of shimmering, emerald-green water lined with trees and bamboo screens to make you feel like you’re in a rather posh jungle. Waiting staff silently glide up to your lounger while you’re splashing about/doing the 100m butterfly
(delete as applicable) to leave refreshing fruit juices and virtuous snacks. There’s also an indulgent spa, a couple of low-lit, atmospheric bars, and four good restaurants, including Country Kitchen, which is a destination for locals and out-of-towners in its own right. Expect northern Chinese cuisine, which means hand-pulled noodles, shiny Peking duck and potstickers. When a hotel has so many bases covered, there’s an argument for just holing up and checking out the sights on your laptop instead – but, smog or not, you won’t regret going outside. ■ BA regularly flies from London to Beijing; book at
ba.com. If you’re staying as part of a stopover for less than 72 hours, you don’t need a visa for China. Double rooms at the Rosewood Beijing start at £240. For info see rosewoodhotels.com/en/beijing
HIDDEN DEPTHS: [clockwise form here] Away from the chaos of Beijing’s streets, you’ll find the Rosewood’s tranquil pool; the hotel’s entrance is guarded by bronze lions; interiors are contemporary and striking, as seen here in the ballroom foyer.
WHERE SHOULD I STAY?
PHOTOGRAPH by Durston Saylor
The Central Business District (or CBD) is Beijing’s mini-Manhattan, home to the finance and media industries and full of thrusting, impressive architecture. You can’t miss the CCTV building (HQ of China’s Central Television station); nicknamed the ‘Big Trousers’ by locals, it’s a glittering, convoluted, steel and glass structure. Which doesn’t really look like trousers, if we’re being honest. Across the road is the fabulously elegant, fivestar Rosewood Beijing, its entrance guarded by two towering bronze lion statues. This is a hotel that’s dressed to impress. Opened in 2014, and designed by modernist Australian outfit Bar Studio, the building offers a welcome sanctuary from the constant traffic honking and chaos outside. Its bespoke fragrance (peony, green tea and cherry) instantly soothes smog-riddled nasal passages, as it wafts throughout the airy, five-storey-high lobby. Impressive works by
A CLUB FOR THOSE WHO
LOVE AND LIVE THE CITY! A 12-seat screening room, pool table, cocktail bar, lounge, work/meeting space, complimentary breakfast 360 days a year and no stuffy Soho dress codes... M DEN - OPENING MARCH 2017. M, 60 THREADNEEDLE ST, LONDON To find out more about M DEN Threadneedle St and its sister venue M DEN Victoria St, email email@example.com Special 20% Introductory Membership discount for Square Mile readers - £800 per annum. Please quote ‘SM20’.
Holy wine Bordeaux is revered with an almost spiritual devotion by wine lovers and investors alike – and recent vintages have lived up to the region’s hallowed reputation. Justerini & Brooks’ TOM JENKINS reports
PHOTOGRAPH by (church) John Baran / Alamy Stock Photo; (Pontet Canet ) George Wilmoth
OURNALISTS LIKE TO pigeonhole wine vintages. It supposedly makes life easy for consumers – to condense the wines of Bordeaux down into a brief soundbite, a paragraph that tells you all you need to know about this wonderful region. In 2015 it was a ‘Right Bank, Pessac and Margaux’ year. Read into this what you will, but what is not said often resonates the loudest. Most interpreted this as ‘don’t go near northern Medoc’. The truth is rarely so simple. Earlier this Spring, the Justerini & Brooks reconnaissance team spent three fascinating days tasting and re-tasting what is already being referred to as a sanctified trilogy: 2014, 2015 and 2016. Let’s start with the 2014s. This is a vintage that really appeals to our palates – a combination of modern winemaking and classic flavours, a vintage of balance and precision with more than enough power and concentration. It will, of course, remain in the shadow of 2015 and 2016, but these wines will make you smile and if you bought them en primeur, you should be well pleased. The 2015 vintage is indeed exceptional in Pomerol, Pessac and Margaux, and excels at times in St Emilion. Re-tasting some of the stars of the Medoc, we couldn’t help thinking that the ‘story’ may actually be the oversight of some Super Seconds. Commercially, many of these wines were derided. Pichon Baron often takes the wrap for a minor derailing of the campaign. Perception of price and value is one thing – the quality of the wines is quite another. The likes of Pichon Lalande, DucruBeaucaillou and Leoville Las Cases have made spellbinding wines. These are lavishly perfumed, gloriously vivid and bursting with juicy cabernet fruit; we found ourselves falling head over heels for them. In fact, St Julien is bursting with successes. One requires a bit more discernment in Pauillac, but again, there are plenty of ravishing wines to choose from. Enjoyable as it was to affirm our views on these two fascinating vintages, the real excitement was discovering the 2016s. We should say now that we only tasted at a handful of estates – most were still finalising their blends – assemblage is a painstaking process as we again discovered when we
•• One requires discernment in Pauillac, but there are plenty of ravishing wines to choose from here squaremile.com
blended our House Pomerol. Take a chateau like Cheval Blanc, for example. It has 45 plots which are all vinified separately. PierreOlivier will taste each vat every day during fermentations and until blending. Deciding the components is an art-form that requires patience and skill. We were some of the first ‘foreigners’ to taste the magnificent Chateau Montrose 2016. Hervé Berland draws parallels to 2010, and it does indeed share a similar DNA: power, class, effortless concentration, yet retains a florality, freshness and poise, and all at about 13% alcohol. This is a vintage where you can have your cake and eat it. Cabernets have never tasted so pure or delicate, and tannins have never looked so refined. Tasting with Nicolas Glumineau at Chateau Pichon Lalande gave us a different perspective on the 2016s. The final blend has been assembled, but is slightly in shock, so we sampled the components. Again, depth of colour, astonishing aromatics, effortless sleek black fruit and regal tannins made every plot
an absolute pleasure to taste. We can only imagine how the sum of these impressive parts will finally come together for now. It may seem that all is a little too rosy; a vintage with volume and an abundance of class, but we should sound a word of caution. Nicolas Audebert, of Canon and Rauzan Segla, who produced two of the outstanding wines of 2015, explained some of the difficulties caused by the growing season, and particularly the extraordinary draught. Some terroirs, and young vines simply couldn’t cope. The hydric stress decimated certain patches, and when the rain did finally arrive in September, some grapes swelled and split causing a risk of rot. Carefully managed and using selection, this has no impact on the final wine. Rauzan Segla 2016 is a worthy successor to the splendid 2015. For those without the means, know-how or terroir, 2016 presented many adversities. How individual Chateaux have risen to the challenge will be fascinating to see. ■ For buying options, go to justerinis.com
BORDEAUX LINE: [opposite] a churchside vineyard in Pomerol; [top left] Chateau DucruBeaucaillou; [top right] 2005 Réserve de la Comtesse from Chateau Pichon Longueville; the vineyards of Chateau Pontet Canet
FOOD & DRINK REVIEWS
A CUT ABOVE THE REST
SEEING RED UB40, Britain’s most successful reggae band, had a hit with ‘Red Red Wine’ in the early 1980s. Somehow it took more than three decades for someone to say, “hang on a minute, lads, why don’t we actually make some wine to drink with it?” Fortunately Eminent Life has – and the collaboration with the band (which has sold more than 70 million records) is as smooth and mellow as their music. This supple red, a Bordeaux Supérieur Controlée, is a traditional blend of merlot and cabernet franc. The former provides the flesh, the latter the lift. It’s a charming, versatile red that hits all the right notes.
Steak specialist ‘Smiths’ of Smithfield has opened another branch in Cannon Street. MAX WILLIAMS chomps down on some quality cow
EAT. IT MAY be murder for Morrissey but for much of the population the red stuff remains a culinary treat. And while bacon and sausages have their merits, there is no doubt that the prime choice for the cultivated carnivore will always be steak. Since 2000, ‘Smiths’ of Smithfield has been serving Londoners some of the choicest cuts in the capital. Working only with British farmers and Smithfield Market – the largest meat market in the UK – Smiths is a surefire guarantee of high-quality cow. So the fact another branch has recently opened in Cannon Street should be a source of celebration in the City. The menu is more diverse than one might imagine, offering fish, duck breast, and even a couple of vegetarian options. Starters are
This is one of those meals that causes belts to be loosened and trouser buttons undone squaremile.com
a strong point: the seared scallops are embraced by a rich cauliflower purée, their softness beautifully complemented by the salty bacon and warming black pudding. But, let’s face it, you come to Smiths for the grills. Your options range from aged ribeye to a 1kg T-bone of rare-breed Colchester beef. We opted for the sharing 28-day aged tomahawk, also from Colchester, divided into strips on the chopping board. It’s sensational – full of flavour. And there’s enough of it to prevent any potential disputes developing with one’s dining companion. The sides also serve you well: crispy chips, generous portions of creamed spinach and garlic field mushrooms. This is one of those meals that causes belts to be loosened and trouser buttons to be undone as you sprawl in the chair, awash in post-consumption bliss. One of the enjoyable aspects of dining at Smiths is the restaurant gets busier as the evening wears on. There is a lovely sense of life – and friends – coming together as the room fills up, and the second glass of wine becomes the third. Meat – with extra meet on the side. ■ ‘Smiths’ of Smithfield, 99 Cannon St, EC4N 5AE; 020 7251 7950; smithsofsmithfield.co.uk
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ENGLISH CHARM PHOTOGRAPH by Andy Hiseman
Dust off your clubs and head to one of these great golf courses â€“ all under 30 miles from the City
The late great Seve Ballesterosâ€™s only English course is a par-72 masterpiece that provides drama and challenge at every turn. Opened in 2007, the course flows through tree-lined woodland, copsestrewn parkland and gorse-littered links, with water hazards present on more than half the holes. From the risk-reward parfive 11th, reachable in two for the longest of hitters, to the S-shaped lake that guards the 18th, this is an inspired 7,200-yard layout designed with fun in mind, as well as a stern test for golfers of all abilities.
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STOKE PARK BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, SL2 4PG
Fresh off the back of extensive course improvements, including a bunkerremodelling programme, the 27 holes of Buckinghamshire’s Stoke Park have gone from good to exuding pure class. A parkland layout rarely bettered in the UK, the seventh hole of the Colt nine has the not-so-insubstantial claim that it inspired the 16th hole at Augusta, such is the quality of Harry Colt’s design. Within the course’s imposing 18th century clubhouse, you can also get measured for a new suit by the venerable Crow & Jester. stokepark.com
CENTURION HERTFORDSHIRE, HP3 8LA
PHOTOGRAPH by Kevin Murray
Teeing off in an area of attractive woodland, this handsome Simon Gidman layout weaves through tall pines for the first five holes before opening up across rolling terrain at the extremely difficult 460-yard par four sixth hole. Water is a persistent danger across the course, but the clever green complexes are a danger unto themselves. With the Michelin-starred Galvin brothers taking care of culinary matters in the brand-new clubhouse, thereâ€™s every reason to make the journey north west from the City.
Spring Summer 2017
TEED UP NICELY Every year, the best golfers in the world return to Wentworth’s West Course to battle for the BMW PGA Championship. This year, reigning Open champion Henrik Stenson is slated to compete from 25-28 May. For more information on tickets and hospitality, see europeantour.com
WENTWORTH SURREY, GU25 4LS
The grande dame of English golf clubs, Wentworth consists of three excellent layouts but Harry Colt’s famed West Course is the pick of the bunch. More than 7,300 yards from the tips, this month it completes the latest in a string of refurbishments that seek to retain the integrity of Colt’s heathland design, while accommodating the demands of the modern professionals. To play the 521-yard par-five 18th, a dogleg right to left with a brook protecting the green, is to encounter one of the finest finishing holes in golf. ■
2017 OFFICIAL HOSPITALITY PROGRAMME Widely regarded as one of the most prestigious tournaments in golf, the BMW PGA Championship has been held on the iconic West Course at Wentworth Club every year since 1984. This year we have refreshed and expanded our offering of official hospitality packages, which will enable you to find the perfect facility to entertain clients, colleagues, friends or family at this excellent event.
Green on 18
For the first time ever, clients will be able to purchase packages in the Championship Pavilion overlooking the 18th green, a facility renowned for providing the best greenside views of golf anywhere in the world.
The backdrop for many of golf’s greatest events, including The Ryder Cup in 1953. Guests are hosted in the stunning Ballroom, which is the ideal base for a break from the on-course action.
The informal offering in the heart of the Championship Village is ideal for those looking for a relaxed but vibrant atmosphere.
PRICE MATRIX Day
Green on 18
27th May 28th May
Prices are per person excluding VAT (currently 20%)
For further information on the official hospitality programme or to book, please: - Call: 01344 840 681 - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Visit: http://bmwpgachampionship.europeantour.com/hospitality/
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PHOTOGRAPH by David Harrison
Price and details correct of time of print. Computer enhanced image depicts One Blackfriars and is indicative only.
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WATERSIDE DEVELOPMENTS . 135 PROPERTY INVESTMENT . 138
WATER FEATURES . 135
PHOTOGRAPH: The pool inside Canaletto Tower (canalettolondon.com)
Computer Generated Image of Canaletto
ELEVATED LIVING, EXCEPTIONAL LIFEST YLE Luxurious 3 Bedroom Apartments with Extensive Views Over London from ÂŁ3.2m. These Outstanding Apartments are Ready to Move into and the Exquisite Amenities Include a Pool, Full Spa Facilities, Treatment Rooms, Gymnasium, Private Cinema, 24 Hour Concierge, Leisure Lounge and the Exclusive 24th Floor Club Canaletto.
Two Beautifully Furnished Show Apartments for viewing including one dressed by magazine. For an appointment please contact: +44 (0)20 7608 1825 | 257 City Road, EC1V 1AD email@example.com | www.canalettolondon.com
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Priced from £1.425m to include parking 020 3609 9546 firstname.lastname@example.org www.horizons-apartments.co.uk Photography of Horizons. Price correct at time of going to press.
LIVING THE LIFE AQUATIC Whether it’s on the Thames, next to a canal or by a river basin, a waterside pad can provide not only some pretty special views, but a very high standard of living as well. These new developments tick all the boxes CANALETTO, EC1 Each apartment within the 31-storey Canaletto tower has been optimised to make the most of its location next to the City Road Basin, with floor-to-ceiling windows and either balconies or terraces as standard. The award-winning building was designed by Ben van Berkel’s world-class UNStudio, and features a unique curving facade of aluminium and glass that breaks the structure into a series of three-to-five storey clusters, making the building a work of art in its own right. It is a striking addition to the rapidly developing City Road landscape, and a new local landmark. Interiors are as stylish as you’d expect from a development of such high calibre, and there’s a full quota of extras, including a fabulous pool, gym, spa, private cinema and a 24th-floor private club with spectacular panoramic views of the city. Residents can also take advantage of a 24-hour concierge service. Those wishing to buy the very best that Canaletto has to offer should explore the Beaumont Collection, a series of threebedroom apartments at the top of the tower with interiors designed by Martin Goddard – the mind behind some pretty impressive five-star hotels, including The Berkeley.
AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE: [clockwise from here] At 31 storeys high, Canaletto tower provides views all over London; the development’s sky terrace; the penthouses at the Horizons development in Canary Wharf come with private roof terraces complete with kitchens.
Prices for a Beaumont Collection apartment in Canaletto Tower start from £3.2m. See
canalettolondon.com for more information,
HORIZONS, CANARY WHARF
PHOTOGRAPH (HORIZONS) by High Level Photography Ltd
It’s unsurprising that the Docklands development from Telford Homes only has two penthouses remaining – not only does the 26-storey tower occupy a prime riverside spot, but it’s incredibly high-spec throughout, designed with an ‘urban chic’ aesthetic in mind, and comes with killer views too. ➤
Each apartment in Canaletto tower has been optimised to make the most of its location squaremile.com
NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH: [clockwise from here] The Gasholders development is constructed within Grade II-listed gasholder frames dating back to 1860; inside one of Gasholders’ contemporary apartments; The Lighterman, one of King’s Cross’s many new restaurants.
➤ Both remaining duplex penthouses have beautful views over the Thames and London skyline beyond, and each has a large private roof terrace complete with outdoor kitchen that’s crying out to be used for the ultimate summer party. Inside, there are two bedrooms, kitchens with integrtaed Siemens appliances, and bathrooms with bespoke cabinetry. Additional features include comfort cooling throughout and a complimentary car parking space in the underground car park. DLR and Underground stations are close by, but of course if you work in the Wharf, you’re sorted. The final two penthouses at Horizons are on sale for £1,425,000 and £1,475,000. See
telfordhomes.london/horizons for more information on the development.
Gasholders provides the opportunity to live in a buzzing part of town inside your own piece of history 136
GASHOLDERS, KING’S CROSS The Gasholders development provides opportunity for high-level living in the heart of King’s Cross, a part of town that’s already seen enormous amounts of change and shows no signs of slowing down. Those living, working and shopping in the area are part of what is a vibrant and refreshed neighbourhood. Indeed, the regeneration of the 67-acre site that’s taken place is responsible for 20 new streets and ten open squares, nearly 2,000 homes and 500,000sq ft of retail space, cafés, bars and leisure facilities, while the area’s existing transport links (both to the UK and beyond) add to its desirability. Designed by world-famous architecture practice Wilkinson Eyre, Gasholders offers the chance to live in the buzzing neighbourhood inside a piece of history. The iconic new development – which sits on the banks of the Regent’s Canal – is made up of a series of three cylinders of eight, nine and 12 storeys, encased within a trio of restored Grade II-listed gasholder frames dating from the 1860s. There’s a total of 145 contemporary homes (studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, duplexes and penthouses)
designed by Jonathan Tuckey Design, which strike a balance between subtlety and modern elegance, drawing inspiration from the project’s unique architecture and position. Designed to ‘enrich the senses’, the materials selected represent a refined industrial aesthetic and include warm timbers, poured resin, natural stone and brass detailing. Central atriums, reminiscent of the interior of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, bring light into the heart of the buildings, while outside, there’s an expansive courtyard where the three gasholders join is encircled with viewing platforms and has a ground floor reflective pool at its centre. Apartments are suitably impressive, and feature floor-to-ceiling windows in every external room with remotely operated steel and bronze shutters. Residents will also enjoy an exemplary range of private amenities including: 24-hour concierge; private screening room, dining room and games room; business lounge; spa and gym; and a private roof garden designed by Chelsea Flower Show medallists Dan Pearson Landscape Architects. ■ Studio apartments start from £825,000. For more information, see gasholderslondon.co.uk
STAT E ME N T ARCHITECTURE IN FAS H IO NA BLE KING ’S CROSS
Becom e ne i g hb o urs w i t h Ce nt ra l S ain t Mar tin s , Lou is Vu itton , Eve r yman Cin e ma and t h e new Tho m as H e at he rw i ck de s ign e d s h oppin g de stin ation , Coal Drops Yard. B e p art o f Lo ndon ’s be st con n e cte d n e igh bou r h ood. Brilliant exteriors, breathtaking interiors.
S t u d i o a p a r tm e n t s f ro m £ 8 1 0 , 0 0 0 * Register your interest at gasholderslondon .co.uk or book an appointment +4 4 (0)20 7205 4613 to v i ew o u r s a l e s g a l l e r y a n d s h ow a p a r tm e n t o n G o o d s Way, K i n g ’s C ro s s N 1 C 4 U R * P r i c e c o r r e c t a t t i m e o f g o i n g to p r e s s .
Smarter investing The UK’s love affair with property is well-documented. Property is one of the lowest risk, best returning investments – and arguably, it’s the most tangible, and best understood, asset class of all LIQUIDITY Property Partner has created the world’s first (and biggest) property exchange. This gives investors the opportunity to exit the market at a time and price of their choosing. Investors can realise capital returns by selling shares on platform, and pocket 100% of the proceeds, as there are no exit fees to pay. £12m in shares have already been traded, bringing liquidity to an illiquid asset class. LEADING UK PROFESSIONALS Aside from being FCA regulated, and audited by KPMG, Property Partner has attracted some of the most established names in property
•• Investors can realise capital returns by selling shares on platform, and pocket 100% of the proceeds
ROPERTY PARTNER IS a technologydriven property investment platform, enabling investors to acquire and trade shares in high-quality UK residential property, without the hassle of mortgages, solicitors or maintenance. Shareholders receive monthly rental income in the form of dividends, and can realise capital gains if the property rises in value. The letting and management is carried out by professional agents so there are no late night calls about dripping taps to deal with. Property Partner has funded more than 363 UK properties, making it easy for investors
to spread their risk by diversifying their investment portfolio. The FCA-regulated platform is producing a current estimated return of 7% per year*, after fees. This performance has attracted more than 10,000 investors who have invested £48m of equity across the platform. There’s also reassurance in the way the assets are owned. Each property investment is held in a limited company called a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), so is totally ring-fenced from the assets and liabilities of Property Partner, and the other investments on the platform.
and finance. Its Director of Property, Robert Weaver, is one of the most accomplished residential property professionals in the UK. As former Global Director of Residential Property at RBS, he’s an expert at picking properties that outperform for investors. Its board of directors includes Ed Wray, cofounder of Betfair, and Neil Rimer, co-founder of venture capital firm Index Ventures, who has invested in market-defining companies across the technology and finance sectors including Funding Circle and TransferWise. ■ For more info, see propertypartner.co
CAPITAL AT RISK: The value of your investment can go down as well as up. Forecasts are not a reliable indicator of future performance. Gross rent and dividends may be lower than estimated. Five-yearly exit protection or exit on platform subject to price and demand. Financial promotion by London House Exchange Limited (8820870); authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 613499). * Properties on its platform have, on average, after all fees and before personal taxation, delivered an estimated annualised total return of more than 7%; including approximately 3% net rental income (dividends) and 4% in capital value growth. These estimated returns are calculated quarterly and (i) with reference to the average dividend yields and price movements of all previous listings, (ii) spreading across five years any purchase discount to the RICS valuation, and (iii) assuming the property remains tenanted. Property Partner is a champion of transparency and you can download the objective data used to calculate this estimated return on the website.
ON THE TOWN
Bringing the City to Shoreditch Last month, square mile readers sampled a slice of Shoreditch luxury at an exclusive event with Galliard Homes to promote The Stage – a new, mixed-use development with a unique Shakespearean twist. Guests enjoyed a VIP evening of Balvenie whiskey tasting, cocktails, canapés and sushi in the Victorian viaducts at The Stage. A few lucky readers took home prizes including a bespoke suit by Pall Mall tailors Apsley as well as contemporary art pieces by Henry Hate, Tyler Shields and Rich Simmons supplied by Imitate Modern. ■ For more info visit thestageshoreditch.com
PHOTOGRAPHS by Rudi Netto
ALL ENQUIRIES: +44 (0) 20 3369 0539
email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org A development by
102 JERMYN ST. SW1 Dukelease presents a rare opportunity to live on this historic London street. Introducing Beau House, a boutique development of seven elegant apartments and a bespoke penthouse designed in collaboration with Oliver Burns.
ON THE TOWN
Square Up Media + Factory Media To celebrate the coming together of Square Up Media (square mile’s publisher) and Factory Media, we took over Peckham’s Copeland Gallery – part of Copeland Park & Bussey Building. Eminent Wines, Caorunn Gin and Double Dutch provided the drink. Wood-fired pizzas from Crust Conductor, award-winning sliders from Le Bun and delicious desserts from B Bakery kept us well fed. Late night partygoers were treated to Joe and Seph’s gourmet popcorn buffet as they watched Pro BMXer Matti Hemmings carve up the floor with his demos and danced to DJ John Woods’ beats. ■
PHOTOGRAPHS by Rudi Netto
Specs Appeal: Cutler & Gross Event and Prize
Best of Motoring Events 2017 GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED
VMAX200 HOLY TRINITY
29 June-2 July
Live life in the fast lane at the biggest motorsport event in the UK. This is the only place to see F1 racers, luxury cars, bikes and classics in their full-throttle glory all together, and the backdrop of ‘glorious’ Goodwood makes the occasion all the more appealing.
This high-octane event is your opportunity to be one of the first people on the planet to drive each of the ‘holy trinity’ of hypercars – the Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and Porsche 918 Spyder. Not only that, you’ll get the chance to drive each vehicle at more than 200mph. Be part of motoring history for £6,250 each, or £100,000 for an exclusive group session for 20 people.
31 August-2 September
For more info: vmax200.com
For more info: goodwood.com
Salon Privé is a luxury automotive garden party unlike any other, where the best supercars and classic cars are displayed against the backdrop of Blenheim Palace. With world-class hospitality packages, champagne on tap, soft jazz playing in the background and some of the rarest cars on the planet, it’s become a Season favourite. For more info: salonpriveconcours.com
O CELEBRATE THE launch of its new SS17 collection, British luxury eyewear brand Cutler & Gross has teamed up with Framechain for an event on 13 April at the 55 Brushfield Street store. Guests can enjoy drinks while discovering the unique collaboration between the two brands. Don’t worry if you miss that evening, though – it will remain in store until the end of April. And that’s not all: we are running an exclusive competition with Cutler & Gross on squaremile.com. The successful entrant will win a pair of Cutler & Gross sunglasses worth up to £330. This prize can be redeemed with a style appointment at any standalone Cutler & Gross store. With summer just around the corner, the timing couldn’t be better. ■ To enter, go to squaremile.com
The F1 celebrity party hotspot Amber Lounge globe-trots from Monaco to Abu Dhabi, via Singapore and Mexico, attracting an A-list crowd and incredible musical acts everywhere it goes. For more info: amber-lounge.com
SEE MORE ONLINE
Go to squaremile.com/ events for complete listings of upcoming events and parties occuring in the City and beyond.
+ TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION PLEASE CALL ON 020 7819 9999
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Sunday 30 July Sign up now
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WWW.WILDANDSONS.COM WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/WILDANDSONS @WILDANDSONS
WILD & SONS is an American car specialist supplying restoration, service and performance parts. They also carry out repairs, servicing, full restorations and custom builds including hot rods. Wild & Sons is a dynamic business and is already gaining a great reputation for their work. They cover all American makes and models from 1900 up to present day and also create bespoke bicycles.
The finest re-manufactured and upgraded Jaguar XJS or Aston Martin DB7 by KWE
+ TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION PLEASE CALL 020 7819 9999
What if you could have a watch with vintage design aesthetics but without the wallet-incinerating price tag? And - even better - designed by someone with vintage watch DNA in their blood? Watch collector extraordinaire Dan Henry has turned watchmaker with models that fuse cues from Breitling, Omega and other twentieth century classics with modern materials and accurate, high-quality movements.
Inspired by the clear shift in todays spending patterns, imossi london have designed a sleek & slim minimalist wallet machined from high grade aluminium which protects your cards from RFID fraud and also prevents card clash. Its variety of interchangeable coloured straps will securely hold up to 10 cards including a few notes. And for that extra personal touch, why not have it engraved with your initials? From ÂŁ34 W: www.imossi.london @imossi.london
Nothing compares to a new classic performance car V12 or S6 engines www.kwecars.com 01635 300 30
03 . 04 . 17 The wait is over. New menu. New kitchen 23 - 25 Leadenhall Market EC3V 1LR
0207 648 8690
BEST JOB IN THE WORLD
Ed Stafford It’s a hard job but someone’s got to be… an explorer and the first person to walk the length of the Amazon. ED STAFFORD ruminates on the life of an adventurer
THINK IT’S QUITE cool that I’m the only
human to ever do something, and I don’t mean to sound egotistic but it is cool, isn’t it? I feel like we spend our lives trying to fit in. I’m not that kind of person, I wanted to stray from the norm and do something that everybody told me was impossible.
MY BIGGEST MISTAKE when walking the Amazon was to fixate on getting to the end. I replayed a mental video of me running down the beach and into the ocean throughout the expedition and, with hindsight, it made everything harder.
I’VE MADE TONS of mistakes, but the main thing I’ve taken out of the whole experience is to live in the present. When we are ‘in our heads’ we are constantly thinking about what might happen, or holding on to painful stories of what someone did to us.
I’VE EATEN GIANT armadillo, tapir, woolly monkey, skunk, electric eel and even puma. By far the worst were tadpoles. They made me wretch like nothing I had eaten before. ISOLATION IS EASY if you are completely honest with yourself and have nothing to hide. It’s like a big mirror to yourself. ARGENTINE PATAGONIA HOLDS some very special memories. I used to work there, running conservation projects for gap year kids and assisting biologists with their research. The landscape, the people, the steak and the wine. It’s hard to beat. ■ To read the full article, go to squaremile.com
SEE MORE ONLINE For more ‘Best Jobs in the World’ go to squaremile.com. Know a contender? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
ENJOY THE LONDON LIFESTYLE WITH A RIVERSIDE LOCATION
Pavilion Square is the latest exciting phase within Royal Arsenal Riverside, a collection of contemporary homes with beautifully crafted interiors, within close proximity to the forthcoming Crossrail station. Residents will enjoy access to the Waterside Club with facilities including a 20m swimming pool, gym, 24-hour concierge service and cinema room.
ROYAL ARSENAL WOOLWICH
CANARY WHARF 8 MINUTES*
LIVERPOOL STREET 14 MINUTES*
BOND STREET 22 MINUTES*
HEATHROW 50 MINUTES*
1 and 2 bedroom apartments available from Â£475,000 Call 020 3582 7789 to register your interest | www.royalarsenalriverside.co.uk Computer generated image is indicative only. Photography of Pavilion Square Showhome is indicative only. Prices and information correct at time of going to press. *Approximate travel times for Crossrail taken from Royal Arsenal Woolwich. Source: www.crossrail.co.uk
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Square Mile Magazine - Issue 122 - The Land, Sea & Air Issue