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EDITOR’S WORD Y
OU WON’T NECESSARILY have heard of Dan Bilzerian.
He doesn’t do TV. He doesn’t do radio. Indeed, he doesn’t do magazines – until this one. But he has more Instagram followers than Obama and Trump. Combined. If you add up his social media followers on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram he has in excess of 36.5m. That’s bigger than the population of Canada. How’s he managed this? Well, if you don’t know, I won’t spoil the surprise; Google awaits. As to why we’re featuring him? Well, in a magazine for the City, there’s no doubting the intrigue for a man who has made $150m primarily from playing poker in casinos. For that alone, he earns a place in our annual Wealth Issue. Also, his father was no stranger to the financial world – he was a corporate raider, albeit one convicted of securities and tax law violations. Possibly not the best role model. There’s been a lot written about Dan: that he had a huge trust fund (not true – see above); that he was a Navy SEAL (nearly true – he completed ‘Hell Week’ twice, but a broken leg and a personality clash with a superior officer prevented his progression); and that he had two heart attacks at the age of 25 (true – don’t do drugs, kids). But there has never been a magazine interview that delves into the real Bilzerian. Enjoy the read [p70] – and feel free to share your thoughts on Dan’s life choices directly with him and not me. If Dan isn’t your man, then there’s a lot more to explore in this issue besides. Benjamin Melzer was the first transgender cover star of Men’s Health magazine, and talks to Jessica Phillips about his transition and the road to becoming a male model [p50]. Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money, talks about diversity in the City [p88]. Or, for some light relief, Josh Cartu explains what it’s like to own and drive the £3.3m 950bhp LaFerrari Aperta [p94]. And you thought Bilzerian was the craziest thing in here? ■
Mark Hedley, Editor
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MEETINGS: A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO WORK – Cath Tate Work Tends to Ruin Your Day is out now (Portico, £7.99)
square mile ISSUE 125
@SQUAREMILE_COM SQUAREMILEUK SQUAREMILE_COM THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS
ADIBA OSMANI Adiba Osmani worked for Arthur Anderson and McKinsey, before moving to Orange. During a year of travelling, she discovered meditation and has since launched the City’s first drop-in, teacher-free meditation centre, Inhere. She talks stress and the City. [p28]
STEVE MARTIN Steve Martin is the co-author of the New York Times international bestseller Yes! 50 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion. His work in the field of persuasion science has featured widely in the global media. This issue he tells us how best to ask for a pay rise. [p85]
JAYNE ANNE-GADHIA Jayne-Anne Gadhia is the British CEO of Virgin Money. She started her career at Ernst & Young before working for Norwich Union then RBS. In her new book, The Virgin Banker, she tells her inspiring story – and explains why there needs to be more diversity in the City. [p88]
JOSH CARTU Josh Cartu is a gentleman Ferrari racer, President of the Ferrari Club of Israel, and business entrepreneur. He currently trains with AF Corse Italia. When he’s not racing Ferraris, he’s writing about them – including his review of the LaFerrari Aperta in this issue. [p94]
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FEATURES 050 . BENJAMIN MELZER The first ever transgender cover star of Men’s Health tells us how he finally became comfortable in his own skin, and the ways he hopes to enable others to do the same.
056 . SUMMER WATCHES If you’re planning to indulge in some sporting pursuits this summer, make sure you do so with one of these watches on your wrist.
064 . BEST OF BRITISH CYCLING We take a two-wheeled tour around some of the UK’s most impressive cycling spots. PHOTOGRAPH by Ray Depatti
070 . DAN BILZERIAN
Love him or hate him, envy him or admire him – there’s absolutely no denying there’s an intriguing story behind the undisputed King of Instagram, and we’ve got it for you…
PORTFOLIO 018 . THE EXCHANGE 023 . ART WORK 025 . THE ANALYST 027 . POLITICS 028 . STRESS
EXPOSURE 033 . SUNGLASSES 034 . SHORTS 036 . SHARP NOTES 041 . DARREN KENNEDY 043 . RETAIL DETAIL 044 . #WATCHWEWANT
WEALTH 085 . PAY RISE 087 . GYMS
088 . THE VIRGIN BANKER 090 . TRAVEL 094 . MOTORS
ASSETS 104 . CYCLING 114 . PARIS 117 . FOOD & DRINK 119 . GOLF 129 . PHOTO PRIZE
HOLDINGS 133 . DESIGN 137 . PROPERTY
END PLAY 143 . EVENTS 146 . WORLD’S BEST JOB
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THE EXCHANGE ART WORK THE ANALYST POLITICS STRESS
. . . . .
018 023 025 027 028
POP GOES THE EASEL . 023
PAINTING (cropped) by Danny Minnock, maddoxgallery.co.uk
THE E X C H A N G E
THINGS TO DO AFTER THE CITY WORDS Saul Wordsworth
▽ THEY GAVE you a carriage clock, and an engraved commode. In the speech, they joked that you retired 30 years ago. You forced a smile, then farted accidentally. That’s it then. Welcome to the scrap heap. Retirement is a full-time position, featuring a host of new pursuits: crosswords, naps, elevenses, naps, flu jabs, naps, driving to places of natural beauty and not getting out of the car, plus naps. Regular naps will keep you young and fresh, unless you take them while driving, that is. Other pastimes include entering rooms then forgetting why, and funerals. Exercise is vital. Don’t play too much golf (two rounds a day should suffice). Mow the lawn, and your wife’s chin. Just don’t attempt
WISE GUIDES WORDS Ben Powell, Sidewalk Skateboarding Magazine
THE WORLD’S BEST COMPLETE SKATEBOARDS
to have sex. Sex in the autumn of your years is like playing snooker with a rope. You could try a combination of Viagra and prune juice, though you probably won’t know whether you’re coming or going. Get with the crumblies’ texting code. Essential acronyms include BFF (Best Friend Fell), BTW (Bring The Wheelchair) and IMHO (Is My Hearingaid On?). Keep up to date with technology by earwigging the young at bus stops. Bus stops are now your natural domain alongside hospitals, libraries, and Eastbourne. Stay in touch with former colleagues. Perhaps you’ll contact Susan, who in your leaving card said she’d always had a soft spot for you. Your wife won’t be happy though. Which one’s your wife again? Oh yes, the one who wants you to return to work. Talking of retirement, this is my very last column. Thanks for the memories. To celebrate I’ve ordered 12 statins and a nappy. ■ For more see saulwordsworth.com
BEST CUSTOM COMPLETE
▷ Whether you’re cruising through the City on your way to work, or hitting up the local bowl for a post-meeting beer and grind session, this allterrain custom complete skateboard has all angles covered. Under your feet you’ll have a 8.125-inch wide AntiHero Skateboards ‘Eagle’ team board. Coupled with Independent Stage 2 trucks with eight inches of axle width to keep that turning circle nice and wide, 55mm diameter Bones ‘War Paint’ P4 formula wheels to keep weight down but control up, and premium Bones Red bearings to keep those wheels spinning, this rig can deal with any terrain. For more info, see sidewalkmag.com
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JAGUAR F-TYPE 2.0 LITRE, £49,900 WORDS Mark Hedley
▷ It’s rare that a motoring journalist will get excited about a four-cylinder engine. It’s the equivalent of asking a foodie to write about beans on toast, or a wine writer to muse on the latest release
BEST DOWNHILL COMPLETE: SANTA CRUZ JAMMER
▷ Based on the lengthier traditional long board silhouette favoured by the downhill speed freaks, this Santa Cruz Jason Jessee ‘Guadalupe Jammer’ mixes up all the best aspects of a downhill board into a slimmed-down and more practicable innercity ride. With a narrow 6.8-inch deck, featuring 15-inches of wheelbase, this one mimics the dimensions of those plastic banana boards that you’ll have seen people careering around on, without sacrificing any performance. It is the board of choice for those who want speed with maximum control. For more info, see sidewalkmag.com
from E & J Gallo. However, that’s not the case when it’s a four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbocharged Ingenium petrol unit from Jaguar – especially when it’s housed inside the stunning F-Type. This new drivetrain is capable of 300PS, making it the most
16% compared to the 340PS V6 option, and it has CO2 emissions of just 163g/km. Other updates to this model include the new Touch Pro infotainment system – an eight-inch colour touchscreen that controls nav, phone, music and climate. Refreshed interiors are
powerful four-cylinder engine Jaguar has ever produced. Zero-60mph takes just 5.4 seconds, and maximum speed is regulated to 155mph. And because you’re only running four cylinders, it’s incredibly efficient, too – there’s a fuel consumption reduction of more than
home to new slimline seats, and there are lots of ambient lighting choices – Phosphor Blue, Pale Blue, White, Coral or Red – to suit your mood or style. Crucially, this is the first time the F-Type range will be available for less than £50k. ■ jaguar.co.uk
BEST CRUISER COMPLETE: DUSTERS BIRD MOD
▷ If you want to get through the City quickly and comfortably, then this pre-assembled Dusters Bird Mod 27-inch long Cruiser is just the ticket. With a slimmed-down board inspired by the surf shapes of the 1960s coming in at a good four inches shorter than your average popsicle-shaped set-up, this one may be small but it cuts no corners when it comes to performance. With a reduced wheelbase, it will respond like lightning to the slightest adjustment of your weight, leaving you weaving through commuters without raising a sweat. For more info, see sidewalkmag.com
SHAUNA PITTS, FOUNDER, AUX ALPES
▽ I WORKED as a graduate analyst for Deloitte after finishing my Business & Management degree at Henley Business School. I loved the client-facing part of the job, the workshops, and my colleagues, but it wasn’t where I saw my life going. It was very corporate and I’d sometimes work 8am-11pm, whereas I like small places with a small vibe. Having used yoga to cope with stress in all elements of life, I decided to take the leap and build a business around it. Aux Alpes began by simply combining a love for skiing and yoga, and offers an alternative activity to every tourist visiting Samoëns in the French Alps. We aim to take every yoga class outdoors, even in mid winter. On our launch week it was -13°C, but within ten minutes everyone was taking their layers off because they were too warm. Since then, we have brought pop-up Snow Yoga events to some amazing venues across the Alps and we’re hosting more across Europe this summer. We also take classes and hold events in Oxford and are hoping to expand the business into more UK cities such as Liverpool and Cardiff. My job is so rewarding and my life is more free-flowing now. ■
ESC APE ARTIS T
For more info, auxalpes.com
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A BOLD MOVE BY VICKY SMITH
LAYING IT ON THICK For Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Danny Minnick, less is never more. His work is a riot of colour, thick paint, layer upon layer of fragments, and plays host to a clever cast of characters. For his first London solo show, One Love, these figures pay homage to American pop artist Keith Haring. Explaining the interplay between Haring’s work and his own, Minnick tells us: “They are both characters representing beautiful energy, which is what this world really needs right now.” ■
CREATIVE SPACE In this new exhibition, Minnick will recreate his own studio within the Maddox Gallery, transforming the space to reflect the surroundings in which he normally creates his work, and adding a whole new meaning to the concept of an immersive experience.
PHOTOGRAPH by Alex Maguire Photography
One Love, 7-21 July at Maddox Gallery, 9 Maddox Street, W1S 2QE
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ALL FOR ONE BY MARK HEDLEY
ONE FOR THE ROAD No kids in the back asking “are we nearly there yet?”, no partner beside you nagging for you to slow down, the BAC Mono is designed purely for the driver. It is as close to a single-seat race car as you can get for the road. Of course, chances are if you’re interested in a car capable of 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds and handling that would put a Porsche to shame, you’re probably going to be more interested in taking it to the track – its natural habitat. It’s the second fastest car around the Top Gear circuit – losing only to the Pagani Huayra. The latter costs £1m, whereas you can pick up the Mono for a sixth of that price. Well, you know what they say: gotta look after number one. ■
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O PI N I O N
RELAX YOUR MIND The founder of Inhere Studio, ADIBA OSMANI , explains the harmful culture of stress on London’s financial community – and what we can do about it
“THEY DON’T LOOK stressed enough” says a CEO, looking over his staff through a glass wall in an office in Finsbury Square. I thought, at least he isn’t shy to bring up the ‘s’ word. Most people in the City feel they can’t even talk about the biggest threat facing their health. The City breeds stress as much as it does success. The financial industry has the worst levels of stress in the private sector, with an estimated 1,860 cases per 100,000 employees. Sixty per cent of bankers have trouble sleeping, 42% have trouble relaxing and 53% worry about the future. And it isn’t just bankers: 67% of lawyers felt that they were more stressed than those working in other professional sectors such as accountancy or banking, according to a recent survey. Who is more stressed? It’s a grim competition. Our culture is stuck in a paradigm where living with high levels of stress is admired and even encouraged. We are urged to take on more, do more, achieve more, regardless of whether we have the
lining up to steal your job and the work hard/play hard culture is a matter of such intense validation? It is not surprising that people feel they just can’t talk about it. Research published by Metlife in February this year, surveying 104 financial institutions and investment banks, shows that only 23% of employees feel able to discuss stress issues with their managers. And even when stress is talked about, nothing is done about it – the same research cites that one in seven say bosses have taken action when they’ve complained about stress. This mix of relentless demands and unvoiced anxiety is resulting in a downward spiral of stress-related mental and physical illness. In 2015/16 stress accounted for 37% of all work-related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health. Anxiety UK’s survey showed one in six adults had experienced some form of ‘neurotic health problem’ in the previous
❱❱ OUR CULTURE IS STUCK IN A PARADIGM WHERE LIVING WITH HIGH LEVELS OF STRESS IS ADMIRED AND EVEN SOMETIMES ENCOURAGED
week. More than one in ten people are likely to have a ‘disabling anxiety disorder’ at some stage in their life. Physically, prolonged stress can result in heart disease, infertility, and problems in the respiratory, digestive and immune systems. The City began to take some remedial action a few years ago. Corporate wellbeing programmes have proliferated to provide counselling and training on how to manage stress. Corporations have opened up to mindfulness, but there’s nowhere to practice on the doorstep – only
See more info on Inhere: inherestudio.com
ILLUSTRATION by Mark Boardman
mental and physical resources to take it all on while staying healthy and happy. This same culture puts pressure on us to endlessly seek promotions regardless of whether the role will be more fulfilling. We might end up leaving a role that we like for more money and a bigger title – even if these extras fail to compensate for the added pressure and sacrifices of time, energy, and even interest. How, in this environment, can you admit you’re not coping or you’re full of anxiety when there’s a queue of people
headphones at your desk or a podcast whilst commuting. There is a severe lack of places to go in the midst of the City to find a few moments of calm amidst the chaos. Drop by the Gardens St Dunstan-in-the-East in Monument at lunchtime – everyone is looking from some time out in a peaceful space. This is why I created Inhere, the City’s first teacher-free meditation studio. It offers bite-sized meditation sessions of 20, 30 and even five minutes for busy professionals, because even just a few minutes of mindfulness and meditation every day can create space and clarity in our minds, so that we may better manage our work, our lives and our health. Sadly the stigma associated with admitting that one might need these practices has not abated. For this to change we need a more fundamental shift away from the view that the nature of success is so material, so financial, that all other measures of wellbeing are overlooked. This change has to start with the individual and trickle through the institutional. In the meantime, the Lord Mayor’s initiative ‘This is Me in the City’ is a welcome attempt to open up conversations about mental health in the Square Mile. ■
O PI N I O N
NEXT GENERATION There’s been a shift in politics, and the divide is no longer social class, it’s age. IAIN ANDERSON explains why young voters are currently more influential than ever
YOUNG PEOPLE DON’T vote, so who cares about them, right? That’s been the attitude of so many of our politicians for so long. It perhaps reached its latest apotheosis in the Brexit vote last year, where huge numbers of millennial voters stayed at home and, as a result, gifted Brexit to their
fact, he outsmarted the Tory campaign most of the time. Since the election, every City-based baby boomer I know has told me that their ‘kids’ voted Labour all the way. Watching the chants of ‘Oooohhh, Jeremy Corbyn’ at Glastonbury it looked like a lot of their latte-sipping children confirmed just that. Asleep for so long, something has been both shaken and stirred among younger voters. Turnout in #GE2015 among 18-25 year olds was 43%. And that same group turnout for the Brexit referendum had dipped to 36%. In 2017, though, 57% of 18-19 year olds and 50% of 20-24 year olds voted. But it was still the lowest level of all the age groups. Turnout was also up for the 25-34 year olds, but remained unchanged for the rest of the population. And there you have it. That’s a big reason for the last-minute Labour swing. This election showed that for every ten years older a voter is, their chance of voting Tory increases by around 9% – and the chance of them voting Labour
❱❱ THIS ELECTION SHOWS THAT FOR EVERY TEN YEARS OLDER A VOTER IS, THEIR CHANCE OF VOTING TORY INCREASES BY AROUND 9%
ILLUSTRATION by Mark Boardman
own and future generations. But this year they made up for that. Big time. While early voting indications on 8 June looked to be giving Theresa May her ‘strong and stable’ majority, as polling day wore on there were increasing reports of huge numbers of young voters turning up at the last minute and late at night at polling stations to make their democratic voices heard. And the majority of them weren’t voting for May. It didn’t take long for Jeremy Corbyn to work that out during the election. In
decreases by the same amount. The tipping point – the age at which a voter is more likely to have voted Conservative than Labour – is now 47. Amazingly, this number rocketed up during the election campaign itself from age 32 when May called the election – according to numbers from YouGov – who called it pretty right after a lot of sweaty nights. Age 49, I am just on the other side of that electoral tide. But I find my own experiences, sandwiched between baby boomers who have benefited from the
post-war welfare and housing economics consensus, and millennials who don’t benefit from so much or indeed from any of that at all, means that I can’t help but listen into both. Among first-time voters, Labour was 47% ahead of the Tories in 2017. Among those aged over 70, the Conservatives had a lead of 50 points. Ipsos Mori recorded the largest gap in vote by age since they started analysing how people vote way back at the election of October 1974. The new divide in our politics is no longer social class. It’s age. The data is clear and unmistakeable. The divide has been growing for years but while the baby boomers continued to enjoy the perks of policy preferment they continued to turn out and vote for those perks to be maintained. So in this election the tide started to turn. Conventional political ‘wisdom’ has been upended. Since 1964 there has been a seemingly inexorable trend of decreasing turnout among all age groups. However, the drop has been sharpest among the younger voters. Indyref in Scotland did something to change that, but only with voters north of the border. But the 2017 general election will be remembered as the moment when the youth vote got up and made its voice heard loud and clear. I thought Jeremy Corbyn was a brilliant choice for Labour – for the election of 2030. In the end he proved to be a pretty good choice for Labour in 2017. But, of course, he didn’t win this time. So the real question now is will those new and many first-time voters do so again? Was this just a flash in the pan, and will politics return to ‘normal’ soon. You know what – I think younger voters are now more engaged than ever. If they continue to vote in such numbers, British politics will be changed forever. New politics probably means we need some new politicians to listen to them. About time. ■ To follow Iain, go to @iain_w_anderson
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MEASURING UP Enter your dimensions online, and a detailed preview of your product is displayed by 3D visualisation specially developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. You can further the customisation process by opting to have your initials sewn on near the waste band. The result is a pair of shorts that are genuinely unique to you.
GET THE LOOK: Selfnation shorts come in six different colours, including Bergamo Blue [pictured]. Prices start at £109 and rise to £121 if you have your initials included. For more info, see
SHARP NOTES KIRK NEWMANN is an international model who has fronted campaigns for Fabergé, Haig Club Whisky and Gillette. Here are his style staples ON MY WRIST I wear my Breitling Chronomat which has been the only watch I’ve worn for more than 13 years now. It has a very personal meaning to me: I was going through a difficult time when a very good friend of mine made me aware of that watch. I asked him how it was going to cheer me up, and he replied “just put it on your wrist”, and he was right. A well-picked watch can become very personal and a part of someone for a lifetime. It can remind you why you work so hard. My Breitling gave me confidence at that time – and I am still amazed how durable it is. It is very well worn and loved. The design is so classy, too: steel and gold with a navy blue display. It just perfectly suits any style of clothing from casual to very smart. I still get compliments today about it.
IN MY SIGHTS
A well-picked watch can become very personal and part of someone for a lifetime. It can remind you why you work hard 036
GET THE LOOK: [this image] Kirk wears suit by Stephen Williams; watch by Breitling (model’s own); [opposite] suit by Volpe Sartoriale.
sorting out the new house but I finally have my own garden. I have vegetable and fruit patches at the bottom and I can’t wait to buy a new mountain bike – probably a Specialized one – and explore every piece of land that surrounds this beautiful part of the world.
IN MY WARDROBE My wardrobe is very colourful: I love coloured trousers, jeans and shorts. My eye is always drawn to the brighter items in a store. I pick up a lot of my clothes on my travels, which makes them all fairly unique. My absolute favourite piece of clothing, though, is a
classic white T-shirt. This might sound very boring but I am very specific about the fit and the neckline. If I don’t get the right fit that I like, then I don’t wear it. In 2013, Zara produced amazing white Ts – round-neck with a little wider neckline showing a little of the collar bone, I bought ten in one of their stores in New York, but after two years they slowly started to fall apart, which is normal after many washes. I searched every store in London, made phone calls to their shops, searched online, tried to find the serial number and it turned out they stopped producing them. Believe it or not I then started to
PHOTOGRAPHS (lead) by Daniel Jaems; (inset) by James Nader
I am a nature lover and am always keen to spend as much time as possible outside and explore different forests, lakes and beautiful parks but owing to my busy lifestyle in central London I never had a chance to live it. I bought a bicycle four years ago while still based in London and used it only once. Now it has rust all over it and looks terrible. Life has changed for me this year: I moved up to a lovely quiet village in Buckinghamshire and we are still
I have discovered Hardy Amies and could buy up most of the store: I think its tailoring is quite unique for Savile Row
straight on a plane and travel the world and enjoy life completely carefree. Travel is the one luxury everyone should be able to afford. I gain more happiness by sharing with others. We will never be happy with all the money in the world if we don’t have our loved ones around us to share the fortune with.
ON MY AGENDA
research T-shirt manufactures to ask if they could replicate them but this got a bit stressful. I gave up my search and very luckily earlier this year found a T-shirt shape from Nike that is almost the exact same that I love and made of very good material. Guess what, I bought 20 new ones in white, black and blue.
I think when you live in London you take for granted what is on your doorstep. For some reason I haven’t managed to see the musicals Thriller and Lion King yet, which are both on my list. I love musicals and the energy that comes with it. My first ever experience in London of a show was the Cirque du Soleil – and I was mesmerised by the artists and the tension that built up during their performance.
ON MY RADAR
IN MY PAST
E Tautz is a British brand I like a lot at the minute, especially its single-breasted coats – they are so well made and a timeless piece. I also recently discovered Hardy Amies, and could buy up most of the store. Its tailoring is unique for Savile Row; it is very contemporary and it has a large collection of knitwear. It is also relatively affordable.
For many years I travelled the globe opening restaurants as an Operations Development Manager and one of the openings I did was in Boston. The owner of the restaurant gave me a gift with a bag full of random items relating to Boston, one of them was a beanie hat with white letters that said Boston on it. That beanie hat fit me as if it was made for me and became a permanent fixture on my head. Unfortunately, last year I messed up the fabric by washing it too hot. It’s only a nonexpensive item but I still miss it. It has taught me to pay attention to care labels on clothes though when I do my washing. Luckily a brand from California called RGD
ON MY TRAVELS I am a very light traveller: more often than not, I just have hand luggage, and the only thing really that matters to me on my journey is my Nivea cream. People would assume I am using it for my hands or face but I’ve used it since I was a teenager for my hair – there is no other product like it. Every time I go to a hairdresser I get compliments about how thick and nice my hair is; they are always surprised when I say I use Nivea and nothing else. It has a nice texture and gives the hair a natural glow without causing dandruff or the usual glue effect that you get from gels. It remains natural and feels soft. I always pick up a new bottle of aftershave in airports, I have my signature scent – Armani Code – then I like to mix it up with new ones. It’s a great way of killing time in an airport.
Rhodium Global Design approached me on my Instagram for collaboration and they sent me a new beanie which I now love almost as much.
IN MY FUTURE I love travelling to places I have never been so if a job were to offer an opportunity to discover somewhere new I’m always going to say yes. I have been the face of alcohol brands, Tequila 1800 most recently, lots of different clothing brands, airlines, sunglasses, hand modelling, the lot, but I am yet to work with a fragrance company. I’d really love to secure a campaign with one of the big fragrance brands and feature in one of their beautiful and timeless campaigns.
ON MY BUCKET LIST I want to complete my book which is designed to lift people who had really difficult times in life and help bring them back to happiness. I am a good people motivator, which is why I did so well in my last job getting staff motivated. I am all about positive mental attitude. Whatever darkness or pain people went through, I want to make sure I have tried hard enough to help bring them back to happiness. There is one major rule in my book that applies to people who have a choice in life. In order to make a change you must choose first; once you have chosen you must then do something about it; once you have done it, you will have made the change. There are people in the world with no choice; we should stop taking freedom for granted. ■
IN MY DREAMS If I had all the money in the world, I would probably first call my parents and ask them what they would want – what would make them happy or make life easier. Then I would look after my closest family and buy anything they need. I would also donate to those with less. Even when I’ve had times when I haven’t had much money, I still make a point of helping others less fortunate than me. After everyone is happy, then I would jump
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GRAND DESIGNS This season, Hardy Amies has launched a new slimmer ultra-modern look called the Salon fit. It’s a sharper, more slender fit compared to Hardy Amies’ existing signatures – the classic Brinsley and the slim Heddon. The name is a nod to the grand salon ballroom in Sir Hardy Amies’ original home on Savile Row. It was this that originally attracted Sir Hardy to purchase the building in order to fulfil his vision of hosting fittings in an environment that was, well, fitting for royals and celebrities alike. Suits start from £450.
MEASURE OF A MAN
Hardy Amies is one of Savile Row’s most storied tailors – and we’ve teamed up with them to offer you the chance to win an amazing prize squaremile.com
Hardy Amies’ made to measure suits start life on its signature block, and are then adapted to your unique body measurements to ensure the perfect fit – whether you’re after single breasted, double-breasted or an eveningwear style. You can choose from more than 200 fabrics from the finest British and Italian mills, and you can personalise buttons, lapels, vents and pockets to create your own unique suit. ■ Made to measure starts at £995. Hardy Amies, 8 Savile Row, W1S 3PE hardyamies.com
COMPETITION We’re offering you the unique chance to win £795 to spend in store on a new season tailoring outfit or a made to measure suit. To enter go to squaremile.com/ competitions and answer a simple question. T&Cs can be found online.
STYLE THE KENNEDY FILES
EARN YOUR STRIPES
Don’t be intimidated by bold stripes; instead, really go for it and embrace this summer’s big trend. DARREN KENNEDY outlines the best ways to wear them well – and the looks that you should avoid
HE GOOD OL’ Breton striped shirt: it’s long been a wardrobe staple since it came into being more than 150 years ago as a uniform for the French Navy. It began to enter the mainstream after Coco Chanel incorporated the stripes into her 1917 nautical collection. Just like the trench coat, it is one of the few items of clothing that has stood the test of time, and emerged from its former utilitarian existence to redefine itself as a go-to wardrobe must-have – and become the epitome of Parisian easy-dressing in the process. One of the most versatile garments for both sexes, it can take you from day to night easily. However, SS17 has offered a bolder interpretation of this famed style, as designers have dared to rework the stripe. From the so-called post-Soviet street-wear of Gosha Rubchinskiy to the politically charged catwalk of Vivienne Westwood, SS17 was awash with stripes in all shapes and sizes. This season, it’s all about making a statement with clashing stripes to achieve a strong, graphic look. While it is a calling to abandon some of fashion’s hard-and-fast rules, there are some cautionary roadblocks to avoid. The Breton stripe top is an extremely versatile piece, but probably isn’t the best option for this trend. It’s perhaps too much of a classic and can look clunky if worn with an all-stripe outfit. For a more contemporary – or strategically mismatched – look, think of ways to balance out your clashing stripes. Vertically striped trousers are a ubiquity on the high street at the minute and are a perfect entry-point into this trend. Try offsetting them with a T-shirt bearing a very fine pinstripe rather than one that is similar in shape to your legwear. There was a noted return to 1990s power-dressing in the SS17 menswear shows and pinstripe played a key role in this. Deconstructing an all-pinstripe outfit and clashing with a more prominent, thicker, horizontal stripe is key to nailing the ‘new stripe’ trend, as it’s best worn when the stripes are very obviously different widths and directions. It’s definitely an opportunity to fly in the face of convention, but it’s important to remember that even when more is more, a good look still comes down to balance. ■
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STRIPE IT LUCKY: [clockwise from main] Reiss Coltby graphic stripe shirt in navy, £90 and Reiss Kamara T wool slim trousers in khaki, £125, reiss.com; Topman premium navy and white knitted stripe T-shirt, £35, topman.com; Vivienne Westwood classic cutaway shirt in blue and yellow stripe, £225, viviennewestwood.com
For more info, see darrenkennedy.co.uk
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From high-tech and high-spec to vintage diamonds and contemporary art, The Royal Exchange has a range of luxury items to suit all tastes MASTER CLASS “Don’t you wonder sometimes, ’bout sound and vision?” asked David Bowie in his 1977 song, ‘Sound and Vision’ – and our answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Or, at least, it is now that New York-based premium audio company Master & Dynamic has teamed with iconic camera manufacturer Leica Camera and its high-end accessories brand 0.95 to produce sleek, high-performance headphones that sound as good as they look. ■
SEARLE & CO A butterfly’s lifespan is limited, unless it’s made from diamonds, sapphires and rubies then fashioned into a brooch – like this specimen from the 19th century. £4,800. 1 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LL
CASTLE FINE ART Celebrated contemporary artist Raphael Mazzucco unveils his new Exposure collection on 19 July at Castle Fine Art. The piece pictured, H20, will set you back £19,950. 35 Royal Court Entrance, EC3V
SOUNDSCAPE: The Master & Dynamic for 0.95 collection is inspired by the design of Leica’s legendary Noctilux-M 50mm f/0.95 ASPH lens. Prices for over-ear headphones start from £369, with earphones from £179. Leica Store, 18 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LP
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ASPINAL OF LONDON Timeless with a twist is where Aspinal excels, and the brand’s Slouchy Saddle in taupe pebble is a perfect example, with its classic but casual aesthetic. £346.50. 35 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LT
WATCHES ROBERTO CAVALLI
#WATCHWEWANT Every Wednesday, we post the watch that we’ve currently got our eye on to the @squaremile_com Instagram account. Share yours too with #watchwewant
FASHION FORWARD Most fashion labels don’t take watchmaking seriously – just lobbing their logo on any old movement. Not so Roberto Cavalli. The Italian fashion house has partnered with renowned Swiss watchmaker Franck Muller to create its new range of timepieces – including this, the £750 ref RV1G025M0041, featuring anti-reflective sapphire crystal.
FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE The new collection marries Italian style with Swiss engineering. The Octagon collection has been inspired by the eight-sided geometric shape that is ubiquitous in Florence, the city where Roberto Cavalli was born. The range is exclusively available from Fenwick Bond Street from 26 June, extending out to more Fenwick stores in the Autumn. ■ fenwick.co.uk
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BENJAMIN MELZER SUMMER WATCHES BEST OF BRITISH CYCLING DAN BILZERIAN
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PHOTOGRAPH: by Ray Depatti; suit by Tiger of Sweden; shirt by Boss; sunglasses by G-Star
SHOOT FROM THE HIP: Production & Styling by KLE Agency; Hair and Make-up, Verena Ahmann
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ROLE MODEL AS THE FIRST TRANSGENDER COVER STAR OF MEN’S HEALTH MAGAZINE, MODEL BENJAMIN MELZER IS CHALLENGING GENDER BOUNDARIES, SAYS JESSICA PHILLIPS PHOTOGRAPHY BY RAY DEPATTI
14-YEAR-OLD IS STOOD at the pool’s edge,
weighed down by thoughts that cannot be explained, and encumbered by a body that is off-key with the mind’s melody. An attractive boy is about to enter the water. He approaches. He takes off his shirt. He is wearing a bikini. He is a girl. This is the crescendo of confusion that Benjamin Melzer felt with his body. Melzer is now a 30-year-old transgender man, the first non-biological male to grace the cover of European Men’s Health magazine and the next big thing in the modelling industry. But, standing in a bikini in a public swimming pool
has left unpaved inroads in his imagination of a little boy forced to be someone else – someone female. Speaking of this episode in his life, he says, “I can’t describe the feeling. It was so hard. I stopped going to the public pool even though I love being in the water.” To the outside world Melzer was confident and always attracted attention, even adoration, from his peers in school. Boys wanted to be his friend and girls competed to be around him. “I was kind of an asshole when I was a girl. I was loud, a bully and wasn’t very tolerant. I wanted to protect myself, and have people look at them and ➤
➤ not me,” he explains. But while this attention was diverted elsewhere, he contended with a whirlpool of questions and internal struggles on a daily basis. “What was normal for others was horrible for me. I always waited until the lesson started to use the gender-neutral restroom. Somebody who feels comfortable in their body doesn’t have to think about things like that. I’d pay for clothes with cash because if I tried to pay with my credit card, they’d have asked to see my identity card.” Growing up 40 minutes outside of Düsseldorf, Germany, there was little information available about the gender dysphoria he was experiencing. But Melzer knew there was “something special” about himself as early as three year’s old. He finally had a name for the way he felt when, aged 18, he watched a documentary about Chaz Bono, Cher’s transgender son. Benjamin made the decision to transition fully and live as his authentic self five years later. Unlike many other transgender people, Melzer had the full backing of his family throughout the process. “I had support from day one from my family and friends. Even my Grandma, who was 89 at that point, said, ‘Nothing is going to change but your name.’” His friends were also relieved when he finally decided to go ahead with his transition. Laughing at the recollection, he reveals, they said things like, “Finally you did it,” and “You’re so much nicer now.” Eleven surgeries and four years later, Melzer has completely transitioned and is all man. Speaking of his transition journey, he says, “It was the best time and the hardest part of my life.” Calling himself a cliché for always liking blue more than pink, he explains, “I felt and acted totally like a guy. I was always into sports and not into girls’ things – nothing at all. It was all very crazy.” Verbalising his time trapped in a female body, he adds, “I describe it as being in a dark room, it’s safe, and there’s only one door. You have to decide whether you want to go through the door and show up – that means a lot of problems, you have to explain and tell people who you really are. Or,
I knew that doing the cover of Men’s Health was the ultimate manly thing that I could do 052
you can stay in that room, be alone and safe. I’m so glad I went through the door. It’s the best decision of my life.” Walking through that door was not without its administrative and medical complications, however. “You have to fill out a lot of paperwork because the surgeries are covered by health insurance, and that takes quite a long time to get the final ‘go’. You have to be very patient.” Once the procedures were approved, Melzer also suffered setbacks with his surgeries. “For me, there were little things that went wrong. To fix them I had to have another surgery. I would say that I am very physically strong, but when it comes to the ninth or tenth surgery, even I was thinking about giving up. I was very sure that I would never give up, but that’s the struggle you have in that moment.”
THE WHOLE PICTURE Speaking of the moment he finally felt whole as a man has a poignant and resonating significance for Melzer. “I knew doing Men’s Health was the ultimate manly thing I could do. After that, I felt I was complete and my life could start.” But being a man was not only about acting masculine, achieving fame or even being the cover star of a magazine. Being a man meant diving from the pool’s edge and baptising a new body; it was about reclaiming his story at a public swimming pool. “Right after the top surgery, when the healing process was over, I went to the public swimming place with just shorts on, I jumped into the water and that was the best. Top surgery is the most important surgery for all trans men.” Melzer is now fit and well and proving to be a pro at most things he has turned his hand to – becoming something of a poster boy for the trans community and a sculpture the cisgender [non-trans] population is more than happy to admire. Yet, there’s one area where he claims to still fall short. “At first, I used to think maybe I could better understand women than other guys, but when I started my transition and got testosterone in my veins, a few doors just locked and I can’t get in.” Even though some areas are now out of bounds for Melzer, he has also integrated himself into some pretty impressive circles. After the Men’s Health cover, “Ashton Kutcher sent me a message on Facebook, saying, ‘Congratulations Benjamin.’ I didn’t believe it was really him.” Recent success has also brought greater media scrutiny and a minority who try to devalue his achievements and usurp his spotlight for criticism. “Around 98% of messages are positive, and 2% are negative. People on Snapchat ask, ‘Can I see your dick?’ or call me a ‘catfish’ [someone who pretends
to be something they’re not], saying, ‘This is not what trans looks like,’” Melzer admits. “I can just laugh about it. It’s so ridiculous. I think there’s a lot of jealousy. Some biological men feel that trans men are going to replace them or think we see ourselves as better men. I don’t see myself like that; I’m just a guy, that’s what I am. I don’t want to replace anybody or take anyone’s wife.” Competition and envy are also things Melzer has endured from within the transgender community itself. He explains, “In Germany, there’s a lot of hate in these groups and a lot of jealousy. People say to me that I am lucky, and I am lucky. I’m quite tall for a trans guy, but the body I have is not because I had a surgery, it’s because I work my ass off.” This self-assured persona was something Melzer says he acquired during his transition. As he saw his physical appearance mirror his internal image, a confidence fed him in a way no testosterone ever could. “I’m totally comfortable now and I listen and try to understand things more. I’ve calmed down and feel very, very different.” He is so comfortable with his masculinity in fact that he jests about his gender identity and sexuality. “I make jokes about girly shoes and everything. I say things like, ‘I would have been a great woman.’ That’s funny, and people see that I’m open with all this.” He continues, “I love fashion. I don’t think I have to prove anything. Look at me, I’m happy and I have a girlfriend. I just live my life.”
A MODERN ICON This attitude is part of what has made Melzer an icon and an authoritative voice for the trans community. Just by being himself he is brandishing the fact that transgender people are just that, people, like everyone else. He is witty, charming, intelligent and successful. “The trans people you see on the TV here in Germany are a little freaky, over the top or completely depressed. I want to normalise it,” he adds. The way he now identifies is a step towards turning this rhetoric into a reality. Benjamin says, “I would never say to anybody, ‘Hey, I’m a trans man.’ The word is just weird. We need to think of a better word than transgender.” Elaborating on his hesitation in embracing the trans label, he clarifies, “If you asked German people on the street about being transgender, they would probably think of a drag queen. I want to show the world that I’m just a normal guy who happens to be trans.” Melzer admits that as a child he was never forced to wear girls’ clothing, have long hair or conform to a female gender role. Yet, as a man, he embraces traditionally female colours and accessories. “If I like pink, ➤
STYLE FOCUS: For our shoot, model Benjamin Melzer wears Tiger of Sweden (suit), BOSS (shirt), Prada (shoes) and G-Star (eyewear).
➤ I wear pink and if I love heels, I can say that I love heels. I love bags. I want my girlfriend to have all the bags, like Chanel. She doesn’t know that she wants them. I’m telling her, ‘You need this, you better buy this one.’” Make-up is also something Melzer has only ever experienced as a man. He reveals, “When I had a girl’s body I was totally against make-up and concealer. But now I’m like, ‘That makes me look really good, so give it to me.’ I’m open to these things because I feel comfortable in my body.” This outlook and willingness to put his own happiness above exterior judgment is refreshing. “I know I’m a guy and I know I’m not bad looking. If a concealer or make-up makes me look better on TV or camera, then come on. I have a concealer, a thing for the eyebrows, and powder to get rid of the shine. If you have a spot or something, it’s perfect.” Melzer has been with his fiancée Zara for six years, but their friendship began in their
schooldays. Five years after leaving school, but before Melzer’s transition, they rekindled their friendship. “We started out just as friends. We went to the cinema and went to have ice-cream and stuff like that with others, and then we fell in love. I don’t really know how it happened,” he muses. Speaking about his dating history and sexuality, Melzer insists, “I’ve always dated straight girls. I’ve never been into the lesbian scene. I never identified as a lesbian. My girlfriends have always seen the real me inside. I’ve never had a problem with that.” Zara has been beside Melzer throughout his transition and viewed the man she saw inside materialise before her eyes over the course of their relationship. “She went through this whole transition with me. I had my first testosterone shot when we started dating,” he adds. Now, the couple are currently saving for their wedding, and in terms of funding their
I would love to open doors for the trans community in the modelling business
For more information, see benjaminmelzer.com
PHOTOGRAPH by dpa picture alliance / Alamy Stock Photo
upcoming nuptials, “a Calvin Klein commercial would be a great help,” he laughs. Having broken new ground for trans men in Germany and beyond, Melzer’s next goal is to make the modelling business more accessible for trans models. “I would love to open doors for the trans community in the modelling business because it’s a hard business. They want us to be tall and in shape. The industry is completely changing right now. You see that with Ashley Graham; she’s a plus-size model and she’s absolutely amazing. I would love to shoot with her one day,” he explains. “I always say, ‘I’d like to trans-form the world.’ I probably did that a bit with the Men’s Health cover. Hopefully trans kids see it and I can be that hero for them.” In terms of personal ambition, he says: “I would like to see myself in the modelling industry as a successful male model, who’s not only getting trans jobs, even cisgender jobs. That would be a dream come true.” What’s unique about Melzer is not that he is a trans man, or a trans model. He embodies something rare, refreshing and modern – what many men today are hoping to achieve. He is content in his own skin, with his life and with the choices he makes. He doesn’t give too much power to vociferous voices or to society’s stigma, and treats life as an offroad adventure. He may not have been born a biological man, but his masculinity is not the end-product of a chemical reaction or a surgeon’s knife. He is masculine because he listens to his mind’s melody, which is now pitch perfect with his body. But what does masculinity matter? He is a wonderful contradiction, a mixture of feminine, masculine, tradition and the future. Explaining his life’s mantra, he says, “I want to do my thing, and when I help people while I’m doing my thing, that’s perfect for me.” Seven years ago, Melzer made the decision to do his thing by walking through one door, and in turn, has opened many more for others. His message is as clear as his defined abs: sometimes you just have to jump in at the deep end. ■
INNER POISE: [here] Benjamin Melzer has forged himself a successful modelling career; [opposite, clockwise from top left] an adolescent Melzer, known at that time as Yvonne; the model says he knew he was meant to be male even as a young child; after numerous surgeries over several years, his transformation is now complete.
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Eye on the Ball WE’RE WELL INTO THE BRITISH SUMMER OF SPORT – HERE ARE THE BEST WATCHES TO HELP ENSURE YOU DON’T MISS A MINUTE OF THE ACTION PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID HARRISON
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FOUR OF THE MOST CHALLENGING ROUTES IN NORTHWEST ENGLAND, PROVING YOU DON’T NEED TO GO TO THE CONTINENT TO ENJOY SOME OF EUROPE’S BEST RIDES PHOTOGRAPHY BY SCOTT CONNOR
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ON THE ROAD: [this image] Cycling past the Ribblehead Viaduct in the Yorkshire Dales, where natural beauty combines with man-made marvels; [opposite] the North Pennines is one of the UK’s best cycling destinations, with some of the longest climbs in the country.
HE TOWERING MOUNTAIN passes of the Alps, Pyrenees and Dolomites will appear on the bucket list of almost every cyclist, but some of Europe’s best riding is right here on our doorstep. Leg-sapping climbs, whiteknuckle descents and stunning scenery can all be found tucked in the northwest of England. The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Trough of Bowland and North Pennines are home to the most beautiful and challenging riding in the country. From the wall-like gradients of the Lakes to the Tour de France-graced roads of Yorkshire, via the wild moors of the Trough of Bowland and Britain’s highest road in the North Pennines – there’s something to entertain the most ardent cyclist. We went on a road trip to see what it’s all about, taking in a classic route in each area to find out why your next cycling holiday could be a little closer to home than you think. YORKSHIRE DALES When it was first announced that the 2014 Tour de France was to start in Yorkshire, UK cycling fans rejoiced. Locals have long waxed lyrical about ‘God’s own country’: the beauty of Yorkshire, the quality cycling to be had
on its roads, and the many champions it has spawned. This was Yorkshire’s chance to shine on the world stage and it didn’t disappoint. More than one million people turned out to watch at the roadside, royalty started the race, the Red Arrows made an appearance, and the racing action came thick and fast. For those three days in 2014, all eyes in the cycling world were on Yorkshire – but those in the know have always been aware of what the area has to offer for cyclists. Our route includes the best riding in the Yorkshire Dales National Park on an 87-mile loop, taking in some of the roads featured in the 2014 Tour and honing in on three tough climbs, including the double header of Buttertubs Pass and Fleet Moss. Starting in Kirkby Stephen, we head straight into green pastures with the road gently rising. On the way we catch glimpses of the Settle-Carlisle railway and its majestic viaducts; 20 in all which straddle the many dips and curves in the landscape. The climbing really starts with the ascent of Garsdale Head. Try and spot the railway tracks disappearing into the distance – this must be one of the most scenic rail journeys in
the UK, and watching the train trundle into the distance in no great hurry is a great antidote to the lactic acid building in the legs. The Yorkshire Dales manage to blend natural beauty with architectural splendour. We’re skirting around the bases of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, which cast an imposing outline high above, then there’s Ribblehead Viaduct with its 32m-high arches spanning some 400m across the valley. We climb Halton Gill, a real hidden gem of a climb, with a narrow stonewall-lined lane opening up onto wild, exposed moorland with virtually no traffic on it, before briefly joining part of the Tour de France route.
We skirt around the bases of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, which cast an imposing outline above squaremile.com
There’s really no place to hide on the Fleet Moss climb, particularly if the wind is against you Fleet Moss, however, demands we leave the Tour route to tackle a climb even cycling’s greatest race wouldn’t go up. This is truly stunning cycling territory – the road tracks the River Wharfe, bubbling beside, and we’re surrounded by verdant countryside. Though only 1.7 miles long, Fleet Moss is consistently hard – there’s really no place to hide on this climb, particularly if the wind is against you. And that’s not the end of the climbing either, as we rejoin the Tour de France route for Buttertubs Pass. The image of the race tackling this ascent came to define the Tour’s visit to Yorkshire, with the road, peloton and fans indistinguishable from each other owing to the sheer number of people. Without all of those spectators, however, we can enjoy the views of the 20m-deep limestone potholes which give the climb its name, and the subsequent descent off Buttertubs is absolutely superb. At Thwaite we then say goodbye to the Tour route for good and carry on for the final 7.5-mile push back to Kirkby Stephen, where we can wholeheartedly recommend the bakery in the middle of the high street. You’ll have earned it if you ride this route.
Harthope Moss presents the first major challenge and at 627m it is the joint-highest paved road pass in England, level with Killhope Cross, ten miles to the north. The snow poles lining the road give an indication of the weather which can beset this part of the world. This is England at its wildest but on a clear day the moors seemingly roll on forever. The lightning-fast descent takes us to the start of Killhope Cross. The road climbs for seven miles in all but don’t be fooled by the shallow average gradient; the steady rise serves to dull the legs before the final milelong stretch, with a steep ramp close to 15%. The reward is a dead-straight descent on a road with a series of blind lips like a gymnast’s ribbon laid out onto the moor. It’s then time to prepare for another climb and one of the most popular ascents in the area, Hartside Fell. On a clear day you can see the Lake District from the summit, just one of the countless spectacular views you’ll take in on this route – it’s easy to see why the North Pennines is called ‘the roof of England’.
The ten miles after the descent of Hartside are the flattest on our loop and in sharp contrast to what is to come. Welcome to Great Dun Fell, a climb that’s heaven and hell for cyclists in equal measure, thanks to its combination of beauty and severity – silky smooth tarmac snakes its way to the summit at a fiercely tough gradient. The road to the top of Great Dun Fell is a service road for the radar station, closed to general motor traffic, so chances are you’ll have the single-track lane, too. The road winds its way around the hillside as the radar station looms large, but rarely seems to move closer to the top until you’re on the exposed summit having finally conquered a truly remarkable climb. Great Dun Fell is definitely a must-ride ascent for any UK cyclist. It’s an out-and-back climb, so once you’ve stopped to admire the awe-inspiring view over to the Lakes on one side, and looked out across almost the whole of the North Pennines on the other, the only thing left to do is to turn around and enjoy the descent. ➤
NORTH PENNINES The North Pennines is one of Britain’s true hidden gems when it comes to cycling. Expect some of the longest climbs in the country, towering views, deep dales, upland rivers and, in Great Dun Fell, the finest ascent you’ll find anywhere on these isles. The stats behind Great Dun Fell tell the story: a 4.5-mile climb, much of it traffic free, with an average gradient of 9% and a maximum of 20%. Topping out at 848m, Great Dun Fell is the highest paved road in the whole of the UK – but the Pennines offer so much more than simply this one climb. Our ride starts in the old market village of Appleby-in-Westmorland and follows an 88mile route with 8,300ft of ascent, packing in the Pennines climbs of Harthope Moss, Killhope Cross, Hartside Fell and, of course, Great Dun Fell. This is a route that has absolutely no shortage of uphill riding.
➤ LAKE DISTRICT The Lake District. Mention those three words to any cyclist and you’ll see their eyes glaze over and minds wander to the playground that is the Lake District National Park. And for good reason. The Lake District is one of the most beautiful parts of the UK in which to ride a bike – but it’s also one of the toughest. Hardknott Pass is one of the toughest climbs of them all, pitching up to 33% as it scales the dramatic mountainside at an impossibly steep gradient. Our Lake District loop takes in the very best that the area has to offer. Starting in the picturesque town of Ambleside, the 91-mile route takes us to the northern end of the Lake District before heading west, brushing the coast and then finally returning east to Ambleside – all via four must-ride Lakes climbs: Kirkstone Pass, Honister Pass, Hardknott Pass and Wrynose Pass. As we leave Ambleside, the climbing starts
pretty much immediately on the appropriately named ascent of The Struggle. It’s one of three different routes up to the Kirkstone Pass and the quietest of all, but our legs are soon burning on its steep gradients. Like all good climbs, however, there’s a reward at the summit – this time with a panoramic view of Ambleside and Windermere, England’s largest lake. Rolling roads take us to the climb of Honister Pass, a beautiful and brutal ascent in equal measure – two adjectives which perfectly describe riding in the Lake District. The road snakes its way up the hillside – with the additional challenge of an ever-present headwind – and while the buildings at the summit are in view most of the time, they appear almost always out of reach. The route eases as we head to the coast, skirting around the towering Sellafield nuclear plant – but it’s never pan flat around here. And yet, despite the two leg-numbing climbs that
Beautiful and brutal are two adjectives that perfectly describe riding in the Lake District have come before, the whole ride has been building up to the last 15 miles for the double header of Hardknott and Wrynose passes – two of the most feared climbs in the country. The run up to Hardknott is truly beautiful, with the road meandering along the valley floor before it opens out, the pass in front of us and mountain peaks above. Any cyclist who reaches the top of Hardknott and its gravitydefying 33% hairpins has conquered one of the toughest climbs out there. We stop at the top to turn around and take in the view of the road we have just come up, enjoying a moment’s peace before the final challenge of the day – Wrynose Pass. The descent off Hardknott is short and sharp as we drop down on a road which snakes its way into the valley and soon whisks us to the foot of Wrynose. It’s a longer ascent than Hardknott, and while it’s not quite as steep, the upper slopes still reach 25%. Needless to say, it stings a little with some 80 miles already in the legs. But, as the road drops off Wrynose and returns once again to the valley floor, all that’s left is to enjoy the ride back into Ambleside – a chance to warm down and enjoy the final Lakeland views this route has to offer alongside the River Brathay. It’s only here that the enormity of the day sinks in.
TROUGH OF BOWLAND Where are Tour de France champions made? In the case of Sir Bradley Wiggins, the 2012 champion trained on the roads of the Forest of Bowland before becoming Great Britain’s first Tour de France winner. It’s pretty easy to see why Wiggins chose this corner of the country, nestled in the north of Lancashire. It’s prime British cycling territory, with tough climbs, incredibly lush countryside and quiet roads. Very few roads cross the Trough of Bowland, but that works in its favour as motor vehicles can’t use the forest as a shortcut, so you’re only likely to encounter locals out on the tarmac. It also means that the best way to take in the area is to do a loop of the forest, and our ride follows an 83-mile
WHEELS OF FORTUNE: [this image] Take in local landmarks and idyllic countryside on a ride through the Trough of Bowland in the Ribble Valley; [left] the breathtaking scenery of the Lake District provides the perfect backdrop for some exhilarating rides.
route, starting from the town of Clitheroe. Crossing the idyllic River Ribble, we’re soon out into the countryside. The surrounding landscape gets greener by the mile and you don’t have to spend much time here to understand why. The Trough of Bowland receives its fair share of rain and is often shrouded in mist. As with any ride in this part of the world, it’s best to come prepared. Dunsop Bridge, one of the first villages on the route, is Lancashire at its finest, with a scattering of stone cottages at the confluence of the Dunsop and Hodder rivers. The ducks control the pace of life here. We are deep in the forest now and the surrounding countryside is cloaked in what looks like a beautiful green-felt carpet – the landscape here is incredibly vivid; the greenest green that you’ll ever see. The climbing starts in earnest with the
three-mile ascent of the Trough of Bowland, a 295m-high pass which gives the area the name by which it’s most commonly known. The road cuts its way up the valley alongside a babbling brook and with the fells rising sharply from the tarmac. The steepest section comes towards the summit, with a 16% ramp to really test the legs and open the lungs. We leave the forest boundary and head to Lancaster with a far-reaching view over Morecambe Bay for company, before touching the most northerly part of the route in the historic market town of Kirkby Lonsdale. The return leg tackles the toughest climbs of the day. The Cross of Greet comes first – an ever-steepening, arrow-straight road. It’s a remote, barren climb but that’s part of its beauty. The wind whips across the exposed moors, either a much-needed tailwind or a morale-sapping headwind – and up here
there’s nothing to protect you from the latter. Legs rested and mind alert after the stunning descent, it’s then onto the final climb of the day over Waddington Fell. It’s a steady ascent but the grippy surface feels like it’s glued to the bike’s tyres this late in the ride. From the summit it’s downhill back to base, on a rapid road where we quickly run out of gears over the crest of a series of blind lips. What a descent to end the day. Passing through the village of Waddington, there are just a couple of miles of flat roads back into Clitheroe to complete a loop which really has it all, from tightly-cropped and lush green hills, to dense, mist-shrouded forest, via wild, remote moorland. This is England. ■ For more ideas on routes and everything to do with road cycling, see roadcyclinguk.com For more information on the bikes ridden and photographed, see: ribblecycles.co.uk
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO DAN BILZERIAN WITH A SOCIAL MEDIA FOLLOWING IN THE MULTI-MILLIONS – AND A FORTUNE TO MATCH – IT’S FAIR TO SAY THAT POKER-PLAYING, GUN-TOTING DAN BILZERIAN HAS MADE HIS MARK ON THE WORLD. BUT IS THERE MORE TO THE MAN THAN MEETS THE EYE – AND THE IRE OF HIS CRITICS? AND WHERE CAN HE GO FROM HERE? WE SENT MAX WILLIAMS TO BILZERIAN’S LAS VEGAS HOME TO MEET THE CONTROVERSIAL KING OF INSTAGRAM PHOTOGRAPHY BY DUSTIN SNIPES 070
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O YOU’RE ROLLICKING through the Nevada
desert in a $150k Jimco buggy, and each bump is enough to cause whiplash because you’re nudging 85kph, and you swerve off the track, nearly tip over, and you assure yourself you’ll be OK because your driver is poker millionaire and notorious hedonist Dan Bilzerian, and surely someone who takes so much out of life isn’t about to give it all up... But then you remember this is the man who prematurely checked himself out of hospital following a pulmonary embolism (“I’ll bet a million dollars I don’t die. Any takers?” he tweeted); who attempted to complete US Navy SEALS boot camp with a broken leg; and who once lost more than $2m on a coin toss – and you realise selfpreservation is not one of his dominant traits. Then you notice your harness is unstrapped. The many, many exploits of Dan Bilzerian, aged 36, are public domain, so we will mention them only fleetingly. How he survived two heart attacks aged 25 following a not-quite-lethal combination of cocaine, strippers and Viagra. How he incurred a lawsuit after throwing a porn star off the roof of his house into a swimming pool for a Hustler photoshoot. (She acquiesced; he missed.) How he recently won a reported $1.2m for cycling from Los Angeles to Las Vegas in less than 48 hours. (Bilzerian posted 31 hours; $250,000 of the pot came from a friend who bet against his survival.) Either you know this already or you’ve just fired up Google. Either way, let’s move along. To his followers (22.6m on Instagram alone – more than Donald Trump and Barack Obama combined) Bilzerian is an inspiration, even a hero; the rootin’, tootin’, red-blooded antidote to a world of straitjackets and snowflakes. To his detractors – harder to quantify but unquestionably numerous – Bilzerian is an affront, a shameless flaunter of wealth and women; even, some claim, a fraud. I flew to Vegas to explore the myth, and meet the man behind it. The opportunity to interview a 21st-century phenomenon was simply too good to pass up. Although a handful of Bilzerian interviews are out there (with Larry King and Joe Rogan, to name the two subsantial ones), the man very rarely sits down with print publications. Indeed, he’s only ever conceded to two cover shoots – both passion projects: one on fitness, the other poker. So why did he agree to this one? “Fuck knows, man,” he chuckles when I can’t resist asking the question. “Like, why not?” The answer rather encapsulates Bilzerian’s appeal: the man is all id. The transition between desire and intent is squashed within milliseconds; ‘if only’ does not apply. Dan
Climbing the mountain is more fun than sitting at the top. You just have to find different mountains wants, Dan gets. Dan doesn’t bother to reason why. But let it be noted he is a perfect host: offering the photographer and me dinner (beef stir fry, if you’re curious); posing for countless shots; expounding on the world while loading a large machine gun; and suggesting we drive into the desert in one of his many off-road race cars. Maybe he was feeling generous. Maybe we caught him on a good day. Maybe, beneath the bravado, he’s actually a decent person. That last theory will prove unpopular to much of the internet. At the time of writing, the top hits on Google for Bilzerian include ‘The Truth About Dan Bilzerian’ (GQ); ‘I Tried Living Like Dan Bilzerian and Realized What His Problem Is’ (VICE); and ‘Instagram Star Dan Bilzerian ‘Exposed’ for His Poker Playing Skills’ (Complex). Which begs the question: has Bilzerian ever Googled himself? “Yeah, I have.” He laughs. “It’s usually just to see what kind of nonsense they’re publishing now.” (Bilzerian contacted GQ after the magazine listed his height as 5ft 7 inches. “I’m 5ft 9-and-a-half! For everyone else they add two inches, and for me the motherfuckers take off two. Come on!”) His relationship with the media can be fraught. “One thing I’ve learnt is the press is completely full of shit. Don’t believe what you read 90% of the time. I think the one good thing Trump is doing right now is that he’s calling out the media for being full of shit.” In December 2015, Bilzerian posted a photo with Trump, captioned “In an age of pussified political correctness, you have to respect people who remain unfiltered.” He also claimed to be running for President in 2016 – but we’ll come to that later.
HOUSE RULES We turn up at Chez Bilzerian without the slightest idea of what to expect. Located in a prosperous suburb a half-hour drive from the Vegas Strip, his house is immediately identifiable by the row of colourful buggies parked in the drive: Scalextric made large. Dan is at the gym when we arrive, but his assistant Jimmy (large, amiable, counts Snoop Dogg among his former employers) gives us the
tour. It’s a big pad with surprisingly minimalist decor, and yes, a lot of the surfaces have guns on them. A cook is preparing dinner in the kitchen. Downstairs in the games room, Dan’s girlfriend, a model named Sofia Bevarly, taps away on a laptop. She celebrated her 21st birthday the week before. There’s still a balloon and teddy bear in the hall. We first encounter the man himself stalking upstairs, drenched in sweat. The sheer size of him is striking: chest broader than a Three Stooges sketch, shoulders that would make Atlas feel a tad emasculated. You sense a collision between Bilzerian and a doubledecker bus would be a close-run thing. The beard is the other eye-catcher: black as the desert night, a facial boast of masculinity. He probably cuts it with garden shears. After his shower, we discuss the photoshoot. Ideally we want him in a suit – only Dan doesn’t wear suits. Dan never wears suits. So to minimise the divide between aesthetic and authenticity we take some shots in a jacket, the rest in his normal black T-shirt. He keeps his combat shorts on throughout. To choose the right jacket, we head upstairs to the bedroom where, along with a king-sized bed, a bath the size of a motel swimming pool, and a miniature barber’s salon, Dan stores a number of multi-thousand dollar suits, almost all unworn. The cover shoot takes place in the basement cinema, its walls of purple velvet embedded with shotgun pellets (by design, not the result of indoor discharge). Despite his famously low boredom threshold, he poses patiently for the photographer and jokes about his limitations as a model. After the shoot the jacket is quickly shed, never to be worn again. “That,” says Bilzerian flatly, “is a fact.” Our interview takes place in the games room, a sort of Boy’s Own Shangri-La. Xbox, flatscreen TV taking up half the wall, a bar stocked with Monkey Shoulder whisky and Grey Goose vodka, even an arcade machine – think of an amenity and it’s probably there. Two Bilzerians are present: one made of cardboard, cigar chomped in his grinning mouth, clasping a blonde in one hand and Uzi in the other; while the flesh-and-blood version reclines on the sofa and fits bullets into various ammunition clips. He seems to find something therapeutic in the activity, the same calming pleasure one might take from the Sunday crossword. Bilzerian is experiencing something of a lull. There’s this misconception – not entirely dissuaded by his Instagram – that he’s wasted every other day. In truth, he barely even drinks anymore. He hasn’t played poker for six months: “When I won I didn’t give a fuck, and when I lost I’d be really irritated. It was
BRING OUT THE BIG GUNS: Bilzerian’s collection of firearms is now in excess of 100. Referred to on his Instagram page as his ‘office’, his storage facility is safeguarded.
just a recipe for unhappiness.” Perhaps the most surprising development is Sophia – the man who once slept with 17 girls in a week is currently in a monogamous relationship. Even Bilzerian sounds a little confounded. “Yeah. Got a girlfriend. First time. Well, I had a girlfriend before, but I was still fucking other girls.” He met Sophia at a marquee pool party. “Wasn’t exactly your storybook love at first sight. I think I fucked like three girls before her that day. We just started hanging out… She’s a little different, you know? She’s smart, she’s cool, and she liked a lot of the shit I like. So here we are.”
How far up the mountain was Bilzerian happiest? “I was probably happiest in the military, crazy as that sounds. I was making peanuts, living in a $700-a-month apartment,” that an ex-girlfriend described as a “shit hole”. “At the time I thought it was great. To have a stove, and a bed – I’d just got out of boot camp. It was a goddamn paradise to me. “I had a clear objective, and I was a little bit less cynical. I don’t know, it was a fun time. I was going through SEAL training, and I’d finally left home, didn’t have to do any homework anymore. It was a cool adventure.”
SEALING THE DEAL Promiscuity, it transpires, can be too much of a good thing. “A girl has to be super-hot now for me to be even semi-interested.” He started rejecting women a teenage Dan would have ardently pursued. “You just get pickier. I think that’s true of everything. Money, toys, girls – all the hedonistic stuff. You just raise the bar. “Climbing the mountain is always more fun than sitting at the top. It’s just that you have to find different mountains to climb.”
A lot of the stuff I placed emphasis on I pounded into the ground: it’s time to do something else
He never completed SEAL training, although not through lack of trying: Bilzerian completed ‘Hell Week’ twice (once with a broken leg) but was denied the promotion by a superior officer who failed to appreciate his charms. So he dropped out into another life, a life which has recently started to drag. The years of excess, the aggressive pursuit of wish fulfillment, eventually take a toll. “I’ve fucked thousand of girls,” says Bilzerian matter-offactly. “I’ve bought every toy I ever wanted. I’m just in a little bit of a shift where a lot of the stuff I placed a lot of emphasis on I pounded into the ground so hard that it’s just like, ‘OK, time to do something else’.” He doesn’t know whether this new outlook is permanent or just a phase. One of the effects of living in the moment is you rarely bother to look beyond it. Maybe he’ll go back to the partying; maybe he won’t. At least he isn’t missing the nightclubs, which he describes as one of the biggest scams going on right now. “You have these hosts convincing all these uncool, nerdy rich guys that this is a good place to spend their money and get laid. It’s ➤
➤ a fucking scam. A nightclub is the worst fucking place to get laid!” Then again, it’s easy to say that when you have 22.6m followers on Instagram. Although Bilzerian joined Instagram five years ago, his account only took off in 2014. “When I hit a million I was like, wow, that’s a lot. But it didn’t really set in until I was in Cannes.” In Cannes, Bilzerian was chatting with the actor Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Drive), only for their conversation to be interrupted continually by another fan asking for a photo – with Bilzerian. Eventually a Perlman fan appeared, “and [Perlman] was like, you sure you want a picture? Who the fuck am I?” The actor spoke in jest, but it was clear Bilzerian had become seriously, and internationally, famous – primarily through social media. The celebrity stratosphere is a strange place; where women have sex with you before speaking to you (as happened in Cannes – on a yacht); where presidential candidate Donald Trump pays you house calls; where your existence, and its meaning, is debated across internet forums and glossy magazines.
A LIFE IN PICTURES The Bilzerian Instagram is quite the experience. Practically every photo boasts one of the following: beautiful women barely clothed; garishly expensive vehicles; firearms. Often he manages to combine these: barely clothed women on a yacht, or barely clothed women shooting guns in the desert. As Bilzerian says, “Girls, cars, guns. All the shit that you want when you’re younger, I guess.” Detractors claim the photos must be staged; Bilzerian insists this isn’t so. “That’s me: what I post is what I’m doing… People think I’m going out of my way to do all this stuff for Instagram, but the truth of the matter is I’ve done so much that I’ve never put on there. “I’ve been doing that shit for ages, I just somewhat recently started documenting it. It was kinda a ‘bucket list’ thing; it was the stuff I wanted to do as a kid, I just knocked out.” What was on the bucket list? “Look at my Instagram!” Despite the provocative content, the account is more self-aware than many might think. “Hey look at me, I’m with girls” reads one caption, showing Bilzerian lounged on a couch with five women, all barely – oh, you know. He claims, “I didn’t set out to be America’s role model for the youth”, but concedes his lifestyle has touched a chord with many. When I ask if his followers can take a positive lesson from his Instagram, he frowns. “The one message that kinda rings true is freedom to do what you want. I feel like
I feel like society is so politically correct, everyone’s so handcuffed with everything they do society is so politically correct, and everybody is so handcuffed with everything they do – interviews and this and that. You say one wrong thing and you’re totally ostracised. So I think having personal freedom and not being politically correct and not playing the game is a good message in our fucking pussified situation that we’re in now.” He cites this freedom as the main reason his Instagram became so big. “I didn’t have a job. I didn’t have a boss. I wasn’t worried about what my parents would think, I didn’t have a wife. ’Cos a lot of people are doing this shit. They might not be doing it as strong and frequently, but tons of guys are doing similar shit to what I’m doing. It’s just they can’t necessarily be out in the open about it. I think maybe part of that is kinda refreshing. I feel that people want to own who they are, but like I said before, society is so fucking handcuffed, that people just can’t.” Is this a modern condition? “Yeah, for sure. Everything is so out there. Everything is recorded; everybody’s got a cellphone. So you make one fuck-up and somebody has it on Snapchat. If you’re a famous person everybody’s just recording you all the time, and so these people have to be super careful about what they say and do, because one wrong move and they lose all the endorsements. And one of the other things about me is I didn’t give a fuck about endorsements, I wasn’t trying to work with any of these pussy-assed companies or whatever. I just did my thing.” It seems unlikely that somebody so infused with confidence could harbour many regrets, but I ask the question anyway. He duly sighs. “Honestly, the things I regret in my life are the things that I didn’t try. Not the things I tried and failed, or the things I fucked up. Just the shit that I wanted to do that I didn’t do. Like a hot girl I saw that I didn’t talk to, or I wanted to race a car and I didn’t do it, or I wanted to skydive. You know? If there was something I wanted to do and I didn’t pull the trigger on it. Those are the regrets I got. Not too many of them, but….” Despite his divisive behaviour, Bilzerian
says nobody gives him trouble in public. “It is irritating having a bunch of people come up to you, but at least if it’s all positive it’s not as painful as it would be otherwise. I can’t imagine if every time you went out somebody was talking shit. It would be the worst thing ever. “I’m sure there’s tons of people who don’t like me, but nobody says anything to me.” Surely training as a Navy SEAL, owning a houseful of guns, and being no larger than the average grizzly bear must help? “I don’t know....” He notes the appetite for people (OK, men) to prove themselves against supposedly tough celebrities. “’Cos then they’re the guy who beat up that guy.” And yet nobody has tried? “Never!” He grins, as though he can’t quite believe the lack of wannabe Bilzerian-punchers in the world. “It’s so crazy, right?” Instead some come after him online. The VICE article posited his existence must be spiritually empty – nobody can live so indulgently and not be dead inside. Fair assessment? “It depends on what you want, right? If you’re a guy who wants a white picket fence and kids and marriage, then it’s probably not the answer. If you’re a guy who didn’t really have a whole bunch of cool toys and didn’t get a lot of girls when he was younger, it would probably be the best life ever.” What about the girls? If Dan Bilzerian were female, would she hang out with Dan Bilzerian? “If I were a girl….” He ponders the question. “Depends what you want to do. If I were a girl and I was into partying then yeah, I’d have a great time. If I was trying to be a doctor and I was in med school then it would probably be counter-productive, right?” Regardless of your opinion of the man, the portrayal of Dan Bilzerian as a lunkheaded uber-bro is off the mark. A few weeks after this interview, I mention Bilzerian to DJ Steve Aoki – vocal liberal and close friend of Dan – and get the following response. “He’s really not what you imagine – he’s actually a very smart guy. He’s incredibly sharp, but he’s also a guy that has no qualms about what he likes, and what he doesn’t like. And he doesn’t care if people disagree or agree with him. He’s gonna say or do whatever it is that he wants to do.” Although Bilzerian is a more nuanced individual than Instagram might suggest, his life is exactly as Instagram portrays it – at least, it was until the recent cooling off. Whether or not his intelligence makes this life more palatable (‘he has depth!’) or less (‘he should know better!’), is up for debate. The one thing that’s for certain is that he really won’t care either way. ➤
➤ MONEY, MONEY, MONEY Maybe the greatest controversy around Bilzerian is the source of his wealth. Many speculate the money comes from his father, Paul Bilzerian, a former corporate raider who has been fighting a $62m civil judgment for securities fraud since 1993. Paul maintains his innocence, and has only repaid a fraction of the fine. From a 2014 Wall Street Journal profile: “Mr Bilzerian, 64 years old and his bushy moustache turned white, says he fought to avoid paying because he was wrongly punished. He declines to detail how he worked to protect his money. ‘That wasn’t easy, let me just say that,’ he says.” How much of Bilzerian’s money was once his father’s? And how much rightfully belongs to the US government? None, insists Bilzerian Junior. His story has remained consistent: there was a trust fund, but Dan shunned it, and won his fortune at the poker table. The trust fund still came in handy, as the rumours of its existence gave him access to high-stakes games. “All the people want to play with a guy who just inherited a bunch of money; but who’s going to want to play with a guy that’s just won a bunch of money?” He left the trust fund story unchallenged, even encouraged it; partly for profit, partly out of indifference. “For a long time, I didn’t argue it, didn’t debate it, didn’t care. And I still don’t give a fuck! I don’t care if people think my dad gave me my money; I couldn’t care less.” He’s chuckling now, at the trust fund rumours, or his own indifference to them, or the idea people may believe he isn’t indifferent. “I have nothing to prove, I don’t give a shit. I’d be in the same spot if he did give me [the money]. What the fuck does it matter? I don’t care if I made it or he gave it to me. It would have been a lot easier if he gave it to me. But I won’t argue if somebody doesn’t believe it.” He ascribes the scepticism over his fortune to a mixture of envy and lack of imagination. “It’s the same with paying for girls – everyone thinks there’s no way I can get this much pussy without paying for it. They just don’t want to believe it because they know they couldn’t. It’s a fucking strike to their ego. “One thing I learnt about poker, there are life parallels to it. If a person bluffs a lot in poker, he just thinks everyone else is bluffing more often. People equate things to how they live.” Paul Bilzerian now resides on the Caribbean island of St Kitts. He blames the decades-long battle with the court for devastating his family. A GQ article relates how Paul drove a tenyear-old Dan to school, only to inform him that Dad was going to prison for fraud. “I talk to him a little bit, not a tonne,” says Dan when I ask about his relationship with his
People will love you, and hate you. When you’re in the public eye, it just comes with the territory father. “Maybe once in a while.” Although he frequents the Caribbean, Dan hasn’t visited St Kitts in “seven, eight years I think – maybe even longer.” Not even to see his father? “You know, me and Pops don’t have a lot in common. Got a little different lifestyles.” What does Paul think about the Instagram? “He hasn’t really interfered. Not that he could have. From the time I went off to the military I’ve been on my own, so I never really had to ask permission or care what they thought. I guess if I had a trust fund I’d have to care a little bit more!” And he starts laughing again. Does the opprobrium his antics attract surprise him? Compared to the likes of bankers and politicians, his behaviour is
relatively harmless; while Dan squanders money like a champion, at least he only ever appears to squander his own. “That’s what hedge funds are set up to do, right? Basically just take big risks with other guys’ money, and if they win then great, they take a piece of it, and if they don’t they shut the hedge fund down and start a new one. That to me would be detrimental. But you know, people are going to love you, people are going to hate you. When you’re in the public eye, it’s just something that comes with the territory.”
CARTOON NETWORKS Although he may be indifferent to what stories people believe about him, Bilzerian has recently taken steps to share his own. Blitz TV documents the life and times of Dan Bilzerian as a series of short cartoons. One cartoon depicts the heart attacks, another a teenage Dan losing his virginity to a prostitute, a third the evening his mad friend bought a pair of Tiger sharks, which he kept in a swimming pool filled with salt. In four minutes you get more sex, swearing and drug consumption than the average Scorsese film. Technically the cartoons are very accomplished: Bilzerian hired Dreamworks ➤
HOT SHOT: Living near to the desert in Nevada provides Bilzerian with ample opportunity to indulge his passion for shooting. He recently wrote on his Instagram page that “happiness is a warm gun”.
➤ animators, and estimates he spent “a couple of million bucks” on the project. “I thought it would be kind of a cool way to document some of the stories. Because at the end of the day, that’s some of the coolest stuff that I’ve got: so many experiences and stories that I have from this crazy fucking ride.” The ride will also be recounted in a planned book, written with bestselling author Neil Strauss – best known for his study of pickup artists, The Game. It’s Bilzerian’s second attempt to commit his life to paper. “I had a whole book written but I didn’t like it.” The tone of the first ghostwriter was too boastful, too short on self-deprecation. As Bilzerian notes: “Everybody knows I have money, everybody knows I fuck a tonne of girls, so I don’t need to tell this stuff in a braggy tone. The facts are braggy enough as it is.” Dan Bilzerian, scrapping his book for being overly bombastic. Not many would imagine that. “A lot of people who don’t know me would have a lot of misconceptions, I’m sure.” As well as the forays into autobiography, Bilzerian nurtures a few business ideas. He wants to open a marijuana dispensary
in Las Vegas when the drug’s recreational legalisation is complete (Nevada voted to legalise recreational marijuana in November 2016). “I just think it would be kinda fun to build a business, have a focus.” In marijuana? “It seems like the new fucking gold rush.” There is also the very Bilzerian-esque move into private consultation: “I want to teach rich guys how to spend their money correctly, and teach them how to get laid. I see them squandering so much money.” What about non-rich guys? “Ah, fuck, they’ve got to fend for themselves. It’s like rowing across the Atlantic
I want to teach rich guys how to spend their money correctly, and teach them how to get laid
Ocean – I’ve got to be paid something, right?” Oh yes, the Atlantic – Bilzerian told Larry King one of his remaining ambitions is to row across the ocean. It’s still on his mind, but he’s come to the conclusion that in order for him to do it, somebody needs to bet that he can’t. Three months at sea without the prospect of winning money, and the risk of losing it, simply isn’t enough motivation. “My ego’s not that big anymore. I don’t need to prove anything.” A recent attempt to keep busy was his 2016 presidential campaign – which saw a tour of nightclubs, $30 commemorative T-shirts and a poster depicting Candidate Bilzerian brandishing a minigun atop a giant tortoise. Of course it was a stunt, but then the world thought the same of another social media doyen, who launched his own campaign two weeks prior. Bilzerian grins. “I always said, if Trump got elected and he didn’t fuck up, I actually have a chance of becoming president. I don’t think it’s good, but the fact it’s a chance is crazy.” Would he want to be president? “I actually would. I actually think that would be cool. I feel like I’d be one of the few people who couldn’t be bought or sold.”
What would his presidency look like? “Just less laws across the board. I mean honestly, we have so many fucking laws it’s just crazy. And part of that is from being overpopulated, having too many people, too many fucking idiots running around, people feel like they need laws to protect them. But at the end of the day, I don’t feel like the laws make it that much safer.” So far, so GOP. But Bilzerian – who has described himself as “more of a constitutionalist libertarian” – has some policies that might actually find less support with the average Republican. “I think you should legalise prostitution and drugs. There’s so much fucking money being wasted, and so many people being thrown in fucking cages. The reason why drugs are such a problem is because they’re illegal, and so you’ve got people killing each other – how many legal businesses going on do you have people mowing each other down in the street, and chopping off heads and shit? If you made it legal you can regulate it, you can tax it; you’re not throwing everybody in jail. “Look, if people get hooked on drugs and want to kill themselves, I don’t give a shit. What the fuck do I care? If you want to kill yourself, kill yourself. There shouldn’t be laws against suicide. We’re overpopulated. This whole reverse Darwinism shit that we’re doing, saving people that don’t want to be saved seems crazy to me. We’ve got better stuff to do with our money and time.” Whether this speech has you shaking your head or saluting is a decent measure of where you stand on the scale of Bilzerian fandom.
TRIGGER HAPPY Come sunset we drive into the desert to take some more photos. The noise of the engines is so extreme we have to wear headphones, through which Bilzerian plays a number of country tracks: ‘Red Dirt Road’ by Brooks & Dunn, and so on. He goes fast, then even faster, and on some of the sharper bumps the buggy catches air. Attempts to film the journey on my mobile push the boundaries of shaky cam. It’s both thrilling and a little terrifying, although I distract myself by imagining the obituaries were the buggy to flip – I mean, good luck topping that cause of death. Bilzerian has nearly died more than most, with the heart attacks being the most famous brush with the Reaper. His recent pursuit of outdoor activities has also led to some near misses. Such as when he went skydiving solo, pulled the cord too late, and didn’t glide into the ground so much as plough. I’m glad he shares this anecdote after the drive.
I’m big on honesty, I’m big on freedom – I feel those are the two things most people are lacking He heads into the desert about once a fortnight, sometimes to visit the historic Pioneer Saloon, built in 1913 and still standing; occasionally to let off his guns. Along with girls and gambling, guns are Bilzerian’s great love. Indeed while his enthusiasm for the former may have waned, his devotion to the latter remains unwavering. He enjoys showing us the gun room, locked behind a safe door, dozens of different firearms displayed on each wall: machine guns, pistols, assault rifles. Probably as many guns in one room as in most British cities. He laughs at the observation, only mildly exaggerated. “You guys aren’t allowed any fun shit.” When pressed for his favourite gun, he gazes around and eventually nominates the M60, beloved of John Rambo. It’s not the only piece of Hollywood memorabilia: when I note a long-barrelled pistol, Bilzerian reveals it’s the model used by Tom Cruise in Collateral. Did he buy it at auction? “Well, it’s not the exact same gun,” he says dryly. “I don’t think that they actually used live rounds in the movie.” The gun worship endears him to millions of Americans, alienates millions of others, and will probably be incomprehensible to the majority of British readers. But then Bilzerian has never hidden who he is, or ever refrained from speaking his mind. One of the few subjects upon which Bilzerian is reticent is his charity work. He’s hosted numerous poker games and parties for various causes, as well as donating large sums of money, but he prefers to publicise the yacht orgies and the private jets. “I give a lot of money to charity but I don’t really like to talk about it or publish it – I just feel like it takes away from it. There are so many douchebags that do charity to be seen to be doing charity – part of this whole fucking PR thing that I’m so against.” He holds virtue signalling in similar contempt to people on social media sharing “their fucking pictures with their girl: look at how happy we are! It’s just like, come on, bro, no-one wants to see that shit.” Says the man who has amassed more than
35m followers across his social media accounts. “I’m not posting a fucking love story, right? Nobody wants to see one dude posting how in love he is all the time. You’ve got those friends who are couples who post non-stop pictures of how happy they are – it’s like, OK, motherfucker, we get it.” Does he have any particular quote or mantra by which he lives his life? “I just have ideals. I’m big on honesty, I’m big on freedom – I feel like those are the two things most people are lacking. ’Cos there’s so much bullshit going on, and so many people are scared to tell the truth, or own who they are, or whatever. And so many times I find it’s pay now or pay later. If you’re just honest and up front it might be slightly more uncomfortable but in the long run, most of the time it’s easier to be honest in the beginning. “So many guys sell the dream, right? And I don’t know, that was just never my style.” What does he value most in people? “Probably honesty. It’s so rare.”
NO LIMITS The outdoor photoshoot doesn’t take long. The light is dying, the wind approaching a gale. Bilzerian fires two guns off a hilltop. Poses in front of the buggy. Cracks a few jokes – he laughs a lot. And then we’re done. We drive back through the desert and darkness, country singer Ronnie Dunn lamenting how he “crashed his first car/tore it all to pieces”, Las Vegas twinkling in the distance. There is something unavoidably ‘only in America’ about the experience, a sensation encapsulated by our driver, the ex-military man who made a fortune at the poker table and has never stopped trying to spend it. Bilzerian couldn’t happen in Britain. He’s too big, in every sense of the word. Big enough for people to look at him, and see what they want to see – be that monster or hero, fool or savant. It would be amusing if a journey that could have met so many abrupt ends were to wind down into domesticity. Might children ever be part of Bilzerian’s future? He doesn’t sound convinced. “I just feel I need to be done with all my craziness. I never say that anything’s impossible anymore, because if you had asked me ten years ago what I’d be doing today I would have told you this would be impossible. “I never put anything at a zero percent. So many times there have been things in my life where people are like, there’s no chance he can do this. And one of the things that I’ve learnt is that there is always a chance. So yeah, anything’s possible.” Looking at him, it’s hard to argue with that. ■
PAY RISE GYMS THE VIRGIN BANKER TRAVEL MOTORS
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IT’S PAY DAY REQUESTING A PAY RISE CAN BE DAUNTING – GET IT RIGHT FIRST TIME SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO ASK AGAIN WITH THESE TIPS FOR SUCCESS FROM STEVE MARTIN £
YPE ‘ASKING FOR a pay rise’ into your
chosen search engine or social media platform and a plethora of hints and tips are thrown up. All will be well intentioned, some based on personal experience, and many, unfortunately, speculative in nature. Wouldn’t it be great if, rather than relying on intuition and gut feeling, there was a more informed source of advice? Well it turns out there is. For years persuasion researchers have been studying the most effective ways to get others to say ‘yes’ and the results provide practical and effective approaches to, among other things, asking for a pay rise. Here are three tips to help you take the next step…
GO FIRST The first few minutes of negotiations are often like the first minutes of a boxing match. Each party dancing around, reluctant to throw the first punch. But when it comes to negotiations the research is pretty compelling: those who table the first offer generally end up better off. The reason is that first offers typically act as an anchor subtly influencing the salary discussions that follow. In fact, persuasion science would advocate a ‘be first and be precise’ strategy for tackling this. One recent study found managers negotiating a complex business transaction received offers that were 24% closer to their PHOTOGRAPH by Collection Christophel / Alamy Stock Photo
•• WHEN IT COMES TO NEGOTIATIONS, THOSE WHO TABLE THE FIRST OFFER GENERALLY END UP BEING BETTER OFF squaremile.com
asking price when they made the opening offer and that offer came in the form of a precise, rather than round, number.
BE SPECIFIC AND BE PRECISE Avoid the trap of stating a range. Doing so can signal that the lower end of that range is acceptable to you. Instead, use a single specific number and make it precise. Research shows that people who make precise requests – let’s say 4.7% – generally fair better than those that demand a less precise but larger number such as 5%. One reason is because people think that, unlike a round number that could have been plucked from thin air, there must be a reason why a precise number is being used. That said, you need to make sure your request is not so precise as to border on the ridiculous. Asking for £63,450 might get you closer to £63,000 than asking for £65,000. But asking for £63.658.24 is plain silly.
TAKE STEPS TO REMOVE EMOTION Salary discussions can be emotionally laden, especially if you feel your current pay is unjust and not reflective of your input. However, research shows that bringing emotions to the meeting could impact detrimentally. In one study, participants were asked to think about an emotionally arousing experience before making buying and selling decisions. The researchers found they were less sensitive to price and number differences than those who were emotionally neutral because the less emotional were able to deal on factual, pertinent information. As a result, writing down your pay request and the reason why you are worth it on paper and keeping it handy during the meeting is a good idea. But timing your request to profit from a manager’s vulnerability immediately after they have received bad news probably isn’t… ■ Yes! 60 Secrets from the Science of Persuasion by Steve Martin is available now for £7.49 from amazon.co.uk
IN THE BALANCE MICHAEL SERWA IS ONE OF THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER AND HIGHEST PAID LIFE COACHES IN THE COUNTRY. HERE ARE HIS FIVE WAYS TO ACHIEVE A BETTER WORK-LIFE BALANCE
OU’RE BUSY, I know. People rely on you,
I know. You have a ‘no ifs or buts’ policy to ensure your success, I know. I am the life-coach equivalent to successful winners like you, so I know you. I also know that there is more to you than your work. You want to play all out in life. And if the old adage ‘work hard, play hard’ is anything to go by, you need to play seriously hard. But you don’t. The reason people pay me the big bucks to coach them is because I don’t just improve their lives, I transform them. Many of my clients work hard and often forget the next step. My advice? Don’t forget it any longer. All of my clients have high achievement in life, but I help them go that step further to find fulfilment and happiness – you can do it, too. Work hard. Close the deals. Win the cases. Sign the clients. Then, play hard. Drink the whisky. Run the marathon. Whisk your partner away on a romantic weekend. Whatever you do to play, it’s time to start prioritising it much higher than you do currently. Seconds of your life are ticking by at this very moment, and it’s time you enjoy all that life has to offer. Don’t cut yourself short: live it all. If anyone deserves it, it’s you. So commit to living all-out right now…
1. CREATE A LIFE OUTSIDE WORK
PHOTOGRAPH by AF archive / Alamy Stock Photo
First things first, you need a social life. It’s obvious, but if everything you do is work related, then how can you ever plan something non-work related? You will end up doing more work simply because that is the only option you have. Decide what your priorities outside work are now. Whether it’s hitting the gym, having drinks with mates, taking your partner out to dinner, playing with your kids or a combination, it doesn’t matter. Just choose a part of your life that doesn’t include work. If you want to balance work and the rest of your life, it has to mean as much to you as work does.
3. SCHEDULE PERSONAL APPOINTMENTS JUST LIKE YOU WOULD A WORK ONE Put it in your diary. Nothing gets done unless it’s in your diary. In fact, it will definitely get done if it is. So commit it to your diary and to yourself. Time to play, have fun and relax is just as important as work time. It doesn’t have to be divided 50/50, but whatever time you dedicate, stick to it. It’s just as important as a meeting with your boss or client. Treat it that way.
4. SAY NO
2. KNOW THAT TRUE SUCCESS MEANS SUCCESS ACROSS THE BOARD You and your life are more than merely your career, business and finance. Real success comes from a life absolutely full of fun, challenges and love – in each area of your life. There is a reason the first thing I do with my clients is ask them about each and every area of their lives. We always find areas that are neglected. Turn those areas into more successes and see what happens.
•• WORK HARD. CLOSE THE DEALS. WIN THE CASES. SIGN THE CLIENTS. THEN, PLAY HARD. DRINK THE WHISKY
Your work will always demand more of you. There is always something else you can do, but you won’t always have another day on this planet. Your time will end – it is one of life’s certainties – but how you spend your time is up to you. Whatever expectation you or others have of you is yours to accept or not. When you learn to say ‘no’ to work and ‘yes’ to you a little more, you’ll find what you say ‘yes’ to starts being what you look forward to. Not just something you ‘should’ do, but something you want to do.
5. ASK YOURSELF – IF TODAY WAS THE LAST DAY OF YOUR LIFE, WOULD I WORK AS MUCH? Newsflash: today might very well be the last day of your life. Especially if you’ve been eating a load of crap food, drinking too much, and haven’t done real exercise in 20 years. Would you really rather be sitting at a desk, or having lunch with a client, rather than going to the park with your partner and kids, or having a meal with your loved ones? I’m not saying don’t work, I’m simply saying, don’t live a life that you will regret. Be successful in your career or business, but have a successful relationship with your partner and your kids, too. Enjoy health that allows you to climb a mountain. Build friendships that make you roar with laughter. ■ Find out more at michaelserwa.com
CHANGE AT THE TOP FOR CEO OF VIRGIN MONEY JAYNE ANNE-GADHIA, THE KEY TO SUCCESS IN THE CITY IS CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO AND INTRODUCING HIGHER LEVELS OF DIVERSITY
HE CITY IS a funny place. Every day
not want to be the first to do so. It would have affected their share price. This is why I am such a massive supporter of diversity in the City. The issues at the heart of the financial crisis seem to have been caused, in some part at least, by the same faces having the same conversations and fearing to speak up and rock the boat despite us operating in a fast-changing world. Many people have asked me how, when there are so few women in senior roles in financial services, I seem to have bucked the trend. In doing new business in a new way, and doing it well and with purpose, I have never found any issues in being a woman in banking and have enjoyed liberal doses of support from influential men along the way. We all need that. No one can make it on their own. I guess there have also been some personality traits that have made a difference too. Sheer bloody-mindedness has helped. Some men believe that makes me ‘a difficult woman’ and have told me so to my face. I have ignored them. I am driven to succeed, to make a difference and to prove a point. That means
•• WHEN I AM KNOCKED DOWN, I GET UP AGAIN. IF YOU DO WHAT YOU BELIEVE IS RIGHT, YOU CAN’T GO FAR WRONG
that when I am knocked down, I get back up again. In the end, I have always felt that if you do what you believe is right, with integrity, then you can’t go far wrong. Once, RBS sent me for some psychological profiling by a firm of business consultants. To my surprise the man who gave me my feedback said, ‘You are the bravest person we have met in business.’ It took me aback but I get the point. Be brave but don’t be stupid. Take a risk but know what to do if it goes wrong. Know who your supporters are. Never give up. There is no doubt that it can be a challenge. But how much better if that challenging approach were to be welcomed and celebrated by a new City that represents the features of the society that we live in day to day? Diversity brings a safer and more profitable City – and one that is fit for our rapidly changing times. A new City is needed, I think, to build the new businesses of the future, to drive sustainable economic growth and to create a society where everyone can succeed. We need real vision, energy and drive to make it happen and, in my view, that impulse needs to be nurtured today more than ever. I would encourage the creation of an entrepreneurial City, operating with a growth mindset and which can build from, but break out of, the established ways of thinking. New businesses, I believe, will develop with diversity of workforce, challenge to tradition and creativity of thought. And we need men and women of all races, beliefs and capabilities to inspire that change. ■ The Virgin Banker by Jayne-Anne Gadhia, published by Virgin Books, is out now, priced £20.
PHOTOGRAPH by Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
I meet clever, hardworking and decent people who all do their jobs well: lawyers, accountants, bankers and people who have worked in some of the biggest businesses for all their lives and who have climbed the career ladder to success. But it can be a closed world. Many sons follow fathers into careers, even today. Many City high-flyers have been to school together. Others have done great deals together and sometimes made each other rich. And that, it seems to me, is why they make exceptions for each other from time to time. When people do a bad job and leave a business, the truth behind their departure is, too often in my opinion, never made public. So we have people who move from job to job in the City, often having taken a year out on full pay, turning up again to do another mediocre job and to be moved on again, in hushed tones, to their next employer. I have tried to question this in the past and been given short shrift. When I asked a chairman recently why he had employed someone without asking me for a reference first, he apologised for ‘upsetting’ me. It made me wonder if he would have behaved in the same way had I been a man. It is the same sort of behaviour that, in my view, led to the financial crisis. Of course, people in the City saw the emerging risks, they just chose to do nothing about it, for fear of saying the wrong thing or being excluded from the network. I encountered this with PPI. RBS knew it was a problem but did not raise it as they did
CLEAR VISION: JayneAnne Gadhia believes that the traditionally male-dominated City could benefit from a more diverse workforce.
A LAND OF PLENTY FROM MIST-SHROUDED JUNGLES TO THE UNRESTRAINED BEAUTY OF THE GALÁPAGOS ISLANDS, ECUADOR’S ASTONISHING DIVERSITY HAS TO BE SEEN TO BE BELIEVED, SAYS MATT HUSSEY
PHOTOGRAPH by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket PHOTOGRAPH via Getty Images by blah
LARGE LIZARD SITS sunning itself on the
rugged volcanic rock. A moment later an identical reptile appears alongside it, glistening in the midday heat. Within minutes the grey-brown, earthy tones of the coastline have been turned a shimmering black as dozens of marine iguanas leap out of the choppy sea to warm themselves after taking a dip in the chilly Pacific Ocean. Our guide points to a sea turtle, whose head occasionally breaks the surface before heading back down into the blue depths in search of the lush green algae that the iguanas also love to eat. Away in the distance a colony of sea lions frolics offshore while bright red rock crabs scuttle among the nooks and crannies of the coast. This image was probably one of the first the Bishop of Panamá Fray Tomás de Berlanga saw when his ship was blown off course and bumped into the then undiscovered Galápagos Islands in 1535, thus becoming the first European to set eyes on the huge, varied array of distinct flora and fauna that lived there. When Charles Darwin arrived on the islands some 300 years later this flourishing sea scene brought on revulsion. “The black lava rocks on the beach are frequented by large, disgusting clumsy lizards. They are as black as the porous rocks over which they crawl and seek their prey from the sea. I call them ‘imps of darkness’. They assuredly well become the land they inhabit,” Darwin wrote after seeing the creatures. While the naturalist may not have been the biggest fan of the iguanas, they, alongside 14 other species known collectively as the ‘big 15’ are today the Galápagos’ greatest attraction. This modest, 19-island archipelago some 600 miles west of Ecuador is now a Unesco World Heritage Site, a biosphere reserve, the world’s second largest marine reserve and one of the few examples on the planet of successfully limiting human encroachment into environmentally sensitive areas. It’s the jewel in Ecuador’s crown. But there’s more to the country that derives its name from the equator that runs almost
PHOTOGRAPH by blah
•• ECUADOR HAS BEEN DECLARED TO HAVE MORE BIODIVERSITY THAN ANYWHERE ELSE ON THE PLANET squaremile.com
straight through it. This small South American state, sandwiched between Colombia to the north and Peru to the east and south, has been declared by many experts to have more biodiversity than anywhere else on earth. And I was determined to sample some of it.
A FOREST IN THE CLOUDS Most of the international flights into Ecuador bring travellers into Quito, the country’s capital and the first place – alongside Krakow in Poland – to be declared an official World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1978. Squashed between three active snowcapped volcanoes, the city is perched on and around a plateau some 10,000ft above sea level, making it the world’s highest capital city. It sprawls high into the surrounding hills, but the focal point for many is the historic centre. It was here where the Spanish conquistadors set up the administrative heart of their Latin empire, and it’s also the location of my first stop. Looking over the Plaza de San Francisco and the monastery of the same name, is the Casa Gangotena hotel. Situated inside a renovated historic mansion that was previously home to several of Ecuador’s presidents, it’s an exquisitely decorated 31-room hotel that’s filled with roses and orchids. There’s a roof terrace offering views of the city as it sprawls down the valley out to the west. The old city itself is the largest collection of intact colonial buildings in the Americas, with some 5,000 of the properties designated historically significant. Among those are churches. A lot of them. Inside the monastery on San Francisco Plaza, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the place of worship for dozens of monks would perhaps be a pretty modest affair. But the church of San Francisco was built at a time when Spanish architecture was all about projections of power and wealth. The original tower was for hundreds of years the tallest structure in the city, before an earthquake brought it crashing down. It has since been rebuilt at a much safer height. Inside, the ceilings are covered in intricate hand-carved awnings while the walls are adorned in shimmering gold leaf. It’s a theme you’ll find in nearly all of the old city’s religious buildings. La Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús, known colloquially as La Compañía, is a Jesuit church little more than 100m away that has gold leaf plastered across the giant double doors for passers-by to see. Spanish soldiers in the 16th century quickly discovered vast quantities of gold and silver under Incan control, and the churches of ➤
URBAN OASIS: [clockwise from here] The sun sets over Quito, Ecuador’s capital city; one of the Galápagos Islands’ resident sea lions; the best way to reach the islands is by boat, specifically the Santa Cruz II; [opposite] the pool at Finch Bay, the world’s leading green hotel.
➤ Quito were to be the displays of their spoils. But while the old colonial capital was indeed fascinating, I was here to discover the jewels of the natural world. Just three hours away by bus, in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, there’s a cloud forest – a type of rainforest – that holds more species of orchid, butterfly and bird than all of Europe combined. Ecuador’s cloud forests are part of a larger stretch of woodland called the TumbesChocó-Magdalena, or El Choco to locals. This hotspot of biodiversity reaches from Panama in the north all the way down to Peru in the south. Sadly, most of the forest in those countries has been logged or removed in favour of pasture for cattle. However, the area around Mashpi Lodge – my home for the next three days – is surrounded by what scientists call ‘primary forest’. This an area that has had zero contact with people – and as such, it retains its incredible levels of biodiversity. Getting to the lodge requires traversing a rocky dirt track, originally created as a logging road to gain access to the deeper parts of the
forest, but since abandoned. The perimeter of the hotel is patrolled by guards; with its giant wooden gates, it almost feels like you’re entering Jurassic Park. However, upon arriving at the hotel, you’re taken aback by the clean, minimal lines and enormous panes of glass nestled in the dense green foliage of the cloud forest. I was greeted with a cooling towel and a juice made from fruit that had been picked locally that day before being shown my room. Each suite has floor-to-ceiling glass facing out into the jungle. “It’s the best widescreen TV money can buy,” the porter tells me. Everything about the hotel is geared towards the outdoors. There are two viewing platforms on the roof allowing visitors to gaze across the verdant views occasionally spotting toucans, and hear the low wails of howling monkeys feeding on fresh leaves in the canopy. Within four hours of leaving the capital, we were trekking through dense forests. And when I say dense, I mean dense: cloud forests are unique thanks to the fact their near constant temperatures and rainfall – almost double what you’d find in the Amazon – mean
the ecosystem has dozens of epiphytes, or plants that live on each other. There are mosses on the trunks of trees, orchids between the mosses, ferns growing on branches, algae covering leaves. If it’s green, then there’s something growing on it. Which makes seeing any wildlife incredibly tricky, were it not for our guides. They can spot glass frogs – amphibians with translucent skin – sitting on giant leaves, that the locals call elephant’s ears; tiny camouflaged snakes that are known as colubrids slithering through the undergrowth; and giant umbrella birds perched on distant branches with absolute ease. But perhaps the biggest draw of the Mashpi Lodge is its hummingbird station. At dawn the next day we drove up to a series of benches that appeared to have been placed at random. But as we got closer, we could see lots of tiny birds darting around. The reserve has 22 species of hummingbird, all featuring distinct colours, sizes and adaptations to the tiny ecosystems they reside in. Thanks to a few strategically placed bananas and nectar pots, they flock to the
•• WE REACH PUERTO EGAS, WHERE LAVA POOLS PROVIDE SHELTER FOR BIRDS, FISH AND SEA LION PUPS station to feed every morning. It was an absolutely unforgettable experience. Over three short days I got to swim in hidden waterfalls, see more wildlife than I ever thought possible outside of a zoo and ride a bicycle across the forest canopy via the hotel’s skybike – a crude steel tube frame, a few peddles and a cable stretching out over a vast ravine below. It’s an amazing way to experience this corner of the world. But at the risk of forgetting why I came to Ecuador, I returned to Quito for a four-hour flight to Baltra island on the Galápagos.
ISLANDS BORN OUT OF THE ASHES I arrived on the archipelago in the cool, dry season. But thanks to its position straddling the equator, Galápagos in winter has a balmy average temperature of 24°C. I was here to see the islands, but before boarding the expedition ship Santa Cruz II, I was in need of some well-deserved R&R after the days I had spent trekking through the primary forests of El Choco. I checked into the Finch Bay Eco Hotel, a boutique destination that’s been designated the world’s leading green hotel for two years running. Set just back from the beach, this quiet, discreet hotel is tucked away from the town of Puerto Ayora and accessible via water taxi. Here, you’ll share a bench with sleeping sea lions and red rock crabs. The hotel has its own private yacht that allows you to explore the huge swathes of nearby islands including Santa Fe, North Seymour and South Plaza. All boast iguanas, seals, sea lions and boobies (the seabirds, that is – stop sniggering in the back). But I wanted to explore the more remote parts of the Galápagos, the places where Darwin’s finches feed alongside the flamingos and whale sharks drift in the ocean currents. Yes, whale sharks. I was definitely going to need a bigger boat. The Santa Cruz II is a recently commissioned luxury expedition ship, capable of carrying 90 guests in opulence into the lesser-known reaches of the islands.
Departing from Baltra Bay, our first stop was Las Bachas beach and its briny lagoons. Named after the barges the US military left there at the end of the second world war, today flamingos wade through the warm pools of water sat behind the beach. We stood and watched the sun set behind the International Date Line a few thousand miles away to the west before eating a sumptuous dinner on board. The next morning we set off for Santiago island – and Buccaneer Cove. Named thanks to its reputation as a temporary home for British pirates who were looking to surprise Spanish merchant ships leaving mainland South America, today its inhabitants are made up of nesting birds including petrels, shearwaters, nazca boobies and their non-flying cousins, the Galápagos penguin. Beneath us were dozens of Galápagos sharks, parrot fish and bright, orange-speckled starfish. I’d never seen such high concentrations of wildlife. From Buccaneer Cove it was a short zodiac ride to Puerto Egas, a long, flat, black lava shoreline where eroded shapes form lava pools, caves and inlets that provide shelter for birds, fish and sea lion pups. The area is named after Dario Egas, the owner of a salt mine on the island, who at one point was the only salt producer in
all of Ecuador. The mining has since gone elsewhere, but you can still see the scars of the excavations among the scrub. Off in the distance Santiago loomed, but the best view of the island was in fact on the tiny Bartolome island to Santiago’s east. Created by volcanoes, the landscape is dominated by the cinder cones that brought magma from the earth’s core to create a lunar-like terrain that still bears the scars of past eruptions. Most of Santiago’s size is attributed to low, jagged lava flows that stretch into the Pacific. Watching over proceedings is Pinnacle Rock, a jagged, shark-tooth shaped rock structure that came into being after the US Navy used the formation as target practice during the second world war. From those incredible views over the islands, it was back to the boat for an overnight sail to San Cristobal island, where the cruise came to an end. As a country that’s roughly the same size of the UK, with the history of Peru, bio-diversity of Brazil and transport of a western European country, Ecuador has so much to offer. ■ Jacada Travel offers ten-night trips to Ecuador and the Galápagos, including a Galápagos cruise and stays at Casa Gangotena, Mashpi Lodge and the Finch Bay Eco Hotel from £7,113pp, including flights. For more information see jacadatravel.com
LAFERRARI LAND for all intents and purposes, an easy one to answer. “Josh, what’s it like to drive a LaFerrari Aperta?” To answer honestly, though, it’s easier to tell you what it’s not like. It’s not like anything you’ve ever driven before. The first thing that comes to mind when gazing at this car is presence. From the moment I peel back the red soft cover, revealing its pearl-white paint, the hair on my skin begins to stand up. Each morning I wake up, descend the lift to my garage, click the keyfob – and I start to smile. There is simply no avoiding it: no matter how bad a day is forecast to be, it begins with a smile. Because that is how all modern Ferraris make me feel. In this day and age, people have short attention spans, and there is simply too much information to digest. For this reason I find that many cars are put into boxes defined almost solely by their specifications. This is quite understandable when you consider that very few people will be fortunate enough to even see one of these machines in the flesh, let alone drive one – so I thought you should hear
•• THE ENGINE SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE A V12 F1 CAR: YOU WANT TO KEEP THE REVS UP JUST TO HEAR IT SCREAM 094
it from the (prancing) horse’s mouth. ‘Specs package’ is something that few people bother to discuss when it comes to cars of this level. You can waste all the time you like on specifications or getting into pissing matches with your friends over which car is faster, but the elephant in the room is this: specifications are for rational discussion. Supercars were never imagined for rational reasons, they were not created for rational reasons, and they are not purchased or driven by people for rational reasons. Supercars exist solely to stir your emotions.
THE SOUND OF SUCCESS Once you’ve shrugged off the specifications, you realise that what’s really important is how a car makes you feel. For some it’s about how the car looks: is it artistic? Is it beautiful? For others, what matters is the status it brings. For me, it’s mostly about how the car drives and how it makes me feel. So let’s talk about the car. The engine sounds exactly like a V12 Formula One car. If you ever went to a F1 race during the golden years, stop and think about that for a moment. The short-stroke 6.3L V12 produces around 800bhp (without its electric counterpart), and it revs like a super bike all the way up to 9,250rpm. You want to keep the revs up just to hear the engine scream, and play it like an instrument – completely unnecessary given the ludicrous amount of torque the additional electric motor provides. The synergy between its two engines is perfect: that the only reason you remember it’s there is owing to the epic sound the car makes during downshifts as the KERS system charges the batteries. ➤
’M OFTEN ASKED a question that should be,
FOR RACECAR DRIVER JOSH CARTU, THERE’S ONLY ONE CAR THAT TICKS ALL THE BOXES: THE LAFERRARI APERTA
see more on
ASK THE EXPERT: Canadian racing driver Josh Cartu knows a thing or two about cars, and when it comes to Ferrari’s LaFerrari Aperta, his enthusiasm is unwavering.
DRIVE OF YOUR LIFE: The LaFerrari Aperta is several different cars in one, with a range of settings that make it adaptable to a variety of conditions. Regardless of your surroundings, it’s a machine that will excel.
➤ It’s fast as hell in a straight line – faster than anything you can imagine. And when you turn it into a corner, it is as flat as any race car I’ve ever driven. Body roll is almost non-existent. The grip seems endless – and the faster you go, the more grip you have because of the car’s active aerodynamics. With the roof off, I can’t even describe the noise without doing it a disservice. It’s like a symphony of the best music you’ve ever heard, only you’re the conductor and your foot holds the wand. There is no car in the world that sounds better than this. Then there’s accessibility – and no, I don’t mean the financial kind. You would think with all this tech and incredible sensitivity that the car would be difficult or scary to drive. The crazy part is that it isn’t: it just taunts you into
ALL BASES COVERED The LaFerrari Aperta is really a handful of different cars wrapped up into one. The manettino [an adjustment dial on the right side of the steering wheel] has several settings: Wet; Sport; Race; CT Off; ESC Off. Each setting gives the car a different characteristic. I recently drove in the Trofeo Tollegno in Italy and we had rain almost every day. Initially, I had a word with myself about driving a car with all that horsepower and a value of more than £4m – in the wet. Amazingly, while in Wet mode, I could turn the wheel, push the gas, and I could simply not lose the rear end no matter what I did. Sure, I can drive the car much quicker with this mode disabled, but I’ve also been racing cars for a while, something which helps you speak a car’s language and understand what it’s telling you. Switch the car into Sport mode and suddenly you’re at the wheel of a machine that is perfect for the novice driver in dry conditions. Apply power too early in the corners? No problem. The system is so advanced and seamless that you barely notice it working to correct your over-exuberance. Up into Race mode – and the first thing you
notice is the shifts become more violent, more abrupt, and suddenly there is more feedback from every part of the car. Push the gas a bit too early? Again, not an issue. The car will slide a bit, give you a smile, and catch you before it gets too out of control. Road too bumpy? Not an issue – push the little shock absorber button on the wheel, the active suspension is decoupled and suddenly you’re treated to a soft, cushioned ride unheard of in even the most comfortable of sports GTs. The two next settings – CT Off and ESC Off – require you to really start understanding the car. Frankly, these shouldn’t be used by anyone who isn’t a racing driver or has significant track experience. Not because the casual driver can’t be trusted with these settings, it’s simply because the car can be driven quite close to the limit with almost all the electronics enabled – and they are so transparent that they only intervene when there is driver error. Drive clean and you don’t even notice the guardian angel that’s perched on your shoulder. The supercar industry is changing. I’ve never cared about classic cars, but I’m beginning to believe that 30 years from now, if I’m fortunate enough to still own this incredible machine, it will still be heralded as the greatest car of my generation. ■
PHOTOGRAPH by 9EPIC
•• THE CAR MAKES A NOISE LIKE A SYMPHONY OF THE BEST MUSIC YOU’VE HEARD, AND YOU’RE THE CONDUCTOR
pushing it harder and harder, rewarding you with lateral G, thrust, and pure exhilaration.
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MAKING A FAST BUCK VALUES OF HISTORIC MOTORS HAVE SKY-ROCKETED, BUT THERE’S STILL MONEY TO BE MADE, SAYS HEXAGON CLASSICS’ PAUL MICHAELS
W E AT L H
1. PORSCHE BOXSTER 986 (1986-2004)
Price range: £5,000-£15,000
It’s incredible to think the Porsche Boxster turned 20 last year: it feels like it’s been around for half that time. With a beautifully balanced mid-engined chassis and pre-digital age steering, Porsche’s roadster is a proper modern classic. Prices for the 986 – Porsche’s codename for the first generation – are on the floor at the moment with good cars starting at £5,000. There is a reason for that. Engines can prove to be problematic to say the very least, so always get an inspection and evidence of full service history. Even then you’re taking a risk. Avoid the slow 2.5-litre and go for the faster 2.7 or 3.2-litre units. Guards Red, silver or dark metallics work best as does the manual ’box – leave the automatic Tiptronic well alone. As Porsche made hundreds of thousands, don’t expect major appreciation, but low mileage, loved cars are rare and certainly won’t lose you any money.
2. MERCEDES SL R129 (1989-2001)
Price Range: £7,500-£20,000 One of the last ‘golden age’ Mercedes, the SL R129 was built at a time when quality, comfort and refinement were everything to the threepointed star. Plenty were made, which has kept prices low, but values have accelerated in the last three years and could follow the R107 upwards. As you might imagine, electronics are complex so make sure everything works, such as the hood mechanism. Speaking of which, with a soft- and hard-top, this is a stylish roadster that you can drive all year round. This usability makes it quite difficult to find a low-mileage example, but you can still get a very good V8 SL500 – the pick of the range – for around £15,000. The best examples are pushing £20,000, while super-rare AMG versions are way above that.
3. ALFA SPIDER (1966-1993)
Price range: £8,500-£35,000+ If you’ve seen The Graduate then you’ll know why Alfa Spiders are always in such high demand. The Spider is the epitome of Italian cool and a textbook classic. Built from 1966 all the way to the early 1990s, its long production run proves how hard it was to replace. Later rubber-bumper cars are good fun and can be had for £8,500, but early cars are prettier, more desirable and tend to make much better investments. A few years ago you could have bought a slightly average 1960s or 1970s left-hand drive car for £10,000, but values have started to go up a lot recently and now you’ll need £15,000-£20,000. Rust is always an issue, so make sure you get the
bodywork thoroughly checked and have a good look underneath. Really nice examples will cost £25,000 – and beyond £30,000 gets an immaculate, near concours-level car. Buy now before values go any higher.
£300,000, while the super rare GT2 – of which just 57 were ever made – is over £1m. In demand across the board, the 993 marks the end of an era and is an absolutely brilliant modern classic. I really couldn’t recommend them any more highly.
4. BMW E46 M3 (2000-2006)
Price range: £9,000-£80,000 One of the best M Power BMWs ever, the E46 M3 blends supercar performance with genuine useability and practicality. You can pick up a mega-mile coupé for under £9,000 (or less) but my advice is don’t. You’ll just be buying trouble. These days, low mileage, well-lookedafter examples are £15,000 and upwards. If you want to invest, take a look at the limited-run special editions such as the CSL (of which only 1,400 were made), which packs a carbon-fibre roof, bigger brakes, quicker steering rack and 19in alloys, and a price tag of up to £80,000 (which is up from £50,000 a few years ago). If you can find one, the CS is another great investment. Built solely for the UK market, it features some of the CSL’s go-faster bits, but a manual gearbox rather than the former’s SMG semi-automatic ’box. Not quite as hardcore, but easier to live with, these are generally around £30,000 or more – up from around £20,000 a few years ago.
5. PORSCHE 993 CARRERA 2 (1993-1997)
Price range: £35,000-£65,000
6. JENSEN INTERCEPTOR (1966-1976)
The Interceptor has always been regarded as the poor man’s Aston, and as prices of the latter have risen, the muscular Jensen has been slowly heading upwards, too. It’s certainly had a good 12 months – the very best cars have gained 10%, with exceptional coupés commanding £55,000-£65,000 (rare convertibles are £100,000 and upwards). It’s not hard to see why it’s finally coming of age: you’ve got to love the combination of a very English interior full of wood and leather, shooting-brake tailgate, and a big American V8. There’s also the image. Whereas similar vintage Astons were always for the upper classes, the Interceptor has something of the cultured hardman about it. The association with legendary boxers like Henry Cooper does it no harm at all. On the downside, Interceptors are very expensive to restore and put right (almost as costly as an Aston, in fact), which is why buying an A1 car is the only real way to go. Do that, though, and you won’t ever look back. ➤
Air-cooled 911s have been hot property for a long time, continually rising in value and showing little sign of slowing down. Why? They’re poster cars. For buyers of a certain age, a 911 was the bedroom-wall dream machine, now it’s becoming a garage reality. You can’t really go wrong with any air-cooled 911, but my favourite is the last of the line, the 993. It’s the ultimate incarnation of the original 1960s version: fast, engaging, brilliantly made and compact. Prices start at £35,000 for a high-mileage Tiptronic automatic, but you need £50,000-£60,000 for a really nice low mileage Carrera 2 manual, sometimes even more. Cherished Turbo examples are well over £100,000 now, RS versions are around
•• THE JENSEN INTERCEPTOR HAS ALWAYS BEEN REGARDED AS THE POOR MAN’S ASTON 099
W E AT L H
➤ 7. JAGUAR E-TYPE SERIES 1 (1961-1967)
Price range: £140,000-£250,000
Enzo Ferrari called the E-type the most beautiful car ever made, and with roles in films such as The Italian Job, not to mention ownership by every 1960s and 1970s A-lister from Frank Sinatra to George Best, the E-type is a proper motoring icon. The Series 1 is the car most people picture when you say ‘British classic’ and they are universally loved – as is reflected by prices. Values have rocketed in the last five years: at least £140,000 is required to buy a decent closed headlamp, fixed-head coupé, right-hand-drive car. Exceptional cars are commanding £200,000 and beyond, while Roadsters are worth even more. Rust is an issue so always buy the best otherwise you’ll spend a fortune putting it right. My pick is the 4.2-litre, which has more torque than the 3.8-litre, and a synchromesh ’box so, it’s easier to drive and live with on a regular basis.
DRIVING RETURNS: [clockwise from top] Prices for a Jaguar E-Type Series 1 have rocketed; potential returns on a Ferrari 250 Pininfarina are strong; the Aston Martin V8 Vantage is also a sound investment.
8. ASTON MARTIN V8 VANTAGE (1977-1989)
Price range: £200,000-£400,000
This is the classic Aston Martin to put your money into. Values of the brawny, brutish handbuilt V8 Vantage have been shooting up of late. Why? Well, its iconic predecessors – think DB4, DB5 and DB6 – have had a good run of growth over the last five years, but are levelling off now, leaving room for the younger cars to come up. Secondly, like air-cooled Porsches, the V8 Vantage is a poster car and those who always lusted after one are now making their childhood dreams come true. So, what should you pay? Early Vantages are at least £200,000. The more powerful X Pack versions are the most desirable ranging from £300,000 to £400,000. That’s up around 20% on a year ago and with further growth ahead.
9. FERRARI 250 GT COUPÉ PININFARINA (1958-1960)
Price range: £450,000-£600,000 In today’s market, there are very few Ferraris from the 1950s and 1960s that you could
•• BUYING A FERRARI 250 GT COUPE PININFARINA AND EXPECT 10-20% INCREASE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS 100
describe as underrated or underpriced – but the 250 GT Coupé Pininfarina does fit the bill. The limelight just hasn’t been shone on this stylish grand tourer anywhere as much as the more famous variants like the California and GTO – as a result they don’t carry the same multi-million pound price tags. That’s remarkable when you consider they share the same Columbo V12 and chassis as their more illustrious cousins. They drive brilliantly, too, and with a decent boot and rear luggage shelf are surprisingly practical. I would expect the 250 GT PF to increase in value by at least 10-20% over the next few years, a potentially brilliant return in a market that has levelled off after several years of significant growth. Buying one could prove to be the best decision that you have ever made.
10. MCLAREN F1 (1992-1998)
Price range: £8m+
Other supercars have eclipsed it for horsepower and even beaten its record-
breaking 231mph top speed, but thanks to its no-compromise design and absolute purity of purpose, the McLaren F1 still remains the ultimate. Just 64 road versions were ever made, far less than even McLaren expected, making it incredibly rare and collectible. Back in the 1990s, people scoffed at the idea of a £600,000 supercar, but now F1s change hands for anything between £8m-£10m. Have values topped out or is it still a good buy with room for growth? Without doubt the latter. The F1 is more special than a Ferrari F40, F50, Enzo or LaFerrari, surprisingly useable and practical (thanks to that three-seater layout and those side luggage panels), and has excellent support from McLaren allowing owners to keep their cars on the road in prime condition. Running costs are frightening: crack the windscreen and you’ll receive a £15,000 bill, but there is a feeling that the F1 is so special that it has only just started to appreciate. ■ For classic car sales, see Hexagon Classics, 82-92 Great North Road, N2 0NL; hexagonclassics.com
PP A R O AR RT E UN IT Y
UNIQUE PROPERTIES ON A MEDITERRANEAN WINE ESTATE
LANGUEDOC, SOUTH OF FRANCE
in the national park of the massif de la clape. just 3km from the mediterranean coast, situated between the market town of narbonne and the picturesque fishing port of gruissan. château capitoul offers discerning buyers the rare opportunity to purchase a beautifully crafted property in an intimate development on a working wine estate, where heritage and traditional materials are combined with relaxed, contemporary style.
c h ât e a u
vignobles residences de luxe art de vivre
chic and understated, properties are delivered fully furnished with bespoke interior designs tailored to the requirements of each owner. private amenities include pools, terraces and generous gardens, while the estate also hosts two restaurants, a cinq mondes® spa and masterclay tennis. unique homes with spectacular panoramic views bespoke interior design * gardens by 3x chelsea flower show gold medallist james basson * annual share of wine yield * easy access to international airports * full management and letting services * competitive financing available * *
2 TO 5 BEDROOM PROPERTIES. PRICES FROM €495,000 FURNISHED.
chateaucapitoul.com | contact: simon kerridge | email@example.com +44 (0)845 686 8670 (uk local rates) or +33 (0)4 30 63 10 47 (france)
CYCLING PARIS FOOD & DRINK GOLF PHOTO PRIZE
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104 114 117 119 129
ELECTRIC DREAM . 104
FRAME AND FORTUNE
All the gear, and all the ideas: RoadCyclingUKâ€™s GEORGE SCOTT rounds up the best bikes and gear for tackling the tarmac like a boss
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FLUX CHEVRON JERSEY KALF Kalf is a new British brand with an eye for style and this jersey combines a stand-out design with plenty of attention to detail. The jersey is made from a lightweight fabric with perforated panels, laser-cut sleeves and reflective details. £64.99; evanscycles.com
50CARBON AERO DISC HUNT Carbon wheels are the ultimate upgrade and these hoops, launching in August, are bang up to date. The 50mm rim will boost the aero prowess of your bike, while the 1,496g weight will ease the load on climbs. £1,099.00; huntbikewheels.com
SYNAPSE HI-MOD DISC RED ETAP CANNONDALE
PHOTOGRAPH by Brian Vernor
The Synapse has been a stalwart of the Cannondale range since 2006, designed for roadies who live to ride hard and go long. This latest version of the frameset, launched in July, is significantly lighter than its predecessor and has engineered flex zones to soak up road vibrations, while you will also find clearance for plush 32mm tyres. The range includes ten bikes but our pick is the £6.5k model with SRAM’s wireless eTap groupset. £6,499.99; cannondale.com
ELEMNT BOLT COMPUTER WAHOO Wahoo entered the bike GPS market in 2015 looking to unseat Garmin – and its latest computer, the Elemnt Bolt, launches as a genuine rival to the tech giant. The computer pairs with your smartphone and offers more features than you can shake a stick at. £199.99; wahoofitness.com
AEROAD CF SLX DISC 8.0 CANYON
The Aeroad CF SLX from German brand Canyon is one of the fastest bikes out there. It’s now equipped with the latest must-have technology in road cycling – disc brakes, which deliver improved braking performance. The frame’s aerodynamic tube profiles and deep-section wheels are designed to cut through the wind, delivering you to the finish line in double-quick time, while the Shimano Ultegra groupset provides quick, efficient gear changes. £3,199; canyon.com
ULTEGRA R8000 GROUPSET
SUMMIT STRATOS BIB SHORTS
SHIMANO Shimano’s second-tier Ultegra groupset is our pick from the Japanese firm’s line-up, offering almost all the performance of the flagship Dura-Ace groupset used by the pros. The latest R8000 gruppo offers an overhauled design from front to back. £987.91; shimano.com
PACTIMO Pactimo’s Summit Stratos bib shorts are designed for long-distance riding and deliver comfort in spades. The Lycra-based fabric is infused with ceramic particles, helping to increase breathability, while the chamois pad is ideal for your summer century ride. £175; pactimo.co.uk
SIDI You may have spied these shoes from revered Italian firm Sidi on the feet of Chris Froome. The Sidi Shots are the shoes of choice for the multiple Tour de France champion, delivering a professional-level blend of comfort and performance. £350; sidi.com
A member of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World since 1988, the hotel is one of the most prestigious five-star luxury hotels in Portugal, set in an unrivalled location with exceptional views, overlooking the Ria Formosa’s tidal lagoon and the Atlantic sea, the iconic Hotel Quinta do Lago is the ultimate Algarve experience for leisure or golfing. From the hotel’s lush gardens, guests have walking access to a golden sandy beach and to many relaxing nature trails, which you can leisurely enjoy by foot, bicycle or horse riding. Just minutes from the hotel, golfers of all levels can find seven of the Algarve’s best 18 hole golf courses. Dining in the hotel’s Brisa do Mar restaurant is an experience on its own, with a mesmerizing sunset as a backdrop that perfectly complements the fresh flavours of the traditional Algarvian cuisine, carefully prepared by chef Gerhard Pölzl. Experience a unique hotel and exclusive service in an atmosphere of tranquillity and natural beauty.
RIDE TIME: [clockwise from left] the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45; the pack rides during the 19th stage of 100th Giro d’Italia; Tejay van Garderen celebrates his first ever Grand Tour stage win on the queen stage of the 100th Giro d’Italia.
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
To succeed in a race like the Giro D’Italia, you need stamina and fitness, but a decent sports watch can help too. LORENA JONES gets close to all the action at the legendary Italian road race with Tag Heuer
THE GIRO D’ITALIA was born in 1909 from a
PHOTOGRAPHS by (hillside) Luk Benies/AFP/Getty Images; (van Garderen) Fabio Ferrari
demand to sell newspapers, as La Gazzetta dello Sport beat its more popular print rival Corriere della Sera in the race to launch a nationwide cycling event. It was a huge success from its debut – and the Giro has since become one of the iconic Grand Tours. While the Tour de France has the Alps and the Pyrenees, the Giro has the Dolomites: the jagged peaks and plunging cliffs create a stark beauty which makes it the most beautiful Grand Tour to many cycling fans – including Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Swiss luxury watchmakers Tag Heuer. “We love the innovative spirit of the organisation team behind the Giro d’Italia,” Biver tells us, as we travel to watch the 100th anniversary of the race. Tag Heuer’s relationship with pro cycling dates back to 1946, when pocket chronometers for measuring time during races were first mentioned in the brochure of Heuer. By 1985
the brand sponsored its own cycling team. In this modern era, Tag Heuer is pitching its Connected Modular 45 as the ideal watch for the modern sportsperson. In Biver’s own words, “It has all the necessary features (materials, visibility, lightweight), performances (reliability, water resistance, accuracy,) and applications (speed, temperature, heart beat) needed in sport.” In the Giro, the winner’s jersey was traditionally handed out using a rather simplified points system: one point awarded to the first to cross the line; two to the second, and so on, with the overall winner determined on aggregate over the three-week tour. Historically, this was perhaps the only option when it came to ‘accurately’ measuring the timings between a bunch of cyclists strung out across huge distances. Legendary Italian rider Giovanni Rossignoli would undoubtedly have been the first to highlight the shortfalls of such a system, though, given he would have won the
tour twice more had a stopwatch been used. “Timekeeping in cycling has become more and more important, if not crucial,” Biver asserts. “Today, victories after three weeks are made by a few seconds. That’s an instrumental and most important reason why timekeeping must be extremely accurate and reliable”. Such was the case with this year’s Giro d’Italia, as we gazed on to the final stage with our hearts in our throats watching Tom Dumoulin regain the time he had lost. In a thrilling performance, which following three weeks, 21 stages, and 3,609km of racing, he took the Grand Tour victory. “Nothing can be achieved without continuity, concentration, coherence and constance,” Biver states. This is not only true of his luxury watch brand, but also of the racing in the 100th anniversary of the Giro d’Italia, which was arguably the most exciting edition of the race to date. ■ For more information, see tagheuer.com
CYCLING PALACE TO PALACE
CYCLING BY ROYAL APPOINTMENT
The Prince’s Trust Palace to Palace bike ride is a royally good way to raise money for charity, get fit and take in some of London and Surrey’s most regal landmarks, so jump in the saddle and get involved
N 1 OCTOBER this year, 4,200 people will
get on their bikes and take part in the 12th Palace to Palace charity cycle ride to raise money for The Prince’s Trust, and you could be one of them, with registration for the unique event now open. Starting on The Mall, the regal ride follows an iconic route from Buckingham Palace to Windsor, taking in the landmarks of central London, Richmond Park and Surrey, before finishing at Windsor racecourse, overlooked by the famous castle. Not only is it a good way to raise money for a fantastic cause, it’s a great
The Palace to Palace bike ride follows a regal route from Buckingham Palace to Windsor 110
excuse to get yourself fit along the way. Participants can choose between the classic 45-mile route, or the ultra 90-mile route, depending on levels of fitness (and optimism…). Taking part is easy, with all entrants asked to pay a registration fee and to raise at least £120 in sponsorship for The Prince’s Trust, or £240 for those completing in the 90-mile challenge. In addition to being part of an exhilarating event that’s raising funds for fantastic causes, you’ll receive a Palace to Palace cycling top, medal, monthly fundraising expertise, and an invitation to the post-event rider festival. As the UK’s leading youth charity, The Prince’s Trust has helped more than 825,000 young people turn their lives around, and its work over the past decade is worth an estimated £1.4bn. Events such as the Palace to Palace ride are a crucial way of enabling the charity’s important endeavours to continue. ■ For more information and to register, see
DAVID WEIR CBE FIVE TOP TIPS FOR TRAINING
British Paralympic wheelchair athlete David Weir CBE has won a total of six gold medals at the Paralympic Games. Here’s a few of his lessons for how to get in shape for the Palace to Palace ride. 1 Do stretches, and plenty of them. 2 Always have a good warm-up. 3 Get regular physio and massage sessions: your body is like a machine; you must keep it serviced. 4 Do not increase your weekly mileage by more than ten per cent every month. No matter how good you feel, be very gradual. You won’t know you’re overdoing it until it’s too late. 5 Finally, recovery is one of the best things. Rest days are so important.
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OOL MOTORBIKES NORMALLY come with a
thumping soundtrack. The Energica Eva is an exception to this rule. Instead, this stylish Italian machine is powered by an 80kW electric motor that pumps out zero emissions and barely a whisper. Despite a lack of pistons, valves and gears, Eva will power to 60mph in around three seconds and max out at 124mph. The company claims it has a range of up to 100 miles in the city and 90mph on the motorway – although a lot will depend on riding style, naturally. The best superbikes may be able to beat it from a standing start but nothing can touch the 109hp Eva for eco credentials. Energica launched the original Ego electric bike in 2014 and has been refining battery technology ever since. This latest machine is the result of all that research and development. Energica’s parent company CRP already has a reputation for ground-breaking engineering. The Modena-based firm has worked closely with F1 teams for 50 years. In 2005 it lined up two bikes in the 250cc MotoGP – six years later they won the European Championship for electric motorcycle racing. Beneath the Eva’s conventional-looking fuel tank is an oil-cooled battery that offers direct drive to the back wheel. Torque is an impressive 180 Nm – cleverly managed by a unit that monitors throttle position and lean angle. Riders can choose from four riding modes, Urban, Eco, Rain and Sport. And because it tips the scales at 280kg, it even has a reverse gear. The system takes all the manoeuvring out of parking nose first, downhill on a slope. Perhaps more important to any buyer willing to spend £27,999 on an electric sport
Visor down, ignition on, twist the throttle and… not a sound. It’s the weirdest sensation 112
bike, the Eva looks sensational too. Visor down, ignition on, twist the throttle and… not a sound. It’s the weirdest sensation starting a silent motorbike. In London, ambient traffic noise means other road users won’t even realise that you’re there. But out in the country, the Energica is a showstopper. It’s not completely silent and has the hum of a distant fighter jet. Most bikers will spend the first 30 minutes on the Energica reaching for a clutch lever that isn’t there. It is as simple to ride as a twist-and-go scooter. Except with so much power on tap, take care not to twist the right hand throttle grip by accident. Otherwise the result could be expensive. Perhaps that’s why Energica has fitted a low-speed mode for safe manoeuvring, restricting speed to under 2mph. The riding position is comfortable and more upright than the Ego sister bike. If you’re vertically challenged, seat height is a fairly modest 795mm. The panniers are tiny but the charging cable will fit in one side with ease. Like every electric vehicle from Tesla downwards, the Energica’s biggest drawback is range. Whatever the slick, multifunction instrument screen tells you, a degree of trust is required to make an extended ride. But Eva owners will soon benefit from plans announced in the Queen’s speech to install more charging points across the country. The bike’s battery takes just 30 minutes to reach 85%, using a rapid charger – or 3.5 hours to full on a standard, three-pin plug. If you don’t want to hang around and wait, the MyEnergica phone app uses Bluetooth to flash up the state of battery charge. What adds to the surprising lack of drama on board the Eva is minimal vibration through the tubular steel frame. That’s down to a lack of moving engine parts. The result is more of a glide rather than a ride, although the bike performs best when in Sport mode. Some will miss the clunk of selecting the right gear and vibrations through the seat – others will embrace electric motorbikes as the transport of the very near future. ■
80kW @ 6,000RPM
The Energica Eva commands attention despite being virtually silent… JEREMY TAYLOR tests a motorbike that’s electric in more ways than one
Price: £27,999 OTR; energicamotor.com
PHOTOGRAPH by Damiano Fiorentini
TWICE AS NICE: As well as looking fantastic, being electric means that the Energica Eva has some serious eco credentials too.
FOOD & DRINK TAILLEVENT
C’EST LA PIÈCE DE RÉSISTANCE
Out of fashion and favour for the past two decades, the return of the wine bar couldn’t have come at a better time. BEN WINSTANLEY heads to one of London’s finest by way of a famed Parisian institution
O YOU REMEMBER the last time wine bars were cool? I don’t. I’m afraid I was neither of legal drinking age nor alive when the trendy spaces of the 1970s and 1980s had people coming over all ‘pinot mwah’, but the romantic idea behind them always appealed. Away from the machismo of City boozers, these chic establishments were havens to a sophisticated brand of metropolitan worker, where alcohol could be enjoyed in more than just a pint glass. Sure, they leaned towards the pretentious and expensive, but here professionals had a hedonistic escape from the humdrum of the nine-to-five. Cheers to that. As time went on, though, wily club owners saw the growing demand and opened their own seedy imitations of the wine bar. Men, 114
too, capitalised on the number of women congregating in these spaces and made it their task to invade them – in place of burgundy and joie de vivre, came lukewarm merlot and toe-curling chat-up lines. All good things must come to an end; the wine bar had run dry. Perhaps that’s why I have been over zealous
The wine bar is no longer a one-trick pony, and it’s putting to bed any snobbery around it
with my consumption of late because, after a two-decade absence, this boozy trend has come full circle. From the marvellous Bloomsbury bolt hole Noble Rot to St James’s members’ club for oenophiles 67 Pall Mall, wine-forward establishments are proliferating across London – and this time they’re here to stay. Not that the City needs an excuse to drink these days (or indeed, ever), but these versatile spaces are ideal whether you’re searching for the perfect venue for an informal business meeting, a place to eat lunch on the weekend or a suitable location for your highly anticipated blow-out bonus dinner. The wine bar is no longer a one-trick pony, and it’s putting to bed the snobbery often wrongfully associated with drinking a glass of the good stuff.
For any wine lover, being in Les 110 Taillevent is a kneetrembling experience
PHOTOGRAPH by Anne_EmmanuelleThion
There can be no better example of this than Les Taillevent 110. Located on the former Coutts bank site on Cavendish Square, the offices have made way for a subtly luxurious space dominated by a ‘wine wall’. This is laden with, you guessed it, 110 different labels to pair with the classic French bistronomy that abounds on the menu. Such a restaurant would have opened to little fanfare just a few years ago, but nowadays it’s attracting a healthy blend of knowledgeable twenty-somethings keen to explore London’s largest by-the-glass offering alongside die-hard claret drinkers raiding its impressive cellar for rare vintages. The story of 110 [as it’s known for short] begins in Paris at the illustrious Le Taillevent. Opened in 1946, the two Michelin-star restaurant takes its name from the 14thcentury forefather of French gastronomy, Guillaume Tirel, known simply as Taillevent. Before Alain Ducasse, there was Paul Bocuse; before Bocuse there was Auguste Escoffier; before Escoffier there was only Taillevent. True to its namesake, Le Taillevent is a temple to French cuisine, specialising in simple dishes elevated to heady heights. You might find Breton Blue lobster, served in the style of a casserole, en cocotte lutée (a pastry-sealed pot); John Dory, with stuffed courgette flowers and a champagne sauce; or veal sweetbreads with girolles and persillade. But for modernday Parisian diners while the food is a draw, its greatest gift is its staggering wine cellars. In the bowels of the grand building are four cellars, overflowing with approximately 3,000 labels in total. Along dusty shelves, you’ll find bottles from the length of the restaurant’s lifetime. An 1897 Lafite Rothschild, perhaps? How about a 1983 Margaux? Or a 1998 Latour? For most, a trip through Le Taillevent’s cellars is as heady as any oenophilic fantasy, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Twenty kilometres west of Paris in the small village of Bougival lies a secret Le Taillevent has worked hard to protect. Behind a one metrethick steel barrier you will find a prize more precious than the contents of any other bank vault. As the door creaks open, in front of you is one square kilometre of wine storage, housing 10,000 bottles of the finest vintages.
Across the sprawling space you’ll find every vintage of Domaine Raveneau – the world’s most celebrated chablis – dating back to 1975, an astonishing achievement given the vineyard’s famously low yield. It’s a story replicated everywhere you turn. Pur Sang and Silex from the late Didier Dagueneau (his wine accruing in value and prestige since his untimely death in 2008); puligny montrachet from the elegant Domaine Leflaive; and the early efforts of cult winemaker Laurent Vaillé’s Domaine de la Grange des Pères, whose bottles of Languedoc red are like gold dust to collectors. For any wine lover, being in this cave of hidden treasures is a knee-trembling experience: forget kid in a candy shop, this is what heaven is. Back in London, the grand image of Le Taillevent has projected itself into 110. Looking around the space it’s clear the Gardinier brothers, Thierry and Laurent – the brains behind the Taillevent group’s growth from one restaurant to three, and a number of Paris wine shops since 2011 – have created a blueprint for what the modern wine bar can and should be. Of course, the pièce de résistance is the multifarious wine pairings possible from the
110-strong by-the-glass wine list. The menu suggests four different-priced pairings per dish, with the wines in the above £20 category hiding a few of the gems from Le Taillevent’s Bougival Vaults. The secret to its success, though, is not just the quality of its wines but the competitive pricing for either 75ml or 150ml servings. On one visit I sample a 2010 Montee de Tonnerre chablis from the fabled Domaine Raveneau at £28 a glass for a wine that’ll set you back roughly £360 for a bottle in a restaurant. It’s an absolute knockout: the intensely rich chardonnay notes, balanced with a rounded acidity and welcome minerality in the finish, provide the perfect foil to the iconic Taillevent starter of crab remoulade. This is what a wine bar should be about. It treads a fine line between an excellent bistro and a fine-dining restaurant, but to walk in and enjoy just one great glass of wine with a single dish is an experience that will hopefully be increasingly more acceptable as the wine bar revival continues. To be honest, one glass may not suffice. Waiter, what else have you got for me? ■ For more information and bookings, see
FRENCH FANCY: [opposite] the bar at London’s Les Taillevent 110; [this image] inside the mothership, Paris’s Le Taillevent; [above] the culinary delights of 110.
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FOOD & DRINK REVIEWS
KILLER MCQUEEN The King of Cool may provide the inspiration but everything else about The Grill at McQueen is smokin’ hot, says TOM KELLY
F YOU’VE EVER been to the US, you have
probably encountered Denny’s, famous for its Grand Slam American breakfasts. It’s an instantly recognisable brand for its stack ’em high and sell ’em fast approach. Bizarre, then, that the King of Cool, Steve McQueen, was reportedly a big fan of its comfort food. But the Shoreditch bar and restaurant that bears his name is fortunately a world away from the ubiquitous American chain. McQueen is located literally on the dividing line between trendy Shoreditch and happening Hackney. The stylish establishment is liberally peppered with iconic images from his movies including The Great Escape, Bullitt, and The Thomas Crown Affair. (Thankfully, there are no stomach-churning images from Papillon.) McQueen is the brainchild of Northern Ireland-born entrepreneur Dezzi McCausland. McCausland came to London 20 years ago, and has built up a reputation for his high-end venues. He once owned and ran the former Pinstripe Club – infamous for being at the centre of 1960s Profumo affair involving a prominent government minister and call girl Christine Keeler. Under McCausland’s stewardship it was known as Kingly Club, and regularly hosted the royalty of stage, music and the fashion world.
I invited a member of the House of Lords – a man of impeccable taste and a fan of McQueen squaremile.com
McQueen is the third venture by McCausland – and has brought Kingly’s cool to the heart of Shoreditch. Recently, with the guidance of two former Hawksmoor chefs – Richard Sandiford who created a whole new menu and Richard James, who is the new head chef – McCausland rebranded the restaurant as ‘The Grill at McQueen’. To accompany me to my meal, I invited a member of the House of Lords – a man of impeccable taste, a memory for the Profumo affair, a fan of Steve McQueen, and a lover of good wine and fine food. Unsurprisingly, the Grill does what it says on the tin: if you don’t like meat, this is the time to make your great escape. Thankfully, we love it – in abundance. We decided to forgo the offer of ‘The Dusty Knuckle’ sourdough bread, though it looked rather tasty. The noble lord opted for the classic steak tartare on sourdough toast. Watching him devour it with no mercy, I genuinely believe he could eat an entire heifer raw. He declared it magnificent. I was torn between the crispy lamb sweetbreads with sauce gribiche, and the ox cheek and kidney pithivier with celeriac and horseradish purée. With a little persuasion from the restaurant manager, I opted for the
latter. It was everything I expected and more – both flavoursome and indulgently rich. My dining partner, with his predilection for meat with only the horns and hooves removed, had no problem choosing a main from the five steak options on the menu – a rare fillet steak from the grill with no garnish or sauce. The triple-cooked chips, however, proved too much of a temptation to pass. I ordered from the four further non-steak choices, and picked the caramelised chicory and roquefort gratin. Neither of us were disappointed – and for a diner who never normally chooses a vegetarian option, the dish impressed from start to not-quite-able-to finish. The meal was finished off with a flame-hot americano for his lordship and a compulsory amaretto for myself. I could not fault the service at the Grill, and the atmosphere and décor has the feel of an up-market Pall Mall gentlemen’s club but without the formalities. The place was busy and it was a Thursday, which also happens to be burlesque night at McQueen. I was tempted to stay on, but my ennobled colleague remembered all too well the Profumo affair, so we decided to bow out early. ■ The Grill at McQueen, 55-61 Tabernacle St, EC2A 4AA. For more info, see mcqueen-shoreditch.co.uk
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IT’S OPEN SEASON NICK BAYLY looks back at
the biggest surprises from the Open – a tournament where anything can, and does, happen
1995: JOHN DALY, ST ANDREWS
PHOTOGRAPH by David Cannon/Getty
OK, John Daly won a major at the 1991 PGA Championship, but did anyone really actually think that he’d win another big one by the time 1995 rolled around? Daly arrived at the Old Course in stinking form. He hadn’t recorded a top-ten finish in his previous 26 starts, and missed the cut in 11 of them. He was also fighting a losing battle with the demon drink and the even more demonic doughnut. But if any course on the Open rota was designed for the Wild Thing’s ‘grip it and rip it’ style, the Old Course was it. With a fag in one hand and a driver in the other, Daly duly proceeded to smash it to all corners of the course, but holed enough putts to enjoy a share of the lead at the halfway mark. Many thought it couldn’t last, and indeed it didn’t, and a third round 73 left him four shots behind leader Michael Campbell. ➤
➤ But Daly came bouncing back on Sunday, bagging three birdies on the front nine, while Campbell went into reverse. The mullet-haired American held a three-shot lead on the 16th tee, when the enormity of the situation finally began to hit home. Bogeys followed at the 16th, and at the notoriously tricky Road Hole 17th, but a par at the last saw him safely in the clubhouse in front, and looking the likely winner. Only he hadn’t factored in Costantino Rocca. Needing a birdie at the last to tie with Daly, the Italian hit a big drive, but duffed his approach, and all looked lost. But seconds later, just as Daly was about to light up a celebratory Marlboro, Rocca drained one of the longest putts ever seen in Open history, a 65-footer from the Valley of Sin, and we suddenly had ourselves a playoff. Sadly, Rocca’s luck ran out at the Road Hole in extra time, taking three shots to get out of the bunker, which handed the title to Daly, and left R&A members spluttering into
their pink gins as he warmly embraced the exMrs Daly on the 18th green. Following his magical week, JD only had one top ten in each of the next two seasons, and his only top 25 at the Open since was at St Andrews in 2005, when he finished 15th. Now, aged 51, and currently on marriage number five, the Wild Thing is back on the competition scene again, and only last month won his first ever Champions Tour event. Perhaps there’s still time for one last hurrah when the Open returns to St Andrews in 2020.
1999: PAUL LAWRIE, CARNOUSTIE Scotland’s Paul Lawrie clinched the Open at Carnoustie in one of the most bizarre finishes of the championship’s history. At the climax to the final round, Frenchman Jean van de Velde stood on the 18th tee with a three-shot lead and the Claret Jug in his grasp. But five minutes later, and following trips to the Barry Burn (where he took off his shoes
Paul Lawrie clinched the Open at Carnoustie in one of the most bizarre finishes in its history and socks and thought about playing it from the water) and the grandstand, he walked off the green with a triple-bogey seven and feeling lucky to have made a playoff with Lawrie and Justin Leonard. Lawrie, who was ranked 159th at the time, fired six birdies in a closing 67, coming from ten shots behind, and the 30 year old kept his nerve on the final hole in the play-off to claim a birdie and the Claret Jug. The Scot, now aged 48, has been a bit miffed ever since that it was van de Velde that got all the headlines for throwing it away, rather than him gaining the plaudits for his impressive comeback, but hey, that’s golf. Lawrie went on to win five more tournaments, and represent Europe in the Ryder Cup in 1999, and again in 2012 at the Miracle at Medinah, but he’ll always be remembered as the major winner that profited from another player’s moment of madness.
2003: BEN CURTIS, ROYAL ST GEORGE’S
IN IT TO WIN IT: [clockwise from here] Todd Hamilton finally claimed Open victory in 2004, when he arrived at the competition as a virtual unknown; John Daly silenced doubters by winning in 1995; Scot Paul Lawrie celebrates his success on home turf; [opposite] Darren Clarke used his links experience to be victorious in 2011.
Playing in his first Major championship, and ranked 396 in the world, Ben Curtis’ victory at St George’s was the first by a rookie since Tom Watson’s triumph in 1975. The 26 year old from Ohio had never set foot on a links course before he rocked up in Kent to play the biggest tournament of his life. His trip to the Open was only the result of a high finish at the previous week’s tournament in the States, a result he had needed more to boost his hopes of retaining his PGA Tour card than setting him on the road to golfing history. Curtis was among the first players to turn up at St George’s, getting there a week ahead of schedule to acclimatise to the conditions and play a few practice rounds. Without time to organise a caddy, a local man from Maidstone, Andy Sutton, was given the job after he put in a call to a few of the management companies to see if there was a bag going spare. There was, and Sutton soon had his work cut out teaching his new employer the ways of links golf. Making the cut with two one-over-par 72s, a Saturday 70 saw Curtis enter the final day’s play in third place, two shots behind the leader, Thomas Bjorn, while Tiger Woods,
Vijay Singh and Sergio Garcia all lurked within striking distance. Curtis left the best until last, shooting 69 to take the clubhouse lead. Bjorn, meanwhile, who topped the leaderboard for much of the final round, imploded on the par-three 16th, taking three shots to get out of a greenside bunker en route to a championship-ending six, and leaving Curtis to be crowned champion in front of a stunned St George’s crowd. Now aged 40, Curtis managed top tens in the Open in 2007 and 2008, and finished second in the US PGA Championship in 2009. Sadly, he’s only made four cuts on tour in the last three years, but he’ll always have St George’s.
2004: TODD HAMILTON, ROYAL TROON,
PHOTOGRAPHS by (Todd Hamilton) Stuart Franklin/Getty; (John Daly) Jacqueline Duvoisin/Sports Illustrated/Getty; (Paul Lawrie) Stephen MundayGetty; (Darren Clarke) Popperfoto/Getty Images
Remember Todd Hamilton? No, he probably doesn’t either – certainly not the one that caught the golfing world off guard and popped up out of nowhere to win the Open at Royal Troon. After turning pro in 1987, and failing to win a PGA Tour card, Hamilton went to Tokyo, where he learned his trade on the Japan Golf Tour with a modicum of success. He went back to the PGA Tour’s qualifying school eight times, and finally came good in 2003, earning his first PGA Tour card. He won the Honda Classic in 2004, so he was no hacker, but the 38 year old from Illinois arrived on the west coast of Scotland in July as a virtual unknown. Even-par for his opening round, Hamilton then fired consecutive 67s to give himself a one-shot lead going into the final round. His closest pursuer was Ernie Els, who had won the Open at Muirfield just two years earlier, and was a strong favourite to follow up. But Hamilton was unfazed by the status of his rival, and shot a steady 68 to the South African’s 67 to set up a playoff, which Hamilton won with four straight pars. The American famously relied on a hybrid club – which was something of a novelty piece of equipment at the time – to get the job done, using it to find the fairways with unerring accuracy off the tee, to chase the ball forward from the rough, and to chip with deadly precision from the edge of the greens. After his moment in the sun, Hamilton never won another tournament on the main tours again, and now, aged 51, is currently competing on the Champions Tour in America, where last year he earned $340,000.
2011: DARREN CLARKE, ROYAL ST GEORGE’S Playing his 20th Open aged 42, Darren Clarke’s chances of winning a Major seemed behind him when he teed up at Royal St George’s in 2011. Long regarded as something of a links specialist, given his amateur days spent
playing Northern Ireland’s coastal tracks, Clarke had come close to capturing the Claret Jug earlier in his career, having finished second in 1997 and third in 2001, but given his age, and inconsistent form, he was virtually unconsidered when he arrived on the Kent coast. But the Ryder Cup legend kept his nerve while all about him were losing theirs, and drew upon all his experience, and that canny hands-led swing, to tame the windswept links. After rounds of 68, 68 and 69 – which he played in the best of Saturday’s awful weather – Clarke was five under par and leading Dustin Johnson by one, with Rickie Fowler and Thomas Bjorn a further two shots in arrears. Sunday proved a much calmer day for scoring, and Phil Mickelson set about the front nine in customary fashion, charging to
six under par after ten holes and threatening to run away with it. Johnson, playing with Clarke, also made a strong challenge, and was two shots off the lead on the tee of the par-five 14th. The American tried to reach the green with a two-iron from the fairway, but pushed it out of bounds to end his chances with a double-bogey seven. This gave Clarke a four-stroke cushion with four to play, and with Mickelson fading over the back nine, the man from Dungannon cruised to a three-stroke win. Clarke lived up to his hard-living image by turning up at the next day’s press conference with the R&A still inebriated after a night on the Guinness, but no-one cared, least of all the man with the Claret Jug in his grasp, who had earned a £2m bonus from sponsors Sports Direct. ■
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One of the most iconic competitions in the sport, the Open tests even the most accomplished golfers. NICK BAYLY presents the famously challenging holes that have defined the championship so far
DRIVE OF YOUR LIFE: [clockwise from here] Kohki Idoki tackles the notoriously tough 6th hole at Carnoustie; the 8th at Royal Troon is nicknamed the ‘Postage Stamp’ due to its small size; Royal Birkdale’s 14th hole ready for this year’s Open.
6TH, CARNOUSTIE, PAR FIVE, 578 YARDS PHOTOGRAPHS by (Carnoustie) Mark Runnacles/Getty; (Royal Troon) David Cannon/Getty
The great American Ben Hogan rationed his tournament play after a near-fatal car accident in 1949. Four years later, in 1953, he entered only six tournaments – and won five of them. That included the Open, on his only appearance in the championship. Hogan won the £500 first prize despite the unfamiliar conditions and being unused to the smaller British ball used at the time. He spent a week familiarising himself with the course, and it paid off. He was especially impressive at Carnoustie’s tough sixth hole, taking brave lines there – into the narrow gap separating the fairway bunkers and the out-of-bounds fence on the left – on all four rounds, and it was later renamed Hogan’s Alley in his honour. Hogan rounded off his triumph with a course
record 68 to stay four clear of a chasing pack. Hogan had already won the Masters and the US Open, but was denied a shot at the grand slam by the calendar – the US PGA finished in Michigan the day before the Open started in Scotland. It was his sixth win in the last eight Majors that he had entered, but he didn't win another one.
8TH, ROYAL TROON, PAR THREE, 123 YARDS The shortest, and some might say meanest, little hole on the Open rota is proof that par threes don’t have to be 230 yards to pose some major problems to players. Nicknamed the ‘Postage Stamp’ and the ‘Wee Beastie’ on account of its miserly square footage – it is only ten yards wide and 12 yards long – the 123-yard hole may only require
a sand wedge to reach it most days, but there are so many ‘wrong places’ to miss the rectangular green, whether it be the devious bunkers, or the hollows, mounds, banks or rough, that it’s all too easy to go from the frying pan to the fire. Just ask Bubba Watson, who racked up a triple-bogey six when doing precisely that at last year’s Open. The dual Masters champion is not the only player to have come off the hole shaking their head and with their card in tatters. At his first British Open in 1923, Gene Sarazen made a double-bogey here en route to losing the claret jug by a shot to Arthur Havers. Fifty years later he returned to play his final Open, aged 71, and aced it with a five-iron. Tiger Woods also carded a triple-bogey here in 1997, when a trip to the notorious Coffin ➤
➤ bunker buried his hopes of victory, while Rory McIlroy took no fewer than six attempts to get out of that same hazard during a practice round before last year’s Open.
14TH, ROYAL BIRKDALE, PAR THREE, 199 YARDS The last of the par threes at this year’s Open venue is ranked as the easiest hole on the course. Played from an elevated tee, which is protected from the prevailing wind, the green is surrounded by four deep bunkers. However, it wasn’t the sand that halted Hale Irwin in his tracks at this hole in 1983. The three-time US Open champion had never won the British version, but he came closest to it that year when in the third round, and challenging for the lead, he was faced with a simple tap-in at the 14th. Walking up to the ball, he casually flapped at it with the back of his putter, and caught nothing but fresh air. Looking around sheepishly, he rolled in the next attempt for a bogey. A day later, he ended up finishing one shot behind the winner, Tom Watson. Asked later about the one swing he'd like to have again over his career, Irwin replied: “It’s not even a swing. It was the phantom putt at the 1983 British Open. Went up to backhand a six-incher, missed it, finished second to Watson by one stroke. Careless.”
16TH, ROYAL LYTHAM, PAR FOUR, 358 YARDS If one shot is required to sum up the rollercoaster, swashbuckling career of Seve Ballesteros, then it would have to be his second shot at the 16th hole at Royal Lytham en route to winning the Open in 1979. In the final round, the errant Spaniard found just nine fairways in regulation, with his score only being saved by his legendary powers of recovery. After birdies on 14 and 15 – the latter from a chip-in – Seve’s driver misbehaved once again on the 16th, with his ball flying into the confines of a temporary car park and eventually coming to rest under a car.
CLUB CLASS: [this image] The 17th at St Andrews may look pretty, but it’s one of the most feared holes in the game; [below] Carnoustie’s 18th is also fearsomely treacherous.
Few finishing holes create such anxiety as the fearsome par four 18th at Carnoustie Amazingly still in bounds, the Spanish maestro got a favourable drop onto the dusty straw, and, surrounded by Morris Minors and Ford Anglias, and hundreds of expectant fans, he pitched the recovery shot onto the edge of the green to tumultuous applause. Minutes later, he stepped up to the 30ft putt and duly holed it for an outrageous birdie. Walking up the 18th fairway, Seve’s playing partner that day, then US Open champion Hale Irwin, waved a white handkerchief in mock surrender, such had been the brilliance of his rival’s recovery play, and Ballesteros made par to capture the first of his three Open titles.
17TH, ST ANDREWS, PAR FOUR, 495 YARDS “Many like it, most respect it, and all fear it,” said Bernard Darwin, celebrated golf writer and historian, of this feared 17th hole that is shaped like a jack-knifed juggernaut. One of the most famous holes in world golf, and comfortably the hardest on the course, the ideal drive must be fired bravely over the corner of the Old Course Hotel and the further right you dare venture, the better the angle into a very shallow green. Stray too far left, and you’ll likely be forced into a three-shot strategy. The green is then protected by the fearsome and magnetic Road Hole bunker at the front and a short steep bank running down to the road and wall beyond.
One of the most famous incidents involved Tommy Nakajima, an accomplished Japanese player who was tied for the lead when he came to the 17th in the third round of the Open in 1978. On the right of the green in two, he overcooked his approach putt and watched in dismay as it tumbled into the Road Hole bunker. And there he stayed, thrashing around like an eel in a fisherman’s net. Taking four shots to escape, he eventually he limped off to the last with a nine, his challenge in tatters. He came out the following day and shot 71, finishing seven off the lead – with five of those dropped shots coming at the one hole.
18TH, CARNOUSTIE, PAR FOUR, 499 YARDS Few finishing holes create such anxiety as this fearsomely treacherous par four. This is the Open rota finale most pros least relish the prospect of arriving at needing par for victory. The Barry Burn is in play right and left off the drive, before swinging across the fairway in front of the green. Out of bounds awaits just yards left of the green and beyond it. Jean van de Velde’s name is now synonymous with the hole, after he made a triple-bogey seven in the 1999 Open when only needing a double bogey for victory. After slicing his drive on the 17th fairway, the hapless Frenchman hit a two-iron to reach the green, but could only watch in anguish as his ball bounced off the grandstand into the rough. From there he hit a wedge into the water short of the green, and, after careful consideration, took a penalty drop and hit his fifth shot into the greenside bunker. He chipped out to eight feet and holed the putt to force a playoff with Paul Lawrie and Justin Leonard, which Lawrie won. Van de Velde has been back to Carnoustie several times since, and famously parred the hole when only using his putter. ■
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A STYLISH SHOW HOME Totteridge Place is a stylish and contemporary collection of high specification 3 & 4 bedroom houses in the popular suburban setting of Totteridge & Whetstone, just 450m* from the tube station in Zone 4. Our brand new Show Home is launching soon, so be amongst the first to see all these exclusive homes have to offer. Register online for your exclusive invitation! We are offering Stamp Duty paid** on Houses for a limited time only!
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Distances taken from Google Maps. **Stamp Duty paid does not include the 3% SDLT surcharge payable for additional homes from 1st April 2016 and is not available in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Applicable to selected plots only. For reservations made before Monday 7th August 2017. Please speak to our Sales Advisor for further details. Digital illustrations are indicative only. Pricing correct on 07.07.17.
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PHOTOGRAPH: Knoll Pilot chair, Â£2,402, chaplins.co.uk
A STUNNING NEW COLLECTION OF HOMES FOR NORTH WEST LONDON The Park Collection is the latest release of high spec homes at Colindale Gardens, the exciting new development in the heart of north west London. With an on-site school, gym, 9 acres of landscaped gardens, cafés, restaurants, retail space and fast connections to central London, it offers a superb investment opportunity, as well as being an ideal place to live.
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DESIGN FOR LIFE SAMMY WICKINS from Helen
Green Design has worked on some of the capital’s most luxurious interiors. Here, she reveals the style secrets behind the designs IN THE BEGINNING When I was a child living in the countryside, I used to design clothes using those old-school Vogue pattern templates, cutting metres of fabric. Sadly my sewing skills let me down so that endeavour was perhaps my first fail, but it sparked my initial fascination with understanding pattern, colour and texture.
LOUNGE ACCESS: The new Heathrow VIP lounge space was created by Helen Green Design to feel like a luxurious home away from home.
ON THE DRAWING BOARD We recently designed a new suite at The Berkeley hotel (the Crescent Suite). Then there are so many projects happening on the residential side – some luxury residential projects in London, and we are also in the midst of several other sizeable projects including a shooting lodge, country retreat, a barn conversion in the northwest and extensive family homes in Australia and Russia.
OUT NOW We were asked by Heathrow VIP to create a lounge space that feels like a luxurious home away from home but at the same time is very much in keeping with their target clients – first-class travellers who choose to bypass the conventional airport experience. The experience is seamless, so our careful consideration of the space had to be likewise. For guests using it prior to a departure or for a connecting flight, it not only had to be a comfortable living space for working
We are known for paying attention to scale and blending luxurious textures into our designs squaremile.com
and relaxing but also suitable for dining and even entertaining. We created a dining space befitting of a meal by Heathrow VIP’s Michelin-star chef Jason Atherton: a bespoke table crafted from dark oak, adorned with Helen Green Design Collection Dandy chairs, that comfortably seats four people with the option of an additional two diners. A palette of glamorous golds and deep blues is complemented by artwork from Tanya Baxter Contemporary, with pieces chosen having international appeal and adding depth.
scale and blending luxurious textures and fabrics into our designs. We are greatly influenced by art, travel and nature, but being a very creative team we often inspire and influence each other, pushing the boundaries in our design work and process.
IN THE MIX I would love to collaborate with superyacht designer Cantiere Delle Marche which makes the most exquisite explorer yachts.
AT THE PINNACLE IN YOUR SPACE I recently purchased a stunning de Castelli Celato side board. I love it as it combines beauty with practical function. The bronze finish wraps around the entire piece which was important as it sits in a bay window and the back of it is visible. We also invested in a David Yarrow photographic piece which I am a huge fan of and enjoy immensely.
FROM THE SOURCE Our design aesthetic can stem from the architecture of any specific project we are working on, ranging from the contemporary to very traditional Grade I listed in style. We are known for paying particular attention to
Design is an evolving process and our studio style is diverse and unique. That being said, I am incredibly proud of the recently completed Kensington penthouse project we’ve worked on. It has cleverly concealed storage in beautiful joinery units as well as a wonderful mix to the soft furnishings.
ON THE RADAR The autumn involves the international interior exhibitions which I always attend with our design studio. Decorex, PAD and Frieze Art Fair are a huge source of inspiration and exciting new designers. ■ For more info, see helengreendesign.com For more on Heathrow VIP, see heathrowvip.com
THE DARK SIDE It may be summer outside, but inside, winter is coming. Think black leather furniture and walls brooding with dark metallic finishes…
BACK TO BLACK Power dressing isn’t just returning to your wardrobe – it’s taking over your whole house. Interior design is embracing the dark side: decadent black leather chairs and rich monochrome wallpapers are the trick to pulling of this aesthetic. Just don’t add a spotlight, otherwise it becomes a little too Mastermind.
SEAT OF POWER Fritz Hansen’s Oksen Chair was initially created by functionalist design legend Arne Jacobsen and has been re-launched for 2017. Meaning ‘bull’ in Danish, the Oksen (from £7,400) has a more angular, sharper form than Jacobsen’s rounded original. Its commanding presence is all-powerful: think supervillain’s lair, the Batcave, or the White House. We’re sold. ■
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A DESIGN OF THE TIMES THE PENTHOUSE AT BLAKE TOWER
The final penthouse is truly exceptional, offering privacy and quite simply staggering views at one of London’s most remarkable landscapes. • Zone 1 location on London’s Square Mile • Spacious Penthouse keeping the original Barbican Heritage • Multiple Terraces on both floors • Stunning views across the City Skyline • Designed by Conran & Partners • Forthcoming Crossrail 2018 at Farringdon Station*
To book a viewing please call 0203 553 6227
www.blaketower.com The view from the penthouse at Blake Tower
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A WHOLE LOT OF HISTORY At the top end of London’s property market the homes aren’t just big, they often have impressive histories, too. From Maggie Thatcher’s old digs to Pink Floyd’s recording studio, JESSICA PHILLIPS takes us for a tour EGLON HOUSE, PRIMROSE HILL, NW1 Inspired by Pierre Chareau’s Maison de Verre in Paris, all 13,500 sq ft of Eglon House is a fresh incarnation of the 1932 House of Glass. Original furniture and the moulds for the famous glass blocks were sourced and repurposed to create its striking facades, while the exposed steel beams are a nod to the design decisions of the original architects. Behind the illusion lies a master bedroom suite with a private salon, two kitchens, a butler’s pantry, cinema room, swimming pool with a rising mechanical floor as well as an orangery with a private roof terrace. Starting out life as a series of stables and barns, it was transformed into a munitions manufacturer during the first world war, before becoming the HQ of Mayfair Recording Studios – both Pink Floyd and The Clash recorded tracks there. Good to know that if you choose to invest in Eglon, it can cater for field grazers as effortlessly as Grammy winners.
THROUGH THE GLASS: [Clockwise from here] Eglon House was once the HQ of Mayfair Recording Studios, where Pink Floyd and The Clash recorded tracks; Chester Square is the former home of Margaret Thatcher; the opulent Creswell Place is set out across five floors.
CRESWELL PLACE, CHELSEA, SW10 Forget five bedrooms, this Chelsea home spans across five floors. Cresswell House is situated in the heart of The Boltons conservation area – once the locale of choice for Jeffrey Archer, but don’t let that put you off. It is a combination of opulent design and optimum comfort. The period property comes with six reception rooms and seven bathrooms, plus a 15m swimming pool. Blow off some steam in the state-of-the-art gym or make some of your own in the sauna. There’s a landscaped southwest facing garden for enjoying some rays, while indoors there’s your own cinema room – just make sure you grab a bottle from the wine cellar before the film starts. £32.5m, knightfrank.co.uk; savills.co.uk
CHESTER SQUARE, BELGRAVIA, SW1W This was the home of Baroness Thatcher from 1991 to her death in 2013. If only the walls of this Grade II-listed property were a little more loquacious. Several features of the former PM’s habitation remain, such as including ➤
VIEW FROM THE TOP: [clockwise from here] Curzon Street is a four-bed duplex with two roof terraces; Grade II-listed Mansion House boasts a swimming pool and a spa among its many assets; Holford Road is a modern day masterpiece that retains its rustic charm.
➤ a bomb-proof steel-lined frontdoor as well as the original security glass to all windows facing the square. The Hopton stone flooring in the entrance hall is also the same as used in the Houses of Parliament. Apparently, the drawing room and library were Maggie’s favourite rooms in the house. The layout and design of the formal dining room and interlinking study on the ground floor has been reinstated exactly as Baroness Thatcher had it during her 22 years at the property, providing an impressive link to the building’s historical significance. But it’s not all stuck in the past: there’s a contemporary kitchen, media room, bar area, gym and 500-bottle temperature-controlled wine cellar. The layout of the dining room and the interlinking study has even been restored to resemble the design favoured by Thatcher – which may or may not be welcome, depending on your aesthetic and political persuasion.
cinema room, bar and walk-in wine room adds a hefty seasoning of modern indulgence. When you’re paying £36m, it’s only fair that you can grab all the best bits from the last couple of centuries. That means admiring the ornate gilt cupola and oak-panelled first-floor drawing room before hopping in the eightperson lift to enjoy rooftop views from Smith Square to the Houses of Parliament. £36m, knightfrank.co.uk; savills.co.uk
HOLFORD ROAD, HAMPSTEAD, NW3 Located on one of the most sought-after roads in Hampstead Village, this detached Victorian residence is only a few minutes from the Heath. Recently remodelled, it retains its rustic charm while featuring modern amenities. The master bedroom is located at the top of the house so you can wake up to panoramic views of the City. But if you don’t want to
MANSION HOUSE, WESTMINSTER, SW1P There’s something old, something new on offer at Mansion House on Cowley Street. The grand entrance hall, sweeping central staircase and 16-person dining room show off this Grade IIlisted building’s Georgian heritage. Meanwhile the spa, gym, 10m swimming pool, jacuzzi,
bring the office into the bedroom, there are plenty of other options: take one of the four reception rooms, for instance. If you ask us, the basement swimming pool is the place to be. The indoor leisure complex and the terrace which overlooks the landscaped garden run a close second and third. Gated off-street parking is also a practical feature, especially if you favour a high-end brand of car.
When you’re paying £36m, it’s only fair that you can grab all the best bits from the last couple of centuries
CURZON STREET, MAYFAIR, W1J An upside-down four-bedroom duplex, Curzon Street is perfectly balanced: offering two underground parking spaces and two roof terraces. With the bedrooms located on the lower floor, the top floor is reserved for the open-plan reception area, kitchen and wraparound terrace. It also comes with a gym as well as 24-hour porter. The floor-to-ceiling windows provide access to the landmark sights of the capital, including The Shard and The London Eye. But why just view it when you can be in the centre of it? You’ll be hardpressed to find a home as close to The Ritz without checking in. The leasehold might span approximately 986 years, but a location like this is timeless. £11.95m; savills.co.uk ■
WATERFRONT ONE OF THE BEST CONNECTED RIVERSIDE DESTINATIONS IN LONDON ROYAL ARSENAL WOOLWICH
CANARY WHARF 8 MINUTES*
LIVERPOOL STREET 14 MINUTES*
BOND STREET 22 MINUTES*
HEATHROW 50 MINUTES*
Royal Arsenal Riverside is an outstanding riverside location, with an ever expanding range of residents’ amenities. It is ideally situated for the forthcoming on-site Crossrail station and London City Airport, which is just 7 minutes away.
Call 020 3582 7789 to register your interest
Computer generated image is indicative only. Photography depicts Dial Arch Square at Royal Arsenal Riverside. 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
www.royalarsenalriverside.co.uk Proud to be a member of the Berkeley Group of companies
Manhattan, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments Prices from £442,500
Corner House, Sun House, The Barn, Skydeck and The Hide
Discover your hidden gem at Valentine Place A rare collection of beautifully crafted 3 bedroom Mews Houses in the heart of the capital, overlooking serene private gardens. If you are an existing home owner, Crest Nicholson’s Part Exchange* scheme can take the added stress of selling your current home off of your hands, removing any complicated chain delays with agency fees and guaranteeing you a cash buyer for your home. Ask the sales team for more details.
SE1 THE MEWS HOUSES
Mews Houses available from £2,149,995 Final few 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments from £699,995 Book your private appointment today: firstname.lastname@example.org 1-19 Valentine Place, London, SE1 8QH
Terms and conditions apply. Please speak to a Sales Advisor for more information on Part Exchange. Exterior and Show Home photography. Pricing correct on 07.07.17.
0203 437 0448
Win a feast for six people at Chinese Cricket Club
Get your diaries at the ready… SALON PRIVÉ
THE RIDE FOR HAMBO
Blenheim Palace, 31 August-2 September
Toulouse, 27-30 September 2017
It’s nearly here – the 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 a Season favourite.
The Ride for Hambo is a four-day charity cycle ride across the beautiful south of France. Along the 500km route from Toulouse you’ll be joined by a range of different rugby stars including World Cup winner Mike Tindall, as well as Austin Healey and Louis Deacon, ahead of your arrival in the coastal city of Marseille.
For more info: salonpriveconcours.com
For more info, see ourlegend.com
FIND YOUR SHANGRI-LA
GLOBAL CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Shangri-La Hotel London, all summer
Royal Hospital Chelsea, 4-6 August 2017
A new wellness offering called ‘Find your Shangri-La’ has launched at The Shard’s five-star hotel. It draws on fitness experts, mindfulness gurus and nutritionists, and has a calendar of wellness events including poolside yoga with Jessica Skye, and mindfulness sessions with Zen master, Michael James Wong.
This show-jumping spectacular will see World and European champions such as Great Britain’s Scott Brash, John Whitaker and Ben Maher – as well as some of the biggest international names in the sport – in action for the 12th leg of the prestigious 15-event show jumping series. Don those jodhpurs and saddle up.
For more info, see shangri-la.com
For more, see globalchampionsleague.com
E’VE TEAMED UP with the AA Rosette award-winning Chinese Cricket Club restaurant to offer you the chance to win a gourmet feast for six people, including half a bottle of Chinese wine per person. Chinese Cricket Club is located in the Grade II-listed building of Crowne Plaza London - The City hotel, directly opposite Blackfriars station. Founded in 2009, it has become one of the the City of London’s most distinguished Chinese restaurants. Exclusive to the restaurant is its signature dish, The Emperor’s Crispy Duck – the favourite of Emperor Qianlong. ■ To enter, go to squaremile.com. For more information, see chinesecricketclub.com
Go to squaremile.com/ competitions and answer a simple question. T&Cs can be found online.
+ TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION PLEASE CALL ON 020 7819 9999
WITH 300 HP, YOU BETTER HAVE A GREAT SADDLE.
The new Sea-Doo® performance line-up doesn’t just push the limits of what a watercraft can do, it pushes the limits of what you can do. The supercharged 300-hp Rotax® 1630 ACE™ engine* gives you all the power you need, while the revolutionary Ergolock™ system** allows you to lock into the machine for total control. No matter what you’re looking for, Sea-Doo now offers a choice of new performance watercrafts in a wide price range with the new GTR™ and GTR-X.®
sea-doo.com ©2017 Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP). All rights reserved. ™, ®, and the BRP logo are trademarks of BRP. BRP reserves the right to discontinue or modify product models, features or price at anytime. *300-hp engine: Only available on RXT®-X® 300 and RXP®-X 300. Performance number achieved under optimal testing conditions. **Ergolock System: Only available on RXT-X and RXP-X models. Not all riding conditions are appropriate for inexperienced or beginner riders. Always ride safely and responsibly.
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.
+ TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION PLEASE CALL 020 7819 9999
In a short period of time, Swedish Tusenö has become a brand to remember. Through a mix of exciting materials and an extraordinary attention to details, its pieces speak to both watch enthusiast and the style-conscious man. Featured here is one of its models from the ”First 42” series in rosé gold. Priced at approximately £315.
ANDREW & COLE
Andrew & Cole Ocean wear is a brand presenting a new way of comfort and style for men with its innovative lining without the net. This allows you to do summer activities all day! Visit andrew-cole. com for eye-catching and comfortable swimwear.
@tusenowatches W: tuseno.com
@andrewandcole W: andrew-cole.com
BUNDORAN 1966 TEE
“Tonn”, Irish for Wave, is an ethical, luxury Irish brand. Their designs are inspired by Ireland’s Wild Atlantic coast and Surf culture. All of their tees 100% organic cotton. Tonn have mixed vintage American athletic style with a natural Celtic flavour. Check out their latest styles @39.95/£35
@tonnsurf W: tonnsurf.com
With a unique “bowl” shaped design that allows the watch to sit lower and hug your wrist better than many mechanical watches, VERO Watches build, test, assemble, and warranty all watches in their workshop in Portland, Oregon USA. Built to last with 100% US case and dial production, Swiss movement, and French hands. Every watch comes with 3 straps and works great for any occasion. @verowatches VERO Watch Company
These vintage canvas duffle bags are available in tan, green and navy. They are just one of a verity of items Bugs Vintage have available ranging from traditional handmade razors, timeless men’s clothing and handmade leather goods.
@bugsvintage W: bugsvintage.com
Seeking: Single Eligible Gentlemen Bowes-Lyon Partnership is an exclusive London matchmaking agency. We offer a discreet and bespoke dating service for busy, successful and refined people. For a limited time, we are offering COMPLIMENTARY MEMBERSHIPS to eligible gentlemen, to introduce to our successful and attractive female members. Please call 0207 152 6011 or email email@example.com www.bowes-lyonpartnership.co.uk
As we forecasted it in our previous edition, the swimsuits of the Maison Hotin French Riviera hit worldwide and became the must have of this summer! The French Maison creates and mystifies incredible swimsuits, 100% Made In France, characterized by a high visual quality but also by the silver padlock, here to symbolize the chastity belt and to adorn each product. @hotinfrenchriviera W: hotin-frenchriviera.com
A premium vodka - KORPIMAAN KYYNEL® is making Finnish distilling heritage part of modern urban life. The name translates as ”tears of the wild forest” a euphemism for moonshine which was distilled for hundreds of years deep in the heart of the Finnish forest. The taste is smooth, the aroma is elegantly fresh yet malty with a hint of rye. Sip it alone or enjoy it with your favorite cocktail. W: korpimaankyynel.com @ korpimaan_kyynel
BEST JOB IN THE WORLD
Mr JWW: supercar lifestyle vlogger It’s a tough life, but someone has to be… a supercar vlogger. Meet Mr JWW: he drives fast cars for a living. Jealous much? see more on
T WASN’T A conscious decision to become
an influencer: it developed purely out of my love for cars and wanting to be more involved in the automotive world. I began filming my own adventures with interesting cars, and it turned out that people liked it.
I WOULD SAY my job isn’t as good as it looks – but actually it’s better. I think the biggest misconception is that it’s ‘easy’. In reality I’ve never worked so hard in my life to create regular content like this.
ONE OF MY most memorable moments was driving up the side of a volcano in a McLaren. That was incredibly special.
MY AIM FROM day one has always been to immerse people in the experience – it’s less about ‘look at me’ and more ‘let’s all go on this journey together’. If I could, I’d take every viewer in my passenger seat on all the epic trips I get to experience. I HAVE BEEN driving supercars since I was 23. I saved up a deposit for my first house, only instead of buying a house I blew the lot on an Audi R8. I don’t regret it a single bit: the Audi was the car that sowed the seed for where I am today.
BUILDING A CHANNEL is like building a brand – it takes a lot of time, passion and dedication. You need to understand your audience so you have to love what you do. ■ 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
Square Mile Magazine - Issue 125 - The Wealth Issue