£4 ISSUE 141 ISSN 1752-9956
SOLOMON HERCULES ATLAS ZEUS ACHILLES MERCURY
S H A Z A M !
AND… ZACHARY LEVI DUSTIN SNIPES
+ + PLUS // THE BONUS ISSUE // SANTINO LE SAINT // BEHIND THE SCENES AT CASINO DE MONTE-CARLO // THE BEST WATCHES FROM SIHH 2019
LO N D O N
Wempe, New Bond Street Watches of Switzerland, Oxford Street Watches of Switzerland, Knightsbridge Watches of Switzerland, Regent Street Harrods, Heathrow Airport, Terminal 2
MANCHESTER Ernest Jones, St Ann Street YORK
Chisholm Hunter, Princes Street
Chisholm Hunter, Argyll Arcade
EDITOR’S WORD T
HERE WAS A time when bankers’ bonuses were as
indefensible as Kim Jong-un’s human rights record or Donald Trump’s immigration policy – or either of their hair styles. Whispering even a word of bonus justification would be enough to get you lynched or at least heckled. It’s easy to understand why after the credit crunch saga. Someone had to take the fall: casino bankers were the villains; high-stakes risk their vice; bonuses their ill-gotten gains. But has the resulting compensation capping actually made any difference? Or even worsened the situation? If we compare European banks to their American counterparts, you have to wonder. On this side of the Atlantic, where bonuses have been restricted, results are weaker, mistakes more frequent, and regulatory fines unremitting. Meanwhile, across the Pond, the American banks – still relatively unshackled in the incentive department – continue to attract much of the international top talent, and their results follow suit. Ultimately, shareholders don’t mind paying top dollar, as long as the share price keeps pace. As we go to press, every day a new report is issued with warnings – Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, UBS, and RBS have all murmured that employees should not exactly get excited this year. Experts are predicting that staff at European banks will take home a bonus roughly 5%-10% smaller than their US counterparts – and in the worst cases 20% less. Whether or not bonus capping will be scrapped in the UK after Brexit is still to be determined. One thing is for certain, the international war for talent will continue to rage regardless of what decision is made on home shores. In our annual ‘Bonus Issue’, we’ve tried to make sure there’s a range of price brackets for you to indulge in – whether you flatlined or blew the lights out. Or, you could make like Max Williams and head to Monte Carlo Casino (p104). What’s the worst that could happen? Oh yeah… ■
Mark Hedley, Editor, @mghedley
square mile is proud to partner with Help for Heroes, the charity for military veterans wounded while serving in the British Armed Forces.
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I COULD MAKE FRIENDS REAL FAST, AND I COULD LOSE THEM EVEN FASTER, BECAUSE I JUST WOULDN’T SHUT UP – Zachary Levi, p76
square mile ISSUE 141
@SQUAREMILE_COM @SQUAREMILEUK @SQUAREMILE_COM LAST MONTH, ON OUR INSTAGRAM…
The Alfa Romeo Giulia TZ – only 112 were built of the first generation. They’re even rarer in yellow. The lightweight coupé only weighed 650 kg and had a top speed of 134mph – fast for its day. Photo by @motor_watch.
Bang bang! Congratulations to @dualipa on her double whammy at the #grammys – winning Best New Artist, and Best Dance Recording for ‘Electricity’, her song with Mark Ronson and Diplo. Thoroughly deserved. #dualipa
@harrywinston’s eye for the avant-garde has led to a host of ambitious watch designs over the years, each piece standing apart from usual Swiss watchmaking. The Project Z11 is no different. Photo by @harrysawthis.
The car we’re most excited to drive this year? The @astonmartinlagonda Valkyrie. The name alone is awesome. Then consider the 1,130hp; the 10,500 rpm red line; and then there are THOSE doors...! #astonmartinvalkyrie
follow us @SQUAREMILE_COM
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Darren Kennedy SUB EDITOR
Vicky Smith CONTRIBUTORS
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Square Up Media is a Square Up Group company © Square Up Media Limited 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Square Up Media cannot accept responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Square Up Media a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine. All material is sent at your own risk and although every care is taken, neither Square Up Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be held liable resulting for loss or damage. Square Up Media endeavours to respect the intellectual property of the owners of copyrighted material reproduced herein. If you identify yourself as the copyright holder of material we have wrongly attributed, please contact the office. square mile uses paper from sustainable sources
Elegance is an attitude
Aksel Lund Svindal
FEATURES 066 . STAR BOY Meet musician Santino Le Saint, the South Londoner with his eyes firmly focused on nothing less than global superstardom. He tells us how he intends to achieve it without compromising his artistic integrity.
072 . MOTOR HEAD
076 . ZACHARY LEVI
As the actor prepares to hit our screens as an all-out superhero in Shazam!, he talks about his experiences in overcoming personal challenges, and what he believes true male strength really means.
018 . THE EXCHANGE 023 . ART WORK 025 . POLITICS 026 . INTRODUCING…
EXPOSURE 033 . THE COLLECTION 038 . SHARP NOTES 040 . COMPETITION 042 . STYLE 048 . SIHH: BEST IN SHOW 052 . SIHH: EVERY DAY 056 . SIHH: INDEPENDENT 059 . SIHH: INNOVATION
098 . JAGUAR E-TYPE 102 . MERCEDES G CLASS 104 . MONTE CARLO
ASSETS 112 . MEXICO 122 . FOOD & DRINK 127 . GOLF: THE MASTERS 130 . GOLF: EQUIPMENT
HOLDINGS 135 . INTERIORS 137 . UK PROPERTY 139 . OVERSEAS
END PLAY SPECIAL
090 . BONUS BUSTERS
143 . EVENTS 146 . PHOTO PRIZE
NEWSLETTER If you enjoy square mile, then you’ll definitely be a fan of our bi-weekly newsletters. As well as great stories, they include news on our exclusive reader events. SIGN UP AT:
PHOTOGRAPH (Levi) by Dustin Snipes
The once straightforward world of classic car collecting has been through a transformative period, and it’s now less simple to purchase vehicles with guaranteed returns. John Mayhead offers advice on how best to buy.
170 New Bond Street 020 3967 3730
THE EXCHANGE ART WORK POLITICS WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW
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018 023 025 026
FOCUS YOUR GAZE . 023
ART WORK: by Lita Cabellut, operagallery.com
SQUARE MILE 101 WORDS Saul Wordsworth
#15 HOW TO INTERVIEW FOR A NEW JOB
▽ 1. CONJURE images of success (eg gold medallions, those grills rappers wear, etc). 2. Perform last-minute research (company name/number of fatalities 2015-18). 3. Breathe deeply prior to entry (also applicable in the bedroom). 4. Once entry has been successfully achieved, shake hands and hold eye contact (also applicable in the bedroom). 5. Distribute gifts to all present. 6. Perform brief magic trick. 7. Sit directly opposite interviewer and mimic body language (if they leap from an open window ensure you do same).
WISE GUIDES WORDS Victoria Smith
LONDON’S BEST HOTEL BARS
8. Crack a joke, smile, fart, rib, egg a window to relax those in the room. 9. Listen carefully to questions and respond in a similar language. 10. Display enthusiasm for role by frothing at the mouth and offering up French kisses. 11. When negotiating salary go in high (smoke two joints beforehand). 12. Where appropriate ask questions. (How did you grow so tall?/ What are you doing later?) 13. Never lie, except when cornered. 14. Wear minimal layers to avoid sweating. In event of sweat explain you have rabies. 15. When asked about greatest strengths lift a table. For personal weaknesses offer up a screenshot of ingrowing toenails. 16. Dress smartly but with a hint of cash protruding from jacket for bribing purposes (not so obvious it can’t be denied). 17. Request short communal prayer. 18. Bow. Pass wind. Moonwalk out. 19. The job is yours. Congratulations. ■
ARTESIAN AT THE LANGHAM
3,800 TOTAL MHP
£6.3m PLUS TAX
▷ This opulent spot has achieved iconic status thanks to being regularly named among the best bars in the world. The cocktail list features the award-winning team’s take on the classics: think a Pornstar martini made with passion fruit kombucha, or an old fashioned with a chamomile twist, courtesy of head bartender Remy Savage (formerly of acclaimed Paris bar Little Red Door). For an example of how seriously Artesian takes its cocktails, look no further than the ice – which is produced using the very latest technology, and therefore lasts longer than your standard, puny ice. For more info, see artesian-bar.co.uk
PHOTOGRAPH by ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy
T H E EX CH A N G E
BONUS BUS TER
PRINCESS X95 ‘SUPERFLY’, £6.3M WORDS Ben Winstanley
▷ Princess may be the UK’s largest yacht manufacturer, but that hasn’t stopped it from going back to the drawing board when it comes to the design of its luxury fleet. Together with
PUNCH ROOM AT LONDON EDITION
▷ It’s reservations only at this modern reincarnation of a 19th-century private club, so expect an atmosphere that’s refined and intimate in a grown-up setting with wood-panelled walls. And to drink? The clue’s in the name, stupid – 30 punches to choose from, including the gin-infused signature ‘Edition’, which packs quite the, erm, punch. (Anthony Joshua would be proud.) Menu ‘The Five: Volume II’ traces the history of boozy punch in the form of five ‘chapters’ of cocktails, with quirky illustrations. This is one book you probably don’t want to finish in one sitting. For more info, see editionhotels.com
legendary Italian styling house Pininfarina (best known for its work with Ferrari) it has torn up the rulebook and looked to reimagine the traditional blueprint of yacht construction. The result is the X95, the first in the yacht builder’s new X class, which brings
and adaptable living space in its own right. This ‘Super Flybridge’ and the main deck below both span nearly the entire length of the yacht, creating seamless sweeping spaces that are perfect for entertaining and stretch to 22m and 18m respectively.
open-plan living and elegant architecture to the forefront. The superyacht’s layout provides 10% more outdoor space and 40% more indoor space than a traditional motor yacht – something that has been achieved by reimagining the concept of a flybridge as a large
The added room gives new owners the possibility of introducing a cinema lounge to the deck, or just stick with a more classic stateroom layout. The beauty of the X class is the choice is yours. ■ For more information,
WAESKA BAR AT THE MANDRAKE
▷ In a hotel whose signature style is eclectic elegance, it’s no surprise that this beautifully eccentric and wonderfully surreal place makes a statement with its decor. And when we say statement, what we mean is a huge gazelle skeleton adorned with peacock feathers suspended above the bar. Drinks take a turn for the botanical, with fabulous, seasonal serves created using small-batch spirits. We’d recommend the Skullcup: 15-year-old Dalmore, aquavit, Aztec berry cordial, Skullcap tea, and tonka (it’s a type of bean). Order it for the name, drink it for the taste. Then have another. ■ For more info, see themandrake.com
ADAM LEWENHAUPT, FOUNDER, CQP
▽ I SPENT my first few years after university
as an analyst for Goldman Sachs’ M&A department in London. While I knew quite early on I probably wouldn’t last a lifetime, it was a great experience. Being part of a truly elite institution was inspiring and challenging for a competitive person like myself and I learned the importance of attention to detail. I left Goldman Sachs after three years and went on to jobs in investing and advisory for a few years to come. I then decided to follow my passions and create something that I truly felt strongly for – in my case, sneakers. I could see a gap in the market for a ‘hybrid’ product intersecting formal and casual. That was five years ago, and I believe the venture would have been a failure without the experience I had gained from working with early stage companies. I knew at least some of the pitfalls and could avoid them, and I could also keep track of the numbers pretty well. One thing I have realised is how it easy it is, as an investor or advisor, to give out views on how someone should run a business, and how extremely difficult it is to be an entrepreneur and actually do the running. ■
ESC APE ARTIS T
For more info, see c-qp.com
WIN TWO PAIRS OF SHOES, WORTH £500 IN TOTAL, FROM INNOVATIVE FOOTWEAR BRAND SONS OF LONDON ▷ Sons of London has drawn our eye ever since it burst onto the scene in early 2016. Here was a luxury shoe brand claiming to offer artisan-quality footwear at half the price of the big labels we know and love; a bold strategy if ever there was one. We’ll admit, we were sceptics at first, but these days we’re fully fledged converts – and proud owners of several pairs of Sons, from leather boots to
goat-suede brogues. SoL’s concept revolves around a direct-to-consumer business model that cuts out the costs of traditional luxury retail (the likes of a Mayfair bricks-and-mortar store and elaborate marketing campaigns), and instead focuses on selling its shoes online
to its burgeoning fans. All of its shoes are made in a secondgeneration, familyowned factory in Italy with each pair emphasising comfort and hardiness. Fancy a pair or two? All you have to do is win this competition. ■ For more info, see
Go to squaremile.com/ competition and answer a simple question. T&Cs can be found online.
T H E A L L- N E W P R I N C E S S R 3 5 E X P E R I E N C E T H E E X C E P T I O N A LÂ®
P R I N C E S S YAC H T S . C O M
RED ALERT ART BY LITA CABELLUT
PERFECT POISE While this beautiful painting is a riot of colour and texture, the expression on the subject’s face tells another story, with her motionless glare intended to reflect the burden of life. The stunning piece, called ‘Al Aqrab’, is by Lita Cabellut, and it joins 21 other portraits by the artist in Transformation, an exhibition of her latest works at Opera Gallery. Cabellut is the thirdhighest selling artist in her native Spain, and celebrated for her impressive largescale paintings that transport the viewer into her world. ■ From 14-30 March at Opera Gallery, 134 Bond Street, W1S 2TF
PAINTING by Lita Cabellut
Spring Collection New
Visit us online at: www.hawesandcurtis.co.uk Jermyn St | Oxford St | London Wall | Cannon St | The Shard | Old Broad St
GROUP MENTALITY Don’t ignore May’s European Parliament election, because the new MEPs could have a direct impact on the Square Mile’s licence to operate, says IAIN ANDERSON
MORE ELECTIONS AHEAD – this time it’s the European Parliament. Who cares you might say? Certainly that has been the attitude of most people in the UK for decades before the Brexit vote when – on average – barely a third of people voted. But from 23 to 26 May this year, 27 EU states are set to elect 705 MEPs, and those new MEPs will make laws that don’t just affect ongoing EU members – they will continue to have a direct impact on the Square Mile’s licence to operate. Isn’t that what we have been arguing about for the last three years? So it’s worth keeping an eye on what happens. And hang onto your frayed political hats as there is set to be more seismic change. Current MEPs are about to hang up their own hats or prepare to stand again. My sources in Brussels have said they expect one third of incoming MEPs to be new to the parliament. This will mean a substantial change on the ground even though current polls do not predict drastic changes to the
declining size. Macron’s support would lend them an extra 19 MEPs. The fringe and more extreme groups – some of who want to erode Brussels’ power significantly – will grow larger to around 30% of the total seats instead of 20%. In particular watch out for the Europe of Nations and Freedom group, anchored by Marine Le Pen’s Front Nationale in France and Matteo Salvini’s League in Italy. Both are projected to make sizable gains – bringing their overall presence in parliament from 5% to around 8%. The populist Europe of Freedom and Democracy group could also make big gains if there are strong showings by the noisiest domestic challenger to Merkel – Alternative for Germany (AfD) – and the Five Star Movement in Italy. All this means that the smaller groups will have greater power to disrupt ordinary parliamentary activities and the EU Commissions-planned legislative pipeline. However, these likely larger blocs will need to work with other groups to
❱❱ IN PARTICULAR, WATCH OUT FOR THE EUROPE OF NATIONS AND FREEDOM GROUP, ANCHORED BY MARINE LE PEN’S FRONT NATIONALE
PHOTOGRAPH by Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images
dynamics of the political groups. The two biggest groups in the current parliament – the centre-right European People’s Party [EPP] and the leftist Socialists and Democrats [S&D] – are set to be much less powerful, but they are still polling as the two largest groups. The Liberals [ALDE] – even without the potential for Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche joining – are predicted to remain the third largest group, and relatively more important given EPP and S&D’s
have any lasting impact. Organising these fringe groups will prove difficult as they are characterised by some personalities who don’t like to be herded. They could bid, using the EP’s point system for determining rapporteurs, to seriously disrupt proceedings. The rapporteurs are the powerful figures that marshall legislative activity and produce key reports as well as controlling or disrupting parliamentary activities in areas that they consider priorities.
By cooperating with other groups that may have overlapping Eurosceptic tendencies such as the ECR [the group UK Conservatives helped to form and should continue after the Tories leave the EP] and even sections of the EPP, they may change outcomes in committee or plenary votes. The biggest factor in changing the relative strength of the groups will in fact be Brexit, which – as I write – will deprive the S&D and the ECR Groups of those UK Labour and Conservative MEPs respectively. However, there is still significant uncertainty about the final group dynamics and a lot of moving parts. Polling mostly assumes the current groups will remain, however there are major questions around almost all the groups, but especially liberals [ALDE] and the group the UK Conservatives formed – the ECR. Marcon’s En Marche, Di Maio’s Five Star Movement, a number of left/ socialist parties in Eastern Europe, and the 37 MEPs from new parties are the real potential game-changers and would give a boost to the group they decide to join. Overall, let’s expect to see many new faces and watch out for the formation of liberal/pro-European grouping and a highly nationalist/Eurosceptic grouping – potentially in negotiations post-elections. ■
W H Y YO U S H O U L D K N O W…
HARRY MEAD Does London need another private members’ club? The Court certainly offers a convincing argument. MAX WILLIAMS sits down with its founder Harry Mead
HARRY MEAD HAS founded The Court, a new private members’ club on the site of legendary music venue the Bag O’Nails in Soho. We visited Mead at the club ahead of its opening to discuss how the young entrepreneur turned his dream into reality. What inspired you to found The Court? I thought, wouldn’t it be lovely to try and bring back one of the bars of old: Rick’s from Casablanca or the Copacabana? Do something a bit interesting. When we found the Bag O’Nails, it just seemed right. This is a place dripping in musical history. This is where Paul McCartney met his wife Linda. This is where Hendrix first performed in the UK. It’s one of the top music venues in town – and to be able to fill it with the food of Tom Sellers, the drinks of Mr Lyan, the flourish of Nikki
Define the Court experience...? It’s a tricky one, but I think the closest thing is that it’s everything to everyone. For me, it’s a place that does whatever you want it to. It’s got amazing food, it’s got amazing drink, it’s got live music, it’s got beautiful art, but it’s not about any one part of that – it’s whatever you’re in the mood for on a particular evening. What makes a Court member? The way I describe our membership profile is ‘dinner party guests’. Those people who you actually want to be sat round a table with. Our membership profile is decent people. They can tell a good story, they’re
❱❱ I WANTED THE COURT TO FEEL LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF A NOVEL. IT’S A TIMELESS ROOM WHERE YOU CAN JUST SIT AND ENJOY YOURSELF
Tibbles, and the art of Bradley Theodore seems like a match made in heaven.
good company, and they know how to treat other people well.
Did any past establishments inspire you when designing The Court? I wanted The Court to feel like something out of a novel. Something that’s a bit out of time, like that Owen Wilson movie Midnight in Paris, when the clock strikes midnight and suddenly you’re transported back to the 1920s. It’s a timeless room where you can just sit and enjoy yourself.
What can Court members expect? Court members can expect live music every night from 7-11pm, some of the best food in town, drinks by the inimitable Mr Lyan – you’d expect nothing less. I’ll be hosting every night, something that used to be par for the course for owners of venues of old but for some reason or another has fallen off the radar.
They can also expect surprise acts on stage – we’ve got incredibly talented performers, incredible comedians and artists of all different mediums coming down and wanting to get on stage. It’s not something we’ll ever advertise – I love the idea it could be anyone at any time up there. Do you think the market has become oversaturated for members’ clubs? I think every private members’ club in London does something different, and does it incredibly well, and what they do caters to their particular audience. That’s one of the lovely things about London – no matter what you want, there is a place for you. The Court, for me, is a place for people who want a little bit of everything but at different times. It’s a place designed to be greater than the sum of its parts. Where do you see the club in five years? Very simply put, I hope it’s a place that people know is good for a good time. The venues of the past, these are places that existed before smartphones, before social media. You weren’t able to get in touch with your friends and say ‘meet me at X’. You had to know that X would be great, that the room would be full of fantastic people; you had to know the entertainment would be sensational night in, night out. Is there one single feature of The Court that you’re particularly proud of? [Smiling] I’m proud that there’s no single feature that I’m particularly proud of. ■ 9 Kingly Street, W1B 5PN; thecourt.co.uk
CAMDEN | MUSHROOM SUEDE | UNLINED
BY APPOINTMENT TO HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES MANUFACTURER AND SUPPLIER OF FOOTWEAR CROCKETT & JONES LIMITED, NORTHAMPTON
WWW.CROCKETTANDJONES.COM/TASSEL-LESS-LOAFER MADE IN NORTHAMPTON, ENGLAND | SINCE 1879
THE COLLECTION SHARP NOTES COMPETITION STYLE
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033 038 040 042
ONE FOR THE ROAD . 038
AT FULL STRETCH: BOSS Stretch Tailoring is engineered for maximum wearing comfort while maintaining the brand’s signature sharp silhouette. Each piece is cut from pure wool, woven in a spring-like structure, and lined with stretch fabric to ensure both layers respond to the movements of the body. hugoboss.com
HEAVY DUTY ANTHONY JOSHUA, the face of BOSS Stretch Tailoring Collection, on why making a mistake is not an option
NIFIED HEAVYWEIGHT WORLD champion Anthony Joshua is the face of BOSS Stretch Tailoring for SS19 – a collection of suits, shirts and jackets that flex with the movements of the body. We caught up with him for a brief chat ahead of training for his fight with Jarrell Miller this summer.
HOW DO YOU FOCUS ON THE TASK AHEAD? I clear my mind by taking myself away – I remove myself from the luxuries and comforts I have at home and I go to a place where I can focus, away from the day-to-day distractions. That’s what we call “going into training camp”.
DO YOU VISUALISE YOURSELF WINNING? Yes, but I also visualise myself losing. You weigh it up and you realise that winning seems a much better reality. So I try and focus on all of my opponent’s negatives and how I can beat them. I train to win – that’s always the objective. I’ve worked too hard to make any mistakes. I know my family are watching, my coach is depending on me to do well. He’s put in years, not just months of work.
IS BOXING MORE ABOUT INSTINCT OR STRATEGY? Boxing is both instinct and strategy, but at times your instinct can lead in the ring – listening to your gut instinct is a deciding factor in taking part in the first place
DOES PHYSICAL OR MENTAL STRENGTH MATTER MORE? For me mental strength matters more. You can line up 50 guys, some big, some small, some wide, some thin and ultimately their success in combat can come down to how much they want it and how much they are willing to take. Mental strength builds courage – physical strength is not the main factor. ■ Anthony Joshua is the face of BOSS Stretch Tailoring
see more on
Collection. See more at hugoboss.com
OLIVER BROWN C H E L S E A MORNINGWEAR
E N G L A N D
COUNTRY & SHOOTING
An Oliver Brown Bespoke Flannel Suit, made from 12oz wool / cashmere blend worsted
75 LOWER SLOANE STREET, CHELSEA, LONDON WWW.OLIVERBROWN.ORG.UK
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HERE COMES THE HOT STEPPER Entrepreneur and former-City worker Sepand Oboudiyat set up Sons of London after feeling frustrated when looking for quality shoes at reasonable prices, but even he couldn’t have predicted that three years later his company would be sitting on 100% yearon-year growth, with whispers of industry heavyweights queueing up to invest in the flourishing brand.
IF THE SHOE FITS Sons of London shoes come in a host of colours, from navy to oxblood, and eight style options, including the double monks, oxfords and brogues pictured here. A limited-edition programme, offered exclusively to existing customers and newsletter subscribers, provides the chance to own a unique pair of Sons made to order. Shoes from £195. For more info, see
SHOES SONS OF LONDON
PHOTOGRAPH by David Harrison
SWELL FOR LEATHER Sons of London carved out a niche for high quality yet affordable footwear when it launched in 2016. Three years later, it has grown into one of the shoe brands of choice for the City’s most stylish men squaremile.com
TAILORING HENRY POOLE
SPRING FORWARD SIMON CUNDEY of legendary Savile Row tailor Henry Poole on the perfect suit for spring squaremile.com
A MATERIAL WORLD see more on
Tropical fine worsted wools with a fine fresco weave offer superb breathability through the fabric. They’re a blessing for businessmen in suits in hot, humid situations. There are around 3,000 fabric choices at Henry Poole so there’s sure to be something to suit you.
A FINE YARN The technology of mixing yarns has come a long way in the last 20 years. Forget traditional 14oz pure linens, and instead opt for blends of linen, silk and wool to create super-light 6oz/7oz finishes. These, combined with a half lining, are a great option for a spring suit.
GET THE LOOK: This Henry Poole blazer is made from tropical worsted wool. The pattern is a Prince of Wales check with a fine blue overcheck. A pure bespoke two-piece suit from Henry Poole costs £4,340+VAT. For more info, see henrypoole.com
SHARP NOTES Model REIN LANEGVELD is the face of Montblanc’s adventurous new fragrance, Explorer. Here he reveals what’s on his travel agenda, as well as his style list
ON MY WRIST I like a vintage Rolex. They just have that status – everyone wears a Rolex. My day-to-day watch is an Enicar Star Jewels. Other watches I like include the Patek Philippe Nautilus and the Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso.
IN MY SIGHTS I am looking at ‘Egret in Rain’, a Japanese woodblock print published in 1928 by Ohara Koson. It shows a little egret (big bird) bent over as if to protect himself from a heavy downpour, his pure white form silhouetted against a jet-black sky. Also, I wouldn’t mind a daring purple Paul Smith suit.
IN MY WARDROBE My favourite items are a dark green suede Belstaff jacket – it’s classy, rich and functional – a shiny green kung fu shawl/sash that is so long you can wrap it ten times around, and custom shirts from ShirtByHand. I love loose shirts when I’m sailing; I’m a fan of that beautiful marina style. My kids do not always agree: what I find daring, they find too goofy.
ON MY TRAVELS Frescobol. It’s a beach tennis set, but a really professional, good one, and I always take it on holiday. Clothing-wise, in my bag there are a few comfy sporty things, and a few formal dressy things. But the Frescobol, always.
ON MY RADAR Parley, an organisation dedicated to raising global awareness of our environment, especially the ocean. They partner up with all kinds of organisations to clean up and innovate new ways of sustaining a global pursuit of happiness. I am waiting for their call and would love to get involved with them. Also, Vollebak: a brand that creates exciting garments using science and technology. It makes the future of clothing happen faster.
IN MY PAST It’s really bizarre – I bought my first snowboard when I was 15. It was my first time skiing, my first time to the snow, I bought a snowboard and I lost it. But where? How can you lose a snowboard? It’s bizarre! I put it in my room, and then one day it was gone.
IN MY DREAMS
ON MY AGENDA
IN MY FUTURE
That’s an interesting question. Maybe the National Portrait Gallery, I’ve never been there and I would like to see that. Otherwise I like exploring a city not knowing what to expect. Even though when I go with my wife to a city, I always say, ‘why aren’t we doing this? Let’s visit a museum, go there, make a plan!’
Something where I am going to discover more of the world. For instance, [British explorer] Levison Wood sparked something in me, because what he’s done is exactly what I want to do. Products can be vehicles to tell a story about the world – I would definitely like to do a travel campaign with Montblanc.
That’s such a relative question – if I had £20m what would I do? Or £300bn? If I had £300bn, I would definitely try and make sure everyone had their basic needs, so nobody needed to fight for their water.
ON MY BUCKET LIST
I bought a snowboard and I lost it. But where? How can you lose a snowboard? It’s bizarre! squaremile.com
I would like to have a multiple orgasm. Women can have multiple types of orgasms. We as men; we have this outside thing, and it lasts three seconds! Sexual energy is a very strong medicine for our bodies. There is a way of extending my sex energy, and this is definitely on my bucket list. ■ Rein Lanegveld is the new face of Montblanc Explorer [pictured above], available now at The Perfume Shop.
WIN ALL OF THIS
This is your chance to win a £6,600 wardrobe upgrade. Some of Britain’s top labels have offered up their finest wares to our annual mega competition
PHOTOGRAPH by publinc larit em potinium vid ces blah
Go to squaremile.com/competition to find out about the prizes and to enter. T&Cs online.
THE PRIZES:  Gieves & Hawkes made-to-measure suit; [2+3] New & Lingwood silk scarf, tie and pocket square;  Turnbull & Asser cotton shirt;  Creed Aventus EDP;  Ettinger billfold wallet;  Christopher Ward C65 Trident Automatic watch;  New & Lingwood socks;  Aspinal of London
Aerodrome by David Gandy bag;  Deakin & Francis Copper Winter Haze cufflinks;  Cutler & Gross 1310-04 gunmetal sunglasses;  Purdey Mayfair raincoat;  Hackett suede bomber jacket;  Lock & Co Haydock trilby;  Crockett & Jones Islay boots;  Vocier Avant carry-on case.
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It’s not just the weather that’s getting brighter – this Spring is all about embracing fluoro hues, and the bolder the better, says Mr Porter’s CHRIS ELVIDGE
F YOU’RE LOOKING to dress in a way that gets you noticed, you could do worse than to throw on a high-vis jacket. After all, the whole point of these garments is that they’re hard to miss. But what if your reasons for wanting to stand out from the crowd are rooted in style, rather than health and safety? We’re happy to report that you’re in luck. Over the last couple of seasons, fashion designers have been cottoning on to the benefits of high-vis materials, incorporating fluorescent hues and reflective stripes into their clothing to retina-searing effect. As I type, a highlighter-yellow suit from Acne Studios has just arrived on Mr Porter, joining a range of equally vibrant garments and accessories from brands such as Off-White, Balenciaga and Palm Angels. Indeed, we’re experiencing such an influx of fluorescence we’ve nominated it as one of this season’s key trends. So, what’s it all about? It’s partly an evolution of the workwear trend, high-vis materials of course being associated with firemen, construction workers and so on, but like most modern trends it’s also being driven by Instagram and the behavioural shift brought about by the e-commerce revolution. As consumers do more of their shopping online, browsing on tablets and phones instead of sifting through rails, designers are under pressure to find new ways of ensuring that their own clothes jump out from the screen. And while some of the more extreme examples of this trend are not for the faint of heart – Acne Studios’ aforementioned suit being a case in point – it’s far more accessible than might at first seem apparent. Just use these big, bold colours as an accent, as we’ve done here with this fluorescent yellow hoodie from Pop Trading Company, and you’re sure to turn heads for the right reasons. ■ 042
GET THE LOOK: Helmut Lang denim trucker jacket, £390 Pop Trading Company Big P printed hoodie, £90 Albam striped cottonjersey T-shirt, £55 Versace Taylor slim-fit denim jeans, £460 Sun Buddies Greta square-frame sunglasses, £120 All from mrporter.com
THE ULTIMATE NIGHT-READING GMT WATCH FOR JET-SET TING EXPLOR ATION. Two-color bezel. Three time zones. Endless discovery. The Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II features a beautifully curved rotating GMT bezel illuminated by micro gas lights. Along with extreme luminosity on the dial, the timepiece tracks three time zones, while the patented folding buckle withstands up to 1,400 newtons of force. It’s ready to handle all the demands of global exploration.
TO BE YOURSELF
ENGINEER HYDROCARBON AEROGMT II COSC-certiﬁed caliber Curved rotating bezel Revolutionary micro gas lights Crown protection system
www.ballwatch.com BALL Watch UK Ltd. Tel. 0800 098 89 98
First Class Watches / James Moore & Co. Kenilworth | David Rodger Sharp Henley-on-Thames | Hooper Bolton Fine Jewellery Cheltenham Joseph Welch Jewellers Wellington | Peter George Banks Jewellers Kendal | S.T. Hopper Boston
SUITED AND BOOTED BOSS has continued its support of sporting excellence by becoming Tottenham Hotspur FCâ€™s Official Formalwear Supplier. Now you can benefit from the same Create Your Look line as the Spurs team
CREATE YOUR LOOK:  Slim-fit black jacket with slim-leg navy trousers;  slim-fit waistcoat in grey with extra-slim trousers in black regular-fit;  navy jacket with straight-leg trousers in black. See the whole line at hugoboss. com/uk/boss-mensuits-create-your-look
PA R T N E R S H I P
HERE’S A REASON fashion labels like to
associate themselves with sports teams. Sure, there’s the glamour and the glory of being linked with some of the best sportsmen in the world – that’s a given. But it’s also a highly effective display of versatility. If you can dress a short stocky defender in the same suit as a tall lanky attacker and make them both look good, then you’re on to something. This was the challenge BOSS embraced when it partnered with Tottenham Hotspur FC to become the club’s Official Formalwear Supplier. To cope with the diverse body shapes and styles of the first-team squad, BOSS chose to use its Create Your Look line in order to offer as wide a range of sizes and cuts as possible (without the option or time to go fully bespoke for each player). With the Create Your Look line, jacket, trousers and waistcoats are available as separates, enabling the athletes to select their preferred sizes and fits to create a suit that is an ideal match for their physique. For example, if one prefers slim-fit trousers, but a regular-fit jacket, that’s not an issue. Or if they have thighs as thick as a tree trunk but still want a contemporary silhouette, then they can
To cope with the diverse body shapes and styles of the first-team squad, BOSS selected its Create Your Look line 1
go slim on top and straight leg on the bottom. The Tottenham players’ only restriction is the colour: dark blue suits perfected with a crisp navy cotton shirt and a pure silk navy tie. The team look is finished with black leather derby shoes and belt – both made in Italy.
TIME TO MIX IT UP Of course, unless you’re planning to get the call up from Mauricio Pochettino any day soon, then you don’t need to follow suit (if you’ll excuse the pun). With the Create Your Look collection you can mix and match not only the styles but also the colours of your separate items. BOSS has engineered the dying process to ensure a 100% colour match when buying your suiting separately, eliminating the need to purchase a full suit in one go. That means you can come back and pick up the matching grey trousers to the blazer at a later date – or go for a contrasting colour in the range. Regardless of what you opt for, the suits are crafted from lightweight innovative 100% virgin wool, woven with natural stretch for freedom of movement and maximum comfort. This also results in crease resistance, making them a great option for business travel. For a more summery look you can also select between a natural or light blue linen suits. Of course, you can choose to pair the light blue jacket with a pair of natural trousers. Or vice versa. With the Create Your Look line, the choice is very much yours.
A GOOD SPORT BOSS has a long and distinguished history of sporting partnerships over the years – including activities across football, golf, motorsports, and sailing. As one of the leading
OFFER square mile readers can exclusively enjoy complimentary alterations when purchasing a Create Your Look suit in BOSS Stores at One New Change or Eldon Street. Quote ‘Square Mile’ at the point of purchase. The offer is only valid when purchasing a Create Your Look suit (jacket and trousers to be purchased in one transaction to qualify) in participating stores between 4 March and 1 April. The offer is not valid in conjunction with any other promotion.
PARTICIPATING STORES ++ BOSS Store, Unit 18, One New Change, 40 Cheapside, EC2V 6AH ++ BOSS Store, 18-19 Eldon St, EC2M 7LA
football clubs in Europe, Tottenham Hotspur FC is a natural fit for the brand. Stephan Born, Managing Director of HUGO BOSS Northern Europe, Middle East & India explains further: “Tottenham Hotspur shares our core brand values of innovation, excellence and success, and this partnership strengthens our long-standing connection with the world of football as part of our global sports sponsorship programme.” Whether or not you’re a Spurs fan, there’s no denying the Create Your Look line is a sartorial game changer. ■ Prices for trousers start from £139; waistcoats from £169; jackets from £359. The ‘Create Your Look’ collection is available now in BOSS stores globally and online at boss.com
PHOTOGRAPH: A close-up of the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar movement
SIHH SHOW STEALER
BEST IN SHOW Vacheron Constantin’s Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar won our hearts at this year’s Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie thanks to a revolutionary new movement
T’S NOT EVERY watch expo that you come away feeling like you’ve seen a game changer. The Swiss brands we wear on our wrists are often conservative these days, mindful as they are to protect their lofty reputation. Watches released at shows like SIHH therefore rarely deviate from yet more pretty examples of winning collections – and, in fairness, it’s difficult to argue with the adage, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. Across the next few pages you will see a host of ingenious, elegant watches, but only this unique Vacheron Constantin showed us something totally new.
Vacheron’s greatest achievement is fitting this unique movement inside an elegant watch 048
VACHERON CONSTANTIN Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar Watch writers bang on about power reserve with (occasionally) tedious frequency, but it’s not without reason. A lengthy watch running time can prove convenient for those weekends you feel like leaving it off your wrist or fancy swapping to another in your collection, without having to worry about resetting the time the next occasion you wear it. It’s even more crucial, however, when you start talking about complex movements like the perpetual calendar: with date, day, month and year displays to account for, it can be a right pain to set once a watch has worn down. Our ‘best in show’ watch takes this very real horological problem and solves it in the form of a unique world-first movement. The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar is fitted with a ‘standby’ mode that boasts more than 65 days worth of power reserve. It works by utilising two oscillators, as opposed to the conventional one, both powered by a single energy source
– one runs at a high beat (5hz) for added stability and accuracy, while the other at a low beat (1.2hz) for increased efficiency. Press the button on the left-hand side of the case and the watch will seamlessly transition from the high-beat oscillator to the monumental power reserve of its low-beat ancillary. This all sounds mightily impressive but, in spite of the two patents acting on this timepiece, Vacheron’s greatest achievement is cramming this unique watchmaking inside a highly wearable 42.mm x 12.3mm case size, alongside the esteemed Swiss brand’s usual exceptional standard of finishing. Look closely and you’ll find a blend of intricate hand guilloché on slate-coloured gold with an openwork bottom to the dial exhibiting the inner mechanics of the perpetual calendar. There’s delicate dauphine hands and applied 18k gold indices, with the ingenious standby mode demarcations in an appealing red. SIHH frequently exhibits great examples of watchmaking evolution, but this piece is nothing short of revolutionary. ■
PHOTOGRAPH by David Harrison
SWITCH THINGS UP: Vacheron Constantinâ€™s latest addition to the Traditionelle range features a world-first Twin Beat movement that allows users to choose between a high-beat oscillator and an osciallator with a gargantuan 65-days worth of power reserve. ÂŁ195,000; vacheronconstantin.com
OR THE UNINITIATED, the world of watch exhibitions is a circus. There’s a dizzying array of finely crafted timepieces everywhere you turn, some beset with diamonds and jewels, others featuring movements so improbably complex the mind boggles that one human was capable of creating it. In between, you’ll find a host of serviceable watches that may look present enough, but don’t exactly solicit a ‘wow’. We’re not looking for the timepieces for the every day in this article; we’re after real showstoppers with star appeal to match. From the minds of some of the best watchmakers on the planet, these are our best watches at SIHH.
SHOW STOPPERS At every watch exhibition, there are the pieces that make people stop in their tracks and say ‘wow’. These three did just that at SIHH, and here’s why…
1. JAEGER-LECOULTRE Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel ‘The watchmaker’s watchmaker’: ask anyone about Jaeger-LeCoultre’s historical influence on the horological world and this is the phrase you’re likely to encounter. The Swiss brand, founded on the south slopes of the Vallée de Joux in 1833, once created movements for watchmaking giants Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin, and while its power may have diminished slightly in the centuries since, it remains one of the finest producers of movements on the planet. JLC has created more than 1,200 watch calibres in its history, but its new Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel is one of the three most complicated timepieces the brand has ever produced. Six years of development, 1,050 individual pieces, more complications than you can shake a stick at and a whopping €800k price tag compromise one of the most thrilling pieces of haute horologerie you’ll ever encounter. Let’s try and break this behemoth down – starting with its revolutionary centrepoint, the gyrotourbillon. In its simplest form, this multiaxis tourbillon prevents gravity from having an adverse effect on the accuracy of the watch by moving in harmony with the turn of the rest. Or, in the words of avid watch collector and famous musician John Mayer: “A tourbillon
Jaeger-LeCoultre remains one of the finest producers of movements on the entire planet squaremile.com
is a study in overdelivery. It’s a mechanical ‘shaggy dog’ story; follow the gears and the springs and the cage that rotates on multiple axes like some kind of time machine drawn on parchment, and you get to the punchline: it’s five past three. Does it do anything else? It’s not meant to. It takes the long way through an otherwise short story.” Well said. However, in the case of the Westminster Perpétuel, there’s several chapters left in its narrative. There’s the minute repeater function, programmed to play the Westminster carillon – otherwise known as the chime resonating from Big Ben’s clock tower. We could add that the case is made of white gold because it is the most resonant precious metal or that the gongs of the minute repeater are individually engraved with the corresponding Sol-Do-Ré-Mi (or G-C-D-E chord progression), but you get the point, this watch is outrageous. The final touch is a beautifully clear perpetual calendar display on an enamel and silver-grained sub dial, surrounded by a swathe of openwork access to the real star of the show: the movement. Master watchmaker Christian Laurent has been with Jaeger-LeCoultre for 48 years – his life’s work is in this one tour de force timepiece, and it shows. €800,000; jaeger-lecoultre.com
PHOTOGRAPH by (Hermes) Joel Von Allmen
Arceau L’Heure De La Lune There’s something wonderfully unorthodox about Hermès timepieces. Whether it’s the sloping italicised numerals of the Arceau collection or the quirky charm of L’Heure Impatiente’s novel 12-hour timer complication, they never fail to put a smile on our face. It’s this thought that ran through our minds the first time we laid eyes on the Arceau L’Heure De La Lune – a totally unique but supremely pretty take on the moonphase complication. Hermès employed one of the greatest watch minds in Jean-Francois Mojon to bring its vision to life. Mojon has worked with the likes of MB&F and Harry Winston on ambitious projects in the past, and he has lent his name to a horological feast for the eyes here. Delving into the design, we’ve got two stationary mother-of-pearl moons (one for both the northern and southern hemisphere) that are topped by two floating lacquer disks (displaying the hours and minutes on one, and the date on the other) that make a full sweep of the dial every 59 days. The current lunar phase is shown by how much of the moon is obscured by the rotating subdials – a simple enough premise but visually impressive nonetheless. Look closer and you’ll find further flourishes:
the two hemispheres are inverted (south being at the top), while one of the pearlescent moons improbably contains a subtle pegasus motif by artist and designer Dimitri Rybaltchenko. For the dial itself, you have a choice to make between a meteorite and an aventurine dial. Aventurine, a type of Murano glass flecked with golden shimmers of copper, creates a particularly whimsical extraorbital effect, but the moody meteorite option with its graduating grey disks and idiosyncratic textured dial encapsulates an austere moon-like aesthetic perfectly in keeping with the piece’s theme. It’s rare to find a watch that flips a complication on its head, but with the L’Heure De La Lune, Hermès has delivered in spades. £20,500; hermes.com
3. A LANGE & SÖHNE Zeitwerk Date German watchmaker A Lange & Söhne is synonymous with sumptuous highcomplication movements, but in 2008 it threw fans a curveball in the form of the revolutionary Zeitwerk. Its jumping digital display and steam-punk aesthetic couldn’t be further removed from the brand’s staunchly traditional timepieces, but it was an immediate hit and the gearshift horology didn’t know it needed. A decade later and the brand has circled back to its original model for a technical update that sees an incredibly elegant date display introduced to the dial, as well as double the original power reserve – now up to a handy 72 hours, especially impressive when you learn just how much is going on underneath the surface.
It’s rare to find a watch that flips a complication on its head, but Hermés has delivered in spades For starters, the digital display utilises three disks (one for hours, two for minutes) that jump instantly after a minute. This sounds straightforward enough, but to create enough energy within the movement to perform this action, A Lange & Söhne’s watchmakers included an escapement usually seen in heritage timepieces – a remontoire, which acts as a secondary power source, powered by the main spring, which slowly builds for 60 seconds before releasing a short burst of energy that turns the disks. It’s nothing short of genius, but the 2019 model has seen further refinements to this initial design that have allowed for the longer running time. The timepiece has increased in size to 44.2mm from the initial 41.9mm, but it’s also 0.3mm thinner (perceptible, even if it doesn’t sound it on paper) – and seeing that beautiful dial in a slightly larger size is no biggie to us. There’s also a red date indicator that highlights the appropriate number underneath the transparent date ring. Simple, but effective. If you ever wondered just how smart watchmakers are, this here is Exhibit A. ■ €89,000; alange-soehne.com
EVERY DAY SIHH delivers high-complication, opulent watchmaking in spades, but if youâ€™re looking for a daily wearer, you need to delve a little deeperâ€Ś
1. AUDEMARS PIGUET
CODE 11.59 Self-Winding It’s a rare thing these days for the world’s most notable watchmakers to bring out an entirely new collection. Things used to be so different: look back to the 1950s and the Rolex Explorer and Submariner, the Breitling Navitimer and the moon-bound Omega Speedmaster all wrote their name into horological history. Or the 1970s when designer Gerald Genta put the sports watch on the map with Patek Philippe’s Nautilus and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. In the case of the latter, AP has built an entire brand off the strength of its icon, as well as its big brother the Royal Oak Offshore (launched in 1993) – and it’s a wildly successful brand at that. Suffice it to say, then, the watchwriting fraternity collectively spat out its tea at the news that the Vallée de Joux watchmaker was releasing a totally new collection for the first time in more than 20 years. CODE 11.59 draws its inspiration from the last minute before a new day – a time for new possibilities, thinking to the future and, apparently, putting on a new watch. If this is Audemars Piguet’s new dawn then we’re all for it. The timepiece features a bold geometric design that encompasses a two-part structure: firstly, a thin bezel fused to the curved lugs, and then a subtle octagonal middle case. Top it off with a domed sapphire crystal and you have a three-dimensional watch that is texturally rich from whatever angle it’s viewed. There’s 13 references in the new collection, including an eye-catching aventurine-dialled perpetual calendar and a chronograph that features a new in-house calibre, but the purity of the self-winding automatic is the perfect jumping off point to a very different Audemars Piguet aesthetic. The smooth lacquered dial sinks below an outer chapter ring, drawing you into the watch. It’s particularly appealing in midnight blue where, punctuated by the white-gold baton-marker indices and Arabic numerals at 3-6-9-12, it creates a clean modern look. There’s resistance to convention even in AP’s most classic design so far – the date aperture between 4 and 5, as well as that bold case shape see to that. Inside, there’s a brand-new Calibre 4302 movement, which operates at a high-beat 4hz and boasts a lengthy 70-hour power reserve. Audemars Piguet purists may be a little perplexed by this move, but for those who wanted to see the lauded watchmaker flex its muscles in something other than a sports watch, the CODE 11.59 is a welcome change.
Laureato Perpetual Calendar The Laureato collection sits in the same category as other 1970s steel sports watches created during a wildly creative era for horology. Girard-Perregaux’s model shares the octagonal bezel of the iconic Royal Oak, but its frame seamlessly flows into the integrated bracelet rather than standing proud on top of the case like AP’s more chunky design. The elegant shape and no-nonsense Clous de Paris dial have been a fixture of the collection since. Girard-Perregaux has now released a perpetual calendar as part of its most popular model – and, again, the brand has found its own way of standing out from its competitors. Unlike sporty pieces available from Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe, GP’s
perpetual calendar display isn’t symmetrical. It’s off-kilter design shows the day of the week in a subdial at nine o’clock and the date on a larger register between one and two. Meanwhile, the leap-year is displayed above a window that opens onto a disk to display the months. It’s a winning combination – especially with its blue dial colour and contrasting red accents. Classic perpetual calendar designs are one of the highlights of any watchmaker’s collection, but their over reliance on a traditional dial configuration does become a little repetitive – especially when you’re viewing a large number of models at a show like SIHH. For that reason, it’s nice to see Girard-Perregaux buck the trend in a piece that offers much more personality than most. £25,500; girard-perregaux.com ➤
➤ 3. BAUME ET MERCIER Clifton Baumatic The loveable rogue of Richemont’s brands, Baume et Mercier has the somewhat unenviable task of being the value proposition in the luxury watch giant’s lineup. However, without the same tight constraints of history and reputation to adhere to, it’s free to make the odd calculated risk. That leads us nicely to the Clifton Baumatic – one of the best bang-for-your-buck timepieces currently available on the market. There’s a lot to enjoy about the simple, classic design but the Baumatic’s secret is its chronometer-certified BM13 movement located under the hood. It boasts technological advancements like a silicon escapement, a chrome core ring for anti-magnetism and the use of a new lubricant all of which ensure a hefty five-day (120 hour) power reserve. Better still, Baume et Mercier is so confident in its design that it believes it only needs to be serviced once every seven years – a far longer period than any mechanical watch priced below £3k has any right to offer. Value and price point are two distinct topics in horology, but in the Clifton Baumatic, the two combine to offer one of the best-priced current examples of high-end watchmaking. From £2,400; baume-et-mercier.com
WRIST AND REWARD: The meteorite dial on Piaget’s new Altiplano Automatic Meteorite is so thin that there is a high breakage rate during assembly. Judging by its looks, the end result is worth it.
4. CARTIER Cartier Santos Chronograph Cartier has spent the last few years rebooting its iconic collections. Similar to Rolex, the esteemed brand keeps its big name (the Tank and Panthére) on a 15-20 year cycle – enough time to adjust for changes in modern tastes. In 2018, it was the turn of the brand’s oldest wristwatch to undergo a facelift, the Santos. Cartier created a curvier profile to this model’s definitive square case, thanks mostly to new lugs, while the 8.83mm depth means this watch is as slim as it is shapely. There’s other additions, too, like the QuickSwitch system for swapping between bracelets and straps in seconds. As evolutions of a classic go, the Santos has been pitched perfectly. All of this goes some way to explaining why we were so excited to see the launch of
a new chronograph addition to the collection at SIHH 2019: all of the benefit of a reinterpreted classic, with the bonus of the most popular complication in watchmaking. Cartier has really done a number on the movement here: it’s modified the 1904-CH MC caliber so that the start-stop pusher sits conveniently on the left side of the case, while the reset function is integrated into the crown itself. It’s a pleasingly ergonomic solution to where you put the chronograph buttons – something that is usually reduced down to two pushers either side of the crown on the right side of the watch. This is a watch in perfect harmony with its component parts. The case is available in three metal combinations: stainless steel with a black ADLC steel bezel, stainless steel with an 18k yellow gold bezel, and solid 18k rose gold. The slightly demure monochrome of the former is our model of choice for everyday purposes. From £7,700; cartier.com
As evolutions of a classic go, the brand-new Santos Chronograph is pitched perfectly 054
5. PIAGET Altiplano Automatic 40mm Meteorite Dial Piaget’s signature Altiplano collection remains the benchmark for all ultra-thin watches. Whether you’re looking for ground-breaking innovation like the Altiplano Ultimate 910P
introduced last year - the world’s thinnest automatic wristwatch before Bulgari came along with its Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic - or a more classic piece like its brand-new Automatic 40mm Meteorite Dial, the watch manufacture remains at the forefront of this unique timepiece style. While the Ultimate 910P, boasting a case that also acts as the base plate for the movement, is undoubtedly advanced watchmaking, Piaget has still required all its horological might to introduce a meteorite dial to its marquee watch. Derived from iron-nickel meteorites that form over a time period of millions of years, meteorite dials have a highly complex internal structure that makes them incredibly fragile – and therefore susceptible to breakage. The added difficulty of fitting meteorite to an ultrathin timepiece is that the dial has to be even thinner than normal. It’s no wonder that just 300 pieces will be made of each colourway. You’ll find Piaget’s micro-rotor Calibre 1230P under the hood, but the star of the show is that idiosyncratic extraterrestrial dial. Piaget unveiled its first ultra-flat movement, the caliber 9P, in 1957. More than 60 years later, it’s undoubtedly impressive it is still finding ways to present this timeless design. £24,300; piaget.com ■
INDEPENDENT Wearing a timepice from one of the world’s great independent watchmakers is a surefire way to get some horological street cred. Here are five of our favourite launches from 2019
ECHNICAL, BOUNDARY-PUSHING AND unique watches are the order of the day from the world’s finest independent manufacturers. What they lack in lofty brand presence and deep pockets for advertising, they make up for in some of the most intricate and unusual feats watchmaking has to offer. Free from the constraints of pesky shareholders, they are happy to push the boat out – and that leads to a host of horological marvels you won’t find anywhere else.
of this manufacturer – are too concerned with remaining true to the past. H Moser & Cie, on the other hand, keeps one eye turned back to watchmaking history and the other pointed firmly forward towards the future. The Pioneer collection encompasses this middle ground quite neatly in its representation of a modern sports watch case, fitted with classic dial configurations.
1. H MOSER & CIE Tourbillon Concept There’s something particularly commendable about the way H Moser & Cie goes about its business. It is both staunchly traditional in its pursuit of horological perfection, while being equally happy to flip the bird at highly conservative Swiss brands who – in the eyes
A sporty tourbillon? That’s blasphemy. But if it is, we’re happy to visit the confessional booth
This year the brand has introduced a sumptuous tourbillon model atop a sunburnt royal blue ‘fumé’ face – and suffice to say it is simply gorgeous to look at, let alone to wear. What you’re seeing here is a one-minute flying tourbillon and its corresponding automatic movement, but with the added convenience of a sturdy 42.8mm steel case that is water resistant to 120m. Slightly less dressy materials (no platinum or white gold here) mean H Moser & Cie can undercut similarly well-presented tourbillons on the market and provide its model at a reasonable enough (in the context of a highperforming product like a tourbillon) price tag. This is a watchmaker crafting timepieces with a wry smile on its face: “A sporty tourbillon? That’s blasphemy.” If it is, we’re happy to pay a visit to the confessional booth. £55,000; h-moser.com
If you think about what a modern GMT might look like, it wouldn’t be this – but we love it 2. SPEAKE MARIN One&Two Openworked Dual Time Speake Marin does two things very well: elegantly finished timepieces and high-end movement design. Take one look at the new One&Two Openworked Dual Time and you’ll see both of these attributes in perfect harmony. This watch is on paper no more complex than any other GMT timepiece, however its presentation is wholly out of the ordinary. It features a sub-counter for the ‘home’ time at 9 o’clock, with an affectionate nod towards the two-tone bezel of Rolex’s GMT models, while there is a small seconds counter in between 1 and 2 o’clock which is encircled by a retrograde date complication. At 5 o’clock you’ll also find an aperture that reveals the barrel, topped by a skeletonised bridge. If you conjure in your mind what a contemporary GMT might look like, it wouldn’t be this - but that’s exactly why we love it.
4. GREUBEL FORSEY
Balancier Contemporain Greubel Forsey is bonkers – brilliantly so, but nonetheless bonkers. Take its latest piece, the Balancier Contemporain. On paper, it only shows the time and power reserve, and reserves the bottom third of the dial for showcasing an oversized balance bridge and the manufacturer’s unique balance wheel. But that doesn’t tell the half of it. That balance wheel, for one, is a vast 12.6mm in diameter for optimal stability, while the poising weights are recessed to minimise air friction. Then there’s the level of finishing throughout the timepiece: all beautiful grained surfaces and black polishing. This is Greubel Forsey’s smallest watch to date, coming in at 39.6mm, but that doesn’t stop it from making a big splash. Never change, Greubel, never change…
H2.0 Time Is Fluid Non-conformist watch brand HYT is quite unlike anything else you’re likely to encounter in horology. Since 2012, it has measured time not through an hour hand but through the use of fluid pumped around the dial via a pair of bellows attached to the movement. It is a highly original and downright fascinating presentation of time as we know it. The latest model, H2.0 ‘Time Is Fluid’, carries this concept forward but with modifications to the movement. Gone is the retrograde minute indication and in its place comes an off-centred subsidiary dial showing the minutes and small seconds. Simply put, there is no other watch currently on the market quite like this.
CHF 195’000 (approx £147,150); greubelforsey.com
watches, see squaremile.com
CHF 115’000 (approx £86,750); hytwatches.com ■ For more detail on this year’s latest and greatest
CHF 38,700 (approx £29,200); speake-marin.com
3. RESSENCE Type 2 At last year’s SIHH, out-the-box thinkers Ressence introduced us to the Type 2 e-Crown Concept – a watch that, frankly, was a game changer in the marriage of mechanical and smart watches. It employs an electronic device that allows the watch to self-adjust to new timezones, set the time via a smartphone, or automatically reset after the power reserve winds down. Designed in conjunction with iPod designer Tony Fadell, e-Crown Technology sits between the mechanical movement and Ressence’s unique display disc system. Now, it’s here in a full-scale commercial model. The Type 2 features a curved 45mm case made of anthracite PVD titanium with the orbital-disk dial configuration that Ressence first pioneered in 2010, but really it’s all about that innovative e-Crown tech. The horological industry has been content so far to view smart watches as a separate product to its luxury timepieces, but this is the first watch that boldly challenges that convention. Only time will tell how successful it will be. CHF 42’500 (approx £32,000); ressencewatches.com
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Much of Swiss watchmaking might be entrenched in the past, but these four timepieces are looking to the future
The Freak is one of our favourite watch collections of modern times – there, we said it to a highly efficient and high-power reserve movement), but does make some concessions in an effort to bring the price down. Previous renditions of the Freak have been adjusted through the bezel, but the latest model employs a conventional crown. Most notably, however, is a slightly less complex movement visible on the dial – crucially, it still doubles as the minute hand for the watch but most of the wheel train is now concealed. In a sense, the latest rendition of Ulysse Nardin’s most advanced creation is a Freaklite – sans precious materials and without the same visual drama of the models that put it on the map. Does this matter? In pursuit of an innovative, unique timepiece that is more readily available to the masses, absolutely not. £19,100, ulysse-nardin.com
2. PANERAI LE FREAK, C’EST CHIC: Ulysee Nardin’s Vision X put under the X-ray.
ATCHMAKING IN ITS purest form has
changed very little since the first wristwatches were introduced at the turn of the 20th century. The standard threepusher chronograph, for example, has looked and operated mostly the same since it was first developed by Willy Breitling in 1934. That doesn’t mean that horology is standing still: it might not be era defining, but look closely and you’ll find a number of brands making steps to modernise the watch industry, whether that’s through unique hybrid materials or rethinking how a movement is composed…
1. ULYSSE NARDIN Freak Vision X The Freak is one of our favourite collections of the modern era – there, we said it. Not only does it freely defy general watchmaking convention (using the movement as one of the watch hands is completely backwards), but it utilises the latest technology to boost the timepiece’s efficiency. It comes at a price,
though. The complexity of the Freak and its intricate movement assembly has pushed the price (close to six figures) out of reach for all but the most enthusiastic and well-financed watch collectors. That is, until now. The Freak Vision X, new for 2019, is still an expensive watch, but it now sits alongside other horological models in the £15-20k bracket. We’re not going to use the word ‘value’, but there’s a lot to be said about how much watch you’re getting here. First things first, Ulysse Nardin has traded out the platinum of previous models for a composite made out of aeronautical-grade carbon fibre. The effect looks like forged carbon – a suitably modern aesthetic for the innovation going inside the new 43mm case (down from a slightly unwieldy 45mm). Now, to that incredible movement – or, to be precise, the new UN-230 calibre. It features the same lightweight silicon balance wheel with nickel flyweights and stabilising microblades as seen on last year’s model (the secret
Submersible Carbotech For the last few years Panerai’s R&D division, the Laboratorio Di Idee, has experimented with a carbon fibre-based proprietary material it calls Carbotech. This composite, exclusive to the Italian-Swiss watchmaker, is uniquely lighter and less corrosive than both titanium and ceramic, and now finds its way into two timepieces in the new Submersible collection. Carbotech is created by compressing thin sheets of carbon fibre and a polymer called Polyether Ether Ketone under high pressure and at a controlled temperature. The end ➤
➤ product, used to create the watch case of the new Submersible Carbotech 42mm and 47mm models, is particularly strong and durable, and also has the benefit of lending the watch a unique carbon-like design. The matte-black case is offset by blue accents found in the dial markers (created from full blocks of SuperLuminova for added luminescence), dial printing, and bezel markers. The Panerai we recognise today, with its brand-defining crown protector and cushionshaped case, was first put to use by the Italian Royal Navy in 1950. More than 60 years on, the manufacturer has revitalised its icon with a material very much made for the modern day. From £14,700; panerai.com
3. IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph Top Gun ‘Ceratanium’ There are a host of brands which claim authority on the subject of pilots’ watches, but few have been in the game as long as IWC. The Swiss manufacturer first designed a watch with aviation in mind in 1936 for the sons of formermanaging director Ernst Jakob Homberger, both of whom were in the process of passing their flight exams. It contained the kind of features commonly seen in pilots’ watches of today: high-contrast hands and numerals, a rotating bezel with an index for recording short periods of time, as well as resistance to
magnetism and temperature fluctuations. The iconic Mark 11 followed in 1948 – a watch commissioned and used by the Royal Air Force until 1981 – and it’s this design template from which all IWC Pilots’ watches have stuck to since. That is not to say, however, that there hasn’t been technical upgrades along the way. In fact, to look at the Top Gun Double Chronograph Ceratanium is to see the modern face of aviatic timekeeping. IWC’s latest timepiece features a jet-black case made from a patented material called Ceratanium. Based on a titanium alloy, it combines the rigidness and light-weight qualities of titanium and the hard, wear-free and scratch-resistant nature of ceramic. Not to be outdone on the watchmaking front, the model also contains a rattrapante or double-chronograph function that allows for the independent recording of intermediate times while the chronograph is still running. IWC prides itself on its future-proof material innovation, and here it has pulled off the perfect modern-day pilots’ watch. £11,500; iwc.com
4. ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur Huracán Performante Innovation comes in many guises in horology, not just that of technical advancement. It can also mean a new way of thinking or a different
approach to the creative process. That would certainly typify Roger Dubuis’ collaboration with Lamborghini – one of the most integrated joint enterprises ongoing in watchmaking. By working with the Italian car brand’s head of design, Mitja Borkert, the watchmaker has been able to take design cues that perfectly align with the cars from which they are inspired, without coming across as just a marketing exercise. The latest fruit of this partnership, now two years strong, is also the best. The Excalibur Huracán Performante utilises the unique RD630 movement, which features a strut bar-inspired bridge that looks just like a miniaturised version of the V10 engine of the Huracán. It’s not all for show either, beneath the bridge you’ll find a twin-barrel movement fitted with a 12-degree balance angle escapement – chosen owing to this being the most common position of the wrist – that helps enable the timepiece’s 60-hour power reserve. There are overt nods to the automotive world like the spoke-shaped balance wheel and the alcantara strap (suede-like material often found in racing cars) complete with a Pirelli tyre rubber inlay, but in conjunction with the rest of the watch these feel tasteful and well balanced. In a world where many motor-racing inspired watches are freewheeling, this timepiece is happy to race full throttle. £47,000; rogerdubuis.com ■
EVERY DAY SEVEN PEOPLE ARE MEDICALLY DISCHARGED FROM THE ARMED FORCES. THEIR LIVES CHANGE FOREVER.
Tens of thousands of Veterans need support right now. So do their families. Most don’t get the help they need; we don’t want to turn them away. We can only do this with your help. h4hweb.com/smile firstname.lastname@example.org
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WATCHES BALL WATCH
#WATCHWEWANT American brand Ball Watch specialises in tough-as-nails tool watches ready for whatever life throws at them – the Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II is no different
BATTLE READY It’s not easy getting a tool watch right: overengineer the design and you risk creating something so overtly rugged that even Action Man would pass, do too little and you’ll hardly stand out from the crowd. Ball has pitched its AeroGMT II just right – combining a big and bold case design, with a unique crown guard, useful GMT complication and a chronometercertified movement. We approve.
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Ball watches are more than just their hardy tool watch stylings, they’re also a leading light when it comes to, er, lighting. The numerals and indices of the AeroGMT II are made up of gas tubes filled with tritium, a non-dangerous radioactive substance that produces illumination without needing the same exposure to light required by the more common Super LumiNova. In low light, it’s as bright as a Christmas tree. £2,770. For more info,
SANTINO LE SAINT . 066 CLASSIC CARS . 072 ZACHARY LEVI . 076
POISED FOR GREATNESS . 066
PHOTOGRAPH by Matt Joy
STAR BOY Musician Santino Le Saint is poised and ready to become a superstar, with nothing less than global fame in his sights, but he’ll get there in his own way. MAX WILLIAMS meets an artist who is uncompromising in his quest for success Photography by MATT JOY
HERE’S THIS STORY about the great blues musician Robert Johnson. One dark night in Mississippi, young Robert took his guitar to a lonely crossroad, the exact location of which remains disputed to this day, and there he was met by a charismatic hustler who happened to be the devil. The encounter unfolded as such encounters are wont to do, the upshot being Johnson departed the crossroad with total mastery over the guitar, and the devil left with Johnson’s soul. A few years ago Santino Le Saint was presented with the modern equivalent of Johnson’s transaction; only now the devil had bright white teeth and a recording contract,
and he didn’t want to sell talent but buy it. The offer? A chance for Le Saint to become one third of the next boy band off the production line. A “cool Boyz II Men”, if such a thing can be envisaged without the aid of hallucinogens. “He was like, I want to sign three guys, we’re gonna train you up, then we’ll sign you to this label,” recalls Santino. “I know you have a good voice and you like releasing music, but it’s really hard being a solo artist out here. You’ve got such a better chance of making it if you’re in a boy band; I don’t know if you’d succeed as a solo artist. “I was like, OK, cool – and that just made me want to do it even more.” ➤
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➤ They parted ways with no ill feeling – Santino describes his would-be Mephistopheles as “cool, a really nice guy” – but a meeting of minds it was not. “He just saw me as another singer, another product. Here’s a singer, I can make him do this and make everyone some money. That’s not me. Nope, not at all.” He holds no regret over the path not taken; any more than he regrets shunning X Factor auditions aged 16 (his friends signed him up). “For me to be happy as an artist I need to remain in creative control,” he explains. “I feel like talent shows are like, this person’s written a song, you sing it, you get paid. Nah. I want to be involved in every single part of it. “I’m glad it turned out how it did. I’ve got a long way to go but it’s all good.” Sitting opposite Santino in a Brixton pub, I can understand his confidence – a quality in which he does not lack. He seems older than his 20 years; it’s not only the height – a rangy 6ft 3in – but the sense of composure, a quiet assurance in who he is and what he can do.
Like many South Londoners – adolescence was a continuous commute between Morden (mother) and Brixton (father) – his heritage is a hodgepodge of different cultures, distant lands. “My mum is Jamaican, and my dad is English, mixed. He’s got a lot of Portuguese in his blood, and some Indian and stuff, but it’s mainly English-Irish. Mixed. Up.” It works, whatever it is – his contract with modelling agency Select is proof the axiom ‘less is more’ doesn’t always apply to genetics. His face might have earned him a living, but
For me to be happy as an artist I need to remain in creative control. I want to be involved in it all
it’s music that keeps him up at night, hours spent working on his craft. “I don’t want to be egotistic about this shit,” he says. “But I want to be big. I think I’d be able to cope with it.” He may well get the chance to find out. Check his YouTube channel. Songs with a few thousand views come at you like top ten hits waiting to be discovered, from the woozy bitterness of ‘Maria Don’t Call Me’ to the defiant swagger of ‘4AM’. “4am when you call just to tell me that I’m worthless; If I ain’t worth shit then why the fuck are you hurtin’?” (While I’m writing this article, American YouTuber Sarah Baska includes a sample of Maria… in her video ‘New Songs That Will Change Yo Life’ (sic). As we go to press, the track has racked up 350,000 views and rising. They’re called ‘influencers’ for a reason.)
Le Saint’s sound is most frequently compared to The Weeknd. He understands the comparison, even if “sometimes I hate it”; after all, it was
The Weeknd’s Kiss Land that served as his artistic awakening. In his smoking days, he used to chill in his bedroom “getting high and eating cereal and listening to Weeknd albums for two hours, but I’m kinda over it now.” (The weed, that is, not The Weeknd.) Music runs in his blood. His father, Charlie Parker, founded Brixton rap collective The 57th Dynasty, a pioneering group that toured alongside the likes of Outkast and Eminem, and was nominated for Best Hip Hop Act at the 1999 MOBO Awards. “Live, 57 Dynasty come on like you always dreamed the Wu-Tang Clan would be, a holy chaos with hot-lead hiphop at its core,” reads a 2005 NME review. Parker showed his son the ropes – or rather the strings. “It was very much like, you have musical talent, do what you want. Here’s a guitar, I’ll show you some stuff; here’s a laptop, if you want to produce, this is how you use Logic. And I just kinda Youtube-tutorialed my way to everything else.” The teenage Santino saw his talent as a well that would never run dry. All he need do was pick up a guitar and inspiration would come. His father challenged this assumption. “Who said you’d be able to write songs forever?” asked Parker. “What happens if one day you wake up and you have no more ideas? Stay creative and stay practising because you don’t want to limit yourself. Create.” “My dad has always grounded me, all the fucking time,” says Santino with a mixture of ruefulness and gratitude. “Every time I go to his house: half an hour, hour lectures about my life, how I’m not managing my money correctly. Brings me right back down.” Being grounded is no bad thing. “I forget that I’m 20 sometimes: I’m always like, shit, I have to do this now – this needs to happen, that needs to happen. My managers sat me down and said, ‘You know you’re 20? It’s all good, we’ve got a plan.’”
I meet his managers in a café a couple of doors down from the pub where I interview Santino. Still in their mid 20s themselves, Ben Cross and David Dabieh have been moving in the industry for nearly a decade. They started as promoters, taking their Idiot Savant night out from dingy South London clubs and onto the sunlit fields of Bestival, and the after-parties of Cannes. Their production house CDMG spans film, design and music, and has worked with brands as diverse as Soho House, French Connection, and Relentless (yes, the energy drink). CDMG now manages six artists; Santino was their first. A mutual friend emailed Dabieh
I don’t want to be egoistical about this shit. But I want to be big. I think I’d cope with it a few tracks. “He always sends me bare stuff. I ignored the message. He was like, no, no, no – you have to listen to this guy.” He listened. Messaged Santino on Facebook. “We went to Momos in Central, had a cup of tea, and all got on bare well.” ‘4AM’ was produced within an hour of the first studio session together. “We realised we had a good creative chemistry, a good vibe, and it just went from there. It was all super organic: we were making music together, going parties together, eating together. Two years on, here we are.” They complement each other well. Dabieh – ebullient, muscular – takes the lead on most questions; Cross sits near-Zenlike, John Lennon sunglasses folded on the table, occasionally elaborating on a point or supplying one of his own. “We realised that one of the things that artists are missing these days is infrastructure,” says Dabieh of the move into management. “A team: people who can put them in the right places, get them in the right sessions, all that sort of thing.” How was the transition? “One thing I had to learn as a manager was quite a lot of jargon,” says Cross. “But were there any specific things? Not really.” Vision is key, adds his business partner. If you supply your vision with “good resources, investment, infrastructure, and you have bit of common sense, then you’re alright. A lot of management is just common sense.” Of course, you also need to be working with the right talent. When meeting with an artist, the pair like to ask after their ambitions – where do you want this journey to take you? What do you hope to achieve? Coveting a number one is all well and good, but if you’re putting out 12-minute soundscapes then it might be best to realign your career goals – or your music. How did Santino answer this question? “He said, ‘I wanna be the biggest artist in the world,’” laughs Dabieh. “That was his thing from the beginning. ‘I want to make great music and be one of the biggest artists in the entire world.’ Full stop.” Well, I note, it’s unlikely anyone has become the biggest anything in the world without
deliberately setting out to do so. “It’s definitely a good place to start,” says Cross, drily. Yet a start is all it is. A wise man once wrote: “The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.” OK, maybe ‘wisdom’ wasn’t Hunter S Thompson’s defining quality, but the point stands: there’s no space for sentiment in this industry, and no thing is sure. You can have the look, the voice, the personality, the whole extravagant package, and you still might fail to alchemise all these gifts into the sales figures required to keep the show on the road to the Big Time – a road paved with the skeletons of artists who looked and sang and dreamed exactly the way you do now. Simon Cowell founded the definitive TV show of the age on the premise of excavating the intangible quality that makes the stars stars, rather than pretty people who sing. Even then, the two most successful X Factor graduates are group acts – Little Mix, One Direction – where your personality is both elevated and subsumed by your bandmates. The spotlight never shines on you alone, illuminating the flaws that might have prevented your ascent before you became too big to fail. Would Harry Styles have grown into Harry Styles if he’d been forced to be Harry Styles from the beginning? ➤
➤ Cross and Dabieh know how much work goes into creating an overnight success. Despite their preaching of patience, they also recognise time is always borrowed when you’re trying to reach the top. “Five years is plenty of time for an artist to blow up,” says Cross. “Tino needs to blow up in the next five years. No doubt about that.” Yet it’s not like they picked Santino out of a hat. The longer they work together, the greater their belief in his talent, and the distance it can take him. “His range, his ability to hit certain notes, but at the same time playing guitar – that’s just not normal,” says Dabieh. “I work with a lot of artists, a lot of them are in the studio talking – Tino actually had the capacity to make it happen. He was the producer, he was the creator of his own vision. “People can be good in the studio. With Santino, he plays keys, he plays guitar, he produces all his own music, and he sounds fantastic live… Once we saw how incredible he could be in a live setting, we thought, boom – that’s a star.”
Like most people with a claim to be really, really good at something, Santino’s musical ability is a little bit God’s gift, and a lot of hard graft. Practice mightn’t always make perfect but it can set you in the right direction. “I used to gig loads. I’ve done so many gigs. From 16 to 18 I did about a gig every two weeks – acoustic, just in pubs and shit.”
School was fine, but I never really wanted to do anything apart from make music this shit. But even before that, school was fine, studying design was cool, but I never really wanted to do anything apart from make music.” There has still been the occasional hiccup – such as filming the video for ‘Maria Don’t Call Me’. “Basically, it fucked up,” says Santino cheerfully. Nine girls had agreed to come down and stage a house party. Eight girls then dropped out on the morning of the shoot. It was a Sunday morning, and Halloween had fallen the night before. “I woke up and it was message after message after message. I was just like, I’m fucked!” His housemate agreed to step in, as did a girl from his modelling agency. The day was saved, although the concept had to be tweaked a little. “I wanted it to be a one-take-esque video of me moving through the party – but there were three girls so we had to do what we could. I think it turned out alright.”
Thus the strange world of Santino Le Saint, one in which the climate is steadily changing but hasn’t yet passed the irreversible tipping point of – what? One million views? A number one? A Grammy? He can travel to LA and hit-up “off the hook” parties in the Hollywood Hills – “naked girls, people dropping off the balcony into the pool” – where he’ll find himself talking to the producer of – guess who? – The Weeknd’s first album, and experience “the only time that I will ever fanboy in my whole life.” Or he might sit at London Fashion Week, even walk for the designer Julien MacDonald alongside Hailey Baldwin and Winnie Harlow. “They had free alcohol everywhere, it was sponsored by Ciroc. I was like, this shit’s perfect!” He now counts MacDonald as a friend, although his relationship with fashion is a little cloudier. “It’s weird, man. It’s a really weird industry. People telling you to put really nice clothes on and walk down an aisle, thinking that you’re the shit.” Yet such heady moments are strung across the framework of studying for his graphic design course – which, being Santino, he likens
PHOTOGRAPH by (left) Jennifer Rovero
There was a rap group with three friends, then he went solo. His first gig – “it was in a pub, I remember some of our friends not being able to get in” – turned what we must delicately term ‘interesting’ with the appearance of both an ex-girlfriend and a girl-who-was-becoming more-than-a-friend. “They both knew each other, and didn’t like each other. I invited them both down. I don’t know why, I just fucking did! Yeah, it was a bit tense.” He grins at the memory. “It was cool actually, really nice as a first gig. I was shit, obviously.” Gigs have proved a fertile breeding ground for romantic complications. (A musician’s life, eh?) His current girlfriend is a few years his senior. They started dating when Santino was 18. “I lied about my age. Said I was 20, 21 – she was 22, 23 then. She found out at a gig. I was onstage, singing, and they were like, ‘well done, Santino Le Saint! Can you believe he’s only 18?’ She was like, ‘what the fuck?’ But it didn’t put her off, weirdly enough.” He uploaded his first track onto SoundCloud while at college; a cover of The Weeknd’s ‘Wicked Games’. “It wasn’t to make money off it or to be an artist or any of that. I put it out, and it did well. It didn’t blow up or anything; it did well for the time.” Playing gigs made the whole music thing more serious; proved to himself that he wanted to take it seriously. He shot a video to his track ‘Hometime’ in a friend’s garden, put it on SBTV. Then someone called David Dabieh dropped him a message… “Meeting my managers was very much like, yeah, I’m doing
I’m with Dad, by and large, but technical mastery only goes so far – I suspect Stormzy reaches plenty more listeners than Ludwig Van in 2019. Would you rather be ‘great’ or accessible? “That’s the million-dollar question!” exclaims Santino. “What I want is to find the line in-between… I don’t want to dumb down my sound or my creative vision because I have to make it accessible – but I do want to make great music accessible.” OK, I say, but what if you don’t? What if the accessible music isn’t great enough, or the great music isn’t accessible enough, and for whatever reason you never hit the heights you hope to hit – heights which, it’s worth repeating, are pretty damn high? No matter, he replies. His two EPs are already tattooed on his body. “A lot of people, like my parents, were like, ‘well that’s stupid – what happens if you don’t blow up?’ It’s not about that.” How many people sport ill-advised ink: meaningless clichés, misspelt names, a piece of fruit above their arse crack? At least his tattoos hold meaning. “If I end up working in the Co-op for the rest of my life, I still made those tracks. They still exist.” It’s a mentality that should stand him in good stead throughout his life – whether stacking shelves or headlining the O2. Wherever the road may lead, he should enjoy what promises to be quite a journey. To make some mistakes, drink too much, break a heart or two, and have his own broken in turn. You know – the stuff that inspires the songs, and has done so for as long as anyone’s been singing them. After all, a saint may plot his way to stardom, but the devil tends to play the best tunes.
to producing a track, except mixing colours rather than sound. He recalls a classmate discovering his music was on Spotify. “Sometimes when you say Spotify, people go crazy. You could put your music on Spotify tomorrow if you wanted to.” The girl duly went crazy. “She made a massive scene in front of everyone. ‘Oh my God, did you know he’s a singer! He’s got videos…!’ And I could see some of the people were interested, and some of the people were like, ‘this fucking guy…’ They’re all cool with it now – they share all my shit.” I sense he likes this story, the collision between Santino the Musician and Santino
the Student. The former demands a lot from him: hard work, dedication, a maturity rare for most his age. “I don’t want to grow up too quick,” he says quietly. “It’s not even about being 20 – you should be youthful no matter how old you are. There’s no rush to be old, you know what I mean? At all, in any way.” There’s a discussion he’s been having a lot recently: can one piece of music be objectively better than another piece of music? Is Beethoven’s Ninth a superior artistic achievement to Stormzy’s ‘Shut Up’, regardless of personal preference? His dad says yes, his girlfriend no – what do I think?
Here’s how Santino Le Saint creates a new song. He waits for night, and the silence in which thought can speak clear. “In my room, I find the chords of something and I’m like, ‘ah, this is cool’. Then I find the drums, that’s the first bit, and I’m like, ‘ah shit, the drums work, it slaps.’ Have a cigarette, start jumping around, start feeling the drums. “Then I write the lyrics. Usually I’ll always have one or two lyrics which I think are sick. Then I do the same: have a cigarette, jump around my room, sing the song for a couple of hours, imagine being on stage with it.” He tends to finish around 3.30am. He uploads the song, plays it through his headphones. Has one last cigarette, brushes his teeth, climbs into bed. Lies back and closes his eyes, headphones still on, swaddled in the sound of his new creation and the joy it brings him, untethered, free. ■
MOTOR HEAD Making money from classic cars isnâ€™t as straightforward as it used to be, and you need to be savvy to guarantee returns. JOHN MAYHEAD, editor of the Hagerty Price Guide, outlines ways to maximise profit
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FAST MONEY: This 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster was sold at Parisian auction house Artcurial last year for ÂŁ2.7m, more than double its (then) estimated value. It led some to believe that investing in similar models was a sure-fire win, but that wasnâ€™t the case.
ROAD TO GLORY: [this image] The Jaguar E-Type is one of the most covetable classic cars around, but limited supply means demand can be incredibly high; [right] many collectors choose to show their vehicles off at classic car events, but should do so with caution, and not cut any corners in regards to maintenance.
VER THE LAST 15 years or so, investing in
classic cars has been relatively simple: you just followed the money. First, the cash came from the Baby Boomers. They bought the cars they’d lusted after in their youth, the cars that appeared in films and featured on the front pages of magazines driven by pop stars. These cars – models like the Aston Martin DB5, the Ferrari 275 GTB, the Jaguar E-Type, the Lamborghini Miura and the early Porsche 911 – all shot up in value as a result. Then came Generation X. They hit their forties, looked at their empty garage and their thinning hair, and decided to throw money at the problem before it was too late. Their automotive icons were derived from different cultural references: Athena posters, MTV videos, cool TV shows and even Top
Trumps cards. The prices of the Lamborghini Countach, Ferrari Testarossa, Ferrari 308 GTB, and hot hatches all soared. These trends were blatant, simple to read and for a long time gave an almost unbeatable return of investment. Take the daddy of all culturally referenced cars, the Aston Martin
First, the cash came from the Baby Boomers, who bought the cars they’d lusted after in their youth
DB5 of James Bond fame. These retailed new in the UK in 1964 for £4,175. By 1976, Motor Sport magazine had one advertised by a dealer for £1,750. By 1988, they had turned the corner from being a used car into a classic, with Collecting Cars magazine valuing the very best examples at £30,000. By 2005, Practical Classics magazine valued the same car at £80,000. Then came the jump: in 2009, Classic Cars gave the price of the best DB5 coupé at £200,000 and the current Hagerty Price Guide lists an ‘excellent’ example at £616,550. The Gen X cars had a similar trajectory a few years later. Classic Cars 2009 price guide gave the top value for a Ferrari Testarossa as £30,000. By the September 2012 edition of the Hagerty Price Guide, the value of an ‘excellent’ example was listed as being worth £75,000. This grew rapidly, and by May 2015, Hagerty
PHOTOGRAPHS by Jayson Fong
listed the same car as being worth £165,000. The rise in value of these cars also had a knock-on effect to those around them. If you couldn’t afford the most desirable Series 1 Jaguar E-type convertible, you could buy a Series 3 fixed-head for a fraction of the price. Missed the boat on a DB5? Buy a DB4, or a DB 2/4 – the ‘younger brother’ effect. So, all was good in the land of classic car investments for a long time. By buying the right make and model of car, you had an investment that provided a superb return, made you look cool, and (so long as it was your own personal car) didn’t even attract CGT on any equity when sold. But then everything started to get a bit more difficult. There are a few problems with investing in classic cars. Firstly, there are a limited number, so the demand for the most desirable can be extraordinarily high. This can then artificially enhance the values of less-desirable examples. Take the 1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SL roadster that Artcurial sold at auction last year for just over £2.7m, more than double the (then) top Hagerty value of £1.12m. This had pretty much everything going for it: a desirable aluminium block model, it was totally original, in time-warp condition and showed just 1,372km from new. Following this, some owners of other 300 SL roadsters expected their cars to have increased accordingly. Unfortunately for them, they had ignored the crucial rule of classic car valuing: that every vehicle is a different entity and that originality, quality of restoration and history are the key factors. What actually happened was that 300 SL auction results for the six months after the Artcurial sale were roughly the same as those for the preceding six months, and a few people found themselves with cars not worth what they had paid. The second issue specific to classic car investment is that of adding value. With many other asset classes, you can’t do much to influence its worth, but you can buy a classic car in need of work and have it restored, find out more about its history, or even create a new narrative by entering it in historic race events. In a bull market there are a lot of people doing this, from dealers to private individuals. Sometimes they are tempted to cut costs by cutting corners, creating the bugbear of the classic car world: the ‘shiny but rotten’ car. Thirdly, values of classic cars are driven by a fickle human emotion: that of passion. Buying the automotive hero of your youth is all well and good, but some discovered they lusted after false idols: pretty but uncomfortable, under-powered and demanding, requiring regular maintenance.
The days of buying a specific model, sitting back and watching your investment grow, are over Over the past 18 months, investors have become cannier. After the first flurry of excitable sales of a particular star model, prices tended to slip back to a more realistic level. Settling values made investors warier of where their money was going, leading to greater scrutiny of prospective purchases, which in turn added to the corrective effect. So, the days of buying a specific make and model, sitting back and watching your investment grow are generally over but there are still ways in which classic cars can add value to a portfolio. The first rule of buying in this volatile market is to know what the cars are worth. As mentioned above, auction values can be a guide but sale prices of the very best cars can skew the averages. The Hagerty Price Guide Tool avoids this problem by including analysis of insured values and adding a human element into the collection of data. The second rule of good buying is to find
the right car. Very high-quality examples of low-production run models from prestigious manufacturers will always do well. These tend to have low mileage, be very original, or be restored to a very high level. Utility is also important. With values fluctuating, owners want another type of return for their investment: enjoyment. Therefore, classic vehicles which are suitable for road rallies, racing, or taking day trips with the family tend to be selling well. The problem is that these are the cars everyone is trying to find. To buy well, you must find a car away from the open market. One way is to commission someone who has a network of contacts within the classic car world. Finally, although the general economic outlook is uncertain, values of historic vehicles have tended to rise during recessions, and financial pressures could encourage owners to sell their cars at knock-down prices. With your research done, professional advice at hand and the cash ready, be ready to buy should a good opportunity present itself. Above all though, make sure that you buy a classic car that you have some passion for. If you have that fire in your belly when you drive it, then the chances are so will someone else when you come to sell, and if your investment doesn’t grow as predicted, then at least you’ll have had enjoyment from it. ■ See more at hagertyinsurance.co.uk
GET CAPE, WEAR CAPE In his new movie Shazam!, Zachary Levi is stepping into the shoes of an all-out hero, but the actor doesnâ€™t believe true male strength revolves around being hard and macho. He tells MAX WILLIAMS what it really takes to be a super man
Photography by DUSTIN SNIPES | Styling by WARREN ALFIE BAKER Grooming by MARISSA MACHADO for Art Department using Monat 076
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I don’t want to talk about anything more than mental health and therapy and self-love and self-care Z
ACHARY LEVI SPEAKS with even more
enthusiasm than the words above might suggest. “I get more passionate about that than anything. I know how much I struggled with that, and with all the therapy and stuff I’ve gone through, I really feel that probably all of us, on some level, have a little bit that we need to go get healing from.” The above might read a little in medias res, serving up the juicy stuff as a starter before the thin gruel of character motivation/studio fellation that makes up a typical interview, but it occurs no more than 90 seconds after we sit down. I’d mentioned how much I’d enjoyed ➤
➤ the Inside of You podcast he recorded with former Smallville actor Michael Rosenbaum (who hosts a new episode each week), and after supplying a brief backstory – “Michael and I have known each other for a long time, but kind of in passing… He’d hit me up at this mutual friend’s party one night… I told him specifically, ‘I don’t want to know what you’re going to ask me…’” – Levi started waxing lyrical on the type of Big Issues an interviewer might broach near the end of the allotted time slot, only to be ever-so-politely stonewalled. Not Levi. Discussing how therapy helped him forgive his now-deceased mother for an emotionally abusive childhood, and how reliving this experience on Rosenbaum’s podcast had provoked tears in both men, he spoke with the easy confidence of a man for whom speaking about such stuff had become a natural, perhaps vital, addition to life’s many conversations. There was no sense of ‘God, the drama!’, no implied celebration of his own bravery; he could have been chewing over last night’s ball game, albeit a ball game whose result mattered a lot to him. More power to Zach. A world in which we can discuss the Big Issues as freely as the little ones is a better world than the world of today; it is also a world we’re moving towards, and people like Zachary Levi are showing us how to get there. As the man himself says, “it’s almost 2020, and it’s looking like mental health is really starting to be genuinely talked about.” Levi kept silent for a long, long time before he finally forced himself to open up. What changed? The obvious catalyst would be 2015, the year he lost his mother and got divorced from his wife, the actress Missy Peregrym, but life is messy, and even that “crazy one-two punch” didn’t prompt an immediate reaction. “Ultimately I found myself with nothing left a year later. Just so gnarly. It was like, ‘I’ve got to go take care of myself.’” Levi describes the decision to seek therapy as “basically 37 years of my life all catching up with me in one moment. And that was it. That was enough. That was enough to make me have to go and figure out why I was unhappy
I found myself with nothing left. So gnarly. It was like, ‘I’ve got to go take care of myself’ 080
GET THE LOOK: Shirt: Theory, theory.com Watch: Montblanc, montblanc.com Trousers: Sandro, sandro-paris.com Socks: London Sock Company londonsockcompany.com Shoes: To Boot New York toboot.com OPPOSITE: Levi in character in Shazam!
PHOTOGRAPH (right) by Steve Wilkie/Warner Brothers
– and I was, I was super unhappy, and it was a really gnarly place in my life. I didn’t really want to live anymore. And [I had] to go and find that really, at the root of all of it, was that I never learned how to love myself. I never understood what it was to value my own life.” Even the most obtuse now accept that money won’t always bring happiness, success doesn’t necessarily breed fulfilment, yet nonetheless it’s striking to hear that statement from someone whose life of two years prior appeared to contain so much value. Forget the career – which included two hit TV shows, stints on Broadway, a burgeoning cinematic CV – the whole Levi persona radiated good vibes. Funny, goofy, smart yet always willing for the joke to be at his expense: this was a dude you wanted to roll with. He’d josh with your friends; charm your mother; shoot the breeze with Dad; and should there be any intellectuals round the table, he’d be well equipped to handle them as well. So how did he reach the state described above? Firstly, let’s establish the biographical stuff. Levi grew up in Ventura, California in a “household of basically all women.” Two sisters, two aunts, cousin, mother, grandmother – young Zach was surrounded by “a sea of estrogen.” His parents divorced early, and his dad was the one who left. The desire to perform, to entertain, was present from the beginning. “I figured out early on, when I was like four years old, that if I made somebody laugh it made them feel good, and that made me feel good. And I didn’t ever want to change that – I wanted to keep doing that for the rest of my life.” “As a kid, all I did was do impersonations and crack jokes. I had no off switch. I could make friends real fast, and I could lose them even faster, because I just wouldn’t shut up.” Theatre offered an outlet. He walked on stage in middle school and stayed there throughout his adolescence and into early adulthood. A retired talent manager spotted him doing a community play; within six months he’d landed an agency and started to commute to Hollywood for auditions. He was 18, and it was April, 1999 – 20 years to the month before the release of Shazam!, the latest DC blockbuster, starring a 38-year-old Levi as its titular lead. In his own words, “Shazam! is the biggest that thing I’ve ever done and it hasn’t even come out yet.” Shazam! has been touted as DC’s answer to Deadpool: the irreverent outsider ready to pull the rug beneath his more celebrated stablemates – men both Bat and Super – and turn a relatively unknown superhero into the hottest property in Hollywood. Even Levi – the
I could make friends real fast, and I could lose them even faster, cos I just wouldn’t shut up man who founded the website Nerd HQ – only knew of Shazam! “peripherally” before his casting. (He was a Marvel kid.) He’s fully informed now, as I discover when I seek to clarify the Shazam! origin story. “I’ll broad-strokes this,” he says, and proceeds to distill 80 years of comic-book history into a little under three minutes. (And if you aren’t impressed by this feat, you soon will be.) I’m tempted to reproduce his words here and be done with it; but part of the joy of this job is pretending to know about stuff you know nothing about, and I’ll be damned if I let an afternoon on Google fall by the wayside when I can deliver a more long-winded version of a story my guy recited from memory. Skip ahead if you want: rejoin us at Taking Flight.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SHAZAM! Our tale begins at the dawning of the Golden Age Of Comic Books. June, 1938. DC has just published Action Comics #1, a seminal piece of literature heralding as it does the debut of a certain Superman. A print run of 200,000 copies rapidly sells out. Other publishing
houses decide it might be time to move into comic books. Imaginations take flight. Soon the cultural horizons are crowded with beings neither bird nor plane. Within two years, Fawcett Comics has introduced America to Billy Batson, an orphaned 12-year-old who can transform into the superhero Captain Marvel by speaking the name of an ancient wizard – Shazam! (A name which, handily, serves as an acronym for the Captain’s assorted powers; he possesses the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury.) Captain Marvel proves a hit. He soon lands his own solo series, Captain Marvel Adventures, populated by various friends and foes from the ever-growing Marvel Family. These include three other boys named Billy Batson, known as ‘Tall Billy’, ‘Fat Billy’, and ‘Hill Billy’; Tawky Tawny, an anthropomorphic tiger; Mister Mind, a super-intelligent worm; Captain Nazi; and the evil Doctor Thaddeus Bodog Sivana (played in the film by Mark Strong). Frank Miller it ain’t. Kids can’t get enough. In its wartime pomp, Captain Marvel Adventures circulates at 1.3m copies for each bi-weekly issue, with 14m copies sold in 1944. The latter half of the decade sees a steady drop off, yet the numbers remain potent. Get this: Captain Marvel shifts more comic books in the 1940s than any other superhero – more than Batman, more than Wonder Woman, more than Superman. Unsurprisingly, DC spends most of the 1940s suing Fawcett for copyright ➤
➤ infringement. Litigation is filed in 1941, although it takes another seven years for the case to reach trial. That lasts another three years; the initial verdict favours Fawcett, only for DC to appeal and force a retrial. This brings us up to 1952. Declining sales, and perhaps a newfound appreciation for life’s brevity, prompts Fawcett to settle out-ofcourt for $400,000 and an agreement to retire Captain Marvel from his adventures. The comics division closes a year later. Many of its staff move to DC, where they spread their considerable talents across a number of titles, including, of course, Superman. Fast forward to 1972. Comic books have entered the Bronze Age. Looking to expand its stable, DC remembers the oncegreat superhero it forced out of business, a superhero who shares the name of its main rival. Licences for the Marvel Family are procured, and the Captain joins Superman et al under the DC umbrella. Yet since his enforced retirement – enforced, needless to say, by his new owner – Marvel Comics had created its own character called Captain Marvel, and made sure to trademark the name. Therefore DC is forced to publish Captain Marvel’s return under the title Shazam!; even the caption ‘The Original Captain Marvel’ must be dropped following contact from Marvel’s lawyers. You hope somebody at DC had enough self-awareness to appreciate the irony. Over the years, the Captain Marvel moniker is phased out altogether, and Billy Batson’s alter-ego becomes universally known as Shazam – as he will be in the upcoming DC movie, released a month after Marvel Studios’ own Captain Marvel flick hits cinemas around the world. And if you’re taking a date to either, and you definitely don’t want to get laid, simply memorise the above 500 words and introduce them with a “did you know…?”
TAKING FLIGHT Our hero gazes out across the city, or at least what little he can see of it through the mizzle. Let’s be honest: when you book a rooftop ➤
You have to check yourself, otherwise you’ll lose touch with what’s really going on 082
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ORIGIN STORIES For the last 17 years Levi’s career has been in the ascendency; its trajectory a steady climb rather than warp drive to superstardom – Shazam! will see the gradient at its steepest – but always on the up and up. Let us return to the callow teenager driving down to Hollywood, and pilot season. Auditions went well, and Levi landed a pilot. The show wasn’t picked up – most aren’t – but the fact he was booked first time round should have served as an affirmation. Instead, selfdoubt. “I was like, ‘well, I don’t know if this is ever going to work out.’” After a year of unsuccessful auditions, the process repeated itself. Another pilot season,
A thousand people are clapping their butts off for me. I feel amazing – but it’s temporary
another pilot booked. A second helping of the disappointment served up so often in this town. “I almost gave up on the whole thing entirely. I just felt, ‘what am I doing?’ One job a year is not enough to feel like you’re supposed to be doing this, but again all that was part of the journey… growing and learning…” He persevered. “All of these auditions, I got really, really close, it was me and another guy, but I had no credits, literally no credits at all, no film, no television, no nothing. And then I got this little cable movie…” Big Shot: Confessions of a Campus Bookie led to a third pilot, and liftoff. Less than Perfect ran for four seasons and Levi’s performance as the shallow Kipp Steadman proved the springboard to bigger things. A year after the sitcom finished, he landed the title role in action-comedy series Chuck, playing an intelligent slacker who becomes a super-spy. That lasted for five seasons, during which time Levi also voiced the dashing Flynn Ryder in Tangled, Disney’s wildly successful take on the Rapunzel fairytale. By 2013, life looked pretty sweet for Levi. A decade of continuous employment, a name made, leading man credentials established – at least on the small screen. The big one beckoned, with the role of Fandral in Marvel sequel Thor: The Dark World and later Thor: Ragnarok. Most thrillingly of all, the lifelong theatre nerd was taking the lead in an original Broadway musical, First Dates. (He would subsequently score a Tony nomination for the 2016 revival of She Loves Me.) Yes, life was good, and yet he wasn’t happy. There was an emptiness that couldn’t be filled: not by partying, not by work, not even by the audience’s applause, the hit of instant gratification that briefly made everything OK. “I go and do Broadway shows, and a thousand people are clapping their butts off for me. I feel amazing – but it’s temporary. It’s the greatest drug in the world, it’s love, but it’s a temporary love. Unless you can go home at the end of the night, and feel good about yourself and where you’re at, and spend time with yourself, it’s never gonna last.” He couldn’t value what he had, and more importantly value who he was. Today, he traces many of these issues back to childhood – and his mother. On the Rosenbaum podcast – a must-listen – Levi describes his mother as, “a brilliant, vivacious tornado of a personality. Beautiful, charming, talented, very intelligent, and abusive… mentally and emotionally. She was a tortured person.” I wonder, did the struggles of his upbringing inform his choice of career? “I didn’t have any parents,” he tells Rosenbaum. ➤
PHOTOGRAPH from Alamy
➤ photoshoot in downtown LA, you envisage a backdrop of blue skies and boundless horizons rather than a passable imitation of a Welsh summer. Still, as every bartender and Uber driver delights in observing, I brought the weather with me. Not that Levi complains. He’s the consummate pro throughout, cracking jokes with the photographer, pulling out the occasional impression (his Austin Powers is uncanny). In some ways it feels a little patronising to praise a grown man for coping with a spot of light rain. Nonetheless, there will be grown men, and women, in his position who would have refused to cope, or certainly not have done so with such good humour. Anyway, as you can see the shoot came off spectacularly; the pervading greyness making the photos more wild than the standard #LivingMyBestLife sunshine snaps that might have been. The weather worked well with the man. Tall, dark and handsome, jaw squarely set, hair immaculately coiffured, it would have been no great surprise had he leaped from the building and swooped off into the clouds. It took Shazam! for Levi to finally relax; no longer feel like an outsider, or even a fraud. Does he now feel like a movie star? That’s his name atop the posters, his face smiling down from the billboards. You’d forgive him for coming over a little Brando now and then. No, he tells me. Not even on the red carpet,
the fans screaming his name, the paparazzi fighting for his picture, the giddy moments when he can’t help but “feel like a fucking million dollars.” Because even in those moments, “I’m still a schmuck like anybody else. I just happen to be so lucky that I have this job – but that doesn’t make me any more important. That doesn’t give me some rarified air that I breathe. You have to check yourself in those moments, otherwise you’ll lose touch with what’s really going on.” He isn’t paying lip service, playing up to the image of Humble Ol’ Zach. Statements such as “some of the biggest stars that ever were, nobody even remembers anymore. There are actors from the 1980s, they were massive, massive stars, and nobody in the newest generation knows who they are”, strike far closer to home than many of his peers would allow. I doubt that the Levi household contains any gold toilet seats. For Levi, “fame is bullshit! There’s no deep, lasting worth about it, because you’re forgotten. Appreciate what it is while you have it, and be able to let it go when it starts dissipating into the ether.” Whatever heights you reach, “eventually you always do come back to Earth – but is that because you remained there and kept yourself down there, or is it because something popped you out of the air and you fell to the ground?”
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GET THE LOOK: Sweater: Paul Smith paulsmith.com Trousers: Dunhill dunhill.com OPPOSITE: Levi as the lead character of NBCâ€™s Chuck opposite co-star Yvonne Strahovski.
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➤ Did performance offer a means of escape? “It’s so funny, somebody literally asked me that same question last night. I think going and being other people, maybe being a kid in a home that was an abusive home – not physically but psychologically abusive – maybe being a kid in that home, there was a lovely attraction to going and getting to be somebody else. Perhaps. But more than anything, I just liked entertaining people.” Only through therapy was Levi able to forgive his mother and start the process of learning how to live with himself. He now preaches total openness on mental health, believing that visiting a therapist should be no more of an issue than visiting a doctor or a dentist. “We’re not ashamed to admit that our body has little bumps and bruises, but we haven’t been conditioned to understand that it’s totally OK to say, ‘oh no, I have a little cold up here right now, I have a cavity up here right now, and I need to go work through that.’ “Particularly as dudes – it’s this alpha male kind of thing. We feel like we can’t emote, we feel like we can’t be vulnerable because that’s weakness, but it’s absolutely not. Being vulnerable is actually super fucking strong and courageous; to say, ‘yo I’m struggling with this thing’. That takes a lot of balls.”
A HIGHER POWER Levi has spoken in the past about his belief in a creator – God, or some form thereof. Whereas mental health has become an increasingly trending topic in recent years, theism has long been moving in the opposite direction. An afternoon with your therapist is more relatable than a morning in church. Not that this concerns Levi. His faith is real, and he discusses it as freely and candidly as he does therapy or celebrity or comic books. He searches for the right words when asked to define his faith – “sometimes day-today my definition of it probably changes” – but this is due to the complexity of the subject rather than a reluctance to address it. “I’ve been beat up enough in life and been wrong enough in life and been small enough in life to be humbled down. To be like, ‘you know what, Zach? You don’t know what you don’t know. Be open to learning.’ I just want to learn and continue on a journeyment – a ‘journeyment’? Is that even a word? It is now – a journey of enlightenment. Attempt to be humble enough to be like, ‘God, I want to know who you are, I want to know what you are, and be used in this world as an instrument of good. I want to be a conduit of love. And that, to me, that’s kind of the bedrock of my faith and spirituality.”
Despite strong Christian affiliations, Levi says his faith today isn’t tied to any religion. “I’ve seen religion be very helpful in some people’s lives, for sure. I’ve also seen it beat up a lot of people, and I feel I might have seen it beat up more people than it helps.” There have been inevitable social media back-and-forths, notably with atheists who take umbrage with Levi’s view of atheism as a form of belief in itself – albeit the belief in nothing, distinctive from the ‘who knows?’ stylings of agnosticism. “Some people were saying, ‘I’m an agnostic atheist. I’m like, ‘isn’t that two different things?’ I don’t know…” he says, and he bursts out laughing. He takes it all in good humour, welcomes the debate. “It’s unfortunate that for so long there’s been this pervading attitude of ‘let’s be polite and let’s never talk about politics and religion’. This has been a thing in Western culture for a really long time – I think we got it from you fucking Brits… On one level I totally understand, particularly in mixed company or whatever. But I think that’s led people to not discuss really important topics.” Whatever its daily definition, Levi’s faith unquestionably comes from a place of curiosity and inclusivity, rather than fire-and-brimstone dogma. (Anyone less fire and brimstone than Levi would be a cloud.) In summary: “I want to continue to pursue the heart of God, and be the very best version of me that I can be. If there is something that created all of this, clearly they know a thing or two about shit that we don’t. So it’s like, ‘OK. Cool. Teach me, show me, guide me…’ I’m trying to approach that power with humility, gratitude and trust. That’s my constant prayer. And then hopefully go and do good shit in the world, and enjoy life while we’re at it.” ‘Do Good Shit and Enjoy Life’ is surely a creed we can all submit to. Whether you care how Levi interprets that creed, whether you decide his invocation of God to be problematic, almost certainly says more about you than it does about him. Before we take leave, I can’t resist testing the limits of his goodwill toward his fellow man; especially as, like it or not, he’s now a fully paid-up member of the Hollywood Liberal Elite. You can’t headline a superhero film and not be part of the Hollywood Liberal Elite. He wants to put politics and religion on the table – so what are his thoughts on Donald Trump? I would forgive him for deflecting this question – Republicans buy tickets too – but Levi doesn’t do deflection. However, it prompts the longest silence of the interview, as he marshals thoughts that I suspect he has wrestled with before.
I want to continue to pursue the heart of God, and be the best version of me that I can be He starts his answer by invoking the subjects of self belief and self love that we touched upon earlier in the conversation. “There are a lot of people in the world who were never taught these concepts. And they have been trying to fill that gap, that hole, with power, with money, with influence – name it.” Such people, argues Levi, are empty, not evil. They deserve empathy rather than contempt. “The older I’ve got the less I believe in the concept of ‘good and evil’; I believe in ‘lost and found’, in ‘enlightened and not enlightened’. And I have an empathy for Donald Trump, because I try to imagine when I look at that man, and all the things that I genuinely don’t agree with, and behaviours that I can be shocked by, the little Donald Trump – I try to see that little kid when he was growing up, and whatever messed up childhood I think he probably had. “A lot of people want to point fingers at him with disgust, and despise him, and I think that’s also incredibly wrong because he’s stilla human being – and every single human being at some point was pretty good until they got messed up along the way. That’s how we have to be able to see each other, and that’s how I try to see him. And I genuinely hope for the best, and have trust in a creator – that even that, even he, even all the things that are coming from that, will be used for some growth and some good somewhere down the line.” And with that he rises from the sofa, off to spread his gospel of love, care and empathy – while not forgetting to have a little fun along the way. I hang behind to call the office, and therefore don’t actually see him enter the lift – maybe he departs via the window. Later, walking down a deserted Venice Beach, our conversation rearranging itself in my mind, the perfect signoff to this interview flies into the middle of the brainstorm and refuses to be dislodged. Well, almost perfect: it’s too obvious, too cheesy, but it fits the man like Lycra bodysuit and I’m not sure I have the smarts to dream up something better. Oh, you know the one. Heroes and capes. ■ Shazam! will be released in UK cinemas on 5 April.
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PHOTOGRAPH by MONTE-CARLO Société des Bains de Mer
OUT OF THE ORDINARY
Your bonus has officially landed, but what are you going to spend it on? After all that hard work, you deserve a treat. Here’s the square mile guide to rewarding yourself in style…
THE VILLA Hummingbird, Mustique, £POA
PHOTOGRAPH by blah
Houses in Mustique are rare beasts. There are only 120 on the private island – and in order to maintain the island’s exclusivity, no more are allowed to be built – so they seldom come to market. Few are as spectacular as Hummingbird, pictured, which is an incredibly special property even by Mustique standards, and it’s now available to buy. This monolithic seven-bedroom villa is set high in the southern hills of the island amid lush, tropical gardens, providing total privacy and spectacular views. The interior is contemporary and open-plan, designed for entertaining as well as making the most of its surroundings – inside and outside areas blend seamlessly, and the flow of the property leads you out to the 61ft sparkling infinity pool, gazebo and gardens beyond. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a slice of paradise, but if you can’t quite stretch to full ownership, Hummingbird is available to rent, so you can just pretend for a while. On an island of dreams such as this, that makes perfect sense to us. Sales: £POA, knightfrank.com; rental: $54,000 per week from mustique-island.com
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AVA I L A B L E I N P R E S C R I P T I O N
B BOONNUUS S
A normal Leica is pretty damn cool. But what about a limited-edition olive-green ‘Safari’ Leica M10-P? These green editions were originally constructed exclusively for the armed forces in the 1960s. Demand saw the first Leica R3 ‘Safari’ introduced to the public in 1977 – and this is the latest iteration.
The perpetual calendar and minute repeater are two of horology’s most elegant complications, but rarely are married together on a singular watch. The brandnew Vacheron Constantin Les Cabinotiers Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar is therefore a notable and handsome exception to the rule. Made by special order, this beauty features a blue opaline dial. For more info, vacheron-constantin.com
The Novus bike sits somewhere between an electric bicycle and a motorbike, and it’s just as much fun as that sounds. It can reach 60mph, but aside from performance, let’s talk about design – just look at that super-sleek carbon chassis, lightweight, streamlined and sure to turn heads. There’s even a smartphonepowered instrument panel for the geek in you. Prices from $39,500. For more info, see novusbike.com
Leica M10-P Edition ‘Safari’ body, £6,900; Edition ‘Safari’ lens, £2,300. For more info, leicastore-uk.co.uk
D R IN K
THE DRINK 1925 Grande Champagne cognac, £3,950
It’s not just the floral notes and hints of red and black cherry that make this cognac so prized. No, it’s the story behind the bottle that makes it a one-off (well, one of 182, any way). Forgotten for almost 80 years, this cognac had remained in a cask on an old family estate in the heart of the Grande Champagne region since 1940, hidden behind a wall hastily built to protect it from advancing German forces. The cask was unearthed by Last Drop Distillers in 2018, distilled in a small, traditional wood-fired still, and yielded enough liquid to fill the 182 bottles available to buy today. A true taste of history, and never to repeated. lastdropdistillers.com
EXCEPTIONALLY FAST BEAUTIFULLY DESIGNED ITALIAN ICON
Sound familiar? Typical top speed for a cruising motor yacht is 35-40mph. For a Pershing however, it’s 45-50mph. As shapely as a Maranello supercar, and with an interior worthy of a Milanese designer apartment, it’s no wonder Pershings are known as the Ferraris of the sea. Except for one thing, they’re a bit more powerful: 1,600hp to 10,400hp.
www.venturaeurope.com Ventura UK 47a South Audley Street Mayfair London W1K 2QA Tel +44 (0)20 7495 2330 firstname.lastname@example.org CP
B BOONNUUS S
PL AY THE SPEAKER Bang & Olufsen Beosound Edge, £2,900
Fusing minimalist design with state-of-the-art technology, the Beosound Edge is the latest word in speaker style from Bang & Olufsen. The curved, aluminium frame surrounds a matt black fabric cover, creating a statement piece that pleases the eyes as well as the ears. To add an element of magic, B&O has built the physical touch interface into the frame by lasering microscopic holes invisible to the eye, just allowing light to shine through. Mount it on the wall or sit it on the floor – wherever you put it, it’s sure to wow in both the looks and sound departments. nuconnect.co.uk
THE BEACH HOLIDAY Milaidhoo Island, Maldives
Boutique island resort Milaidhoo provides all the sun-drenched stereotypes you’d associate with an idyllic escape to the Maldives, but what it also offers is the chance to really get away from it all by making like a castaway and spending a night under the stars. You’ll travel to a private sandbank where you’ll be served a four-course dinner and champagne by your butler before you’re left in peace to bed down in a glorious, muslin-draped four-poster, surrounded by candles and lanterns. You can even book a personal sunrise yoga session for when you wake up in the morning. OK, so perhaps castaway was a little misleading, but seriously, who’s complaining? ■ milaidhoo.com
PHOTOGRAPH by Sakis Papadopoulos
S LE E P
ENDURACE The Canyon Crew, living the dream cruising through the Alps late summer in 2018. Whenever big days in the chair are on the cards, choose a ride that will make the miles fly by. Discover Endurace. canyon.com
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REVERT TO TYPE The first E-Type was an instant icon, but the Series 3 had to work a little harder to impress. Rory Smith test drives a restored example
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RED ALERT: This £170,000 Jaguar E-Type Series 3 has more to offer than just good looks and charm – it’s been fully restored to ensure a drive that’s as smooth as its iconic lines. With a price point that’s more affordable than earlier models, investing in a remastered Series 3 is an attractive proposition.
N THE LATE 1950s, a chap called Malcolm
Sayer put pen to paper and set about designing a new sports car for Jaguar. Sayer had worked as an aircraft engineer during the war before turning his hand to car design. By applying the principles of aircraft streamlining to the car world, he began to set in motion something that Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari would later label as the most beautiful car on the planet. This is, of course, the story of the legendary Jaguar E-Type. Just days before the car made its debut at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, Jag founder and boss Sir Williams Lyons ordered another E-Type to the stand, expecting the cars to be in high demand. With hours to go, it was down to Jag’s legendary test driver Norman Dewis to pilot another show car through the night and make the dash from Coventry to Geneva. When the covers came off, the reaction was better than Lyons could have hoped for. The car was a monumental hit, with everyone from celebrities to racing drivers and fast-living, fashion-conscious socialites swooning over the E-Type’s rakish profile. With a top speed in excess of 150mph from its 265bhp 3.8-litre engine, Jag’s new creation knew how to grab headlines as well as hearts. Best of all, its £2,097 price tag (£2,196 for the Coupe) was half the price of its more exotic rivals such as the Aston Martin DB4, which weighed in at a comparatively hefty £4,194 in the early 1960s. The car instantly became an icon for a generation that was enjoying the newfound freedoms of the acutely stylish 1960s. But despite its devilish good looks, the E-Type needed to keep pace with the rapidly evolving automotive landscape and was gradually updated, giving birth to the Series 1.5 in 1967 and, ten years on from its first outing, a third instalment – the Series 3 – in 1971. Cue disapproving looks from classic car connoisseurs. As the Series 1 E-Type had knocked the car world for six, a follow-up was never going to be easy, let alone a third instalment ten years later. Nonetheless, the men in brown coats at Jaguar gave it a bloody good go and set about flaring the wheel arches, extending the wheelbase and, most importantly, shoehorning in a thunderous V12
engine. Well, this is Jaguar after all. The latest E-Type met with a mixed reaction from the press, with critics claiming the car had become more of a cruiser than the sports car that Sayer had envisaged ten years before. But all that is a little difficult to believe looking at the Carmen Red Series 3, with its V12 engine rumbling away and fresh biscuitcoloured leather interior beckoning me in. You see, this Series 3 is a little different from the original models. While it certainly looks almost identical to the car that rolled out of the factory back in 1971, the truth is this car has been refined and fettled by E-Type specialists E-Type UK. Hidden away in a corner of the Kent countryside, the firm specialises in everything from buying and selling to full restoration and even restomodding classic cars like the one before me. What started off as a standard 1971 Series 3 arrived at E-Type UK in 2014. From there, the firm’s team of specialists, led by Dominic and Marcus Holland, set about giving the E-Type a full restoration. On the outside, the uprated suspension and deep-dish 15-inch wire wheels, Haywood & Scott sports exhaust and, if you look closely, the AP Racing brake callipers are the only telltale signs that this is no ordinary E-Type. But it’s out on the open road that this machine really comes together. On a bright morning, deep in Hertfordshire’s charming countryside, the birdsong is broken only by the thunderous sound of the Series 3’s mighty 5.3-litre V12 at full chat. The winding, wooded road through the Ashridge House estate is the perfect backdrop for a spot of early morning ➤
THE BIRDSONG IS BROKEN ONLY BY THE THUNDEROUS SOUND OF THE SERIES 3’S 5.3LITRE V12 AT FULL CHAT 099
➤ top-down driving, with a red flash of E-Type standing out beautifully against the leafy greens and earthy browns of the surrounding woodland. It’s a scene more blatantly British than a Buckingham Palace tea party, only a hell of a lot more raucous. Wearing its full uprated exhaust, the Series 3 sings rather than shouts its way through the surrounding villages, with several onlookers craning their necks for a closer inspection. Pulling up to take stock in the quaint village of Aldbury and the E-Type is a beacon of beauty, set against the black and white traditional Tudor buildings. Five minutes in, there’s a handful of locals and visitors gathered around the car, breathing in the smell of the retrimmed biscuit-coloured
leather interior, grabbing the wooden MotoLita steering wheel and admiring the lines from afar. “I used to have one just like this,” says one man, his gaze transfixed as though he’d been reunited with a long-lost relative. The E-Type is one of only a handful of cars, alongside the original Land Rover and Mini that can elicit a reaction, a memory or a smile from anyone. Even those with no interest in anything motoring related can recognise its beauty and appreciate its significance as not only a car but as an automotive icon. While the Series 3 has been overlooked for much of its life, in favour of the more delicate earlier models, E-Type UK’s respectful restoration shows that the youngest E-Type is more than capable of keeping up with
Jaguar Series 3 Roadster, £170,000; etypeuk.com
PHOTOGRAPHS by PAtrice Minol
THIS 47-YEAROLD CLASSIC IS AS PRACTICAL TO OWN AND MAINTAIN AS IT IS ENJOYABLE TO DRIVE
the rest of the family. While subtle styling modifications add to the overall look and kerb appeal, paying close attention to the oily bits – adding in electronic fuel injectors, sports power steering and brakes – has ensured that this 47-year-old classic is as practical to own and maintain as it is enjoyable to drive. A key selling point for anyone well versed in the fickle reliability that comes with classic car ownership. Pulling away and out onto the open road once more, wind flowing into the cockpit, it’s possible to get a sense of how seismic the E-Type was when it first hit the road in 1961. In a world recovering from the impact of two world wars in 30 years, the E-Type represented a new dawn of prosperity and dynamism. Its sleek profile was unlike anything that had gone before it, tearing up the car design rulebook in favour of something cool and contemporary but also timeless. Today, it’s considered one of the ‘blue chip’ classics – a staple for any car connoisseur worth their salt to have in their collection. With prices of early models continuing to rise, younger, remastered versions like E-Type UK’s Series 3 are becoming a more attractive proposition by the day. Proof, if ever any were needed, that Jag’s youngest classic cat is capable of capturing not only your heart but also your head. ■
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OUT OF THE BOX T
HE MERCEDES-AMG G 63 is one of those unlikely automotive success stories. It’s about as streamlined as a breeze block; it drinks fuel at a prodigious rate; and it takes up more space than a skip, so why on Earth are people queueing up to shell out £143,305 for a car which started life as a military vehicle? Why not go for the Bentley Bentayga? You could buy a Range Rover Sport SVR 5.0 V8 or a Porsche Cayenne Turbo and pocket more than £40k. How about a Maserati Levante for the Monday-to-Friday commute and another in the garage for the weekend? But no, for a certain group of car buyers, it has to be the Mercedes AMG G 63. So what is all the fuss all about? Let’s start with the obvious. Nothing else looks quite like it. If you want a vehicle which has immense presence, look no further. Just absorb the dimensions: 4.6 metres (15ft) in length; 1.9 metres high (6ft 3in) and you’ll need a gap that’s 2.1 metres (6ft 10in) wide to get through, unless you fold in the wing mirrors. It tips the scales at 2.5 tonnes. Add all of those figures together and you can see why your average fuel consumption is unlikely to get much further than the lowest 20s – if you’re lucky. Another reason why the AMG G 63 is a tad thirsty is the 4.0-litre 577bhp V8 bi-turbo engine. It results in zero-to-60mph in 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 137mph. These are mightily impressive figures. At this point you may be thinking that with all of the power and the actual size of the vehicle, that the G63 may be rather unwieldy, a bit of a handful. Oh, how wrong you are.
4.0 ltr V8 BITURBO
150 MPH PHOTOGRAPH by blah
NOTHING ELSE LOOKS QUITE LIKE THE AMG G 63. IF YOU WANT A VEHICLE WITH IMMENSE PRESENCE, THIS IS IT
Granted, it’s big, but because of the square dimensions, it’s a toddle to place on the road. There’s no sweeping bonnet to disappear from view. There are even some small indicators positioned on top of the bonnet to show you exactly where the corners are. Another delight is the sound which burbles and crackles from the exhausts. Make full use of the nine-speed auto ’box and you can either generate a low grumble or go the whole hog and unleash the banshees. Floor the throttle and after a bit of a pause while the V8 takes a deep breath, the whole car seems to hunker down and throw itself forward. You can’t help but be fully aware of the exhaust note for the simple reason that the AMG G 63 (which is the only G 63 available in this country at the moment) has side pipes. The exhaust outlets – two on each side – are situated roughly under your buttocks. Even though you have mountains of performance available, the AMG G 63 is most at home cruising along dual carriageways. The ride is uncannily smooth and well controlled. OK, it will also tackle seriously rough terrain, but the thought of running some bramble bushes down the side will deter most owners. I shan’t list all the equipment that you get included as standard. This is an AMG Mercedes; you get everything. The interior is a work of art and is also extremely comfortable. You need to climb in, but once you’re in there, the view is pretty sublime. The thing that I like about the Mercedes AMG G 63 is that it still feels old school while being very 21st Century. There must have been a temptation in the Mercedes boardroom to ditch the boxy design. Thankfully, they didn’t do that. A classic example is when you slip into the swish interior. As soon as you set off, the central locking activates. Honestly, the sound that it makes is like someone banging the side of a biscuit tin. It makes unwitting passengers jump with fright. Yes, this is a car that will make tree huggers wince. But if you want a luxurious SUV that really will cross a jungle, ford a river, tow a horse box, reverse a boat into a lake or roar up to the front of your favourite restaurant in style, then the AMG G 63 fits the bill. ■
MERCEDES AMG G 63
Boxy lines and a tough-guy attitude don’t make the Mercedes-AMG G 63 instantly appealing, but somehow it works says Graham Courtney
HIP TO BE SQUARE: Rugged good looks combined with the performance you expect from a Mercedes-AMG makes the G 63 a hit. Subtle it ain’t, but when it comes to vehicles that make a statement, you won’t find much bigger.
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ROLL WITH IT CASINO
For more than 150 years, Monte Carlo has been a byword for glitz and glamour. Max Williams visits the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo to discover some of its secrets â€“ and become a high roller for the day
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FULL HOUSE: The Casino de Monte-Carlo isn’t just the most famous gambling house on the planet, it’s also one of the most exclusive, attracting some of the highest rollers around.
AMES BOND PLAYED on its table, Tony Stark drank at its bar. Since its opening in 1863, Casino de Monte-Carlo has become established as the most famous gambling house in the world, the one place where our fantasies and reality merge for a few glorious hours at the tables. Las Vegas has the glitz, Macau is the glittering upstart, but Monte Carlo retains the class, the sex appeal, the epic ballerness – albeit baller in a tuxedo and cigars type of way, rather than throwing £50 notes off a yacht. (You can do that in the harbour.) In terms of spinning the roulette wheel or playing a hand of cards, it’s Centre Court, the Louvre and the Vatican all rolled into one. Doing justice to the magnificent grandeur of the place is tricky, so it’s fortunate we have pictures (only a couple, mind you: the casino is notoriously reluctant to let photographers through the door – unless they’ve swapped their camera for their wallet). The Louvre comparison isn’t a million miles off: there are paintings and frescoes everywhere you look, generally depicting romantic courtship or bucolic landscapes or romantic courtship occurring within bucolic landscapes. (Girls and a countryside pad – what else would you spend your winnings on?)
Perhaps palatial is a better adjective: what with its glittering chandeliers and vaulted ceilings and the giddily extravagant decor – when in doubt, stick gold leaf on it – the casino bears a more than passing resemblance to one of those stately homes inhabited by the 18th-century French version of Donald Trump, before he went doolally and was duly elected President of the United States. The casino stays open from 10am to 6am, Pascal Camia tells me, although table games only start from 2pm. (For the first four hours it’s just slot machines.) “The peak of the gambling is between 11pm and two, three, four o’clock in the morning.” Camia is the
PHOTOGRAPHS (all Casino images) by MONTE-CARLO Société des Bains de Mer; (Bond) by Keith Hamshire/Getty Images
CASINO DE MONTECARLO ALLOWS ITS PATRONS TO PLAY FOR STAKES THAT WOULD BE OFF-LIMITS ELSEWHERE
director of the casino, and the man responsible for the experience of hundreds of gamblers who pass through its doors every day. As he observes: “People when they are here, they expect to see James Bond.” Here’s a fun little tidbit for you: the clocks in Casino de Monte-Carlo are the only clocks in any casino in the world. (Potentially a double tidbit for anyone unaware that casinos don’t have clocks). Basically, the Monte Carlo casino predates the Monte Carlo resort, and therefore gamblers coming from out of town (ie most of them) had to keep an eye on the time so as not to miss the last train. The station was situated just outside the casino, which probably seemed like quite a neat solution until some bright spark decided to build more hotels and make leaving entirely optional. Anyway, now there’s a casino restaurant, Le Train Bleu, laid out exactly like a restaurant car to the point I imagine diners must occasionally glance outside to reassure themselves it isn’t actually moving. Le Train Bleu opens onto the casino’s main room, and supposedly a diner once spent her meal yelling roulette bets through the hatch to the nearest croupier. You hope she won, if only for her waiter’s tip. The casino brims with such anecdotes or points of interest. Go into the aforementioned main room, the Salle de Europe. Look up. See those eight little windows spread round the perimeter of the ceiling? That’s the original version of CCTV, with watchful eyes instead of video cameras. (Your chances of robbing the casino in the 19th century? Undeniably higher than today. The consequences if caught? Probably a lot more painful.) If you’d rather not play with the Muggles, move to the Salle Blanche – provided you’re allowed past the cordon. This room is where the real high rollers stake the kind of money most of us only play with on Football Manager. Jackets are compulsory, and that’s just as well considering all the croupiers wear tuxedos. I sit at the bar – which offers a Louis XIII cognac at €300 a glass – and watch a middle-aged gentleman enjoy several spins of roulette. After he’s departed, I ask the value of the chips that he’s been pushing so nonchalantly across the table. €100,000. I need a hit of that Louis XIII. Casino de Monte Carlo is renowned for letting its patrons play for stakes that would be off-limits elsewhere in the world. Camia tells me that “sometimes, on the table, we can have nearly a million – for one bet per person.” He later adds, “it’s not a bad thing, the game, if it’s responsible. We stress that: play responsible.” It’s not just talk: the casino will cut off and stop inviting gamblers for whom they feel the game may be becoming a problem.
Unfortunately the fellow in the Salle Blanche can no longer spend his winnings on the company of La Belle Otero, a 19th-century Spanish courtesan whose portrait hangs in the Salle Blanche. Her talents were prodigious enough to bring the great and good flocking to Monte Carlo, and what remained of their fortune after procuring La Belle Otero’s charms (the lady didn’t come cheap) was taken to the casino tables. She proved so beneficial to the local economy, the Hôtel de Paris ended up hosting her for free. Lucky La Belle Otero: hotels don’t come much more storied than the digs across the road. The Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo opened in the same year as the neighbouring casino. Its restaurants include the three-Michelin star Le Louis XV, its American Bar is one of the most famous in the world, and its 200 suites include the £40,000 a night Princess Grace penthouse – a celebration of Monaco’s most famous resident that doubles up as Monaco’s most exclusive lodging. The penthouse is quite something. Opulence, opulence everywhere: from the rooftop pool and jacuzzi looking across the bay, to the two enormous bedrooms with their own private dressing rooms, to the gleaming in-house spa. The minimum booking is three nights – or £120,000. Definitely one for the high-rollers, or the very lucky. Unsurprisingly, Monte Carlo likes high rollers – so much so that the casino stages an annual dinner for 120 of its highest, an ultraexclusive celebration of gambling and those who gamble big. Despite the fact I consider £20 down William Hill to be a fairly hefty wager – the closest I come to being a high roller is a trip to Greggs with the munchies – the casino was kind enough to invite me along to join them for the evening. The guestlist included Prince Albert and Princess Caroline (naturally), ‘Queen of Burlesque’ Dita Von Teese (makes sense), and Topshop heiress Chloe Green and her boyfriend Jeremy Meeks, aka the ‘Hot Felon’. From the North Side Gangster Crips to hobnobbing with literal royalty: amazing where a good mugshot will get you. After champagne and canapés in the Atrium, everybody decamped to the Salle Médecin for the dinner itself. The Salle Médecin – literally, the ‘Doctors’ Room’ – hosts most of the major events in the casino: galas, concerts, boxing matches. I don’t know where the moniker comes from, although I’m sure the average player stakes sums high enough to cause a heart attack. Even compared to the rest of the casino, the Salle Médecin does a particularly good impression of a cathedral
DOUBLE OR GLITZ: [this image] Gambling doesn’t get more glamorous than at the Casino de Monte-Carlo; [opposite, clockwise from bottom] Pierce Brosnan’s Bond makes a visit to the casino in Goldeneye; the ultra exclusive Salle Médecin; games aren’t confined to inside – the Salle Blanche terrace offers high stakes and panoramic views.
interior, all artwork and arches and a ceiling so distant it must be halfway to God. You don’t know whether to gamble or genuflect. Each course is interspersed with performers depicting the emotions of gaming through the medium of dance, and some pretty snazzy lighting effects. Those emotions are the wonder of childhood (‘aren’t casinos cool…’); the chill of fear (‘oh lord, my mortgage, my mortgage’); the thrill of combat (‘sod it, another grand on red!’) and the love
YOU DON’T KNOW WHETHER TO GAMBLE OR GENUFLECT IN THE CATHEDRAL-LIKE SALLE MÉDECIN
of the game (‘it’s just such a RUSH! I can stop anytime I want’). The highlight is undoubtedly the combat dance, in which goddamn Kendokas have a sword fight between the tables. Honestly, I’ve seen productions of Henry V with less action. After the final performance, gold confetti descends from on high and everyone hits the roulette tables. Even though I daren’t play – I’d be cleared out after two spins (unless of course… let’s not got there!) – it’s impossible not to feel a little giddy at the sight of the Salle Médecin on a Saturday night. Step onto the balcony overlooking the Riviera, the yachts on the sea reflecting the stars in the sky, and maybe it’s the champagne but suddenly the quietly glimmering bay has a touch of magic; a place where James Bond lights the cigarette of Grace Kelly, then stares down Le Chiffre over baccarat; a place where time holds its breath and the ugly truths of the world can be temporarily tossed away. Monte Carlo: not so much a region as a state of mind; halfway between reality and a dream. ■
Speed Demon The 2019 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard is a heady combination of fast cars, famous drivers, and top-notch hospitality
HE FESTIVAL OF SPEED is an everevolving extravaganza of motorsport and technology, past, present and future. Each summer the 1.16-mile long drive to the Duke of Richmond’s home, the hallowed Goodwood House in West Sussex, becomes a showcase for the fastest, most exciting, recordbreaking cars, bikes and drivers ever seen in one place, anywhere in the world. Described as one of the biggest global green-field site builds, the quintessentially English estate transforms in a matter of weeks to become a Festival that welcomes more than 200,000 visitors over four days, and has been defined as “the de facto British motor show” by Top Gear’s Chris Harris and as “the modern way to show cars to people” by Dr Herbert Diess, Global CEO of the VW Group.
The theme for the 2019 Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, which takes place from 4 to 7 July, will be ‘Speed Kings – Motorsport’s Record Breakers’ and will see Goodwood celebrate the people and machinery that set the benchmark or raised the bar. The focus will not just be on the Land Speed Record, but on every area of record breaking in motorsport, from the most consecutive wins, to most championships, fastest laps, most poles set by a manufacturer and many more. This year, the event is evolving into even more of a motoring mecca. Changes to the physical layout, with the relocation of the road car paddocks, will make way for an all-new live action arena guaranteed to thrill spectators, along with many other highlights: THE MICHELIN SUPERCAR PADDOCK In a new location for 2019, this ever popular attraction is where you’ll find the most coveted supercars the world over, lined up ready to race up the hill. THE ARENA Brand new for 2019 will be a whole paddock dedicated to cars that travel best sideways: four-wheel drift cars, rally cars, rally cross and stunt vehicles will put on the noisiest, most tyre-shredding displays from Friday to Sunday. GOODWOOD ACTION SPORTS This adrenaline-fuelled arena moves to a more expansive site to include all aspects of the extreme sports scene. Visitors will be entertained by the most daring jumps and stunts and get hands-on with the newest and most thrilling in eGaming experiences. CARTIER STYLE ET LUXE – CONCOURS D’ELEGANCE The Cartier Lawn at the Festival of Speed is the place to see and be seen. Mill around on the manicured grass by the beautiful stable block, admiring the cream of the crop of rare and intriguing automotive design, with the overall winner being announced on the Sunday by a carefully selected panel of judges.
FOS FUTURE LAB & FIRST GLANCE PADDOCK Now in its third year, an incredible, interactive display of what the future of cars, transport and technology looks like for all of us, from concept and autonomous cars, flying cars, electric planes, innovations in healthcare, jet pack travel, robotics and much more.
ON TOP OF these highlights, this year’s event will again include the cars and stars of the F1 teams, a breathtaking new sculpture in celebration of the Honoured Marque (still top secret) and an off-road arena for those who don’t mind being shaken up a little.
A FORMULA FOR SUCCESS: From Formula 1 legends to the world’s most expensive cars, the Festival of Speed is the ultimate summer garden party with plenty of corporate hospitality options to take the experience up a gear or two.
There are brilliant stands from an array of automotive tech and lifestyle brands with plenty for visitors to see and interact with; the Bonham’s auction where some of the most
valuable cars in the world change hands each year; and helicopter flights for those who want to see all the action from the air, taking in the South Downs’ views in all their glory.
•• This year, the event is evolving into even more of a motoring mecca including an all-new live action arena
WAYS TO ENJOY THE FESTIVAL OF SPEED Whether you are entertaining friends, family or business associates, there are hospitality packages at Goodwood fine-tuned to offer a variety of options. Choose from the finest British fare in the peaceful surroundings of the Duke and Duchess’s private garden, The Library Lawn, or the ultimate luxury of being right on the trackside in the Clark Pavilion,
where you’ll watch first-hand the stars and their incredible cars tackle the famously tricky Molecombe Corner. Throughout the Festival you’ll find food and drink offerings galore; from champagne and seafood outside Goodwood House to chilled Goodwood Ales and fish and chips on the cricket pitch. There is all manner of entertainment for families, too. As F1’s Mark Webber said, “It’s the best event in the world and I don’t know who’s second, but it’s a long, long way behind.” ■ Visit goodwood.com/hospitality to view the full range of hospitality packages or call 01243 755 054.
R A Y E
Celebrating 50 Years On The Water Start your summer in style, courtesy of the Moorings. Whether you choose to revel across Mallorca’s golden coastlines on a versatile monohull charter, power through the Cyclades to undock at seaside Greek tavernas, or indulge in an All-Inclusive Crewed yacht island-hopping towards Croatia’s blue grottos – our holidays are nothing short of awe-inspiring. Experience all this from the comfort of your own yacht, the ultimate getaway is just a call or click away. MOORINGS.CO.UK | CALL: 033 0332 1505
MEXICO FOOD & DRINK THE MASTERS GOLF EQUIPMENT
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PHOTOGRAPH: The adults-only pool at La Punta Grill & Lounge in Nizuc Resort & Spa, nizuc.com
PAUSE FOR RELECTION: Think Cancun and you probably don’t immediately think tranquillity, but you’ll find it in abundance at the beachfront Nizuc resort.
PHOTOGRAPH by Quentin Bacon
DOWN MEXICO WAY Venture beyond Cancun’s party attractions and you’ll discover true Mexico and its magical Mayan heritage, says BEVERLEY BYRNE
T’S A PRETTY safe bet the guys wearing giraffe costumes on the plane to Cancun weren’t seeking sophistication, culture and fine dining. Night life in Mexico’s party city is legendary, with clubs, bars and casinos to suit every taste and pocket. By day, the Yucatan Peninsula’s idyllic Caribbean-style climate, sable sand beaches and clear, clean seas make Cancun pretty much hedonism central. But, should you be searching for a dash of culture with your margarita, you’ll find there’s more to Mexico than stag dos, tequila shots and tacos. Wildlife spotting needn’t be confined to Cancun’s club scene. If you can tear yourself away from the sun bed, sprawling coral reefs and unique marine habitats will bring out your inner David Attenborough. From majestic lemon shark to rare and endangered sea turtles, the warm seas of the Yucatan Peninsula are teeming with aquatic exotica. Feel like acting out your very own version of Jaws? Why not indulge in Cancun’s latest craze, swimming with whale sharks. If you prefer your sea life on a plate, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to eating out. As well as its own fabulous traditional Mexican fare, Cancun has absorbed and elaborated upon cuisines from all around the globe. Talented chefs are creating a culinary gold rush in this corner of Mexico and the standards are very high. But what, you may ask, distinguishes Cancun from any old destination with pristine beaches, exquisite food, banging nightlife and winter sun? Well, that will be the 4,000-year old Mayan culture. Mexico’s mystical Mayan ancestors knew a thing or two about living the high life and their legacy reverberates around the Yucatan Peninsula today. So why not follow square mile’s ten-point plan and make like a Mayan in Mexico.
1. STAY AT THE NIZUC RESORT AND SPA
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Once a base for Mayan astronomers, this heavenly beachfront resort has welcomed everyone from Courteney Cox and Ricky Martin to world leaders seeking a celestial getaway. Just 15 minutes from Cancun airport, Nizuc is the only Mexican-owned, five-star resort in the region. Set within a 29acre natural nature reserve, many of the loft space-sized suites and private villas feature monumental bathrooms with private gardens or terrace with plunge pool. Five swimming pools, one adults-only, and two secluded beaches mean never having to scrabble for a sun lounger or sumptuous cabana. For families, a separate kids’ club keeps everyone happy. Think tranquil pools, tropical gardens, blonde beaches and a
peppermint sea, plus legions of smiling, courteous staff (who doesn’t love butler service?) – and Nizuc nirvana is all yours.
2. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE MAYANS By visiting one of the ancient architectural sites of Tulum, Chichen Itza and Ek’Balam, you’ll discover how the brainy Mayans discovered chocolate (well, cacao actually) describing it as ‘the food of the gods.’ Early ecologists, they respected the natural world, used honey for medicinal as well as culinary purposes, searched the stars for enlightenment and developed their own calendar and writing system. As well as coming top in arts, architecture and science, these clever clogs party people also loved dancing. These ancient cities are a tribute to the civilisation which forms the foundations of contemporary Mexican culture.
3. EXPLORE THE MUSEO MAYO DE CANCUN Learn more about Mayan ingenuity at this modern museum displaying more than 400 pieces found at key sites in and around the peninsula. Ranging from sculptures to ceramics and jewellery, it’s a chance to marvel at what the resourceful, artistic Mayans achieved all those centuries ago. The admission price also includes access to the adjoining San Miguelito archaeological site.
4. DIVE INTO MEXICO’S CENOTES Ready for your geology lesson? The Yucatan peninsula is composed of porous limestone through which rain is filtered creating a vast network of underground rivers, lakes and caves. When the limestone surface collapses, cenotes (flooded caves) are formed. Mayans regarded the cenotes as sacred as they provided a constant source of fresh water. There are countless opportunities to join scuba diving expeditions to explore these subterranean phenomena. Expect iridescent colours, exotic flora and fauna, stalactites and stalagmites. It’s another world down there.
5. EXPLORE MUSA An underwater sculpture park may sound bonkers but it’s all about the interaction ➤
Tulum is a tribute to the civilisation which forms the foundations of modern Mexican culture 113
LIVING THE DREAM: [clockwise from here] Nizuc is surrounded by inviting turquoise water that’s begging to be explored; fresh local seafood is prepared in inventive ways at Ramona restaurant; be prepared for plenty of sunsets and swimming pools at the pretty resort.
➤ between art and environmental science. Comprising more than 500 life-sized and monumental sculptures, snorkelling through one of the world’s largest, most ambitious subterranean art attractions is a bizarre and unique experience. All of the sculptures are fixed to the seabed and made from specialised materials used to promote coral life. How the Mayans would have approved.
6. SCOFF YOUR WAY ROUND THE GLOBE AT NIZUC’S SIX WORLD CLASS RESTAURANTS If you’re way too relaxed to stray far from the beach, Nizuc’s six restaurants can whiz you away to another culinary world. From Italian to Peruvian, Asian to French, breakfast, lunch and dinner can be a trans-global gourmet experience. For a real taste of Mexico, Ramona – Nizuc’s flagship restaurant – serves traditional cuisine in exotic and imaginative ways. Chef Eduardo Torres mines his Mexican
Snorkelling through a huge subterranean art attraction is a bizarre and unique experience 114
roots to reinterpret authentic dishes and elevate them to haute cuisine status. Served with all the precision and élan of a Michelinstarred restaurant and featuring some unusual local ingredients such as nopales cactus and tiny, tongue-tingling and crunchy grasshoppers, Ramona’s menu is the complete antithesis of Tex Mex fast food.
7. RELEASE YOUR INNER ROBINSON CRUSOE OK, you may not have the beach to yourself but a day trip to one of Cancun’s nearby islands is not to be missed. Cozumel is the most famous – and the most popular – so as a somewhat less frenetic alternative, the Isla Mujeres, only five miles long, is a delightful fishing community with stunning beaches, relaxed restaurants and great snorkelling. Even more laid back is Isla Holbox. Mostly undeveloped with a virgin beach and shallow jade waters, it’s part of the Yum Balam Natural Reserve so there’s not much more to do than grab a hammock and chill out.
8. SCARE YOURSELF WITLESS AT XPLOR If you’re tired of the supine life then it’s time to explore Xplor. This all-inclusive eco adventure park, just south of Playa del Carmen, comprises a collection of shriek-inducing activities from whizzing around on the highest zip wires in the area to driving amphibious
vehicles through the jungle, rafting through subterranean caverns and swimming in an underground river spiked with stalactites and stalagmites. Not for the faint hearted.
9. MELLOW DOWN WITH A MAYAN RITUAL The Nizuc Resort’s spectacular, purpose-built Spa by Espa features holistic Mayan-inspired therapies focussing on the spiritual as well as the physical. To spread the love, anyone booking a treatment receives an hour-long complimentary Nizuc Thermal Experience. Guests are guided by experienced therapists through the beautifully designed hydrotherapy circuit and treated to a mini massage afterwards. All this is but the hors d’oeuvre to the main-course treatments. Try a musclemelting two-hour Mayan Cocoa treatment. Using purest, fragrant cocoa oil, it will send you to heaven and back.
10. AND WHEN YOU ARE READY TO PARTY It has to be Coco Bongo. It’s big. It’s brash. It’s Cancun’s largest club and it’s all-inclusive. Between glitzy shows, DJs bash out the latest dance hits until the early hours. There’s no dress code so don’t be surprised if you see a bunch of guys wearing giraffe costumes. ■ A deluxe garden view room at NIZUC Resort & Spa is priced from £577 per room per night. For more information or to make a booking, go to nizuc.com
PHOTOGRAPHS (lead) by Peter Kühnl; (inset) by thecreatingclick.com
A WORLD AWAY: [This photo] There are few landscapes as revitalising as those of Saalfelden-Leogang. [Inset] Breathing in the Ötztal’s epic views.
Call of the Wild A hiking holiday to the Austrian Alps promises the perfect therapy for stressed-out City workers. Your boots are made for walkin’…
ORE THAN MOST, square mile readers appreciate how important it is to get away from it all; to escape the urban jungle. For your mental and physical health, it’s essential to occasionally put as much distance between you and the computer screen as possible. And you can’t get much further away from the concrete metropolis than a mountain meadow in Austria. THE WALK OF LIFE The SalzburgerLand region has some of the most epic scenery in Austria – and is one of Europe’s finest locations for hiking. The fragrance of wild flowers, the timbre of running water, the crunch of boots along a dirt path – it’s good for the body, the mind and the soul. And now there’s scientific evidence. In order to explore how hiking influences inner balance and wellbeing, researchers in Saalfelden-Leogang in SalzburgerLand were asked to study how the human nervous system reacted on specific hiking trails. The resulting ‘LifeFire measurements’ were then used to curate nine vitality trails. These trails differ in walking times – lasting between half an hour and four and a half hours – and have three different effects on the body. For relaxation, choose a route that regenerates: for example, the short 45-minute canyon trail in the Stoissengraben. To get invigorated, an active route is recommended: you could take the two-hour hike to the Lettlkaser mountain cabin, which offers the best views over the Leogang Mountains and the Saalfelden Basin. To bring body and spirit in harmony, opt for a vitality trail – like the 75-minute route to the Riedlalm mountain hut that runs through forests and over meadows. And of course all of them will help with building strength, lowering your blood pleasure, and raising your joie de vivre.
The 65-metre long valley is the longest side valley in the Inntal, with more than 200 impressive peaks, including 67 glaciers, framing it. The highest summit in North Tirol, the Wildspitze proudly soars 3,774 metres into the sky in the southern part of the Ötztal. The 160-metre high Stuiben Falls in the Nature Park Ötztal is the highest waterfall in Tirol. The name comes from the spray of the falling water – stuiben in the regional dialect. From Umhausen, it’s a continuous upward hike for between 30 minutes and an hour to the waterfall. If you want to feel the spray on your skin, then climb up the 700 steps next to the waterfall and cross the 80-metre long hanging bridge. Up here you will find the observation deck, and very close by is the restaurant Gasthaus Stuibenfall in Niederthai. See more at oetztal.com/summer
THE GREAT OUTDOORS Whether it’s enjoying the picturesque play of colours, taking in the amazing glaciers, numerous peaks and a magnificent waterfall, or simply indulging in time away from social media and spreadsheets, a holiday here is sure to leave you feeling regenerated and balanced. When the fog of the daily routine grows thick, it’s time to head for the mountains – for fresh air, a different perspective – and ultimately a new lease of life. ■ For more information, see austria.info
See more at saalfelden-leogang.com
WATER UNDER THE BRIDGE The Ötztal in Tirol and the Nature Park Ötztal, which includes all protected areas in the valley, offers a landscape laden with superlatives.
MORNING LIGHT: [clockwise from main] Exploring Japan’s cities at dawn is one of the best ways to beat the crowds and take in uninterrupted views of sights like this beautiful shrine; umami-laden sesame ice cream; colourful kimonos; and traditional masks
The true spirit of Japan Tokyo and Kyoto are two of Japan’s best-known destinations for a reason. But if you’re looking for a different perspective on these incredible cities, look no further than this guide from the experts at ANA
APAN IS ONE of the most popular destinations on the planet right now, and the cities of Kyoto and Tokyo are just two of its hotspots. Sure, you could go and just tick off the classic sights – from the highly Instagrammable Fushimi-Inari Taisha shrine to Tokyo’s Imperial Palace – but with a little research, you can get under the skin of a rich and diverse culture. That’s why we partnered with ANA to bring you an alternative guide to two incredibly beautiful cities, from what to do to where to stay and eat.
DISCOVER A PEACEFUL SIDE TO THE CITY Japan’s cities are renowned for their relentless, buzzing energy, but for a much-needed dose of serenity make a beeline for the ancient temples tucked away behind the high walls of Kyoto. Another way to get away from it all is to explore the city’s Gion district at sunrise, when you’ll be able to beat the crowds and get uninterrupted views of the traditional wooden machiya town houses, ochaya townhouses, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a geisha in the early morning light.
FIND A UNIQUE SOUVENIR Aside from the rest, relaxtion and seeing incredible sights, everyone knows that one of the best parts of the holiday is shopping for souvenirs and gifts to bring home with you, so make sure you make time to dive into the local markets that open at sunrise outside Japan’s shrines. You’ll have to do your research, though – they only open their gates on certain days each month, making the reward of finding authentic antiques and freshly cooked street food all the sweeter.
ANA TAKES YOU THERE In 2018, ANA was awarded Skytrax’s highest accolade for the sixth consecutive year, and is Japan’s largest 5-Star airline*. Guests know that ANA is Japan, carrying on a tradition of knowledgable, welcoming hospitality that has been refined over thousands of years. And with direct daily flights to Tokyo from Europe and North America, no matter what experiences you seek, ANA takes you there. Discover Japan’s unique destinations, ancient traditions, and best-kept secrets with We Are Japan, ANA’s insight into the ideal escape. #WeAreJapan wearejapan.com
*By passenger numbers across all Japanese carriers
STAY IN A ONE-OF-A-KIND HOTEL If you’re a fan of a bedtime story, unusual hotel group Book and Bed offers visitors to the cities of Tokyo, Kyoto or Fukuoka the chance to sleep among the bookshelves. Each hotel is home to more than 3,000 books specially chosen by Tokyo favourite Shibuya Publishing & Bookseller, and guests can bed down and cosy up for the night in one of 34 cute cabins hidden behind the library shelves. For the full effect, you can buy (and wear) a set of pyjamas designed for the hotel group, too. Just don’t stay up all night reading...
SEE A MICROCOSM OF JAPAN Japan is well-known for its incredible art, from the modern-day manga craze to the ancient art of Ukiyo-e woodblock printing. Get off the beaten track and dedicate some time to finding the world’s smallest Ukiyo-e museum, tucked away in Kyoto’s Gion district. Set up in an extension of famous artist Ichimura Mamoru’s home, the miniature museum is the epitome of humble Japanese efficiency, displaying a select number of traditional prints for visitors. It’s an amazing in-depth insight into an ancient tradition that’s not to be missed.
•• Explore Kyoto’s Gion district at sunrise to beat the crowds and take in amazing views of the city
REFUEL AT A JAPANESE COFFEE SHOP When you’re exploring a new city on the hoof, it’s important to make time unwind and refuel, too. Kyoto craftsmen Kaikado have a newly opened café just minutes from their workshop, offering in-the-know customers the perfect combination of café, bar, and show space. Every last detail of Kaikado’s tranquil shop is uniquely Japanese: there’s beautiful tableware
made by local craftsmen and cups crafted by ceramicists Asahiyaki, as well as locally sourced coffee and cakes to revive visitors who are after a much-needed break. EAT EXPERTLY MADE SUSHI You can’t visit Tokyo without eating plenty of sushi, and concept restaurant Suigian is one of the best places to do just that. It promises to delight the senses by serving some of the city’s best sushi whilst entertaining diners with traditional noh theatre – one of Japan’s oldest and most revered art forms. The restaurant itself was specially designed by innovative artist Hidetomo Kimura to have sunken tables surrounding the stage that give diners the perfect view, as well as secluded chashitzu tea rooms for private parties. With many Japanese people having never experienced noh theatre before, Hidetomo hopes that Suigian will reignite passions for an important tradition before it’s too late, as well as introduce new visitors to an incredible art form. ■
SOFIA SO GOOD: [This image] Carles Tejedor’s SOFIA Be So fine-dining restaurant; [below] SOFIA POOL – an urban tropical garden; [left] ZUU offers an exciting live dinner experience you’ll never forget.
A Barcelona Bonanza SOFIA BARCELONA is the perfect city bolthole: it’s situated in the heart of the action, yet feels miles away
from it all. From exceptional food and drink to relaxation and pampering, this is the ultimate city hotel
HE CAPITAL OF Catalonia is seemingly purpose built for a weekend getaway. There’s bucket loads of culture, beautiful beaches, a world-class food and drink scene, and all that sunshine. And now there’s a hotel that does the city justice: the SOFIA Barcelona. LOVE AT FIRST BITE The food and beverage offering at SOFIA Barcelona is unparalleled. SOFIA Be So is the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant, and has become a hot spot for local socialites thanks to chef Carles Tejedor’s exceptional cooking. Working alongside Chef Tejedor, renowned sommelier François Chartier has created a unique experience: guests are presented with aromatic amphoras, each emitting a different scent; you then choose your favourite aroma, leading to a wine selection made just for your meal. Then sit back and enjoy one of the exceptional tasting menus, with views of the open kitchen on one side and the hotel’s beautiful gardens on the other.
To start and end your evening in style, head to SOFIA Bar and indulge in some of its fine selection of cocktails and local wines. For something a little different, ZUU offers the city’s ultimate live dinner experience. Since its opening, it has shaken up Barcelona’s nightlife by offering an unforgettable gastronomic experience combined with a spectacular mise-en-scène. We won’t give too much away; it has to be seen to be believed.
A HOME FROM HOME The SOFIA Barcelona is also a perfect hub from which to explore the city, located on the famed Diagonal Avenue, and a five-minute walk from FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou. The only question is, how long can you bear to tear yourself away from a hotel as impressive as SOFIA Barcelona? ■ For more info, visit @sofia.barcelona on Instagram or go to sofiabarcelona.com
KING OF THE CHILL To enjoy the most of Barcelona’s famously sunny weather, SOFIA Barcelona has a stunning swimming pool area. SOFIA POOL is an urban tropical garden, centred around a large outdoor pool surrounded by manicured gardens and relaxing hammocks. It’s a slice of heaven on earth. If you still need to de-stress further, head to the 1,100 sq m SOFIA Oasis Wellness & Spa, complete with saunas, steam baths, a caldarium and a salt room.
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DRIVING THINGS FORWARD
Bibendum has been one of London’s most iconic restaurants since it opened in Michelin House in 1987. Now under Claude Bosi, it’s moving with the times while retaining its class, says BEN WINSTANLEY
N THE FAR side of the dining room, a large stained-glass window depicts Bibendum, better known as the Michelin Man, sitting on a bicycle with one hand in his pocket and the other lazily holding a smoking cigar. There’s swagger in his repose, a slight knowing smile breaking across his rubberised face, as the low afternoon sun pierces the blued glass, illuminating the plush carpets and white walls in a confluence of sapphire and gold.
Bibendum, Michelin’s bacchanalian mascot and namesake of this culinary grande dame, originates from a Latin quotation from Horace, “Nunc est bibendum” (now it is time to drink). Pour yourself a glass and we’ll continue… Bibendum resides in the Grade II-listed Michelin House in South Kensington, the onetime UK headquarters of the French tyre giant. The building fell into the hands of restaurateur and retailer Sir Terence Conran and publisher
Paul Hamlyn in 1987 – two friends who, when they discovered they’d been bidding against each other for the building, formed a partnership that ultimately created one of the most influential restaurants of the 1990s. Under the stewardship of the highly talented Simon Hopkinson, Bibendum celebrated the kind of unapologetically bourgeois French cooking that the chef’s heroes Elizabeth David and Richard Olney
Bosi’s cooking is wrapped in humour and precise technique – a potent combination
PHOTOGRAPHS by Steven Joyce
wrote about with such verve and colour. Seasonal and minimalist dishes were joined on the table with bottles of fine claret, and a groaning bill to take away with your petit fours at the end. It was unabashedly pompous and utterly brilliant. Years have passed since then, of course, and gut-busting rich cuisine has slowly faded into the background of the capital’s culinary melting pot. So too, indeed, has the traditional fine dining concept of which Bibendum was once a shining beacon. But this piece is not an obituary to a lost relic; this is a celebration of its momentous rebirth – a place that has spun the head of a new crowd to its opulent dining habits. Claude Bosi took over the running of Bibendum in March 2017 to immediate critical acclaim. Already regarded as one of Britain’s brightest culinary minds, the former owner and head chef of the two Michelin-starred Hibiscus has brought to Bibendum a unique balance of classic dishes and meticulous eye for reinvention: recognisable recipes that pivot on a surprising ingredient or unique preparation. Bosi’s cooking is wrapped in humour and highly precise technique – a potent combination that bears delicious fruit. Speaking of which, meals begin with a bonsaisize olive tree under which rests a spoon topped with a single black olive. Pah, silly reader, that’s no ovoid fruit – place it in your mouth and the ‘olive’ explodes into an entertaining palate cleanser of frozen olive juice and green apple. “My bouche is certainly amused,” my usually cynical dining companion asserts. If the opening gambit could be accused of gimmickry, the proceeding starters are an all-out culinary assault. Cock crab mousse, caper jelly and compressed cucumber riffs on the bourgeois staple of crab mayonnaise. The same can be said of scallop tartare, airdried scallop, and a prawn consommé infused with tarragon and lime. The delicate sweetness of the scallop (particularly the taffy-like dried scallop) contrasts effectively with the savoury tarragon and aromatic Thai flavours of the consommé, but at its most primitive form this is still a fish tartare, only extrapolated beyond the
comprehension of mere mortals. What followed next was one of the prettiest plates currently available in London. Bibendum’s signature dish consists of a smoked sturgeon mousse ensconced in a duck consommé jelly and topped with a veritable mountain of oscietra caviar. The smoke and salt of the fish ease into the rich gamey duck flavours in perfect harmony. There are other standouts: rabbit saddle and loin are served with immaculate langoustines, a heady shellfish bisque and a side dish of buttery brown-bread toast slathered in rabbit offal and lemon zest; veal sweetbreads are accompanied by a black truffle purée and shaved chestnut; but the final savoury course, “my mum’s tripe and cuttlefish gratin”, is as brave as it is bold. This funky stew, with its intense offaly flavours is accompanied by what is delightfully
called a pig ear and ham cake, which skirts the line between a terrine and a bakery product. It feels like a quiet salute to Hopkinson’s rendition of Bibendum, as well as Bosi’s mother: food without apology, compromise or restraint. Speaking in 2005, Hopkinson pointed the finger at some of culinary megastars of the day: “I think they don’t love eating enough and they don’t actually love cooking things enough,” he said. “That may be harsh and they certainly are all great technicians, but none of them have enough greed about food.” Sitting in the bright dining room of Bibendum, the walls ablaze in the afternoon sunlight, I think about this statement as my spoon plunges into the pillowy dome of a chocolate soufflé. To my mind, Bosi has a unique appetite for culinary innovation – and I’m greedy for more. ■ For more information, see bibendum.co.uk
WHEELS IN MOTION: [clockwise from here] Bibendum, the restaurant’s namesake immortalised in stained glass; cock crab mousse; Bosi’s ‘olive’ amuse bouche; [opposite] smoked sturgeon mousse with duck consommé jelly and oscietra caviar.
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GOLF GOLF MASTERS 2019
MASTER OF ALL
The first major of the year is just weeks away. BEN WINSTANLEY dives into the stats sheet in an attempt to find this year’s winner
OW DO YOU solve a problem like Augusta
PHOTOGRAPH by Getty
National? Every year, the world’s best try to crack this notoriously tough nut in a bid to take home the coveted green jacket; a symbol of triumph over adversity at one of the hardest tournaments to win on the planet, The Masters. For sports journalists and golf tipsters, it’s an equally perilous task in predicting who might be ready to collect that elusive prize late on 14 April, especially at a tournament that has thrown up its fair share of surprise victors. Who would have thought that last year Patrick Reed would rise through the pack to claim his first major and silence the doubters who have regularly criticised his bolshy persona? The odd surprise is a frequent and mouth-watering prospect at The Masters, but a few recurrent trends do reside here… ➤
BESTING THE BEAST More than any other championship course, Augusta National is renowned as a track where you have to plot your way round – knowing the right places to miss, and generally avoiding getting yourself into trouble. Equally, it’s a course that often turns on imperceptible breaks on the green that only multiple years of playing reveal. As Britain’s Justin Rose heartbreakingly discovered at the 2017 tournament, the difference between victory and defeat can be only a matter of inches. All of this goes some way to explain why old hats like Phil Mickelson and Ben Crenshaw took 11 and 12 attempts respectively before they were finally sized up for their green jackets. Both would go on to win it more than once and challenge in other years. Perhaps, then, a look through the players with multiple top tens at The Masters will reveal some of this year’s sternest contenders. Indeed, a resurgent Mickelson might well be the pick based on this angle, having already finished a close second and taken home the trophy at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in two of his starts in 2019. Then again, Jordan Spieth has only once finished outside of the top three on one of his five visits to Augusta National – winning in 2015 and throwing away another the following year. Discount these course specialists at your peril. Of course, outliers like Reed prove that there’s more to unlocking the keys to Augusta than simply years of experience. The Masters venue favours the game’s best ballstrikers – those who hit it high, long and with spin – and a look at the stats suggests
Augusta favours the game’s best ballstrikers – those who hit it high, long and with spin that players who consistently top the greens in regulation average go well at Augusta. Sergio Garcia ranked sixth for the season a year before winning, Spieth had led the stats when runner-up on debut, while both Bubba Watson and Adam Scott were in and around the top ten before their first green jackets. Of those in the top ten greens in regulation for 2018, the in-form Adam Scott (a permanent fixture in the GIR stats it would seem) is again of interest thanks to a much-improved putting set up, while streaky player Billy Horschel is one of those names with enough talent to one day top a leaderboard of this calibre. Henrik Stenson’s game, with an emphasis on a left-to-right shot shape, is often said to be unsuitable for Augusta National but he is of small interest, too, having topped the GIR stats in 2018 and featured in the top ten GIR stats for last year’s Masters tournament on route to a T5 finish. How important a draw-favouring swing is to winning at Augusta is up for debate, but should the opportunity present itself, Stenson won’t be afraid to take victory for himself. The marble-like greens of Augusta pose their own unique threat to the playing field, so it’s no surprise that the game’s putting maestros
weave their finest melodies hear in Georgia. Crenshaw, Zach Johnson and Tiger Woods have all been chief exponents of ‘drive for show, putt for dough’ – as too was Patrick Reed last year when he outperformed on the greens with a leaderboard-topping average of 1.44 putts per hole. Habitual great putters Jason Day, Rickie Fowler and Brandt Snedeker (all there or thereabouts in previous years) would no doubt love to ride this stat to victory.
THE REIGNING CHAMPION Patrick Reed, 33/1 The stars aligned for Reed at The Masters in 2018: he putted out of his skin, drove the ball magnificently (sixth longest average drive, top15 for driving accuracy during the tournament), and went toe-to-toe with multiple major winner Rory McIlroy and came out on top. Does he have it in him to replicate his performance? Simply put, it’s a tough ask. Only Tiger Woods, Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus – three of the greatest to ever pick up a club – have managed back-to-back victories. Of course, it doesn’t help that returning champions act as a master of ceremonies of sorts, selecting the meal for the Champions Dinner and generally being fussed by the media: it’s easy to get caught up in the festivities. However, after a dismal performance at the Ryder Cup in Paris, Reed has shown positive signs of life this season with a smattering of top-20 performances. His putting statistics point to a player very much comfortable with the flat stick at the moment, and should he dial in his irons in time for April, Reed might offer an each-way chance to make the top ten.
THE WORLD NUMBER ONE Justin Rose, 12/1 The most consistent player in world golf is also currently the highest ranked – Justin Rose needs very little introduction. Rewind to 2017 and many would have expected the Englishman to have bested Sergio Garcia in a tournament that revolved around the final group on Sunday. But on the last hole of regulation play, Rose failed to convert a birdie putt that would have won him the tournament – he would go on to lose the playoff. Back in the present, and Rose is already sitting on one PGA Tour victory in 2019, and looks as rock-steady as ever. We’ve said it before, but this could be his year.
THE COURSE SPECIALISTS Jordan Spieth, 11/1 Augusta was the venue where Spieth signalled his golfing talent. He finished T2 in 2014 before going one better the following year in only his
second start at the hallowed US course. Joy turned to despair in 2016 when two trips to Rae’s Creek on the 12th during the fourth round led to a quadruple-bogey seven that turned a likely title defence into a catastrophic self-capitulation. Despite winning The Open since, Spieth’s aura has diminished. Even as Spieth continues to search for his sparkling best, Augusta has an inherent ability to energise the player. A final-round 64 last year gave Spieth third in his own right, despite struggling for large patches of the tournament – were he to get into a better rhythm this year, he would surely figure highly come Sunday. Generally-priced odds of 11/1 are short enough for an out-of-sorts player based on this year’s form, but few players react as well to Masters conditions as Spieth.
Phil Mickelson, 25/1 Phil Mickelson has started the year like a man on a mission. He cruised to victory at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in complete control of his game. Driving woes of previous seasons look firmly behind him, the putter is hot and Mickelson still has the Midas touch with a wedge. Could he really win the tournament at the age of 48? He’s in with a great shout – and at 25/1 offers the best value of both in-form players and regular top-ten Augusta finishers.
GAME ON: [This photo] Adam Scott looks on from the 13th green during the first round of last year’s Masters. [Opposite] Phil Mickelson plays a shot on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach before winning the ProAm this February.
PHOTOGRAPH (Phil Mickelson) by Harry How; (Adam Scott) by Patrick Smith/Getty Images
THE YOUNG PRETENDER
Adam Scott, 33/1
Justin Thomas, 12/1
Scott is of particular interest after a string of great performances at the end of last season continued into 2019 with a second-place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open. Scott is one of the finest ballstrikers to have played the game in the last couple of decades, but it is his revitalised short game that might make this year’s return trip to Augusta a fruitful one. A new putter and putting grip seem to have firmed up the Australian’s occasionally tentative action – if he keeps the three putts at bay during the Masters, his 33/1 odds could look very generous indeed.
It would be fair to say that Justin Thomas’s T39, T22 and T17 performances in his three spins around Augusta are not representative of the precocious talent he is, but they do at least suggest someone heading in the right direction. In fact, he’d have finished closer last year but for a bogey-bogey-bogey finish on Sunday. The 2017 PGA Championship winner certainly has the game to compete at Augusta – his long, aggressive, birdie-hungry play smacks of a golfer who is more than happy to snatch a green jacket with both hands. Another year on and clearly maturing, odds of 12/1 seem fair for one of the most complete players currently playing the game. He’s in form, too, boasting the number one ranking for strokes gained tee-to-green and strokes gained total – i.e. Thomas is playing as well, if not better, than anyone right now.
THE OUTSIDERS It seems bizarre that a former-Masters champion, a one-time FedEx Cup winner and season PGA Tour pro would all be classed as ‘outsiders’ for any event, but that means there might be value in supporting Adam Scott, Billy Horschel and Kevin Kisner.
had been helping his wife through her battle with alcoholism – largely explaining the talented player’s slump in form. A year on, he finished the 2018 season with T11, T3 and T3 performances, culminating in a second-place finish at the Tour Championship. Looking at Horschel’s 2018 stats shows what a well-rounded player he is – finding himself inside the top 50 for almost every metric. His third-place rank for GIR percentage – and residing inside the top 25 for strokes gained putting – might be the key to unlocking a strong Masters performance.
Kevin Kisner, 125/1 Billy Horschel, 100/1 Billy Horschel’s 100/1 odds are not entirely representative of the player he is today. He came forward in June 2017 to announce he
Scott’s revitalised short game might make this year’s return trip to Augusta a fruitful one
One of these days, Kevin Kisner is going to convert his spectacular putting statistics (fourth best at Augusta last year through four rounds) into a big victory – and with his family home residing in Aiken, South Carolina, no more than 30 minutes down the road there would be few more popular winners. Having played the course on a number of occasions as a member of the University of Georgia golf team, Kisner also knows the course better than most. At 150/1, his insider knowledge may well turn into gold, should lady luck smile on him. ■ The Masters runs from 11-14 April.
GUNS N’ ROSES
THE MAJORS 2019 There’s a new running order for the Majors after The Masters in April. Here’s everything you need to know about the biggest events in golf…
Justin Rose was a big-name recruit to Japanese golf brand Honma late last year. We take a look at his weapon of choice, the TWorld 747 driver
FIRE WHEN READY The TWorld 747 460 used by Justin Rose features a ‘Proprietary Adjustability System’, which allows golfers to adjust the loft of the club to create their desired shape. Unlike other club manufacturers, it does this without rotating the spine of the shaft, which improves ball flight and distance – because who wants to hit the ball longer and straighter, right?
see more on
PGA CHAMPIONSHIPS – 16-19 MAY Moving from its previous August date, the PGA Championships rolls into the fearsomely difficult Bethpage Black golf course. For tickets and more, see: europeantour.com
THE DRIVER OF YOUR LIFE US OPEN – 13-16 JUNE There is no more fitting location for a US Open than the iconic links of Pebble Beach. Can Tiger win on one of his favourite courses? For tickets and more, see: europeantour.com
THE OPEN – 18-21 JULY After a 68-year hiatus, The Open returns to Royal Portrush and Northern Ireland in 2019. For tickets and more, see: europeantour.com
PHOTOGRAPHS by (Justin Rose) Zach Scheffe; (PGA and The Open) Stuart Frabklin/Getty; (US Open) Ryan Young/Getty
If you were one of the people who raised their eyebrows at Justin Rose moving club manufacturers to Honma, you didn’t have long to doubt the World Number One. In his second start of 2019 – and second with Honma clubs in the bag – he eased to a two-shot victory at the Farmers Insurance Open, becoming the first player in 20 years to shoot four consecutive rounds in the 60s in the process. Wielding the TWorld 747 driver has contributed to Rose’s 5th and 11th place ranking for strokes gained tee-to-green and driving distance statistics respectively. For more info, see
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BRIGHT IDEAS Illuminate your home with the latest version of a lighting classic and bathe in the glow of decades’ worth of Danish design heritage
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The gently curved Pantop lamp has been a staple of the Verpan collection for almost 40 years, thanks to a distinctive bell-like form – a timeless design classic. You don’t mess with perfection, but what you can do is build on it, and the latest Pantop does just that – available in a larger size for the first time, it brings with it more presence while maintaining the refined elegance for which it’s famed. It’s available in a variety of finishes including the new classic antique brass, seen here. ■
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LIVING THE DREAM: [clockwise from here] Titlark House’s beautiful indoor pool; the secluded bar exudes art deco style; this stand-out home is surrounded by landscaped gardens; ‘super room’ by name, super room by nature.
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Get 10% off tickets for London in the Sky this May
Events & Openings – Spring 2019 THE OTHER ART FAIR
IBÉRICA ASTURIAN MONTH
Truman Brewery / 14-17March
All Ibérica restaurants / March
More than 140 artists will take over the Truman Brewery for the 34th edition of The Other Art Fair, presented by Saatchi Art. Expect guest exhibitions, site-specific installations, workshops and curated projects addressing the fair’s global 2019 Greener Future theme, all from some of the world’s finest emerging artists.
Ibérica is celebrating a decade of bringing authentic Spanish food to England with Asturian Month. Try incredible dishes from this lesser known region including fritos de pixin (fried monkfish), and bollu prenau (chorizo-filled bread), as well as native wines and ciders across all their restaurants during March.
For more info, see theotherartfair.com
CUT + GRIND AT THE RAPHA CLUBHOUSE
TASTE THE GREATNESS OF NORTHERN IRELAND
Rapha Clubhouse / Sunday 7 April
Borough Market / 13-17 March
Burger specialists Cut + Grind will take over the Rapha Clubhouse on Brewer Street for a live-stream of the Tour of Flanders. For the occasion, Cut + Grind will serve hot and veggie dogs and their Belgian fries; along with Belgian beers, and a DJ providing some big Euro beats while you watch the iconic race.
Borough Market will host ‘Taste the Greatness of Northern Ireland’, a showcase of the premium food and drink that the country has to offer. Guest traders will set up shop in the glassfronted Market Hall, and there will be a special, family-friendly St Patrick’s Day celebration on Sunday 17 March.
Discount only valid for weekdays in May.
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For more info, see ireland.com/ni-food ■
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OR THE FIRST time, London in the Sky
will have a residency at the O2 this summer. From May to July, the unique dining concept will be situated a stone’s throw from the arena entrance (please don’t actually throw any stones). Tables are suspended 100ft above ground by giant cranes, offering unparalleled views and food to match. Up to 22 people can chow down on either breakfast, lunch or dinner, to be served by some (very brave) roaming waiters, and cooked by an impressive array of world-class chefs. Tickets are on sale now including private and corporate packages. To claim a 10% discount on London in the Sky tickets, simply book via the website below and enter the code LITS-SqmileMay1 at checkout. ■
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NEXT-LEVEL DINING Londonâ€™s most talked-about dining experience â€“ a table suspended 100ft in the air, right next to The O2
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PHOTO PRIZE 2019
square mile Photo Prize 2019 – Launch NOW ENTERING ITS fourth year, the square mile Photo Prize is back. And this year we’re going to have a bigger range of categories – including ‘best amateur’, ‘best professional’ and ‘best mobile phone shot’. As with previous years, the parameters are simple.
First, all photographs must be taken in or around the City of London or Canary Wharf. Secondly, each person is only allowed up to 20 entries. Thirdly, try to surprise the judges. All submissions need to be made by the end of September, so there’s plenty of time.
Pictured above is one of the winning shots from last year’s prize, shot by Elena Chaykina. Part of her Reflections series, it was taken in the Cabot Square fountains. ■ To enter, send your high res jpegs to photo@ squaremile.com with subject header ‘Photo Prize’.
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