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£4 ISSUE 148 ISSN 1752-9956



We craft watches not to meet expectations, but to surpass them. SeaQ Panorama Date Dive into the Original

LONDON Harrods, Heathrow Airport, Terminal 2 | Watches of Switzerland, Knightsbridge | Watches of Switzerland, Oxford Street | Watches of Switzerland, Regent Street | Wempe, New Bond Street |

EDINBURGH Chisholm Hunter, Princes Street | GLASGOW Chisholm Hunter, Argyll Arcade | Chisholm Hunter, Buchanan Street | MANCHESTER Ernest Jones, St Ann Street | YORK Berry’s, Stonegate


EAN-CLAUDE BIVER HAS been described as many things

over his distinguished career. Nick Foulkes called him “an inspirational leader, an industry maverick, and a natural phenomenon.” Ben Clymer called him “one of the most fascinating, innovative, and creative minds in the history of watches.” Having now met the man, I’m going to add to the list of superlatives: he’s a force of nature. The president of LVMH’s Watch Division (not to mention chairman of Hublot and Zenith) was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s square mile Watch Awards in association with Rémy Martin, held last month. There couldn’t be a more worthy winner – this is a man who was responsible for the rebirth of Blancpain, the monumental growth of Hublot, and putting the first Omega on James Bond’s wrist. In his acceptance speech, Biver reminded us of some age-old wisdom: that only dead fish swim with the stream. “Don’t float with the current; swim against it; go left; go right. But if you are with the current, swim three times as fast.” It’s a mantra that’s served well a man who fundamentally saved the luxury watch industry from the quartz crisis. Biver shows no sign of his 70 years. As he joined us for dinner in the Leadenhall Building, he had only just arrived from Mexico. The following day, he was flying to Manila. Next was Hong Kong. And then onward – for the following 50 days. It’s the one-man world tour that is JCB’s life. A break for Christmas and New Year, “and then it starts all over again.” You’ll see one of Biver’s watches in our shoot on p90. When it came to the car brand Hublot would collaborate with, who else but Ferrari would do? Biver left us with one final thought: “When you get to the top of the mountain, keep on climbing. The second you don’t, you are on the descent.” A fitting tribute for our annual technology special, which is dedicated to the pursuit of more, of smarter, of better. Enjoy the issue. ■

Mark Hedley, Editor, @mghedley

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@squaremile_com @squaremileuk @squaremile_com LAST MONTH, ON OUR INSTAGRAM…

“So many people kept asking ‘what happened to Jesse?’ It was the one question left unanswered.” @aaronpaul on the return of Jesse Pinkman, an exclusive cover feature in the new issue of @squaremile_com.

Friends is 25 today! *clapclap-clap-clap* Friends fact: According to @IMDb, it was Joey’s use of the phrase “going commando” that got it into the Oxford English Dictionary. What’s your favourite part of the biggest sit-com ever?

Ferrari 375 Plus Sutton Spyder with Soixante-Neuf numbering by @classiccarvoyage – huge Friday feeling, this. Very nice indeed… @cars_neilcruickshan “arlo.hudson: Stunning” “josie__m__: Omg!!!”

Boris? What a joker... Using a normal Bic ballpoint pen, London based fine artist @jamesmylneart has unveiled controversial new works to announce an upcoming London retrospective of his work.






Mark Hedley

Matthew Hasteley



Ben Winstanley

Emily Black Annie Brooks



Max Williams


Matt Franklin


Rhys Thomas


Dan Kennedy


Mike Gibson, Ally Head, Tom Powell, Lydia Winter


David Harrison



George Serventi

O’Shaya Dawkins



Vicky Smith

Precision Colour Printing


Graham Courtney, Jonathan Dick, Sara Lawrence, Alice LonghurstJones, Beth McColl, Nana Wereko-Brobby, Saul Wordsworth



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Mike Berrett

Steve Cole




Seth Tapsfield

Jess Gunning, Jenny Thomas



Jason Lyon

Caroline Walker

Amber Ahmad, Emily Fulcher, Kate Rogan



Rob Brereton

Tom Kelly OBE

Melissa van der Haak


AJ Cerqueti



Ben Duncan, Joey Goldsmith

Tim Slee



Matt Clayton

Lily Hankin

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









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FEATURES 054 . ‘BIG MIKE’ STRAUMIETIS “Thirty-six years ago, I decided I wanted to grow a lot of weed…” Meet the man behind the world’s biggest cannabis company.

060 . ELIZABETH MORRIS We talk Tinder, on-screen fights with Jessica Alba and overcoming a fear of clowns with actress and writer Elizabeth Morris.



076 . WARM UP Get your coat – and your boots, and your bag, and your… oh, you get the idea: it’s our round-up of AW19’s wardrobe essentials.









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: newsletter

PHOTOGRAPH (Hearn) by Dan Kennedy

Eddie Hearn brought British boxing to a billion-dollar scale. Not bad for a doubleglazing salesman. We caught up with him in New York, London and, er, Brentwood.


“A Triumph”


Official fuel consumption in mpg (l/100km) and CO2 emissions (g/km) for the Alpine A110 range are: Combined 43.4 (6.5) to 44.1 (6.4) and CO2 144 to 146 g/km. WLTP figures shown are for comparability purposes; only compare figures with vehicles tested to the same technical procedures. Actual real world driving results may vary depending on factors such as weather conditions, driving styles, vehicle load or any accessories fitted after registration. WLTP is a new test used for fuel consumption and CO2 figures however until April 2020 the CO2 figures are based on the outgoing (NEDC) test cycle which will be used to calculate vehicle tax on first registration. For more information, please see or consult your Alpine Centre. Data correct at time of going to print. Figures quoted are for a range of configurations and are subject to change due to ongoingapprovals/changes. Model shown is an Alpine A110S with options. Please consult your Alpine Centre for further information.




PHOTOGRAPH: Triumph Rocket 3 r, £19,500,


SQUARE MILE 101 WORDS Saul Wordsworth







2,458 CC


221 NM


167 PS





£19.5k OTR

▷ BXR London may be the capital’s first luxury boxing gym. Endorsed by Anthony Joshua, the state-of-the-art facilities include a boxing ring, all the equipment you will ever need, changing rooms that could moonlight as a hotel spa, a sauna and steam room, and even a lounge area complete with cafe. As you can see from the gallery above, the place looks a million dollars and probably cost more. Well, it’s based on Chiltern Street, after all. SWEAT membership is £180 per month; SWEAT UNLIMITED is £300 per month (three months min). BXR London, 24 Paddington St, W1U 5QX. For more info, see


1. Don’t pass wind in the lift – you won’t know who the others are. 2. Arrive on time: punctuality is the politeness of princes, lateness the land of the loser. 3. Be patient – your phone/computer/login/ chair/colleagues probably won’t work. 4. Stay late, eg. til Thursday. 5. Smile boldly even though you want to be at home with mummy. 6. Prepare good questions to ask, eg ‘How do I do this job then?’, ‘Where’s the shitter?’, ‘Why is everyone so weird?’ 7. Create mnemonics to remember names (eg Querulous Quentin, Bellicose Bella, Fat Frank).

8. Befriend the men (“See the game?”), women (“Love that blouse!”), and security (“What are your hours, don’t you get bored?”). 9. Stay out of gossip – unless it’s compelling. 10. Be helpful but not obsequious. 11. Look up meaning of obsequious (you bozo). 12. Try to listen and not talk YES WE KNOW IT’S DIFFICULT. 13. Which reminds me, DON’T DO ANY SHOUTING. 14. UNLESS THERE’S A FIRE. 15. Make friends, but stop short of sex. 16. Use your lunch hour to get to know your new colleagues, alternatively wander off on your own and call your mates to tell them how AWFUL everyone is. 17. Don’t try too hard, you’ll look like a bell-end. 18. Make notes – then eat them to commit to memory. 19. As you walk home write THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER on your palm. 20. Cry yourself to sleep. ■



TRIUMPH ROCKET 3 R, £19,500 WORDS Mark Hedley

▷ The Triumph Rocket III project dates back to 1998, when the Brits decided to take the Americans on at their own game – and start work on a super cruiser that


was bigger than your average US state. The resulting 2004 Rocket III had the largestdisplacement engine of any production motorcycle. Two decades on, Triumph hit reload with the Rocket 3 TFC. Not only was this the


▷ Repton Boxing Club is an East London institution. As well as hundreds of national champions, including Olympic gold medalist Audley Harrison, Repton has trained the likes of actor Ray Winstone – a talented prospect in his day – and, most notoriously of all, the Kray twins. The club is the oldest in the UK – its precursor Repton Boys Club was established in 1884 – and head coach Tony Burns has been to ten Olympics in a career spanning half a century. Repton is for serious boxers only: no courses or keep-fit classes here. Repton Boxing Club, 116 Cheshire St, London E2 6EG For more info, see

British firm’s most powerful model ever, its 2,458cc engine had again set the record for the largest engine of any production bike. The only issue was Triumph made just 750 models, and they all sold out before you could say ‘hot damn’.

But fear not: Triumph has announced the Rocket 3 R and Rocket 3 GT. The triple engine has the highest torque of any production motorcycle – 221Nm @ 4,000rpm. The power is up, too: 167PS @ 6,000rpm is a 11% gain on the


previous generation. But despite all the big numbers and bragging rights, the Rocket 3 is quite the charmer – the Brembo Stylema Monobloc brakes and adjustable Showa suspension mean it’s easy to ride. And a digital dash that

syncs to your phone, GoPro connectivity, keyless ignition, LED headlights, heated grips, and a USB charging port all ensure that despite the Rocket 3 resurrecting the recent past, it’s very much driving into the future. ■


▷ More than a century old, The Ring opened on 14 May 1910 on the site of a former chapel. More than 22,000 bouts were fought here before the boxing club was destroyed in an air raid in 1940. The Ring reopened in 2003 with a new, state-ofthe-art gym capable of hosting its own white collar bouts, as well as being the venue for film shoots and private functions. Gym classes include old-school boxing circuits; sparring; and the ominously entitled Berserker. Membership varies from £75 per month up to a £1,400 ‘Champion’ annual membership. The Ring Boxing Club, 70 Ewer St, SE1 0NR. For more info, see




T H E  E X C H A N G E

▽ MY FINANCE career was within the technology functions of investment banks. I started off in hands-on technical roles, moving into project management and leadership roles later on. When I left I was a Director within the Markets Technology function at RBS. I feel incredibly fortunate for what my finance career has given me, but I remember the turning point really clearly. I was in a meeting room filled with some more senior colleagues and managers, and I suddenly thought, ‘I don’t still want to be doing this when I’m their age’. (No offence, guys.) I’d always been interested in starting my own thing, so I started to explore other options – the main candidate being an idea for a directto-consumer men’s shoe brand. An opportunity to take redundancy from RBS followed by a lucrative consulting gig gave me the capital to get my idea off the ground. Sons of London is now in its fourth year of trading and is growing steadily. My focus over these first few years has been on laying the foundations of the business and developing a deep understanding of our target customer. Now it’s time to pursue growth, which is something I’m really excited about. ■ For more info, see





WIN SEVEN NIGHTS AT A FIVE-STAR LUXURY GOLF RESORT IN MAURITIUS, WORTH £2,000, THANKS TO PITCH LONDON ▷ Pitch London is the closest thing to having a golf club in the City. Members and their guests can enjoy eight private simulated golf bays, a clubhouse and changing rooms, as well as an extensive menu to choose from. Its private lessons and practice academy are an unbeatable option in central London for game improvement. The clubhouse is also ideal for corporate or social events.

But say you’ve practised plenty, and you want to escape for a bit? Pitch has teamed up with square mile to offer you the chance to win a seven-night stay at Constance Belle Mare Plage, a five-star resort in Poste de Flacq, Mauritius, boasting two 18-hole

championship golf courses. It is the ideal destination for a golf holiday in Mauritius (which let’s face it, is the ideal place for any holiday). You’ll have to earn it, though, by winning a competition on its driving range. See below for how to enter. ■


Go to competition and follow the instructions. T&Cs can be found online.




BARE BONES In 1946, photographer Sam Haskins released Cowboy Kate & Other Stories, a photo book telling the story of fictional character Kate making her way through the wild Old West, fighting for justice. This seminal publication is widely considered to be a benchmark in the history of photography, being the first photobook to offer a purely visual fictional narrative. Until 16 November you can see a selection of the images from it on display at Atlas Gallery, including ‘Cowboy Kate Running Across Skyline’, pictured here. 49 Dorset Street, W1U 7NF


Find out more at

View our collections at: 55 Jermyn Street, London, SW1Y 6LX | 24 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 8TX | 24 Brook Street, London, W1K 5DG |



THE CITY INSIDER In her latest column, NANA WEREKO-BROBBY checks out the coolest new seafood spot in London and takes in the delights of the kitsch No Fifty Cheyne in Chelsea


T DOESN’T TAKE long after sitting down in

Seabird, located in The Hoxton hotel’s Southwark residence, to feel right at home. The breezy space, heavy on potted plants and wicker furniture, is somewhere between a tiki bar and a chic Floridian home – it’s only the views of London outside the floor-to-ceiling windows that pull you back into the capital. It’s a beauty. There’s a selection of bottled cocktails to choose from behind the bar, an Iberianinspired menu that sways from delicious porcine cold cuts to charcoal-grilled fish on the bone, and a terrace for soaking in the rays during warmer months. You’ve got to give it to Seabird, it paints a colourful picture of the modern restaurant. As we nose through the menu, an outrageously large platter of raw seafood arrives on the table next to ours to a chorus of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’. It’s brimming with three gleaming tiers: crab, clams, oysters, lobster, prawns, and mussels. It’s unavoidable: we imitate the order to stave off mounting food envy.

you rapaciously suck the crustacean’s head. Trust me, it has to be done. Crab buñuelos are a doughy Latin American croquetas equivalent, while an octopus roll replaces the usual frankfurter in a hot dog, and comes served with padron peppers and a sobrasada aioli. The emphasis here is on flavour, with a little frivolity thrown in for good measure. We bypass the mains on this occasion – despite a lingering glance at the Iberian pork – in favour of a sweet finish. The baked manchego cheesecake is a triumphant final salvo: it arrives without its usual biscuit base, and is completed tableside by a generous shaving of more cheese on top. It’s a decadent, fluffy slice of cheesy goodness – nothing at all like the fridge-cold disappointments elsewhere. We slip downstairs to the bar for music and martinis, and daydream of a return trip in the summer when shellfish platters and sunshine make perfect bedfellows. Seabird, 40 Blackfriars Road, South Bank, SE1 8PB. For more info, see

❱❱ THE INTENSE SHELLFISH FLAVOUR IS MAGNIFIED WHEN YOU RAPACIOUSLY SUCK THE CARABIÑERO’S HEAD. TRUST ME, IT JUST HAS TO BE DONE… In amongst the treasure trove of marine jewels, it’s the oysters that win our affection. The plump bivalves are in abundance on the menu, with Seabird allegedly boasting the widest selection in London. We opt for a small Japanese breed called Kumomoto grown in Maldon, Essex, as well as the Rolls Royce of oysters, Gillardeau from just outside La Rochelle. Elsewhere, a singular carabiñero prawn is simply grilled and served butterflied – its intense shellfish flavour magnified when

NO FIFTY CHEYNE No Fifty Cheyne is a delightful addition to the West London dining scene: a glamorous little location, which warms the cockles with its sitting-room chic vibes, utterly ‘extra’ chandeliers, posh locals on dates, and an open-door policy to frankly the best behaved dogs in London. The menu is headed by Jason Atherton protégé, Iain Smith, and the place itself is the work of Sally Greene, owner of Ronnie Scott’s. The interiors are as sumptuous

as any Cheyne Walk home – that’s until you head upstairs to the ornately dressed salon, more at home in 19th century Paris, or posted next to a picture of the Annabel’s bathroom on a Chelsea girl’s Instagram. Gratifyingly, from the melting beef carpaccio to an unctuous seafood risotto that I’ll confidently call the best I’ve had in London this year, the food was faultless. The Eton Mess was a different, fresher take on the traditional dessert, allowing room for the final touch of caramel chocolate truffles on a bed of bitter cocoa chips – easily blowing those infamous Hawksmoor ‘Rolos’ out of the water. The appeal at No. Fifty Cheyne is the unique amalgamating of glamour and homeliness. Try to ignore the famous chef dining next to you, oh, and the A-lister tucked away in the corner, and it becomes a laid-back place where ebullient French waiters encourage you to settle into the banquette, order chips with your pasta, say yes to that second glass of crisp white, and enjoy a closing whisky in the tiny, eccentric bar upstairs. What’s not to love? ■ No Fifty Cheyne, 50 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, SW3 5LR. For more info, see



by Thakoon



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032 034 039 041 045





SHOPPING BAG The Royal Exchange, EC3V 3DG,

For once, beat the festive rush and get your Christmas shopping started early. Find luxurious gifts for her at The Royal Exchange ON THE SCENT: Jo Malone’s new Rose & Magnolia cologne is available in a limitededition bottle for £104. Jo Malone, 24 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LP

Sage Brown “I’d quite like a new handbag”. Doesn’t give much away, does it? Our tip is to keep it classic-witha-twist with Sage Brown’s Carol Ann Slouchy bag in glorious purple leather. £225. 31 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LP

Halcyon Days The Maya torque bangle’s gold, twisted form and orange accents makes it a gorgeous gift, but the fact it can be gently squeezed for custom fit makes it even better. No wrong size panics here. £110. 27 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LP


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Georg Jensen The flowing waves of Nina Koppel’s original Fusion ring have been repackaged in the form of a bangle made from white gold with 2.06 carats of diamonds. Yes please, Santa. £13,475. 8A Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LR


PHOTOGRAPH by (Sage Brown) Paolo Loraso

Sure-fire gifting hits aren’t in short supply at Jo Malone – it’s an absolute stocking-filler stalwart. The brand’s dreamy new Rose & Magnolia scent is set to follow the extensive list of Jo Malone cult classics to the top of Christmas lists all over town thanks to its decadent blend of rose de mai, patchouli and warm amber.


PACKING A PUNCH When Stephen Odubola decided that he wanted to be an actor, he used hard work and determination to fight his way to success… He tells RHYS THOMAS about landing his first lead role in a feature film


TEPHEN ODUBOLA GREW up on a council

estate in Kennington, and could easily have fallen into the gang culture on his doorstep. But he didn’t. Nor did he become (as per his father’s wishes) a doctor – although he did study for a degree in Business Entrepreneurship and Innovation in case his dream of becoming an actor didn’t work out. Now, after seven long years of trying, working part-time selling phone contracts, and studying, he has landed his first lead role in a feature film: Blue Story. It’s not bad going for a 23-year-old… How did acting come about? I was 15. I was thinking a lot about the future, about career paths, and I thought to myself: ‘If I could get into a career, what would it be?’. I decided that I liked acting the most out of all of my school subjects, so I decided it was time to start taking it seriously. I applied for Identity Drama School, which I went to for a year, part time (I took my A Levels and following those a Business degree on the side to ensure I had a backup plan), but I left because I couldn’t afford it. My dad’s a hard-working man, but his job doesn’t pay that much. Trying to fund drama school while paying all the bills around the house was very tough, and we could only afford it for one year, but it gave me the determination and knowledge that I needed to carry on chasing my dream career as an actor. Alongside my education I just did my own thing, getting into short films, building up a portfolio and that. I started using casting websites, applying for opportunities and working for film students. When my showreel was good

Alongside my education I did my own thing, getting into short films, building my portfolio 032

enough I started sending it to agents, in an effort to get represented, and that’s how my foot ended up in the door. What was the initial response when you said you wanted to go into acting? Ah, well African parents you know… they’re so fixed on the idea of you trying to be a doctor. I get why. They’re from Nigeria and there are fewer educational opportunities there. But I kept at the acting alongside my degree, and they eventually became supportive because they saw how serious I was. What was the low point? During uni, I was going for a lot of auditions and often not hearing anything back, occasionally a rejection, but often silence. You never want to talk about rejections and none of my friends were into acting anyway, so I kept it all to myself and ended up in a low, low place. I just had to self-reflect, I had to tell myself to keep doing it and that my time would come. The industry is subjective too, so you often get ruled out because of a lack of experience or your height or whatever. It was hard, but I had faith. And it did come, it did. What was your first big break? There are two. The first wasn’t all that big, but when I was 18 I was cast for a small small role in Tarzan. For me that was big because I was around big actors and could briefly see myself in the cinema but it wasn’t a big role if I’m honest. But in January 2019 I had my audition for Blue Story. I’d prepared so, so hard for the role because I knew I wanted it. I went in there and did my thing, and I could see that they loved it. Sure enough I got the role. The casting director was [British grime artist] Rapman, and I’d sent him an email in 2018 asking him to let me know if he needed an extra person in a music video. He still hasn’t replied to that, but I’m the lead in his feature film now, so I can’t complain. It’s mad. How much of your character’s life had you experienced before the film? I can relate to Timmy. I’m from a loving background, a hard-working home on a

council estate. When you’re a kid, you come into this world pure, and it’s your experiences that shape you beyond that. I was exposed to certain things on my council estate, and there are traps you can very easily fall into. So this film is incredibly important, especially now, as gang culture is a huge issue. When you’re immersed in that culture it’s also very hard to escape it. In most cases it takes an external force – in my case my older brother spoke to me, and he put me on the straight and narrow. A lot of my friends went down a less positive path. How were rehearsals? Crazy. I was so new to everything. Everyone in the cast is from London, so we could all relate to each other in one way or another. I was a right rookie for the first few days though. The director would say “Stephen, we’re going to use the 100mm lens” which is a close-up lens, and I’d be like “cool, cool” and then just wouldn’t move myself accordingly. There were a lot of terms that I had to get used to, but they were really patient with me. Who do you draw your inspiration from? If I’m being honest it’s the bigger stars who really inspire me. Everyone inspires me in some way or another, especially the people I get to meet that I can see are working really hard. But people like Idris Elba. People from London that are doing big things in America. Rapman too, I’ve been a fan of him for years – he’s gone from making music videos to a full feature film. To see his journey is inspiring. I’m also inspired by actors such as Will Smith and Samuel L Jackson. What does the future look like for you? In a couple of years I’d like to be in America, shooting a film. I think any actor like myself sees themselves ending up in America – there are so many opportunities. And let’s be real, who doesn’t get excited by the idea of Hollywood? I want to see how this film is received, hopefully establish myself within the UK from it, and then yeah, the US. Obviously I’ll still do plenty here too. ■ Blue Story will be in cinemas from 22 November.


PHOTOGRAPH by publinc larit em potinium vid ces blah




THE WEIGHTING GAME When it comes to weight loss, Equinox’s JONATHAN DICK explains why cardio should actually be your last resort. Instead, balanced nutrition and compound exercises are the keys to your success


HEN EMBARKING ON a weight loss journey ensure that you look carefully at both your nutrition and your training routine, for they are two sides of the same coin and you cannot have one without the other. If your training is off, the diet will only get you so far. If the diet is poor, the training will suffer and so will your results. Cardio should be considered a last resort when it comes to your training – something that can be tagged on to your weight loss programme when you have exhausted all other variables. It is common to hear people rave about how cardio will burn more calories than weight training – this is only half true. Yes, in a single session cardio is likely to burn more calories than a strength session. But what strength training will do for you, that cardio will not, is ramp up your metabolism for up to 36 hours while your body uses the protein, vitamins and minerals you have provided it with to repair the muscle damage from lifting heavy weights. The breakdown of protein into smaller amino acid chains, and the repairing of muscle tissue increases your metabolic rate allowing you to burn more calories and ideally burn more fat, provided you are in a calorie deficit. TRAIN REGULARITY I recommend three to four strength training sessions a week when looking to lose weight, and that all of these sessions should contain one or two compound exercises. Focus on compound exercises that will target as much muscle as possible rather than endless cardio. Compound exercises are those which involve more than one muscle group, examples include squats, deadlifts, bench press, standing shoulder press and pull ups. The amount of muscle recruited during compound exercises is far greater than that in isolation exercises. They will challenge all major body parts, as well as your deeper-lying stabilisers and core.

NUTRITION – THE IMPORTANCE OF COLOUR Protein will help maintain pre-existing muscle mass levels while trying to achieve weight loss goals; whereas the different


STRENGTH IN NUMBERS: When it comes to losing weight, it’s important to focus on compound exercises that will target as much muscle as possible rather than endless cardio.

colours of vegetables denote the vitamins and minerals they are abundant in, and all carry out different functions within our bodies. Fully optimised body function is the ultimate training weapon to help you see results. There is a lot of crossover between the functions of the vitamins and minerals contained within most fruits and vegetables, but each colour has something specifically unique to offer us: Whites: Immune support; gut health; heart health; and improve cholesterol levels. Yellows/oranges: Support eyesight; joint health; heart health; fight cancers; and improve cholesterol levels. Reds: Heart health; blood vessel health and general circulation; cell health and skin protection; and fight cancers. Blues/purples: These contain high levels of antioxidants; they’re good for heart health; blood vessel health; and brain function.

Greens: Greens are ideal for detoxification; can improve cholesterol levels; bone health; immune support; and fight cancers. Carbohydrates and fats should not be completely neglected either, as these will be required for energy to fuel performance in the gym. However, they should be monitored when you’re trying to lose weight.

BEWARE OF FADS Do not follow trend headlines or fad-led diets that promise the quickest results. Nutrition and training adaptions should form the base of any weight-loss plan. ■ Jonathan Dick is a Tier X Coach at Equinox; Tier X at Equinox is London’s most advanced training programme consisting of lifestyle management, personal training, sleep and nutrition coaching. Equinox Bishopsgate is opening December 2019 offering high performance in the heart of the City. For more information:


RING THE ALARM The beauty of the Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale is its alarm function. It’s powered by the calibre 519/ F1, which is unusually equipped with two barrels, wound simultaneously, where one powers the timekeeping element and the other exclusively looks after the alarm function. For added ring, the hammer of the alarm doesn’t strike the case, but hits a gong instead for superior resonance. We like the sound of that.

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Breguet is renowned for crafting some of the most elegant dress watches on the planet, but its new-look Marine collection shows the manufacture has a sportier side



PHOTOGRAPH by David Harrison


One of watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet’s crowning achievements was his 1815 appointment as the official chronometermaker to the French Royal Navy. The new-look Marine collection, crafted from titanium with a sunburst grey dial, is Breguet’s sporty homage to its founding watchmaker’s expertise in chronometry.




THE INVENTORS OF THE EVENING SUIT – 1865 A timeless piece of elegance

T: 020 7734 5985 Certain trademarks used under license from TheProcter & Gamble Company or its affiliates.

Model No: BC01WB



SHAPING THE FUTURE From Tumblr to Fashion Week, Dom Sebastian has become the London fashion scene’s enfant terrible. GEORGE SERVENTI asks the unique and forward-thinking designer about his design journey so far



is fluent in the Internet. After rising to infamy on social platform Tumblr with acid-trippy collages perfect for first-generation iPhone screensavers, Sebastian positioned himself as a pioneer of the low-fi that defined a generation of square-eyed teens. Following the launch of Instagram in 2010, Sebastian translated an ephemeral follower count into commercial success by launching a series of small capsule collections, including the highly coveted OKAY caps. “When I started out,” he explains, “I was far less selective about what I showed online. Back then, it was all about getting as much work out into the world as possible.” Almost a decade later and he’s graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins with a degree in textiles and a roster of clients including Chanel, Nike, Camper and Puma. Last year, there was even a plagiarising controversy: with Katy Perry and Capitol Records being accused of stealing his art for an album cover. Sebastian quickly lawyered up. It was around that time he caught the attention of the British Fashion Council, which duly supported him in showing a collection of shirts, utility vests and lycra, featuring digitally rendered abstract prints punctuated by ink blots and silicone squiggles. It takes some balls to incorporate pieces like these into your wardrobe, though Sebastian does it with ease. “At the start of my career, I used Tumblr as a platform to test out ideas and connect with an audience. Since then, my work’s become more refined and fashion focused. Now I have the technical experience necessary to realise my ideas, I’ve got stockists all across the globe chasing me for pieces.”

I love technology and product design, particularly around the turn of the millennium

TRUE COLOURS: Dom Sebastian started out studying graphic design but made the switch to textiles, and the influence of both is apparent in his colourful, pattern-led designs

How would you describe yourself? I guess I’m somewhere between an artist and a designer. I was brought up in Gloucestershire and moved to London six years ago to study at CSM. I started out studying graphic design but after a year or so I switched to a textile course not needed because I wanted to work toward something more tactile.

millennium; there is something very optimistic and experimental about that time period On the flip side, I always find myself drawn to horror films, particularly the New French Extremism movement. I’m also into the mid-2000s when a lot of horror cinema was super dark, grungey and over-the-top gory; there is a kind of campness to it.

Where do you find inspiration? I’m mostly inspired by objects. I collect mid-century glassware and ceramics and am a hoarder of plastic objects like containers and packaging. I love technology and product design, particularly around the turn of the

How was showing your first collection at London Fashion Week? The whole thing was a bit of a snowball effect – it was very overwhelming but a huge milestone for me. ■ See more at



WALK ON THE WILD SIDE The Pembroke has been part of Crockett & Jones’s core collection for three decades, its dapper full brogue lines cementing its place in the shoe rack of many a discerning gent. This season, the classic gets an update, with textured black scotch grain leather and a chunky, oversized cleated sole adding just the right amount of rock and roll to a bonafide footwear classic. If ever there were a reason to join the dark side, this is it.


PHOTOGRAPH by Frasershot Studios Ltd 2019

THE DARK ARTS Stomp your way to style success by treading the fine line between formal and fashion with Crocket & Jones’s Black Edition Pembroke brogues

PAINT IT BLACK: The Pembroke in Black Scotch Grain is part of The Black Editions, Crocket & Jones’s collection of classic English shoes influenced by Japanese style. Pick up a pair for £450. For more info, see



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WRIST & REWARD As visually arresting as it is inspiring, Harry Winston’s New York Collection is a sparkling tribute to the city the prestigious jewellery brand calls home THE TALK OF THE TOWN Just as the bright lights of New York City dazzle those who visit, Harry Winston’s high jewellery collection inspired by the Big Apple commands its own attention with its sparkling stones and lustrous looks. Designers turned to NYC’s various neighbourhoods and landmarks when conceiving the collection, and the result is a glittering love letter to the city that never sleeps.

PUTTIN’ ON THE GLITZ This serious piece of wristwear from the New York Collection is inspired by Fifth Avenue – specifically the geometric silhouettes of the mansions found along the famous street. What this translates to in jewellery terms is a perfectly balanced piece crafted from the finest diamonds and deep red rubies. It’s not just a knockout bracelet, but a perfect example of Harry Winston’s gemsetting expertise.

WRIST CANDY: Harry Winston New York Collection ruby and diamond bracelet, £POA. For more information on this piece and the rest of the New York Collection, see



ROLLIN’ STONE Valérie Messika is changing the image of diamond jewellery with her eponymous brand, and she’s only just begun, finds BEN WINSTANLEY


DON’T SLEEP TOO well these days,” Valérie

Messika admits during our interview. “Now my brand is not so small…” She pauses, playing with one of her trademark double rings – the same piece of jewellery that first thrust her into the public consciousness. There are many ways to describe the most exciting diamond brand on the planet: Cool? Yes. Disruptive? Certainly. Small? Well, maybe once – but not since Beyoncé, Rihanna, and other mononymous celebrities draped Messika over their beautiful bodies and turned this Parisian boutique into an overnight sensation. It’s been a shade over a decade since Messika the woman turned her lifelong passion into Messika the brand, but her star has risen at a rate scarcely believable in an industry ruled by the historic houses of Bond Street and Place Vendôme. Her free-and-easy style, female-positive marketing and contemporary approach to design have added a new sparkle to the somewhat fading light of the diamond sector. But having convinced the young (or youngat-heart) crowd that these precious stones can offer the same freedom of expression as, say, the latest coveted pair of Balenciaga trainers, there’s pressure on Messika to continue its appeal to a traditionally untraditional demographic. It’s enough to cause anyone to miss out on precious shut-eye. “I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved, but I don’t want to disappoint, I have to keep going.” Messika speaks with that particular form of unquenchable thirst you only find in the world’s best entrepreneurs: a restless need to create, to turn the wheel, to achieve the next goal. And like many of these business figureheads – Gates, Jobs, Buffett – she is the living embodiment of her brand.

I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved, but I don’t want to disappoint; I have to keep doing 046

She arrives at our interview in a quiet spot of The Connaught Hotel dressed in a leather jacket and skinny jeans. There’s a stack of bracelets from her popular Move collection jangling on her wrist and, of course, those career-defining rings glistening on her manicured hands. Messika’s mission statement was to ‘democratise diamonds’ – to take them off the ballgowns of the red carpet and onto real women in the street. Casual chic, comfy couture, whatever you want to call it, it now comes with the jewellery to match.

BEGINNING AT THE BEGINNING You need only spend ten minutes in Messika’s company to know the future is hers to mould into the next industry-defining design. It also takes just as long to know that she’s not very good at talking about herself: “You know, it’s always hard to look at yourself when you’re asked why you made a certain choice in your life. Sometimes it’s an unconscious thing – you keep moving forward, you don’t stop to analyse!” she says, a little apologetic that she doesn’t have all the answers to my questions. What is for certain is she’s full of a raw passion for diamonds that her father instilled in her from an early age. Tunisian-born André Messika has grown into one of the most prominent diamond merchants in Europe after setting up his own company in 1972 and rising to an annual turnover of $50m. Since 2005, however, André and Valérie have been partners: Messika Senior sourcing almost all of the diamonds used in Messika Junior’s delicate designs. It seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and having grown up playing with the stones her father brought home from work, diamonds are intrinsic to the fabric of Valérie’s being; as natural as the skin on her bones. It won’t surprise you to learn Messika deals in diamonds exclusively – no other precious stones.

A CHANCE ENCOUNTER Valérie Messika doesn’t have a traditional training in the craft of jewellery – a fact that makes more sense when you consider she first worked with her father travelling the ➤


RINGING THE CHANGES: Valérie Messika’s mission was to update the image of diamond jewellery with fresh designs that showcase the stones in contemporary ways.

PHOTOGRAPH by publinc larit em potinium vid ces blah


Diamonds are very pure, but the way I’m executing them makes something different ➤ world as a diamond dealer after studying marketing and communications at university. But having spotted a gap in the market for a brand in between high jewellery and lowerend pieces, she took her idea and ran with it. Her small boutique was slowly gaining traction, but it wasn’t until 11 October 2014 that everything changed. Beyoncé, who was staying at Le Royal Monceau hotel, spotted Messika’s jewellery in one of the display cabinets in the lobby. Long story short, one Instagram post later – the most famous female artist in the world pointing at the Mona Lisa wearing a diamond Glam’azone ring – and Messika blew up. What was this ring on Beyoncé’s finger? Who and what was Messika? Where can the jewellery be found? The world wanted to know – and when it found out, it wanted more. The company’s turnover increased by 30% in 2015, 40% in 2016, and by 2017 the business had turned over more than €100m for the first time. These days, Messika employs over 200 people worldwide as global domination beckons. Beyoncé may have famously sung “if you like it, then you shoulda put a ring on it”. When it comes to Messika, why stop there?

How would you describe the journey you’ve been on to this point? It sounds obvious to say, but everything starts from childhood in your life. When I was a kid, I was a bright little girl and I wanted to impress my father because I was proud of him – he’s a very smart guy and we had this connection through diamonds. I used to put diamonds on my skin when my father brought stones home. It was quite unconscious, but when I launched my brand I wanted to create this same feeling – diamonds are already beautiful so I wanted to connect them to the skin with as little gold as possible. Traditional jewellery brands would consider the mounting of the stone an integral part in linking together the diamond and the wearer. The mounting was usually high to showcase the stone as much as possible, but when I launched my brand I did quite the opposite. If I had studied from the jewellery side of things, I would never have broken that code in terms of manufacturing the diamond, but I did it because I didn’t have that traditional training – I just knew diamonds. What sets you apart from the more established jewellery brands? In 2005, nobody was talking about jewellery the way we do today. You know, I remember the De Beers campaign ‘a diamond is forever’ and it was all very classical music and the way they promoted the diamonds was so dated. At 20 years old, I used to ask myself, ‘why can’t diamonds be cool?’. So, first of all, we differ in the execution of our jewellery. It’s something modern, very sharp, very edgy, but there’s also something

GLITTERATI: [this image] Beyoncé dazzles in Messika in the video for ‘APES**T’; [opposite, left to right] the Sun Tribe bracelet from Messika’s new Born to be Wild collection; Beyoncé showing her love for the brand once again.


simple at the same time. It’s always a balance between the new and something that is quite timeless. Diamonds are very pure, but the way I’m executing them makes something different. I launched what I call ‘new jewellery’ – the mono earrings, the ear cuff, ear climbers – and now I can see so many other designers creating the same thing. Second, I’m very involved in the advertising campaign, everything that involves communication I am quite obsessed with – because I love that, and also I really understand clearly that if I want to build my brand everything is about details and everything is also about image. In the jewellery industry, advertising used to focus on the product, because the jewellery and the brand is connected. Women were another story – they didn’t want to disturb the power of the brand by adding a face. It was one of my main points of difference to other brands because I added women to my advertising campaigns. Where do your ideas come from? I never have ideas in my office sitting down; it could be out in a restaurant and I see something and get an idea. I like to say that eyes are like the gymnasts of creation – the more you train yourself, the more you are inspired by what you find in everyday life. My style is always this idea of breaking the jewellery codes in search of something more cool. You know, this ring [she points to the Glam’azone double ring on her finger] is a style I launched in 2007. I connected the two rings with a chain to bring in this idea of multi-use. It’s about making jewellery more playful, it’s as simple as that. Speaking of the Glam’azone ring, tell us about Beyoncé and Messika… I wasn’t famous at the time when Le Royal Monceau called my office asking me to show Beyoncé my jewellery. I thought it was a joke! I went down, showed her around, and gave her this full diamond ring as a gift. Honestly, I thought we’d never hear about it again, but four days later when she hired out the Louvre museum she took the picture of herself pointing at the Mona Lisa. It was very organic: she was just in Paris with her family and liked my jewellery. The story didn’t stop there either because five or six years after, she selected a piece of Messika high jewellery for her music video for ‘APES**T’ shot in the Louvre. So again I have another image of her wearing Messika in front of the Mona Lisa. I have a few money-can’tbuy moments in my career thanks to Beyoncé.


I try to ask stylists the reasons why they select our jewellery for their clients, and they often tell me the same thing: there’s a coolness about wearing Messika, while also being high-end. I must say, when you used to wear diamond jewellery, you looked like an old lady – it definitely aged you. That is certainly not the case with Messika. Is this part of your launch statement of democratising diamonds? Democratising in terms of pricing, but also in terms of styling. At the end of the day, we have to capture the attention of the new generation. When I was younger, I didn’t care about high jewellery or diamond pieces, but when I realised that I was catching the attention of the younger generation, I knew it was a sign that the jewellery, the tone of voice of the advertising campaign and the brand itself were contributing to creating the right kind of image. Fashion is a big inspiration for me, so I love the fact that this new generation of young girls, who can mix and match jeans and diamonds, or sneakers and diamonds, were connecting to my message. It’s jewellery created by a woman for women. Before, when I looked at the brands that were on the Place Vendôme, it was only men who designed these pieces, and men who were directing the advertising. I didn’t understand why this women’s industry was so dominated by men – Victoire de Castellane at Dior was the only female head of jewellery. That’s why I was so lucky to already be so connected to diamonds, so I could break through that trend.

PHOTOGRAPH by (Beyoncé and Jay Z) PR NewsFoto/Messika Paris

Is it true that you used to play with a loupe as a child? My father used to teach me how to look inside the diamond. For those who haven’t done this before, it’s very good because it trains your eyes to look inside the details. When you look inside a diamond, you train yourself to really see all of the details – and when you want to build a successful brand, you have to look at all of the details in the luxury world even more.

I’m obsessed with women feeling more comfortable when wearing diamonds

Do you think women should feel more comfortable wearing diamonds? I’m obsessed with women feeling more comfortable when wearing diamonds. I remember when I did my first Cannes Film Festival, Alexandra Lamy [former wife of Oscar-winning French actor Jean Dujardin], was telling me that what she loved about my pieces is that you forget you are wearing £500k worth of jewellery because it just sits so well on your skin that you behave more naturally. You feel more self-confident, more feminine. I think it’s all about understanding the details of the manufacturing rules. Tell us about Messika’s new collection, Born To Be Wild… I was obsessed with finding a new subject for my jewellery that wasn’t used too frequently. I wanted something rough, something that wasn’t too sophisticated, and I found the idea of putting diamonds in the desert so cool – I absolutely love the contrast. When I was visiting Las Vegas, I stopped at the Grand Canyon for inspiration. I fell in love with the colour, with the roughness of the valley. I just thought that it was the perfect place to wear diamonds. The use of Ziricote wood looks great… I allowed myself to use new materials as part of this collection. Wood for me just seemed like an obvious material when I started to think about the desert. What I really love about it is the matte finish – it’s natural, and the contrast is very elegant.

There’s something about the natural materials, wood and diamonds, that works so well with the way you wear it. You have called Kate Moss your inspiration. What do you admire about her? I love Kate Moss because I grew up with her. She is so magnificent, like a diamond: she is always sexy and feminine, but she is never – how you would say – too much. She is a woman that can have something very classic on her and it will still look super modern. She’s very small for a model and wasn’t expected to be so successful. I love the fact that she is not a stereotype but she became an icon. I love her for that. I admire so many different women. Beyoncé, of course, also Charlize Theron, and Grace Kelly. I always say that part of Messika’s success is that when you wear it, it’s not like you’re putting a logo on a woman – it’s the woman who brings her whole attitude and sexiness to my jewellery. What does the future hold for Messika? What I love with Messika is that I can make decisions very quickly and can act with freedom, so I hope as time goes on I won’t have to change that. My ambition is to be the diamond specialist known for creating cool, multi-generational jewellery in different parts of the world. I’ve followed my instincts so far and I’ve done OK, so hopefully the future will be the same. ■ For more information about Messika and its latest collections, see


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BIG MIKE “After a while, I was walking around with duffle bags with $1m inside.” Big Mike tells MAX WILLIAMS how he became America’s biggest cannabis baron



OWARDS THE END of our interview,

Big Mike Straumietis starts to cry. It should be stressed that this is a first. Generally, people don’t cry during my interviews. Over my interviews, sure, not least my editor when he realises the six pages I’ve handed him are double-sided (#savetherainforest) – but the subjects themselves tend to wait for my departure before shedding actual tears. Elevating the surreality is the fact I have an absolutely massive hangover, a hangover only exacerbated by my recent ascent of the Hollywood Hills. I imagine the Hollywood Hills is a pretty rotten ascent at the best of times, what with all the hairpin bends and bits where the road decides to become a precipice. Factor in a rainstorm so intense that it feels like we’ve been eaten by a cloud, an Uber driver whose wife must have just entered labour, and the ever-pervasive thought that ‘traffic accidents’ ranks second only to ‘fast food’ in Ways Americans Like To Kill Themselves, and you have one mighty relieved journalist once we pull up outside Big Mike’s front gate. After navigating security (relatively smoothly, it must be said), I find myself sitting in Big Mike’s front room – at least, I think it’s his front room. Mansions in the Hollywood Hills don’t have front rooms in the same way that your nan has a front room. Your nan’s front room probably doesn’t have a bar. Indeed, Big Mike’s front room doesn’t feel like a front room at all (possibly because it isn’t: he has lots of rooms, and they probably fight over which gets to be the front one). Big Mike’s front room feels a lot like the lobby of a five-star hotel. It’s big and airy and its walls are covered by very large pieces of modern art. Also, the bar, plus the table are covered by smartly arranged regiments of snacks and bottled water. (Honestly, I swear the nuts were advancing on me.) The bar has its own cargo: seven pots, each containing a different strain of Big Mike’s Blends. Garishly packaged pre-rolled spliffs (they look a bit like fountain pens on their way to an acid rave) with names like Kreative Kingdom (stimulates creativity); Dank Dreams (facilitates sleep); and Hells Bells (best not ask). After our interview concludes, Big Mike will press on me a generous handful of these blends, and I, like the wilful fool I am, will breeze through LAX and straight into a jetlagged editorial lunch at Claude Bosi’s Bibendum with the entire contents stuffed in my suitcase. I then took them out of my suitcase to show the team, and duly left the whole lot at the restaurant. This was easier than it sounds,

as Big Mike had kindly supplied a Big Mike’s Bag for transportation – think standard paper bag but with Big Mike’s face on it – which meant I only needed to forget one item rather than approximately 14. He really was very generous. Have you ever retrieved a bag of drugs from a two-Michelin-starred restaurant? The staff are remarkably blasé about it. So, Big Mike’s sitting opposite me, weeping, and here I really should stress my boundless admiration for his emotional honesty, the societal acceptance of our more vulnerable selves being one of the few things the 21st century has going for it, but even so, laudable though it was, the development was nonetheless rather unexpected. Incidentally, Big Mike is not an inverse Little John; Big Mike is 6ft7 and clearly knows his way around a gym, as he should, considering he probably has one in his outhouse. I can’t vouch for the existence of the gym (though I’d stake money on it); what I can vouch for is the giant mural in which the photographs of multiple deceased celebrities are clustered around a painted black star. This striking artwork hangs on one of Big Mike’s many walls. Initially I thought it was some kind of David Bowie tribute – Blackstar being his final, not-quite posthumous album – except Bowie was one of the few pop-cultural icons not to be on there. In fact, Big Mike later told me, the murial was an art project commemorating the young and beautiful stars who died from drug overdoses – which did seem like a slightly rogue choice of decor for America’s most successful marijuana entrepreneur. Obviously you can’t overdose on weed like you can overdose on heroin, or even alcohol – Big Mike not unreasonably contests that his products make the world a safer, healthier place – but still. Bit close to home. How successful is Big Mike? Pretty damn successful. The Daily Mail described him as “the acknowledged worldwide leader in developing marijuana-specific nutrients and supplements.” The website of his company, Advanced Nutrients, claims to be “the No. 1 hydroponics nutrients company in the world — with sales in 100 countries and counting.” He recently launched TV show The Next Marijuana Millionaire, and filmed podcast Business Outlaws. He lives in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills, with a bar in what may or may not be the front room. And what moved such a man to tears? The subject of reparenting, a form of psychotherapy in which one revisits traumatic childhood memories as an adult. And why did this subject cause Big Mike to cry? You’ll have to read the interview and find out.

A simple question to start with but how did you get here? Give us a short biography. It was a long, difficult, crazy, tumultuous road. I started out 36 years ago as a grower. I had made the decision that I wanted to grow a lot of weed, not just a little bit. In the US, the laws were very draconian, so I looked around the world: where can I go that if something happens I won’t spend the rest of my life in the hoosegow. I went to Canada, I started growing a lot of cannabis. When I was 19 years old, I started a lawn-care company called Turf Pro, so I was already mixing big vats of chemicals to make the grass green and kill the weeds. I was familiar with those things. People said, “Do you think you can do it?” and I’d go, “Yes, I know I can.” And I did it, and they tried it. They gave it to their friends, and so on, and so on. Then I got involved with scientists: I figured science was the key. It always has been the answer. I hooked up with UBC University and BCIT. Federally, medical marijuana was legal in 1997 in Canada. I was able to do a bunch of research and get that going. Eventually I went to Bulgaria because the Academy of Science was laying off a bunch of their brightest minds. I hired them and I put them to work studying cannabinoid research. We had licence to study cannabis. I’ve run Advance Nutrients for 20 years – and now it’s the most profitable cannabis company in the world. For the last 15 years, I’ve had 25 PhDs working for me, and 15 years of real serious cannabinoid research that has given me a huge edge. I’m able to bring cannabis plants to their true genetic potential; I make the best cannabis fertiliser programs in the world. It’s not just fertiliser, it’s a bunch of supplements to manipulate the plant to seed to senescence, through all stages of growth. It gives growers God-like abilities over the plant and there’s only one system in the world that does that: Advanced Nutrients. So you really believed in the medical power of cannabis? Even though I knew it was illegal, I never really felt I was doing anything wrong, because I understood it was helping people and it didn’t lead to harder drugs, and didn’t wreck people’s lives. I started growing so much and I wanted to get a higher dollar, so I started bringing it to the US. I started going over the border. I could’ve brought cocaine back and there was no way I was ever going to do that. I could have traded 6-8lb of marijuana for 1kg of coke, taken it up to Canada and made the most insane money. But I refused ➤



➤ to do it because coke wrecks people’s lives and I want nothing to do with that. I want to help people’s lives, not wreck them. What made you realise that marijuana was beneficial as opposed to damaging? In 1996, Proposition 215 happened, and people were talking about medicine. I remember, years ago, running into Jack Herer in Venice Beach. He had a book called The Emperor Wears No Clothes. We got into long conversations and I realised it was more than just people getting high. It was actually helping people through a lot of things in life. In 1997, I was working with people with schizophrenia. They say people who have schizophrenia use a lot of weed. All the patients that I dealt with, they were using cannabis not because it cured all the voices they were hearing, but it would suppress the voices so they could function during the day. People with schizophrenia use cannabis because the cannabis is helping them. I started dealing with cancer patients, I had people with adrenal cancer who’d been given six months to live. One guy I kept alive for seven years, and the other guy, he’s still alive today. I’ve seen people smoking and they were helping all different types of things – irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s. It wasn’t curing it, but it was making their life functionable. And so, I always treated weed as medicine. I never felt bad about growing weed, because I was helping humanity, and that’s how I still look at it. When you were a kid did you imagine you’d enter the marijuana business? No. Twelve years old was the first time I smoked a joint. I got it out of my father’s drawer. My older half-brother got back from


I always treated weed as medicine. I never felt bad about growing it, because I was helping humanity Vietnam and gave my dad three joints. My dad never smoked them. I saw them sitting there one day, and I thought, “What the hell? Let me give this a try.” I can remember smoking and smiling my ass off; getting onto the bus in school, and people were like, “What are you laughing at?” and I said, “I don’t know, but life’s just funny and happy.” I didn’t smoke it all the time, I was just curious about it. As I got older, I stopped drinking alcohol because I would get hangovers and drive my car a little bit faster than I should. When I medicated with cannabis, I didn’t want to drive my car fast and I didn’t want to do stupid stuff. I was just chilled. I woke up in the morning with no hangover. Yes, it’s good.

1,496 1000w lights on production. I had about another 60 to 80 lights that were just raising my mothers and cuttings. I had 200 people working for me. It was a whole organisation. How did you have the capital to set up? First of all, I didn’t go there like a novice, I was already an expert cannabis grower. I merely started taking cuttings and selling them. I started a cutting business and that cutting business generated enough money for me to get a 100-light grow operation, because that was my goal. I got to 100-light grow operation really fast, and I thought, ‘Shit, I have so much money now, with the 100-light, I can do another one, and another one, and another one’. And it just grew that way. Then it was like, “OK, how do I get this shit across the border, so that I can make an extra $1,000 US/lb or more?” I figured that there were only three ways; land, sea and air, and I used all three of them. Then they kicked me out of the country. I’d already started a company called Advanced Nutrients. When they busted me, they took every single asset I owned. To this day I have the biggest asset forfeiture return in Canadian history, which pisses them off.

It’s an impressive step: to go from casual smoker to international dealer… I actually got arrested a few times and I was never convicted. The police couldn’t really get rid of me in Canada; so they literally kidnapped me one day and took me over the US border. I’m talking to these guys, “Don’t do it. This is the law. You’re supposed to take me to the judge.” They get to the goddamn state line, the one guy looks at the other guy and he goes, “Do you think we should do this?” And I’m going, “No, no, you shouldn’t be doing this! You’re breaking the law. You’re no better than the criminals!” And the other guy looks at him and goes, “We have to.” They take me over the border and that’s how they got rid of me. I’m thinking, ‘Well, Jesus, what am I going to do now? I should study business’. And so I got into heavy, heavy learning about marketing, behavioural psychology and copyrighting. I’ve always been a lifelong learner. I started going to seminars. I spent well over $2m on my education.

How much? It was $1m worth of stuff at the time, that they had to give back to me. By the time they took it all, I was $1m in debt, and we should have been out of business. Had they gone into the warehouse and taken all of our equipment as well, I’d have been finished. But they didn’t; they left me with the company called Advanced Nutrients. I was able to put all my resources into that, and I grew it into the empire it is today. It actually did me a favour when they kidnapped me.

How old were you at this point? In my forties. I’m 58 now. When I was around 36, I went to Canada and that’s where I just went crazy, growing. I had massive grow operations indoors there. My largest grow operation was 500 lights. I had a couple of 300-lighters and 100 lighters. I had a total of

How do you kill a crop? Oh, I overheated it. I didn’t have enough ventilation in the room. I went back the next morning and there was, like, brown, dead little cuttings. I had a lawn-care company, so I took 500sq ft out of my warehouse and I built another room within that room.

When did you start out? When I was 23, I started growing weed. Grew it all wrong and killed my first crop. In America? Yes, in rural Illinois. My second crop grew but I didn’t know when to harvest it, so I harvested it early and it was kind of OK. It wasn’t until the fifth or sixth crop that I figured out what I was doing.

That sounds illegal. It was illegal as hell! It was black market. The majority of our life has been a black market. Now, with the laws, everything’s changed. I’ve got a licence; I’ve got 14 different licences in the state of California, and all that is behind me. Ever since they took me over the border in 2005, the rest is history. Do you feel vindicated now it’s legalised? What makes me sad is what I see happening to the cannabis community, because they never really sat down and studied business. I gave them a marketing newsletter every month – it cost me a lot of money to put that out, and I found that only 20% of the people I gave it to were reading it. The others weren’t. And now people ask me for it. They thought they were on a road that was never going to end. I knew this was going to go legal, and that you have to have different skills for that. I made sure I had those skills so I could stay in this industry for the long haul, and I’ll be in it for another 30 years. It’s the most exciting space, right now, in the world, and it will be for the next 15 or 20 years. I don’t see anything that’s going to be more exciting than what happens in the world of cannabis. It took them 30 years to get everything straight, after prohibition. What are the biggest changes for the business since it became legalised? It’s harder for me to get bank accounts. It was easier to do business before… Now, they hear the word cannabis, they have a microscope on you, and it’s become a bit of a hassle. The Farm Bill of 2018 loosened up quite a few things. I’ve been approached by people from banks in LA – big banks – who go, “We want to do business with you now. We’re looking for a premier first client. We’d like it to be you.” There’s a group of 12 banks – their market capture was more than $50bn. I had all their CEOs on the phone. They know the regulators from the Fed in New York, and plan on launching there, for cannabis. Then they’re going to come to California. The 2018 Farm Act made hemp a commodity. If you look at other agriculture commodities: wheat, soy beans, corn, they’re all globally exported. So, it can be the same for cannabis. That door has already been opened. Anything you wish you’d done differently? Oh, fuck yes! Oh yes. If I could look back now and make that perfect road, woohoo! Absolutely, yes. You make all kinds of mistakes, especially when you’re young and you’re learning business.

Can you give an example? Business partners; I would never have taken on any business partners. Absolutely not. I got rid of two partners who were both fourtonne weights on my neck dragging me down. They were just fools. Presumably a lot of people are getting into the industry, thinking it’s easy money? You know the sign of a true professional? They make whatever they do look easy. I make cannabis look effortless because I understand the terrain. People think, “Oh, cannabis is good.” They get into this industry and they realise, “What the… is going on? I can’t advertise, I’ve got banking issues. I’ve got to get licences now.” If you’re just coming into the industry, it’s a lot more difficult than it would have been seven or eight years ago. But eight years ago, people were laughing at the cannabis people as a joke. Smart

business people have realised they can make a fortune off us. Most cannabis guys are unsophisticated because they never tried to learn anything. They’re being eaten alive. It’s like sharks going into a pond of goldfish and they’re just chewing through the entire community. Those people don’t want to help; they want to suck their information out of them then discard them as fast as they can. I’ve seen people who were promised all kinds of things by family offices and businesses and private equity, and all they end up getting is fucked – every single one of them – because they don’t understand how to protect themselves and they’ve never done the work required to run a successful business. They were successful because they took a great risk when nobody else wanted to take it; you could be, literally, a fool and make money in the cannabis business. Now those days are over. ➤



➤ People think that the black market will continue. It won’t once the Federal Government legalises cannabis and makes it part of the system. I don’t see too many moonshiners these days making moonshine; they’re all pretty much shut down. The black market will get shut down really, really hard, and people are going to be surprised at that. It didn’t have to be that way – they could have studied; they could’ve aligned themselves with the right companies and still been in business. It was their choice. When did you make your first million? It was in my 20s. Must have been a big moment. It was huge. I remember the first time I had hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. It’s intoxicating. First time I saw a bag of $80,000, I was like, “Wow.” After a while, I was walking around with duffle bags with $1m inside. I got so good at doing what I did, I had people from the east coast of Canada coming in with, literally, $1m at a time. I had a warehouse with, I don’t know, a couple of thousands of pounds of weed, and the guy would go through. He’d shop the different grades and we’d put it all together and the semi-truck would come with a special thing, hidden, and then they’d drive all the way to the east coast. It would come on a regular basis. I had a couple of those guys.


But where I made the real money is going back and forth between Canada and the US. Then I got so good at it, I moved everyone else’s product for them too, for a while.

I didn’t run. I stayed and I did all that stuff. And then I didn’t want to leave the country and they wanted to get me over to the US. Then when I got to the US they arrested me.

The US authorities can’t have been thrilled. No, they can’t. Actually, they don’t care so much. The Canadians really have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to me. I hired this attorney who was like the Gerry Spence of British Columbia, Canada. Three months later, the charges were what they called ‘stayed’ – the equivalent of getting dropped in the US.

As they do. It was American Feds and they didn’t tell me right away what they were arresting me for. With everything I’ve done, I was just running a movie in my head going, ‘Oh my God’. When they said, “Hey, we got you for making a false statement on a passport application,” I was like, “Phew. OK. What’ve we got here?” That was that. I got 18 months’ probation and was done.

What were the charges? Cultivation and smuggling. Right. What was the sentence looking like? Oh, well they said I’d get six years, and of that I would do 18 months to two years. I thought that was pretty good, considering the same charges in the US would have got me life. Shit. Yes. Have you ever been to prison? Oh, the longest I ever stayed was three months. They denied me bail up in Canada. They thought I was a flight risk because they found different IDs on me, but whatever. I wasn’t about to run. I didn’t want to come back to the US. Regardless, they finally gave me bail and

Must have been a panic... I couldn’t smoke weed for 18 months, but that was OK. A small price to pay for my freedom. How did you find this house? I looked at 60 different places. Well, my assistant did. It has a big yard, like a hectare: I could entertain 1,000 people here. I throw two big parties a year. One’s 4th July, down in Malibu, and another one here. I’m still working with the neighbours. We’ll see what happens. Do the neighbours complain? No, I invite them. These are $1m events, they’re first class. The neighbours thought we were going to have some kind of hippy fes. Instead I had 11 billionaires and over 200 millionaires at this party. There were 1,000 people here.

The cops came and chucked the party out 45 minutes before it was going to close, just to let us know, “Hey, don’t forget who’s in charge.” A lot of celebrities are getting into marijuana. Yes, it’s a great thing. It brings awareness and those celebrities should really be getting themselves educated and educate the population. Now, if you don’t have a licence, you’re done. Some celebrities were smart: they went out and got their licence. They did all the right things. Most of them haven’t. It’s going to be interesting to see what transpires over the next year, as they enforce the legal market and get rid of the black market. Those celebrities who don’t have a licence are in the black market. I’m sure they’re aware of it, maybe they’re not. Tell us about your TV career? I’ve got a show, Next Marijuana Millionaire, that’s finally been edited and done. The big agencies are looking at that. It’s going to be very, very exciting. It doesn’t show cannabis in a derogatory, negative way – it shows normal people. The media has a tendency to show cannabis patients as the freaky people who are always doing strange stuff. They’re not showing normal America and how they’re using it, and that has to change. And then there’s Business Outlaws? That’s a podcast but we also shoot it as a normal show. I do that every week and it’s a business show. I don’t necessarily talk about cannabis, I just talk about business, because I want people to understand that there’s more to me than just cannabis. The whole premise of the show is, if you could go back and talk to your 24-year-old self, what would you tell him? I get into a lot of deep, emotional conversations; I cry in the show. I talk about my past, and pain points. I talk a lot about psychology and mindset, as well as the functional things that you have to do. Most of it is mindset, by the way. In business, in anything in life, it’s mindset. Always positive. You’ve got to be able to believe in yourself. A lot of people will try to steer you away from it. They’re secretly jealous, and don’t want to see you succeed. They don’t believe in themselves and so they try to project their fears on to you. You can’t operate that way in life, you’ve got to go your own way. Were your parents alarmed when you went into the marijuana business? My mother said, “Son, I don’t think what you’re doing is bad. Just don’t ever get caught.” And my father, he passed away when I was 17, but he taught me sales at a very

I remember the first time I had hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. It’s intoxicating young age. It helped me out as I got older. I had some good lessons and some bad lessons from my parents. Luckily, I took the good and was able to run with it. What were the bad lessons? Like, negative programming. Your parents have these negative qualities, and they affect you when you get older, and you’re unaware of them. You need to clean them out of your head, and have your own set of beliefs. We go through all that on Business Outlaws: how to purge yourself from all the negativity from the past. How to regulate yourself. What advice would you give to the 24-year-old you? “It’s all going to work out. Just trust your instincts. It’s all going to work out.” Actually, I would start with the psychology. It would have saved him a lot of divorces, and bad relationships. In this day and age, life is so fucking tough for people. It’s a struggle. It’s hard. I recently got engaged – Congratulations. Thank you. Relationships are a big part of everyone’s life. When you see a person with a good program versus a bad program, stay away from the bad program. Most people don’t understand what a good program looks like because, throughout their life, they have had bad programmers and everyone around them – their friends – all had bad programmers. That becomes your reality. You don’t understand that there’s another reality outside the one that you’re in. When you say, ‘other reality’– I can’t tell you how many good girls I walked past. I had no idea, none. Then you start to listen – and you go, “Oh, bad program, bad program. You’ve got a bad program here.” The fastest way to find out how a person’s program is? Ask about their childhood. Look at their parents because they’re the ones who programmed them. Brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, immediate parents: they’re the programmers to that person’s brain. I always

look at those input factors and how good this person’s going to be. I do something called reparenting. It gets me through all that stuff. What’s re-parenting? Oh shit. You see, your brain will protect you from things you don’t understand. It won’t allow you to revisit the same situation if it thinks you’re going to get harmed again. When you get the skillset you need, only then will your brain allow you to go back in that situation because it now knows you can win that situation. That’s what happens when you go deeper, and you finally figure stuff out. You see where your parents did the bad programming. You come back to these pain points. I just look at myself as an adult now. I look at myself as a child, I take myself by the hand and I deal with the situation. [Voice breaks.] I talk to myself and say, “Listen, that’s a bad program. They didn’t know what they were doing. It’s not their fault. They were programmed bad.” And I move on. Believe me, I’m still working through shit. People have no idea all of the ways things stack up on you. It’s like – I would never have thought that was a pain point. I’d never have thought that was something that held me back. And then I ask, “Why?” then I deal with it, and then it’s gone, and it no longer affects me. Once you get a handle on it, everything in life becomes easier. Business, relationships, social situations. That’s really what Business Outlaws is about – teaching the young millennials how to reprogram themselves and how to do business. The entrepreneur stuff’s the easy part. The head shit’s the hard part. See, I get emotional thinking about all the pain I’ve been through – is there a napkin or something in here? Got tears in my eyes thinking about my past. You’ve got me all emotional, the guy from square mile. Please don’t kick me out. Oh, I don’t care. I’m not going to say anything I’m ashamed of. You can put in that you saw tears. It’s me. I cry on the air. I don’t hide it. That’s impressive. It’s great as a society we’re becoming less emotionally repressed. No, you’re right. I can get in all kinds of stinks about society, and men and women and where we are today, and where we need to go, and what’s going to happen, but that’s a whole other thing. I deal with that on Business Outlaws, so start listening to that, maybe. I shall. Thanks for being so generous with your time. No, it’s OK. By the way – what’s your relationship with cannabis? ■



Smile for the Camera Writer and actress Elizabeth Morris is making big moves both on and off screen. She tells BETH McCOLL about writing scripts for Gary Oldman, fight scenes with Jessica Alba, and making herself heard in the movie industry Photography by JAMES NELSON


Y METRIC FOR measuring someone’s likability is this: would you mind being stuck in a lift with them? Elizabeth Morris: confirmed as someone you would absolutely not mind being stuck in a lift with. We catch up on a Wednesday afternoon. She’s filming an interview for London Live which she kindly lets me tag along to. We chat in the green room. I ask her where she lives and she tells me. I mention that I have an ex-boyfriend who lives there. We start talking about other exes, and the unique frustrations of dating in London. She’s deleted all her dating apps, and I’m considering doing the same. I’m sitting across from a world-building, creative powerhouse who’s written dialogue for Gary Oldman and is currently working on her first solo feature script and a children’s book and I’m asking her about… boys? Luckily she’s called to the interview before I can have her braid my hair or ask what lipstick she’s wearing (just kidding, it’s an iconic Smashbox red).


The interview isn’t live, so I expect a lot of fluffing and accidental swearing and having to repeat stuff. There’s none of that, though. She’s confident, easy to watch, dynamic. I lean over and quietly ask her publicist “How many of these has she done?” “Not many.” Oh, so she’s just good. Cool. Conversation quickly moves on to Killers Anonymous, a crime thriller that came out this autumn starring Morris alongside Gary Oldman, Jessica Alba, Tommy Flanagan and Suki Waterhouse to really name but a few (there’s bloody loads of famous people in it). She co-wrote the film with director Martin Owen. The concept for Killers Anonymous had its genesis in an earlier film that Owen and Morris collaborated on, L.A. Slasher, a satirical horror-comedy about the artifice of Hollywood. The film’s killer, just after doing some killing, heads along to a support group to discuss his murderous urges with other Bay Area slashers. The scene is less than two ➤

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PHOTO CREDITS: Photography: James Nelson Creative Producer: Emma Willians Styling: Rosie Bess Maekup & Hair: Amanda Wright using Leonor Greyl and Giorgio Armani.


➤ minutes long, but it’s a concept that her and Owen both wanted to revisit. Six years after they wrote the film, Morris gets a call. There’s been interest in the idea, and Owen wants to know if she’ll come back on board. Spoiler: she got back on board. She plays Krystal, a butterfly-knife-wielding babe who she describes as “an intimidating, foul-mouthed, overbearing, wild-card… a really nice girl.” She’s joking, but I’d definitely go for a pint with Krystal based on that description alone. She worked with stunt and fight coordinator Abbi Collins to master use of the knife, as well as to co-ordinate the film’s many fight scenes. Perhaps inspired by this, she recently started boxing, which she tells me is great for letting out aggression. “I’ve been training with this amazing woman called Sam Schnitzler, who’s an actress who does a lot of fight stuff in films. We started talking and she said ‘do you want to come and train with me?’ And I thought, ‘she’s going to kill me’. She’s so tough, she’s so badass.” Morris herself seems plenty badass, both on and off screen, with a knife in her hand or a cappuccino. She’s interesting and alert. She’s cool, and quick to laugh. If I was a male interviewer this is when I might mention how beautiful she is, and spend a whole paragraph describing her jawline or skin tone like a serial killer. Luckily I’m not a pervert, so we’ll skip that. How she looks is an accident of genetics. But who she is – earnest, creatively energised, ambitious – seems to be the product of years of persistent hard work and trusting her instincts. Though born and raised in Gloucestershire, she’s at home in London. “I’ve been here since 2011. I love it. My whole family originates from here, my sister’s here, so it feels like the natural place to be.” Her family home in Gloucestershire functions as an escape, a place to go when she’s not needed in London and wants to spend time with family. “I love home. It’s in the Cotswolds so it’s all trees and fresh air. It can be a relief to go back. But then I always miss London and I’m ready to get back to the buzz of it.” You studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Why not London? I did my A levels, then left school when I was 18 and had intended to apply for drama school. But at the time my grandmother was really unwell so I ended up being a fulltime carer for her. It was the first year that this course had opened, and it was on my doorstep. We had teachers coming from the RSC, from Doreen Bird, from the West End to teach us, so we got this really good quality of teaching. I did that for two years and then moved straight to London to start work.

One of the highlights of Killer’s Anonymous for me was the fight scene I had with Jessica Alba And did you always want to live this kind of creative life? Always. As long as I can remember I’ve always performed. As a kid I would be in the centre of the room making people laugh, putting on plays and shows. My childhood was going to my friend’s houses, and us going out into fields to put on plays and do dance routines and sing at the top of our lungs on peaks and hills. I was always writing, always dancing always singing always acting, always drawing. As a kid I was always so set on doing something creative. So kid Elizabeth would be pretty pleased with how you’ve turned out? To be honest, I think she’d be pretty chuffed. Though I think she’d be very surprised that I ended up working in film. It was always ‘stage, stage, stage’. I actually don’t think film ever really entered my mind because it felt so out of reach. I don’t think I ever thought it’s what I’d end up doing, but I think she’d be pleased. Let’s talk Killer’s Anonymous. Tell us some of your highlights? For me as an actress, there’s a fight scene I had with Jessica Alba. There’s guns, there’s kicks, there’s punches, there’s flying off tables. So normal day at the office, then? Absolutely. Teenage me would have been like: ‘YOU’RE KIDDING. WHAT?’ It’s a really fun scene. And I also sing in it, which was something that was really scary. Hang on, but you’re trained in musical theatre and wanted to sing on stage? One hundred percent, but I’ve always had a real anxiety around singing, so then suddenly to be singing in Jessica Alba’s face… But that scene is a lot of fun. So what about as a writer? What scene stood out to you most? There’s a scene between Gary Oldman and Suki Waterhouse which was a really, really fun bit of dialogue to write and also then to see them both deliver was great. They’re discussing the urges to kill and Gary’s

character is trying to talk Suki’s character off a ledge so to speak. He’s trying to discourage her from making her next kill. You wrapped filming on Killer’s Anonymous more than a year ago. What have you been up to since then? When production stops, you can go into this lull where you think ‘what next?’. And if you haven’t got something lined up, in particular if you were a writer and an actor on that project, it can be all consuming. You haven’t really thought about anything else, and then it stops and it’s like ‘oh god, what now?’ So I went away and thought ‘I want to write my own script about topics that are really, really important to me.’ I wanted to talk being single, about online dating, mental health, and the drinking culture in Britain, which is something which I think affects so many people. It was something that I wanted to write about, and so I did. And that became We’re All A Bit Like Lilly. What else can you tell us about that project? We’re All a Bit Like Lilly is a dark comedy drama. It’s the first feature film that I’ve written by myself. It’s also my original idea. I have Catherine Gray [author of The Unexpected Joy of Being Single] on-board as script consultant. How did that collaboration with Catherine Gray come about? So at the same time as working on this script I was reading a lot. Books by Dolly Alderton, Bryony Gordon. I was also listening to Elizabeth Gilbert and Brene Brown, so just all these incredible authors and speakers and influential women. There was this one book in particular called The Unexpected Joy of Being Single by Catherine Gray. It’s an autobiographical book, and I have so much admiration for that, because when you write fiction you can be a bit anonymous about it. But she’s gone, ‘This is my experience, this is how I’ve dealt with it.’ So I just got in touch with her and said ‘first of all, thank you for writing this book. You’ve helped me understand a lot of things in my own mind. Is this project that I’m working on something that you’d be interested in collaborating on?’ And she said let me read it, so I sent her my stuff. Did you ever hesitate or think, ‘I really admire this person. There’s no way I can send her my work’? I instantly thought ‘oh my god. She’s a Sunday Times bestselling author. What have you done? You idiot. Why have you done this?’ ➤



➤ But she got back to me, and said she really enjoyed it and that it’s something that she would be interested in coming on board with. How did you research this script? Years ago I read this interview with Kristin Wiig, and she said her process for writing Bridesmaids was to get her female friends together and discuss all the ridiculous stuff that they’ve done. And I thought ‘well my friends are a bunch of ridiculous idiots’. So it was ‘right, girls. Come on over. Let’s reminisce.’ I also got on Instagram and said ‘Tell me your stories, ladies! What embarrassing things have you done when you’re drunk, what are you ashamed of, tell me about your dating experiences.’ So fans of Dolly Alderton and Bryony Gordon and Catherine Gray should be looking forward to this? Yeah, 100%. I hope so, at least. You’ve worked on a lot of really dark films. What frightens you? My first experience with genuine fear was actually film related. I had a babysitter and she brought Stephen King’s It over on video. I vividly remember seeing this video case on the dining room table and it had a clown on it, and at that age I didn’t make the connection that it was a scary clown. It was just a clown. And I begged and begged and begged her to let me watch it. Anyway I must have been really annoying because she eventually just let me. And it started off this immense fear of clowns. Really intense. [Side-bar: Morris calling her fear of clowns intense is possibly the greatest accidental joke I’ve heard in quite some time. Intense. In. Tents. Amazing.] Are you still scared of them now? I think I’ve managed to kind of curb it. Although do you remember that thing recently with ‘killer clowns’, when they were just going around? I don’t think I left the house for weeks. But then I also have a really morbid

When you have doors shut in your face, set yourself goals and work towards them 064

fascination with them as well. Same with sharks. I got this intense fear of them, because of Jaws. But then I’m fascinated with them. So another movie fear, then? Yes. God, maybe I’m just scared of films. Have you ever felt that you’re underestimated in your industry? There was a time when I was about 22, and I had co-written this script and I was working in a team with a lot of older men, and this producer just didn’t believe me that I had written even a single word. We were going through the credits, saying ‘ok who are we crediting for the writing’, and my name wasn’t on there. And I said, ‘hang on, I literally wrote half of that script’. And it was like, ‘Well, prove it.’ So I did. I went into my laptop and I had to dig out the first draft. I had to literally find evidence of the fact that I’d written even a

word of it. That experience taught me ‘put your foot down, make sure you’re vocal, don’t let anybody assume you haven’t been as involved as you have.’ I’m getting there with saying ‘I did that, too. It wasn’t just everybody else.’ And when you’re knocked down like that, how do you get back up? This is definitely something that I’ve had to learn how to do along the way. When you have doors shut in your face, or someone says no, I think the most important thing you can do is set yourself goals and just work towards them. Even if they’re tiny goals, just keep going. Because once you stop, it’s so easy to get into a spiral, and then things just slow down, and then you go into self-doubt. I think you have to re-evaluate what you’ve already done, and think, “well OK, you’ve gotten that far.” And then you set a goal for what you want to do next, and just don’t stop until you get there. ■



IN C ONTEXT HEARN At 15, Eddie Hearn was selling double glazing in Romford. At 32, he promoted his first world title fight. Last year, he signed boxing’s first billion-dollar deal. And then there’s that Twitter account…

Words by MAX WILLIAMS Photography by DAN KENNEDY 066

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Imagine for a moment, YOU ARE EDDIE HEARN. To be more specific, imagine you are Eddie Hearn on Monday, 15 November, 2011. Two days earlier, you sold out Manchester Evening News Arena, 22,000 punters flocking to the first all-British heavyweight title fight since Lennox Lewis stopped Frank Bruno in 1993. An estimated 223,000 households paid £14.95 to watch the bout on Sky Box Office. You are 32 years old. This was your first serious fight promotion. You willed it into existence. Created an event your own father told you was impossible. And it has made you a laughing stock. On Monday morning, you walk into a sandwich shop and the place goes quiet. A man comes up to you. “Hearn, what the fuck was that? You owe me 15 quid!” Less than 48 hours earlier you had a dream: to become the biggest promoter in boxing. You are young, brash, bursting with ideas and energy. You made a plan a year ago, on the poker tables of Las Vegas, and everything you envisaged has come to pass. You have taken Audley Harrison from semi-retirement to the brink of one of the most remarkable comebacks in sporting history. Defeat WBA

champion David Haye, and the impossible will have become reality. You talked up this fight for weeks. Rhapsodising on Audley Harrison to the extent even you started to believe the hype. (And once you believe something, everyone will believe it.) “Audley Harrison, this is his time! People said he’d never get an education – he got a degree. People said he was too old to turn to amateur boxing – he won gold in the Olympics. People said he’d never be a world champion – now he’ll prove you wrong once again!” Except Harrison climbs into the ring and doesn’t throw a punch for two rounds. Haye knocks him out in the third. And suddenly it’s over: Eddie Hearn, boxing promoter, sent the same way as Audley Harrison, world champion; a year of selling and scheming wiped out in less than nine minutes. Harrison is jeered by the crowd, 22,000 voices chanting, “you’re shit, and you know you are!” As you walk the former Olympic gold medalist from the arena, people start throwing projectiles, hurling racist abuse. As you pass into the tunnel, somebody shouts your name. “HEARN!” You look up. “You’re a fucking ➤



➤ SHIT promoter!” You hurry inside. In the dressing room, you encourage Audley to face the press, admit he froze in the biggest fight of his life. At the press conference, Audley says he thought the stoppage was premature. You want the ground to swallow you up. Three in the morning, you’re hurrying along a backstage corridor, keen to escape the arena and the wreckage of this horrible night. Somebody is coming towards you. Oh Jesus, it’s David Haye. The man who destroyed your promotional aspirations a few hours earlier. You’ve spent the past few weeks publicly questioning his record, doubting his chin, claiming he would soon be dethroned by an opponent who crumbled at the first assault. You brace yourself. David Haye winks at you. “Good job,” he says. “Well done.” David Haye has earned £4.2m for one of the easiest fights of his career. You helped him earn it. One day, maybe, you’ll


be able to show your face in public without being reminded of the fact. On Tuesday, your phone rings. It’s Tony Sims, trainer of European middleweight champion Darren Barker. Would you be interested in a meeting? You hesitate – it’s been a tough weekend – but eventually assent. You sign Barker. Two days after the Sims phone call, Terry Thompson approaches you at a Prize Fighter event. Would you be interested in signing his son, young welterweight prospect Kell Brook? “We saw what you did with Audley Harrison,” says Thompson. “Imagine what you could do with my son!” You sign Brook. Four days after the Thompson conversation, Carl Froch calls. Carl Froch, the WBC super-middleweight world champion. The biggest star in British boxing not named David Haye. He wants you to be his new promoter. You sign Carl Froch. Within a year you will sign an exclusive

broadcast partnership with Sky Sports. Within three years you will sell out Wembley Stadium to 80,000 people. Within six years, you will sell out Wembley Stadium to 90,000 people. Within seven years you will announce boxing’s first-ever billion dollar deal with the American streaming platform DAZN – the very same month that your fighter, Tony Bellew, ends the glittering career of David Haye with a fifth round knockout (and another multi-million pound purse). The world is at your feet. It still isn’t enough. * * *

“IT BECOMES LESS enjoyable the bigger you get,” is Eddie Hearn’s honest and somewhat wistful verdict on the promotional game. “When you’re starting out, it’s just you against the world. No one really takes you too seriously. You’re not a threat to anyone. You’re almost welcomed. When I started in boxing,

the response was unbelievable: ‘Oh Eddie, you’re brilliant! Matchroom, breath of fresh air!’ Then you take over the market and they say you’re Doctor Evil.” He tells me this on the 72nd floor of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The windows stretch from floor to ceiling; the elevator pops your ears. It’s a drizzly, grey sulk of a morning, and all around us Manhattan dissolves into cloud. There’s so much city your eyes struggle to process it. A game of I Spy could run into the next decade. And yes, there’s no point denying the aphrodisiacal power of such a vantage point – bring me women, bring me whisky, bring me Superman in chains – but there’s also a vague sense of detachment, like you’re gazing at the world through the eyes of a jaded God. Now, the observant reader will have noticed our shoot includes much Eddie Hearn but little of New York. The backdrop is the Matchroom HQ in Brentwood, the

country estate bought by Barry Hearn several decades ago, and Eddie’s childhood home. (Both Hearns still live nearby, although Eddie spends more time on airplanes than in his sitting room.) The World Trade Center houses both DAZN and Matchroom USA. Last year’s deal committed Matchroom to staging 16 shows across America, all of which Hearn will personally promote and attend, including the weekend’s middleweight world title fight between Gennady Golovkin and Sergiy Derevyanchenko. (The crowd-pleasing Golovkin edges a brutal contest.) I first interviewed Hearn a few months earlier, at a press conference for Dave Allen vs Lucas Browne. ‘Grabbing some time with Eddie’ entailed hanging around for more than an hour as he spoke to various media outlets, including a live broadcast with Sky Sports (bear in mind, the press conference hadn’t even started). Eventually the PR thrust me in front of him, explaining I was writing a feature on Dave and I had a couple of questions. I’d expected good copy, and I got it. Crisp, compact answers packed with soundbites and substance. He reeled off sentences as though he’d memorised them in advance. What I hadn’t expected was the emotional commitment, the sheer delight he seemed to take in talking to me about Dave Allen. The man was glowing: after three minutes, I thought we might sack off the presser and go for pints. And then I thanked him for his time, and he said something like “right” or “great”, and suddenly I no longer registered for him, he’d turned away, who’s next? The spotlight is on you, and then it’s off. It remains the most potent example of what I can only describe as charisma. “I’m just passionate about what I do,” says Hearn in reference to this encounter. “It’s not like I do an interview with you, we go away, and I’m like, [his shoulders slump theatrically], ‘fucking hell!’ It’s just, like, autopilot.” He prides himself on doing every interview – whether the BBC or a tiny YouTube channel – and never taking notes to a press conference. “Never in one press conference have I had a note. Because it’s all from the heart. It’s all raw emotion. And that comes off so much better when you’re selling something. It’s that energy. And when that energy goes, that’s when it’s time to step away.” You might be envisaging a gleaming office, a towering leather chair; in fact, we’re sitting in DAZN’s cafeteria. Today’s Hearn is a calmer presence, less palpably on, albeit still a brilliant raconteur. He doesn’t retell his memories so much as relive them. A typical Hearn anecdote will include impressions, mime (eg if somebody phones him, an invisible phone will be picked

up), moments of delighted incredulity (at his own chutzpah or the madness of boxing/ life), and plenty of unexpected tangents. They say that you should do what you love, and he certainly loves to talk. Take his account of Harrison’s last-minute knockout of Michael Sprott, the win that set up the world title challenge. “I’m, like, depressed throughout this whole fight. He’s lost every round. Thirty seconds before the knockout my dad turns to me. [Does Barry voice.] ‘I know you’re gutted, but take it like a man. When the bell goes, you see if Audley’s alright, and I’ll go and congratulate Michael Sprott. Alright?’ I went to him, ‘fuck that, I ain’t getting in the ring.’ All of a sudden, bang! [Fist hits hand.] Knockout! I’m through the ropes, [adopts hysterical falsetto] ‘Audley!’ And Audley says, ‘I knew that was coming. Whether it was the first minute or the last minute, I knew that was coming.’ OK, mate. [Fond grin.] Pure fluke. One from the gods.” After our interview, there is another interview, and a meeting with John Skipper, the executive chairman of DAZN. In the evening, Hearn will host an informal media event – food, drink, further interviews – to promote WBO middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade. By Monday he’ll be in London for the KSI-Logan Paul press conference. By Wednesday, Chicago, for Olexander Uysk’s heavyweight debut. Hearn is a multimillionaire. Father to two young children. He has no intention of stopping any time soon. * * *

EDDIE HEARN IS sitting in a smoke-filled room in Romford, trying to convince the voice down the phone to upgrade their double-glazing. The voice down the phone is telling him to fuck off. Eddie remains courteous, patient, and on the line. “I’m only doing my job, Mr Davy. Can I ask about your windows?” “I don’t want to talk about my fucking windows! Fuck off!” ➤

When you’re starting out, it’s just you against the world. No one really takes you too seriously 071


➤ “Oh – so you have double-glazing then?” He’s 15. Still in college, although for the next two hours he’s not a student (he’s never been much of a student) but a proud and persistent representative of Weatherseal Windows, working his way through the phone book. The room is choked with his fellow salesmen, insisting the merits of Weatherseal Windows, licking the lunchtime grease from their fingers, lighting up another fag. Eddie is the youngest, and the only one to grow up in a mansion. Mr Davy does indeed have double-glazing, now for the last time will he fuck off? “Fantastic!” soothes Eddie. “What type have you got: aluminium, UV, PVC, wood…?” It’s wood. “Well, I have to say, good choice, but – did you know that right now we can upgrade you to the more premium aluminium version? You don’t have to worry about any leakage, you


don’t have to worry about the weather...” He knows the value of a pound because his dad has earned millions of them. Barry Hearn also grew up on an estate: council, not country, Dagenham instead of Brentwood. A savvy operator blessed with the populist touch – a 2012 BBC documentary dubbed him ‘The People’s Promoter’ – Barry helped engineer the snooker boom of the 1980s, making his name and fortune in the process. The expansion into boxing proved similarly fruitful: over the 1990s, Matchroom Sports staged numerous blockbuster fights, most famously Chris Eubank’s two battles with Nigel Benn. Barry could afford to raise his children in luxury: nice holidays, expensive Christmas presents, a private education. Yet he also expected them to graft. As a kid, Eddie would clean 15 of his dad’s shoes at 10p a pair; wash the car; sell programmes at the boxing. He might eat with a silver spoon but he’d have

to polish it afterwards. Yet he loved work, he loved earning money, he loved the hustle. He even loved Weatherseal Windows. “Our job was to get a lead. So I would run out and go, ‘Mrs Davy!’ They’d call her – ‘you spoke to my colleague, Eddie Hearn…’ Arrange an appointment. As soon as that lands, I get the bonus. The bonus was £5 for every appointment, and a pound extra an hour for that week. And I was smashing it! Every session I was coming out with £20 bonuses, which at the time was worth crazy!” (Let it be noted that the adult Hearn’s excitement when describing his appointment bonus is no less intense than his excitement when describing Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko. For the billion-dollar boxing promoter, the joy of that extra fiver – plus a quid an hour – is still tangible 25 years on.) The job offered a further incentive. If you can make it in New York, you can make

it anywhere; if you can sell double-glazing down the phone, you can sell anything. “I’m a salesman. That’s what I do. Just the same as anyone else: whether you’re selling photocopiers, cars, or fights. That’s what I do. And there is no tougher school than telesales, because the rejection is on another level. You learn how to sell. Selling face to face is so easy when you’ve been selling over the phone.” Growing up in a working class family (albeit one made good), Eddie felt more affinity with the grafters of Weatherseal than his classmates at Brentwood School. (Except for a chubby boy in the year above: Frank Lampard, who also had a famous father and a tireless work ethic.) Poor GSCEs meant he took his A-levels at Havering College. He knew nobody there. He couldn’t even play sport, because there weren’t any sports teams. After a week, his business studies class had halved in number: the rest skived outside, smoking weed. In Brentwood, such truancy would have brought down hell; here, nobody seemed to care. One day, Eddie approached the teacher. “Can I just ask you: if you don’t turn up, what happens?” A shrug. “Nothing,” the teacher said. “I can’t do anything about it. At the end of the day, it’s up to you. You’re here to learn. If you want to get your A-levels, work with me. If you don’t, be like them.” Eddie started going to the library on his breaks. He developed a daily routine: attend the lessons, do the work, and then visit his dad’s gym to watch the boxers. He got three A-levels. The expectation was a degree in leisure marketing, like his sister, and then join Barry in the family business. Instead he wrote to several leading sport’s agencies asking for a placement. He found one with Richard Busby and BDS Sponsorship. His first few months involved inputting contact details into a database and making Richard Busby cups of coffee. “It was fucking mundane!” Busby, who I contact by phone, notes that coffee duty is hardly an unusual task for an intern. “You could see he had something special,” says Busby of his erstwhile barista. “Like his dad, he was a great public speaker.” After about a year, Eddie gets promoted, and then he gets a phone call. It’s a recruitment agency headhunting for a senior position at the sports agency LEA. Is the sponsorship director available? “Yeah, that’s me,” says the 19-year-old Eddie Hearn. He aces the interview, lands the job and a tidy pay rise. He stays with LEA for three years: Ian Botham is one of his clients. So are several golfers, which prompts Eddie to contact Barry with a proposal: Matchroom

Golf. He returns as almost the antithesis of prodigal son: the Biblical version squanders his inheritance, yet is forgiven by his father. Neither Hearn would approve. After golf comes cards: Matchroom promotes the inaugural Poker Million final to an audience of 30m, and quickly corners the TV market. “We made a fortune!” sighs Hearn. He describes the poker years, spanning the first decade of the millenium, as “the real, big growth period of Matchroom.” At the World Series of Poker, Hearn is drawn on the same table as Audley Harrison. Matchroom is basically out of boxing: its only product is the Prizefighter series, a knockout tournament of three-round fights staged over a single evening. Hearn compares Prizefighter to 20/20 cricket due to its innovation, its popularity with the general public, and its initial rejection by the purists. (As he cheerfully notes, the former demographic is much, much bigger than the latter.) Harrison asks for a fight; Hearn offers him a slot in Prizefighter. Lays out a plan: win the tournament, win the European title, and fight David Haye for the world championship. He phones Barry. “I’ve just met Audley Harrison.” “Oh, fucking hell. What does he want?” “Let’s get him in heavyweight Prizefighter. Then we’ll get him a European title fight. Then we’ll fight David Haye!” [Hearn plays his younger self not as a confident visionary but a gauche idealist, voice trembling with optimism.] “Ed, are you fucking off your head? He is a disaster, that bloke.” Yet Harrison draws a big crowd and big ratings. He wins Prizefighter. He dramatically stops Sprott for the European title, and Eddie runs into the ring, practically weeping from joy. “Those days are fun because it’s just you against the world. No one really knows who you are. You’re just this kid whose blagging it. It’s fun, then. Doesn’t come with the pressures and responsibilities and aggravation now. I weren’t a threat.’” He quickly becomes one. By the start of 2012, Eddie Hearn has a stable of established names and rising talent. Having a stable is nice. He wants an empire. * * *

THERE’S A QUOTE from American Beauty: “In order to be successful, one must project an image of success at all times.” It’s delivered by the self-proclaimed king of real estate Buddy Kane, the smooth antithesis of Kevin Spacey’s failing protagonist. So spend a month eating Pot Noodles if the savings buy a tailored suit; hire a Bentley to drive to the job interview.

My one regret is I never had the opportunity to build it from nothing: I had a headstart And stage your fight nights in packed stadiums rather than half-empty halls. “If you’re trying to give the perception that something is big and cool and sexy, that it’s a major event, you can’t do it in – with all due respect – Huddersfield Leisure Centre with 400 people. As a viewer, you turn it on, think, ‘this is shit’, and turn it straight over. You have to give the perception that it’s a big fight. Perception is key.” Take Kell Brook’s 2012 dust-up with Matthew Hatton. Hearn branded the fight ‘The War Of The Roses’ (Brook hails from Sheffield, Hatton Manchester), and sold out Sheffield Arena. The show did record numbers on Sky Sports. Time for phase two. At the time, Matchroom shared the Sky platform with rival promoters Frank Warren, Ricky Hatton, and Kellie Maloney. Hearn told Sky to ditch the others, and give its whole budget to Matchroom. He’d made this demand a year earlier, and Sky laughed him from the room. Six months after Brook-Hatton, the network signed an exclusive deal with Matchroom. Barely 33, Hearn had achieved domestic domination. It would never be quite as much fun again. In 2014, Matchroom staged the biggest fight in British boxing history (pt 1). The first meeting between Carl Froch and George Groves had ended in a controversial stoppage win for the champion. A rematch was inevitable. Where to hold it? Sensing his son’s excitement, Barry preached caution: “It’s not as big as you think it is.” “Dad,” said Eddie, “it’s fucking huge.” By 2014, Twitter allowed an unprecedented insight into the boxing hivemind, and the hivemind was buzzing. This fight needed a stadium. Eddie went to the biggest of the lot. “I’m gonna do it at Wembley,” he told Barry. “The arena?” “No. The stadium.” “How many does that hold?” “80,000.” “It won’t do 40.” It sold out on the first day. “The first day!” (As with his Weatherseal bonus, his satisfaction at the sales remains undimmed.) ➤



IN 2011, HEARN paid a visit to Sheffield’s

I said to Anthony Joshua ‘you need to meet every promoter. Then come back to me and we’ll talk’ ➤ Froch-Groves II was the night that boxing planted its banner upon the grass of Britain’s national stadium and bellowed that it was back, baby! For Eddie Hearn, business had overtaken pleasure. His perfectionism – “I’m a massive self critic” – didn’t kill his love for the sport, but the early thrill had diminished. “As a promoter, you don’t really get the chance to take it all in. At no point, really, do you stop and look around and go, ‘look at this, guys!’ Which is a bit sad. That’s why I’m never really content with my shows.” No controversy in the sequel: Froch knocked out Groves in the eighth. On the undercard, the young heavyweight Anthony Joshua took 83 seconds to notch his sixth professional victory. In the post-fight interview, Hearn claimed that “in two or three years time, Anthony could be headlining here himself.” On 30 April, 2017, Joshua knocked out Wladimir Klitschko to the roar of 90,000 fans. Froch-Groves II kept its crown as the biggest fight in British boxing history™ for two years and 11 months.


avenge the last one. Nobody gave Andy Ruiz Jr a prayer when the cheery Mexican was drafted in as a late opponent for Joshua’s muchpublicised US debut. Ruiz obligingly went down in the third. Less obligingly, he got back up and floored Joshua four times before the fight was waved off in the seventh. The rematch takes place this December in Saudia Arabia. Hearn believes Ruiz-Joshua II will eclipse Klitschko at Wembley “as a global moment.” He claims to be excited by the logistical challenge of Matchroom’s Middle East debut, nervous about the fight itself; although he insists “hand on heart, I couldn’t give a fuck” about the business ramifications of another AJ defeat. The empire can withstand the fall of its Achilles. “Nothing’s going to be terrible for us. What’s the worst thing that could happen? AJ’s not heavyweight world champion. We have a great business. I’m talking about Anthony Joshua: that’s who I’m nervous for. Not because I’m worried about him getting hurt, although I know that can happen in boxing, but because I know how much he wants to win, and what it means to him. He has become a very good friend over the years.” Joshua’s ill-starred American invasion was initially planned as another Wembley defence. (‘Boxing’s Staying Home!’ crowed the posters.) Only no opponent could be found for the proposed April date, and so the biggest individual draw in British sporting history lost his titles across the Atlantic, and must travel to the desert to regain them. But then globalisation was always the plan. As well as Saudia Arabia, and of course America, Matchroom has staged shows in Italy and Monte Carlo, and will soon move into Spain and Germany. “For me, that’s winning,” says Hearn. “That’s global expansion into different markets. And that’s something well beyond even what my dad ever envisaged.” Thus perhaps the two traits that most define Eddie Hearn. Firstly, “the unhealthy obsession with winning” that sends him zigzagging around the globe, embracing all conflict whether it be media criticism, fan dissatisfaction, or machinations of rival promoters. ‘YOU CAN NOT BEAT ME, ITS [sic] F****** IMPOSSIBLE’ ran the tituler quote from a recent IFL interview; ‘END MY EMPIRE - ******* DO IT - I DARE YOU!’ was another. Winning is everything, and you can’t win if there’s nobody to beat. Yet his ultimate struggle is against his own father. Their relationship surfaces throughout our interview. At one point, Eddie speaks of his “desire to outperform him”; later he says, “I feel like I’ve got the obligation now to finish what he started.” He mentions the jealousy

PHOTOGRAPH by Daniel Leal-Olivas

MEXICAN STAND-OFF: Hearn stands between heavyweight boxing champion Andy Ruiz Jr and Anthony Joshua as they pose ahead of the “Clash on the Dunes” fight, set to take place next month.

Institute of Sport. He was talking to Rob McCracken, coach of Carl Froch and performance director of GB Boxing, when he heard the rhythmic creaking of a heavy bag. He turned round to see a rangy young giant thumping away. “That’s Anthony Joshua,” said McCracken. “He can fight, he can.” Fuck me, thought Hearn, he’ll be one to get. Hopefully, he won’t do much in the Olympics; otherwise one of the big boys will sign him. Joshua won gold. Sizing up his options, “Listen,” Hearn told Joshua. “This is 100% the place for you, but you need to go out and meet everybody. Meet every promoter. Study every deal. Then come back to me, and we’ll talk.” “I appreciate that,” said Joshua. “Thank you.” Was this a sales tactic? “Little bit. Little bit. But I knew that if our relationship was going to be solid, we had to be comfortable – give him that space and that ability to make his own decision. When I hadn’t heard from him for four or five months, I thought, ‘oh shit, that was the worst idea ever.’ Then he phoned up and said, I want to come back and see you.” Signing Joshua was a coup; how much of one wouldn’t be apparent until his sensational knockout of Klitschko. Hearn’s assertion the fight “will be etched in history forever” is not hyperbolic. When did the magnitude of the event sink in? “Not yet. Not yet. It’s the selfcriticism, you know? How do you make that bigger? Where’s the next big night coming from? When’s the next one? It’s like a drug. When’s the next one?” For Joshua, the next one will be a quest to

that he feels when walking around Barry’s country estate, and the old man voices his disbelief at the life he created for himself. “My one regret is that I can’t feel like that. I never got the opportunity to build it from nothing. I got the opportunity to take it to unseen levels – but I had a headstart.” Only when Eddie is satisfied that Barry’s legacy is both secure and surpassed will he finally say, ‘enough.’ When will that be? I doubt even he knows. Something funny happened to Eddie Hearn last September: he became a meme. In order to understand how, we need to briefly spotlight IFL TV. Since launching in 2010, the YouTube channel – ‘the number one online source for boxing’ – has uploaded more than 23,000 videos – and 22,000 must be Eddie Hearn interviews. (This is only just an exaggeration.) The channel and promoter have long enjoyed a symbiotic relationship: Hearn providing the content, IFL the platform. Then No Context Hearn happened. For the unaware (hi, Dad), No Context Hearn is a Twitter account that posts brief clips of Eddie Hearn saying things without any

context. (Its likely inspiration is Out Of Context Chris Eubank.) So No Context Hearn will tweet a clip of Eddie Hearn exclaiming, “Oh, go on then!” and users will add comments such as ‘My mate: fancy a cheeky pint? Me…’ or ‘Rebakah Vardy when the Sun asks for dirt on Coleen’. Many of the clips rack up millions of views (‘Oh, go on then!’ has 20m at the time of writing), and the account has gained 250,000 followers in less than two months. Unsurprisingly, Hearn has embraced the craze. Rather than insults, people are now more likely to greet him with delighted cries of “you’re the bloke off No Context Hearn!”

Where’s the next big night coming from? When’s the next one? It’s like a drug…

The account has become more famous than the man. “It’s like they’re two people,” he recently told SecondsOut. “Which is funny, because Eddie Hearn is really unpopular, and No Context Hearn is a legend.” He shows me a Twitter DM sent by No Context Hearn, thanking him for the classic one liners over the years, telling him that he’s put a smile on the face of millions of people. Of course the success of No Context Hearn is founded on its subject having spent the last decade in front of a camera. There is a certain irony to real-life Hearn finally achieving widespread popularity due to the ubiquity that made him unpopular in the first place. The week following the Golovkin fight is an eventful one for Eddie Hearn. Monday’s press conference is a predictably chaotic affair – Hearn labels it “a circus” – as, in front of a screaming audience of teenagers, Logan Paul tells KSI, “I might kill you. I might end you.” Crass words, but the YouTuber is merely parroting the violent threats of multiple boxers through the ages, and if it’s courtesy you seek then you’re in the wrong place. On Tuesday, Olexander Usyk’s opponent fails a drugs test. On Wednesday, Hearn lands in Chicago and announces veteren heavyweight Chazz Witherspoon as the replacement. Social media is underwhelmed but the show is salvaged, and Usyk wins in seven. On the undercard, a 27-year-old boxer named Patrick Day suffers a brutal tenthround knockout. He is rushed to hospital, falls into a coma, and dies four days later. The tributes that flow from the boxing community speak of an inspirational figure whose charm and positivity brightened every room. “It’s heartbreaking,” a visibly emotional Hearn tells IFL. He only met Day for the first time on the week of the fight, but speaking on the tragedy moves the promoter to tears. “I saw a heartbreaking interview that he gave. He was talking about positivity, he was talking about making the most of your life, he was talking about doing what you loved to do. And he loved boxing. He loved boxing.” Eddie Hearn loves boxing, as do all of those who dedicate their lives to it, be they fighter, manager or fan. It is a wonderful, terrible sport. One that can offer a ladder from poverty to stardom, or simply a path out of a bad place and into a better one; a sport that instils the values of hard work, community, and unearthing the best of yourself. A sport in which a juvenile delinquent can become a national hero; in which a splendid young man can inspire his community, chase his dream, and climb through the ropes one night and never come out again. ■



WA R M UP AW19 is here, and it’s time to refresh your wardrobe accordingly. The new season’s coats, jackets and accessories are calling – here’s our pick of the finest


HACKETT Winter weekenders calling? Make the transition from town to country in style with Hackett’s New Country collection, which sees the brand’s traditional ‘Old England’ DNA updated with a modern, everyday twist. Get packing with this tartan holdall then grab a pair of matching gloves and a classic cashmere scarf to keep warm on those crisp rural mornings. Holdall £355, gloves £240, scarf £130;

BOSS Suede jacket, £995

Suede’s laid-back looks and versatile nature make it a classic style choice, but that doesn’t mean you have to go wholehog traditional with it. This deep berry red BOSS biker jacket is a fresh take on the fabric, fusing a classic autumnal hue with a neat, contemporary cut that makes a style statement without shouting about it. The jacket’s button-close stand collar, subtle front and side pockets, and zip fastening create an elegant and linear silhouette – layer it with a chunky knit and you’ll still have a look that’s dapper, or wear it over a shirt and tie to add an air of individuality to your City look.

LOCK & CO x ESCORIAL WOOL When the world’s oldest hat shop teams up with one of the world’s most luxurious wool suppliers, the results are going to be special. Lock & Co Hatters and Escorial Wool’s collab uses the latter’s exclusive fleece – so revered it was once reserved for the sole use of the Spanish royal family – in a range of stellar headwear ranging from a trilby to a baseball cap. From £135 to £475;



BRIXTON Spokane jacket in olive, €170

Military-inspired coats have an enduring air of cool that mean they never go out of fashion – utilitarian looks and functionality will always be covetable. This piece stays true to that blueprint, with plenty of practical features such as quilted fleece lining, water-repellent coating and a hidden chest pocket all wrapped up in an army olive green. What gives this jacket extra edge, however, is its story – Californian outerwear brand Brixton is named after The Clash song ‘Guns of Brixton’, giving it a rock’n’roll edge before you’ve even put it on. As the song goes, “the money feels good, And your life you like it well…”


CROCKETT & JONES The Coniston cap-toe Derby boot is a Crockett & Jones classic, filling the tricky sartorial gap between formal shoe and weatherproof boot. You may own a pair already, you may not, but either way the new-release Coniston should be on your radar. Made from black rough-out suede with an oversized cleated rubber sole, this inky iteration of the classic is a wet-weather winner. £415;

THE WORKERS CLUB RAF Blue Field Jacket, £695

PHOTOGRAPH (CROCKETT & JONES) by Frasershot Studios

Based in the Oxfordshire countryside, The Workers Club (TWC) knows about producing garments for the great outdoors. This contemporary Brit brand marries its practical know-how with unwavering dedication to high-quality design, resulting in essential pieces that are built to last. Witness the brand’s RAF Field jacket – made by hand in the UK from Italian Storm System wool fabric, it’s waterproof while still feeling luxurious and soft, and design-wise its four pockets stay true to the classic field jacket aesthetic. It’s timeless, it’s functional and it’s made in very limited numbers.

PEREGRINE Peregrine prides itself on its British heritage and ethical credentials. The brand’s Boarder wax jacket combines both: a quintessential example of the British style staple, it’s made from antique Millerian waxed cotton, has a sit-down corduroy collar, brass stud fastening, a boxy shape that screams practicality, and is made in England with English materials. £175; ■


40,000 Strong is an installation representing the number of UK veterans derailed by injury in the last 20 years. That’s 40,000 military careers ended and 40,000 families affected. Every day this number continues to grow. Many of those injured fall through gaps in support. We’re fighting to fix this. Can you join our mission to help all wounded veterans stand strong?




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The tug of war between fossil fuel motors and their electric counterparts continues apace, but is it finally time to make the switch? Graham Courtney looks at the best options






AS THE TIME finally come? Do you persevere with fossil fuels or take the plunge and go electric? There’s no doubting that electric cars have improved dramatically since 2011 when the Nissan LEAF rolled off the assembly lines in Sunderland to become Europe’s first, mainstream, 100 per cent electric car. The potential range is growing longer and the charging times are getting shorter. They’re proving to be not only cheap to run, thanks to electricity being much less expensive than petrol and diesel (Volkswagen quotes 4p per mile for its electric Golf and 14p per mile for the equivalent petrol model), but they’re also cheap to maintain because, quite simply, there’s not much to service. The electric motors are proving to be reassuringly reliable; there’s no expensive engine, radiators, exhaust, clutch etc to go wrong or wear out. On top of this, you don’t pay any road fund tax and you duck any congestion or emission zone charges. Other plusses are that riding in an electric car is a happily peaceful affair. They also accelerate faster than the equivalent petrol or diesel models because an electric motor can develop 100 per cent of its power instantly whereas a conventional engine needs to build the revs before reaching its peak power output. There aren’t any gears, either. So is everything rosy in the electric garden? In short: no. Electric cars are generally more expensive than the petrol or diesel equivalent. Take the Volkswagen up!. This is a brilliant city car in any guise. A well-equipped petrol model will set you back around £12,400. The allelectric e-up! comes in at £20,150 once you’ve subtracted the government grant. Ouch. Depreciation is also much higher for the electric model with latest figures suggesting the e-up! will retain around 30 per cent of its value after three years, as opposed to almost 40 per cent for the petrol equivalent. This would seem to make a second-hand electric vehicle a bargain, but at some point the battery will need to be replaced. They are very expensive, although some manufacturers have a scheme where you lease the battery. Most batteries have a long warranty, though, and many seem capable of racking up high mileages and lasting well beyond 10 years, but eventually they will need to be replaced. You will need access to a charger. Most electric car owners have one installed at home. You’ll also need a garage or a driveway because you can’t have cables draped across a footpath. Security would be a problem, too. Range anxiety is always a concern for any electric vehicle driver. Is there enough ➤


PLUG IN AND PLAY: [Clockwise from here] The Jaguar i-Pace may be electric but drives like a Jaguar should; the Audi e-tron is the German marque’s first electric car; Polestar is the electric performance arm of Volvo.

➤ juice in the battery for you to travel from charger to charger? Most cars will now get close to 100 miles in all conditions; some will go beyond 200. Remember that estimated mileage figures drop in cold weather because the battery will be used for lights, heating and wipers. Batteries also have decreased overall performance in cold temperatures. So, is an electric car for you? As with most things in life, when it comes to spending a sizeable chunk of money, do your sums. If you do decide to go for it, here’s our pick of the current choices plus some that aren’t too far away. The future is coming, either way…

JAGUAR I-PACE From £64,495 - range 292 miles


AUDI E-TRON From £71,560 - range 237 miles In typical Audi fashion, you get all-wheel drive and a fantastic standard of build quality. There are two electric motors, one on each axle, which give a 0-60mph time of 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 124mph. It has roughly the same exterior dimensions as the Audi Q7, but there’s no five-seat option. Instead of side mirrors, you can opt for cameras which then display an image on interior door panels. They take a bit of getting used to, mind. You can choose varying drive modes depending on whether you want performance or economy. But if you want space and a luxurious finish, you’ll love the e-tron.

TESLA MODEL 3 From £40,895 - range 254 miles Tesla had the motoring world in a flap when it first appeared on the scene. The Model 3 is its first mass-market BMW 3 Series rival. It’s taken a while for the Model 3 to reach our shores, but cars are now arriving. The standard, rear-wheel drive version reaches 60mph in 5.3 seconds, but go for the AWD

Performance version and this drops to 3.2 seconds. The range also rises to 329 miles. Build quality has much improved and it has to be said that the Tesla is different from the mainstream and thoroughly likeable for it. You also get access to its own dedicated charging network. The interior is dominated by an enormous touchscreen which is excellent to use. Tesla makes electric motoring a serious temptation for even the hardened petrolhead.

MERCEDES EQC From £65,640 - range 259 miles This car has just arrived in showrooms. And yes, it looks very similar to the GLC – a lot of the interior is from that model. The EQC is the first of what will be a full range of 100 per cent


PHOTOGRAPH by Stefan Isaksson

If the stats for moving to an electric car stack up for you, then the Jaguar I-Pace would be a great place to start. Crucially, it drives like a Jaguar should. There’s a 0-60mph time of 4.5 seconds with power delivered via four-wheel drive. Top speed is 124mph. The I-Pace handles really well, partly thanks to a whacking great battery slung under the cabin floor, so there’s a low centre of gravity. The car is fully equipped with essential goodies including sat nav, and the seats are really comfy. If you want a seriously cushy ride, go for the air suspension option. With practice, you can

drive using just the accelerator. Lift the throttle and regenerative braking occurs through the electric motors. This slows the I-Pace quite dramatically and you needn’t touch the brakes.


electric vehicles from Mercedes. If you want your new electric car to be almost identical to drive to as a petrol or diesel model, you’ll love the EQC. Zero-60mph takes 5.1 seconds, and top speed is 112mph. All-wheel drive comes as standard and you can expect a high level of standard kit. If you like the look of the EQC, hang on for a while because other versions with different power outputs are coming.

BMW I3 From £37,840 - range 193 miles BMW reckons that if you cover 10,000 miles in its i3, the cost of the electricity will be in the region of £135 as opposed to £1,477 for a petrol car of equivalent size. It also reckons that 85% of the car is recyclable. Zero-60mph takes 7.3 seconds and top speed is 95mph. The range is a tad disappointing, though, so the i3 will appeal most to city commuters. There’s also an i3S, which adds some extra performance, but the pay-off is that you lose some range. The BMW i3 looked great when it was launched and a recent revamp has sharpened those looks even further. It still looks very 21st century both inside and out.

PORSCHE TAYCAN From £115,885 - range 279 miles The Taycan is Porsche’s first fully electric car. Zero-60mph takes 3.2 seconds which is getting close to the Tesla Ludicrous figure; top speed is 161mph. There are four driving modes available: Range, Normal, Sport and Sport Plus. In addition, individual systems can be configured as required in the Individual mode. Porsche reckons you can charge the battery from 5 to 85 per cent in just 23 minutes. Allwheel drive comes as standard. You can opt for air suspension which automatically lowers the car as you build speed. The first cars arrive in the UK in January next year. We can’t wait.

POLESTAR 2 From £49,900 - range 310 miles Polestar is the electric performance arm of Volvo and its plain that the company has one manufacturer in its sights: Tesla. Its press blurb even confirms it. The first cars will be fully loaded ‘First Edition’ spec, so future models will be cheaper. Zero-60 mph will be under 5 seconds. It is a five-door hatchback and bears a close resemblance to the Volvo S90. You can guarantee that safety will be

high on the agenda and, assuming it follows the latest Volvo interiors, build quality will be excellent. Deliveries begin next summer, but you can reserve your place in the queue now at

TESLA ROADSTER From £189,000 - range 620 miles Tesla call it the “fastest production car ever”. With a 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds; 0-100 mph in 4.2 seconds; and a top speed of 250 mph, it makes a strong argument. Tesla says the car will be ready next year. In the early days, Elon Musk’s bold claims were treated with a large pinch of salt, but the company is starting to deliver and we’re seeing some serious performance figures being achieved. The roadster is a full four-seater. It comes with a removable glass roof which stores in the boot. There are three electric motors with one up front and two in the rear to provide all-wheel drive. If the figures are true, this will be the ultimate electric car – at least for now. ■ The prices quoted are before the government grant has been deducted. The mileage range predictions are taken from the manufacturers, but it’s up to you whether to believe them.

NISSAN LEAF From £27,995 - range 168 miles The top-selling electric vehicle in Europe has two versions: Nissan LEAF and Nissan LEAF e+. It outsells all of the other EVs sold in the UK put together. Go for the LEAF e+ and you’ll get more power and a 239-mile range, 0-60mph in 7.9 seconds and a top speed of 98mph. There’s a range of charging options including a three-pin domestic plug. Look further than the competitive price and you’ll find a family car that is ideal for commuting, school runs and beyond. It’s good to drive and well equipped. The LEAF is at home in the city, but will cope with motorway work, too. It’s one of the best around.

VOLKSWAGEN ID.3 From around £30,000 - range 340 miles Volkswagen is moving swiftly on from ‘Dieselgate’ with what will be a range of 100% electric vehicles. It’s launching 20 of them over the next decade. First up will be the ID.3, which is roughly the same size as the VW Golf. Power goes to the rear wheels. The front wheels have been designed to give the car a really tight turning circle which should make parking a doddle. There are no clues to the performance as yet, by Volkswagen is making plenty of noise about the 340 mile range. Impressive if they can manage it. The order books are open and the first round of deliveries are expected early next year.



Thanks to forward-thinking design and innovative use of up-to-the minute technology, Ferretti Group is taking luxury motor yachts to the next level, says Vicky Smith





HE YACHT FEELS as if it’s barely touching

the water as it glides around the coast of Monte Carlo. It flirts with the waves, cutting through them before speeding away leaving a perfect white, frothy crescent in its wake. Plumes of spray sparkle in the sun like a trail of diamonds. If there’s a sailing equivalent to ‘eat my dust’, this is undoubtedly it. I’m on board the new Pershing 8X, a sleek and – there’s no other word for it – sexy superyacht that our captain tells me through the roar of its twin 2,435bhp V16 engines is perfect for someone who wants to “drive something fast”. As the superyachts anchored in Port Hercules blur into a series of multimillion-pound smudges on the horizon and the skin on my face is pulled tight in a kind of wind-based facelift that many back at the bar in the Yacht Club de Monaco would pay thousands for, I’m inclined to agree. This is a yacht that’s been designed for speed, and my god is it hitting its brief – we’re at 44 knots and counting. But the flashy 83-footer has more than just sheer velocity in its arsenal. This striking piece of nautical design is the latest in a swathe of new releases from Ferretti Group, and it’s innovative in more ways than one. As a group, Ferretti is breaking boundaries far and wide with forward-thinking yachts from its brands including Riva, Custom Line and the eponymous Ferretti Yachts, but it’s the 8X that’s currently commanding the attention of inquisitive observers as we cruise back into port once our watery joy ride comes to an end. I don’t question why people’s glances linger longer than normal on this beautiful yacht – its silver-hued exterior and sharp lines set it apart from the more classical white ‘gin palaces’ alongside it, however its futuristic looks aren’t the only reason this yacht is a step ahead of the rest. One of the most remarkable things about the 8X is that it’s made of carbon fibre. Dubbed by Ferretti as “the material the most advanced nautical dreams are made of”, carbon fibre ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to ship building – its light weight makes for ➤





CARBON FIBRE IS THE ULTIMATE MATERIAL FOR BUILDING YACHTS THAT ARE FAST, FLASH AND FORWARD THINKING ➤ greater speed and lower fuel consumption, as well as more volume thanks to the ability to design larger, more comfortable spaces. And in terms of looks, it means curves that are even sleeker and sportier, enhanced in this instance by characteristic Pershing design elements such as imposing side wings and an aerodynamic sundeck. In short, it’s the ultimate material for building yachts that are fast, flash and forward thinking, and that’s why the team behind the 8X – Fulvio de Simoni (the hugely influential Italian yacht designer), Ferretti Group’s Product Strategy Committee (headed by engineer Piero Ferrari), and the group’s Engineering Department – chose it for the 8X, as well as its elder sibling the 9X. They use the term “carbon fibre revolution” freely, and the minute you clap eyes on the yacht’s distinctive form, it’s easy to see why. Innovative design isn’t limited to the outside – underneath its silky smooth exterior, the 8X houses a groundbreaking new operational system that integrates propulsion control with the manoeuvring, navigation and monitoring systems, meaning that ‘piloting’ it – even at

high speeds and without the support of the captain – is accessible and fun. And that’s important, because while this yacht is very much about performance, it certainly doesn’t leave the notion of having a good time in its wake, thanks in part to the introduction of an ingenious Music Hull. A new feature not just for Pershing as a brand but the entire pleasure craft sector, it’s been developed by the Ferretti Group Engineering Department in collaboration with Videoworks, and essentially transforms the hull into a high-definition loudspeaker, making it possible to listen to music underwater while you’re swimming or diving (because if you’re not hosting a party in balmy waters off the coast of a tropical island, then you’re really not doing luxury yacht life right). It’s achieved through a series of ‘shakers’ installed on the inside of the hull that never come into contact with the water. Guided by sound sources including the on-board music library, the shakers propagate sound waves underwater in the high-fidelity frequency range, causing the immersed surface of the vessel hull to vibrate. The music can be heard in roughly a 20-metre range from the yacht, making for quite the pool party. The whole thing is controlled via the 8X’s VOTIS infotainment system, which combines the remote controls of all devices into a single unit controlled by the owner and guests via smartphones or tablets – it’s a clever piece of kit that’s incredibly easy to use, which pretty much sums up this 8X in its entirety. Good looks, charm, power, performance and the ultimate underwater disco? We’re ready to join the revolution. ■

GIVE US A WAVE Two more new releases from Ferretti Group

RIVA 90 ARGO When it comes to yacht design, it doesn’t come more classical than Riva, one of the world’s most stylish brands. But even an icon can get an update, and the Riva 90 Argo – the third model in the Riva Flybridge range – sees the brand sail into a new era. Gone is the classic wooden hull that many associate with Riva. Instead, you’ll find distinctive and striking exterior design features such as large hull windows, long, full-height glazed windows on the main deck and lateral structures with glass surfaces. One particularly innovative aspect is the Argo’s Twin Disc’s E-Steer solution with Dual Bus and Speed Sensing technology: the electronic steering system uses reliable hydraulic power to control the rudders dynamically and independently.


PHOTOGRAPH by Alberto Cocchi

FERRETTI YACHTS 720 The 720’s aerodynamic design revolves around taut, finely poised forms that help make deskhouse lines clean. With a length of 73.4ft and beam of 18.6ft, it offers up several functional and styling solutions that are highly innovative for a vessel of its size, in particular a number of interchangable living spaces made possible by a laterally opening door. The yacht also features the next-generation electro-hydraulic steering system developed in collaboration with XENTA. The many benefits of this system include greater steering comfort, thanks to extremely easy handling of the helm, and maximum efficiency when turning in any sea conditions, even at high speeds. We’re definitely on board.






While the mass market may be proliferated by smart watches, the high end is still the domain of Swiss luxury. Ben Winstanley selects the mechanical watches still pushing the boundaries

ULYSSE NARDIN: Freak X, £19,100 The Freak X freely defies general watchmaking convention – employing the movement as a watch hand is completely backwards – and utilises the latest technology to boost the timepiece’s efficiency. You can’t help but love it.




GRAFF: MasterGraff Structural Tourbillon Skeleton 46mm, £POA Graff’s latest timepiece is aptly named: strip out the frippery until it’s down to its skeleton, add a tourbillon balance wheel, and an eyecatching excavated case structure, and you’re left with a Structural Tourbillon Skeleton. Got it? You don’t need us to tell you this is a highly technical exercise. HARRY WINSTON: Project Z13, £POA Project Z has created a number of unique ways of displaying popular watch complications since the collection’s debut in 2004. The latest – the Z13 – features a retrograde date and moonphase complications, presented on an unusual threedimensional structured dial and encased in the immensely durable zirconium-aluminium alloy Zalium.



JAEGER-LECOULTRE: Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Enamel, £49,200 The wristwatch has always been at the forefront of the day’s technology – just ask historical manufacturer Jaeger-LeCoultre. This stunning 39mm ultra-thin timepiece may be classic in its presentation, but the impeccable gullioché engraving on the sunburst-blue enamel dial, and the ability to squeeze a perpetual calendar inside this 10.44mm-thick case are still examples of cuttingedge watchmaking.




HUBLOT: Classic Fusion GT 3D Carbon, £22,600


Hublot and Ferrari’s collaboration stretches back eight years now, but this is the best yet. Flavio Manzoni, senior vice-president of design at Ferrari, and his Centro Stile team (the brand’s in-house design group) are said to have provided the driving force for the watch’s blueprint – using as their muse the Ferrari GT. In automotive terms, Hublot simply provided the engine. It’s gorgeous: especially the unusual saucer-like case with its convex central console sitting proud from the outer body.


RESERVOIR: Airfight Propeller, £3,500



Nothing quite romanticises humanity’s pursuit of advancing technology quite like the miracle of flight: reaching into the skies above when few thought possible. Reservoir’s Airfight collection takes its inspiration from fighter aircraft, and centres on the black colour of the on-board flight instruments. It features an unusual retrograde minute hand and a jumping hour aperture.


ZENITH: Defy Inventor, £15,500 For Zenith, the future of watches looks like the Defy Inventor. Beneath the titanium case, you’ll find the calibre 9100 automatic movement, which operates at a whopping 18Hz with 50 hours of power reserve. Why is this important? Well, 18Hz translates into a rate of 129,600 bph – or, to put it another way, more than four times a standard movement – which results in fewer errors and an overall more accurate movement. It looks pretty damn cool, too.




BISHOPSGATE Elevated and exceptional, Equinox Bishopsgate is the ultimate place to perform. Featuring five floors of pristine equipment, state-of-the-art studios, unlimited Group Fitness classes, and unrivaled Personal Training, this is a club for those who want it all.




Behold our favourite tech launches from 2019. If you need us, we’ll be flying a drone while listening to high-definition sounds via a transparent uniframe speaker. Probably.

BANG & OLUFSEN Beovision Harmony, €18,500

This speaker-TV combo moves. No, seriously – when listening to music, the oak and aluminium speaker-fronts stand upright, but when using the TV (a LG OLED C9 77”, optimised for B&O), the speakers fan horizontally and the screen rises and rests above them. The result is a truly mesmerising audio-visual experience in the comfort of your own home. Sweet harmony, indeed.


DEVIALET Phantom Reactor 900, £1,290

Is ultra-compact your gig? Here’s the Phantom Reactor, dubbed the most powerful ultra-compact hi-fi system there is, with 900W, 98dB (think a jet flying low overhead). The numbers don’t stop there: 11 new technological patents were created within its design, including something called ‘Heart Bass Implosion’. Devialet now has more than 160 patents for acoustic and mechanical engineering to its name. Essentially, this means you get fantastic yet uncompromisingly loud sound quality. It’s a lot to pack into something barely the size of a cantaloupe.




Stadia is Google’s new streaming gaming platform and it’s set to revolutionise the way gamers access, play and enjoy games. Stadia is a cloudbased platform, never requiring downloads or updates – just buy a membership and controller, and play via your Chrome browser, Pixel 3, or 3a phone (it’ll be expanding onto other phones, too). From £59;

These are genius. Clip one onto the thing you always lose, like some keys or a cat, and when you inevitably do lose them, phone the Tile from your app, and listen out for it. If you’ve lost something further away, track it via Maps. If your phone goes AWOL, call it from a Tile. The new Tile Pro has a replaceable battery, so you can always find things – even cats. From £30;

A real new-and-improved statement from GoPro. Waterproof to 10m; boasting brandnew HyperSmooth 2.0 technology (multi-level stabalisation and horizon levelling in the editing app); automatic speed selection for the slow-mos; 14 voice commands, and much improved lens sharpness and mic quality. This is officially peak GoPro. £379.99;



CANYON Roadlite:ON AL 9.0, £3,449

German manufacturer Canyon is the first name that comes to mind when you think of luxury bikes that offer great value for money. Its comprehensive range covers everything from road to mountain, cyclocross and gravel – and, now, e-fitness bikes, too. The technologically advanced Roadlite:ON is powered by the Fazua Evation drive system: a hybrid system that allows you to make the most of electric power, while offering you the option to ride au naturel. Better yet, clocking in at just 4.6kg (including its 250Wh battery pack), the system is currently the lightest mid-drive motor of its kind. This makes for a relatively low overall claimed weight of 14.95-15.5kg depending on the model, and therefore frees you to enjoy this agile, sharphandling bike for what it is. The top range Roadlite:ON AL 9 [pictured] is our pick, thanks to higher-end features, including the industry-leading Shimano XTR groupset.

PHOTOGRAPH by Mari Juliano




DJI Mavic 2 Pro, £1,349

OK, so technically this came out last year, but no drone has surpassed the Mavic 2 Pro. There are plenty of reasons for this, none as blatant as the camera quality. This drone uses Hasselblad’s L1D-20c Camera – Hasselblad were used to capture the first moon landing. Their Dlog-M Color Profile also records over one billion colours, which is simply ridiculous.

TRANSPARENT SOUND Small Transparent Speaker, £450

No it isn’t a casette, Dad. It is a speaker distilled to its beautiful core; constructed by a single aluminium ‘uniframe’ and tempered glass panels. And it’s a good, adaptable speaker, at that – incorporating a fine amplifier and 100W output. Audiophilles can benefit from its ability to be customised over time, from adding an EQ and extra wiring (though it is bluetooth compatible also) to pair it with a Sonos or Alexa system. In the back there is a compartment ready to hold any wireless upgrades the future brings. It is a product that will go into the future with you.

PHOTOGRAPH (Transparent SOund) by Emil Fagander



v NEW ZEALAND 7 NOV 2020 v ARGENTINA 14 NOV 2020 v AUSTRALIA 28 NOV 2020 CALL 020 3504 8627

BLUE-SKY THINKING: [clockwise from here] Get your thoughts in order from the colourful confines of a Somadome meditation pod; the Himalayan salt house at Thai Square Spa; Bodyscan uses a DEXA scanner to assess body fat levels; you can now administer vitamin cocktails via an IV drip.



It’s wellness, but not as you know it… Safi Thind takes a look at the latest forward-thinking therapies and techniques that claim to do anything from boost your breathing to lift your mood


ONE ARE THE days when a simple chest expander was all you needed to turn into Anthony Joshua. Nowadays, the wellness world is awash with new-age therapies, from sound baths to heated yoga, high-tech machines to cutting edge nutrition, and they’re no longer the preserve of elite athletes…

body to extreme chilliness. Taking that to the next level is the Bulgari Hotel spa which has treatments including a cryotherapy facial to tighten and improve face texture and a cryo cellulite treatment that reduces cellulite over a course of eight to ten bi-weekly sessions.

Both offer a range of vitamin cocktails and infusions

For more information see

promising a range of benefits.




Cold therapy at one time consisted of a bag of frozen peas put on an aching muscle. Recovery has moved on since then. Cryotherapy involves standing in an upright chamber that supercools the air to -30°C exposing your

Run down? Jetlagged? Hungover? Intravenous drips have been big in the US for a few years and are now making their way to the UK. A cocktail of specially blended vitamins and minerals is infused directly into your

You’re sat in a room made out of pink salt bricks with salt crystals scattered on the floor. An hour of breathing in the micro salt particles will loosen mucus, check inflammation and help with nasal congestion issues. Short-term


bloodstream via a drip to give you that kick you need when Berocca won’t cut it. The effects can be immediate and last up to a week. IV drips are available at the Elixir Clinic at The Ned, and in Marylebone.


UNLIKE TRADITIONAL STEAM SAUNAS, INFRARED SAUNA RAYS PIERCE DEEP INTO THE CELLS hits last a few hours but regular use is said to offer respite to people with asthma, bronchitis, and other chronic breathing issues. Thai Square spa in Embankment has a modern Himalayan salt house, while the Salt Cave offers the treatment in London and Tunbridge Wells,

ELECTRONIC MEDITATION Struggling with your inner zen? Try electronic meditation. Somadome is a cocoon-like meditation pod that lulls you into mindfulness by using LED coloured ‘biosyntonie’ tiles and modulating frequency binaural beats. The aim is to relax the brain into that waking-sleep state. It may seem a little Clockwork Orange, but when Richard Branson starts showing an interest you can’t help but take notice. Somadome is currently found at the Avalon Centre but expect to see it entering fitness and wellness centres countrywide very soon.

a large vibrator that pulses micro-sound waves onto your penis to stimulate blood vessels and get the energy flowing. While GainsWave is not yet available in the UK, similar treatments like low-intensity shockwave therapy Vigore offered by Dr SW Clinics in Harley Street, and championed by no less than Ian Botham, are doing the job. GainsWave can be found at the Salerno Centre in New York, and Vigore at Dr SW Clinics in London,

BREATHWORK Most of us know how to breathe. But can you use your breath to heal yourself? Change your mood? Re-energise? Physical breathing classes are popping up all over London in studios like Re:Mind in Victoria and Breathpod in Haggerston, the latter the brainchild of breath coach Stuart Sandeman. The sessions teach you how to change the depth, rhythm, and rate of your breath and return balance to the force.;

BODYSCAN Am I fit or am I fat? Assessing one’s physical state has moved on from the old pinch the belly techniques. Body Scan offers a high-tech service to assess body fat levels, muscle to fat ratio, bone density, and how fat and muscle accumulates. Using a DEXA scanner – which uses low level X-rays to map the body – the

company will do a quick body scan to reveal exactly how fit you are and how much bad body fat you have. It should give you the motivation you need to boost your workout – or maybe lie down with a Mars bar.

INFRARED SAUNA Unlike traditional steam saunas, infrared sauna rays pierce deep into the cells, warming the body from the inside to give it that extra push to detoxify. It is said to be up to 20% more effective at eliminating toxins than traditional saunas. Pur Wellness in Notting Hill and KXU gym in Chelsea offer both shared and oneperson infrared sauna suites.;

WELLNESS IN NATURE Let’s face it, modern technology is well and good, but we are animals after all, and animals need nature. These days wellness followers are seeking to combine their practices with nature to improve all aspects of health. Vale de Moses in the Serra de Estrela mountain range in central Portugal is set among flowing streams and tree-covered hills. The retreat offers twice daily yoga overlooking the valley, meditative nature walks, vegetarian food, and classes in massage, making it the perfect environment to get well in. ■;

THE DEROSE METHOD The DeRose method is an all-encompassing practise that draws on 54 respiratory techniques, 2,000-plus physical postures and 35 different meditation methods taken from centuries-old yogic traditions. The breathing, movement and meditation techniques grow in difficulty as you progress – top level can involve extreme athletic moves put together in choreographed movements using focused breathing patterns. The ultimate aim is the discovery of higher states of consciousness and awakening of inner power – it is no wonder the practise is gaining huge attention across the world. PHOTOGRAPH (THAI SQUARE) by Ideal Insight

GAINSWAVE There are certain problems men find it difficult to talk about – none more so than erectile dysfunction. But new therapies are taking sexual disorder treatment into the 21st century. GainsWave has been used in Europe and the US to treat erectile problems for more than a decade now. It is basically a stick resembling


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The arrival of the fittest Equinox, the luxury global fitness brand, is opening an elite club in the City this winter. Equinox Bishopsgate will be a five-story fitness club bringing an all-new high performance home to London’s financial district

SIGN UP NOW Equinox Bishopsgate opens Winter 2019. Prospective members can sign up now for reduced founding member rates before the club opens by visiting the Equinox Bishopsgate Showroom at: 16 Royal Exchange, EC3V 3LT or by visiting: #ItsNotFitnessItsLife @equinox


QUINOX IS KNOWN for its unparalleled blend of elevated luxury and sciencebacked programming. Founded in New York City in 1991, the company was built on the notion that fitness can empower a life welllived and foster a strong community of high performance individuals. Nearly 30 years later, Equinox operates 100 full-service clubs globally across major cities including New York, LA, Miami and San Francisco as well as London, Toronto and Vancouver, featuring bespoke design in an unparalleled luxury environment. And now, it’s setting up shop in the City. Equinox Bishopsgate will feature five floors of state-of-the-art fitness equipment, stunning design, and unparalleled amenities. Expect

an unmatched fitness experience designed to push and reward the City’s high performers. As a member, you’ll benefit from sciencefuelled personal training (including lifestyle, sleep and nutrition coaching), as well as unlimited group fitness classes. There’s a dedicated yoga and barre studio; a private pilates studio; a cycling studio, featuring the Pursuit® [see below]; luxurious locker and steam rooms; and a café and members’ lounge. The Shop at Equinox features a coveted collection of activewear brands. Spa services include facial and regenerative massages to help with your recovery. And there are even chilled eucalyptus towels on every floor to refresh you during and after your workout.

The Pursuit uses data from bike power meters to upload graphics, games and leader boards which are displayed throughout the class. These boards display top rider metrics to fuel competition and ignite rider accountability. The class incorporates team, partner and one-on-one challenges, expect enhanced sound systems and digital projections to power your ride. The Pursuit Burn is a series of precisely timed HIIT intervals designed for maximum calorific expenditure during and after class, focusing on maximum wattage. While the Pursuit Build incorporates varying hill stages designed to increase strength and endurance, optimized caloric expenditure and performance, focusing on average wattage.

•• Equinox Bishopsgate will feature five floors of stunning design and unparalleled amenities

THE PURSUIT An immersive cycling experience like no other, The Pursuit uses groundbreaking instudio gaming and data visualisation to drive competition and inspire peak performance. Face the dark in two distinct rides where projections of your progress will push you and your teammates to compete and connect with the communal power of the room.

BODY OF WORK Grounded in the core tenets of movement, nutrition and regeneration – and backed by a Health Advisory Board of industry-leading experts across these disciplines – Equinox offers a holistic fitness approach like no other. ■

Equinox Bishopsgate Showroom at: 16 Royal Exchange, London, EC3V 3LT or by visiting:


©Matt Georges


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PHOTOGRAPH: Carlton House, St Moritz by Gian Andri Giovanoli (KMU FOTOGRAFIE)


ONE FINE SLEIGH: A husky-drawn sleigh ride through Quebec’s snowy forests and plains provides action, adventure and killer views in equal measure



Blockbuster snowscapes, street art, hipsters and huskies – Quebec is full of good looks and plenty of charm. We sent SARA LAWRENCE to experience all that the Canadian winter wonderland has to offer


HIGHLY TRAINED TEAM of blue-eyed huskies

PHOTOGRAPH by Jean-Francois Hamel

are flying along pristine white snow tracks, twisting and turning together as they pull a sled at a spine-tingling 40km/h. They follow a winding course through a thick forest of pine trees before being pulled up short by their human leader, or ‘musher’. The dogs bark and whine, eager to race off again but the sled they’re attached to by a complicated series of leather reins remains stationary. It’s a few seconds before I, the musher’s passenger, wrapped up in blankets in a low cot like a super-privileged baby, see another team of huskies approach from the opposite direction and stop, too. I’ve ducked many times along this exhilarating route to avoid being spiked by low-slung branches and given how close we’ve come to the icy sides. What happens next is typically impressive for an adventurous day out in the mind-bogglingly beautiful Laurentian mountain range, an off-the-beatentrack in Quebec, about two hours’ drive north

of Montreal, where you feel about as far removed from day-to-day life as possible. My musher lifts each dog as if it weighs nothing, stashing them in the deep snow drifts either side. He tells me they might start fighting otherwise and no one wants that out here in the middle of nowhere. I hold my breath as the other sled squeezes past but now there’s a few feet between them there are no arguments from either crew. Then we’re off again, careering through the trees, joy ramping up as we cover a huge amount of ground in the most unique and stylish manner. Although I’ve been skiing all over the world, it wasn’t until I saw these magical scenes that I had any real concept of resolutely untamed snowscapes like this existing in real life, outside of the Narnia films they’re so reminiscent of. It’s truly sublime and the perfect backdrop to an authentic Canadian winter adventure, such as this husky race experience with the gorgeous people from the Kanatha-Aki natural activity centre.

A few days earlier I tried and failed to catch a pike while ice fishing at Lac Saint-Pierre, a Unesco-protected biosphere of such dazzling, surreal beauty in the region of Mauricie halfway between Montreal and Quebec City, I couldn’t stop staring around in disbelief. This tributary of the St Lawrence River turns into a vast snowy plain in winter with 26 inches of ice under foot, under cabin and under truck – our guide assures me this is more than enough for us and our vehicles and the few cabins dotted around. Canadian fishers pitch up, drill holes into the ice, stick lines down ➤

I never had any concept of resolutely untamed snowscapes like this existing in real life 111



delightful and it’s worth carving out time to wander these joyous streets, browsing, people watching and pretending to be a local. Montreal also has the second highest number of restaurants per square mile in North America, after New York, meaning it’s a foodie heaven. Schwartz’s, a traditional Hebrew deli, dates back to 1928 and is now part-owned by Celine Dion who sometimes pops in and buys everyone’s sandwiches. Join the line for brilliant brisket with a side of pickle and fries – about £7 if Celine doesn’t show. Le Mount Stephen is a super-luxe hotel in the Golden Square Mile and a must for lunch, dinner or at least a cocktail in the swanky bar. Les Enfants Terrible at Place Ville-Marie is a classic brasserie serving seasonal cuisine with a side of mind-blowing views, thanks to its top floor, heart of downtown location. Come to Quebec for vast wilderness, a friendly Francophone identity, alternative sports, fabulous food and the ultimate getaway from normal City life. ■ Rooms at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth start from $359pn. For more info, see:;;

ROSSIGNOL Women’s Hiver Down Jacket, £455

The women’s Hiver Down Jacket, part of the Sport Chic Ski collection, brings elegant technical design to your ski wardrobe. It features premium high-loft down for unbeatable warmth. Its waterproof, breathable build includes waterproof zippers to shed wet weather while wicking moisture to keep you dry. Refined style meets Rossignol heritage with tricolor stripes on the shoulders and a strato-blue lining that recalls the base of the legendary ski model of the same name. Skierdesigned details like thumb-loop cuffs and an integrated snow skirt help seal out the cold.

PHOTOGRAPH by Laurene Bath

➤ there and kick back as people like to do, all over the world. Doing it here just seems a lot more extreme, in terms of temperature and landscape visuals. The serenity is extreme and I soon find myself envying those who regularly hang out here in the Arctic conditions. We fly into Montreal and immediately set off for Trois Rivieres, a small city at the confluence of the St Maurice and St Lawrence rivers and the economic and cultural hub of Quebec’s Mauricie region, a couple of hours’ drive north. After loading up on eggs, crispy bacon and historic hash-browns at Hotel Delta we board a seaplane ride, flying high above the breathtaking landscape where thousands of lakes are hidden beneath metres of snow. There is some chat about landing on one of these lakes but the all-knowing pilot from Hydravion Aventure decides the weather is adverse and could leave us marooned, having to dig ourselves out with the on-board shovels. Unsurprisingly, no one tries to persuade him otherwise and the views from up here are so insane I’m quickly shaken out of any fears. Afterwards we visit Chez Dany’s Sugar Shack, a traditional hut in the countryside where the sap of the maple tree is boiled and turned into maple syrup. Quebec contributes 75% of what’s available on the planet and this stuff is a true Canadian obsession. We eat hunks of maple-boiled ham, dishes of potatoes also liberally slathered with the golden stuff, vegetables marinated likewise and a hearty soup. Next up is a few days in the winter forest fantasy of your dreams that is the Lanaudiere region, where you will find many of Quebec’s finest 33,000km of snowmobile trails. The Auberge du Lac Taureau is a stunning hotel

deep in the middle of gorgeous nowhere and the ideal base for trying out winter-sports. There’s a very scenic outdoor pool which is a hell of a thing to get in to, what with the -20°C temperatures and all, but once you’re in the steaming hot water you won’t want to get out. However, dinner is not to be missed and we feast on local meats and fish in the pine-heavy surrounds of the majestic dining room. All that food and freezing fresh air combined with beyond sinkable beds means sleep is deep. The great night sets me up for snowmobiling. The man in charge asks if I’ve ever been on a jet ski because this is ‘exactly the same’ so I’ll be ‘fine’. After a few minutes working out how to brake and how to go faster, not to mention getting used to the turns, I’m away – and it’s glorious. We speed through a largely empty forest and the open terrain bordering the frozen (of course) Lac Taureau, marvelling at the bars and restaurants which can only be reached by this mode of transport. Given that you have to fly in and out of the super-cool city of Montreal to access these out-of-the-way places it would be insanity not to explore the delights of what those in the know call ‘the Berlin of North America’. The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth is where John Lennon and Yoko Ono famously performed their ‘bed-in for peace’ in 1969 and fans can book the same suite. Non-fans should stay here anyway because the recent $140m refurbishment has brought this 950-room, centrally located behemoth bang up to date. Bathrooms are stocked with Le Labo toiletries, on-site restaurants are destinations in themselves and the sleek, chic wellness centre has virtual yoga and Pilates classes. For a great city tour contact Thom Sievewright, @montrealexpert on Instagram, a local influencer and guide par excellence, who knows everything. Yes, there is the Basilica Notre Dame – as architecturally ravishing as you would expect, and yes, there are old buildings and statues by the old port, but none of this is new. Much more interesting to me, and what Thom delivers, is mooching about the edgy, exciting Plateau area with its sensational street art. The visually arresting huge walls, painted by famous graffiti artists from around the globe, are usually commissioned for the annual Mural-Fest and stay up for a year, which only adds to the ephemeral coolness of it all. Mile End is home to rock band Arcade Fire and my favourite neighbourhood. It has the highest concentration of working artists in Canada, a feminist theatre called Espace Go and is stuffed full of hipsters and accordingly hip places to hang out. The cafés, coffee shops and homeware and clothing stores are

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With sparkling snow and glittering diamonds vying for your attention, a trip to St Moritz is a truly dazzling affair, says SARA LAWRENCE




PHOTOGRAPH by EyesWideOpen/Getty Images

T FEELS A bit weird to squeeze back into your skiing kit when the sun has long set behind the mountains and only a sliver of crescent moon is lighting the night, helped by a bevy of sparkling stars. It feels stranger still to board a gondola in the dark, but oddly appropriate when ‘Mad World’ starts emanating from the speakers. However, rather than ‘going nowhere’ as the lyric suggests, words which only add to the spookiness of this slightly bumpy ride, we are most definitely heading somewhere – the top of Corvatsch mountain. About ten minutes in a taxi from the super snazzy Swiss ski resort of St Moritz, the world capital of winter bling, is the home of Europe’s longest illuminated night run. The freshly prepared 4.2km slope reopens to the public every Friday night from 7pm, offering snow bunnies a wholly new version of their typical sporting experience, meaning you can kick off your weekends out here in the most exciting way. And if anyone fancies taking over the whole shebang it can be booked privately on any other night of the week (three hours from 7-10pm costs approximately £4,230). The human silence in this bumpy gondola crackles with an anticipation so obvious you could almost slice it, increasing as the music swells to its crescendo. And because the only ‘night-skis’ I’ve ever done are the ubiquitous short rides back to various Alpine towns from hot-spot bars low down the slopes pre-dinner I do feel a bit nervous about doing a full peakto-creek stone cold sober under a black sky. Taking the edge off massively, however, is the fact that I’m in the best company, here with a man who not only knows every inch of these pistes but is the kindest, most comfortable and reassuring presence. As if all that wasn’t enough, he also has a great line in top banter plus knows the best places to stop for a hot chocolate or glühwein, which you’ll need, because skiing at night is much more intensive than during the day. This is due to the ‘tunnel effect’ – you can see the floodlit piste in front of you but everything else is shrouded in darkness, meaning the airstream is sharper, breathing faster and pulses higher. Distances and speeds are harder to gauge, meaning skiers are necessarily more focussed which helps create much more precise turns. The snow is soft and has good grip thanks to the piste-grooming vehicle leaving the mountain only 15-minutes earlier. Carving on these virgin tracks is a completely different feel to the morning, when the snow is fresh but hard. My companion here is Othmar, the outdoor butler at the spectacular Carlton Hotel in St Moritz where I’m spending a few heavenly days. Whatever you desire from your stay

here, Othmar is on hand to make it happen. He acts as ski guide, adventure companion, concierge and your best foodie friend with endless recommendations and local knowledge. He can source and arrange any number of treats and experiences, take you wherever you want to go, organise the ordinary and the extraordinary and makes it all seem effortless. Plus, as I’ve said, he’s top fun and brilliant company – exactly the sort of guy anyone would love spending a day hanging out with. He laughingly tells me his greatest challenge is always motivating guests to leave the hotel in the first place. The Carlton is an exceptional hotel with a fascinating history. Situated on the north side of Lake St Moritz, it was built in 1913 and originally intended as a holiday home for a family of Russian Tsars – so the rumour goes. Indeed, the in-house restaurant is called Romanoff. Opulent architecture coupled with exquisite interiors from renowned Swiss architect Carlo Rampazzi and insanely gorgeous views make this a dream destination for a luxurious winter escape where you feel like you’re living in a snowy fairy tale. Just a two-minute drive via chauffeured Bentley from the train station and a fiveminute walk into the centre of the very jazzy town stuffed with designer boutiques, The Carlton offers a non-stop shuttle service to the Corviglia Cable Car station for access to the pistes. All 60 of the hotel’s suites are south facing with balconies opening onto the sublime views of Lake St Moritz and the Engadine mountains beyond. Bathrooms are large, luxurious and marble-heavy with vast baths, rainfall showers and double sinks. The chic basement spa uses Cellcosmet products which excite me so much I screamed when I saw them. They’re incredibly high-end and effective but also very rare. Facials do not come cheap but the results are instantaneous and the glow lasts longer than usual. One glance around at the remarkable design touches, fabulous floral displays and friendly yet crazy-efficient staff tells you you’ve definitely picked the right place to stay and your fellow guests confirm it. A large number of Kennedys, the closest thing America has ➤

You can see the floodlit piste in front of you but everything else is shrouded in darkness 115


ICE POOL: Dip a toe into real luxury at the Carlton St Moritz, where the swimming pool comes with impressive views over the Swiss Alps.

AHEAD OF THE GAME When it comes to hitting the slopes (hopefully not literally), you’ll want the Bollé Backline Visor Premium (£249). Its ABS construction guarantees solid resistance and high capacity shock absorption, while the adjustable ventilation system allows you to easily control the amount of air coming in for maximised comfort. The helmet’s visor offers panoramic vision and is photochromic to adapt to light conditions. It’s also a great option if you wear prescription glasses.

The sparkle of the guests’ huge jewels provides almost as much light as the chandeliers 116

this sensationally stylish spot is where you currently find yourself lounging. NB: should you feel an urge to document the glory then the window seats here and in the equally elegant Romanoff eatery couldn’t be more perfect for Instagram purposes. The outdoor heated pool in the spa area is – just saying – another perfect location for envy-inducing social media snaps. Da Vittorio is the second in-house restaurant. Run by the Cerea brothers, who have been awarded a not-so-casual three Michelin stars, you must trust me when I tell you that it would be total madness to be anywhere in the vicinity and not pop in to experience the extreme creativity, faultless techniques and unique flavours going on here. The simple-sounding tomato pasta is anything but. It’s mixed in front of you in a parmesan bowl and I’m still thinking longingly of it bow. St Moritz is the glitziest, snazziest, jazziest and most prestigious winter sports resort in the Swiss Alps. It is a favourite haunt of royalty, high society figures, A-list celebrities and everyone who wants to associate with them. It’s the home of the world famous Cresta-Run toboggan ice-course, venue for the annual White Turf International horse race and you could easily be forgiven for walking down the high street and thinking that only

Prada and Chanel manufacture ski wear. It also has two high-altitude ski areas on its doorstep plus others within easy reach. With 350km of pistes and a high point of 3,305m the ski area is extensive and snow sure, meaning there is something for every level of skier and snowboarder to enjoy. It’s a place to see and be seen with an all-encompassing selection of high-end boutiques, hotel terrace bars, cafés and tearooms and seemingly endless array of excellent restaurants. There is a thermal spa complex and other pursuits include showshoeing trails, ice skating and curling, ice cricket, bobsleighing, indoor tennis and squash. Sightseeing options include horse-drawn sleigh rides (Othmar can organise these for hotel guests, complete with flasks of hot chocolate, bottles of champagne and sandwiches and cakes from the hotel), helicopter flights, tandem hang gliding and paragliding. Book the delights of the Carlton and its surroundings for as long as you think you want to stay and then add on a couple of days because, believe me, you will not want to leave. Enjoy it all but do be aware that no other ski trip stands a chance of matching up. ■ Rooms at the Carlton St Mortiz start from CHF 880 per night. For info, see For more on the area, see

PHOTOGRAPH by Gian Giovanoli / KMU FOTOGRAFIE 2011

➤ to a royal family, were staying at the same time I was. It took me a couple of days to realise that the kind man who helped me get into my room when I was turning the key the wrong way was actually Chris Kennedy, son of Robert. One night they held a huge party for their hunger foundation in the ballroom and it was fascinating to watch the Missonis, Giorgio Armani and Chiara Ferragni plus assorted models and aristocrats turn up to lend support. Curled on a huge leather sofa in the bar, enjoying aperitifs pre-dinner, the peoplewatching was off the chart as this glamorous, black-tie-clad crowd arrived and milled about, chatting and air-kissing, the glint and sparkle of their huge jewels providing almost as much light as the chandeliers. In a travel situation like this, it’s almost impossible not to look around and feel super-smug and pleased with yourself that


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THE SKY’S THE LIMIT: Suites at The Beekman take living the high life to the next level, with features such as floor-toceiling windows, private terraces and spectacular views over the New York City skyline.

The suites at the Beekman Hotel are so impressive, you might want to stay forever. The good news is that you actually can…


HE BEEKMAN HOTEL has to be one of the

PHOTOGRAPH (Residences) by Tim Waltman; Simon Lewis Studio

coolest new hotels in New York. And by new, we of course mean old – it dates back to 1881. But three years ago it had a multimillion pound overhaul including a number of the multimillion dollar residences. The hotel’s most impressive suites are located in its two iconic turrets. They both boast private entrances, each with a separate rooftop terrace. Curated original artworks adorn the walls and there are all the lavish furnishings and spacious marble bathrooms you’d expect from this faithfully refurbished Victorian building. If you end up really falling in love with the place, then you can actually live here – at the Beekman Residences. One, two, three-bedroom and penthouse residences start at 127ft in the sky, opening onto absolutely breathtaking river-to-river panoramic views capturing the midtown skyline and downtown landmarks. Ten-foot floor-to-ceiling windows and dualcorner exposures heighten the drama. Owners also have access to the residential retreat on the 11th floor, which includes a private dining room with chef’s table, a home theatre media room, and the ample – and exclusive – rooftop terrace. It may be the city that never sleeps, but there are few places more impressive to hole up. ■ For more information, see

Suite Spots is in association with Heathrow VIP – the ultimate airport experience. For info: 020 8757 2227;



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. Ventura UK 47a South Audley Street Mayfair London W1K 2QA Tel +44 (0)20 7495 2330 CP



PLANE SPEAKING For Eymeric Segard, CEO of LunaJets, maintaining the independent nature of his business is the key to success


EO OF LUNAJETS Eymeric Segard cut his teeth in private banking at Merrill Lynch before working his way up the chain at Ogilvy in Mexico. It was there that he, along with a childhood friend, came up with the idea of creating a web platform to re-sell private jet empty leg flights – an innovative and very disruptive business model. Despite being 2007, at the burst bubble of the financial crisis, his belief in the potential was enough: “I was so excited about the idea, three months later I moved with my wife and kids to Geneva to start up LunaJets. It has been the best professional decision of my life”. Give us the elevator pitch for LunaJets? LunaJets is the biggest independent private jet booking platform in Europe. We match our clients’ private jet requests against a database of 4,800 of the most recent private jets available for charter. Our mission is to offer the best service and the best prices – we obtain the best negotiated rates for our clients. What are your key responsibilities as CEO? I am a bit of a control freak, but my role is to ensure the delivery of our service, fast and well; to drive the vision of the company; and to develop services and partners to diversify, complement and enhance our offer.

LunaJets offers what the market wants: independent advice and the best prices

A DOG’S LIFE: LunaJets arranges flights all over the world for all sorts of passengers, including, on occasion, VIP pet. [Right] CEO Eymeric Segard set the company up with a childhood friend in 2007, and it’s been flying high ever since.

How does LunaJets differ to the competition? Our offer is independent and market neutral while most of our competitors are affiliated with jet operators and offer restricted options. How has business been recently? In a stagnating market, our business has been very good as LunaJets offers what the market wants: independent advice, personal client focussed service and the best prices. How has Brexit affected you? The UK market has been poor in general recently with market data showing a drop of 5-10% overall. Various macro-economic factors may cause this slow down, and Brexit is definitely one of them, together with commercial trade scares, and a weakening GBP. As London is the biggest European market, the whole industry is suffering from current charter client uncertainties. But we are confident it will recover soon, and are expanding our presence with our office and full-time staff in Mayfair. Without naming names, what are some of the most extravagant requests you’ve had? Whilst protecting the privacy of our clients, I can share that we have organised flights for pets (dogs, cats, hamsters, snakes and birds), for highly classified time-sensitive documents,

for winning teams returning home with the trophy, for diplomatic peace negotiations, for business roadshows including 13 flights between Monday 8am and Friday 7pm, for wedding proposals, for honeymoons, for surprise destinations, round-the-world trips… What’s the most popular jet from the current available fleet? The jets most favoured by our clients are the Embraer Phenom 300 in the light jet category, the Bombardier Challenger 350 (mid size) and the Gulfstream G650 (long range). The ones offering the best value-for-size-for-money are the Cessna XLS (super light) and the Embraer Legacy 650 (large jet). But some clients only want Dassault Falcons – this is why we want to stay independent from any market pressure, to guarantee our clients what best suits them. What are you looking forward to in 2020? We never lose sight of the fact that this industry is cyclical and any macroeconomic event has an immediate impact on client willingness to fly private, or just fly. We will focus on gaining more market share, as we truly believe we are the perfect platform for clients and jet operators, to match their demand and supply. And we want to stay independent to guarantee our clients’ interests. ■ For more information, go to





In the last 20 years, 40,000 wounded veterans have been medically discharged from the Armed Forces, many have been neglected. A new Help for Heroes campaign seeks to ensure no one goes unsupported


AN YOU IMAGINE being forced out of the job you love, the job you have given your all to? Unforeseen circumstances taking you out of the only life you know – the one that you have spent years training for? This has been a reality for 40,000 servicemen and women in the last 20 years. Each year, 2,000 veterans are falling through significant gaps in the Ministry of Defence’s support. They are left vulnerable – at risk of poor health and financial security, many also face mental illness, and a lessened life quality.


discharged made them feel. One said: “Totally in despair, no prospects. Loss of a livelihood as part of a team. Depression, anxiety, stress, suicidal thoughts. Totally broken.” This is, obviously, not good enough. With your help, Help the Heroes is fighting to mend the gaps. Together, we enable more of the highly trained, highly motivated veterans a chance to stand strong. The charity is campaigning to ensure no one is medically discharged before receiving a diagnosis, for a standard minimum transition time of six months, and for compensation and pension allowances to be known to the individual before they are discharged – among many other changes. Help For Heroes is calling on you to help however you can: from visiting the exhibition, to raising awareness by sharing the campaign on social media using the hashtag #40ThousandStrong, or making a donation. ■ For more info, see

PHOTOGRAPH by Theo Cohen

I felt let down by the Army – I gave the military everything, and I was broken

Our official charity partner Help for Heroes is on a mission to improve the Ministry of Defence’s support for the medically discharged. The ‘40,000 Strong’ campaign is running from 8 October until 15 December at the Arndale Centre in Manchester. For the campaign, Help for Heroes will exhibit an installation of a 40,000-person model-sized armed force, in order to show the scale of the issue the charity is highlighting. Help for Heroes conducted a survey on medical discharge from the Armed Forces: it found that of the 403 veterans asked, nearly 70 percent reported transitioning out of the Armed Forces as a ‘negative’, or ‘very negative’ experience; 62 percent felt they did not receive enough support for adjusting to post-service life; and almost half of all people surveyed were discharged without a diagnosis or treatment. These are staggering statistics. The charity also asked the surveyed veterans to explain how being medically

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You might not expect to find one of the UK’s best new restaurant in a 19th-century manor house, but that’s exactly what BEN WINSTANLEY discovers at The Pass inside West Sussex’s South Lodge hotel

THE ADVENTURE OF WISTERIA LODGE: [Clockwise from main] South Lodge is a 19thcentury manor house once adored by Winston Churchil; suites feature roll-top baths; Tom Kemble at The Pass is as good as it gets in the UK; inside the £14m new spa.


T’S INSTANTANEOUS: from the second it hits

my tastebuds, I know I’ve experienced the best dish I’ll eat all year. Imagine realising this in the height of summer, knowing full well the prospect of many other great morsels to come? Yet, there’s no getting around it. Eating something like this is the equivalent experience of turning on the colour on a black-and-white television set – a sensory overload that leaves you in quiet disbelief. The dish in question is a small bowl of carabiñero prawn crudo (licked with


a blowtorch just before serving), a foamy sauce made from the delicious juice in the head, tomato jelly and an expensive dollop of Oscietra caviar, all served atop koshihikari rice (the king of sushi rice in Japan). The sweetness of the barely cooked prawn is lifted by a subtle hint of fruity tomato, before the combined marine heft of the sauce and briny caviar punches you in the mouth. The rice, delicate and not at all starchy, is just a vessel carrying this flavour to your palate. Damn. Get me a bucket of the stuff. Inject it into my veins. Put it

in a trough. I don’t care. I’ll greedily consume it however you tell me to – it’s that good. Here’s the kicker, though, there’s no wink wink nudge nudge presentation of this dish. Young head chef Tom Kemble wanders over from the kitchen no more than 10 metres away, hands the dishes to me and my dining companion, explains the wonder he has just created, and totters off to make the next dish. Spoiler alert: it’s lobster, some of the most perfectly cooked I’ve experienced, with ribbons of pillowy pappardelle and a tomato-


based lobster sauce. This is a joke shop, guys: Kemble barely looks a day out of culinary school and I’ll be damned if I’ve encountered a more talented chef in the UK. The Pass at West Sussex’s five-star South Lodge Hotel feels like a bit of a gimmick on paper: “Taking the ‘Chef’s Table’ concept and exquisitely developing it, diners at our 28-cover, award-winning restaurant are closely involved in the kitchen drama,” the website breathlessly tells us. And while I’ll be honest in that the most ‘drama’ you’re likely to witness is the occasional clatter of pans, there’s something voyeuristic about watching intense concentration and discipline blossom into one of the best-composed tasting menus I’ve had the pleasure of eating. Kemble came to The Pass at the beginning of 2019 after a successful stint at the (now sadly closed) Bonhams Restaurant – for which he received a Michelin star, and a rave review from a number of critics, including myself. His minimalist style, laden with impeccable produce and a desire to preserve their natural flavour, comes by way of Mikael Jonnson’s (also closed, goddamnit!) Hedone. For me, this passionate insistence on great flavours and careful cookery is the backbone of what modern British cuisine should be about it. Take the duck: it’s corn-fed and boasts a gold-hued fat that improbably tastes of buttered popcorn. It’s served pink, with morello ketchup (sweetness and astringency), several beetroot types (earthiness), a duck jus (moisture and complexity), and a small tuile topped with shavings of duck liver (absolute, bloody decadence). Kemble creates building blocks of flavour that together create harmony – and, above all, deliciousness. I don’t know what I’m more surprised by: the fact Michelin somehow didn’t award The Pass its rightful star, or that the six-course tasting menu I enjoyed was no more than £70. On both counts, go figure. In a world where London is so often the centre of the culinary universe – or at least it likes to tell us it is – it’s nice to find a genuinely exceptional restaurant out in the Sussex countryside. It’s almost a bonus that the hotel itself, part of the generally excellent Exclusive

PHOTOGRAPH by Christian Trampeanu

Get me a bucket of the stuff. Inject it into my veins. Put it in a trough. I don’t care. It’s that good

Collection, is an equally enjoyable experience. Bordering the rolling hills of the South Downs and residing within 93 acres of woodlands, wild meadows and Victorian gardens, South Lodge is country house glamour at one with nature. The property itself is composed of a 19thcentury neo-Jacobean manor – a wisteriashrouded yellow brick building, with all of the wood-panelling and wingback chairs your heart could possibly desire on the inside – and a recently completed £14m spa and wellness centre that resides within a modern low-lying structure hidden on one side of the estate. After an evening of ample food and wine, it’s with great relish that my girlfriend and I donned the hotel’s fluffy dressing gowns and padded across the grounds for a day in the self-contained spa. In blazing sunshine (remember August?), we slink into the UK’s first heated natural swim pond – a gorgeous spot for soaking in the rays – before we mosey on over to the hot tub overlooking the countryside. It’s the ultimate anti-London retreat, within 90 minutes of the capital. As you might imagine, there’s a host of pampering options for every aching limb and

unwanted wrinkle – including a dedicated male grooming bar for those looking for a fresh look – but for me a spot of brunch in the sunny spa restaurant will win out over any massage. A health juice, an excellent mushroom on toast, and the sight of the Downs was more than enough “me time” to feel the tension of deadlines, Tube delays and the swell of London life, dissipate from my weary muscles. It’s a wonder why we do it to ourselves at all, really. But as much as I value this luxurious country getaway, it’s the restaurant that will see me return sooner rather than later. It’s difficult to stress just what a talent Kemble is – and, to South Lodge’s credit, they’re nurturing his gift by simply leaving him to his own devices. It’s invested in the likes of a Japanese binchotan grill and upped its spend on local suppliers to enable the head chef to continue to develop his style. With that kind of support, it’s highly likely Michelin will award The Pass with the star it rightfully deserves. Believe it or not, I don’t think we’ve seen the best of Kemble just yet. I don’t know whether to be excited or scared. ■ South Lodge, Long Hill, Lower Beeding, Horsham RH13 6PS. For more info, see




With its metallic casing and hip hop cameos, Armand de Brignac has a flashy rep and even flashier fans, but that glossy exterior houses serious winemaking heritage, says ALICE LONGHURST-JONES

STRIKING GOLD: [this image] Golden-hued bottles of Armand de Brignac, aka Ace of Spades, aging in the champagne house’s cellar; [opposite] the brand’s distinctive metallic bottles and ace of spades logo.


HE STORY OF Armand de Brignac, or ‘Ace

of Spades’ as it’s colloquially known, begins with a very public break-up. Since the infancy of his career, Jay-Z had been an ardent supporter of Louis Roederer’s Cristal champagne brand. The bottle regularly starred in his lyrics and videos, and as early as 1999 in the track ‘Hard Knock Life’ Jay-Z rapped about wanting to “sip the Cris and get pissy-pissy”. It took just one throwaway comment to end the love affair. Frédéric Rouzaud, managing director of the company that makes Cristal, made his feelings clear in an interview published in The Economist. “That’s a good question, but what can we do?” replied Rouzaud when asked how the company felt about its popularity amongst rappers and on the clubland scene. “We can’t forbid people from buying it,’’ Rouzaud continued. “I’m sure Dom Pérignon or Krug would be delighted to have their business.”


Not long after the dramatic Cristal breakup, Jay-Z formalised his association with Armand de Brignac by buying the brand. According to the Cattier family whose champagne house in the charming village of Rilly-La-Montagne produces the showy golden bottles, Jay-Z is a hands-off boss who gives the expert winemakers a carte blanche to do their thing. Bottles of the brand’s iconic Brut Gold sell for £300 in Harrods while the newest release, the limited-edition Blanc de Noirs Assemblage Three, will set you back £1,095. And then there’s the 30 litre Midas bottle which cost one lucky punter £125,000 in the former Playground nightclub in Liverpool. So, why the hefty price tag? To find out just what goes into making the world’s blingiest champagne I took a trip 27 metres underground into the Cattier family’s ancient cellars. The Cattiers have owned vineyards in Chigny-les-Roses since 1763, but it wasn’t

until 1916 when Jean Cattier was sent home from the Front with severe injuries that the family began bottling its own champagnes rather than simply selling on the grapes. Today the company is run by father-son duo Jean-Jacques and Alexandre Cattier, 12th and 13th generation winemakers respectively who oversee the production of Armand de Brignac’s full range of champagnes. As we wander through the Cattier family cellars the weight of history is literally written

Jay-Z formalised his association with Armand de Brignac by buying the brand


on the walls. Deep scratch marks pock the walls where hundreds of years ago workers hewed the cellars out of the chalk by hand. Elsewhere someone has left their initials along with the date, 1868, inscribed in a heart motif, and the brickwork bears the marks of smoke left by locals sheltering deep below the earth from second world war bombing raids. My guide produces an antique key the size of his palm which grants access to the Armand de Brignac section of the cellars where golden bottles glint in the low light. The gold skin might bring a flash of bling, but it also serves a very practical purpose. The material helps to protect the precious champagne inside from so-called ‘light strike’ which occurs when the wine is damaged by exposure to UV rays. The bottles here are undergoing ‘riddling’, a month-long process which requires cellar employees to slightly turn each bottle once a day until the yeast is collected in the neck. The bottles are then disgorged to remove the yeast and finished by hand with the striking pewter labels by the team of all-female employees. Working like this is slow, but thorough. There are 18 staff members in the cellars who can each finish just 20 bottles an hour. While the intensive manual labour isn’t cheap, it allows the Cattiers to inject a drop of individuality into each bottle and keep a close eye on quality. Back above ground I meet with Jean-Jacques, who expands on the Armand de Brignac story. The idea for the prestigious golden bottles first came up in 2000, but it wasn’t until Ace of Spades featured in Jay-Z’s music video ‘Show Me What You Got’ in 2006 that the brand took off in clubland. “The day after the launch of the video we received hundreds of emails from people all over the world asking where they can buy this bottle,” he explains. A few years after Jay-Z’s divine intervention, in 2014, the rapper proved his devotion to the brand and his shrewd business sense by buying a controlling stake in the highly successful company. From the original Brut Gold bottling which starred in Jay-Z’s video, the Armand de Brignac range has grown to include five distinct champagnes each with a jewel-like metallic skin. Each is a multi-vintage cuvee which incorporates wines from three different vintages. The grapes are selected from Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards across the Champagne region. The composition of each blend is then painstakingly honed by JeanJacques and Alexandre Cattier. The Brut Gold is mainly composed of pinot noir and pinot meunier along with some chardonnay. “The blending is to bring out the characteristics from each variety of grape,”

explains Jean-Jacques. “The pinot noir brings structure and depth, pinot meunier the fruity side, and the chardonnay gives elegance.” “We use only the first press to produce la creme de la creme, the best of the best”, continues Jean-Jacques, describing how the winery takes just the finest juice for its Armand de Brignac champagnes. This commitment to quality puts strict limits on the quantities of Armand de Brignac available. That upper limit is capped at 100,000 bottles across the entire range with no plans to increase in the future. As we progress with the tasting, I feel like I’m a kid in a very special kind of sweet shop. Each champagne in the Armand de Brignac family is encased in a different colour metallic foil. The Rosé made from old vine pinot noir is robed in a delicate pink, while a bright silver has been chosen for the breathtakingly pure Blanc de Blancs which is crafted from 100% chardonnay sourced from the Côte des Blancs. This laser-like focus on luxury and quality doesn’t come at the expense of innovation. Our final tasting is of the Armand de Brignac Demi Sec which is adorned in a metallic hot pink skin. Jean-Jacques explains that often in the past winemakers would make a demi sec by taking “the last juice to come out of the press” and sometimes add sugar to cover up faults in the base wine. Armand de Brignac does things very

differently; the Cattiers take the finest first juice from the press and add the minimum amount of sugar allowable by law, just 33 grams per litre. Before we taste the Demi Sec, Jean-Jacques reveals the secret ingredient in Armand de Brignac champagnes. Unlike almost every other champagne house, its dosage – the sweetened wine added to the champagne just before it is corked – is aged in oak barrels. The oak immediately makes its presence known in the Demi Sec, adding exotic spice and sandalwood notes to the gentle touch of sweetness and red fruit flavours. This is the dark horse of the brand, produced in tiny quantities for the appreciation of true connoisseurs. With a tangible sense of pride in his voice, JeanJacques confides in us that for him, “the DemiSec is the Chateau d’Yquem of champagne”. All too soon it is time for us to take our leave, and my eye falls on Jean-Jacques’ phone case. It’s adorned with the Armand de Brignac pewter label. At face value it might be flashy, but beneath the showmanship lies a deep commitment to quality spanning 13 generations. Jay-Z’s “switching gold bottles” is undoubtedly a status symbol, but it’s also a shrewd investment in a brand which will endure and thrive long into the future. ■ Oeno specialises in sourcing the finest bottlings for private investment and trade. See


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PHOTOGRAPH by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Tiger Woods was five years old when he met Sam Snead at Calabasas Country Club in LA. They played two holes together on the closing stretch. A young Tiger went bogey, bogey, while Snead managed par, par: the only match up of two titans of golf ended in a 2-up win to the wily old American. Fast forward 38 years, and Tiger Woods has got his own back of sorts in clinching victory at the Zozo Championship in Japan. The historic win has matched Snead’s seemingly insurmountable record of 82 PGA Tour wins – a number so mind boggling that it’s only when you look at the maths that the scale of the achievement crystallises. We’ll leave it to Rory McIlroy to explain: “I feel like I’ve had a decent career… If I win six times a year for the next ten years, I still wouldn’t get there.” The Northern Irishman’s 17 PGA Tour wins simply pale in comparison. Tiger’s first victory came at the Las Vegas Invitational in 1996. In the years since, Woods has accumulated a win percentage of 22.8%: 359 PGA Tour appearances, 82 wins. That’s more than three wins per season. His greatest year will be remembered as 2000, when Woods won nine of the 20 PGA Tour events he entered, and went on a winning streak of six consecutive PGA Tour victories – including victory at the US Open. But take off a couple of years on the sidelines with injury, seasons spent crippled by pain, and a period with the yips, and 82 signifies not just Tiger’s period of unrivalled dominance, but his sheer force of will. In typical fashion, his latest win was a gunto-tape domination of a stellar field. Eleven of the world’s top 20 players were in attendance, and yet Tiger streaked away to a three-shot win, with little fuss; his putter, a magic wand. Speaking of which, this is Tiger’s first 72-hole event since knee surgery in August – the golfer hadn’t let on, but he had been struggling to even crouch down to read putts throughout 2019. Perhaps this a sign that the putter will again become a potent weapon. Tiger has spent most of his career writing his name in the history books but, more than that, he’s proved his critics wrong along the way. Now in the top four Americans in the world, Woods is making a stab at a place at the 2020 Olympics, again in Japan. He couldn’t make history again, could he? ■













THE DIGGER THE BETTER In the depths of Staffordshire, you’ll find the UK’s most ambitious new golf course – built by an unlikely source. BEN WINSTANLEY investigates



TREASURE ISLAND: [Main image] JCB’s jaw-dropping 17th hole is a rose with thorns: beautiful to look at, but capable of hurting you. [Inset image] The parfour 1st is one of the best opening holes in the UK.

PHOTOGRAPH by publianc larit em potinium vid ces blah


IG YELLOW DIGGERS: utter the three letters ‘JCB’ and this is the likely image conjured in the mind. It is after all one of the most recognisable companies on the planet, with annual revenues creeping north of £3bn. What you wouldn’t associate with Lord Bamford’s corporation is the UK’s most ambitious new golf course, but head to its global headquarters in Rochester and you’ll find exactly that. There are several points of note when you first arrive at this 18-hole championship layout. The first is that the entrance is right next door to the JCB collection point – where a sea of machinery waits to be put to good use – the second is the sight of yellow golf buggies (a first for me) zipping up the fairways. The final and most pressing point, though, is that this is about as much association the JCB brand has with the golf course. Yes, employees at HQ next door have playing rights, and on a given day you might find yourself behind a fourball from the excavation industry, but this isn’t a corporate gig: JCB Golf & Country Club is what happens when one of Britain’s wealthiest businessmen turns his attentions on a 240-acre site of prime golf real estate. Created by Robin Hiseman of European Golf Design (the European Tour’s architecture arm), the layout scythes up and down the Staffordshire countryside, with prominent bunkering and an ever-present threat of water. Half a million tonnes of soil were moved in the build (all done by JCBs, of course), with an extensive drainage system installed beneath the turf to ensure play is firm and fast, in spite of the whims of the British weather. Preceding my visit, both the European Tour and PGA Tour have inspected the course with a future professional event in mind. The rumour mill says we could see JCB golf on our screens as soon as 2021. But enough speculation, let’s hit the course. JCB opens up with a doozy of a par four – in fact you’d be hard pressed to find a better 1st hole anywhere. Flanked by water on the left hand-side, and then cutting off the fairway from the green on the approach shot, it thrusts players into the tactical mindset they will have to adopt in order to score well around here. Quirky is a suitable description for more than one of JCB’s excellent holes. The par-five 3rd is a boomerang dogleg left that asks the player to bite off as much of the corner as they can chew if they’re to set up a birdie chance. The 11th takes the driver out of the equation with its clever bunkering, and then asks players to float in a wedge to a green tucked away behind a stream. There’s also drivable par fours at the 12th and 16th – both of which punish the player who don’t quite pull off the shot.

Great green complexes like the 4th show there’s artistry in Hiseman’s layout, as well as individuality. The severe three-stepped green, with punishing runoffs on each side, is a challenge to navigate whatever your standard. The daunting top right section in play during our visit just screams Sunday pin position – it’s like landing a ball on a sixpence. Measuring 7,308 yards from the tips, and with wind a regular adversary, JCB will pose a test even to the world’s best players. If there’s one hole I cannot wait to see the likes of Rory McIlroy and co tackle it’s the mammoth par-three 17th – yep, that stunning island par three in the image to your left. It doesn’t look real does it? Almost as if our designers have photoshopped a golf hole into the middle of the ocean. But do not adjust your television sets, this is the real deal. From the top of the hill and the back tees, players are faced with a 255-yard shot to reach the centre of the green. Account for some 30 metres of elevation and it’s probably just a calmly struck long iron than a blast with a wood, but this hole will enchant you even if you walk off with double (or worse…). It’s not an exaggeration to call this the most enchanting single golf hole in the UK. The 17th at TPC Sawgrass will be the natural comparison, but I’m happy to contend that JCB’s version on British soil is superior: the bunkering, the intricate rise and fall of the greens, the beauty of the trees. What a sight it will be in tournament play. JCB will struggle to tear golfers’ eyes away from its ready-made icon, but this is not a onehole golf course – its greatest strength is the number of great holes within the 18. As a private members’ course, your options to experience the place for yourself are limited to membership or the various corporate days on offer. All I’ll say is this: if you decide to make the trip here? You’re going to dig it. ■ For more info, see





Part members’ club, part chic golf den, Pitch London brings a heavy dose of cool to the City’s various sports bar options. BEN WINSTANLEY heads down to find out more about this unique experience


’M STANDING ON the 18th tee at Pebble Beach, a 574-yard par five that sweeps around Carmel’s Stillwater Cove – it’s one of the most iconic holes in golf, and it stands between me and victory. The crowd behind me are quiet, murmuring the likelihood of me finding the fairway or the water on the left-hand side. I pull the trigger: driver makes contact with ball, and it shoots off in the direction of the fairway with a raking draw. The crowd erupts, and high-fives are administered, before I slink off to the leather banquette behind me for a drag of beer and await my next turn. You see, my mates and I aren’t actually playing in balmy California – we’re not on any course at all, for that matter – we’re at Pitch London in the heart of the City, the most sophisticated virtual golf club in the UK. Founded by ex-golf professionals Elliot Godfrey and Chris Ingham, the sleek space looks more like a Shoreditch cocktail bar than any clubhouse I’ve ever seen – and


that’s exactly the point. Pitch is the perfect intersection between London golfing paradise and casual Friday night entertainment; similar in certain ways to how Flight Club has perfected its ‘social darts’ concept. The difference here, however, is Pitch operates as a members-only club where only the lucky few have access to state-of-the-art golf technology, as well as the club’s other facilities, to play, practise and learn. In the upstairs bays, Pitch features the Foresight Sports GC Hawk overhead launch

Where else in the City can a low-handicap golfer and a total novice have the same fun?

monitor. This next-gen tech takes away the need to put the golf ball in a specific place on the mat as the ultra-high speed cameras look down at the players from the ceiling, rather than from a piece of equipment to either side of the mat. This allows players to place the ball anywhere they like – especially helpful for groups of both right and left-handers. Those looking to improve their game also have the help of Swing Catalyst’s multi-view camera feed (to show you exactly what you’re doing wrong), Balance Plate analysis (for greater understanding of weight distribution), as well as Foresight Sports GC2HMT impact analysis (for insight into club face position, swing plane, club speed metrics, and more). Forget the tech for now and focus on this: where else in the City can a low-handicap golfer and a total novice have the same amount of fun? Pitch has pitched itself perfectly. ■ For more information about memberships and corporate hire, see

Master a classic, rally-prepared Porsche 911 on an ice-covered lake in northern Sweden. With meticulously prepared lake circuits, lined by cushioned snow banks and world-class instruction, we deliver the ultimate ice driving experience for all abilities.





PHOTOGRAPH: Inside Ridgeway Views, one of North West London’s most exciting new developments. (0333 344 7205;

squaremile pr e s e n t s

ACT LOCAL in association with



Thanks to a stellar selection of schools, masses of green space and diverse retail therapy options, North West London is having a moment. We check out the most exciting places to buy in the area


OTH HARROW (HA1) and nearby Mill

Hill (NW) are two of the most desirable commuter areas in North West London. You’ll find open spaces, as well as activities and amenities to cater for country and city tastes alike – from parkland, shops and restaurants; to schools, fitness facilities and entertainment. Mill Hill Village is one of London’s oldest villages. With its pretty duck pond, a working community farm, ‘Outstanding’ schools and great pubs, it’s a hidden gem with fast links to central London by Tube, rail and road.


Harrow perhaps needs less of an introduction, being home to one of the most famous schools in the world. Join us for a tour of the local area…

EDUCATION With more than 50 nurseries and primary schools, and in excess of 20 secondary schools in the borough, Harrow’s reputation for outstanding education is well justified. The prestigious, independent Harrow School may be the most esteemed, but other

noteworthy schools here include St Anselm’s Catholic Primary School, rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted, and The John Lyon School, a leading independent boys’ school. Mill Hill School is also one of the best independent schools in Greater London, while Millbrook Park Church of England Primary is a well-regarded, three-form entry primary school created specifically for the Millbrook Park development. Copthall School and Mill Hill County High School are both local secondary schools with


impressive Ofsted ratings. A further eight ‘Good’ and ‘Outstanding’ primary schools can be found within ten miles of Millbrook.

SHOPPING The bustling high streets of Harrow, Mill Hill Broadway, High Barnet and Whetstone all offer a wealth of boutique stores, artisan bakeries, speciality coffee shops and exceptional restaurants. For those looking for the complete retail experience, nearby Brent Cross is an iconic shopping mecca – the blueprint for retail centres throughout the UK. The centre is set to double in size as part of a £1.4bn redevelopment, which will see 150 new shops, more than 40 new restaurants, a luxury cinema and a riverside park.

SPORTS & FITNESS If you’re more at home on the pitch, course or field, take your pick from countless local sports clubs catering for all ages and abilities. Allianz Park, home to the Saracens, is also a community sports hub with amazing facilities. Set in 145 acres of mature woodland, Mill Hill Golf Club features a picturesque clubhouse and an 18-hole course first designed by famed course designer JF Abercrombie in 1923. And Mill Hill Cricket Club is also a notable space for family-friendly fun.

PARKLAND There are many parklands to escape city life here. Roxbourne Park is perfect for walkers, families and nature enthusiasts, with football pitches, a children’s play area, model steam railway, and woodland walk situated within 26 hectares of open space. Northala Fields meanwhile is an awardwinning park with several fishing lakes, four hills, and a large field area. For runners and dog walkers, the Dollis Valley Greenwalk provides almost ten miles of level footpaths; and Darlands Lake Nature Reserve is home to a wealth of wildlife, from wildfowl and moorhens to a dozen species of dragonfly and the occasional kingfisher.

FOOD & DRINK Friends Restaurant One for the birthday dinners, Friends restaurant is a local institution. Founded more than 25 years ago by Savoy-trained Terry Farr, Friends is based in a 500-year-old Tudor building on historic Pinner High Street. In contrast to the very old building, food leans towards the contemporary, with a British/ French-inspired menu taken care of by head chef Stelian Scripcariu, who has spent over a decade working in top restaurants including Gordon Ramsay’s Maze.

The Catcher in The Rye Located close to Finchley Central station, The Catcher in The Rye is an ideal spot to lock on your radar for a post-work drink. There’s an extensive gin menu, good food and the option to reserve a table. Cheers to that.

Adam & Eve Make the historic Adam & Eve pub your local and you’ll enjoy responsibly sourced modern British food and a traditional warm welcome. With a charming Victorian walled garden to the rear, this country-style pub promotes itself as ‘a destination for the discerning’.

Bluebelles of Portobello Minutes from Mill Hill Broadway, Bluebelles of Portobello is a crowd-pleasing café. From specially roasted Caravan coffee to brunches, gourmet salads and fantastic cakes, this relaxed spot is the go-to for good food and drink in a relaxed, buzzy setting.


Eastman Village is an exciting new residential quarter located in the heart of Harrow THE DEVELOPMENTS Eastman Village Surrounded by excellent transport connections and steeped in local history, Eastman Village is an exciting new residential quarter conveniently located in the heart of Harrow. Home to the Kodak factory for 125 years, Eastman Village is set to revitalise this landmark site and create a community of more than 1,000 new homes. An idyllic location for both young professionals and families, this is an opportunity to own both a piece of local history and a part of Harrow’s future. Working with Harrow Council to contribute to wider regeneration plans, Barratt London is helping transform the local neighbourhood of Wealdstone with high-quality housing and new communal facilities. Providing more than 1,000 of the 5,000 new homes promised as part of the council’s ‘Heart of Harrow’ regeneration scheme – as well as plenty of open green space for local residents and a number of commercial units – Eastman Village is sure to become a thriving and exciting place to call home. The first phase of will provide 460 one, two, three and four-bedroom homes. Most will ➤

VIEW FROM THE RIDGE: [left] Floor-to-ceiling windows at Ridgeway Views; [this image] Mill Hill School is widely regarded as one of the best independent schools in Greater London.

FAMILY FUN Located in Mill Hill Village, Belmont Farm is the largest public farm within the M25, and provides the opportunity to meet a wide variety of different animals, from cows and rabbits to goats and exotic lovebirds. Additionally, there are numerous volunteering opportunities here for those looking to build a career in veterinary science or animal husbandry. The farm is also opening a new private day nursery in autumn 2019.



➤ have a balcony or terrace, and parking will also be available for selected two, three and four-bedroom homes. Each housing option provides a property filled with light and style. Open-plan living areas feature floor-to-ceiling glazing to allow plenty of natural light to flow in, while kitchens are equipped with a range of smart modern appliances, making cooking and entertaining a pleasure. Contemporary bathrooms and en suites come complete with stylish fittings in white and chrome, and are finished with attractive ceramic wall and floor tiling. Most homes have their own private balcony or terrace, providing an outdoor extension ideal for soaking up the sun and vibrant surroundings of Eastman Village Speaking of surroundings, the development couldn’t be better situated. Wealdstone High Street and Harrow and Wealdstone station are within walking distance, and Harrow-on-theHill station and its surrounding shopping hub just one mile away. In terms of recreational areas, an expansive public park and communal gardens will surround the new homes at Eastman Village, with a series of routes connecting Harrow View Road to the park. With excellent links to central London, a range of amenities close by, and plenty of green open space, this exciting new development really makes the most of all Harrow has to offer.

Millbrook Park Barratt London is also building 345 apartments and ten houses in Mill Hill in North West London, as part of a collection of developments that will provide 2,240 new apartments and houses within the area. The site includes new parks and open spaces, a primary school, a public piazza and Millbrook Plaza, with proposed new restaurants, shops and office space. Millbrook Park will offer the dream suburban lifestyle on the edge of the city. The development is located on Bittacy Hill and is part of a large conservation area. Mill Hill East station is moments away, so you can enjoy a


Every detail has been considered to make enjoying the space as effortless as possible 138

PARK LIFE: [clockwise from here] There’s plenty of green space to enjoy at the new Eastman Village development; open-plan living at Ridgeway Views; the rooms at Millbrook Park are contemporary and light-filled.

village lifestyle while being just half an hour away from central London. There’s also a good-sized Waitrose a five-minute walk away. There’s also plenty of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors, with Bittacy Hill Park to the south and, further afield, the extensive parklands of Dollis Brook and Windsor. The development itself has been designed to provide high-quality accommodation that makes the most of its surroundings – each of the spacious apartments at Millbrook Park has floor-to-ceiling windows and either a private balcony or terrace. Intended to suit both professional couples or sharers and young families, every detail has been considered to make enjoying the space as effortless as possible. Each apartment is accessible by lift; kitchens feature softclose doors and integrated appliances; every bathroom houses a heated towel rail; there’s fibre-optic broadband installed, and every bedroom has television and BT connections.

Tube, which reaches the West End in under 30 minutes, residents will enjoy a taste of village life, coupled with the convenience and vibrancy of city living. With a broad range of high quality two, three, and five-bedroom apartments and houses available, Ridgeway Views will give you space to thrive, whether you’re looking for your first home or the next step for your growing family. Contemporary, open-plan living areas, flowing interiors, and kitchens with a modern integrated appliances, including cooker, microwave, dishwasher and fridge freezer. Every property at the development comes with a private balcony or terrace – providing an outdoor extension of the living space – and access to a shared landscaped courtyard with views across the valley below. There’s also a concierge service to make life easier, and an on-site residents’ gym and fitness trail. ■ One and two-bedroom homes at Eastman Village are available from £309,000, and from £378,000 at

Ridgeway Views

Millbrook Park. Ridgeway Views has two, three, and

Overlooking the rolling green fields of Totteridge Valley, Ridgeway Views in Mill Hill offers modern living within a stunning setting. Just a short walk from the

five-bedroom homes available, with prices ranging from £750,000 to £2.1m. London Help to Buy is available on selected homes. For more information, visit, or call 0333 344 7205.




Gently glowing bulbs meet stark, industrial lines in Cattelan Italia’s new statement wall light to create an illuminating interior look

LIGHT-BULB MOMENT There’s an industrial edge to Cattelan Italia’s Circuit Wall Light thanks to a frame crafted from titanium embossed steel and satin nickel, but switch it on and the whole thing is softened by the gentle glow of borosilicate glass bulbs. Half lighting solution, half design piece, it’s a striking statement that’ll see a stark wall transformed into a focal point in its own right.


PHOTOGRAPH by Tortora 2017

FOLLOW THE LIGHT: Cattelan Italia’s Circuit Wall Light is available from Chaplins Furniture for £1.429. For more information, see The sofa pictured is the Arketipo Moss Corner Sofa, which costs £7.255, also from Chaplins.

Coupdeville Architects adopts a multi-disciplinary approach that encompasses not just architecture but also bespoke interiors and landscaping. This lends a cohesive quality to the houses and buildings created by the practice – with each and every element considered in close combination with one another. At the same time, an emphasis on context and materiality lends Coupdeville projects a particular depth and warmth. Coupdeville possess a wealth of experience across residential and commercial projects, including new build projects, conversions and the sensitive update of listed period properties. Much of Coupdeville’s work is residential, with a strong portfolio in single-family residences. Yet the practice also has a track record in the design and build of apartment buildings, as well as a growing number of commissions in the commercial and retail sectors. Woodstock Studios London W12 8LE t: 020 8811 2660 e:

square mile Watch Awards The watch world’s biggest names gathered in London for the glitzy Square Mile Watch Awards ceremony. The evening was held at the Leadenhall Building’s Landing Forty Two, where guests were treated to Rémy Martin cocktails and a lavish meal before getting down to the serious business of discovering the winners of the 12 award categories. Vacheron Constantin took home the coveted Watch of the Year award for its Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, while Audemars Piguet, Bulgari and Patek Philippe were also among the winners. The Lifetime Achievement winner was watchmaking royalty Jean-Claude Biver. ■ See the full list of winners on



PHOTOGRAPHS by Darren Bandoo





Four examples of the shoes for a lifestyle, they are perfect examples of Malatesta shoes, high-quality man leather shoes created for the Man of Today. W: malatestashoes

A Crest is a representation of a family’s core values. With over 35 years’ experience in creating and designing the most desirable signet rings, we at The Oxford Signet Ring Co. understand the importance of producing a unique masterpiece for you and your generations to follow. Pictured: seal engraved 18ct yellow gold bloodstone signet ring – £1,350.00 W: @oxfordsignetrings



TRIWA has created watches from destructed illegal firearms from El Salvador, then 15% of all profits go back to El Salvador. These funds have been allocated into local projects in El Salvador such as rehabilitation of victims and their families, Survivors’ Network and preventive work through education. @Triwa #TimeForPeace W:

ETIKK Jewelry is an Ethically Responsible brand that supports mining communities and respects the environment. LORD Ring is made in the UK using responsibly mined Fairmined® 925 Sterling Silver and 9KT Gold from Peru. This design is unisex. LORD Ring £750 W: etikkjewelry



Amidé Hadelin offers exclusive handmade accessories for modern gentlemen appreciating classic style and traditional craftsmanship. Our collection of carefully curated accessories is expertly handcrafted by British and Italian artisans upholding long-standing traditions. These lush 100% cashmere scarves, woven and finished by hand in England, will keep you stylish and comfortable when needed. Various styles available €175 – €220. W: : @amidehadelin1 Luxury_Pool_Tables-advert_02.pdf 22/10/2019 21:17

The Ayres London glasses and sunglasses case – steeped in British heritage. Honed over 5 years of development and machined from aerospace-grade aluminium in the UK, a perfect balance of strength, ergonomics and beauty - and probably the last glasses case you’ll ever need! Classic £249 and XL versions £299. W:


Photo courtesy of Tod Hunter Earle Interiors. Photograph Ray Main.




Winter Events & Openings AP HOUSE


New Bond Street

Piccadilly Arcade/Nov 2019-Jan 2020

Set across 420sq m in an impressive historical building overlooking New Bond Street, AP House from Audemars Piguet is a place for fans of the manufacture to discover its creations in a new, relaxed setting. With a kitchen, bar and living room complete with a Steinway Spirio, guests can enjoy this civilised space – a first of its kind in London.

Oliver Brown is bringing a curated edit of pieces from the brand’s flagship store in Chelsea to St James’s this winter. The pop-up shop in the Piccadilly Arcade will comprise evening wear, suiting, tweed tailoring and shooting attire, as well as formal morning wear and accessories.

For more info, see


For more info, see

Royal Exchange/20 November

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET This immersive production of Jordan Belfort’s memoirs plunges the audience straight into a world of greed and excess. No, it’s not your local City bar on a Friday night – it’s the 1990s New York stock exchange, and all the scandalous highs and lows that went with it

Christmas in the City is officially marked with The Royal Exchange’s seventh annual tree lighting ceremony on Wednesday 20 November. Local residents and visitors to the City of London are invited to a seasonal evening filled with hot chocolate, mulled wine and warm mince pies from Fortnum & Mason accompanied by carolling from the East London Chorus.

For more indo, see

For more info, see

5-15 Sun Street, EC2N/Until 19 Jan 2020

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square  mile Photo Prize 2019 square mile Photo Prize 2019. The premise is simple: we want to see your best photos of the City or Canary Wharf – whether that’s the people, the architecture or even a night out in your local boozer. The key is that the


photo must be creative in some way. (Our social media editor says if it can include a cat or dog, that would really help him out. But don’t worry too much about him.) Do to try to send a photo that shows an original view of this great City we know and

love. OK, we don’t always love it – but hey, on a sunny day, it doesn’t half look cool. ■ To enter, send your high res jpegs to with subject header ‘Photo Prize’. Maximum 20 entries per person. The final date for submission is 15 November 2019.

PHOTOGRAPH by Richard Baker/Getty Images

THIS IS YOUR last chance to enter the

The best diver we’ve ever created. So far.

C60 Apex Limited Edition Five years since the launch of our in-house chronometer, Calibre SH21, the 100-piece C60 Apex Limited Edition celebrates in style. A rarity for a dive watch, its front and back have been stripped away to reveal the more intricate parts in all their glory. It’s easy to see why this represents the pinnacle of the brand’s horological prowess today – all whilst in its birthday suit. Do your research.

Elegance is an attitude

The Longines Master Collection

Simon Baker

Profile for Square Up Media Ltd.

Square Mile – 148 – The Design & Technology Issue  

Square Mile Magazine – Issue 148 – The Design & Technology Issue – Cover Star Eddie Hearn

Square Mile – 148 – The Design & Technology Issue  

Square Mile Magazine – Issue 148 – The Design & Technology Issue – Cover Star Eddie Hearn