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THE QUINTESSENTIAL BRIT ON BULKING UP FOR HIS LATEST ROLE IN KINGSMAN ISSUE 98 ISSN 1752-9956

UNSEEN McQUEEN: THE KING OF COOL BROOKS BROS CEO LUCA GESTALDI ON THE OLDEST CLOTHES RETAILER IN THE USA

squaremile STYLE SPECIAL

Gandy The Billericay-born model takes on the world from the comfort of his pants


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EDITOR’S WORD

square mile STYLE SPECIAL see more on

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I

N THE ‘TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE’ spectrum, David Gandy

has to rate pretty highly. The chiselled good looks, the impeccable dress sense, the bulging muscles: it’s enough to give us normal fellas a bit of a complex. I mean, he even does charidee work for Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Come on, David, give the rest of us a chance, will ya? He’s also one of the nicest guys in the business, so you can’t even stay mad at him for long. I remember a couple years back, we sent hard-nosed ex-City hack Cathy Adams to meet him. She went a cynic – “he’s not that good looking”, she urged on her way out of the office. It turns out that he was, in fact, really, really good looking. She returned a gibbering wreck, salivating a bit, knees well and truly weakened by the Billericay-born model. This is the power of Gandy. This time, we asked a less easily-swayed Anthony Pearce to review the world’s most famous male model’s career – and his rapid rise to fame [p82]. Another English star, Colin Firth, seems to have taken a few leaves out of the Gandy ‘book of man’. In his latest movie, Kingsman, Firth shakes off his bumbling Brit act, bulks up and takes a trip down Savile Row [p66]. Now a regular on the ‘best-dressed’ circuit, Firth has ceased to be a clothes hanger for the knitwear department of BHS. Instead, you’re much more likely to see him wearing a bespoke double-breasted affair from the Row – or, indeed, Italy. It’s perhaps no coincidence that Firth’s second home is in the world’s most stylish country. We may not all be famous models or Hollywood heroes (OK, none of us are), but we can at least dress like them. Hopefully our Style Special will inspire… Download the iPad edition from squaremile.com/app

Mark Hedley, Editor, @mghedley Winner, Editor of the Year 2014, PPA Independent Publisher Awards

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THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS

LORD HASTINGS OF SCARISBRICK CBE Lord Dr Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick, CBE is KPMG’s global head of corporate citizenship. He was previously the BBC’s head of public affairs from 1996 to 2003. He writes on the importance of business leading the way. [p42]

ANTHONY PEARCE Anthony Pearce writes about culture, music and politics for the likes of the Independent, The Sun and the Daily Mail. This issue, he gets all bromantic over two great British gentleman – Kingsman actor Colin Firth and cover star David Gandy. [p66] & [p82]

JOHN ROSLING John Rosling started his career with Unilever before moving to Diageo. Since leaving the corporate world he has established and run numerous small businesses, most recently as CEO of business performance company Shirlaws. He writes on entrepreneurship. [p41]

JOSH SIMS Josh Sims contributes on lifestyle and business to the Financial Times, the Independent, Esquire, Wallpaper among others. He’s also the author of Vintage Menswear, which makes him the ideal man to interview the CEO of the America’s oldest clothes retailer. [p78]

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36

49

72

COVER FEATURE 82

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66 . MAN OF MYSTERY

Long gone is the bumbling Brit act: this is Colin Firth, but not as you know it.

72 . EASY RIDER

Steve McQueen is the uncontested king of cool. In a new book, we learn that he’s just as stylish off screen as he was on it.

78 . BROTHERS IN ARMS

ON THE iPAD

Download the square mile iPad for free from the iTunes store. The bimonthly digital edition has loads of fancy extras, including galleries, videos and animations.

For two centuries, Brooks Brothers has been dressing America’s great and the good. We meet the brand’s CEO.

82 . DAVID GANDY

COVER FEATURE

He’s come a long way since he was talent spotted on This Morning, and now David Gandy seems to be taking over the world.

88 . INTO THE BLUE

This season’s must-have evening wear.

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PORTFOLIO

ASSETS

32 . THE EXCHANGE 36 . ART WORK 38 . THE ANALYST 41 . ENTREPRENEURSHIP 42 . CSR

105 . TECHNOLOGY 106 . MOTORS 112 . SKI 116 . TRAVEL 129 . FOOD & DRINK 133 . GOLF

EXPOSURE 49 . PRIME TIME 50 . SPRING STYLE 53 . DENIM 55 . SHOES 59 . SHARP NOTES 62 . JEWELLERY

see more on squaremile.com

HOLDINGS 144 . PROPERTY 151 . INTERIOR DESIGN

END PLAY

ISSUE 98

FEATURES

163 . EVENTS 165 . GALLERIES 169 . HIDDEN CITY 170 . EXTRA MILE

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M A S TE R

OF

SU RPRISE

MASERATI QUATTROPORTE DIESEL FROM £69,235 ON THE ROAD Maserati has a long tradition of surprising the automotive world with innovation and unconventional thinking. The introduction of our new state-of-the-art V6 diesel engine in the Quattroporte is just the latest example. This 3.0 V6 unit produces 275 HP and the performance that befits the company’s flagship, whilst clever engineering has managed to reproduce the distinctive and much loved Maserati exhaust note. For more information on the new Maserati Quattroporte Diesel, call 01943 871660 or visit maserati.co.uk

Official fuel consumption figures for the Maserati Quattroporte Diesel in mpg (l/100km): Urban 36.2 (7.8), Extra Urban 54.3 (5.2), Combined 45.6 (6.2). CO2 emissions 163 g/km. Fuel consumption and CO2 figures are based on standard EU tests for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. Model shown is a Maserati Quattroporte Diesel at £71,647 On The Road including optional metallic paint at £660, electric sunroof at £1,560 and extended key-less entry at £192.


Q U A T T R O P O R T E

www.maserati.co.uk


corneliani.com


PORTFOLIO

THE EXCHANGE ART WORK ANALYST ENTREPRENEURSHIP CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP

. . . . .

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MAKING A SPLASH . 036 PHOTOGRAPH: a crop of Concepci贸n (2014) by Hugh Arnold, courtesy Mead Carney Fine Art


THE EXCHANGE

THE CITY INDEX

THE CITY’S ELIGIBLE BACHELORS

Any ladies currently wading through the City-boy quagmire can take their wellies off; we’ve found the one. Teaming up with Social Concierge, we crowned James Biagioni the City’s most eligible bachelor. Enjoy acting out a Lynx advert in real life, James.

A N T O N I O H O R TA - O S O R I O

100

THINGS TO DO AFTER THE CITY

WORDS Saul Wordsworth

#73 NEWSREADER

▽ GOOD AFTERNOON. Here is the news. You’re

@ sign up to our newsletter for your weekly dose of square mile

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leaving the City to become a newsreader. To pull off this new role you’re going to have to make a few changes. Top of the pile: stop smirking. No one likes a smug mug delivering a bulletin on famine or pestilence. Practice in front of the mirror. “Six people died today, one seriously, when a bomb when off in a shop.” If you can utter these words – or mention Goodluck Jonathan without corpsing – then you’re ready for the next step. Get yourself a shave. A proper shave. Yes you too, Shirley. Any kind of facial hair will act as a distraction to the viewer. Plus people won’t trust you. No one took Jeremy Paxman seriously during his beardy phase. Same goes for Fiona Bruce. Also lose the nasal hair. You might even consider getting your left ear done, the one that sticks out like a weather sock. Now we move onto the thorny territory of pronunciation. It’s specific not pacific, St Pancras not St Pancreas and athletics not ather-letics. One Asterix when you mean asterisk and you’ll end up on the scrap heap next to Derek Boon, the man who mispronounced “Jeremy Hunt” three times on News At Ten. Image is vital. Smart tie please, none of that Jon Snow nonsense, plus a decent suit. And do wear trousers. Only Huw Edwards gets away without. Rumours that Natasha Kaplinsky wore only stockings and suspenders under the desk are sadly just that. ■ For more see saulwordsworth.com

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SENIOR CITY WORKERS

They’re expecting a 21% increase in bonus payouts this year. That’s an average of £124,680 per person (or 623,400 Freddos). This of course also means a 21% increase in “My dad earns more than your dad” arguments in public schools around the country.

FA N S O F M U LT I - P U R P O S E T O O L S

The Swiss seriously hit the fan when the franc jumped up an initial 30% against the Euro. It also meant a huge surge in Swiss enquiries for London real-estate, as businesses tried to jump ship. Luckily, the Swiss have nothing to do with banking, so don’t worry.

A R C H I T E C T S , P R O B A B LY

It’s been revealed that London tops the pile labelled “THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE CONSTRUCTION COSTS”. So anyone wanting a brand new building might be best looking elsewhere. Godzilla would only go and ruin all your hard work one day anyway.

HACKERS

Special agents will be launching a cyber-attack on the Bank of England, in order to test the defence mechanisms against hackers. They’ve got their best guys on the case – one of them even knows how to make it look like it’s snowing on the Google homepage.

squaremile.com

ILLUSTRATION OF ‘MILES’ by Jamel Akib

@

The chief executive of Lloyds bagged himself a top ten position (number six for those interested in statistics) on GQ’s best-dressed businessmen list. So, not only has he turned around a bank, he’s also turned around a load of heads. Or something like that.


PORTFOLIO

WISE G U I D E S WORDS by Aby Dunsby

#09 THE BEST FROM CES 2015 3D PRINTERS There is barely an object that you cannot make with a 3D printer: car parts, NASA space wrenches, bikinis… yes, bikinis. At this year’s CES, XYZprinting debuted a new printer that uses flour and chocolate to print cookies – uncooked, mind. The food printer includes a five-inch touch screen and prints out food in layers ranging from 0.8 to 6.4mm. The company has said its next step is printable pizza. We’ll delete the Domino’s number from our speed dial, then. It isn’t available to buy yet, but for those seeking more conventional uses for their 3D printer, its £695 Da Vinci 1.0 version is. us.xyzprinting.com SMARTWATCHES CES was a swarm of wearable (and some, frankly, unwearable) tech this year, but the smartwatch won when it came to fusing design with nifty tech features. The Withings Active Pop boasts all the functionality you’d expect from a fitness tracker – it measures steps taken, calories burnt and hours slept – while its slick watch face means it looks stylish on your wrist, too. Another good-looking wearable from CES came from Guess. Its Connect smartwatch looks like a conventional, well-designed timepiece, but a small monochrome screen on the watch face keeps it techy, and notifies you if someone’s calling. Who said tech isn’t sexy? DRONES The halls of CES were buzzing – literally. Mainly thanks to all the drones, from selfietaking numbers to clever machines that can fly themselves. One of the stars drawing in the crowds was the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0, a quadricopter that’s controlled using a smartphone or tablet. The drone’s video function allows you to take some cool high definition images from the air, and you can show off on a trip to the park by using the flip move to get your gadget to do tricks in the air. Oh yeah – the ladies will lap it up. See our full round-up of the best of CES 2015, take a look on squaremile.com

CITY TRIVIA

The City of London police force is the only UK police force not to have the St Edward’s Crown – the coronation crown – on its badge. Instead, it carries the City of London coat of arms.

WHAT THEY DID AFTER THE CITY...

ESCAPE A RT I S T SALIMA MANJI

▽ I SPENT six years working at various City banks including Credit Suisse, JP Morgan and BNP Paribas. I really thrive under pressure so working in this environment really allowed me to flourish. It helped to keep me on my toes. When I had my family, the thrill of work gave way to the desire for spending more time with my children. I decided it was time for a change. Shortly afterwards I began to explore the idea of running a dinner club. It wasn’t learning a lesson as such, it was simply the realisation I had changed. My need for fulfilment no longer came from a City career, it was, quite literally, closer to home. I launched the London Dinner Club in 2010 and from the start it was a success. It was great to combine the networking skills I’d acquired from the City with my passion for fine dining. I was able to build up membership – and it stands today at more than 400 members. I’ve also launched a Gold membership, which focuses on fine dining at Michelinstarred restaurants and drinks evenings at private members’ clubs such as Home House. With an introductory membership of only £59.99 to the first 150 members who sign up, the Gold membership is already close to reaching capacity. ■ For more information, visit londondinnerclub.org

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PORTFOLIO

COMPETITION

THE EXCHANGE

BONUS B U STER

HOW WILL YOU SPEND YOURS?

MERCEDES BENZ F 015 LUXURY IN MOTION, £POA

For years, the idea of a self-driving car has had sci-fi geeks very hot under the collar. So their temperatures will be rising to dangerous levels with the arrival of the Mercedes Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion. Unveiled at Vegas’s annual tech-off, CES, the car has one hell of an options list. Its front seats swivel 180 degrees, transforming the interior into a plush living-room-cum-boardroom. Flashy LED screens on the door panels are controlled by eye-tracking or gesture control, allowing you to communicate with your car and others on the road in a way that’s

WORDS Aby Dunsby

both cool and slightly creepy. Other smart tech includes a scanner which detects traffic or pedestrians waiting to cross the road, and a voice that will shout out warnings. This can be programmed with instructions to your fellow road users: “Out of the way, peasants” or the like. If you decide you actually want to drive it rather than just playing around with all the buttons, a floating console means anyone inside can take over cruising duties. What could possibly go wrong? ■ To see our round-up of the best tech from this year’s CES show, go to squaremile.com

WIN £250 OF SPORTS GEAR COURTESY OF TRENDYSPORTS.COM

▽ GETTING FIT is tough enough, so make sure you at least have the right kit for the job. Fortunately, we’ve teamed up with TrendySports.com to offer one male and one female reader £250 each to spend on Peak Performance active wear. Peak Performance specialises in sports kit, with a background in ski wear (get the punny name?). Now, the Swedish company creates super high-tech running kit. To give you an example of what you could buy with the prize, we’d plump for both the Balkka Zip and Tee. Both tops are designed for running or any high-pulse activity. They’re highly breathable and boast ‘moisture transporting technology’ (in other words, they’ll stop you being such a sweaty mess). Also, you’ll want a pair of tights (any excuse, right?). The Lavvus are perfect for keeping your pins toasty. ■ Terms and conditions apply. To see the full product selection, please visit trendysports.com

034

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COMIC by Modern Toss

TO ENTER Go to squaremile.com/ competitions and answer a simple question. Terms and conditions apply.


➤ Mead Carney Fine Art ➤

WATER WORLD — By Aby Dunsby —

036

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ARTWORK

PORTFOLIO

Underwater photography has been taken to sensual new depths by internationally acclaimed photographer Hugh Arnold, in his first UK exhibition Agua Nacida. His beautifully ethereal nudes capture the graceful weightlessness of floating in the deep blue. The

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images, which were shot in Fiji and Gozo, are meant to celebrate a woman’s life cycle, from the womb to adulthood. Arnold calls life under the sea “a fairytale world”, in which “the colours, the light, even our breath, which we can’t see above water, add wonderful dimensions.”

Well, we tried the same with an iPhone wrapped in cling film and, yeah, it didn’t go so well. ■ Agua Nacida runs from 16 January-14 February. To see more images, visit squaremile.com Exhibited by Mead Carney Fine Art; meadcarney.com

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PORTFOLIO

➤ Studio Keim ➤

THE FRAME GAME — By Hannah Summers —

DIFFERENT SPOKES

ANALYST

Beauty is pain, right? Well, it is in this case. The Arvak bicycle may lack a decent saddle and any brakes, but it does have 24 layers of laminate ash wood. French design studio Keim partnered up with Breitfuss workshop to create this wooded framed bike which is so hipster even a Hoxton hairdresser would have to raise an ironic eyebrow.

keim-edition.com

PHOTOGRAPH by Maxime Hillairaud

038

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NORTHAMPTON ENGLAND MAKERS OF FINE SHOES SINCE 1879

STYLE: HOXTON MATERIAL: BLACK BOX CALF / DARK BROWN BURNISHED CALF

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NEW YORK

BRUSSELS

PARIS

JERMYN STREET

BURLINGTON ARCADE

7 WEST 56TH STREET

RUE DE NAMUR

CHAUVEAU LAGARDE

BURLINGTON ARCADE

BOULEVARD RASPAIL

KNIGHTSBRIDGE

BON MARCHÉ

ROYAL EXCHANGE CANARY WHARF

CROCKETTANDJONES.COM


PORTFOLIO

➤ Entrepreneurship ➤

INNOVATION X — By John Rosling, CEO, Shirlaws —

A

T THE HEIGHT of the dot com boom, I co-founded an internet greeting card business. At almost exactly the same time, in another part of London, a young commodities trader called Nick Jenkins founded a similar business called Moonpig. Nick built his business to a £120m valuation while mine ended up, swiftly and ignominiously, in receivership. What did Nick know that we didn’t? In researching a recent book I set out to answer this question. Interviewing highly successful entrepreneurs I began to understand something extraordinary. That, though real business success is a strange alchemy, there is a formula and it can be replicated. It also applies just as much in large organisations as small. The key to the alchemy can be found in how successful entrepreneurial leaders see their businesses, focussing not on the ‘content’ showing up today but the context that drives it, not on outcomes but on source, not on how but on why. In commercial terms their focus is not on today’s revenue but on the underlying assets that drives it, realising that profit is simply an outcome of getting the fundamental intangible assets of the business right. This isn’t to say profit, and particularly cash, are unimportant. It’s just that the entrepreneurial leader finds ways to systemise the business assets to ensure others are responsible for the operations while they look for growth.

For Roger Philby of the Chemistry Group the founding employee in his business was his Head of Amazing, tasked then, as now, to make the company simply the best place in the world to do great work. Every performance business should have a Head of Amazing.

They move fast and are never satisfied with what has worked in the past. They are obsessed not by the product but how the customer experiences it. I was struck by how Keith Abel, even as CEO of a £50m business, still manned the in-bound Order line to talk to customers when he could.

2. THE POWER OF AUTONOMY

5. SYSTEMISE AND THEN TO MOVE ON

Central to a performance culture is a belief in giving people freedom; not controlling them. As Reed Hastings of Netflix says “responsible people thrive on freedom and are worthy of freedom”. Aligned and self-responsible cultures create agile and independent thinking. In turn, this creates growth and wealth.

To quote Ajaz Ahmed, “innovation isn’t just about the product. You have to improve every aspect of the business. We are obsessed with innovating our system to be better; systemise what you can and use human beings to add creativity.”

3. EXPECT MORE Performance cultures employ talent wherever they see it and measure and enforce capabilities. These are hard working cultures. The company offers real fun and fulfilment and the employee offers in return an exceptional level of commitment and performance. To quote Reed Hastings again “adequate performance receives a generous severance package”.

4. DOING THREE THINGS BETTER EVERY DAY Great businesses are perpetual innovators.

6. KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THE BEST AT An autonomous team and a systemised process allows leaders the time and focus to make breathtaking leaps. But to be successful these must be based on a visceral understanding of what the business genuinely does best. This is about focussing not on the products but on the unique IP and knowledge that sits behind them; on assets not revenues.

7. EMBRACE FAILURE Truly understanding what makes the business brilliant creates the confidence to persist, seeing opportunity and not fear. Keith Abel of Abel & Cole comments on his business: “Did it work straight away? No. It didn’t. It was a disaster. It took six months to get it right but we bashed away at it.”

ILLUSTRATION by Jamel Akib

1. IT STARTS WITH WHY

8. BE CURIOUS

Great businesses understand why they do what they do and build extraordinary performance cultures around this. It’s not about the money. Ajaz Ahmed, who built AKQA into a $500m business, says: “Making money has never been our intention and yet, commercially, we outperform our competitors. “From day one, our clear intention has been to ‘help our clients to create the future’.”

Time and intellectual freedom gives the true entrepreneur the opportunity to create and pursue radical ideas. An enquiring disposition and wide interests make them natural connectors. For example, they will meet another entrepreneur on an aeroplane and a new business opportunity will develop from the conversation. ■

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John Rosling is author of Secrets of the Seven Alchemists (£14.99; Harriman House; harriman-house.com)

041


PORTFOLIO

➤ CSR ➤

NEW WORLD ORDER — By Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE —

I

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Malnutrition, poverty and the abuse of human rights tragically remain a reality for much of the world’s population and will

042

remain a focus for the SDGs. There is also an imperative for a globally binding climate agreement. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Paris at the end of the year is seen by many as our last chance to achieve this and limit the world to a fewer than 2ºC rise in temperature. UN Member States, as well as finance, business and civil society, have an obligation and an opportunity to lead in these areas and create a foundation for inclusive and sustainable economic growth. The recent UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Forum started to lay the necessary foundation stones by asking the questions: what’s the cost of delivering the SDGs, and what mechanisms do we need to create to ensure finance flows to where it is needed? UNCTAD answered its first question through its World Investment Report, which last year focussed on financing the SDGs. It estimated an additional $2.5tn is needed annually for developing countries to transition into sustainable development. As for mechanisms for finance, initiatives exist that demonstrate the demand for ethical and impact investing, that if developed consciously, could direct much of $2.5tn to countries and projects that can create jobs, improve livelihoods and build upon the promise of inclusive growth. The UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment is just one example representing more than $45tn of assets under management, up from $4tn at its launch in 2006. Concerted effort is required, though. Existing mechanisms, as good as they are, need scaling. In July, the international development community will gather in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the International Conference on Financing for Development to do just this. The conference will focus on all financial flows, including how aid money, foreign direct investment, trade and remittances can all be effectively used and have a better chance of achieving desired development outcomes.

The SDGs are by their very nature ambitious; we, too, need to be ambitious. The ambition needed to lift people out of poverty and curb the worst effects of climate change will blur traditional lines between business, government and civil society. Partnerships will be crucial in delivering solutions with big business – including finance and banking – and re-evaluating its role and relationship with society in the pursuit of a deeper purpose. Through this, we have a real chance of instigating lasting change. Increased cooperation between governments, the private sector, funds, traditional development partners and civil society in financing sustainable development will be paramount in a post-2015 world. ■ Lord Hastings of Scarisbrick CBE was a speaker at last year’s TEDxSquareMile. To watch sessions from the event, go to tedxsquare

mile.com

ILLUSTRATION by Jamel Akib

N RECENT YEARS the debate about the role and impact of business has shifted towards public values and purpose. This change, in many parts, has been a necessary response to the concerns that were raised by the banking and debt issues of recent years. CEOs worldwide have demanded a shift to the promotion of sustainability as a core value. Communities are now part of the context of business, rather than being an inconvenience. Real corporate value is about what will be sustained in the long term, and what builds strong societies. At the same time that companies started a process of self-enlightenment, the UN started a process to explore what global development objectives should be post-2015, the date when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a set of targets for poverty reduction, come to an end. The new agenda – known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – will guide international development for the next 15 years. Business has also played a key role in helping achieve the MDGs with retail and consumer goods, as well as within the banking and insurance sectors. Global poverty has been cut in half; 90% of children in developing countries now have access to primary education; and 2.3 billion people have access to clean drinking water for the first time. Despite these successes, there are still issues that need to be tackled and the international community – governments and civil society – cannot deal with these alone. The business community – from SMEs to banks and hedge funds – can, and should, work on delivering the SDGs in partnership with governments, foundations, UN agencies and NGOs. This is not only the right thing to do. It will also build value and helps create stability in low-income countries, which can create and open up new markets.

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[ The ediT ] DENIM

Narciso Rodriguez Eau de Parfum £39, Emporio Armani watch £199, Calvin Klein bag £310, Modalu backpack £199, John Lewis scarf £35, DKNY bag £236, John Lewis purse £39, KIN trainers £65, Oasis shirt £35, 7 For All Mankind jean £180.


www.loake.co.uk


EXPOSURE

WATCHES DENIM SHOES SHARP NOTES JEWELLERY

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049 053 055 059 062

WE’VE GOT THE BLUES . 053


©2014 TUMI, INC.

d e S i g n e d i n A m e r i c A f o r g lo b A l c i t i z e n S TUMI.COM

211 REGENT STREET, LONDON, W1B 4NF

170 PICCADILLY, MAYFAIR , LONDON, W1J 9EJ WESTFIELD SHEPHERDS BUSH

ALSO AVAILABLE AT HARRODS AND SELFRIDGES


EXPOSURE

PRIME TIME CARTIER

THREE TIMES A CHARM When a watch maker masters a perpetual calendar, it’s made it onto the horological map. But, says ROBIN SWITHINANK , throw in a flying tourbillon and a minute repeater, and you enter the stratosphere

A

BOUT 18 MONTHS ago, I had an email from

Cartier with an invitation to join ‘The Cartier Fine Watchmaking Club’. The big perk of membership, the email informed me, was that I would get to see all the brand’s new stuff before anyone else. There was no gilt-edged Cartier-red membership card to put in my wallet so everyone can see it when I’m in the queue at Tesco, but nevertheless, being part of Cartier’s cabal had a nice ring to it (even if my admission was entirely down to the likelihood I’d write about the brand). In the first year of membership, I couldn’t make the trip to go and see all these shiny new things with my fellow Clubbers, and instead had to make do with waiting until the SIHH watch fair in January, along with the hoi polloi. Can you imagine? Then, last autumn, the invitation came again to head out to Cartier’s La Chaux-de-Fonds watchmaking headquarters in Switzerland, and lo, there was a big hole in my diary. So I went. And I saw a lot of remarkable things. Things that glint, things that whizz, things so complicated only people with a lot of letters after their name can understand them (the graph explaining the importance of speed winding was a particular mystery). Lots of these I wanted to come home and talk about, but most of them were placed under what Cartier endearingly called a ‘gentlemen agreement’, according to which I pledged to keep schtum about what I’d just seen until this year’s SIHH. SIHH has been and gone, which means I can now tell you about the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication, an impossibly pretty watch with an enormous mechanical brain that is also the most complicated watch Cartier has ever made.

It has a perpetual calendar, a flying tourbillon and a minute repeater; all somehow fit into a movement only 5.49mm thick squaremile.com

POWER OF THREE: Cartier’s Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication is a bit of an overachiever, fitting in not one but three of the so-called ‘trinity of holy grail’ complications.

Until recently, the superlative wouldn’t have meant much – time was when Cartier only made watches for people with expensive hair and villas on the Côte d’Azur. Mechanically boring, achingly stylish, often iconic pieces such as the Tank. But that all changed when it opened its dazzlingly brilliant Fine Watchmaking Division, under whose auspices it has made some of the most esoteric mechanical watches in history. The Grande Complication is the latest of these. It has a perpetual calendar, a flying tourbillon and a minute repeater; a trinity of holy grail complications Cartier has somehow squeezed into a movement that’s only 5.49mm

thick. That’s like making ravioli with chicken, mushrooms and cheese, and then making it as thin as lasagna without losing any of the flavour. Oh, and it’s an automatic, so there’s a swinging rotor in there, too. There’ll be two versions, both in platinum, both limited. Fifty will be straight up, while a further ten will come smothered in diamonds. Each piece will take around seven months to produce, and not surprisingly the price is eyewatering – but that’s what it costs nowadays for access to watchmaking history. Perhaps with some of the profits Cartier could make me that membership card? ■ From €520,000; cartier.com

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SPRING IN OUR STEP Arctic chill – sod off. Ted Baker’s new SS15 collection has us yearning for spring. The collection is a vibrant array of bold prints, vivid colours and strong textures. Classic chinos are given a twist in hues of red and electric blue, while classically tailored shirts are kept playful in camouflage or polka dot. Time to ditch the thermals, chaps.

STYLE TED BAKER

WALK ON WATER Yes, we know it’s cold out there, but fashion waits for no man. Be ready for spring with Ted Baker’s new collection of vibrant prints, bold colours and sharp tailoring

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EXPOSURE

SEE MORE PICTURES ON OUR iPAD APP

HIT THE SPOT

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Ted Baker’s SS15 menswear collection is inspired by lazy summer days. Pastel-coloured shirts have a romantic edge, while sharp flannel suits and blazers keep it manly. We’re off to get the barbecue ready. Large spot print shirt, both £95; linen woven spot tie, both £59; mini design trouser, both £119; printed colour belt, both £45; matt and high-shine shoes, £120. tedbaker.com

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FELIO SIBY www.feliosiby.com feliosiby


EXPOSURE

STYLE DENIM

JEAN THERAPY

Double denim may have once been banished to the 1980s wilderness, but Dolce & Gabbana is taking it to the sartorial next level, says MARK HEDLEY

DOUBLE YOUR LUCK There was a time that the phrase ‘double denim’ would fill us with levels of terror only matched by the release of a new Jason Donovan single. Fortunately, those days are over, friends; it’s time to embrace the double denim look. Dolce & Gabbana has nailed it with these deconstructed jackets. They have no lining, so they’ll be light for summer. And their sartorial construction means they’re no longer limited to Neighbours reuinion parties.

MATERIAL WORLD

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We can’t really say that ‘denim is back’ because it never really went away. However, the likes of Dolce & Gabbana are taking it to a whole new level making elegant suit jackets out of the traditionally casual material. There’s both a single breasted jacket (£1,680) and double-breasted jacket in denim (£1,360).

dolcegabbana.com

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BUCKLE UP In case you hadn’t heard, laces are out – and straps are in. The shoe du jour is the double monk. Although its roots #HEADLINE are dressy, it’s decided to goSolest, all ‘casual Friday’ details quidunt on us.quisqui New designs voloria autem in softer fabrics as enim quatem as such exerrum suederemean they can be quatem cumquis jeans or even quoworn volutwith omnienimus shorts es tailored squaremile am,for exa more dressed-down look. excessequi nisti to eturGive those trusty brogues a aceaquissit fugiae. rest – it’srerisquo time to join the Itatustrum order of thetinvenisin monk. Here veles dundita are rem deltwo et superb volorro examples cum from Animincia Fine Pairsum of Shoes. reperae Sandersnum Dylan and Freddie facculpa sendiorior double from £225, sant aruntimonks derepudae afinepairofshoes.co.uk

STYLE SHOES

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DOUBLE BUBBLE The double monk is dressing down, so keep it casual with the shoe of the season and turn twice the heads squaremile.com

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KICKING OFF Ah, we see you’re carrying an extra couple of pounds there (and we don’t mean in your wallet). Yes – you probably do need to take up jogging again. But don’t make it any harder than it needs to be – get a pair of these Cloudster running shoes from Swiss sportswear brand On. The CloudTec technology promises a soft landing and a firm push-off, thanks to the hollow pockets on the trainers’ soles. The pods stretch back on impact to cushion the landing, and then lock to form the solid foundation required for a powerful push-off. Athletes who have worn Ons have reported record times, fewer injuries and shorter recovery times. Independent studies by Switzerland’s reputed Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich have confirmed that CloudTec substantially reduces athletes’ heart rates and blood lactate levels. We call this a new personal best for sports science. ■

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The On Cloudster shoes cost £110.


‘CIRCUIT’ TUBE MAP

LONDON BUS

1933

METROPOLITAN RAILWAY 1863

1959

BLACK CAB 1947

VICTORIA LINE

CONGESTION CHARGE

1969

2003

WE HAVEN’T JUST MADE HISTORY. WE’VE MADE THE CONGESTION CHARGE AND ROAD TAX A THING OF THE PAST. With the new Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, we haven’t just made a car – we’ve made driving to London an option again. The fusion of electric and petrol technology can deliver a staggering 148 mpg1 and creates a fraction of the CO2 emissions of a conventional small car - just 44g/km. As a result you’ll pay no road tax or Congestion Charge. Business users will only pay 5% Benefit in Kind rather than the 25%+ that most business users pay2. If your commute is less than 30 miles your petrol consumption will be minimal too. That’s because, in full electric mode, the Outlander PHEV has a range of up to 32 miles. Its combined petrol and electric range is an incredible 510 miles3. Plus its battery can be charged in a few hours via a domestic plug socket4 or a home Charge Point5. We’ve made history – you just need to make time for a test drive. We call this Intelligent Motion.

THE WORLD’S FIRST 4WD PLUG-IN HYBRID SUV FROM £28,249 Including £5,000 Government Plug-in Car Grant6

Make time for a test drive | Search: Outlander PHEV | Visit: mitsubishi-cars.co.uk to find your nearest dealer 1. Official EU MPG test figure shown as a guide for comparative purposes and may not reflect real driving results. 2. 5% BIK compared to average rate of 25%. 3. 32 mile EV range achieved with full battery charge. 510 miles achieved with combined full battery and petrol tank. Actual range may vary depending on driving style and road conditions. 4. Domestic plug charge: 5 hours, 16 Amp home charge point: 3.5 hours, 80% rapid charge: 30mins. 5. Government subsidised charge points are available from a number of suppliers either free of charge or for a small fee - ask your dealer for more information. Offer ends 31st March 2015. 6. Prices start from £28,249 for Outlander PHEV GX3h. Metallic/pearlescent paint extra. Model shown is an Outlander PHEV GX4h at £33,399 including metallic paint. Prices shown include the Government Plug-in Car Grant and VAT (at 20%), exclude VED and First Registration Fee. Prices correct at time of going to print. For more information about the Government Plug-in Car Grant please visit www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants.

Outlander PHEV range fuel consumption in mpg (ltrs/100km): Full Battery Charge: no fuel used, Depleted Battery Charge: 48mpg (5.9), Weighted Average: 148mpg (1.9), CO2 Emissions: 44 g/km.


The power of simplicity.

By going back to essentials and using clear forms, the max bill by junghans range has become a design icon of our time. It is now over 50 years since the Bauhaus artist Max Bill developed exceptionally high aesthetic standards for Junghans watches. These now enjoy cult status and are more fascinating than ever.

www.junghans.co.uk 路 info@thebluecompanylondon.co.uk


EXPOSURE

STYLE RICHARD JAMES

SHARP NOTES

Tailoring legend RICHARD JAMES on how a good suit works like a good car, and why he’d like to travel at the speed of light ON MY WRIST I tend to look at my iPhone to see what the time is nowadays, but when a watch is called for – and I think one is obliged to wear one with an evening suit, for example – I wear my IWC Portuguese.

IN MY HAND I have a small black Pelikan 150 fountain pen that I like to use for signing letters and addressing invitations. Sometimes the situation really calls for a fountain pen.

ON MY RADAR I like the designer Alex Mullins, and his prints and graphics in particular.

IN MY SIGHTS I love the BMW i8. It’s stunningly designed and, so I’m told, it performs beautifully. Like a good suit, the best design has to work on a practical level, too.

IN MY WARDROBE I’m currently wearing one of our own slim (and quite flattering!) AW14 blue boucle overcoats, which is stunningly warm and so soft to touch. Clothes should always be a pleasure to wear, and this coat really is. Generally speaking, I couldn’t do without my unlined suede Walton loafers in the summer and my Dainite-sole brogues in the winter.

pink of the candy floss, in particular – have been a big influence on my work.

IN MY PAST I wish I knew where I’ve put the catalogues for Sotheby’s 2012 Gunter Sachs Collection sale. I collect sales catalogues and these were full

ON MY TRAVELS

PHOTOGRAPH by John Spinks

I always take my Hermès globetrotter agenda, which I’ve had for an age, to sketch in. And a pair of swim shorts if it’s hot. I’ve got my eye on a pair of our SS15 abstract dune shorts for this summer, too.

IN MY DREAMS Barry Island, so I could save the funfair. I adored it as a child and the vivid colours – the

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of the most incredible things. Sachs had an exceptionally good eye. And it also helped that he had deep pockets, of course…

ON MY AGENDA I’m strangely fascinated by the Hampton Court Maze, but still haven’t visited it. I think that’s more to do with a fear of being trapped than not having had a chance to go there.

ON MY BUCKET LIST

I love the BMW i8: it’s really stunning. Like a good suit, the best design has to work on a practical level, too

To fly at the speed of light. We’ve just introduced bespoke Savile Row tailoring to Hong Kong – suits that take three months to make to the place where you can get one made in the same amount of hours! – and I’d like to be able to get there and home quicker. ■ For more information: richardjames.co.uk

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ENGAGEMENT COLLECTION

Sweet Pea is a luxury designer jewellery boutique on Gloucester Avenue in Primrose Hill. Designer Siobhan O’Neill and her friendly team create a warm welcome to their beautiful shop that sells delicate 18ct gold jewellery set with diamonds, precious stones and pearls. They offer a wide range of engagement and wedding rings and have a bespoke service for those who want that extra personal touch. Their attention to detail and craftsmanship is first class with everything handmade in London. They also stock other fellow designers such as Alex Monroe, Polly Wales, Jo Hayes Ward, Phoebe Coleman and Brooke Gregson. An exciting treasure trove to explore.

SWEET PEA FINE JEWELLERY | 77 Gloucester Avenue, Primrose Hill, London NW1 8LD | +44 (0) 20 7449 9292 | sweetpeajewellery.com


EXPOSURE

STYLE PYJAMAS

SILK CUT Thanks to Derek Rose, silk pyjamas just got a lot sexier. If you don’t believe us, just ask their celebrity fans from Liv Tyler to Benedict Cumberbatch

BEDTIME STORY The idea of Jonathan Ross in his PJs is probably not especially high on your list of fantasies. It is? Weirdo. Liv Tyler and Benedict Cumberbatch score a little higher on ours. As it happens, all three are fans of Derek Rose. The specialist in silk nightwear has been getting celebs ready for beddy-byes for three generations now.

BUTTON UP

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There’s something wonderfully British about a classic pair of pyjamas – none more than those made by Savile Row’s Derek Rose. Each set is crafted in-house using fine materials such as silk, cashmere, and, in the case of the set shown here, genuine mother-of-pearl buttons. Established in 1926, the brand has become synonymous with craftsmanship and comfort.

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STOCKIST INFO: The fully piped pyjama is made from 100% silk. The buttonthrough pyjama jacket with mother -of-pearl buttons. Comes with drawstring waist trousers. £350; derek-rose.com

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HARRY WINSTON Back in 1926, in a move that would essentially launched his career, Harry Winston purchased the estate of railway baroness Arabella ‘Belle’ Huntington. It included an incredible array of exceptional diamonds. The new Belle range pays tribute to the resulting collection. The style is available in four centre stone sizes ranging from 0.5-2.0 carats. The starting price is £10,400. Given that Harry paid $1.2m for the Belle estate back in the 1920s, it’s a small price to pay for happiness.

JEWELLERY ENGAGEMENT RINGS

PUT A RING ON IT

harrywinston.com

Choosing an engagement ring can be a minefield. We’ve picked out five of the best – whether you’re on the budget of a secretary or a sheikh

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GRAFF DIAMONDS

SAVVY & SAND

BOODLES

BONE OF LONDON

Oval cuts may be all the rage, but also offer a timeless elegance. Mounted on a pink pavé band, this 2.31ct centre stone from Graff is internally flawless. £POA; graff.com

This vintage-inspired ring from Savvy & Sand’s Heirloom 1932 collection has hand-carved detailing and a stunning oval-cut centre diamond. Setting from £2,500;

We love this vintage number from Boodles, inspired by the 1920s. The brilliant-cut centre stone is surrounded by lots of its tiny cousins. Prices from £3,250;

This is a bold choice, but perfect if your partner has the personality to match. A 1.5ct marquise diamond is offset by cognac diamonds and yellow sapphires. £14,500;

savvyandsand.com

boodles.com

boneoflondon.com

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www.carrwatches.com

PREVIOUSLY ENJOYED WATCHES AT VERY SEXY PRICES! 53 Liverpool Street • London EC2M 7QN • Telephone +44(0)20 7220 7755


“My favourite socks on subscription. Simply genius.” David Gandy

Visit www.londonsockcompany.com


FEATURES

COLIN FIRTH STEVE MCQUEEN BROOKS BROTHERS DAVID GANDY EVENING WEAR

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DRAMA McQUEEN . 072 PHOTOGRAPH from Unseen McQueen: Barry Feinstein (£19.95; reelartpress.com)


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Man of Mystery NO MORE BUMBLING, STUMBLING ROMANTIC GESTURES: COLIN FIRTH IS SLICK, SUAVE AND FULL OF SURPRISES WORDS: ANTHONY PEARCE PHOTOGRAPHS: JAAP BUITENDIJK

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HE COLIN FIRTH of 2015 is almost

PHOTOGRAPHS by Jaap Buitendijk

unrecognisable from the Colin Firth of a decade ago. Back then, fresh from Love Actually and the sequel to Bridget Jones’s Diary, he was the king of mawkish romcoms, a Mumsnet heartthrob, and the wearer (on screen, at least) of many terrible jumpers. He’s now a style icon – one of Britain’s best-dressed men – and an Oscar winner. A lot has changed, but Firth can pinpoint the exact moment that his reinvention commenced. “The role that did the most to change the perception of me was that of George Falconer in A Single Man,” he says, speaking in New York, in the middle of the promotional tour for his new spy drama Kingsman: The Secret Service. He’s strikingly English, utterly charming and dressed immaculately. “A Single Man was a role that had me playing an older, sadder kind of figure and

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suddenly you’re seen in a different way,” he muses. “You’ve added some wrinkles and people see you in a whole new light.” The casting was an inspired move by Tom Ford, the fashion designer-turned-director who shot the sepia-toned adaptation of the novel by Christopher Isherwood, and provided the elegant wardrobe. Firth put in a magnetic performance as the quietly grieving Falconer, who struggles to go on after his gay lover’s death in a time of homophobic prejudice. The film was a catalyst. It reinvented Firth as both a serious actor – he picked up an Academy Award nomination – and a serious dresser. There was some expert coat-wearing in Love Actually and a few fine performances before A Single Man – not forgetting a musical turn in Mamma Mia. So had he always had it in him? Had we just not noticed what an elegantly dressed, towering talent he was? ➤

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FEATURES

GET THE LOOK For the Kingsman wardrobe, MrPorter.com has your back

△ DEAKIN & FRANCIS CUFFLINKS, £325 These cufflinks are crafted from rose goldplated brass by the seventh generation British family firm Deakin & Francis. All items available from mrporter.com

△ MR PORTER KINGSMAN SUIT, £1,495 A wool and cashmere-blend doublebreasted suit, the jacket is canvassed and the armholes have been cut high to create a sharp silhouette.

△ BREMONT CHRONOGRAPH, £14,250 Bremont’s Alt1-Wt/Wh World Timer Automatic Chronograph was originally created for C17 pilots. The 24 time zones are great for business travellers, too.

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➤ The King’s Speech and his Best Actor Oscar followed, as did highly praised roles in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Railway Man. He’s here today to promote his latest, Kingsman: The Secret Service, a daft but enjoyable spy comedy that manages to combine the old Firth with the new one. In this movie, he’s suave, stylish and utterly irresistible; the film is based on Savile Row’s legendary Huntsman tailors, but it’s hardly his most serious role. It is, instead, a reprise of his earlier comedic prowess – a reminder that he wears it well. The sharp suits and dry wit will be familiar. But what Kingsman is, however, is Firth’s first foray into action movies – at the tender age of 54. Hardly known for physically taxing roles (that wrestling match with Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones’s Diary aside), the film’s director, Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class), insisted that Firth undergo a strict training regimen. “Matthew [Vaughn] wanted to turn me into a killing machine,” laughs Firth. “He spoke to me a year before we started shooting to make sure I was up for the challenge because he told me, ‘You’re the last person anyone would expect to see in that kind of action film, beating up the villains.’ So the next thing I know the Jackie Chan training team shows up at my house and we start the process of getting me into shape. I actually surprised myself and started wondering why I hadn’t tried to do these kinds of films earlier in my career. “It was very hard work, three hours a day for six months, but I thoroughly enjoyed it,” he says. “I was training with martial arts experts who were each masters in a particular form – kung fu, Thai boxing – as well as a top stunt man and an Olympic gold medal gymnast. “It was fascinating to be able to train intensively and find myself becoming more physically fit and capable than I ever dreamed of. I would still love to keep working out on some level because you do feel a sense of personal satisfaction from getting rid of your belly fat. It’s just a matter of discipline and it would be wonderful to have the Jackie Chan team at my disposal several days a week!”

I trained with martial arts experts, each masters in a particular form – from kung fu to Thai boxing

MAKING THE CUT: Kingsman is based on the iconic Huntsman tailor, and anyone walking down Savile Row during filming would have spotted ‘Kingsman’ in place of the usual signage. Huntsman is no stranger to the film industry: Firth wore its suits in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, too.

Forget the viewing public: did he personally ever imagine he’d find himself in such a role? We would never have predicted that, 20 years after he strolled out of a pond in Pride and Prejudice, everyone’s favourite bumbling Mr Darcy would be doing his own stunts. “No! I’ve never seen myself as that kind of an actor, and at this point in my career it was probably the furthest thing away from my thinking,” Firth laughs. “But Matthew enjoys subverting people’s expectations in the same way as he’s trying to subvert the spy genre here. Kingsman is what you get when James Bond meets Eliza Doolittle and it’s all about drawing people into this interesting fantasy world of spies and bad guys,” he says. It may be a departure in some ways, but it’s the continuation of Firth as a distinctly British sex symbol. Women have swooned over him since that wet-shirted moment in the Jane Austen TV adaptation. But now he dresses in a way that is timeless and sophisticated, but youthful. Many men struggle with that in their thirties – he’s doing it in his sixth decade.

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△ GEORGE CLEVERLEY OXFORDS, £595 Crafted by George Cleverley, cobbler of choice for Sir Winston Churchill, these black leather Oxford shoes embody quintessential British style.

△ DRAKE’S WOVEN-SILK TIE, £120 This handmade tie from Drake’s is a fine show of heritage and ageless flair. The stripe extends from the left shoulder, in a traditional English manner.

Not that that is what he sees in himself on screen. “I try to avoid watching myself,” he says. “When you look at me, you see a very different person from how I imagine myself. It’s terrifying for me to watch myself in my films now because that image doesn’t correspond to the one I have in my head. “In my mind, I still feel like I’m in my midthirties, but when I look at myself in the mirror or see myself in my movies it vaguely reminds me of my grandmother. It’s very depressing.” We argue that he doesn’t look bad for 54. But while no one can halt the ticking hands of time, Firth is at least in control of his own destiny: for the past eight or so years, he’s been steadily establishing a legacy. He’s one of those few actors – such as George Clooney, for example – who are able to carefully pick and choose their roles. If he doesn’t fancy it, he’s hardly desperate for the money. “I’ve been lucky in that as I’ve gotten older I’ve been able to [do] the best work of my career,” he says, bringing up A Single Man again, which provided Firth with a gateway

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to a new career. “It was also a role that was tremendously moving – you were drawn to George’s grief and his sensitivity to so many things in his life. There are very few stories like that which are going to come your way.” Despite his recent success, he reveals that he doesn’t have a strategy for how he goes about picking his roles. “I often choose my films on the basis of how I’m feeling and what my mood is at the time,” he says, without arrogance. “You have to leave yourself open to the opportunities that arise and all the unexpected projects, such as Kingsman, that come out of nowhere. “Many times I’ve taken roles because I wanted to work with a particular director, like Woody Allen [in last year’s Magic in the Moonlight] or because I wanted to help a film get made because the story needed or deserved to be told, even if I didn’t feel that the role was ideal for me. The criteria keep changing.” He gives off an air of insouciant cool – mixing English charm with languid, European ➤

△ SWAINE ADENEY BRIGG BROLLY, £295 Polished chestnut handle, solid wooden shaft, wide black canopy and a goldplated cover: but sadly, unlike the one in the movie, this is not bullet-proof.

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FEATURES

△ HERRINGBONE OVERCOAT, £1,495 With wool sourced from the iconic British mill Holland & Sherry, a purveyor of fine cloths for nearly 200 years, this overcoat is about as British as they come.

△ CUTLER AND GROSS GLASSES, £295 Cutler and Gross Tortoiseshell Acetate Square-Frame Optical Glasses are so cool you should consider a pair even if you have 20/20 vision.

△ GEORGE CLEVERLEY SLIPPERS, £395 These leather-trimmed cashmere slippers exude a debonair elan – perfect with a velvet tuxedo jacket, slick black tailoring, or, er, your birthday suit. Right, gents?

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➤ calm. He picks the roles he wants, he spends half his time in the Italian countryside, loves his wife to bits and really enjoys his job. “Although I take work seriously, I try to approach the profession in a light-hearted way,” he grins. “As actors we get to put on costumes, pretend to be different people, and exercise our imaginations. I’ve always tried to enjoy my work without letting it invade my life. “With Magic in the Moonlight, the prospect of shooting in the most beautiful setting imaginable, in the south of France, was certainly appealing. “Making a film like that is a bit of a romp. You get to work in the most beautiful setting, you work relatively short hours with Woody Allen, who likes to finish work before dinner, and you almost feel like you’re on a paid vacation!” he says. Firth leads an undeniably enviable life. His career has gone from strength to strength over the past decade and his home life is one of bliss, too. He is married to the Italian documentary filmmaker Livia Giuggioli, 44, whom he met on a film set in Colombia while shooting the drama Nostromo in 1995. They divide their time between homes in London and Umbria, Italy, together with their two boys, Luca, 13, and Matteo, 11, and were based full-time in Italy for two years before they decided to school the kids in London. “Meeting my wife Livia has really made me a much happier man,” he says. “I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without her. We’ve been able to enjoy a wonderful life together with our children and spending time in Italy has been incredibly stimulating and fascinating for me – it’s a country and culture that you embrace immediately.” He seems the sort of guy who plays it cool, steers clear of arguments, and when we ask who wears the trousers in the Firth household, he’s in no doubt. “My wife is firmly in charge. She is always one step ahead of me, ruthlessly efficient, energetic and tireless. She knows my weaknesses and my tendency to be rather too lackadaisical at times. That’s another reason I love her so much,” he says, rather sweetly.

He is, on and off screen – the Savile Row suits, the spy dramas, the dry charm – quite possibly the most English man alive. But he’s always been a traveller, taking in different cultures. Firth spent his infancy in Nigeria where his parents were working together with his sister, but moved with them back to England – to Winchester – at the age of four. He also lived briefly in St. Louis, Missouri, when he was 11. He loves London, where he is now based, but is as besotted with his wife’s home country

THE SAME CLOTH: Many of the sharp British-made double-breasted suits, pressed silk pocket squares and hand-finished leather shoes worn in Kingsman have made it to MrPorter.com. The 60-piece collection wasn’t just inspired by the garb from the film, it includes the same pieces.

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as he is with her. He talks at length about it, in that soft and eloquent manner of his. “In Italy, there’s a warmth and charm that overwhelms you. It takes me out of my more subdued English personality. Italians love their food, their wine, their way of looking at the world – and it’s very infectious. “It’s beautiful and immensely seductive. Still, Italy confuses me more and more. I’m sure every country, once you get acquainted with it, you will see nothing but paradox – it’s certainly true of Italy, and it’s true of England too; it’s a fascinating series of conflicts. “I fell in love with Italy very quickly – it’s very easy to fall in love with Italy, that’s its problem. It would be easier to arrive into a culture that doesn’t have any immediate charm, so you can slowly learn to love it – like an arranged marriage. But Italy unfortunately bombards you with the charm, and then it’s got you. So by the time you’re dealing with all its problems, it’s like a lover you can’t refuse…” And the language? He says he is “yet to master it” but admits to knowing the important

I can swear effectively in Italian, but I’m not sure an Italian would find me very menacing bits. “I can swear quite effectively in Italian. It’s a very colourful language in that respect. Lots of hand gestures for added emphasis, although I’m not sure an Italian would find me very menacing!” he says with a smile. Next up for Firth is Genius, in which he plays Max Perkins, the one-time editor at Scribner who oversaw works by Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald. Expect quiet wit, perfectly fitted three pieces and for Firth, off screen at least, to be having an impossibly good time. ■

△ SWAINE ADENEY BRIGG ATTACHÉ, £1,975 Handmade by a single craftsperson in the brand’s Cambridge workshop, this briefcase had been richly plant-dyed a classic shade of tan.

Kingsman: The Secret Service is in cinemas now.

△ PRINCE OF WALES CHECK SUIT, £1,495 Cut for a sharp, neat fit, this doublebreasted suit comes in a Prince of Wales check. The wool is from revered UK manufacturer Savile Clifford.

△ CONWAY STEWART PEN, £695 Conway Stewart is another esteemed British firm favoured by Sir Winston Churchill. This pen comes in an eternally refined black and gold palette.

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FEATURES

Easy Rider STYLISH, ROGUISH AND EFFORTLESSLY COOL, STEVE McQUEEN IS STILL THE GUY MEN WANT TO BE. NOW A NEW BOOK SHOWS THAT HE WAS JUST AS SUAVE OFF SCREEN AS ON IT, SAYS ABY DUNSBY

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REGAL REBEL: McQueen and Feinstein were united by a love for fast cars and motorbikes. The star had a vast motorcycle collection – seven of his bikes have gone on to feature in the top 100 bikes ever to be sold at auction. He is pictured here on a Triumph TR6 Trophy, the model which was also featured in The Great Escape.

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ING OF COOL Steve McQueen’s influence

on modern men’s style should never be underestimated. From the Persol shades, to the Harrington jackets, McQueen was the man to wear it first. But it wasn’t just the clothes that made him so inimitably stylish. It was the attitude: that air of mannish nonchalance which meant he could pull off a cardigan like nobody else. Not even your nan. There are so many iconic shots of the actor out there, you may think you’ve seen them all. But a new book provides insight into the world of the all-American rebel. Unseen McQueen features pictures of the actor at work and play that have never before been published. The images were shot by his close friend, photographer Barry Feinstein. Feinstein started his career as a production assistant for Colombia, but took photographs whenever he could. Thanks to a raw natural talent, his work was noticed and he was soon snapping the biggest names of the 1960s, including Marlon Brando, Clarke Gable and Bob Dylan. But it was his friendship with McQueen that helped him produce his finest work. McQueen’s relaxed air in Feinstein’s candid photographs is what captivates, and the results are testament to the genuine bond that existed between the pair. ■

The new book Unseen McQueen: Barry Feinstein is out now (£19.95; reelartpress.com). To see more images from the book, go to squaremile.com

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STYLE KING: [Left] On the set of Bullitt, McQueen wore an iconic mix of Ivy and English styles. His Ivy-inspired herringbone jacket incorporated a nod to UK design with its elbow pockets and centre vent. [Right] A talented race-car driver in real life, McQueen is seen here on the set of Le Mans. He once said: “I’m not sure whether I’m an actor who races or a racer who acts.”

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STAR STATUS: [Left] McQueen teaches us a lesson in casual chic in Bullitt, teaming a tweed jacket with a navy roll neck and suede chukka boots. [Right] The actor was a notorious ladies’ man, who often bedded his co-stars and was married three times, most famously to Hollywood actress Ali McGraw.

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Brothers in Arms WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ADD ITALIAN LUXURY TO AN ALLAMERICAN HERITAGE BRAND? JOSH SIMS TALKS MODERN DRESSING WITH BROOKS BROTHERS CEO LUCA GASTALDI

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UCA GASTALDI TOUCHES the soft collar of his button-down shirt like a lucky charm. “It’s true,” he says, “that to most Americans this kind of shirt is a sports shirt. They wouldn’t get the idea of wearing it with a suit as I am, they’d expect a spread collar. Being Italian, I suppose I have a more European style.” Indeed, as much in management, perhaps, as in wardrobe. Gastaldi is the 47-year-old Italian CEO of the Italian-owned Brooks Brothers. At almost 200 years old, it’s as quintessentially American a clothier as one could find. Brooks Brothers invented the button-down collared shirt – this pioneered the stripy, so-called ‘rep’ tie, that in turn shaped preppy style. By then introducing the boxy, wearable sack suit, the company effectively defined the template for business dress for much of the last century. Abraham Lincoln wore Brooks Brothers – he was even assassinated wearing it – as did Kennedy, the Vanderbilts, and Hollywood greats from Clark Gable to Fred Astaire.

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“But if you want a real contradiction, it’s not that an Italian is running such an American company,” adds Gastaldi, who admits he discovered the company through close study of the dandy attire of another Italian, Fiat supremo Gianni Agnelli. “It’s that it was only seven years ago that Brooks Brothers even had a store outside of the US. Brooks Brothers has deep American roots – that American nature is a pillar. But now we have to build on that. We all travel more now and trends move faster. The trick is not to lose the American wardrobe and the styles we pioneered, while staying tuned to changing modes of dress.” Gastaldi, who came to Brooks Brothers after 20 years in senior positions with Italian luxury goods company Loro Piana, concedes that this is a tricky path to walk. On the one hand, there were Brooks Brothers’ more progressive moves over recent years: the launch of Black Fleece, a more directional premium capsule collection designed by Thom Browne; Red Fleece, a more trend and ➤

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➤ cost-conscious collection; and now the appointment of designer Zac Posen to oversee womenswear as creative director, the first time the company has brought in an external designer, established in his own right, to oversee a whole segment of its business, from clothing to packaging and marketing. It is a statement of the company’s intent to fulfil its “huge potential” in womenswear. Then there is the sizeable international store expansion programme, which will see over 50 new Brooks Brothers shops (some wholly owned, some in partnership) open over the coming year. This includes 12 in the Middle East, the same across Scandinavia, ten in Eastern Europe and Russia, and up to 15 across India and Australia. And yet, on the other hand, there is Brooks Brothers’ deeply embedded culture of clothing a conservative American customer that remains the company’s bedrock. This is the company, after all, that still provides those Ivy League uniforms to the US’ collegiate blue bloods. For every Brooks Brothers aficionado – Gastaldi speaks of devoted customers who know more about the company’s history than those working for it do – there is a fashionisto more inclined to dismiss it as staid and too American. “To excite attention by anything at all remarkable in the way of colour or texture is considered both vulgar and ridiculous,” as the company stated in an ad back in the 1920s. “Modernising while respecting heritage is easier to say than to do,” says Gastaldi, hinting at how Brooks Brothers’ previous owner Marks & Spencer didn’t do so well, much like its many owners over a recent chequered history. Owned since 1946 by Garfinckel’s department store, Brooks Brothers was sold to Allied Stores Corporation in 1981, then to property developer Robert Campeau, who finally sold it to Marks & Spencer in 1988, which sold it on in 2001. “And sometimes there’s resistance within the company itself,” Gastaldi adds. “Some people are scared by change – we’re all human. But we’re ready to exchange ideas, even if that means the process takes longer

AMERICAN TIE: [Clockwise from main] John F Kennedy wearing Brooks Brothers while sailing with Jackie; Abraham Lincoln wore a bespoke black Brooks Brothers coat the day he was assassinated; school clothes were sold from the prestigious Madison Avenue store, which is still open today

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The many copies of menswear items just make the makers of the originals stronger

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than I’d like. I like to challenge that American part of the company that says there’s still demand for that very American cut of suit – very full, wide-shouldered – by introducing more tailored styles too, which are selling well. Even very traditional customers like the idea of bringing something fresh to their wardrobe. And we have to remember that talking about, for example, how Agnelli wore Brooks Brothers shirts, is a totally meaningless conversation for a lot of people.” That is to say that, incredibly, there are those men – it’s mostly men – whose interest in clothes goes only as far as keeping warm and within the law and not looking silly. Gastaldi is not one of those men. He can wax lyrical on the unique extent of Brooks Brothers’ contribution to the menswear canon – on how it’s “a good thing to have the originals in so many menswear items, the many copies of which just make the makers of the originals stronger” – but also on the hazards of relying on them. “There’s a danger when a [clothing] company culture is too tied to those classics, when you can’t see how dress is changing,” he says. “One advantage of our international expansion will be that we’ll have people working in different regions challenging that American culture to adopt what is new while also being consistent with Brooks Brothers. It’s good to provoke our design teams.” Intriguingly, however, given just how capital-A American Brooks Brothers is at heart, Gastaldi is not so caught up in the idea of riding the patriotic manufacturing wave that certain consumers have ridden over recent years. While the company has historically acquired specialist manufacturers with which it has had a long, close working history, and while Gastaldi remains keen on bringing more manufacturing back to the US, his motivations for doing so are, unsurprisingly, pragmatic. “Offering the best value for the price is the priority, so I wouldn’t stake so much having to be made in the US, or made in Italy, at the expense of that,” he says. “We go wherever is best – Turkey, Morocco, Asia, and yes, certainly in the US, too. Of course, some customers want their Brooks Brothers

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made in the US, and if you’re going to bring manufacturing back to the US, who better than Brooks Brothers to do it? But I think they’re a minority. They’re very keen on Brooks Brothers, more like collectors – I’m one of them. But the fact is that the majority just isn’t so bothered, even if they’re American. They buy Brooks Brothers because they trust it to provide the right quality at the right price. That’s what has made Brooks Brothers customers so loyal. “It’s never been a mushroom brand – it’s not going to explode overnight or see rapid, exponential growth,” Gastaldi adds. “But it will keep seeing strong, steady growth. Brooks Brothers has been around for a long time.” Gastaldi is doing all he can to ensure it will be around for a lot longer to come. ■

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THE MUSCLE-BOUND BILLERICAY-BORN MODEL IS REVOLUTIONISING FASHION AND TAKING OVER THE WORLD FROM THE COMFORT OF HIS PANTS. HE EXPLAINS WHY HE WASN’T ALWAYS SO SURE OF SUCCESS. BY ANTHONY PEARCE

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OU MAY FEEL like you know David Gandy better than you know yourself. Unless you’ve been avoiding ad breaks, billboards, bus stops and all printed media, you will have seen him, arms stretched, biceps bulging, supine in nothing but a pair of crisp, white and relatively tiny M&S undies. The 34-year-old from Billericay is everywhere. One of the world’s few genuine male supermodels, worth an estimated £10m, Gandy is the person who, almost most singlehandedly, put muscles back on the catwalk. But his work is not just restricted to the upper echelons of haute couture. With his Autograph underwear collection, he’s been tasked with putting the spark back into Marks & Sparks. Whether even he, and a silk knickerclad Rosie Huntington-Whitely, can transform the retailer’s fortunes is yet to be proved, but Gandy explains it as the perfect gig. “M&S has been fantastic to work with,” he says. “It once had this old-school image but everything is changing; it’s nice to be a part of that. There’s a lovely buzz about M&S right now. It’s an exciting place to be!” But with Marks’ mumsy image, did he have his reservations? “I’ve always wanted to work with M&S but the timing never seemed particularly right,” he admits. “I really wanted to work with a British brand, which is actually quite hard because there aren’t that many high-street brands that are properly British.” The brand, says Gandy, is a perfect fit in more way than one. He may be a multimillionaire and date supremely gorgeous women – he has recently rekindled his relationship with The Saturdays’ Mollie King – but Gandy is a salt-of-the-earth kinda guy. You won’t catch him in designer kecks. “I’ve been asked by many brands to design underwear, but I thought it would be great to do it with M&S. One in four men wear M&S underwear; they’re the underwear experts. “So I thought it would be great to dip my toe first into styling and designing. And now this underwear and sleepwear line is 28 pieces – so I had a very fast education.” Gandy put his crash course in underwear

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“I wasn’t always as big as I was. At 20, 21, I was quite gangly but I guess I was bigger than most. I just thought, ‘I won’t be able to lose muscle, so I’ll just go the other way.’ If it’s all going right, then you go left. Why try and follow? Following the crowd has never been my thing. It’s boring. So with the androgyny thing, I worked out and got bigger and bigger and if I hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have got Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue campaign. They didn’t want a skinny guy, they wanted a masculine, Mediterranean looking guy.” “I was doing a lot of commercial work, a lot of German catalogue stuff, which is fine and where a lot of models earn their money. But I didn’t want that, I wanted to be the Levi’s guy. I wanted to be in that kind of commercial. I wanted to do something iconic. “I wasn’t going to do that by shooting in Berlin, on some mundane shoot. I was travelling the world and making money, I was having a good time. But the money didn’t matter and it was scary to say goodbye to all those clients and start out new, so people wouldn’t see me as commercial.” Despite the risks, that’s exactly when his big break came: “I did the apparel campaign with Steve Meisel for Dolce and then went to do the show in June. And then they called up and, bearing in mind Dolce didn’t even know my name at this point, they wanted the guy who ‘they thought was called David, who was in the glasses for the Apparel shot, that’s who we want for Light Blue, that’s it’. “Cut to a week or so later and I’m on a boat with Mario Testino heading over to Capri.” The advert saw him climbing elegantly out of the blue Mediterranean onto a yacht moored off the coast of Capri, clad only in a briefest of white swimming briefs. He became an immediate star, for obvious reasons. Eight years on and Gandy has continued this highly lucrative association with Dolce, while fronting additional campaigns for Lucky Jeans, Banana Republic, Jaguar and Savile Row’s Henry Poole & Co. He also became the first male to ever be nominated for the British Fashion Council’s Model of the Year. He is now at the stage where he’s turning down Hollywood acting roles. “I was offered Fifty Shades of Grey, 300 2, Hercules, which a lot of people probably would have taken as actors but I’m in the fortunate position where I like what I’m doing. I don’t feel the need to act,” he explains. “I know if you’re in a successful film, your status changes overnight. And I’m not saying I wouldn’t, I’ve read many parts that I’d love to play, things that I’ve chosen, though, not things that’ve been sent.” But surely he was tempted by Fifty Shades? ➤

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PHOTOGRAPH by Matt Crossick/Empics Entertainment

People at college told me, ‘You’re known as Model Dave on campus.’ First I’d ever heard of it!

design to good use. “I had the final say, and it’s the first time that I’ve put my name to anything,” he explains. “I’m known for highend – Dolce, Savile Row – so I wanted my product to have a luxury feel, without the price tag. I had full control, from the quality to the stitching to the branding, which I wanted to be very subtly but classily done. And I wanted it to be understated, classic underwear, that doesn’t say Beckham or Calvin Klein. I wanted to get away from that and tap into the buyers who wouldn’t go for something so flashy. Or cost £45, which I don’t agree with paying. I want you to pay around £20, for the best underwear, in the best packaging.” He even reveals he turned down design houses to work with Marks & Spencer. “I believe in affordability,” he tell us. “People assume my wardrobe is just Dolce and the likes. I don’t spend that much on clothes, or as much as people would think. “I’ll be wearing a T-shirt and someone will assume it’s Balenciaga and it’ll be American Apparel. Or is that suit Tom Ford? No it’s M&S.” But does Mr High Street have his limits? What about Primark? “Ehhh… no, nothing from Primark, I probably work to that cut-off point. That’s very disposable, I don’t really believe in disposability,” he smiles. He may prefer his high-street brands, but it’s no surprise onlookers expect Gandy to be dressed in the very best – after all, he made his name, in earnest, from a Dolce & Gabbana advert. But it’s also not the first time he’s been oblivious to his own suave sensibilities. “I was never the successful one with the girls, there were always guys who were more successful than me, at school and at university. I thought they were better looking than me. They’re not models, but they’re great looking guys,” he says, modestly. When Gandy’s friend entered him in a This Morning model search – which began his career as a model – he was flummoxed. “When people at college heard I was doing it, they told me, ‘You’re known as Model Dave on campus.’ First I’d ever heard of it!” he laughs. He says he was, for a while, “quite gangly” – see the Internet for evidence of his presupermodel look – before he played a “tonne of sports” and filled out. It seems odd to imagine it now, but his muscle-bound look was probably considered a hindrance back then. Androgyny was all the rage when he first hit the fashion scene. And then there was Gandy, a towering hulk of a man. Most would have slimmed down, but Gandy says he was encouraged to do the opposite: what’s the point of going with the grain, he says.


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➤ “Critics and literary experts aren’t fans but I respect it for what it is. But was it right for me? No. It just didn’t feel right, in any way. And in my gut, it felt right to say no,” he says with a diplomacy that’s as well-crafted as his six-pack. “Sometimes it’s about what you say no to, as opposed to what you say yes to that can lead to success.” It’s the reason Gandy is both everywhere and in the shadows. He’s the male Kate Moss. An iconic, ubiquitous and unbelievably attractive model: someone who can adapt to and improve any brand, someone who is spotted at all the right showbiz events, but also someone who maintains a dignified quiet. One ‘acting’ job he did take was in Jennifer Lopez’s ‘First Love’ video. Raunchy isn’t quite the word. Despite the beautifully shot and effortlessly cool outcome – he and Lopez embracing in grainy black and white – Gandy remembers something a little more awkward. “It wasn’t the greatest!” he admits. “Very difficult filming conditions. High winds, cars were being moved on set, sand pelting you. The crew were gaffer-taping their glasses to their face while we’re just rolling around in T-shirt and a dress. It was freezing cold by the end of the night. But Jennifer was great; we had a laugh doing it. You just roll around and laugh – and shiver at the same time!” Did the inimitable Gandy get even a little starstruck around the music icon? “No,” he says. “I’ve met her a few times before and she’s perfectly nice. She’s a person, just like everyone else.” Gandy seems rarely fazed – or at least, he’s good at hiding it if he does: “I don’t like being centre of attention,” he says. “I hide how nervous I am. When I turn up to a red carpet, I still get butterflies. At the GQ Awards, I got nervous; lots of butterflies. Nine times out of ten, I want to say to the driver, ‘Just keep going, I want to go home.’ Some people thrive on it, but not me.” Occasionally it is members of the public who suffer from the worst nerves, though. “Sometimes someone will ask for a picture and be physically shaking. I’ll feel them shaking, so I’ll say, ‘c’mon, let’s have a laugh.

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Here have a look at that, what do you think. Oh, I look shit in that; we have to do another one’. People relax after a while. I think it was Cary Grant who said, ‘I wish I was that Cary Grant. The Hollywood Cary Grant, because that’s the image you give out to other people.’ But it’s not necessarily you,” he says. Gandy admits to having insecurities still, which seems rather implausible. “Everyone does; I’d be very suspicious of someone who says, ‘I’m perfect.’ So yeah, I’m always trying to improve on my body. You’re not going to be in as good shape as you were eight years ago, it’s harder these days. “When we shot for the Marks campaign, I was training for a good six weeks, and was very proud of the result but you know, it’s hard. But don’t get me wrong, I enjoy doing it; it’s all a part of a process.” Disregarding the classic model stereotype, Gandy has learnt to have a healthy attitude towards the man he sees in the mirror, looking for positives rather than negatives. “I’m not doing too badly. I don’t smoke, I drink a little, I eat alright,” he says. “I could probably get a bit more sleep, I see quite large bags under my eyes sometimes. But that’s work; that’s travelling. People say sometimes, ‘You look a lot older than you do in pictures,’ and I’m like, ‘OK’. I’ve always wanted to look older, I’ve always felt older so it doesn’t bother me. People are so concerned with hanging on to their twenties; that’s never really been me.” What’s notable about Gandy is that despite

him laying himself bare on billboards up and down the country, he’s remarkably private otherwise. He bats away any questions about his love life. “Look, I’m a private person, naturally. I don’t tweet pictures of my dinner or let people know of my whereabouts. I’m just naturally private,” he says. But is he happy? “I’m always, always adapting,” he says. “I’m never fully satisfied. You know what, sometimes, I wish I would just enjoy that moment, and think, that’s great. But I’m always thinking, ‘Could I do another collaboration, could I work with another charity,’ moving on and on and on. That’s what I thrive on personally. I’m in a business where I can do so many different things. I’m lucky.” Recently, Gandy was voted the second best male model of all time by Vogue – behind American Tyson Beckford. “I was gutted about that one,” he jests. “But c’mon, there’s no shame coming in second to Tyson. He really is one of the nicest guys in the industry.” So what’s next for David Gandy? As keen to work behind the camera as he is in front of it, he has recently moved into retail ownership. He was such a fan of his David Preston boots that last month he bought the company. The company had its soft launch at January’s London Collections: Men. We have no doubt this next project will be a great success, too – boots’n’all. ■ Marks & Spencer’s David Gandy for Autograph collection is available now.

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PHOTOGRAPH by Kirstin Sinclair/Getty Images

Sometimes it’s what you say no to, as opposed to what you say yes to, that can lead to success

KEEP IT WHEEL: Gandy is big fan of four wheels, especially like this classic Mercedes Gullwing in which he arrived to last year’s London Collections: Men. He even has a column writing about cars for GQ.


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HIM Suit: Hugo Boss / Shirt: Dolce & Gabbana / Tie: The Savile Row Company / Belt: Calvin Klein

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HIM Suit & shirt: Dolce & Gabbana / Bow tie: Duchamp London / Pocket Square: The Savile Row Company HER Shirt: Stella McCartney / Jacket: Maison Martin Margiela / Shirt: Kenzo / Belt: Stefanel / Bag: DSUK / Tights: Calvin Klein

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HIM Suit: Dolce & Gabbana / Shirt: DKNY / Bow tie: Duchamp London HER: Dress: Versace / Bracelet: Castro

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Anything called the ‘Neolith’ isn’t exactly going to be understated, is it? And the brand new loudspeaker from MartinLogan is anything but. At more than sixfeet tall and weighing in at 27 stone a unit, these aren’t exactly shrinking violets. However, all this size allows for one thing that is subtle: sonic accuracy. Few speakers can make your favourite TUUUUNE! sound so flipping good.

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It is big, and it is clever. MartinLogan’s mammoth Neolith speakers may be the size of a Dalek, but they sound much better than one

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For those who don’t know their tech from their, er, nology, here’s a little lesson: electrostatic transducers create sound by exerting force on a thin membrane suspended in an electrostatic field. The Neolith is super accurate thanks to a diaphragm that’s far smaller than a standard dynamic driver’s. Clever stuff – and a price to match: £75k a pair. absolutesounds.com

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MARK HEDLEY finds a piece of park life in Suffolk, and just the car for the job – the top-flight Range Rover Autobiography

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ET’S GET THIS out of the way. Yes – I edit a magazine that’s named after the City. And yes – I do love the Square Mile. But I am a country boy at heart (sorry), and one day in the distant future I will return there for good. Sadly, unless I start, say, an estate agency; build it up to be one of the largest in the country; and then sell it for £375m; I won’t be able to afford a place like this. Sibton Park is the grand manor at the core of Wilderness Reserve, a 4,500-acre Suffolk estate owned by Jon Hunt, founder of Foxtons. Fortunately, he’s decided to share it with the rest of us. Unless you’ve been living in a cave – or spend far too many hours in the office – you’ll find it impossible not to draw parallels with Downton Abbey. For most of us, knocking back a glass of port while watching Lord Grantham doff his cap in the Christmas special is about as close as we’ll ever get to having blue blood. But for a weekend (or longer, should you choose), Sibton Park can at least give you a taster of the gentrified life. On arrival, my female guests had started squabbling over who gets to play Lady Mary before the first gong had been rung. And yes, there really is a gong here. Depending on your requirements there can be a Carson, a Mrs Patmore and a few footmen for good measure. The property is available with levels of service from self-catering to spoilt-towithin-an-inch-of-your-life.

A VERY BIG HOUSE IN THE COUNTRY This regency mansion is frankly vast, so let me split it into three to help you take it all in. We’ll start on the ground floor. Here, you have the full ‘country manor’ experience. The triple-height entrance hall provides a fitting welcome; this alone is ➤

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WILD OUTDOORS: Sibton Park is a Grade-II listed Georgian manor house, in the grounds of the Wilderness Estate, the subject of extensive conservation efforts that spanned 20 years, making the reserve a haven for 100 types of birds, including at-risk species

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ESTATE WE’RE IN: (Clockwise from main) The dining room at Sibton Park; the Range Rover Autobiography from the main entrance on a misty morning; the lake outside Sibton Park; the cinema room

There’s table-tennis, pool, and a big cinema room. A gym, too. But who are you kidding?

PHOTOGRAPHS by (car and house) Mark Hedley; (cinema room) Cameron Maynard / Aperto

➤ larger than a two-bed London flat. The formal reception rooms include a beautiful drawing room. At the centre there is a roaring fire and a huge table constructed around an antique map of the estate; it dates from 1827 – the year the house was built. There are various other reception rooms to while away your time here. The cosiest is the morning room – true to its name, it floods with early light and overlooks the lake. (Did I mention that there is a lake? Of course there’s a lake.) For entertaining there’s a grand dining room that seats 22; a homely breakfast room, which will match that number; and a professional kitchen adjacent, either for you to organise your own MasterChef challenge or, far safer, allow the estate’s chefs to take the lead. Given that they’re watched over by Michelin-starred Adam Simmonds, the latter is certainly the wise option. The house’s second act is found on the upper floors. Here you have double bedrooms that could have been plucked straight from a five-star London hotel. There are 12 of them, no less. Their ensuites boast power showers that you’ll never want to step out of, all warmed by the estate’s wood-chip biomass boiler, which heats all the properties using thinnings from the estate woodland. And then there’s the third act – the lower ground floor, where the fun really starts. Here, there’s table-football, table-tennis, pool, and a huge cinema complete with surround sound hidden in the walls and ceiling. There are multiple consoles to play once you’ve finished raiding the DVD library, and the staff will even serve popcorn. There’s a gym down here, too – but who are you trying to kid? All of this and you haven’t even stepped outside of the house yet. Which would be a grave mistake, because it’s the outdoors that will really blow your socks off. Neighbouring the property is a brand new walled tennis court – and a landscaped pool and hot tub designed by Kim Wilkie – more famous for her redesigning of Hyde Park Corner. Beyond this, there are 350 acres of landscaped park, pleasure grounds and woodland areas. A range of country pursuits are available – including fishing, shooting and ➤

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LAND ROVER OF PLENTY: Jaguar Land Rover has had some impressive successes over the last decade – and the new Range Rover is at the top of the tree. It certainly fits in well among those at Sibton Park.

➤ a golf course (also part of the estate). If you’re handy with a shotgun, two renowned driven-game shoots run from the estate and the park has its own simulated game skeet shoot. This is country living at its very finest.

SHUT UP AND DRIVE To live up to the landed gentry idyll we’re missing one crucial thing: a bloody great Range Rover. And they don’t come much more bloody great than the long-wheel base Autobiography. With additional options such as dual leather interior alongside an extra 20cm of legroom in the back, this is the top of the, er, range. Whether it’s HM the Queen bowling across the hills of Balmoral, or Prince George being chauffered home across Mayfair by Wills in his

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around any terrain one’s estate can throw at it. There’s the luxury life: it could give a RollsRoyce a run for its considerable money. And then there’s the flair. I’m not just talking about the insane mega-engine here. It’s the extras – such as the largest panoramic glass roof of any car. It’s the beer fridge in the centre console. It’s the external floor light which, when you open the door at night, casts the Range Rover logo, Batman-style, onto the floor outside the driver’s door. And how about the optional 28-speaker Meridian stereo hooked up to the back-seat screens? It’s like a mobile version of Sibton Park’s cinema room. Like Sibton, the Range Rover strives to be the very best – and, like Sibton, it achieves it. Returning to the City after a weekend in the country is never that easy. But after a weekend like this, I wish I didn’t have to return at all. ■ Wilderness Reserve offers a range of luxurious properties: Hex Cottage (sleeping two) costs from £200 per night; The Gate Lodges (sleeping four) costs from £200; the Barn (sleeping six) costs from £450, the Clockhouse (sleeping eight) costs from £600 per night. Sibton Park (sleeping 24) costs from £2,500 per night. Address: Wilderness Reserve, Sibton Park, Sibton, Suffolk IP17 2LZ For more information and bookings: 020 7484 5700; wildernessreserve.com

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PHOTOGRAPH by Mark Hedley

The off-road set-up will help traverse a river up to 90cm deep without having to gasp for air

first ever car journey, the Range Rover is the vehicle of choice for the aristocracy. To properly explore grounds such as Sibton’s, you actually do need the Range Rover’s new Terrain Response II system. Lesser cars would get bogged down (quite literally), whereas the Rangie’s off-road set-up will help you traverse a river up to 90cm deep without even having to gasp for air. One thing you probably don’t need, but it’s nice to have, is the 503bhp supercharged V8 engine. This five-litre unit propels the Rangie from 0-60mph in a smidge over five seconds. The impressive figure has also been made possible thanks to the car’s impressive weight-loss programme: it’s been down the gym and shed 420g since its previous incarnation. The performance is simply staggering – for any car, let alone one that is the size of a small county. From the heated steering wheel on a frosty morning to the padded headrests with adjustable bolsters, everything is designed to maximise your comfort. The suspension set-up is phenomenal. It treats speed bumps with a mere, ‘I’m sorry about that little hick-up, sir…’ Like the house, the car also has three different personalities. There’s the countrymanor spirit: able to drive over, through or


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SKI MORZINE

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS

For a luxury ski break, there are few places that combine pistes and pleasure like Morzine. We check out the three best chalets in the area

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N OUR EXPERIENCE, there are three main

kinds of ski-breakers. There are those who come purely for the snow, champing at the bit to throw themselves down the piste. There are those who like the ski, but prefer the après – rogues who can be found making their way back from the slopes at 2pm for a quick power nap before the assault on the liver starts (or continues). And there are also those who dive into a bit of both, but whose overarching ambition from the time spent away is to take a load off, and enjoy a little bit of everything that ski-resort life has to offer. Lucky, then, that Morzine, a town positioned right on the Swiss border in the Portes du Soleil region in the French Alps, has room for all three. The town, and the surrounding villages, are a short drive from the bustling Avoriaz resort – close enough that barely any slope time is wasted in transit, but far enough that it’s peaceful and serene in the daytime – and its natural beauty is striking even by Alpine standards, with chalets set high and low across an expansive river gorge. Whatever the type of holidayer you are, you’ll want a luxury chalet to rest and recover in – to sleep off the aches and pains (ski-related or otherwise) and at least try and fit in a bit of what you came out for: relaxation. The Boutique Chalet Company has three very different but equally luxurious chalets to choose from in Morzine and the surrounding area. Each comes fully exclusive and with a team of dedicated staff to make your stay as comfortable as possible, as well as to make sure you eat and drink like a king. We couldn’t choose a favourite; but see if you can. Or, alternatively, try them all…

CHALET M

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HOT TUB TIME MACHINE: There’s no better way to relax and get away from the hectic pace of the slopes than in a hot tub, and Chalet M’s boasts one of the best views in the whole of Morzine. It’ll fit four comfortably, or a whole lot more if you don’t mind sacrificing some leg room.

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Sitting high up on Morzine’s sunny side, this expansive, opulent chalet is in possibly the best location the town has to offer, with breathtaking views across the resort to nearby Pleney and Nyon – none better than from an enormous panoramic window in the lounge. It sleeps up to 14 comfortably over three floors – perfect for a large group; probably a bit roomy for a small family – with a huge, locally crafted walnut table at which the group ➤

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A PISTE OF HEAVEN: (clockwise from main) the wood-fired sauna at Twenty26; the huge living room at Chalet M with its views across the valley; the Igloo’s glasspanelled front

For a different kind of relaxation, there’s a wine vault that sits proudly at the entrance ➤ can come together at the beginning and end of a hard day on the piste to be served meals by its team of talented chefs and waiting staff. As well as a host of spa facilities, it has an outdoor terrace that boasts a bubbling hot tub, out of which you can enjoy the views across town. Or, for a different kind of relaxation, there’s a wine vault that sits proudly at the entrance. Talk about setting the tone…

that cozy, homely feeling of mountain living, but with a host of contemporary furnishings and features. It has its own bar, where its personal bartender will serve you your favourite cocktail made just the way you like it, a roaring log fire and an outdoor terrace. Each of its four master bedrooms features a different view out across the neighbouring mountain ranges, and despite its size compared to the Boutique Chalet Company’s larger offerings, it still manages to pack in a gym and sauna, as well as a cinema room. Based in the hamlet of Les Nantes, it’s quieter than a chalet in the heart of Morzine, but don’t fret: it’s a quick walk from the town’s shops, restaurants, bars and clubs, and you can even ski there from the end of the private road via the Retour des Nants piste. The iGloo is available from £9,950.

Chalet M starts from £11,950 for exclusive use.

TWENTY26 THE IGLOO Fancy something a little more compact? The iGloo is a mixture of the old and the new: a classic Alpine cabin-style chalet that locks in

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Size-wise, Twenty26 is somewhere between the two. With five double bedrooms across three floors – each with its own en-suite bathroom – it feels cosier than Chalet M, but

sleeps up to ten people very comfortably. That’s not to say it’s lacking in space, mind: sliding glass doors in the lounge open out to a balcony that wraps its way around the outside of the chalet, and the fully-equipped terrace comes with a hot tub and a traditional, outdoor, wood-fired sauna. It’s a technophile’s dream, too: as well the same, innovative networked audio system also shared by the Chalet M and the iGloo, the ‘Digital Chalet’ boasts a cinema room with an HD projector and enormous screen, a PlayStation 3 and an impossibly large shelf full of movies and games to choose from. There’s also Apple AirPlay technology, meaning you can play your own music across the chalet. Situated at Vallée de la Manche, it’s a fair walk to the centre of Morzine – then again, the personalised chauffeur service will mean you can forget walking and save the energy for the hard work on the piste. Or for the après – whichever suits you best. ■ Catered packages at Twenty26 start at £9,950. For more information, or to book any of the Boutique Chalet Company’s chalets, go to theboutiquechalet.com

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TRAVEL DUBAI & MAURITIUS

DOING THE DOUBLE

Why have just one luxury holiday when you can plump for two, asks LAURA MILLAR , as she heads over to Mauritius via Dubai

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PHOTOGRAPH by Antonie Robertson

WALK THIS WAY: (this image) the poolside walkway up to the Royal Mirage Arabian Court’s Eauzone. Food is served overlooking the Gulf on wooden decks and floating majlis (seated areas where guests are entertained); (right) the Arabian Court’s rooftop terrace

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HERE ARE TWO phrases I never thought I’d hear in my life: one of them is, ahem, ‘foot virtuoso’ (more of which later), the other is ‘pastry library’. I am confronted with the latter at Stay, the swanky signature restaurant situated in One&Only The Palm, sister hotel to the brand’s Royal Mirage resort – itself located a ten-minute speedboat ride away on what passes for Dubai’s ‘mainland’. Feeling as if I have entered an annexe of Willy Wonka’s factory, I try to locate my sweet tooth as I gaze at the vast variety of homemade truffles, caramels, slabs of flavoured chocolate, lollipops and marshmallows displayed in jars like so many jewels, to which you can simply help yourself (you don’t even need to give them back; that’s my idea of a good library). In addition, explains our effusive maître d’, the pastry chef will assemble, in front of you, any of the desserts du jour – or, if you can’t decide, he’ll prepare a selection, which arrives at your table on a sinuous metre-long steel serving dish. It’s a grown-up, sexy sweetshop, and of course I don’t leave Michelin-starred French chef Yannick Alléno’s restaurant without stuffing my face. As gimmicks go, it’s a good one – and Dubai is only one of many in an emirate that constantly tries to be bigger and better, not only than everyone else, but also itself. Witness the evidence: up the road, at the top of The Palm – the result of the notoriously ludicrously ambitious plan to literally create an island out of the sea – sits the Atlantis hotel, which houses the world’s most expensive suite (a mere $25k a night). But now it’s six years old, it’s practically geriatric in Dubai terms, and construction is about to commence on a new Atlantis just next door (which will, of course, have a lot more than the paltry 1,500 rooms at the old one). The world’s biggest shopping mall, the Dubai Mall – covering 12.1 million sq ft, and which contains its own aquarium – is here, too. But already local movers and, er, sheikh-ers are currently planning to build the 48 million sq ft Mall of the World, complete with climatecontrolled streets, the world’s largest indoor

theme park and 100 hotels and apartments. With fewer than seven hours’ flying time from London, and only a three-hour time difference, Dubai is the more-accessible Vegas (though without the gambling); a neon-lit, skyscraper-dominated playground where fantasies can, and do, come true. And while its location, perched above the Indian Ocean, usually means it functions as a brief stopover to somewhere more far flung, spending a few days here to soak up its frantic pace means your next destination – in my case Mauritius, thanks to Emirates’ new direct flight – will inevitably be a total contrast. I’m staying at the Royal Mirage, a resort comprising three distinctive hotels, whose decadent décor is courtesy of acclaimed global design firm Wilson Associates. Firstly, The Palace: opened in 1999, it was the first hotel in Dubai to buck the slick glass-and-steel trend, ➤

Dubai is one of many an emirate that tries to be bigger and better than everyone else, and itself

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ALL DECKED OUT: If staying in a hotel situated on its own private peninsula isn’t enough, the discreet beachside dining options at Le Saint Géran should offer an intimate enough setting over the water, with your own waiting staff on hand to tend to your every need.

➤ its exteriors and interiors going back to Middle Eastern roots – all domed, painted ceilings, arabesque archways and pale, sandy tones. Next door is the Residence, which, with only 50 rooms compared with the Palace’s 231, has more of an exclusive, boutique feel, and is where celebrities such as George Clooney come when they don’t want to be disturbed. Finally, there is the mid-sized Arabian Court, which has 150 recently refurbished rooms, decorated in striking tones of either pistachio green, royal purple, sapphire blue or hot pink. All feature individual pieces – bold pots, antique mirrors, vintage paintings – sourced from countries including Morocco, India, Tunisia and Iran. At night, when all three properties are atmospherically lit by

Zoom round sand dunes in a 4x4, with the speed of the drivers dictated by your screams 118

lamp and candlelight, it’s a Bedouin bonanza. The resort is set out across a kilometre of private, sandy beach, and occupies 65 acres of beautiful, landscaped gardens. Each property has its own pool and different signature restaurants, which guests can choose between. Apart from the aforementioned Stay, I loved the Residence’s delightful Dining Room, a formal but unstuffy, airy space reminiscent of a 1950s gentlemen’s club, whose classic offerings – grilled beef tenderloin with pan-fried foie gras, roasted black cod with clams – satisfy a broad range of palates; and the Arabian Court’s poolside Asian-themed Eauzone. Slickly designed, with backlit panels of modern art on the walls, the food at Eauzone is just as stunning to look at – and eat – with the menu comprising the likes of herb-crusted sea bass, oven-baked lobster and wok-seared beef. There is a stunning spa next to the Residence, which will pummel or pamper you according to your desires – the indulgent classic hammam treatment, delivered in a cavernous, low-lit, marble-tiled room, does both. And if you can tear yourself away from the resort, there are distractions galore.

Apart from endless shopping, you can get, um, wet and wild at the Wild Wadi Water Park – a raucous sprawl of go-faster rides and slides – shoot to the top of the world’s current highest building, the Burj Khalifa, for a view from its observation deck, 555m above ground, or zoom around the undulating sand dunes outside the emirate in a 4x4 on a desert safari (the speed at which the devil-may-care drivers go appears to be dictated by your screams). Life here seems to go at a hundred miles per hour – and then some. One&Only Royal Mirage, 00 971 4 399 9999

royalmirage.oneandonlyresorts.com Dubai experiences organised by

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MAURITIUS But if Dubai shouts, Mauritius – a lush, green, mountainous island slap-bang in the middle of the Indian Ocean – whispers. It’s the pastelcoloured watercolour to Dubai’s GoPro selfie. A former French colony, its residents speak a mixture of French and Creole, and live in an assortment of pretty little towns and villages scattered among endless fields of sugar cane – its most important export ➤

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HAPPILY BEACHED: (this image) a private dinner for two on teh beach at Le Saint Géran; (below) the hotel’s ocean-view pool. Le Saint Géran is strategically placed between the ocean and a lagoon, and the mile-long white sand beach offers plenty of quiet spots.

The Indian Pavilion will make you forget about every dodgy takeaway you’ve ever had ➤ after the island itself. The One&Only Le Saint Géran hotel (the island’s very first luxury property, which opened in 1975) is situated on its own private peninsula in Belle Mare, on the north-east coast. When you arrive, the vibe is instantly relaxing; shoulders loosen as the dazzle of the sun reflects off the sea, viewed from the impressive open lobby. The 162 ocean or lagoon-facing suites – each with their own 24-hour butler – are decorated to fit in with the surroundings, in pale browns, creams and terracottas, with teak slatted balcony doors. Set in 60 acres of gardens, studded with exotic flowers, it’s the 1.7km of secluded, palm-lined beach you’ll want to the spend most time around. Especially as a whole long list of watersports is included in the price of your stay. So if you’ve ever fancied stand-up paddleboarding (tricky unless you’ve got a great sense of balance), waterbiking (basically a bike on floats), kayaking, snorkelling, waterskiing or more, this is the place for you. Alternatively, you can play a pro on one of the hotel’s five tennis courts, swing a club on its nine-hole golf course (or arrange to play

on any of the bigger courses at other resorts nearby), head to the fully equipped gym – which has machines with in-built computers so you can keep up with your social media – or unwind in the spa. And it’s here I encounter the One&Only’s ‘foot virtuoso’ – a disciple of Bastien Gonzalez, an ‘internationally famous French podiatrist’. While it sounds a bit fetishy, I leave after a 60-minute treatment having had my Hobbit-like heels sanded down to baby-smoothness, my toenails shaped and polished, and my collapsing arches massaged

into shape. Apparently more and more men are taking advantage of these treatments, too; I can only tell you that your partner will love you more for it if you do. Dining here is exceptional; I have the best steak of my life at Prime, which specialises in grilled meat. A slab of wagyu beef melts in the mouth, accompanied by a rich and indulgent macaroni cheese. And if you prefer to eat by the water, try the ridiculously delicious food at the Indian Pavilion, guaranteed to make you forget about every dodgy takeaway curry you’ve ever had, or have a romantic dinner for two set up on the beach. Beyond the resort’s walls is the opportunity to take in some local culture; you can visit the capital, Port Louis, and try haggling at the market for souvenirs and spices. Or do as I did and take a tour of one of the island’s five rum distilleries. The Chamarel Rhumerie, which opened in 2008, produced a hefty 124,000 litres of rum last year. The best bit, of course, is trying the products afterwards; from the single distilled to VSOP (Very Special Old Pale) you can taste notes such as vanilla, caramel, and, well, sunshine. Ah, sunshine. Along with pastry libraries and foot virtuosi, Dubai and Mauritius surely have it all. ■ One&Only Le Saint Géran, 00 230 401 1888

lesaintgeran.oneandonlyresorts.com Carrier (0161 492 1358, carrier.co.uk) offers seven nights from £2,215 per person, based on two adults sharing a Junior Suite at One&Only Le Saint Géran for five nights, and a Deluxe Room in The Palace at One&Only Royal Mirage for two nights, including half-board, return flights from London Heathrow with Emirates and private transfers in each location.

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We’ve got everything from indulgent luxury to superb all inclusive options. All of our hotels offer a superb range or free land and water sports, excellent dining options and for families free kids clubs and family friendly room options. For golfers Paradis Hotel & Golf Club offers a golfing paradise.

Fly Air Mauritius and arrive on holiday relaxed and refreshed. Enjoy the friendly, welcoming onboard Mauritian hospitality, take advantage of the excellent in-flight facilities and for a treat upgrade to the superb Business Class and settle in to your own spacious lie-flat cocoon seat.

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TRAVEL DUBLIN

UP ALL NIGHT TO GET LUCKY Ahead of St Paddy’s Day, Ten Lifestyle Concierge’s travel expert ALEX DALZELL gets lucky (much like the Irish) in his search for Dublin’s best pubs, hotels and restaurants

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UBLIN MAY BE right on our doorstep but

it’s often overlooked as a destination for a weekend away. But with St Patrick’s Day on the horizon and spring not far behind, it should be on your 2015 hit list, and it doesn’t take much exploration to get away from the stag-do spots. Ten Lifestyle’s travel and lifestyle expert Alex Dalzell chooses the best places to sip Guinness with the locals, while uncovering the city’s culinary hotspots.

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WHERE TO EAT The rolling hills of Ireland are blessed with some of the best produce in Europe and, over the past decade, Dublin’s restaurant scene has caught on. The idea of the gastropub took a while to reach the Irish capital, and most boozers still don’t sell decent food because, frankly, it’s all about the Guinness. But head past the pumps at L Mulligan Grocer to the small upstairs dining room and you’ll find

some of the city’s most exciting cooking. For rustic Irish cuisine, such as steaming bowls of stew and rich game pie, book into the candlelit Le Bon Crubeen, close to the banks of the Liffey. For a modern spin on the classics, head to the Brasserie at the Marker Hotel in the Docklands, which opened last year and quickly made its mark on local foodies’ radars. If Michelin stars are your benchmark, there are four restaurants to choose

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TAKE ’EM TO THE BRIDGE: The Samuel Beckett Bridge (named after the Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet and playwright) over the River Liffey by night, and the lights of Dublin’s Convention Centre, part of a huge regeneration project in the historic Docklands area of Dublin

PHOTOGRAPH by Stephen Emerson / Alamy

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from. Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud has undoubtedly been the top table in town since it claimed its second star in 1996. Lunch is overrun with business meetings, though, so book for dinner here and order the tasting menu to get to grips with the kitchen’s talents. Of the other single-starred venues, Chapter One in the Dublin Writers Museum is the best, although most locals are now making reservations at the Hot Stove nearby.

WHERE TO DRINK Whether it’s Shanghai, Stuttgart or Seattle, you can guarantee there’ll be an Irish pub bedecked with shamrocks and Guinness memorabilia, serving overpriced, badly poured pints of the black stuff. While ‘brand Ireland’ gets exported across the globe, it goes without saying that the only place you’ll get the authentic experience is inside one of Ireland’s countless cosy pubs. Dublin has its fair share and it’s ➤

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STAY CLASSY, DUBLIN: [Clockwise from this image] Intimate club Lost Society is the former home of the Third Viscount of Powerscourt; Ireland’s only two Michelin-starred establishment Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud; the sleek bar at Chapter One restaurant

Rooms are warmed by open fires and Ireland’s largest collection of private art hangs on the walls of The Merrion ➤ always best to start by going straight to the source with a guided tour of the Guinness Storehouse; it concludes with a complimentary pint in the venue’s Gravity Bar, which has 360-degree views across the city. For authenticity, The Long Hall is one of the oldest bars in Dublin and the interior has changed very little since the first pint was pulled here in the 1860s. The deep crimson walls and mirrored bar are cast in a golden glow from the antique chandeliers and if you get here early you may have to write off the rest of the day. Other classic spots include Mulligan’s on Poolbeg Street and Palace, which has been a popular hangout with the city’s famous writers and thinkers over the years.

WHERE TO PARTY Admittedly, sinking pints of Guinness is more likely to send you to sleep than out on the town, so mix it up with a livener or two at the Octagon Bar in the U2-owned Clarence Hotel in South Quays. As the name suggests, it’s an eight-walled space, lit dramatically from above by a huge domed window. The cocktail list is certainly the most accomplished in town and the best seats are at the bar. From here, head downstairs to the Liquor Rooms – a dimly lit basement den that serves punchy drinks and welcomes vinyl-only DJs at the weekends.

To carry on late into the night, check what’s going on at the Button Factory. A recent refurbishment has taken away its grungy edge, but the impressive programme of DJs and its faithful crowd has kept the venue’s legendary spirit alive. For a similar vibe, try Lost Society, an intimate club spanning three floors of an 18th-century townhouse. Places with bottle service are rare, and Krystle is the only one worth checking out. It’s a haven for Ireland’s rich and famous and the strict door policy means it never gets too rammed. The music ranges from R&B to funky house with live percussionists depending on the night. The huge outdoor terrace opens when there’s a break in the weather.

WHERE TO STAY

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PHOTOGRAPH (Patrick Guilbaud) by Striking Images

The finest hotels are clustered around the National Museum and the National Concert Hall to the south of the Liffey. For unrivalled Georgian pomp, choose The Merrion Hotel. Set in a wonderfully maintained townhouse, the rooms, restaurant and public spaces are warmed by open fires and Ireland’s largest collection of private art hangs on the walls. For grandeur on a larger scale, stay at the five-star Shelbourne. The imposing red brick mansion reopened recently after 18 months of refurbishment and it’s every bit as swish as expected. For something more familiar, the Four Seasons is further south. Dublin has its historic charm, but it’s also moving with the times. Those who want to tap into this should book a room at the Marker Hotel in the emerging Docklands district. All clean lines and block colours, it’s at the forefront of Irish design and in summer the rooftop bar is the place to be. Its only rival is the minimalist Morrison hotel – even if you don’t stay here, be sure to pop in for a drink or two at the lively Quay 14 cocktail bar. ■


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POST@SIRENES.NO | PHONE: (+47) 47 88 98 41 | WWW.SIRENES.NO


ASSETS

REVIEWS ME LONDON

ME, ME, ME A quaint boarding house this is not – MIKE GIBSON visits a hotel with one foot in the future

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IKE A GREAT many things, the term ‘design hotel’ has become something of a tired buzzword; a term used to market any hotel that hangs a bit of art up in the hallways, decks the lobby out in Eames chairs and plonks a copy of Wallpaper on your bedside table. But every so often, the creativity of architects and artists culminates in something that truly merits the term. The kind of place with sweeping, arcing ceilings, innovative pop-up art exhibitions and perspectives only before seen in MC Escher sketches. You can probably guess which category London’s ME Hotel falls under. And if you can’t, signing in at reception should give you a hint: look and up you’ll see an impossible triangular planed ceiling that stretches all the way up to touch the bottom of its resident bar, Radio, which is on the tenth floor. Speaking of which, there’s an immediate, immaculate impressiveness to Radio – its perfect symmetry, its attentive bar-staff, its picture postcard view out across the capital – and that’s carried on into the bowels of the hotel. A top-down approach, you could say. Despite the view at Radio, it’s upon entering your room that you’ll really draw breath. Even for a five-star hotel, it’s impressive. You’ll walk past an ergonomically built bathroom – all whisper-quiet sliding doors and a shower that could sleep 20 – before making your way to the main event: an enormous, plush bed that looks out through a window over the Strand and onwards as far as Trafalgar Square. A slick black cupboard opposite the bed opens out to a TV, along with a bar you’d disrespect by using the prefix ‘mini’ – although if you’re after a drink, it would be foolish not to venture back up to the tenth floor and get stuck into a few too many cocktails. There are, obviously, more storied and venerable hotels in London. But if you’re after somewhere on the City fringes that’s futuristic, classy and that can really make your jaw drop, look no further. Oh ME, oh my. ■

OFF THE WALL: (clockwise from main image): The dizzying, jaw-dropping reception room gives an immediate impression; the Marconi lounge is decked out in marble; Radio is one of London’s best rooftop bars with views across the City and beyond

336-337 The Strand, WC2R 1HA. Rooms start at £384. To find out more: 080 8234 1953; melondonuk.com

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TEL +44 (0)20 7730 7043 21 GROSVENOR GARDENS|BELGRAVIA|LONDON|SW1 0JW KOUZU.CO.UK


ASSETS

FOOD & DRINK REVIEWS

PLAYING THE MARKET

COYA BY NICK SAVAGE Lima has been heralded for years as a culinary hotspot, with superstar chefs from Ferran Adria to Alain Ducasse touting its gastronomic credentials. For those who would like to have a taste of it in London in a setting that is both sophisticated and sexy, Pisco Bar at Coya, a subterranean drinking den off Piccadilly, is a strong option. It’s dark and atmospheric with vibrant murals, hammered copper pendant lighting, a wooden block counter with high stools and turquoise leather cushions, and, most importantly of all, a backlit bar with one of the largest selections of rare tequilas and piscos in Britain. The litmus test for any self-described pisco bar is, of course, the pisco sour, and there was no disappointment here, with six unique in-house infusions of natural fruits, spices and herbs available. Whether dropping in to imbibe before dinner or just for a quick drink, Pisco Bar consistently offers one of Mayfair’s buzziest settings. ■

Location, prestige and hearty cooking combine at Bird of Smithfield, a restaurant that’s fast becoming an institution, writes MIKE GIBSON

I walked out feeling genuinely full – a sensation that’s rarer with each new opening squaremile.com

In this age of sharing plates, tasting flights and ever-decreasing portion sizes, Bird’s expertise in upmarket comfort food is refreshing. Shepherd’s pie is a mainstay on the menu, for example, and even the more potentially finicky dishes are unfussy – crab laced with mayonnaise comes as a salty, fruity and very satisfying pile on the plate atop a generous smear of avocado purée, and Blytheburgh pork belly even hints at a Sunday roast, albeit served with more panache. My main event is a celebration of British beef: done three ways (grilled rump steak, braised short rib and smoked bone marrow), it’s a delightfully balanced plate which successfully avoids feeling like too much of the same. Sides live up to high expectations – tenderstem broccoli, served with walnuts and delicately flavoured with just a hint of cheese, is scrumptious but could be a little firmer, and chips (thankfully with the qualifier ‘twicecooked’ nowhere to be seen) are bang-on. I walked out feeling genuinely full – a sensation that’s becoming rarer with each new opening in these parts – and hailing a victory for traditionalism. Needless to say, you won’t be feeling like that trip to Forge afterwards. ■ 26 Smithfield Street, EC1A 9LB; 020 7559 5100;

birdofsmithfield.org

For access to the capital’s top clubs:

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NTIL RECENTLY, IF you heard the words ‘City’, ‘bird’ and ‘meat market’ in the same sentence, you were most likely eavesdropping on a conversation about postwork drinks at Forge on a Thursday night. But in mid-2013, someone came along and changed all that. Alan Bird, to be precise, who was executive chef at the Ivy and worked at the Soho House group before embarking on his own. Bird of Smithfield marks his first solo project, set up opposite steadily improving dining destination Smithfield Market – an area usually better known as the enormous home of the City’s meat vendors. Bird’s track record is enough to draw in hordes as it is, and the restaurant’s layout adds further intrigue: a former Georgian townhouse, it’s spread over five floors, including a terrace, lounge and dining room.

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39 Chepstow Place, Notting Hill, W2 4TS


ASSETS

BY JON HAWKINS London’s come a long way as a foodie city – just look at us, with our artisanal sourdough pizzas, Michelin-fêted curryhouses and 47-course tasting menus. But how much does our Damascene culinary conversion reflect actual British food – the very thing we used to be ridiculed for? In the City branch of The Fish & Chip shop (from former Ivy chef Des McDonald), the answer’s ‘quite a lot’. This, in case the name and provenance didn’t give it away, is a sort of posh evolution of the seaside staple, with a pleasingly retro aesthetic and (equally welcome) modern approach to service and drinks. It’s not all about battered fish (our earthy and smokey trout tartare was outstanding), but you’ll forgive us if we can’t quite get past the fillet of cod as big as your forearm, in a super-fine and delicately flavoured batter. British, it seems, can be best. ■ Dashwood House, 69 Old Broad Street, EC2M 1QS.

thefishandchip shop.uk.com

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FOOD & DRINK REVIEWS

LIVE UP TO BIG BRUV

Sister restaurants can be a tricky business, but L’Anima Cafe is not merely a cheap copy of its fine-dining original, says JON HAWKINS

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DON’T REMEMBER MUCH about college, but I do remember the morning my mate Karl called to say he’d be picking me up shortly in his new Porsche. “Your new what?” I asked my schoolmate, whose part-time job on the Waitrose fish counter had never really suggested supercar ownership. “My Porsche,” he replied proudly. “It’s white.” And so I waited for Karl to arrive, until a tiny, off-white box of a hatchback, with all the seductive glamour of Eric Pickles in a cocktail dress, rolled up with Karl behind the wheel. “That,” I told him, “is not a Porsche.” It looked to me a lot like an ancient Seat Ibiza with a crap bodykit and a Porsche sticker on the rear window, but Karl – with the grin of a man who’d anticipated my doubt and was about to crush it – opened the bonnet and

Lamb ragu with paccheri is deep, rich and as comforting as a cashmere blanket squaremile.com

pointed at some writing on the tiny engine that read ‘System Porsche’. “See?” he beamed. I’m reminded of this when I arrive at L’Anima Cafe, which promises a less formal (and more affordable) take on the polished and sophisticated Italian you’ll find at muchlauded L’Anima round the corner. It’s got the superstar name, but has it got the chops? If I were worried that what I’d find was a knockdown facsimile with nothing but the name to remind me of its sister restaurant, I needn’t have been. L’Anima Cafe is a massive place – a cavernous room lit by glassenshrined fire pits and wrapped in dark wood – where friendly staff race from end to end, and the buzz and hubbub shrinks the space. The flavours are equally big – a huge, creamy burrata, generously flecked with shavings of truffle and hazelnuts, is the sort of thing I could eat for every meal. Tagliata di manzo – slivers of almost raw sirloin with grana padano – is a wickedly good use of beef, while lamb ragu with paccheri is deep, rich and as comforting as a cashmere blanket. L’Anima Cafe is big, clever, and no cheap knock-off. Next time, I might just bring Karl. ■ 10 Appold Street, EC2A 2AP; 020 7422 7080;

lanimacafe.co.uk

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GOLF BROOKS KOEPKA

THE PLAYER

Unless you’re a keen student of golf you’ll be forgiven for not knowing much about Brooks Koepka. Adhering to the strict American golfing convention of having a Christian name that doubles as a surname, Koepka first made waves as an amateur in 2010, when he qualified for the US Open aged 19. After graduating from Florida State in 2011, he missed out on the 2012 PGA Tour by three shots. Undeterred, the Floridian surprised everyone by packing his bags for England and began competing on the Challenge Tour, where the average winner’s cheque is about £20,000. Testing his skills against the extreme variety of course designs, weather conditions, cultures and cuisines – he famously ate horse meat during the Kazakhstan Open – that European golfers are faced with each week proved his making, and he earned his debut victory in Spain in September 2012. The following year Koepka won three times on the Challenge Tour, including a stunning victory at the Challenge de España, where he finished ten shots clear of the field. The three wins earned him promotion to the European Tour for the rest of the 2013 season and all of 2014. By now a member of the PGA Tour, Koepka started 2014 by claiming third at the frys.com Open, then fourth in the US Open at Pinehurst to secure his card for the current season and an invitation to play in the Masters. Back in Europe, he enjoyed four top tens last summer, before overpowering a world-class field to win October’s Turkish Airlines Open. The €930,000 payday took him to eighth in the Race to Dubai rankings, 32nd in the world, and won him the coveted European Tour Rookie of the Year Award. Bubba-long off the tee – he’s currently averaging 317 yards with the big stick – and a deadly putter, the 24-year-old has an aggressive and fearless quality about his game that is essential for success. As comfortable plying his trade in Asia and Europe as in Texas or Tennessee, Koepka is the future of golf: an American who has a passport and isn’t afraid to use it. ■

PHOTOGRAPH by Warren Little/Getty Images

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GOLF MARRAKECH

RED CITY GOES GREEN

Marrakech is spearheading Morocco’s bid to become a serious golf destination, with a dozen championship courses, says NICK BAYLY

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HERE ARE FEW corners of the globe that

golf hasn’t managed to infiltrate, so it’s perhaps not surprising that Morocco, one of the world’s more westernised Muslim countries, has been bitten by the golfing bug. It’s fair to say this has little to do with finding the next Rory McIlroy – Moroccan youth only has eyes for football – but more with attracting the growing ranks of travelling golfers who will go almost anywhere for guaranteed sunshine and a half-decent links. Morocco is not a newcomer to golf, with a proud connection to the Royal & Ancient game that stretches back almost a century. But it was only in the 1980s and 1990s, during the reign of the late King Hassan II, that golf gained a more serious commercial footing, at least where tourism is concerned, with more than 20 courses built around the main centres Agadir, Casablanca, Tangier and Marrakech. The current king Mohammed VI, while not a golfer himself, has continued where his father left off, with a long-term golf tourism development strategy that has seen a tranche of openings take the current tally of courses closer to 40, and added a touch of luxury to Morocco’s appeal as a golfing destination. With many of the layouts built around five-star spa resorts and high-end property developments, these new venues unashamedly aim to attract more affluent golfers to the country, and with yet more luxury resorts in the pipeline, that trend looks certain to continue in the next five to ten years. While resorts along the Mediterranean coast have always been a Mecca for holidaymakers, it is Marrakech that is currently blazing the trail for tourism in

Marrakech’s golf courses boast stunning views of the snowcapped Atlas Mountains 134

Morocco, with the walled ‘Red City’ proving to be a magnet for those looking to experience the mix of bustling souks with five-star resorts and boutique riads. Golf is integral, and by the end of 2015 there will be at least 14 courses open for play within Marrakech’s city limits. While visitors from France make up a large percentage of the golfing population – French is Morocco’s second language – a growing number of Brits are cottoning on to Marrakech’s appeal as a winter destination, with daytime temperatures from November to February generally around 20 degrees. The summer months are searingly hot (35 degrees plus), and green fees are priced accordingly for mad dogs willing to brave the heat. Royal Golf Marrakech, Palmeraie and Amelkis have long been part of the city’s offering, but in the past few years they have been joined by new clubs such as Samanah, Marrakech Golf City and Al Maaden, with bigname architects such as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Kyle Phillips adding to their appeal. Last year saw the highly anticipated opening of Assoufid, a desert-style course with its own Rocco Forte Collection hotel on site, while Colin Montgomerie got in on the act, opening of The Montgomerie Marrakech in May. This year a sister club to the Palmeraie, the PalmGolf Ourika, will open its doors, taking the golf offering to well over 220 holes. Like all the new venues, Ourika is built around a vast property development, with the cost of construction hopefully outweighed by deposits from eager investors. As the land around Marrakech is flat as a pitta bread, all of the golf courses boast stunning views of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, they are also dotted with palm trees and water features, and are handily located within a 10-20 minute taxi ride of Menara airport or the city centre. All of which makes for easy transfers and sightseeing trips, especially as many hotels lay on free shuttles to the main attractions. While many non-golfing tourists choose one of the 800-plus privately-owned riads for which Marrakech is renowned, most hardened golfers will prefer to be much closer

PUTT TO THE PEAKS: (clockwise from this image) The 18-hole palm treelined Assoufid course is built on desert and has breathtaking mountain views; Marrakech’s busy medina; Palmeraie Palm Golf course stays true to its name over 77 palm treelined hectares

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Market traders (the stall kind) seek your attention with inventive sales techniques to the action, and are spoiled for choice for accommodation options in the golf resorts. The Palmeraie Golf Palace is a popular golfers’ hangout, located 15 minutes north from the city centre in secluded palm groves that are ideal for concentrating on your swing. The five-star venue has a range of rooms and suites right next to the 27-hole course, while a wide choice of restaurants, bars and leisure facilities make it the perfect place to relax and unwind between rounds and trips into the city. Marrakech itself is everything you’ve read and a lot more – a vibrant, a bustling cultural hub, that leaves your head spinning with sights and smells. Although just a three-hour flight from the UK, its rare blend of history, culture, architecture, cuisine, shopping and nightlife are a world away on all levels. It comprises an old fortified city (the medina) surrounded by a number of more ‘trendy’ districts, where Morocco’s elite and Europe’s hipster travellers – don’t call them tourists – gather around rooftop infinity pools at boutique hotels to drink in the Marrakech vibe. At ground level, market traders (the stall kind) seek your attention with ever-more inventive sales techniques in the maze of backstreets off the spellbinding Djemaa el Fna square, which bustles with fruit sellers, snake charmers and musicians by day, while at night, food stalls open to create a huge open-air restaurant, where waiters stop just short of fighting for your custom. I bartered lamely for lanterns made from recycled tin cans, a leather manbag and some frankincense, and left happy despite probably paying over the odds. Away from the city’s chaos, those with a taste for the outdoors beyond the fairways can indulge in skiing, hiking, hot air ballooning and 4x4 driving, all available a 90-minute drive away in the Atlas Mountains. Lake Lalla Takerkoust, 20 miles south-east of Marrakech, offers watersports including jet-skiing, waterskiing, kite-surfing and wind-surfing. With plenty of low-cost flights and no time difference, Marrakech could soon be rivalling southern Spain for long-weekend golf breaks, although it’s worth staying a little longer to experience the choice of courses, and to hone your negotiating skills in the markets. ➤

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ASSETS

ON AND OFF COURSE: (clockwise from this image) The pool at Palmeraie’s laid-back Hôtel du Golf; the 18-hole Championship Samanah golf course; the fivestar Palmeraie Palace Clubhouse Suite, designed with plenty of traditional Moroccan touches

➤ ROYAL PALM Part of a brand new Beachcomber resort that lies in an olive grove on the Haouz Plain, 12km from the city centre, Royal Palm offers an immaculately prepared par-72 Cabell Robinson course, combining water features, large bunkers, and a clever use of contours to create a thoroughly enjoyable and challenging track. The resort offers a choice of luxury accommodation, four restaurants, a Clarins spa, and a sports centre. domaineroyalpalm.com, Green fees: £65

PALMERAIE PALM GOLF

palmeraiemarrakech.com, Green fees: £42

SAMANAH COUNTRY CLUB Built by Jack Nicklaus’s design company in 2008, Samanah features wide fairways and not much in the way of rough, but the challenge ramps up the nearer you get to the sizeable

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will eventually incorporate more than 1,000 apartments and villas, spa, tennis courts, shops, restaurants and a water park. noriagolfclub.com, Green fees £50

samanah.com, Green fees: £53

PALM GOLF OURIKA AL MAADEN Opened in 2010, the Kyle Phillips-designed course is the centrepiece of a high-end residential development. The 6,900-yard layout is characterised by geometrical water features and square greens on several holes that give the impression of playing in a traditional Moroccan garden. The back nine is the most interesting, with raised greens and more pronounced contours ramping up the challenge, although wide fairways and five tee options make it suitable for all skill levels.

Due to open in spring, Ourika is in the south of the city with a backdrop of the Atlas Mountains. Designed by Canadian architect Stéphane Talbot, and managed by Troon, the beautifully sculptured 18-hole course measures 7,100 yards from the back tees and features generous fairways guarded by large waste bunkers and six lakes. The club is part of the 150-acre Jardins de l’Atlas real estate project, which will include more than 1,200 properties, a hotel and a cable water-skiing park. palmgolfclubmarrakech.com, Green fees: £55

almaaden.com, Green fees £46

ASSOUFID NORIA Located in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, the 18-hole layout is designed in three six-hole loops with a range of landscapes – garden, orchards and desertstyle dunes – making for a varied challenge. The course’s standout feature is a traditional oblong-shaped ‘basin’ that splits the 18th greens and 19th greens, while the stunning clubhouse, although not yet finished, features a canopy roof and a 200ft central watchtower, surround by a beautiful garden. The resort

Officially opened in October last year, this 7,042-yard, desert-style layout is set on undulating land dotted with palm and olive trees a few miles south east of the city, and takes golf in Marrakech to a new level. A dry creek running through the course emphasises strategy, while big hitters will appreciate the back tees. The development now consists of the golf course, clubhouse and practice facilities, but private villas, a five-star Rocco Forte hotel and spa are part of the master plan. assoufid.com, Green fees: £60

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PHOTOGRAPHS (Palmeraie) by Alessio Mei

The five-star Palmeraie Golf Palace resort, just north of the city, offers 27 holes designed by Robert Trent Jones Senior. The newer nine is the more interesting of the three, with more undulations and strategic play required, but the original 18 offers entertaining holiday golf. Facilities at the resort include three separate hotels (Palmeraie Palace, Hôtel du Golf, and the boutique Jardin d’Ines), a spa, 14 restaurants, a kids’ club, 10-pin bowling, tennis and several large swimming pools.

and speedy greens. Playable between 5,700 and 7,300 yards, the course features huge bunkers, several carries over water and well-placed hazards.


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HOLDINGS

THE PAD . 144 THE MANOR . 148 INTERIOR DESIGN . 151

GREEN HOUSE . 148


HOLDINGS

THE PAD OYSTER PIER

WHAT FLOATS YOUR BOAT? Who would want the empty shell of a river boat? We would, if it meant we could design the interiors to be exactly how we want them. Savills is offering the opportunity to do just that – captain’s hats at the ready

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F YOU THOUGHT living on a barge was for dreadlocked types who wash their socks in the Thames, prepare to eat some humble pie. Savills has an alternative way of river living that has a lot more in common with the four walls you’d see in a superyacht off the coast of St Tropez than the dingy, algae-coated narrowboat, displaying a pun along the lines of Onion Barge-E you might be imagining. The barges Savills is currently selling, moored at Oyster Pier in Battersea, are handselected in France and Holland to ensure quality and build, and are typically made from superior heavy steel. It’s at this stage that the buyer takes over, and is given complete freedom to design the aesthetics of the loftstyle space inside. The £1.5m asking price gets you one of 10 custom-built residential barges for sale, each with up to 2,300 square foot of living space over three decks. There’s enough room for a spacious kitchen and luxurious bathrooms (big enough for tubs) and a generous upper deck. Other perks are no stamp duty, and full access to the neighbouring five-star Hotel Rafayel – that means a spa, gym, concierge and room service too. Residents will also have state-of-the-art security and access to underground parking. Battersea Village is within walking distance, as is Chelsea across the river. Getting to the City is speedy via the riverbus (you may as well go all out on this river-living lark), or local rail if your sea legs have limits. And the London Heliport is a four-minute walk away. What could be more fun than playing creative director on your own barge? Whether or not you give her a silly name is completely up to you. Buoys on Tour, anyone...? ■

BARGE INTO BATTERSEA: The barge takes six to eight months to make after ordering and comes with 115-year mooring at the impeccably located Oyster Pier in Battersea.

For more information: 020 3430 6880; savills.com

PHOTOGRAPH (top) by Donna Dotan

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The buyer has complete freedom to design the aesthetics of the loft-style space inside the barge 144

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Prices correct at time of going to press. Specification on sites may differ. Pictures for illustrative purposes only. Travel times and distances are approximate only.


HOLDINGS

THE MANOR LONDON

THE COACH AND HOUSES Transformed by starchitect Norman Foster in the 1960s, this former coach house boasts serious design credentials. Yet despite its industrial look, its welcoming interior is filled with charm, says ABY DUNSBY

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OR ARCHITECTURE LOVERS, nothing could

be more appealing than the prospect of living in a house designed by some of the industry’s biggest names. Such a house lies hidden away behind an archway on North London’s Pond Street, just 300m from Hampstead Heath. This former coach house was redesigned and renovated by renowned British architects Norman Foster and Michael and Patty Hopkins, who converted it into an airy, majestic living space back in 1969. At that time it was owned by the designloving Sunday Times journalist Ron Hall, who commissioned the dynamic trio to transform the period property into the open-plan building that exists today. Not only does this domestic design gem carry some pretty weighty architectural

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significance, it’s also a liveable space that combines an industrial look with a sense of warmth, aided by the use of mood lighting. The reception area is ideal for entertaining: at around 600 sq ft, even Mr Popular would struggle to fill the room with guests. In summer, revellers can take the party to the roof, where a 600 sq ft terrace overlooks the walled, wooded rear garden. In the kitchen and dining room, the most striking feature is a spectacular glass pitched roof, which gives the space a bright feel, and also cleverly slices upstairs to the study above. Upstairs, two bedrooms complete the set up. The asking price is £2.45m. Any architecture students stood gawping by the front gate presumably come for free. ■ Savills Hampstead, 7 Perrin’s Court, NW3 1QS For more info: 020 7472 5010; savills.co.uk

GRAND DESIGNS: The vibe inside this converted coach house is distinctly industrial chic. With its concrete block walls, exposed metal beams and corrugated iron roof, it could be a bar in Shoreditch. The living room is an early example of structural expressionism, where the building’s structure is exposed both inside and out. The space is imbued with warmth thanks to mood lighting.


DISCOVER | EXPLORE|CONNECT

1, 2 AND 3 BEDROOM APARTMENTS AND PENTHOUSES, AVAILABLE FROM £819,950* DISCOVER MORE | WWW.LONDONDOCK.CO.UK | 020 3355 8839

Computer generated image is indicative only. *Prices correct at time of going to press.

Proud to be a member of the Berkeley Group of companies


250 City Road: ideally placed for work or leisure Launching Thursday 22nd January, register your interest 250 City Road is a landmark development designed by world renowned Architects Foster + Partners. These spectacular apartments offer stunning City views as well as a host of residents’ facilities including a rooftop gym and terrace, swimming pool, spa and residents’ lounge. The development is located between Old Street and Angel, with the City and Shoreditch on your doorstep. Studios, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments and penthouses available - prices from £595,000 to £4 million Call: 020 3468 6674 or email: 250cityroad@berkeleygroup.co.uk In the last ten years, the Berkeley Group has created 436 acres of public space

www.250cityroad.co.uk 250 City Road Marketing Suite Goodman’s Fields, 39 Leman Street, London, E1 8EY Open 7 days a week 10am - 6pm (Until 8pm on Wednesdays and 4pm on Sundays)

Here at 250 City Road there will be just under 2 acres of public realm

For Your Future

Proud to be a member of the Berkeley Group of companies

Prices correct at time of press and subject to availability. Computer Generated Image of 250 City Road is indicative only.


HOLDINGS

SITTING PRETTY Most people would associate Paul Smith with tailoring, but his latest collection is less about what you sit in, and more what you sit on. The designer has teamed up with Carl Hansen & Søn for this limited edition furniture collection.

DESIGN PAUL SMITH

RIGHT STRIPES Designer Paul Smith has been let loose on the Wegner archives to create this iconic collection

squaremile.com

STRIPE IT LUCKY In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Hans J Wegner’s birth, Paul Smith has reimagined the designer’s most iconic pieces employing his flamboyant stripes. This Shell chair costs £2,496;

chaplins.co.uk

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THE PENTHOUSES ROMAN HOUSE CITY OF LONDON

Acquire the last penthouse at Roman House Augustus 3 Bedroom Penthouse £4,250,000 A boutique hotel lifestyle can be enjoyed from Roman House, within walking distance of the square mile’s renowned restaurants, luxury shops and world-class cultural venues. The Augustus Penthouse is without doubt one of the most desirable private residences in London. This luxury 3 bedroom penthouse offers a vast amount of entertaining space complete with floor to ceiling glazing and a private wrap around terrace.

020 3627 0562

www.roman-house.co.uk • romanhouse@berkeleygroup.co.uk

By appointment only. Proud to be a member of the Berkeley Group of companies

Roman House, Wood Street, London, EC2Y 5BA.

Prices correct at time of press and subject to availability. Photography depicts the penthouses at Roman House and is indicative only.

Relax & enjoy city living


HOLDINGS

DESIGN STORAGE

HIGHLY STRUNG We appreciate that magazine storage might not excite you as much as it does MARK HEDLEY . But this is still pretty slick…

WHAT A RACK We love magazines. We make them so it would be pretty stupid if we didn’t. And what gets us really excited is clever new ways to store them. (Yes – we probably do need to get out more.) That’s why we are probably a little bit too excited by Tim van de Weerd’s MagazinRek. It’s made from one sheet of lazer-cut sheet steel and seven metres of elastic cord. Rek means both ‘rack’ and ‘stretched’ in Dutch. These guys even like a pun, too. Love it.

timvandeweerd.nl

ILLUSTRATION by publianc larit em potinium vid ces blah

SEE MORE PICTURES ON OUR iPAD APP

squaremile.com

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Switzerland: Switzerland:

Saas-Fee NOW AVAILABLE – four stunning ski apartments

StS atra trinti gng frfor omm ££8 866 99, 0,00 000

in the snow-sure village of Saas-Fee in

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Prime Prime downtown downtown location location Panoramic mountain Panoramic mountain views views 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms Large Large open-plan open-plan living living Ski lockers, lift access, Ski lockers, lift access, gardens gardens Impressive Impressive specification specification 2 Over Over 1800ft 1800ft2 2 From From £869k £869k (£481ft (£481ft2)) Low-cost Low-cost Swiss Swiss mortgages mortgages Completion Spring Completion Spring 2015. 2015.

This is an exceptionally rare investment and lifestyle This is an exceptionally rare investment and lifestyle opportunity, available for Non-Swiss buyers. For more opportunity, available for Non-Swiss buyers. For more information, or to arrange a site visit, please contact: information, or to arrange a site visit, please contact:

Unit B, 20 Western Gateway, London, E16 1BS Unit B, 20 Western Gateway, London, E16 1BS 020 7474 5505 020 7474 5505 docklands@madisonbrook.com docklands@madisonbrook.com


LONDON’S LANDMARKS FROM YOUR LIVING ROOM Luxury Penthouses ready to move into fully furnished from £2.95m Aldgate, E1

020 3538 0386 onecommercialstreet.com


Regent’s Place

CHOOSE TO INVEST IN THE BEST Crest Nicholson are a leading developer of sustainable homes with a wide portfolio. If you are looking for an investment opportunity, then look no further than our unique developments. With locations throughout the UK and potential yields of around 5% and capital growth of up to 44%,† Crest Nicholson offer the highest standards in quality, design and specification.

A collection of stylish apartments located in the centre of Reading, with excellent transport connections.

A brand new collection of contemporary apartments in the heart of Bromley town centre.

2 bedroom apartments Priced from £450,000

1 & 2 bedroom apartments Priced from £249,950

Contact us today for further details and to arrange a viewing.

0118 402 7015

020 3376 5262

www.crestnicholson.com/kennethouse

www.crestnicholson.com/regentsplace

KENNET HOUSE

REGENT’S PLACE

Reading | RG1 3BJ

Ringers Road | Bromley | BR1 1HR

OAKGROVE VILLAGE

CENTENARY QUAY

BATH RIVERSIDE

Milton Keynes | MK10 9JQ

Southampton | SO19 9SS

Bath | BA2 3FL

A new development of beautifully appointed homes and community facilities within easy reach of central Milton Keynes.

A contemporary development of apartments perfectly placed on the banks of the River Itchen and Southampton city centre.

A collection of high quality homes on the banks of the River Avon, near Bath city centre. New 1 & 2 bedroom apartments coming soon!

1, 2, 3 & 4 bedroom homes Priced from £139,500

1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments Priced from £150,500

3 & 4 bedroom townhouses Priced from £690,000

0118 402 7015

0870 758 0432

0845 894 5888

www.crestnicholson.com/oakgrovevillage

www.crestnicholson.com/centenaryquay

www.crestnicholson.com/bathriverside

www.crestnicholson.com †44% price growth based on the sale price at Centenary Quay of a 2 bedroom apartment in 2011 and a 2 bedroom apartment in 2015. Estimated gross rental yields of around 5% based on rental figures provided by Lettings Direct for Centenary Quay. Digital illustration is indicative only. Prices correct at time of going to press.


+ TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION PLEASE CALL MARK OR CHARLOTTE ON 020 7819 9999

Use discount code - SM10FEB

37 JERMYN STREET, LONDON,SW1Y 6DT +44 (0) 20 7734 4707 WWW.BATES-HATS.COM Zespoke.indd 1

General & Specialist Dentistry Coolsculpting Facial Aesthetics Free Invisalign Consultation Free Implant Consultation Sleep Medicine

23/01/2015 13:45

TEL: 020 7628 4869 INFO@BHDDC.COM

Please call to arrange an appointment with one of our specialist dentists WWW.BHDDC.COM • 82 LONDON WALL, LONDON, EC2M 5ND


+ TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION PLEASE CALL MARK OR CHARLOTTE ON 020 7819 9999

Alfred Sargent Exclusive and Country ranges - Sanders Shoes - Saphir Polish Valet boxes - La Cordonnerie Anglaise brushes - Corgi socks - Abbeyhorn shoehorn Free International Shipping & Free Shoe Trees with all Footwear

info@afinepairofshoes.co.uk – 01926 356222 – www.afinepairofshoes.co.uk

A beautiful, petite diamond pendant. Each Fiorella pendant is individually made for you from a selection of natural fancy pink diamonds. Rare pink diamond and fine white diamond set in platinum.

sw-jewellery.com +44 (0) 207490 0665

A quintessential countryside venue. The idyllic setting offers the intimate Oak Barn and the elegant Marquee for both Ceremonies and Receptions, in secluded and peaceful surroundings. A quintessential countryside venue. A quintessential countryside venue. The setting offers the offers the intimate Oak Barn andidyllic the elegant forintimate Oak Barn and the elegant Marquee for A quintessential countryside venue.Marquee The idyllic setting offers the intimate Oak Barn and the elegant Marquee for both Ceremonies and Receptions, in secluded and peaceful surroundings. s and Receptions, in secluded and peaceful surroundings. both Ceremonies and Receptions, in secluded and peaceful surroundings.

A quintessential countryside venue. info@keythorpemanor.com • www.keythorpemanor.com • 0116 259 8100 Road, Keythorpe, Leicester, LE7 9XJ The idyllicUppingham setting offers •the intimate Oak Barn and the elegant Marquee for https://www.facebook.com/KeythorpeManor https://twitter.com/KeythorpeManor both Ceremonies and Receptions,info@keythorpemanor.com in secluded and peaceful surroundings. • www.keythorpemanor.com • 0116 259 8100 Uppingham Road, Keythorpe, Leicester, LE7 9XJ

https://twitter.com/KeythorpeManor r.com • www.keythorpemanor.com • 0116 https://www.facebook.com/KeythorpeManor 259 8100 info@keythorpemanor.com • www.keythorpemanor.com • •0116 259 8100 A quintessential countryside venue. m Road, Keythorpe, Leicester, LE7 9XJ Uppingham Road, Keythorpe, Leicester, LE7 9XJ The idyllic setting offers the intimate Oak Barn and the elegant Marquee for KeythorpeManor both • https://twitter.com/KeythorpeManor https://www.facebook.com/KeythorpeManor • https://twitter.com/KeythorpeManor Ceremonies and Receptions, in secluded and peaceful surroundings.

info@keythorpemanor.com • www.keythorpemanor.com • 0116 259 8100 info@keythorpemanor.com • www.keythorpemanor.com • 0116 259 81009XJ Uppingham Road, Keythorpe, Leicester, LE7 Uppingham Road, Keythorpe, Leicester, LE7 9XJ https://www.facebook.com/KeythorpeManor • https://twitter.com/KeythorpeManor https://www.facebook.com/KeythorpeManor • https://twitter.com/KeythorpeManor

07950 525201 www.nobleclothing.co.uk info@nobleclothing.co.uk


squaremile

ESSENTIALS

+ TO ADVERTISE IN THIS SECTION PLEASE CALL MARK AND CHARLOTTE ON 020 7819 9999

PFLEXX KNEE EXERCISER

Try the only wearable resistance exerciser for the knee. The revolutionary new PFLEXX KNEE EXERCISER may look like a knee support, but it does so much more. With a high-compression sleeve, which comes with a built-in spring, the resistance technology is designed to build and strengthen muscles. Whether you’re recovering from surgery or injury, suffering from knee problems or looking to improve your fitness this will really test your resistance. For 10% off use promo code KPSQ10. W: www.pflexx.com

LAZYJACK PRESS

Lazyjack Press designs punchy and irreverent ties, bow ties, and pocket with patterns such as “Foreplay,” “Spread Eagle,” and “Blue (Golf) Balls.” Most importantly, our quality is top notch. Our goods are made in Italy on Hermes silk. These ties will go from the boardroom to happy hour. Lazyjack Press is Italian elegance with modern American guts.

BEADAZZLE

Stockists of Men’s Designer Jewellery by Aagaard a stylish and contemporary combination of leather and stainless steel bracelets and links. STORY by Kranz and Zeigler| Missoma | Daisy London | UNIQUE | Penny Levi and more.

T: 020 8632 0246 W: www.beadazzle.co.uk, www.beadazzle-boutique.co.uk

L. SHOFF

Sterling Silver cufflinks with dinosaur bone inlay from L. SHOFF ($495). Using age-old techniques and quality processes, every piece is handmade using reclaimed metals. For more information or to learn about the world of L. SHOFF visit www.lshoff.com

Buckwild Tie Check us out at www.lazyjackpress.com

ANDY DAVEY

DAPPER DAN UK

T: 07831 535982 E: daveypaintings@gmail.com W: www.andydaveypaintings.com

Visit www.dapperdanuk.com or call 0114 4490917 for more info.

FELIO SIBY

PETER STERN FURNITURE DESIGN

Andy Davey is a painter whose vibrant abstracts arise from meditation, showing a compositional balance between visual “comfort” and chaos. His rich landscapes are expressionistic, representing an emotional response to nature rather than a direct representation of a particular scene. _GQ_1214.indd 1 “Abstract 1108-green” 120x90cm, acrylic on canvas.

My dear chaps, fancy a dalliance with the finest tonsorial-teasing pastes and pomades guaranteed to perfect your plumage? Look no further my folically fastidious friends! Dapper Dan offers 3 exemplary styling options for the discerning gent. Tame thy mane with limited slapdashery. Sold by Barbershops 14/10/14 10:12:22 worldwide.

T: (305) 714 - 9361 E: sales@feliosiby.com W: www.feliosiby.com

London based architect and designer who specialises in creating distinctive, high-end, contemporary furniture. With an eclectic, post-modern approach to design he combines unconventional materials, shapes and palettes to create colourful furniture that is engineered and manufactured in the UK. All items are made to order and customisation is possible. T: 020 8346 2547 Mobile: 07957 424946 E: furniture@peterstern.co.uk W: www.petersternfurnituredesign.co.uk

SARA RAINOLDI

DU MAURIER WATCHES

Felio Siby creates clothing for confident men on the move. Savvy and stylish, this exclusive brand of handmade clothing is made exclusively in America, but incorporates all the worldly wonder of African, European and American culture.

My art is all about my energy and mood, I try to encapsulate this through my brush-strokes, colors and materials. I am inspired by a human pose or an image inside my mind. In each of my paintings there is a special undercover message that I want spectators to observe, feel something and get an emotion and find the secret figures, becoming a game between the painting and the observer. W: SaraRainoldi233@hotmail.com I: instagram.com/saritabonita__

Roses are red, violets are blue, a limited edition Du Maurier on a Lizard red strap will do nicely, thank you! Designed by English talent Ned du Maurier Browning, this stunning Swiss-made timepiece is the perfect Valentine’s gift. Featuring Daphne du Maurier’s signature on the case back, this is a limited edition of only 300. Daphne Signature £440 available with gold or black dial on red, blue brown or black strap. T: 0845 5193074. W: www.dumaurierwatches.com

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The City’s best website.

L O G O N N O W. square mile

FREE ON YOUR iPAD

ALSO AVAILABLE

square mile

DIGITAL EDITION

squaremile.com/magazine


END PLAY

Win a Merino Wool Scarf and Hat

Spring 2015 squaremile.com |

ON THE TOWN

COMPETITION

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Quiz pros can test their skills at The Fable for Jeanious; one of Alexander McQueen’s designs; Future Fest’s vision of the future; the House of Holi pop-up

PHOTOGRAPHS (Holues of Holi) Casey Gutteridge/CPG Photography; (Fable) Giles Christopher/Media Wisdom Photography

JEANIUS 2015 QUIZ

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: SAVAGE BEAUTY

TECHNICALLY, IT’S NOW SPRING. But

Various, 16 February

V&A, 14 March-19 July

Rate yourself as a pub quiz demon? Get your game face on for Jeanius, a quiz which will crown one City company king of clever. The quiz will take place across three Drake & Morgan bars – The Parlour, The Anthologist and The Fable [pictured] – with the final taking place on 23 February. Proceeds go to children’s charity Jeans for Genes.

Celebrating the unbridled creative talent of Alexander McQueen, Savage Beauty will be the first and largest retrospective of the designer’s work. After its stint in New York, the exhibition comes to McQueen’s hometown to showcase his work, which spans from his 1992 graduate collection to his final unfinished A/W 2010 collection.

jeansforgenesday.org

vam.ac.uk

HOUSE OF HOLI

FUTURE FEST

Cinnamon Kitchen, 5-14 March

Vinopolis, 14-15 March

The perfect antidote to a dull day in the office, House of Holi returns to the City for more colourful debauchery. Loosen your tie and don your protective white suit, before pelting friends (or alternatively, your boss) with powdered paint for 30 minutes. Holithemed cocktails from Cinnamon Kitchen will cool you down after all the manic fun. cinnamon-kitchen.com

What will the future look like? We’re hoping for flying saucers, levitating cups and toasters that don’t burn the bread. Some more realistic options will be explored at Vinopolis for Future Fest, a two-day festival of innovation. Expect talks, performances and even a virtual reality ride – although you might want to save your wine until after you’ve jumped off. futurefest.org

that doesn’t mean it’s got any warmer. Fortunately, we’ve teamed up with new men’s brand Union Red to offer you the chance to win a winter warmer bundle to help you see off the rest of the chilly season. It comprises a beanie hat and wool scarf, made form 100% extrafine merino wool, in a navy or grey, worth more than £100. Union Red is a new luxury men’s brand that specialises in wrapping you up warm – whether that’s the most luxurious cashmere scarves or with a monthly subscription to snug undies. It was created by a team who have been supplying the finest men’s global designer brands with accessories for over 30 years, and decided to set up shop on their own.

squaremile.com

To enter, go to squaremile.com/competitions

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square mile Holiday Party squaremile.com |

ON THE TOWN

DRURY CLUB, 167 DRURY LANE, WC2B 5PG

PHOTOGRAPHY by Hektor Kowalski

It seems a bit wrong to be talking about Christmas parties now it’s February, but it’s taken this long to recover from ours. Here are some of the photos from before it really became too messy to document. We headed west to Soho’s Drury Club for a night that, we’re

squaremile.com

told, was fantastic by those who remember it. There’s a long list of thank yous – and unsurprisingly they go to our fantastic drinks partners: Martin Miller’s, Peroni, Hardys, Graffigna, and Luc Belaire. It’s fair to say, Jägermeister and Red Bull had a big part to play, too.

165


SmartSmart Purchase Smart Purchase to Purchase to to Smarter Smarter Futures... Smarter Futures... Futures...

A Portfolio A Portfolio A of Portfolio Racehorses of Racehorses of Racehorses for International for International for International TradeTradeTrade

Register Register your interest Register your with interest your Sam with interest Sangster Sam with Sangster Sam Sangster Manton House Manton Estate, House Manton Marlborough, Estate, House Marlborough, Estate, Wiltshire, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 1PN Wiltshire, SN8 1PN SN8 1PN O +44 (0)1672 O +44 517187 (0)1672 O +44 M517187 +44 (0)1672 (0)7810 M517187 +44 698778 (0)7810 M +44 698778 (0)7810 698778 E sam@mantonthoroughbreds.com E sam@mantonthoroughbreds.com E sam@mantonthoroughbreds.com

www.mantonthoroughbreds.com www.mantonthoroughbreds.com www.mantonthoroughbreds.com


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The City’s Most Eligible Bachelor squaremile.com |

ON THE TOWN

SOUTH PLACE HOTEL, 3 SOUTH PLACE, EC2M 2AF

PHOTOGRAPHS by Rudi Netto

We got together with London’s offline dating agency Social Concierge to uncover the City’s most eligible bachelor. Last month, James Biagioni, a 27 year-old commodities futures trader, was announced as the winner at a party at South Place hotel.

squaremile.com

Biagioni, who was nominated by colleagues, beat dozens of other bachelors to the honour. He admits: “It was nice to hear I was chosen because of the nature of my answers to certain questions, and not solely because of how I look.” socialconcierge.co.uk

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PARTY IN STYLE 100FT ABOVE LONDON! London’s only rooftop Private Members Club is as glamorous as it comes. Open Friday and Saturday nights between 10pm and 3am enjoy VIP tables, Summer BBQs, private parties and delicious cocktails! For VIP table reservations call us on 0207 368 3992 or email club@roofgardens.virgin.com. w w w . ro of g a r d e n s . v i r g i n . com

@theroofgardens


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Hidden City squaremile.com |

ON THE TOWN

SUBDECK/LOCATION GOES HER#

PHOTOGRAPH by Peter Dazeley

Ever wondered where the Lord Mayor snuggled up at night after a heavy one on the tiles? No, us neither. But now that image is in your head, here’s a little window into nightlife at Mansion House. This is the north state bedroom, with a recreation of a bed from

squaremile.com

1824. Note the dragons at the corners holding the City of London arms. Rumours are Ikea will be launching a similar model soon. ■ Taken from Unseen London. Photographs by Peter Dazeley, text by Mark Daly. £30, published by Frances Lincoln, franceslincoln.com

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Go the extra mile squaremile.com |

READER COMPETITION

COMPETITION

This month, our winner is Chris Lanham for this great shot taken at Annapurna Base Camp – 4,130m up in the Himalayas in Nepal. It took Chris six full days of solid hiking to get to the camp – and four days back down again. Given he was carrying all his own equipment and supplies, we’re

170

suitably impressed that a copy of square mile made the cut. Thanks also to Rob Prowse in the Hajar Mountains in Oman; and Carley King and Samantha Main at Széchenyi baths in Budapest. ■ Send us your high-resolution jpegs with the subject header ‘Go The Extra Mile’ to letters@squaremile.com.

Next month, we’re giving away a pair of Sanders Dylan shoes, worth £225, from A Fine Pair of Shoes. These double monk shoes come in navy suede with red Dainite soles [see p55]. To enter, just take a great shot of you holding square mile, tweet #extramile on @squaremile_com or email us your photographs to

letters@squaremile.com

squaremile.com


an oasis in the city from a Privileged Perspective

searcys club | the Gherkin is far more than london’s hiGhest Private members’ club. this beautiful, calm and luxurious settinG allows you to conduct your business in comfort and style. To discover more about our private membership contact us on:

020 7071 7215 | theclub@searcys.co.uk @SearcysGherkin www.searcys.co.uk |


Square Mile, 98, Style Special  

Square Mile Magazine, Issue 98, The Style Special

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