PA INS GE E RT
London fashion meets handcrafted excellence and classic British tailoring
From private castle stays to lush country manors and city glamour – the many sides of British luxury PLUS Celebrity Michelin star dining, Britain’s top hotels, Scotch whisky making and much more…
Britain’s legacy of golf, football, tennis and horse racing lives on
TRAVELLING TO THE UK? ENJOY THESE AMERICAN EXPRESS® PLATINUM EXCLUSIVES An extensive list of properties in the United Kingdom that extend a special welcome to American Express Platinum Cardmembers, whether you are travelling for business or pleasure. Enjoy a complimentary night stay at some of these properties.
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL HAMPSHIRE Enjoy a complimentary* third night when you stay three nights Valid till 20 December 2010 Four Seasons Hotel
JUMEIRAH CARLTON TOWER JUMEIRAH LOWNDES HOTEL Enjoy a complimentary* third night when you stay three nights Valid till 31 March 2011 Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel
LAINSTON HOUSE Enjoy a complimentary* third night when you stay three nights Valid till 31 December 2010 Lainston House Hotel
THE ARCH Enjoy a complimentary* third night when you stay three nights Valid till 31 December 2010 The Arch
*Terms and Conditions In order to enjoy the above benefits, reservations must be made through The Platinum Card® Service and payment must be made using The Platinum Card in the cardmember’s name. Black-out periods apply. Not combinable with corporate or group contracted rates. Participating partners and programme benefits are subject to change without prior notice. Other terms and conditions apply.
For a full listing of participating partners and more information on the above exclusive offers, call The Platinum Card® Service at 1800 392 1177 (option 1)
ou just can’t define Britain in a few simple words. Not just one country but several, they come together to form a nation that is intricately compelling at times, and incomparably beautiful at others. While Britain’s rich traditions are strong, stronger still is the desire to keep them alive and constantly evolving, welcoming and open to new people and new ideas. It is in touch with the past, part of the future, and very much in the now. Britain’s unique energy flows from all of this – the dynamic cities, the timeless, romantic countryside, and the vibrant diversity of the people who call it home. As this guide will show, there truly is a side to Britain for any and everyone, but there’s one thing that all visitors take home: inspiration.
FOOD & DRINK
High fashion and master craftsmanship make Britain a luxury shopper’s playground
Discover cosmopolitan decadence and breathtaking beauty in Britain’s select hideaways
Celebrity-studded British cuisine offers some of the world’s finest fare
From golf to tennis to horse racing, Britain is where champions are made and legends live forever
From traditional elegance and master craftsmanship to modern pizzazz, Britain is bustling with choices for the discerning shopper
High fashion and unrivalled tailoring have always been an integral part of London’s shopping scene ➜ Leave expectations behind before setting out on any shopping trip in London. As masters of the sartorial arts, London’s
describes the very best in bespoke tailoring.
Soft, lustrous and long-lasting Scottish cashmere showcases hand-crafted fashion at its finest ➜ With a gentle softness beyond compare, Scottish cash-
“The Saville Row suit describes the very best in bespoke tailoring.” fashion scene brings together the world’s top style houses and Britain’s influential history of superb tailoring. True fashionistas will find one of the world’s highest concentrations of luxury brands on Bond Street and the nearby Burlington Arcade, This is also where you’ll find flagship stores for Burberry and Mulberry, for those looking for a taste of British style. To experience London’s longrevered bespoke tailoring, head to the ‘Golden Mile’, home of the legendary Savile Row and Jermyn Street, and the quintessential choice for the English Gentleman and Lady. The tailors of Savile Row invented the modern suit as we know it, and iconic names like Gieves & Hawkes, H Huntsman & Sons and Richard James continue to show why the ‘Savile Row suit’
mere is quite simply the finest in the world, thanks to Scotland’s continued devotion to the
cherished craft. For the uninitiated, a centuries-long history of master craftsmanship has placed Scotland’s knitters, weavers and spinners at the forefront of luxury handcrafted Cashmere clothing. With each piece you can feel meticulous steps that have been taken to create it, from the highest quality raw cashmere to the uniquely soft Scottish water infused within. For the absolute best in Scottish cashmere labels, look for the Scottish Cashmere Club trademark, which guarantees the product has been manufactured in Scotland to exceptional quality standards. ■
Classic craftsmanship Centuries of expertise have honed the skills Britain’s renowned pottery masters ➜ For several hundred years, Britain has been home to a pottery legacy that has created some of the world’s most exquisite porcelain objects. Brands such as Wedgwood, Portmeirion, Royal Doulton, Royal Worcester and many others have become synonymous with a home’s most beautiful ornaments, rich with character and intricate in detail. The many factory shops around Britain offer buyers a chance to acquire these works in their country of origin, while many can take you deeper into their world with museums and visitor centres that show you how your new pottery Wedgwood china display at Harrods. piece was created.
The Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
VIP GETAWAYS Whether it’s a city escapade or a country retreat you’re looking for, Britain offers an awe-inspiring choice of unforgettable luxury destinations
Where culture meets glamour
➜ As one of the world’s finest cities for metropolitan arts, London offers a spectacular range of shows from classic to contemporary and everything in between. For a more intimate experience, get behind the scenes with private tours of galleries such as the Tate Britain, home to the world’s finest collection of British art, or catch a number of superstar performances from a private box at the illustrious Royal Albert Hall. For a taste of the nightlife, London’s VIP private clubs are the places to see and be seen, and a number of VIP services are available to make sure you’re on the guest list at the hottest events and club nights.
The Ritz ➜ Quite simply known as the greatest hotel in the world, and a benchmark of excellence towards which all luxury hotels aspire. Created over a century ago by legendary hotelier César Ritz, the highbrow hotel has been an irresistible attraction for showbiz glitterati and thousands of discerning guests since opening in 1906. Still located at its landmark address at 150 Piccadilly, The Ritz has been
Formal gardens lead to the entrance of Powderham Castle in Devon.
comprehensively restored over the years, ensuring that each detail maintains the hotel’s original identity.
Claridge’s ➜ Situated in the heart of the bustling shopping, dining and gallery district of Mayfair, Claridge’s hotel is a piece of Art Deco history. For over 100 years, some of the world’s greatest designers have lent their expertise to the hotel, mingling distinctly modern twists with a timeless foundation of Art Deco aesthetics. This, along with the hotel’s exemplary service, has drawn everyone from heads of state to stars, socialites and discriminating guests for the last century.
Kings and country
➜ From grand palaces to stately country manors, England’s
historic castles and country homes allow visitors to experience the life of English nobility. Around the country, a number of family owned properties offer private tours hosted by members of the family, some of whom have owned the property since the 1400s. For the ultimate in majestic luxury, stay overnight in one of the many varieties of castle, from fairytale to fortified, and join a growing list of celebrities and jet-setters in making regal fantasies a reality. In addition to this captivating journey through time, visitors can indulge in the romantic beauty of the pristine gardens and rolling countryside that surround many of the properties, as seen through the eyes of the Lord and Lady of the manor.
Chewton Glen ➜ Making its home in the lush
VIP GETAWAYS Hampshire countryside on England’s South Coast, Chewton Glen spreads across 130 acres on the edge of the ancient New Forest National Park. The luxury country house hotel offers a unique starting point for exploring both the countryside
Portmeirion has been the village’s centrepiece, and its distinctively ornate architecture is echoed across the surrounding cottages, shops and restaurants. Most of the village can be used as hotel rooms or cottages, making it ideal for visitors as one of Britain’s
“Dine with a backdrop of the world’s most picturesque settings.” and the nearby seaside, while a tasteful blend of antique furnishings and beautiful fabrics create a timeless feel. Guests here can also enjoy England’s hospitality heritage of impeccable service.
The history of this tranquil resort village on the coast of Snowdonia dates back as far as 1188, although it wasn’t until more recent times that Portmeirion took its shape, resembling the coastal villages of the Mediterranean. Today, it is a picturesque hideaway, a masterpiece of architectural elegance, and an idyllic retreat for the sophisticated traveller.
Hotel Portmeirion Since 1926, the historic Hotel
Scotland by sky
➜ The rolling hills and shimmering lochs of Scotland’s magnificent West coast are a wonder to behold from any perspective. Viewed from high in the sky, however, they become truly breathtaking. Luxury seaplanes offer First Class window views above the
idyllic Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest expanse of fresh water, providing an experience that images could never capture. Or simply fly out for dinner at one of the many fine restaurants along the loch, dining with a backdrop of one of the world’s most picturesque settings.
Cameron House on Loch Lomond Sitting stylishly on the shore of Loch Lomond, Cameron House is a unique baronial mansion that offers a very refreshingly different experience with modern British luxury. Voted the most stylish Scottish hotel last year, Cameron House is beautifully complemented by its surroundings, with 100 acres of woodlands, a Championship golf course and Loch Lomond all at your doorstep. ■
View into The Piazza at Portmeirion, Wales.
SHOPPING Arrive first class to Loch Lomond by seaplane.
FOOD & DRINK British cuisine offers incredible dining experience, with emphasis on fresh local produce and fresh ideas
FOOD & DRINK
From celebrity stars to Michelin stars, British cuisine has flourished with the help of some of today’s most talented chefs and most exciting restaurants
Jamie’s Italian 11 Black Lion Street, Brighton Forever young Jamie Oliver’s comforting food and emphasis on keeping things casual and relaxed are part of the dining experience at all the celebrity chef ’s restaurants. Jamie’s Italian brings casual dining to the high street, with rustic dishes and proven recipes, using simple, fresh ingredients, prepared and cooked with the chef ’s signature playful passion.
The Crown at Whitebrook Wye Valley, Wales Set in the landscaped gardens of the beautiful Wye Valley, The Crown at Whitebrook is one of only a small few restaurants in Wales to hold a coveted Michelin star, and has held its star for longer than any other restaurant in the country. In addition to its menu of traditional classics (like Welsh lamb) and contemporary delicacies, The Crown also offers eight luxurious rooms, offering
an ideal base to explore the captivating natural beauty of the area.
Gordon Ramsay 68 Royal Hospital Road, London Gordon Ramsay is a man who needs no introduction – he’s possibly the most well-known chef in the entire world. He may have a large ego, but ever since he opened his first wholly owned restaurant in 1998, Gordon Ramsay has been a hugely important part of London’s dining since. His Chelsea restaurant has maintained three Michelin stars since 2001, and gourmands continue to flock to the intimate and stylish 45-guest location.
Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, Scotland Scotland’s only two Michelinstarred restaurant, Andrew
Fairlie at The Gleneagles Hotel is a masterclass in elegance. While the championship golf courses outside and stunning interiors adorned with original artworks create a stunning ambience, the true highlight is the cuisine. Don’t miss the signature dish, lobster smoked over whisky barrels for up to 12 hours.
The Fat Duck 1 High Street, Bray, London Consistently regarded as one of the best restaurants in the world, The Fat Duck is celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal’s masterpiece. Blumenthal twists convention and perception to create dishes that are as bizarre as they are divine. If the scrambled egg and bacon ice cream doesn’t pique your curiosity, perhaps the snail porridge will. The restaurant has held a three-Michelin star rating since 2004 and continues to receive accolades as Britain’s best restaurant. ■
Learn from the best Learn how to recreate three Michelin starred food in the comfort of your own kitchen by taking a master class at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, and experience the energy and precision of a world-class kitchen. Focussing on the chef ’s signature dishes, budding chefs can receive first-hand guidance from some of the food industry’s finest.
FOOD & DRINK
Barrels of whisky made at Glenturret Distillery, Near Crief, Scotland.
Water of life
Explore Scotland’s distinguished history of whisky making, set amidst spectacular natural scenery ➜ There are many reasons why whisky from Scotland is revered in countries everywhere, but perhaps the most important is that it simply cannot be recreated anywhere else in the world. Over the centuries, the traditions of distilling and maturing Scotch Whisky have evolved as techniques have been passed down through generations. Today the legacy lives on in distilleries across Scotland, some still in the same remote regions they have operated since they began. In addition to the expertise of Scotland’s whisky makers, the very land itself is crucial
element that makes the country’s whisky so special. Scotland’s environment is rich in the highest quality ingredients needed to distil exceptional whisky – pure spring water, and an abundance of golden barley. At the heart of Scottish whisky is the Malt Whisky Trail, weaving across the picturesque woods and glens of Spey Valley. You will find more than half of Scotland’s malt whisky distilleries here, familiar names such as Glenfiddich, The Glenlivet and Chivas Regal, to name just a few. Each distillery welcomes visitors, who are invited to enjoy the sights, aromas and tastes on offer – some matured for several decades – and share in the time-honoured tradition of Scotch Whisky making in its original home. ■
“Scotch Whisky has evolved as techinques have been passed down through generations.”
SHOPPING Greenock Golf Course Strathclyde, Scotland.
Birthplace of some of the worldâ€™s favourite pastimes, Britain is home to some of the most iconic sporting events and stars across the globe
Scotland’s inspiring golf heritage still reigns as the true home of the game ➜ The sport of golf was invented on the open fields of Scotland, where the game has been played as far back as the 15th century. It remains an integral part of Scotland’s national identity, and the fairways of the Old Course at St. Andrews, or Carnoustie, or Turnberry, or the many other legendary Scottish courses, bring one intimately closer to the very heart of golf. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews remains the world’s oldest golf course, and is still actively played to this day. There are more than 550 other golf courses spreading all across the country, with major tournaments regularly taking place, all of which has helped develop a thriving golf tourism industry. Golf in Scotland is one of those life experiences that defies comparison, for there is
Action on Court 18 at Wimbledon.
simply no better way to experience the game than on the soil from which it was born.
Each year, Wimbledon shows the
Ryder Cup This year is your chance to catch the world’s greatest golfers in action ➜ In 2010 the gripping excitement of the Ryder Cup comes to Wales, where the top golfers from Europe and the United States will face off during three days of the world’s finest golf. While host city Newport takes the world stage, the effects of this major sporting event will be felt across the entire country, showcasing the beauty of Welsh golf courses and their spectacular settings.
inextricable links between the sport of tennis and its British lineage ➜ Not only in the world of tennis but in that of all sports, few names ring out quite like Wimbledon. Since 1877, it has been home to the Tennis Championships at the All England Club, making it the oldest tennis tournament in the world. With such a fine sporting vintage, it is only natural that the event comes steeped in tradition, and in many ways the traditions have become as important as the games taking place on court. From the strict all-white dress code for players to the strawberries and cream and Pimms
“Royal Ascot is a true one-of-a-kind event where sporting excellence and high society converge.” spritzers being enjoyed in the stands, Wimbledon promises an experience that brings together the excitement of live tennis and timeless British heritage.
The British game
It might be the world’s most popular game today, but football has always prevailed in the fields and stadiums of Great Britain ➜ Football is everywhere in the UK, and rarely will you meet someone that isn’t somehow enchanted by the sport. England alone, with over 40,000 football clubs, has more clubs than any other nation in the world. And as the home of the Premier League, the country holds a concentration of some of the world’s finest players and most electrifying teams in the sport. Football’s British ancestry has immeasurably helped to shape the modern game. It is where the first modern set of rules was established, which continues to influence the laws of the game, while also being home to the world’s longest-running football club in Sheffield F.C., and the oldest national league.
You can still feel the mythical magic of football’s storied past in stadiums like Old Trafford, constructed in 1909 and the permanent residence of Manchester United ever since. Second only to Wembley Stadium in terms of capacity, the so-called Theatre of Dreams and the 75,000 people in its stands roar as loud today – if not louder – than ever. Couple at the Royal Ascot Races.
Fast and fabulous Galloping horses, decadent fashion and an audience with Royalty are just a taste of the Royal Ascot ➜ World-famous Royal Ascot is a true one-of-akind event where horse racing excellence and high society converge. The magnificent steeds, famous jockeys, and 300,000 people who attend each year are equally fond of the hats and fashions on ‘Ladies Day’. For a truly majestic experience, get closer with frontrow box seats, and you just might glimpse the Royal family arriving each day by horse-drawn carriage. ■