Page 1

May 2009

www.urbanlife-magazine.com

LUXURY PHONES The connoisseur’s list

THE LAND OF TEAC & SONY TECHNOLOGY FEATURE IN ASSOCIATION WITH HARRODS SOUND & VISION

URBAN LIFE

A new section on the global social scene

MOTORING

Jaguar XF 4 and Alfa Romeo Brera S test drives

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME

COMPETITION

Win a luxury weekend break for two

Luxury watch feature

THE TAKEOVER Four of our hottest properties in film

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: HAROLD TILLMAN

THE CEO OF JAEGER TALKS TO US ABOUT HIS ROLE AS THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BFC FASHION

URBAN LIFE COVER.indd 1

TRAVEL

ART & CULTURE

MOTORING

TECHNOLOGY

NIGHTLIFE

REVIEWS 14/5/09 15:41:30


The time is now. The place is Malaysia

MALAYSIA.indd 2

14/5/09 08:48:58


Helping orphaned baby orang-utans to learn survival skills in special sanctuaries…Limitless undiscovered beaches, dive-sites and marine parks on two oceans…Endlessly delicious food influenced long-ago by traders from neighbouring countries... Tribal dances of grace and passion, backed by gongs and bamboo flutes that profoundly echo Malaysia…

For booking contact your local Travel Agent For more information please visit: www.tourismmalaysia.gov.my or call 020 7930 7932 Tourism Malaysia 57 Trafalgar Square London WC2N 5DU email info@tourism-malaysia.co.uk

MALAYSIA.indd 3

14/5/09 08:50:13


SSC_UrbanLife_A4DPS.indd 1 SUN.indd 2

5/5/09 10:50:34 14/5/09 09:09:43

SSC_Ur


0:34

Welcome to the world that is Sunseeker Charters Sunseeker 86 Yacht 'Tambora' – One of over 50 Sunseeker vessels available for charter throughout the world from the 37' Sportfisher to the 37 Metre Trideck Yacht

Sunseeker Charters 23 West Quay Road, Poole, BH15 1HX, United Kingdom. 4EL  s&AX   WWWSUNSEEKERCHARTERSNETsINFO SUNSEEKERCHARTERSNET /&&)#%3). 5+s&2!.#%s30!).s&,/2)$!s(/.'+/.'

SSC_UrbanLife_A4DPS.indd 2 SUN.indd 3

5/5/09 10:50:55 14/5/09 09:09:44


19161_72530 FStart M3 A4_Park Lane

29/4/09

16:48

Page 1

Head A BMW M3 Coupé for £579 per month (plus deposit*) at BMW Park Lane.

Rush 420hp at 8,300 rpm. 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds. 19" light alloy wheels. M Double Clutch Transmission.

BMW Contract Hire offers you competitive monthly payments and no depreciation worries at the end of your agreement. And now the BMW M3 Coupé can be specified with, among other things, a seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with DRIVELOGIC, providing uninterrupted power delivery and seamless gear changes for quicker acceleration and improved fuel efficiency. Please contact us to arrange a test drive† or to find out more.

BMW Park Lane

The BMW M3 Coupé

BMW Park Lane

The Ultimate Driving Machine

Crafted at BMW M.

77 Park Lane, London W1K 7TP 0207 514 3559 www.bmwparklane.co.uk

Official fuel economy figures for the BMW M3 Coupé with seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) with DRIVELOGIC: Extra Urban: 31.4mpg (9.0 l/100km). Urban: 16.6mpg (17.0 l/100km). Combined: 23.7mpg (11.9 l/100km). CO2 emissions 285g/km. New models only. Cars must be registered by 30 June 2009 and hired through BMW Contract Hire, subject to availability. Not available in conjunction with any other offer. *Offer available to business users only. Figures exclude VAT. Hiring example based on a 42 month BMW Contract Hire agreement for the model shown, a BMW M3 Coupé with 19" M Double-Spoke style 225M forged and polished light alloy wheels (£1,240), seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) with DRIVELOGIC (£2,535), with a deposit of £1,911.00 followed by 41 monthly rentals of £579.00 and a contract mileage of 35,000 miles. Mileage charge in excess of contract mileage is 12.52 pence per mile. Vehicle condition charges may apply. Figures are correct at time of going to press and are subject to change without notice. All hiring is subject to status and available to over 18s in the UK only (excluding the Channel Islands). Guarantees and indemnities may be required. We can arrange finance and hiring facilities for you. †Test drive subject to applicant status and availability.

URBAN LIFE CREDITS 6.indd 2

14/5/09 09:12:35


URBAN LIFE MAY 09

CONTENTS 12

BASEL SPECIAL Our new jewellery section starts off with a look at the biggest luxury watch and jewellery fair in the world

16

URBAN STAR Exclusive interview with Harold Tillman: CEO of Jaeger and current Chairman of the British Fashion Council

26

TRAVEL Thornbury Castle – a weekend of fun exploring the only Tudor Castle hotel in England. With fine food, driving an APC, shooting and even a midnight stroll in one of the oldest mediaeval gardens in the country, and not a ghost in sight!

29

COMPETITION Win a luxury weekend break for two to the Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa with the Small Luxury Hotels of the World

30 34

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME The first of a new feature on luxury timepieces

58

MOTORING Motoring news and test drives on a new Jaguar XF 4 and Alfa Romeo Brera S

CINEMA PARADISO The UL guide to the best cinema experience in London!

60

38

TECHNOLOGY, In Association With Harrods Sound & Vision Urban Life guide to the hottest products for the home environment

THE TAKEOVER Profiles of four of our hottest properties in the film industry right now

64

42

LUXURY PHONES We look at some of the best mobile phones money can buy

URBAN LIFE A new section on the coolest and highest profile events from around the world

46

ART & CULTURE We take a look at what the must-see exhibitions are over the coming months

50

THE FOOD OF LOVE From hampers to ice creams and delis to home delivery; we munch our way through some of the capitals finest outlets serving the freshest of fare to a discerning palate

54

RESTAURANT REVIEWS The Chefs Table at Mint Leaf Lounge in the City and Just St. James

56

NIGHTLIFE Funky Nora’s guide to the hippest clubs in town

21

37 13

08 URBAN LIFE

URBAN LIFE CONTENTS PG 8.indd 1

14/5/09 11:03:03


To buy online visit www.juicycouturewatches.co.uk

For your nearest Juicy Couture Watch stockist please telephone 01428 664700 or visit www.juicycouturewatches.co.uk URBAN LIFE 00

URBAN LIFE CONTENTS PG 8.indd 2

14/5/09 11:03:04


SUBSCRIPTION

URBAN LIFE SUBSCRIPTIONS

Keep ahead of current trends with London’s hottest lifestyle magazine.Subscribe now for your free copy!

SUBSCRIPTIONS FORM Name

Age

Profession/Job Title: Address:

Town/City: Postcode: Contact telephone number: Email: I wish to subscribe to Urban Life magazine

Signature:

Date:

I have enclosed a cheque for £8.75 to cover postage and packaging for one year’s subscription (4 issues, UK only). For International subscriptions, please contact us for further information: subs@urbanlife-magazine.com

www.urbanlife-magazine.com

Your details will be processed by Westside Communications Limited (Publisher of Urban Life Magazine) and its affiliates in accordance with UK Data Protection legislation. From time to time, Westside Communications Ltd. may contact you with information about our other products and services. Please tick here if you do NOT wish to recieve such information. Westside Communications Ltd. may occasionally share this information with other reputable companies who wish to contact you about their products and services, please tick here if you do not wish to be contacted by such companies.

10 URBAN LIFE

URBAN LIFE SUBS 10-11.indd 2

14/5/09 17:04:03


Cover picture photographed by: Adam Parker Model Sarah @ Red NYC Location: Harlem, New York

URBAN LIFE

www.urbanlife-magazine.com

Published by: Westside Communications Ltd. 10 Greycoat Place, London, SW1P 1SB Tel: +44 (0) 871 989 8206 Fax: +44 (0) 871 989 8207 Email: info@urbanlife-magazine.com URL: www.urbanlife-magazine.com Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Ataur Rahman

Creative Director

Lee Thomas

Sub Editor

Will Dugdale

Film and Entertainment Editor

Andre Gayle

Head of Business Development

James Tan

Motoring Editor

Patrick Anderson

Features

Sarah Walsh, Jodie May

Ivan Petersen

Thomas Newton

(www.ukwebmedia.com)

Fashion

Delphine Hervieu

Social Correspondent

Funky Nora

Editorial Assistants

Andy Simpson, Clara Thomas

Cover & Fashion Photography

Adam Parker

www.adamparker.co.uk

Advertising

Becky Chatsworth

Subscriptions Manager

James Mason

Š Westside Communications Ltd 2004-2009. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part as well as storage of same in any retrieval system or transmission in any form including content and advertisement designs without the express prior written permission of the publisher will result in legal action. The content and views contained within this magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. All details correct at time of going to press but are subject to change. All errors and omissions excluded. All special offers and competitions are subject to terms and conditions (please see individual offers for details). Urban Life cannot be held responsible for any unsolicited material.

All enquiries relating to features, advertising and sponsorship should be directed to the sales team in the first instance: sales@urbanlife-magazine.com or +44 871 989 8206

URBAN LIFE 11

URBAN LIFE SUBS 10-11.indd 3

14/5/09 17:04:14


SPECIAL FEATURE - BASELWORLD 2009

< ‘Majestic Beauty Fan’ Designed by Cindy Chao, on behalf of Pluczenik. Created as part of De Beers’ Foervermark Precious Collection ™ - 2009

SPECIAL FEATURE

BASELWORLD

2009 Feature by Sarah Walsh

A

s the leading watch and jewellery trade fair in the world, Baselworld is where the luxury segment showcases its creativity and innovation, setting trends for the year ahead. With nearly 2,000 exhibitors under one roof, the show took place over eight days this year, attracting well over 90,000 visitors.

diamonds, precious stones and metals to accentuate the need for ever more elaborate designs and ‘statement’ pieces of beautifully crafted jewellery. Not to mention the designers’ seduction techniques using vibrant colours and intricate but playful creations to tantalise us even more.

The fair started in a sombre mood, given that we’re in the middle of one of the biggest global economic downturns in history. And just like every other sector being hit hard, so too has the luxury end of the market. However, it is reassuring to see that by the time the show finished the outlook was one of a more positive nature. This was further confirmed by the products on show: using pearls,

As there is so much for us to cover from the fair and we only have a few pages, we’ve decided to highlight a few pieces that have caught our attention on this occasion. However, we are pleased to announce that as of the next edition, we shall be incorporating a high-jewellery section, which will be a lot more comprehensive in its coverage. Watch this space…

12 URBAN LIFE

BASLE.indd 2

14/5/09 11:35:21


SPECIAL FEATURE - BASELWORLD 2009

<

Frost Flowers – Mikimoto

< Scorpio – Schreiner < Oceania – Autore

URBAN LIFE 13 00

BASLE.indd 3

14/5/09 11:35:23


SPECIAL FEATURE - BASELWORLD 2009

< < <

Re-inventing the ball clasp – Jörg Heinz Colour Collection – Comete Incroyable Vendanges – Dior

14 URBAN LIFE

BASLE.indd 4

14/5/09 11:35:25


SPECIAL FEATURE - BASELWORLD 2009

<

Gay Freres

<

Facets Line - Baccarat

Capri – Roberto Coin

<

<

<

‘Toi et Moi’ - Alain Roure

<

Flirty – D&G

URBAN LIFE 00 URBAN LIFE 15 00

BASLE.indd 5

14/5/09 11:35:28


URBAN STAR

HAROLD TILLMAN

THE INTERVIEW Interviewed by Delphine Hervieu

Having replaced Sir Stuart Rose as the Chairman of the British Fashion Council last year, Harold Tillman has taken on a role for which he is widely acknowledged as the right candidate, bringing a wealth of commercial fashion and retail experience to go with it. And since this interview was conducted, Mr Tillman has announced a number of changes, including the LFW move to Somerset House as of this Sepetember, as part of its 25 year legacy plans.

H

arold Tillman, owner of the prestigious British brand Jaeger and Chairman of the British Fashion Council has kindly agreed to answer some questions about the industry as a whole and Jaeger as a British brand. I went to his office on a rainy Thursday morning and was warmly welcomed into his office. For me, as for anybody who lives through and for the Fashion Industry, it was an honour to be able to borrow half an hour from Mr Tillman. In this edition of Urban Life, we pay tribute to a man who has such a deep understanding of Fashion retailing and manufacturing. What motivated you to accept the position as the chairman of the British Fashion Council? Stuart Rose, the former Chairman of the British Fashion Council, comes from the retailing industry and not the Fashion industry specifically. I thought I could share the experience I have in Design and Retail. So far, I am comfortable in the role and hope I can bring something different to the position. Define British Fashion today in 3 words: I would say ‘ahead of the pack’, ‘cutting edge’ and ‘innovation’. I think we have always been able to confidently deliver cutting edge design. Even the French journalists recognise that we deliver innovation! What is London Fashion Week (LFW) supposed to bring compared to Paris Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week? New York and Paris respect the fact that we bring innovation. We are fearless; we

set the trends that the rest of the world embrace but would not go out and create themselves. In a word, LFW takes the risks. Why do you think some well known and talented British designers still prefer to show their collections in Paris or Milan? (McQueen, Asprey, etc.) It is an interesting debate: they are all different platforms. London introduces designers; Paris and Milan take lessons on what to bring to the biggest market which is America. We are very proud that British designers are hired abroad to export the British savoir faire. My opposite number in America, Diane Von Furstenberg (Chairman of the Fashion Council of America) is hiring British designers, and I think this is because our colleges are the best: Central Saint Martins School and London College of Fashion have great lecturers. I studied at the LCF in the sixties and when I go there today it still has this integrity and feeling that the fashion world is passing through its doors. What attributes had Jaeger when you acquired it? What were the targets at that time? Have you achieved them so far? I come from a family of clothiers: my mother was a milliner and my father was a tailor. When I was a small child walking down Regent Street, the windows my parents were always talking about were Jaeger. So it became in my mind, and over my years in the business I have always respected Jaeger as an icon of Britishness. Jaeger has always kept and maintained its brand reputation but it had gone nowhere for a couple of years. So I saw the opportunity when it came on sale. Similar to the revival

of Burberry, I thought we could do the same with Jaeger. How would you define Jaeger’s image today? Jaeger has changed. We are a bit more cutting-edge, and we keep ourselves extremely respectful towards quality. Introducing Jaeger London has brought the younger customers towards us. Who is the typical Jaeger Customer? They have become younger. The female customer is still looking for the quality she deserves while demanding good value. Nowadays people ask where a garment comes from, and Jaeger has a brand reference. When we introduced accessories it increased the scope of the brand further, and Jaeger Home has developed Jaeger as a lifestyle brand. We heard our Jaeger ladies wanted towels, bedsheets, etc. with ‘J’ on it, so we made their wishes our commands…. Having created Jaeger Black, as a luxury collection, do you believe a brand can flirt both with the high street trends and needs and the luxury market specifics? It is a much smaller collection; you have to become more affluent for those who are affluent. We are experiencing success with Jaeger Black so far – we have to keep pushing against the boundaries. What is the common message conveyed by all the ranges and products under the Jaeger umbrella? The common message is “style without extravagance” and above all quality. When you buy Jaeger you buy a timeless piece. We are an iconic brand.

16 URBAN LIFE

TILLMAN.indd 2

14/5/09 11:13:18


URBAN STAR

“OUR COLLEGES ARE THE BEST. CENTRAL SAINT MARTINS SCHOOL AND LONDON COLLEGE OF FASHION HAVE GREAT LECTURERS. I HAVE STUDIED AT THE LCF IN THE SIXTIES AND WHEN I GO THERE TODAY IT STILL HAS THIS INTEGRITY AND FEELING THAT THE FASHION WORLD IS PASSING THROUGH ITS DOORS...”

A short summary of the British Fashion Council history: The BFC is composed of fashion industry professionals and was created in 1983 to improve the quality and visibility of womenswear exhibitions in London as well as offering support to the British Fashion industry. The BFC established the London Fashion Week (LFW), and in 1984 inaugurated the Designer of the year award. In 1991 it introduced the BFC Colleges Forum, and is now a world recognised organisation that has recently announced, under Harold Tillman’s chairmanship, a list of initiatives including the BFC Fashion Fund. This September sees the LFW move to its new location at Somerset House.

A brief biography on Harold Tillman: Harold Tillman was born on the 15th of October 1945, and has studied design and pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion. He started his career as a trainee at the clothing company Lindcroft in 1963 which he acquired in 1969. He has since continued to acquire and sell companies such as Sumrie Clothes and Honorbilt. He acquired Baird Menswear Brands in 2000 and bought Jaeger from Richard Thompson in 2003.

URBAN LIFE 17

TILLMAN.indd 3

14/5/09 11:13:20


URBAN LIFE FASHION

00 URBAN LIFE

URBAN LIFE FASHION PG18-23.indd 2

14/5/09 15:44:39


URBAN LIFE FASHION

HARLEM STREET SHUFFLE Photographer: Adam Parker www.adamparker.co.uk

Stylist: Indashio @ Artists by Timothy Priano www.artistsbytimothypriano.com Hair: Danielle @ Artists by Timothy Priano Make-up: Anthea @ Artists by Timothy Priano Models: Sarah & Dayana Pires @ Red NYC www.rednyc.com

Black Bathing suit / Gold Bra / Gold Bathing suit- INDASHIO Sandels-Baby Phat Boots-Timberland Earrings- www.Avamichele.com Black Sunglasses-Dolce and Gabbana

URBAN LIFE 00

URBAN LIFE FASHION PG18-23.indd 3

14/5/09 15:44:42


THIS PAGE AND OPPOSITE Dress - Coogi Leggings - Roca Wear Sandels - Baby Phat Sneakers - Creative Recreation Belt / Bangles / Bra - INDASHIO White Sunglasses - www.Karmaloop.com Green Sunglasses - Bestey Johnson Purses - Coogi Turquiose Hat / Purple Hat - Stacy Adams Necklace - www.avamichele.com

00 URBAN LIFE

URBAN LIFE FASHION PG18-23.indd 4

14/5/09 15:44:47


URBAN LIFE 00

URBAN LIFE FASHION PG18-23.indd 5

14/5/09 15:44:51


Lavender Dress - Baby Phat Purple Dress - Baby Phat Sandels - Baby Phat Black Shoes - Jump NYC 00 URBAN LIFE

URBAN LIFE FASHION PG18-23.indd 6

14/5/09 15:44:55


Pink Pants - Rocawear Yello Pants - Rocawear Sandels - Baby Phat Black shoes - JUMP NYC Ruffel Jumpsuite - Rocawear Top-Rocawear Small Purple Hat / Purse / Bangle - INDASHIO Brown Hat - Urban Outfitters

URBAN LIFE 00

URBAN LIFE FASHION PG18-23.indd 7

14/5/09 15:44:58


JUMPSTART SPRING 2009: HL-JEANS.COM

HLJSS09_UrbanLife_Spread.indd 1 SUN.indd 2

14/5/09 11:37:46


SUN.indd 3

09-05-0511:37:47 13.27.41 14/5/09


TRAVEL

“BRIAN JARVIS, THE LONG-STANDING GENERAL MANAGER, HAS BEEN AT THORNBURY FOR OVER 15 YEARS, AND HAS AN ENCYCLOPEDIC KNOWLEDGE OF THE LOCAL HISTORY AND THAT OF THORNBURY. NATURALLY THE FIRST THING TO DO WAS TO PICK HIS BRAIN AND GO ON A TOUR OF THE CASTLE...”

URBAN LIFE 27

TRAVEL.indd 3

14/5/09 11:47:41


TRAVEL

Activities For a bit of leisure activity, we spent half a day with AFC Hospitality on Saturday, which was organised by the hotel. There are so many things to get down and dirty with that you need a good few days to experience everything. After the safety briefing, which was with a group of young men on a stag weekend (there was a hen party around too, but they were already hitting the Honda Pilots when we got there), so as you can imagine there was a lot of fun and banter before we even stepped out. We chose the armoured personnel carrier for the driving experience (the 17 tonne monster was quite an exhilarating experience I can tell you) and clay pigeon shooting, which is something Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve always wanted to try. With Mike Loveless by our side, one of the senior instructors at AFC, we were in good hands and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. If you are able to plan ahead, I suggest you try a few different things as well as the above and you will have a great day out with memories that will last. A full list of activities is available on the website. AFC Hospitality ltd. 01934 862 305 www.acfhospitality.co.uk

28 URBAN LIFE

TRAVEL.indd 4

14/5/09 11:47:44


URBAN LIFE COMPETITION

WIN A WEEKEND STAY AT LUTON HOO HOTEL, GOLF & SPA WITH SMALL LUXURY HOTELS OF THE WORLD

The Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ (SLH) brand is an unrivalled portfolio of some of the world’s finest small independent hotels. Comprising over 480 hotels in more than 70 countries, the diversity of the individual hotels, and the experiences that they offer, is exceptional. Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa is one such example and it really is the epitome of what Small Luxury Hotels of the World is all about. Painstakingly restored to its former glory, this stunning Mansion House is set within 1,000 acres of beautiful parkland in Bedfordshire, less than an hour’s drive from London. Spend lazy days playing croquet on the beautifully manicured lawn or play tennis on the fully restored Victorian grass court with its pavilion that revolves to follow the day’s sun! In the evening, experience the fine dining Wernher Restaurant or the Adam’s Brasserie. All in all, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa provides the most idyllic setting for a short break and whatever you choose to indulge in during your stay you are guaranteed the highest levels of service. If you book 2 night’s accommodation before the end of September your third night will be free the only condition being is that dinner has to be taken in the hotel restaurant on two of the evenings. To make a reservation call the UK toll-free number 00-800525-48000 or visit www.slh.com/ lutonhoo. For more information on Small Luxury Hotels of the World’s entire portfolio, visit www.slh.com. One lucky reader is being given the chance to win a two-night weekend stay for two in a Deluxe Room at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa, with dinner on both nights and either an Aromatic Spa treatment or a round of golf per person included as part of the prize.

For your chance to win this fabulous weekend break, please fill in the entry form below and send it to: Competitions desk, Urban Life Magazine, 10 Greycoat Place, London, SW1P 1SB URBAN LIFE COMPETITION ENTRY FORM Name Profession/Job Title: Address:

Town/City: Postcode: Contact telephone number: Email: Note: the closing date for the competition is June 20th 2009, with the draw taking place on June 24th 2009. The winner will be chosen at random. Editor’s decision final, no correspondence will be entered into (full terms and conditions are available upon written request). The prize of the two night stay must be taken before 8 September 2009, excluding Bank Holiday weekends, and is subject to availability. It includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner both days. A round of golf or a spa treatment each is included. Travel, drinks, additional meals and extras are excluded. There is no cash alternative. By entering this competition you are agreeing to letting Urban Life and Luton Hoo Hotel to use your details in future marketing campaigns.

URBAN LIFE 29

COMPETITION.indd 3

14/5/09 11:53:38


WATCHES

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME Feature by Andre Gayle

S

Some call it an art. Some call it a science. However you choose to define it, the discipline of Horology has concentrated brilliant minds and employed skilled hands for centuries. With the advent of the wrist watch just before the dawn of the 20th century, function suddenly collided with fashion. No longer was the timepiece simply an answer to the question: “what time is it?” Now, the right watch was a statement, an unspoken declaration of style and status to be hidden in a waistcoat pocket no longer. Once the wrist had to be dressed to complement the attire the wrist watch became the most important, and most diverse, men’s accessory of all time – a lofty position it will surely never lose. In recent decades the art of Horology has turned the wrist watch into a multi-billion pound industry where the right watch could repay its investment in a few short years, maybe even buy that Bentley Continental you’ve had your eye on. Perhaps you prefer to live in the moment with an exquisite eye catcher that sets off your dress at that award ceremony or society party, for once art had become the driving force behind the wrist watch the ladies version was always inevitable and thus the true fashion watch was born. Today fashion houses like Gucci and Christian Dior compete with established dedicated luxury watch manufacturers like Patek Phillipe, Rolex and new players in the market Cuervo Y Sobrinos, for your attention and, in turn, your long term loyalty. Luxury watches have stood the test of time to become collectable, and investable, examples of the finest timekeeping in the world. Looking to the past, present and the future we are reminded that, in these times of economic instability, fashion is only temporary but style is forever and if there is the desire to invest that little extra in a luxury watch these are among the best examples from which you could choose.

Rolex Oyster Explorer II (1972) Originally launched in 1953 the Rolex Explorer was made famous as the watch of choice for Sir Edmund Hillary and his expedition to the summit of Mount Everest. The Explorer II launched in 1971 and is commonly associated with American icon Steve McQueen. This rare stainless steel Orange Hand, automatic Rolex Oyster Explorer II has a second time zone function and is waterproof to 30 metres. Valued at £17,500. The Vintage Watch Company, Burlington Arcade. 020 7499 2032.

Breguet Limited Edition Platinum Minute Repeating Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon (1997) Made to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Louis Breguet, this piece is one of only three examples in the world. Breguet is one of the few watchmakers to rival Patek Philippe in prestige and ingenuity and the hefty title of this timepiece gives some indication of the Grande Complications mechanism powering this watch. Among its features are: retrograde date, jump-hours, leap year and minute, quarter hour and hour dual chimes - to name but a few. All finished in Platinum and Gold with a black crocodile leather strap. Needless to say, if you can find one you won’t find it cheap. Valued between £200,000 and £275,000. www.breguet.com.

Patek Philippe Minute Repeater Tourbillon (1999) With up to two years in man hours invested to make one watch, Patek Philippe is considered by many to be the finest of all luxury watch makers. It’s not uncommon for collectors and connoisseurs alike to place their names on a waiting list with Patek just for consideration to be able to buy one of their luxury pieces. This sublime, classically styled and rare Minute Repeater is solid polished platinum with sapphire front and back crystal glass, white enamel dial with white gold numerals, black hand stitched crocodile leather strap and platinum Tang buckle. The Repeater can be set to subtly chime the hours, quarter hours and minutes as required. One of the benchmarks in hand crafted watches. Valued at £330,000. David Duggan Watches, Burlington Arcade. 020 7491 1675.

Ulysse Nardin Marine Perpetual Limited Edition (2001) The first Diver’s watch with a perpetual calendar, the distinctive Marine Blue dial marks this piece out as the very desirable limited edition version of only 500 in the world. The case and bracelet are polished stainless steel and the moving bezel is 18ct white gold. All adjustments, from the minute hand to the year indicator, are synchronised through the crown and it has 200 metre waterproof depth and certified chronometer movement. Valued between £15,000 and £20,000. www.ulysse-nardin.com

30 URBAN LIFE

WATCHES.indd 2

14/5/09 13:04:11


To buy online visit www.twsteeluk.com For your nearest TW Steel stockist please telephone 01428 656822 or visit www.twsteeluk.com SUN.indd 3

14/5/09 17:51:52


WATCHES

Panerai Luminor GMT 40mm (2003). Swiss craftsmanship with Italian design flair makes Panerai a very sought after brand in the luxury watch market. Its cache rose exponentially when Hollywood movie star Sylvester Stallone bought a Luminor in Rome to wear while filming Daylight in 1995 and then subsequently ordered some personalised pieces for friends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, who wore his in the movie Eraser. This Luminor GMT has a polished steel case and bracelet and features a dual time zone display on a dial that is subtly luminescent in the dark. Particular to the Panerai design is the locking lever over the crown which keeps the watch waterproof to over 300 metres. Valued at £4500. www.panerai.com

Baume and Mercier Limited Edition William Baume Tourbillon (2008) As a tribute to one of its founders the William Baume Collection from Baume and Mercier evokes its heritage as one of the ten oldest Swiss luxury watch brands. From that collection the Tourbillon pays homage to the record set by Baume for absolute precision at the Kew Observatory in 1892 using a tourbillon chronometer. This exclusive piece is in 18 ct red gold with silvered appliquéd dial, 18ct red gold markers, sapphire crystal glass and Chestnut brown Alligator leather wrist strap. One of only ten in the world… RRP £POA. www.baume-et-mercier.com

A Lange & Sohne, Datograph Perpetual (2008) The extreme precision and complex movement of each Datograph requires several months manufacturing and hand assembly. The solid platinum dial has Rhodium gold appliqués and comes with a black, hand stitched crocodile skin wrist strap. The sapphire crystal back plate allows you to observe the 556 hand finished untreated silver components of this watch and the Superluminova coating makes the hands on the face glow subtly in the dark. RRP: £80,500. www.alange-sohne.com.

“ONCE THE WRIST HAD TO BE DRESSED TO COMPLEMENT THE ATTIRE THE WRIST WATCH BECAME THE MOST IMPORTANT, AND MOST DIVERSE, MEN’S ACCESSORY OF ALL TIME – A LOFTY POSITION IT WILL SURELY NEVER LOSE.”

Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Squadra Lady Duetto (2008) This elegant but unusual watch has a reversible face that can be changed to match your moods/outfits. One dial has a more romantic edge, displaying the time and date with a disc that shows the passage from day to night with Sun and Moon symbols. The reverse face is strikingly stark, only showing the hours and minutes (pictured.) The case is in platinum and white gold, the strap is white Alligator leather and the faces are set with a total of 73 diamonds. RRP: £POA. www.jaeger-lecoultre.com

Chopard Two O Ten, Lady (2008) Two variations on the same classic style: first there is the polished Steel watch with Quartz movement, black baton dial, Steel folding clasp and water-resistant to 30 metres. The 18K pink gold ladies’ watch features a bezel set with 38 diamonds (1.87cts), a Crocodile leather strap and Rose Gold folding clasp. Polished Steel RRP: £2,800. Pink Gold RRP: £8,500. Chopard 020 7439 3304. www.chopard.com

Patek Philippe Ladies Twenty – 4 (2008) The curved silhouette of the Twenty-4 range of watches launched in 1999 draws its inspiration from the classic Patek Gondolo timepieces of the late 40s and 50s. This beautiful white gold on white gold Quartz model features no less than 543 Wesselton diamonds arranged in a distinctive pattern that complements a line of matching rings and earrings made to accompany the watch. RRP £39,710. www.patek.com

32 URBAN LIFE

WATCHES.indd 4

14/5/09 13:04:14


WATCHES

GLOBAL WATCH MARKET Global Watch Market has traveled the world to bring you a collection of watches that satisfy the most discerning tastes. Navigational features allow you to explore our new and used inventory with ease, and find the exact watch and features you want. From long forgotten vintage time pieces to fresh designer collections, Global Watch Market has it all. At Global Watch Market, we make finding your perfect watch easy.

Cartier Ladies Baignoire Grande Modele (2009) The classic Baignoire series returns for a new model launched at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, January 2009. The delicate oval case is 18 carat pink gold while the dial is finished with silver plated flinqué and Cartier’s signature black roman numerals. The strap is finely brushed beige satin with a pink gold Tang buckle. RRP: £POA. Cartier, 020 3147 4850. www.cartier.com

Cuervo Y Sobrinos Torpedo Pirata Diamond Chronograph (2009) The new name in luxury watches, Cuervo Y Sobrinos is the 127 year old company that hails from Havana, Cuba, and launches its Swiss made collection for the first time in the UK in 2009. This limited edition diamond and sapphire set watch heads the collection. It has an 18ct gold, titanium and stainless steel case and is set with white diamonds, black diamonds and orange sapphires. Waterproof to three atmospheres, its romantic Caribbean design is enhanced by the authentic Humidor gift box in which it is supplied. RRP: £30,000. Jura Watches, 0800 011 2704. www.jurawatches.co.uk

www.globalwatchmarket.com

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona (2009) Rolex updates the famed Daytona with a new range of models that includes this diamond encrusted beauty. The dial is diamond paved with black enamel numerals while the surround is 18 ct white gold. The fixed bezel is set with 36 baguettes and the end-pieces are set with 48 brilliant diamonds. The wrist strap is black leather with white gold folding clasp. RRP £62,730. Rolex 020 7024 7300. www.rolex.com

info@globalwatchmarket.com

GLOBAL WATCH MARKET

Global Watch Market brings you a collection of watches guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning tastes. Navigational features allow you to explore our new and used inventory with ease, and find the exact watch and features you want. From long forgotten vintage time pieces to fresh designer collections, Global Watch Market has it all. At Global Watch Market, we make finding your perfect watch easy.

www.globalwatchmarket.com

WATCHES.indd 5

info@globalwatchmarket.com

14/5/09 13:04:24


MOTORING

MOTORING In this edition, Motoring Editor Patrick Anderson test drives a Jaguar XF 4 and Alfa Romeo Brera S, and looks to the future with some of this autumn and next yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s releases...

34 URBAN LIFE

URBAN LIFE MOTORING PG 32-35.indd 2

14/5/09 13:16:57


MOTORING

< Jaguar XF 4.2 SV8

the power to the wheels more efficiently, making it a real sports car drive on the UK’s small roads, and motorways.

It is sometimes surprising to find that what you expect to be a thirsty, heavy limousine turns out to be an easy, comfortable drive with an unusually economical 4.2litre V8. It is both quiet and powerful, most befitting of the luxury it promises, while the new styling makes it a real 21st Century car: Midnight exterior and wood, aluminium and spice-coloured double stitched leather interior sets Jaguar against many others that have resorted to plastic in these harder times.

There’s a V6 3.195cc petrol engine with modified twin exhausts that produces a low growl that will please all the racers, and with an interior fitted with Frau red stitched soft black leather from the dash to the steering wheel, it’s going to please those looking for style. However – the bucket seats provided my first real gripe. The car is built for the average man (whatever that is – I know few 5ft 10 slim businessmen) but for those of even slightly larger proportions, the seats become progressively more uncomfortable over longer journeys.

My seven day road test barely gave me time to get to grips with all the equipment that comes installed, despite its general ease-of-use: tyre pressure monitoring, radar-controlled cruise control, heating and cooling front seats, which were also electrically adjustable in up to 16 ways, with memory functions for different drivers.

Similarly, while the car is a four-seater, the back two are very much for show, and certainly not large enough for adult passengers. This does make room for quite a considerably sized boot, though, and one can even fold the rear seats down to expand this further.

Blind spot monitoring wing mirrors are a handy aid that alerts drivers to vehicles outside your usual field of view. Similarly the forward parking sensor; however it is lucky that you could turn it off from the overhead console to avoid the continual beeping you would get from cyclists cutting you up in the London traffic!

We took the car across Germany to fully benefit from its powerful 260bhp engine without restriction: 0-60mph in barely 7 seconds and the car handled well, even in the rain, easily reaching speeds of 120, but seeming most comfortable around 100.

A couple of devices we only found out about in theory by reading the manual – rear electric sunblind, adjustable three-spoke steering wheel, additional gear paddles for use in manual/sports mode; not to mention the USB and iPod ports in the central glove box. This being Britain, however, we did get to see the automatic windscreen-wipers…

So, after a week of luxury, the car is smooth and easy to handle, comfortable in both front and rear, with a large, roomy boot for the shopping or luggage. I believe Jaguar have a winning car here, but only time will tell in this ever more difficult end of the market.

Alfa Romeo Brera S

<

The car is also equipped with a multi-media TV system, including SatNav and telephone via Bluetooth, and the customisable settings are generally recordable to save time after initialisation. The entire package is intuitive and intelligent, although the keyless entry is a little strange to get used to, in that the car recognises your proximity and automatically locks/ unlocks itself without any external input.

The interior of the car was good looking, with brushed aluminium pedals and finish, while the lack of SatNav or even a cup-holder was unusual in a modern car, but perhaps this is reflected in the sub-£29,000 price tag.

The UK limited edition Alfa Romero Brera S is definitely going to be one for the petrol heads: they’re only releasing 500 of them! The sleek lines of the model I tested were impressive: Alfa have used the expertise of prodrive to ensure the power components (suspension, etc.) get

There were also small irritants – the windscreen-wipers skipped across the glass, and the red-on-white dashboard dials were hard to read at a glance. Most worryingly, however, the model that I had been given, virtually straight from the Bristol prodrive customisation, had a faulty fuel gauge that kept moving in front of my eyes as I sped along the autobahn. I managed an overall 4.5mpg in 1,500 miles of driving, justifying its 70 litre tank: this is the thirstiest car I’ve driven, far in excess of many larger vehicles I have tested with larger engines, and this made me wonder – in the current economic conditions, will Alfa manage to find enough enthusiasts in the UK market for this rather specialised car?

URBAN LIFE 35

URBAN LIFE MOTORING PG 32-35.indd 3

14/5/09 13:16:59


MOTORING

MOTORING NEWS

Just unveiled at the 13th Shanghai Auto show as we were going to press, the newest model to come out of the Porsche stable is the Panamera. The twin-turbocharged 500bhp V8 petrolengine Gran Turismo will go on sale in September 2009. We’ll be taking a closer look at this later in the year… www.porsche.co.uk

2010 Range Rover Sport

<

<

Porsche Panamera

The New York International Auto Show was the platform for the 2010 Range Rover’s debut earlier in the month. Options of a 3.0 litre LR-TDV6 diesel or the all-new 5.0 litre supercharged LR-V8 petrol engine, along with a number of enhancements in interior and exterior design, make for a superior drive with added luxury. Incorporating e_Terrain Technologies means increased fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions. Available from September 2009. www.landrover.co.uk

36 URBAN LIFE

URBAN LIFE MOTORING PG 32-35.indd 4

14/5/09 13:17:02


MOTORING

“THE X5M AND X6M SET A NEW BENCHMARK FOR BMW AS THE MOST POWERFUL ROAD-GOING M CARS BUILT” The X5M and X6M set a new benchmark for BMW as the most powerful road-going M cars built. Powered by twin-turbocharged V8 engines, producing a whopping 555bhp and 680Nm of torque, with a top speed of 155mph, both models incorporate a new six-speed M Sport Automatic transmission, featuring an electronic management system, the xDrive fourwheel drive system and Dynamic Performance Control. They go on sale from end of October 2009. www.bmw.co.uk

Aston Martin Rapide

<

<

BMW X5M AND X6M

On course for a public debut later this year, the hotly anticipated Aston Martin Rapide is finally nearing completion. First shown as a concept at the Detroit Auto Show back in 2006, the Rapide is Aston Martin’s first four-door production sports car. Power comes from Aston Martin’s 6.0 litre V12 engine, producing 470bhp and 600Nm of torque, giving it sports-car performance, whilst maintaining the luxury and elegance of a grand tourer. Expect to see the first models rolling out of the factory in early 2010… www.astonmartin.com

URBAN LIFE 37

URBAN LIFE MOTORING PG 32-35.indd 5

14/5/09 13:17:04


TECHNOLOGY

THE LAND OF TEAC AND SONY

E

xclusivity is the hallmark of an urban life and, by definition, innovation never stands still. Those that are the first to bring us the newest innovations on the market can rightly lay claim to the prefix ‘Exclusively at…’ and all the kudos that it brings. Now, with the capital markets taking the turn that they have, we are witnessing a renewed surge of interest in making a house a home. Entertaining friends, family and even yourself at home has become ever more important as we find that we are now not dining out or socialising three or four times a week, as we have in the past. Of course, this means the home needs to be suitably equipped to make that extra time spent there all the more enjoyable. Anything less than the crisp high definition of a Loewe 52” LCD flat screen on the wall just will not do. If it’s not the crystal clarity of a Bowers & Wilkins surround >

Home Entertainment in association with Harrods Sound & Vision.

38 URBAN LIFE

TECH PIECE.indd 2

14/5/09 14:14:08


TECHNOLOGY

Nespresso Siemens by Porsche Design – £684 Small, compact and very sexy!

<

<

Bowers & Wilkins XT range – £5045. Top of the range, 5-piece speaker system

<<

Boothroyd Stuart Meridian F80 2.1 CD/DVD/FM/DAB RADIO – £1495. Optional 180 iPod dock - £200

Sharp Aquos LB1085 108” – £110,000 The world’s biggest LCD screen! Optional Motorised stand - £13,500

<

Steinway Lyngdorf Speaker System Model C – from £135,000. Includes an 18Karat gold remote control - £10,000!

URBAN LIFE 39 00

TECH PIECE.indd 3

14/5/09 14:14:10


TECHNOLOGY

<

Denon AVR4308 HDMI Amplifier – £2699 - Dolby system, takes up to 7 speakers

<

Pioneer Blu Ray BDPLX91 - £2200 Probably the best on the market!

<

HP Mini 1000 Vivienne Tam Edition ‘digital clutch’ 10.1” – £449 High Tech meets haute couture! Intel Atom Processor, 1024MB memory, 60GB Hard Disk Drive, integrated webcam and microphone and 2-in-1 card reader

<

Apple MacBook Pro MAC12622 15.4” – £1918 Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB memory, 320GB Hard Disk Drive (5400 rpm), Airport Extreme Wireless Networking, Sudden Motion Sensor and MAC OS X ‘Leopard’ and iLIFE ‘09

<

Sony Vaio AW21XY/Q 18.4” – £2599 Intel Core2 Duo Processor, Wide screen HD, Blu-ray, 4GB memory and up to 628GB Hard Disk Drive

<

sound system then some might question whether you are actually hearing anything at all! Above all, it has to look stylish.

LG HT953TV 5:1 DVD home theatre - £699

The newly refurbished Sound and Vision department of Harrods has been revamped with a star studded floor, interactive features and, yes, many products available only exclusively within their walls. “The scope of products available here is truly fantastic,” says David Miller, Director for Home, Furniture, Sound & Vision. “The new department’s fresh approach to technology retail is, I believe, unrivalled in the UK.” Ladies and Gents, Harrods Sound and Vision is back. A ‘night in’ is the new ‘night out’, and its aim is to make your home an experience your guests will want to enjoy time and time again…

40 URBAN LIFE

TECH PIECE.indd 4

14/5/09 14:14:11


TECHNOLOGY

Pioneer PDP6090 60” – £3699

<

<

LG 60PG7000 Full HD 1080P 60” Plasma – £2299 At a high contrast ratio of a million to one, this is one of the most advanced screens currently available

<

Samsung Dynamic Contrast 55” (ultra slim) – £2800 – Full HD, one of the slimmest at less than an inch

<

Loewe Individual Compose 52” – £4895 Optional speakers (5 set) - £1490

< D-Box Gaming Chair – £12,995

<

HP Blackbird 002 PC – £2499 The most powerful gaming machine on the market! Intel ® Core ™ 2 Quad-Core Chip, Liquid cooled CPU, Dual Hard Drives: 160GB (10,000rpm) and 500GB (7200rpm), 4GB Corsair Dominator built-in memory, ATI Radeon ™ Dual GPU graphics card and Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi ™ XtremeGamer audio card.

URBAN LIFE 41 00

TECH PIECE.indd 5

14/5/09 14:14:13


SPECIAL FEATURE – LUXURY MOBILE PHONES

LUXURY Feature by Thomas Newton

VERTU SIGNATURE Vertu is the luxury handset arm of Finnish mobile giants Nokia, which has been quietly churning out meticulously crafted high quality handsets for over a decade, and despite their flagship mobile phone the Vertu Signature adorning the handbags and the pockets of the likes of Beyonce Knowles and Donald Trump, it is only recently that the Vertu brand has begun to accumulate some serious clout. The Signature is quite literally the jewel in the Vertu crown: each model can come encrusted with a hailstorm of diamonds of varying hues, from warm rose gold pink sapphires, yellow diamonds to more traditional black and white diamonds. With an exterior jacket that is fashioned of either stainless steel, 18-Carat yellow and/ or white gold (and don’t forget the diamonds,) the

Vertu Signature is a made to measure mobile. However, the quality doesn’t just stop at the surface: the audio output of the Signature is as impressive as its exterior. The phone comes fitted with a miniature Yamaha synthesizer, which processes polyphonic tones and music files through an AKG speaker. The speaker itself is housed in its own specially designed acoustic cavity, which not only provides clear and crisp music playback, but also ensures that all phone conversations are clearly audible wherever you are. Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Signature, and, in fact, all Vertu handsets, is the built-in Concierge Service – personal assistants are on hand twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, ready to book accommodation, flights, transport, restaurant reservations or theatre tickets, as well as dispensing expert advice on anything imaginable, all at the touch of a button. Service and style of this quality comes at a price – expect to pay £7,540 for the steel jacketed version, £18,000 for the yellow gold version and £24,000 for the white gold edition. The cost of the diamonds is added on top of these prices, and varies significantly depending on what type of diamonds you want, and the type of design you choose. Patterns and designs can be altered to your personal specification. The Vertu Signature handset is available to order now. www.vertu.com/en

DIOR PHONE Simply called the ‘Dior Phone’ the French haute couture fashion house dispensed with any fancy title for their inaugural luxury mobile handset and went straight for the jugular, relying on the strength of their brand presence alone. This ultra compact flip phone was designed and built in conjunction with high-end mobile manufacturers and fellow Parisians ModeLabs (remember that ‘mode’ is French for ‘fashion’.) The Dior Phone combines state of the art touchscreen controls with cutting edge design, which features Dior’s trademark octagonal cannage pattern. The rear glass panel of the phone is a highly resistant sapphire crystal which is fused with one of the most resistant stainless steels: hand-brushed 316L, a highly durable compound most commonly used in luxury watch-making. Each component of the phone is individually inspected before assembly for quality control purposes. Aside from the polished and gleaming angles of the exterior, each edition of the Dior Phone features a 2 Megapixel digital camera, 3G connectivity, a microSD card slot for memory expansion, and an impressive OLED (organic light emitting diode) display, which boasts stunning colour fidelity and

contrast beyond the range of your typical TFT mobile phone colour displays. An ingenious hands-free device called My Dior, aimed squarely at the ladies, is also included. Roughly the same size as a USB keychain, and referred to by Dior as an “intelligent piece of jewellery,” the mini My Dior clips to the outside of a handbag and communicates with the main Dior mobile via a wireless Bluetooth connection. Available to buy now, the standard version of the Christian Dior Mobile retails for around £2,890, whilst the premium edition costs £15,000. www.diorcouture.com/uk

42 URBAN LIFE

PHONES.indd 2

14/5/09 14:24:51


SPECIAL FEATURE – LUXURY MOBILE PHONES

PHONES MOTOROLA AURA Whilst many of the leading luxury phones of today’s market will undergo the same attention to detail usually reserved for quality time pieces, it is perhaps Motorola’s new AURA handset which is closest in spirit to the precision watchmaking process, partially due to its inimitable circular screen and rotating blade chassis, as well as the meticulous assembly process. The Patek Phillipe of the mobile world, the Motorola AURA consists of over 700 individual components composed from some seriously high-grade materials. The exterior is forged from highly polished stainless steel, and the lens cover for the camera is created from the highly scratch resistant Grade 1 62-carat sapphire crystal,

and the entire phone is done over in a reflective mirrored finish. The 130 micro ball bearings (all of which are Swiss-made) ensure that after 100,000 or so openings, the AURA still “glides with the same fluidity and grace that it did on its first,” according to the Motorola press spiel. To give you an idea of how robust the internal mechanics of the AURA are, it’s worth knowing that the gears inside are reinforced with tungsten carbide – the same chemical compound used to coat cutting tools on production lines and strengthen the gears of high performance racing cars. You can actually see the gears rotating on the back via a small circular porthole, underneath where the 2 Megapixel camera is mounted whenever you open or close the phone. The AURA also comes with Motorola’s trademarked CrystalTalk technology, which means that your conversations will be as crisp and clear as the design itself, and any music played on the phone will be of a similarly excellent quality. With Bluetooth stereo support, the ability to play the majority of music file formats and decent audio quality, the Motorola AURA is also a dependable music phone as well as a highly desirable luxury item. The Motorola AURA is available now to buy direct from Motorola’s UK online store, for around £1,200. www.motorola-shop.co.uk

PORSCHE DESIGN P’9521 As is befitting of its sports car namesake, the P’9521 from Porsche Design boasts a great design and comes with several high performance components running under its hood. A common feature of a lot of luxury phones is that whilst they boast impeccably styled exteriors and are generally manufactured to an incredibly high standard, the standard secondary functions such as the camera or the music player generally aren’t quite on par with the rest of the phone. This is not the case with the P’9521, which rolls with a 3.2 Megapixel camera which is bolstered by autofocus and a powerful dual LED photo flash – a cut above the usual 2 Megapixel, non-flash assisted cameras found on most of the luxury phones. Crafted out of sturdy but lightweight etched aluminium, the Porsche P’9521 is a versatile flip phone which doesn’t just open out on one axis, but can also rotate 180 degrees in either direction on its central stem. A built-in motion sensitive accelerometer also means that the P’9521 ‘knows’ which way it being held, and it will switch picture orientation from portrait to landscape mode accordingly. The main screen of the P’9521 also contains a fingerprint reader, which doubles up as touchsensitive interface for scrolling through the menus and the picture galleries,

and as an ingenious finger printer scanner locking mechanism, meaning that you and only you will be able to unlock and use this phone once this mode is activated. The P’9521 also comes with a memory card slot allowing you to do a bit of tinkering with the 32MB of memory – you can add up to an extra 4GB of horsepower with the appropriate microSD cards, allowing you to store more pictures. USB and Bluetooth connectivity options mean that moving pictures to and from your computer or laptop is as easy as breathing. The Porsche P’9521 will is available online through Porsche Design for around £1,100. www.porsche-design.com

URBAN LIFE 43

PHONES.indd 3

14/5/09 14:24:51




SPECIAL FEATURE – LUXURY MOBILE PHONES

The most immediately noticeable difference about the Prada II is that it comes with a full QWERTY keypad cleverly concealed within its slender form, thus making the web browsing experience afforded by the Wi-Fi and HDSPA support (rumoured top speed of 7.2Mbps) a more natural and intuitive affair. Whilst the texting and typing experience is not quite as responsive and fast as that of any BlackBerry, none of Research In Motion’s ubiquitous business handsets can come close to looking as good as the LG Prada II.

LG KF900 PRADA II The long-awaited follow up to the first big name collaboration between an established black goods and mobile phone manufacturer and a celebrated global fashion institution, the LG Prada II is the successor to the original fashion phone which actually pre-dated the Apple iPhone as the first big commercially available touchscreen handset. The glamorous touch sensitive LG Prada mobile proved to be a runaway success, selling over 1 million handsets in its first year, and now the LG Prada II is here to repeat the success of its predecessor, boasting that same winning minimalist black tablet design that made the original such a hit. Along with an impressive set of new features and upgrades, it’s clear that despite its ultra-chic compact exterior the phone a more than just a pretty face.

The Prada II features a powerful flash-assisted 5 Megapixel camera which comes equipped with a Schneider-Kreuznach lens, digital zoom and autofocus, a marked improvement upon the 2 Megapixel camera of the original, and a feature which marks the Prada II out as one of the more feature heavy fashion phones out there. The large touchscreen effortlessly doubles up as a viewfinder when in camera mode. The main camera also takes videos in VGA, and a secondary front facing camera for making 3G video calls. The LG Prada II is available now for £500 on its own, although is also available at a reduced rate on the leading UK mobile phone networks for a subsidised cost. www.pradaphonebylg.com

TAG HEUER MERIDIIST With practically every high end handset out there co-opting the painstaking methodical manufacturing process usually reserved for lavish wristwatches, it was only a matter of time that the pendulum would begin its backward swing and watchmakers would begin marketing luxury handset items of their own. First past the post is Tag Heuer, with their Meridiist handset. You’d be forgiven for thinking from the pictures that the Meridiist is something of a brick that resembles a remote control for a TV set from the 1970’s – its worth noting that the pictures don’t really do the phone justice, it’s a more compact and svelte proposal than its promotional images suggest. Developed and launched in conjunction with Modelabs, the same people who worked on the Dior Phone, the Meridiist is built to the same exacting standards as you would expect from one of the world’s premier watchmakers. As with their timepieces, each component is meticulously examined and tested before being green lighted for assembly. The Meridiist is mostly composed from high grade steel, which is scratch resistant and extremely durable, and the sliding component which acts as a lens cover for the 2 Megapixel camera has a reassuringly robust feel.

The rear cover of the Meridiist comes in a variety of finishes from crocodile skin, to red leather to a more animalfriendly rubber coating, while the main 1.9” display is made from 60.5 carats of sapphire crystal, making it practically indestructible. On the crown of the phone, where you would typically find the power on/off switch there lies a second OLED screen, which boasts a bright digital clock which tells the time in hours, minutes and seconds and is ostensibly positioned to allow you to tell the time at a glance when the Meridiist is sitting snugly and upright in your pocket. Available now for around £2600, the Tag Heuer Meridiist comes in its own display case which features a reflective back and a moulded divot allowing you to stand the phone upright. www.tagheuer.com

44 URBAN LIFE

PHONES.indd 4

14/5/09 14:24:51


Most people drive to the airport Some people drive to the aircraft Most people rush to catch the flight Some people leave when they’re ready

Some people charter Private Jet Charter is : • Convenient

• Flexible

• Direct

• Reliable

• Secure

• Cost Effective

www.expedientjet.com

Some people arrive at an airport conveniently close to their destinations

Expedient Jet Charter - so much more for a lot less than you may think. For more information or to discuss your individual requirements, call +44 (0) 208 991 9817, or e-mail graham.turner@expedientjet.com

SUN.indd 3

14/5/09 17:54:36


URBAN LIFE PROMOTION

CONTEMPORARY ART – IDEA OVER BEAUTY?

48 URBAN LIFE

URBAN LIFE OC-EO PG 46-47.indd 2

14/5/09 14:28:35


P

eople seem to be growing increasingly impervious to the world around them, especially in urban societies where alienation is so prevalent, and much new artwork is a reflection of these times. Art made for purely aesthetic pleasure somehow seems idealistic, whilst art that explores issues surrounding identity, politics and society is considered more appropriate. This work is often expressed with satirical or angry visual language in an attempt to attract an apathetic public. But in creating idea-based or conceptual art, artists often eschew notions of beauty in order to underscore their work’s concept, resulting in art that is the very antithesis of beauty. Not all contemporary artists choose idea over beauty. In Vietnam, for example, contemporary art often reflects the modernist notion of art for art’s sake, and although the work should not be viewed solely in these terms, there is certainly a desire to express the Beautiful. While much is too romantic and overly sweet, there is also some inspiring work that engages its viewers on a more challenging, sometimes spiritual level. In the last decade, young Vietnamese artists have taken advantage of their country’s ‘Doi Moi’ (renovation policy) to refuse the rules of socialist realism and its monotony of style, form of expression and topic. They returned instead to their country’s rich pre-colonial heritage to revisit traditional themes, or explored contemporary issues such as woman in society, globalisation, alienation and ecological issues.

In addition, new styles of art have been embraced – pop art, installations, performance and video. Vietnamese Doi Moi art has become the show-room of Vietnam in a new age of free market economy and cultural globalisation. The burgeoning tourist trade has resulted in a growing market for paintings, both in Vietnam and internationally and, as a result, Vietnamese contemporary and modern fine art is increasingly desirable. Sotheby’s inaugural theme sale of Vietnamese paintings, held in Hong Kong in April 2008, set a record for a sale of Vietnamese art, with records also set for four artists and a record for lacquer painting as well. However, it is a body of work that remains still relatively unknown in the London art market, which means it is undervalued here compared for example to modern Chinese or Indian fine art, and this makes it some of the best value fine art available anywhere in the world today. Oc-Eo Art, launched in October 2006 by Peter Quintana, has rapidly become the UK’s leading specialist in contemporary and modern painting from Vietnam, introducing work by both established and emerging artists. A collector for more than 10 years himself, Quintana has developed relationships with some of Vietnam’s best talent, and has already introduced a substantial cross-section of work by artists with international reputations, many of whom have not been seen in the UK before.

TOP TO BOTTOM Women by Nguyen Than, oil on canvas, 81x100cms, £3500. Boats by Ho Huu Thu, lacquer on wood, 120x200cms, £14500. Sapa by Bui Soui Hoa, 85x100cms, £3500. LEFT Natural Dance by Kim Bach, watercolour on silk, 61x63cms, £4500.

CONTACT DETAILS Oc-Eo Art regularly exhibits in London. For details of their forthcoming exhibitions, visit their web-site, or contact them on: Oc-Eo Art Tel: 01373 832939 E mail: peter.quintana@oc-eo.co.uk www.oc-eo.co.uk

URBAN LIFE 49

URBAN LIFE OC-EO PG 46-47.indd 3

14/5/09 14:28:36


LOVE FOOD

FOOD OF

Feature byAndre Gayle

Take a journey with us through some of the best gourmet food establishments in Europe’s favourite capital city.

W

hether it’s for the love of your partner or the love of yourself, a fabulous culinary creation is the perfect way to show just how you feel. Inevitably it’s going to be those of us with the least amount of time who most need to make sure we eat well. Essential to this is that the food we eat should also be delicious, as well as nutritious, lest we descend into the sensory numbing, artery clogging world that is ‘fast food’. For Doron Zilkha this would be a tragedy. Zilkha is the owner of the Brompton Quarter Grocer, the bijou neighbourhood gourmet produce store tucked right next to its grander older sister, the Brompton Quarter restaurant, in the heart of Knightsbridge. The shop itself recaptures an age when independent New electric super car Lightning grocery retailers were the norm and tailored service and exceptional produce were paramount. ‘For me this is an art

and a passion’, Zilkha says, ‘Good food shouldn’t be a luxury; good food should be a way of life.’ This kind of commitment is obvious when you look at the effort that has gone into Brompton Grocer and the food they prepare and sell. All produce is organic and sourced direct from the producer – no middle men involved. There are literally hundreds of delicacies and produce to choose from and things like the fresh Buffalo Mozzarella are described as ‘unbelievable,’ not something you are ever likely to hear about Tesco Mozzarella. The own label products that you’ll find on the shelves and some of the best baked goods in London are made throughout the day in the basement kitchens and presented by knowledgeable, dedicated staff. Contact Brompton Grocer, 223225 Brompton Road, London, SW3. Telephone: 0207 225 2107

50 URBAN LIFE

POSH FOOD.indd 2

14/5/09 14:50:28


FOOD

Embracing contemporary living wholeheartedly is Napket, a chain of four designer urban gourmet cafe/delis in and around central London. Napket isn’t supposed to be just a place to buy food though; the whole concept of Napket is built around its being an experience to enjoy. Each cafe/deli is designed to have an individual rather than uniform atmosphere and the attention to design is meticulous. From the gloss black walls, Phillipe Starck chairs and velvet couches to the vintage chandeliers and contemporary photography; Napket is stunning to look at. Of course, a nice environment means nothing if the quality of the food doesn’t match the quality of the surroundings. Fortunately the attention to detail isn’t lacking here either. Napket serves up a

selection of mouth-watering sandwiches, salads and pastas, freshly prepared on site from gourmet ingredients to eat in or take away. There are dishes like the Primavera Fusilli made with Fusilli pasta, roasted Aubergine, Cherry Tomato, Asparagus, Parmesan and Basil, or the Bresaola Ciabatta, made with dried Beef filet, Goat’s cheese, Rocket, Olive oil, Lemon juice and Black pepper. There’s also a choice of five set lunch menus serving up to twelve people that can be eaten on the premises, collected or delivered in the local area – a great option for lunch meetings with clients or colleagues. For breakfast, lunch or a quick coffee, there probably isn’t anywhere more chic to be seen London. Contact Napket in Chelsea, Mayfair, Piccadilly and the City. Telephone Snob Food Ltd on 0207 471 1706 for details.

At the other end of the scale is Fortnum & Mason, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious department stores. The most English of brands, Fortnum & Mason has held royal warrants for much of its 300 year history. The business is built on this quintessentially English charm and while the store may have recently undergone a multi-million pound facelift, Fortnum’s will always remain a well bred classic. Caviar is a gourmet delicacy synonymous with fine living and Fortnum’s offers some of the best available in the country. Its own brand Caviar Quartet is a combination of premium Beluga, Sevruga, New Alfa Romeo Oscietra and Sturia and a 64g tin will set you back a cool £450. If your tastes aren’t quite so rich, however, there are also a range of other Caviars that come in different sizes to suit the pocket like the Caviar D’Aquitaine at £130 for 50g. The Fortnum’s Picnic Hampers have also become world renowned luxury products in their own right, individually prepared using only the finest foodstuffs, with the more expensive packages delivered by fully liveried horse and carriage. Prices start from £50 for the modest Taste of Fortnum’s Hamper - containing a selection of delicacies like Cognac Butter, Strawberry Preserve, Truffles and a bottle of Cotes du Rhone 2006 - through to £500 for the Best of the Bunch offering containing an eclectic selection of wines, Champagnes, cheeses and cakes. Look out for the Mayfair super hamper coming this Summer which is set to rival the Winter’s £25,000 mighty Snow Queen Hamper which contained over 80 products including luxury gifts and accessories for the home. Between the tin of Caviar and the super hampers the store’s food halls offer a whole world of gourmet goods and this is why Fortnum & Mason will always be one the country’s most enduring brands. Contact Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London W1. Telephone 0207 734 8040

URBAN LIFE 51

POSH FOOD.indd 3

14/5/09 14:50:32


FOOD

For those who shudder at the thought of shopping or cooking there’s a new online business that aims to make sure your nutritional needs are catered for as well. The Pure Package is a service specializing in preparing and delivering all your day’s meals for as long as you require. No longer is there a need for you to plan, shop for and cook your own healthy meals, The Pure Package will do it for you, each and every day. It may sound unlikely but this is a delivery service that is literally an evolution away from ordering a Chinese or a Pizza. The attraction of this innovative service is a range of fully researched dietary plans that can be individually tailored to your own specifications. Based on that plan a full days meals are prepared using organic, gourmet ingredients. Cleverly, the business is based in London’s famous Covent Garden Market and, as much as possible, this is where many of the ingredients are sourced, enabling a staff of twenty five highly trained chefs and nutritionists to instantly prepare orders that are courier delivered to your door complete with heating/preparation instructions and in protective packaging by 7am each morning. Gourmet meals all day, every day has become a reality! Dishes like Seared Soy glazed Salmon, baby Spinach, pink Grapefruit with Asian herb salad or Roast Tomato & Spinach Soufflé Roulade will soon begin to sound commonplace in your diet, at home or at work.

Any good meal deserves a fitting desert and in Criterion Ices you would be treating yourself to, quite literally, award winning ice cream. This 80 year old English company makes a range of ice creams and yoghurts with luxury recipes, like Brandy Orange (with real brandy) or Hazelnut and Chocolate Truffle, and have chosen to remain a sought after delicacy by eschewing the constant lure of the big supermarket chains and only supplying their ice creams direct to bespoke retailers, like the Whole Foods Market in Kensington. You can even recommend a stockist local to you but, be warned, it will only be made available there if the retailer meets the Criterion standard. It’s not hard to understand the thinking behind the deliberate limited distribution policy. After all, this is a family business that makes Ice cream in a painstakingly traditional manner at a real country creamery. This principle and attention to the process made Criterion Ices a triple gold medal winner at the Guild of Fine Food Awards in 2007 – just three out of the many awards the company has received for its recipes over the years. When you consider that type of pedigree, sharing shelf space with brands like Ben and Jerry’s just wouldn’t do…. Contact Criterion Ices on 01689 844833 for stockists or visit www.criterion-ices.co.uk.

Cheese merchants Cheeseworks have the same core principles as Criterion and their products are similarly sought after: award winning delicacies in the specialist gourmet food shops of London. Cheeseworks is based in Cheltenham and, should there be any doubt about the quality, the business is owned by Ben Axford, a one time finalist on the BBC’s Masterchef programme. They have a dizzying range of cheeses to cater to all tastes and can also put together gift boxes and hampers that also include fine wines, olive oils and crackers with prices ranging from £30 to £100. Perfect for after dinner in front of the fire or around the coffee table with friends. Passionate about the food they sell, they only source their gourmet products from the best independent suppliers and already supply top restaurants and hotels and, like Brompton Grocer, the shop in Cheltenham is a return to a tradition of personal service, superior produce and knowledgeable staff. Contact Cheeseworks on 01242 255022 for stockists or visit www.thecheeseworks.co.uk.

A full day’s meals with one of The Pure Package set menus (breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks) will cost £36.95 but the more days you buy the more cost effective it becomes. The more exclusive personal chef service runs at £60 per day. Given the nature of the service it’s not surprising that among its many clients are travelling professionals, sports stars, famous models and major New electric super car Lightning US actors working in London. Contact The Pure Package on 08456 123 888 or visit www.purepackage.com

52 URBAN LIFE

POSH FOOD.indd 4

14/5/09 14:50:33

URBA


“The team that brought you the ever fabulous Mint Leaf Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, invite you to now enjoy their amazing new creation, Mint Leaf Lounge, situated in Bank, the heart of London’s financial district. Showcasing their exquisite modern Indian dishes, complemented with the timeless classics, you can choose to either dine in the formal restaurant or one of the sublime art deco lounge bars. The classic cocktail bar serves fabulous creations using only the very best ingredients and the mezzanine champagne bar offers you a wide selection of champagnes by the glass. So whether you feel like being sexy in the City or chic in the West End, Mint Leaf Restaurants are where you will always want to be.”

Mint Leaf Lounge 12 Angel Court, Louthbury, Bank, EC2R 7HB. Tel: 0207 600 0992. www.mintleaflounge.com Mint Leaf Restaurant Suffolk Place, Haymarket, SW1Y 4HX. Tel: 0207 930 9020. www.mintleafrestaurant.com

URBAN LIFE NIGHTLIFE.indd 4 POSH FOOD.indd 5

10/10/08 01:55:50 14/5/09 14:50:33


URBAN TASTE

EAT ING OUT 09

CHEFS TABLE AT THE MINT LEAF LOUNGE One of the most recent additions to the restaurant/bar scene in the City, the Mint Leaf Restaurant and Lounge seems to be the new place to be in the square mile. A former bank (but of course!) the restaurant follows on from its older sibling in Haymarket in design aesthetics, menu and cocktail bar. Located only a few minutes from the Bank of England, it is right in the heart of the City, and, as with the original, the emphasis is very much on ‘trendy dining.’ Whereas you would expect to see Mint Leaf Haymarket (MLH) frequented by Thespians, A-list celebrities, media types and urban socialites, the Mint Leaf Lounge (MLL) has high-flying bankers (although a little muted these days,) financial PRs and corporate executives, reflecting the surrounding location. I have to admit, I have always thought highly of MLH. It’s definitely one of my personal favourites when it comes to Indian food, and one of the few that I eat in regularly and recommend highly to friends and contacts when asked. So when the opportunity arose, I made a couple of calls and headed down with three friends (Banker, Oil & Gas Exec and Entrepreneur & part-time Polo player) to sample the menu. Unlike Haymarket, the City branch has a Chef’s table, for which we opted. It has its own open mini-kitchen and food

preparation area and caters for up to four people at a time. Head Chef Ajay Chopra, who straddles between the two restaurants overseeing every aspect of the kitchen operation, took us on a culinary journey. And having cooked for the likes of former President Bill Clinton and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, along with the usual Bollywood A-list (Amitabh Bachchan, Shah-Rukh Khan, et al,) he was very much in the mood to guide us through his creations. “Food inspires me,” he told us. “The concept of ‘Indian food’ in the UK has remained pretty static over the years and I want to change that. I’m using fresh ingredients mixed subtly with herbs and spices to create authentic dishes that you will only find in the different regions of India where they originate from. Food must not only look good, but taste good too and add to a healthy, balanced diet.” Having eaten in MLH on so many occasions over the years, I practically know the menu inside out. Naturally this meant I had high expectations, and I have to admit the Chef did not disappoint. Starting with a selection of Amusebouche, a pre­-starter, it was a continuous flow of dishes which were a delight to the senses. The variety and choice of dishes – all distinct in flavour and taste – were filling but didn’t leave you bloated. The scallops marinated in sesame and coriander, the chicken tikka with kaffir leaf (lime) are not something you’ll find in your local Tandoori. In fact, so good were they that we ordered a second helping! The lamb racks with saffron, mace and cardamom, Portobello mushroom melt and spinach and date parcels served with chili and tomato chutney were absolutely delicious and especially recommended. As you can imagine, by now we were feeling our appetite was being teased, and the main course of steamed sea bass with

coconut and coriander chutney, the spiced venison fillet served on chicken tikka risotto and glazed beans, with an assorted bread basket and steamed basmati rice, ensured we were truly nourished for a week. As much as the desserts were tempting (mixed berry ice cream, mango phirni and chocolate pudding,) we could only muster a taste! And, to top it all, we finished with coffee and cognac. The Chef’s table must be booked in advance and is £70 a head, and it comes highly recommended! AR

Mint Leaf Restaurant and Lounge. Angel Court, Lothbury, Bank. EC2R 7HB 0207 600 0992 www.mintleaflounge.com

JUST ST. JAMES London never ceases to amaze me. I am always discovering new places to hang out (and occasionally hide) in. One of these recent ‘discoveries’ was Just St. James, although admittedly I once attended a party there a few years back. At the time it didn’t really register, since I was with a huge group of people so the last thing on mind was to explore the venue. We also had our first office opposite on Park Place for over a year and half when we first launched the magazine, which is even more of a worry as to how it was missed.

54 URBAN LIFE

URBAN LIFE REST.indd 2

14/5/09 14:53:02


URBAN TASTE

But I digress, and to get back on topic; a friend mentioned it recently, so I thought it warranted another look. I’m glad I did, because I can see myself going there a lot more. This former banking hall from the early 1900s has a certain grandeur that you’ll be hard pressed to find elsewhere (although, seeing as I missed this being practically on my doorstep, I am open to suggestions!) Situated over three levels, with the mezzanine and basement sections set up for private functions (the Slumdog premiere party was held here a few months ago,) the focal point of the venue is on the ground floor. The sizeable bar and restaurant setting is reminiscent of the old Atlantic Bar & Grill, for those that remember. Similarly, the crowd is well heeled and represents a sizeable section of the surrounding hedge fund and finance community, along with a smattering of the local fashion & media crowd. Early evenings tend to get quite busy and there is a lively atmosphere at the bar and adjacent seating area, with plenty to choose from a varied and extensive drink and cocktails list. The restaurant serves breakfast from 7.30am – 10.00am and afternoon tea between lunch and dinner service (3.00pm – 5.30pm.) In charge of the kitchen is owner and executive chef Peter Gladwin, who has created a simple but interesting Modern British menu. I took an artist friend there for dinner and we were both impressed with the quality of the food. I started with a warm honey roasted vegetable salad with orange and

thyme dressing and my dining companion ordered a venison Carpaccio with walnut, beetroot dressing, mustard and cress. Both dishes were beautifully presented and tasted superb. For the main course I had free-range chicken breast with tarragon Mousseline, braised black cabbage and roasted chicken jus, which was cooked just right: tasty and very filling. But the biggest surprise was the fillet of sea bass my friend ordered. Grilled to perfection, it was absolutely delicious. Naturally I took a bite and the only other time I tasted sea bass this good was in a restaurant in downtown Chicago. We couldn’t really muster up the courage to try out the desserts, as we were quite full, but on the insistence of the waiter we ordered the Valrhona chocolate fondant with Seville orange & vanilla sauce and Macadamia ice cream. Well – let’s just say the lady was very pleased with the waiter’s insistence… My only comment about the whole experience would be that the service could be a little more polished, especially as the restaurant wasn’t that busy when we got there. However, the food more than made up for it and with the bill coming to approximately £35 a head, including a glass of wine, it represented very good value. I would definitely recommend a visit. AR

Just St. James 12 St. James’s Street.SW1A 1ER 0207 976 2020 www.juststjames.com

These days, luxury is a much-devalued word. Some people, however, refuse to compromise on standards.

Mehek

Mehek Indian Restaurant

45 London Wall, Moorgate London EC2M 5TE Telephone: 020 7588 5043/7588 5044 Facsimile: 020 7588 5045 Email: info@mehek.co.uk Website: www.mehek.co.uk

If you are one of them, then you'll find Mehek has been created especially for you, where fine dining is truly exquisite, and where sumptuous cuisine and some of the world's finest wines are served in exclusive surroundings. After all, your parties and events are too precious to be left to chance, and too important to expose to indifferent service or inferior food standards. So isn't it time you came on board?

Now you can experience luxury without compromise

Some of the acclaims for Mehek: Multiple times winner of the AA Rosette Awards, winner of the British Curry Awards, BCA no.1 in the City, Best In Britain Awards, Safety Thirst, City of London Safer Pub & Club Awards, TopTable Gold Award, and numerous recommendations by restaurant guides, newspapers and magazines.

URBAN LIFE REST.indd 3

14/5/09 14:53:04


URBAN SCENE

IN AND AROUND TOWN WITH FUNKY NORA Feature by Funky Nora

You know, I think I’m not alone when I say there’s something amiss in town. I mean, after exactly a decade of era-defining clubbing, we have had to pay homage to the club of clubs, the celebrity hangout of choice and the wannabe-magnet that was the legendary Chinawhite, when it closed its doors in December. Let’s face it – it had a bloody good run. I mean how many clubs can boast a grueling six-night operation week in week out, come rain or shine? Yet there it was, the shining beacon of elite clubbing that we all so thoroughly enjoyed for so long. Anyway, the point is (without getting too nostalgic about things!) that the new venue is looking to be opening around September of this year. I am under explicit instruction not to divulge its location; however I can say that it will not be too far from Air Street and will have two levels: a pre-club restaurant above and the night club below. I will bring you more news on this nearer the time. I think the boys here can at least look forward to something now, seeing as they’ve all been lost souls for the past few months…

Molton House OK, back to what’s happening in town. The changes are constant and the re-vamps are never ending. So the first of these is Molton House, formerly known as 43 South Molton Street. The brain behind this joint is Nick Valentine, who was one of the founders of Cuckoo. What is amazing is that the venue has been completely transformed. If you recall the issues the previous owners had with the licensing, the club that was supposed to be never really took off. Well, Valentine has managed to secure that and also smarten the place up. Situated over four levels and with a restaurant, bar, private rooms and the nightclub downstairs, you can easily get lost

amidst all the climbing. Soft lighting, faux-snakeskin on the seating and leather and velvet on the walls, you could say there is an air of decadence all around. The cocktails are great, as is the atmosphere. Certainly one of the hippest places to be right now… 43 South Molton Street , W1K 5RS 0207 493 1688 www.moltonhouse.com

Diva Beach We quite like Diva Beach. I mean the whole ‘Miami thang’ in Fulham is just working, isn’t it? A far cry from the clubs of the West End in terms of size and décor, the only club I would say it resembles is the Kingly Club, but a lot snazzier. It used to be the old Tryst, which to be honest was a bit rubbish, so the whole décor with mood lighting is rather nice. It’s small, so can be quite cozy if you get the right crowd and that, as we know, is always a gamble. It’s also a nice touch to have sushi on the menu – adds a little joie de vivre to an otherwise monotonous night. Go with girlfriends. If you haven’t any, hire some!

Diva Beach - 222 Fulham Road, SW10 9NB. Tel: 0207 351 7711. www.diva-beach.com

56 URBAN LIFE

URBAN LIFE NIGHTLIFE.indd 1

14/5/09 14:57:07


URBAN SCENE

Vendome Vendome. For those that don’t know, it’s the old Pangaea on Clarges Street (where have you been darling?). Designed with a ‘retro ‘70s/futuristic’ touch, it is quite something. A revolving dance-floor (oh yes) and lots of little private booths, it’s a far cry from Tokyo Joes, I can tell you. I don’t know if I’m of the Marmite school of thought, though, because at times I love it and others I question my taste! I think all the bling and psychedelic lighting does tend to have an effect one way or another. Not to mention the ‘unisex’ loo situation! Hmmm – not really convinced about that, but check it out for yourselves… Vendome - 85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB 0207 495 2595 www.vendomemayfair.com

The Mayfair Club OK, when someone mentioned this a few months ago, I thought they were kidding me. For those that remember, the ‘Mayfair Club’ used to be what is now Nobu Berkeley. And this was the old Isis. I guess the name does resonate a certain sense of glamour and decadence, so reclaiming it was a genius thing to do from the owners’ point of view. The club operates as a ‘gentlemen’s club’ Monday to Thursday and turns into a fully fledged nightclub Friday and Saturday. It also remains open ‘til the wee hours in the morning, and having done a late one recently (in the name of research, darling,) I have to stress I was pretty impressed. Admittedly the crowd was slightly worse for wear, but then again what do you expect at 5am? In addition, the ladies loos were in a bit of a mess. They really ought to have spent some of that money in there as it was pretty awful! But the most important thing is I was there with a couple of girlfriends and on the whole we felt safe and had a ball. Have to give a mention for the security team: they were so professional and helpful. Those mean looking chaps may look like they’re about to snap a neck or two just for fun, but they really are so sweet and courteous, which is so refreshing. Think I’ll go back sometime soon…

The Mayfair Club - 50 Dover Street, W1S 4NY, 0207 629 9038 www.themayfairclub.co.uk

URBAN LIFE 57

URBAN LIFE NIGHTLIFE.indd 2

14/5/09 14:57:09


FILM & ENTERTAINMENT

CINEMA

PARADISO Feature byAndre Gayle

Popcorn? Hot dogs? Huge cups of Cola? Video Games? Not the things you will find at the new breed of cinemas in London. Welcome to cinema for grown-ups.

I

f you love watching films but are one of the many who have fallen out of love with the experience then it’s time to celebrate a new style of cinema venue: the places where being there is just as much of an event as the film you are watching. As an antidote to the brash and characterless chain experience we take a look at a selection of British independently owned venues that aim to return the cinema back to the people. Here you will find unparalleled service, unique features, sumptuous surroundings and, because they only have the one screen, they invariably always show the best films.

THE BFI IMAX For the past ten years this has been the daddy of all cinema venues. Opened in 1999 the British Film Institute IMAX boasts the biggest screen in the UK, standing a breathtaking 26 metres wide and 20 metres high, all housed in a huge circular building that dominates the skyline on the South side of Waterloo Bridge. Despite the impressive size and statistics the cinema itself manages to retain an intimate atmosphere through a clever bowl like design and the adjacent IMAX bar, where you can have a drink with friends or just hang out looking cool whether you are there to watch a film or not.

This is not about packing as many people into as many screens as often as possible. This is about being able to watch a great film in a unique venue, sometimes while enjoying a nice meal. This is about socialising with your contemporaries before, after and sometimes during a film. This is about enjoying an intimate experience with someone special. This is Cinema Paradiso.

This is the place to watch a movie though, a big movie – in all senses of the word. Event movies like The Dark Knight and The Day The Earth Stood Still were filmed in IMAX format and watching it in its full glory is a sight to behold. Or, for something a little different, you could try one of the live HD broadcasts from the New York Metropolitan Opera or one of the major concerts from around the world. Apparently only being on stage is better… Whichever it is, when you do try your first IMAX experience it may make you wonder if you could ever enjoy a film in ‘normal’ format again… BFI IMAX, Waterloo SE1. Telephone 0870 787 2525 www.bfi.org.uk

New electric super car Lightning

58 URBAN LIFE

CINEMA.indd 2

14/5/09 15:02:59


FILM & ENTERTAINMENT

THE ROXY BAR AND SCREEN There’s a scene in Goodfellas where Henry Hill takes his girlfriend through the catacombs and kitchens of the Copacabana club only to emerge onto the club floor and take his hastily arranged table by the stage as Bobby Vinton serenades the audience. If that scene were to be filmed today The Roxy is where it would take place – probably the coolest cinema venue in London, if not the UK. Low mood lighting, intimate tables, secluded booths with red leather sofa chairs, red crushed velvet drapes and a big 10-seater corner sofa – somehow it’s all pitched just about perfectly. Located just below the square mile it’s the sort of place you might walk straight past if you weren’t paying attention, but inside it opens up – Tardis like – to a bar area at the front and the seated restaurant area at the back that doubles as the screening room when the drapes are pulled across. If the IMAX is all about the movie, The Roxy is all about mood and interaction. Independent, cult and mainstream movies are shown most nights, complete with intermissions to enable you to mingle and/or order food and drink from the full European menu. There’s nothing else like it in London and as a date venue, for sheer intimacy and atmosphere, The Roxy Bar and Screen stands out by a country mile. The Roxy Bar and Screen, 128-132 Borough High St, SE1. Telephone 020 7403 4423 www.roxybarandscreen.com

THE EVERYMAN, BELSIZE PARK The brand new kid on the block is actually a veteran in hip new clothes. The old Screen on the Hill was taken over by the Everyman group in 2008 and it’s undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment, re-opening just before Christmas as one of the most luxurious and innovative private cinemas in the country. Concierge service and pre booked tickets sent to your mobile via SMS aim to make queuing a thing of the past and the ultra modern contemporary design, lighting and colour schemes coupled with the beautiful bar and unique bathrooms Renault Megane concept car will make you think you’ve stumbled into the cover shoot of some interior design magazine. The ‘Screening Lounge’ is where the Everyman really comes into its own though and ‘Lounge’ has never been a more appropriate noun. The plush carpeting feels comforting under foot and the huge bespoke double and single leather seats are hand-made with reclining seat backs and fold away drinks tables in the arms – and these are just the standard seats! The premium New Alfa Romeo THE ELECTRIC CINEMA seats have electronically adjustable Situated in the heart of Funky Town, seat backs and extending footrests. The Electric Cinema is the oldest and You can now watch a movie lying back, perhaps most famous purpose built snuggled up with your loved one as cinema in the UK, dating all the way your drinks are brought to you by one of back to 1910. Its time was almost up the team of waiting staff constantly on when, in the nineties, the venue fell hand. Probably the only way to be more into complete disrepair and its doors comfortable is to be in your own home… remained closed to the public for many with your own butler…. years. But like the unexpected twist in The Everyman, 203 Haverstock Hill, all the best movies, it was this lack of NW3. Telephone 0870 066 4777 money that proved to be the Electric’s saving grace in the years to come. To save money the old interior was restored rather than modernised and it’s the all original features and design, lovingly restored to full glory that now gives the Electric the unique atmosphere and character that is such an attraction for people from all over Europe. Throw in an en-suite bar and restaurant serving excellent food and alcohol for you to enjoy while watching your film, state of the art projector and sound system, plush big cherry red leather armchairs, footstools and couples sofas and enough all round leg room to put British Airways business class to shame and you’ll understand why you have to book well in advance to get a seat at the Electric. The Electric Cinema, 191 Portobello Road, W11. Telephone 020 7908 9696 www.electriccinema.co.uk

URBAN LIFE 59

CINEMA.indd 3

14/5/09 17:27:14


E H T KE A T ER V O FILM & ENTERTAINMENT

dre

An e by atur

le

Gay

Fe

T

s era i cam d e h t nd rule behi t talent d n a s e nt of ur b n fro when o i t n ’ tale ….? sion ritish ish inva perhaps B f o t, ‘Brit ales fron the t ed it the a new y r t dus ubb e for vie in merica d go. Tim o m l a loba re. A des he g of folklo w deca t n i With e stuff y a fe ustr th d n w i o ic n mus their

he worldwide economy may have been on the floor over the past few months but the British men and women of the UK film industry have been proudly standing tall and bucking the trend. Indeed, some have singlehandedly insulated the global industry as a whole from the recession.

This year’s film awards season confirmed the regard in which British talent is held the world over. Brit New electric super car Lightning director Stephen Daldry’s The Reader starred fellow Brits Ralph Fiennes and Kate Winslet and picked up four Oscar

nominations. Winslet walked away with her leading lady accolade to add to her Bafta, double Golden Globe wins and numerous other awards for the same role. Of course, if there was an Oscar for the film that won the most awards then Manchester born Danny Boyle would have yet another filling up space in his trophy room. Slumdog Millionaire scooped an incredible seventy one awards this season alone, including an impressive eight Oscars. On the back of this Boyle was being tipped to direct the next in the James Bond franchise (since proved to be just a rumour.)

It was another Brit, Daniel Craig, who led James Bond and Quantum of Solace to record breaking openings here and abroad last year and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight became one of the few films to credibly challenge Titanic as the highest grossing film of all time. While its Oscar winning star was undoubtedly the late Heath Ledger, its leading man happened to be Nolan’s compatriot, Christian Bale. So, with the foundations laid, who are the British names that will lead the takeover of Hollywood once and for all this Summer?

60 URBAN LIFE

TAKEOVER.indd 2

14/5/09 15:15:43


XXXXXX

THE ACTOR CHRISTIAN BALE The handsome and versatile son of an entrepreneur father and a circus clown mother (seriously), Bale’s star has been rising ever since his critically acclaimed debut in Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun where his on screen gravitas belied his tender 13 years. That same gravitas enabled him to avoid the pigeon-holing that destroyed the careers of so many other child actors and allowed him to simultaneously forge a career as one of the most bankable leading men in Hollywood while also being recognised as a truly great actor, something even the mighty Tom Cruise probably wishes for in his quieter moments. Since his debut Bale has taken on some widely diverse, and sometimes ill-advised, leading roles in films like Equilibrium, The Prestige and Reign of Fire. It was his breakthrough work in The Machinist in 2004 that really got the attention though. Bale shed a massive 60 pounds to achieve the emaciated physique he pictured of his character, Trevor Resnick. Such a drastic weight loss is said to be a record for any actor portraying a role but Bale had wanted to lose even more until the producers stepped in, fearing for his health. Such commitment caught the eyes of movie executives the world over and it was perhaps inevitable that he would be cast as the new billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne in the now phenomenally successful re-boot of the Batman franchise. Batman Begins turned out to be the movie that made him into true Hollywood royalty. The second in the series, The Dark Knight, was the king of 2008 and in 2009 Bale is set to reinforce his A-List status with a slate of big projects. First comes Killing Pablo, the story of how the head of the US Special Forces, Major Steve

“BATMAN BEGINS TURNED OUT TO BE THE MOVIE THAT MADE HIM INTO TRUE HOLLYWOOD ROYALTY”

Renault Megane concept car

New Alfa Romeo

Corbis

Jacoby, played by Bale, masterminded the eventual downfall of Pablo Escobar, head of the Columbian Medellin cartel in the 1980’s, probably the most notorious drug organization of all time. Next he follows that with director Michael Mann’s Public Enemies (also co-starring Johnny Depp and Oscar winner Marion Cotillard), the stylized true story of the legendary American bank robber John Dillinger (Depp) and his nemesis in the FBI, Melvin Purvis (Bale). Continuing his speciality of breathing life into dead franchises Bale’s last release this year will probably also

end up being the biggest overall. Set in 2018, Terminator Salvation revives the Terminator series made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bale plays the adult John Conner, the resistance leader who leads the rebellion against the machines and who we only heard about in retrospect throughout the previous movies. With interest already at a peak after his spectacular outburst at a crew member found its way onto the underverse earlier this year, a budget in excess of $150milion and two more in the series already in the works, Terminator Salvation looks set to give Christian Bale his second top grossing year in a row. >

URBAN LIFE 61

TAKEOVER.indd 3

14/5/09 15:15:44


FILM & ENTERTAINMENT

THE PRODUCER DAVID HEYMAN

THE ACTRESS EMILY BLUNT

Perhaps not a name that trips off the tongue with easy recognition but this London native is singularly responsible for arguably the most profitable franchise in movie history and is unsurprisingly ranked in the top ten ‘smartest people in Hollywood’ by America’s celebrity bible, Entertainment Weekly. In 1997 David Heyman bought the rights to a little known children’s book for just under $2mil. That book was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and in the twelve years since the Harry Potter franchise has gone on to gross nearly $5bil in box office takings alone. Mind boggling as it may be to conceive of now, Heyman actually had to fight some initial resistance among studio executives in trying to bring the first book to the screen. Fortunately his conviction and passion for the project eventually convinced all the right people to take a ‘chance’ on him.

A sitting Conservative MP and a primary school teacher aren’t the usual occupations of the parents of a young Hollywood star but it certainly doesn’t seem to have done Emily Blunt any harm. Born in South London, Blunt discovered acting as a way of controlling her pronounced stammer at school. “Use different accents,” she was told. “Play a different character and make others believe you.” It worked so well she soon discovered that playing different characters was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. While studying for her A-Levels she attracted an agent and made her professional acting debut on stage as recently as 2000. The rest, as they say, is history. She had been bitten by the acting bug and, being so very easy on the eye, perhaps we can all feel a little fortunate that she was.

His rise to the higher echelons of the global movie industry is all the more surprising when you consider he graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Art History and, unlikely as it may seem, the first Hollywood project he ever produced was the black urban ‘hood’ movie Juice, the movie that also broke legendary Californian ‘Gangster rapper’, Tupac Shakur. As well as the Potter series he was also the man behind the Will Smith blockbuster, I am Legend, and the recent Yes Man starring Jim Carrey. That’s pretty good going for a man whose earlier career navigated the pitfalls of projects like Ravenous, the ill-fated Robert Carlyle Horror/Western that survived three different directors and a threatened strike by the actors only to quietly disappear at the box office. Buoyed by the anticipation generated by its postponed release – it was originally scheduled for November ’08 but moved to Summer ’09 to capitalize on the blockbuster season - the next in the Potter series, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, will be one of the very few that will challenge Terminator Salvation for box office dominance this year and it’s probably the only movie with an all British cast (using their all British accents) that will top the charts both here and in the US. By that time ‘The Three Davids’ (Heyman, co-producer David Baron and director David Yates) will be deep into shooting the final instalment in the series (in two parts), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ensuring that, New electric super car Lightning for the next three years at least, David Heyman will remain among the ranks of the world’s top super producers.

Corbis

“UNLIKELY AS IT MAY SEEM, THE FIRST HOLLYWOOD PROJECT HE EVER PRODUCED WAS THE BLACK URBAN ‘HOOD’ MOVIE JUICE”

Corbis

“BY THE END OF 2009, THE YEAR SHOULD HAVE ESTABLISHED EMILY BLUNT AS ONE OF HOLLYWOOD’S A-LIST ACTRESSES”

Notoriety arrived with her performance in the 2004 British movie, My Summer of Love, a surprisingly dark story about the lust and manipulation between two young girls (Blunt and Natalie Press). The role earned her and her co-star an Evening Standard British Film Award for Most Promising Newcomers. Real fame came with her scene stealing performance alongside Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in the 2006 smash hit, The Devil Wears Prada. In fact, Entertainment Weekly actually awarded her ‘Best Female Scene Stealer’ in their end of year round up and Meryl Streep has since acknowledged that Blunt is one of the best young actresses that she has ever worked with. In 2009 Emily Blunt boldly continues her charge into the worldwide public consciousness. She stars in two comedies, The Great Buck Howard, with John Malkovich, and Wild Target, with Bill Nighy. She also played the title role in the recently released Young Victoria, a role set to do for her what Elizabeth did for Cate Blanchett. The piece de resistance of Blunt’s 2009 will come in the form of the female lead in Wolf Man, a summer blockbuster re-telling of the werewolf legend that also stars Benicio Del Toro, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving. By the end of 2009, the year should have established Emily Blunt as one of Hollywood’s A-List actresses and it probably won’t be too long thereafter until we see the likes of Anne Hathaway playing the support to her lead in another smash hit movie.

62 URBAN LIFE

TAKEOVER.indd 4

14/5/09 15:15:46


MOTORING

Concept car

Renault Megane concept car

THE NEWCOMER ROMOLA GARAI Outspoken, ambitious, talented and striking. There are many ways to describe this tall English actress of Hungarian descent. You could also call her a virtuoso violinist and something of a nomad, having travelled extensively all over the world. Born in Hong Kong and then a long time resident in Wiltshire, she left home at sixteen to move to London with her older sister where she began to discover theatre and acting. Studious by nature, she later began a degree in English Literature but deferred it as her acting career went into overdrive. First she landed her debut screen role in Last of the Blonde Bombshells in 2000 and that was quickly followed by her turn as Kate Nickleby in Nicholas Nickleby in 2002, for which she shared in a National Board of Review ‘Best Ensemble Cast’ Award. Her own personal favourite performance came as Cassandra Mortmain in 2003’s I Capture the Castle for which she was nominated for Most Promising Newcomer by The British Independent Film Awards. Garai has since carved out a reputation for being a serious actress and for being serious about her acting. Of her first attempt to break the American market in 2004 with the risible sequel, Dirty Dancing:

New Alfa Romeo

“GARAI HAS SINCE CARVED OUT A REPUTATION FOR BEING A SERIOUS ACTRESS AND FOR BEING SERIOUS ABOUT HER ACTING”

Celebrity Pictures

Havana Nights, she says, “It was awful, and I was awful in it: a huge mistake that I deeply regret.” It was an experience that was to make sure she never sold out her principles again and acclaimed roles in period pieces Vanity Fair, Amazing Grace and Atonement quickly erased the memory of the that one blip. Now 26 she’s finally starting to blossom into the beautiful leading lady she was always destined to be. This year she will be seen in the lead role of the World War II thriller 1939, with Bill Nighy, Jeremy Northam and the legendary Julie Christie, an actress with whom Garai has often been likened to. Following that

is the role that will surely propel her to international stardom and recognition – Flying Into Love, based on the critically acclaimed novel of the same name, is a new look at the events leading up to, and immediately following, the assassination of John F. Kennedy as seen through the eyes of his wife, Jacqueline Kennedy. Garai, with the help of a brunette wig and an uncanny resemblance, won the lead role of Jacqueline Kennedy and for an, as yet, little known English actress to the land the role of such a historical American style icon tells you about all you need to know about what the future holds for this once clumsy middle-class girl from the Wiltshire countryside.

URBAN LIFE 63

TAKEOVER.indd 5

14/5/09 15:15:49


END PAGES.indd 7 URBAN LIFE FRAGRANCE.indd 2

14/5/09 6/10/08 16:11:28 12:16:05


23-04-2009

16:04

Pagina 1

w w w. c o m e t e . i t

ADV URBAN LIFE:URBAN LIFE A4

FAT T I C O N G R A N D I S S I M O A M O R E .

END PAGES.indd 7

14/5/09 16:10:30

Urban Life - London's premier (free) luxury lifestyle magazine  

Urban Life is a London-based luxury lifestyle magazine, aimed at the professional/affluent Londoner. Features reflect the tastes and aspira...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you