KAREN DAVID FILMS, MUSIC AND THE LURE OF HOLLYWOOD... Cowes Week
Your guide to one of the biggest and best Regattas in the world
Three new test-drives for the summer
Croatia: Europeâ€™s rising luxury destination
Overseas investment opportunities
Win a luxury weekend break for two at the exclusive Lords of the Manor Hotel!
EXCLUSIVE: CARTIER MD, ARNAUD BAMBERGER Cartier Polo & life at the top
BEAUTY URBAN LIFE COVER (7).indd 1
ART & CULTURE 19/07/2010 14:44
Noemia Mother-of-pearl dial and Stainless steel case with diamonds Crown with midnight blue dome Sapphire crystal www.raymond-weil.com
INDEPENDENCE IS A STATE OF MIND
For your nearest RAYMOND WEIL stockist please call 01428 656822 or email email@example.com
SUNNY TIDINGS FROM UL TOWERS I know I’m not alone when I say that I love London no matter what the season or time of year. However my love for this great city takes on a whole new dimension during these brief summer months when it all just makes sense. The days are long and the nights even longer. There’s never a dull moment when the sun decides to grace us, so much so you can practically ‘smell’ the happiness in the air! I love the hustle and bustle of our streets, markets and shops and of course the frenetic rush to grab a table to dine al fresco in our favourite restaurants with friends and family. The explosion of life, the creativity in the arts, the must-attend sporting events and the endless invitations to some of the coolest parties of the year - it all brings home that feeling that we do indeed live in arguably the best city on the planet! And it is with this feeling of all-consuming positivity that I’d like to share this edition of the magazine with you. I am pleased to say that we have not one but two exclusive interviews for your reading pleasure; the first with Karen David, one of our rising stars who is heading for stardom in her own uncompromising way, and the second with the elusive Monsieur Arnaud Bamberger of Cartier, the man who has played an instrumental role in positioning this great heritage brand where it is today in the luxury goods sector. We also have some great test drives in the motoring section and our other regular staples, including some very cool watches, technology and the growing section that is property & interiors. Our new website also has been completely re-vamped, and should have gone live as we go to press, so do log on and check it out: www.urbanlife-magazine.com We are also starting work on our long awaited project for a new complete lifestyle portal (www. capital-life.co.uk), which should be going live before the next edition. This portal will be bridging the gap between issues of the magazine with more current material, especially those that do not have a long lifespan. I am very excited about this project, and will be sharing this with you in due course. As for the October edition, we have some very exciting features lined up, including the return of the ‘Urban Player’ and the ‘Cigar Lounge’, as well as some very fantastic competitions and reader offers, so do watch this space... This is your city. This is your magazine.
Until the next edition… YOURS
Ataur Rahman Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
06 URBAN LIFE
To buy online visit www.juicycouturewatches.co.uk
CONTENTS 12 BEAUTY
The latest products to keep you looking, feeling and smelling fresh and beautiful this summer
22 URBAN LIFE – CARTIER POLO SPECIAL
Exclusive interview with Arnaud Bamberger, the UK Managing Director of world famous luxury jewellers, Cartier
Luxury jewelled watches that are bright enough to light up the night sky
30 URBAN STAR
Exclusive interview with English actress Karen David, on growing up and her passion for film and music
We travel to the beautiful Istria region in Croatia and the luxurious Country House hotel in Bishopstrow
Win a luxury weekend away for two at the fabulous Lords of the Manor hotel!
Five hot cars under the spotlight for this summer
46 COWES WEEK 2010
The biggest sailing regatta in the world is right on your doorstep and we’ve got your guide to the best places and events
An expert’s eye view of the luxury overseas property market plus luxury residential developments here and in Switzerland.
53 INTERIOR DESIGN
A look at the trend of ‘scenterior design’, decorating with fragrance, and furniture designed to be used in your home and outside
The latest in gadgets for home and personal use, with a special feature on 3D TV.
60 ART & CULTURE
Three must-see art exhibitions in London.
62 URBAN LIFE
If it’s fashionable and high profile, we’re there (plus coverage from our very own Fashion & Media parties)!
52 52 8 URBAN LIFE
OPEN FOUR SUMMER
The New GraNCabrio by MaseraTi. experieNCe More With the GranCabrio, Maserati has moved the open-top grand touring experience onto a new level. You expect the elegance of the Pininfarina design and the dynamic ability derived from the 4.7 litre, 440 horsepower, V8 engine, but the GranCabrio offers another dimension; spacious seating for four people. You and your passengers are guaranteed the highest level of comfort thanks to the use of sumptuous materials, including Poltrona Frau® leather, a fully insulated fabric roof and Skyhook active suspension. The Maserati GranCabrio is priced at £96,175 on the road, including 3 years/unlimited mileage warranty.
For more information on the Maserati GranCabrio or Maserati events, call 01943 871660 or visit www.maserati.co.uk Car shown with optional metallic paint at £552, coloured dashboard/tonneau cover at £705, titanium-coloured brake calipers at £423 and BOSE ® Surround Sound system at £1,410. Official fuel consumption for the Maserati GranCabrio in mpg (litres/100km): urban 11.8 (23.9), extra urban 27.2 (10.4), combined 18.3 (15.4). CO2 emissions on combined cycle 358 g/km.
w w w. m a s e r a t i . c o. u k ADS.indd 2
KAREN DAVID FILMS, MUSIC AND THE LURE OF HOLLYWOOD... Cowes Week
Your guide to one of the biggest and best Regattas in the world
Three new test-drives for the summer
Croatia: Europe’s rising luxury destination
Overseas investment opportunities
Win a luxury weekend break for two at the exclusive Lords of the Manor Hotel!
EXCLUSIVE: CARTIER MD, ARNAUD BAMBERGER Cartier Polo & life at the top
CoveR PiCtuRe BEAUTY
T E CHNOLOGY
INT E RIORS
ART & CU LT U RE
Karen wears – black dress, dsquared tan belt, karen’s own. Photographer: ilze kitshoff stylist: nikki Lloyd Make-up/hair: sjaan Gillings
uRban life Published by: Westside Communications Ltd. 10 Greycoat Place, London, SW1P 1SB Tel: +44 (0) 871 989 8206 Fax: +44 (0) 871 989 8207 email: email@example.com uRl: www.urbanlife-magazine.com PublisheR and editoR-in-Chief
head of business develoPMent
ivAn Petersen PAuLinA neJmAn ContRibutoRs
nichoLAs bArnes stuArt LiPoff
fashion events & online Contents
iMage Post PRoduCtion
All enquiries relating to features, advertising and sponsorship should be directed to the sales team in the first instance: firstname.lastname@example.org To subscribe please fill out the subscriptions form available in this issue, contact the office on the number below or email for further information: email@example.com © Westside Communications Ltd 2010. 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). Westside Comunications Ltd cannot be held responsible for any unsolicited material.
10 URBAN LIFE
URBAN LIFE SUBSCRIPTIONS
Keep ahead of current trends with London’s hottest lifestyle magazine.Subscribe now for your free copy!
SUBSCRIPTIONS FORM Name
Profession/Job Title: Address:
Town/City: Postcode: Contact telephone number: Email: I wish to subscribe to Urban Life magazine
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
URBAN LIFE 11
HEALTH & BEAUTY
THE BEAUTY OF GIVENCHY
Essential summer beauty products from the world famous fashion house Feature by Sarah Walsh
Le Prisme Yeux – Island Camaïeu Limited edition eyeshadow quartet – blue RRP: £21.00
Fleur de Frangipanier Limited edition compact powder – natural tan RRP: £32.50
Rouge Interdit Limited edition lipstick – devilish red enhanced with coral RRP: £18.50
Phenomen’eyes Waterproof mascara RRR: £19.50
Vermis Please! Limited edition nail lacquer – blue RRP: £12.50
12 URBAN LIFE
Neville Hair and Beauty salon is set in the glitz and glamour of Knightsbridge, London. Run by husband and wife team Neville and Elena, Neville has a wealth of experience in the hairdressing world and is very conscious of the importance of nurturing new talents. The Neville team pride themselves on their first-class service for everyone who walks through their doors, and their colour department is exceptional in achieving the perfect hue for each person. At Neville people can have so much more than a haircut. Seen as a ‘lifestyle salon’ Neville houses experts in reflexology, facials, waxing, manicures and so much more, including an all-male grooming service! Whichever treatment you choose to have at Neville you can be sure you will get an individual tailored service customised to your needs, characteristics and wants! So if you’d like to be in the company of Yasmin Le Bon, Lisa Snowdon, George Michael and Naomi Harris, Neville promise to give you the ultimate salon experience to make you feel how everybody should – pampered! 5 Pont Street, Belgravia, London, SW1x 9EJ 0207 235 3654. www.nevillehairandbeauty.net
DESIGNED ADVERTS.indd 3
BEAUTY & FRAGRANCE
BEAUTY Feature by Sarah Walsh and Ivan Petersen Regeneration Serum – 30ml £32.00
Eye Contour gel – 15ml £18.00 Melvita Hero Product: Hydratism – 50ml £20.00
Melvita www.melvita. co.uk A selection of organic anti-aging products to hydrate, smooth, plump and firm skin for a fresher, youthful complexion.
Liftactiv CxP Total Serum Vichy’s new generation of anti-aging products contain a variety of active ingredients, including Vitamin C and a sugar called Monosaccharide R, which when combined, have the effect of reducing signs of deep wrinkles whilst firming the skin. Used in conjunction with the day and night ranges, it provides continuous hydration and increased radiance to the complexion. 30ml £26.50 www.vichyconsult.co.uk
Foaming Facial Scrub – 75ml £15.00
14 URBAN LIFE
BEAUTY & FRAGRANCE
FRAGRANCE 21 by Costume National Ennio Capasa, founder and designer of Costume National celebrates 21 years of his fashion brand with the launch of this new fragrance. With hints of saffron, amber, bergamot and vanilla on a base of milk and white orange blossom, this is a classically elegant scent that evokes a sense of mystery and emotion from a bygone era... 100ml £80 www.costumenational.com
Sicily by Made in Italy Fragrances Launched exclusively at Harvey Nichols last month, Sicily is part of a series of fragrances named after various regions of Italy. This one’s created as an ‘olfactory representation of a dreamlike atmosphere between the earth and sky’. Contains agarwood and myrrh and unusual notes such as hay and helychrisum. 100ml £78 www.harveynichols.com
Bois NaufragÐ by Parfumerie Generale Master perfumer Pierre Guillaume takes inspiration from Lucien Clergue’s iconic photograph Le Nu au Bois Flotté (1971) to create a robust and masculine fragrance that should leave you smelling of summer long after the sun has gone. Contains driftwood accord, fleur de sel and caroubier (Egyptian fig tree). 50ml natural spray £79.50 Exclusive to Les Senteurs 0207 730 2322 www.lessenteurs.com
URBAN LIFE 15 00
The Colour of
Summer Photographer: Sarah Johnson Assistant: Tracer Ital Stylist: Lauren Miller Make-up & Hair: Alex Jones using Bobbi Brown cosmetics Model: Ariella @ Oxygen
00 URBAN LIFE
Orange Maxi Dress, £1,790, Pussy Willow Necklace, £379, Magpie vintage Gloves, £90, Gala URBAN LIFE 00 Tiger Crystal bag, £350, IMI Luxury
Purple One-shouldered Frill Dress, POA, Scouture Necklace, £175, Magpie Vintage Shoes, £995, Gina
Green dress, £590, Pussy Willow Necklace, £379, magpie vintage Purple bag, £425, Belen Enchandia
Nude top, £175, Pussy willow Green Skirt, £220, Pussy Willow Necklace, £180, Raris Jewellery Gold flower ring, POA, Aldo
Printed Maxi dress, £550, Daks Necklace, £250, Raris Jewellery Gold Bag, £230, Belen Enhandia
URBAN LIFE – CARTIER POLO SPECIAL
THE SPORT OF KINGS:
ARNAUD BAMBERGER AND CARTIER INTERNATIONAL POLO Feature by Andre Gayle
t was always going to be the match made in heaven (forgive the pun) - the Sport of Kings sponsored by the historically world famous jewellery designer to the kings (and queens). When the collaboration first came about it didn’t arrive with too much fanfare but the Cartier International Polo event, which takes place every summer at the Guard’s Polo Club in Windsor, has become the biggest event of the international Polo calendar in the world, surpassing even the Mondialito event in the home of polo, Buenos Aires, Argentina. In 2009 it celebrated its 25th anniversary and for the last eighteen of those twenty five years the event has been captained with typical Gallic flair by the Managing Director of Cartier UK
(and French Legion of Honour recipient), Arnaud Bamberger. We arrived in the office of Monsieur Bamberger, above the famous Cartier showroom in London’s Bond Street, to find him at his desk updating his World Cup chart with the results from the previous day’s football matches. It was immediately disarming to see him doing what many a student and office worker must also have been doing that morning and as we talked it became obvious that it was perhaps this touch of the everyman that has made him so successful at helming Cartier through the worst economic crisis in living memory. In retrospect it’s also perhaps fortunate that our interview took place
on the day of France’s final group game in the World Cup and not after. As it was he was the welcoming, sophisticated and debonair raconteur you would expect of a man who had worked for thirty five years all over the world for one of the biggest luxury brand names around. After so many years few people would refer to what they do as just a job or even a career. When you have been at the top of a company like Cartier for this long it’s probably more accurate to describe it as a relationship that seemed almost fated to happen. “I was never a great student”, Arnaud tells us, “I can’t really speak of a huge amount of university studies because it’s not there but I knew I wanted to go into business and I was always
22 URBAN LIFE
URBAN LIFE – CARTIER POLO SPECIAL
drawn to the luxury industry”. Despite this the young Arnaud soon found himself working in the marketing department of a multinational foods company in France. It wasn’t very glamorous but it was a place to pay your dues and his notable success drew all the right kinds of attention. It led to him being headhunted by one of the biggest luxury tobacco brands of the time, Rothman’s, and thus began the lifelong relationship with luxury brands that endures to this very day. “It’s funny because Rothman’s was once owned by the owners of Cartier [The Richemont Group] but at the time there was no connection”, he says. That connection began when, while at Rothman’s, Arnaud’s feet began to itch.
This coincided with a heavy promotional campaign by Cartier in the French media. “Suddenly I saw the name was everywhere. The company had a young president at the time, Alain Domenique Perrin, and I saw him revolutionising the world of luxury by bringing a touch of it to the people – starting small with the world famous Cartier lighter. When I saw what this guy was doing I said to myself: this is the type of person I want to work with”. In the end all it took was a simple and direct letter to the Cartier president to make that ambition come true. “I caught his attention”, he says, “and I started as the export director of Cartier straight away. He’s president no longer but he’s still a trusted advisor and the one that restored the brand back
to where it should always have been. After working with him for so long he became one of my best friends, almost like an older brother”. Recalling the scene of Arnaud updating his World Cup chart earlier it was obvious that Perrin’s outlook had left a lasting impression on his long time friend. It was Perrin and then head of communications, Pilar Boxford, who were instrumental in Cartier’s initial association with the Guard’s Club polo tournament in Windsor and, with the connotations each has for the other, it turned out to be a masterstroke. Cartier as a brand has always projected elegance, class, quality and aspiration and Polo, along with the infrastructure that surrounds it, embodies
URBAN LIFE 23
URBAN LIFE – CARTIER POLO SPECIAL
THE SPORT OF KINGS: ARNAUD BAMBERGER AND CARTIER INTERNATIONAL POLO Feature by Andre Gayle
these traits across the globe. After all, it’s no coincidence that when Richard Gere sought to refine the streetwise Julia Roberts in the hit film Pretty Woman the first place he took her was to a Polo match. It shouldn’t be a surprise then that Polo’s supporters and followers are also a key demographic for the Cartier marketing department. The event had been going eight years or so by the time Arnaud, charged with restructuring the Cartier brand in the UK consumer market, made his home in London. “When I arrived in 1992 Alain put me in charge of the Polo which was fantastic because it was such an international event. And maybe he was also a little happy that he wouldn’t have to break his holiday to travel to Windsor every year”, he says with a smile. “Cartier International Polo is now the biggest event for the sport in the world, attendance comes close to 30,000 people”. Indeed, it has also become one of the biggest events on the British social calendar, competing with the likes of Royal Ascot and the Henley Regatta. People
travel from all over the world to attend and some of the more notable names in entertainment, royalty and business are even fortunate enough to be hosted by Arnaud personally in the lavishly decorated private Cartier marquee, with catering for the day provided by none other than master chef Anton Mosimann. But even here at this chic and quintessentially English event for the hoi polloi Arnaud displays the marketing nuance of a seasoned expert. After the two high class polo matches during the day the Chinawhite marquee provides the entertainment once the ponies have been stabled and it has been part of the event for the past ten years. As Arnaud puts it: “Chinawhite brings a younger element who come and are able to educate themselves about the game of polo and find out about Cartier while having a bit of fun – new money will become old money very quickly. The day remains primarily about the polo though. We are Cartier and we have a standard to set”. Up until three years ago Her Majesty the Queen was a regular visitor to the event and it soon became tradition that she would present the prizes at the end of the day. It’s an association that Arnaud is clearly very proud of and he’s probably one of the very few who can say they have received personal invitations for lunch at places like Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle. As a testament to just how much mutual respect there is in this royal connection, when the queen’s schedule prevented her from continuing her yearly appearances the Prince of Wales, a former veteran polo player himself, happily agreed to take his mother’s place and will be there again
this year to present the prizes. It’s the kind of endorsement that makes Cartier the iconic brand that has survived world wars, depressions and recessions. “We’ve been in existence for 160 years”, says Arnaud, “and hopefully we will be around for another 160. The recent recession has been difficult, of course, but I think we weathered it better than many other luxury brands because we were cautious and anticipated the crisis. We still have our very big spenders who travel from all over to buy in London, which is fantastic, but we also make a number of entry level products and when you have a difficult time it’s more so these products you have to go into battle with”. This trait of delivering to one end of the market while not forgetting about the other seems to be a running theme of the stewardship of Arnaud Bamberger and perhaps gives the outsider a little insight into the sure footing Cartier now enjoys while others continue to struggle. And what is true of the brand is also true of the International Polo day. Going into its 26th year it promises to be the most spectacular yet and it’s a guarantee that images from the event will carry the Cartier name to every news and entertainment outlet the world over – a marketing executive’s dream. For those lucky enough to attend though it remains just a really great day out. And Arnaud wouldn’t have it any other way.
24 URBAN LIFE
For your nearest BOSS Watch stockist please telephone 01428 664700 or buy online at www.bosswatches.co.uk
Feature by Andre Gayle
IT DON’T MEAN A THING IF IT AIN’T GOT THAT BLING Hot days, hot nights, hot parties. Summer brings out the party animal in most of us and, fortunately, London’s social and event scene is one of the best places to feed that frenzy. But as the temperatures rise the layers of clothing begin to melt away meaning your accessories can literally make or break your outfit. A sure fire way to get all attention on you is to catch the eye with a devastating jewelled watch. Not just the all out, focus pulling, blinding dwarf stars favoured by many celebs and recording artists but also the more understated demure pieces that might not necessarily be seen from half way across the (ball)room as soon as you walk in. What all these watches do have in common though are precious stones, precious metals and stylish designs. The perfect match for a summer’s evening and popping flashbulbs.
26 URBAN LIFE
< Tiret Automatic Chronograph
Tiret is the new name in luxury timepieces from across the Atlantic and is already a big draw among the glitterati there. This is helped by the fact that the company was set up by the former co-founder of Roc-A-Fella records (and former partner of recording artist Jay-Z), Damon Dash. This watch has a diamond ‘splash’ on a blue mother of pearl dial with a diamond and ‘T’ logo design on the case. A total of 5 carats in diamonds make up this piece and the look is completed with the blue Alligator skin strap. RRP: £16,500. Available exclusively at Garrard, London. For details contact: www.Garrard.com
Tiffany & Co Ladies Atlas This is a more discreet watch from one of the most famous names in luxury goods. What it lacks in carats it makes up for in class. This black and rose gold watch is set with 60 diamonds and the strap is in fashionable black satin. The femininity of this watch is further enhanced by the playful love heart date indicator at the six o’clock position.
RRP: POA. Contact Tiffany & Co at:www.tiffany.co.uk
Jacob & Co – Royal Collection Timepiece This watch is a perfect example of the ‘dwarf star’ for the wrist. Jacob & Co is the brand name many a celebrity on the other side of the Atlantic turns to for the piece that will get them on the front cover. Madonna, P. Diddy, David Beckham, Helena Christensen, Bono and Jay Z (to name a few) are all on the client roster and it’s designs like this Royal Collection watch that keeps them coming back. It is set with over 31 carats of baguettecut diamonds on a white gold case with a further 0.11 carats in the rose-cut diamond crown. Rounding out the luxury is the blood red Alligator leather strap. RRP: $480,000. Contact Jacob & Co at: www.jacobandco.com
URBAN LIFE 31 URBAN LIFE 27
Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II From one of the best known names in luxury watches comes this diamond and black sapphire watch. Featuring an 18 carat white gold case and an Oyster diamond set bracelet. The case and shoulders are set with 76 diamonds while the rotatable bezel is set with 36 baguette shaped diamonds and 12 baguette shaped black sapphires. Of course, being a Rolex, functionality is also important and this watch is water resistant to 100m and the GMT function allows simultaneous use of a second time zone. RRP: £69,140. For more information see: www.rolex.com
< Patek Philippe Nautilus Coming from probably the finest name in luxury watch making, this is the watch for the fitter among you. Only those in reasonably good shape will be able to carry the 1675 diamonds encrusted into this piece without toppling over. It’s the kind of watch the slang term ‘ice’ was coined for. The case and bracelet are white gold and among its diamond count are 368 Wesselton diamonds giving the watch a total carat weight of 8.68. RRP: £153,160. For stockists and more details see: www.patek.com
28 URBAN LIFE
Bulgari Ladies Astrale Another standout dress watch designed to actually look like a star, hence its title. The wide diamond encrusted concentric rings circling the dial are sure to make people sit up and take notice. No less than 284 diamonds feature in this piece, including 8 round brilliant-cut diamonds, for a total carat weight of 7.64. The strap is fashionable black satin and even the clasp is set with fancy-cut diamonds. RRP: £105,000. Contact Bulgari at: www.bulgari.com
< < Chanel Ladies J12 Joaillerie This would be a spectacular accompaniment to a simple monochrome outfit, giving it that extra bit of sparkle. A very cool look for the evening, this watch has a black ceramic bracelet and a white gold case. The dial is set with 84 diamonds while the bezel is set with further 48. The 12 time indicators on the face and the crown are cut from black ceramic. RRP: £77,250. Contact Chanel Fine Jewellery – 0207 499 0005. www.chanel.com
URBAN LIFE 31 URBAN LIFE 29
An English Exotic Rising actress and recording artist, Karen David. By Andre Gayle Photographer: Ilze Kitshoff Stylist: Diane Cilliers Make Up & Hair: Leon Von Sohns
ou might think you would have to go a very long way to meet somebody who was born in the foothills of the Himalayas but who grew up in Canada. You might have to go even further to meet someone who was a combination of Indian, Chinese and even a sliver of Jewish heritage (hence the seemingly incongruous surname). Fortunately, I only had to travel as far as London’s Twickenham Studios to meet Karen David, the actress making a name for herself as one of the UK’s best talents. It was here that she was filming a new TV series for the BBC and as we sat down over lunch for a chat the phrase ‘small but perfectly formed’ came to mind, dressed as she was in a costume that was akin to Halle Berry’s in the X-Men movies. Despite the costume and the heat that day she looked very cool, in both senses of the word, and seemed to be enjoying her life. “Everything that I have wanted to do since I was a little girl I’m now doing. This is actually my day job and I feel blessed to be in this position in my life”. Her journey seemed to have been set when, as a four year old, she was left in the charge of her older sister who refused to alter her viewing habits to accommodate her younger sibling. The film of choice that day was Xanadu.
“That’s when I fell in love with all things Olivia Newton John. I wanted to sing like her and be in movies like her. That’s when I was bitten”. A number of other world renowned celebrities, like Gwen Stefani, seem to have shared this same epiphany in their own early years so she was already in very good company. She was also fortunate to have parents who, despite being from a traditionally academic background, encouraged her to commit to her ambitions and that’s exactly what she did - when she wasn’t trying to blend in. “When I was growing up I was picked on a lot for being different”, she says, “My mother sent me to Chinese school when I was little but that didn’t work because all the kids thought I was too dark to be half Chinese. Then we moved to Canada where I had to learn French but couldn’t speak any of the languages in my heritage like Cantonese or Hindi. I was looked on as a bit of a freak of nature really but now that I’m older I really appreciate those experiences because it’s helped me not to be typecast as the ‘Asian’ actress”. It’s certainly true that, whether by conscious design or unconscious projection, her CV certainly reads of an artist who has been given the opportunity
to develop a broad range. By the time she was 17 she had moved from Canada to London to study acting and from her first film role in 2002 in the UK film Bollywood Queen, with James McAvoy, to Hollywood roles in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins and Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn, all bases were quickly being covered. Later this year she will even be seen playing a Spanish teacher when the BBC’s primetime drama, Waterloo Road, returns to TV this autumn. And, in perhaps her most significant role to date, she has even played a fictional ‘Akkadian’.
The Scorpion King: Rise of the Warrior, released in 2007, was the prequel to the hugely popular ‘Mummy/Scorpion King’ franchise and saw Karen take on the lead female role of Akkadian, Layla. Considering that it was part of such a big Hollywood franchise was she surprised to get the call for the lead? “I was filming ‘The Colour of Magic’, a major Sky TV adaptation of a Terry Pratchett novel starring David Jason and Jeremy Irons and word of it filtered to Jeremy Zimmerman, the casting director of Scorpion King, who, at the time, was looking all over the world for the girl to play Layla. When I read the script it felt like Cinderella trying on the glass slipper
00 URBAN LIFE 30 URBAN LIFE
URBAN LIFE 00 URBAN LIFE 31
Previous page: Retro style dress, Flowerfield This page: Vintage Kimono, Costume Workshop, Cape Town Opposite: Long sleeve dress, Diesel Shot on location in Cape Town.
ÒIt all goes back to Olivia Newton John. When I first saw her I knew I wanted to sing and I wanted to act and I wanted to be taken seriously doing bothÓ – a perfect fit! And already working with such great actors on Colour of Magic carried a lot of clout for me. On top of that, I was already trained in fencing and sword fighting for Magic so when I went to see Jeremy he was instantly impressed with what I could do”. It was this confluence of factors that led to her first Hollywood leading role and while happy to recall her excitement at receiving ‘the call’ when shopping at a local garden centre, you get the feeling that regarding it as a ‘surprise’ might presuppose ‘unmerited’ but it’s clear Karen David has the talent that merits special attention. Her role in The Scorpion King led to an agent and a second home in LA as well as a lot of gruelling travel schedules. “These are good problems to have when you are an actress. When the tidal wave comes you’ve just got to ride it because you don’t know how long it’s going to last”. In fact, at the time of our interview she was actually supposed to have been in LA already taking meetings. “Filming on Waterloo Road was due to finish in May and my agent in LA wanted me to go out there straight after. In the last week of filming I got a call for a quick meeting about a new comedy series that was starting up. I took the meeting and almost immediately my agent in the UK called and told me I got the part. I had to start the day after Waterloo Road had finished – so here I am!” ‘Here’ is
the production for a new comedy series coming in the new year for the BBC called ‘Game Over’, set behind the world of video gaming (a la Tron), and ‘here’ explains the rather eye catching, figure hugging costume she was wearing over lunch which, in turn, also made me rather grateful for ‘here’.
classical music, vocal training by the time I was 13, I was in the choir, I had my scholarship to study at Berklee – at the same time I was studying acting and already working as an actress. I paid my dues in both and now they balance me out creatively as a person. I couldn’t give up one for the other”.
In a general sense, and despite the occasional Canadian intonation to her voice, ‘here’ is also where she has lived since she was a teenager and considers home – London. It also happens to be the place where she first really started to develop her career as a recording artist. Before moving to the UK Karen studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and when she arrived she found herself working on projects with such diverse musical talents as composer Benny Anderson (Abba) and A.R. Rahman (Pussycat Dolls, Slumdog Millionaire). She is now preparing for the 2011 release of her debut album, The Girl in the Pink Glasses, and promotion of the first single, Hypnotize, released nationally in August. It’s something of a juggling act and I wonder if she ever finds herself favouring one of her talents over the other? “It all goes back to Olivia Newton John. When I first saw her I knew I wanted to sing and I wanted to act and I wanted to be taken seriously doing both. I didn’t want the stigma of ‘an actress trying to be a singer’ or vice versa so I worked hard - studying
Once the assault on the recording industry begins in earnest it would be hard to bet against someone who has already proven their talent and dedication to such a high level. When production on Game Over has wrapped there will be negotiations for more movie projects, promotion of the aforementioned single and album (which will include a number of gigs and performances), promotion for her upcoming TV series’, a long overdue extended visit to LA in October where she will also be working on new music in the studio – in other words, there a lot of ‘nice problems’ in her immediate future. For a girl who found it hard to ‘fit in’ when she was younger there seems to be almost nowhere her talent cannot take her now. The next year or so may even see Karen David fit in alongside the stars in the biggest constellation on earth - Hollywood. Keep watching...... Waterloo Road premieres on the BBC in September. Hypnotize debuts in August and The Girl in the Pink Glasses is set for release early 2011. For more on Karen visit www.karendavid.com
32 URBAN LIFE
ROVINJ – CROATIA’S COASTAL GEM
A long weekend on the Adriatic Coast’s newest luxury destination... Feature by Ataur Rahman
ravelling to a new destination can be a mixed-bag of surprises, especially if, like me, you are the type to do things at the very last minute. As much as I try and do a little bit of research before making a booking when I go away I failed to manage it this time. So of course, the only thing that gave me confidence in my choice of destination was the fact that it was in Croatia and, more importantly, it was by the sea. What could go wrong? Thankfully nothing went wrong! And my recent trip to the small seaside town of Rovinj on the west coast of Istria was without disappointment and in fact surprisingly pleasant. We flew into Pula with Ryanair, which is a half-hour drive from Rovinj, and the destination itself is well connected by a number of other airports within easy reach (Trieste, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Rijeika). Venice is only a two hour boat ride away, and makes for a great day out.
Our hotel was the Monte Mulini, a new-build five star property (the only one in the area) that opened in March of last year. It’s part of the Maistra Group which has a string of other hotels and properties in the region and throughout Croatia. It seems they play a big part in the local economy, being one of the main forces behind its tourism industry. However, the Monte Mulini is the jewel in the crown of their hotel portfolio. The hotel has a total of 113 rooms and suites and is situated on top of a small bay surrounded by a nature reserve. The architecture and its style are both modern and contemporary, with a dramatic entrance and an enormous glass fronted atrium spanning three levels. The use of space, colours and natural light tends to be the running theme and is well utilised. All rooms have fantastic sea-facing views and a private balcony, which looks down on the outside pool and gardens and further
out onto the sea and marina towards the town. Watching the sun rise and set is pretty cool and makes for a picture perfect romantic setting. Rovinj is a small town, and walking to the centre takes 10 minutes from the hotel. On a summer’s evening this is really pleasant as it’s along the coastline and is a great way to take in the views and the sea air. As you enter the town by the marina you are hit by an explosion of audible noise coming from the numerous bars and restaurants dotted along one after the other. There’s music and laughter and the unmistakable drone of hundreds of voices all chattering away in unison, which is broken by the occasional gasps and cheers coming from those that were glued to the many largescreen TV’s watching the first round of games in the World Cup. There’s not a lot to do if you wanted to go exploring the town, since you can cover
34 URBAN LIFE
that within the space of a couple of hours on foot (much less if you are physically fit), especially as it’s all very condensed. And, due to their Roman legacy, the Venetian terracotta-roofed houses and (very) narrow cobbled streets are tightly packed; so once you’ve gone up on one side and come down the other you’ve seen it all! Amongst all this the main point of interest remains the 18th century Church of St. Euphemia, which has a bell tower that dominates the skyline and can be seen from all directions. In terms of shopping, the narrow streets and alleys are lined with all sorts of wonderful little boutiques. However, they are geared towards the tourists and prices are sometimes a lot higher than what you would find at home. Caution is advised and with a little haggling, prices do come down to within reason. Unless you are after some locally made jewellery, art or artefacts though it’s not so likely you will be returning with bag
URBAN LIFE 35
THE SPORT OF KINGS: ARNAUD BAMBERGER AND CARTIER INTERNATIONAL POLO Feature by Andre Gayle
loads of purchases. Most other things you can just as easily get at home for, probably, a relatively cheaper price. Nightlife consists of the bar scene on the marina. There really isn’t anything to do here except hang out and watch the world go by, so if you are after a club or an after-hours scene then this really would be the wrong place for you! Eating out is slightly different and, as the region is famous for its truffles and wine, Rovinj is considered to be the gastronomic capital of Croatia. Although there are many restaurants here the majority are on the marina and lean towards the fast-turnover/cheap and cheerful type of establishments. Most are fish restaurants but also advertise, rather unashamedly, their combination menus of pizza and burgers on laminated picture boards. But I suppose it’s no different to any other place which relies on tourists for passing trade, so it’s more a matter of personal preference whether one wants to get a table. Out of the three nights, we ate out twice and both local restaurants we went to came quite highly recommended. The first one (whose name I cannot remember) was geared more towards driving tourists towards the ‘local’ cuisine, which I think could have been better served elsewhere. The restaurant, in keeping with the ‘authentic’ push, just looked battered and old. But maybe that was its charm, and to be honest, the food was ok, I guess. I don’t think I’ll be inundated with requests for its name anytime soon, but I could find out, if anyone really feels inspired enough to visit... The second, however, was more to our taste. Monte (I remember this one!) was situated just below the St. Euphemia church and this place was a polished effort. The food, service and decor were
all spot on, as was the presentation. Run by a husband and wife team (Titske & Danijel Dekić), this family owned restaurant was probably the coolest place in town. It wasn’t cheap compared to the locality, and we did pay almost London prices, but the food was well worth it, as was the climb to reach it in the first place! Check it out if you are in the area: http://www.monte.hr/ Our third night’s dinner was at the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, The Vault - so called because it resembled a wine vault. This is where Executive Chef Tomislav Gretic gets to flex his culinary muscles. Having opened Dubai’s Asia de Cuba and run kitchens at the likes of the Dolder Grand in Zurich, he brings a wealth of experience to the kitchen of Monte Mulini. The menu was predominantly French, with some local twists and influences, and was overall very good. As for activities, we took a boat out for a day skippered by an ex-commando from the Croatian army! He took to explore the islands around Rovinj and for some leisurely cruising on the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic, which was just something else. You literally have to stop yourself from impulsively jumping into the sea but it is something you can do, along with diving and other activities, with a little more notice. The hotel’s concierge can organise anything from a dingy to a yacht so do check with them on this. Apart from the boats, yachts and diving, the only other primary activity on the menu seemed to be hiring a bicycle for a few hours (or the day if you really feel active), which you can take into the protected nature reserve. As no cars are allowed, it’s a great way of letting off steam and getting to see the island and many of its secluded beaches at your leisure.
then do try the spa at the hotel. They offer some really good treatments, including a variety of one and two hour sessions which, I must say, we had to try. The two hour massage was just the best thing I’ve had in a very long time, and by the end of it, I was walking on air! The rest of the time was spent doing absolutely nothing but enjoying the sun by the pool and the private gardens overlooking the sea. If a relaxing break is just the ticket for you, and you want to try a new destination which is still pretty much off the beaten track, then Monte Mulini in Rovinj will not leave you disappointed... Hotel Monte Mulini +385 52 636 000 www.montemulinihotel.com For more information on the Istria region, visit: www.istra.hr/en
If you are also after a bit of pampering,
36 URBAN LIFE
URBAN LIFE COMPETITION
WIN A TASTE OF LUXURY AT THE LORDS OF THE MANOR HOTEL
Situated in a picturesque and timeless corner of the Cotswolds, the acclaimed four red star Lords of the Manor Hotel is an idyllic example of the country house hotel. Formerly a seventeenth century rectory, this honey-coloured stone house is located in a sylvan setting encompassing eight acres of landscaped gardens and grounds. This is a place in which you can step out of life’s pressures and simply relax, absorbing the ambience of the postcard perfect village of Upper Slaughter or venturing further afield onto the rolling hills of the Cotswolds or exploring Bath or Stratford-Upon-Avon. An extensive refurbishment has ensured that the hotel is smart and up to date, yet a sense of elegance pervades, in keeping with the property’s past. Bedrooms are spacious and individually styled with lovely attention to detail, such as organic fruit cordials and amenities from L’Occitane. Food lovers will adore the classical French inspiration of Matt Weedon, and it is because of his expertise that the hotel restaurant was first awarded a Michelin star in 2009, which has since been retained. Ingredients are sourced from local suppliers, all complemented by an impressive selection of wines,
with boutique Italian wines being a particular specialism. The hotel was awarded ‘Most Impressive Wine List’ by The AA in 2009/10. We have teamed up with the Lords of the Manor Hotel to offer one lucky Urban Life reader and their guest a chance to win a two night stay in a suite, with a three-course à la carte dinner in the Michelin starred restaurant with a bottle of wine. Full English breakfast is included.
For more information and seasonal offers, such as the Pure Seduction package which includes Champagne Afternoon Tea, Champagne breakfast in bed and à la carte three-course dinner, plus home-made chocolates and Champagne from just £185 per person, please see the website www. lordsofthemanor.com or call 01451 820243 (please quote ‘Urban Life magazine’ when booking)
For your chance to win this fantastic weekend break, simply fill in the form below and send it to: Competitions Desk, Urban Life Magazine, 10 Greycoat Place, London, SW1P 1SB (or enter online by logging on to www.urbanlife-magazine.com) URBAN LIFE COMPETITION ENTRY FORM - LORDS OF THE MANOR COMPETITION Name Profession/Job Title: Address: Town/City: Postcode: Contact telephone number: Email: Terms and conditions. 1. Closing date for the competition is 24th September 2010, with the draw taking place on the 27th September 2010. The winner will be chosen at random. 2. Editor’s decision final. No correspondence will be entered into. 3. Entrants must be over 18 and UK residents. 4. Accommodation is subject to availability 5. The prize is for a two-night stay for two adults at The The Lords of the Manor Hotel, which must be taken before November 30th 2010 and excludes high season periods. 6. There is no cash alternative. 7. By entering this competition you are agreeing to let Urban Life use your details in future in-house marketing campaigns. 8. The Lords of the Manor Hotel would like to keep you informed of future special offers and events. If you do NOT wish to receive such information, please tick here
URBAN LIFE 37
BISHOPSTROW HOUSE – A DRIVING WEEKEND BREAK IN WILTSHIRE Feature by Ataur Rahman
must admit, one of my guilty pleasures is driving and I will take to the wheels at any given opportunity and, for long drives, there’s never a bad time to hit the road. This is especially true during the summer months. On one of my recent trips the vehicle of choice was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The last time I had driven long distance in a 4WD was in the US many years ago, and the distances were much greater being inter-state. It reminded me what a pleasure it can be to sit high and enjoy the roads in the comfort and security of a big vehicle.
This particular model was a 3.0 litre turbo diesel, special limited edition. It looked the part - black, sporty looks, tinted windows, leather seats etc - and was a delight to drive in on the winding narrow country roads. The handling was great and the 30GB HD on the multimedia system ensured there was plenty of music to go through which I uploaded on to the system via a usb stick. The journey to Bishopstrow took us a little under two hours. Surprising as Glastonbury was taking place during the same weekend and was only a little over 20 miles away. So, having arrived
in time for tea, we decided to enjoy the remaining part of the glorious sunshine with a drink on the main terrace adjoining the restaurant. Bishopstrow House is part of the Von Essen group’s ‘Country House’ collection (readers will be familiar with it as we ran a competition with them not so long ago). It’s situated in Warminster, the heart of Wiltshire, and is within easy reach of Salisbury, Bristol and Bath. In fact we took in an afternoon’s driving on the second day to explore Bath and have dinner in a little Thai on the river. It is so easy to reach
38 URBAN LIFE
from the hotel (around half an hour by car) that it really has to be on the itinerary when visiting the hotel. As for the hotel, it has 32 rooms - so it’s pretty cosy. However, if you fancy getting away for a few days, then this can be a great option. Facilities-wise, there’s a fully equipped gym and indoor and outdoor swimming pools. There’s also the Halcyon Spa, which has a comprehensive range of treatments to sooth away any ailments. My only reservation about the setup is that it’s quite noisy, so they really need to oil the hinges and invest in some thicker
windows and doors. Noise aside, which admittedly was a distraction, the treatments were good and did what they were meant to! Foodwise, we had dinner in the Mulberry restaurant. Given that they currently hold 2 AA Rosettes, it was a tad disappointing, both in terms of style and substance. It just seemed the dishes were being overwhelmed with an overzealous desire to please with everything at the chef’s disposal. My chicken dish had about four or five varieties of carrot accompanying it (boiled carrot, mashed carrot, jellied carrot... you get the drift).
Having stayed at a few of the Von Essen properties, my overall experience was a little short of what I expected, since they do have some great properties in their collection. However, I think with a little more effort to raise the standard, I think this too can be a little gem. Bishopstrow House Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 9HH +44 1985 212 312 www.bishopstrow.co.uk For more information on the Jeep Grand Cherokee Special Limited Edition: +44 1908 301 000 www.jeep.co.uk
URBAN LIFE 39
HOT IN THE CITY Patrick Anderson runs his eyes over some cool cars for the summer and puts them through their paces. Infiniti G37 Convertible
difference between buying off the rack and ordering a bespoke suit. Hitting the road with the roof down on a sunny day really brings the car into its own and the luxurious V6 3.7 litre 24 Valve engine purrs sweetly as it delivers its 325 bhp and, by no less an authority than my VIP passenger, the well crafted leather seats with adjustable support and separate heating and cooling controls make the G37 a “very smooth ride”.
So, the Glastonbury 40th anniversary celebrations were on the near horizon and seeing as I was due to travel there with legendary British fashion icon Zandra Rhodes I had to make sure that when we arrived, we did it in the appropriate style. As soon as we opened the doors and settled into the deep red leather seats of the Infiniti G37 Cabriolet we knew we would be travelling at the height of luxury. We had found our chariot! This is the kind of car that will have people’s necks craning, roof up or down, due, in part, to the rarity of the name on UK roads (Infiniti is actually the luxury branch of Nissan Motors). But mostly it’s due to the fact that these are stylish and individually customised cars, like high end marques used to be. It’s the
a luxury car are present, clear and accessible. The sat nav utilizes my favourite high end Nissan system, set deep into the luxurious wood veneer dash panel so as to avoid glare on the screen. The 3D graphics, HDD and exclusive access to Michelin’s Green Guide tourist information, and the gastronomical Red Guide, must surely make this the ultimate in high end mapping systems. I’ve yet to see better. The ‘Connectiviti’ multimedia system boasts seven Bose speakers mounted all around the car with connections available for USB devices and Ipods and if you’ve ever dreamt of being on the open road with the wind in your hair singing your favourite songs from Glastonbury’s past, this is the car to do it in. With a price tag starting at £41,000, depending on the chosen customisation, and nice touches like parking cameras mounted in the number plates and aluminium pedals, this is a car for the connoisseur of true luxury.
On the road the car has the sporty feel and handling of a thoroughbred and the finely tuned engine along with the magnesium paddle shifts, or fully automatic seven speed gear box, propel the G37 from 0 – 62 in a tasty 6.2 seconds. It was a good job we were travelling light though as the fold down metal roof reduces the boot space from 10.33 cu ft to a mere 1.99 (30 secs). Having to always be wary of leaving too many things in the boot when you take the roof down might become a bit of a pain over time because if you’re not the roof might malfunction preventing it from folding. Space will also be a bit of an issue if you are over 5’8” and have to sit in the back. But hey, it’s a 4-seat convertible – what are you gonna do? In the cockpit all the controls and features you would expect to find in
40 URBAN LIFE
Back in the 1970 s when I started test driving cars I was fortunate enough to have a long loan of one of the first Wankel rotary engine cars in production, the NSU Ro80. The cars weren’t in production for very long but they built up something of a cult following. Sadly though in those early days the Wankel engines were prone to problems with the seals on the revolutionary triangular pistons Forty years later the only production vehicle that still uses this technology is the sporty Mazda RX8. Fitted with a twin rotary engine, the power unit leaves you asking: ‘is this really only a 1300 engine’?
The answer is an emphatic ‘yes’. The dual triangular rotors give equivalent thrust at greater efficiency than a six piston conventional motor. Throw in great road holding, superior handling, sleek designs that include twin chrome exhausts and a 0 – 62 split of 6.4 seconds and you have a car that any real driver will love to drive. Inside, the driving space has good visibility to the dials and controls and, even with my pleasingly well above average height, the driving position was equally as pleasing. Leather sports steering wheel, brushed aluminium pedals and a short stubby gear shift rounded off
the cool sports styling. Beyond that this car has real innovation. The last time I saw suicide doors was on the Lincoln Continental convertible but the ‘clamshell’ style suicide doors on the RX8 turn this 2+2 ‘coupe’ into a real four seater that can actually fit people comfortably in the back. I managed a fairly long motorway journey with 2 passengers in the back with no complaints. Not even from the person behind my seat which was pushed all the way back. Even my Nonagenarian father, who always finds my various test cars a challenge, found it fairly easy to exit and enter the car and enjoyed a comfortable ride in it. There’s also no spare wheel, just a re-inflation kit – a bit disconcerting at first – which saves on space and overall weight. This is not the newest car, having been released to replace the RX7 in 2004, and it still has a few little niggles, like awkward door pockets and not particularly user friendly Bluetooth connections, but it’s still an eye catching, sleek looking power house. At about £26,000 on the road, the RX8 ranks in my top ten favourite cars.
URBAN LIFE 41
Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2 DI-DC Diamond 5dr
Although this workhorse SUV has been around for many years it had apparently been a given enough of a cheeky facelift for the 2009/10 season for me to run my capable eyes over it once again. When I first saw it the bodywork had indeed had a few cosmetic alterations but overall the interior seems to date from the original Shogun s of 10-15 years ago when it was first launched. Nice but It was all slightly underwhelming. The large 3.2 diesel engine was powerful enough to pull a house out of its foundations but, being a diesel, it lacked that bit of oomph when accelerating up steep hills. The Shogun’s Real 4-Wheel Drive ability will make sure you and the house you are pulling make it over most terrains with the minimum of drama, albeit rather sedately. Despite the size of the car it has an immense 88 litre diesel fuel tank making the fuel economy mercifully reasonable at approx 29.5mpg. It also has improved CO2 emissions with the new DPF diesel particulate filter which burns off trapped particles. Another redesigned feature is the fitted tow bar which protrudes far out enough to give
you a nasty bruise on the shin if you are loading the back and not paying attention. Inside, the high seating gives decent all round visibility from the electronically adjustable front seats. In the back there are three rear seats with plenty of room and an extra set of seats hidden in the boot floor for the kids or smaller passengers. All in all up to eight people could comfortably fit in this car and if you have this car those sort of numbers must be a distinct possibility. The rear of the car is really roomy, as one would expect for a working vehicle with a long wheel base, but the high step may make rear side access a little difficult for older passengers. With the rear seats down the storage space is big enough to get lost in. I even managed to help a colleague move flat in one trip rather than the usual two or three it would take with most estate cars. The Shogun also has many of the accessories you would expect to find as standard on a vehicle as this – adjustable temperature controlled front seats, fold away heated remote controlled wing mirrors, HDD navigation, Bluetooth – but while there is a parking cam in the rear number plate there is none for the front. Maybe sitting up so high in the driver’s seat it was felt one wasn’t needed but with such a big car it would have been welcome anyway. As would have individual climate controls for the driver and passenger side but at least the electric sunroof went some way to make up for it. Another quaint cosmetic addition is the extendable sun visors on the rear of the normal visor to block the gap between visor and mirror. A fun
idea that is unfortunately not so safe to execute when driving ! Starting at £37,999 this is the top of the range Shogun and sitting in it you will certainly see what you’ll be spending your money on. Whether you would be happy to spend your money on it is another thing.
42 URBAN LIFE
Urban Life:Layout 1
> Supercar Hire > Chauffeuring Services > Corporate Hire > Yacht Hire > Helicopter Hire > VIP Nights > VIP Security
telephone: 020 7537 9589 / www.bespokevip.co.uk URBAN LIFE MOTORING PG 32-35.indd 3
Alfa Romeo Guilietta
Alfa Romeo as a company have always liked to try and do things a little differently, and to mark the company’s centenary they’ve decided to celebrate by doing something that they have already done before. Kind of. Fifty years since its last appearance as Alfa’s first mass production model, the famous Giulietta has been reincarnated and returned to our roads. To launch the car in the UK Alfa Romeo took over prime position for this year’s Goodwood festival of speed and an exclusive number of us were wined and dined in the luxury of Goodwood house before a trip down to the Sussex lanes to try the car out.
to make this five door saloon look like a three door coupe, which turns out to be quite fortunate because it also handles like one as well. Turn the key in the ignition of the Cloverleaf and the 235bhp, 1.7 litre direct-injection turbo charged engine suddenly brings life into sharp focus. Alfa claims the new engine will perform like a three litre but with the economy of a medium sized four cylinder. With the ‘Stop/Start’ system preventing petrol usage when idling and boosting fuel efficiency from anywhere between 44 to 64 mpg, I’m inclined to agree.
Alas, we only had the cars for a short spin so look forward to a full review once I’ve had the chance to give the car a full road test and compare it to the other C sector saloons in its class.
There are four different models to the Giulietta series starting with the Cloverleaf version at the top end of the range for the petrolheads, then followed by the Turismo, Lusso and Veloce. The range boasts some of the best safety figures on the road, garnering an ENCAP 5-star rating. The first thing to be said about the Guilietta is that the styling is as eye catching as always, especially the signature LED rear lighting cluster and Alfa’s trade mark off centre front number plate. The now obligatory (and clever) concealed rear door handles also helps
44 URBAN LIFE
With car manufacturers always looking to cultivate new markets the ‘crossover’ vehicles, like the saloon/full 4x4 SUV, are becoming more and more popular. Now Mitsubishi launches their gambit for this sector, the much vaunted ASX. From a not so secret location in Bristol we were presented with the 1.8 diesel versions for an all too brief inspection, which wasn’t helped by the yellow jacketed officials who insisted that, for ‘health and safety reason’ they had to drive the cars from the causeway to the road if we wanted a quick run in one.
The ASX is a roomy car but small enough not to be in the road blocking ‘Chelsea tractor’ league. With the back seats folded down the boot space is almost tripled from 442 to 1193 litres. Priced at just over £18500 for this 1.8 diesel, and 3 to 4 points lower in its insurance group than its market rival, the Nissan QashQai, this Mitsubishi is set to make a lot of noise in the market and I’ll be looking forward to getting my hands on the 4x4 version for a full review when it’s released in the UK later in the year.
Fortunately it was well worth the extra wait as we headed out across the West Country lanes through Cheddar Gorge to Bath. The well laid out controls and driving position make it a friendly drive but I fear that any back seat travellers prone to car sickness may find the general roll of the vehicle a real problem. These first models have the new diesel variable valve timing and, along with the Stop/Start technology, they will return an economical 51.4mpg making it a perfect town and country car. Other features include a commendable CO2 emission of 145 g/km as well as an intelligent alternator that only operates when the battery needs charging.
URBAN LIFE 45
BOATING – SPECIAL FEATURE
© Mark Lloyd
The Urban Life Guide to the best events, both on and off the water, at this year’s Cowes Week, the world’s oldest sailing regatta.
All a board for Cowes Week Since 1826 Cowes Week has played a key part in the British sporting summer calendar and is a firm fixture in the traditional line-up of British Summer ‘Season’ events. It is one of the UK’s most successful sporting events and offers a fusion of many exciting elements, with its great mix of competitive sailing and social activities. The 8,500 competitors range from Olympic and world-class professionals to weekend sailors. In excess of 100,000 spectators come to watch the sailing, enjoy the parties and live entertainment, and to experience the unique atmosphere. It is genuinely a one-of-akind event!
Events within the Event Cowes Week is the largest sailing regatta of its kind in the world and now stages up to 40 daily races for over 1,000 boats, ranging from last year’s smallest at 6.55 metres, to the grander 30 metre plus super maxis. It also plays host to a number of events such as the British America’s Cup team, TEAM ORIGIN – skippered by former Urban Life interviewee, Ben Ainslie racing against the current America’s Cup champions BMW ORACLE in the inaugural “1851 Cup” event.
There’s also the UK edition of the Extreme Sailing Series where thousands of spectators will gather over the six days along the shoreline at Egypt Point to watch competitors perform breathtaking manoeuvres at close quarters. The Race Village at Egypt Point will also have a mix of high-end corporate hospitality and bars and food outlets for the general public that will have evening entertainment and music. The Artemis Challenge at Cowes Week is the annual Open 60 sprint around the Isle of Wight and takes place on Tuesday 3rd August. Accompanied by celebrity guests, some of the biggest names in ocean racing will battle it out in a high adrenaline 50 mile race around the island, competing for a £10,000 charity prize fund and the Artemis Challenge Trophy. Teams competing in the past have included royalty, sports stars and personalities from the world of TV, film and music –names like Zara Philips, Lady Gabriella Windsor, Will Greenwood, Mike Tindell, Davina McCall and Bryan Adams have all competed in the past. This year sees our very own Editor-inChief taking part, as well as two lucky readers of Urban Life, through the competition we are running with Mount Gay rum and Ondeck!
Ladies Day and Charity focus A glass or two of Piper-Heidsieck Champagne will no doubt be consumed during Ladies Day on Wednesday 4th August and in previous years in excess of 30,000 glasses have been drunk throughout the Week! The day culminates in the presentation of the magnificent Ladies Day Trophy awarded to the female sailor who has been nominated for outstanding achievement in their sport. The trophy was first introduced in 2006 with a simple objective: to raise the profile of sailing as one of the few mainstream sports where men and women compete on equal terms. Ladies Day is an opportunity to celebrate women in sailing and spread the message that Cowes Week is fully inclusive. Monday 2nd August is the official charity day. The emphasis will be on fundraising for the regatta charity close to every sailor’s heart, the RNLI. A party at Shepards Wharf Marina with RNLI ambassadors, as well as rescue demonstrations and ‘Get Your Kit On’ competitions, will make for a fun-packed day.
Social Scene Cowes Week is very much part of the social scene with a huge array of functions taking place every night with some private
46 URBAN LIFE
© Rick Tomlinson
BOATING – SPECIAL FEATURE
Mount Gay Experience Bar Cowes is famous for its pub scene too and sailors and visitors will be packed deep onto the streets catching up with stories of their day’s racing. For those who enjoy a tipple of rum, the place to be is the ‘Mount Gay Experience Bar’ on Cowes Parade. Mount Gay is an official sponsor and the regatta’s rum of choice. International Brand Ambassador, Chester Browne, will be flying in from Barbados to hold sampling sessions and masterclasses in how to enjoy the perfect rum during the day as well as providing some tips and a taster or two
at some of the main social events in the evening. Not to be missed.
No Experience Necessary Even if you’ve never set foot on a yacht before but want to feel the exhilaration of lining up at the start with up to 1,000 other yachts, there’s plenty of chances to get out on the water to spectate or take part in the racing. Ondeck, one of the largest sailing events and charter companies, offers a ‘Rock Up and Race’ or ‘Rock Up and RIB’ programme where visitors can book in advance to race on board a 65ft or 40ft racing yacht for a day or more or take an exhilarating RIB ride to get up close and personal with the competing yachts. LaserPerformance and Pelican racing also offer ‘Come racing’ packages at Cowes Week.
the winners after 8 says of exhilarating racing, and a well earned rest, for the competing crews and visitors …….
Cowes Week takes place between Saturday 31st July to Saturday 7th August Full details can be found on the regatta website: www.cowesweek.co.uk - If you can’t make the regatta, listen to live commentary streamed every day on the official special event radio station – Cowes Radio 25th year – www.cowesradio.co.uk
Firework Finale On Friday 6th August everyone flocks to Cowes to watch the superb aerial display by The Red Arrows sponsored by Artemis Investment Management. Later that evening there is the spectacular fireworks display which lights up the whole of the harbour, watched by thousands on shore and on the water. Cowes Week ends on Saturday 7th August with the main prize-giving ceremony and trophies awarded to all
© Polly Harris
ticket-only events but also many open to all visitors. It’s normal to attend three or four functions in any one night and for competing crews to be seen swapping bow ties for oilskins and deck shoes early in the morning before their race! The functions range from the infamous Mount Gay Red Cap Party at Club Inferno through to the private black tie Royal Yacht Squadron Ball. Competitors also enjoy the atmosphere around the town and at the three main Cowes Week locations for entertainment: Cowes Yacht Haven with live music every evening and one of the longest bars in the country; The Sail for Gold Bar on the Parade and Shepards Wharf with its VIP Pier Bar.
URBAN LIFE 47
PROPERTY – OVERSEAS
THE REAL ESTATES: OVERSEAS PROPERTY UNDER £500,000
Nick Barnes, the MD of residential research consultancy Dextra Consulting, looks at international second homes and asks: shattered dreams or renewed opportunities?
48 URBAN LIFE
PROPERTY – OVERSEAS
Not so long ago it seemed that a second home abroad was considered de rigeur for the upwardly mobile - and why not? With the steamy growth rates that many overseas residential property markets were delivering during most of the noughties it all seemed to make sense. The additional attraction of enjoying a bolt hole in a favourite holiday location which could deliver capital growth and, if required, rental income, proved irresistible for many. This appetite was fed by easy access to cheap credit and facilitated by the proliferation of budget international flights. A plethora of developers, estate agents and investment clubs offering to procure that “dream second home”, often with promises of limited offer discounts and generous guaranteed returns, fuelled the upwards spiral of the international second homes’ market to unprecedented levels. Between 1999 and 2008, the number of UK households who owned at least one second home abroad was estimated to have risen by 106% to over 270,000 according to a recent Government survey. Then the unthinkable happened: an obscure financial instrument in the US became toxic, bringing the global banking system to its knees and triggering the worst worldwide recession since the 1930s. As we emerge tentatively from its aftermath the question now is whether overseas second homes represent a worthwhile investment in the current economic climate or should they be given a wide berth. I believe the case for an international second home remains valid for a number of reasons. Equities will always be volatile and not for the fainthearted, savings accounts will remain unexciting in a low interest rate environment and pension prospects continue to diminish with the passage of time. In the meantime there are still discounts available on quality properties in many markets and, from an investment perspective, it makes sense to have a diversified portfolio which includes property. Added to which, the desire for lifestyle purchases is as strong as ever and for those with sufficient spare capital to invest the attractions of a second home are undiminished. Indeed, several wealth surveys undertaken over the past year point to increased appetite for residential property among the HNWI (High Net Worth Individuals) community.
Below and left Villa on the outskirts of Marbella - €500,000 (£420,000) www.property-venture.com
However, if the recession has one positive aspect it is that it has made second home buyers far more cautious especially with regard to off-plan property. Investing a sizeable amount of money in a foreign property is fraught with potential pitfalls, notably with regard to currency fluctuation, remote maintenance, tax implications and local planning relating to refurbishment and extensions.
to any major development plans which might impact upon your property or the local sales market in a negative way. Accessibility is also critical. How easy is it to get to your second home and how long does it take? It would be wise to confirm whether the budget air route you would use to get to your “little corner of England abroad” will still be operating in a year’s time.
What is the key to making a successful purchase? Unfortunately, there is no foolproof recipe as so many variables are involved. However, by exercising prudence it’s possible to assess potential risk and take appropriate steps to minimise it. As with any major financial undertaking, rigorous market research is an absolute must. The internet has greatly facilitated this process and buyers can learn a fair amount about their chosen location before talking to the various professionals they will need to rely on to progress the purchase.
When checking mortgage options, don’t forget that you are not restricted to using UK lenders – you should at least consider taking advantage of the generally cheaper mortgages on offer within the Eurozone. Be aware of your tax liabilities. You may be exempt from taxes such as Capital Gains Tax in the country where your second home is located; however this does not necessarily mean that you will escape the attentions of the UK Inland Revenue. A friendly chat with your accountant should prepare you for any potentially nasty shocks.
A good starting point is learning about your chosen location. Find out what current availability is and what both the asking and achieved price ranges are for the type of property you want so you can talk with some degree of authority with estate agents. Equally important, ascertain what the secondary market is like. Unless you ultimately intend to retire there, it would be unwise to commit to a location if you are subsequently unable to sell easily when the time comes. Very important also is deciding whether this really is a location you will want to come back to year after year.
The services of a good legal representative who specialises in property is indispensable as you need to know that the property you are buying actually belongs to the seller and that it will be registered in your name when you buy and that there are no encumbrances. As there are few locations with standard property sale contracts you will need advice on what is considered reasonable practice with regard to terms and conditions. Oh, and, don’t rely entirely on your legal adviser – you should always read every word of any legal document you are required to sign. Language may be an issue, but legal documents can and should always be translated.
Check out the local area with regard
URBAN LIFE 49
PROPERTY – OVERSEAS
Above Berber Oasis, Ouirgane Valley in the Atlas Mountains £310,000 www.aylesford.com
So, where are the locations that offer genuine opportunities to acquire quality property at below peak prices? Beware the “never to be repeated” deals which are often deliberately light on detail to mask any unpleasant aspects. The reality is that there has been very little forced selling in the luxury markets due to the generally greater financial robustness of owners and the smaller supply of property. This does not mean however, that there is not scope to negotiate. The emerging markets have generally been harder hit in the recession and offer more scope for manoeuvre on price although there is less quality stock to select from. My emerging market tips for a sunbelt location with a £500,000 budget would be:
* The Languedoc-Roussillon region, which stretches from the Cote d’Azur westwards to the Spanish border, offers great climate, numerous places of historical/cultural interest and is easily accessible. It additionally enjoys the distinction of being the world’s single largest wine producing region. There has been relatively little property development in this part of France and prices are much lower than in the neighbouring Cote d’Azur. £500,000 would buy you a 4/5 bedroom and swimming pool villa of between 200 and 250 m2 on a plot of 0.250.5 hectares in the Perpignan area * The Silver Coast which runs from Lisbon to Porto offers many historic sites, a good climate and a range of leisure activities including golf, equestrianism and good surfing/ windsurfing. Property development
Above and below Villa near Fatima on the Silver Coast - €475,000 www.portugalvillasandapartments.net
has been increasing during the latter part of the noughties however it remains underdeveloped in comparison to the Algarve and is correspondingly cheaper. £500,000 would buy a 4 bed 250 m2 new build villa on a resort development with a pool and land of 1,000 m2.
* The ancient capital of Morocco, Marrakech, oozes character with its exotic traditional architecture and culture, set against the dramatic backcloth of the Atlas Mountains. Home to one of Africa’s largest market squares (Djemaa el Fna) and the striking red building facades which give the city its sobriquet, you can play golf in the morning and ski in the afternoon at over 3,000 metres. £500,000 would buy a 350 m2 4-bed villa with pool on a plot of 0.5 hectare within a gated community. The established markets have mostly either seen prices begin to rebound or clear signs of stabilising. My established market tips for a sunbelt location with a £500,000 budget would be:
* Marbella, in spite of some negative press, retains its popularity among Brits and other northern Europeans who enjoy its climate, marina and golf facilities as well as its jet set status. The luxury market is thought to be close to
bottoming out although discounts of 15% plus are still negotiable on unrealistically priced quality properties. £500,000 would buy a 3-4 bed villa of 150 m2 on a 750 m2 plot with a pool within a gated community.
* The Mallorca market has notexperienced the extremes that its mainland counterpart has suffered in recent years largely due to tighter planning control on new development. Consequently prices have not fallen as much as on the mainland however double digit discounts are still available on good properties. £500,000 would buy a 3 bed villa of 200 m2 on a 500 m2 plot with pool * Sarasota in SW Florida boasts the second best beach in the USA (Siesta Beach) and over 90 golf courses as well as an annual jazz festival and a great climate. Average prices have risen by around 9% in the past 12 months but are still 30% lower than two years ago. £500,000 would buy a 2 bed condominium of 120 m2.
50 URBAN LIFE
ROOMS WITH A VIEW Du Parc Kempinski Private Residences – Mont-Pèlerin, Chardonne
Lake Geneva, and its surrounding region, is without doubt one of the most stunning places on earth. Surrounded by mountains and valleys, and of course the lake itself, you would be hard pressed to find a region so steeped in natural beauty that it’s almost picture perfect. It is within this stunning backdrop, high above Lake Geneva at the very top of Mont-Pèlerin, that the Swiss Development Group’s Du Parc project is currently taking shape. Formerly a 140 room Grand Dame hotel with an illustrious past; hosting royalty, nobility and the social elite from around the world, it has been acquired by the SDG, a premium luxury real estate developer, to be re-developed in to 24 ultra-luxury apartments and 3 penthouses. These are on the market for between 4million CHF and 23million CH The development is aimed at the top end of the market, with five star concierge services provided by the
Feature by Ataur Rahman
Kempinski Hotel Group. No expense is being spared in providing the future residents with every conceivable concession to luxury, security and privacy on offer. Other luxury brands whose services are a part of the draw include architect and interior design firm BBGBBGM (designers of W hotels), EDSA (award-winning landscape designers), Fendi Casa (interiors), Mariani (bespoke Italian furniture), Quintessentially (international concierge services), Quintessentially Wine (for the cellar), Givenchy (spa) and Davidoff (for the cigar lounge). The main bulk of the properties are aimed at Swiss nationals or EU citizens planning to be domiciled in Switzerland. Work has already started and is expected to be completed and ready for occupancy by early 2012. For further information on Du Parc and other projects, log on to the website: www.sdg.ch
URBAN LIFE 51
PROPERTY – UK
LONDON CALLING: LUXURY PROPERTY IN THE UK Frobisher Crescent – Barbican, London Feature by Ivan Petersen
If you are after a unique address, especially one that boasts an iconic history and is bang in the middle of the City, then you’ve found the place! Frobisher Crescent, a Grade II listed building and part of the Barbican complex, is finally being redeveloped for residential use. The seventh, eighth and ninth floors are being converted into 69 studio and one to three bedroom apartments from what used to be commercial office space used by the City University Business School.
money will buy a studio apartment at Frobisher Crescent”. Clearly it still is a buyer’s market, and the interest level and sales at Frobisher Crescent are a reflection of that. We’re told more than half of the properties have already been sold since it came
onto the market back in September ‘09 and a lot of enquiries relate to owner/ occupiers looking for properties between the £800,000 - £1.3 million mark. For further information on Frobisher Crescent visit : www. unitedhousedevelopments.net
Providing stunning views across the City and London skyline, the apartments have been converted into stylish contemporary living spaces whilst retaining some of the retro qualities, which is what this landmark property is all about. “Confidence is back in the property market, especially in the City and Central London”, says Antony Crovella, Sales & Marketing Manager of United House Developments. “The city is a strong option for investors with a long term strategy as it offers good, consistent value, and while the West End is beyond the budget of most investors looking under the £500,000 mark, that kind of
52 URBAN LIFE
DECORATING WITH SCENT
You’ve decorated your home with expensive materials, chosen colours and textures that blend to create the perfect ambiance, selected furniture, accessories and artwork to complement your vision but you’re still not finished. It’s critical not to forget your home’s fragrance. The sense of smell is the most powerful sense we have and it’s one of the first things your guests will use when they walk through the front door. So if you don’t want them to leave too soon you’d better start thinking of this most important of finishing touches - the scent. Feature by Paulina Nejman Recreate a scent of your favourite holiday destination It is a fact that places have an olfactory identity. How many times you smelled something that triggered a memory of a place you had visited? Several brands have now been able to capture the essence of a place. US based company, Yankee Candles, has created a collection called The World Journeys, infusing pure extracts from the source of origin to embrace the flavours and experiences of the world. Try their French Lavender, Australian Oasis or a Japanese Blossom. World’s Journey Large 2 wick tumbler, £14.99 Available from: www. yankeecandle.co.uk 0845 0502623
Enhance you interior with scent Timothy Han, the founder of a London based company creating beautifully scented, all natural luxury products, says that he creates his room fragrances with a particular setting in mind. The inspiration behind his Sandalwood, Labdanum and Black Pepper fragrance is Borneo - an island with an air infused with spices with black pepper predominating.Sandalwood, Labdanum and Black Pepper candle, £28.50. Try also Timothy’s Reed Diffuser made of precious botanical essential oils contained in elegant handmade flasks. £95 for 200ml Available from: www.timothyhan.com
Make your room bigger with scent Decorating with scent allows you to easily change the ambiance of your rooms enhancing not only the colour scheme or the style of the interior, but also reflecting the mood of the atmosphere you are trying to create. The seasons and the function of the room play an important part too. Summer time has an energising citrus Aura and Pure Light has just created the perfect scent for it: English Peppermint and Lemon with a hint of cooling Eucalyptus that brings the ‘outside’ in, giving a feeling of breezy air and openness. Warm and spicy tones however have the opposite effect and create a cosy atmosphere. English Peppermint and Lemon soy candle, £19.00, available from Fenwick, Bond St. www.fenwick.co.uk
Associate colour with scent Decorating with scent hit a new dimension when Jo Malone collaborated with the expert manufacturers of traditional paint, Farrow & Ball; showing how to combine colour and scent by pairing 5 of Jo Malone’s signature scents with 5 F&B classic colours. The fresh Lime, Basil & Mandarin fragrance pairs with F&B Breakfast Room Green No 81 to enhance the lively mood of the colour; Blue Agava & Cacao combines with F&B Oval Room Blue No85; Zesty Grapefruit combines with Cream No67; Spicy Pomegranate Noir with Sensual Eating Room Red No43, and the scent of Fig & Cassis with rich, warm purple tones of F&B Pelt No354. These candles are limited edition, POA. The above scents however are always available from Jo Malone stores across London. www.jomalone.com
URBAN LIFE 53
Long hot days and warm balmy nights mean that the fabulous couch and art deco coffee table you bought might see little use in the summer. Paulina Nejman takes a look at some chic new designs that can bring the inside outside. Designers are continuously experimenting with the versatility of new materials and the possibilities of different shapes and functions. Thanks to this, outdoor furniture is no longer limited to plastic chairs, iron tables and wooden benches. New high quality materials that are both UV and water resistant can feel just as comfortable and natural as the ones we use inside our homes. Possibilities of personalising our porches, gardens and terraces are ever growing with a wave of new techno fabrics, rugs and accessories causing the divide between indoor and outdoor to quickly disappear.
Pavilions Marcel Wanders, known for his theatrical interiors and innovative product designs, took his inspiration for this collection of totally configurable aluminium pavilions and contemporary furniture from early century pavilions. Furniture pieces covered in Jacquartex outdoor fabric are available in white, brown and silver. The pavilion can be personalised with a wide range of curtains and furnished with lamps to create a sense of a luxurious yet playful outdoor room. Atmosphere Pavilion, ÂŁ12,471, available from www.kettal.com
Outdoor fabrics The number of cool, lively outdoor fabrics on the market is growing and, while many of them possess the necessary weatherproof qualities, they no longer feel plastic or rough to skin. These lively patterns come from Marimekko, a leading Finnish textile and clothing design company, and the material, called Tempotest, is 100% acrylic and can be used for upholstering your bathroom furniture as well as your swimming pool loungers. The Striped fabrics have woven stripes, whereas the others are printed. They cost ÂŁ70 per square metre and can be ordered via their store in London. Call 0207 486 6454 for details or visit www.marimekko.fi/eng
54 URBAN LIFE
Patricia Urquiola rug
Patricia Urquiola Maia range
Patricia Urquiola Egg chair
Seats and Hamocks Fatboy has created a perfect versatile solution for indoor and out with its Buggle-up. It’s fabulous for informal gatherings indoors but it performs just as well outdoor thanks to its protective rain, stain and UV resistant coating. Hammocks have definitely made a comeback this year and Fatboy has its own unique take on it with the Headdemock. Each item is available in a wide colour range. Buggle-up from £209 and Headdemock from £319. For information visit www.fatboy.com
Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola has created her light and elegant braided Maia collection in high quality synthetic fibres accessorised with a new Porotex and chenille fabric that is light, airy and perfect for the summer, outdoors or in. Landscape sofa, £3,272.00 and armchair, £782.00. Patricia Urquiola Egg swing chair, £2,937.00 and Relax armchair, £1,559.00, all available from www.kettal.com
Kettal Studio’s Landscape range truly reflects the indoor-outdoor spirit. Their simple yet elegant modern aluminium frames and comfortable cushions, upholstered in structured Natte weatherproof fabric, look great in an indoor setting and you can take it outside too for that cosy evening rendezvous.
Outdoor rugs Patricia Urquiola’s range of outdoor rugs made of a new generation Chenilletex fabric will resists whatever the English weather throws at it. Ray rug’s, on the other hand are created by joining braided panels of rope yarn. This can not only withstand harsh UV rays and seawater it is also non-allergenic, non-toxic , anti bacterial, anti mildew and anti fungal! Available in 12 plain and 8 mottled colours. Freek rugs are available in 12 monocolours and in a limited edition of fun and colourful striped rugs that are available in 4 sizes. Made from ultra-soft but extremely durable fibres that are also UV and water resistant, they are easy to keep clean and can be left outdoors all year round. Patricia Urquiola rug, £1,020.00, available from Kettal, as before. Ray Rug (depending on size), starting from £925 + VAT, available from The Modern Garden Company - www.moderngarden. co.uk Freek rug, £1021, available from Encompass - www.encompassco.com
Kettal lansdcape outdoor
Sofas and Chairs
HIGH TECH Innovations to make life easier and more pleasing to the eye
‘Sexy’ and ‘exercise equipment’ aren’t usually muttered in the same sentence; however that notion has just been completely turned on its head. Enter the Ciclotte; designed by Milan-based industrial designer, Luca Schieppati. This exercise bike looks so good it’s almost a piece of sculptural art. It’s actually so aesthetically pleasing that you would need to constantly remind yourself that it also provides a mean work out! Current RRP is £6800, which inexplicably will rise to £7500 at the beginning of 2011 and is currently only available to buy online from Italy. Check website for further details: www.ciclotte.com. £20,000 www.air2air.com
56 URBAN LIFE
TECH PIECE.indd 2
< You may have seen this around already, but it’s just too cool (no pun intended) to not include here! This is a blade-less fan using ‘air multiplier’ technology, quite unlike anything you’ve seen before. Like the Ciclotte, this is an everyday object that has been engineered to not only function well, but to add that visual aesthetic within a contemporary living environment. Functional design at its sexiest... RRP: £199 at Harrods: www.dyson.co.uk
This state-of-the-art, three-piece desktop system (two speakers and an amplifier) for your pc or laptop looks like it comes straight out of a Star Trek movie! Very cool, beautifully designed and packs a punch when the volume’s cranked up. Not so great if you’re after floor-shuddering bass, but perfect for purists who enjoy the detail and clarity in their music. Not exactly cheap, but well worth the investment if music matters to you. Certainly amongst the best in their class that we’ve seen or heard... RRP: £679.99. For further information: 0207 328 4499 www.eclipse-td.net
Recently launched during Graduate Fashion Week, GE’s new collaboration with fashion designer du jour, Jason Wu (he famously designed the dress worn by Michelle Obama to her husband’s inauguration ball), brings a bit of fashion flair to photography. Designed as a point-and-shoot camera, most of the essential functions are automated, leaving you with just the need to press the button for great results. It comes with a retractable USB connection so it can be plugged into any pc or laptop for instant download while the camera re-charges. Brilliant! For pricing and stockist information, log on to the website: www.ge.com/digitalcameras
< URBAN LIFE 57 00 39
TECH PIECE.indd 3
Samsung 3D Glasses
COMING AT YOU: 3DTV
The chairman of the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society Standards Committee, Stuart Lipoff, explains why 3D television is set to be the biggest development in home entertainment since High Definition.
o you have just purchased a new flat screen television and you don’t expect to be shopping for an upgrade for at least another ten years. After all, the latest super skinny, extra wide, HD flat screen is as good as it gets – right? Well television manufacturers might have something up their sleeves that could mean you are off to the shops again sooner than you (or your bank balance) expect. For many of us 3D conjures up images of a dodgy pair of card glasses with one blue lens and one red. Recently however films like Avatar have brought a whole new 3D experience to the big screen and the technology is now making the transition to the small screen. Although 3DTV is relatively new to the consumer, 3D still photos have been around nearly as long as photography itself. Enjoying 3D still photos through dual eye magnifiers was a popular past-time way back in the late 1800’s, and 3D films
appeared in cinemas as far back as the mid 1950’s. However, it proved to be little more than a fad. 60 years later and 3D has only just returned to the cinema, so should we be already considering shelling out on a 3DTV device for the home? Well yes – actually maybe we should. Technological innovation across the board, from the production of 3D content to the manufacture of home 3D devices, mean the time has never been better. I believe 3DTV will become a reality in the home in the next three to five years. On the production side not only are 3D films such as Avatar being made using computer generated imaging (CGI), but we also have new economical imaging technology that means 3D cameras can be used to capture in 3D at live venues such as sporting events or concerts. It will bring new meaning to the phrase ‘getting closer to the action.’
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go out and buy an expensive new television just yet though. With the technology for producing 3D advancing so fast, there are also new ways to watch TV in 3D without the need for a major purchase. The modern flat screen TVs contain such powerful software that it is possible for you to watch 3D films from the internet or play computer games in 3D, such as on BSkyB’s new 3D channel, through either a 3D Blu-ray player or by buying the right adapters and computer monitors from companies such as NVIDIA. If you are ready for an upgrade however, you will be pleased to know that all the main manufacturers (Sony, LG, Samsung, Toshiba etc) either already have, or are set to launch 3DTVs by the end of this year. Some sets are sold as “3D Ready,” which means you need to buy other accessories before you can display 3D so make sure you investigate what is needed first. You also need
58 URBAN LIFE
TECH PIECE.indd 4
TECHNOLOGY TECHNOLOGY SPECIAL
Samsung 3D TV
Sony 3D TV
Panasonic 3D Blu-ray Disc Player
to check that the TV supports HDMI interface at version number 1.4A or higher. HDMI 1.4A is the most recent version of the 3DTV standard that covers the cable and connectors that go between 3DTV devices such as the cable box, satellite box, Blu-ray player and your TV. As the standardisation of 3DTV is still taking place, HDMI 1.4A is the only standard that will automatically sense and support all the 3D formats currently in use, and is highly likely to continue to work into the future. Although all the latest 3DTVs have an exceptional 2D HD image, most require special 3D glasses to watch in 3D. There are two types available at the moment: passive glasses and active shutter glasses. Passive glasses are cheap (around 50p per pair and the type that are currently provided at the cinema and in pubs) but only work with expensive TV display devices, whereas active shutter glasses cost about ÂŁ70 , have a higher quality image and are the ones that
are most popular with 3DTVs currently on the market. I believe 3DTV is the future because the stunning graphics and high quality image mean the viewer experience is truly immersive, however before it becomes truly universal all the companies involved in producing and transmitting 3D content need to work together to standardise 3DTV. This will allow 3D to be broadcast on terrestrial TV, though it may take a few years to happen. Until the 3DTV industry develops standards and the technology advances so that we can watch high quality 3D on any modern TV either with or without cheap glasses, mainstream 3DTV in the home is a long way off except for those with cash to burn. However, the amount of 3D films, games and adverts being developed is growing, and we may start to see 3DTV on more one-to-one devices such mobile phones, laptops and aeroplane TV screens much sooner than you might think.
URBAN LIFE 59 00 39
TECH PIECE.indd 5
ART & CULTURE
ART EXHIBITIONS Dufy, Vase de fleurs
Moderation Be daMned July & August Pylle Emporium & Gallery Units 3a & 4a Stockwood Business Park, Shepton Mallet BA4 6TA 01984 624815 www.therecessionists.co.uk This major body of work by celebrated artist Edith Simon (1917-2002) has been put on by invitation of ‘The Recessionists’, the resident group of artists at the gallery and that alone should tell you the esteem in which Simon is held. Annie Phillips, the founder of ‘The Recessionists’, puts it simply: “This exhibition has been a labour of love for me, having had the great honour of working with Edith from 1987 until her death”. Edith, who was also a published author of seventeen books, was already a founding member of the Artists International Association by the time she was just 16. She had been an illustrator and painter most of her life but from the 1970’s onward she expanded her repertoire and produced a large body of work comprising of sculptures and continuous line drawings. She was also the inventor and proponent of ‘scalpel bas relief’ paintings
French and english artists oF the 20th century July 19th – September 10 Frost & Reed, 2 – 4 King Street London SW1Y 6QP www.frostandreed.com As its title suggests, this exhibition features work by up to 28 artists, from famous and important names to lesser known discoveries, who all give us their interpretations of what life is and how to celebrate it. Subjects vary from portrait sketches (Young Man by Hockney and Seated Jeune Fille by Forain) to Provencal landscapes (Frederick Gore, The English Fauve) gentle beach scenes (Boudin) pointilliste plants (Signac) and dreamlike castles (John Piper). Other known artists featured include Dufy, Ben Nicholson, Suzanne Valadon and Roland Oudot. The Frost & Reed gallery is itself something of a treasure. One of London’s longest established galleries it is second only to Agnews in age. Well worth the visit.
60 URBAN LIFE
ART & CULTURE
Jack Jones. Harder Better Faster Stronger. Paint stripper, Hydrogen peroxide, Process yellow and paper on found oil paintings. 167x139 cm. 2010.
Ann-Marie James. Cornice. Ball-point pen and oil on birch ply panel.70x54cm. 2010.
Generation 10 July – October 2010 Hyatt Regency, London, The Churchill, 30 Portman Square London W1H 7BH www.candlestar.co.uk This exhibition is a collection or work designed to show off the talents of Britain’s future generation of world renowned artists. The show features work from 10 graduates of the UK’s best art schools – Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon – and they follow in the footsteps of other illustrious and internationally acclaimed artists like David Hockney, Chris Ofili, Anish Kapoor and Steve McQueen.
Each of these new works exhibited dwell on myth and memory. In some cases that involves the straightforward process of allusion to previous art forms; in others myth and memory become a central theme or a starting point, while others play games with our memories by creating images that hint at some half remembered thing or place. So these young artists invent, they hint at histories, they appear fascinated by the process of remembering and the tricks that memory plays, yet on each occasion the places or the events they recall appear before us in intriguing new forms. Artists featured include Sophie Bevan, Ann-Marie James, Ji Yoon Ryu and Lenka Drga.
Boudin Scene de Plage
Jenny Baldock. Untitled Image x 1. Oil & gloss on aluminium. 125 x 180 cm. 2010.
URBAN LIFE 61
URBAN LIFE EVENTS A SMALL SELECTION OF IMAGES FROM OUR FASHION & MEDIA PARTIES
© Patrick Anderson
Amanda Hendrick in Swarovski
EVENT SPONSORS Oc-Eo Art is the UK’s leading specialist in contemporary and modern fine art from or inspired by Asia.
in which we live; they produce art that is different, art that helps to make moments of difference visible, memorable, beautiful.
Founded in Bath, England, in 2006, we have developed relationships with some of the world’s most exciting talents, and have introduced a substantial cross-section of work by artists with growing international reputations, many of whom have not been seen in the UK before.
In a first move away from painting, Oc-Eo Art’s next exhibition, entitled ‘Attractive, Repulsive’ (8th-20th September at 3 Bedfordbury Gallery, Covent Garden, London) will feature the work of two photographers and a sculptress Dominique Dieulot, Phan Tu and Sophie Howard - in an examination of the role and nature of female imagery.
At the cultural borders of East and West, the artists chosen by Oc-Eo Art produce work that is neither Asian nor European but a unique fusion of influences. They reflect the diversity of the world
Details can be found on our web-site site at www.oc-eo.com, or by emailing email@example.com
62 URBAN LIFE
SOCIAL (UL).indd 2
Urban Life Fashion & Media Industry Nights are a series of private and exclusive invitation-only events for those in the creative sectors. For information on future events and how to attend, email us with your credentials at: firstname.lastname@example.org Join our fan page on Facebook: http://bit.ly/ul-fanpage
© Theresa Hagerberg
ViaHerbal is one of the most well established and largest herbal and health supplement specialists for men in the UK. Our products, sold all over Europe, are produced here in the UK and clinically proven and tested.
customers who see and feel the difference almost immediately. Try it for yourself! For more information on Viaherbal visit our website at www.viaherbal.co.uk
Viaherbal’s Ginseng and Wolfberry complex nutrient capsules are a unique natural revitalising supplement, the ingredients of which some experts believe could help to maintain a person’s vascular health. We’ve received a multitude of testimonials about our products from very satisfied
URBAN LIFE 63
SOCIAL (UL).indd 3
OUR GUIDE TO THE MOST EXCLUSIVE AND HIPPEST PARTIES & EVENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD SCOTTISH FASHION AWARDS, SCOTLAND, JUNE 2010
Amanda Hendrick in Swarovski
Paolo Nutini & Teri Brogan
Amanda Wakeley, Jonathan Saunders and Yvie Hutton
Jonathan Saunders, Tessa Hartman and Dolly Jones
Nathalie Colin of Swarovski with models
Models on the tartan carpet
SYDNEY FILM FESTIVAL, AUSTRALIA, JUNE 2010
Benjamin Speak, Anthony Zachola & Liefchen Pogue
Marmor and Leeanne Walsman
Clare Stewart and actress Essie Davis
Kerry Fox And Hugo Johnstone-Burt
Dean Francis, actress Sophie Lowe
Chris Stollery & Leon Ford
URBAN LIFE TAORMINA FILM FESTIVAL SPONSORED BY LANCIA - ITALY, JUNE 2010
Alessandra Mammolo and Gabriele Greco
Enrico Lo Verso
Director Emir Kusturica and Maya Kusturica
Colin Firth and wife Livia Giuggioli
Arianna Martina Bergamaschi
Robert De Niro and Grace Hightower
Maria Pia Ruspoli and Deborah Young
EJC A4 May06.qxd
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
• Cost Effective
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 email@example.com
Some people arrive at an airport conveniently close to their destinations
Published on Jul 13, 2010
Urban Life is a luxury lifestyle magazine for professional/affluent Londoners. Features reflect the tastes and aspirations of our readership...