July 25, 2012

Rare 1955 Aston Martin may sell for £2.5 million

A rare 1955 Aston Martin may sell for a staggering £2.5 million pounds when it goes to auction next month, making it potentially one of the most expensive British cars ever sold.

This incredible car is one of only 21 ever built by the iconic British sport car maker Aston Martin, with this particular model being the DB3S.

The rather bright orange version of the luxury car has been described by experts as a 'masterpiece.'

This particular car was bought new by a Dutch motorsport ace Hans Davids who raced it in England before the car was later shipped to the USA. This will also conclude the reason as to why the car was painted in his incredible orange finish.

The car will go under the hammer at RM Auctions' Monterey sale on August 17 with experts estimating it could fetch up to £2.5 million.

This will make it one of the most expensive British cars ever publicly sold, putting it on equal billing with James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 which fetched £2.6 million in 2010.

The car which goes under the chassis name 118, is fitted with a 3-litre engine which develops around 210bhp.

Whoever ends up buying this car will be owning a fine piece of British motoring history, an utter classic that can't be denied.

For more information, please visit www.rmauctions.com

JK Rowling and the £150,000 Hogwarts playground

When the creator of Harry Potter decides to build an adventure playground for her children, you expect something magical.

But even by JK Rowling’s standards the 40ft high, two-storey tree houses planned for the back garden of her Edinburgh  mansion are something spectacular. 

The Hogwarts-style towers - estimated to cost around £150,000 - are so big that they need planning permission.

Each wooden tree house is to be built on stilts and boasts balconies, carvings and turrets that wouldn’t look out of place in a Potter adventure.

The towers are linked by a rope bridge and can be approached by a secret tunnel hidden underneath a raised wooden walkway.

Plans lodged with the City of Edinburgh Council reveal the houses are intended for Miss Rowling’s two youngest children David, nine, and his sister Mackenzie, seven. 

According to the drawings ‘David’s Tree House’ is closest to the secret tunnel and has a specially designed trap door and fireman’s pole escape into the garden

Meanwhile ‘Kenzie’s Tree House’ has its own spiral staircase and a stainless steel playground slide leading to a double set of swings.

A wooden walkway connected to the giant structure leads to a giant trampoline deck that is shielded from public view by a row of extra tall conifers.

The design by the luxury tree house makers Blue Forest UK features cedar shingle roofs and a built in ‘nature box’ for birds to nest in.

JK Rowling’s tree houses will only be built with timber from sustainably managed forests.

Blue Forest, based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, describes itself as the UK's leading tree house architects.

It specialises in creating ‘fantasy castles’ like those for JK Rowling’s children or ‘James Bond-style hideaways’ with luxuries such as under floor heating, wood burning stoves and plasma screen televisions.

Prices start at £20,000 for its most basic models, but the firm admits the ‘sky is the limit’ for the final bill when it creates bespoke tree houses for the super-rich.

The firm’s managing director Andy Payne said: ‘Tree houses have always been a symbol of imagination and creativity.’ 

Tree houses are generally considered temporary structures and therefore do not need planning permission.

However this only applies if they are less than 13 feet high from roof to base.

Armani EA7 event at Harrods and Soulmatefood treats

Wow, what a week it's been, we have had lots of food to make but our wonderful Soulmatechef's have still had time to create some delicious healthy treats for Armani's launch of their EA7 Sportswear at Harrods.

Hosted in the amazing fifth floor Technogym with 30 minute training sessions held by none other than celebrity trainer to the stars Joshua Holland. Here is a selection of our photos we thought we'd share for those who couldn't attend!

Harrods lovely staff welcoming people into the building!

 The lovely Technogym gang!
 Joshua Holland training hard!
 Healthy treats! Parma ham & Melon, and Protein Brownies & Skinny blueberry and Vanilla muffins!
Refreshing drinks after a good workout!

Virgin Atlantic brings the clubhouse treatment to Newark Liberty

Virgin Atlantic brings the Clubhouse treatment to Newark Liberty

Upmarket luxury in 'downtown' themed lounge

Virgin Atlantic has announced details of its latest investment in luxury travel - a brand new Clubhouse at Newark Liberty Airport which is set to open in October 2012.

Created by the same team as the JFK Clubhouse - New York based architectural practice Slade Architecture in collaboration with the Virgin Atlantic in-house design team - the Newark space is being designed with a mixture of NYC's downtown flair and Virgin Atlantic's warmth and individuality. The lounge will live and breathe lower Manhattan - think Soho boutiques, TriBeCa lofts and Meatpacking District chic.

The personalised food service will offer Upper Class passengers a local community experience with the opportunity to indulge in locally-sourced produce. To allow passengers the maximum time for relaxation before boarding, the Clubhouse will be located airside, after the security checks in Terminal B and close to the gates.
The Newark Clubhouse marks the final element in Virgin Atlantic's £100 million investment in its Upper Class product. During 2012 the airline has also opened a new Clubhouse in New York JFK, unveiled a new Upper Class cabin on its A330-300 aircraft as well a new Upper Class fine dining experience.

Luke Miles, Head of Design at Virgin Atlantic commented:

"Newark has always been an important market to Virgin Atlantic - it's where it all started with our first flight from London in 1984. The new Clubhouse has been designed to really reflect the spirit and heart of downtown New York and we are confident that it will continue to impress our passengers and give them an experience to remember each time they fly with us."

Virgin Atlantic offers two daily flights from London Heathrow to Newark as well as three daily flights from London Heathrow to JFK, with a fourth daily service beginning on 28th October 2012.

For more information, please visit www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en.html

July 23, 2012

The Grey Goose Winter Ball 2012

Grey Goose is to bring the Cote d'Azur to London

Grey Goose Winter Ball
To Benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation
Saturday 10 November 2012, London

Grey Goose, the world's best tasting Vodka, is set to host what has become one of the most hotly anticipated events of the international social calender: The sixth annual Grey Goose Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS foundation on Saturday 10 November 2012. Some of the most renowned characters from the world of film, fashion, food, art and music will come together in London, combining their unique talents to create an exceptional Grey Goose Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS foundation.

This year's Winter Ball will see one of London's most iconic  venues, Battersea Power Station, transformed beyond recognition into a scene from a 1950's Cote d'Azur summer. A firm favourite amongst the style leaders of London, the Winter Ball has previously taken inspiration from a Chateau in Cognac to a five-star Biarritz hotel, to the rooftops of Paris. This year, it will evoke the elegance of the south of France, a favourite region of Sir Elton John and David Furnish, during its glamorous heyday; pastel colour palettes, palm trees and poolside sophistication will be the talk of the evening.

Hosted by Grey Goose and the Elton John AIDS foundation attended by Sir Elton John and David Furnish, the Winter Ball aims to raise funds for the foundation, with which Grey Goose has enjoyed an eight-year partnership. To date, the ball has raised in excess of £2.3 million for the Foundation, supporting a range of hugely significant and worthwhile projects in Cambodia, Africa and the UK.

Each year, Grey Goose invites a hand-picked selection of character partners to design a unique lot that is auctioned at the Winter Ball. Past years have seen names such as Elizabeth Hurley, Christian Laboutin, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Lily Cole.

Guests on the night will be treated to an exquisitely prepared dinner by two Michelin-starred chef Helene Darroze.

The Grey Goose Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS foundation wouldn't be complete without a spectacular musical performance: following the dinner and auction, the award winning singer and songwriter Emile Sande will collaborate with producer and musician Labrinth to offer guests an unforgettable show.

Tickets for the Grey Goose Winter Ball to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation will be available to buy from ejaf.com with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the Elton John AIDS Foundation. (Charity registration no 1017336)

For much more, and any further information, please visit greygoose.com and ejaf.com

CIROC Ultra-Premium Vodka

Last night saw the 'CIROC Ultra-Premium Vodka' sponsored launch of Opening Ceremony's flagship European store, an exciting and ambitious clothing label that has already taken the rest of the world by storm.

Presenting a multifaceted retail environment comprised of shops, a showroom, a private label collection, Opening Ceremony reinforced its credentials to show why it has worked with some of the biggest names in fashion; including Chloe Sevigny, Levi's, Timberland, Keds, Robert Clergerie, and more.

To celebrate the launch of their new flagship European store in Covent Garden, Opening Ceremony stayed true to their name and put on a party which attracted a selection of international celebrities and fashion-lovers.

Henry Holland, Cara Delevingne, Dominic Jones, Jodie Harsh, and L.A's own Perez Hilton enjoyed an in-store DJ set and CIROC cocktails.

Outside was a hub of activity where in tune with the Pop-up American roots theme, food trucks gave away delicious mac & cheese, mini hamburgers, and coleslaw. They were then able to finish off the night with delicious ice cream cones from their very own van!

July 20, 2012

The new Toy Kingdom opens in Harrods

The best department store in the world has got even better, with a 26,000 square ft brand new Toy Kingdom.

The brand new Toy Kingdom department literally has everything a child desires - an enchanted forest, intergalactic science lab, a curious sweet emporium, a reading room, and a fair and toy 'grand canyon'.

All in all young children will love the new Toy Kingdom, and we think even the adults inner child will come out in what is a fantastic toy wonderland.

The Toy Kingdom also houses a 'big top' where you will be able to see circus acts, jugglers, magicians, costumes, rocking horses, and soft toys.

It also houses an incredible amount of delicious candy, ranging from chewy sweets to different flavoured bubble gum.

And the reading room offers a fantastic place for children to be able to pick up a good book and delve in to a magical mystery, surrounded by the huge array of choices that the Toy Kingdom offers.

The Toy Kingdom is located on the third floor of London's most favourite department store.

For much more information on the Toy Kingdom, and what else it has to offer, please visit http://www.harrods.com/content/the-store/news-events/2012/july/the-new-toy-kingdom/

July 19, 2012

Mark Zuckerberg's mortgage

It is a fallacy that wealthy people don’t need mortgages. If billionaire Mark Zuckerberg sees the need for a $5.95m mortgage on his home in Palo Alto, California, according to reports from Bloomberg, you can bet that those worth much less than his $15.7bn could also benefit.

Bloomberg reports that Zuckerberg has a ’30-year adjustable rate loan starting at 1.05 per cent’. It is likely that he has chosen a variable-rate deal, linked to Libor (the London Interbank Offered Rate) because the Federal Reserve has suggested that rates will be kept near zero for the next couple of years at least. Presumably he can also cope with fluctuations in his monthly mortgage payments, which is why he didn’t opt for a restrictive 30-year fixed rate instead.

The most interesting part is that he has a mortgage at all. But really, it makes perfect sense. If you can borrow money at such cheap rates, you can invest ‘spare’ cash you have where it will generate better returns. In this way, the wealthy can use other people’s money to make more money, which will make them wealthier still.

The other advantage the wealthy have is that they can get more favourable terms than the rest of us. Far from offering higher rates and charging bigger fees than high-street lenders, private banks often offer much better terms because they wish to attract the wealthiest borrowers. Lending is almost secondary; it is all about the client and their appetite to do other business, either at the present time or in the future.

The private banks understand that if they get someone through the door via their lending services, their wealth management side should be able to help with their investments. And for many private banks, this side of the business is far more lucrative than lending.

Some of our wealthy clients need to raise finance because they are not in a position to purchase solely with cash, while others choose to borrow against their property to assist with financial planning and to mitigate currency/tax risk.

Private banks don’t have a high-street presence so it is virtually impossible to access this finance without using a specialist broker. Banks’ lending criteria vary considerably so a bank that is suitable for one client may not be ideal for another. The broker who really understands the private banks will know not only the bank most suitable for the client but also the right banker to contact within that bank so they can access the right point of entry.

July 16, 2012

Silver by Aston Martin

Celebrate the summer season with 'Silver by Aston Martin'

'Silver by Aston Martin' launches its elegant Aston Martin picnic hamper in time for the English summer season.

Designed for two, the 28-piece Aston Martin picnic hamper combines luxury and functionality to complement the lifestyle of its owner. The stylish outdoor dining service will be sought after at every high society event this summer, from Royal Ascot to Henley, Goodwood Festival of Speed to Glyndebourne.

The hamper is part of the exclusive 'Silver by Aston Martin' collection designed by the fine London silversmith Grant Macdonald, and is available online and through the W-One Aston Martin showroom. Hand-crafted by Grant Macdonald's expert silversmiths the silver collection fuses premium technology and traditional craftsmanship, celebrating the very best in contemporary British design.

The inspiration for the collection is the elegance, craftsmanship and engineering excellence that has been built into every Aston Martin since 1913. This simple yet enduring design ethos influences every piece within the hamper, from the sleek stainless steel cutlery set to the Irish damask linen table cloth, Scottish lambswool rug and fine bone China plates.

The 'Silver by Aston Martin' luxury picnic hamper retails at £2,750 and is available from www.grantmacdonald.com/astonmartin/ and at selected Aston Martin dealers.

For further information, visit www.grantmacdonald.com/astonmartin/

July 14, 2012

Mr Brainwash Summer Show at the Opera Gallery London

The infamous Banksy's protege Mr Brainwash returned to Opera Gallery London for the hotly anticipated private view of the Mr Brainwash Summer Show, curated by Jean-David Malat. Influential street artisis such as Stik and art connoisseurs from all around flocked to the Mayfair gallery to catch a glimpse of this exciting new exhibition and to meet the man himself.

Every inch as charismatic as he appears in his documentary 'Exit Through The Gift Shop' Mr. Brainwash spoke of the excitement on creating both the recent Madonna and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers album covers and returning to London.

When asked what he is designing next, Mr. Brainwash revealed.

"I am working on many projects, one which is top secret and with Jay-Z at the moment..."

He went on to then tease guests with the prospect that he may have meetings with the elusive Banksy whilst in London.

Future collaborations are tipped to be none other than Justin Bieber! And with Kate Moss, The Beatles, and Queen Elizabeth amongst his loyal subjects, it seems that the UK has offered Mr Brainwash some of his greatest muses to date.

The amazing show opens to the public at Opera Gallery London, New Bond Street and will run from the 13th July-15th August. The first part of the show will see exclusive new pieces: canvases, stencils and for the first time ever, Mr Brainwash sculptures. Ever innovative and always surprising, Mr Brainwash is expected to create incredible installations within the gallery space for a truly inspiring experience.

For more information, please visit http://www.mrbrainwash.com/

23 Year old luxury lifestyle editor makes media week's 30 under 30 list

23 Year old luxury lifestyle editor makes media week's 30 under 30 list.

Luxury lifestyle and property publication, Chartwell magazine, has had its 23 year old Editor named as one of the media industry’s leading young talents in this year’s Media Week’s 30 Under 30 list. Victoria Sheppard made the revered list, announced at London’s Cuckoo Club on Wednesday 11th July. The list allows Media Week to showcase the 30 most gifted figures under the age of 30 working in the industry.

This year’s list was run in partnership with The Mail on Sunday. A team of industry figures including Marcus Rich, Managing Director at The Mail on Sunday, Media Week’s Editor Jeremy King and Karen Stacey, Broadcast Sales Director for Bauer Media, made up this year’s judging panel. Victoria, 23 proved to them that she has what it takes to be major player in the media world’s future.  

Victoria was presented her award on stage by Marcus Rich and Jeremy King in front of over 100 guests. She commented: “I am honoured to have been part of this prestigious list especially after working within the business for just 18 months. Ceremonies like this provide a great platform for young people to be recognised within such a competitive industry. Congratulations to all the other young professionals who made the list!"

Media Week is the premier business magazine for the commercial media industry and this is the sixth year the publication has formed this list. Other young media professionals named included those from companies such as Digital Cinema Media, the Financial Times, Carat and The Insert House. This year the judging panel placed emphasis on knowledge of digital media. In recent months Victoria has set up two blogs and 5 twitter accounts, across the Chartwell group, and has plans to expand this further.

Chartwell magazine, one of the UK’s top luxury lifestyle and property publications, with a niche international circulation, it is distributed throughout luxury outlets including Fairmont Monte-Carlo, St James's Hotel & Club, private aviation firms in USA, as well as to many Mayfair postcodes. Recent exclusives by Victoria have included interviews with Hugh Hefner’s son Cooper Hefner, England Rugby player Ugo Monye and former Dragon’s Den star James Caan.

Victoria has also been instrumental in securing high quality editorial from luxury companies and advertising revenue from renowned luxury companies such as Range Rover & Jaguar armoured vehicles, Chopard, LINLEY and Gleneagles. In addition, Victoria has secured travel reviews of five star resorts in Marrakech, Val d'isere, America and the UK.

July 13, 2012

Q&A with Ma Qing Hua

Q&A with Ma Qing Hua

Ma Ma Qing Hua joined HRT Formula 1 Team’s young driver programme just three months ago and in this time he has been preparing with the team for the challenge of Formula 1. He finally had the opportunity to drive the F112 yesterday at the Young Driver Test which took place in Silverstone. He passed the test with flying colours and it wasn’t only a great day for the team but also for Formula 1 in general as he became the first driver born in China to drive a Formula 1 car at an official event.

Yesterday you stepped into a Formula 1 car for the first time, what was that first contact like?
It was a fantastic experience and it’s really hard to put into words everything I felt when I got into the Formula 1 car. It was very special but also productive; a great day. Everything went perfect; the weather was on our side, it didn’t rain and we were able to carry out the established programme without any trouble. It was intense because we practically didn’t stop but that enabled us to cover a lot of miles and finish with a good time. My family and some friends were present and it was very special. The team also supported me a lot and I want to thank them for their work.

What was the work programme?
The days before the test were non-stop and the team focused completely on me to prepare the test programme, the steering wheel, the seat, the pedal measurements… All the details that have to be perfectly under control ahead of the test. I must confess that the night before I struggled to sleep a bit because it was an important test and I didn’t want to make any mistakes. But everything went well and we basically did everything. Short stints and qualifying simulations with both tyre compounds, long stints, start simulations, pit stop practices… It was a very intense but productive experience.

And all of this in only one day…
Yes, everything went smoothly and we almost did 500 km! It didn’t rain, there were no interruptions on the track or anything that forced us to stop, so we were able to cover everything we had planned in just one day.

What was the objective of this test in particular?
Mainly for me to adapt to the car and to gain confidence in different situations. It wasn’t a matter of proving anything but for us to work together and improve with every lap without making mistakes.

Was it just how you expected?
In truth it was quite different to what I expected. The F112 is much more comfortable than I thought on the track. You can push it to the limit and it feels good, very stable. I felt comfortable with the balance of the car and with the team’s work, because I think we jell together very well and the result was optimal. It was much better than I expected.

What surprised you most? And least?
I would have to say that what surprised me most were the high speed corners and how stable the car is. It can reach as much speed as you want. What surprised me least were the slow corners because the sensation is very similar to what you have in another car.

That’s in terms of the car’s behaviour, but how did you adapt to the car?
For me the hardest thing was to remember how the systems and steering wheel worked whilst I was driving. And also the things that require most practice: the start, pit stops, the pull away… All of this is hard to take in in just one day, because you have to learn the circuit well, get to know the car, the team…There are many things at the same time, but it wasn’t a bad way to start.

You joined the team three months ago, what has this time been like and what have you been working on?
The programme started months ago with the objective of preparing these tests well and then continuing to advance. We carried out tests with cars from junior categories such as World Series and GP2, but also training away from the track such as physical preparation and work on the simulator. I’ve accompanied the team at every race to take in the daily work routine and soak up advice from the technical staff and my teammates Pedro de la Rosa, Narain Karthikeyan and Dani Clos. I’ve also been at the Caja Mágica headquarters on various occasions to work with the engineers and all of that helped me to head into the test from a better position and already knowing the team, the car and dynamics.

From the very start the team has given me all of its support and I’ve felt completely backed which makes me feel really comfortable with everyone. I’m lucky because, besides learning from them every day, I’ve integrated really well.

And now, what is the next step?
For now we’ve taken this step which was very important. But I’m also aware that it’s only the first one. I know where I want to get to and that I still have a lot to do so the next step is to continue working and progressing to be prepared for the opportunities that may present themselves.

For more information on HRT F1 and Ma Qing Hua's progress, please visit hrtf1team.com

Custom leather exterior with a difference on this Ferrari F430

Leather interiors are the norm on most super-cars, that just comes as a given. But for this Ferrari F430, the leather is on the outside, not in.

This custom leather wrap is the wishes of a wealthy owner in the South of France, and it took a staggering 16 days to complete.

Clearly this isn't everyone's cup of tea, but according to the Latvian company Dartz who did the job, the owner gets what the owner wants!

July 12, 2012

Stunning Brazilian properties available

Lagoa Penthouse

Arranged over the top two floors of a prestigious Lagoa front development, this stunning 2 bedroomed penthouse provides far-reaching views across Lagoa and the Two Brothers Mountains. The penthouse is immaculately presented throughout, with a private swimming pool and sauna on the second floor.

Key information:
Total area: 437m2
Internal area:
Outdoor space:
Parking spaces: 2
Bedrooms: 3 (1 suite)
Bathrooms: 2 + 1 (suite)
Maid bed/ bath:yes
Floor; 6th
Apartments per floor:
Floors in building: 6
24hr Doorman: yes
Lifts: 2

Vieira Souto Apartment

With a living room with a semblance of loft, the apartment overlooking 270 ° of the whole border, has huge windows that offer, and a delicious breeze from the sea, a natural light throughout the year.

Key information:
Total area: 260m2
Internal area: 260m2
Outdoor space: -
Parking spaces: 2 + 2 for guests
Bedrooms: 3
Maid bed/ bath: yes
Floor: 8th
Apartments per floor:
Floors in building:
24hr Doorman: yes
Lifts: 2
For more information, keep an eye out for the latest issue of the Chartwell Magazine, or please visit http://www.chartwellestates.co.uk/ or call 020 7409 0533 where we can provide further details.

Chartwell Estates presents roof terraces

Old Queen Street: £3.5M Long Lease plus Share of Freehold

International property agent, Chartwell Estates, is delighted to market a stunning duplex apartment, comprising of a full roof terrace that offers stunning views over Westminster and St James.

When standing on the 700 Sq Ft roof terrace you are able to take advantage of the 360 degree views that include The Houses of Parliament, The London Eye, and St James's Park.

The property is split between fifth and sixth floors, with the fifth floor housing the bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen, and the sixth floor utilised for entertaining and dining.

About Chartwell Estates
Chartwell Estates specialises in the sale and purchase of some of the most prized commercial and residential properties worldwide. From their centrally located office in the heart of Berkeley Square, the team offers discerning clients a bespoke service in all aspects of the market whether they are buying or selling.

Their international clientele is continually active in the property sector, thus providing Chartwell Estates with the opportunity to market property on an international basis. In turn this client base provides buyers from all corners of the globe.

For more information please telephone 0207 409 0533. Or, please visit http://www.chartwellestates.co.uk/

Stylish boutique B&B to open in Southampton

Opening  in October 2012 within Southampton's historic medieval walls by the docks, The Pig in the Wall will be rooms and breakfast with a difference!

Designed by Judy Hutson, the 12 bedrooms will have the same shabby chic style as The Pig in the Forest, with assorted furnishings, great beds, oversized showers, 'larders' stocked with snacks, drinks and nespresso machines. A touch of luxury combined with a homely charm.

This little piglet will also house a lounge with comfy sofas-serving Pig charcuterie boards and salads, and great wines by the glass!
It's also a place where you can pop in for a coffee and a pastry, or even take it away!

No restaurant here (due to space) but for dinner or lunch The Pig in the Forest is only 20 minutes away and complimentary transfers and table reservations can be made for guests.

Room rates start at £115.

For bookings or further information please contact reservations@thepiginthewall.com or call 08450 779 494.

July 11, 2012

The Masterpiece Midsummer Party in aid of CLIC Sargent

Last night saw Lady Helen Taylor and her esteemed committee host this year's prestigious Masterpiece Midsummer Party in aid of CLIC Sargent at Masterpiece London.

The party welcomed an array of glamorous guests, royalty, celebrity and social faces as well as global antique, art and design enthusiasts.

Guests roamed the magnificent halls of the event surrounded by the most exquisite art and antiques from around the world whilst sipping Ruinart Champagne, a selection of cocktails and feasting on a host of sumptuous canapes prepared by Urban Caprice.

Committee members greeted friends and peers alike, with Lisa and Anton Bilton catching up with Kim Hersov and the Hermers, many lamenting the miserable summer weather but planning their getaway trips to Ibiza whilst swooning over the Riva yacht display - perhaps a masterpiece purchase for the summer?

Fashionistas Olivia Inge and Lady Gabriella Windsor were both seen following in the footsteps of the Duchess of Cambridge by supporting the label of the moment, BEULAH, created by their chum Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs. Scarlet red seemed to be the colour of the night to beat the summertime blues away appearing on many a guest with both Inge and Meredith Ostrom leading the pack.

Delighted by the made to order canapes prepared with a touch of theatre, Donna Air and her dashing gentleman friend fixed themselves by the smoked salmon blini station, with Sophie and Freddie Windosr divulging in the food of love and shucking oysters at Scott's Champagne and Seafood Bar whilst shimmying to the walking band "The Phly Boyz."

Lady Helen Taylor gave a wonderful speech, as head patron, celebrating CLIC Sargent amnd the ground-breaking work it does, followed by a talk from boxing legend Barry McGuigan who spoke about his own daughter's battle with Leukaemia and how the charity's tremendous work helped his family through such a difficult time.

An exciting live auction, hosted by the charismatic Harry Delmaney from Sotheby's included exclusive items such as a behind the scenes at The Oscars experience, a Burberry bespoke coat and VIP shopping experience, a stay at the Cuixmala the Goldsmith's estate in Mexico and a stunning Kate Moss print by Mario Testino. The live auction raised just under £50,000 helping the lives of hundereds of children throughout the UK.

Overall the evening saw a staggering amount raised for CLIC Sargent - the UK's leading cancer charity for children and young people, providing emotions, practical, and financial support to young cancer patients and their families.

WHO:  Some of the VIP attendees included: Lady Helen Taylor, Timothy Taylor, Lord Frederick Windsor, Sophie Winkleman, Lady Gabriella Windsor, Tamara Beckwith, Tim & Malin Jefferies, India Hicks, Carla & Arnaud Bamberger, Julien Macdonald, Donna Air, Amanda Ferry, Lisa & Anton Bilton, Olivia Inge, Henry Wyndham, Amber Aikens, David Collins, Barry McGuigan, Alan Hansen, Meredith Ostrom, Kim Hersov, Stephen & Assia Webster, Tania Bryer, Scott Young, Geordie Greig, Matt & Marissa Hermer, Thei & Louise Fennell & Noelle Reno.

What they ate:

From The Mount Street Deli: Gressingham duck and scotched quail's egg with caper and herb mayonnaise, and Wensleydale, girolle and leek tartlets filled with wild mushrooms, young leeks and yorkshire cheese.

From Scott's:  Carlingford rock oysters with shallot relish, lemon and Tabasco, and Brown and Forrest smoked salmon, thinly sliced, on a toasted black rye bread with horseradish.

From Harry's Bar: Harry's Bar pizzetti with tomato and basil. Prosciutto sliced and served on wooden boards, and Parmesan Wheel.

From Le Caprice: Le Caprice Burger with cornichons, red onion and club sauce.

What they drank:

Ruinart Champagne, Urban Caprice Caipiroskas, Urban Caprice gin and tonics, a selection of vodka cocktails, and Elderflower and mint spritzer.

The even took place on Tuesday 3rd July from 7:00 until 10:00pm.

The event location was at Masterpiece London, South Grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, Chelsea Embankment, London, SW3.

For more information, please visit http://www.clicsargent.org.uk/Home

July 10, 2012

Step into the world of Cirque du Sweet at Harrods

Step into the world of Cirque du Sweet, opening Saturday 14th July 2012.

Located within the new Toy Kingdom on the Third Floor, a magical candy haven awaits the sweet-toothed. Opening on Saturday 14th July, Cirque du Sweet is an interactive space that's set to provide a sensory experience for children and adults alike, with newly introduced exclusive concepts and products. Embark on a taste adventure with our traditional sweet shop or our Jelly Belly pick 'n' mix range, or experiment with something a little more adventurous, including...

The curious chocolate counter: Tantalise and trick the taste buds with Willy Wonka-esque combinations such as bubble gum-flavoured cookies, ice cream fondants, popcorn truffles and popping candy bombes. Handmade and finished by our expert team of chocolatiers, the range is also free from artificial colours and flavours.

Cirque du Sweet range: Taking inspiration from The Big Top, the circus-themed collection includes ginormours gobstoppers, magnificent gumballs, marvellous marshmallows and death-defying humbugs.

Papabubble: Exclusively available at Harrods, artisan candymakers Papabubble will offer customers a theatrical feast for the senses. Specialising in hard candy, Papabubble's ranges come in a variety of different colours, flavours, and shapes. All the candy is handcrafted by skilled candymakers, and customers can watch the entire process from the heating of the sugar to the shaping of the soft, colourful candy mixture. Pre-made, made-to-order and personalised sweets are available for weddings, birthdays and other occasions.

Patchino: Exclusively available at Harrods, imagination and innovation combine to give you delicious chocolates and fun toys. Prepared with premium ingredients, Patchino is a health-conscious chocolate brand that's made exclusively for children by renowned chocolate gift creator Patchi, and offers a variety of chocolate flavours packaged in colourful boxes and bags, together with exciting toys and games. Meet the entire lovable gang: Bonny the rabbit, Catty the cat, Doggy the dog, Dolmy the reindeer, Elly the elephant, Gerry the giraffe, Leony the lion, Timmy the tiger, and Zoey the zebra, through a wide range of products, varying from chocolate boxes and bags to tin boxes with a surprise gift inside, as well as gift toys, painting sets and plush toys accompanied by chocolates. Patchino present the ideal gifts from the wrapping paper to the goodies inside.

For more information, please visit http://www.harrods.com/

Raymond Blanc, OBE carries The Olympic Flame

The London Olympics is literally just around the corner, and the Olympic Flame is still burning strong.

On the 10th July at 10:30 am, Raymond Blanc, OBE carried the Olympic Flame through Wallingford, Oxford.

Monsieur Blanc is one of the country's most respected chef's. He is entirely self-taught and took inspiration from his mothers cooking. He started out as a waiter and came to Britain with virtually nothing.

In 1977 he and his wife put together their meagre savings and mortgaged their house to buy their first restaurant in Oxford, which won the Egon Ronay Restaurant of the Year award and Michelin stars.

His hotel and restaurant in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, is the only country house in the UK to have achieved two Michelin stars for a total of 28 years. Raymond has championed and nurtured some of our most famous chefs personally in his kitchens and was voted the AA's Chefs Chef of the year by his peers in 2005.

In 2007 he was awared the OBE for services in promoting culinary excellence and for raising awareness of the importance of healthy food as a central element of family life.

Raymond Blanc commented: "This is a huge honour for me and I'm thrilled to be part of this historic time - which shows Great Britain at its very best."

For further information about Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, please visit http://www.manoir.com/

Aston Martin unveils the Vanquish

Tonight saw London's finest flock to the London Film Museum for the hugely anticipated launch of Aston Martin's newest sports car - The Vanquish. Sitting proudly at the pinnacle of the luxury British car maker's sports car line-up, this breath-taking new grand tourer showcases an exciting and confident future for this historic brand.

Dr Ulrich Bez, CEO of Aston Martin says: "the Aston Martin range is stronger now than at any time in our 99-year history. This new halo car represents the perfect way to signal the beginning of our centenary celebrations next year."

It was truly a boys night out as the event saw stars from the world's biggest television shows, including Dominic West from "The Wire", Jeremy Piven from "Entourage" and Charles Dance from "Game of Thrones", gather together, excitedly awaiting the grand reveal of the stunning new edition to the Aston Martin family.

As the silk was lifted gasps were heard around the party from all the attendees, with music legend Jools Holland, and chef Marcus Wareing discussing the amazing heritage and exciting new future of Aston Martin with CEO Dr Ulrich Bez.

Fresh from filming, the boys from Downton Abbey, Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley) and Downton's chaffeur and real life car lover, Tom Branson chummed up with fellow period actor Sam Hoare (from BBC's Bertie and Dickie) all of whom were overheard discussing their love of Bond and offering themselves as Mr Craig's replacement should he wish to retire.

In the girls corner, a flurry of creative belles also attendeed - Mischa Barton dazzled in Temperley, and Lady Natasha Rufus Issacs, founder of the label of the moment BEULAH London, discussed 'The Kate Effect' and the amazing uptake her fledgling label has seen with stylist Grace Woodward and Model Tolila Adeyemi.

Guests at the event were treated to Louis Roederer Champagne, Johnnie Walker Gold Label cocktails and sumptuous canapes, whilst enjoying a live DJ set from Isaac Ferry.

What they ate: Prawns in sweet chilli and soy; Mini mozarella, tomato and basil skewers; Thyme and goats cheese souffles; Seared scallops with creme fraiche and sweet chilli Sauce; Fresh berries and cream..

What they drank: Johnnie Walker Gold Label 'Golden Sazerac' cocktails - Golde Label Reserve mixed with Angosturra bitters, syrup and green chartreuse Louis Roederer Champagne.

The even took place on Wednesday 4th July 2012 from 6:30 to 10:30pm.

The location was at The London Film Museum, 45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7BN.

The Aston Martin Vanquish is the new epitome of luxury grand touring. Cloaked in a stunning carbon fibre skin, and boasting a powerful 6.0 litre V12 engine, this new super GT sits proudly at the top of the Aston Martin range. It is available to order now, and is priced in the UKat £189,995 RRP.

For more information, please visit http://www.astonmartin.com/

Q&A with F1 star Mark Webber

Q&A with Mark Webber 
Was signing with Red Bull Racing for 2013 an easy decision?

MW: In the end, yes it was. It’s been an interesting few months, but overall the continuity and desire for me to continue at Red Bull Racing was very strong. My main focus is on this year’s Championship, which is very important. In addition it’s an amazing bunch of guys and girls at Red Bull Racing and I really, really like working with them. That has a huge effect on me and how I perform in the car and it helped me in my decision.

You mention the people, what else is it that you like about the Team and Red Bull?

MW: Well, we have gone through plenty together here. We went from the days when Red Bull had not long owned the team to what it is now. The team really changed when we started to get successful, in terms of getting the balance right between being extremely professional on all fronts to still keeping that laid back and approachable attitude that the team still has within reason. It is just one nice big family now in many ways and we have grown so much. We’ve come a long way and I think it’s clear that I fit well here and that’s what I really like about it.

Were you tempted to think about moving elsewhere?

MW: There were discussions with Ferrari, but my decision was to stay here.

What’s the benefit of staying with Red Bull Racing?

MW: I virtually know everyone’s shoe size! I know everyone’s names, I know how everyone ticks and I know all the departments which is very, very important for a driver. There’s a whole raft of factors.

And how is working with the Team and with Sebastian (Vettel)?

MW: Very good. Obviously with Seb, we’ve worked very, very close together for a long period of time now. I think no-one would really have envisaged how long we have worked together, so that’s probably been a bit of a surprise. There are not many team-mates staying together for that long in Formula One, but it’s proved to be a successful partnership with both of us working very hard with the key technical members of the team. It’s been a potent operation. We’re still competitive when we hit the track, no question about it, especially in 2010 and this year. Last year there wasn’t much racing between Sebastian and I, but in 2009, 2010 and this year, there have been some great battles. That’s been enjoyable for the team, sometimes stressful too as it’s not easy for both of us to be at the front and I can understand that, as both of us are thinking about ourselves sometimes, but ultimately we know that we need to get the cars home and get the best results for us and the team.

Does it help to have contracts sorted earlier in the season?

MW: Yes it does and that’s another reason to just get it to bed. I’ve been hearing different rumours and reasons for a long time now. At the end of the day I know everything that has been going on. You want to make sure your focus is clearly on driving the car and the guys that you’re working with. It’s important the team knows you’re 100% with them, which, of course, I am. 

Will 2013 be your last season in F1?

MW: I’ve been asked this question for the past four years and my answer remains the same. It’s a results-based sport at the front of the grid so the future lies in my own hands. It’s down to me to deliver the on-track results.
For more information on Mark, please visit his website at http://www.markwebber.com/

July 9, 2012

Celebrating gentleman Jim

When you think of rock and roll you instantly might think of someone like Ozzy Osbourne, famous for things he did on and off the stage, but someone of undeniable equal talent, was the late Jim Capaldi, who was sadly taken far too soon due to cancer.

You could say Jim had music in his blood, right from day one he was destined to perform, given that his family had a history with the music industry.

Jim was born on August 2, 1944, in Evesham, Worcestershire, to Italian immigrant parents Nick and Maria. And it was his father who first got the young Jim in to music, studying the piano, and singing. He then formed his first band at the young age of just fourteen, and he then was recording for Pye records with the Hellions.

Following on from his early days, Jim was clearly catching the eye, earning him rave reviews in a band called 'Deep Feeling' in which he shared with fllow Traffic founder Dave Mason & family founding member Poli Palmer.

Success kept on coming for Jim, and in the 60's he becamse a regular at the famous Birmingham nightclub 'The Elbow Room.' It was thanks to this success that the band Traffic was born. Traffic members were: Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood, Dave Mason and Chris Wood.

The group had incredible success in a multi-platinum career, but Jim was more than just a group man, also enjoying enormous success as a solo artist including making 11 albums that culminated in worldwide acclaim.

With worldwide success in his bands and as a solo artist, recognition doesn't get much bigger than being listed in the Rock & Roll hall of fame in March of 2004, an utterly massive honour for any rock star.

Jim then became ill, and sadly passed away in January of 2005 after a battle with cancer.

But Jim's world renowned status and legacy lives on, he, and indeed his music, will never be forgotten.

For more information on Jim's life, and his music, then please make sure you visit http://www.jimcapaldi.com/ to get a fantastic more insight in to the man that is Jim Capaldi.

BFI Hitchcock Blackmail VIP drinks reception and screening sponsored by Ketel One Vodka

The British Museum was a buzz last night for the BFI's exclusive reconstructed screening of Hitchcock's classic Blackmail sponsored by Ketel One Vodka. 

The event marked the first BFI signature event of the summer consisting of an outside screening of the 1929 classic Blackmail with a live orchestra performance composed by Neil Brand and Timothy Brock. 

The evening began with an elegantVIP drinks reception where film icons such as David Walliams, Miranda Richardson, Terry Gilliam, and Stephen Frears mingled amongst a decadent Italian inspired feast of charcuterie, cheese, and a variety of gherkins, olives, and focaccia,

Whilst sipping on the Ketel One Vodka cocktails, the gorgeous Miranda Richardson commented on her excitement about her current film Maleficent, a retelling of sleeping beauty that stars Angelina Jolie and Sam Riley “ All I can say is that it requires lots of makeup and long hours to transform into the role of Queen Ulla”

Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam and Stephen Frears were a comedy duo of sorts; both dressed in avant-garde attire consisting of a vibrant red scarf, kimono jacket, and flip-flop sandals.When asked about his thoughts on Hitchcock, Gilliam sarcastically retorted; “Well, he is fat and dead.”

The night really got interesting when David Walliams and his stunning wife Laura Stone arrived and immediately began mingling with the likes of Gary Kemp  and the other A-listers in the crowd.They were off to Brighton early the next morning, but were eager to attend the exciting signature event before their romantic weekend escape.

There even appeared to be some business talk as David Walliams went up to Terry Gilliam and bluntly asked if he could be in his next film, commenting that he would “even do it for free.” Gilliam gladly accepted the offer and warned him that he would have to be willing to work with Johnny Depp and fly to Bucharest where it was going to be filmed.

The guests were then led out to the front lawn of the museum and joined by a 1000 other cinematic fans.

The highlight of the evening was when the entire audience was asked to put on Alfred Hitchcock mask and then captured by a photographer on the roof to create a once-in-a lifetime eerie, yet fascinating group shot; appropriately titled: The Hitch Mask Stung.

The British Museum certainty provided the perfect Hitchcockian setting, and as night fell, and shadows were cast, the film seemed to break the fourth wall and captivate the audience.

What they drank: Hitchcock inspired Ketel One Vodka cocktails: The Downhill: Ketel One Citroen, freshly squeezed lemon juice, sugar syrup/gomme, Egg white, Dash of bitters The Easy Virtue: Ketel One Citroen, fresh lemon juice, Elderflower cordial, and Prosecco
What they ate: Meat and cheese platter, paella with grilled prawns, trout on creamy risotto, edamame, mint, and peas salad over Greek yoghurt, rich chocolate brownies with orange zest.
For more information, please visit http://www.ketelone.com/agegate

Tom Ford to open first London flagship store on Sloane Street

US designer Tom Ford will open his first flagship store in the UK on Sloane Street, reinforcing the street’s reputation as the leading luxury retail destination in the capital.

Tom Ford’s arrival provides an exclusive and world-renowned anchor at The Cadogan Estate’s new 201-206 Sloane Street development. Luxury brands already on the street include Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, while Alberta Ferretti recently acquired a 6,000 sq ft unit within 201-206 Sloane Street for a new concept store.

The Cadogan Estate has leased an 8,000 square foot store on a 10-year lease at £1.34 million per annum. The flagship store, which is scheduled to open in 2013, will carry the designer’s full product range, including menswear, which is currently only available at Selfridges.

Tom Ford is a leading designer in the fashion industry; having turned around failing brand Gucci in the 1990s he went on to launch an eponymous brand of perfumes and sunglasses. Tom Ford began expanding the brand five years ago with menswear, then followed with the unveiling of the womenswear line at Paris Fashion Week last year.

Hugh Seaborn, Chief Executive, The Cadogan Estate, commented:

“We are delighted to have secured such a big name fashion brand as the anchor to 201-206 Sloane Street. With Tom Ford’s arrival - and Alberta Ferretti also opening a flagship store, it enhances the ‘super luxury’ offering of the development and seals its reputation as a world-class fashion destination.”

Ed Humbert, Senior Director, Central London Retail, CBRE, commented:

“The luxury retail sector is performing incredibly well against a challenging economic climate and we are seeing strong demand for prime retail space. Sloane Street is very much in demand and is already home to numerous international leading fashion brands; however, the arrival of Tom Ford’s first London store is major news for The Cadogan Estate – it can only enhance Sloane Street’s luxury offering further.”

Photo: EPA

For more information, please visit http://www.tomford.com/

July 6, 2012

Unique and exclusive portfolio showcasing modern and contemporary art and photography

Chartwell Magazine is delighted to tell you about Untitled Art Ltd, who present a superb collection of silver gelatin fine art archival prints by the eminent photographer Terry O’Neill. We have hand selected what we consider to be some of the finest examples that are available and hope that you enjoy these pieces.

As a point of interest, two of the pieces namely ‘Kate Moss, London 1993’ and ‘Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins, London 1985’ are ‘mounted under diasec’ and may prove to be an exciting way forward for O’Neill.

Terry O’Neill says: “My works portray the featured stars as they really are, and not how we often see them, distorted by their management and the paparazzi. The photographs really do chronicle the feel of the decades they were shot in and offer viewers a celebrity-led trip through my sixty year career behind the camera”.

Alongside numerous other achievements throughout his career, O’Neill has won the 2011 Centenary Medal from the Royal Photographic Society, the highest honour in British photography. O’Neill has several works held in the archives of both The National Portrait Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum. 

Untitled Art Ltd look forward to receiving your enquiries on a first come first serve basis.
Would you like to find out more information? Then check out their fantastic website showcasing their featured work at http://www.untitledart.co.uk/

July 2, 2012

London Cigar Guide App is now live to try out on the App store

I am delighted to confirm that the London Cigar Guide App is now live on the App store. It will be compatible with the iPhone, iPad, and iPod and will shortly be available on the android platoform.

The direct link to the App is on iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/the-london-cigar-guide/id531786603?mt=8

The guide will be regularly updated and there are plans for additional features to be added to the sites later in the year. The website that will support the App is http://www.londoncigarguide.com/