October 31, 2012

The Riders' Party Hails the Year of the Horse

The Stafford London by Kempinski and The Riding Club London are pleased to announce a new partnership that will see guests of The Stafford receiving London's first ever  equestrian packages and "Horsierge" service through The Riding Club London. To launch and celebrate the partnership, The Stafford Hotel and The Riding Club London will be hosting an equestrian themed party on November 14 in the hotel’s 18th century stable courtyard, in support of the leading equine charity World Horse Welfare.

The launch party will take place in a marquee in The Stafford’s Blue Ball Yard off St. James’s Street. With members of the King’s Troop, Olympic medallists and special guests in attendance, the night will be the perfect platform not only to congratulate Team GB’s riding prowess at the Olympic & Paralympic games but to pay tribute to and support World Horse Welfare and their invaluable work.
Tickets available at www.ridinglondon.com.

The Kills at Baroque

Kelly Osbourne & Nick Grimshaw
On Tuesday 30th October, punk rock sensation The Kills played a short and intimate set for friends and members at London's Baroque club, as a warm up for their guest slot with Jack White at Alexandra palace on Saturday night. The best of the London elite including Kelly Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger, Amber Le Bon and sister Saffron Le Bon, Jaime Winstone, Alfie Allen, Yasmin Mills, DJs Pete Tong and wife Carolina Tong, and Nick Grimshaw gathered at Baroque for an intimate dinner and show. 
Alfie Allen
Baroque is becoming one of London’s leading live performance spaces with acts such as Mark Ronson, Delilah and James Blake to have already taken to the stage. The latest in a line of high-level musical talent, The Kills, were true rock sensations as they took the Baroque stage and played a set for friends and members.
Pete Tong

Kelly Osbourne and boyfriend Matthew Mosshart seemed very in love as they enjoyed the performance by The Kills. The couple appeared to be very impressed by the luxurious surroundings and signature Champagne towers filled with Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage. 

Also coming straight from the awards was Nicole Scherzinger, who came by wearing a gorgeous backless white dress. She was seen having a great time and dancing with the Le Bon sisters all evening.  

Amber Le Bon
British model Amber Le Bon and actress Jaime Winstone sipped vintage champagne and feasted on mini lobster rolls. Jaime looked ready for winter in a vintage fur as she partied all night with friends to classic punk rock music. 

As the night wore on, the party atmosphere intensified, with guests dancing to the classic rock music and enjoying champagne and cocktails.

Quintessentially Foundation Poker at Savoy

Tuesday 30th October saw the Quintessentially Foundation - the charitable arm of Quintessentially host its annual poker evening in the beautifully restored Lancaster Ballroom at The Savoy Hotel.

Following a lavish champagne reception, 250 players took their seats alongside VIP faces includingn Ben Fodenn, Zac Goldsmithn, Oliver Cheshire for this hotly anticipated tournament. At stake were ten amazing ‘money-can’t-buy’ prizes including a Working Title Film pre-release screening for 35 guests and a stay in Vegas, complete with a helicopter flight to the Grand Canyon. 

Held in association with Betfair and supported by Borro, guests were treated to flowing Johnnie Walker Blue Label ‘Perfect Serves, canapés and entertainment throughout the evening - including a showcase from celebrity magician Drummond Money-Coutts and a live performance from electric violin duo, FUSE. Former Bond actor Colin Salmon also took to the stage, making a moving speech on behalf of The Prince’s Trust before the final ten players battled it out on the top table. The evening raised an incredible £170,000, far exceeding the target set by Quintessentially Foundation and almost doubling the total amount raised last year. All monies raised were donated to The Prince’s Trust, the globally recognised charity dedicated to helping the young and unemployed throughout the UK. 

October 30, 2012

Retrograde Calendar from Blancpain

The Retrograde Calendar is a perfect expression of refinement and watchmaking know-how. This remarkably stunning timepiece delights with its surprising dial, featuring mother-of-pearl marquetry and extraordinary detailing. With the hour and minute counters at 6 o'clock, the main feature of this watch is definitely the calendar with a retrograde hand, which jumps back to the first day every month. 
A truly feminine back of the watch
The Retrograde Calendar is driven by an automatic movement and features 40 diamonds and a diamond-topped crown. A truly feminine watch to have.

Saphire iPad mini case for $700,000

As iPad mini takes the world by storm, retailers are using the Apple brand attractiveness to design luxury accessories for the new product on the market. One of the most expensive ones is definitely this iPad mini case from Natural Saphire Company, covered with precious sapphires and diamonds. This was your new iPad mini will truly stand out from the crowd, for "mere" $700,000.

Paul McCartney's Aston Martin For Auction

This is one of Aston Martin's most iconic models, the 1964 Aston Martin DB5, and was originally ordered by Sir Paul McCartney. This November, it will be put on auction at RM Auction's London, where over 90 collector cars will be crossing the block. 

Finally Aperitivo in Mayfair

Acclaimed Italian restaurant Banca is bringing the convivial Milanese dining tradition to their prestigious Mayfair locale, with the launch of Aperitivo, from November 2012. Aperitivo is a ritual deeply rooted in the Italian dining culture. A relaxing preamble to dinner, guests enjoy an early evening drink served with a complimentary range of freshly prepared snacks at the bar in buzzing and sociable environs.

From 5pm - 7:30pm on Tuesday to Friday, classic Italian aperitivo will be laid across Banca’s impressive long bar that spans across the entire length of the restaurant. Guests can enjoy one of Banca’s expertly crafted Italian cocktails, such as the Negroni, Aperol Spritz or Bellini, as they graze.

The Aperitivo menu stays true to Banca’s ethos of fresh, seasonal and authentic dishes, designed by Executive Chef Marzio Zacchi and Head Chef Gabriele Milani. All dishes are bite-sized, designed to be easily consumed in the early evening, standing and socialising at the bar.

October 29, 2012

Andaz Hotel Amsterdam

Hyatt Hotels Corporation is opening Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, the first Hyatt hotel in the Netherlands and the ninth addition to the Andaz brand. Currently represented in world-class cities such as London, New York and Shanghai, Andaz is making its mark in the cultural heart of vibrant Amsterdam, signifying the first step in the expansion of the brand into continental Europe.

Set on the Prinsengracht (the site of the former Public Library), a part of the iconic ring of canals that was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010, Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht is centrally located in the bustling heart of the city. Surrounded by the creative scene and dynamic spirit of the Jordaan district, as well as the adjacent “Nine Streets,” the hotel is located in a charming neighborhood filled with Amsterdam’s main art galleries, unique specialty shops, trendy fashion boutiques, and stylish restaurants, all of which nourish the city’s free-spirited, rich and diverse cultural character. 

Based on the premise that the hotel should beat with the same heart as the city, the unique flavors of Amsterdam are embedded in the property’s adventurous design concept brought to life through the vision of local and legendary interior and product designer, Marcel Wanders. Reflecting a modern view of Dutch history and local culture, guests can delve into a piece of Amsterdam wherever they turn, whether it is through the artistic wallpaper in the guestrooms, the books on the shelves, or the innovative food and beverage offerings at Bluespoon, Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht’s specialty restaurant. 

Part of the hotel’s overall design concept incorporates a unique video art collection that represents a diversion from “regular” art. The 40 unique works from various emerging and established local and international video artists, such as Ryan Gander, Erwin Olaf and Mark Titchner, make Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht the hotel with the largest video art collection in the world.

Andaz Amsterdam is accepting bookings from 3 November onwards.

Mortgage Market Review for The Wealthy

After months of consultation, the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) is finally published, including certain welcome exemptions for wealthy borrowers. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) recognises that high-net-worth borrowers have different demands of lenders than the less wealthy. They tend to have more complex incomes and short-term lending facilities of five years or so, which are typically offered by the private banks. 
With wealthy clients, there is no need to drill down into the details of basic expenditure such as utility bills and council tax, for example, while they are often asset-rich so mortgage payments could be serviced through these assets, including the sale of the property. In an earlier consultation, the FSA proposed defining a HNW customer as having a minimum net annual income of £1m or minimum net assets of £3m, but the minimum income requirement was reduced to £300,000 in the final version of the rules. This is a sensible revision, as £1m is much too high and would exclude many people that most of us would normally describe as 'wealthy'. 
The MMR recognises that the wealthy have a 'considerably reduced risk of becoming homeless' if they get into financial difficulties because they have other assets that they can call upon. This is a common-sense approach. It also appreciates that the private banks keep up a good dialogue with their clients because they are providing a bespoke service, so the client's situation is continually reviewed, at the very least on an annual basis. While HNW mortgage customers will be able to get a mortgage on an execution-only basis, we still think it is essential that advice is sought from an independent mortgage broker who specialises in arranging funding for wealthy clients. 
Because the structure of the deal and interest rate tend to vary depending on the client, advice is crucial in ensuring that it is the right product. Having someone who understands the market negotiate with the lender on the client’s behalf can make a crucial difference.

By Adrian Anderson

Jack Daniel's Special Whiskey for Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra was a fan of Jack Daniel's and so it is not strange, that the cult whiskey producer has decided to dedicate a tribute bottle to the legend. The special edition is named Jack Daniel's Sinatra Select, bottled at 90 proof for a whiskey described as full of oak and spice notes with smooth vanilla finish.
This special one-litre bottle comes in a specially designed gift box accompanied by a book, which chronicles Sinatra's loyalty to the Jack Daniel's brand. This great christmas gift will be sold at duty free outlets around the world.

Bottega Veneta Home Store

For all lovers of Bottega Veneta's quality and craftmanship, the brand is opening their first store focused on home decor, which will be located on Melrose Place. 
This store will be the first to carry a combination of furniture, home goods and possibly an array of apparel and accessories. 

MASH opens in London

Chartwell Magazine was lucky enough to fly to Copenhagen, Denmark, earlier this month to sample the world renowned MASH cuisine– otherwise known as Modern American Steak House - and view the company's impressive string of restaurants in the city. The MASH has seen rapid expansion in recent years, having only been established in 2009. Their burgers have been voted the best in Denmark ( we concur - they were probably the best Chartwell Magazine had ever come across.) The service, ambiance and most importantly the food and wine were all of exceptional standards. The danish steak had a distinctly delicious taste and the comfort food sides were fantastic accompaniments – the extra cheesy Mac N Cheese was our favourite. MASH places great emphasis on the vast selection of wines available, which have been personally selected by their award-winning team of sommeliers, the London site will boast one of the largest collections of wine in the capital. MASH regularly serves VIPs, royalty and even the worlds number 1 chef in its' Danish restaurants, we have no doubt it will be attracting a similar clientele in London.  MASH officially opens on 3rd November and is situated in the buzzing area of Brewer Street, Soho.

October 26, 2012

Skyfall - The Official Bond Cocktail at The Savoy

A special version of James Bond’s infamously favourite cocktail, specifically crafted for the Royal World Premiere of SKYFALL 007, is now available at The Savoy, London.

The creator, Erik Lorincz, who was nominated as the Global World Class Bartender of the Year in 2010, was asked by the makers of Bond to create his own version of a Vesper Martini for the premiere after being hired as a cocktail consultant on SKYFALL. Using unbeatable ingredients, Erik finessed his SKYFALL Martini – shaken, not stirred, of course. The drink was served at the premiere attended by an all-star guest list, including Daniel Craig, Rachael Weiss, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, David Walliams and Victoria Pendleton to name but a few.

Take aim and channel your inner 007 with the SKYFALL Cocktail. The drink is made using the ultra-premium London dry gin, Tanqueray No. TEN®, said to have been created for the perfect Martini, paired with the sophisticated Ketel One Vodka®. Tanqueray No. TEN is the only gin to be distilled using whole citrus fruit and botanicals with the resulting unique flavour earning it a place in the World Spirit Hall of Fame. This coupled with the crisp taste of Ketel One Vodka, inspired by over 300 years of the Nolet Family’s distilling expertise, gives the SKYFALL Cocktail an unbeatable taste, earning it a place in the hands of the Queen’s most deadly spy.

Enjoy its delectable flavour at The Savoy before heading for your own silver screen viewing.

Martinis at The Draycott

The Draycott Hotel will be offering complimentary “Shaken, Not Stirred” martinis to guests, in celebration of the new James Bond movie, Skyfall. The cocktails will be served in the hotel lounge from October 25 through November 15, 2012 in honor of the highly anticipated film and the Draycott's distinctly British charm. The commemorative drink will capture the essence of the film, scenes of which were shot nearby the Draycott, one of London’s landmark hotels.

The “Shaken, Not Stirred” martinis will also serve to commemorate the 50th anniversary of James Bond, who first appeared on screen in the 1962’s Dr. No. Many films later, the Bond name has developed into a $5 billion entity and the longest-running movie franchise of all time. Daniel Craig will once again take the leading role in Skyfall, the 23rd James Bond film.

The martinis will be offered each evening, along with the Draycott’s signature nightly champagne service. This new martini takes its name from the catchphrase “shaken, not stirred,” which was first uttered by Sean Connery in the 1964 Bond movie Goldfinger, and has been a notable quote in the 007 series ever since.