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Hollywood In London

LONDON A new collection of portraiture from two seasoned hands, Terry O'Neill CBE and Bran Symondson, is to be presented by at the end of September. Sat Bal

The new collection is called 'Hollywood Re-loaded' and will be unveiled at Annabel’s, London, on Monday 30 September 2019. The name of the collection makes more sense on learning that it features reinvented Terry O'Neill's portraits of Hollywood icons - posing with guns.

Michael Caine, Brigitte Bardot and Roger Moore are all armed and bulleted fired by ex-Special Forces turned artist and reportage photographer, Bran Symondson, using the same gun as in each portrait.

Terry O’Neill said: “What Bran has done with my photographs is astounding.  He’s taken such time and consideration when creating his art – he really has transformed my photographs into something entirely his own.   It’s been a thrill for me to work with a young artist such as Bran, to listen to his thoughts and process.  And I can’t be more pleased with the results.”

Bran Symondson commented of his new space at the intersection of photographer and soldier that both,  “…are looking intensely for the moment.”

HOFA runs four international art galleries in London’s Pall Mall and Mayfair, Nammos Village in Mykonos and in LA’s West Hollywood. The exhibition will aptly make its début at Annabel’s, hangout of the stars and London’s VIPs, on the 30th of September. It will then move to the HOFA Gallery on Maddox Street on 1 October where it be on display throughout Frieze week till the 14 October, 2019.

Watch Bran's video here:

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Nobu’s Autumn Opening

BARCELONA Iconic Nobu Hotels is set to open in Barcelona this September in a bid to attract leisure and business travellers with an eye for quality. James Church  

Nobu Hotel Barcelona offers panoramic views over the city in the charming neighbourhood of Eixample. Located near Plaza de España, a walk away from high-speed rail links and the Fira de Barcelona conference centre, guests also have easy access to the Montjuic Olympic area, the cruise ship terminal and Barcelona – El Prat International airport.

In short, the designer hotel offers a luxurious base from which to discover the Catalan capital. It has 259 rooms, tailored meeting and event spaces.

Naturally the world-class Nobu Restaurant is here along with Kozara – a Japanese inspired tapas bar that looks out over the city and the sea.

Indulgences include an Omakase tasting menu with a bottle of wine, complimentary with a two-night stay in a Sake, Umi or Nobu Suite. To complete the experience, breakfast for two is also complimentary.

Rates starting from 250€ per night, including breakfast for two.

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The Cotswold Quartet

COTSWOLDS The picturesque Cotswolds sets the scene for four properties on offer by Barons Eden Limited, represented by Savills. Lucy Reid

The assets in the portfolio are: Huxleys Restaurant (pictured above) and Island House, both in Chipping Campden; The Dial House Hotel in Bourton-on-the-Water and The Old Bank in Moreton-in-Marsh. 

Offers are invited for the whole portfolio or for purchase of individual properties.   

Housed in a seventeenth century building, Huxleys Restaurant in the heart of Chipping Campden, offers 100 covers across both inside and outside space, including two private dining rooms. Island House, on Chipping Campden’s high street, provides a rare opportunity to create a new food and beverage offering.

 The Dial House Hotel provides 15 boutique rooms all of which are en-suite alongside two recently renovated dining areas and a bar lounge. Prominently located in the centre of the picturesque high street of Bourton-on-the-Water, there’s ample opportunity for further development of the grounds.

 The Old Bank in Moreton-in-Marsh town centre has planning to convert to a 10 bedroom hotel with restaurant and bar and would suit a range of other uses subject to planning permission. 

James Greenslade, associate director in the hotels team at Savills, comments: “These four charming assets provide a rare opportunity to acquire properties in the picturesque Cotswolds villages. Each one is unique in its character and all provide a range of opportunities for new owners, in particular the redevelopment of Island House could work well in conjunction with the existing operation at Huxleys.”

Adrian Pearson of Barons Eden Limited adds: “We are choosing to sell our Cotswold assets in order to concentrate on expanding our portfolio of larger hotels and spas.” 

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Dita set for Manchester

MANCHESTER Dita Von Teese is set to fly in from LA for the grand launch of Whiskey Down, Manchester’s new late-night cabaret venue on Saturday 27th July. Sat Bal

Whiskey Down is pushing the plane out to allow the burlesque star to unfurl at  Manchester’s new luxurious night-time venue in what the organisers claim will be “Dita’s most intimate show in years.”

“Dita (is) by definition the world’s biggest name in burlesque, her shows are legendary experiences and always visual, fashionable & super glamorous,” said Whiskey Down MD Aaron Mellor. “We are really pleased she is able to join us for our Manchester opening.”

Limited edition tickets (100) will be available to purchase online from today. Private tables and luxury booths are also available to hire. As well as an intimate performance, guests will be treated to a signing and photo opp with Dita herself. 

The “super luxe playground” of Whiskey Down launched in Manchester on the 20th July and is split across two floors, with the first floor housing an adult cabaret stage and opulent leather booths, dark woods, floor to ceiling bookcases and a world class selection of whiskey and gins. A naughtier basement floor is fitted with themed rooms for party bookings and private dances.

Taking influence from venues such as The Box in London and New York, Crazy Horse and Moulin Rouge in Paris, the space is aimed at both men and women seeking a night of intrigue, secrecy and sexuality as an art form. 

Buy tickets on Skiddle here

To book private tables and luxury booths email Sarah@whiskeydown.co.uk 

M: 07930 668874

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Lion King Royal Premiere

LONDON Real royals converged with star royalty at 'The Lion King' premiere in London last night. The yellow carpet at the Leicester Square premiere paved the way for Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and Prince Harry. Abigail Parkin

The international star attendance was led by Beyonce, who voices Nala in the film, and her husband, Jay Z. Parenting advice was apparent as the US couple warmly congratulated the British royals on their first child.

Beyonce stepped out in a gold custom Cong Trigown with a high-leg slit. Royal refinement saw Meghan Markle (above) attend in a more demure black, full-skirt dress by Jason Wu with Aquazzura slingback pumps with crystal detailing and clutch bag. 

Keegan-Michael Key, Florence Kasumba, Seth Rogen, Elton John, Lebo M, BeyoncŽ Knowles-Carter,
Pharrell Williams, Sir Tim Rice, Billy Eichner, Jon Favreau and Hans Zimmer attend

The star quota included Pharrell Williams, Elton John and Jon Favreau, the director of the new Disney film.

The film screening took us to the African savannah where a future king is born. Simba idolises his father, King Mufasa, well aware of his own royal destiny. But Scar, Mufasa’s brother—and former heir to the throne—has plans of his own. Thus commences the battle for Pride Rock ultimately resulting in Simba’s exile. With a pair of newfound friends, Simba will have to figure out how to grow up and take back what is rightfully his.

Beyonce and Elton John in a clinch at the European premiere

“It’s such a beloved property,” said director Favreau (‘The Jungle Book,’ Marvel Studios’ ‘Iron Man’). “Disney has had tremendous success with the original animated version and then the Broadway musical. I knew that I had to be very careful with it. I felt a tremendous responsibility not to screw it up. I wanted to demonstrate that we could be respectful of the source material while bringing it to life using mind-blowing techniques and technologies.”

Pharrell Williams goes shorts-chic in Leicester Square's sun

The technology far outpaced the original film with a blend of live-action filmmaking techniques and photoreal computer-generated imagery. Environments were designed within a game engine; state-of-the-art virtual-reality tools allowed Favreau to walk around in the virtual set, scouting and setting up shots as if he were standing in Africa alongside Simba.

Beyonce and Jay-Z on the yellow carpet
Pharrell Williams consorts with David Furnish and Elton John

According to the director, the performances breathe life and humanity into the story. “The casting allows for interpretation while maintaining the spirit and personality of the classic characters,” he says. The all-star lineup includes stars from film, TV, theater and music, bringing back to the big screen iconic characters that audiences have long treasured—but in a whole new way.

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Natalia Vodianova hosts Secret Garden Gala

GENEVA The Naked Heart Foundation attracted names and cash at The Secret Garden charity gala in the splendour of Coppet Castle.

Hosted by the non-profit charity’s founder, Natalia Vodianova with trustees Frederik Paulsen and Olga Litviniuk, guests included DJ Cassidy, Elsa Hosk, Petra Nemcova, Caroline Scheufele, Xenia Adonts and Alberta Ferretti among many others.

At the event on 13 June guests enjoyed Dom Pérignon cocktails with dinner by Michelin-star chefs, Philippe Chevrier and Domaine Châteauvieux.

Elsa Hosk, Natalia Vodianova and Rita Ora

Model and philanthropist Petra Nemcova presented the entertainment with performances by eight-year-old piano prodigy Elisey Mysin and the world-famous Menuhin Academy Orchestra.

Rita Ora was on form and primed guests for a set by DJ Cassidy after her performance.

A live and silent auction kept up the excitement, offering unique lots such as a meet-and-greet Elton John and exclusive shoes created in collaboration between René Caovilla and Chopard.

Natalia Vodianova and the gala committee

The black-tie gala was sponsored by Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Chopard and raised over a million CHF for children with autism and to create play facilities for affected families.

Event production was by Britta Carpigo at Mosaic Events.

Natalia Vodianova had the final word on a successful and memorable night:

“The Secret Garden is a place that makes us remember the importance and invaluable effect of family - the perfect metaphor for Naked Heart Foundation where professional family support services are at the centre of everything we do. A strong, supportive and inclusive family life is essential for child development and providing the fertile ground in which a child can flourish, and it’s especially important for those with mental, physical or sensory disabilities. I’m delighted that the gala tonight raised much-needed funds for this crucial work, also bringing awareness of special needs and the importance of professional support for these children”

Pictures - Serge Outrush

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Marriott's Florida Fanfare

FLORIDA Southwest Florida is shimmering with the unveiling of the JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort. Part of its $320 million refurbishment features the new Lanai Tower with more than 100,000 square feet of tech-integrated meeting and event space while its 'Paradise by Sirene' ushers adults into a more existential escapism. Abigail Parkin

The Lanai Tower (below) crowned the final phase of the three-year makeover which also brings the five new restaurants – Ario, Maia and Kane Tiki Bar & Grill. Lanai Tower too houses a restaurant, Tesoro: a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant designed exclusively for adults.

Guests can also immerse themselves in the recently unveiled 94-room Paradise by Sirene experience on floors 6-9, which promises to ensconce guests in wellbeing through a selection of exclusive amenities. Sirene’s exclusive rooftop access and pool and sun deck is open to you as is a personal beach butler.

 'Friends of Sirene' will receive wearable technology bracelets to unlock their rooms and suites and identify their status to staff for further privileges and luxuries.

The Gulf of Mexico boasts soft, sandy beaches and crystal waters which makes it a perfect coastal retreat for families. The multiple resort pools include a main resort pool and a Tiki Kids pool complete with waterslide and waterfall.

Presidential suite terrace

The debut of Tesoro and 10K Alley propels the resort’s dining offerings into the next echelon of culinary experiences. Tesoro, named after the Italian word for “treasure,” is an atmospheric restaurant that caters exclusively to adults and will showcase inspired Mediterranean cuisine served tapas style, highlighting the flavors of France, Italy, Spain and Greece.

 Tesoro dazzles guests with its chic decor, panoramic views from the fifth floor of the Lanai Tower, and multi-faceted menu celebrating the bountiful offerings from the Gulf, such as whole grilled local catches and a fresh raw bar, as well as the on-property Savita Garden’s fresh herbs, edible flowers and seasonal produce.

Tesoro Dining

At Tesoro’s bar, visitors can sip cocktails that use rare liqueurs from the Mediterranean , Sangrias served with a modern twist, an array of Spritzers created with house-made sodas as well a wine selection hailing from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Lebanon and Israel. 

Adult exclusive corner suite

Laid-back fun is to be had at 10K Alley (below) which has the look and feel of a sleek and modern distillery. Whether enjoying gastropub fare at the circular bar, communal high-tops or in the main dining area, visitors will delight in the restaurant’s elevated cuisine, decadent milkshakes and other treats.

Some of the bourbons were created exclusively for 10K Alley in a partnership between the JW Marriott Marco Island, Jack Daniels and Woodford Reserve. In addition to its handcrafted food and drinks, 10K Alley boasts a mix of classic and contemporary games that invite guests and groups to indulge in friendly competition.

Presidential suite

The resort also has two private golf courses – the renovated Rookery and Hammock Bay, a world‐class, Audubon gold signature, par-72 course developed by Jacobsen and Hardy.

Calusa room

The resort’s state-of-the-art meeting and event space, located on floors 1-3 of the Lanai Tower, features two ballrooms with spacious pre-function areas, two outdoor terraces and numerous breakout rooms totaling 100,000 square feet.

The crown jewel of the newly opened tower is its Calusa Grand Ballroom, which offers meetings, conventions and special events up to 30,000 square feet of versatile, high-tech space accompanied by 24-foot ceilings and a striking terrace overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. Full-length windows bathe the pre-function area in natural light, providing attendees with an inspired setting for success. The tower also boasts a 17,000 square-foot Banyan Ballroom, which can easily expand to 34,000 square feet of continuous event space when combined with the Banyan Foyer.

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DJ Martin Garrix & heads Isle of MTV

MALTA Martin Garrix will be joined by co-headliner Bebe Rexha at the Isle of MTV 2019 in Il-Fosos Square on Tuesday 9th July.

Dutch DJ prodigy Martin Garrix rose to global stardom early in life and since then conquered the dance and pop charts, with hit singles including collaborations with stars like Tiësto, Khalid, Dua Lipa and the #1 hit and worldwide success 'In the Name of Love' with Bebe Rexha which earned him two wins at the MTV EMAs, 'Scared to Be Lonely' with Dua Lipa and many more!

New York City native Bebe Rexha, the Grammy-nominated pop superstar whose hits include global success and #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Chart 'Meant to Be' featuring Florida Georgia Line, dance hit 'Say My Name' featuring David Guetta and J Balvin and gold certified title 'I’m a Mess.' 

In 2019, the singer-songwriter released her latest hit 'Last Hurrah' and received two nominations for the 61st Grammy Awards® for Best New Artist and Best Country Duo/Group Performance for 'Meant to Be.' Bebe is also known for her songwriting credits, having written for artists including Eminem and Rihanna and collaborating with the likes of rapper G-Eazy.

“I am so excited to be working with MTV again, it’s always a great experience,” commented Bebe. “I’ve heard such amazing things about Malta; I am looking forward to discovering the island myself, and can’t wait to perform for such a big crowd in such a beautiful setting – see you all there!”

Martin Garrix said “I can’t wait to be back in Malta for Isle of MTV. Last time was epic and I’m looking forward to an even bigger and crazier crowd this year!”

The main show will be followed by Isle of MTV Malta Music Week between 9th and 14th July. A week of events at the hottest venues across the island, from open air club nights to sunset boat parties. For more information, tickets and line-up go to www.isleofmtv.com.

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Avengers: Endgame set to top 2019

LOS ANGELES Hollywood was abuzz with premiere excitement as Avengers: Endgame made its debut on Monday night with a stellar cast attendance. Data experts Applaudience have forecast the film to become the highest grossing of 2019 in the UK.


The Los Angeles Convention Center welcomed stars including Scarlett Johansson, Brie Larson, Robert Downey Jr. , Bradley Cooper, Chris Hemsworth.

Liam Hemsworth and Miley Cyrus (below) hit the red carpet too along with Chris Pratt and Katherine Schwarzenegger, who declared coupledom on the carpet.

In the UK, Good Friday weekend’s record temperatures didn’t do cinemas any favours: not a single film making over the £1m mark reports Applaudience. But as of this week 3.25% of the entire UK is said to have already purchased advance tickets with a mighty 1,177,613 tickets bought for Fri-Sun screenings and 2,148,092 sold over all dates.

Black Widow Scarlett Johansson at the LA premiere in metallic Versace

Avengers: Endgame has already made £12.1m in advance ticket sales over the Box Office weekend and a further £10m across additional dates.

Applaudience has confirmed that the film will top its predecessor Avengers: Infinity War's hefty £329m Box Office opening weekend in 2018.

Below are showtimes that are 95%+ sold out (only corner / front-row seats are left to book)

Regional Statistics

Applaudience’s metrics using data mining software and sales analysis from the top 10 cinemas chains.

It reports that cinemas in the east of England have sold out of the greatest amount of in the UK, with 34.3% of the total, pre-booked.

This is closely followed by cinemas in the South East (28.9%) and East Midlands (28.5%). Yet more rural regions of the UK such as Northern Ireland and Wales are less taken by Marvel madness, with only 15.3% of total tickets available sold out in Wales and 18.5% in Northern Ireland.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Sophie Hunter

Planning to catch the film this weekend? Book ahead: 904 screenings up to 95% capacity and 2025 screenings across the UK are already listed as sold out.

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Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal

PARIS The change of season and the end of the yellow vest protests made Paris a perfect weekend prospect - especially when our stay was at the exclusive Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal.  Sat Bal

The hotel is more intimate than its name suggests: 57 rooms and 11 suites set in imposing 18th-century architecture. Apt too that the hotel is part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group which itself features over 500 small, but perfectly formed, boutique venues around the world.

PURPOSE

A weekend of partying. Where better to disport ourselves than the Panoramic Suite? The most luxurious suite in this maison took up the strain with panache. Its versatility also makes it ideal for business stays and families.

LOCATION

Very Paris, but located away from the noisy bustle thanks to the hotel’s position by the neighbouring gardens of Palais Royal. Yet the Louvre, Place Vendôme and Palais Garner are an easy stroll away.

DESIGN

This elegant five-star hotel was designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon whose design portfolio includes the likes of the Four Seasons Hotel George V and the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris. The artwork is imposing on arrival into the lobby where Hellenistic sculptures add to the guest greeting. Hangings and fabrics come from the expertise of Pierre Frey with furnishings by Philippe Hurel and lighting by Delisle.

PANORAMIC SUITE

This is the best suite in the house, edging past the Royal Suite, and was the perfect venue for our party stay. Its exclusivity was made immediately obvious by our own private elevator which whisked us to the seventh floor.

The first real impression was made on the terrace outside the suite. With the Eiffel Tower clearly visible to the left of us and the Louvre and Palais Royal gardens in our sights, the Panoramic Suite certainly lived up to its name! The Palace of Versailles might have been out of our panorama but the "Sun King" feel prevailed nonetheless.

The usual guest view from the seventh floor - avec Eiffel Tower

We made instant use of the expansive terrace which was flooded by sun and, soon enough, with bottles of France’s best. Nearly 300 sq ft of space and an assortment of loungers, tables and chairs easily held 15 people here. Let the party commence!

Our view from our seventh floor terrace - Vive la France!

The feeling of seclusion and privacy here meant that there we no qualms about plugging in sound systems unintrusively.

The Panoramic Suite also features a private dining room in the lounge area and king beds beyond for when sleep becomes a necessity.

It has to be said that the circa £3,500-plus that secured this suite over the weekend will get you ‘Paris space’ ie. more compact than apex suites in other cities and the Panoramic will thus only sleep two adults and two kids. The rest of the rooms in the hotel follow suit with Paris space and start at around £350. Yet the upside is that all rooms, suites and leisure spaces come with a finesse that is unequivocally…Paris.

As if to emphasise the sunny day, shafts of daylight set the marble bathroom aglow, amply furnished with double sink, bath and shower in the Panoramic.

STAFF AND SERVICE

The lounge bar

Staff joyfully aided and abetted our seventh-floor shenanigans, encouraging us Brits to make merry. The warmth and courtesy percolated down to the lobby. Special mention must also be made of Leon, the French-sounding Englishman, who presided over the intimate hotel lounge bar and swapped tales of Birmingham and tricks with gin.

Le Lulli restaurant is headed by Jean-Baptiste Orieux whose exquisite dishes are made from local and seasonal ingredients.   

Elsewhere, Wi-Fi comes free and accomplished ‘Clefs d’or’ concierge caters for all whims. There’s also a Carita spa, Turkish bath and fitness centre. There are also special services for families and children.

GRAND HÔTEL DU PALAIS ROYAL

4 rue de Valois, Paris, FR, 75001

33-142-961535

www.grandhoteldupalaisroyal.com

www.slh.com

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