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Dawn Rises

Rolls-Royce Dawn

The open-top Rolls-Royce Dawn claims ‘Best Luxury Car’ in the 2017 UK Car of the Year Awards. Chris Page

Rolls-Royce cites judges Forbes Life (“It’s a movie star car!”) among the panellists seduced by the Dawn since it swept into the market in March 2016.

Titles such as Robb Report, The Telegraph, Top Gear and luxury bodies including Walpole and the German Design Council have all been seduced by Dawn, the ultimate expression of true luxury open-top touring.

This critical acclaim is echoed in the extraordinary demand from the world’s most discerning patrons of luxury that has driven the marque to the second highest sales result in the company’s 113-year history and 6% global growth in 2016. The UK, Rolls-Royce’s home market, grew by 30% over the same period affirming the marque’s status as the consummate expression of success for a bold new generation of entrepreneurs.

Rolls Dawn Interior

“Since its introduction in 2016, Dawn has introduced a highly dynamic new generation of men and women to Rolls-Royce. These patrons of true luxury have been drawn to the most glamorous expression of Rolls-Royce luxury in history,” said Torsten Müller-Ötvös, CEO, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. “Every Rolls-Royce motor car is exquisitely hand-crafted at our centre of excellence in Goodwood, West Sussex. Plaudits like this are a glowing affirmation of the extraordinary skill of the 1,700 men and women engaged in the creation of the ‘Best Cars in the World’.

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Bunga Bunga Launch

Sheridan Smith

 

Bunga Bunga Covent Garden launched last night with a headline performance by Sheridan Smith on 12 January. Abigail Parkin

The new live entertainment dining venue hosted guests including Lottie Moss, Donna Air & Joshua Kane who watched Sheridan Smith perform Don't Rain on My Parade and People.

 The event was staged in association with Martini and guests enjoyed cocktails such as Don Silvio Bunga Martini Rubino while rousing performances from the Man in the Balloon took place along with the Champagne Juggler and the Jersey Boys who played alongside the Bunga Boys.

Sheridan Smith wowed the audience in a gold wrap-around dress, in her first performance since her father passed away last year. Her ‘Daddy’s Girl’ tattoo, etched down her arm, made its public tribute to him.

Bunga Bunga Covent Garden is the latest project from Charlie Gilkes and Duncan Stirling’s Inception Group, and boats a new address. BungaTINI on the ground floor is an authentic all-day family friendly Italian pizzeria and bar. However, look again and located in the far corner of BungaTINI is a secret door to a meat locker. Those brave enough to venture beyond the meat locker can expect  some of London’s finest acts. 

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Archer Street Calls Talent

Archer St

Soho's Archer Street bar is making its annual call-out to future stage stars with its 'Archer Street's Got Talent' contest on 21 Feb. Abigail Parkin

Entrants are in with a chance of scooping a £3,000 cash prize and a profile-enhancing media and support package. The judging panel claims previous names such as Piers Morgan and Michael Ball and the 2017 event promises a panel comprising  three industry professionals from the world of pop, theatre and television with a surprise celebrity guest judge each week.

Previous winners of Archer Street's Got Talent include Alex Francis, brother to BRIT Award winner James Bay who recently played at Time Out's Rising Stars and will launch his debut EP in January. The competition is well attended by talent scouts from all areas of the music industry, with other past contestants going on to X Factor & The Voice.

Archer Street's Got Talent finalist Kerrianne Covell made it through to the judges' houses on X-Factor, Rozzy Turner joined Will.i.am's team and Deano Boroczky joined Paloma Faiths team on The Voice

This year's contest will begin with auditions at the end of January in Archer Street's après-ski pop-up bar Piste before the heats begin on 21st February. Guests are welcomed down every Tuesday thereafter until the 2017 Voice of Soho is crowned on the 18th April.

Archer Street's Siobhan MaGill has brought the essence of the theatre into Freedom on Wardour Street and at Archer Street, whose bar staff comprise singing talent that's performed at London musicals including Thriller, We Will Rock You and Book of Mormon.

 

To enter, email: gottalent@archerstreet.co.uk

Over 18s who want a grab at the voice of 2017 should email with a photograph, a brief description of vocal experience and a music or video link.

Closing date for applications Jan 23rd 2017.

Auditions: 30th January & 1st February - 10am to 6pm

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Namaste, Oberoi...

oberoi-india

With 30 luxury hotels to its name The Oberoi Group knows a thing or two about Indian hospitality. Oberoi is now honouring guests booked into its exclusive suites with regal style, from landing at the airport to arrival at their luxurious suites. Sat Bal  

A traditional Indian-style welcome greets guests at the Presidential and Kohinoor suites at The Oberoi, Mumbai; The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra; The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur and The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur.

Expect to be greeted at the airport and whisked away by your chauffeur for the placing of a sandalwood paste Tikka on your forehead, accompanied by a floral garland around your shoulders. At The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra; The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur and The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur guests will receive an extra special welcome of a rose petal shower.

So, where to go… 

 

The Presidential Suite at The Oberoi, Mumbai

oberoi-mumbai

Here the Presidential Suite offers  2,056 square feet of luxury. It includes a dining area, two lounge spaces, white marble bathroom and pantry and also features a personal fitness machine, brass telescope, five televisions, grand piano and separate butler’s entrance. It commands panoramic views of the ocean and the Queen’s Necklace – the golden crescent of lights that shine the shoreline.

Stylish in-suite dining with bespoke menus is available, along with private sundowners accompanied by a pianist, as well access to Capital O, an exclusive lounge and bar in the hotel.

Elsewhere, guests can explore Mumbai’s rich colonial history and architecture on a guided tour of the Jehangir Art Gallery, Rajaghai Tower and more. Mumbai’s art quarter can be experienced through the ‘Art Kaleidoscope’ tour will take guests to the Kala Ghoda art quarter.

The Presidential Suite starts from 900,000 INR (approximately £10,490) per night

 

The Kohinoor Suite at The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra

oberoi-amarvilas

When you’ve cast off the welcome arrival shower of rose petals enjoy instant views of the Taj Mahal from The Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, located just 600 metres away from the iconic monument. Mirrored in elements of the Taj Mahal’s Mughal splendour is The Kohinoor Suite, made up of a living room, master bedroom, dining room and private terrace, which offers panoramic views of the Taj Mahal from dawn to dusk. The enchanting suite is adorned with white marble elephants which glow under the golden domed ceilings and mirrored walls, bringing the romance of the outside in.

The Kohinoor Suite start from 900,000 INR (approximately £10,490) per night

 

The Kohinoor Villa at The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur

oberoi-rajvilas-jaipur

 

Explore the ‘Pink City’ and capital of Rajasthan in your very own hideaway at The Oberoi Rajvilas. The resort is set in an oasis of landscaped gardens filled with exotic birdlife and centred around an 18th century Shiva temple and Haveli (mansion). The hotel offers guests the opportunity to find peace and serenity through chanting with a Hindu priest, mediation and morning yoga. Those looking for ultimate indulgence can book the Kohinoor Villa, located in a discreet enclosure and made up of three buildings featuring a private garden, 20-metre pool and dining pavilion. The two en suite bedrooms feature sunken, white marble bathtubs overlooking the private gardens.

The Kohinoor Villa starts from 900,000 INR (approximately £10,490) per night

 

The Kohinoor Suite at The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur

oberoi-udaivilas

The ‘City of Lakes’, Udaipur, makes guests feel part of the history at The Oberoi Udaivilas, on the bank of Lake Pichola and sitting on the 200 year-old hunting grounds. As a guest of the Kohinoor Suite, arrive at the hotel jetty, board the hotel boat and sip Chai tea as you sail across the lake to your accommodation.

The Oberoi Udaivilas offers spectacular views across the greenery, sparkling lake and 20-acre wildlife sanctuary with deer and wild boar. The Kohinoor Suite is accessed through a sunlit courtyard and features two bedrooms, dining room, living room, powder room, private pool and dining terrace. Classical Indian décor adorns the suite including gold domed ceilings, elaborate mirror mosaics and hand carved privacy screens, giving guests a taste of traditional Indian home life. Enjoy sundowners by the pool and alfresco dinner accompanied by folk music on the pavilion.

The Kohinoor Suite starts from 950,000 INR (approximately £10,991) per night

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Rimowa Joins LVMH

rimowa-luggage-lvmh

Rimowa, the luxury luggage and leather goods maker has announced a partnership with the LVMH Group making it the first German brand to join LVMH. Sat Bal 

Founded in Cologne in 1898, Rimowa has become one of the quintessential houses for innovative, high-quality luggage over the course of the twentieth century. The business has built its reputation designing lightweight and easy to use luggage and RIMOWA suitcases today serve as the industry benchmark for German quality.

Since its creation by Paul Morszeck, innovation has been at the heart of Rimowa’s strategy. In 1937, his son Richard launched the first aluminium suitcase available on the market. The aluminium structure comprising parallel grooves makes the luggage instantly recognisable and has played its part in building the reputation of Rimowa among a sophisticated international clientele.  His son Dieter designed the first waterproof metal case in 1976, since which time Rimowa suitcases have become the travelling companion of choice for the greatest filmmakers, photographers and journalists.

Since 2014, RIMOWA has also been developing its exclusive “Bossa Nova” range which combines lightweight polycarbonate with the elegance of leather. This suitcase is a tribute to the English artist and botanist Margaret Mee who devoted her life to painting and protecting plants from the Amazon. Rimowa donates a portion of its sales to the Association Saúde e Alegria which supports social projects in the Amazon.

More recently, in partnership with Lufthansa, the company has launched the Electronic Tag. This innovative feature simplifies baggage check-in by matching, with the use of a smartphone, the boarding card with a Bluetooth electronic tag integrated only within Rimowa suitcases.

Upon completion of the transaction with LVMH, Alexandre Arnault will be appointed co-CEO of Rimowa.

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Eventist Group Changes

Masquerade-2013-0662

 

Best Parties Ever has officially become Eventist Group, comprising five hospitality businesses. Sat Bal


They are Best Parties Ever, Tapenade (corporate and private caterer), Tobacco Dock Food (in-house caterer at venue Tobacco Dock, Arribar and iELive (bar and drinks specialist, sound and AV).
The company's remit covers everything from Christmas parties and summer hospitality to business conferences, music festivals and private milestone occasions. Its summer roster of 75 events has includes Glastonbury, RIAT, Henley and Farnborough Air Show.


Managing director of Eventist Group, Tim Stevens, said of the relaunch: “We have some fantastic brands with some creative, knowledgeable and inspiring staff and we wanted to unite them all and highlight our expertise. We’re proud of our new identity and look forward to building on our successes.”

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Hidden Escapes

Six Senses Krabey Island3_hires

 

Travellers who enjoy crafted luxury in unusual holiday locales should take a look at Cambodia and neighbouring areas for lavish openings in 2017

 

Where?

Krabey Island (above), Cambodia and operated by Six Senses.

 What’s on offer?

Six Senses Krabey Island is scheduled to premier in 2017

40 pool villas set around the naturally landscaped 30-acre island.

All villas comprise a living room, master bedroom, ensuite and private plunge pool

Retreat and Reserve villa categories will even offer mini wine cellars.

Indochine will be the resort’s specialty dining restaurant, which will include a communal dining table in front of the show kitchen.

Activities

Hands-on cooking classes will introduce budding chefs to Indochine-inspired cuisine.

The Six Senses Spa includes ancient Cambodian healing traditions, Six Senses Integrative Wellness, detox, yoga and workshops. Alternative treatments, a spa library and juice bar incorporating the island’s fruits and herbs.

A poolside outdoor cinema plays films and plans include an observatory stargazing sessions with expert talks on the universe.

 Alila villas 

Where?

Alila Villas Koh Russey launches early 2017 on the south coast of Sihanoukville.

 

What’s on offer?

 Sought-after white sand beaches, pristine waters, lush tropical scenery and seclusion. Featuring 48 hotels suites, a beachfront swimming pool, five-star restaurant dining, kids’ club and fitness centre.

 

Where?

Early 2017 sees Rosewood Hotels & Resorts bringing a new hotel to the tallest building in Phnom Penh, the Vattanac Capital Tower One.

What’s on offer?

The new hotel will have 148 rooms and suites and 27 luxury serviced residences for long-stay visitors. Views across the city and the fabled Mekong River. Dining options will include a sophisticated bistro, lobby lounge, two specialty restaurants and a sky bar complete with cantilevered terrace. Also to feature a Sense spa.

 

Dok Keow - Elephant

 

Where?

Laos - boating luxury with the Dok Keow.

What’s on offer?

One of Laos’ most luxurious boats, the Dok Keow is ready to cruise the Mekong in style, privacy and comfort. The 28-metre wooden river boat has been crafted to the highest specifications with a large lounge and dining area. Board this year for fine cuisine and cocktails amid the river views before returning to Luang Prabang.

 

Where?

Cambodia’s Angkor Wat brings private tours with leading academic Dr Damien Evans, unavailable to the public.

What’s on offer?

Villa Chandara Siem Reap's first experiential dining venue. Transport to the villa begins by private car and continue on a traditional wooden boat across a 1,000-year-old reservoir to reach the villa. Exotic Khmer cuisine is prepared by a leading local chef.     

 

Luxury travel operator Scott Dunn offers the above and more. Ten-night bespoke Cambodia itineraries from £2,500 per person. This is based on a couple sharing and includes all accommodation, selected experiences, return flights and private transfers.    

Scott Dunn offers a nine night ‘Highlights of Laos’ itinerary from £2,700 per person. This is based on a couple sharing and includes all accommodation, range of experiences, return flights and private transfers.  

  For more experiences see www.scottdunn.com 

 

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Alexa Chung Lines Up

Alexa Chung 1 Louis Vuitton

 

Girl-about-media Alexa Chung is set to launch her own fashion line next year. Sat Bal (12 July ’16)

The news isn’t a complete surprise given Chung’s collaborations with AG Jeans and, recently, Marks & Spencer. And we’re fairly certain that the clothing line will be more imaginative than its brand name : Alexachung.

Expect a contemporary priced line that mixes and matches denim, jewellery, daywear, night-style and, naturally, shoes.

Alexachung should hit the stores in May 2017.    

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Rum Runners

Spirit of Tiki Drink Up london New

A two-day celebration of Tiki Culture comes to London in conjunction with Mahiki London this August.  Sat Bal (6 July’16)

Spirit of Tiki is a new event will see a tropical vibe hit the venue in Greenwich on 14-15 August. Refreshing rum cocktails, the lilt of carnival  music and a huge sandy beach will set the scene. Helped along by Mahiki London the outdoor beach will be surrounded by a village of 15 Tiki bars selling bespoke cocktails for £5.

Bacardi and Mount Gay will join other big brands to create the juiciest Pina Coladas, Mai Tai’s, Zombies and Hurricanes all while tucking into Caribbean BBQ food. Hula dancers, limbo, fire breathers and drummers are also set to boost the party tempo.

Spirit of Tiki has been created by three of the biggest names in rum; Georgi Radev, bar manager of Mahiki, Roger Barnes, life-long rummer and Ian Burrell, global ambassador for the spirit as a whole.

Pre-order tickets £15  include;

- Entry to the event
- Your own Tiki mug to use and take home 
- Free drink on arrival

Visit for more DrinkUp.London/Spi ritOfTiki

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Happy Birthday IOM Malta!

50K Crowd

 

The 10th anniversary of Isle Of MTV in Malta saw the crowds wowed by Jess Glynne, Wiz Khalifa, Clean Bandit with a closing set from electro-house giant, Steve Aoki at Valletta’s Il-Fosos Square.  Sat Bal joined the revellers at Tuesday’s celebratory event (29 Jun'16)

Every year, at around this time, the lobby of the luxurious Grand Hotel Excelsior falls into a peculiar silence when a particular performer arrives. This time that honour fell to Wiz Khalifa and his Taylor Gang entourage. The rap star left the hotel’s receptionists fawning and guests pointing as he ambled past the spacious check-in area. That’s what a chart-topping single in 95 countries does for you.  

 

Wiz_Khalifa at Press Call

 

Later at MTV’s press conference (above) Wiz told us what he thought of Malta, particularly the Blue Grotto where he took that now infamous  smokin’ pic of himself: “It’s really tight and you should check it out!”

Bad-boy Wiz pointed out that the prospect of the audience going topless tonight was something we could check out too. "Maltese boobies?" asked Becca, helpfully. "Yeah those!" he beamed.

Moving back to music he also announced the start of his Euro tour and his tour excursions with Snoop Dogg, who was also a past performer at Isle of MTV.

In the background Josh and Mike Greenfield of Brothers Green Eats fame cooked up all manner of tasty nosh as the press call proceeded, tempting Jess Glynne  to a nibble.

On Isle of MTV show day hostess Becca Dudley (more of her later) invited the first of many to hit the stage. Local band Airport Impressions regaled the crowd - 70,000 of them according to Steve Aoki - with their rock and house set.

 

IMG_3919

Becca Dudley puts on a pre-stage pose for us

 

They were followed by UK’s Clean Bandit (below) who roused the audience with hits from the album New Eyes. The singalong with fans also included hits Rather Be and Real Love.  

Clean_Bandit_014

 

 

Sunset saw Jess Glynne emerge in a black satin two-piece with Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself ringing through the al fresco venue. Production values were MTV-high and the stage set shimmered to  tracks including Ain’t Got Far to Go and Hold My Hand. But the real show-stopper was her tribute I Feel For You to the late, great Prince.

 

Jess_Glynne_018

 

The drawls and deep bass lines of Wiz Khalifa then filled the air as he opened with global hit Black and Yellow and later the crowd-pleasing We Dem Boyz with 2011 smash Young, Wild & Free, ending his set.

 

Wiz_Khalifa_022

 

 

Of all tonight’s stellar performers we reckon it was DJ/producer Steve Aoki who truly got the crowd collectively buzzed – not least because of his carnival cake-throwing capers. Ten cakes were ‘served’ to splattered fans, signifying the event’s 10th birthday. Sweet, too, was his invitation to an enthralled  fan to join him in his DJ booth.  Snapchatting made Steve as party-inclusive as his tracks from Back 2 U to Can’t Go Home in the pyro and flame lit sky.

 

Steve_Aoki_029

 

Steve Aoki's carnival cake-throwing capers 

 

Judging by the elated crowd reaction this MTV partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority has more than shown its mettle.

 

Seema and co

MTV staffers living the work and the life.  Seema, Farah and Sharlotte take a bow!

 

It was a fitting 10th birthday close and then it was off to the afterparties to celebrate some more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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