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Grand Hôtel du Palais Royal

PARIS The change of season and the end of last year's yellow vest protests made Paris a perfect weekend prospect - especially when the 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.

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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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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Soho Residence in £1m Transformation

LONDON The launch party of the Soho Residence brought in rafts of revellers - and a feeling that  this iconic venue is set to change Soho’s leisure scape. Here's how the event unfurled...

The heritage-rich Soho Residence resides in the 126-year-old Roundhouse building and offers three floors featuring a Botanical Bar with art deco style, late night party space Festival Club and the decadent Gin Parlour.

They have in common an elegant style and grace typified by the snug sofas and rich fabrics. Here, the capacity crowd of 350 can enjoy a selection of craft beers and botanical cocktails or the opulent gin parlour.



On the ground floor is the Botanical Bar, art deco style with huge windows and a fresh botanical feel aided by hanging plants. Banquette seating and plump cushions offer guests a cool Soho welcome. The basement Festival Club is a place for late, adult partying with refined lighting and big screen imaging to encourage glitterati to let its hair down.

Take a stroll to the first floor Gin Parlour with its high ceilings and tall windows which offer up the bustling streets of Soho below. Here, an extensive selection of the world's finest gins can be sipped in the sumptuous comfort of the furnishings, aiding the VIP feel.

The good news for groups is that both the Festival Club and the Gin Parlour are available for private hire.

Look out for venue details after more images of the night...




Soho Residence
http://sohoresidence.co.uk/
020 7434 9413
83 -85 Wardour Street, Soho, London W1D 6QE

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Amara Opens at Four Seasons Fairways

PORTUGAL If stunning views are part of your dining experience then head to the new Amara restaurant when you’re in the Algarve. Lucy Kale  lucy@redcarpetmagazine

It promises one of the finest views in Quinta do Lago with the restaurant forming part of the new redevelopments at Four Seasons Fairways, Algarve.

The Portuguese influence abounds, with the lighting taking its cue from the striking scenery of the Algarve’s famous almond trees in full bloom. Lighting in the intimate bar comes courtesy of the suspended Morwad marble pendant of celebrated British designer Tom Dixon.

Here, the backdrop comprises a mix of warm woods, crimson chairs, scallopped banquette seating and a large back-lit custom panel while the views outside bring in the vista of Quinta do Lago.

Head chef Nelson Candeias is among the talented cooks whose culinary passion  permeates the dishes,ranging from starters including foie gras mi-cuit with radish and quince to oysters three ways.

Expect the best local sea bass served with scallops, seared grouper combined with langoustine, and meagre twinned with clam veloute. Elsewhere, meat dishes include high quality cuts of steak, lamb, pork and duck while vegetarians also get many choices.

See more at:
 www.fourseasonsfairways.com

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Cobus Lands Airport

Gloucestershire Airport’s refurbishment is now complete thanks to the expertise of  Cobus the county’s design and interior specialist. Lucy Reid lucy@redcarpetmagazine.co.uk

Airport visitors can look forward to a contemporary main reception, arrivals area, departures lounge and breakout spaces following the completion of the three-month project by Cobus.

The summer upgrade saw Cobus completely refresh the ground floor of the terminal building to woo more private jet users.

Lloyd Coldrick, managing director of Cobus, said: “Gloucestershire Airport is well-known as being the gateway to the South West so we wanted to make sure passengers’ first and last experiences of Gloucestershire were memorable.

“Having started the exciting project back in the summer, our team of experts worked tirelessly to create a modern,high-quality corporate environment which saw an overhaul of the arrivals area, departures lounge, security scanning area, main reception, waiting areas, washrooms, the pilots' restroom and breakout spaces.

“Despite the challenges of keeping disruption to a minimum in the terminal, which meant encountering a few delays and changes in the specification and programming of the project, the client was very pleased with the end result and we hope it will help the airport to continue to grow and prosper.”

Gloucester-base Cobus has over 40 years’ experience in interior design and  its a service takes clients from the initial design consultation, right through to installation and ongoing aftercare.

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Norman Seeff 'Sessions in Sound' Exhibition

 

LONDON New exhibition ‘Sessions in Sound: Photographs by Norman Seeff’ is set to unveil at London’s Proud Galleries this month. The exhibition - from 23 rd November 2018 to 13th January 2019 - features Seeff’s portrayals of influential musical icons. Lucy Reid takes a preview.    lucy@redcarpetmagazine.co.uk

 

All Images courtesy of: Proud Galleries © Norman Seeff

As these depictions show, Seeff intimately captured the spontaneity of his subjects with alluring engagement whether it be a pensive Mick Jagger or a leisurely Johnny Cash (above).  Norman Seeff moved to New York aged 29 to pursue his passion, after training as a doctor in his native South Africa. Renowned album cover designer, Bob Cato, gave him his first major assignment – to photograph Robbie Robinson and The Band for the liner notes of their album ‘Stage Fright’.

 

 'Chelsea Hotel Color', Blondie, 1979,  Proud Galleries © Norman Seeff

 

Despite an inauspicious start - Seeff got lost on his way to Woodstock and arrived  hours late - Cato’s work was used on the band’s album cover. Seeff had arrived.

In 1973, Seeff opened his own studio on Sunset Boulevard and saw him work with a whole spectrum of musicians.

 

'Mick Jagger', 1972, Proud Galleries © Norman Seeff

 

In 1985, Seeff photographed musician Ray Charles and later recalled how “Ray was testy at the start of the session. Ultimately, he loved the process and ended up calling me ‘brother’. It was a seminal session.”

 

'Reflection', Joni Mitchell, 1975, Proud Galleries © Norman Seeff

 

The exhibition also features a selection of unseen photographs, including a portrait of Patti Smith from Seeff’s 1969 acclaimed photoshoot with Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe. This session has arguably become one of Seeff’s most famous and he cited Patti Smith: “After Robert’s death, Patti told me these shots come closest to her remembrance of the profundity of the love between them.”

 

 'Robert & Patti II', Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith, 1969, Proud Galleries© Norman Seeff

 

On his creative ethos Seeff says he constantly seeks “a place with my subjects that defines pure presence, where we can stand and just look at each other without any filters.”

 

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Get Paid To Drink Gin Around The Globe

You read it right. A London hospitality company is offering a lucky gin fan the chance to travel the world on a global tasting session, all in the name of work. Lucy Reid  lucy@redcarpetmagazine.co.uk

Hospitality company Inception Group has made the job offer to honour the launch of its new bar, Mr Fogg's Society of Exploration. The successful candidate and their  companion will follow a route inspired by fictional explorer Phileas Fogg and return  with their research to serve at the new bar, set to open this autumn in Charing Cross. 

Stops include Tokyo, Mumbai, Hong Kong, San Francisco, New York and Lisbon. The travellers will be presented with an atlas, journal, luggage tags and hip flask from Aspinal of London.

British adventurer Levison Wood has been enlisted by the Mr Fogg's team and Inception Group.

Requirements include candidates who are savvy with social media, digital videos and photographs. Understandably, a valid passport and a passion for gin are also essential.

Here’s the application form:

 https://www.mr-foggs.com/around-the-world/ 

 

 

 

 

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Camilla Elphick Brings Bluebird To Heel

It’s not often that desserts invoke the idea of footwear but a Chelsea restaurant’s collaboration  with Camilla Elphick is set to change that. Abigail Parkin  abigail@redcarpetmagazine.co.uk

 

Bluebird in Chelsea is sweetening up its dessert menu with the help of Camilla Elphick, the award-winning British footwear brand. The menu takes inspiration from two of Camilla’s favourite things: ice cream and shoes.

The My Favourite Things Menu will launch on the 13th August at the restaurant in King’s Road. For that month diners can contemplate sweet nuances of the infamous Silver Lining Boot arrow detail along with heart silhouettes inspired by her celebrity favoured ‘Lover’ styles and, naturally, her iconic PEZ heel.

Head pastry chef, Roger Pizey brought the visions to life taking the cues from the shoes. He certainly had vibrant colour to work with; the summer 2018 collection PEZ Daisy shoes sport bright orange heels and lively daisies. The culinary translation? Dark chocolate fondant with lemon verbena centre, chocolate ice-cream and a colour pop of edible flowers.

Elsewhere black sesame ice cream with blackberry sorbet, white chocolate arrow and edible glitter evokes the design imagery of Silver Lining Boots.

Bluebird’s pudding includes a different flavour of ice cream to toast the dessert tasting menu in the first collaboration between the two celebrated British brands.

Camilla Elphick said: “I’ve loved every second of this partnership! Combining two of my favourite things- shoes and ice-cream! We decided to create edible incarnations of our designs, and the outcome, three mouthwateringly pretty and delicious desserts. My favourite is the PEZ Daisy shoe inspired chocolate fondant. Although, a mouthful of all three and a glass of fizz would be the dream…”

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Hola, Cancun!

 

MEXICO: February-March means it’s time to escape the British freeze and cast out for warm climes. But where in the world would blend white-beach luxury in blue-sea tropical surrounds and syncopate hard play with a soft chill? Cancun met our party-relaxation brief with ease. Sat Bal

 

The Brief

Week one of our geographic was to be filled with solar-powered parties in a playful but luxury setting. The Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya answered the call like a natural, living up to its rock credentials.

Week two in Cancun required a change in tempo: privacy, peace and a reclaiming of the soul. Where better than the AAA Five Diamond awarded Secrets Maroma Beach in Riviera Cancun? A blissful recovery on a gold platter - around 45 minutes from the Hard Rock.

 

Hard Rock Hotel (HRH)

A 45-50 minute transfer from Cancun International airport, HRH played to our strengths with its ‘resort within a resort’ concept. The family-friendly Hacienda setting offered a hard-play edge of live music shows and beach frolics while the Heaven complex embraced a more refined adults-only isolation. Combined, the 1,264-room hotel feels vast as evidenced by the scurrying of transfer buggys across the lush palm-lined site.

Adult guests at either resort can wander across to use facilities at either Heaven or Hacienda. Stop press: HRH has announced that from the end of March 2018 Heaven will be managed as a family hotel so it’ll no longer be kids-free.

 

Themes

 

 

The HRH mantra is ‘undeniable excess at every turn’ and the pioneers of excess loom large here. Jimi Hendrix, Bowie, Prince and other legends added a supernatural tinge to the stay, looking down from huge monochrome portraits. Jim Morrison (above) held court in the Hacienda’s Sun Bar, his hair a montage of vinyl records. Elsewhere, Aerosmith’s drum kit and all manner of artist personal effects in display cabinets, persistent  reminders of why this place is called Hard Rock.

 

All-inclusive

It really is - even down to ordering room service. So enjoy the indulgence of ordering up tea and coffee first thing, despite having a perfectly good coffee machine in your suite. The array of restaurants form part of the package too. Neither will you need to pack your favourite duty-free tipple; all top shelf drinks are complimentary as is the mini bar. Where things do cost, such as spa treatments, your complimentary resort credits will offer discounts.

 

Rooms

 

The Bret Michael's Rock Star Suite

 

All rooms are well-appointed with hydro spa tubs, a private balcony/terrace with hammocks and complimentary wi-fi throughout. Views range from garden to the panorama of the Caribbean sea with first-quarter prices starting from circa $300 a night to $2,000 a night for the apex experience.

Upgrade to Rock Royalty status and the fun really starts with VIP pool area and your own personal assistant.

The two-bedroom Rock Star Suite (4991 sq ft) and the Rock Suite Platinum Rooftop Lounge (5,166 sq ft) raise the pinnacles of luxury to levels that bona fide A-listers would surely approve of.

Service is willing and warm, on a par with Asian service, across the board.

 

Beaches & Pools

HRH claims a private white sand beach and invites snorkel and kayak fans alike.

If the beach is your priority we’d suggest spending more time at Secrets Maroma Beach which was more expansive and less busy. At HRH we just missed the 'Spring Break' when hordes of N. Americans fly over to boost the fun.

For adults only, the Central Pool at Heaven is just the ticket for sun, lounge, or cool off with an abundance of cocktails. There’s also a semi Olympic pool, cross current rhythm pool - and, of course, the crystalline Caribbean!

  

Restaurants & Bars

 

 

Hacienda offers seven restaurants including à la carte Asian dishes at Zen, Brazil’s best at Ipanema and hot Mexican at Frida. Caffeto is great for an early pastry breakfast or a late baguette grab. Over at Heaven head to Toro for a rich steak, Le Petit Cochon for French à la carte and Ciao for Italian among the five dining areas.   

For drinks, settle down at Heaven’s Martini Bar or the Sun Bar at Hacienda while Float bar invites the pool. At nightclub Club Heaven, live DJs starts the party around 11pm and take it into the early hours.   

 

Rock Spa

 

 

HRH boasts the largest spa in the Caribbean with 75 treatment rooms. On offer is everything from steam rooms to hydrotherapy current pools. The surroundings are among the most lavish we’ve seen and the view from the pools is inspirational. There’s even a yoga temple!

 

Weather

What's to say? The odd peppering of rainfall in the early hours but every day blazing with sun and skirting 30 degrees. Autumn tends to see the rain.

 

Out and about

Popular excursions range from the Mayan history site of Chichén Itzá to water park fun at Xcaret. Nightclubbers, make  your way to Coco Bongo though the in-house club at Heaven got full and fun too.  Amstar is the local excursion agency of choice but bookings can also be made via the hotel concierge. 

Flying out

UK operators British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Thomas Cook will get you out there in around 11 hours non-stop.

 

See our next week at Secrets Maroma Beach…

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Aston Martin – Run of the ‘Mill’

“Okay, now take your hands off the wheel and hold them in the air,” urges Joe calmly. I glance at the digital speedo : 120mph. Is this man insane? Sort of. He’s an ultra-confident Aston Martin driving specialist. Sat Bal is driven to distraction.  Read more

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