Shopping, Travel  | April 1st 2014
Eco-

Clean, green, on the scene! [Photo: Claudia Goedke]

Attention, gents! Proving forever that ‘earth-friendly’ doesn’t mean dreadlocks and Birkenstocks is mod German men’s outfitters Atelier Akeef (successor to the original Akeef store), whose refined and rebranded concept means a shiny new Berlin boutique that’s committed to exclusively carrying brands devoted to sustainable fashion. Think inventory like jeans handmade in Okayama from Swedish outfit Denim Demon, organic printed tees and pullovers by Uniforms of the Dedicated, and camel suede desert boots from the musician-turned-covetable cobbler Max Herre for EKN. Naturally, the store also reflects their eco ethos with upcycled wood, sustainable clay and non-toxic colorants. Guilt-free shopping without sacrificing style… what’s not to like?

Max-Beerstr. 31, Mitte. T: +49 219 826 45. W: atelierakeef.com

For more stylish shopping in Berlin, check out LUXE Berlin or download our handy app with maps!

Food, Travel  | March 28th 2014
From Rome with love

Kitchen calamity no more

You can’t visit Rome without stuffing a suitcase full of divine deli goodies to bring home, but in order to put those squisito ingredients to good use, call on the chef-instructors at Roman cooking school Coquis. A foodie paradise with gleaming professional kitchens, experimental food labs, and a shop filled with covetable culinary gizmos, the school offers both pro and amateur courses in English and Italian that run for a day or up to 6 months. Your new skills won’t be anything to scoff at either, when the stellar lineup of instructors includes 2 Mich-starred Claudio Sadler of Sadler in Milan, Giulio Terrinoni of Rome’s Acquolina, and master pizzaiolo Pino Arletto. Filleting a fish, kneading a sourdough, fashioning a pasta parcel, or baking the perfect biscotti? Facilissssimo!

1/F, Via Flaminia 575, Rome. T: +39 6 3322 0082. W: coquis.it

For more divertente Roman pastimes, check out the LUXE Rome guide or download the fab app with maps!

Travel  | March 26th 2014
Regal chic fir for a (label) queen

Regal chic fit for a (label) queen

What Italia’s fashion capital Milano lacks in the ancient architecture and old masters stakes, it sure makes up for in the style department – and we don’t just mean clothes! Porta Nuova’s glammy Palazzo Parigi is just one of the city’s recent and fabulous hotel additions, and Salone del Mobile-bound jet-setters could do a lot worse than its vintage-inspired, antique art-splashed quarters when they hit the iconic furniture fair this April.

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Shopping, Travel  | March 24th 2014
TKTK

Pas mal, Paris…

One of our staple shopportunities in Shanghai has made a trans-Atlantic voyage, and we couldn’t be more thrilled about the arrival of the exquisite Shang Xia in Paris. Born of a collaboration between quintessentially French fashion house Hermès and Chinese artistic director Jiang Qiong Er, the brand is a lesson in understated luxury, using traditional craftsmanship in a modern setting – think Ming-inspired zitan wood furny, porcelain teaware with intricate bamboo detailling, and painted crystal jewellery in tribute to Qing dynasty’s snuff boxes. Never has ‘made in China’ been more covetable!

8 rue de Sèvres, Paris. T: +33 1 4222 5362. W: shang-xia.com

For more luxury shopping in Paris, check out LUXE Paris or download our handy app with maps!

Shopping, Travel  | March 21st 2014
Buster + Punch

Light it up!

In our era of eye-wateringly phosphorescent bulbs, the warming aura of the pearl bayonet is but a distant memory… but luckily not so for Stockholm shop Buster + Punch, an East London-born lighting and interiors brand whose product line features Edison-style exposed bulbs filled with intricate webs of soft-glowing golden filaments. From bronzed gunmetal chandeliers to hand-wrought walnut cocktail bars of quilted grey silk and knurled brass fittings, B+P pieces have been such a hit with the Swedes that the label’s first brick-n-mortar store debuts not in hometown London (although a local flagship is slated for 2015), but in the fash-forward Scandi style hub. Go on, Stockholm – let there be light!

Artillerigatan 29, Stockholm. T: +46 76 390 52 22. W: busterandpunch.com

For more stylish shopping in Stockholm, check out the LUXE Stockholm guide or download the fab app with maps!

Travel  | March 19th 2014

Flower power [Photo credit: lasdc9]

Flower power [Photo: Chris Dickey/Flickr]

Dear hearts, spring is finally on our doorstep! While the whole Northern hemisphere celebrates, Japan welcomes the start of the stunning sakura season, when ravishing pink and white cherry blossoms are abloom. Though the tradition of ‘viewing’ sakura first came into being circa the C.8th, the delicate blossoms that were once thought to predict the coming season’s harvests have since come to represent life itself – beautiful and full, yet ever so fleeting. Today, the fabulous florals not only attract throngs of overseas visitors, but also offer an excuse for locals to get outdoors and enjoy the spectacle, so here are our top tips for Tokyo’s best sakura viewing spots. Kimono-ver…

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Food  | March 17th 2014
Oh my, Maggie! [Photo: Destinasian]

Maggie whose? Maggie Choo’s! [Photo: Destinasian]

Bangkok’s bar-whisperer Ashley Sutton has been as busy as a paisley nightie over the last year: first with the revamp of Thonglor favourite Iron Fairies, then the launches of literary bar The Bookshop and military-themed Bangkok Betty, but his most sophisticated offering yet is Silom’s sultry after-hours sipster, Maggie Choo’s. Taking inspiration in both name and aesthetic from a Shanghainese cabaret owner who fled to Bangkok in the 30s, this lush oriental lair boasts both a traditional noodle shop fitted with pendant parasols and antique birdcages, and a vintage casino-style bar complete with intimate nooks, qipao-clad hostesses, and leather sofas. Sutton’s go-to mix master Joseph Boroski is behind the cocktail lineup of tiger lily lovelies like the HMS Leviathan, a mix of honeycomb bourbon, sweet vermouth and lemon. Gussy up, gals!

320 Silom Rd, Bangkok. T: +66 2 635 6055. W: facebook.com/maggiechoos

For more sultry sip spots in The Big Mango, check out the LUXE Bangkok guide or download the fab app with maps!

Food, Travel  | March 14th 2014

 

TKTK

Haute Korean cookery

Seoul is beloved for its many culinary wonders, but one restaurant has recently received a bonafide foodie barrage, and here’s why – Jung Sik Dang entered Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants this year at covetable spot #20, becoming Korea’s first restaurant to gain this acclaim. Chef Jung Sik, however, has been immaculately melding traditional flavours with mod, molecular techniques since 2009, with ample time to refine his 5-course prix fixe to the wildly creative degustation it is today. Think fried oysters with squid ink bread crumbs, smoked pork jowl on trumpet mushrooms and pickled veggies, and ‘jong dok’ chocolate mousse with red peppers. Put down the tteokbokki and go Jung!

649-7 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu. T: +82 2 517 4654. W: jungsik.kr/seoul

For more swanky eats in Seoul, check out LUXE Seoul or download our fab app with maps!

Travel  | March 12th 2014
Desert dreaming

Desert dreaming

Ok, enough already with the never-ending winter. If you, dear hearts, are also well and truly over this bitter cold, join us on our dreamy jaunt to the totally scorching UAE desert oasis, Qasr Al Sarab. Here the stunning beauty of the stark, sand swept landscape and exotic wildlife is rivalled only by the rugged opulence contained within the fortress walls. Come on in, it’s warm inside…

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Faff & Faddle, Food  | March 11th 2014
Max Levy

All the way from the Big Easy

Born and raised in nonpareil New Orleans, Max Levy has gone from making ripples in New York by becoming the first non-Japanese chef at the illustrious Sushi Yasuda, to causing waves in his adopted city Beijing with the recent opening of swish sushi and cocktail bar, Okra, in the buzzy 1949 complex. We sipped on a sake while the indomitable chef shared stories of adversity, adventure, and his zaydeh’s kitchen… Hai!

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