Dear hearts, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we’re back with our annual All I Want For Christmas column, bringing you personal gifting picks from the LUXE team. Ready to get spendy, Wendy?
What: Every gal needs a statement holiday accessory, and this ultra femme take on Mulberry’s trademark satchel style, complete with shiny postman’s lock clasp, is top of our list. And once we laid eyes on the pillar box red hue and stroke-worthy calf hair – sound the fashion klaxon!
Who: Mulberry, the Brit-born purveyor of luxurious leather goodies. Who else?
Why: An elegant but sassy bag to brighten up the darkest of wintry wardrobes.
How much: GBP2,500
Picture the scene: the snow is falling, the hot choccy is brewing, and the faraway sound of skiers and boarders whooshing down the piste is crescendoing to an all but deafening level for those stuck in the office behind a mound of papers. The good news? The season is just kicking off so there’s still plenty of time to plan an escape to wintry powder paradise. And to make it even easier for you, we’ve counted off our top 5 ski spots this year… just don’t forget your mink muff, Margot!
As the mercury continues to plummet in the northern hemisphere, there’s no better time to fly the coop and head Down Under – and have we the perfectly-feathered eco-nest for you! Stunning Saffire Hotel on Tasmania’s Freycinet Peninsula is not only an icon of modern design, but also famed for its incorporation of elemental materials and natural colours, making it a seamless and luxurious extension of its natural surrounds. More on this serene, summery sejour this way…
Once a full service auto body repair shop, Sydney’s Riley St Garage now rolls down its doors for a completely different kind of service: food and bev, of course! The spot is actually a protected heritage site thanks to its rich architectural history (think textured cement and brick construction, 30s steel roof trusses, and ornate awnings), so while many of the original structural features remain untouched, the lofted interior has been revamped to include a glossy island bar and tiled open kitchen, plus walnut leather booths for more formal sit-down dinners.
Save the date: This Saturday, November 23, we’re hosting a global one-day-only flash sale!
Everything, and we do mean everything – from guides to box sets to our brand-spanking-new bespoke Christmas box – is a whopping 50% off, so what better time to get all your stocking stuffers in hand? They make the best gifts for stylish jet-setters and offer a fab dose of good ol’ travel inspiration for 2014!
Standing out from Shanghai’s hip hordes has never been easier or breezier with the arrival of high-end concept store OOAK (One Of A Kind), a restored narrow Taiyuan Lu townhouse showcasing only the most au fait finds that buying trips to Europe can afford. The glass case-lined foyer plays host to mostly London-based indie jewellery designers (nature-inspired pendants by Alex Monroe and gold and silver cuttlebone casts from Ros Millar), while a tight edit of covetable womenswear from the likes of House of Holland, Antipodium and Liz Black is housed on the second floor. Or totter on up to the attic for a peek at their natty little art collection and a rejuvenating java jolt – a one-of-a-kind one stop shop!
124 Taiyuan Lu, Xuhui, Shanghai. T: +86 21 5424 8929. W: theooak.com
Originally dubbed the ‘poor boy’ after striking streetcar workers in 1929 New Orleans ate them for free from Benny and Clovis Martin’s restaurant, the Po-Boy sandwich has come rather a long way from its humble beginnings. Today the sandwich is globally-renowned and replicated, with variations of the shrimp, oyster, catfish, crab, meat, cheese and sauce-stuffed baguettes ascending to such lofty comfort cuisine heights that since 2007 The Big Easy has been honouring its beloved homegrown sub with its very own annual festival. Over 6 years, the Oak Street Po-Boy Festival has grown to cover 7 city blocks, attract roughly 50,000 hungry fans, and involve more than 30 vendors, plus musical performers and kids’ activities. The 2013 outing takes place this coming Sunday, November 24th, from 10am-7pm, so don your best elastic-waist slacks and go Po!
Oak St (between Carrollton & Leake Aves), New Orleans, USA. W: poboyfest.com
Fancy a cuppa? Well, that’s hardly a tall order in Tokyo, a city famed for its cha, but for something a little more unusual why not pop by the Aoyama Flower Market Tea House? What from the outside appears to be your typical flower shop bursting with shiny leaves and luxuriant blooms, reveals inside an idyllic little tea shop seemingly modelled on the overgrown greenhouse at the bottom of your granny’s garden – dripping with creepers, hanging plants, and vibrant blossoms. READ MORE…
Widely credited with breathing a new lease of life into the Hong Kong cocktail scene when he headed up the bar at Michelin-spangled 8½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana, Italian-born bar cosultant Giancarlo Mancino has continued to wow the city’s discerning drinkertariat, first with the vernissage of his eponymous luxury vermouth label, then with the conceptualisation of one of the island’s slickest bar/restaurants, Il Milione. We pulled up a barstool and grabbed a few minutes with the fabulous man himself… Martini in hand, of course!
El Cellar de Can Roca – a.k.a the 2013 S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 1st place winner – a.k.a the Catalan family kitchen that could. Toppling René Redzepi’s avant-garde Danish-Nordic forager haunt Noma from its 3-year reign at the top, the 3 brothers Roca have quietly honed their triple-pronged attack on the culinary world, with each deftly employing his specialty craft (eldest Joan is head chef, youngest Jordi is pastry chef, and sommelier middle sib Josep also handles front of house) to devastatingly effective ends. The globally-influenced, faultless gastronomic symphony they’ve created makes for the most coveted tables in the world, with bookings unsurprisingly exceedingly difficult to come by (they are currently booked out for the next 11 months straight!). Bookings open on the first of the month (ie Dec 1st) for the month 11 months hence (ie Nov 2014), so sit poised by the phone or keyboard, say a prayer, and take absolutely any chance you’re given to experience El Cellar de Can Roca!