Take a judicious peek at the London weather forecast over the coming A/W 2014 fashion week, and you’ll dolefully (though unsurprisingly) discover nothing but bruised skies, gusty winds and buckets of rain. So, taking a cue from London’s chicest fashionistas from Kate to Alexa to the Duchess, there’s one timeless and quintessentially British staple best donned in such enchanting climatic times: the Burberry trench, of course. Don’t own one? Don’t sweat it. Our favourite Deco doll Claridge’s is to the rescue…
Hallmark holiday or not, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse for a romantic getaway, and this week we’re in the mood for a bit of secluded, off-the-beaten-path R&R&R (rest, relaxation, and of course romance). The magical, languid land of Laos and its lost-in-time heritage town Luang Prabang is the perfect place to unwind, especially with a special someone by your side. Stay at former French fort turned lush hideaway Hotel de la Paix, dine under the epiphyte-covered arbour of riverside Laotian fusion restaurant Big Tree Café, stroll hand in hand around temples and charming colonial architecture-lined streets, and pack your bathers and a picnic for an out-of-town waterfall moment. And of course, don’t forget your trusty LUXE guide, packed with more romantic picks! Mwah!
Florence born and bred, Claudio Meli is the spirited general manager of J.K. Place Firenze, the chic n’ boutique townhouse beauty and LUXE favourite for its discreet service, great concierge and ace Sunday brunch. We got chatting with the seriously charming chap as he revealed some of his go-to local haunts, summer vacay tips, and what the future holds for this achingly gorgeous Florentine flop-spot. Avanti!
Snow, sleet, ice, and slush be damned, New York is truly a Wintour Wonderland this week, when the Fall/Winter 2014 shows go on despite record-breaking cold and endless snowfall. And though many an editor and model will be spotted tottering in safety-risking stilettos, posing for the street-style paparazzi with It accessories at perfectly-manicured fingertips, we’re bundling up in our cosiest mink and best snowboot for a trek to 30th and Lex, where London-based Dover Street Market – a.k.a. the street-style whisperer – set up a seven-storey concept shop in December.
Like its London and Tokyo sisters, DSM NY is curated by Commes des Garcons’ Rei Kawakubo, and features the likes of Christopher Kane, Rick Owens, Saint Laurent, plus haute shop-in-shops Louis Vuitton and Prada, and exclusives like Gaia Repossi jewellery and Michal Costiff’s fascinating World Archive display. With temps still hovering at the below zero mark, do you really need any other excuse to buy that new coat? Oh, go on, then…
160 Lexington Ave, New York. T: +1 646 837 7750. W: newyork.doverstreetmarket.com
Dear hearts, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and whether you’re loved up or sassy n’ single, you deserve a treat this hallmark holiday and boy, have we got a right royal one in store! We’ve teamed up with the Maldives’ lovely One&Only Reethi Rah to give away a 3-night retreat in one of their blissful Beach Villas, plus daily brekky, a top-to-toe massage for two, AND a romantic dinner for you and your special someone (or your best mate!). Worth winning? We thought so.
While North American news outlets are touting the impending Year of the Horse as a good omen for the Denver Broncos in Monday’s Superbowl, the rest of the world (including our hometown HK) is more concerned with exactly what kind of food and fortune we can expect to gallop our way this lunar new year. Feng shui fanatics and superstitious Sallys will say it’s time to put on the red lingerie for prosperity, sweep away the bad luck (a.k.a the cobwebs), and get familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of the seventh zodiac (pro: headstrong, con: heartbreaker), but rather than do all that, we’ve put together a LUXE how-to of horsey essentials. Go on, giddy-up…
It seems we only just rang in the new year, but already February has rolled around and with it the end of many a January detox – just in time for thoughts of fantasy dinners we would give our first Birkin to be eating this Valentine’s Day. Among contenders across the globe, we’ve got an extra pouty lip primed for Vienna’s Steirereck, chef Heinz Reitbauer’s fairytale masterpiece set in the verdant Stadtpark grounds, and in a former dairy overlooking the Wienfluss promenade no less.
Seasonal ingredients and own farm-grown produce punctuate Reitbauer’s heritage-inspired Neo-Austrian cuisine (in layman’s language, think refined plates like venison with pine needles, white asparagus and violet carrot), while a 120 variety cheese cart is the glorious pièce de résistance – little wonder it skipped up 2 places to spot #9 on the 2013 World’s 50 Best list! Farm to table to starry-eyed lovers – that’s how they do it in Vienna. Bring on the retox!
Am Heumarkt 2A, im Stadtpark, Vienna, Austria. T: +43 1 713 3168. W: steirereck.at
We have so much to thank the French for, whether it be Chanel, French kissing, or le fromage bien fort, but not quite so widely-acknowledged are the number of pretty French words we’ve appropriated into the English language, ‘boutique’ being one of them. Now, if ever a hotel merited – nay, demanded – such a fetching descriptor, it is the Marquis Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Formerly the C.18th private mansion of Marquis de Lafayette, nestled into Paris’ 8th arrondissement, it has recently been refashioned into a 15-room luxury boutique hotel under the gimlet eye of architect and interior designer Michele Bönan. Alors, on y va!
Australian-born restaurateur Ashley Sutton, a.k.a. Bangkok’s number one nightlife mogul, has had quite the year. With his extensive empire now including the newly revamped Iron Fairies, kooky library The Bookshop, and Shanghai speakeasy Maggie Choo’s among many others, Sutton’s latest project is equally extraordinary – the World War II-inspired Bangkok Betty. The bomb factory aesthetic translates to brick columns, stainless steel, and mock blueprints, with pin-up girl posters and polished chrome faux-explosives scattered throughout the space. Joseph Boroski handcrafts the menu of cocktails, each named in period war language, like the ‘Final Approach’ blending whisky with fresh ginger, lime and lemongrass syrup. If there’s anything we can count on Ash for, it’s a novel tippling experience – and boy, does Betty deliver.
Holiday Inn, Sukhumvit Soi 22. T: +66 2 663 4223. W: facebook.com/bkkbetty