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29 January 2013

The Old & the New

LISBON: I am always taken by the creative spirit of Lisbon, which never let me down. On the one hand I find the shop A Vida Portuguesa, conceived by journalist Catarina Portas, who opened its doors in 2007 in a former soap factory on a little hidden back street in the trendy quarter, Chiado. The store celebrates the Portuguese identity with old-style Portuguese products that are still manufactured today. I found unique items like soaps, teas, toothpaste, bolts of fabric and handmade cake forms, Portuguese-crafted pieces which are wrapped in beautiful retro packages when purchased.

On the other hand I go for my morning run on the top roof of the newly, contemporary renovated Four Seasons Hotel Ritz, Lisbon which has the most modern spa and the best Indian therapist coming straight from Bombay for the signature Indian massages. Both venues show the innovative spirit of people living in an old town and who are always looking for new ideas.

A Vida Portuguesa, Rua Anchieta 11, 1200-023 Lisboa, Portugal

Four Seasons Hotel, Rua Rodrigo da Fonseca 88, 1099-039 Lisboa, Portugal
+351 213 811 400

The beautiful façade of A Vida Portuguesa, a former soap factory, nicely wrapped soap packs, morning run at the Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon, inside the shop, traditional graphic designed sardine packages, buy your presents at A Vida Portuguesa and you will receive a lovely package for your friends back home, the stunning view from the Ritz roof top, walk for hours along Lisbon and get lost in time.
23 January 2013

Frenchmen Cook the Best

PARIS: The best influence from both sides of the Atlantic, based on local and fresh ingredients, that’s what Gregory Marchand will feed you at Frenchie. “Less is more” is the motto, even though I cannot help to be amazed by the beautiful composition of each plate, punctuated with colorful and unique ingredients. It is just the best food I had in Paris for years.

A Day in Frenchie’s Life

Gregory Marchand
16 January 2013

No More Sound

LONDON: Celebrating the “power of quiet”, Selfridges department store asks everyone to shut-up in allocated sections of the store during No-Noise January. The Silence Room, an idea that Harry Selfridge himself thought up way back in 1909, will showcase minimalist design at its best with the help of The Idler and Headspace. You’ll be asked to remove your shoes, hand over your mobile devices and not talk. Additionally, The Quiet Shop sees some top brands remove all labels from their clothing in an attempt to dampen down the screams of ‘I’M DESIGNER.’” As we become increasingly bombarded with information and stimulation, the world is becoming a noisier place. In an initiative that goes beyond retail, the unique project invites you to see the beauty in function and find calm among the crowds.

A moment of silence on busy Oxford Street’s department store Selfridges, their de-branded iconic yellow shopping bag, No Logo Fashion still made by high-end designers like Levis, Beats by Dre…, take off the logo and rest your eye, meditation at the Silence Room, re-branded Estee Lauder beauty products, a mass meditation on the store’s ground floor
9 January 2013

Journey to the Sun

LONDON: I am at Heathrow Airport in London ready to go to get a natural sun tan in the middle of a typical grey and hazy day in London. I know I am lucky although I will also be traveling to do some work. The only difference will be that my desk is not facing my communal garden in London but the oceanfront of my bungalow. In my luggage I carry tons of books I will read in the shade, some favorite bikinis and a couple of electric devices to keep in touch with the rest of the world for the next five days.

If you are looking for some winter sun I suggest the following destinations. Enjoy!

The Chedi Muscat is located in the heart of Al Hajar. It’s a blend of traditional Omani architecture and modern influences and the end result is the strikingly picturesque Chedi Muscat. Gleaming white walls surround perfectly landscaped courtyards and dozens of hanging lanterns. Rows of palm trees parallel a swimming pool with the Gulf of Oman visible in the distance. Typical for the Arabian world you will find everything your heard is desiring, from a modern Spa to a variety of restaurants and of course the longest pool facing the ocean in Oman.

The Nam Hai stands for all the charms of true Vietnamese hospitality.  The harmony between architecture and nature is evident at the resort.  Set amidst lush landscaping and unobstructed ocean views. All villas are characterized by high ceilings, traditional yet modern Vietnamese décor, sleeping areas on raised platforms and ingenious split-level design contributing to the overall sense of space. The resort complements spectacular beachfront living with rich cultural and historical attractions that reflect the true spirit of Indochina. You can book a cookig course and learn more about plants and herbs in the hotel`s organic garden or have a tailor take care of your new spring/ summe wardrobe while you relax behind a book. Everything will be ready by your departure.

The Per Aquum’s retreat Huvafen Fushi is featuring the world's first underwater spa. Barefoot luxury has become a byword in the Maldives – the likes of dreamy vistas, Michelin level dining and a private spa are second nature. The perfect atoll setting (it rests on the North Male Atoll within a private lagoon and is reached via a thirty-minute speedboat transfer) just makes it the perfect escape. You can live for a week in your private contemporary bungalows and have your very own 'Thakuru' butler service taking care of everything. All houses feature a private plunge pool, split-level decking and offer pure escapism. The highlight is the snorkelling and the variety of sea life you will see from angelfish to stringrays. 

From top left to bottom right: The Chedi, Muscat, lemon light interior of The Chedi, DJ Ravin who will mix some tunes at the Per Aquum, Huvafen Fushi in the underwater night club, the perfect underwater friend you will meet at Huvafen Fushi, the golden hour at The Nam Hai in Vietnam, the view from you bathroom at Huvafen Fushi, the way to paradise at the Per Aquum, sundowner at The Nam Hai

3 January 2013

Snow Galore

COURCHEVEL: If you have the chance to take a break I recommend to visit the Alps now. Most resorts are not as crowded anymore and you can enjoy your empty slopes and fast tracks at the skiing lifts. 

Here are my favorite resorts; but in the end as long as you have perfect snow, great slopes and a beautiful environment, take advantage and get up early to be the first going down the powder, ice-cold wind on your cheeks and treat yourself afterwards for breakfast with a hot chocolate, for example at Le Tremplin in Courchevel where the hot chocolate is served with the most delicious macaroons.

COURCHEVEL: I go for lunch to La Soucoupe or Le Cap Horn. For the best steak I have dinner at L'Oeil de Boeuf. TIP: Take your warmest skiing outfit because it can get extremely chilly, I recommend an all-in-one suit, snowboarding underwear which is padded and even warmer, silk Falke skiing socks and Hestra gloves.

PONTRESINA: If I can I stay at the Kronenhof because of the best swimming pool and spa in the Engadin and the modern sports rooms close to the spa which makes it easier in the morning to go for a pre-breakfast swim. I enjoy lunch at the Trutz Hütte and afterwards a short suntan before skiing down to go for some afternoon cross-country skiing towards Sils Maria on the lake to watch the sun go down. A Pizza Rucola at the Chesa Veglia always rounds up my day.

ASPEN: Have lunch at Cloud 9 above 3000 meters with the best view overlooking the entire town and if you want to reach even higher enjoy my favorite view from top of a hiking trail called Smuggler where you will get a bird's-eye view of Aspen. TIP: Go there at dusk.

GSTAAD: Go out at night and have fun at the Gringo at the Gstaad Palace Hotel which is always packed with beautiful people. For dinner I love The Sonnenhof near Saanen, which has excellent food and wine. TIP: Book a beauty treatment after a fine day of skiing at the Palace Hotel spa for a Sisley facial and massages.

From top left to bottom right: The best pool for a morning swim at the Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina, Audrey Hepburn by Slim Aaron enjoying a perfect moment for lunch in the sun, my choice for the the Apres Ski moment, a vintage fur with silky hair and a perfect glow after a day on the slopes, the cosy Gaststube at Cloud 9 in Aspen, Le Soucoupe in Courchevel for lunch, the Sonnenhof near Saanen above Gstaad


brings good news to you.
She lives and travels around
the world, stopping wherever
she sees something interesting,
reporting on what inspires her.
She finds beauty in the
most varied places,
from fashion shows
to art exhibits, from lonely
beaches to bustling cities.



When in Munich my
favorite store to look
for the best selection
of clothes is THERESA.
The staff is competent
and always has the
best ideas for styling
and mixing different
designers together.