Authentic Japanese Dining at Akira

Authentic Japanese Dining at Akira

Taking a prime location on the top floor of London’s cultural hub Japan House, Akira, the eponymous restaurant by Akira Shimizu offers an innovative take on Japanese cuisine presented in a stylish and refined space overlooking Kensington High Street.

 

A contemporary yet unpretentious interior sets the tone for this modern eatery designed by Katayama Masamichi, diners can expect to be immersed in the elegance of the space evoking a traditional doma in a nod to the Japanese philosophy of place and home.

 

 

 

Aesthetically pleasing, Akira echoes the epitome of chic with its muted black ceiling and immaculate concrete floors which are complemented by bespoke woodwork, ceramic and sleek glassware. Oozing monochromatic style, the space feels contemporary and authentic which adds to the overall experience either sat on the main restaurant floor or at the popular open kitchen counter with its insightful hands-on immersion with the chefs at work.

 

 

 

 

Gastronomically, Akira certainly doesn’t disappoint, precision and the upmost attention to detail is invested in the appeasing menu of authentic Japanese which is influenced by modern European accents and Shimizu’s natural flair on modern cuisine. A curation of imaginative bento boxes, avant-garde sushi and robata-grilled dishes, the menu is centred around presenting the best ingredients in artfully thought out pairings of meat, vegetables and fish.

Served a la carte or through one of Akira’s Omakase menus, the theatre of the culinary delights adds fusion and excitement, once can expect to be served robata dishes sizzling on specially-crafted lava stones and the much-loved bento boxes synonymous with the restaurant are reminiscent of jewellery boxes filled with creatively produced sushi and sashimi.

 

 

Favourites on the menu range from speciality osozai and sashimi featuring the likes of salmon with fish eggs to wagyu beef adorned with truffle & cheese. Easy-to-navigate, the menu is divided into sushi/sashimi, rice/noodles dishes, appetisers, hot plates and larger robata grill dishes.

 

 

 

An array of Japanese classics are fused with an enticing European twist, think Japanese-style fish & chips and crab croquettes filled with cream. Offering separate menus for both lunch and dinner, highlights for those dining a la carte include the miso pork belly and the very tempting skewers chicken, wasabi & cheese.

Akira is open daily and can be booked online or by phone for lunch and dinner.

Text by Jaz Grewal

www.japanhouselondon.co.uk

The Winter Beauty Edit

The Winter Beauty Edit

With the winter season in full swing, Berkeley Bespoke have shortlisted our picks to keep you looking and feeling your absolute best.

 

 

Van Cleef & Arpels

 

Evoking the emblematic codes of the Maison, Santal Blanc joins Van Cleef & Arpels’ Collection Extraordinaire as the latest decadent creation by perfumer Michel Almairac.

Embodying the delicate notes of Sandalwood, this soft and pure scent embraces luxurious hints of fig milk and musk accord whilst evoking the rarity and sensual aromas of its heart in its purest form. Velvety accords of mandarin add depth and musky notes of violet and tonka bean envelope the pureness of this divine fragrance.

Envisioned as his idea of a ‘soft soothing wood oil’, Santal Blanc is Almairac’s take on creating something pure and white. Visualising this expression, Santal Blanc stands as the first fragrance in the Collection Extraordinaire to be housed in a whitely lacquered bottle marking its refined character and essence.

 

 

Cartier

 

Marking five years of Cartier’s iconic La Panthère, the Maison has launched a limited edition of the much-loved classic. A metaphor of the femininity and allure personified by the enchanting fragrance, the exclusive limited edition is imagined in an exquisitely decorated bottle baring the panther so synonymous with the history of the House.

Exclusively available at Harrods, this five-year edition encapsulates wonderfully floral notes of gardenia and muskiness in the most iconique form paying homage to its original predecessor.

 

 

Rahua

Enlivening the sensation of the Amazonian Rainforests, Rahua’s Classic Shampoo is somewhat of a cult amongst the beauty-set. Enriched with rare and sustainably sourced organic ingredients, this rich hair cleanser restores tired tresses and soothes the scalp.

Suitable for all hair types, this miracle product is packed full of antioxidants known to promote hair growth and contains natural oils to moisturise and strengthen.

Made with the brand’s coveted omega-9 rich Rahua oil, the natural formula leaves hair feeling luxuriant and looking luminous and silky. Forest inspired fragrances of Palo Santo oil and its uniquely concentrated composition makes the perfect combination for a balanced scalp and gorgeously soft hair all-year-round.

 

 

Vilhelm Parfumerie

 

 

 

Dedicated to the floral wonder of the peony, Jan Vilhelm’s latest addition to his library of olfactory creations is Peony Couture. Inspired by the unexpected appearance of this wonderous plant amongst a bouquet of red roses he ordered back in 2008, Peony Couture evokes the elegance of this unapologetically present creation that stayed with Vilhelm from that moment on.

Popping up at the likes of Liberty where the fragrance is exclusively available and present randomly in shoes and bags he crossed paths with this romanticised peony which the namesake fragrance represents.

Unmistakeably French and floral, Peony Couture opens with enticing notes of black pepper and aniseed, an undeniable heart of peony and Turkish rose absolute with enveloping notes of incense and wild cedarwood making a strong and enchanting fragrance.

Text by Jaz Grewal

A Taste of Nobu in Barcelona

A Taste of Nobu in Barcelona

 

 

 

 

With breath-taking views of Barcelona’s skyline and the signature cuisine loved around the world, Nobu’s latest outpost within the newly opened Nobu Hotel Barcelona has already been dubbed the chicest opening in the Catalan city for years.

Taking prime position within the uber-trendy hotel, Nobu Barcelona is situated on the 23-rd floor of the sky-high building giving diners prime views from all directions in a stylish lounge-style restaurant and sushi bar.

Evoking the design accents Nobu is synonymous with, the restaurant oozes style with neutral tones contrasted with rich mahogany leather chairs and plush sofas centred around the dining floor.

 

 

 

Contemporary woodwork and a panelled ceiling complement the awing views and the décor echoes the design-led vibe of the hotel keeping in tone with the distinctive architecture and flair themed throughout.

Offering a menu led by Nobu Executive Chef Hervé Courtot, Nobu Barcelona serves a selection of much-loved Nobu Classics against innovative dishes pairing modern Japanese cuisine with Catalan influence.

Classic dishes on the menu range from Nobu’s famed Black Cod with Miso and Rock Shrimp Tempura with Creamy Spicy Sauce to its signature New Style Sashimi. A well-varied selection of hot and cold dishes, one can expect to get a real flavour for Nobu through a well-thought-out assortment of Tempura, Sushi Maki and Sashimi alongside favoured larger plates and hot dishes.

 

 

 

 

In a nod to Nobu’s ethos, the menu is very-much a curation of sharing dishes and the service is centred around this concept of small and hot plates. Served a la carté or as an Omakase multi-course menu, Nobu’s fine Japanese is triumphed at its Barcelona outpost and to catch a real flavour of the menu it’s to best to order a few plates per person.

Nicely tied in with the menu is an offering of smaller Shuko snacks, Nobu Tacos and Kushiyaki for a lighter meal; the Nobu Wagyu Sliders and Lobster Wasabi with Sour Cream Tacos are particular highlights and give a nice fusion of flavours when ordered together.

Split into Classic and Now dishes, Nobu’s hot dishes include modern takes on Japanese classics and more contemporary dishes of seafood, meat and vegetables.

 

 

 

Try the Soft Shell Crab Kara-age with Ponzu as a particular delicacy and for a real treat, the Pan-fried Scallops with Yuzu Truffle don’t disappoint, the Grade A5 Wagyu on the menu is also some of the finest available in the region.

Nobu Barcelona is open daily and reservations are strongly advised, for private events the restaurant also offers a private dining room perfectly appointed for intimate dinners and events.

Text by Jaz Grewal

www.noburestaurants.com

The Black Badge Cullinan

The Black Badge Cullinan

 

Adding to the exclusive Black Badge collection of the marque, Rolls-Royce has debuted the Cullinan Black Badge completing the family that stands as the ultimate collection of ultra-luxe motors in the marque’s portfolio.

Reflecting the tastes of the distinguished clientele the Black Badge represents, Cullinan embodies the rebellious and unconventional codes echoed throughout the collection in an urbanised adaptation of the 4×4 bearing the namesake badge in all its glory.

Originally launched in 2018 to attract a newer generation of more adventure-savvy clients and to answer the growing demand for a luxury SUV, Cullinan was Rolls-Royce’s answer to a sleek off-road vehicle capable of voyaging through the wilderness but with all of the luxuries today’s connoisseurs look for.

Now in a revamped all-black façade, the Black Badge is expected to become one of the most sought-off variations within the line against the available 44,000 ready-to-wear colour options and allures in the signature glossy hue of night-black achieved through a vigorous layering of lacquer and hand-polishing. Complementing this monochromatic expression, the Double R badge is reimagined in a bold silver-on-black finish and the emblematic Spirit of Ecstasy is presented in a rich black chrome defining the Cullinan’s newly found alter-identity.

 

 

Other exterior modifications to the Black Badge include darkening the chrome features of the vehicle across the trim, the front grille surround, exhaust pipes and boot handle are all revisited in a darker finish adding depth to the darkness of the soon-to-be iconic edition of the model. One of the key signatures of the model is the welcome addition of dramatic 22-inch forged allow wheels exclusively available for the Black Badge Cullinan and emphasising the emblematic hallmark of an infinitely occurring lemniscate.

Adding to the overall bespoke element of the Black Badge, the Cullinan’s interior is completely customisable in an almost unlimited offering of colourways, this is in addition to the newly introduced Forge Yellow developed as a high-contrasting colourway to be offered for the leather and trim in a dramatic way of expressing the unapologetic intensity evoked by the model. The lower armrest also bears the lemniscate motif which is discreetly embroidered into the fold-down rear armrest symbolising the power and philosophy of the Black Badge and is also incorporated to the illuminated treadplates and engraved to the clock case.

 

 

Appearing as one of the most complicated headliners developed by the marque to date, the Starlight Headliner features in fine black leather, handwoven with 1344 fibre optic lights truly emanating the reflection of the night sky and eight shooting stars.

 

 

Mechanically, this enhanced version of its namesake counterpart is heightened with a 6.75-litre V12 engine delivering an increased power of 660PS and has been re-engineered for improved dynamic performance. A bespoke transmission and throttle treatment as well as an 8-speed gearbox deliver a drive tailored for off-roading but equally refined for urban city voyaging.

www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com

Café Wolseley

Café Wolseley

 

The first restaurant outside London from Corbin & King (notably behind Berkeley Bespoke favourite, The Beaumont) Café Wolseley brings London’s iconic Wolseley to the heart of Bicester as a sophisticated all-day café and dining concept.

Famed for its institutional British heritage and European splendour, The Wolseley’s flagship restaurant is set in a grade-II listed building originally used as a showroom for Wolseley Motors back in 1921.

Now as one of Piccadilly’s most popular destinations, the Wolseley was opened by the legendary Chris Corbin and Jeremy King in 2003 and having undergone a major restoration of the building to bring it to its current glory today.

 

 

Following in the footsteps of its London counterpart, Café Wolseley stands as the eight restaurant in the Corbin & King portfolio and is open all-day serving breakfast through to dinner alongside its coveted Afternoon Tea offering.

Evoking the design accents The Wolseley has become synonymous with, Café Wolseley offers a chic retreat within Bicester Village and appeals to both shoppers and those looking for an elegant pit-stop in the local area.

 

 

Offering a modern menu featuring The Wolseley’s signature classics such as its renowned Eggs Benedict and Wolseley Hamburger, Café Wolseley also stands as the group’s first and only restaurant to serve pizza.

Thriving on its reputation for simplistic grandeur, Café Wolseley’s pizza offering is as delightful as one would expect, options range from a Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil option to a more decadent Truffle, Mushroom and Provolone pizza which does quite hit the spot.

 

 

Served from 11.30am onwards, the Café’s All-Day menu is comprised of its favoured classic mains ranging from British delights such as Fried Fish & Chips to more European dishes with Chicken Schnitzel and Steak served with Café de Paris Butter showcasing the café’s savoir-faire.

 

A particular highlight alongside its extensive breakfast and all-day offering is Café Wolseley’s Afternoon Tea. A celebrated tradition within its quintessential heritage, options range from a Cream Tea choice served with Scones, Strawberry Jam, Clotted Cream and a choice of Tea to The Wolseley’s Bespoke High Tea which is curated to suit one’s preference.

www.cafewolseley.com

 

BFC Pops Up at Bicester Village

BFC Pops Up at Bicester Village

 

Following on from its huge success last year, The British Fashion Council has once again joined forces with Bicester Village to host its annual Designer Pop-Up showcasing the best in new and emerging British talent.

 

 

A curated edit of thirty British designer businesses are featured in the twenty-day pop-up giving each brand international exposure as well as the opportunity for some brands to retail in their first bricks and mortar store.

 

 

Having partnered with the BFC for the second year as part of Bicester Village’s Business of Retail mentorship programme, this year’s pop-up includes the likes of ERDEM, Mary Kantrantzou, Sophia Webster and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi.

 

 

The initiative gives upcoming talent the guidance and business development needed to excel on an international scale and the pop-up gives participating brands exposure to more than 450,000 over its three week duration as well as giving them the chance to trade free of charge and receive 100% of their respective sales.

Running until the October 28th the space carries a moderated edit of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear as well as accessories and gifts.

www.tbvsc.com

 

The Beauty Edit

The Beauty Edit

Immerse yourself in Berkeley Bespoke’s top beauty picks for this season with our edit of the latest in luxury fragrance and beauty.

 

The Ultimate by Sensai

A game-changer in the skincare industry, Sensai’s Ultimate The Concentrate delivers flawlessly glowing skin with every drop. Rich in active ingredients, the ground-breaking formula is enriched with L-Carnitine stimulating the skin to activate its cell turnover and the repairing properties of Sakura Eternal Complex which combats the signs of ageing. Housed in an elegant bottle designer by French designer Gwenaël Nicolas, The Concentrate is the most luxurious serum produced by Sensai to date and leaves skin feeling silky smooth and glowing.

www.harrods.com

Maison Francis Kurkdjian

 

Born from Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s collaboration with Baccarat, the decadent Baccarat Rouge 540 is a celebration of the shared affinities between the two Houses and has become an iconic addition to the fragrance world. Paying homage to Baccarat’s savoir-faire, this woody floral evokes the ability of turning gold to red, something that only Baccarat is known to do, gradually fusing 24-karat gold dust at a temperature of 540 degrees, this process eventually turns Baccarat’s crystal in a dazzling shade of red. Available as an eau de parfum or extrait de parfum housed in a stylish crystal bottle, Baccarat Rouge 540’s mysteriously seductive scent is comprised of notes of Saffron, Cedar Wood, Ambergris and Bitter Almond from Morocco.

www.franciskurkdjian.com

Creed

 

Taking inspiration from the masterful craftsmanship of the 9th Century’s longships, Viking by Creed is the latest cult fragrance from the House and is the first major launch since the iconic Aventus in 2010. Viking embodies the spirit of voyage through a fiery scent with top notes of Calabrian Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon and Pink Peppercorn, a heart of Bulgarian Rose and Peppermint with base notes of Sandalwood, Vetiver, Patchouli and Absolute Lavadin. Drawing on Creed’s rich heritage dating back to the Houses’ origins in 1760, Viking is a homage to the tradition of father to son creations which has remained key to the brand over seven generations and marks another successful launch under the direction of Olivier Creed.

www.creedfragrances.co.uk/mens-fragrances/viking

 

Satryna – The Ultimate Tequila

Satryna – The Ultimate Tequila

 

 

With a rich heritage dating back far as half a century – premium Tequila brand Satryna spans from its roots as a unique blend crated by the owners of Mexico’s beloved Tequilera Newton for their close friends and has such been revived as a niche choice for the ultimate connoisseur of fine Tequila.

In a seemingly male-dominated industry, Satryna also stands as the first female-led partnership to produce a drink of its kind and is led by third-generation granddaughter Nitzan Marrun after embarking on a journey to launch the brand and share it with the world.

 

 

 

Made in only small batches and crafted by hand, the distinct character and complexity of this refined spirit is the result of the vigorous processes that go into creating it, a mix of age-old harvesting techniques and modern distilling goes into each bottle of Satryna adding to its depth.

Made from pure blue Weber Algarve sourced from the rich soils of Jalisco, the exquisite taste of the ultra-luxe tequila is also completely vegan and free of gluten and carbohydrates as well as being low in calories.

 

 

 

Having already taken the industry by storm, the striking bottle takes its inspiration from Dia de los Muertos and features an emblematic skull cap intricately decorated crafted and adorned in ancient Aztec art towards the neck of the handmade decanter.

Perfectly served as an aperitif, for a nightcap or as an accompaniment to a well-curated meal, Satryna is available as a Cristalino or as a triple-distilled Blanco and is already served in the likes of Annabel’s, The Groucho club and TRAMP.

 Available from Selfridges or online at The Whisky Exchange.

 

Aegean Dining at Kenshō Ornos

A contemporary blend of relaxed Myconian aesthetics and Aegean gastronomy make Kenshō Ornos’ Restaurant the perfect destination for chic all-day dining in the heart of Mykonos. 

 

 

 

 

A contemporary blend of relaxed Myconian aesthetics and Aegean gastronomy make Kenshō Ornos’ Restaurant the perfect destination for chic all-day dining in the heart of Mykonos.

Conveniently situated against the stunning backdrop of the hedonistic 5-star boutique hotel, the restaurant at Kenshō Ornos overlooks the starlight pool of this cosmopolitan retreat and immerses itself in Kenshō’s stylish splendour.

Evoking Mediterranean design accents, the open-plan restaurant oozes contemporary style in a traditional palette of whites and neutrals complemented by low-lit lighting and wooden furnishings. The restaurant is also adjacent to the hotel’s stylish lounge bar which is well-positioned one floor up allowing for pre-dinner cocktails overlooking Mykonos’ serene sunset.

 

 

Offering a refined take on Mediterranean fine dining with an Asian and Latin influence, the menu is curated by Executive Chef Nicos Constantinou and is comprised of small and large plates centred around Aegean cuisine.

Seasonal tastes and a palette of exotic flavours set the tone for this menu of sharing plates, snacks, salads, pasta and mains in a well moderated mix to satisfy any appetite. Serving an all-day menu for lunch and dinner, the menu is designed with a sharing concept in mind but with individual dishes gives diners the benefit of flexibility to order as desired.

From the à la carte menu, the Nibbles and Appetisers along with the All Day Snacks are best shared, perfectly sized dishes giving a light taste of some of the menu’s favourites also make for a perfect alternative to a light lunch for days spent by the pool.

Start with the Tacos de Atun Crunchy Cones, a delectable blend of tuna, spicy miso, and a yoghurt mixed with a cool blend of honey and ginger, the Crab Croquettes are also a particular highlight and are paired with a potato purée and black garlic mayonnaise.

 

 

 

A nice alternative for those that don’t eat fish is the Mastelo Cheese Tempura, a deliciously warm battered cheese complemented by shaved fennel and toasted hazelnuts. For a varied mix of tastes the Prawn Gyoza and Chicken Yakitori both add a nice element of Pan-Asian for the taking.

Perfectly poised for an evening meal, the hearty mains on the menu range from truffle pastas and Myconian salads to larger plates of meat and fish. The Grouper Fillet is a Berkeley Bespoke favourite, an oh-so-satisfying loin crusted in almond served with squid ink, carrots, asparagus and a citrus hollandaise.

Other popular dishes include the Truffle Bucatini, a rich pasta made with truffle cheese sauce and black truffles and the beautifully cooked Pata Negra, a loin of Iberico pork dressed in maple syrup and a potato purée.

Finish with Kenshō Ornos’ delectable choice of desserts and a bottle of wine from the restaurant’s extensive selection and it soon becomes clear why the restaurant is one Mykonos’ many culinary gems.

www.kenshomykonos.com

 

 

 

Luxury Bags Revived at The Handbag Clinic

Luxury Bags Revived at The Handbag Clinic

 

 

Capitalising on the increasingly rapid boom the designer handbag resell market is seeing, the Handbag Clinic has quickly established itself as the go-to for the fashion pack. Originally founded in 2013 by pioneering husband and wife duo Ben and Charlotte Staerck, the now international group has stores across the UK, Monaco and the Middle East.

Setting the benchmark for handbag restoration, Handbag Clinic’s renowned expertise has seen its ateliers quickly gain global acclaim for its ability to revive treasured arm candy to its former glory with an impeccable attention to detail.

 

 

From Hermès to Chanel and Louis Vuitton, the Handbag Clinic’s skilled craftsmen cover everything from minor touch-ups to completely repainting bags, replacing damaged hardwear and reinforcing stretched handles. Having handled more than £40 million worth of designer handbags since being founded, the group continues to expand into new avenues reaching out to the demand in consumerism through its newly launched resell and bespoke at-home concierge service.

 

 

 

Allowing avid connoisseurs the convenience of having a dedicated ambassador come to their home, the Handbag Clinic gives clients the flexibility to have their bags assessed, authenticated and restored to then be sold through its network of stores and e-commerce platform without having to leave the door.

 

 

 

 

 

The innovative approach to selling bags once having them restored gives clients looking to sell the maximum potential to profit on the resell of their coveted bags without losing out due to wear and signs of age. Equally as appealing, the service gives those looking to invest in a piece of coveted arm candy the confidence that bags have been vigorously authenticated and revived offering buyers the chance to buy from an extensive range of reasonably priced pre-loved bags.

 

 

 

Spanning over 900 square feet and across three floors, the Handbag Clinic’s flagship store sits in the heart of Chelsea along the iconic King’s Road and has recently undergone refurbishment allowing for the introduction of showroom styled boutique displaying the store’s most sought-after collections.

Completely bespoke, the Handbag Clinic’s services are all tailored to each individual client. To restore, authenticate or to buy a preloved luxury handbag – or to sell a handbag and obtain a quote from Handbag Clinic’s team of pricing experts – customers can visit a store, or visit Handbag Clinic’s ecommerce platform. London based customers can also book a home consultation through the website.

 

www.handbagclinic.co.uk