Elevated Luxe in Paphos at Cap St Georges

 

Unparalleled luxury, refined living and a natural yet design-led aesthetic set the tone for Cap St Georges, taking a scenic location towards the east of Paphos.

With a charming collection of rooms and suites, there is nothing short of breathtaking about this Mediterranean newcomer, which is the latest property in the portfolio of George Ioannou and encompasses everything from a private beach cove to ten different bar and restaurant concepts and an impressive spa.

Designed by London-based architect George Andraos, the hotel and resort have a modern flair which is mid-balanced by typically Cypriot accents throughout. From the moment you enter this magnificent hotel through the lobby overlooked by a piano, the team here greets you with a glass of bubbles as you admire the expansive chandelier adorning the ceiling and suddenly realise Cap St Georges is something special.

The rooms and suites here air a breadth of contemporary elegance, muted neutrals complement the sleek furnishings, and floor-to-ceiling windows take advantage of the natural daylight of the island. Crisp white linens are draped over the cosy king beds, and added touches include clever sofa beds and chic artwork tastefully placed on the walls.

The bathrooms are just as much a spectacle; inviting freestanding baths are paired with double sinks and relaxing shower rooms, all with Lalique toiletries as one would expect.

 

As you begin navigating this dreamy destination’s many marvels, you’ll want to spend some time at the Olympic-sized pool, which acts almost as a centrepiece for the hotel, complete with cocktail-to-lounger service, of course. Open exclusively to hotel guests; the main pool is dressed in stylish Marazzi Piedra tiles with waters that glimmer during the day as they bask in the sun.

For little ones, there are also dedicated pools, a Fun Pool for families and another pool for more minor children to enjoy a spot of splash time. If the beach is more your thing, then the resort has a beach cove spanning 130m with loungers and beach beds also fully serviced so you can enjoy a tipple as you watch the world go by and take in the dip in the glistening sea as your heart desires.

Make time to check out the Cleopatra Spa too; using Swiss favourite, Valmont, the spa has an extensive menu of holistic rituals (including its signature Rasul mud treatment) and is fully decked out with an indoor pool, hydrotherapy area and a hammam suite.

Expect to eat exceptionally well at Cap St George’s with a food offering second to none, catering to even the fussiest of palettes. The resort has eateries serving everything from local Cypriot cuisine to Italian and a Japanese teppanyaki restaurant. Finish the ultimate retreat by taking a meal beachside over at Mesoyios. Go around 8pm and take in the magical sunset over some of the finest authentic dishes on the island, along with a glass of expertly paired wine.

www.capstgeorges.com

Tom Aikens on MUSE

 

As one the UK’s most celebrated chefs, Tom Aikens has a host of accolades under his belt, from his career that spans working with Joël Robuchon and Pierre Koffman to being the youngest British chef to be awarded two Michelin stars.

Marking his return to experiential fine dining, his London restaurant Muse celebrates his passion for seasonal and exceptional local produce while creating a memorable ambience and menu in an intimate converted mews house.

We caught up with Tom to find out more about his aspirations, past career and what to expect from Muse.

 

Tom, what inspired you to embark on a career as a chef, and how did your early days in cooking begin?

As a child growing up in Norfolk many years ago, I first realised my love for cooking; my mother was instrumental in me becoming a chef as she had a real passion for homecooked food and taught us the importance of growing vegetables at home.

As early as the age of six, I would help my mother in the vegetable garden and eventually, she gave us (my siblings and I) our own allotment in the garden so we could tend to our own produce – this taught me seasonality from a young age – my favourite thing to grow at the time was strawberries, and potatoes – having homegrown potatoes that you pick, wash and cook straight away is such a luxury – the taste is just unbelievable.

My father also had a wine business, exporting and importing wines, and a wine shop, so we would travel to France a lot over the school holidays, Easter break and summer stopping at all the wine regions along the way.

The exposure to French food during my childhood gave me a basic understanding of it, and by the age of about twelve, I knew I wanted to be a chef.

One day, I decided to call the local catering college, I was still in primary school at the time, and I asked them what qualifications you needed to become a chef. They told me you didn’t need any qualifications, you just needed to pass an entry exam, and with that, at the age of sixteen, I left school and went straight into college to train to become a chef.

 

Your time working as a chef has seen you work for some of the finest chefs in the world, from Joël Robuchon to Pierre Koffman and David Cavalier; how did you come to work with such culinary legends?

Even during my time at college, I had an inkling of what I ultimately wanted to do and who I wanted to work with. Still, at that time, back in the 1980’s it was near impossible to land a job with a high-profile restaurant without any experience.

There were only a handful of Michelin-Starred restaurants and long waiting lists of budding chefs wanting to work at them. I would write letters to the restaurants as, of course, email wasn’t around at that time, I tell my daughters of how I would send letters, and they look at me as though I am ancient (laughing) – the response was always the same – come back in a few years……it was very much a chicken and egg conundrum to be in.

Eventually, I decided I would offer to work for free, so I wrote to restaurants and said I would offer my services for nothing, and if after six months you think I’m good, you can give me a job. Only a handful of chefs replied, one of whom was David Cavalier. He had a 1-Michelin-starred restaurant in Battersea and took me on for six months unpaid; he then gave me a paid job for six months and helped me land a position with Pierre Koffman.

I went on to work with Richard Neat at Pied à Terre and worked various other stints with Philip Britten at The Capital Hotel and Joël Robuchon in Paris.

 

How was your experience running Pied à Terre during your second stint there, this time as Head Chef?

It was pretty terrifying at first, to be honest, it’s so much easier when you work under someone than it is being fully responsible, and at the age of just 26, the expectation was very high. I didn’t have a track record under my belt already; I had worked under big names but hadn’t yet led a restaurant as Head Chef – it was tough – there was no handbook; you just had to get on with it.

When I took over from Richard Neat, the restaurant already held 2 Michelin stars, so the pressure was on; I had a full eleven months from taking over before they (Michelin) came to do their inspection. I had assumed I would lose at least one star, if not two, so to find out I had retained both was just incredible. We worked six days a week, so perseverance was key; the first twelve months were hard, and then with the news of the restaurant keeping its star, more people came forward to work there.

 

Talk us through the concept and inspiration for your London flagship restaurant, Muse.

One of the biggest problems with restaurants is nothing is memorable about them, nothing special. London, in particular, has a thriving dining scene; there’s a real sense of consistency across restaurants now, which has made retaining repeat business a real challenge. Muse is based on creating memorable meals, which makes it stand out from the crowd; there is more of a journey than another fine dining establishment with old-fashioned service – the whole ethos is to make the experience interactive.

It’s all about the suspense; the menu is kept deliberately vague, only the main components of each dish are listed, and the rest is left to the discovery when a diner eats the dish; we add a storytelling element, which elevates the whole sense of theatre. We create an atmosphere of energy and excitement, which is an integral part of what we do at Muse.

 

How do you choose your suppliers, and why is the produce’s source so synonymous with Muse’s ethos?

It’s important for us to be able to relay to our customers where the food has come from, and its provenance – there might be a story behind the supplier; one example is a ricotta dish called ‘just down the road’, it’s named after Old Hall Farm which is just fifteen minutes from where I used to live in Norfolk, we source the dairy to make the dish from there.

 

How do you curate the seasonal tasting menu, and what can diners expect when eating at Muse?

We are lucky enough in the UK to have four very distinct seasons (Autumn, Winter, Summer, & Spring) and generally, when you put ingredients from the same season together; they work well – that is always the base of an excellent seasonal menu, they work together, and that’s how we create the menu.

 

How do you feel the dining scene has evolved over the last decade, and what has changed?

I think the last ten years have seen a massive explosion of dining on all fronts, from casual to premium and fine dining, and the standard of cooking has definitely increased. The quality of food is always consistent with London restaurants, and that’s what the capital has always been so well known for. People want a good night out; it’s about the atmosphere, the place and the vibe these days as much as the food.

 

If you could open a restaurant anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Well, as it happens, my next opening will be in Tokyo, which is a destination that has always excited me; the produce is second to none, and the level of creativity is sublime. I am opening at The Edition Hotel later this year so watch this space.

 

What does luxury mean to you?

Something that is authentic, unique, distinguished, and of high quality.

 

https://www.musebytomaikens.co.uk/

 

The Sixth Edition of Luisaviaroma x Unicef

 

Capri’s stunning backdrop of Certosa San Giacomo saw a star-studded evening of glamour, all in aid of Unicef’s ongoing programmes to support vulnerable children with a particular focus on the Ukrainian and Syrian emergencies.

 

The sixth edition of the annual fundraiser hosted by global fashion e-tailer Luisiaviaroma, the evening featured a cocktail reception, gala dinner and an auction that generated around 8 million euros for Unicef.

Presented by the legendary Jamie Foxx and hosted by Luisiaviaroma’s president of events committee along with the fundraising chairman for Unicef Italia, the gala night was also supported by its founding partner, the Red Sea Film Festival.

 

 

Highlights of the spectacular evening included showstopping performances by Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Carson. Particularly noteworthy pieces from the auction included an AI Data Painting by Refik Anadol and a lot donated by Berkeley Travel on behalf of world-renowned Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko raising 100,000 Euros.

Amongst the glitterati of guests were Leonardo DiCaprio, Ed Westwick, Natasha Poly and Vanessa Hudgens, to name a few. This year Berkeley Travel was also proud to support the event, and Andrew Bezhenar was in attendance as an honorary Youth Benefactor.

 

The Summer Terrace at AllBright Mayfair

Bringing summer vibes to  Maddox Street, AllBright Mayfair has launched a sun-soaked Mediterranean terrace set against the backdrop of its flagship members club for tasty sharing plates and breezy cocktails.

Open to members and their guests during the week; the Italian-inspired terrace is also open to non-members for lunch and dinner on Fridays.

Serving fruity Gin fuelled drinks in a curated offering by Malfy, favourites on the menu include the Rosa Paloma, a punchy blend of Malfy Rosa with pink grapefruit (Sicilian, of course) and soda – alongside a colourful edit of other Instagram-worthy cocktails all prepared by Allbright’s talented mixologists.

Avid foodies can also enjoy a number of typically Italian dishes created by the club’s resident Head Chef, Carlos Pinerez, which each pair perfectly with the crafted cocktails served and make for a perfect meal either for a sun-drenched lunch during the day or an evening meal overlooking the pretty greenery of the terrace.

Elevating the whole experience one step further, AllBright has partnered with renowned sustainable homeware guru Petra Palumbo who has developed a collection exclusively for the terrace. Showcasing her signature glassware, the pieces feature handpainted citrus designs and are available to purchase from the club for the duration of the terrace’s opening.

The terrace at Allbright is running until the end of August, and bookings are advised.

https://www.allbrightcollective.com/club/mayfair

 

Beauty News

We’ve curated an edit of the latest beauty products and must-haves to keep you looking and feeling on top form.

D’OTTO

A celebration of perfume as art, D’OTTO is a debut fragrance brand, exclusively available at Selfridges, presenting perfume as a liquid art. Showcased as part of the department store’s curation of sustainable brands, the fragrance house depicts a circle within its logo as a symbol of the perfection embodied through its art-inspired scents. Housed in recyclable glass bottles which are refillable within the Selfridges refill fountains at dedicated brand stations, D’OTTO’s niche creations are those imagined by perfumer Paolo Terenzi. Launching with a collection of five fragrances, the Abstract Art Collection is made up of five different olfactive families and a collection where each perfume is inspired by a piece of abstract art. A particular favourite, 2+6, is a mossy amber fragrance paying homage to Kazimir Severinovič Malevič’s Black Square painting. Notes include black pepper, Italian saffron and cardamom, Indian Oudh and caramel.

Dermanda

Following the success of her Harley Street flagship clinic, Awatif Mandour has launched Dermanda Skincare, a debut line of luxurious and result-driven products. Divine to use, the hero product in the line is Dermanda’s Stem C20 Serum, rich in vitamin E and containing 20% vitamin C; this potent formula uses hyaluronic acid to deliver moisture. Packaged in an indulgent gold bottle, the serum is enriched with stem-cell technology working to promote cell turnover and increase cell production. Skin looks brighter and more refined over time, skin tone appears more balanced, and the serum also protects it from free radicals that can otherwise cause damage.

111SKIN

111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Cream

111SKIN’s ultra-luxe Celestial Black Diamond Cream is a decadent daily indulgence with restorative properties in targeting the signs of ageing. Best used nightly after serum, this rich moisturiser can also be used during the day to tackle dry skin and colder climes and uses black diamond particles to help its active ingredients penetrate the skin. Designed to improve elasticity, plumpness and the appearance of lines, this supercream contains NAC Y²™ known for its antioxidant protection. Active ingredients of hyaluronic acid, liquorice root and the botanical extract of Centella Asiatica work to reduce hyperpigmentation and improve brightness to give a flawlessly glowing complexion and results that are second to none.

 

Kilian

Decadently gourmand, Kilian’s seductive scent Rolling in Love celebrates the sensuality at the core of the brand’s roots since being established over a decade ago. Masterfully blended around a theme of narcotics with perfumer Pascal Gaurin, Kilian has taken a more provocative approach with this alluring scent which embodies monochromatic notes of white notes. Musky and intoxicating, Rolling in Love layers notes of ambrette seeds, almond milk, iris freesia and musk in a poetic harmony of delectable fine fragrance. Marking a new direction for the brand, Rolling in Love is housed in a rouge flacon, a first for the collection adorned with Kilian’s flagship shield motif.

Available in selected airports across the UK.

 

ghd

Creating twice as much volume from root to tip vs naturally dried hair, ghd’s rise hot brush is a game-changer. Using intelligent SMART technology, the 32mm tool consistently delivers a temperature of 185°C to the barrel whilst predicting your hair’s needs as it effortlessly glides through. Adjusting its power levels based on your styling speed, this clever piece of kit creates volume at the root and features nylon bristles that maintain close contact to the root for optimal lift and tangle-free tresses. Consider it a salon blowdry at home, anytime, anywhere.

 

Sisley

One of Sisley’s original hero products, the Buff and Wash Facial Gel, is among its best-selling cleansers. Suitable for daily use, this energising first step of a beauty ritual is enriched with natural plant extracts and essential oils to cleanse and remove dead surface cells gently. Applied to the face and throat, extract of lemon diminishes dulling complexions while soothing soy and softening poppy work to awaken the skin and leave it looking more radiant day after day.

 

Boucheron

Inspired by Venezuela’s Canaima National Park, the latest fine addition to the Boucheron Collection is Fève Tonka de Canaima, a woody amber olfactory embodying the unspoilt wilderness of its namesake landmark. With a distinct tone of brown in a nod to Venezuela’s extremely rare brown diamond, this warming scent is centred around the tonka bean, another brown rarity. Created by perfumer Alexis Dadier, this elegant fragrance is enlivened by bitter almond and violet notes to complement the vanilla undertones and sandalwood at the heart. As vibrant as it is gourmand, this delicate scent evokes the emotions of being high up in the flat-topped mountains of Canaima in a modern yet classic masterpiece of fragrance.

 

fjör

Simple yet effective, fjör’s debut hydrolytic serum has taken the skincare world by storm. A newcomer in muted Scandi-cool packaging, this no-nonsense product is suited to all skin types, focusing on sensitive and irritated skin. Fragrance-free and preservative-free, this potent serum is a carefully considered blend of active ingredients designed to reduce redness, hydrate the skin and combat the effects of ageing. Hydrolytic enzymes and collagen work to provide a protective layer on the skin while peptides tackle fine lines and the signs of ageing. Used daily, this groundbreaking product is clinically verified to improve the skin’s overall appearance with biotech technology at its core.

 

The Best Beauty Treatments to Try Now

We’ve shortlisted the latest openings and luxe beauty treatments so you can be sure to look your best from head to toe.

STIL Salon:

 

Following on from its hugely successful salon in Notting Hill, STIL has opened a second salon perfectly positioned within the fashionable Brompton Cross, a stone’s throw from the designer boutiques of JOSEPH and Chanel, to name a few.

STIL Founder and legendary colourist Christel Barron-Hough talks of a nature-first approach to her new Scandi-cool outpost: ‘Giving as much attention to the environment as we do with hair, we’ve thought carefully about the design for this new space to help create a calming, nature-inspired oasis for our guests to truly relax, switch-off and enjoy the STIL experience.’ And the experience certainly doesn’t disappoint.

Designed in collaboration with London-based Danish architect Max Broby, the two-storey salon spans 1,800sqft, is fitted out with 15 stations, and embodies a white space with flattering lighting to focus on the colour these artisans create.

Touches of nature and Scandi aesthetic are echoed throughout the salon with touches including indoor greenery, a sage-coloured dispensary and marble designs adorning the walls behind the backwashes, adding to the eco-elegance vibe evoked.

With a reputation built on colouring excellence, the team of experts at STIL are synonymous with creating fashion-led looks and for their mastery of cutting and colouring techniques. Best known for an ability to curate looks suited to the clients’ specific features, the team here can confidently guide you through which shades to go for to best accentuate your features, and a consultation with one of the colour technicians can quickly highlight what to go for based on face shapes, skin tones and everything in between.

ESPA:

 

Available at a number of ESPA’s spa partners, including the brand’s flagship spa, ESPA Life at The Corinthia, ESPA’s Glow From Within Facial is an invigorating treatment embodying its signature holistic rituals.

A multistep facial, this innovative treatment works to deep-cleanse the skin through several exfoliating, steaming and multi-masking techniques using products from the Active Nutrients collection.

Starting with a double-cleanse, skin is prepped using the Yuzu and Ginger cleansing sorbet, the Optimal Skin Pro-cleanser, and a Foreo Luna 2 device and steam. As you whisk away into a sense of deep relaxation, an overnight glow enzyme peel is applied as a mask whilst the décolleté and shoulders are worked on to relieve tension.

Using a number of lymphatic massage techniques, ESPA’s cult Rose Quartz Gua Sha is swept over the neck and face, focusing on the contours of the jaw, cheeks and forehead, refreshing dull complexions by stimulating the circulatory systems.

The treatment is finished with a Clean and Green detox mask, hair and scalp mud and a relaxing arm massage using the Optimal Body Tri-Serum. You leave feeling restored, renewed and with a radiant glow.

Those booking in at Espa Life at The Corinthia also have use of the state-of-the-art facilities and wet floor to really elevate the experience when enjoyed before the treatment.

Shavata:

 

Bringing a whole new offering to the traditional lash tint, Shavata Singh London has partnered with 111SKIN to launch a fabulous menu of bespoke lash and brow treatments featuring the brand’s ever-popular products.

Launched nationwide in the Shavata Singh London studios, the additional service, namely the Lash Luxe Treatment, is a thirty-minute add-on to a lash tint and includes a choice of three 111SKIN masks and a 20-minute shoulder and arm massage.

Placed both under and over the eyes, 111SKIN’s cult eye masks range from its Celestial black diamond mask designed to diminish the appearance of fine lines; the Sub-Zero mask targeting puffiness and Rose Gold, an illuminating hydrogel mask boosting luminosity.

Using lymphatic drainage massage, the treatment uses 111SKIN’s eye prong tool over the patches before finishing with the brand’s Y Theorem Repair Serum Nac Y2, specifically created to treat the eyes.

Commenting on the hybrid treatment, Shavata Singh says, ‘Customers can now get beautiful lashes, combined with our supercharged skin solutions to replenish and transform the delicate skin around the eye area.

AIRE:

 

AIRE Ancient Baths is a concept like no other; taking inspiration from ancient civilisations, the Aire experience is elevated by the benefits of water for the body and mind. A chance to disconnect from the outside world, Aire is notably a phone-and-shoe-free zone centred around a thermal floor of six different pools housed within an 18th-century townhouse.

A sensory journey, the décor here is reminiscent of the ancient times the baths are dedicated to; a mix of historical pieces and exposed brickwork adds a real sense of authenticity to the experience, which can be enjoyed alone, or as a couple.

Built on a legacy of relaxation through water, sessions last 90-minutes with an array of additional experiences available from massage, salt rituals and AIRE’s signature wine bath experience. Those transcending through the bath circuit can enjoy different temperatures ranging from body-temperature pools, including the Tepidarium at 36 ºC, the Caldarium at 40 ºC and the cooler Frigidarium bath at 14 ºC & 10 ºC. The floor also features a large steam room with aromatherapy, a salt exfoliation area and a saltwater bath which allows for floating.

Very much a journey into another realm, AIRE limits the number of guests per session, allowing for privacy; the baths are lit all day by candlelight, and the temperature is kept consistent with maintaining the tranquillity at the core of the experience. To finish, guests have use of modern changing rooms equipped with showers and L’occitane products. For the ultimate relaxation – this experience is one not to be missed.

 

Akademy: The Intellectual Members’ Circle

 

Akademy is a community of like-minded individuals and enriching events for prospecting members who seek personal betterment through the power of education.

Founded by business partners Anastasia Belyak and Kamilia Shaimieva in 2020 both women bring a realm of business expertise and acumen which has seen the club succeed and partner with some of the finest brands and institutions in the world from Rolls-Royce and Cartier to the Tate Modern and Phillips Auction House.

Having studied at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Anastasia moved to London to complete an MA at Sotheby’s Institute of Art whilst also founding the global Brow Bar chain. Kamilia also studied in Moscow having attended the Moscow State Institute of International Relations before moving on to the US to complete an MA in International Economics and has since worked for a number of international conglomerates. Together, they are a powerhouse of cultural and corporate knowledge as well as a network of connections around the world.

Based on an ethos of four pillars, Akademy targets discerning members and those who seek enrichment, not just through the events they host but also through the learnings of other members within the community. Built on a foundation of intelligentsia, the circle offers its members a curated programme of exceptional events, lectures and tours with past events ranging from private lectures on the history of Cartier and a private concert with The Carpenter Trio on Stradivari violas, (also known for its largest collection of Stradviari violas) to learning clay pigeon shooting at the prestigious Holland&Holland shooting grounds.

Those that apply to join must show a mutual interest or involvement across the realms of art and culture, medical innovation, wellness, film and music, business and economics and the fashion and luxury sector. To apply members must also share the vision behind Akademy’s ethos of nurturing a discerning community, seeking personal betterment, championing diverse intellect and empowering today’s intelligentsia.

Prospective members must be referred by an existing member and can apply to a handpicked committee for approval and can choose from either a standard or premium membership options allowing either selected access or full access to the circle and club, with the premium membership also allowing a guest, more information on joining can be found here.

 

Holistic Luxury with Wings of Wisdom

“Beauty has the power to alter people’s lives, feeding into the human experience.”

 

Having built a career across the luxury sector, Catherine Mugnier launched her holistic lifestyle brand after realising during the pandemic there was a gap in the market for everyday objects of desire with a deeper spiritual meaning.

Released towards the end of last year, Wings of Wisdom is a collection of positivity-evoking candles, t-shirts and fine jewellery designed with an ethos of empowering one’s self.

Founded on a desire to create a brand with a mindset ethos and a community of ‘WOWzers’, it was advice from Catherine’s father that led her to embark on a new path, a movement that allowed life to create her future and through that Wings of Wisdom was born.

Timelessness and responsible luxury set the tone for the candles at the core of the brand’s hero collections, a debut of three candles, each made with 100% natural candle wax free of paraffin. Housed in collectable vessels handmade in Stoke-on-Trent from reusable fine bone china, the candles feature 22-carat gold detailing and iconography synonymous with the brand.  The Thrillsome Trio of candles all evoke the mood-boosting aura of the brand aimed at instilling positivity into today’s fast-moving modern world.

The first in the range, A Watchful Eye depicts a hand-applied golden eye as a subtle reminder of how valuable the present moment is, notes of pink laurel, vanilla and green jasper fill the air with a gracious warmth.

Secondly, Lunatic takes its inspiration from the cycles of the moon, adorned with a graphic of a female moon, Lunatic emanates positive change through powerful notes of vetiver, incense, tonka beans and touches of vanilla all to enlighten the ambience of a room.

And to finish the trio, Memories of Summer gives off a mood of radiance and is created with happy notes of white musk, mandarin and soft orange in a nod to warm and sensual times of sunshine.

 

 

Wings of Wisdom has also launched a line of fine jewellery in collaboration with Maison Belmont, a jewellery brand founded by Catherine’s sister, Sarah Mugnier. With a capsule of 24 customisable pieces, the collection is consciously crafted from 18 carat gold and hand-crafted by artisans in Istanbul. Designed to be miniature works of art, the pieces are all made-to-order and feature clever touches such as hidden meanings and personalised messages.

“Jewellery has the power to uplift the wearer to a well-being state of mind, that dates back to ancient times.”

Elevating the motifs at the core of the brand, the collection bares eyes, moons and suns in homage to the lifestyle element of the candles and t-shirts. Hero pieces include the Memento Mori ring which comes as two interlocking parts opening to reveal a hidden message, the Pinky Promise rings which are modelled around a hand wearing a small gem on its little finger and the iconic Keep An Eye On Me bracelet which depicts an eye motif.

Already available across some of the finest hotels in the world including the Six Senses in Ibiza and Gstaad, Wings of Wisdom currently sells its full collection online and can be discovered here.

 

Fine Dining at Oxeye

 

No stranger to being in the limelight, Winchester-born Sven-Hanson Britt counts multiple accolades under his belt, notably as the winner of Masterchef: The Professionals back in 2019 and as being shortlisted as ‘Chef to Watch’ in 2021’s National Restaurant Awards.

It comes as no surprise, after 10 years of dreaming and six years in the making, his debut restaurant, Oxeye, has quickly become one of the hottest tables in town.

Open three nights a week, Oxeye is a multiple-sensory space encompassing a gallery-come-bar, outdoor terrace and fine dining restaurant situated within the ever-popular Embassy Gardens development.

Diners in the main restaurant can expect an intimate evening of elegance and unrivalled food all created using the most exceptional ingredients and cooking techniques.

Originally destined for Derby, Oxeye boasts that it has just 7 tables hosting no more than 20 covers depending on how many are on a table.

It proudly has only one sitting at 7pm to which diners are transported on a journey from farm to table and can expect a culinary voyage through thoughtfully curated dishes and the option to add a wine pairing to elevate the experience even further.

There is an air of theatre at Oxeye and this just adds to its alluring uniqueness, unlike other restaurants where waiters simply bring the food to the table,  the staff here guide guests through the dishes and the thinking between each course.

On entering, one is invited to enjoy their aperitif in Bar Oxeye which has a modern feel to it and the artworks one would expect in a plush members club adorn the walls – the service is impeccable, yet friendly – it all adds to the charm of the place.

The consistent yet seasonally changing menu depending on produce available is showcased via personalised cards bearing the lead booker’s name and setting the tone; guests are ushered through to the dining room in groups making a pit stop along the way.

A mouthwatering display of the produce and an explanation of its origins and a welcome taster of Oxeye’s signature green tea create a real appetite for what’s to come.

As you finally transcend through a black curtain to the main dining floor you are seated in the sleekly designed space which features stylish furnishings with an open kitchen overlooking guests and giving a prime view of the culinary creations being prepared.

The meal starts with an Amuse-bouche and a generous serving of snacks for the table, think red mullet with an elderflower ponzu, scarlet prawn and blood orange. Fresh bread is also served, and Oxeye has a choice of sourdough, wholegrain and malted rye. A tasty Enoki mushroom, spicy artichoke and Longhorn tongue is also served as a snack and is cooked to perfection.

Taking around a couple of hours, the experience is served over about eight courses with sweet bites at the end, the menu is varied through expertly curated dishes of fish and meat, with some vegetarian dishes along the way.

The first course is white asparagus, paired with Raw Orkney scallop and almond, its light and the blend of shellfish with the sweetness of the almond is a real sensation of flavours.

Moving on, the courses feature donbae, and cornish brill with the main course being perhaps (one of many) the star of the show. The longhorn grilled over bone charcoal is quite possibly amongst the best sirloins in London, it’s tender and full of flavour thanks to the charcoal, there is also the option to have the addition of caviar as a supplement.

The courses continue to delight and one can expect Yorkshire rhubarb among the sweeter dishes as well as another helping of the much-loved Anshu mountains green tea from earlier in the meal.

Go for the wine pairing to complement the delicacies here and you’ll soon see why Oxeye is already one of London’s most talked-about restaurants since its opening in October following the pandemic.

For those also looking for a lighter taste of Oxeye, its chic bar, Bar Rex is also a hot spot for a relaxed nightcap, small plates, and a fabulous bbq from its covetable terrace during peak summer periods.

Oxeye is open Wednesday to Saturday with a sitting at 7pm.

Bar Rex is open Wednesday to Saturday, 9.30am till 11pm.

www.oxeyerestaurant.co.uk

 

Tax-Free Shopping in France Made Easy with Wevat

 

With the unwelcome news that international shoppers can no longer claim VAT refunds on purchases made in the UK and the days of tax-free shopping for high-ticket luxury goods at UK airports a thing of the past, more and more tourists are flocking to Paris to shop.

As some of the world’s most desirable brands and fashion houses open impressive flagship stores on the iconic streets of Rue Cambon, Avenue Montaigne, and Rue Saint-Honoré, the city of lights is fast becoming the shopping capital of Europe as shoppers look to capitalise on tax-free shopping.

A game-changer in taking the hassle out of claiming VAT refunds, Wevat is a digital VAT refund provider designed to digitalise VAT refunds for travellers shopping in France all via a seamlessly easy to use app.

Founded in London back in 2016, this clever solution is backed by a number of experienced investors including Andy Phillips and Sweet Capital and is integrated with popular payment methods Alipay and WeChat Pay making claiming easier than ever before.

Eligible travellers who are non-EU residents over 16, visiting France for less than six months and leaving the EU within 3 months can enjoy a VAT refund on coveted luxe items across clothing, cosmetics, watches, jewellery and electronics to name a few. This is particularly appealing to British residents who can now enjoy tax-free shopping perks in Europe post-Brexit.

Regulated by French customs, Wevat is already recognised in a number of high-end boutiques and department stores with more and more retailers recognising digital tax reclaim as the app’s popularity continues to grow.

The seamless flow of Wevat has revolutionised the hassle often associated with typically claiming tax back from stores, users of the app don’t need to carry their passport with them as the app stores all of the required information and to make things even easier, users simply scan a barcode from the app at the point of departure rather than carrying endless forms.

With only a minimum of €100 spend per trip to be eligible for tax reclaim, Wevat has also inevitably made tax-free shopping more accessible than to just those shopping high-end as there is no minimum spend per purchase as long as the accumulated spend equals €100.

Simply take photos of your purchase invoices and scan the barcode in the app on departure. Wevat then typically refunds you within 7 days with a choice of over 50 currencies to be refunded by way of bank transfer, credit card, Alipay or WeChat pay.

Users of the app are encouraged to ask stores for a “facture” meaning invoice addressed to Wevat for ease and can benefit from receiving refunds of around 13.4% which is comparably higher than the traditional 8-12% by claiming using traditional tax refund.

You’ll quickly wonder how you ever went on a Parisian shopping spree without Wevat!