Monthly Archives: June 2011

collecting stamps

Stamp sells for record £1m‎

collecting stamps

The world’s most famous stamp, the elusive “Post Office Mauritius”, was sold yesterday for a record breaking £1,053,090 ($1,600,000) at Spink in London.

This is a record price for a stamp sold in the United Kingdom! Nearly half a dozen bidders in the room participated as the price of the lot shot skyward.

The stamp was one of the highlights of the Chartwell collection formed by businessman and philanthropist Sir Cyril Humphrey Cripps.
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Fauchon eclair monaco wedding

Fauchon and Ladurée for Monaco’s royal wedding

Fauchon eclair monaco wedding

In honor of the upcoming nuptials of Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock, two iconic French pastry houses have created special, limited-edition desserts.

Ladurée launched a special box-set of eight macarons, light, airy almond meringue cookies that come in guava and raspberry-aniseed flavors.

The guava macaron is perfumed with pink guava from South Africa, while the raspberry cookie has a hint of aniseed.
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Airline baby ban

Malaysia Airlines: No Babies in First Class

Airline baby ban

Malaysia Airlines has become the first major airline to ban babies from the first-class cabins on its aircraft, and will extend the ban on the A380 super jumbo.

The airline’s CEO Tengku Azmil said the airline’s forthcoming A380 would not have bassinets, the in-flight cribs required for babies to fly in, installed.

Parents who wish to fly with Malaysia Airlines’ current fleet are restricted to the business and economy cabins, which do have bassinets available.
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Mandarin Oriental Paris exterior

Mandarin Oriental opens in Paris

Mandarin Oriental Paris exterior

The Mandarin Oriental opened its doors in Paris on Tuesday, becoming the third top-end Asian hotel brand in less than a year to put out its shingle and woo rich visitors to the French capital.

Newly built behind a 1930s facade, the eight-story property on fashionable Rue Saint Honore boasts 99 rooms and 39 suites going for an average of 950 euros a night.

“We absolutely wanted to be in the best arrondissement, the best location for leisure travellers,” said Christoph Mares, director of operations for Europe.
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The Tesla Roadster in London

Tesla: Roadster retires

The Tesla Roadster in London

Tesla Motors announced that it is going to stop production of its Roadster electric vehicle (EV) by the end of this year.

The high-speed model, which is built in the UK for Tesla by Lotus, will end production after the 2,500th vehicle is put together, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk told the San Francisco Chronicle that there aren’t many vehicles left.

There are only a “handful” of models left in the US, Musk is reported as saying, with just a month or two to go until the vehicle is totally sold out.
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Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam

First Sofitel Legend in Europe

Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam

Sofitel has opened the first European outpost of its ultra-luxury Legend brand in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

The French-owned luxury label inaugurated the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam last week, marking the end of a two-year refurbishment.

Sofitel has transformed the property into a hotel to compete with the Dutch city’s original grande dame, The Amstel, run by InterContinental.
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Claudia Eicke weekender

Luxury leather handbag for wine lovers

Claudia Eicke weekender

A designer has reinterpreted the concept of wine-in-a-bag for the sophisticated, female oenophile in the form of luxurious French goatskin and Swiss workmanship.

Claudia Eicke’s Weekender bag is for the wine-loving female who routinely carries a bottle of vino in addition to her lip gloss, smartphone and day planner.

Made from natural grain goatskin from France, bottles can be tucked securely in the “tunnel” portion at the bottom of the bag which were specificaly designed to be stiff to prevent the wine from budging out of place.
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high tea miniature Ritz-Carlton Berlin

Family-Friendly Luxury Hotels

high tea miniature Ritz-Carlton Berlin

There was a time when a toddler dressed head-to-toe in designer labels would have raised eyebrows, but walk around the streets of Europe’s capitals nowadays and you’ll see it’s become almost de rigeur.

Perhaps then, as the popularity of dressing and feeding every member of the modern luxury-loving family in the same way grows, it’s no surprise that hotels are becoming ever more creative when it comes to conceiving classy new services which can keep both parents and their pint-sized progeny amused.

The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin was the first in the German capital to introduce a “Very Important Kids” program aimed at satisfying the needs of its younger clientele, and relaunched it earlier this year with an even wider selection of activities — and the promise that it’s the “ultimate luxury hotel experience for children.”
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ritz carlton foursquare

Ritz-Carlton Extends Concierge Services to Foursquare

ritz carlton foursquare

Luxury hotel brand Ritz-Carlton is to put the knowledge of its global concierge team on Foursquare, it has announced.

In a move which the company claims is a first for the luxury industry, concierges from all 75 Ritz-Carlton hotels are to take to the location-based social networking site to offer tips on their locale to travelers.

Its staff won’t be advertising their own properties, instead choosing to focus outside the hotels on the best things to do and see in the destinations they represent.
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British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher handbag

Thatcher’s famous handbag sells for £25,000

British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher handbag

A handbag that once belonged to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher was sold for £25,000 at auction at Christie’s in London Monday.

Thatcher frequently used the black Asprey bag on important occasions, such as summits with then US president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev during her 1979-1990 premiership.

The former leader dubbed the “Iron Lady” donated the bag to her Conservative Party’s ex-lawmaker and author Jeffrey Archer for a charity auction.
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snore absorption room

Crowne Plaza to trial “snore absorption room”

snore absorption room

InterContinental-owned Crowne Plaza has unveiled a room designed to help the long-suffering partners of snoring sleepers get a good night’s sleep.

The chain said that a “snore absorption room” is being rolled out at nine of its global properties on a trial basis to see if it can help couples snooze in more comfort.

Based on “proven technology,” the room has been given a set of extra features Crowne Plaza believes could help reduce snoring, tackling both the snorer and the person being kept awake.
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Raw emerald

World’s biggest raw emerald on display

Raw emerald

A massive uncut emerald on exhibit in Colombia’s capital is being touted by its owners as the biggest in the world, officials said Saturday.

The 11,000-karat raw green gem weighs in at 2.27 kilos (almost five pounds) and is on show in Bogota 12 years after it was mined in Muzo, in the South American nation’s emerald country in Boyaca province.

“It is priceless,” Santiago Soto, spokesman for the Minergemas 2011 gem industry trade fair under way in Bogota, said of the stone owned by the firm Coexminas.
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China now biggest auction market for art

Chinese imperial white jade seal

China has overtaken the United States as the biggest auction market for art and collectable objects, after its sales more than doubled in just one year.

A report for the CVV (the French Auction Market Authority) said sales in China, including Hong Kong, grew 137 percent in 2010 to 10.8 billion dollars.

China now holds 34.3 percent of global market share, compared to 24.2 percent in 2009, said the authority, a public body that regulates the auction industry in France.
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New stateroom Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line unveils new stateroom designs

New stateroom Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) has revealed the new cabin designs to be used on its new ships set to come into service over the next three years.

The cabins, unveiled June 21, are described as “modern boutique hotel meets the sea” and are built on the experience of Norwegian over the past ten years — during which time it has launched ten new ships.

The two new vessels, currently codenamed Project Breakaway, are scheduled for delivery in April 2013 and April 2014, and can carry around 4,000 passengers.
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Lexus Monaco wedding

Lexus L600h Landaulet For Monaco Royal Wedding

Lexus Monaco wedding

A hybrid Lexus has been chosen as the official royal wedding car of Prince Albert of Monaco and Charlene Wittstock next month, the automaker has revealed.

A customized LS600h Landaulet with a transparent polycarbonate roof has been specially constructed for the occasion to allow guests to get a look at the couple during the event, scheduled for July 2.

It was dismantled to allow for the fitting of the 26kg roof, a special addition to the model, which will eventually go on display at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco.
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Michael Jackson Thriller Jacket

Jackson ‘Thriller’ jacket sells for $1.8 million

Michael Jackson Thriller Jacket

The red and black leather jacket worn by Michael Jackson in his “Thriller” video went under the hammer for $1.8 million on Sunday.

The jacket has “Love Michael Jackson” written on the sleeve, and a dedication in the lining to his long-time costume designers, to whom he gave it.

The buyer was identified as Milton Verret, a commodities trader from Austin Texas, who plans to have the jacket tour and be displayed at children’s hospitals around the globe to raise money for their children’s charities.
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Icecognac

Cognac changes aromas as it hits the rocks

Icecognac

A new cognac created to be sipped specifically on the rocks was launched this week and is described as a flavor journey that will take the drinker through aromas of white peach, lemon sorbet and iced mint as the temperature of the elixir drops.

Ice Cognac by ABK6 is said to develop its distinct aromas as it progressively comes into contact with cold temperatures and water.

The limited edition cognac, produced in the hillsides of Claix, France, made its debut at Vinexpo, the world’s largest wine trade fair, in Bordeaux this week.
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Chanel fall winter 2011 nail polishes

Chanel’s fall lacquers just launched

Chanel fall winter 2011 nail polishes

Karl Lagerfeld‘s volcano-inspired runway for Chanel‘s fall/winter show back in March was the perfect setting not just for his grunge-y clothes, but also for the brand’s metallic-shimmering nail polishes that are now available online.

The sparkling-smoky grey Graphite that debuted on the runway models’ nails at the show is set to cause a stir, after previous launches (Jade, Particulière) sold out in no time and later went for astronomical prices (up to $150) on eBay.

Priced at $25, Graphite is joined by two other hues, a changing green Péridot and a mother-of-pearl Quartz.
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Ruinart Interpretation

The Ruinart Interpretation Giftbox

Ruinart Interpretation

For a fun new way to entertain guests after dinner why not try a new interactive wine tasting activity with The Ruinart Interpretation Giftbox?

The Giftbox explores the aromatic bouquet of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, revealing the eight contributing aromas of the signature cuvée to offer a unique tasting experience.

This set brings to life an initiative that was designed to reveal the secrets of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs and to present a sociable format to discover the cuvee wine.
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