Tag Archives: London

Journey through the World’s Most Exciting Flavours

If there is one universal cliché concept for travel, it’ll be a bucket list. While nothing beats the satisfaction of ticking the boxes off your list, it can get tough trying to keep up with the long lists of restaurants, hotels, attractions and events.

Take your tastebuds on a journey around the world and pamper yourself with the most diverse and luxurious travel experience with Bvlgari.

What if you merge the former into one whole incredible experience together? Here we have list of Bvlgari’s stunning boutique hotels located around the globe, and the equally amazing gastronomy stops it offers.

DUBAI, India

Hōseki Restaurant

Hōseki, meaning gemstone, brings Japan’s most rarefied culinary traditions to Dubai. The restaurant seats just nine, making for an intimate Omakase experience, a memorable gastronomic treat served by Chef Masahiro Sugiyama. The courses are based on the preferences of those seated, as well as on the freshest and best ingredients of the day, making every single visit an exceptional journey into the heart of Japan’s culinary tradition.

The dining room overlooks the Dubai skyline, so that each intimate dinner is accompanied by a glittering view. Do remember to reserve in advance, as the restaurant capacity has been kept small to allow greater care and attention to be given to each diner. For groups, there is a private dining room that seats up to twelve.


Il Bar

While the sun is what makes Summer enjoyable, the blazing weather can get undeniably sweaty and unbearable sometimes. Dedicated to be summer’s most enduring refresher, the the Gin & Tonic bar at La Terraza opened just in time for the sunny season.

Served on the shaded veranda overlooking the riverside, guests are invited to choose from four distinctive gin & tonics and six new summer cocktails – a recipe for sunny day bliss. Offering a sophisticated and intimate atmosphere for gatherings or simply some private time, the signature oval bar is open daily from 2pm.

BALI, Indonesia

Sangkar Restaurant

The new Balinese Dining Experience at Sangkar Restaurant invites guests to immerse themselves in the flavours and aromas of Indonesian cuisine. Featuring traditional spices and recipes executed with modern savoir faire, there will be two different selections available for each course for lunch and dinner.

The restaurant entices beyond its menu. Set at the dramatic oceanfront featuring a laid-back interior curated with locally influenced décor, the Sangkar Restaurant expresses the tradition of Balinese culture.

MILAN, France

Il Gazebo

The Il Giardino, designed by landscape architect Sophie Agata Ambroise, is an open-air garden surrounded by lush flora and fauna. The space is casual and intimate, yet impeccably appointed.

As the warmer weather approaches in summer, guests may dine in Il Gazebo, a beautiful outdoor setting located in a discreet corner of the hotel garden. Hidden behind a tall hedge of red beech trees, the cozy private dining area will serve a dedicated menu that embodies the season. No meal is complete at Bvlgari without a accompanying feast for eyes, as the dishes are served on elegant Richard Ginori china.

LONDON, United KIngdom

Rivea London

Inspired by the many years Alain Ducasse spent visiting the vibrant food markets in Italy and Provence, Rivea London offers French and Italian cuisine in a chic, convivial and relaxed setting with informal yet impeccable service.

Adjacent to the dining room, Rivea London’s private dining rooms are suave and intimate spaces seating up to 24 guests, a perfect setting for an intimate party. Custom designed private dining menus are also available, so you can easily go an extra mile to make your summer celebration extra memorable.

Counting down to more luxe, gastronomical hospitality

Get ready for the anticipated new openings of Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts, as you travel around the world to fulfil your endless wanderlust. Bvlgari’s next ventures are set in Shanghai and Moscow, and most recently, the opening of The Bvlgari Hotel Tokyo has been confirmed. The state-of-the-art property will occupy the 39th through 45th floors of an ultra-skyscraper in the heart of Tokyo, an elegant and memorable destination among the bustle of the city’s most brilliant lights.

Learn more about destinations in Bvlgari’s hotels here.

New Property Developments in London to Invest In

Stadia Three, Wimbledon London SW17

Ensconced within SW1 on Plough Lane of Wimbledon, the bespoke Stadia Three apartment is helmed by Sheppard Robson Architects and developed by Galliard Homes. This future resident apartment is on a 999-year leasehold and the project is estimated to complete in Q1 of 2021.

The building is currently in phase one of construction. When the whole development completes, it will feature 114 luxurious units arranged over 7 floors with cutting-edge facilities as well as one to three bedroom styles to choose from. Majority of the apartments will come with a private amenity, offering either a terrace or a balcony, which is an extension of space that can be converted into a mini garden or an outdoor dining or lounge area.

Just about 3.5 km away from the bespoke apartment located in Southwest London, lies a 1,140 acres of open space, which is home to the Wimbledon Tennis Championships and new Wimbledon Theatre and the largest areas of common land in London.

This property is set to offer homeowners and investors prestigious lifestyle in the London Borough of Merton, south of Wandsworth. Nearby establishments consist of an array of eclectic blend of boutiques, chic shops, galleries and gastro eateries that are uniquely London.

In addition, the construction of Crossrail 2 is expected to start in 2023, befitting residents a shorter journey time by approximately 15-20 minutes. Whether being minutes away from world championship lawn tennis, or the Capital’s most revered shopping streets, Stadia Three will offer residents unique experiences, from business and recreation to world-class cuisine and the arts, plus ever-pulsating nightlife happening in the heart of the metropolis.

Westgate House

Located on the West Gate of Ealing in London W5 1YY, the development slated to complete in Q3 to Q4 of 2020, will offer modern conveniences and the pinnacle of luxury lifestyle living for first time buyers and house movers who are looking for a lush yet affordable property to invest in.

Offering a choice of one bed Sapphire suite, one bed Emerald apartment or Tiffany two bedroom type, the residential development includes exclusive facilities such as a private gym, spa and sauna, steam room, terrace lounge and adjoining screening room on level 6, all for residents to enjoy, relax and indulge in their leisure pursuits.

Inside the building features a spectacular seven storey atrium providing a dramatic centre view from the top, evoking a feeling of pure freedom and comfort cooling. The oak plank styled click flooring contrasts with the natural light flowing into the space surrounding and throughout; level one of the building consists of a reception, foyer and residents lounge with 24 hour concierge and services.

Another unique feature of the development is the prime location of Westgate House, which offers excellent road and tube connections, together with a 9 minute drive to Ealing Broadway’s forthcoming Crossrail interchange.

The London Heathrow (2 & 3) can be reached in approximately 15 minutes via the Elizabeth line from Ealing Broadway, Bond Street in 11 minutes, Wembley Stadium and the SSE Arena line within 10 minutes drive, as does Ealing Common and the Broadway’s designer shopping mall, restaurants and nightlife.

The residence development is on a 999-year leasehold from 1st January 2018.

Rental Returns Studios: £1,100 – £1,200pcm | 1 Bed: £1,350 – £1,450pcm | 2 Bed: £1,550 – £1,750pcm

If you’d like to get in touch to find out more about this project, please complete the form below:

Maximum of 250 characters

For more information about the featured properties, please visit http://oneglobal-property.com.

Yayoi Kusama to Create Outdoor Artworks for London’s Elizabeth Line

Images courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice

Notable for her polka-dot motif and following several successful installations from the Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama is called upon to create another installation, which will be the artist’s first-ever permanent installation for UK.

London’s Elizabeth line is the new Liverpool Street station, which is slated to open in December. Commuters guiding from the public spaces outside the station and into its eastern entrance at Broadgate, will be able to catch a glimpse of Kusama’s site-specific work, titled “Infinite Accumulation.”

Yayoi Kusama to Create Outdoor Artworks for London’s Elizabeth Line

This massive permanent installation work comprising a series of mirrored steel sculptures, measuring 12 metres wide and 10 metres high will encapsulate the artist’s famous polka-dot motif. As illustrated in the artist’s impression above, the dots appear as polished spheres supported and connected by curved rods.

Image courtesy of Getty

Catherine McGuinness, Policy Chairman, City of London Corporation, said: “As one of the UK’s major supporters of the arts, the City of London Corporation has taken pride in supporting the Crossrail Art Programme, which has brought together well-respected artists from around the world.”

Kusama is one of nine artists selected for the Crossrail Art Programme and “the addition of Yayoi Kusama and Conrad Shawcross to the already hugely impressive roster of artists creating bespoke works for the Elizabeth line is a testament to the scale and ambition of the new railway,” Sir Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman commented.

“Kusama is one of the final two artists to be announced, along with British artist Conrad Shawcross, who is also readying a work for the Liverpool Street station in the heart of the City of London,” reported AFP Relax News.

“The Crossrail Art Programme is the biggest single addition to London’s collection of public art in a generation. It will cement London’s place as a global capital for arts and culture,” Morgan added.

For artist Conrad Shawcross, his works will showcase a bronze sculpture. Ross Sayers, Development Director, Landsec has this to say: “Conrad’s ‘Manifold’ sculpture, which maps the complex shape of a piano chord, perfectly complements the musical heritage of the nearby Barbican Centre, home of the LSO and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.”

The resulting ‘drawing’ will be sculpted in three dimensions and will serve as a sort of signpost outside the station’s west entrance at Moorgate.

The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy

The EY Exhibition Picasso 1932 convened under the title “Love, Fame and Tragedy,” will open to public (free entry for members) at London’s Tate Modern The Eyal Ofer Galleries from March 8 through to September 9, 2018.

This is the first-ever solo Pablo Picasso exhibition at Tate Modern, showcasing over 100 paintings, sculptures and drawings, mixed with family photographs and rare glimpses into the artist’s personal life.

The EY Exhibition: Picasso 1932 – Love, Fame, Tragedy

Organised by the museum in partnership with Musée national Picasso-Paris, journey through the exhibition halls and discover Picasso’s “Year of Wonders” highlighting The dream (Le Revel) 1932, Nude in a Black Armchair (Nu au fauteuil noir) 1932, Nude Woman in a Red Armchair (Femme nue dans un fauteuil rouge) 1932 Tate, Nude, Green Leaves and Bust (Femme nue, fueilles at buste) amongst other from the artist’s private 1932 collection.

According to Tate Modern, “The 1932 has been quite an intensive period in the life of the 20th century’s most influential artist. Three of his extraordinary paintings featuring his lover Marie-Thérèse Walter are shown together for the first time since they were created over a period of just five days in March 1932. The myths around Picasso will be stripped away to reveal the man and the artist in his full complexity and richness. You will see him as never before.”

Curated by Achim Borchardt-Hume, Director of Exhibitions with Nancy Ireson, Curator, International Art, Laura Bruni and Juliette Rizzi, Assistant Curators, Tate Modern.

Visit Tate Modern for more details on the exhibition.

Karl Lagerfeld Designs this year’s Claridge’s Christmas Tree

London’s Claridge’s on Brook Street, Mayfair is most happy to reveal Claridge’s Christmas Tree this Nov 22. This year, the tree is designed by Karl Lagerfeld, who is widely regarded as one of the fashion world’s most influential and a decorated designer of his time, and he is also at the helm of his eponymous fashion label.

Visionary, eclectic, and iconic, is what Karl Lagerfeld is! Over the years, Karl has put his fashion sense into designing more couture collection for the haute couture and has also spent his time being involved in a wide variety of fashion projects and art-related undertakings. And this year is no exception.

Image courtesy of Drapers

Think of Karl Lagerfeld, and you’ll be reminded of his white hair and his most prominent black sunglasses with high starched collars.

In the past years, Claridge has invited creative visionaries to redesign the tree according to the tastes and styles of the designers. Big names such as Dolce and Gabbana, Jony Ive and Marc Newsome, Burberry just to name a few, had done so and Claridge has always been pleased with the iconic designs. This is the eighth year and German designer, Karl was invited to flaunt his decorative skill.

This year, Claridge’s Christmas Tree will be designed by Karl Lagerfeld

Commenting on the collaboration, Karl Lagerfeld said: “Christmas trees are the strongest ‘souvenir’ of my happy childhood.”

This landmark in London has always attracted visitors and Londoners to admire the decorated tree. All the more, Claridge’s Christmas Tree is a big deal in London as it ushers in a significant season that marks the start of the festivity.

For guests and visitors to Claridge, let’s wait to find out very soon what’s in store for you this Christmas!

Mayor revealed plans to pedestrianise London’s Oxford Street

Road signage and faces we used to see have changed and so it is with places. The city will offer Londoners a new understanding of contemporary public spaces through the healthy transformation of Oxford Street that is going to be “substantially cleaner and safer for everyone”, said London mayor Sadiq Khan, to serve local residents and businesses.

Next year, a big project will be taking place in Oxford Street with new plans underway and addressed in three phases. Londoners will expect to see the famous street west of Oxford Circus in Oxford Street, which receives millions of visitors yearly, further developed into “a traffic-free pedestrian boulevard,” announced Mayor Khan.

The new development is essential to contribute to a “traffic-free”, finest public spaces in the world” and where local businesses and famous stores will continue to thrive further.

As the intended changes take place, plans in the big project seek to address air quality concerns, high level accident rates (estimated to be about 60 a year) and obviously, the massive overcrowding in the day, also a peak period. In addition, the Elizabeth Line transport services which are part of the new developments “is expected to significantly increase visitor numbers in the area” according to Transport for London.

A new look of the pedestrianised London’s Oxford Street

In view of all these massive changes, imminent, creating a traffic-free area for the safety and convenience of all passengers are the top priority. The mayor will continue to work closely with residents and collaborate with businesses and Westminster Council “to ensure the plans are the very best they can be.”

Meantime, a listing of the proper plans are put in place, according to CityA.M., a UK and World business and finance news and economic, there will be new seating placed on the pavement, cyclists will have to dismount their bikes when travelling through that section, additional six pedestrian crossings will be created along Wigmore Street with two new bus routes to operate and public pavements to widen to enhance the public space.

CityA.M. also commented that this project is “funded by the government and major local landowners and employers in the area, would look to be in place by 2021,” and TfL commissioner Mike Brown told City A.M. pointed out that “all of the Elizabeth Line stations will be fully accessible and step free”, improving how people can get in and out of Oxford Street.

Monochrome: Painting in Black and White

‘Monochrome’ surveys 700 years of black-and-white painting

The National Gallery in London opened its doors to public on October 30. For a limited period only, visitors can view over 50 painted objects created by artists from the Middle ages through to the 21st century.

The theme of the exhibition explores black and white paintings created over 700 years. Some of the artworks will jostle the attention of art lovers, highlighting famous European masters, including Van Eyck, Dürer and Rembrandt. They sit alongside artworks by modern artists such as Gerhard Richter, Chuck Close and Bridget Riley.

There are seven rooms delivering an aspect of painting in black, white and grey; enter each room and discover amazing guest experiences. For example, one of the rooms feature “grisaille”, which is a painting technique that uses natural greyish colour.

This method is popular with the early Flemish painters such as Hubert and Jan van Eyck who created “The Ghent Altarpiece” for the cathedral at Ghent during the 15th century. The technique has also been used to reproduce on classical wall sculpture and ceiling images towards the late 18th century, and later, on photography and film.

Olafur Eliasson’s work will showcase the immersive light installation “Room for one colour”

“The use of minimal colour is also seen in works by Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella and Cy Twombly, where it is used to maximise impact in abstract work.” – AFP Relax News

The term “Monochrome” does not only represent black and white. Olafur Eliasson’s immersive light installation “Room for one colour” is an example of the use of a single colour tone to flood the room with yellow light.










London Brings ‘Co-Living’ to Old Oak at North West

Co-living at The Collective Old Oak has been designed for those who want to make the most of London life.

The Old Oak is a 10-storey building situated on a canal bank in the North West of London. The development has an appeal to that of a hotel, but in fact, if you take a step inside, The Old Oak is a large-scale housing, consisting of 546 rooms with high-end facilities, offering upscale services to its tenants.

Strategically located near two of London’s Underground stations, The Old Oak is well-connected with about ten minutes’ walk to access the public transportation, serving the needs, particularly for working adults, making their daily travels easier.

Opened in the spring of 2016, London has caught on the concept of ‘co-living’ and brought the ideal accommodation to The Old Oak for the collective whole that re-defines modern living in the way people work, play, live and socialise.

As it was not known when the concept was first introduced but it was said to have started in the United States as there “was no niche market,” said Ryan Fix, consultant at The Collective. The concept of ‘Co-living’ is foreseeable in the future “to be a massive movement in the coming decades.”

The Old Oak is defined by its industrial-style architecture and its interior features a large common space filled with colourful armchairs and wooden furniture where the young at heart intersect and like-minded people share interests.

Inside The Old Oak, it boasts high-end facilities such as a spa, gym, library, work room, restaurant and even a cinema, which is packed for evening showings of the hit TV series “Game of Thrones”. Communal activities such as music evenings and yoga classes are offered as well.

The Ensuite Room (Premium) offers a private living space with shared kitchenette and breakfast bar, overseeing views of London

Each room is designed to be spacious with large windows. Measuring at 12 sqm per room, the living space is well-equipped with modern facilities such as: a tiny ensuite bathroom, a small wash basin placed almost over the toilet, and a kitchenette. However, cooking and washroom areas in other rooms are shared.

According to Knight Frank, a typical room in shared accommodation costs £1,602 per month in central London and £954 in areas farther out. The Old Oak’s prices are largely in line with those of the local area. The majority of the rooms cost between £850 and £1,100 pounds per month, but that includes all bills (energy, internet, cleaning, taxes and common facilities). The largest are advertised at more than £1,400.

Rediscover the Gem of London: The Broadway, SW1 Westminster

A close up shot of The Broadway’s six beautiful architectural towers

Ensconced within SW1, in the heart of London’s prestigious landmark, The Broadway is a bespoke apartment, sprawling across 1.72-acre on-site the former New Scotland Yard headquarters in Westminster, with six architectural towers ranging from 14 to 19 floors.

Structured in pairs, the buildings are inspired by the world’s most revered diamonds, Sancy, Paragon and Cullinan. Each architectural tower has been carefully crafted in the choice of light, mid and dark palettes to juxtapose with the diverse materials and components forming the aesthetics of the facade.

Bordered by oversized hexagon-shaped windows, large amount of natural light can flow in to illuminate the entire living room space, while subtly bringing out a sense of style with the specified anodised bronze feature shelving and panels in the kitchens.

An overview of the High West to East Terrace

When the whole development completes with cutting-edge facilities in 2021, the 355,000 sq ft luxury residence will offer picturesque views overlooking The Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, St James’s Park, Horse Guards Parade and Green Park.

Designed by Northacre London, with 25 years of excellence in innovative design scenes and realised by award-winning architects, Squire and Partners, The Broadway, SW1 will offer an array of shops, cafes, restaurants and high-end retail units as well as new street and office spaces on the first three levels. Alongside the well-connected High West to East Terrace, will provide a private oasis for residents to enjoy the peaceful serenity of green and view the bustle of London’s heartland.

The key specifications of The Broadway, SW 1 Westminster features 285 residential units, including extensive leisure facilities (16,000 sq ft), such as the fully-equipped gym with views overseeing the pool area, spa and 25m heated indoor swimming pool to offer simple relaxation to home owners.

The apartment’s interior features a 2.7m floor-to-ceiling height in principal rooms, enhanced by the elegance of engineered oak flooring throughout. Northacre explored multiple variations to successfully marry state-of-the-art appliances integrating Gaggenau and Miele appliances with Bardiglio Italian marble tops to form the intricately designed functional kitchens.

The stunning lobby to the apartments at The Broadway

“The design of The Broadway has been carefully considered as a unique and dynamic environment to inspire residents and tenants alike. Both Northacre and Squire and Partners are well known for three creating contextual developments, sympathetic to the property’s surrounding area.” – Michael Squire, founder of Squire and Partners

Throughout the whole project, The Broadway, SW1 is a new masterpiece capturing the zeitgeist of Art Deco style in the most contemporary interpretations. What’s revealing is the stunning lobby leading to the apartments at The Broadway as well as the facade of the six architectural towers taking inspirations from the beautifully configured architecture of 1920’s jewellery. While some key design features that resonate a decadent luxury look of The Broadway’s interior are shapes and structures found in luxury retail.


Twenty Grosvenor Square: Mayfair London Top Luxury Development

A drive and drop like the one offered at Twenty Grosvenor Square, is a first for a Mayfair development

Twenty Grosvenor Square, is not just Mayfair London’s first standalone Four Seasons Private Residences, it is Europe’s. Typically, a Four Seasons Private Residence comes with a hotel development attached, but for Twenty Grosvenor Square (20 GS for fans of hipster abbreviations), this London luxury development, located on one of the world’s grandest garden squares, Twenty Grosvenor Square is expected to become London’s top luxury development. The 37 private residence (including three penthouses) is expected to be completed in 2018. Finchatton, the developer and designer of this exquisite piece of heritage luxury real estate took bids from the world’s top hotel management groups before settling on service standards beyond reproach  of the legendary Four Seasons. As a result, life at Twenty Grosvenor Square is expected to deliver unrivalled excellence and elegance.

In addition to being the company’s first residential project that is not integrated with a hotel, Twenty Grosvenor Square, a Four Seasons Residence will also be the company’s third property in London, joining Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane and Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square.

Alex Michelin of Finchatton has been a luxury property developer in the prime central London area for close to 20 years, and the products he delivers is Mayfair, Knightsbridge, or what luxury real estate developers call the “Golden Triangle” – the majority of his properties are £5 million plus or £5,000 psf plus – suffice it to say Michelin’s developments are extremely top end and as a result, highly confidential and the last thing a company would like to talk about in the press is a sensationalised news story like an Omani Sheikh forking top dollar for two slices of prime London real estate.

Each apartment, with prices starting £35 million, the interiors have been elegantly designed by Finchatton to offer three, four and five bedroom apartments, each conceived with luxurious design features such as elegant classical drawing rooms, soaring ceilings, media rooms, family and catering kitchens, and separate access for staff.

Since 2001, Finchatton has designed, managed and financed over 60 development projects worth more than £1 billion in not just UK addresses but also France, America, Switzerland, the Caribbean, the Middle East and Australasia. That’s not even counting the projects for its bespoke arm, Finchatton Private which has completed over 75 prestigious bespoke developments. Combined, the company has in excess of £1.3 billion in the pipeline.

Strict confidentiality is a requirement, especially with clientele from China where the government crackdown on capital outflows has been particularly harsh. At the invitation of Knight Frank, LUXUO had the privilege of sitting down with Alex Michelin, CEO and co-founder of Finchatton to discuss the prime London real estate, market forecasts and of course, the official launch of his new luxury London development – Twenty Grovsenor Square.

This London luxury development, located on one of the world’s grandest garden squares, Twenty Grosvenor Square is expected to become London’s top luxury development.

Alex Michelin of Finchatton on Twenty Grosvenor Square and London Luxury Real Estate Market

Alex, your known in the industry for both investment banking and property development, what do you foresee as the biggest opportunities in the sectors at the moment?

When it comes to property there’s been a lot of talk of Brexit, and I think it’s a little overblown. While it’s a storm in a teacup, I don’t think London will lose its place in the world as a leading financial centre nor will it stop being the capital of Europe. As a property developer, I see the Brexit debate and the market softening for land as a good opportunity to enter the market. I think what might be more relevant for LUXUO’s readership is that the relative weakness of the GBP versus the USD will be a great opportunity in that they can purchase something in London at 20-40% off (depending on what and where you buy) because of the dollar parity and the uncertainty. As Warren Buffet often says, buy when everyone is running for the exits and you have that moment now. For Finchatton, it’s a huge opportunity and we intend to purchase more assets over the next 12 months.

Just to clarify, you mentioned London as the capital of Europe, in what terms? 

London is the capital of Europe in terms of amount of money flowing through the financial system, the culture, heritage, history and education – it’s where everyone wants to go. We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve been a magnet for the brightest minds in Europe. There has been net migration out of Paris and Germany to come here. In both the financial and property sector, we have the brightest minds in all of those countries – there’s a lot of well paying jobs, opportunity and a lot of capital flowing. All the venture capitalists are there and any of the ideas you need to get funded, London has all of that. I genuinely do not think that London is going to lose its place as the financial centre of Europe. It’s just too big, there’s too much history and the network of services is just too deep – it will take generations for all of this to go somewhere else.

From in-residence dining and catering, to concierge services, housekeeping, salon and spa services, grocery stocking, event planning, childcare, pet care, and transportation and business services, the seamless services of Twenty Grosvenor Square will be personally tailored to the lifestyle of each resident, offering ultimate customisation and peace of mind.

Does the rise of cryptocurrencies and the spurt of crypto-millionaires factor into this confluence?

Not really. Bitcoin and Ethereum have been fabulously successful and I believe that their valuations, debatable, are possibly in a bubble. We will see these technologies become more ingrained in the sector as they’re perfectly suited to property thanks to the distributed ledger which allows every single transaction there has ever been to be on everyone’s computer so everyone can track what has happened, which I believe will be phenomenal for the industry. The UK registry is looking to adopting some sort of blockchain technology but what’s interesting is that a few people have put their properties on the market and are ready to accept Bitcoin as a means of currency, it’s definitely the first in London – one of them is on the market for GBP 17 million and he’s saying he’ll accept Bitcoin. I’m not sure how this will happen but we will see how it will work.

Is 20 Grosvenor Square accepting Bitcoin?

We are not. We are worried about the speculative nature of the currency and there are still questions about what is has been used for, the source of funds and we don’t generally want to get into that debate, We try to be whiter than white and we make sure we know exactly where the funds are from and there are no money laundering threats or risks. There are UK regulations pertaining to money laundering and potential criminal activity and we need to track and trace and prove where the money is coming from thus people who accept bitcoin could open themselves up to those sort of legal challenges.

Monthly service rates at  £14 psf are lower than what is typically expected of a high end luxury development of this nature with hotel servicing (usually £20), that’s because Twenty Grosvenor Square was built efficiently and certain functions like the doormen doubling as valets provide great value.

I’m trying to get a gauge of London real estate development and London property prices. To use a Singaporean example, developers are forking out top dollar here in a phenomenon known as “en-bloc sales” – this means that whatever they build, they have to factor into PSF costs to recoup their aggressive land bids leading to concerns that the property might have inflated rather than real values, is this something which happens over the pond as well?

Ian Pidgeon, Knight Frank, Partner, Joint Head Prime New Homes Residential Development: I don’t think as much, London is a very old market, a lot of the buildings are listed within conservation areas and so you cant simply knock a building down and build a tower. The scarcity of land will make it very hard to get a good location, the planning laws are very restrictive as well – as a result, we couldn’t build a tower for Twenty Grovesnor Square while retaining the historical facade as well.

Michelin: You already know what you have to pay for the land, that said, there are definitely developers who outbid and overpay and prices get out of control but we definitely didn’t do that for 20 Grosvenor Square.

Pidgeon: It’s also very difficult to get permission for change of use and a majority of Mayfair are commercial, that is to say, retail or offices thus to switch from that to residential is very hard. Thus what’s been developed now in Mayfair is pretty much it and therefore supply is pretty tight.

What were some of the complexities in developing a historical building like the US Naval Headquarters into 20 Grosvenor Square?

They were there since 1939 as part of the war effort and we were lucky in that anything of historical value was taken down when they departed in 2007, thus we were able to demolish everything with the exception of the facade which gave us a unique position which is part of London’s heritage and yet have the latest technology and the most advanced building methodologies giving our apartments incredible acoustics, sound proofing, water pressure and heating etc, are all absolutely 21st century while a lot of buildings particularly those on Eaton Square are struggling to get the same level of quality as a lot of history has to be maintained.

Ned Baring, Director, Savills Private Office: I think one of the most important things about 20 Grovesnor Square is that it’s the first residential development in Mayfair serviced by a hotel. Mayfair hasn’t seen any developments for a long time and this is the first multi unit scheme in best address in Mayfair, It’s like Monopoly where if you parked on Mayfair and Parklane, you literally end up winning the whole game, luckily Alex and Andrew won the game by building basically the best London residential development i’ve ever seen.

Once the home of the US Naval Forces in Europe and frequented by the likes of General Dwight Eisenhower during the Second World War, Twenty Grosvenor Square is steeped with rich history. Reviving the energy of the original building

An Omani Sheikh just forked out GBP25 million for two apartments near Harrods, do outliers like these spike property evaluations unnecessarily?

Baring: The London real estate market has always typically seen strong PSFs ever since 199 The Knightsbridge got built and we’ve seen growth from £1,000 to £2,000 and now even £8,000 in some luxury developments and 20 Grosvenor Square comes close to it and we’re seeing wealth coming in from all four corners of the globe. It used to be that you’d build something and expect Russians to come rushing in but now you can’t actually finger point to which nationality is coming into London. Global wealth has gotten bigger and there are more billionaires being made everyday thus the wealth coming into a very small country is obscene.

Michelin: Since the 1900s, London has always been very global as a city and a foreigner’s enclave, particularly as the world has gotten smaller, Singapore has become more international as well over the years.

Baring: Most importantly, the English are very desirous of 20 Grosvenor Square which is a huge flag on the map because a lot of these foreign money types come in for two months of the year and it’s really refreshing to see proper English wealth come in and buy 20 Grosvenor Square.

Michelin: To your point about value, London is very old market and we have great systems, we have a lot of information about everything that sells, we have lots of providers providing data on everything which sales, a multitude of variables, so we have very good data. Thus, when people want to buy into  London real estate and they ask how we have priced it or why it is priced at this level, we can give them 50 comparable points of data and show them what everything else has sold for that time period and location and even confirm at the Land Registry. London is not a market where value is plucked from the air, there’s a lot of historical data which backs how things have trended and where the market has been. When Knight Frank and Savills price something like Twenty Grosvenor Square, they know that’s the market demand give or take 5%.

Baring: There are 17 different nationalities but the English have been predominant in the purchase of units at Twenty Grosvenor Square.

More often than not, we hear about the Middle Easterns and the Russians buying into London, is there a media bias because the reportage seem to be make it appear that few English are buying?

Pidgeon: It’s completely global, we do a run of three to four sales to them but there’s always something from different pockets in the world buying into London. Where there’s education, we are doing more sales to Chinese buyers where their children are going to boarding schools in London and so supply and demand are shaping a lot of the pricing and so if you want a blue chip location – typically, Mayfair, Belgravia, Knightsbridge, it’s where the old money has always been. Even then, if you came in with £20 million and say show me the best, we’d be struggling to show you more than 2 or 3 which tick all the right boxes. These people who buy into these exclusive areas typically don’t sell and buy again, so these are long term holds. Maybe some of the other areas are a little more speculative, along the river, that’s more pure investor driven. When you come into Mayfair, these are for discretionary individuals who want the very best. They pay those prices because they know that if you don’t want it, somebody else will.

Bringing the luxuries and conveniences of hotel living home, Twenty Grosvenor Square, a Four Seasons Residence will offer the many services and amenities that guests enjoy in Four Seasons hotels and resorts around the world.

Michelin: There’s definitely a bias. We keep a lot of what we do very confidential, it doesn’t suit our interest to publicise too much what goes on in our market but the media will always latch on to some gossip or a juicy headline which screams Russian oligarch or Middle Eastern Sheikh, they latch on that but really we have a ready market of British buyers but this doesn’t make a story or headline. Media in London is very sensationalist, they don’t want to write “The English just bought 60% of apartments in London last year”.

Baring: We typically get a lot of Middle Eastern interest but the events unfolding in Qatar have weakened demand from that region at the moment. Chinese buyers are picking up and this is quite new – we’ve always had Singapore and Hong Kong but not as many from China over the last 10 years and it’s just beginning but this is going to be a long process as they first have to figure out how to get money out of the country, it’s a lot of education to tell them how to purchase and there’s a lot of purchasing power waiting to be harnessed.

Michelin: To answer your question, yes, the British are still predominant. 38-40% comprise Middle East, China, Russia, East Asia and the rest of Europe. Everyone. There’s a joke that pretty much anyone who has a billion dollars, owns a flat in London. It’s just one of those places where you want to own a property.


One Hyde Park, Knightsbridge

What’s your forecast on London and what prime new build and investment projects do you foresee?

Michelin: We are looking to purchase more assets now because opportunities abound due to the uncertainty over Brexit. Essentially everyone will realise life still goes on and that London is still the place to be, prices will once again rebound and thus we’re very confident investing in London and our intention is to continue to do so, we are not going to start investing in other places which other people seem to be doing.

Pidgeon: Ned and I have been flying and seeing the buyers and the general sentiment and consensus is that they’re not spooked by Brexit, they simply want to buy the best and they’re in no great rush. London real estate is going to stay pretty flat over the next two years and they pretty much see that the opportunity to buy into London is now thanks to the exchange rate as well as the relative lack of supply, which isn’t going to change much over the next five years. We have identified pretty much every single London Luxury Development which has been going on, the people we are talking to are comfortable and they are expecting things to bounce back in the next 2-3 years. Stamp duty rather than Brexit is slowing the market down and causing some values to drop.

Baring: Purchasing in London is still a lot cheaper than purchasing in New York or Hong Kong, as much as restrictions have cooled the market, it hasn’t stopped the market.

Knightsbridge is home to your development, One Hyde Park, does this sort of exuberance bode well for the area or does it contribute to a potential bubble?

Baring: Historically, Knightsbridge was never a destination to go and live, you’d typically choose to live in Belgravia or Mayfair, People will go to Knightsbridge to shop, eat there and then they will drive home because the preference is to live in Mayfair. Mayfair really is the number one destination to live in London. That said, recent high profile new developments are putting Knightsbridge on the map for London.

Pidgeon: One Hyde Park and 199 The Knightsbridge stole the headlines because they had parking and quality amenities. Mayfair had lagged behind for a bit but now the area is by far, the destination but truth was supply hadn’t really been there 10 years ago.

Michelin: Mayfair historically has always been the number one place to live in London. The Duke of Westminster built Mayfair built Grosvenor Square specifically for the great and the good. Mayfair has historically been home for the most powerful and wealthy politicians globally. All that has happened over time is that it’s been very difficult to build a brand new shiny tower over there. Knightsbridge had old buildings which made it ripe for redevelopment and swanky new luxury apartments with hotel servicing. It was product led rather than location led. It’s so difficult to do something like that in Mayfair simply because there’s so much history and heritage that it was a coup to do Twenty Grosvenor Square. Knightsbridge stole all the headlines from Mayfair for a time and I dare say it has swung back to Mayfair. It has the highest number of Michelin star restaurants and by far, the most high end boutiques and the best hotels. Mayfair is the place. Twenty Grosvenor Square is the pinnacle of everything that has been created in London.


Savoy Hotel’s American Bar emerges as the top winner of The World’s 50 Best Bars

American Bar, Savoy Hotel

London’s Southwark Cathedral played host to the 2017 edition of The World’s 50 Best Bars on September 5, gathering some of the industry’s top mixologists from speakeasies, local watering holes and hotel bars. The location of the annual gala, which is held to highlight the best bars around the world, is hardly a coincidence; that night, London took home the most number of spots on the list, including the first place. Ironically, London’s top winner is the American Bar of The Savoy Hotel.

Savoy Hotel’s storied hotel bar effectively knocks last year’s winner, The Dead Rabbit, off of its throne. The New York bar now sits at fifth place, sharing the top 10 list with two other bars from the city: Attaboy at the eighth place, and The NoMad Hotel ranked the highest of the three at the third spot.

As its name would suggest, American Bar was one of the first bars to introduce Londoners to the fashionable American-style “cocktail” drink, which became popular in the late 19th century. Besides boasting a legacy that stretches back more than a century, the bar is also run by a string of professionals who pull off their jobs with mastery and skill. American Bar’s 11th bartender, Erik Lorincz, is no stranger to accolades for his own abilities, having previously been named the Best International Bartender at the 2011 edition of Tales of the Cocktail.

Bartender Erik Lorincz at The American Bar, Savoy Hotel

The world’s best bar would be nothing without its drinks, and the menu at the American Bar is one of the imaginative variety. Entitled “Coast to Coast”, the menu takes guests on a liquid journey across Britain, aspiring to evoke the island’s verdant landscape, folklore, history and characters from the North to the South. The inventive cocktails are inspired by everything from the Garden of England in Kent and the Sherwood Forest to London’s Art Deco era and the Edinburgh Castle.

Naturally, many of these poetic concoctions are on the pricey side. For example, The Arthur’s Seat is a £30 cocktail made with Royal Brackla 16-year-old malt whisky, wild honeysuckle Cocchi Rosa aperitif, wine, honey water, raspberry vinegar and blossom bitters.

American Bar was accompanied by several other London-based establishments on the top 10 list, such as Connaught Bar (#4) and Bar Termini (#9). Mondrian London’s botanic-themed Dandelyan, which won the Best International Hotel Bar at this year’s Spirited Awards, came in at a close second.

Across the list of 50 winners that encompasses 24 cities in 19 countries, Europe and the US made up a big share with 19 and 13 spots respectively. Asia had 12 addresses on the list, with Singapore’s Manhattan Bar being the best in the region at seventh place. Shanghai’s Speak Low came in at 10th place.

Down under, Melbourne’s Black Pearl came out as the top bar in Australasia. Mexico City’s Licoreria Limantour represents the best of Latin America while Tel Aviv’s Imperial Craft is at the forefront of the bar scene in the Middle East and Africa.

The Araki is London’s newest three Michelin-starred restaurant

Japanese cuisine has put Britain on the map in the world of the Michelin Guide. The Araki, a sushi restaurant that opened on Regent Street in 2014, has just been knighted with three stars by the inspectors of the venerable red guide. The restaurant is helmed by sushi master Mitsuhiro Araki, who now joins the ranks of Alain Ducasse and Gordon Ramsay in bringing the number of top-rated restaurants in the UK to five.

This isn’t Araki’s first time in the spotlight from earning Michelin’s highest accolade. Before moving to London three years ago, Araki pulled off the same feat back in Tokyo, where he ran another eponymous Edomae sushi restaurant. In a short span of time, Araki has steadily regained his three Michelin stars, testifying to the Japanese chef’s mastery of the cuisine.

Following that, Araki didn’t just kick his feet up and bask in his success. At his restaurant in London, the sushi master challenged himself to use mostly European fish in his dishes. The results, as described by Michelin director Michael Ellis, are “simply sublime.”

The Araki only seats nine diners at its counter, an arrangement that, according to the restaurant’s website, means that “every seat is at the chef’s table”. The restaurant also has a fixed omakase sushi menu for £300 a person.

Besides The Araki, four other restaurants in the UK retained their three Michelin-star ratings: Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, and Alain Roux’s Waterside Inn, Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester Restaurant and Gordon Ramsay in London, which, after Clare Smyth’s departure, is now headed by chef Matt Abé.

Another big winner in the 2018 edition of the Michelin guide for Great Britain and Ireland is Claude Bosi at Bibendum, where the restaurant’s sophisticated French cuisine earned two stars.

Overall, 20 restaurants were awarded two stars, while the single-starred category features 150 addresses, 17 of which are new. The Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland 2018 hits book stores October 5.

Luxury property in London: Shoe designer Patrick Cox sells Little Venice villa for £2.75 million

The façade of Patrick Cox’s villa on 35 Lanark Road

After 15 years, British-Canadian fashion designer Patrick Cox has sold his 1,908 sq.ft Victorian villa in London’s Little Venice, and now he’s packing his bags for Ibiza. The house on Lanark Road might not seem like much judging by its Victorian façade, but its £2.75 million price tag includes a “disco loo”, a Roman bathroom and a walk-in shoe-den.

These are some of Cox’s special touches on what used to be an ordinary four-storey, semi-detached villa back in 2002, when he had first purchased it. After moving out of his flat in the trendy Notting Hill district, the shoe designer devoted almost 1.5 years to remodelling and meticulously designing his new home as part of his “grand designs” style property project. Cox transformed what was meant to be a four-bedroom family home into a stunning “entertaining house” that came with an abundance of open lateral living space — just the perfect luxury pad for him and his two British bulldogs.

The garden terrace

Keeping only the villa’s façade and its original Victorian period staircase untouched, Cox rebuilt all four floors into one large room each. On the lower ground floor is the sleek, stainless steel designer kitchen, complimented by luxurious flooring made from slabs of the finest chocolate-coloured Emperador veined marble. The kitchen is tucked in a corner off the huge dining room, which was often lined with sketches of shoes by Cox. There is also a media room that opens onto a patio terrace at the front and a garden to the rear.

The main reception room

The ground floor acts as a 27 ft double volume reception room. Its generous ceiling height, bespoke joinery and American walnut wood parquet flooring made the perfect backdrop for the many dinner parties, cocktail parties and events that the house had played host to over the years. Being a celebrity in the fashion world, Cox included the likes of Liz Hurley, Madonna, Cate Blanchett and David Furnish to his star-studded guest lists.

Cox’s master bedroom suite occupied the entire first floor, complete with a black Nero marble bathroom. If that didn’t sound lavish already, Cox converted the entire top floor second into a vast, walk-in wardrobe and dressing room — home to the designer’s collection of almost 400 pairs of shoes.

For the final fabulous touch, the house is completed with a guest “disco bathroom” — complete with sound system — that features an array of mirrors and a terraced rear garden.

The “Disco Bathroom”

Cox’s unique Lanark Road home was sold to leading Inner London estate agency, Aston Chase. Mark Pollack, Founding Director of Aston Chase, notes that “Patrick’s house is in immaculate condition and finished to a luxurious specification.” Cox adds that the house’s close proximity to Regent’s Park “is ideal for walking the dogs and the house has totally bespoke interiors”, representing “a very special purchase for the discerning buyer”. Having grown tired of the city scene in London, Cox plans to embark on another “Grand Designs” style project in Ibiza for a change.

Exhibitions in London: The O2 presents “My Name is Prince”, the first exhibition dedicated to the late musical icon

After his passing in April last year, there hasn’t quite been anything to fill the hole that the legendary singer-songwriter Prince left behind. The late musician had been a source of inspiration to countless artists across genres and generations, including David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Stevie Nicks and Justin Timberlake. Aptly dubbed the “modern Mozart”, Prince left behind a legacy that is unparalleled, encompassing the worlds of music, fashion and pop culture.

To honour the one-of-a-kind artist, The O2 in London will be hosting the world premiere of the very first official exhibition dedicated to the icon: “My Name is Prince”. Opening on October 27, the unique retrospective will showcase never-before-seen artefacts from Paisley Park, the famous Minnesota private estate owned by the singer.

Visitors will get an unprecedented look into the life and vision of one the world’s most creative minds, with exhibits featuring a multitude of Prince’s instruments, stage outfits, awards and handwritten song lyrics.

For the first time, costumes from both the artist’s 1984-85 Purple Rain tour and 1988-89 LoveSexy tour will be on display for the world to see. Fans can also expect to get a close-up peek at the orange cloud guitar from the singer’s 2007 Super Bowl halftime performance. (This item, in particular, is special because it comes in Prince’s favourite colour, as revealed by his sister.)

“My Name is Prince” will only be in London for 21 days, as a reference to the musician’s 21 record-breaking, sold-out concerts held at the O2 back in 2007. For self-confessed Prince devotees, there will be an Exclusive Preview Night Event held on October 26 which offers a private preview of the exhibition. Find out more and get your tickets at The O2’s website.

Gordon Ramsay protégée opens debut restaurant “Core by Clare Smyth” in London 

Image courtesy of Core by Clare Smyth’s official website.

Impressing Gordon Ramsay is something of a Herculean task (his reality cooking series isn’t called “Hell’s Kitchen” for nothing). Miraculously, it’s a task that Chef Clare Smyth has ticked off her list, having spent 11 years as the formidable chef’s protégée. It’s only natural, then, that someone of Smyth’s calibre would dream of something even bigger than being chef-patron at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay. That dream has now been realized in the form of her very own restaurant: Core by Clare Smyth.

For Smyth, Core by Clare Smyth has been a long time coming. Since beginning her tenure as head chef at Ramsay’s London flagship in 2007, she had tirelessly maintained all three of her Michelin stars — a first for a female British chef. Smyth was also royally recognized for her talents when she was an awarded an MBE by the Queen in 2013.

Following her departure from Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in late 2015, Smyth announced her plans to open her debut solo restaurant. Her highly anticipated restaurant — initially slated to launch in 2016 — finally opened its doors to the charming district of London’s Notting Hill on August 1.

For all the buzz it has been causing, London’s hottest new restaurant is surprisingly simple and relaxed in appearance. Core by Clare Smyth’s modern décor starkly contrasts with the historic Victorian building it is housed in, creating an elegant — and undeniably British — atmosphere. A natural colour palette of green, aubergine, milk, copper and burnished gold reflects Smyth’s emphasis on sustainable British produce; the restaurant serves fresh scallops from the Isle of Mull in Scotland, Colchester crabs and shrimps caught in England’s Morecambe Bay.

From a selection of 10 to 12 evolving dishes crafted by the meticulous Smyth, guests are given a choice of a three-course (£65), five-course (£80) or full tasting menu (£95). There’s also an equally impressive wine list: over 400 fine wines and champagnes, most of which are from Burgundy, Bordeaux, Northern Italy and California.

Besides the 54-seat restaurant (which has already been booked through October), Core by Clare Smyth features an 18-seater cocktail bar that serves both alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails. Until an opportunity to fully immerse in the fine dining experience offered by one of the world’s most distinguished chefs presents itself, the bar will have to do.

Mondrian London’s Dandelyan is named World’s Best Bar for 2017

The bustling banks of Thames River has long been home to many of London’s gems: the magnificent London Eye, the ancient Gothic monuments of Southwark Cathedral and the internationally renowned art museum, Tate Modern. Now, tourists can add one more stop on their trip down to the heart of London: Mondrian London’s Dandelyan bar, AKA the World’s Best Bar of 2017.

Bestowed with its latest title at this year’s Spirited Awards, Dandelyan is a botany-themed paradise. You’d hardly be able to keep your eyes off the bar’s sleek, stylish interior — think modern fixtures of marble, leather and wood that come in the surprising shades of pink and green  — envisioned by award-winning designer, Tom Dixon. Oh, and let’s not forget the spectacular front-row views of Old Father Thames, in all its olive-coloured glory.

Of course, Dandelyan isn’t just gloss and shine. The London watering hole offers an inventive drinks menu designed by Ryan Chetiyawardana, who also happens to be the World’s Best Bartender of 2015. “Vices of Botany” presents a plant-themed selection of cocktails that takes a “nose to tail” approach to flora. With Ryan’s touch, ingredients of the garden variety (literally) such as nettles, pine and blue corn are combined with alcohol to concoct magically refreshing tipples. Whether you are in need of an all-day refresher or an early evening pick-me-up, Dandelyan has got you covered.

The panelists of the 2017 Spirited Awards certainly took note of Dandelyan’s winning combination of a stunning venue and stellar cocktails. In fact, they were so impressed that the London bar also bagged two other titles at the event: the Best International Hotel Bar and Best International Bar Team 2017.

The list of winners of the night was peppered with bars from London and New York, but Singapore’s very own Tippling Club did manage to clinch the title of Best International Restaurant Bar, making it the only Asian bar on the list. Other notable winners are Shanghai’s Shingo Gokan, who won International Bartender of the Year, and Melbourne’s Black Pearl, which took the title of Best International Cocktail Bar.

Serpentine Galleries presents ‘The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!’ by Grayson Perry in London

Grayson Perry, ‘Death of a Working Hero,’ 2016

From June 8 through September 10, 2017, the Serpentine Galleries in London are playing host to a major exhibition on the new works of artist Grayson Perry. Known as much for his eccentric behavior as his artwork, the English artist Grayson Perry is appreciated for his social commentary through a variety of media: from ceramics to tapestry and cast iron. Perry is most known for his brightly-colored vases, onto which he depicts scenes from contemporary life.

Grayson Perry at the Serpentine Galleries

Grayson Perry, ‘Puff Piece,’ 2016, Glazed ceramic

In his late fifties, Perry continues to create art. His latest exhibition, to be held at London’s Serpentine Galleries, will feature his new creations under the title “The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever!” The collection consists of Perry’s signature ceramic work, as well as drawings, tapestries, wood carving and other mixed media that each address contemporary questions: from masculinity to Brexit, politics and the self.

Grayson explains that his latest pieces “all have ideas about popularity hovering around them. What kind of art do people like? What subjects? Why do people like going to art galleries these days? What is the relationship of traditional art to social media?”

Recent exhibitions include “Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman” at the British Museum in 2013 and “Hold Your Beliefs Lightly”, Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht, The Netherlands in 2015 – 2016. This latest exhibition is to be held at the Serpentine Galleries, in the heart of London’s Kensington Gardens.

In 2003 Perry was awarded the coveted Turner prize for his work with ceramics, and would go on to be awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for his services to contemporary art in 2013. He is also a Trustee of the British Museum, Chancellor of the University of the Arts London and holds an honorary fellowship from RIBA.

“Charles I: King and Collector” exhibition by The Royal Academy of Arts, London in 2018

“Charles I at the Hunt” by d’Anthony van Dyck (c.1635) © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Christian Jean

From January 27 to April 15, 2018, The Royal Academy of Arts, in partnership with The Royal Collection Trust, will present “Charles I: King and Collector”. This will be a major exhibition that will reunite the art collection King Charles I of England (1600-1649)—one of the most extraordinary and influential art collections ever assembled. During his reign, the monarch acquired works dating from the 15th to 17th centuries, including pieces by Van Dyck, Rubens Holbein and Titian. The collection was dispersed after his execution in 1649.

Around 150 works from the former collection of Charles I will be reunited for the first time since the 17th century at The Royal Academy of Arts in London next year. The exhibition includes 90 works lent by Queen Elizabeth II, as well as works from The National Gallery in London, the Musée du Louvre in Paris and the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid.

Highlights include the monumental portraits of the king and his family by Anthony van Dyck: “Charles I and Henrietta Maria with Prince Charles and Princess Mary,” “Charles I on Horseback with M. de St. Antoine,” “Charles I on Horseback” and “Charles I at the Hunt.” The latter, lent by the Louvre, will return to England for the first time since the 17th century.

The show features various works by Rubens, including “Minerva Protects Pax from Mars” and “Landscape with Saint George and the Dragon,” as well as celebrated tapestries of Raphael’s “Acts of the Apostles.”

Works by major artists of the Renaissance also feature, including Correggio, Titian, Veronese, Dürer, Holbein the Younger and Bruegel the Elder.

Charles I: one of history’s greatest collectors

“Supper at Emmaus ” by Titian, (c.1530) © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Christian Jean

President of The Royal Academy of Arts, Christopher Le Brun, said: “Charles I is one of history’s greatest collectors, the Royal Collection is one of the world’s greatest collections and the Royal Academy’s galleries are amongst the finest in the world. With such a combination this exhibition provides the perfect launch for our 250th-anniversary celebrations in 2018.”

In the two years prior to his ascension to the throne, Prince Charles visited Madrid, which was under Habsburg rule at the time. The future king was impressed by the Habsburg art collection and returned home with various works, including paintings by Titian and Veronese. He built on this fledgeling collection by acquiring other pieces — including a collection accumulated by the Dukes of Mantua—and by commissioning works from artists such as Anthony van Dyck. By 1649, the collection of Charles I comprised around 1,500 paintings and 500 sculptures.

The Royal Academy of Arts was founded by King George III in 1768. It is a privately funded institution led by eminent artists and architects whose purpose is to be a clear, strong voice for art and artists.

“Charles I: King and Collector” runs January 27 to April 15, 2018, at The Royal Academy of Arts in London, UK.

For more information, visit Royal Academy.

Featured Video Play Icon

Pink Floyd retrospective opens at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum

Following their intensely successful international exhibition ” David Bowie Is,” London’s Victoria and Albert Museum is gearing up for another blockbuster. The venue is putting another iconic musical act in the spotlight as it opens its Pink Floyd retrospective on May 13. “Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains” marks 50 years since the influential British band released its first-ever single, “Arnold Layne.” Chronicling the band’s music, design and staging from the 1960s to the present, the exhibition promises an “audio-visual journey through Pink Floyd’s unique and extraordinary worlds.”

The exhibition charts Pink Floyd’s influence on art and music throughout the years, most notably through its striking performances and aesthetic. The band is best known for its iconic psychedelic imagery, which is celebrated in this tribute exhibition. Organisers of the exhibition note visuals such as pigs flying over Battersea Power Station, the prism for “The Dark Side of the Moon,” cows, marching hammers and giant inflatable teachers—many brought to life by modern surrealist Storm Thorgerson, satirical illustrator Gerald Scarfe and psychedelic lighting pioneer Peter Wynne-Wilson.

Never-before-seen concert footage and a laser light show designed specially for the exhibition will be featured alongside displays of more than 350 objects and artefacts, accompanied by a “sonic experience” provided by Sennheiser.

Plans to take the exhibition on the road have yet to be revealed, but the show is being positioned as the follow-up to “David Bowie Is,” which opened at the V&A in 2013 and became a global success; that show continues to tour internationally, with Barcelona up next to present.

Find out more about the Pink Floyd exhibition, which runs May 13 to October at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Sydney Town Hall, Brutalist Sydney Map. Image courtesy of Glenn Harper

Brutalist Sydney Map: Exploring architecture and design of Brutalist buildings

Molecular Science and Biochemistry building, Brutalist Sydney Map. Image courtesy of Glenn Harper

Molecular Science and Biochemistry building, Brutalist Sydney Map. Image courtesy of Glenn Harper

The Brutalist architecture aesthetic has always provoked extreme reactions. Considered “concrete eyesores” in the past, the perspective has shifted considerably, yielding a rising popularity and even a “design icon” status. London-based independent city guide publisher Blue Crow Media has accordingly placed a spotlight on this genre. A Brutalist guide to Sydney was released Monday (following three previous Brutalist maps of London, Paris, Washington; a Brutalist Boston Map will also be available in Spring 2017). The publisher has also released other internationally-minded maps highlighting urban Art Deco and Constructivism.

Sydney Town Hall, Brutalist Sydney Map. Image courtesy of Glenn Harper

Sydney Town Hall, Brutalist Sydney Map. Image courtesy of Glenn Harper

Each two-sided guide includes a map, an introduction to the movement in the city, and stark black-and-white photographs. Details for each building include the precise location and the architects or practice responsible for the construction.

The Brutalist Sydney Map encompasses 50 of the most significant examples, within the city and suburbs. Lesser-known structures include the Buhrich House II (conceived by the émigré architects Hugh and Eva Buhrich) and the Eastern Suburbs Railway Vents (attributed to Mansfield Jarvis and Maclurcan). There are edifices that may need to be commemorated through the photographs, like the Sirius Apartments, by Tao Gofers and the former New South Wales (NSW) Housing Commission (likely to be sold without heritage listing), and Bidura Children’s Court, by former NSW Government Architect (now sold and likely to be demolished).

Bidura Children's Court, Brutalist Sydney Map. Image courtesy of Glenn Harper

Bidura Children’s Court, Brutalist Sydney Map. Image courtesy of Glenn Harper

Brutalism by the mid-1970s was well-adopted within the architectural practices of Sydney. The city’s luminous disposition seemed an ideal setting to highlight the textured surfaces of this architectural approach. Key to the adoption of this was the NSW Government Architect and the design architects of the NSW Public Works Department. The range of public projects in this style was pushed forward through collaborations with European-trained émigré architects.

Glenn Harper, a Senior Associate Architect and urban designer at Sydney’s PTW Architects, founded @Brutalist_Project_Sydney, and documented this aesthetic for the guide.