We Take a Look at the Excellent English Wines from Danebury Vineyard

Valentine’s Day may be over, but there are 364 other days’ worth celebrating with Danebury Vineyard’s quality English wines.

Limited production with exceptional quality, that’s the focus of family-owned boutique vineyard Danebury Vineyard. Based near Stockbridge in Hampshire, the highly regarded vineyard estate covers some seven acres – land that was once a successful racehorse yard. The racing heritage is now reflected in the company’s wine labels. And it named its sparkling white wine after Cossack, a racehorse trained at Danebury that won The Derby in 1847.


Vine growing at Danebury Vineyard in Hampshire

Danebury has been producing quality English sparkling and still wines since 1988 and follows organic principles in its wine-making. The UK’s long summer days allow for maximum ripening of its cool climate grapes, ensuring strong fruit flavours. While the chalk and flint soil lends the wine its mineralogy.
Danebury produces two varietal white wines: Schönburger and Madeline Angevine, and a Reserve Wine that’s a blend of the four varieties grown at Danebury. The vineyard’s sparkling offering is the premium vintage Cossack – an award-winning white wine made from Auxerrois Blanc and Ruländer grape varieties that will be released in Spring this year.


Grapes grown at Danebury Vineyard in Hampshire

Danebury’s expert winemaker, Vince Gower has been producing quality English wine for over 20 years and has won dozens of national and international awards. His careful approach entails minimal intervention, with the pressing, fermentation, transferring and filtering process carried out with the utmost care, ensuring the delicate nature of the juice is preserved and the character ‘terroir’ of Danebury Vineyard is fully expressed in the finished wine.


Danebury Wine Collection

Danebury Madeleine Angevine 2014 – Still Dry White Wine

Medals – Bronze: Decanter Magazine, UK Wine Awards. Commended: International Wine Challenge, Sommelier Wine Awards.

Madeleine Angevine is a white wine grape from the Loire Valley – a popular choice for UK winegrowers. It has the advantage of being early ripening and grows well in cooler climates. Madeleine Angevine makes an attractive fruity, yet dry wine with a flowery nose similar to Alsatian Pinot Blanc and refreshing finish. It’s the perfect aperitif and pairs well with chicken, seafood such as scallops and crayfish or charcuterie and pâtés.
Alcohol: 11.5% Suitable for vegetarians

Danebury Schönburger 2014 — Still Dry White Wine

Medals 2017 – Bronze: Sommelier Wine Awards

Schönburger is a relatively unknown German grape variety with a slightly red skin when it ripens, a hybrid of Pinot Noir, Chasselas and Muscat Hamburg, popularly grown in England. It is quickly pressed with no skin contact to produce a silky, aromatic, dry white wine. It has a rich, full soft palate exhibiting a refreshing, clean finish, making it an excellent accompaniment to fish, chicken and vegetable sauce-based dishes.
Alc %. 10.0. Suitable for vegetarians

Danebury Reserve 2015 – Still Dry White Wine

Medals 2017 – Silver: Sommelier Wine Awards, Bronze: Decanter, IWSC

A full dry white wine, which is a skilful blend of all our grape varieties (Schönburger, Madeleine Angevine, Auxerrois Blanc and Ruländer [Pinot Gris]). Displaying a complex combination of the fruitiness of Madeleine Angevine, the crisp acidity of Schönburger, structure of the Auxerrois, complemented by the subtle in influence of Ruländer, and delivering plenty of mineralogy on the finish. It works well with a variety of dishes due to its complex flavour and crisp acidity: a taste of Hampshire in a glass.
Alcohol: 12%. Suitable for vegetarians

Danebury “Cossack” 2014 — English Sparkling Wine

Made from a blend of 95% Auxerrois Blanc (a cross between Gouais Blanc and Pinot Noir sharing the ancestry of Chardonnay) and 5% Ruländer grapes (a German synonym for Pinot Gris). Cossack is crafted using the traditional bottle fermentation method and aged for approximately four years on its lees. A classically structured wine that lasts on the palate, Cossack is equally delightful to drink either on its own or with food.

To be released in Spring 2018


Grape vines growing at Danebury Vineyard in Hampshire

Danebury Vineyards — Where and How
Danebury House, Stockbridge, Hants, 8020 6JX
Tel: +44 1264 781851
Email: info@danebury.com

danebury.com

Visit and Text: Gigi Morelli

We visited 5 Unique Places around the Globe for you

There are a variety of unique places to stay across the globe, from underwater hotels to hammocks high in the tree canopies. The tree Unique use combines the adventure of an unconventional night’s stay with a few of the luxury comforts we all enjoy. Here is our list of the world’s most amazing treehouses you can stay in.

Lion Sands, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Cost per night: $450


Placed above the savannah, The Lions Sands Game Reserve is proud to present one of its four treehouses. Here you are disconnected from electricity and without a shower but when you’re sleeping amongst zebras and lions these matters are trivial.

Treehotel, Harada, Sweden
Cost per night: From $510


The modern spaceship look-alike is a far cry away from what your typical childhood treehouse might resemble. In this hotel, you are surrounded by a pine forest, high above the forest floor, giving a whole new meaning to ‘a bird’s eye view’. With its futuristic design, it will certainly be an unforgettable night stay.

 

Bangkok Tree House, Bangkok, Thailand
Cost per night: From $125


The Bangkok Treehouse’s mission is to disconnect you from city life and to reconnect you with nature. This elevated oasis brings you stunningly positioned treetop rooms, as well as their more unique experience of their floating double-bed called the River Nest. Seriously, it’s just a bed on the water.

 

Free Spirit Spheres, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Cost per night: From $160


Suspended amongst intricate webs of rope, the Free Spirit Spheres really evoke the essence of sleeping amongst the treetops. These orbs will bring your childhood dreams to life, providing a luxurious and unique way to camp in the tree canopy.

 

Green Village, Bali, Indonesia
Nightly rate: $325


The Green Village is more of an eco-community as opposed to an actual hotel, and it may be the grandest collection of treehouse vacation homes in the world. Not limited by the usual constraint of walls, you will be sleeping in the thick of the Indonesian jungle with the luxury of a few home comforts.

Visit and text: Gernot Mueller

Get ready – Today we show you Europe’s Top 5 Beach Clubs In 2018

Amante – Ibiza

This rural restaurant is set in a stunning cove on a cliff overlooking the Sol Den Serra bay. The backdrop is perfect for long, lazy lunches, fine dinners, and drinks in the Mediterranean breeze. Don’t miss the evenings at Amante, highlighted by the sea breezes and moonlit cliffs.

Theros Wave Bar – Santorini

This elegant Mediterranean spot is the perfect mix of exotic, romantic and fun. During the day, guests can take a relaxing walk along the crystal-clear water, volcanic sand and views of the massive cliffs off Eros beach. Once the sun goes down, pick a cozy spot among the bar’s many sofas, sip a famous Theros cocktail and relax.

Hula-Hula – Hvar

Looking for parties from day to night? The Hula-Hula Hvar is the place for beach-lovers to meet up and watch the sun disappear into the sea while sipping a piña colada or listening to soulful tunes. The bar is located just up the coast from the Hotel Amfora for easy access to travellers and locals alike.

Phi – Sardinia

The golden beaches at Phi offer guests to restore their well-being seaside with comfortable seating, canopies, and a lounge area to have lunch. At night, be sure not to miss the Rock Club to enjoy the best champagne, intimate dinners and live music.

Gecko Beach Club – Formentera

The Gecko Beach Club is situated on the island of Formentera. An island just next to Ibiza. Formentera is the Mediterranean’s best-kept secret with miles of secluded and unspoiled beaches and home to a vibrant and mixed community and rich history. The Gecko Beach Club is the newest and most luxurious place to stay on the island with amazing cocktails, mouth-watering food, and a relaxing haven to lie back in a hammock whilst watching the world meander by.

Text and Photos: Gigi Morelli

Amilla Beach Residences | A Luxurious Maldives Getaway

Step into paradise and get a taste of heaven on earth when you set foot in one of Amilla Beach ‘s picturesque residences.

Sitting gracefully over crystal clear waters, the beautiful properties are nestled among lush tree tops or hug the shores of pristine white sand. The multi-bedroom accommodation options are ideally suited for large families, groups of friends and VVIPs seeking the ultimate in space and privacy.

The eight glorious residences are unlike you have ever seen before. They include six 4-bedroom (Villa Residences), one 6-bedroom estate (The Amilla Villa Estate) and one 8-bedroom residence (The Great Beach Villa Residence).

To cater to your every whim, each villa comes with private butlers, gourmet chef and accomplished katheeb (house master, Amilla-style.). Your personal katheeb will anticipate your every need from making a hearty breakfast, to a soothing bath after a day exploring the island’s vast marine life.  For the little ones, in-villa babysitting is conveniently arranged so that you can surrender to a full day of pampering.

The Villa Residences are an ultra-modern Miami-style architecture with stunning minimalist design, providing an intimate space to unwind and escape. Spend hours lounging by the beach beds or take a dip in the cool ocean waters.

The Amilla Villa Estate has an Asian-style structure with elegant interiors. The spacious 6-bedroom residence has enough room to accommodate a group to enjoy the beautiful amenities, including the pristine infinity pool facing the Maldivian coastline.

Best for a big group of friends or family, the Great Beach Villa Residence is the largest of the eight-hyper luxury properties creating a statement with sleek contemporary lines and gleaming marble floors. It boasts a 20m lagoon-style swimming pool and a beachside hammock that demands you to sneak a siesta and enjoy the gentle ocean breezes.

For further Info and Reservation please visit:

Welcome home to Amilla Beach Villa Residences…..

Peyote DIFC a luxxrs visit

Our mission is to filter for you the best, most luxurious (and delicious!) culinary, fashion and cultural experiences taking place across the city. We aim to bring you the best that Dubai can offer.

We are often asked how we achieve this, what standards do we apply. The answer is simple: our team of specially selected writers and reviewers all have one thing in common: a love for quality, taste, beauty and aesthetics. This is where Peyote DIFC comes in.

Peyote – The Review

Dubai, the culinary haven that we are lucky to call home, has seen a genuine emergence of a new generation of restaurants offering a modern take on traditional and, sometimes, indigenous cuisines. Peyote, launched earlier this year, is definitely a contender for one of the finest, most original, delicious and aesthetically pleasing newcomers in this category. Acclaimed chef Eduardo Garcia (of the Maximo Bistrot in Mexico City – voted in the top 50 best restaurants in Latin America) balances the contemporary and the classic at Peyote, which boasts elegant dishes based on the sharing concept around main themes which include: ensaladascrudoceviche, tacos and fresh meat and seafood.

On approach to Peyote, as we meander through the Gate Village in the DIFC, we are taken by the simple beauty of the ‘peyote‘ flower which adorns the outside wall of the restaurant.

The ‘peyote‘ is a type of cactus native to the Chihuahua desert – noted on the one hand for its medicinal and hallucinogenic qualities but also for its gorgeous, delicate, pale pink, circular and many petaled flower – which the maison Peyote has so beautifully and stylishly adopted.

As we enter, we note the carefully chosen yet simple decor of natural birch wood. The notes of colour are provided by the strategically placed pale turquoize ceramic pineapples on the proportionate open spaced shelves. Right on trend, these ‘objets‘ subtly direct the colour spectrum: cornflower blue, peyote flower pink and lavender pastel that occur tastefully in the surroundings and in the tableware. Notes of copper work in tandem with the natural hues and the marble bar is elegant and inviting.

Upon arrival, we are delighted by the chili and passion fruit margarita – a must-have signature cocktail from Peyote in London. It is spicy, delicate and makes for a perfect start to the evening.

Entrees

We start with the guacamole which is tasty and zesty, and set out to try the fried baby squid with jalapeno mayonnaise and lime. Huge fans of deep fried squid and very taken by Zuma‘s version of the similar dish, at The Luxe Diary, we are harsh critics. But Peyote’s definitely stands the test with the tangy and delicate flavours of its signature batter. Delightfully crisp and flavoursome, it is a great result.

We move on to the tacos. Here again, we are pleasantly surprised to discover Peyote‘s declension of this traditional Mexican speciality. The Tacos de res (braised beef short ribs, salsa verde and cilantro cress), on their delicate lavender coloured soft corn taco bases are the most moreish combination of buttery sticky beef contrasted beautifully with the sharp salsa verde. We also try the Tacos de tempura de gambas, tiger prawn tempura with chipotle mayonnaise and lime – equally delicious.

From the ceviche family, our favourite was the Laminado de hamachi – razor thin slices of hamachi delicately layered with a unique type of Mexican truffle. A close second: the stunning Ceviche blanco with cilantro oil and coconut aguachile.

A perfect side to the tacos and ceviche was the Esquites, sweetcorn with homemade mayonnaise and queso fresco. A surprisingly delicious side – with its ingredients showcased perfectly and let to shine.

Desserts

The desserts are another world of culinary discovery. We opt for the Oaxaca Chocolate – warm chocolate chipotle mousse and raspberry sorbet. It is an interesting combination: not too sweet, with an earthy, rich and very genuine cocoa flavour, contrasted with a sharp and fruity rapsberry sorbet –  a triumph.

We also enjoyed Peyote’s take on a traditional dessert, Tres Leches. A vanilla soaked sponge cake with raspberry jam and burnt milk ice-cream, this dessert is the definition of comfort food with an expert twist. The berries add freshness to this warm, milky and vanilla-sweet bowl of deliciousness.

Service

The service at Peyote is excellent. The staff are attentive and appear to genuinely enjoy hosting their guests.

Contact: +971-4-521-6300 | info@peyoterestaurant.ae
Location: Gate Village No, 2 | DIFC, Dubai

Spark by Caramel Re-opens with a Bright and Sparky New Look

Established in 2010, Spark by Caramel restaurant and lounge has recently undergone a full makeover. We are excited to share a sneak preview with you of this new bright and sparky DIFC venue!

Spark by Caramel open its doors for a new lifestyle experience.

Following the concept revision process, the DIFC-located venue has been renamed ‘Spark by Caramel’ from Caramel Restaurant &  Lounge.

 Spark by Caramel is an upbeat restaurant and lounge serving quality food and bar experience, ideal for private and corporate events. 

The diner can comfortably accommodate over 400 guests in its indoor and outdoor space, with exquisitely designed indoor and outdoor dining areas including a modern cocktail bar, serving special fresh fruity and exotic drinks. 

Spark by Caramel is a trendy destination, which has a millennial appeal as well an executive feel. It provides vibrant dining and entertainment spaces, suitable for all tastes.

“Spark by Caramel is the major role in enforcing DIFC’s image as one of most sought after entertainment destination in the region. SPARK will have exciting hospitality packages that give our clients value for their money. The local hospitality space is increasingly becoming competitive with customers constantly demanding a better experience. This is what drives us, going the extra mile to ensure our customers feel appreciated,” says Jubran Rahal, Founder and Managing Partner of SPARK.

The restaurant also features a revamped menu fit for various corporate events. It’s a la carte and business lunch menus are the flagship offerings that have been designed specifically for the daytime executive guests and business clients.

For those special dinner/night occasions, guests can choose from a wide selection of beverages and Shisha, served till 3 am every night.

Apart from the exemplary menu and world-class event facilities, and of course top-notch customer service, Spark by Caramel also has an outstanding weekly music and entertainment agenda.

The line-up includes Spark Nights on Thursdays, with a DJ performs with live female musician. Friday nights, SPARK’s Oriental nights, will present a live band from Beirut, Lebanon. The restaurant is in the process of introducing other exciting themed evening activities.

Spark by Caramel’s exquisite corporate hospitality stands out making it the go-to place for dining, entertainment and relaxation.

Montblanc Meisterstück Le Petit Prince Solitaire Doué Classique Fountain Pen

The Meisterstück Le Petit Prince Solitaire Doué Classique Fountain Pen with deep blue lacquer barrel is inspired by the blue universe sky. The platinum-coated metal cap, milled with a fox face pattern, reveals a sentence from the Le Petit Prince book and is crowned with the iconic emblem. The central ring of the three platinum-coated rings features the Montblanc brand name and the clip is embellished with a yellow lacquered star. The writing instrument is finished with a hand-crafted Au 750 / 18 K rhodium-coated nib garnished with the Petit Prince and the fox.

  • Ident No: 118061
  • Cartridge Fountain Pen
  • Hand-crafted Au 750 / 18 K rhodium-coated nib with the Petit Prince and the fox
  • Montblanc ink cartridges: Mystery Black, Royal Blue, Midnight Blue, Burgundy Red, Lavender Purple, Oyster Gray, Toffee Brown, Irish Green, Corn Poppy Red

Link: MontBlanc Product Site

Review: Gigi Morelli

French chocolate is the Food of Love All Year Round – Not Just at Valentine’s Day

February 14th is here – and for most lovers of all things chocolate – a gift of ‘the best chocolate in the world’ is the only gift worth giving this Valentine’s Day.

Or indeed, for any special occasion. Based in Forcalquier in the Haute Provence region of France, zChocolat once again demonstrates why the French reign supreme on matters of the heart. Featuring a divine assortment of 10 specially crafted chocolates, the 2018 Valentine’s Day Collections includes the most requested recipes from Master Chocolatier Pascal Caffet with special love-inspired extras.

This year’s special edition packaging features either an ornate key design or an embellished heart design. The collection has also incorporated a dramatic nod to love’s foremost flower. Delicate rose petals are hidden beneath the lid of each box add instant romance and drama to each delivery. Like every zChocolat product, items from the Valentine’s Collection can be additionally customised with a personalised message, the recipient’s name engraved on the package, or even a heart-shaped padlock with an individually selected combination.

Of course, it’s the chocolates that steal the show. All-natural ingredients, exotic single-origin cocoas, and an absence of preservatives ensure premium flavours, while zChocolat’s innovative recipes make each product an unforgettable melt-in-your-mouth experience.

Particularly noteworthy are standout gifts such as lavish gold-covered chocolates, an impressive half-pound heart-shaped hazelnut praline, and elegantly coloured chocolate hearts, including a recently re-imagined ginger praline heart covered in smooth white chocolate.

This Valentine’s Day, give your beloved our special limited-edition Valentine’s Day box: the “Jet’aime” zBox 12. The words Je t’aime are engraved on the lid that will arrive beautifully wrapped. Inside are four distinct flavours, including irresistible white chocolate hearts filled with dark chocolate ganache, hazelnut pralines in smooth milk chocolate, luscious caramels coated in rich dark chocolate, and a recently re-imagined ginger praline in seductively silky white chocolate. A particularly elegant way to invite romance this month – and at any time of the year. As the pre-eminent source for fine quality French chocolate, the zChocolat brand has epitomised the expression chic à la française since its inception in 1999. The 2018 Valentine’s Day Collection, along with a wide range of other distinguished chocolate gifts, are available online exclusively at their website at www.zchocolat.com. Happy Valentine’s Day to all chocolate lovers!

 

Check out this pair of sneakers that is made from recycled chewing gum

We’ve all had gum stuck to our shoe soles at some point in life but having a shoe sole made out of gum itself? Now, that’s new and unheard of! Here to woe us with this unique concept is a company called Explicit wear that has recently tied up with city marketing organization Iamsterdam and sustainability company Gumdrop to create a sneaker out of recycled gum!

Christened as Gumshoe, the sole of this unique shoe is made from recyclable compounds or Gum-Tec’s as they are called. As described by Anna Bullus, managing director and designer at Gumdrop., “We discovered gum is made from a synthetic rubber. And by breaking down these properties, we were able to create a new type of rubber.” It is this very invention that helped the brands build an impressive shoe, which by composition would consist of 20% recycled chewing gum. The raw material for building the Gum Tec is sourced from the streets of Amsterdam that disposes close to 3.3 million pounds of gum on its sidewalks each year.

Available in color options of red and pink, these shoes are just what you need to become an eco-friendly athlete in the making! In addition to their exclusive soles, the sneakers also boast of a stylish leather body, for the perfect look. The Gumshoe will be up for sale onward June 2018 for a surprisingly affordable price of $232 USD.

Review: Diana Herrick

AIGNER Announces its First Regional Collaboration with Ascia Al Faraj

AIGNER is pleased to announce its first collaboration in the Middle East with the famous American-Kuwaiti influencer, Ascia Al Faraj who is designing a Limited Edition AIGNER bag together with Creative Director Christian Alexander Beck aptly titled, the Ascia Bag.

The international blogger has brought her own personal style to the collection – choosing the colour, style and pattern. The new bag will be based on the classic Genoveva design from AIGNER’s main collection, which has proven to be a very successful design in the region. A vintage clip lock-shaped bag, which represents the AIGNER logo, the Genoveva is synonymous with the brand and its craftsmanship.

The eye-catching #Asciabag truly represents Ascia’s unique character, which is both chic and statement-making, the #Asciabag will feature a marble print effect on smooth grain leather. Gracing a metal handle with AIGNER statement bolts, this versatile bag will come with an extra pendant with bolts and cabochons. The rear side of the pendant and inside of the bag will be embossed with “Ascia exclusively for AIGNER” inscribed in rosé-gold.

One of the region’s most popular fashion bloggers, with over 2 million followers on Instagram, the turban wearing style icon pioneered the personal style blog wave in the region and has since garnered a reputation for being one of the most influential fashion voices in the region. With a candid style that resonates with AIGNER & Christian Beck’s creative spirit, Ascia is the perfect fit for this collaboration.

For almost 50 years, the luxury brand has been focussing on handmade craftsmanship, attention to detail and sophisticated design. AIGNER workmanship is a statement of classic artistry, which also proves that change and tradition are not mutually exclusive. Each bag creation tells the story of its origin and unifies contrasts into one cohesive design: modern technology and styles are combined with tried and tested expertise.

The Limited Edition #Asciabag will be available from mid-January 2018 across all AIGNER Shops in UAE for AED 3425.

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