Italian Taste and Lifestyle Redefined through Bags & Accessories by Officine 904

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Looking for something unique and ingenious from an Italian fashion house? Then Officine 904 is for you. Officine 904 is a modern style laboratory with a deep interest in promoting and solidifying a completely seamless mix between art, fashion, design, and architecture as only the Italians know how. This perfect blend has not only given rise to new ideas, visions, projects, and products but it has also gone a long way in portraying the rich history and experiences of the Italian lifestyle and taste in general.

Having been created in 2010 by Paolo Porcu Rodriguez and Silvia Pavanello, the young brand has carved a unique niche for itself in the fashion industry by holding a genuine “trade-mark” for introducing a continuous and unlimited balance between interior design and fashion. Apart from relentlessly pursuing an architect philosophy, “Less Is More” the Officine 904 brand has continuously showcased high-quality craftsmanship in their products. Right from its first project – the MARKET BAG, Officine 904 has maintained its stance in exploiting timeless and clean designs, using durable materials to achieve brilliant end products.

Officine 904
The Market Bag

Officine 904 have their beginnings deep-rooted in the Tuscany countryside, where skilled craft artisans are known to evolve from. Officine 904 bags and accessories are made by these craftsmen and all raw materials, especially the leathers, are acquired from such Italian locations as Tuscany and Veneto, where the culture of tanning and leather processing has very important and ancient historical roots.

It is safe to say “uniqueness” is in the DNA of Officine 904. This is shown through a rich identity concept, creation, and packaging of durable and trendy bags for diverse uses. Officine 904 designs are inspired by the day to day lives of their customers, and they are committed to making bags and accessories that can be used every day and that last a lifetime.

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When next you visit Italy, either for business or pleasure, check out Officine 904 in two of the most important Italian cities, Pienza and Venezia. You will be glad you did.

Got impressed? Please visit for further info the company website

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The Napa Valley Wine Train Adds One More Quattro Vino Tour

The Napa Valley Wine Train has announced the continued expansion of its Quattro Vino Tours, which will now include the Famiglia Tour as its fourth journey. Joining the current tours – Legacy, Estate and Collective – the Famiglia Tour will offer a culinary and wine adventure with stops at three Napa Valley wineries including Silverado Vineyards, Whitehall Lane Winery, and Grgich Hills Estate aboard a renovated lounge car. Plus, for a limited time, guests can enjoy an exclusive kick-off rate of $299 when booking the Famiglia Tour.

With the tour’s focus on family, The Napa Valley Wine Train’s new Famiglia Tour partners with top family-run wineries. Established in 1981 by Ron and Diane Miller, Silverado Vineyards has been family-owned by the Millers for three generations. After taking a luxury shuttle from the train, passengers will experience views of Napa Valley and the Stags Leap District from the winery’s stone terrace, taste a selection of rare Silverado Vineyards wines and learn about the storied estate.

Located in St. Helena, Whitehall Lane Winery is a family-owned winery that was founded in 1979, but the history of the soil cultivation dates back two centuries. The Leonardini family of San Francisco became the owners of the estate in 1993, updating the winemaking methods, instituting a new barrel-aging program and continuing to source the finest vineyards. After an introduction to Whitehall Lane’s winemaking process in its Estate Gardens, guests will enjoy a private tour and a flight of high-end wines.

Grgich Hills Estate was founded in 1977 by Miljenko “Mike” Grgich and Austin Hills of the Hills Bros. coffee company after Grgich’s 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay won at the 1976 Paris Tasting. Violet Grgich, Mike Grgich’s daughter, now manages the winery and is continuing its legacy of family ownership. The Famiglia Tour guests will hear about Miljenko “Mike” Grgich’s journey to becoming a renowned Napa Valley winemaker, explore the historic grounds and cellars, and sample exclusive wines primarily crafted for club members.

The other Quattro Vino Tours:

  • The Legacy Tour includes tastings and tours at Robert Mondavi, Charles Krug and V. Sattui
  • The Estate Tour includes tastings and tours at Domain Chandon, Hall and Inglenook
  • The Collective Tour includes tastings and tours at Raymond, Beringer and St. Supéry

The Quattro Vino tours begin with a sparkling wine tasting, followed by a four-course Napa Valley-style meal curated by the Napa Valley Wine Train’s Executive Chef Donald Young, and tastings at three of Napa’s iconic wineries on each tour. After departing from the station at 10:15 a.m., guests embark on a six-hour, 36-mile round-trip journey from the historic town of Napa to the three premier wineries aboard a 1950s-era lounge car, arriving back at the train station at 4:15 p.m.

Tickets for each of the Quattro Vino tours start at $352 per person and include train fare, a four-course Napa Valley-style meal, and tours and tastings at the prominent wineries. When booking the Famiglia Tour, guests can call or make a reservation online to receive a special offer of $299 for a limited time.

Review: Samenda Caldwell

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

This futuristic looking turntable costs $35,000 and is hand crafted out of aircraft-grade aluminum

If you’re looking to buy a turntable that blows everything else available in the market out of the water in terms of sound quality and aesthetics, look no further! Audio engineer and designer of high-end audio equipment Kostas Metaxas has created a kinetic turntable that’s made out of a solid block of aircraft-grade aluminum and crafted entirely by hand. Called the Phonographic Perambulator No. 1, the curvaceous turntable’s distinctly wavy appearance comes from the use of a Swiss Maxor belt-drive system that rotates a lathe-turned aluminum platter, which has wave-like formations on which rides an acrylic mat.

The PP1 turntable will make its public debut at the upcoming Munich High End Show, where it will be joined by the company’s GQT Portable Recording Device No 1. The Metaxas & Sins turntable is priced at whopping $35,000 and is available for pre-order now.

Review: Robert Nilson

Tobasco reveals a special edition sauce presented in a tiny Champagne bottle

The most ubiquitous hot sauce: Tabasco, is celebrating 150 years of setting people’s taste buds on edge. To commemorate the anniversary, the company has created an over-the-top limited edition Diamond Reserve Red Sauce which comes in a miniature Champagne bottle.

It’s not the just the bottle that’s fancy though, Diamond reserve is made from tabasco peppers that have aged in barrels for as long as 15 years. The long aging period allows them to develop in flavor and complexity. Even the peppers chosen are special – with their color, texture and robustness being considered before they were picked at Avery Island for this special sauce. The aged peppers are combined with sparkling white wine vinegar, before being sealed into their in their very special gold foil topped bottles.

They may look fancy and make a great gift for a spicy food loving friend, but their priced at just about $35 for a six ounce bottle. They are likely to sell out soon so get yours here:

Available at: CountryStore

Caprice at the Four Seasons Hotel, Hong Kong — A magnifique feast for the senses

Dining at Caprice, the Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong’s two-Michelin-starred French fine dining restaurant, is an experience that qualifies as eating of epic sensations.

The Chinoiserie décor itself is in a league of its own. With three massive Czech crystal chandeliers framed by large views overlooking the harbour, leather armchairs and an underlit catwalk-like landing in Yayoi Kusama-yellow from one end of the space to the other, the ambience is vibrant, classy and impactful. The open kitchen even has a curtain of Swarovski crystals perched above the stoves, making you feel like you’re dining within a diamond.

Under the baton of Chef Guillaume Galliot — who was once the youngest sous chef at Singapore’s Raffles Hotel, and formerly at the helm of The Tasting Room by Galliot in Macau, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant — Caprice has maintained its two Michelin star rating since he joined the French institution in 2017. So it follows that when Chef Galliot stopped by our table to say hello and tell us a little bit about himself and his background, we happily gave him free rein over our meal.

“The open kitchen even has a curtain of Swarovski crystals perched above the stoves, making you feel like you’re dining within a diamond.”

The service standards were, of no surprise, exceptional. Each course arrived perfectly timed and accompanied by a phalanx of waiters who simultaneously flourished the cloches open with bright eyes and polite smiles. Throughout lunch, the staff moved swiftly around, brisk walking over at the slightest indication to tend to our every request, query or concern. My warm water cup, for one, never fell below the halfway mark, and we didn’t once lack the appropriate utensil or accoutrement at any point.

For our appetiser, we sampled one of the signatures: a ‘Land and Sea Tartare’ composed of Australian Wagyu beef and Gillardeau oyster, topped with Kristal caviar and a surprisingly large sheet of gold leaf for a visual oomph. Fresh snow peas lent a distinct crunch while a ring of egg confit and parsley drops presented an orange and green ring around the beef. Ooh la la.

“Each course arrived perfectly timed and accompanied by a phalanx of waiters who simultaneously flourished the cloches open with bright eyes and polite smiles.”

The next dish was one of the standouts of the meal. Named ‘L’Œuvre de Mon Voyage à Singapore Le Laksa au Crabe Royal, Œuf Confit et Citron Sudachi’, it roughly translates to ‘The Work of My Journey to Singapore: The Laksa with King Crab, Confit Egg and Sudachi Lime’. The creation was inspired by Chef Galliot’s time in Singapore and blended with classical French flavours — laksa being one of the most iconic local dishes of the city-state.

Served in a crustacean-shaped bowl, the yellow sauce — lighter than the typical orange laksa soup — bore the same, rich flavour. Within, fresh snow crab, lobster, leeks, coriander, chopped hazelnuts and a dusting of grated lime zest came together elegantly to enhance, as opposed to overpower, each ingredient.

The next three plates were equally noteworthy: a creamy Guilvinec turbot in new Caledonia prawn consommé with ginger; Racan pigeon cooked in a cocoa pod with pumpkin purée, salsify, and natural jus; and a glorious beef cheek Parmentier with potato espuma and parmesan cheese, topped off generously with black truffle.

The pigeon in particular, which hails from Chef Galliot’s home region of Loire Valley, was first shown to us in its cocoa pod before being carved up. The presentation was exquisite, the smell sublime. For the final finish, an outrageous topping of truffles went hand-in-hand with the juicy, full-bodied flesh.

All too soon, it was time for dessert but the culinary delights continued. Courtesy of esteemed pastry chef Nicolas Lambert, we enjoyed a pre-dessert yuzu parfait-meringue concoction with basil syphons and lime jelly drops on a crispy polenta that had the lightness of being. The combination of the different textures also contrasted beautifully at first bite, to the last.

Last but not least was a Joe-inspired treat featuring coffee ice cream, walnut tuiles, laddie fingers soaked in coffee syrup and caramel drops that looked too good too eat, but one that I practically inhaled during the conversation. By the time our teas and mignardises arrived, the restaurant had emptied out before we realised.

Judging from this experience, Chef Galliot truly flexes his classically trained French muscle while blending in his own influences from working around the world. His creations are evidently thought-out and intriguing, making the entire affair memorable. Though Caprice lost a Michelin star from three to two after a change in leadership in 2014 — with Chef Galliot maintaining the two-star ranking since he’s come onboard — we predict a triumphant return to its former status sooner than later.

Where: Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong
8 Finance St, Central, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 3196 8888

 

Louis Moinet’s new watch commemorates the iconic Apollo-Soyuz mission

Watchmaker Louis Moinet has introduced a new timepiece that celebrates a groundbreaking historical event that took place in the space and taught a very important lesson of peaceful co-existence to the world. On July 17, 1975, United States and the former USSR came together to launch a joint space flight called the Apollo-Soyuz mission, as a symbol of easing the cold war between the two superpowers. Saturn V took flight from Cape Canaveral marking the end of the Apollo program, while USSR’s Soyuz 19 launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan. Both the capsules met in space, docked and in a historic moment cosmonaut Alexey Leonov and Commander Thomas Stafford shared an interstellar handshake.

The new Louis Monet Skylink timepiece commemorates that great event signifying hope and peace. With the US-Russia relations hitting a dangerous low in the recent times, the launch of this timepiece serves as a reminder of peace by literally encapsulating the historic moment in time. The Skylink watch contains not only a fragment of Kapton foil from the Apollo but also fibers from Leonov’s Russian Sokol-K space suit. The case of the watch measures 43.2 mm and is available in white gold rose gold and steel. The white gold and rose gold versions are limited to just 19 pieces (price upon request), while 75 pieces of the steel version will be sold for €13,645 apiece (approx. $16,800). It comes with a dark blue or black leather alligator strap, and the dial of each piece bears a reproduction of Leonov’s signature. It is the second watch by Louis Moinet launched recently that celebrates the achievements on Leonov. The luxury watchmaker introduced a tourbillon named SpaceWalker created as homage to Leonov being the first human to conduct a spacewalk on March 18, 1965.

Review: Edward Collins

Check out this exclusive Leather Lunch bag by Simon Miller

Are you tired of the same old paper rolled, or horrendous plastic lunch bags? If you chorused that with a yes, then worry not, as Simon Miller is here to save your day! The designer brand has recently launched a leather Lunch bag option for you, which means that you can carry and flaunt around your food with equal style from now on!

Crafted with 100% goatskin leather, the bag comes with a fold over magnetic closure, metal feet and gold tone embossed logo on the front. It maintains a simplistic design all along, thus fusing in the charm of the traditional, while still making a fashion statement of sorts! It is available in a ‘seamless to carry’ size of 19 cm / 7.5 inches X 21 cm / 8.5 inches X 10 cm / 4 inches and can be purchased in various color options ranging from black and yellow to a vibrant turquoise blue. And while you can most certainly carry around your food in it, we’d rather use Simon Miller’s latest as a clutch purse with panache!

When Simon Miller was initially launched as a men’s denim label a decade ago, little had we thought that it would deliver such fabulous trinkets into our kitties! But here it is, doing just that! Why not we head on then and grab ourselves an exclusive Simon Miller lunch bag (starting at $345 USD) right away!

Review: Samenda Caldwell

Veuve Clicquot celebrates the bicentennial of their rosé champagne with a delightful cake and limited edition jeroboam

It was two centuries ago, back in 1818 that Madame Clicquot created the first known blended rosé champagne by adding some red wine to Yellow Label champagne. On the bicentennial anniversary of this event, Veuve Clicquot has created the Veuve Clicquot Anniversary Cake, a creatively designed coffret constructed from paint cans that can be used as an ice bucket.

Designed to resemble a birthday cake, the coffret comes with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Rosé inside and mirrors the pink hues that set this Rosé apart. The company continued the celebrations with the launch of a new limited edition jeroboam format for Veuve Clicquot Rosé non-vintage which boasts a chic black anniversary foil around bottle necks containing a hidden message.

200 years may have passed since Madame Clicquot’s innovation, but her legacy lives on. “At Veuve Clicquot we continue to elaborate our rosé champagne by blending it with red wine, just as Madame Clicquot did when she created the method 200 years ago. This traditional savoir-faire allows us to create rosé cuvées that are precise, and full of intensity and elegance,” said Veuve Clicquot Cellar Master Dominique Demarville.

Review: Robert Nilson

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

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