From restaurants and hotels to beautiful accessories and jewellery, Hetty Chidwick reports from the front line of luxury.
Polar bears, penguins and whales are just some of the awe-inspiring wildlife that intrepid passengers embarking on a once-in-a-lifetime sailing trip around Antarctica and the South Pacific might expect to see this autumn. Chartered through Y.CO, Vertigo (above) — the largest yacht ever built in the southern hemisphere — will steer up to a dozen guests and a 11-strong crew to tranquil waters off secluded beaches, over coral reefs and past icebergs. Guests will be able to relax below deck in the luxurious quarters, decorated by the French design-house, Christian Liaigre, while enjoying the finest food and wine. Special rates for Antarctica apply.
(020–7584 1801; http://y.co)
Certain scents are evocative, catapulting us back to our past, but which fragrance would you like to remind you of your wedding day? At Jo Malone counters across the country, you and up to five friends can take advantage of a complimentary wedding consultation. From candles for the venue to presents for your bridesmaids, whatever you choose will be personal.
(0800 054 2411; www.jomalone.co.uk)
For a sophisticated yet comfortable rural retreat, look no further than Foxhill Manor, a newly renovated Arts-and-Crafts country-house hotel on the same estate as its sister hotel, Dormy House, in the Cotswolds (Luxury news, March 26, 2014). With eight sumptuous rooms and suites to choose from, guests can also make full use of the extensive spa facilities at Dormy House. Canine companions are welcome, too, for £30 per dog per night. Rooms from £295 per night.
(01386 852711; www.foxhillmanor.com)
Boutique milliner Emily London has designed a glorious Goodwood collection, inspired by the rolling West Sussex countryside. The Goodwood hat (left) is so pretty we’re not sure whether to wear it or hang it on the wall. £465.
(020–8870 6506; www.emily-london.com)
Rose Fulbright’s romantic silk robes are just the thing for floating around the garden in this summer. They can also be belted and paired with jewellery for a balmy evening abroad. Much of the collection, and the attractive aquatic prints, is inspired by Rose’s grandmother, Susan Williams-Ellis, who co-founded Portmeirion Pottery. Full-length Bequia robe, £380.
(020–7586 0512; http://rosefulbright.com)
Move over MasterChef. When it comes to private catering, there’s no one quite like Hattie Mauleverer-Jones, who, along with her team, has cooked for the likes of Prime Minister David Cameron. With more than a decade at the stove, Hattie’s business, Top Hat Catering, has earned an enviable reputation for providing tasty dishes using foraged foods and the best local produce for all sorts of occasions, from elaborate weddings to intimate suppers. Especially adept at party food, Hattie and her team match delicious canapés, such as mini beef Wellingtons, with a complementary flavoured tipple, such as Port.
(020–7924 3180; www.tophatcatering.co.uk)
Swiss watchmakers from Vacheron Constantin will be among the craftsmen explaining how their products are made (above) at events across the capital during London Craft Week (May 6–10). With many companies opening up their workshops, visitors to James Purdey & Sons Ltd in Mayfair will learn how its elegant shotguns are made and about the brand’s history in the South Audley Street store’s hallowed Long Room. Most events need to be booked in advance.
The Ivy Chelsea Garden (above), SW3, an oasis of flowers and space, is a welcome addition to London’s restaurant scene. It opens out into a light-filled orangery and garden, where we ate outside on a blissful spring day. Starters included plump prawns fried with wasabi and deliciously simple mushrooms on toast. We progressed to chicken Milanese with black truffles and pea-and-asparagus risotto. Open from dawn ’til dusk, with more than half the tables available on a walk-in basis, this is just the place to escape the capital’s rush. About £80 for two.
(020–3301 0300; www.theivychelseagarden.com)
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis once decreed that ‘pearls are always appropriate’ and, having seen Ann-oushka Ducas’s new Golden Pearls collection, I couldn’t agree more. The ‘Queen of pearls’ is mainly found in the Philippines, so that’s where Annoushka headed to source each individual pearl in the collection. Her signature black-rhodium settings give a cool, modern edge. Necklace, £35,000.
(020–7730 1234; www.harrods.com)
What better way to spoil your mother than to take her to one of the capital’s finest hotels for high