From top-end restaurants and fragrant perfumes to beautiful accessories and iconic watches, Hetty Chidwick reports from the front line of luxury.
Films have long influenced the way we dress and Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, released tomorrow, is jam-packed with many of Country Life’s favourite British luxury brands, all of whom have created capsule collections for the film. Starring Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Samuel L. Jackson, the movie is based on the successful comic-book series about a secret British spy organisation. Each stylishly adorned recruit is kitted out with one of three Bremont watches from the company’s special Kingsman collection (pictured above on Colin Firth’s wrist), ‘Oxfords not brogues’ from George Cleverley and a Swaine Adeney Brigg umbrella (doubling as a bulletproof shield and gun, of course) to name a few. If you’re inspired to dress like a spy, head to Mr Porter. (0800 044 5705; www.mrporter.com)
‘Long live the British boozer,’ proclaims chef Claude Compton of Claude’s Kitchen (Parsons Green, SW6), who has just opened a new pub in Fulham. The Tommy Tucker specialises in contemporary food with flair, courtesy of his training in Michelin-starred kitchens.
(020-7736 1023; www.thetommytucker.com)
With February 14 just around the corner, a little Valentine’s gift should be at the forefront of the romantic gentleman’s mind. Help is at hand from Viennese jewellery brand Frey Wille, which has just launched an alluring new fragrance collection. The packaging mirrors the brand’s colourful and original enamelled jewellery. From £84 (020–7499 8637; www.freywille.com)
‘Designed to age beautifully and become a well-loved friend’ is how Village England describes its elegant handbags. The stirrup design of the Much Marcle is particularly lovely—smart enough for work yet durable enough to be chucked in the back of a Land Rover if necessary. £225 (020–3330 0017: www.villageengland.com)
A favourite of The Duchess of Cambridge, jeweller Kiki Mcdonough has a new string to her designer bow. Her exquisite new leather-accessories collection is a small, yet perfectly formed, handful of essentials, all handcrafted in London. The collection is in keeping with her signature bright colour combinations and will look equally as lovely on your dressing table as in your handbag.
Jewellery roll, £150 (020–7730 3323; www.kiki.co.uk)
Products from Ila are full of organic ingredients and are handmade in the Oxfordshire countryside. With a rare level of organic purity, the Seasonal Skin Saviours collection peps up both your skin and energy in these dark months. Glowing Radiance, £150, comprises cleansing, toning and moisturising products, plus a face oil, bath soak and a rose-quartz heart, and would be a perfect decadent surprise this
Valentine’s Day. (01608 677676; www.ila-spa.com)
At last week’s glamorous Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in Geneva, these tantalising timepieces caught my eye. From left to right;
- Harmony collection, price on application, Vacheron Constantin (020–8585 1755; www.vacheron-constantin.com)
- TimeWalker Urban Speed e-Strap, the first wearable technology from a fine watchmaker, price on application, Montblanc (0845 504 0111; www.montblanc.com)
- Crash Skeleton watch calibre 9618 MC (right), price on application, Cartier (020–3147 4850; www.cartier.co.uk)
If you’re keen to explore the rich culture of Japan, but don’t know where to start, Palace Hotel Tokyo’s extravagant package—which includes art excursions, gastronomic tours, cultural lessons, spa treatments, a daily chauffeur service and five nights’ accommodation—could be the perfect solution. Not only will you gain a thorough insight into this extraordinary country, but you will also come away with a memento in the shape of a luminous akoya pearl, cultured in Japan for more than a century.
From £33,000 for double occupancy (00 81 3 3211 5211; www.en.palacehoteltokyo.com)