From restaurants and resorts to beautiful accessories and iconic watches, Hetty Chidwick reports from the front line of luxury.
A series of bespoke private residences 21 ‘over water’ and 30 ‘on land’ on Soneva Jani, a luxury island in the Maldives, are to be offered for sale in March. Each of these breathtaking villas comes with its own private mooring, a dedicated butler and access to all the island’s facilities. The first phase will be completed at the end of 2016 and prices start from $2.5 million (£1.63 million) (www.soneva.com)
Wondering what to do with an old diamond brooch or Granny’s engagement ring? Cassandra Goad’s experts can re-craft them into a bespoke piece of jewellery, so you can hold onto the sentiment of a much-loved piece, but in a style that suits you (020–7730 2202; www.cassandragoad.com)
With spring just around the corner, head to the haven of Anthropologie to revamp your wardrobe. A world away from the mania of the high street, this shop seems more like a gallery featuring gorgeous installations that you’re allowed to touch. Pick up wedding presents, jewellery or furniture and peruse the pretty pieces in the new clothing collection. Stores in London, Bath, Guildford, Richmond and Edinburgh. White jacket, £98; pencil skirt, £78 (www.anthropologie.eu; 020–7870 4821)
Walking into Elliot Rhodes is a little like walking into a sweet shop although what’s on offer is rather less edible, with exotic python, crocodile and stingray, to name but a few. The luxury leather-belt and buckle maker offers a bespoke service, with more than 500 designs, 800 buckle styles (from small ovals to large animal heads) and varying belt widths, colours and textures to choose from. Bespoke belts from £77.50 (020–7348 7869; www.elliotrhodes.com)
Wood and watches don’t usually go hand in hand, but, for his Automotive collection, Ralph Lauren has looked to his rare 1938 Bugatti. Six new timepieces reflect the rich patina of the car’s brown elm-burl dashboard. £9,820 (020–7535 4600; www.ralphlaurenwatches.com)
A botanical delight awaits visitors to the top of the City’s 20, Fenchurch Street, also known as the ‘Walkie Talkie’ building. The lift shoots you up 30-odd floors in as many seconds to an oasis in the sky flanked by display gardens. Once you’re in the clouds, there are three different drinking and dining areas: Sky Pod Bar for drinks inspired by the seasons, Darwin Brasserie for all-day eating and Fenchurch Seafood Bar & Grill. What better way to enjoy jaw-dropping views of our capital than with a High in the Sky cocktail in hand? (www.skygarden.london)
For the second year, the ultra-glamorous British Polo Day will host an event in Marrakech, Morocco, from April 23 to 26. In just four years, it has grown to encompass 10 international events, including a British match in Henley-on-Thames on June 20. This initiative brings together the likes of Land Rover, Abercrombie & Kent and Holland & Holland in a bid to strengthen British craftsmanship around the globe. To book, contact Abercrombie & Kent (01242 547895; firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.britishpoloday.com
To celebrate retaining two Michelin stars for the past 30 years, Raymond Blanc’s Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire is launching a series of dining experiences, Dîner des Protégés. Each evening will be led by one of his former pupils, with Champagne, canapés and an intro-ductory course from M. Blanc himself, plus fine wines, coffee and petits fours. £225 per person (01844 278881; www.belmond.com/lemanoir)
The Goring, SW1, is soon to reopen after closing its doors for the first time in its 105-year history. London’s last family-owned five-star hotel has had a top-to-toe overhaul courtesy of Britain’s finest designers, including Nina Campbell and David Linley. The front hall now boasts handpainted wallpaper from Fromental, featuring exotic animals amid the English countryside, and the impeccable service is enhanced by a fleet of footmen. Rooms from £430 (020–7396 9000; www.thegoring.com)
Phil Crewdson visits luxury hotel Royal Mansour in Marrakech.
We travel to Iceland to take a spin in the new Land Rover Discovery Sport.