The Best Food & Drink Of 2015

Our team has sat down, over a bottle of Rasteau – the last of our stash brought back from a couple of days in France at the beginning of last year – and fought it out over our favourite dishes and drinks of 2015. We’ve been lucky to eat in some incredible restaurants – some new, some established, one in the backyard of a pub on an island off the coast of Florida, one in the back streets of Tarifa in Spain. We’ve had a great year of indulgence, and this is our short-ish list of our favourites. In no particular order.

Bao

Fried Bao with Horlicks Ice Cream | Bao London, UK |

We don’t queue for food. But we’ve queued three times for Bao’s incredible menu this year. And that pretty much says it all. All of the fluffy buns are fantastic, and we always have to have the scallop. The peanut milk is another must. Just eat the entire damn menu.
www.baolondon.com |

 

Iberico

Jamón Ibérico | El Lola, Bar de Tapas y Flamenco, Tarifa , Spain |

We love the Costa de la Luz, and especially the surfer dude town of Tarifa. But we’re yet to find a truly great restaurant there. However, if you’re in the need for a beer and jamón fix, El Lola is the perfect pit-stop. Slivers of deep red meat jewelled with white fat, this is the best quality jamón that money can buy – it’s not cheap, but my goodness, it’s worth it. (The rather lovely chaps in their frilly Flamenco aprons are also a draw).
| Calle Guzmán el Bueno, 5 |

 

Craft London.jpg

Clay-Baked Duck | Craft London, Greenwich, London, UK |

No doubt one of 2015’s most Instagrammed dishes (guilty as charged), Stevie Parle’s signature dish is, actually, one of a number of great dishes on his imaginative menu at Craft. The super-sexy Tom Dixon-designed space actually ends up playing second fiddle to Parle’s ingenuity. The duck, though, thanks to its drama and interaction, is the most memorable of all: you’re given a little hammer to crack the duck’s clay ‘skin’, and as the layers of hay and cabbage are peeled back, a scented steam wafts over the table. There were just two of us eating, so we took home an enormous doggie bag which fed us for a couple of days.

| www.craft-london.co.uk |

 

Smoking Goat

Fish Sauce Chicken Wings | Smoking Goat, London, UK |

We’re expecting this dish to show up on a lot of 2015 lists, but there’s good reason for this: it’s bloody delicious. Smoking Goat is another no reservations joint – don’t get us started – but we showed up at midday and walked straight in. The chicken wings are dangerous: salty, sweet, crispy, pungent, they demand at least a couple of beers to wash them down. And at least one second helping.
| www.smokinggoatsoho.com |

 

Churros

Churros | Casa Aranda, Málaga, Spain |

We spent an unexpected night away in Málaga over Christmas. The city, with its twinkling lights and bustling streets filled with families eating and drinking, was so beguiling, we decided to stay the night. Often overlooked – merely as a gateway to the Costa del Sol, thanks to its busy airport – the city itself is actually packed with great galleries (including a pop-up Pompidou Centre), Roman and Moorish ruins and tapas joints. We’d trawled the city on the night of our stay, drinking beer and cheap glasses of fabulous wine, and eating tapa. A truly memorable night. The next morning, we were in need of carb-y sustenance but, as is Málaga’s way, nothing was open before 10am. Apart from Casa Aranda, which we stumbled across. Packed with Spanish people, the café serves coffee, hot chocolate, churros (freshly-cooked to order), shots of brandy and pan con tomate. The place clearly hasn’t changed since it opened in the 1930s. Grab a seat outside, order one of everything, and watch the waiters as they shout orders at each other and run back and forth, chatting to the leathery-faced locals, topping up coffee and carrying enormous trays of light, fluffy churros.

| Casa Aranda, Herrería del Rey, 3, Málaga |

 

Beef shin.jpg

Beef Shin Macaroni | At home | Inspired by Hawksmoor

There’s a collection of fine cooks working from Resource towers, and some of the best dishes we’ve eaten this year have been cooked by our contributors – admittedly, some are trained, award-winning chefs. This recipe, taken from the excellent Hawksmoor At Home cookery book, was turned gluten-free by Lisa, but did not lack for that one bit. It took hours to create, but was worth every minute of effort.

 

Ravenous Pig

Old Fashioned | Ravenous Pig, Orlando, Florida |

Did we plan our East Coast road trip around food and drink stop-offs? Of course we did. Did I manage to orchestrate a designated driver in order to indulge in three Ravenous Pig Old Fashioneds one after the other? Damn right I did. Rendered high-quality bacon fat flavours top-shelf bourbon in this clever, quirky take on an already-great cocktail.

| www.theravenouspig.com |

 

Cuzina

Porra de Naranja | Arte de Cozina, Antequera, Málaga, Spain |

We took a three-hour detour to make a pilgrimage for a singular dish. Sam Clark of Moro – one of our favourite London restaurants – had highlighted the porra in The Guardian’s excellent food round-up of 2015. The porra – a type of gazpacho, native to this region, just north of Málaga – was unnervingly smooth, with a poky, bitter hit of local olive oil, a good fistful of salt and with an aromatic sweetness, thanks to the unusual addition of orange. Definitely one of our favourite dishes – and meals – of 2015.

| www.artedecozina.com |

 

Sportsman slip sole

Slip Sole | The Sportsman, Kent, UK |

Another standout meal of 2015, despite two of us being full of cold. We were worried that Stephen Harris’s deft handling of flavours and local produce would be wasted on our blocked sinuses, but we can still recall the flavours and details of each and every dish. The slip sole was a favourite, thanks to its brave simplicity. Harris had nowhere to hide with this grilled piece of fish, with just the addition of seaweed butter to add a hint of seaside. Perfection.

www.thesportsmanseasalter.co.uk |

 

Croissant

Almond & Chocolate Croissant | Cité Europe Shopping Mall, Calais, France |

Sad, isn’t it, that on a three-day trip to France, the culinary highlight was this – admittedly epic – freshly-baked croissant. We’d arrived early from the Eurostar, and headed straight back to the bakery (near FNAC, but not the chain bakery called La Croissanterie, FYI) near the huge Carrefour where we’d eaten this buttery, sweet, flaky nugget once before. The croissants were just being pulled from the oven and the interior sliver of dark, almost salty chocolate and gooey almond were still warm. The pastry, which left our fingers slick with butter, was light and the almonds on top had been toasted golden from the heat of the oven. That a packet of chips on Calais harbour and a homemade chicken sandwich made with rotisserie chicken from a supermarket were our other stand-out dishes on our French trip show that regional French cooking needs a kick up the derrière.

| 1001 Boulevard du Kent, Coquelles, Calais, France |

 

Bone broth

Bone Broth | Roost, Margate, Kent, UK |

It appears that the majority of our favourite dishes of 2015 are simple affairs that celebrate the ingredients, rather than trying to impress with bells and whistles. The bone broth at Roost, in Margate, is a case in point: to combat wastage and to make use of all of the animals they’re using, the bones are cooked down into a soul-warming broth. The addition of seaweed (the restaurant is next door to acclaimed seaweed emporium Haeckels and is right on Margate’s magnificent seafront) gives a funky, brine-y flavour. Proven to cure any hangover. We’re telling you.

| www.roostmargate.com |

 

Edition beer

Tropicale Wheat Beer | The Miami Edition, Miami, USA |

The most expensive hotel stay we’ve ever had, resulted – thankfully – in two stand-out food and drink moments, this being the first. Brewed exclusively for the hotel by the Miami Brewing Company, this wheat-y beer has – bear with us on this – notes of coconut and mango, lending it a tropical edge perfect for its environment. We’re not sure if the tipple would work as well sipped on a rainy summer’s day in England, but it hits the spot here on Miami Beach. Design-wise, we love Eric Chase Anderson‘s illustrations for the beer and the bar that bears its name.

www.editionhotels.com/miami-beach |

 

Zero George

Tres Leches Cake | Zero George, Charleston, South Carolina, USA |

Chef Vinson Petrillo served up one of our most memorable meals of 2015. We had a long list of Charleston restaurants to visit during our stay in the city (excuse the ‘f’ word, but the city is true foodie destination), but it was Petrillo’s menu that kept drawing us back. Served from a tiny kitchen (above) within the lobby area of this stunning hotel, there were two dishes served that we cannot stop thinking about: the tarpon cheeks (an enormous fish that we fed off the Florida Keys later on in our trip) and the tres leches cake, the lightest, airiest most delicious sliver of cake – we don’t really eat cake – we’ve ever eaten, that was – thankfully – forced upon us by our waiter, who knew the menu inside out.

| www.zerogeorge.com |

 

Piquet

Pork and Prunes | Piquet, London, UK |

This was just one of the many dishes we loved at Allan Pickett’s new restaurant just off Oxford Street. Using classic French techniques and Kentish produce, Pickett turns out dish after dish after dish of big flavours and great depth. We’d taken the folks out for dinner – self-proclaimed lovers of ‘simple fayre’ – and they, too, loved each and every dish we (over) ordered. Great cooking, warm and knowledgeable staff, fair pricing, tasty. Our kind of restaurant. We just wish it was just around the corner from our office. The kind of local joint that you’d eat in at least once a week.

| www.piquet-restaurant.co.uk |

 

Kerridge parfait

Duck Liver Parfait | Hand & Flowers, Marlow, UK |

It’s hard to choose a singular dish in a meal of stand-out dishes – even the breakfast the next morning was one of our favourite dishes of the year. We’d booked a table at Tom Kerridge’s pub (albeit a two-Michelin-starred pub) the year before and had almost forgotten about our booking, such was the extended wait. But my goodness, it was worth it. Again – and there’s a theme developing here – this is simple cooking with big, gutsy flavours and technique for the sake of showcasing those flavours, rather than just showboating. Steak and chips was flawless and perfectly cooked. A pork dish with rhubarb cleverly contrasted textures and flavours, but without ever marring the tastiness of it. The souffle for pudding was incredible, as was Kerridge’s take on a custard slice. Good value, great staff, bloody tasty food. Straight into our top five restaurant list.

www.thehandandflowers.co.uk |

 

The Grey

Improved Whisky Cocktail | The Grey, Savannah, Georgia, USA |

Spiked with absinthe, this modern take on a classic whisky cocktail was one of our favourite drinks of the year. Better still, we drank it before eating in Mashama Bailey’s incredible dining room in downtown Savannah. The modern Southern menu makes this restaurant, gloriously designed in an old Greyhound bus terminal, one of the South’s hottest tickets. Buzzing and with the kind of welcome you hope for in this part of the States. A must-visit.

| www.thegreyrestaurant.com |

Goods Shed

Scallops with Chowder | Rafael’s at The Goods Shed, Canterbury, Kent, UK |

Markets like The Goods Shed should be on every street corner in Kent, celebrating the raft of amazing, locally-grown produce. If you’re on the high-speed train from St Pancras to Margate, you’ll spot diners in the pretty-much-always-packed restaurant tucking into Rafael Lopez’s earthy, honest, simple cooking. Produce is intensively seasonal and local, and that is reflected in the mouth-thumping flavours. This is scallop dish was sweet with the flesh of the crustacean, as well as the new-season leeks in a broth pricked with crunchy black pepper.

| www.thegoodsshed.co.uk |

 

Pilsener Urquell

A Pint of Tankovna Pilsner Urquell | Duck+Rice, Soho, London, UK |

Whilst the restaurant won’t be getting a second visit, we keep finding ourselves sat in Duck+Rice’s window bar looking out on Berwick Street market, one of our favourite London streets. Delivered weekly from the Czech Republic in huge tanks, this clear, crisp unpasteurised lager is impeccably well cared for. With only one week’s shelf life once opened, this is as pure a beer as you’ll taste.

www.theduckandrice.com |

 

Nomad

The Burger | NoMad Bar, NoMad Hotel, NYC, USA |

We were kind of burgered out in 2015, so only ate select patties. The best of the few we tasted was, by far and away, The NoMad Bar’s. As you’d expect. Served pink – no, they don’t ask you how you like it, it’s served exactly as it should be – it’s a simple combination of firm, perfectly-cooked meat (but also with a softness that’s a good riff on a fast-food joint burger, and that’s thanks to its 25% fat content), melted cheddar, pickled onion and the NoMad’s own take on a burger sauce. We love this place: it’s so very, very New York. Great service, loud and raucous, delicious food. Boxes well and truly ticked.

www.thenomadhotel.com|

 

Peach

Peach | Abbott Farms, South Carolina |

As you cross from North Carolina into South Carolina, a strange combination of road-side stores take over. Selling a heady combination of locally-grown peaches, and a vast array of condiments and pickles made with them, plus fireworks – thanks to them being illegal to buy just over the border in North Carolina. We were actually stopping to go to the loo, but ended up buying the juiciest, tastiest peach (it actually tasted like A PEACH!) we’ve had in years.

| 100 Wilcox Avenue, Gaffney, South Carolina |

 

suckling pig

Suckling Pig | Los Abanicos, Benahavis, Spain |

A real family favourite, with the Spanish and ex-pats alike, whenever we’re on the Marbella coast, we drive up to the pristine village of Benahavis (the nearby gated community of Zagaleta’s haul of taxes and community fees means the village is jam-packed with incredible amenities and great schools thanks to the mega-rich’s bucks) for Los Abanicos’s suckling pig. Cooked long and slow, the meat disintegrates to the touch, while the crackling is light and almost wafer-like. We have no idea how they do it. Our visit this summer, yet again, didn’t disappoint. Served with a pile of olive oil cooked chips and homemade apple sauce, this is comfort cooking at its best.

| Los Abanicos, Calle Málaga, 17, Benahavis |

 

Carbonara new

Carbonara Pizza | GB Pizza Co, Margate, Kent, UK |

Let’s ‘fess up straight away: we have a vested interest in GB Pizza – two of our contributors are the owners. But, despite the connections, we can’t deny good food when we put it into our mouths. There’s a raft of great, thin and crispy pizzas on the main menu, using British charcuterie and seasonal produce, but this, their occasionally-appearing special, is one of our favourite pizzas of all time: the carbonara. A creamy béchamel sauce, locally-reared ham, mushrooms and Parmesan.

| www.greatbritishpizza.com |

 

 

cornbread

Cornbread | At home | Inspired by The Lockhart |

Our annual Resource team Thanksgiving dinner was overshadowed by this, our chef’s take on The Lockhart‘s cornbread. They may have added a little extra butter and maybe a little extra honey, but my goodness, it was good.

 

Matador

Creamed Corn with Manchego & Jalapeños | The Matador Room, The Edition Hotel, Miami, USA 

I’m not sure why we weren’t expecting much from Jean-Georges Vonrichten’s restaurant in the Ian Schrager-designed Miami Edition. The starry chef has good form, in over 20 restaurants across the globe. Perhaps that’s it: the sense of cynical roll-out created solely to bring in celebrity diners. If we’re honest, we were expecting over-priced themed fayre with clichéd nods to Latino flavours. Joyfully, we could not have been more wrong. This was one of the highlights of our East Coast tour – and 2015 . The Matador Room’s Latin influences, under the watchful eye of Chef Jeremy Ford, have amalgamated to create a bright, light, clever, appealing, flavour-packed menu. The greeting is warm, the design of the space makes you feel that you’re the player in a theatre round and the knowledge and excitement of the staff is some of the best we’ve experienced this year. We’ve never eaten food like this before – we bloody hate the gimmicky term ‘fusion’, but when it’s a mix of Latin flavours – natural bed fellows – from the Caribbean, South America and Spain, the dishes sing. Creamed corn became one of our US trip favourite dishes, and here Ford has nailed it (eliminating any fear of baby food comparisons). Extra creaminess is helped along by the addition of salty Manchego and the kick of jalapeños. Arroz con pollo is another great dish amongst many, with its shards of crispy chicken skin. This is seriously skilful cooking.

www.matadorroom.com |

 

Haeckels: Made Of Margate | Civilian

Haeckels Dom Bridges

Lisa Richards, Resource’s editorial director, meets Dom Bridges of seaweed brand Haeckels.

Read the full interview on Civilian.

Duddell’s, Hong Kong | Hong Kong Hype

The Ilse Crawford interior is ravishing. And the terrace, above Shanghai Tang, is a Hong Kong CBD hot spot. But what’s up with the kitchen at Duddell’s? Read the full review for Civilian here.

Duddells Hong Kong Ilse Crawford

Hong Kong City Guide

Lisa Richards takes an Upper Class flight to Hong to celebrate 20 years of Virgin Atlantic flying to the soaring city. In her piece for Civilian, she seeks out the next big neighbourhood. Read the full article here.

HK1 HK2 HK3 Hong Kong city skyline HK6 HK7

Serving An Ace

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London’s openings continue apace, with Resource office’s most excitedly anticipated being the first UK outpost of Ace Hotel. Why have we worked ourselves into such a frenzy about yet another design hotel in London? For us, Ace Hotels have defined an era of hotel design: an eclectic, perfectly executed mix of urban graphics and art with vintage and bespoke products, usually with the city’s hottest chef sweating it out in the kitchen.

The London branch will be no different. Located at 100 Shoreditch High Street and opening this September, the new hotel will fuse together UK craftsmanship with contemporary haute-design. Those residing in its 265 rooms will be able to slip under covers exclusively designed for the hotel by APC and partake in culinary excellence from the founders of East London favourite Bistrotheque.

+DETAILS:

Ace Hotel, 100 Shoreditch High Street, London
www.acehotel.com

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Dishoom, Covent Garden, London

Lisa Richards heads to Covent Garden for a taste of old-world Bombay, courtesy of the hottest kid on the block, Dishoom: join the queue snaking outside Stringfellow’s for some of best Indian food in the Capital. Read her review in full here.

Emirates Airlines’ A380//Business Class review

Our review of Emirates Airlines’ business class cabin in the Airbus A380 on the Dubai to Bangkok route is now live. Read it here.

Gotta Keep Up

Check out our Editor Lisa’s profile on Flavor.me and follow her for social media commentary, links to new editorial as and when it happens, London recommendations, and live commentary on X Factor (that’s not in her official capacity, we hasten to add!). Here’s Lisa’s profile (can you tell that she’s had to write a lot of these?): “Blah, blah, writer, blah, blah, social media expert, blah, blah, editor, blah, blah, copywriter, blah, blah, hugely experienced, blah, blah, hire me.” via Lisa Richards.

If you’d like to speak to our team about affordable social media packages for your business, email Lisa: lisa@resource-magazine.com. We have competitive monthly rates for Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and regular updates to your business blog.

mine winter issue // The lifestyle newspaper for myhotels group

We are pleased to announce that the second issue of mine is now available in myhotels Brighton, Bloomsbury and Chelsea. mine is a lifestyle newspaper that Resource Magazine produces for myhotels on a quarterly basis. Offering detailed editorial on the very best events, attractions and exhibitions in London and Brighton, as well as restaurant reviews and factual articles, mine is available in each of the hotels’ rooms, as well as in the lobbies, restaurants and bar areas. The perfect way to reach a well-read, well-travelled audience, contact us for editorial and advertising opportunities in the spring issue.
+DETAILS:
To view the second issue of mine online, go to: issuu.com/myhotels/docs/mine_issue2
To follow myhotels on Twitter: @myhotels_group. Follow mine: @mine_newspaper
www.myhotels.com

It’s All Mine // Mine for myhotels group

Resource Magazine is very proud to announce its collaboration with the stylish myhotels group. Our first lifestyle newspaper for the hotel group will be launched on Monday 4 July, and will be distributed in its three hotels: Chelsea, Bloomsbury and Brighton. Offering London and Brighton news, as well as stylish articles about architecture, design, music, fashion and food, Mine will be available in hotel rooms, the lobby and bar areas and in locations that work closely with the hotel group.
+DETAILS
To view the first issue of Mine online, click here.
For advertising and editorial opportunities within the newspaper, please contact Rachel Seed: rachel@resource-magazine.com

Making A Stand

For the Resource team, travel is not cheap. It’s not a right, it’s a privilege and we feel very lucky to travel and explore the world in the name of our work. One of our greatest and guiltiest pleasures is to turn left on an aircraft – to arrive at one’s destination in style and comfort, feeling refreshed and ready for the trip ahead, is a joy. And while low-cost airlines have enabled international travel for the masses, for us this pile ‘em high attitude to travel cheapens the experience. As the airlines desperately try to scrape profits from their industry, more and more commentators and experts are coming up with ideas to put more bums on seats. And removing traditional seats is an idea being mooted with alarming frequency. While Ryanair’s boss might have raised the idea with his tongue firmly in cheeky, Italian airline cabin design company Aviointeriors has put the ‘Stand Up Cabin’ idea onto the drawing board and come up with the Skyrider concept, creating a pitch measuring less than 23 inches based on the seat of a scooter. And while its inventiveness is to be applauded, if the choice is to travel in comfort or travel standing up, we’d rather wait and save our flying time.
As an antithesis to this high density seating, our review of the marvellous Emirates’ Airbus A380 will be going live soon.

Sun Shady

We have a positive outlook here at Resource – and while the ash and rain clouds may be overhead, we’re hoping we can find use for this rather handsome sunshade this summer. Viteo, one of our favourite design consortiums, has teamed up with Structurelab to create this new series of outdoor umbrellas, to offer you cooling shade when the sun is hot. Its clever and rather beautiful shape means that by simply twisting the shade, it alters the size and shape of the shadow – and by placing the shade to the side of the table and chairs, it means that one person isn’t left roasting in the midday sun.
Other beautiful and quirky accessories for your garden by the Austrian design group include an outdoor shower with its bizarre-yet-brilliant ascending spray and a rolling outdoor wireless speaker designed by Ron Arad and F Pellisari. Clever, functional and aesthetically very pleasing indeed.
+DETAILS
VITEO Design Möbel GmbH
Murecker Straße 27, 8472 Strass/Stmk./ Austria
www.viteo.at

Building Block Party

Designed by starchitects Herzog & De Meuron, Vitra’s new showroom, the VitraHaus in Weil am Rhein in Germany, is a geometric addition to Vitra’s portfolio of buildings and follies at the company’s sprawling HQ. Joining a Museum designed by Frank Gehry, a bus shelter designed by Jasper Morrison and even a fire station (due to a major fire in 1981) by Resource favourite Zaha Hadid (pictured below), Herzog & De Meuron’s creation houses works by the likes of Charles & Ray Eames, Jean Prouvé, Verner Panton and Antonio Citterio. Built to inspire, the building’s interior showcases Vitra’s Home Collection laid out in variety of living models – which you can size up and buy in-situ – as well as housing exhibitions from the Vitra Design Museum’s collection. It’s also home to a great little café serving locally-sourced produce, meaning you can eat, drink, learn and buy all under one beautifully designed roof.
+DETAILS
Visit Vitra online.

Hix Marks The Spot

Our review of the excellent Hix Soho is now live. It’s where we’d be right now if we were lunching or dining in the Capital – beautifully executed classic British food washed down with a couple of coupe glasses of Champagne, naturally. Go here to read the full write-up.

The Crosby Show

Crosby

New York gets its first taste of quintessential British style thanks to the opening of Firmdale Hotels‘ new Crosby Street Hotel. With behemoths of the boutique hotel movement such as Soho Hotel, Covent Garden Hotel, Charlotte Street Hotel and Haymarket Hotel in London under their rather stylish belts, it was only a matter of time before Firmdale made the NY-LON connection. Situated in the heart of SoHo, arguably one of NYC’s most stylish ‘hoods, whilst the bustle is just feet from your door, the hotel itself sits on the pretty, quiet cobbled Crosby Street, just off Prince.
With 86 bedrooms and suites over 11 floors, as one would expect from design supremo Kit Kemp (co-owner of Firmdale with her husband) the interiors are exquisite and decidedly non-prescriptive. With flashes of beautiful printed textiles, swathes of wallpaper, quirky pieces of antique furniture and perfect lighting, the rooms are the perfect mix of contemporary and classic – all helped by the entire space being flooded with light, whether that be neon or natural, from the floor-to-ceiling windows. As well as the beautiful guest rooms, the hotel’s bar will no doubt become the perfect mid-shopping-trip stop-off for NYC’s most beautiful and best-dressed, while the leafy courtyard will be a perfect respite from the heat of Manhattan’s summer, where you can sip long cocktails and rest your weary feet.
Other cheeky extras include a 99-seat screening room (now de rigueur in the best boutique boltholes), a gym with Technogym equipment, as well as private rooms for meetings and events and unique pieces of commissioned art, right down to the railings sitting out front by metalwork designer James Garvey.
Better still are the hotel’s green credentials, making it one of the most environmentally responsible hotel builds in the US. Certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Firmdale have gone to great lengths to assure that during every stage of its design and construction have met stringent criteria.
+DETAILS
Reservations open on 29 September 2009. To reserve a room call:
+1 212 226 6400 or email: reservations@crosbystreethotel.com
www.firmdalehotels.com

Crosby1

Best In Show

Vitra

Show us beautifully designed pieces of furniture, and we’ll show you our black Amex. So much so that the Resource offices are beginning to resemble a museum dedicated to the world’s most beautiful chairs. The latest in our collection is one of the pieces that we spotted at this year’s Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. Vitra‘s technically intricate, plant-like Vegetal chair’s function is two-fold: not only is it an inspiring piece of design, created by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, but due its construction and design it is doubted it will ever be copied. Available in six colours – ours s the mauve grey – and due its construction, suitable for both interior and exterior use, you can buy it now from Utility Design and they’ll throw in an adorable miniature version. Just over £200 for a modern-day classic.

Utah Saint

Aman1

It’s not often that we’re floored by the sight of a new hotel opening. Even in the current market we’re bombarded on a daily basis with invitations to visit new properties around the world: from five-star grande-dame hotels given the modern makeover, to quirky boutique bolt-holes with award-winning spas.
However, the latest property from the lauded Amanresorts group, Amangiri, stopped us in our tracks. It wasn’t just the awe-inspiring setting that caught our breath, but also the incredible design and architecture which manages effortlessly to bring the stunning, expansive 200 million-year-old desert backdrop into each of its stunning suites.
Sitting where the states of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet, Amangiri is ideally located for daytrips out to the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and the Colorado River. We doubt, however, that even a Wonder of the World could drag us from our luxuriously-appointed suite or, indeed, from the 2322-square-metre Aman Spa with its treatment ‘venues’. Nor will the Dining Room’s locally-sourced, seasonal menu and cellar of 900 wines do much to lure you away from Amangari; and with its dramatic views, the Pavilion – the centerpiece of the hotel – is the ideal place to while away even more hours, with a beautifully-mixed drink in hand, eyes skyward as you try to spot an endangered California condor swooping overhead. The pool area, too, acts as the perfect distraction from the outside world, as it wraps itself around a giant rocky outcrop and beckons you to its hot tub. The most gorgeous hotel opening we’ve seen this year, and the ultimate oasis escape.

+DETAILS
By plane: Amangari is a 25-minute drive from Page Municipal Airport, Arizona. Great Lakes Airways operate direct flights from Denver and Phoenix. The airport has full service facilities for private aircraft.
By car: four-hour drive from Phoenix, five hours from Las Vegas, six hours from Salt Lake City.
Prices start from £372 per night, which includes complimentary transfers
For more information contact: www.amanresorts.com

Aman2

High Speed Drive

Terra

We featured Terrufugia‘s car-plane hybrid years ago, when it was being touted by its mad professor creators as the world’s first ‘transition’ vehicle. The concept was simple: land your car-plane at your neighbourhood airstrip, fold up the wings, drive it home and park it in your garage. We thought the idea, ahem, would never get off the ground, but we love to be proved wrong when it comes to feats of engineering. So now, Terrafugia proudly present The Transition: a street-legal airplane. While our intrepid team of travellers would rather fly to far-flung shores in the ample luxury of an Airbus A380, thank you very much, this little beauty will be ideal for the high-end commuter. In terms of design, it looks a little more Thunderbirds than a glimpse at the future, but we’d rather have function over style when it comes to getting us home safely. For order enquiries, contact Terrafugia’s sales team directly: sales@terrafugia.com

Keys, Money, Passport…

Smythson

… credit card, itinerary, e-ticket, boarding cards, names of hotel’s marketing team? Check. We’re still putting together our essential packing feature – it’s taken rather a while, much like our packing, to pare it down to the absolute minimum. In the meantime, if you’re jetting off to warmer climes then the ultimate in luxe luggage comes in this rather compact and beautifully designed form: Smythson, yet again, win the travel must-have crown for their wonderful, sumptuous Coral Travel Clutch (£395) with handy removable dividers so that you can take out its innards and use it as a rather gorgeous clutch when you’re popping down to the hotel bar for a late-night Martini. Señor Ronaldo could even get away with calling it a ‘man bag’, such are its handsome lines. And we all know he can work the colour orange.

Giddy Up!

Cheltenham Festival

We never need an excuse to quaff Champagne and wear a fabulous outfit, but this week’s Cheltenham Festival certainly gives us a good reason. We hope you’ve already booked your room at Hotel du Vin, as this year’s four-day event will see the town expecting nearly a quarter of a million visitors who will be betting over £500 million on the 25 races taking place. No longer just about the horses or high stakes, the Cotswolds’ most elegant and affluent will be out in force. Expect a sea of glamour for Thursday’s Ladies Day, as the well-groomed compete for a very different kind of cup, with the Best Dressed Lady walking away with a four-star Ryanair European weekend away, £300 to spend in the Regent Arcade, and £300 of Molton Brown vouchers.
The event culminates in the world-renowned Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday (which is sold out), with Kauto Star hoping to make the grade of this Blue Riband event. Call the box office for ticket availability: 01242 226 226.

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