Top 10, Travel

Top 10: Hotels for their location

1. Post Ranch Inn, Big Sur, California. For the lovers of the great outdoors and Henry Miller. http://www.postranchinn.com/

2. Wickaninnish Inn, Vancouver Island, Canada. ‘Rustic Elegance on nature’s edge, set between the rainforest and the blue waters of the Pacific.’  (courtesy of Wickaninnish Inn) http://www.wickinn.com/

3. Ice hotel, Sweden. Sleep in an ice cube and see the Northern lights at this art and design ice hotel and. http://www.icehotel.se/

4. Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, India. Feel like a James Bond Girl in Octopussy in Udaipur, known as the Venice of East, with its ‘fairytale palaces, placid lakes, exotic temples and resplendent gardens’. http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/Grand-Palaces-And-Iconic-Hotels/Taj-Lake-Palace-Udaipur/Overview.html

5. Parador de Granada, Alhambra, Spain. ‘Spend the night in the Alhambra complex, among gardens and fountains that evoke a past in which the Arab and the Christian intermingled’. http://www.parador.es/es/paradores/parador-de-granada

6. Belmond Santuary Lodge, Macchu Piccu, Peru. ‘Located within the sanctuary of Machu Picchu, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and voted one of the New Wonders of the World’. http://www.sanctuarylodgehotel.com/web/omac/machu_picchu.jsp

7. Chateau Chevre D’Or, Eze, France. At the heart of Eze Village, a medieval perched village on the Cote D’azur, le Chateau Chevre D’or is a perfect base to explore the coast from Monaco to Nice. http://www.chevredor.com/uk

8. Uma by COMO, Paro, Bhutan. ‘Explore the unexplored Bhutan in ‘an intimate, 29-room resort featuring the most exclusive private villas in Bhutan with an enviable location in the Paro Valley’. http://www.comohotels.com/umaparo

9. Governor’s Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya, Africa. ‘In the heart of the best wildlife viewing areas of Kenya and Rwanda, set in some of East Africa’s most spectacular scenery.’ http://www.governorscamp.com/

10. Four Seasons Explorer, Maldives. ‘Embark on the ultimate marine odyssey aboard our floating resort, Four Seasons Explorer…most intimate resort experience, Four Seasons Explorer, a 39-metre (129-foot) three-deck catamaran, takes a maximum of 22 guests on a marine and cultural adventure into the undiscovered Maldives.’http://www.fourseasons.com/maldivesfse/

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Quote of the day, Social Commentary

Quote of the Day “Are you here for an interview?’

Welcome to BlingLand…. 

M has been invited to R’s house for a playdate. R is from a country we shall call Blingland, where the bigger the bling, the better. R is very wealthy. I hear through the ‘nanny grapevine’ that R travels in a private jet and has a room dedicated to her clothes. She arrives at nursery driven by her chauffeur, who wears a chauffeur’s hat, and her two nannies, one older, gentle Filipina and one English for etiquette and elocution lessons. When R’s mum calls me to ask if M can come over for a playdate, I ask her whether she wants me or the nanny to bring her, not knowing what the norms and customs of BlingLand are. She replies ‘Whatever is easiest for you’ and thinking that I should really do the polite thing, I decide to bring M myself. Trying to spruce up for R’s mum, who always looks glamourous with perfect hair, a big white smile, and pink lipstick ready for the finals of the Miss BlingLand beauty pageant, I choose to wear a DVF dress, my nicest jewellery and handbag, thinking I should mimic R’s mum to make her feel comfortable, and hail a cab to Belgravia.

When I arrive to the megamansion in Belgravia, the nice Filipina nanny answers the doorbell and takes M to R’s playroom and tells me to wait next door in the ‘waiting’ room while she calls ‘Madame’. I appear to be in the staff quarters because there are Filipinas running around looking slightly alarmed by the sight of me, shuffling their feet in every direction. Through the hall, I see the chef preparing a delicious smelling stew of some sort. I keep waiting. At some point, a Filipina who looks like the head Filipina, barges in, looks me up and down and asks me in a rather gruff and unfriendly voice ‘Are you here for the interview?’ Indignant, outraged and slightly humiliated I respond ‘No, I am M’s mum!’ Of course, I want to scream at her ‘Can’t you see I am wearing a f**** Diane Von Furstenberg dress, carrying a Louis Vuitton handbag and wearing thousands of pounds worth of Boodles?!’ She turns around without a word of apology and stomps away as I am left seething in the waiting room of the staff quarters of the megamansion. A few minutes later, I calm down and realise that the Filipinas probably never see anyone but people from BlingLand enter the megamansion and innocently mistook me for the help. Eventually, the Filipina nanny returns saying ‘I’m sorry, Madame is not here, she went to the supermarket.’ That’s when I decide that M is ready for her first ‘drop off’ playdate and leave in a hurry. For those of you who don’t know, the word for ‘supermarket’ in Blingish is ‘Harrods.’

 

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Because I'm Happy....

Happy Balloon made for M’s easter hat parade

In the Press, Photos

Because I’m Happy….

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moon oled chandelier

Photo courtesy of Cinimod studio

Photos

Moon OLED Chandelier

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Spotlight On...

Spotlight on Notting Hill Neighbour, Dominic Harris, interactive light designer and artist

‘ And the winner of this year’s best lighting dimmer switch goes to…’

Dominic Harris has just won the 2014 “Best Luminaire’ Award at the Lighting Design award (the Oscars of the lighting world, for those of you who aren’t in the know), yet he is still not satisfied. He won the 2008 ‘Breakthrough Talent of the Year’ at the FX International Design Awards, the FX ‘Best Bar and Restaurant Design’ award in 2009, the 2012 ‘Small Projects’ and ‘Small Retail’ awards at the Lighting Design Awards, and multitudes of other awards and accolades, yet he is still not satisfied. How much more ego-stroking does this artist need to finally be satisfied?

It is probably this perpetual dissatisfaction and quest for perfection that has made him such a brilliant, innovative and unique artist. The Oxford dictionary’s synonyms for artist are ‘creator, ‘originator,’ ‘designer,’ ‘producer,’ and he fits the bill. His art combines lighting, architecture, electronics, motion graphics and a number of other disciplines to create small-scale pieces of art to large-scale interactive commercial and public events, products, and exhibits. He founded his studio, Cinimod Studios, in 2007 and has already moved offices once because it has grown so quickly and is currently looking for new space to expand his workforce and workspace. When you enter his studio, it looks more like a trading floor than an art studio, with rows of tables and computer screens in a large open space, but it’s not until you enter his workshop and viewing room that you understand the balance of art, design, and technology.

I am sure you still have no idea what Dominic does, but for those who live in London, you will most likely have seen his art in a commercial or public setting. The ITSU butterflies, particularly the T5 Heathrow butterflies, are my personal favorites. For those who like frozen yogurt, his studio is behind the SNOG outlets, winning him ‘Best Bar and Restaurant Design’ award in 2009. In 2012, he created a 50 ft., 3.2 ton ‘Halo’ illuminated by 200KW LED light flown over the Thames by a helicopter, making an illusory effect of a flying UFO, for the launch of the Halo 4 Xbox 360 game. The V & A commissioned an exhibit for their Exhibition Rd tunnel entrance that allowed the visitor to control the light through their movement. In Peru, he illuminated the Peru National Stadium with the crowd’s cheers by creating a mood analysis system that processed sound in real time and translated it into changing lights on the outward façade of the stadium. EDF Energy commissioned an interactive art installation in the London Eye where a viewer could change the lights on the London Eye with their heartbeat. It is with cutting edge motion graphics, electronics, thermal tracking devices, industrial design and architecture fused together that he manages to create groundbreaking art.

His smaller pieces have become a must for wealthy design collectors. Billionaires, pop artists, entrepreneurs, and fashion designers have one in their homes. He exhibits in art fairs all over the world, from Art Basel in Miami to art14 London just last month and it was at a Kinetica show that he met Ron Dennis, CEO and chief executive of McLaren, who has now become his principal investor and mentor. It was with Ron Dennis sitting by his side that Dominic accepted the ‘Best Luminaire’ award this year for his Moon OLED chandelier. The moon OLED chandelier can be commissioned with any number of spheres, each sphere made up of a flat light layer in a polished acrylic sphere rendering the light source invisible when viewed on certain angles or made to look like a moon crescent from other angles. He is currently working on a second, more perfect version of the Moon OLED chandelier, being the consummate perfectionist, and a sculpture at Heathrow T2 for the Caviar House on top of many private commissions for famous people who are too famous to mention here. Ron Dennis, his most famous public collector, saw the potential of the rising star a few years ago, but this star has now clearly already risen.

http://www.cinimodstudio.com

 

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Baby chic

Photos

Springtime has arrived! One day old chick being held by a banker dad at M’s nursery

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