Wednesday, February 27, 2008


T Minus 3, 2, 1...

DESPITE the imported Oscar buzz, Paris Fashion Week unofficially kicked off last night with the T Magazine party at the Mini Palais inside the Grand Palais (No, not at the Petit Palais!). There was no shortage of champagne and most likely the highest concentration of international beau monde this side of the Atlantic – Angela Lindvall with her sweater casually thrown over her shoulder; Karl Lagerfeld with his signature sunglasses-at-night look; Lou Doillon with her eyes tucked under her signature hat; Gareth Pugh swaddled in fur; Liya Kebede standing tall (and arriving very late); oh, and just about every single person that has ever worked at a magazine.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


After twelve years I got back to Vienna. One thing I can say – Places I thought of being boring as hell like Geneva, Brussels, Luxemburg, Gant, Frankfurt or Taipei are WILD next to Vienna!

How can such a grand city, with so many unique buildings, squares, hotels, opera houses and money be so boring?!
It just has a really, really heavy and negative energy. Most people are rude and look like their about to punch you in the face and its not very usual to see someone talk or laugh!

If you have or want to check out Empress Sisi’s city anyway…Don’t miss Madame Butterfly in the Vienna Opera House – I did go and was amazed by it all!

After that treat yourself for a flute de champagne in the Hotel Imperial bar and a real royal dinner in their restaurant.
Their “café’ is also a great option for dinner. There you will find a mix of very rich business men with their lovers and la crème de la crème of the 1800-1900’s society. Ladies, covered in jewels and smoking like there is no tomorrow. Really worth seeing it!

The Hotel Bristol was my option to stay and I have to say it was also a great alternative. Not as grand as the Imperial but still a very old fashioned, chic and central hotel. The rooms are big, with marble bathrooms, walls covered in silk and some even have a balcony facing the Opera House!

Please do not miss a walk around town and especially don’t miss Demel Chocolate House – WOW!!


Venice was a true surprise! I always had the idea that Venice, was just like Rome. But surrounded by water canals, more and too many romantic couples, groups of tourists armed with photo machines – taking snap shots of every fountain and corner and a terrible smell of shit!

I couldn’t be more wrong! Venice is charming, romantic and chic. True – It has also its share of tourists walking around and renting black gondolas and cheap shops selling the most horrendous carnival masks. But all the negative side is forgotten once you enter in the right places.

Forget all restaurants mentioned in guides! The good food is where you least expect. And that is also where you will find the most sophisticated Italian crowed, covered in mink coats, vintage Hermes bags and heavy make-up.

Its pretty easy to feel at home after 24 hours and even more to know all streets corners.

Not to miss:

Hotel Danieli – Dead, dead ,dead but worth the visit for its amazing entrance, marble floors and worked ceilings.

Gretti Palace Hotel – The place to stay. Especially if you are loaded and never bother looking to the right side of the menu!
Like the Danieli, it has amazing antique pieces, marble floors, and worked ceilings. The difference is that here you get a real five star service, a terrace by the Gran Canal and one of the most beautiful bars I have ever seen!

Hotel Baglioni – Maria Callas always stayed there. Think that says it all!

Tratoria de La Madonna – In a dead end street (at least it looked like it!) with horrible tables and white ugly light but with the best seafood one can have. The atmosphere is also the best.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Planing one more perfect trip...

Vienna, Venice, Bratislava and Lisbon

Vivienne Westwood

Westwood was born Vivienne Isabel Swire in the village of Tintwistle in Glossop, Derbyshire on April 8 1941, daughter of Dora (Ball) and Gordon Swire, a storekeeper.[2] She studied at the Harrow School of Art (later to become the University of Westminster) for one term. Vivienne went on to attend Trent Park College(later to become the Middlesex University) and later taught at a primary school in North London. She loved teaching.

Vivienne's first husband was Derek Westwood, with whom she had one child named Ben. Their marriage lasted three years before she met Malcolm McLaren, later known for being the manager for punk band The Sex Pistols. The two had a son named Joseph, and Westwood continued to teach until 1971, when Malcolm decided to open a shop, Let It Rock (also known as Sex, Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die, Seditionaries) where Westwood began to sell her outrageous designs. During this period, Westwood, McLaren, and artist Jamie Reid were influenced by the Situationists. She still owns the shop, which is at 430 King's Road, and sells her Anglomania label from there. The shop is now known as World's End.

The punk style began to gain notoriety when the Sex Pistols wore clothes from Westwood and McLaren's shop at their first gig. The "punk style" included BDSM fashion, bondage gear, safety pins, razor blades, bicycle or lavatory chains on clothing and spiked dog collars that were used as jewelery, as well as outrageous make-up and hair. Westwood invented the slashed A symbol for Anarchy at this time.

The inclusion of more traditional elements of British design, such as tartan fabric, amongst the more unusual elements of her style only served to make the overall effect of her designs more shocking.

Together, Westwood and McLaren revolutionised fashion, and the impact is still felt today. She has only a few exclusive shops including three in London, two in Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds. A ninth will open in Nottingham in 2008. Westwood worked historical factors into her collection by using historical 17th-18th century original cutting principles and modernising them. This collection was about 'gold and treasure, adventure and exploration'. Other influences in Westwood's work have included ethnic Peruvian influence, feminine figure, velvet and knitwear. A historical influence has always shown in her work.

In December 2003, she and the Wedgwood pottery company launched a series of tea sets featuring her designs.
Her first major retrospective of her work was shown in 2004-2005 at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the National Gallery of Australia. The exhibition is made up of around 145 complete outfits, grouped into the themes which have dominated her work from the early 1970s to the present day and were drawn from her own personal archive and the V&A's extensive collection. They range from early Punk garments to glamorous 'historical' evening gowns. The retrospective is touring the world and is set to continue until 2008.

In September 2005, Westwood joined forces with the British civil rights group Liberty and launched exclusive limited design T-shirts and baby wear bearing the slogan I AM NOT A TERRORIST, please don't arrest me. Westwood said she was supporting the campaign and defending habeas corpus. "When I was a schoolgirl my history teacher, Mr. Scott, began to take classes in civic affairs. The first thing he explained to us was the fundamental rule of law embodied in habeas corpus. He spoke with pride of civilisation and democracy. The hatred of arbitrary arrest by the lettres de cachet of the French monarchy caused the storming of the Bastille. We can only take democracy for granted if we insist on our liberty", she said.[3] The sale of the £50 T-shirts raised funds for the organisation. Dame Vivienne has recently stated on television that she has transferred her long standing support for the Labour Party to the Conservative Party, over the issues of civil liberties and human rights.
Her Autumn/Winter 2005/06 Propaganda Collection drew inspiration from her archive, reinterpreting designs using Wolford’s exclusive knitting technology, who she has worked in close collaboration with since 2003. In 2006, collaborated with Nine West. These shoes are not designed directly by Westwood, however, the Nine West brand name shares its label with Westwood.

Westwood accepted a DBE in the 2006 New Year's Honours List "for services to fashion", and has thrice earned the award for British Designer of the Year.
In May 2006, Westwood wrote a poem and provided personal photographs eulogising Swallows Wood, a Nature Reserve near Tintwistle where she was born and grew up. The Reserve is threatened with destruction by the construction of the Longdendale Bypass.

Vivienne Westwood has spent much of 2007 designing new graduation gowns for King's College London, which will be conferring its own degrees for the first time in summer 2008.
Throughout her career, Westwood has been influential in launching the careers of other designers into the British fashion industry. Most notably, she employed the services of Patrick Cox to design shoes for her "Clint Eastwood" collection in 1984. The result was a prototype of the nine inch heeled shoes in which supermodel Naomi Campbell famously fell during a Westwood fashion show in Paris in 1994.

It is a SmallWorld!

From a Hong Kong reader...

I don't usually read blogs but I came across yours when I was looking for something on the net. What caught my eye was your lovely house...Then the fact that you seem to travel about as much as I do....and then the fact that you have listed some of my restaurants on your blog (, thank you for that...I hope that Google picks up on them!
Perhaps see you in HK when you are next passing through.

February 18, 2008 7:23 PM

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Home - London

Daylesford Organic

As you walk in you see gorgeous fruit and veg, lounging in tasteful baskets. A display of white flowers jostles for attention. And when you turn the corner, the food counters offer up the most tantalising treats we've ever seen - pungent cheeses, artisan breads, tempting pastries and cakes, organic meats - each section more appealing than the last. Cheeses are hand-made next door at the Creamery using traditional methods - the farm's Organic Cheddar won Best English Cheese in the British Cheese Awards 2002. Book a time on Mondays or Thursdays to watch the cheesemaking in progress.

Once you've done your shopping, grab a table on the ground floor by the gifts section (loaded with edible goodies and wonderful pottery) or in the upstairs seating section and enjoy a cup of tea, a freshly squeezed juice, light meal or pudding. Even pooches are pampered here, with their own dog parking area and organic biscuits. But while the experience at Daylesford is up-market, the farm doesn't lose sight of its roots - focusing on organic products and sustainability.

Daylesford has now opened the Hay Barn, an airy eco-spa made with recycled materials and offering holistic treatments such as Indian head massage, shiatsu and yoga.

Home - London

Thursday, February 14, 2008