Every now and again a bit of fantasy – call it day-dreaming – is good for a hard- working gal. How about lying back with a glass of Taittinger in a big plastic bubble?
The 16-foot diameter construction is an installation artwork by Jean-Hugues de Chatillon, a scenographer for Paris opera and ballet. Well, it is certainly different, and it should sell a lot of Champagne (wonder if my friend Oleg K could take his Louboutin flute there, for the evening?)
Even though luxury hotels are my life, it is good to have a couple of days off. Time to think about shopping. I came across Melissa Briggs Bradley’s marvelous online emporium, which she calls Indegare Souk (Indegare is her bespoke travel company).
I especially like this Eric Raisina stole, 100% silk organza, hand-made in Cambodia. It measures 93 by 31 inches. It would be just the thing to take on the next girlahead trip – surprise surprise, with no reward for guessing the destination.
There is still a joy in real, paper-in-envelope Christmas cards, especially when they support charities or show photos of friends and their families. The worst card so far is from a German hotelier in Hamburg who simply emailed me, and presumably all his ‘linked-in’ friends, with an impersonal message saying happy Christmas everyone. No style.
Lots of style at Grand Hyatt Shanghai, one of the most vibrant of all great hotels in that unique city. Newly-arrived boss Foued El Mabrouk – a Tunisian who came to Beijing in 1983 to study law and never got round to using his return ticket home – has brought in kids from Dulwich College Shanghai to sing carols.
This is somewhat poignant since my father was Classical Sixth form master at the – original – Dulwich College, the one to the south-east of London that has a famous Art Gallery.
More style in India, where girlahead’s girl-on-the-spot, Leepakshi Chopra, keeps us up to date on gold.
“India has always had a special relationship with gold, in temple treasures and household savings. People buy it for ornamental reasons – and for security. Right now some jewellers have shifted to imitation jewellery temporarily. Rajkot in Gujarat is home to more than 100 thousand gold and silver jewellery makers, around 40% of whom have switched to working cheaper imitation jewellery.
It looks like gold but is a fraction of the cost. Tata Group’s jewellery brand Tanishq has launched a sub brand Mia, targeting youthful women on the go, and with over five million working women in India this segment has a large growth potential”, she says.
Leepakshi also sent across an image of the famous Ambani ‘little house’. You know the one I mean. “It is named Antilia, after a mythical island, and from the outside it resembles a condominium tower or a set of Lego building blocks (inside it more spatial than Versailles)”, says Leepakshi, who herself understands real luxury in her role as consultant and travel advisor.
“Over 550 feet high, Antilia has three helipads, a health club, a dance studio, a 50-seat theatre and underground parking for over 150 cars. Surprisingly, Mukesh Ambani still has not moved in and informal sources indicate bad ‘Vastu’, the Indian version of Feng Shui”.
Ok, well and good. May Ambani and his family enjoy flaunting their wealth. Personally I love my own home, which flaunts – nothing. For a couple of days, I am here and writing about, the luxury hotels I shall be visiting within a few days.
Meanwhile, I start every day with a good English Breakfast, 21st century style. Masses of fresh fruit, juice squeezed by My Man, Greek yoghurt (by Total) and home-made bread, plus a Brazil nut. What else does a girl need?