Luxury Hotels


ONLY IN DUBAI… see Flying Piano, above. at Expo 2020 Dubai. All you see, from below, are the piano and 25-year-old Eleanora Costantini – HER GOWN’S TRAIN hides the mystery of how she and piano are elevated five metres.

SATURDAY IS FOOD DAY IN GIRLAHEAD’S EYES – AND MOUTH.  She has been researching Flavio Briattore’s BILLIONAIRE restaurants and clubs, which are expanding to Riyadh. In Dubai, his concession is held by Bulldozer Group, led by CEO Evgeny Kuzin, Alexander Orlov  and Maxim Vlasov.  Full marks to the website, by the way. From the menu you can choose, say, a Billionaire pizza, go on to Wagyu ribeye from the Josper Grill, with sides of truffle mash, and asparagus. WHAT TO DRINK?  Start with Dom Pérignon 2003 and go on to a 2005 Pétrus.  NOTHING BUT THE BEST.

More wines (and back to UP IN THE AIR) ….Leaving New York out of JFK, GIRLAHEAD was intrigued by Borough Wines London’s wine tastings in the BRITISH AIRWAYS LOUNGE. The tastings had two selections, New World and Old World.  First the NEW WORLD WINES: Astrolabe Marlborough Sauvignon Blance New Zealand; Angels & Cowboys Sonoma County Granache; Astrolabe Province Pinot Noir, and Canonball Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma County. For the OLD WORLD WINES, there were two from France, both Dme Chanzy Bourgogne – a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir – and two from Lebanon’s Dme des Tourelles, a Rosé and a Vieilles Vigne.

In London, MANDARIN ORIENTAL HYDE PARK, LONDON,  is apparently replacing its decade-old Bar Boulud by an  izakaya restaurant, The Aubrey. This will be run  by Hong Kong-based Maximal Concepts, noteworthy not only because of Mott 32 and its other brands but because of its three co-founders. In alphabetical order, these are Xuan Mu, ex-PWC banking/finance auditor with a BSc in accounting-finance; Matt Reid, passionate environmentalist, currently setting up US-based Plastic Conscious to tackle food packaging – he is on the global board of Dean&DeLuca, as is 3rd co-founder, Malcolm Wood, whose production company Far North Productions made the 2017 documentary A Plastic Ocean, which Sir David Attenborough said was the most important movie of our time.

Let us listen again to Mandarin Oriental’s corporate COO, Christoph Mares: hear him here –