Luxury Dossier

life at a gallop

Tag: luxury


One of the most wonderful aspects of being married to a polo player is the joie de vivre  of living life at a gallop — different places, different people, new adventures.  I spent my birthday one year in the shadow of the K2, the second highest mountain in the world.  One Christmas I found myself in the penthouse suite at the InterContinental Barclay New York.  From polo to politics, one thing has remained constant:  a zeal for living and its corollary, a love of a good, hot shower.

Which is why I was delighted to receive these beautiful hand-crafted Italian soaps as part of my ongoing Christmas extravaganza.  I think luxury soaps are an absolute necessity if you’re living the adventure — after all, what’s the fun of getting dirty if you can’t eventually get clean?

There are few things better than a box of luxury soaps for Christmas, don't you agree?

My +1 is not a PitBull

What do you with the dog who comes for dinner?

This is a new challenge for us and, yes, we love dogs. On the other hand, there are some places they do not belong and yet, just like that annoying nephew who insists on ruining your last weekend at the beach house with a gaggle of fraternity brothers, how do you say no to the dog?

The last time I had a party, my (now gratefully former) assistant arrived with a dog that could have given the Hound of the Baskervilles a run for his devil-dog money. He was enormous, barked incessantly, and managed to chew the decorative carving off my solid mahogany entry door in less than two hours. He terrorized the (human) children of (human) guests. He lept up on a brand-new Mercedes MacLaren SL65 and effectively clawed the door.

There are times when I have an appetite for destruction. I like a little danger, a little bit of whiskey, a few comrades with rakish twinkles in their eyes.

That equation does not ungainly mutts who failed doggie charm school in close combination to priceless silk rugs and people who like their food sans dog hair.

Fido is delightful. In my mind, he really doesn’t want a human birthday party. He doesn’t want to be called the GrandDog. He doesn’t want to get yelled at to get off the carpet or off the sofa or be doused with doggie perfume. He certainly does not want to dress up as Santa for Christmas and have his picture made with you. Show him some respect. And your host likewise.

Otherwise Stay! at home.

Get Happy

So let’s say that, by some evil stroke of fate, you are NOT at the Veuve Clicquot in New York this weekend, nor in London at the Mint Polo in the Park, nor in Ibiza.  It’s not too late to get busy and bid at Auction Napa Valley.  One of our favorite packages is the Blackbird/Chopard package which will put you right in the middle of things in 2012.  What makes us Happy?  Diamonds and doing good!!!

Party with the World’s Biggest Movie Stars at the Cannes Film Festival with

            CHOPARD and Blackbird Vineyards

               Live Lot # 37 “Auteur” – the Most Exciting Live Lot of Auction Napa Valley 2011

Blackbird Vineyards is pleased to participate in Auction Napa Valley on June 2-5, 2011 to raise funds for Napa County health, youth, and low-income housing non-profit organizations. This year, Blackbird Vineyards will donate an unobtainable Cannes Film Festival Live Lot, which was made possible with the generous support of our partner, CHOPARD, in addition to Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley and Bardessono.

View the Cannes Film Festival 2011/CHOPARD Party Video:

CHOPARD Video still

Live Lot Package #37 “Auteur” Includes:
CHOPARD red carpet


  • Blackbird Vineyards Vertical Collection

A three-year, hand-etched, 6L collection of 2006-2008 Illustration Proprietary Red Wine from Blackbird Vineyards, Napa Valley, signed by winemaker Aaron Pott.

CHOPARD Cannes Film Festival Experience for two

Ma(i)sonry Napa Valley Tour and Dining Experience for sixYour 2012 Cannes Film Festival Experience will be hosted by CHOPARD, the manufacturer of luxury watches, jewelry, accessories, and timepieces, in May of 2012. CHOPARD, which has been one of the two main sponsors of the Cannes Film Festival for the last 20 years, invites the winning bidder and a guest to a three-day/three-night cultural event at the Cannes Film Festival, including airfare to Nice, France, luxury car service (from the airport and for three days), access to movie premieres, luxury accommodations, all lunches and dinners, hair and makeup services, access to great events, as well as one CHOPARD Happy Sport Watch.

Enjoy a private, hosted gallery tour and wine-paired alfresco dinner for six (6) persons at Ma(i)sonry, prepared by a renowned chef.

  • Bardessono Napa Valley Accommodations for six

Overnight accommodations for three (3) couples for two nights in spa suites, including breakfast. Bardessono is located in Yountville, serving as a model for elevating contemporary, environmental “green” design with a sense of place, history, and artisan values.

Small BottlesAbout Blackbird Vineyards

Founded in 2003 by Michael Polenske, Blackbird Vineyards is an artisanal producer of Pomerol-inspired wines from the Napa Valley. Planted in 1997, the estate vineyard is located in the heart of the Oak Knoll District—a region appreciated for its moderate climate and deep, gravelly soils. The vineyard‘s valley floor topography presents optimum growing conditions for Winemakers Aaron Pott and Sarah Gott to produce elegantly styled, appropriately balanced red wines that offer short- and long-term cellaring potential. Limited quantities are available through an allocated mailing list direct from the winery and in the finer restaurants and hotels around the world. Visit Blackbird and become a fan on Facebook.

About Auction Napa Valley

Since 1981, members of the Napa Valley Vintners and the Napa Valley community have rallied together to offer, each June, an experience unlike any other. What started as a small event has grown into one of the world’s most renowned wine auctions—with more than 350 wineries and 550 community volunteers now taking par—yet remains true to its goal of raising funds for healthcare, housing and youth services nonprofits: Auction Napa Valley has given $90 million in proceeds to


Chopard is a Swiss based luxury watch, jewelry, and accessories company founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard. Chopard, which also has production facilities in Fleurier, is one of four participating brands in the Fleurier Quality Foundation (together with Bovet, Parmigiani and Vaucher), which certifies a very high level of quality to manufactured watches ( The “Qualité Fleurier” standard is meant to compete with the Geneva standards such as the exclusive Geneva Seal manufacturing standard.[youtube=

Jade Jagger to design homes in India

    • Jade Jagger
    • Image Credit: Supplied

    Mumbai: Jade Jagger, the daughter of Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger, is set to design homes for a Mumbai luxury residential project as Indian builders hire international designers to woo customers whose wealth is soaring.

    Jagger, 39, will create residences for Lodha Developers in the northeastern suburb of Goregaon, according to a marketing brochure targeting wealthy buyers obtained by Bloomberg. Jagger has partnered with London-based design firm Yoo Design Studio, its chairman, John Hitchcox, said in a phone interview on Wednesday.

    “India is a great opportunity for us,” said Hitchcox. “We are now living in this mass celebrity world. People are looking for more and more identity. There is a tendency for them to want to identify with how others live and their lifestyles.”

    Jagger, daughter of Mick and Bianca Jagger, has designed villas in Marrakesh in Morocco; Turkey; The Jade condominiums in New York, and The Lakes in the Cotswolds, the UK region known for its rolling hills and stone villages.

    Mumbai-based Lodha’s residential project in the city will include four towers, with the tallest comprising four-bedroom apartments, duplexes and sky villas with their own elevator and private swimming pools, according to the marketing document.

    The project, called Fiorenza, is expected to be completed in 2014 and sell for 12,000 rupees (Dh966) per square foot, according to an October report from Edelweiss Securities. The rate in the area for similar projects is between 11,000 rupees and 12,000 rupees per square foot. Jagger will design a club house that will include a gym, spa and waterside cafe, the brochure said. The towers will include a roof-top party floor that will house dinner lounges, a party terrace and a private discotheque.

    Going local

    “Jade has spent a lot of time in India and it has been her big interest,” said Hitchcox, whose firm employs six creative directors including Jagger.

    “We try to go local as much as we can when we arrive in a country and merge our experience with the local design, taste and styles.”


    Nurai Private Villas in Abu Dhabi

    Zaya, a dynamic newly-formed Abu Dhabi-based real estate company launched a Dh3 billion property venture called Nurai – a spectacular private community of limited edition resort beach-front estates and water villas on a natural island off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

    Located northeast of Abu Dhabi, the project is set in isolation away from the hustle and bustle of city life yet is within minutes from the mainland. CEO Nadia Zaal confirmed that 50 pr cent pf the project has been sold out within three weeks and the rest of the units would be released at later stage. Set to be completed by December 2010, according to CEO, the project being developed on a scenic natural Island will set a new bench-mark for luxurious and high-end realty projects.” Prices range between AED 35 million to AED 110 million per unit depends upon the size and location of the unit. 

    Zaal said: “Zaya has a passion for creating unique lifestyle solutions that goes beyond bricks and mortar. Using our unique understanding of the clientele and refusing to be bound by convention, Nurai is the most stylish contemporary living experience in the world”. Nurai is the beginning for Zaya’s collection of unique projects designed solely based on market research and the discerning clientele’s aspiration in mind. Extensive research concluded that there is a shortage in this kind of sophisticated projects and means that Zaya will remain focused on the high end of the market with plans for expansion into the Middle East, Asia and Europe being announced shortly.

    She added: “On Nurai, you can have your own piece of paradise and still be just minutes from Abu Dhabi. On this incredibly lush island, you will find a distinctive collection of limited edition resort beachfront estates and water villas, along with all the services and comforts of a world class boutique resort.”

    “The design concept of the island stemmed from Zaya’s desire to provide residents with abundant pieces of land and ultimate privacy. Three strands of Water Villas extend into the ocean, and Nurai’s Beachfront Estates are integrated into the gently scoping landscape. A carpet of greenery unfolds across the island, with sweeping structures underneath to envelop residents in their own world of private luxury. Island feels untouched as majority of land is landscaped lush greenery as opposed to populated with buildings.”

    Discerning clientele interested in resort beachfront estates will have their choice of two designs -‘The Shoreline’ or ‘The Seaside’.  The Shoreline estates will consist of six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, private beach and rooftop garden with a total build area of 12,275 square feet. Similar in size, but with five bedrooms and six baths, will be The Seaside estates. No detail has been overlooked. Each resort residence includes luxurious amenities such as a private beach and garden, infinity swimming pool, concealed service quarters and outdoor showers.

    Zaya LLC is a joint venture between Tasameem and Assas Real Estate, whose portfolio is in excess of $15 billion, formed to create a distinct rand of iconic property developments.