August 01, 2013
Courtesy of The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs
The North Island of New Zealand is a difficult part of the world to compete with when it comes to gorgeous natural surroundings. And with golf and fishing at the centerpiece of an offering at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, the stunning assets of the region are highlighted even more. The Fish ‘n’ Chipping package, anchored by a three-night stay in a suite, allows guests to experience two of New Zealand’s most beloved pursuits in grand fashion.
The lodge itself, located on a 6,000-acre sheep and cattle farm, houses 22 suites and a double-suite Owner’s Cottage. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the three private beaches and waterfall (a particularly ideal picnic spot), as well as the two pools and tennis courts. The walk to the spa passes through a forest of totara trees. “Everything here is about the individual, personal experience,” says managing director Jay Robertson.
The new offering extends the charm, starting with a round of golf on the 18-hole, par-72 course designed by David Harman, which is considered one of the best in the world. (Harman traveled to Kauri Cliffs 46 times from his home in Florida while building it.) Fifteen holes provide stunning ocean views—the Cavalli Islands and Cape Brett can be seen—and six of those are located along cliffs.
The fishing leg of the stay offers either four hours of land-based fishing or a four-hour trip in the Bay of Islands, and a private driving tour of the North Island results in a proper fish and chips lunch at Mangonui restaurant, which is known for the specialty. And those who want an even greater immersion can get just that, choosing either a private fish and chips cooking lesson with Kauri Cliffs chef Barry Frith or a golf tutorial—focused on the chip shot, of course—with a local pro. Rates start at $3,190; Matauri Bay, Northland; 64-9/407-0010; kauricliffs.com.
August 01, 2013
Courtesy of Gilligan's
Gilligan’s at the Soho Grand Hotel—a pop-up restaurant–cum–beach shack scheduled to stick around through September—knows just what those knee-deep in a city summer crave. Aussie restaurateurs Nick Hatsatouris and Lincoln Pilcher, who brought Moby Dick’s, a similar concept, to Montauk last summer, lead the venture. And their small slip of an eatery, situated between Canal Street and Sixth Avenue, is out to transport its guests with a breezy, beachy vibe.
“Once you’re in, it’s easy to get lost!” says Tony Fant, president of GrandLife Hotels, Soho Grand’s parent brand. “It’s a relaxed, casual outdoor restaurant—it’s not about the scene or party. It’s about good food, great drinks and good company. Everyone is welcome.”
Gilligan’s features a daily changing, ten-item menu (laid out on a blackboard) filled with simple dishes by chef Gary King, a former sous-chef at Il Buco who also handled the food at Moby Dick’s. Look for items like pizzas (mozzarella and coppa); Tuscan kale salad with creamy garlic dressing, herbed croutons and Parmesan; a rotisserie half chicken with shishito peppers and herb butter; and ricotta tart with grilled stone fruits. Cocktails, conceived by mixologist Jeremy Oertel, are similarly unfussy, like the Leaving Tijuana (tequila, lime, honey, smoked salt), a Dark and Stormy (Gosling’s Rum, lime juice, ginger) and a particularly popular margarita that nearly always hits the spot.
“Our zucca pizza—summer squash, zucchini, fresh ricotta and chives—is a hit,” says Fant. “One of those with a frozen watermelon margarita sets the summer scene.” 310 W. Broadway; 212-965-3000; sohogrand.com.
August 01, 2013
The grand exteriors of the luxury yachts that ply the Mediterranean are awe-inducing, but their interiors get far less attention. That could change, thanks to the M/Y 360°, a newly designed, $21 million, 155-foot super yacht based in Cap d’Ail, France. Owner Al Njaeb Pty Ltd., a holding company in the British Virgin Islands, had a budget of $4 million to retrofit the entire five-level, five-suite, seven-bath vessel. (There is an owner’s cabin/master suite, two double cabins and two twin cabins; additional amenities include three outdoor lounge spaces, an outdoor Jacuzzi, a wine cellar and a helipad.)
It commissioned interior designer Yvonne Colacion, principal at California-based Colacion Studio, for the yearlong project. To get the job done, she made five trips from the United States to the ship’s then-base in Ancona, Italy, over the course of 12 months, working with a local retrofit team from International Shipyards Ancona (ISA). “The objective in the design was to capture the grandeur of the sea from the 1920s but with modern touches,” Colacion explains.
She began by repainting the exterior, including the hull, in gray and soft white. From there, the custom touches flowed. Flooring was a priority outside (teak decks) and in (ebony wood). Colacion turned to L.A.–based Decorative Carpets for rugs, including a handwoven red-and-white, silk-and-wool carpet in the large main salon and a leopard-inspired wool one in the observation lounge.
Colacion designed other furnishings and had them fabricated by artisans from around the world. ISA’s local mill-working tradesmen executed a custom circular ebony headboard reminiscent of the Art Deco period, and the bespoke bedding is courtesy of Ateliers Charles Jouffre in Lyon, France. A Ming-inspired table in the observation lounge hails from California, and a Saint Laurent French marble vanity in the owner’s cabin/master suite was built by Italian craftsmen. Additional Deco-style wood furniture is by Anne Hauck Art Deco.
In other words, a collaborative effort fit for the high seas. “It’s my style to rely on artisans who are really the best in what they do,” says Colacion. “Besides being impressive to look at, I think the customization is what makes this boat special.” Rates for a weeklong charter start at $238,000; 33-489/039-464; neoyachting.com.
July 25, 2013
Courtesy of Ahae a Versailles
Paris has no shortage of notable art exhibits, but the one to see this summer is undoubtedly “Ahae. The Extraordinary Within the Ordinary,” which features the works of Korean photographer Ahae in the Orangerie Hall at the Château de Versailles. The show, continuing through September 9, opened June 25 and drew more than 5,000 visitors in its first four days alone.
The exhibit of 220 photographs is a part of Versailles’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of André Le Nôtre (1613–1700), who was the master landscape architect and gardener at the palace during King Louis XIV’s reign. “Ahae's exhibition shows photography of an un-managed landscape, and this was seen by Versailles as a particularly relevant juxtaposition to a celebration of the formality of the 17th-century gardens," says Guy Oliver, designer of the exhibit. "There is beauty in both, with and without the interference."
To make the works easier to appreciate, they are divided into multiple galleries, each representing a theme, such as birds, land and sky, sunset and clouds, nightscapes and water reflections. The 72-year-old has depicted the cycle of a day, from dawn till dusk, but what stands out about his method is that all the images were taken from a single window in his studio in the South Korean peninsula, all made different by simply changing the angle of his lens. And the exhibit’s uniqueness isn’t limited to Ahae’s technique: Every picture is untouched and un-manipulated—a rarity in photography.
Ahae was born in 1941 in Kyoto, Japan. His family had been relocated there during Japanese colonial rule, and returned to Korea at the end of World War II. He began taking photos in the 1970s but didn’t venture into his single-window approach until two years ago. He rarely leaves his home (his son, Keith Yoo, attended the exhibit opening in his stead), taking between 2,000 and 4,000 shots a day. All told he has captured more than two million images. "Ahae's work teaches us to really look at what we see in an outlook—it isn't merely a view," says Oliver. "Reflections, shadows, light and color...the variations are infinite." Place d’Armes, 33-1/30-83-78-00; chateauversailles.fr.
July 25, 2013
Courtesy of The Cultural Landscape Foundation
What do Bell Laboratories in Holmdel, New Jersey, Biscayne Boulevard in Miami and the sculpture “Spiral Jetty” by Robert Smithson near Rozel Point, Utah, have in common? Each is an outdoor heritage site recognized by The Cultural Landscape Foundation in its online database What’s Out There (tclf.org).
Now newly optimized for smartphones and other handheld devices, the website includes a GPS-enabled What’s Nearby function that signals which of the more than 1,300 cultural landscapes identified in What’s Out There thus far—including public parks, scenic highways, historic cemeteries, industrial campuses and landmark malls—are within a 25-mile radius and worth a visit.
Charles Birnbaum, the visionary landscape proponent who founded TCLF in 1998 to raise awareness of the value of designed landscapes and outdoor spaces, spoke with us about his vision and what is next on his agenda.
Q: Let’s start with the basics: What is a cultural landscape?
A: It’s a broad category that covers designed landscapes, like New York’s Central Park, and vernacular landscapes, like Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon. As opposed to a natural landscape, a cultural landscape demonstrates some sort of cultural overlay or human involvement and can be ancient or modern.
Q: Why did you create What’s Out There?
A: There are lots of architectural guides about designed structures, but there is nothing comprehensive for designed landscapes. The U.S. has an outstanding landscape legacy and What’s Out There, which is free, online and loaded with images and information, makes this fascinating American heritage readily available to millions of people.
Q: Have you visited every site in the database?
A: No [with a laugh], not all the sites. But at least 75 percent.
Q: You live in Washington, D.C. Do you have a favorite landscape there?
A: In my top five is Meridian Hill Park, a glorious 12-acre park just a mile north of the White House. It’s an elegantly terraced, early-20th-century park by George Burnap and Horace Peaslee that features a spectacular cascading fountain inspired by the one at Villa Aldobrandini in Frascati, Italy. There is also the stunningly beautiful Dumbarton Oaks in Georgetown by Beatrix Farrand, the only female founding member of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1899.
Q: Last year you added 150 sites in the state of Maine alone. What’s next
A: Virginia and Texas are our target states this year, thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. We’re also planning an international cultural landscape conference for 2015 in Toronto, which has some of the most exciting new parks in North America. And readers should check out "Landslide" on our website, a watch list for at-risk cultural landscapes.
July 25, 2013
Justin Beal, Murmansk, 2013
The Los Angeles art scene—the one found outside the confines of museum walls—is increasingly being recognized for its well-known artists and up-and-comers alike. Whether one is looking at galleries in Silver Lake, Chinatown or Culver City, an abundance of artistic output in a variety of mediums in available to see. Add to that “Listeria,” an exhibit of work by local artist Justin Beal on view at the nonprofit art space Laxart through August 24.
Opened on July 20, the show consists of an architectural sculptural installation, an experimental video and a book. "Listeria" references a strain of bacteria named after English surgeon Joseph Lister, a forerunner in the evolution of sterile surgery; it occurs in a variety of fruits, like the cantaloupe seen in Beal’s video.
“Last year I made a series of cast-aluminum cucumber and cantaloupes,” he explains. “Both fruits had appeared in my work before. I suppose it is inevitable when approaching fruit as a surrogate for the body that you end up with two forms that have such an exaggerated metonymic and sexualized relationship to the human body.”
The title is also an homage to the Italian design collective Memphis Group. In the 1980s, Memphis designer Ettore Sottsass made decorative patterns and graphic prints from photomicrographs of bacteria, lending his visual language to the disorder of the natural world swarming just below the surface. Whereas the technology behind science and medicine made invisible pathogens and organisms discernable, advanced architecture and design sought to deatomize the body using the formal structures of the built environment that give social life dimension.
Beal’s artistic interpretation perceives the external world, where function distorts form and vice versa—proving that organic material, as it stands, is never just that when it comes to art. 2640 S. La Cienega Blvd.; 310-559-0166; laxart.org.
July 18, 2013
Courtesy of The Chateau de Thil
Given its legendary châteaux and spectacular countryside, Bordeaux—unlike Alsace, Burgundy and Champagne—has never had an official route des vins. That will change in the fall, thanks in large part to the popularity of Les Sources de Caudalie (sources-caudalie.com), a boutique hotel, Vinothérapie Spa and epicurean destination in the region. Added to its offerings this summer is Château le Thil, an 18th-century manor house and vineyard that has found new life as a bed-and-breakfast.
The Cathiard family—in particular sisters Mathilde Thomas and Alice Tourbier—is behind the enterprise. Located just opposite the clan’s grand cru estate of Le Château Smith Haut Lafitte, Les Sources de Caudalie is named for the cult Caudalie beauty brand that is based on grape-seed extracts. Locals call the family, simply, “les Caudalies.”
Château le Thil, located roughly a mile from Les Sources de Caudalie, was built in 1737. The Comtesse de Clary (Josephine Bonaparte’s sister-in-law) renovated it in the mid-1800s; the royal connection remained intact for the next several generations. “Two-hundred years ago, Smith Haut Lafitte and Le Thil belonged to the same family,” says Tourbier, adding that the manor endured as a favorite summer retreat for various branches of nobility descended from Queen Victoria a century ago. “We’ve brought them into a family circle again.”
Freshly renovated, Château le Thil opens onto three spacious salons housing eight rooms and one suite. (An additional room, a suite with a private terrace, and a swimming pool will follow shortly.) Tourbier teamed with her mother for the decor, which varies from room to room, but the overall feel is rustic antique chic: Chantilly chandeliers, imposing wooden wardrobes, trunks, tables and chairs furnish spaces decked with dove-gray walls enlivened by colorful fabrics.
Motifs range from classic toile de Jouy and grape clusters in the Rouge Merlot suite (No. 2) to a lush landscape in the colonial Retour des Indes room (No. 7) to a mustard-hued Pierre Frey tribal print in the Lascaux & Co. room (No. 5). All bathrooms have twin sinks, clawfoot tubs and showers. And because all accommodations are in the front of the building, each offers views of rolling greenery, ponds and the oak-lined allée royale that leads back to Le Château Smith Haut Lafitte and Les Sources de Caudalie. Rates start at $325 (rooms), $520 (suite); Chemin de Smith Hait Lafitte; 33-5/57-83-83-83; chateau-le-thil.com.
July 18, 2013
Courtesy of Montreal’s McCord Museum
With the exception of Audrey Hepburn and perhaps Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, few style icons were as effortlessly glamorous as Grace Kelly. “She seemed to lead a charmed life,” says Cynthia Cooper, curator of “From Philadelphia to Monaco: Grace Kelly—Beyond the Icon,” on view at the McCord Museum in Montreal through October 6. “She grew up in a wealthy family, she was an Oscar-winning actress, she married a prince. But there is another side to her. She was down-to-earth, and she worked hard as an actress.”
That other side is what Cooper hopes shines through in the exhibit, which features roughly 100 objects, archives, love letters, notes, photos and film clips. The museum also highlights approximately 40 of Kelly’s garments on loan from the Palace of Monaco. Cooper, a costume historian, is particularly enthused to bring Kelly’s legacy to life through clothing. Notable articles include the peach-colored dress she donned during the famous convertible scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief (1955) (Kelly made 11 films in her five-year career), and the modest taffeta-and-Alençon-lace frock she wore during her civil wedding ceremony in 1956 to Prince Rainier III of Monaco. (They are pictured here at their religious ceremony.)
“Our exhibit tries to show what is behind her life as an icon and let the public know who she was,” Cooper says. “We know her as someone who loved her clothes, shopped for things she liked and that suited her and wore them again and again. The ideal femininity of the 1950s suited her to a T.” Through October 6; 690 Sherbrooke St. W.; 514-398-7100; mccord-museum.qc.ca.
July 18, 2013
While pro baseball players might take top sports billing this time of year, another group of elite athletes—thoroughbred racehorses—are the undeniable stars of summer in one New York town. Saratoga Springs, home of the legendary Saratoga Race Course, is helping its storied landmark celebrate 150 years with a 40-day race meet (July 20 to August 25) that puts the institution’s history on display.
“The 150th anniversary season is a celebration of not only the history of thoroughbred racing but the history of the Saratoga Springs community as a whole,” says Rodnell Workman, vice president and CMO of the New York Racing Association. “The track and the city are intrinsically linked with one another.”
Iconic horses like Secretariat, Seabiscuit and Man o’ War have raced in Saratoga, which is one of the most successful thoroughbred race meets in the United States, drawing more than 900,000 fans each summer. The Race Course’s official birthday (August 3) will feature special events and the Whitney Handicap. The 144th running of the illustrious Travers Stakes—the oldest major graded stakes in the country for three-year-olds—happens on August 24, promising a possible showdown between the winners of this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
And in between, city festivals, parades and special events take over the town of Saratoga itself, home to renowned mineral baths, elevated restaurants and a vibrant cultural scene (the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra spend their summers there). But when all is said and done, those 40 days belong to the horses. 267 Union Ave.; 518-584-6200; nyra.com/saratoga.
July 11, 2013
Nick Wood Photo / Michael Davis Architects and Interiors
With the opening of Fish & Game in Hudson, New York, chef Zak Pelaccio became neighbors with many of the producers he has sourced ingredients from for decades while cooking in other kitchens. After stints at Daniel and The French Laundry, Pelaccio opened the now closed Chickenbone Café in 2003 in the then unhip south Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. Next he started his Fatty Crew restaurant empire (Fatty Crab, Fatty ’Cue, Pig and Khao) in Manhattan, establishing his celebrity chef credentials.
Now, with Fish & Game, Pelaccio and his wife and co-chef Jori Jayne Emde, are seeing the fruition of a longtime dream to create a four-season restaurant based almost entirely on locally sourced and produced ingredients. Although country in location and casual in ambiance (wearing jeans is not a problem), Fish & Game is not your typical laid-back, farm-to-table establishment.
In what was a former blacksmith building, the restaurant—designed by Michael Davis Architects + Interiors—pays homage to Hudson’s red-light gambling past with burgundy velvet printed wall coverings that contrast with fireplaces in the bar area and the dining room. The tables and bar were built and designed by Brooklyn-based woodworker Peter Heilman.
Menu items change daily, dependent upon the fare growing in the Pelaccio-Emde garden and what is gathered from area producers. Preservation, fermentation and pickling are key to managing the eatery’s no-waste, whole-animal culinary commitment. Guest can choose from a seven-course prix fixe menu (vegetarian or omnivore) or an à la carte bar menu.
Although some items may seem over-constructed and complicated at first glance, preparations are actually anything but. Recent dishes included semolina dumplings with baby kale, amaranth and rhubarb chutney; a Vermont rice bowl contained smoked pork belly, leek kimchi and pea shoots. A salad, called an “assortment of leaves,” was dressed with barrel-aged trout fish sauce and borage vinegar. Dessert left an impression: pound cake soaked in eggs, chocolate and cream, lightly baked and served with strawberry sorbet and strawberry syrup. 13 S. Third St.; 518-822-1500; fishandgamehudson.com.