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Wild Ink

Wild Ink has arrived to complement the diverse list of restaurants at the Hudson Yards complex and has quickly become one of the most in-demand places in the city.

Where the Wild Things Are

♦wildink @wildink

New York is always reinventing itself. Though often called “The city that never sleeps”, the metropolis could just as well be called the city that never stops building. Hudson Yards considered the largest private real-estate enterprise in the United States, has now surpassed giants like Rockefeller Center in scope and scale. Located on the west side of midtown Manhattan, the complex has opened an enormous amount of space for new businesses. One group that has stepped in to fill that coveted space is Wild Ink, an Asian restaurant located on the fifth floor of the building. Can you imagine the view? Wild Ink landed in New York courtesy of the English group Rhubarb, the same name behind the world-famous Sky Garden and Royal Albert Hall. “We are thrilled to launch our first international restaurant at Hudson Yards. Rhubarb creates memorable dining experiences in the most prominent places in the world. We couldn’t be left out of one of the most iconic places in New York that is redefining gastronomy, ” says P.B Jacobse, the group’s director.

Developed by London designer Robert Angell, the creative engineer behind The Savoy, the space has oriental influences with an industrial touch. The highlight of the design is a 10-seat marble-topped counter in front of an open kitchen that allows guests to watch chefs make the culinary magic happen. If you can’t get counter space, you can seat yourself in one of the 173 seats the restaurant offers, all offering a picturesque view of The Vessel and the Hudson River.

Led by head chef Peter Jim (who had hit restaurants at 50 Bowery and Refinery Hotel), the menu was inspired by his travel diary and is infused with far-flung flavors that incorporate Asian influences and global ingredients.

The menu is divided into seven sections and features shared starters and individual dishes. Begin your dining experience with exotic and tasty snacks, such as crispy pork with lemongrass, garlic and citrus, and wagyu pork with spiced coleslaw and chips in XO sauce. Creating Asian classics with a modern twist is this chef’s specialty. One particular Chinese classic could not be left off this menu: Dim Sum. Coming in three different versions, these small dumplings pack a flavorful punch.

You can choose between the saffron and curry lamb fillings; tofu, ginger, cilantro, and soy vinegar; or an American inspired dumpling filled with bacon, egg yolk, and homemade ketchup. Jim’s dumplings are a modernist’s vision of a traditional dish, smaller than the original but exponentially tastier.

For main courses, bet on the tartare accompanied by mustard that comes to the table on fire, literally. A connection between Italy and Japan is expertly forged by the Yuzu risotto with spice-scented mushrooms. If you just want to snack on something while getting drinks, choose the scallops or chips with aioli sauce. Speaking of drinks, Wild Ink has a cocktail menu created by renowned mixologist Johnny Swet, who earned his stripes at top restaurants like Balthazar, Jimmy, and Pastis.

The drinks evoke a mixture of Eastern and Western influences, with distinctive ingredients such as Thai whiskey, black sesame-infused gin, and more cream. Another highlight in the drinks category is the sheer variety of wines: the restaurant houses a 30-foot wall filled with over 650 labels from various continents. Such is the success of Wild Ink that the London-based group is betting on another venture next year. This next venture, also in Hudson Yards, will contain a bar, restaurant, an event space, and will feature the largest observatory in the western hemisphere.

Photos: Courtesy Wild Ink

The Salons Particuliers

Le Bon Marché the ultimate shopping experience.

French & Chic

24s @lebonmarcherivegauche

This space, which was formerly a chic bar, today takes the concept of Personal Shopping to a whole new level of intimacy. The Salons Particuliers offers 5-star tailoring service I’m for anyone that needs to find the perfect outfit for any occasion. Le Bon Marché has been around since the 19th century being one of the first department stores, or brands magasins, a remarkable achievement has given the Parisian fashion industry. Since then, the brand has been dedicated to being a symbol of style and diversity that its customers could always count on.

But we want to focus on the unique experience that awaits third-floor visitors. The Salons Particuliers is a 3,200 square foot private apartment meticulously decorated by renowned artists, striking the perfect balance between creativity and modernity without losing Le Bon Marché’s sophisticated and high-end touch.

Along with this space were introduced two new services:

Personal Shopping
Here, a team of stylists will guide the customers through the store floors and select the items that caught their eyes. These are free fashion advice sessions that last as long as needed for the customers to find their perfect pieces.

Private Styling
Anyone interested in more specific advice needs to prepare their pockets for a 150 Euro fee. This service features 2 hours of advice from a personal stylist. It is a highly personalized service where the client can speak directly to the professional to determine the particularities and make an appointment.

No wonder Le Bon Marché is one of Paris’s most exclusive and renowned brands magasins. This level of personalization, sophistication, authenticity, and modernity is not a veneer but is rooted in every aspect of the brand. The experience the client is in for is evident from the names available on the shelves – Dior, Balenciaga, Celine, Gucci, Chloé, etc. – even the environment is thought out to the smallest detail by brilliant artists. All of this combined with Les Salons Particuliers’ personalized and private experience.

The Salons Particuliers consist of three rooms that open up into a comfortable and spacious dressing room, the Aristide, La Biblothèque and the Grand Salon. Together they create a gigantic and sophisticated environment that makes all the difference to the customer shopping experience. This is, in fact, the best shopping experience available in Paris! And surely it’s a must when you’re in the French capital – a moment of undiluted pleasure, as Le Bon Marché itself states. One tip: be sure to pay attention to library titles and chandeliers, they are amazing!

Photos: Courtesy Le Bon Marché

Christine & John Gachot

Mixing experiences, work, and married life – which includes two children and a dog – Christine and John Gachot have been able to work out a healthy and harmonious lifestyle.

L’Amour & Lines

gachotstudios @gachotstudios

“We set our egos aside and involved our entire team on the project so that everybody could offer their best”

says John Gachot.

Mixing experiences, work, and married life – which includes two children and a dog – Christine and John Gachot have been able to work out a healthy and harmonious lifestyle. This, in turn, has allowed them to create more than just a company – but a true common life project. The pair have complementary work styles.

Christine takes a broader view, seeing the entirety of the project from above, while John gets enmeshed in the details. While Christine has more experience with hotels and restaurants, John has done a tremendous amount of work on home-oriented projects. Seven years ago, their complementary careers and the desire to be closer led the couple to create Gachot Studios. At John’s office at 594 Broadway in New York, the pair are developing strikingly modern projects, such as the interior design for the Glossier flagship brand store and Shinola Hotels‘ Detroit unit – a taste of how they can tell a historical story through design.

John is wildly creative and always an inspiration. I learn so much from him, we’re best friends

“We always think about how the individual who sleeps in that hotel or shops in that store uses the space and everything that surrounds it before starting a project. Our projects have a lot to do with lifestyle, they’re not there just to look beautiful,” adds Christine.

“Our projects have a lot to do with lifestyle, they’re not there just to look beautiful”

You both worked together a long time ago and then followed separate careers. How is it now, to have your own studio and work together?
It’s fun! I often say that my job comes with fringe benefits!!!! John is wildly creative and always an inspiration I learn so much from him but I simply like him, we’re best friends! We also have the absolute pleasure of working with many of our friends from our past careers so we all know each other. The support is amazing.

Does it affect your personal life?
We get to spend so much more time together, which is AMAZING! I feel like we spent half of our adult lives in separate parts of the world. As we all know traveling for business sounds very glamorous but it can get lonely. John is a great plane partner, his crossword game is on and he knows my take- off cocktail spec! The extra bonus is that on many occasions clients have been generous enough to invite the boys, that has been incredible for us all!

What is Gachot Studios DNA?
We say this all the time and we really mean it — our approach is project and client-specific. We don’t try to replicate a signature style for every project; it’s not about us. It’s about creating the best space for the situation and for the client. That being said, we definitely have design principles that influence the way our projects look; when you insist that spaces feel comfortable, welcoming, human — that creates a connective tissue throughout different projects.

In an interview, you said something about having a collaborative workspace, with everybody having ideas and no space for ego. For that to continue, do you have to stay the same size? Or do you both believe that the same energy will be present if the business grows?
When you bring new, disparate voices to the table – when you lift up a new talent and give credit where it’s due – everybody wins. A larger team means more perspectives, and that’s a good thing. Of course, you need to edit. You need to guiding vision. But size is definitely not an inhibitor of innovation or good, collaborative design.

Do you consider Gachot Studios somewhere between an art company and a more traditional design firm? Not so wild, but not so standardized.
We employ creatives across a range of disciplines. There are many talented designers and architects, but also art directors and branding people. Having lots of different expertise under one roof informs the product — rounds it out. It also makes us more efficient at communicating our ideas to crucial partners in the design process, and the client themselves.

How do you both see design these days?
CG: Collaborative and Social Awareness comes to mind! Clients are so knowledgeable, design and architecture have become familiar in our language. What I enjoy the most about what I do is the interaction between people, the team, the clients, our peers so opening up the forum is very exciting. It’s certainly holding all far more accountable. Developers care, they’re not just putting up a building, they’re investing in the community, the skyline and hopefully in the global environment!

Photos: Aline Velter

The Edition Hotel

Housed in MetLife’s former headquarters, The New York Edition is a true oasis of luxury in Manhattan, built for those who prefer personalized service with an air of elegant simplicity.

A Native New Yorker

editionhotels @editionhotels

Like wine, the refined taste of this visionary entrepreneur only improves with age. As if it weren’t enough to be the creator of the revolutionary Studio 54 and the very concept of the boutique hotel in New York in the 1980s, businessman Ian Schrager is also the name behind legendary institutions like Gramercy Park. From Renaissance-style hotels to modern buildings made for the new Instagram generation – Schrager is not afraid to risk it all. His current goal is to produce a new generation of glamor in a technological setting.

Millennials have long been waiting for accommodation in New York designed especially for them, different from standard hotels that are indistinguishable from one another. For this new audience, “high-end” doesn’t equate to the status symbols of the past. What millennials want, ultimately, is to have an unforgettable experience – from the room amenities to the hotel restaurant. With this insight in mind, Schrager and the Marriott group have teamed up to build a hotel that satisfies the desires of these young travelers – knowing that today’s style is all about simplicity. Defined as a “home-facing hotel,” the New York Edition was inspired by twentieth-century New York’s private clubs, Gilded Age mansions, and Stanford White’s architectural masterpieces. The feeling that one is staying in a home makes the place a haven within the city.

I am always interested in circumventing the status quo to go in new directions. When two opposing aesthetics come together, they either fail miserably or create alchemy. If done well, the presence of the old will always highlight the new, and vice versa” Ian Schrager

To maintain the touch of elegance and warmth envisioned by Schrager, few buildings could serve as a site for The New York Edition. For this reason, the iconic Clocktower, also known as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower (MetLife), was chosen as a home for the hotel. Designed in 1909 by architectural firm Napoleon LeBrun & Sons, the Clocktower was for many years the tallest building in the Big Apple, until it was topped by the Woolworth Building in 1913.

Situated in a neighborhood known as NoMad, the hotel is one of the busiest locations in the city. The area has boomed in recent years and is seen by many as the new city center, north of the Meatpacking District and Chelsea and south of Times Square. As Arne Sorenson, Marriott International CEO puts is, “luxury has a new address. With the opening of our first Edition hotel in New York, in addition to the Clocktower restaurant, we have ushered in a new era of timeless lodging. ”

In all, there are 273 rooms with high ceilings and elegant decor, reminiscent of the luxury apartments in New York City in the 1990s. The building’s large original windows provide full views of the city – the larger apartments even have 360 ​​° views. The highlight of the decoration is the long table made of white oak, inspired by Jean-Michel Frank.

When it comes to amenities, guests’ tastes have changed in recent years. Aware of the change, the hotel offers modern and attentive service without being officious. The team is trained to know exactly when to enter and when to give a visitor space. Guests are encouraged to do what they want when they want. An example of this is the room service, which offers Prime beef and wild Atlantic salmon, but which can in minutes deliver a hamburger or a simple pasta if so-desired by the customer.

Speaking of eating, the New York Edition also features The Clocktower, a restaurant overlooking the park, headed by chef Jason Atherton. Tomato salad, burrata and basil, and seared tuna are part of the restaurant’s exclusive menu. The restaurant is divided into three dining rooms, one of which housed the chair of Met Life’s president in the old days. The sideboard, in which wines from around the world are stored, was where a secretary would file folders and documents from the CEO in days gone by.

For Schrager, “It is impossible to label this look”. Indeed. Few hotels can preserve the historic buildings in which they are housed with such elegance. The New Edition, while it respects the original facilities, knows how to provide guests with a refined environment. It’s clear that the partnership between Schrager and Marriott is a match made in heaven. The result is an Edition unlike any other in the world, primed for even further global expansion.

Two bars and a billiard room are also part of the hotel’s attractions. Separated as though in a private home, the rooms come together harmoniously, with spacious interiors and plenty of natural light. In the lobby bar, plaster walls stand in contrast to large custom-molded concrete windows – offering a stunning view of Madison Square Park. As a riff on the Millionaire’s Row mansions, a hand-painted steel fireplace has been placed in the lobby next to the spiral staircase leading to the second floor.

Photos: Courtesy The Edition Hotel

Lola Taverna

SoHo’s new restaurant puts a twist on Greek classics, updating the dishes in a modern way without leaving tradition behind.

We Love Lola

lolataverna @lolataverna

New York has one of the largest Greek populations outside of Greece, in competition with only Boston and Chicago. Approximately 23,000 Greeks live in the Big Apple. Add this to the recent popularity of destinations like Mikonos and Santorini and the result is clear: the demand for quality Greek cuisine is only going up.

It was with this in mind that chef Dionisis Liakopoulos took over the kitchen of Lola Taverna, which does Greek food with a fun and modern twist. The New York-based Greek chef has previously been responsible for the menus of renowned restaurants such as Kuzina, NOMA, Aska and the Greek bakery Fournos Theophilos.

Located in SoHo on the charming corner of Prince Street and 6th Avenue, the interior of the restaurant was designed by restauranteur and owner Cobi Levy, known for restaurants such as Babu Ji, Black Seed Bags and Little Prince. “We are excited to bring Lola to SoHo. The restaurant is hip and vibrant with excellent food and warm service. It’s the perfect mixture of two places I love: Greece and New York” Says Levy.

The restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows carry SoHo’s vibrant soul into Lola, while the interior décor evokes the relaxed, laid-back atmosphere of the Hellenic peninsula. The neutral color palette could not be greeker and matches exquisitely with the floral arrangements and ceramic pots made by the American potter Helen Levi. With a modern take on Greek cuisine, Liakopoulos’s menu was inspired by the lush vegetation of the islands.

Classics like mezze (small, varied portions), moussaka and Greek salad are can’t miss attractions. Served in dishes made by Jono Pandolfi, risotto al Nero di sepia, rice feta and fried calamari with furikake seasoning are the highlights of the menu, which also includes tasty lobster noodles (prepared on the client’s table) and lobster with the essence of ouzo, a typically Greek aniseed drink.

Claur visited the restaurant, and we noticed that all the cool kids from NYC were out here. It’s the perfect option for an unhurried dinner on a lively night with good food and beautiful people. To create the drink list, the restaurant called in reinforcements from friends in the gastronomic sector. The cocktail list went to the staff of Athenian bar “The Clumsies” which this year joined the ranking of the best bars in the world. The drinks revisit Greek classics. One highlight is the Spritz of Athens, which features vermouth and a splash of Aperol. The Skinos Snapper combines vodka, ouzo, lemon juice and a Bloody-Mary mix produced by the house. The Kalamata Negroni updates the traditional drink, utilizing an exotic Campari made of black olives.

To harmonize completely with the dishes, the wine list was adeptly selected by sommelier Laura Maniec Fiorvanti, co-founder of Corkbuzz wine bar. The selections have the best of the Mediterranean, including the Peloponnese mix of Agiorgitiko and Cabernet, as well as Sardinian Skouras Megas Oenos and Panevino Rosso Picci.

Photos Courtesy Lola Taverna


Born in South Korea, she was adopted and raised in Australia, and now has a global audience of 2.3 million people.

Sweet & Stylish

garypepper @nicolewarne

“To be able to use my platforms to help raise awareness and action for a cause so deeply connected to my story is the greatest gift social media has given me”

When social media was still in its infancy, when it was still nothing more than a mix of photo albums and long-lost friends, a few visionaries began to venture through these websites and create their own virtual businesses. Many vanished without a trace, but, as always, the truly special ones survived. This was the case for Nicole Warne, a true digital influencer hailing from Australia. Born in South Korea, she was adopted and raised in Australia, and now has a global audience of 2.3 million people. Her tasteful style became the trademark of an online vintage clothing store called Gary Pepper.

Social media allowed her to spread the virtual store’s influence and functioned as a window for Nicole’s work, who, though barely twenty years old, was soon being hired as a digital media consultant and strategist for brands like Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Valentino, and Cartier. Her early exposure to social media was the first step in her realizing that her personal life, her day to day clothing choices, could be more interesting than the products she sold. Her name became more and more prominent, eventually leading to her inclusion in Forbes Asia’s “30 under 30” list in 2016.

Since then, she has been printed in various magazines and has become a lifestyle reference. Extremely professional and always willing to go for the best with her work, she is beloved by all who know her. How this woman can move so deftly through the fashion world, have a wedding straight out of the movies – last year she married her long-time partner Luke Shadbolt in Wanaka, New Zealand – and continue to be a truly humble and caring person, you’ll find out in our exclusive interview.

“I always aspired to have a global brand, but I didn’t have a clue that it would be by using social media. I recognize I was in the right place at the right time – and that I wouldn’t be where I am today without social media

What’s your audience now?
When I started my business, I was 20 years old and my audience was the same age. 10 years later and my audience has watched me grow and have naturally evolved with me from teenagers to adults, but with the same interests in photography, travel, fashion, and beauty. I’m quite a private person, so as I’ve grown up I’ve learned to share more of my personal life and interests like my values, my charity work, family and friends, fitness, and health, and my followers have loved seeing more inside my everyday life because it’s not as polished. I went from going to the ends of the earth to compose the perfect photo, to consciously trying to ensure my community realized that not everything is perfect; life isn’t perfect; no one is perfect, you’re not perfect, and that’s okay. I hate that social media has created so much social pressure for young teens, so it’s important to me to share more real and candid insights into my life. I know as I keep evolving as a human, a woman, and as a business, my audience will continue to change and grow with me, and that is the most rewarding thing in the world.

How do you see the Gary Pepper brand now?

Gary Pepper was originally an online vintage store back in 2009. It feels crazy to look back and see how much has changed, for both myself and the digital and social industry, which was in its infancy when I started. Once I closed my store, I shifted from selling physical products to being able to market my personal skillset to clients. It gave me a unique opportunity to explore and express my creativity again, which led to consulting or producing digital editorials and campaigns for luxury brands I grew up idolizing like Chanel, Dior, Valentino and Cartier, to name a few. I still see my business as a lifestyle brand which is centered around my community and creativity, but behind the scenes, my team and I, operate as a digital and creative agency.

Did you ever imagine that it could reach this size?

Absolutely not. Social media was a different tool when I was in high school or it just didn’t exist yet; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter were all launched after I had graduated, so it was impossible for me to grasp just how large the global reach would be and how quickly the business, and my following, would expand using these platforms. I always aspired to have a global brand, but I didn’t have a clue that it would be by using social media. I recognize I was in the right place at the right time – and that I wouldn’t be where I am today without social media.

How do you deal with the names Gary Pepper and Nicole Warne? Are they something separate or both important brands for you?

Last year I changed my Instagram handle from @garypeppergirl to my name @nicolewarne and it was so liberating. I wanted to do it for years but to be honest I was terrified of shifting from my brand name to my personal name because it felt like I was losing such an important chapter of my life and I didn’t want to lose a part of me that was so integral to where I am today. I started my social media the same day I launched my online vintage store, so my platforms were used for my business, and as things began to shift I always struggled with accepting the weird and wild reality that people were actually interested in me and my life rather than just my products. Once I realized my community will support me through anything it gave me such beautiful confidence in moving forward. Now, Gary Pepper is more of an aesthetic, so I still share content and collaborations through the Gary Pepper lens. At the end of the day, my hope is that everything I share can inspire and cultivate positive change, which is what I have always wanted to use my platforms for.

You are a vegan now. Is this something that changed your life?

Yes, I’ve been on a plant-based diet for three and a half years now. I used to eat meat in every meal, three times a day, but I always wanted to explore being vegetarian or vegan to support animal rights and to help the environment but I had the common excuse of saying “But I could never give up cheese!” or “But I love eggs too much”. It wasn’t until my Mum, who is vegan, gave me a book called ‘The China Study’, which is the largest case study on nutrition ever conducted, that everything shifted. It was like someone flicked a switch in my brain. I couldn’t view food the same way as before. I just woke up one morning and the sight of meat repulsed me, so I said I was going to try being vegan for one week, which turned into one month, then one year, and so on. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I have never felt healthier.

What are your favorite vegan dishes? The same as before?

I’ve always eaten clean, so going on a plant-based diet wasn’t too much of a shift. I love ‘eating the rainbow’ and will cook with fresh vegetables and some sort of protein every single night. I generally make roast vegetables, protein bowls, smoothies or anything Mexican. I love making vegan cookies and cakes when I’m stressed. It’s so easy to substitute ingredients for vegan alternatives when you’re cooking or baking now so I still get to eat all the fun (and bad) things like pizza, pasta, cookies, etc.

You are living in New York now, right? How is your life as a New Yorker?

Yes, I am. I moved last August and it’s been the fastest year of my life. My life in New York could not be more of a contrast to my life in Australia. I have a house in my hometown back in Australia, where it’s quiet, isolated and incredibly sheltered. There isn’t much to do besides enjoying time outside in nature with family and friends. It’s an oasis. Whereas in New York there’s hardly any nature, the city and the people never stop moving and you can basically get anything you want, as late as you want. I never hear the sound of the trees moving in the wind or birds and bees during Spring, but my time in New York has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life and we feel very lucky to experience both worlds. It’s confronting, it’s hard, it’s unforgiving, but it’s pushed me further than anything ever has, and I absolutely love it. There is no place in the world quite like New York.

What do you like best in town?

I love Central Park and could spend hours there. I love exploring the city by bike. I love Domino Park in Williamsburg. I love dedicating a day to seeing the new exhibitions at the art galleries in Chelsea or museums. I love going to Broadway by myself. I love vegan places like ABCV in Flatiron, Jajaja in LES and Modern Love in Brooklyn. Tracey Anderson is one of my favorite workouts ever. You can actually find any form of exercise in this city – the options are endless. The city is constantly changing so there’s always so much to explore.

You are a very engaged person, with lots of social projects. On your website, you suggest a connection with being adopted. That’s a special subject for you?
I work with Adopt Change, a not-for-profit organization founded by Deborah-Lee Furness which advocates for making adoption and foster care easier within Australia, and the work we do together has given me so much fulfillment and joy. I’ve always been very open about being adopted and have wanted to work with Adopt Change for years. To be able to use my platforms to help raise awareness and action for a cause so deeply connected to my story is the greatest gift social media has given me. To know my platforms are helping to improve the quality of life for anyone – there is no better feeling.

A natural question after such a beautiful wedding, do you plan to have kids?
This is the million-dollar question right now! I’ve always wanted children and it’s something my husband and I want in the near future. We’re just enjoying each other and being married for a moment before moving onto the next chapter.

And what are your plans for the future?
Right now, I’m still in a relationship with New York and trying to spend as much time there as possible when I’m not traveling for work. My husband and I are working on a book together which will be out next year, as well as a few other projects. I’m excited to continue my work as an Ambassador for Adopt Change and to help raise awareness for more charities I’m passionate about, like ‘Take 3 for The Sea’ and ‘WWF’. I’m trying to live a more sustainable lifestyle which I want to share more of this year.

Nicole Warne wears Dior at The Edition Hotel New York
Photographer: Remi Pyrdol
Creative Direction: Claudia Ribeiro Bernstein
Styling: C. Otts
Beauty: Sandrine VanSlee
Hair: Yukiko Tajima

Ralph’s Coffee

Following a string of successful openings in Hong Kong and Tokyo, Ralph Lauren has opened the wonderful Ralph’s Coffee in New York, offering something well beyond the classic espresso.

A Cup of Charm

ralphlauren @ralphscoffee

The Big Apple has had a long history with Ralph Lauren’s cafés. It began in 2014 when the beloved brand decided to open a coffee shop with its signature logo near the iconic Fifth Avenue store. Buzz about this new outpost swept the neighborhood, and the place became a go-to for coffee-crazed New Yorkers. With the closure of the café two years later, many of the city’s coffee-lovers were orphaned.

Building on the success of its Asian stores, the Ralph Lauren brand has once again landed back in Manhattan, this time with a food truck in the middle of Rockefeller Center. Betting on its lifestyle contingent, Ralph’s Coffee has reopened its doors, this time in the Flatiron neighborhood, boasting a spectacular view of Fifth Avenue.

With a vibe equal parts elegant and authentic, Ralph’s is more than just a coffee shop. Upon entering, the espresso machine (with its pearly white tone and retro feel) gives off a lustrous glow. Behind the counter, impeccably attired waiters wear striped shirts and Ralph Lauren knitwear, together with denim aprons embroidered with the unmistakable logo.

With a warm and inviting interior, the colorful tiles and marble countertops almost make us forget why we’re here: to savor the rich and aromatic coffee. Teapots painted with the brand logo carry milk and other additions for the flagship store’s coffee. Known principally for his exquisite fashion choices, Ralph Lauren brings the same attention to detail to his coffee.

To this end, the store has partnered with La Colombe, a reputable coffee roaster that sells beans grown in Africa, Central America, and South America. Made from organic beans, the classic and creamy espresso, the decaf coffee, and the special “Ralph’s Roast” are sold in creative metallic packaging that has old school energy. For caffeine-free coffee fans, don’t worry, the brand has a Swiss decaffeination process that gives you the full flavor of the coffee without the stimulating effects.

Ralph’s Coffee is proud to be the first in New York to offer Espresso Tonic, which is made with three servings of cold Espresso, tonic water, and a slice of orange. This delightful concoction is an ideal choice on hot days. One can also visit the store to taste one of the teas created exclusively by the Ralph Lauren brand.

When it comes to treats, the store has copious options for any sweet tooth, such as brownies, croissants, and a delicious chocolate cake. The Polo Bar, Ralph Lauren’s restaurant in north Midtown, is responsible for some of Ralph’s Coffee’s delicacies – notably the cookies, which are some of the most frequently requested desserts in the restaurant.

Beyond serving cups of coffee, Ralph Lauren has been able to create a delightful visitor experience by cultivating an authentic brand atmosphere and engaging the consumer by gesturing towards its own history.

Want to have a taste of the shop at home or give a gift to a coffee lover? In addition to selling coffee beans, the store has a variety of designer products such as Ralph Lauren logo bags, t-shirts, and mugs.

Photos: Courtesy Ralphs Coffee

The Maidstone Hotel

Art, architecture, design, and refinement. Hamptons is already known for carrying all these concepts, but in the last decade, the region has had an eclectic and peculiar new place: The Maidstone Hotel.

A Piece of Sweden in the Hamptons

themaidstone @themaidstonehotel

After ten years of success, The Maidstone Hotel, the Hamptons’ most exclusive boutique hotel, has become synonymous with an unaffected refinement. When we think of Swedish design, a certain image comes to mind: neutral tones, standardized furniture, and absolutely zero mixings of colors. The Maidstone Hotel exists to show that Sweden has much more to offer from a decorative standpoint than we may have previously imagined.

Jenny Ljungberg and Jonathan Baker have handpicked all of the furnishings and colors featured in the hotel. The eclectic locale is equal parts quirky and extravagant and contains 19 individually designed rooms, with three independent cottages, all serving as a backdrop for innumerable events and a parade of high style.

Known in Hollywood for his cinematic productions, Baker is what one might call a multi-tasker. From his work in film to the development of a line of aromatherapy products, wherever the entrepreneur goes, success follows in his wake. The demand for a hotel began in 2008 when the couple began looking at spaces to open a business in New York. Their search would lead them to find a property for sale that would eventually become the Maidstone.

Constructed more than 150 years ago, the houses are on top of foundations that date back to the 17th century. In the 1920s, the space functioned as an inn called The Maidstone Arms, closed years ago. After purchasing the hotel, Baker and Ljungberg turned the space into a coveted destination in East Hampton. Searching for discrete refinement, celebrities like Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes, James Franco, and Will Smith, set up dinners on the property.

When the Maidstone was built, the principal objective was to make a hotel that had the feel of a home – literally, since the couple spends so much of their time on the property, dividing their time between houses in New York and Los Angeles. Known as the Maidstone House, their lodgings are connected to the hotel and the individual cottages.

Another location, called The Residence, was created as a space for yoga retreats, conferences, and poker nights. Baker’s idea was to transplant the glamor of Hollywood to the Hamptons. Judging from the numerous celebrities who regularly visit, one can safely say that he has succeeded.

The Swede Carl Waldekranz, the founder of the e-commerce platform Tictail, is a frequent guest of the Maidstone. Waldekranz proposed putting products from all over the world on the property (valued at $22 million USD), with a majority of the goods coming from Sweden.

The first time he visited the hotel, this businessman with roots in New York noted that he and Baker had more in common than he’d imagined. From this visit sprang the desire to create a store with all the Swiss products that are featured in the hotel. Now, just outside the entrance to The Maidstone, you can purchase curated Tictail products such as backpacks, raincoats, sandals and eco-friendly lotions.

A preoccupation with nature is one of the hotel’s founding premises. Electric car chargers, recycling, and towel changes only when necessary are some of the steps the hotel has taken to go green. Over the last decade, the owners have developed employee training that stresses ecological conservation. Plastic bottles have given way to glass bottles, and a system of water filtration was instituted in addition to replacing common cleaning products for organic ones.

To avoid food-waste, the hotel restaurant only serves slow food portions. Led by head chef Ron Phillip, the restaurant has two menus: one for seafood, and one more traditional menu that serves barbecue and other snacks. In addition to the organic food, all of the food and drink is bought from local providers. Like all good appreciators of the arts, the Baker couple spares no effort in finding artworks that connect with the local spirit. On the walls of the hotel, works are exhibited for a period of up to six months, at which point they are swapped out for other pieces.

The hotel most frequently exhibits lesser-known European artists, but it has an impressive permanent collection that features works from Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. To lend the space a personal touch, collections from the couple themselves are scattered throughout the premises.

The Maidstone’s list of amenities is extensive and includes the Jonathan Baker 1962 line, created by the entrepreneur himself. This line of organic oils comprises the hotel’s signature scent. Each oil has 11 different components like lavender, rose, lemongrass, and more, and sell for $100. If you want to try one out before you take it home, you can request some samples.

The opportunity to hire a beach guide is another highlight of the Maidstone experience. The service includes a champagne picnic on the beach and the installation of chairs and a parasol. The children can enjoy eight types of games, including ping pong, cornhole, and a massive Jenga set. From infants to adults, no one will want to miss out on this paradise in East Hampton.

Photos: Courtesy The Maidstone Hotel

Matthew Kenney & Elizabeth Holder

Ladurée bringing ecological responsibility, healthy eating, and professional cooking all together, Ladurée delivers customer satisfaction in a completely innovative way.

The Visionary Kitchen

laduree @ladureeus

The whole concept is to improve customer satisfaction by combining healthy ingredients in ways that are functional and tasty. Being greener in our business is not just a matter of producing vegetarian and vegan options. It also means reintroducing the concept of slow food, reducing the use of flour, and using environmentally friendly packaging, among many other things. We still have a lot of work to do, and this is deeply thrilling to us”

In our current era of climate change and ecological transformation, there has never been less of a doubt that environmental awareness and sustainability practices are indispensable to the survival of our species. This reality is as much a part of our individual lives as it is a part of the business environment.

In addition to this sense of urgency to take measures that will guarantee the survival of our race, there is a steadily developing consensus around new values that aim at a more harmonious and natural life. To this end, thinking about what refinement has come to represent in the recent past serves as a perfect example of this new mindset.

There’s little doubt that refinement today has more to do with free time and quality of life than with unbridled consumption. A reexamination of the actual benefits of lifestyles linked to material consumption has led to new consumption patterns and has affected a number of traditional brands that have long been regarded as symbols of exclusivity and excellence.

“It’s much easier to start a business with sustainable practices than to remodel a 150-year-old company. We’ve had to reprogram and rearrange everything. We first developed the concept and then spent about five months planning it all out. But this was something that had become part of our lives on a personal level, because there’s no turning back the clock. My children will live in whatever the future of this planet looks like, and I want them to be proud of what we have accomplished”

Elisabeth Holder

The cafe French Ladurée, led by brothers David and Elisabeth Holder, has participated wholeheartedly in this reimagination of what consumption should look like. Known for its famous macarons, this iconic brand has found a new frontier, simultaneously celebrating plant-based cuisine and rethinking its entire production chain.

As chief of the company’s operations in the United States, Elisabeth Holder brought celebrated chef Matthew Kenney – one of the original minds behind “green” cuisine – to head a program they have termed “green evolution.” Their new line of comestibles is 100% vegan and feature dishes both savory and sweet that have a vegetable base. Still and all, macarons continue to be the great symbol of Ladurée.

Today, the brand has as much interest in its restaurants as it does in its event organizing. Their newly developed “green wave” will soon expand throughout the chain’s establishments. At the Beverly Hills Ladurée Tea Saloon, for example, Matthew Kenney plans to manage the space and feature a vegan menu. The restaurant will be a kind of laboratory for new food experiments of all kinds.

At other Ladurée locations around the world, the transition will be more gradual, with select vegan dishes complementing the normal menu. “We never intended to redefine Ladurée, only to make it accessible to a new audience while maintaining the high quality that has made the brand iconic for so long says, Kenney. “With Elisabeth and David inspiring our direction, we are committed to maintaining Ladurée’s spirit while identifying new techniques and methods. The process has led to a welcome acceptance of our globally healthy and forward-thinking products”.

The whole concept is to improve customer satisfaction by combining healthy ingredients in ways that are functional and tasty. Unsurprisingly, the company will use eco-friendly packaging made from natural materials and will forego the addition of glue or plastic. Some of the new products in this line will be juices produced exclusively by the ‘By Jardin’ brand, made from cold-pressed organic fruits and vegetables.

A new blend of coffee developed with Brazilian and Ethiopian coffee beans will accompany the new macaron flavors, such as L’or Vert, made from Green Tea and Moringa, and L’Éternel, comprised of baobab and mango.

Photos: Courtesy Ladurée

Mandarin Oriental Canouan

Known as the new St. Barths, Canouan is beloved by Globetrotters seeking privacy

Endless Blues

mandarin-oriental @mo_canouan

It’s rare to reinvent oneself in style, but the fancy label Mandarin Oriental has done so masterfully. The group has been awarded an impressive star in Canouan, a small Caribbean island only 8 km long, surrounded by a large coral reef. Located in the archipelago of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the island stands out as an escape for the few, known as a new destination where billionaires seek refuge from millionaires. Chic, no? Despite having a smaller portfolio than it’s competition, the Mandarin Oriental has already won the title for most Michelin stars. After opening two locations in Doha and Dubai, the company has taken another step forward with its most recent success.

It takes a mere 30 minutes to fly to Canouan from Barbados or St. Lucia. Upon arriving at the hotel, guests encounter decorations that are somewhere between beachy-sophisticated and tranquil paradise. Rosy shades are present in each detail, from the pillows at reception to the lounge chairs by the seashore. The contrast between the marble furnishings and the crystal-chandeliers gives the hotel a distinctive luster. The imposing resort contains 40 accommodations, a combination of villas and suites. The colonial style suites come equipped with a double shower and sink, a bath, amenities from Acqua di Parma, and a personal butler. The villas, which have between two and three rooms, offer a discreet and modern style.

Ideal for families, the villas come equipped with kitchens and well-stocked laundry-rooms, a jacuzzi, a private infinity pool, and golf-cars for traveling across the hotel grounds. If you want to do more than dip your toes, for about $10 million (USD) it’s possible to buy one of these properties – which, it’s worth remembering, all have a view of Goldhal beach. Guests are also given tablets that allow them to order room service and allow them to control the lights, thermostats, and windows.

Using the tablet, one can also make spa reservations. In the seven treatment rooms available, the hotel offers yoga classes along with unique treatments made from Caribbean ingredients. Exfoliation with mango, rice, and ginger are all available. The featured treatment is a massage titled “digital wellness,” the point being to achieve a state of relaxation so profound as to forget one’s cell phone. Against the backdrop of lush sea views, this task is none too difficult.

Renting paddle boats is another option, in order to get to know the coral on Shell Beach. For those who’d rather walk, follow the Mont-Royal path to see a colorful sunset.

In Canouan, your greatest quandary will be to choose between relaxing in sun chairs on the beach or exploring the paths offered by the hotel. Fish on the high seas, snorkel and visit the turtles. There’s no lack of options for anyone who wants to brave the island’s entire 600 hectares since 400 of them are occupied by the Mandarin Oriental. Are you a fan of Pirates of The Caribbean? Take advantage of the Catamaran route to Tobago Cays, where scenes of the film were shot.

The vast course, built by Jim Fazio, has 18 holes and offers daily lessons. The location of the Mandarin Oriental, hidden behind the island’s lush vegetation, allows travelers to discover the little pearls the island has to offer, like the 17th-century Anglican church. The church was built brick by brick, transported painstakingly one by one centuries ago, and is available for wedding ceremonies.

Known globally for its refined restaurants, the hotel has bet big on the gastronomical quality of its new venture. The Mandarin took chef Nonky Tejapermana directly from London to Canouan. Her Japanese heritage is on display at Asian, a Pan-Asian restaurant that serves dishes like fish cooked in vapor alongside Indian butter chicken. Overall, the restaurant offers 5 bars and restaurants, with eating options for all hours of the day.

The Tides Bar + Grill offers classic seafood dishes. With decorations inspired by Sardinia and Santorini, the Lagoon Cafe is an informal place that serves tapas and other Mediterranean delicacies.

If hunger strikes while you’re on the beach or at the pool, there’s no need to interrupt your day. The pool bar serves sophisticated plates with Peruvian and Japanese inspirations as their stand out tuna tartar. Prefer to dine with your feet in the sand? Enjoy the Shell Beach Bar and Grill, which serves heaping portions of fish and shrimp every day.

The Turtle’s bar possesses a more relaxed atmosphere, with marine decorations inspired by the Hamptons. Live music completes a perfect beachy climate. There’s no doubt that the new Canouan oasis has made the lives of its competitors more difficult, announcing itself as the undisputed top destination for the summer.

Photos: Courtesy Mandarin Oriental