Starry bright and fine effervescence,with aromas of fresh pastry, grilled almonds, subtle hints of honey and gingerbread.honey, Grand Siècle offers a perfect balance between strength and delicacy. Its wide aromatic palette allows sea and land food pairings such a poultry with crayfish. It would also provide the perfect match to poultry with truffle or a braised knuckle of veal. One could try with fine disches suc a turbot or sea-bass. For a magnificent start to a festive meal, serve it as an aperitif.

- ($152 USD) 2006 Laurent-Perrier Grand Siecle 750ml
- Laurent-Perrier (Official)

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An essential!


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Kiki De Montparnasse is sort of like New York’s answer to Coco de Mer. It’s a bit more minimalist, a bit more stream-lined and commerical but nonetheless a high-end, class place to shop for artful erotic toys, art, accessories and wardrobe. This space even delves in homewares and other lifestyle accoutrement that’ll enhance the sensuous nature of your life in all sorts of realms, not just the bed. From quarter-cup bras to black stemware, you can get it here. They host regular salons too. Also be sure to pay a visit to their onine store.

Kiki De Montparnasse
79 Greene Street
Soho, New York, NY10012
T : (212) 965-8150

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The glamorous Champagne Bar is renowned as Europe’s longest, situated below the magnificent Barlow Shed, allowing guests to fully appreciate the revolutionary architecture of this historic station.  The Champagne list is extensive, accommodating the largest selection of Grand Marque houses in the UK, with 17 styles available by the glass. It is a truly unique and stunning venue, with the capacity to host a small soiree for 2 or a grandiose affair for up to 500 guests.

St. Pancras Champagne Bar
St Pancras International Station
St Pancras, NW1
T: 020 7843 4250
Open: daily, 8am-11pm

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(Rates from £315 GBP)

Few cities, if any, say luxury quite like London. Imagine, then, what one of its finest accommodations has to offer.  Many rooms look right out over Hyde Park corner, arguably the best location in London.  Old World opulence. Imperial grandeur. Stately design. What else would you expect from a hotel that counts Hyde Park, Mayfair, and Buckingham Palace among its next-door neighbors? Personal butlers? It has those, too.  The Lanesborough, a St. Regis Hotel, also has a whole lot more, including exquisite cuisine presented by three Michelin star-winning Chef Heinz Beck (considered one of the best in Europe), creator of on-site restaurant Apsleys and winning a Michelin Star in less than 5 months from opening. The afternoon tea is among the finest in London, winning Award of Excellence by the UK Tea Council in 2009 and 2010 presided over by England’s first tea sommelier and offering freshly baked scones with thick cream.  Rooms and suites, 95 in total, feature Victorian furniture worthy of the nearby palace, along with the utmost in amenities: Sony VAIO laptops, free high-speed wireless, fresh fruit replenished daily, 24hrs personal Butler Service, Coffee and Tea on arrival and with wake up calls and more. La Prairie and Ytsara are the only brands trusted at the Spa Studio, the hidden gem in the heart of the city, and the hotel’s in-house florists will amaze you with stunning arrangements.

(Restaurant Apsleys)

Apsleys, a Heinz Beck Restaurant is located on the ground floor of The Lanesborough in the heart of Knightsbridge, the restaurant has two private dining rooms and two wine tasting rooms which offer an impressive list of wines, and many are available by the glass.

The Lanesborough
Hyde Park Corner
London SW1X 7TA
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)20 7259 5599

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Parisian-based tastemaker and artist André has teamed up with luxury luggage maker Globe-Trotter for a special collaborative collection. Dubbed the “Mr. A” collection, it features seven different luggage pieces all clad in black leather with silver-finish hardware. Ranging from a 13″ suitcase all the way up to a 33″ suit case, the collection has all the bases covered for luxury jet-setters. Inside each piece is a motif lining designed by the graffiti artist himself. Available now, the collection can be found at colette with prices starting at €625 EUR all the way up to €1,760 EUR.

- Globe-Trotter (Official)

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(Dir. Clyde Bruckman)

This 21-disc box set includes 20 classic Laurel & Hardy films and various shorts, plus a bonus disc containing the original version of Brats (1930), extracts from the German version of Pardon Us (1931), Thundering Fleas (1926), Fluttering Hearts (1927), Prudence (1927) and the documentary Laurel & Hardy–A Tribute to the Boys (1991). A 21-disc box set of classic Laurel and Hardy comedy containing the following: 1. A Chump At Oxford/Related Shorts 2. Classic Shorts/Someone’s Ailing 3. Way Out West/Shorts 4. Classic Shorts/Ollie And Matrimony 5. Our Relations/Dual Roles Shorts 6. Classic Shorts/Murder In The Air 7. Blockheads/Themed Shorts 8. Classic Shorts/Blackmail 9. The Bohemian Girl/Related Shorts 10. Classic Shorts/Be Big/Laughing Gravy 11. Saps At Sea/Themed Shorts 12. Classic Shorts/Laurel And Hardy And The Law 13. Sons Of The Desert/Related Shorts 14. Classic Shorts/A Job To Do 15. Pack Up Your Troubles/Related Shorts 16. Classic Shorts/Maritime Adventures 17. Swiss Miss/Animal Shorts 18. Classic Shorts/Married Life 19. Pardon Us/One Prison Short 20. Classic Shorts/More Brushes With The Law 21. Bonus disc: Original version of Brats (1930), extracts from German version of Pardon Us (1931), Thundering Fleas (1926), Fluttering Hearts (1927), Prudence (1927) and the documentary Laurel & Hardy – A Tribute To The Boys (1991). DVD INFO: Colourised versions of selected films. Region Code: 2/4. Soundtracks – Dolby Digital Mono: English/Spanish and Dolby Digital Stereo: English only. Total running time: 4119 min. Aspect Ratio: 4:3.

- ($399 USD) DVD: Laurel & Hardy – The Collection (21-disc Box Set)

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Italy, the country that brought us the joys of espresso, savored in cafés all over the world, now brings that same fine espresso making capability to the home with Pasquini’s Livia 90 Semiautomatic Espresso Machine. It’s one of the most popular espresso machines for its capacity to be used equally well in the home, office, coffee bar, and restaurant and catered events. An espresso machine for discerning tastes, the Livia 90 is an investment in distinction and enjoyment for years to come. One of the finest semi-commercial espresso machines, it is loaded with features that contribute to its reputation for excellence. Borrowing from Pasquini’s famous line of professional espresso machines, it is one of a select few machines of its type that can simultaneously brew coffee and steam milk, saving time and increasing the rate of drink production. These features, in addition to it NSF Sanitation Certification, (required for machines used in the foodservice industry), make it an espresso machine for all venues. Detailed Product Features Simple Semi-automatic Controls and Indicator Lights Simple to use and easy to read controls make brewing with the Livia 90 a joy. Heavy-duty rocker switches and two attractive indictor lights are conveniently located on the front of the machine. One flip of a switch gives you the green light and the power is on.

- ($1.735 USD) Pasquini Livia 90 Semi Automatic Espresso Machine

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(Photo © CAFE KAFKA)

Cafe Kafka
C/ Fusina, 7
Barcelona 08003

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(Washington Square East, Society Hill, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1957-64 I.M.)

Jill Rubalcaba tells the conflict-ridden stories behind six of Pei’s most celebrated buildings, all turning points in Pei’s distinguished career: National Center for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, CO), John F. Kennedy Presidential Library (Boston, MA), National Gallery of Art, East Building (Washington, DC), Fragrant Hill Hotel (near Forbidden City, China), Louvre (Paris, France), and the Miho Museum (Japan). Each story, illustrated with drawings, architectural plans, and photographs, follows Pei on his journey-from his search for design inspiration, through the trials of construction, to the finished project. Although Pei claims that he does not have a stylistic signature, his buildings are identified by geometric form and minimalist beauty, an integral relationship with their natural surroundings, and a profound respect for the past while exceeding the needs of those who utilize them, His architectural sensibilities and achievements have made Pei one of the premier architects of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Pei once explained his approach as requiring “a full understanding of the three essential elements-time, place, purpose to arrive at an ideal balance.” Pei’s awards, buildings, a timeline, notes, suggested reading, and websites are also included.

- ($21.95 USD) Book: I.M. Pei: Architect of Time, Place and Purpose

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The Diablo VT was introduced in 1993. Although the VT differed from the standard Diablo in a number of ways, by far the most notable change was the addition of all wheel drive, which made use of a viscous center differential (a remodified version of LM002′s 4WD system). This provided the new nomenclature for the car (VT stands for viscous traction). The new drivetrain could direct up to 25% of the torque to the front wheels to aid traction during rear wheel slip, thus significantly improving the handling characteristics of the car.  Other improvements debuting on the VT included front air intakes below the driving lamps to improve brake cooling, larger intakes in the rear arches, a more ergonomic interior with a revised dashboard, electronically adjustable dampers, four-piston brake calipers, power steering, and minor engine refinements. Many of these improvements, save the four-wheel drive system, soon transferred to the base Diablo, making the cars visually nearly identical.

- Lamborghini (Official Site)
- ($23 USD) Lamborghini: Miura Countach Diablo Murcielago
- ($23 USD Lamborghini: Supercars from Sant’Agata
- ($161 USD Lamborghini: Forty Years
- ($84 USD) The Lamborghini Miura Bible
- ($25.04 USD) Lamborghini Countach: The Complete Story
- ($58.99 USD) Lamborghini (The Legends Series)

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Philippe Starck describes him as a “mystic in a country which is no longer mystic.” Philip Drew calls his buildings “land art” that “struggle to emerge from the earth.” He is the only architect to have won the discipline’s four most prestigious prizes: the Pritzker, Carlsberg, Praemium Imperiale, and Kyoto Prize.

His name is Tadao Ando, and he is one of the greatest living architects. Combining influences from Japanese tradition with the best of Modernism, Ando has developed a completely unique building aesthetic that makes use of concrete, wood, water, light, space, and nature in a way that has never been witnessed in architecture. His designs include award-winning private homes, churches, museums, apartment complexes, and cultural spaces throughout Japan, as well as in France, Italy, Spain, and the USA.

- ($31.49 USD) Book: Tadao Ando: Complete Works 1975-2012
- Tadao Ando (Official)

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The internal number P140 was used for the successor of the Jalpa, whose production had been halted in 1988.  The P140, probably named ‘Cala’, was designed with one goal in mind, superior styling, the engine and chassis were made inferior to the exterior styling of this car.  At that time, the German and Japanese cars were in the same price-range as a small Ferrari or the new ‘little’ Lamborghini, that was the reason why Lamborghini had to rely so much on its styling. Because both the German BMW’s and Mercedes, and the Japanese cars were very fast and reliable.  Not only did the Lamborghini had to be different in style, but it also needed to be supported by state of the art mechanics. The P140 would take the styling ideas of the Miura, the Countach and the all-new Diablo, and used it to make it recognizable as a pure Lamborghini.  The P140 had to grab your attention and never let it go again, it had to express speed from every angle, the design had to be absolutely fresh and original, and in no way could it resemble another car. The P140 had to be unique and unmistakably a Lamborghini, which offered roominess, visibility, safety, quality, aerodynamics and, of course, Lamborghini-style mechanics. The P140 was not created by just boosting the horsepower rating of a Jalpa V8 engine, a good new sports car had to be balanced, because otherwise, it would become too hard to drive, and it was a known fact that these high-performance cars almost never ended up in the hands of experienced and expert drivers.  For the design of the P140, Lamborghini contacted Carrozzeria Bertone, Chrysler Design Center and Marcello Gandini. A few scale models were shown to the Lamborghini sales network, but all these models were preliminary, because at that time the designers were still working on the look. Nevertheless, it was already known the P140 should have a targa top like the Jalpa, or even a full speedster configuration.  The exterior styling was still open, but it was already known that the new Lamborghini would use an all-new V-10 QuattroValvole engine with an electronic fuel-injection system. The Lamborghini engineers created this engine in only seven months, and it was extremely modern, light and compact.  At that time, the decision was not taken yet to use something else than the ‘usual’ tubular space frame chassis and unitized body, because the P140 had to be completely new, the research was oriented toward weight and structure to create something noble.  By 1992, the P140 was put aside to concentrate on the Lamborghini Diablo, the Diablo VT, and in 1994 the Diablo 30Th Anniversary Special Edition. However, on the 1995 Geneva Auto Show, a totally new Lamborghini CALA was shown, designed by ItalDesign and powered by a similar V-10 engine with a power rating of over 400 bhp, mounted in a rear central position, in an all-aluminum chassis.  At that time Automobili Lamborghini SpA officially announced the Cala as the prototype for the Jalpa successor, including the Targa roof configuration … we later discovered that unfortunately the Cala would never be produced and it took many years before the Gallardo was introduced as the ‘Baby Lamborghini’ using a totally different V10 engine.

- Lamborghini (Official Site)
- ($23 USD) Lamborghini: Miura Countach Diablo Murcielago
- ($23 USD Lamborghini: Supercars from Sant’Agata
- ($161 USD Lamborghini: Forty Years
- ($84 USD) The Lamborghini Miura Bible
- ($25.04 USD) Lamborghini Countach: The Complete Story
- ($58.99 USD) Lamborghini (The Legends Series)

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Super Deluxe five disc (four CDs + DVD) Edition features not only the original remastered album and accompanying studio and live B-sides, but the first full official release of the pre-Nevermind demos recorded at producer Butch Vig’s Smart Studios, as well as boombox recordings of subsequent rehearsals through which the listener can actually experience “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come As You Are,” “On A Plain” and others that take shape before his or her very ears. The Super Deluxe also offers an altogether new perspective on the finished Nevermind album exclusive to this format in the form of the Devonshire Mixes: the album as produced and mixed by Vig as opposed to the commercially released final version produced by Vig and mixed by Andy Wallace. Rounding out the Super Deluxe are a pair of previously unreleased BBC recordings and the aforementioned 1991 Paramount show available for the first time and exclusive to this format on CD and DVD (which also features all four music videos from Nevermind), as well as a stunning 90-page bound book full of rarely and never- before-seen photos, documents and various other visual artifacts of the Nevermind era

- ($141.85 USD) Nirvana – Nevermind [4CD/DVD Super Deluxe]

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(Photo © Karen Oetling and Juan Pablo Ramos Valade)

- Juan Pablo Ramos Valadez

- Karen Oetling

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- Eric K. Wallis (Official)

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Belgrade’s first world-class luxury hotel blends international lifestyle and local hospitality with sophisticated design and an elegant, modern atmosphere.Set in the city’s most attractive historic district, Square Nine is a showcase of polished interiors, attention to detail, and impeccable service.

Conceived by the owner as a groundbreaking keystone in Belgrade’s twenty first century renaissance, Square Nine brings a sumptuous, yet cozy, character to a city that’s long been dominated by international chains detached from the city’s identity and avant-garde, creative arts history.

The Square Nine Hotel
Studentski Trg

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(Luxury Double)

Blakes is the inspirational creation of world renowned designer Anouska Hempel as the world’s first luxury boutique hotel. Located in the leafy Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Blakes is justly famous for its stunning design, elegance and dedicated service. Its uncompromising stand on privacy has made it the London base for film stars, musicians and all the top designers, earning its reputation as The “Couture” Hotel.  Sympathetically converted from a collection of period Victorian town houses, Blakes is now established and recognized as totally unique and has revolutionized and influenced the concept of the small luxury hotel worldwide.

Blakes Hotel London,
33 Roland Gardens
London SW7 3PF

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The Impressa Z7 One Touch makes the heart of even the most demanding coffee aficionado beat faster, and provides the thrilling experience of a full range of coffee enjoyment at the highest level. Fist, quiet, and versatile. The cup illumination feature stylishly presents specialty coffee drinks in rich amber light, and frothed milk beverages in gleaming white. The cappuccino spout can be adjusted continuously up to 6-inch high to suit all standard latte macchiato glasses, a unique feature for automatic specialty coffee centers for home use. This perfects the quality of beverages made with milk, because it guarantees a wonderfully fine and airy milk foam. An advanced fluid system guarantees the best crema yet; fine, velvety, intense, and aromatic. The intelligent pre-heating system ensures that every espresso and ristretto has the optimum temperature, even after longer breaks in preparation. Saving energy doesn’t have to mean sacrificing enjoyment. In Energy Save Mode, the Jura Z7 One Touch uses up to 40-percent less energy. A patented Zero-Energy switch turns the machine off after coffee preparation and the automatic switch-off rinse. The machine can be completely disconnected from the power supply using the power switch. With the Impressa Z7 One Touch you can be ecological without being less indulgent. The unmistakable Impress Z7 design combines purest luxury, elegance and sophistication. The striking curved lines reflect the shape of the coffee bean. The high-quality materials used have been produced with maximum precision and outstanding craftsmanship. Carefully finished solid aluminum is used for the front panel and coffee spout. Impressa Z7 One Touch grinds, tamps and brews with a multi-level conical burr grinder, Thermoblock heating system, and a high performance 15 bar pump, Programmable water amount, temperature, and coffee strength.

- ($3.089 USD) Jura Impressa Z7 One-Touch Automatic Coffee Center

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Part voyeuristic entertainment, part group therapy, Passive Aggressive Notes offers a fascinating look at the all-too-familiar frustrations of embattled office drones, apartment dwellers, parents, and pet owners everywhere.  This curated collection combines dozens of outrageous, never-before-seen notes as well as favorites from Passiveaggressivenotes.coma 2008 Webby Award Winner and the official “Best Blog” of the South by Southwest Interactive festival.

- ($10.98 USD) Book: Passive Aggressive Notes: Painfully Polite and Hilariously Hostile Writings

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Tallon has been a leading figure in French industrial since the 1950s. He studied engineering in Paris before joining Studio Avas in 1951. He left Avas soon after to join Technes, a design consultancy established by Jacques Vienot.    He taught at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from 1963 before he and Jaques Dumond established the Department of Design. In 1967 he started what was to become a long term collaboration with the French National Railway service where he initially began a project to modernise the train fleet. He went on to work with France’s own Bullet Train, the TGV where he participated in the design of almost all aspects from carriage interiors to the brand identity of the company.    In the early 1990s, he became Design Director of the Eurostar project, a joint British, French and Belgium project.    Apart from his design work for large industrial concerns, he was also a prolific designer of smaller items, from ski boots to cameras, watches to stair cases and motorbikes to TVs.    His prolific output and outstanding design have put him in line for a number of awards, including a Milan Triennale Gold Medal (1954) and the national Grand Prix for Création Industrielle (1985).    Despite his output and success, he is little known outside of France and very little information is available about him on English websites.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS – “I Wanna Come Back From the World of LSD”

So many amazing songs on this compilation. Go get it!

- ($7.49 USD) CD: Various Artists – “I Wanna Come Back From the World of LSD”

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Universally recognized as the Master of Suspense, the legendary Alfred Hitchcock directed some of cinema’s most thrilling and unforgettable classics. Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection features 15 iconic films from the acclaimed director’s illustrious career including Psycho, The Birds, Rear Window, Vertigo, North by Northwest and many more.  Starring Hollywood favorites such as James Stewart, Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Paul Newman, Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery and Kim Novak, this definitive collection showcases a true cinematic master at his best.  Featuring over 15 hours of insightful bonus features plus an exclusive collectible book, each film has been digitally restored from high resolution film elements for the ultimate Hitchcock experience.

- ($224 USD) The Masterpiece Collection (Blu-Ray)
- ($99.99 USD) Doll: “The Birds Themed” Barbie Doll
- ($29.70 USD) Book: Alfred Hitchcock: Piece By Piece

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Winner of The Best Restaurant in South America Award sponsored by Acqua Panna and number 18th in the The S.Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants in 2010, D.O.M. Restaurante in Sao Paulo is an absolute gem.  Run by Brazilian chef and former DJ, Alex Atala who has left the decks behind to become Brazil’s biggest culinary star, D.O.M. is an acronym for the Latin expression “Deo Optimo Maximo” which means “God is Optimum and Maximum”. Chef Alex Atala adapted the expression to Domus Optimus Maximus (domus = home), signifying that at his restaurant, the optimum and maximum in gastronomy are always offered with the best local ingredients. Indeed, Chef Atala infuses his Brazilian heritage with French and Italian techniques to produce exquisite creations. Among the dishes, you will find baby pork ribs and forbidden rice with catupiry, shrimp with papaya mango salsa, codfish brandade in black bean sauce, tuna with sesame sautéed with hearts of palm and fresh mushrooms, mushroom soup perfumed with Amazon flowers, fettuccine carbonara palm and a lot more proposals.

The wine list at D.O.M. Restaurante is also extensive with a fabulous selection.  Along with the delicious food, the refinement of the place continues with the architecture and work of art inside the restaurant. Recently renovated by decorator and chef José Roberto Moreira Valle, the capacity has been reduced to fifty seats to offer a more intimate feeling to guests as well as a cozier look: neutral shades of beige, black and brown have been selected, alternative materials such as wood, steel and glass make the environment more pleasant and a black Baccarat Philippe Starck crystal chandelier that hangs over a vintage table in the middle of the room gives a contemporary aspect to the restaurant.  D.O.M. Restaurante located in the Jardins District in Sao Paulo is pretty expensive, however, it’s absolutely worth it. This is a wonderful restaurant with inventive, yet wholly delicious food: Brazilian ingredients in majestically executed contemporary dishes with Chef Atala. For a great dining option while visiting Sao Paulo, D.O.M. Restaurante in Sao Paulo is a must for any gourmet connoisseur. Contact your luxury concierge Pure Conciergerie today for dinner reservations or to create a bespoke package in Sao Paulo.

Rua Barão de Capanema 549,
São Paulo 01411-011
T: +55 113 088 0761

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Mansory has reworked the Lamborghini Aventador into a limited production model named the Carbonado, after the black diamonds found in Africa and Brazil.  The Carbonado is coming with a lot of carbon fiber accessories, including new carbon fiber panels applied over its body and over its engine hood.  Interior is given the special leather treatment on the seats and dashboard, a newly designed airbag sports steering wheel made out of real carbon fiber and non-slip aluminum pedals.  Other modifications from the standard supercar include a new high performance exhaust, which with a re-mapped ECU lifts the power output to 743 bhp.  According to the German tuner, the model can now accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds before reaching a top speed of 355 km/h.  Mansory’s special edition Lamborghini will be produced in a limited run of six units.

- Lamborghini (Official Site)
- ($23 USD) Lamborghini: Miura Countach Diablo Murcielago
- ($23 USD Lamborghini: Supercars from Sant’Agata
- ($161 USD Lamborghini: Forty Years
- ($84 USD) The Lamborghini Miura Bible
- ($25.04 USD) Lamborghini Countach: The Complete Story
- ($58.99 USD) Lamborghini (The Legends Series)

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Julius Shulman’s 1947 photographs of Richard Neutra’s von Sternberg House call up a phrase of social critic Lewis Mumford’s that trenchantly evokes the building: “that chastity, that emotional reserve, which is not so much love of ice for its coldness as a love of the crystal-line forms that ice assumes.” Born and educated in the heady culture of fin de siècle Vienna, Richard Neutra (1892–1970) received his earliest architectural inspiration from the Viennese masters Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos. Following service in World War I, he worked in the Berlin office of Erich Mendelsohn and in the Wisconsin studio of Frank Lloyd Wright, finally settling in Los Angeles in 1925. There he formed a tenuous partnership with his fellow expatriate Rudolph Schindler before establishing his own practice in the late 1920s.  After the completion of his first great work, the Lovell House (1929), also known as Health House, Neutra and his architect contemporaries faced the Depression with greatly diminished prospects for work. His survival in the 1930s was largely secured by a series of commissions generated by the film industry, which thrived on its audience’s need for escape and diversion. Neutra’s office building for Universal’s Carl Laemmle and his houses for actress Anna Sten, composer Edward Kaufman, film editor Leon Barsha and directors Albert Lewin and Josef von Sternberg countered popular notions of “Hollywood taste” as being only of the glitzy, historicist sort and confirmed the presence in the Los Angeles film community of figures of artistic and intellectual sophistication, who were clearly drawn to modernist art and architecture.  Of these works, the most famous was the 1935 villa in the then-rural San Fernando Valley for von Sternberg, the Austrian-born director of The Blue Angel and other classics starring Marlene Dietrich. The client and his architect met in the early 1930s, Neutra’s wife, Dione, recalled, and sat up one night until daybreak talking of Germany, California and modern art—especially their respective worlds of film and architecture. After several years of informal conversations, the director commissioned Neutra in 1934. “I selected a distant meadow,” von Sternberg recounted later, “in the midst of an empty landscape, barren and forlorn, to make a retreat for myself, my books, and my collection of modern art.”  The building’s major space was a double-height living area surrounded by a balcony that was used as an art gallery. Displayed there were works by Gauguin, Kandinsky, Matisse, Léger, de Chirico, Kokoschka, Brancusi and Archipenko. Von Sternberg’s mirrored bath and bedroom, with a view of the rooftop reflecting pool, were the only rooms on the second floor. On the first level, east of the living area, lay a studio and kitchen, followed by staff quarters and the garages, one for regular cars and a larger one for the Rolls-Royce. A specially designed space for the owner’s huge dogs was behind the garage. To enliven the otherwise simple, aluminum-clad façade, Neutra designed—in the best Hollywood manner—a series of remarkable “special effects,” which extended into the landscape. Most prominent was the high curvilinear wall around the front patio, which emphasized the streamlined personality of the house. A shallow moatlike lily pool surrounded the wall and, in broken stretches, the entire house. A long thin wall extended from the west façade, exaggerating the house’s size and dividing the front and rear gardens. A ship’s searchlight over the porte cochere, along with the moat and curving wall, gave the house a nautical look. Sculptor Isamu Noguchi designed a swimming pool for the rear garden, which unfortunately was never built.

Years later Neutra wrote, with heavy irony, that there was “one item which first astounded me when I brought the magnificent bathroom plans to the owner, but it is no more proper for an architect in a successful world of free enterprise—or probably anywhere—to be surprised at any time than it was for a chamberlain of the Borgias a few hundred years earlier. I had to feel with the man from dear old Hollywood when he said, ‘Take out all the locks of the bathroom doors…. It is my experience that there is always somebody in the bathroom threatening to commit suicide and blackmailing you, unless you can get in freely.’ In a moment I adjusted myself to the natural anxiety of a wealthy producer.” Just before the war von Sternberg decided to move, and the house passed through several hands before it was acquired by Ayn Rand and her husband, Frank O’Connor. Although the legendary Frank Lloyd Wright was apparently the prototype for Howard Roark in The Fountainhead, her novel of architectural heroics, Rand admired Neutra and was delighted to live in the house, which, she confessed to a friend, was “unbelievably wonderful.” Later, in answering a query from a fan, she described it as being “extremely modern—made of steel, glass and concrete, mostly glass. So you see, I’m the kind of ballplayer who endorses only what she really smokes—and smokes only what she really endorses.” In response to Rand’s conservatism, Neutra quipped: “I don’t know where she got her political ideas, but it’s obvious she used me as the model for Howard Roark’s sexuality.” In 1971, many years after Rand had sold it, the house was unceremoniously demolished by a developer, and the property became the site for a condominium tract. It had been one of Richard Neutra’s—and modern architecture’s—finest achievements.

- ($489 USD) Book: Richard Neutra: Complete Works

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An amazing collection of exclusive footage and recent interviews with Paul, George and Ringo chronicle the early days of the Fab Four to their break-up in 1970 and beyond. Includes rare studio footage, home movies, live concert performances, backstage clips and much more!

- ($68.27 USD) DVD: The Beatles Anthology

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A handwritten letter in which Albert Einstein questioned the existence of God is going up for sale on EBay, with bids starting at $3 million.  The “God letter”, which the physicist wrote in German a year before his death in 1955, includes his thoughts on religion, God and tribalism.  Einstein sent the letter, written on Princeton University letterhead, to Eric B. Gutkind on Jan. 3, 1954 concerning Gutkind’s book, Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt.  The letter was first bought by a bidder in London in 2008 for just over $400,000 and has since been stored in a special facility with a controlled environment.

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(40m2 ‘Belvedere’ room from €170 EUR)

Can’t wait to visit this place!

Hotel Daniel Vienna
Landstraßer Gürtel 5
1030 Vienna
T: +43 1 90 131 0

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I’m still very proud of my office space:-)


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(Dir. Joseph H. Lewis)

A prime example of the American film noir style that flourished during the 1940s and ’50s, The Big Combo is now highly regarded as a stylistic milestone for its innovative use of deep shadows and harsh, singular light sources to define its visual strategy. This look is largely credited to the rule-breaking brilliance of cinematographer John Alton, who turns a standard plot of the era into a richly atmospheric experiment in visual invention. Ignoring conventional approaches to lighting, Alton defines the screen in terms of blackness, often framing characters as silhouettes cast in ominous grays or thick, roiling fogs. Moving from clarity to abstraction with masterful grades in between, Alton’s trend-setting style has been celebrated by cinematographers since the film’s release in 1955.

- ($1.99 USD) Amazon Instant Video: The Big Combo

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Parisian-based tastemaker and artist André has teamed up with luxury luggage maker Globe-Trotter for a special collaborative collection. Dubbed the “Mr. A” collection, it features seven different luggage pieces all clad in black leather with silver-finish hardware. Ranging from a 13″ suitcase all the way up to a 33″ suit case, the collection has all the bases covered for luxury jet-setters. Inside each piece is a motif lining designed by the graffiti artist himself. Available now, the collection can be found at colette with prices starting at €625 EUR all the way up to €1,760 EUR.

- Globe-Trotter (Official)

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Limited-edition collector’s set of Armand de Brignac Champagne: the “Trilogie.” Containing one bottle each of our three celebrated cuvées – the Brut Gold, Rosé, and Blanc de Blancs – the Trilogie is a beautiful polished black wood box lined in satin, with gold-plated details inside and out. A dramatic oversized Armand de Brignac “Ace of Spades” pewter insignia atop the box completes a truly breathtaking package – and a one-of-a-kind luxury gift for the true Champagne connoisseur.

- Armand de Brignac (Official)
- Buy directly at

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I’m still in love with these limited/bespoke handmade tags. You can get them in sterling silver or 22 carat gold. Dope!

- Valentine Tags (Official)

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(Thanks to Elizabeth Schoen for sending me promotional bottles, 97% Shiraz and 3% Viognier from southern Australia’s Eden Valley, 14,5% alcohol, Great to drink now, but will also reward 5-7 years in the cellar. Try it with steak and mushroom pie.)

I must say that I was really impressed by this incredible wine from Australian producer Yalumba. Dark red color, a dark character to go with it and the loveliest notes of crimson, cinnamon, liquorice and blackberry. I tried it with a steak and it was absolutely mind blowing. My guests were blown away by it too, so I looked up the price and in my opinion this wine has an extreme value for money. We all thought this wine would go for more than $80 USD considering it is handpicked – but to my surprise it can be purchased for only $25 USD. Great wine doesn’t have to be expensive and I love the thrill of the hunt  discovering a wine like this. This is a MUST-BUY-WINE!!!!

- ($24.95 USD) Yalumba Shiraz-Viognier Hand-Picked 2008 750ml Australia Barossa
- Yalumba (Official)
- Yalumba (Twitter)

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(Rates from $400 USD)

Where’s up? And down? Who knows at Banyan Tree Club and Spa Seoul, where the stars in the night sky are mirrored from multiple pools near the picturesque Mt. Namsan. Inside the Banyan Tree Club and Spa Seoul, a feeling of historic prominence still hangs on from the original structure, built to commemorate the end of the Korean War. That said, the hotel’s modern updates have transcended the original building’s wildest aspirations, resulting in a dream-like atmosphere on the outskirts of town.  Rising 21 stories above the hotel’s glimmering main pool (which becomes an ice rink in winter), the hotel holds 50 rooms looking out to the river, each with open layouts, a Korean sauna, and a large indoor plunge pool at the foot of the wide bed.  On the third floor, the world-renowned Banyan Tree Spa makes its home, with treatments hailing from all of Asia, all executed with an infinitely confident touch.  You’ll want to pack an appetite for cuisine as well as leisure, as the Banyan Tree Club and Spa Seoul has pulled out all the stops to deliver 12 eateries and bars. Styles range from classic Korean and Italian, to meat and cheese charcuterie and fresh oysters. Overindulge? Just grab your clubs, and hit the driving range for pleasant calorie burning.

Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul
San 5-5, Jang Chung-Dong 2-Ga
Jung-Gu, Seoul,
100857 South Korea
T: 43 68 23 18‎

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(Image © martin weiß)

Wien-based practice judith benzer architektur have completed the ‘summer house in southern burgenland’, a retreat residence in the countryside of oberbergen, austria. surfaced with untreated larch planks, the external faces of this dwelling may be closed during winter months becoming an unobtrusive silhouette in the landscape. typical of the region, the volume’s exterior appearance is derived from the ‘kellerstöckel’ or ‘wine house’. the two-level structure with rooms for residential use are enclosed with a strictly wooden framework while the sub-grade cellar for wine production and storage is formed with ferroconcrete massive construction.

Judith benzer architektur

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Steirereck’s commitment to indigenous sourcing, the revival of forgotten dishes and the promotion of sustainability across the food chain have earned it the inaugural Slow Food UK Award at this year’s awards and it has also risen steadily up the list. Perhaps it’s because the restaurant has been in the family for more than 40 years, but Steirereck’s chef-owner Heinz Reitbauer has been something of an unsung culinary hero – until now.

Am Heuemarkt 2A/im Stadtpark
A-1030 Vienna
T: +43 (1) 713 31 68

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- ($164 USD) Fabulous!: A Photographic Diary of Studio 54

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What do these things have in common? They’re all items from real grocery lists. Whose lists? Who knows. The lists were found discarded in shopping carts, dropped on supermarket floors and parking lots, even tucked in returned library books. But the fact that they were discarded is not what’s interesting about them. It’s that they were found – found and/or collected by Bill Keaggy, proprietor of and the author of the world’s first compilation of lost grocery lists. This book.  If we are what we eat, then this book reveals deep and strange truths about the average food shopper (not to mention more mundane facts like a lot of people love vodka, banana is actually very difficult to spell and that butter used to be dyed yellow using marigolds).  Separated into chapters – funny lists, sad lists, unhealthy lists, organized lists – the book also includes humorous commentary by the author and some delicious recipes created from found grocery lists. Quirky sidebars and odd food facts round out the menu.

- ($4.89 USD) Book: Milk Eggs Vodka: Grocery Lists Lost and Found

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The utopian sixties inspired revolutionary and alternative ways to live, love, and entertain—and equally radical spaces to do it in. Stimulated by the psychedelic drug culture, rebel designers and architects distorted space to create womblike coves and isolation chambers, forging a spatial vocabulary that still reverberates today. At the same time, the tune-in-turn-on-drop-out message lured youths into far-flung communes, often under the roofs of brightly painted geodesic domes draped and tie-dyed fabric. Idealistic and anarchic enclaves with names like Drop City and Morning Star redefined the concept of community, inventing a wildly spontaneous way of building and dwelling. For the first time, these ephemeral spaces are brought together in Spaced Out. The many never-before-published photographs and an inventive text by acclaimed author Alastair Gordon show in detail the spirit and ideas of this radical period.

- ($92.88 USD) Book: Spaced Out: Radical Environments of the Psychedelic Sixties

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(Photo © Fernando Guerra, FG+SG Architectural Photography)

- FG+SG Architectural Photography

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Digitally remastered and expanded deluxe four disc (three CDs + DVD) edition of the former Beatle’s 1980 solo album. McCartney II was McCartney’s return to solo work after nine years touring and having released several massively successful albums with Wings. Reaching #1 in the UK, and #3 in the U.S., the album produced enduring classics such as “Coming Up,” “Waterfalls,” and “Temporary Secretary.” The bonus CDs includes previously unreleased demos and live tracks. The DVD contains videos and previously unreleased footage.

- ($72.68 USD) Music: McCartney II (Archive Collection)

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Bern’s Steak House is a steak restaurant in the SoHo district of Tampa, Florida, founded in 1956. It is currently owned and operated by David Laxer, son of original owner Bern Laxer, as well as a few key local families acting as partner. It has a sister restaurant, Side Bern’s, and a wine and liquor store, Bern’s Fine Wine & Spirits. In 1996, the Wine Spectator rated Bern’s in a tie for the best steak house in the United States. In 2009 Rachael Ray rated Bern’s as the best restaurant in America, having beat out over a dozen top-rated steakhouses across the U.S. In 2010 industry magazine Nation’s Restaurant News deemed Bern’s a “Top 50 All-American icon.” It was also named to’s Top 10 Steakhouses in the U.S.  George W. Bush ate at Bern’s twice during his presidency. Bern’s Steak House is famous for not only its food, much of which is organic and grown especially for Bern’s, but also for its massive wine list. Bern’s has the largest wine list of any restaurant in the world. In its cellars can be found depression-era French red wine, pre-war Sauternes, and Madeira from the 17th century. Diners can take a tour of the wine cellar as well as the kitchen at Bern’s after their meal. Bern’s boasts the largest private wine collection in the world, and due to this status has quite a following of wine aficionados. Bern’s is one of three locations that annually host “Winefest”, the second largest private fundraiser for charity in the Tampa Bay area, the first being “Taste of Tampa”.  The establishment also boasts a private dessert room, the Harry Waugh Dessert Room.  Another notable feature of Bern’s Steak House is that there is only one single window in the entire establishment, although it is not viewable by customers.

They got 600.000 bottles of wine in the cellar:-)

Bern’s Steakhouse
1208 South Howard Avenue
Tampa, FL 33606
T: (813) 251-2421

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Salt has been extracted in Ibiza for over 2700 years, and until now has been principally consumed only by the local population. A local, Daniel C. Witte, persuaded the Ibizan salt farmers to share this exceptional salt with others…  100% natural, these salt crystals are gathered by hand, and sold unprocessed. A real life-giving crystal, this sea salt contains all the goodness of the sea, the sun and the wind.  With a very light pinkish tint, and a subtle, aromatic flavour, this is a salt of exceptional quality. Tasting it is like tasting salt for the very first time.  Presented in a magnificent blue ceramic pot, and with a ceramic spoon. Refills available.

- ($19.77 USD)
- Sal De Ibiza (Official)

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As you’re getting ready for Skyfall enjoy this collectible box set featuring all 22 James Bond films on Blu-ray disc in one complete offering for the first time.

- ($149.99 USD) Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection [Blu-ray]

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Wythe Hotel started with the discovery of an old factory on the Brooklyn waterfront. Built in 1901 as a cooperage, preserved, renovated, and turned a historically industrial building into a place where people feel welcome.

Wythe Hotel
80 Wythe Ave. at N. 11th Williamsburg, Brooklyn
New York, NY 11249

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