THE REVIEW

THE CILLIAN MURPHY EDITION

LATEST FEATURES

Lime Wood, New Forest

The idea of a sneaky few days away to a boutique country house hotel in the midst of Autumn with long walks, roaring fires, healthy food and the opportunity to be pampered at the same time is my idea of heaven. Add to this that it’s at Robin Hutson’s Lime Wood Hotel in the heart of the New Forest and I am taken to a different dimension altogether. Forgive me if I sound a bit like a Robin Hutson cheerleader, but quite frankly I am. For me Mr Hutson sits in the realm of hotelier aristocracy and if there is ever a lifelong achievement award as thanks from all of…

Bentley Continental GTC V8S

Try and recall an occasion where you have had a conversation with a friend and they’ve told you something which you find shocking and almost offensive. You know that it’s been worrying them and you want to be supportive, but sometimes the issue is so severe that there is little that can be done to hide your feelings. Never an easy situation, and one that I found myself in quite recently. Friend: ‘What car are you reviewing at the moment?’ Me: ‘I’m very lucky actually, it’s one of the new Bentley Continentals’ Friend: ‘Really? You don’t seem that excited. Is it terrible?’ Me: ‘God, no! It’s really very good, it’s…

Evian Resort, France

The fascination of ‘taking the waters’ for health and well-being seems to be imprinted in the human condition. From the Turkish baths of the Ottoman Empire, and the great bathhouses of the Roman Empire, to the modern sophisticated spa, we have used water as part of many social, physical and spiritual rituals. Hot springs, cold springs, sulphur springs, sea water, river water, mountain water: this precious natural commodity has provided external and internal therapy for every generation and culture. To review Evian, the source of one of the world’s best-known mineral waters, and home to the renovated Evian Resort, I jumped on the short flight to Geneva, crossing over the…

Sexy Fish, W1J

It’s a warm and sunny Wednesday evening, and my first experience of Sexy Fish restaurant in Mayfair, one of Richard Caring’s newest business ventures. I had heard a great deal about it from various friends and colleagues, and my intrigue began to pique as I approached Berkeley Square and saw the now-infamous red-roofed terrace in Mayfair. I arrive 10 minutes early and decide to wait for my friend and fellow diner inside. When you first walk into Sexy Fish, it’s hard not to notice the decadence in the decor. There’s a school of crystal-looking fish sculptures hanging above the bar, what I assume was coral reefs and seaweed painted on…

Airbnb – Amsterdam

Many a revolutionary idea has been born out of Maslow’s hierarchy of need. In 2007, Joe Gebbia emailed his roommate, Brian Chesky with a quick scheme to make an easy buck. “I thought of a way to make a few bucks – turning our place into a “designers bed and breakfast”. If you don’t know the story of Silicon Valley’s newest member of the unicorn club then you really need to pick up a copy of the FT more often. Airbnb made waves, 100ft, see it from the beach and start running grade waves. I can’t really say I had any reservations about modern day sofa surfing, after all, the…

AUDI S8+

I arrived in the Cotswolds late one evening, to collect The Review’s motoring editor, Oliver Smith. I had driven out to catch the sun set across the fields, as I wafted along to the sounds of Romance by John Barry. For a moment, I experienced a sense of stillness behind the wheel of Audi’s 4.0 litre, 597bhp weapon. This was quickly dispelled by the quad exhaust delivering a guttural raw the likes of which can only be conveyed in a Jerry Bruckheimer film. I arrived in good time, of course, able to observe the usual pleasantries of drinking coffee, whilst lapping the stationary vehicle and muttering first impressions to ourselves….

Ca Maria Adele, Venice

You only have to mention the word Venice and a wonderful tapestry of images fills your mind. This city offers an exquisite taste of historic grandeur, artistic wealth, drama, mystery and a large dash of romance. If Venice isn’t on your bucket list, it absolutely should be. Having travelled to Venice many times in my twenties, working with the Venice Simplon Orient Express, I thought I had ticked this particular box. But given the opportunity to visit again, I was keen to see how this magical place had evolved. Of course, the only real way to arrive in Venice is by private water taxi – a moment worth its price-tag….

Roomers Hotel and Cocktail Bar

There are a lot of sequined items in my wardrobe. One morning, after a night trying to smoke Viagra in a shisha, one particularly brilliant male friend of mine came downstairs to breakfast wearing them all at once, like some sort of bejeweled butterfly from a grey chrysalis amongst last night’s fag ash. Roomers was a place for some sequins I thought, albeit one item’s worth, with more cocktails and less Viagra. Roomers in Frankfurt, Deutschland, is a ‘lifestyle’ hotel (exchange lifestyle for sexy, or even just sex). It’s in the ‘Design Hotel’ league, having been created by Grübel (BMW on the résumé) and the Romanian designer Oana Rosen, and…

JEEP Renegade

Jeep has showcased its legendary 4×4 driving credentials by becoming the world’s first automotive manufacturer to drive a car up and down an Olympic-standard white water rafting course. Jeep and Red Bull ambassador Aimee Fuller guided the Jeep Renegade Trailhawk on the thrilling challenge at Cardiff’s International White Water Centre. The Renegade and Olympic snowboarder Aimee tackled extreme off-road conditions as they went up and down the 250 metre long course, battling a flow of water that exceeded four tonnes per second and a descent of more than 30 feet from top to bottom. “I’d never done anything like this before so when I arrived and saw the power and…

The Capital – SW3

Turnbull & Asser, Holland & Holland, Berry Bros. & Rudd, The Capital. There’s a reason this esteemed collective of British brands is synonymous with a time when honour was held above all else. To maintain integrity, a stiff upper lip, and to stand the test of time and changing traditions – these are surely the marks of an institution deserving of the Royal seal.  I have a fascination with tenacity, a trait which people often tell me I hold in abundance. It could well be a compliment. Or an insult. I can’t quite tell. David Levin MBE opened The Capital on Basil Street, Knightsbridge, in 1971. Having started his tutelage…

Kozue, Park Hyatt

My knowledge of Japanese cuisine was only a smidgen above zero when I touched down in Tokyo. Despite the popularity of machine-rolled sushi flogged in supermarkets and the flurry of ramen houses that have popped up in recent years, the mass market (me included) is only familiar with a narrow cross section of Japanese cuisine in the UK. With this in mind, I tried to widen my horizons and see what the heck else I could trough during my time there. On my first night in the capital I washed barbecued beef, onions and bean sprouts down with Asahi. That was at a street stall with a squatter toilet a…

The Grace, Mykonos

‘Grace’ derives from the Greek word charis or chairo, meaning to rejoice.  As far back as Homer, it meant sweetness or attractiveness, yet in time, it also came to signify goodwill and loving kindness. Having spent a few cherished days at the beautiful Grace in Mykonos, part of the Grace Collection, this chic boutique hotel, lived up to all of these things. Discreetly located a short drive from Mykonos Town and perched idyllically overlooking the unspoilt Agios Stefanos beach, the pristine hotel offers the most beautiful retreat with breath-taking sea views and a humbling starry sky at night. The hotel makes a single promise: to deliver a simple, elegant grace….

Quattro Passi

I remember watching the restaurant scene in the opening of American Psycho in my late teens thinking, ‘I wonder if the Upper East Side is actually like that?’ ‘Are the plates really the size of a platter?’ ‘Is the food symmetrical?’ ‘Do the waiters still serve the dishes with silver service perfection and in unison, like well-rehearsed Russian synchronised swimmers?’ When I perused the menu for Quattro Passi, I decided that it would play host to 2015’s fabled editorial meeting between myself and The Review’s Editor-in-Chief. One useless piece of information: rarely do you meet an individual with such a diehard appreciation of only one cinematic genre (horror). Laith Al-Kaisy…

Hacienda Na Xamena, Ibiza

Ibiza must’ve been made on the sixth day, when all that God had left was a brutish hangover and some clay. The island is architecturally unremarkable, a brown featureless lump, where people don’t come for the history, or the culture, but for the twenty-first century Mecca of clubs, comedowns and sexually-charged coastlines. At least that’s what I thought. We’d spent the first four days in the heart of clubland, Platja d’en Bossa, at a hotel called Ushuaïa, which if you know Ibiza, is a place where the party never stops. Everything about this part of the island is imported junk from university campuses in less-sybaritic parts of Europe. Namely Manchester,…

THE REVIEW

THE ALICIA AGNESON EDITION

TRAVEL

Boutique Retreats, Sojourn

Wilderness perfected, by Boutique Retreats

Travel is a fine and freeing thing. The unshackling of the metaphorical chains, the daily grind of work, and life’s endless expectations. Oh, and the choice! Sunshine, or snow? Lakes, forests, dunes or mountains? Total relaxation, escapism, exhilaration or luxuriation? Maybe, you simply want to throw away the laptop, for just a few days. To be at one with oneself, just a toe off the beaten track. But maybe with a spa too? And don’t forget, we want some really great dining. Suddenly, from a mid-afternoon daydream, you’re wrenched back into the realms of labour, by the nuisance of finding your next getaway. Taking just a little of that weight…

ViseVersa, The Hyatt Regency Lisbon

It would be easy to say that the past decade or so has been kind to Lisbon – it’s subtly undergone the kind of glow-up certain other smaller European capitals keep putting on the backburner… and it’s been driven organically by tourism raised high on the shoulders of social media’s more gastronomy-oriented corners.  However, putting it so blithely would risk being something of a disservice to those who’ve worked their socks off to make it happen. The whims, ebbs and flows of prevailing trends might do a bit of the heavy lifting, but at the end of the day, it’s the chefs working tirelessly to innovate in kitchens, the winemakers…

Into the Wild: Alladale Wilderness Retreat

“This isn’t an estate. I despise the word ‘estate’. This is a wilderness reserve”.  Paul Lister, the rather eccentric and very present custodian of Alladale Wilderness Reserve – a vast stretch of flawless heathery glen in the Scottish Highlands – defines much of Alladale and his place in it through what it and he is not. It isn’t a traditional Highlands retreat, as there is no deer stalking, grouse shooting, salmon fishing or hunting of any kind. He most certainly is not an entrepreneur, as he often tells me, but rather a passionate conservationist and ‘something of a tree hugger’. The reserve doesn’t feel the need to set strict –…

Langdale Chase Hotel

Steeped in amazing untold stories, the house was designed by J.L Ball, JT Lee and Pattinson of Manchester and built as a private house in the late 19th century for Edna Howarth

Marbella’s Gastronomic Sweetspots, Old and New

Nestled on the sun-drenched shores of the Costa del Sol, Marbella is an irresistible blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and unparalleled luxury. Renowned for its breath-taking beaches and glamorous lifestyle, it is also a culinary haven that tantalises even the most discerning visitor.

Saint-Martin-de-Belleville

The Greatest Outdoors

In honesty, “freshly back from the French Alps for a YogiSki festival”, is a phrase quite enjoyable to leave hanging in the air.  Set between Les Menuires and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, my recent foray to the mountains offered plentiful serene moments of reflection and emotional expansion, with ample time to enjoy the last of the white stuff as the ‘23-’24 ski season came to a close. The opportunity to enjoy a plethora of outdoor pursuits means rather scopious packing, and with that, I share my edited picks for a trip of multiple purposes. For the workout Offering elevated workout wear that is just as in place at a leisurely brunch as it…

THE ALPINE EDITION

22-23 Season

BEAUTY

Saint-Martin-de-Belleville

The Greatest Outdoors

In honesty, “freshly back from the French Alps for a YogiSki festival”, is a phrase quite enjoyable to leave hanging in the air.  Set between Les Menuires and Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, my recent foray to the mountains offered plentiful serene moments of reflection and emotional expansion, with ample time to enjoy the last of the white stuff as the ‘23-’24 ski season came to a close. The opportunity to enjoy a plethora of outdoor pursuits means rather scopious packing, and with that, I share my edited picks for a trip of multiple purposes. For the workout Offering elevated workout wear that is just as in place at a leisurely brunch as it…

Bentley Beyond, The Collection. For the journey.

An invitation to Bentley’s newest fragrance launch was a joy that ran deeper than expected. Driving a car you love is so much more than the ‘a’ to ‘b’. It’s the feel of the steering wheel moving from under your palm, the resistance of the accelerator beneath your sole or the slick movement of the gearbox. Sometimes it’s the thrill you get when the mechanic tells you that against all odds, your pernickety classic car flew through its MOT. It’s the bond you feel and the memories you create together over the miles. It’s the smell of crisp winter air streaming through the window as you drive through the open…

Where the Hot Springs Flow: Diving into The Well, Oslo

It is perhaps one of the great tragedies of my life that I don’t spend every weekend in a beautifully crafted replica of a Kyoto bathhouse, surrounded on all sides by thirty or more totally naked Norwegians, each glistening with perspiration and a curated array of essential oils. However, my trip to the spectacular Oslo wellness resort The Well ensured – within an hour of arrival, in fact – that my existence would no longer be completely lacking this experience.  If the beginning of this wellness resort review sounds like the stuff of teenage fantasy crossed with a Nordic fever dream, I could only apologise. Except, as you probably expect,…

THE REVIEW

THE BEN WILLIAMS EDITION

FILM

Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae - Roger Chan - The Review Magazine

Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae LP780-4

I slip my slightly clammy hand gingerly into the slot, ease some pressure and pull gently skyward. That scissor-door entry is nothing less than muted pornography. So effortless in its execution, it’s part of the recipe that makes the Aventador just that little bit more special.

Casio PX-S7000 Stephen Sims

Aesthetic Harmonics – The Casio PX-S7000

Quality, innovation and – by god, in this case – style. Casio’s reputation precedes it when it comes to its product development and, crucially, its product refinement. Their first electronic keyboard, The Casiotone CT-201, was birthed by Toshio Kashio and his team in January 1980.

Ferrari F8 Spider

Ferrari F8 Spider

Fresh from four days in Scotland driving the simply astonishing Ferrari F8 Spider, there are times in one’s life where you have to sit back, take some time, and genuinely let an experience wash over you. You need to take it in. Revel in it. The smells, the sights, the sheer visceral nature of it.

Alpina - Startimer Pilot Chronograph

Alpina – Startimer Pilot Chronograph

Like many Swiss watchmaking dynasties, Alpina can trace its founding back to the turn of the nineteenth century – 1883 to be precise – by Gottlieb Hauser, a watchmaker in Winterthur, who also established the Swiss Watchmakers Corporation (Union Horlogère Suisse).

Stacia Suttles

Stacia Suttles

It wasn’t until Stacia Suttles turned 19 and stepped into a boxing ring for the first time, that the amateur fighter realised she was exceptionally gifted in the combat sport.

Twisted 21

I scanned the horizon of the Finnish race circuit but Charlie was possibly doing a few laps in the 500hp V8 110. “Let me see if I can find him Tony”. “Cool man”. This was the first of a handful of semi awkward exchanges I would have with Tony Hawk that week as we crossed from Finland into Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Austria and Monaco.