FROM THE DESK OF THE LIFESTYLE EDITOR
Much of 2023 has thus far been epitomised by binary divisions. There were the age-old battles of us vs them, right vs left, the old and established vs the bold and the new. Identity politics and gender entered the field with a newfound blaze of indignation and ferociously unwavering opposition, the battle of the sexes waged onwards inconclusively, and pop culture revelled in the cynical division between a dayglo pink movie about a living doll and one about the dark night of the nuclear soul.
It was, as it ever is, a tale as old as time. Pitted against one another in matters both trivial and grandiose, society is reduced to easily-manageable and easy-to-market-to tribes. Red or blue. Monarchy or republic. Android or Apple. Out-of-touch Boomer or snowflake Gen Z. Friend or foe. Coke or Pepsi. Oh, for a little unity and consensus, or a rediscovery of a centre ground from which to grow – who knows what lies beyond such petty squabbles?
At The Review, we’re not in the business of division. Our discerning eye is focused on the timeless, the hard-won and proven, the objectively wondrous and the tried-and-tested. Away from the whims of temporary fads, we’re able to ground ourselves safely in the knowledge that some things are worthy of their reputation for excellence. That’s not to say we’re not on the ball or stuck in the past – quite the opposite, in fact. New frontiers in luxury – including my forays into West Sweden’s latest dining encounters coupled with the updated opulence of Budapest’s timeless art nouveau glories, both laid out beautifully in this issue – always await discovery. Yet such new frontiers are built upon foundations of expertise, countless hours, days, years and centuries of craftsmanship, and the symbiotic relationship between a will to pay homage to the past while pushing forwards to bright, bold and beautiful futures.
That’s the essence of this issue, proudly presented with a united passion for excellence that supersedes any inevitable contrasts within the topics of travel, motoring, finance and more.
Our cover star is Cillian Murphy, an actor at what may be the absolute peak of his powers. I first came across Cillian’s commanding screen presence during his collaborative years with director Danny Boyle – seeing him stagger around an apocalyptically abandoned South Bank in 28 Days Later was a regular treat in my former student house – and it has been thrilling to watch him grow from strength to strength, leading him towards what many (depending, again, on which side of the 2023 culture war you took up arms) would argue to be the movie of the year. Disarmingly charming, eerily talented and fully deserving of his time at the top, we’re delighted to have Cillian leading this issue.
As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve also got travel dispatches from the vintage glamour of old Marrakesh and Prague, Dubai’s latest shoot-for-the-moon destination, and an in-depth discussion with the movers and shakers of the luxury travel hospitality scene. We’ve got the timeless elegance of a Ferrari-hosted spin around Sardinia, a love letter to Italian scooters both old and new, and an exploration of Aston Martin’s pioneering DB12. We’ll uncover a kaleidoscope of beauty innovations, fine spirits, horology and perfumery, and offer expert insight from a climate economist at the IMF – one whose knowledge and vision helped negotiate the Paris Agreement that may just pull us back from the brink of catastrophe.
If that’s not the kind of content we can all unite and get behind, I don’t think there’s much more I can say to you.
Until the next time,
Lifestyle Editor, The Review