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Life & Luxury

Life and Leisure
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Living it up, but not at The Ritz: Raffles London at The Old War Office has been restored to full baroque Edwardian elegance.

Crazy rich Asian hotels open in London – think £25,000 a night

You can even live permanently at the newly minted Peninsula or the lavish Raffles. But can they compete with city icons like The Ritz or The Dorchester?

  • Hans van Leeuwen
The Fiat 500e looks the part, and it’s great fun to drive.

Why the all-electric Fiat 500e will win your heart but not your mind

It feels nippy, looks cute and is gorgeously styled, with a touch of Fellini about it. But all this charm doesn’t come cheap.

  • Tony Davis
Joe McGrath, Keeper of the Cup and Victoria Racing Club Ambassador-at-large.

‘The fewer people who know what you’re doing, the better’

Joe McGrath spent 150 days on the road this year touring with the $600k Melbourne Cup. The key, he says, is knowing when to keep a low profile and when to wax lyrical.

  • Gus McCubbing
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone will be cooking up a storm at his Michelin-starred LA restaurant pop-up Gwen.

The hottest invitation at the Cup – especially if you’re a foodie

The premier party zone at Flemington Racecourse is shaping up to be more Melbourne than ever – with a pop-up of Curtis Stone’s LA restaurant thrown in for good measure.

  • Necia Wilden
Gavin Basserabie, co-founder of ConfidenceClub, on the running surface he loves most – the soft sands of Bondi Beach.

This CEO loves soft sand running at an iconic beach

Entrepreneur and investor Gavin Basserabie gets up early three times a week to keep fit and revel in the beauty of Bondi.

  • Life & Leisure

This Month

Liam O’Keeffe VRC Senior Track Manager on the track at Flemington racecourse.

Is this the toughest job in the Victoria Racing Club?

Forget the horses. Punters need track manager Liam O’Keeffe to deliver for them, too. And while he does his best, some things are simply beyond his control.

  • Hannah Tattersall
Ferrari 250 GTO auction

Why this rare Ferrari is considered a true work of art

It could fetch $100 million or more at auction in New York next month. And no, we’re not talking car auctions here.

  • Tony Davis
Detail of a brooch made for the actor Sarah Bernhardt by René Lalique, from the Collection Comédie-Française.

This jewellery may be fake, but it’s precious beyond compare

Tucked between a Starbucks and a Hard Rock Cafe, an extraordinary treasure trove is about to go on display in a Paris mansion never before opened to the public.

  • Robert Bevan
Runners taking part in the 26.2 mile (42.2 kilometre) New York City Marathon.

Here’s what it’s like to run in the annual New York City Marathon

On November 5, some 50,000 runners from around the globe will once again pound the streets of the Big Apple – those who manage to secure an entry, that is.

  • Fiona Harper
Detail from: ‘Self-portrait with headband’, New York Studio, New York, USA (c1932) © Lee Miller.

The extraordinary life of photographer Lee Miller in 100 pictures

When things were going well, the model and muse turned wartime and fashion photographer was wonderful company, says her son. She could be monstrous too.

  • Tony Davis

The new $80,000 Mazda CX-60 bucks the EV trend

It has the convenience of a petrol engine or a battery, depending on your needs, but most drivers now prefer a fully electric vehicle.

  • Tony Davis
The Comte at Maker & Monger, selected from reserves in France.

Why fancy cheese is good for you

Don’t believe the anti-dairy dogma – properly made and aged cheese is not only delicious, it could help you to live a longer and healthier life.

  • Necia Wilden
Cheers! DNA Distillery has produced two versions of rakija, a clear, fruit-based spirit that originates in Macedonia.

These new clear spirits will expand your drinking horizons

Adventurous Australian distillers are upping the ante with local takes on popular styles around the world, from pastis to pear rakija.

  • Max Allen
Looking glam and relaxed in all-yellow Venroy linen.

For those with a crush on linen, should you iron it?

The fabric is not for everyone. But if you are a fan, expect to look a little, well, crumpled. Here are expert tips on how to wear it better.

  • Lauren Sams

True surround sound technology for music is here, but there’s a catch

The writer visits Dolby’s Sydney laboratory and discovers Atmos is simply a wonder to behear.

  • Tony Davis
 James Tuma on Wild Banks off Green Island during a photoshoot for the second volume of “Classic Moreton Bay Cruisers”.

How many boats are too many?

Urbis and Cistri managing partner James Tuma reckons he almost gets more joy from working on boats than he does using them. And he has six to choose from.

  • Life & Leisure
One of Laurent Gardinier’s picks: expect nouvelle cuisine at Restaurant Michel Guérard in Eugénie-les-Bains.

Where to dine in France: Tips from the president of Relais & Chateaux

Laurent Gardinier is well qualified to nominate his favourite eateries – after all, his own family business is focused on high-end hospitality and gastronomy.

  • Paul Best
Anna McLaren, founder of the A.Emery fashion label.

The Australian who sells her sandals worldwide is now making clothes

Anna McLaren couldn’t find the perfect footwear, so she made it. Now she’s doing the same with ready-to-wear.

  • Lauren Sams
Vincent Namatjira in front of Self-Portrait, 2022 at Yavuz Gallery, Sydney.

‘I use my paintbrush as a weapon’: Vincent Namatjira’s new exhibition

The acclaimed Indigenous artist takes aim at Empire and influence, using broad strokes of humour to skewer his targets.

  • Stephen Todd
At just over 2.5 tonnes, the Bentley Bentayga EWB is mighty impressive.

Why the rear of Bentley’s Bentayga EWB is its greatest asset

The new, $514K-plus model has been stretched to 5305 mm: big enough for all manner of creature comforts in the back.

  • Tony Davis
The Ribbon, which houses the new IMAX cinema, has been built between two arms of the Western Distributor.

What it’s like to stay at the new W Sydney between two expressways

After construction dramas then the pandemic, the $1 billion Ribbon built for the glamorous hotel has opened. Life & Leisure stayed on opening night.

  • Philippa Coates
Singer-songwriter Sarah Blasko has composed the soundtrack for Bell Shakespeare’s new production of ‘Twelfth Night’.

Sarah Blasko had long dismissed ‘Twelfth Night’ – then she scored it

Composing a soundtrack for the Shakespearean comedy seemed an unlikely job for this most serious of singer-songwriters, but music proved to be the food of love.

  • Michael Bailey
Naomi Campbell walks the runway at the Alexander McQueen spring/summer 2024 show during Paris Fashion Week.

Signature style steals the show at Paris Fashion Week

From Sarah Burton’s swansong for McQueen to “unpolished” classics at Valentino and Rei Kawakubo’s colourful sculptures at Comme des Garçons, the looks stayed true to brand.

  • Lauren Indvik
Sue Bell taking cellar door visitors through a tasting of her premium museum wines at Bellwether cellar door.

This winemaker celebrates Indigenous heritage with a special blend

Bellwether’s Sue Bell hopes her new Special Blend will encourage others to “celebrate our love of the land by recognising the 65,000 years of cultural connection”.

  • Max Allen
The contentious grille has not won many fans on other models, in the writer’s experience.

Brutalism on wheels: why the new BMW 740i has limited appeal

Would you pay $268,900, plus on-road costs, for a luxurious but hefty petrol limo when that very concept seems to be outdated?

  • Tony Davis