Category Archives: TRAVEL

When in Rome… Natasha Zinko

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In Praise of Slowness-Gstaad and Saanewald Lodge, Come up Slow Down

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Situated in the Berner Oberland, Gstaad is home to one of the largest ski areas in the Alpes.  When you Come up to Gstaad you Slow down. This is the  way I  like to see my time spent there. You run away from the big cities to come here and  really take care of yourself, with good organic food, lots of sports and where you can replenish your lungs with pure mountain air. We challenge to cult of speed here! Gstaad has many beautiful villages that surround it and are equally interesting. One of them is the village of Saanemoser which is home to the lovely Saanenwald Lodge Hotel. The hotel was built in 1963 and acquired by Paul Peyer and his brother in 2011. The owner says that this the place where you can practice  Active Slowlife- a concept that tackles the misunderstanding about Slowness. It forces people to stop and challenge their lifestyle, which is good!

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This post is dedicated to people that have not been to this lovely ski resort and not to all my friends and followers that have been coming here since they were born. Please do bear with me the detailed descriptions of certain locations. And the ones that have been here, why not keep on reading , maybe you discover something new.

“Last paradise in a crazy world” is how Hollywood and Broadway star Julie Andrews described her holiday home in Gstaad. Completely agree with this view. In fact no matter how international Gstaad is it has remained truly Alpine. The atmosphere is quiet and discreet and that is precisely what its visitors and residents have come to appreciate. Some of the home owners in Gstaad were/ are Roman Polanski, Sir Roger Moore, Elisabeth Taylor, Jeanne Moreau, Julie Andrews, Bernie Ecclestone, Yehudi Menuhin, Prince Rainer and Grace Kelly,  Balthus, Gunter Sachs. The middle of the village features a cosy picturesque promenade reserved for pedestrian use only bundled by many shops, restaurants, galleries and hotels. I popped in quickly into the multibrand boutique Lorenz Bach to try out some fur hats and coats. This is usually where we would all come to get some traditional laderhosen and Austrian jackets too. It is not only in winter that  Gstaad is a popular destination- there are events such The Menuhin Festival Gstaad of classical music, The Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad of classical music, Swiss Open, The Hublot Polo Gold Cup, Bonhams auction of Ferraris and Maserattis and Davidoff Saveurs Gstaad which is a celebration of authentic kitchen and cellar flavours.

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How many times have you asked yourself- why can’t I just roll out of bed and hit the slopes directly from my hotel? Well, here you surely can. You can ski or snowboard straight out of the front door. 220 km of pistes and 53 liftes await you.
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I would like to introduce you to a little 60′s gem, hidden in Swiss Alps, located close to the village of Gstaad. dare say-  finally something different to the usual Gstaad glitzy, expensive offering.  A retro mountain lodge with clean lines and a hint of Barbarella.
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Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.19.14Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.56.07Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.19.25Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 16.19.19The three muses, moi, Princess Tatiana and mummy all wrapped up in fake fur long coats that the hotel gives you in case you want to step outside for a naughty cigarette. All girlies wearing Zanzan  sunglasses. The boots are by Ikkii.

Have I talked about the food at the Saanewald Lodge Hotel? It must be the best burger in Gstaad, well apart from the little kiosk on the Promenade. Do make sure you stop here if you are skiing in Saanemoser

And onto the milk maid. Gstaad is one of the world’s leading cheese producers, with nearly 500 varieties available. It comes as no surprise that Swiss national cuisine is based around this delicious dairy product . Raclette  is something I always eat when I come up here , also the cheese fondue and the inoubliable emince de veau a la Zurichoise. Also can we not forget the chocolate. The Swiss produced chocolate.

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Gstaad is famous for cattle breeding, milk and meat production. I went to Rossinieres, a village next to Gstaad to see a  farm. I was worried that the  the local farmer would be standoffish but he was very appreciative of our visit.
Etivaz cheese is the local delicacy that I eat the most of when there I make sure I buy a large quantity of it to take back home with me. It has fruity, nutty flavour and it is similar to Gruyere.
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Above is a shot how these lovely supermodels will look in the summer. Each of their heads will be adorned with  beautiful flower crown.

On the way back I had lunch at my favourite spot, The Olden. It takes a genius to make adelicious tomato sauce and they do it so right here .

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I had to stop at the institution as well, the iconic Palace Hotel It was opened in 1913 as Gstaad’s first luxury hotel and since has earned an unrivaled reputation for discreet, refined hospitality.

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Puglia sunset , Borgo Egnazia Hotel

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Il San Pietro di Positano Hotel on the Amalfi coast, Italy

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Arriving on the boat

La Perla swimsuit, Gucci sunglasses,  H&M shorts
Le bathtime….
The buzzing aperitivo terrace….
Where we had dinner
Morning coffee with a view
Ballet Russes drawings adorn the walls…

Lunch lightness of being
Le beach club

Beach club boy and our smoothies

Being marine in Nerano- Flavia Padovan dress, Valentino sandals, Maje denim shirt and Illesteva sunglasses

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Interview- Tiffany Theler owner of La Reserva Rotana, Majorca, Spain

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I was recently invited to my friend’s beautiful hotel in Majorca and had to share with you the incredible style and comfort of this place. Also – would love to introduce you to Tiffany Theler, the glamorous owner who with her family have been running the estate since the 1970′s.

Who came upon the idea to find this beautiful spot and develop it?
The estate was bought by my parents in the 70´s and then turned into a hotel when the kids went off to boarding school in the early 90´s.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where did you study and what are your origins?
I was born in Switzerland but grew up here in Rotana, Mallorca. I did my first years of school in the local village and was later I was sent to boarding school in Switzerland, where I meet you. After that came a university in Madrid which lead me to work in photography and fashion for a couple of years until I ended back here to run the estate.

Your home is here, there is a beautiful hotel spa and golf course and also there are properties that are up for sale?

Yes, the property has several plots of about 19.000m2 that we have built beautiful Villas on, of approximately 500m2. We have a construction company as well and have done every bit with love and making sure the Mallorquin tradition is kept. These Villas are serviced from the Hotel and its owners can take advantage of all the installations, such as a private Golf course, tenis, a gym etc…

Who was responsible for the decoration of the properties?

The decoration has been done entirely by my mother, who together with my father have over the years accumulated lots of antique furniture.

I know you are very fashionable- you seem to pull looks together without too much effort. What is style for you?
My style depends very much on my moods and my location. Style for me is looking great without having to make too much of an effort and without looking like you’re uncomfortable in your own skin. A pair of ripped jeans and a T-shirt sometimes looks way better than something pompous and stiff.

Favourite designers, brands?
Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta
This 2014 Valentino Pret a Porter collection is lovely but as I am a country girl I wear a lot of easy street collections and Zara things.
My everyday outfits tend to be jeans and dresses, specially when I am in Mallorca. For big events I love stealing my mothers vintage pieces. Luckily we have the same size.

You divide your time between Ibiza, Majorca and ST Moritz- tell me more about how you manage this?

Well Mallorca for me is work, in Ibiza we have always had our summer house and St.Moritz is a bit the center where all the family meets at Christmas. I love skiing more than anything and spend a lot of time there.
It doesn’t need much management as all these locations fit into the different seasons automatically.

Perfect outfit for Majorca?
If I am at work at the hotel I wear jeans, a shirt and sandals. A leisure outfit is usually a short dress again with flat sandals. For the winter its all about boots and cashmere.

Perfect outfit for Ibiza?
Ibiza on the other hand requires a bit more show, depending on the event it can be psychedelic catsuit or a white hippy dress

Perfect outfit for St Moritz?
I have gotten a bit tired of the overdressed crowds in St.Moritz so i like to wear something easy but cool. Leather trousers and a cool blazer.

Favourite restaurant in Majorca?

I would have to say that my favourite restaurant is my own, Sa Rotana.

Favourite city in the world?

I love London, but there are still so many cities I have not explored that I cant say I have a favourite.

Who inspires you?

My father inspired me all my life, and now I miss him terribly.

Iconic woman?
I love Frida Kahlo, strong, independent with a filterless mouth

For more information on La Reserva Rotana Hotel and Golf resort please click here:

Amalfi power, Conca dei Marini – june 2014

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Barbizon, petit village de peintres et la foret de Fontainbleau, France

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I wanted to go for a saturday run in the forest of Fontainbleau located 50 km from Paris and discovered the most charming French village Barbizon. This quiet village of north -central France became famous because of the pre-impressionist painters that made it their home, notably Theodore Rousseau and Jean Francois Millet. The art movement in 1850 that was focused on realism in art was named after this incredible little village and now we have the world famous- Barbizon school of painters. Of course no excursion would be complete without the very important gastronomic factor. I ate so well at the “Le Gaulois sur le Grill” that I am still fantasizing about the meal. The meal was very simple and we know that it is the most difficult to make simple things taste good. Half a roasted chicken with morel mushroom sauce and a fondant au chocolat that can not compare to any I have tried so far. Pure bliss – a day for not only visual hedonism. Of course the running gear was Nike shoes, Gap sweatshirt and leggings, Moncler jacket and Persol sunglasses.

Holidays- bikini by Flavia Padovan

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Check out the amazing beachwear by Flavia Padovan Photo by : Dimitri Legrand

Nurture month- Monte Argentario

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Early morning yoga and sunset yoga….and gym below.

Dying for that chocolate snack? Now you can as it tastes delicious and is gluten and wheat free!

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You should all know by now that I am a BIG foodie. Only recently did I think to incorporate this great passion of mine into the blog. I have a large appetite- I eat- but I eat very healthy! More recipes coming soon! I discovered recently this artisan baker called The Free Bakehouse and their brownies are really a delicious treat minus the wheat and gluten. Do you have a sweet tooth? You crave sweets? You can go for this. You can buy it in Wholefoods or order directly online

Where do all the big foodies go? Authentic Japanese Ramen in London- Shoryu, London

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To heaven? Yes and heaven has a name- Shoryu. You heard it here first. But I am sure you read about already . AA Gill wrote the best review on it. But that is not what got me there. I accidentally passed it whilst shopping at Wholefoods and my sister dragged us in it. THE BEST ramen I have had ever. The picture above is the vegan version- But you have to try the specialty (picture below)- made with a thick, rich pork soup, the tonkotsu ramen originates from the Hakata district of Fukuoka city in Kyushu, southern Japan. The recipes has been specially created by the Executive Chef, born and raised in Hakata, to provide highly crafted, genuine tonkotsu rarely found outside Japan. There is a cue and its like being in Japan- all the customers are Japanese! 3 Denman Street London W1D 7HA

Il Pellicano Hotel weeekend, Porto Ercole

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Recently I spent a weekend at the magnificent Il Pellicano Hotel in Porto Ercole,( Italy) that is owned by the wonderful Marie Louise Scio. Read the interview we did a while back here and find out more about the hotel and its history:

It’s finally open and VERY good

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Chateau d”Haroue or an ode to elegance

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This  classified French monument historique has been in the Beauvau-Craon family since it was completed in 1732. The current proprietor, Princess Minnie de Beauvau-Craon, is a direct descendant of Prince Marc de Beauvau-Craon who in 1720 commissioned the architect Germain Boffrand to build it in the remote countryside near the Moselle and Meurthe rivers. A while back I was invited by the Princess’ daughter  to visit the chateau and be a guest at the opening of the old school couture Givenchy, Venet and Balenciaga exhibit.  Apart from meeting the chic Princess and having a feast for my eyes whilst walking around  I had the immense pleasure of meeting Hubert Givenchy himself. I am rarely star struck. But I skipped a breath when I met him. He is tall, handsome and a very elegant man. And there is the association of course to his muse Audrey Hepburn. I think that today we sadly only rarely  have the pleasure of meeting men and women that are  elegant in character, manners and appearance. Why? Is it because our pop culture is selling  us their packaged version of “fast-food” idols? And thus the youth thinks this to be model of lifestyle to aspire to? It’s as if there is a general consensus that Madame Hepburn or Monsiuer Givenchy types are not sellable? Is vulgarity cashing in nowdays?  Is it because our lifestyle is becoming busier and faster and people don’t have time to stop, think , observe and appreciate subtlety? Is there way too much information and lots of people are getting lost or have lost identity? Is our civilisation evolving or regressing to cave men esthetics?(ie. Kardashians)  I could go on and on with questions. Let’s leave at this and the beautiful history and tradition that Chateau d’Haroue brings with it into our century.

From Kiev with love

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I was invited to Kiev Fashion week a while back and have such treasured memories from this trip. Here is what my partner in crime Natalie Joos and I managed to get up to in our very limited free time.

Above and below images from Natalie Joos’ blog

St Michael’s cathedral above and St. Vladmir’s cathedral below. Stunning Orthodox heritage

Picture above from Natalie Joos’blog , Trussardi croc bag

Being babushkas in my room at Fairmont Hotel (the best hotel in Kiev) below

Eating caviar at the Fairmont Hotel, Dannijo necklace and Issa dress

Natalie at traditional Ukrainian restaurant

Borscht soup, pancakes, beetroot and walnuts above. The Kiev diner interior below

Method acting: Being a lamp

The old and the new successfully mixing

Represent! Roksanda Ilincic in Kiev all the way

Marni shoes and bag, Matthew Williamson coat, Club Monaco trousers and Bimba and Lola sweater

The Rapunzel feeling at the Gstaad Palace

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Above- view of the hotel from the Promenade in Gstaad. Opened in 1913, the Palace has mock-fortified corner towers  and a neomedieval facade . Perfect setting for the Rapunzel fairy tale! That was the determining factor in the choice of hotel of course.

The hotel hosted characters such as  Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Sophia Loren, Roger Moore, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and  the return of the Pink Panther (1975) with Peter Sellers was also filmed here. The designer, Valentino, called the architecture a ‘brutal Sleeping Beauty castle’. It really is a fairy tale. One of the nicest hotels I have stayed at.  Really. It is managed now by the third generation of the Scherz Family, the initial and only owners of the hotel. This is what gives the hotel  special touch and makes it very authentic-there is a feeling of tradition, heritage but of a very warm and homey feeling as well. I felt like I was back Swiss boarding school. Back in the little bubble that it was.

Doing the purple Rapunzel vibe on the terrace (it’s freezing) whilst waiting for my hair to grow a touch more.

Stay true to oneself- still blogging at 1050 metres above sea level. Falke beanie, Toujouri jumpsuit, Brunello Cuccinelli sweater, Zara shoes

And having a VERY important conversation. Are those Milan shows going well? They are looking great on

Rag & Bone hat, Toujouri jumsuit, Zara shoes, Amanda Wakeley fur gilet, Brunello Cuccinelli sweater

The lovely room and check out the 80′s snow leopard vibe of this Bogner ski helmet.

Loving the black and white images in the lobby- here are a couple from back in the day.

One thing that was missing…is this Each X Other T shirt. Next time I might make it my Palace outfit per excellence.

T shirt: Each X Other

My spa and gym at the Corinthia Hotel , London- ESPA life

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I recently became a member of the ESPA state of the art spa and gym at the Corinthia Hotel in London. It is one of the most spectacular spas in London and voted one of the best. It is also located in such a stunning hotel which is quite convenient for a nibble in the lobby after a workout.  All products are by ESPA, the only natural, sustainable with ethically sourced ingredients  beauty line. Watch out- everyone will tell you their products are natural nowdays. This here is THE real deal.  It’s holistic in its approach and derives on Eastern therapy traditions. And it is not tested on animals! Ticks all my boxes. Every day I am using the energising body lotion and shower gel that contains shea butter and almond oil and once in a while the exfoliating body polish that contains refined apricot seed kernels. Girlie bliss! If you like to bathe in seaweed (yes there are some of us out there that actually pay for this at thalassotherapies worldwide) , known for its detoxifying qualities , you should go for the Detoxyfying seaweed bath oil. Not a great sight but does wonders for your body. Last but not least-if you would like your home to smell as if you are baking brownies you should buy their Gijanuja hot chocolate candle- it gives me the munchies everytime I light it!  There is also a very special hairdresser- Daniel Galvin at the spa so for ladies that blow dry their hair you have it all in one spot, no need to rush around town!

Mari Vanna London restaurant from Russia with love- pancake day today!

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Travelling-A beautiful mess that eventually ends up in my suitcase

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Architect and interior designer David Collins…killing it!

Leave a comment The man responsible for the beauty of The Wolseley restaurant, The Connaught Hotel, Bob Bob Ricard restaurant in London and many more.

Andre for Caviar Kaspia Restaurant, Paris

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My favourite restaurant in Paris Andre designed the packaging for the Caviar

And when nature fails us we rush to….David Mallett hairdresser in Paris!

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Why? To look plettttttty…. Still buzzing off the decoration- love it.

Percy the Pig and pals go to Paris

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Percy the Pig and pals (Marks and Spencer) attempt to come to Paris…their last moments on the Eurostar…

Leopards on the beach

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Milan Gastronomique-Part 1

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Torre di Pisa,  Via Fiori Chiari, 21, 20121 Milan, Italy,02 874877

Head to this lovely restaurant in Brera for some delicious Tuscan cuisine. Always packed and always great quality food. Read more

Paris Gastronomique – Part 1

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Societe- 4 Place Saint-Germain des Prés,75006 , 01 53 63 60 60,
Stunning restaurant by Jean Louis Costes with interior signed by Christian Liaigre. Classic Costes restaurant menu. Read more

London Gastronomique Part 1

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Pizza East- Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London E16JJ, 02077291888

Really cool industrial looking restaurant in East London. The pizzas are really good since they are made in wood burning ovens. There is also a selection of good antipasti. Read more

NYC Gastronomique part 1

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BALTHAZAR- 80 Spring Street, NY 10012, (212) 965 1414,

Brasserie downtown- perfect spot for breakfasts and lunches Read more