Blog & Inspiration

FIREWORK
Plain and simple impatience was at the root of a great idea. Niklas Ekstedt wanted to grill on a wood fire but was not prepared to wait for the embers to develop, so he put a heavy cast iron frying pan directly into the flames. The fire, crackling and popping, its sparks spraying, surrounded the pan. The aroma of the food mixed seductively with the spicy smoke of the burning birch wood. This sparked off the idea for a revolutionary fine dining restaurant in Stockholm.
VENUE FOR ARTS
Canberra is actually a compromise. As the rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney prevented a decision in favour of either of these Australian cities becoming the capital of the country, Canberra was simply declared the capital back in 1908. Today, the city, which lies around 300 kilometres southwest of Sydney, is considered an international centre of design. Created about 100 years ago on the basis of the visionary development plans of Walter Burley Griffin and his wife Marion, the city is now a place of continual change, something akin to a living design lab.
SEVEN GIANTS - LEGEND GOES EXTREME
Schemenhaft tauchen auf der tief verschneiten, kahlen Bergkuppe plötzlich riesige Felstürme aus dem eisigen Nebel auf. Sieben steinerne Megalithen, vollständig in scharfkantiges Eis gehüllt, reihen sich kreisförmig auf, nur einer der Türme steht etwas außerhalb. Der Wind peitscht unaufhörlich über das einsame Bergplateau und wirbelt zwischen den Felsnadeln Schnee und Eis empor.
CHAMPAGNE BRUT NATURE
The year 2006 was a surprise in various ways. From January to April, temperatures remained very low, the spring was long in coming, and when it did arrive, it rained for weeks. The grapevines in Terroir de Cumières, in the Champagne region, experienced considerable heat in July, followed by a cool August and then heat again in September. At harvest time, though, it turned out that the contrasting changes in weather, combined with lots of sun at the right time, had produced very outstanding and promising grapes.
FINDING PEACE
The eye glides over the green valley to the grey rock and the view vanishes between the white trunks of a couple of birch trees, its silver leaves dancing in the wind. High above in the sky buzzards are circling and you can hear the nearby creek gurgling softly. Nothing here disturbs the all-encompassing nature. Even inside the Juvet Hotel nothing distracts from the view over nature, as two of the walls of the hotel room are made of glass, which appear to let trees and rocks come inside. Europe’s first landscape hotel is situated on the grounds of an old farm called Burtigarden in Valldal near the town of Ändalsnen in the northwest of Norway. Here, nature and architecture are entering a unique symbiosis.
ALTITUDE ACROBAT
A society without photography? Unthinkable, not least because of Instagram and other image sharing sites. Most of us love to capture a beautiful motive, or to admire the professionals’ take from a lay person’s perspective. That is all very well but, it can be a bit more spectacular once in a while. The young Russian photographer Vadim Makhorov’s pictures provide an extraordinary and entirely new view of the world and its landmarks. Yet how the fascinating photos find their way into his camera body is anything but easy. The 27-year-old is part of the tribe of so-called free climbers, who ascend to extreme heights without safety rope. No name could be more suitable than #ontheroofs for his truly breathtaking urban exploring project.
MASTERFUL INSIGHTS
Having acting classes with Hollywood star Kevin Spacey, taking singing lessons with Christina Aguilera, learning to have stage presence from R&B artist Usher or attending comedy courses with Steve Martin. Where does Werner Herzog acquire the creativity for his movie masterpieces and would you not love to know the secrets behind the success of Diane von Fürstenberg’s fashion brand? The absolute best in their fields love to pass on their knowledge and expertise. American start-up MasterClass now offers online courses with Hollywood's A-list and top international stars from sport, entertainment and music. Here, anybody can share a classroom with Oscar winner Dustin Hoffman or have Serena Williams teach them the perfect forehand shot.
WALK THE LINE

High above, between heaven and earth and in complete tranquillity, the young Frenchman Pablo Signoret balances highly concentrated on a highline in a breath-taking mountain panorama. The highline is the more extreme and demanding version of the slackline, which requires a perfect control of body and mind. We spoke with Pablo about his great passion.

BIG PRESENCE
Uncompromising quality combined with craftsmanship and a sure sense for trends. This is Suitsupply. Because in a world where off-the-rack suits have taken over men's wardrobes worldwide, Suitsupply introduces a new approach, creating a completely new market for men’s fashion. With great attention to detail and on-site tailoring while you wait, everyone leaves the store with the perfect fit. We talked to founder and CEO Fokke de Jong about the concept and future plans.
ROYAL TOUCH
Carolyn Robb was the Royal Family’s chef for thirteen years. She travelled with Prince Charles and was there when Prince William and Prince Harry lost their mother, Princess Diana. Her expertise and experiences inspired a cookbook: ‘The Royal Touch, Simple stunning home cooking from a former royal chef’. Carolyn's brand, ‘The Royal Touch’, is inspired by her experiences as a royal chef as well as her love of the British countryside and British produce.
THE MAGICAL KINGDOM OF SIAM
In the old Kingdom of Siam in the rainforest-covered hillsides of the Thai peninsula of Phuket, there is a mysterious place. High above the beach, small buildings, like giant birds’ nests, are visible through the dense leafy cover of the jungle, hidden in the treetops. Just under them is an infinity pool that provides an amazing view of the bay and the Andaman Sea. It all feels like a magical world, because through its architecture, the Keemala Resort brings the ancient culture of Phuket back to life. With its design, its different villas, their particular style and the skilfully crafted materials, the whole site tells a tale many hundred years old, of an ancient people who were washed ashore by a storm and decided to settle on the majestic beaches of Phuket.
THUMBS UP
Summertime is spent outside basking in the sun. However, too many ultraviolet rays cause more damage than fun. The risk of contracting skin cancer has risen in the last few years, and is one of the most common types of cancer spread around the world. La Roche-Posay, the leading dermatological brand of the French cosmetics company L’Oréal, provides better skin protection for you and your loved ones in a revolutionary way. Check, protect and play safe in the sun are no longer pie in the sky.
EVERYBODY WELCOME
The motto of the new Public Hotel by Ian Schrager is “Luxury for All”. The legendary New York hotelier has not only reinvented a new hotel concept, but with his idea of affordable luxury, he also stands up to the growing popularity of Airbnb. A hotel should and must be more than just a place to sleep. A cool location still proves its worth, because Public stands in the middle of New York’s hip Lower East Side. No-frills luxury, no reception, checked in by mobile phone or via iPads in the lobby. Room service can be ordered online through delivery services.
AN OCEAN OF INK AND PAPER
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves. The Dutch architectural practice MVRDV has combined these two aspects effortlessly in one of its most daring projects, and opens up a new world of indulgence by designing a unique complex celebrating the book as cultural artefact.
FREE SPIRIT
As soon as its mistress removes the protecting cap, the great eagle turns its head and looks around with its piercing eyes. It is still perched on the young girl’s arm. Suddenly, it spots its prey and in two great beats of its wings, it flies up in the air. Down in the valley, the fox has no idea of the coming danger; it is eagerly following the scent of a mouse. Intent on what is happening, Aisholpan is holding her breath. This moment will prove if all the efforts, the setbacks, the hostilities and difficulties of the last months were worth it.
LARDER FROM THE INTERNET
Recently, Amazon has started offering a new delivery service for household and daily items exclusively for Prime members. The online mail-order company is becoming an increasingly significant competitor for supermarkets. Boxes of supplies can be ordered containing preservable food items, household and beauty products as well as office supplies.
MIX AND MATCH
Wearables are topic number one in the IT world at the moment. In particular, smart watches can do a lot. The question is whether the applications will be used. While many manufacturers overload their devices with features which only a few end users find use for, Blocks has chosen another path.
ILLUMINATING
Some products are just design icons. They are unbelievably beautifully and elegantly shaped, and just as simple as practical in their functionality. They have the stuff of classics - just like Lumio. Is it a book? A fan? Or an accordion? Neither nor, it is an LED lamp. The Lumio Book Lamp looks like an elegant hardback book when closed. When opened, the ‘pages’ of the book unfurl as if by magic into a fan sculpture with bright, warm light.
ONEFINESTAY
When hotelier Greg Marsh was on his way home after work in London one evening in 2009, his route took him through the residential area of the luxurious district of Mayfair. Everything looked as always. Despite this, he had the feeling that something was not quite right. Suddenly he saw daylight - namely that there was no light. All these wonderful large houses were dark. There was hardly anybody at home, the residents were all out somewhere or were completely out of town. Their flats and houses in the middle of one of the most exciting cities were virtually empty.
THE HUNT FOR JAMES BOND

At the beginning of November the most well-known secret agent once again reported to her Majesty for duty. In ‘Spectre’, James Bond is on the hunt for criminals again. This time in a very special service vehicle: the Aston Martin DB10. Aston Martin and James Bond have been coming together for more than 50 years. 007 drives an Aston Martin in 12 of the 24 Bond films to date. In 1964 Sean Connery climbed into the British sports car for the first time in ‘Goldfinger’, driving curves at breakneck speed through the Swiss Alps.  In the novel which inspired the film ‘Goldfinger’, author Ian Fleming had his protagonist drive an Aston Martin DB mark III, but as the company had introduced the DB5 in 1963, the new model was chosen and the DB5 became an automobile legend. 

ICE COLD PASSION
Alban Michon feels at home in a world of rugged, sharp-edged ice floes, glittering mountains of snow and endless, blue deep sea waters. The French adventurer and explorer has passionately devoted himself to the polar region and to diving underneath the ice. He has swum under the geographical North Pole and travelled over 1,000 kilometres along the coast of Greenland with a kayak.