The Blue Train, South Africa – Travel Special

South Africa's The Blue Train
South Africa’s The Blue Train

Lavish Rail Travel and Upscale Hotel Stays with South Africa’s The Blue Train


By partnering with two luxury hotels, South Africa’s The Blue Train offers a truly exclusive rail experience from Pretoria to Cape Town.


Showcasing top-of-the-line luxury on wheels, The Blue Train has hosted presidents, royalty and celebrities throughout the years. Its once-in-a-lifetime scheduled and chartered travel experiences are sought after by discriminating travelers, who appreciate the private butler service, fine bed linens, marble-clad bathrooms, gourmet cuisine and award-winning wines. Now those wishing to travel South Africa in style can take advantage of special journeys that also include an overnight stay in one of two of the country’s finest hotels Continue reading “The Blue Train, South Africa – Travel Special” »

A Cognac Lesson

by Sophie Gayot


I am not going to give you that Cognac lesson myself; Maurice-Richard Hennessy himself is doing it in the exclusive video interview above. I got lucky as the class took place in Beverly Hills in a private dining room of Crustacean restaurant. Among the other “students” were French Consul General of France Axel Cruaumy father André and my brother Alain. Hennessy is the eighth generation of Hennessy, so you can be sure he knows what he is talking about.


Here are just a few things that we did not have time to discuss:

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Champagne Perrier-Jouet Unveils 2004 Belle Epoque Florale Edition – Wine News

Champagne Perrier-Jouët 2004 Belle Époque Florale Edition on display at Katsuya restaurant in Brentwood, CA
Champagne Perrier-Jouët 2004 Belle Époque Florale Edition on display at Katsuya restaurant in Brentwood, CA

Pernod Ricard’s prestigious Champagne brand Perrier-Jouët unveiled the 2004 Belle Époque Florale Edition bottle by Japanese floral designer Makoto Azuma at Katsuya restaurant in Brentwood last night. Photographs of his beautiful floral arrangements make up the book Encyclopedia of Flowers. This first limited edition design of cuvée Belle Époque since the creation of its iconic anemone bottle by Emile Gallé in 1902 debuted in Japan this summer. Only 200 cases of the 2004 Belle Époque Florale Edition are available around the world at $199 per bottle.

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When in Paris, Do As the Romans Do

Divinamente Italiano restaurant in Paris
Divinamente Italiano restaurant in Paris

by Andre Gayot


Craving Italian food while in Paris? Why not? And forget the old adage “When in Rome…” or “… in Paris.”


Italian chow is the preferred foreign cuisine of the French, who admit that since the conquest of the Gauls by Julius Caesar, Italians are not really foreigners. The French have embraced Italian cuisine as well as Italian art, culture and social organization, and hired Leonardo da Vinci to build palaces for their kings who married powerful or beautiful women — the latest being Carla, the spouse of Sarkozy. They also learned from them to eat with forks. It’s no surprise that there’s no dearth of Italian eateries in Paris.


Our friend Jean-Claude Ribaud, one of the most respected food critics in France, has visited — or revisited — a fistful of old and new Parisian Italian restaurants. For more on Italian cuisine at large, read John Mariani’s How Italian Food Conquered the World.

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The Delano Hotel to Take Up Residence at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas – Travel News

The exterior of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and THEhotel in Las Vegas
The exterior of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino and THEhotel in Las Vegas

One of Miami’s hottest hotels is heading for Vegas, baby! MGM Resorts International and Morgans Hotel Group have announced a partnership to integrate the all-suite Delano Las Vegas into Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. The bastion of hip (and Morgans’ signature luxury brand) will replace THEhotel in late 2013. This second Delano property in the U.S. will introduce the Delano’s South Beach lifestyle to The Strip and include a destination nightclub. In addition, there will be several new food and beverage venues, including a casual American bistro by chef Brian Massie, a Japanese dining destination by celebrity chef Akira Back and a new vision for Mandalay Bay’s own Red Square.

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