Fabulous Classics

A luxury yacht charter so often conjures up images of sleek, sexy, speedy and sophisticated superyachts with more gadgets and toys one could ever imagine, but what about the old classics? Yachts from a bygone era, the glamour and elegance of when life took a slightly more graceful pace. This article looks at the history behind a few of the top classic yachts and reminds us that a chance to set foot on board, really is to become part of something very special……

Yacht CHRISTINA O
CHRISTINA O

CHRISTINA O

Perhaps the most legendary yacht afloat today, CHRISTINA O boasts a history brimming with high society life, scandal, politics and romance. First launched in 1943 by Canadian Vickers in Montreal, the yacht was to play a part in World War II as part of the Canadian fleet but later sat dormant for many years as a surplus frigate. Luckily for this incredible vessel, she was discovered in 1954 by the legendary Aristotle Onassis who purchased her and set out to convert her into one of the world’s most luxurious yachts. Spending the equivalent of $45m in today’s money, he created a floating palace which was to be the venue for some of the most important events and parties throughout the next thirty years.

Named originally as just CHRISTINA, after Onassis’s daughter, the family enjoyed life on board and all the wonderful destinations they visited during their extended cruises. In 1956 Prince Rainier of Monaco married actress Grace Kelly after they met at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival, the couple and guests spent time on board CHRISTINA during the wedding celebrations. In the years to come, Onassis played host to some of the world’s most famous names including Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, John F Kennedy and Winston Churchill, these two political heavy weights meeting for the first time on board CHRISTINA.

In later years the turbulent, passionate affair between Onassis and the opera diva Maria Callas was played out on board the yacht, with the couple travelling to the most luxurious destinations in the Mediterranean, often accompanied by more famous names including Bette Davis and Greta Garbo. After the abrupt end to this affair, the history of CHRISTINA moved into a new political phase, upon the marriage of Onassis to the widowed first lady of the USA Jackie Kennedy, who was to be reborn as the iconic Jackie O – who can forget the sunglasses! The yacht then entertained more political dignitaries from both the US and European nations and members of the Kennedy family until the sad death of Aristotle Onassis in 1975. His beloved yacht was willed to her namesake Christina Onassis, who as a mark of respect to her father, bestowed the vessel to the Greek government in order that she could continue her life as a distinguished venue in her role as presidential yacht.

It wasn’t until 2001 that this legendary yacht was purchased by a private consortium and carefully and lovingly restored to her former glory. She was once again brought into the public domain and this time as charter yacht CHRISTINA O. Charter guests can enjoy a dip in the famous mosaic pool, carefully returned to its’ original glory, or sip a cocktail in Ari’s bar, perched on bar stools whose pale covering is derived from a specialist leather produced from whale foreskin!! These precious stools are for obvious reasons kept covered most of the time to protect the delicate fabric. Or enjoy a song or two around the grand piano in the Callas lounge.

Throughout 2015 another major refurbishment has taken place and CHRISTINA O is now proudly back to her luxurious best and looking forward to welcoming the next generation of guests on board. This true superyacht is still in the top 50 largest yachts in the world at 99m in length. She can accommodate 34 guests sleeping in 17 elegant cabins. For large events – a CHRISTINA O speciality – she can host up to 250 guests in port and can cruise with an incredible 157 guests so is just perfect for those extra special occasions…….as she always has been.

www.mychristinao.com

SHAMROCK V Yacht
SHAMROCK V

SHAMROCK V

Designed by Charles E Nicholson in 1929 for Sir Thomas Lipton (Lipton Tea) for his fifth and final challenge of the Americas Cup. This majestic 37m superyacht was the first British built vessel to comply with the J Class Rules and remains the only wooden J Class in the world. She was constructed and launched by the Camper & Nicholson shipyard in Gosport in 1930. After an initial summer spent competing in home regattas, winning 15 of the 22 entered, she headed across the Atlantic to challenge for the Americas Cup representing the Royal Ulster Yacht Club. Competing against ENTERPRISE representing the New York Yacht Club, SHAMROCK V and her race crew are sadly defeated. Unfortunately Thomas Lipton died the following year and so began the turbulent life of SHAMROCK V.

Her next Owner Sir Thomas Sopwith campaigned the yacht in the Big Boat Class circuit educating himself in every detail of the J Class and then, having ended the season as overall winning yacht, Sir Thomas went on to build another famous J Class – ENDEAVOUR, selling on SHAMROCK V to a friend Sir Richard Fairey. Sir Richard also competed successfully in the Big Boat Class, but encountered defeat to another legendary J Class VELSHEDA. Finally in the King George V campaign, SHAMROCK V was successful against ENDEAVOUR.

SHAMROCK V moved to Italy just before WWII and entered a strange period of hibernation under her new Italian name QUADRIFOGLIO (meaning four leaves, so the Italians tried to keep her name as close as possible to the original, but as is customary in Italy she needed to take on an Italian name). Her concerned and careful owner concealed her in a hay barn for the duration of the war to save her from being broken up and her metal components used in the war effort. Finally in 1948 she was refitted and used as a family vessel before once again slipping into disrepair, until she was rescued again by another Italian who eventually returned the yacht to Gosport for a comprehensive refit.

Several years later in 1985, the yacht was purchased by the Lipton Tea Company and so was returned to the company of her original owner and was donated to the Museum of Yachting in Newport, Rhode Island. Finally after almost 50 years since her Italian Owner changed her name and hid her in a hay barn, the yacht was once again renamed SHAMROCK V. She underwent an extensive refit in the US returning her fully to her former glory. Later she raced ENDEAVOUR who had survived her own turbulent life in a widely anticipated meeting over the original Americas Cup course in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.

SHAMROCK V was purchased again in 1998 and it was here where the return of the J Class really began, almost 70 years after she first set sail to compete in the New York Yacht Club hosted  Americas Cup. For the first time in 50 years, 3 J Class yachts competed against each other in Antigua Class Yacht Regatta and this time SHAMROCK V beat both ENDEAVOUR and VELSHEDA, and her proud Owner was well and truly hooked on this captivating J  Class yacht. After a further complete refurbishment in order to comply with current J Class rules and both the American and British shipping safety standards, the yacht was relaunched and returned to the UK to compete against ENDEAVOUR and VALSHEDA in the Lymington Cup Regatta, in what was the first J Class event held in British waters in over 65 years!

Since then SHAMROCK V has continued to compete in all classic events on both sides of the Atlantic and even travelled to New Zealand as an honouree (by ship) when the America’s Cup was held there in 2003. She came home to the Mediterranean under her own sail, quite an achievement for an elderly lady! She competes today in the classic regattas in Cannes and St Tropez and cruises extensively throughout the west and east Mediterranean throughout the summer.

This legendary yacht is perhaps the most loved yacht I have ever set foot on, her interior is simply stunning and I have never met such a passionate crew, who care for her with the diligence and respect such a fabulous vessel deserves. SHAMROCK V has been available to charter for several years for both regattas, where she can race with up to 34 people on board – 18 race crew plus 16 guests, and for regular charters, where she can cruise with up to 12 guests plus her regular crew of 9. She can accommodate 8 guests in 4 beautifully appointed cabins. This glorious yacht is once again looking for a new owner to love and care for her, and continue her long and colourful life, but for now she remains on the charter market until a new owner is found. We hope that when found, her new owner continues to share her with a few lucky clients – to race the only wooden J Class in the world at the grand age of 85, surely must be the chance of a lifetime!!

www.shamrockv.com

TALITHA Yacht
TALITHA

TALITHA

Another legendary yacht with historical pedigree, TALITHA is a stunning classic carefully restored and maintained by her current owner to leave her in possibly the best condition she has been in since her launch in 1930. Designed by the leading naval architects of the time Cox & Stevens, the yacht was constructed in Germany in the yard of Frederich Krupp in Kiel. This stunning 80m yacht was launched as M/Y REVELER and enjoyed briefly by Russell Alger Jnr, the son of Senator Russell A Alger of Michigan and President at the time of the Packard Car Company based in Detroit. Sadly the yacht’s first owner died in the same year and the vessel sat in the UK for a year until she sold for the first of many times throughout her life becoming CHALENA in 1931 when purchased by Charles McCann. McCann was the high living son-in-law to Frank Woolthworth, the incredible entrepreneur and Woolworth founder. McCann kept the yacht until 1939 when she was sold on again to another American retail tycoon Leon Mandel. Mandel renamed the yacht CAROLA after his wife and they enjoyed a lengthy tour of the Galapagos Islands welcoming many museum researchers on board. Details of this important historic trip were noted down by Mantel are still available to purchase today.

The next chapter for this busy, but by now proven as strong and stable vessel was when she was purchased by the US Navy and enlisted into WWII where she became PG60 (Patrol Gunboat) U.S.S. BEAUMONT and was stationed from 1942 in Pearl Harbour. She carried a full armoury along with 110 sailors who were stationed on board during the war – a tight squeeze for a vessel built as a luxury yacht at 80m! She was successful throughout this period of the war and made it to the end unscathed. She was decommissioned in 1946 and laid up once again and due for dismantle before Norman B Woolworth of the Woolworth empire purchased the vessel in 1949. In tribute to his family, he gave the vessel a full refit in the Bath Iron Works yard in Maine before relaunching her as ELPETAL. Her name an acronym of Woolworths closest friends – his neighbour and stockbroker, an artist and teacher and not surprisingly his lawyer. Enjoyed for perhaps the lengthiest time with a single owner at this stage in her life,  the yacht remained a treasure to Woolworth until he sold her to Greek businessman Marias Embiricos in 1957. Embiricos owned ELPETAL for an even longer 26 years, although during this time she did fall into disrepair.

The next stage in the life of this by now well travelled yacht was in the hands of Australian film and music producer Robert Satinwood who purchased the yacht in 1983 and renamed her JEZEBEL. Stigwood had emigrated to the UK in the late fifties and following a successful start in his new country, he became one of Britain’s first independent record producers.

“He was in every way the first British music business tycoon, involved in every aspect of the music scene, and setting a precedent that as to become the blueprint of success for all future pop entrepreneurs” Simon Napier-Bell 

So the very first Simon Cowell!! Stigwood also went on to be a prolific producer of musicals, producing the likes of Grease, Saturday Night Fever and later Starlight Express.

Stigwood enjoyed the yacht immensely. He had spent time in the Australian navy and loved the sea and also held a passion for restoration. He took time out from producing musicals and took two years and “many millions” of dollars to restore her closer to her original Cox & Stevens lines than she’d been for some time. He lavishly furnished her with French antiques, Italian marble, oriental rugs and a grand piano and then set about thoroughly enjoying her. He hosted lavish parties on board whilst mooring in the most glamorous ports in the world. Stigwood had glossy brochures printed and picture postcards boasting that JEZEBEL was “the most luxurious classic motor yacht afloat”. She cruised with 26 crew and could, and still can, accommodate 12 guests in 6 cabins.

JEZEBEL was eventually sold in 1993 to John Paul Getty II. He undertook yet further restoration, renamed her TALITHA G and the yacht headed back to the yard, this time to Devonport in Plymouth UK to be totally restored. A complete interior refit, a task entrusted to Jon Bannenberg who brought her elegance back to life in true style. Today she remains the treasured yacht of the Getty family and has continued to undergo painstaking restorations to ensure she remains in perfect condition. Thankfully the family have always made her available to charter and thereby opened up this magnificent vessel to be enjoyed by a few more lucky souls fortunate enough to be able to charter her!

MOONBEAM III Yacht
MOONBEAM III

MOONBEAM I-IV 

Proud owner and prolific London lawyer, member of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Royal Thames Yacht Club, Charles Plumtree Johnson had a passion for sailing! He commissioned the first yachts in the MOONBEAM series in 1858, MOONBEAM I was delivered to a very happy owner by William Fife. Johnson cruised with his MOONBEAM successfully for 8 years, and falling more in love with sailing, commissioned architect Frédéric Shepard to design the 17m cutter rigged MOONBEAM II which was built and launched by White Brothers in the south of England in 1864. Johnson had a successful run in various regattas, winning several, but the yacht was not designed specifically to race and Johnson, who’s passion was fuelled further by the wins they did achieve, decided to head back to the drawing board, back north to the Clyde and build again with William Fife.

In 1903 MOONBEAM III was launched from the Scottish yard. Built to accommodate Johnson’s desire to compete under new RORC (Royal Ocean Racing Club) tonnage rules, and his wish to cruise more widely, MOONBEAM III was therefore fitted out with a full interior making her not just an exciting racing yacht but also a magnificent cruiser. One which has stood the test of time perhaps more than any other yacht and is still active today enjoying both regattas and cruising from her home port in St Tropez. Her hull is constructed of elm and teak with oak frames, with teak and oak used to lay the decks and a strong oak superstructure, her interior is designed in beautiful mahogany. MOONBEAM III is a gaff cutter (although originally designed as a yawl) and with her large sail area and sleek hull and superstructure, this supremely elegant yacht has been successful in regattas throughout her staggering 115 years afloat!

In 1920 MOONBEAM III was sold to Parisian businessman Fernand Maroni, who relocated her to Cannes and continued to race her on the Mediterranean circuit winning the “Course Croisière Méditerranée” in both 1927 and 1928. He was also responsible for fitting her with her first petrol engine to aid manoeuvres in port. MOONBEAM III was sold again in 1930 to another Frenchman Raymond Philippe who continued to race her and to keep her in Cannes. The yacht has remained predominately under French ownership throughout her life, perhaps the most famous being Félix Amiot, an aviation pioneer who owned the yacht for 24 years – sadly most of that time in dry dock in his yard. MOONBEAM III was eventually owned by another Frenchman who thankfully sent her to Camper and Nicolsons yard in Southampton, where she remained for almost 10 years undergoing a total rebuild.

The yacht was sold again at auction in both 1988 and 1989 and returned once again to the south of France and to St Tropez where she was sold on yet again in 2001 but where she still remains. Her new owner Didier Waechter loved his new yacht and enjoyed every moment on board, restoring her in two lengthy yard periods to her original glory. Sadly Waechter died too early and did not get to enjoy MOONBEAM as he had hoped. Thankfully his daughter ensured that the vessel remained in the family and she has overseen, along with her captain the splendid upkeep of this magnificent yacht so she may continue to charter, cruise and race. She is however due to change hands again and will be auctioned on 5 February 2016 if a new owner can not be found before. We hope sincerely that whoever does become the new custodian of such a splendid and successful racing yacht continues to honour this yacht’s legacy and keep her in the luxury such an elegant lady deserves.

MOONBEAM IV was  commissioned by Charles Plumtree Johnson in 1914, work stopped during to the war and the yacht was finally launched in 1920 (coinciding with the sale of MOONBEAM III) by William Fife. For her passionate owner, MOONBEAM IV was a resounding success, going on to win the King’s Cup at Cowes in both 1920 and 1923.

MOONBEAM IV changed hands in 1926 and was sold to fellow Royal Yacht Squadron member Henry Sutton. Under Sutton’s guardianship, MOONBEAM IV was fitted with the huge Marconi designed rig, keeping her competitive and in line with the re-established “Big Boat” classes, she was competing up until the 1930s with the likes of BRITANNIA & LULWORTH, and holding her own very well until the J-Class yachts came in and just won everything! The onset of WWII led to the first quiet period for MOONBEAM, she was refitted as a cruising yacht and headed as many of her peers also did to the Mediterranean to enjoy a slower pace of life for a while.

It was long after war had passed and life was becoming once again for living and enjoying, that Prince Rainier of Monaco came upon this wonderful sailing yacht of elegant design and huge racing pedigree. He purchased her and renamed her DEO JUVANTE – the Grimaldi family motto meaning “With God’s help”. Prince Rainier enjoyed many happy years cruising and competing with his beloved yacht. In 1955, perhaps the most glamorous part of her history, this glorious yacht was to take the newlyweds Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco on their Honeymoon.

Eventually DEO JUVANTE was sold in in the 1960s to an Italian Count, Hannibal Scotti who was responsible for installing two Rolls Royce engines to better cruise throughout the Mediterranean and he also restored her original name. Here began a period of heavy chartering with no real regard to the upkeep of such a vessel. She was thankfully picked up in 1995 by another French couple John and Françoise Murray who, after initially competing and cruising with her with no restorative care, did eventually take on fully the responsibility of such an historic yacht and enter a lengthy period of restoration. This involved taking her to where the much needed teak is actually grown! Cruising to Burma from Antibes took a staggering 3 months, but MOONBEAM IV arrived unscathed for what was to become an epic refit. The yacht was totally dismantled, being held together during her process in such a way that was acceptable to Lloyds, who along with the refit team were staggered to see how well the inner structure of the yacht had held up over the years. She was refitted to the original plans with the inclusion of the Marconi rig with some permitted modern safety techniques. The interior was restored to its’ sombre but beautifully elegant original William Fife design. However the Rolls Royce engines were not kept they were replaced by a single modern engine.

The yacht made an incredible come back and although she has remained on the charter market, her current owners take a lot more care over this valuable old lady now!! This year she made a spectacular entrance into the Centenary racing circuit, and although the strong winds and huge seas this year at the Voiles de St Topez meant that most of the racing was called off, there is an increasing excitement brewing as MOONBEAM IV prepares to race her older sister MOONBEAM III during the coming season – let’s hope both of these stunning yachts remain available to select charter clients for many years to come!

This article was written by Rachel Blundy. Rachel is a charter broker at Bespoke Yacht Charter and passionate about classic yachts, both motor and sail. Bespoke Yacht Charter are a London and south of France based company offering luxury yacht charters on the French Riviera, throughout the Mediterranean and worldwide.

The Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 has arrived!!

Beaujolais Nouveau 2015

Released at precisely one minute past midnight on 19 November each year, Beaujolais Nouveau is celebrated all over France and increasingly in many other parts of Europe and the world. Produced from this year’s crop of Gamay grapes, harvested only a few weeks ago in the splendid wine region of Beaujolais in central France, this delightfully young wine has become a National treasure. Not necessarily because of the quality or lack of in such a new wine, but more for  the celebration that accompanies it. Usually consumed in it’s entirety before the following spring, only on very rare occasions such as the 2000 vintage would the wine be kept a little longer, but only in this case until the harvest of 2001!

All over France today, local cafés, bistros, wine bars, restaurants and pétanque clubs will be eagerly awaiting that first sip of light, almost chilled red wine. Enjoyed of course, whether a good year or a not, so good with a great selection of saucisson, pickles and lots of warm conversation and laughter in the true French spirit! Following the horrific events in France over the last week, that French “Joie de Vivre” will sure to be flowing in great quantities throughout every town and city in the the land and throughout the world as we celebrate a great French tradition and what is hoped to be a wonderful Beaujolais Nouveau 2015 –  Bonne Santé à tous!

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Happy Fête du Prince to everyone in Monaco today!

Prince-Albert-Monaco

Celebrations began last night with a spectacular fireworks display – courtesy of this year’s winners of the annual summer fireworks competition – HC Pyrotechnics representing Belgium. The ceremonies continue with great pomp and grandeur this morning with mass held in the Cathedral St Nicolas, attended by the entire royal family and all Monaco dignitaries, state officials and distinguished ambassadors. This is followed by a military parade and a 21 gun salute from the ancient Fort Antoine. Later, in a long held tradition, Prince Albert and Princess Charlene will appear with Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella both dressed in full formal dress as an early introduction for the children into the royal life they are a part of.

The Monegasque people will be in attendance to enjoy and participate in the royal pomp and ceremony taking place on Le Rocher. However, anyone visiting the Principality is invited to join in celebrations and all residents are encouraged to fly the national flag from windows and balconies. All large residences will be flying many national flags and displaying the red and white Monaco colours lighting up their buildings throughout the evenings and into the night. Celebrations will continue for a full week, with the fun fair in port Hercule in full swing and flags flying and buildings lit up in spectacular patriotic fashion.

Planning The Perfect Event Charter in Cannes

Cannes Port

Corporate Yacht Charters are becoming more and more popular as international companies grow increasingly keen on having the extra edge over their competitors and maximising the company’s exposure throughout any chosen Cannes event. Hiring a luxury yacht berthed in the Port of Cannes, right outside the world famous Palais des Festivals is certainly going to make event delegates take notice as they walk along the Quay Albert Edouard looking for the best cocktail party to attend. Here branding is all important to stand out amongst the crowd and get the message across! What could be better than having your own exclusive floating venue to host meetings, discussion groups, TV interviews, elegant dinners and glamorous cocktail parties all in total privacy.

Yacht charters for Cannes events

MAPIC – 18-20 November 2015 in Cannes

MAPIC event in Cannes, France

The final Cannes event of the season is coming up in just 8 days! Cannes welcomes delegates from around the world attending MAPIC 2015, the International Retail Property Market (Marché International Professionnel de l’Implantation Commercial et de la Distribution). The 20th edition of MAPIC, organised and hosted by Reed Midem, takes place at the Palais de Festival from the 18-20 November 2015.

International representatives from retail real estate worldwide markets converge in Cannes to share ideas, attend conferences, networking sessions and keynote speeches. Many delegates offer up their latest retail ideas for scrutiny in the various competitions, with winners announced during the gala awards ceremony which this year takes place on Thursday 19 November at the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez attended by the world’s most influential retail real estate professionals. This annual competition is a fabulous platform for young and exciting new product managers, alongside innovative well established companies to show off their ideas and earn the respect and recognition that only this event can provide.

Rules state: “Any developer, architect, retail company, local authority, city, service provider, consultant or agent registered to MAPIC may enter the competition in one of the following ten categories”:

  • Best Fashion & Footwear Retail Concept
  • Best Food & Beverage Retail Concept
  • Best New Retail Concept
  • Best Retail Global Expansion
  • Best Retail Digital Strategy
  • Best Pop-Up Shop
  • Best New Shopping Centre
  • Best Factory Outlet Centre
  • Best Refurbished Shopping Centre
  • Best Urban Retail Project

Each year a county of honour is recognised specifically for their contribution to the world of retail real estate. For 2015 the country of honour is the USA. As part of their recognition the best American entry in the above competition categories will also be honoured with a special award during the gala dinner.

Party at MAPIC in Cannes

Cramming so much into only three days has led the organisers to be innovative with the way they organise the multitude of events taking place throughout MAPIC. A recent networking format is Speed Matching, based on the Speed Dating concept, participants are permitted just 3 minutes each with 10 potential business partners, giving just enough uninterrupted time for a proper introduction and an exchange of business cards – hopefully leading to further communication later in the event or once everyone is back home. Participants are listed on the MAPIC on-line database so communication year round is as simple. However there’s nothing quite like that first face to face meeting for building lasting relationships and the format has proved very popular!

MAPIC discussion

To give an idea of just how much Reed Midem mange to squeeze into just three days, here’s a look at the key numbers for MAPIC 2015:

  • 74 Countries
  • 8,400 + Participants
  • 2,400 Retailers
  • 1,500 Brands
  • 2,300 Property Developers 
  • 340 Investment Companies
  • 700 Exhibiting Companies over 12,000 m2 
  • 100 Cities & Local Authorities
  • Over 20 Conference Sessions 

With so many participants, what better way to get the edge over the competition than to showcase your company on board a luxury yacht moored in the Port of Cannes right next to the Palais des Festivals! Bespoke Yacht Charter has been arranging luxury yacht charters for Cannes Events for over 12 years and perfectly understands the needs of event charter clients looking for an exceptional platform to showcase their ideas, products and services.

Charter yachts on Jetée Albert Edouard in the Port of Cannes

● Professionally crewed luxury yachts ranging in length from 23-70m and sleeping from 4-20 guests. Capable of hosting cocktail parties for 20 to over 200 people.

● Prime berths in the Port of Cannes along the Jetée Albert Edouard, right behind the Palais des Festivals and therefore offering the perfect spot at the heart of the event’s activities to showcase your company.

● Increased exposure from the use of custom branding including flags, banners, welcome carpets, company logos and turning the yacht into heavily branded company HQ for the duration of the event.

●  A luxury yacht offers the perfect venue to not only act as a base and place to sleep for delegates or key personnel, but also to host meetings throughout each day, in various locations throughout the yacht. These areas can be privatised in order to host several intimate meetings concurrently. A yacht can also host more than one lunch at the same time, for example a larger buffet style lunch on the upper deck for larger groups whilst in the interior private dining room, key sponsors, clients, investors can enjoy a formal fine dining experience.

●  Yachts are not only equipped with first class professional crew, there to serve and look after your every need, they also offer dedicated chefs who often work with outside caterers for larger numbers. The service on board is bespoke just for your company and therefore the standards are exceptional and will exceed all expectations.

●  Your dedicated charter broker from Bespoke Yacht Charter will assist with absolutely every last detail from finding additional staff, DJs, live entertainment, caterers, photographers, drivers, Cannes to Nice helicopter transfers, and anything else you require to ensure your MAPIC experience is the best ever!

To discuss a yacht charter for MAPIC, please call Alex Coles on +44 20 7368 3328 or email alex@bespokeyachtcharter.com

 

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Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival

Alla Duhova’s Ballet “TODES”
Alla Duhova’s Ballet “TODES”

Since the inaugural event in 1974, the Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival has attracted the biggest stars from the world of music to the Principality of Monaco. Names such as James Brown, Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, Liza Minnelli, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Johnny Hallyday and Grace Jones are among the long list of stars to have performed in the beautiful Salle des Etoiles at the Summer Sporting Club on Avenue Princess Grace in Monaco. In more recent years Alicia Keys, Robbie Williams and Rihanna have joined this list as the festival continues to wow crowds year after year.

The 2015 Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival kicked off with an amazing one off concert performed by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. Later in the evening, she performed an impromptu set in the American Bar of the Hotel de Paris, propelling her into the rich history of one of the world’s most glamorous hotel bars where the walls are still adorned by photographs of the “rat pack” days when Sinatra and Co. were often to be found at the piano. The elegant Salle des Etoiles is the setting for each summer concert, where guests enjoy champagne and fabulous fine-dining before being entertained by the stars. Often under the stars too, as the name suggests the sliding roof of the Salle des Etoiles is regularly open during dinner, and always for the fireworks spectaculars which take place throughout the summer.

The 2015 Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival runs from the 4th July to 22nd August and tickets can be purchased on line from www.montecarlolive.com

Below is a list of what’s coming up:

20th July – George Benson

23rd July – Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil

25th July – Sting

28th & 29th July – Johnny Hallyday

30th July – Simple Minds

31st July – Il Volo

1st August- Julien Clerc

3rd August – The 100 Voices of Gospel World Tour 2015

4th & 5th August – Bad Boys of Ballet

6th August – Florent Pagny

7th August – Haifa Wehbe

8th August – Florence Foresti  – Madame Foresti

10th August – The Queen Extravaganza

11th & 12th August – That’s Entertainment starring Pixie Lott

13th August – Anastacia

14th August – Staus Quo

15th August – Biagio Antonacci

16th August – Enrique Iglesias

20th to 22nd August – Alla Duhova’s Ballet “TODES”

For more information, please visit the official site of the 2015 Monte-Carlo Sporting Summer Festival fr.montecarlolive.com/monte-carlo-sporting-summer-festival/

At Your Service, making your dreams reality…….

Luxury Yacht Crew
Image: excellencecharteryacht.com

Chartering a luxury yacht is considered by many to be the ultimate luxury holiday experience. One of the most important and unique qualities of a luxury yacht charter is the exceptional standard of service on offer from the yacht’s crew. The article below will give you an idea of what to expect when you charter a luxury yacht!

So, after much discussion and debate with your charter broker and with family and friends, you’ve chosen your luxury charter yacht, and are looking forward to a holiday of a lifetime! Often conversations thus far are focused around the yacht itself, the style, how many jet skis it has and where you’ll be cruising, but no charter will go to plan without the perfect crew!

Your broker will discuss your plans and organise the perfect itinerary directly alongside the yacht’s Captain. As a charter client you will “meet” your Captain in advance via email, Skype or telephone and have the chance to get to know each other well before you actually meet face to face. By which time the first and most important foundations of a great charter will have been laid, and all that is left to do is to have the most amazing vacation!

Standing on the aft deck when you arrive, the entire crew will be there to greet you. The chief steward/stewardess will serve welcome champagne or the yacht’s signature cocktail, or your favourite holiday drink. The Captain will introduce you and your guests to his crew, who will offer a warm welcome to everyone and make you feel immediately comfortable and right at home.

After introductions, the steward/stewardess and his/her team will show guests to their cabins and ensure any specific requests made on the earlier preference sheet are all in place. Feel free to freshen up, or just head straight to the sun deck to relax. You may prefer to unpack yourself, but the crew will be happy to do this for you, just mention to them anything in particular to take care of. However, yacht crew at this level instinctively understand what should go where and are trained in handling fine and delicate garments and are totally discreet with personal items.

Just before everyone heads up to enjoy the sundeck, whilst the yacht prepares to head out of port, is usually the best time for the Captain’s safety briefing. Not the most thrilling part of the charter but necessary, and guests usually, whether they are seasoned charterers or heading out to sea for the first time, are comforted by a quick prep talk from a confident Captain so all safety aspects of life onboard are covered. Key crew members will be reintroduced so you know exactly who to go to for what, and of course the Captain will always be available to assist in any way possible.

All that’s left is to make yourselves comfortable and enjoy your first cruise. Perhaps out to a secluded anchorage to enjoy a delicious grilled fish lunch prepared by your very own private chef. As you relax, crew will become invisible, whilst being ultra attentive, they will serve you another Mojito before you even realise you want one, the empty glass you set down just before you began the next chapter of your book has vanished and the fruit bowl has been miraculously replenished and you haven’t seen a soul (or at least you don’t think you did…)

For children, there is plenty for them to do onboard and deck crew will be delighted to open the “toy box” as soon as the anchor is dropped. Many yachts now have fabulous waterslides so whilst some crew set this up from the fly bridge, another will be getting ready with the tender and towable toys to whizz around the bay with excited children – some considerably older than others!! There is always a crew member on the swim platform or close by who can assist with flippers and snorkels whilst waiting their turn on the donuts. Don’t forget that yachts turn on their anchor, so whilst swimming take care to remember that the swim platform may well have moved since you jumped in! A crew member will keep a watchful eye and ensure your safety at all times. Once children (young and old) have enjoyed the first pleasures of invigorating salty water and worked up an appetite, crew will be on hand to assist, if necessary, with the swim platform shower and plenty of fresh towels so you can dry off before heading to enjoy lunch on the sundeck.

A perfect family lunch table is now set on the bridge deck and your steward/stewardess is ready to serve pale chilled rose, chosen to match the delicate fresh fish starter. One of the best reasons to charter has to be the food. Cuisine of the very highest standard, the main elements chosen by you and then transformed into the most divine dishes ever seen, prepared just for you. Perfect service where the staff are never too busy with another customer – everything is just for you in your very own private, alfresco restaurant!

After lunch, as the yacht moves to your next destination, why not take a quiet siesta, followed perhaps a little later by a massage in the yacht’s spa. Many yachts now have a professional, fully equipped spa with dedicated staff, but for the smaller yachts, a member of the crew is usually trained in massage techniques, manicures, etc. that can be carried out in your cabin or out on deck.

Before heading into port for the evening, your Captain will often drop the anchor once more in a quiet location for a final swim of the day, to revitalise yourself after a lazy afternoon in the sun. The chef will set out a platter of fresh fruit, refreshingly delicious to enjoy after a salty dip. The steward/stewardess can prepare vibrant afternoon cocktails, with or without alcohol for the entire family to enjoy – what better way to end a wonderful day than standing on the aft deck of your very own charter yacht with fresh mango, pineapple or coconut in one hand and a Pina Colada in the other!

Finally, the yacht will enter the port where you’ll spend the first evening. Whilst guests take to their cabins to prepare for the evening, the crew will take this opportunity to replenish fresh towels, plump up cushions, put away toys and wash down the yacht, removing the salt water and leaving gleaming stainless ready for you to welcome guests on board for pre-dinner drinks in style – they also prepare themselves for evening duties and will be ready to greet you in formal evening uniforms as the day moves smoothly into an elegant evening. Served in the cool saloon, you and your guests will be treated to the finest champagnes and delicate canapés, before taking your place at the aft deck table for dinner. Again transformed from the afternoon’s swimming and sunbathing, the aft deck is now the perfect romantic restaurant setting. With full silver service, enjoy a taste sensation of a formal fine dining experience in the privacy of your very own restaurant. And after dinner, as you are the only guests, the chef will be delighted to chat to you and divulge any culinary secrets you always wanted to ask!

Throughout the evening, a crew member will be on hand to assist with anything at all, be it a quiet scotch on return from a late evening walk, or a camomile tea at 3am, or if you haven’t quiet switched off yet, toast and coffee at 5am for early risers. Luxury yachts operate 24 hours a day and crew pride themselves in being there at all times, at your service!

This article was written by Rachel Blundy, charter broker at Bespoke Yacht Charter. Bespoke Yacht Charter are a London based company specialised in yacht charters in France and throughout the Mediterranean.

French Riviera Helicopter Transfers

Helicopters over Port of St Tropez

As the summer gets off to a warm start this June, travelling by road around the French Riviera becomes more and more frustrating. With so many tourists arriving on the French Riviera by car, what better way to begin your yacht charter in the south of France than to arrive by helicopter! Avoiding all the motorway nonsense, the slow procession of cars through the winding roads of the Var en-route to Pampelonne beach and the chaos of La Croisette in Cannes! Whether arriving by plane to either Nice, Cannes or St Tropez, a helicopter transfer is simply the best way to stay relaxed and take the most direct route and enjoy stunning views to begin your luxury vacation or business event on the French Riviera.

There are several helicopter transfer services running between Nice, Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez and the cost of flying by helicopter is surprisingly low, in many cases no more expensive than a regular taxi!

Heli Air Monaco - Helicopter

HELI AIR MONACO operate out of the Monaco Heliport in the Principality of Monaco. Running a complimentary shuttle service, HELI AIR MONACO will collect guests direct from their Monaco hotel or apartment and whisk you straight to your helicopter before departing for Nice, Cannes or St Tropez. For regular scheduled flights, HELI AIR MONACO operate over 50 flights per day between Monaco and Nice Airport. Taking off on the hour and every half hour from Monaco and quarter past the hour and every half hour afterwards from Nice, with each flight taking only 7 minutes! Road transfers are included in the cost but advance booking is recommended for this service. HELI AIR MONACO also offer bespoke French Riviera panoramic helicopter flights, ski packages and private charter flights throughout the year. They also offer a helicopter aerial filming service.

Please contact HELI AIR MONACO for further details:

www.heliairmonaco.com  +377 92 050 050

Helicopter flying over the Port of St Tropez

HELI SECURITE are predominantly based out of Nice, where most international flights arrive into, but they also have hubs at Cannes-Mandelieu Airport and at La Mole airport in St Tropez and run regular flights out of all three. HELI SECURITE also arrange special helicopter transfers during all of the major events that take place in Cannes. So if you’re arriving for a MIPIM yacht charter or a yacht charter at Cannes Lions, why not avoid the traffic and arrive relaxed direct into Cannes Port by helicopter! After a hectic round of business meetings, why not extend your yacht charter and take a steady cruise along the coast to Portofino for the evening before heading back to Nice by helicopter? HELI SECURITE also operate throughout the winter season and run regular flights to the French and Swiss Alps for ski enthusiasts.

For further details please visit HELI SECURITE:

www.helisecurite.fr   +33 4 94 55 59 99

Helicopter flying over the islands off Cannes, France

AZUR HELICOPTERE operate flights mainly into Cannes, but also to major cities such as Lyon, where they maintain a hub for transporting guests around the Rhône-Alpes region and for helicopter transfers to the French Alps. They also run helicopter flights between Milan and Geneva as well as hopping across the Mediterranean to the beautiful island of Corsica! Offering a totally bespoke service AZUR HELICOPTERE can arrange helicopter transfers for special dinners, concerts, sailing regattas, boat shows and all of the Cannes events. And should you ever wish to sit up front and take the controls, AZUR HELICOPTERE also operate a fully licensed professional flying school at Cannes-Mandelieu Airport!

For further details please visit AZUR HELICOPTERE:

www.azurhelico.com +33 4 93 90 40 70

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MIDEM 5-8 June in Cannes

MIDEM
MIDEM

Next Friday sees the international music world arrive once again in Cannes on the French Riviera. The Marché International du Disque et de l’Edition Musicale (MIDEM) takes place from the 5-8 June at the Palais du Festivals in Cannes. This annual event brings together all major players in the music industry to network, improve practices, sign deals and develop business strategies through all media platforms along with of course plenty of key speeches from industry experts and lots and lots of music! With over 180 artists, Cannes can look forward to a great week of live performances.

This year, key speakers come from all across the industry including the CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, the founder of SoundCloud and a pioneer in electronic music from Detroit amongst many others. The State Youth Orchestra of Armenia will represent Armenia, the country of honour at this year’s event. All the major music media platforms are also attending including Spotify, SoundCloud, Pandora and Anghami to help bring more of the worlds great music into our lives in this fast paced, modern age.

Largely thanks to the new summer dates (the event having been moved to June from January), yacht charters at MIDEM are much more popular this year!

L’Italie à Table

Buratta

The 11th Festival of Italian Gastronomy begins in Nice tomorrow for a veritable feast of delicious taste sensations from across the border. Taking place along the Promenade des Anglais, the exhibition will be open to visitors from tomorrow morning until Sunday evening. Entrance is free of charge and all are welcome!

An excellent opportunity for yacht chefs and anyone with a love of food to explore and taste fresh authentic Italian produce. On show are products from over 90 different exhibitors from 13 different regions of Italy. Bringing together a real love for food; producers, chefs, restauranteurs and visitors alike can share their passion for food at its very best. Discussing production techniques and taking time to reflect on the history and evolution of each region. Many culinary displays will take place throughout the event, along with constant tasting opportunities.

With around 14% of all imports into the PACA region of France coming from Italy, along with many Italians running businesses this side of the border, this event provides an important platform for Franco/Italian discussion to maintain and build on the strong relationship between the French and Italian gastronomy industries. The amalgamation of which is seen every day on restaurant menus up and down the cost, and with such an array of wonderful produce along this stretch of the Mediterranean also helps to keep smiles on the faces of yacht chefs who can then keep charter clients very happy indeed!  – So head to Nice this weekend and discover a sensational world of Italian culinary delights!

www.italieatable.fr

5 Great Day Boats on the French Riviera!

Luxury Yacht Day Charters

With summer fast approaching and Monaco Grand Prix yacht charters in full swing this weekend, the Côte d’Azur is brimming with fabulous charter yachts taking guests between Monaco and St Tropez, enjoying the hottest venues all along the French Riviera.

But which yacht to choose?

Here’s a look at five of the best open yachts available for day charters:

LA BELLINI Yacht
LA BELLINI Yacht

LA BELLINI – A Sunseeker Predator 64 from 2012, this great little yacht punches well above its weight, with her sleek lines, ample sunbathing space and elegant interiors. Cruising at a comfortable 25 knots, LA BELLINI can touch 35 knots flat out for those days when you’ve perhaps spent too long shopping in St Tropez and have to get back in time for a dinner in Monaco!

With her home berth in Port Gallice, Juan Les Pins, she’s perfectly positioned for days out to Cannes, Monaco, St Tropez or anywhere in between!

AMADEUS Yacht
AMADEUS Yacht

AMADEUS – Another Sunseeker Predator, AMADEUS is the larger 72 model, this time from 2008. Based close to Antibes, she is perfectly located for cruising in any direction. Highly customised to the very best standards, this yacht offers guests a luxurious venue for a day out on the water. With plenty of outdoor entertaining space she’s the perfect yacht for enjoying an alfresco lunch anchored in a quiet bay with friends and family. Equipped with a powerful Williams Jet Tender and an array of water toys, there’s fun, fun and more fun on the menu onboard this great yacht. Most guests tend to relax and enjoy proceedings from the aft deck where your very own chef will have the BBQ going to satisfy hungry teenagers at the end of an afternoon in the water.

LIZZI Yacht
LIZZI Yacht

LIZZI – A Lazzara LSX 75 yacht, LIZZI is a fabulous yacht for cruising along the French Riviera with one of the lowest fuel consumptions found on this size and style of yacht. Still she’s happy cruising at 20-25 knots. As an American built yacht, LIZZI boasts great interior volume as well as excellent sunbathing areas. A fantastic choice for hopping from bay to bay along the Côte d’Azur.

LOW BLOW Yacht
LOW BLOW Yacht

LOW BLOW – Fast and sporty, this Baia 78 motor yacht cruises comfortably at 40 knots with a dazzling top speed of 45 knots! LOW BLOW has plenty of great deck space, along with a first class music system so is the perfect yacht for a lively group looking to get from A-B quickly whilst enjoying top tunes along the way! Based close to Cannes, LOW BLOW is perfectly located for day charters to St Tropez or Monaco.

OF VILLA ROMANA Yacht
OF VILLA ROMANA Yacht

OF VILLA ROMANA – The legendary Mangusta 80 Yacht! OF VILLA ROMANA is perhaps one of the finest refitted Mangusta 80 yachts available to charter. Based in St Tropez, she is always ready to go at a moments notice, whether it’s “around the corner” to the beach at Pampelonne for a quiet lunch or blasting up the coast for that important reservation at Plage Mala at Cap d’Ail, near Monaco! With impressive deck space, OF VILLA ROMANA is the perfect yacht on which to enjoy a stylish day out on the water. Her permanent berth in the Old Port of St Tropez is a huge selling point!

All of these fantastic day charter yachts are available to charter on the French Riviera with Bespoke Yacht Charter – www.bespokeyachtcharter.com

Monaco GP gets off to a slippery start!

Lewis Hamilton - eurosport.com
Lewis Hamilton – eurosport.com

The F1 circus is set up and ready to go for another great round of racing in what is perhaps the most eagerly awaited race of the season – the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix. Following huge thunderstorms overnight, track temperatures had dropped significantly from yesterday and this morning saw drivers tentatively easing their cars around the circuit in damp slippery conditions. All except Lewis Hamilton who flew around his local track as if conditions were perfect. He was a massive 4 seconds faster than the rest of the pack, until the tarmac dried out a bit and the other drivers gained their grip. This afternoon saw more downpours and loyal fans sadly didn’t get to see much action as the rain set in. However, the end of the session still has Hamilton as the fastest driver with Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso second fastest in his first time around this demanding track. Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest in his Red Bull, followed by Vettel for Ferrari and then the second Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz. Pastor Maldonado had a great first run finishing sixth, ahead of the second Red Bull driven by Kvyat who was followed by Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari. Nico Rosberg or Mercedes finished the session in 9th with Felipe Massa completing the top ten. Great news for McLaren with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button ending the session 11th and 12th fastest, after a troubled start for Jenson.

With many yacht guests already installed, this evening will be a more sedate affair as guests take time out to relax, head in to town for dinner and soak up the electric Monaco GP atmosphere whilst yachts and clubs prepare for tomorrow evening’s kick off to the biggest party weekend of the year!

Monaco Grand Prix Yacht Charters by Bespoke Yacht Charter

Opening Day of the Cannes Film Festival!

2015 Cannes Film Festival
2015 Cannes Film Festival

The stars were out today for the opening of the 68th Cannes Film Festival. For the first time the jury is headed by two joint chairmen, brothers Ethan and Joel Coen, writers,directors and producers of epic Oscar winning movies such as Fargo and No Country For Old Men. The brothers were joined on the red carpet today by members of the Jury including British actress Sienna Miller who looked stunning in a Balenciaga gown and Jake Gyllenhaal, both causing a flurry of flash photography as the paparazzi jostled for position for the best shots. The opening film this morning stars Rod Paradot, alongside the wonderful Catherine Deneuve. La Tête Haute explores the journey of a young delinquent from the age of six to eighteen and follows his experience through juvenile courts and rehabilitation centres. Showing out of competition, the much awaited “Mad Max: Fury Road” is due to be screened during the festival and is expected to receive wide acclaim. And so this evening, the stars head out to play as Cannes comes alive and plays host to the best of the best in the movie business and with spectacular May weather on the French Riviera, this year’s event is set to be huge! The social highlights are once again likely to be the amfFAR Gala at Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc and the many parties taking place on the luxury yachts in Cannes!

Read more in Planning the Perfect Event Charter in Cannes

Classy Runabouts!

Classic Rivas at the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel
Classic Rivas at the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel – Photo: Alberto Cocchi

As the Côte d’Azur season is just around the corner, how will you be arriving for lunch this summer? On a classic Riva, admired and loved by all, or perhaps your choice will be the avant-garde VanDutch, a benchmark for modern design and technology?

The legendary models from Riva conjure up nostalgic images of the late fifties and sixties when Brigitte Bardot could regularly be spotted driving hers around the bay of St Tropez. Nounours – her actual yacht which has been fully restored was recently put on the market for sale and is expected to reach in excess of 100,000 Euro – maybe more. Who wouldn’t want to own a little bit of St Tropez history! Thanks to the likes of Bardot and the popularity of the beach clubs at Pampelonne (and the limited number of classic Rivas built), these fabulous style icons have truly endured the test of time! Classic Riva boats remain highly valuable sort after collectables that many a playboy or girl desires, regardless of how many coats of varnish they require each year to stay looking pristine!

Riva
The beauty of a classic Riva!

At the opposite end of the scale is the phenomenal VanDutch! First launched in 2008, these unique avant-garde yachts are the product of Dutch design and craftsmanship at its finest. Using the most sophisticated technology, VanDutch have created a sleek, elegant design with all the class you’d expect from a classic but with none of the drawbacks of high maintenance.

VanDutch Style!
VanDutch Style!

The epitome of modern day Riviera chic, VanDutch boats are hugely popular on the Côte d’Azur. Whether you’re being collected from your hotel to whizz around to your trackside yacht to enjoy the Monaco F1 Grand Prix, or if you’re heading for lunch at Plage Mala, or zipping from your house in Port Grimaud for a lazy lunch on Pampelonne Beach, VanDutch boats are just super cool!!

Riva – www.riva-yacht.com

VanDutch – www.vandutch.com

Bespoke Yacht Charter – www.bespokeyachtcharter.com

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Inheriting a vast fortune upon the death of her father, and being separated from her husband, Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild decided in 1906 to purchase a plot of land. Nothing more at the time than an arid rock, she fell in love with the view as many people visiting Cap Ferrat today also do. In 1907 after much debate and discussion from an apparently temperamental and demanding owner, work began on the villa that is today one of the most important properties along the Riviera – Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Béatrice passed away in 1933 but her distinctive gardens were as yet incomplete. She insisted only the gardens visible from the house were completed first. Using staff to stand in place of plants and waterfalls, moving around to emulate the flow of water,  she designed the French garden, closest to the house, herself. The Baroness bequeathed the entire Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and all of its contents to the Institut de France and in 1934 Louis Marchand was commissioned to complete the remaining gardens. During the second world war Cap Ferrat was entirely vacated and so the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and gardens left unkept. However all survived and in 1945 Louis Marchand who thankfully survived the war returned to restore and complete these magnificent gardens. For such a vast space reaching completion under the same watchful eye of the man who designed them was quite a feat and adds to the beauty of these gardens and they are kept more or less the same today.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild

Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild inherited a love of art from her family and collected the best of the best from each era, including furniture, paintings and fabrics. Not always matching and being equally aesthetically appealing to the eye when combined, this monumentally valuable and unique collection has been under the ownership of the Institut de France since the death of the Baroness. Under the careful management of Culturespace, this amazing art is curated and cared for, for the benefit of everyone and is one of the most important collections still intact.

The Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild is open year-round.

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, 1 Avenue Ephrussi de Rothschild, 06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France

Tel. +33 4 93 01 33 09 Web. www.villa-ephrussi.com

Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild – The Complete Guide

The Pink Elixir of the Côte d’Azur!

The Pink Elixir of the Côte d’Azur
The Pink Elixir of the Côte d’Azur

With the temperatures rising, restaurant terraces and beach clubs are getting busier by the day and the pink elixir of the Côte d’Azur is being consumed in ever increasing quantities! Rosé wine just doesn’t taste right anywhere but in Provence and on the Côte d’Azur, and if you’re anywhere on the Riviera then consumption is a must! Provence is renowned for producing the best rosé in the world, the warm climate and sandy soils are perfect for the vines. Rosé is growing in popularity in part perhaps due to the purchase of several well known vineyards by celebrities such as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. However rosé has kept its classless, elegant appeal and is the drink of choice for the summer season for everyone from clientele of the local bar tabac to guests of prestigious beach clubs, villa garden parties and superyachts. From St Tropez beach clubs to yachts anchored at Plage Mala, all you will see are bottles and bottles of Rosé, from Magnums of Chateau Rasque at Paloma Beach to Domain Ott on the huge yachts anchored off Cap Ferrat.

It’s a fact that the paler the colour, the better the taste, but apart from the world famous Garrus from Chateau d’Esclans, which is perhaps the best rosé ever produced with a price tag to match at €99 per bottle, the most expensive isn’t necessarily always the best!

Here’s a look at 5 of my favourites:

Château Rasque at Paloma Beach on Cap Ferrat
Château Rasque at Paloma Beach on Cap Ferrat

Château Rasque – Famously served in magnums rather than regular sized bottles in many a beach club, this rosé is one of my favourites and perhaps has one of the highest consumption rates throughout the summer season. Robust enough to be served with anything and equally great as an aperitif. Served as the house rosé in some of the most elegant establishments on the Côte d’Azur this has to one of the highest contenders for the most elegant and consistently brilliant rosés.

Around €16 per bottle – www.chateau-rasque.com

Château Sainte-Marguerite
Château Sainte-Marguerite

Château Sainte-Marguerite – The cru-classé from the Fayard family run vineyard is wonderfully delicate and pale, with subtle flavours, it makes a fabulous companion to a fresh Mediterranean summer lunch, or to just enjoy on its own. A true classic!

Around €13.50 per bottle – www.chateausaintemarguerite.com

Domain Ott - Château Romassan
Domain Ott – Château Romassan

Domain Ott – Château Romassan –  Affectionally named “Over The Top”, this is perhaps the most famous rosé in the world and certainly a favourite with celebrities, often to be discovered in large quantities at many flamboyant parties, especially during the Monaco F1 Grand Prix and the Cannes Film Festival. This is indeed an excellent rosé, slightly more robust than the very pale rosés and therefore a superb all rounder. This wine is as perfect served with red meats as it is grilled prawns and fresh fish. Not the best value rosé on offer, but certainly one of the most popular.

Around €23 per bottle – www.domaines-ott.com

M de Château Minuty
M de Château Minuty

M de Château Minuty –  Not the most prestigious rose from this legendary Château but one of my all time favourites and a first choice for me every time if available. This wine is light, fresh and easy to enjoy with food or on its own. As the Château states “The M range is a real moment of pleasure and happiness to share with good friends and extend that holiday feeling.” This for me explains the wine perfectly and makes it my all time favourite!

Around  €10 per bottle – www.minuty.com

Miraval
Miraval

Miraval – The only rosé wine in Wine Spectator’s Top Wines of 2013, this is considered by many to be the best of the best. First released as a 2012 vintage by new owners Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in partnership with the Perrin family of Château de Beaucastel, the wine sold out in a matter of hours and has now become “THE” rosé. It is delicious and certainly in my humble opinion a serious contender as the best of the best. Previously released as “Pink Floyd” for many years by the former owners as the legendary rock band recorded their seminal album “The Wall” at the Château back in 1979.

Around €15.50 per bottle – www.miraval-provence.com

Top Marques Monaco

EVANTRA
EVANTRA

Top Marques Monaco opened yesterday with Prince Albert unveiling some of the most innovative supercars ever conceived. With a record breaking number of visitors, over 11,000 in the first 10 hours, this year’s show is looking like the most successful yet!

This evening, writing from my balcony, the resonate sound is more akin to the start of F1 GP weekend coming up in May! The noise is immense, the revving of engines as VVIP guests test drive the craziest supercars on the planet brings an excitement to Monte-Carlo as the 2015 summer revs into gear and the Principality comes alive! Today has seen a parade of motoring finesse throughout Monaco, from gold Lamborghinis to a Koenigsegg Agera RS, the boys are out to play this weekend in Monaco! www.topmarquesmonaco.com

MIPTV in full swing in Cannes!

Idris Elba
Idris Elba

In glorious sunshine yesterday MIPTV was in full swing on it’s second day. The bars and cafés surrounding the Palais des Festivals and the Croisette were full to bursting point and the atmosphere was buzzing as delegates from the world of TV converged for lunch and to discuss the most recent viewings over chilled rosé wine. Idris Elba has been the talk of the town with the launch of his new documentary “Mandela, my Dad and Me”. A documentary following Elba during the filming of “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and based on his journey of self discovery. During which time he struggles with the launch of the album “Idris Elba presents Mi Mandela” a collection of South African music paying tribute to Mandela. Elba also has to cope with the death of another major role model, his father who sadly died suddenly during this period. Produced by Elba’s own company Green Door Pictures, Elba has been in Cannes to personally promote the documentary and the company. From what I overheard at lunch, all have gone down very well in Cannes!

Yesterday evening saw the Nordic Party celebrating TV productions coming out of the Nordic countries which are producing a rapidly growing percentage of highly regarded TV shows. The Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway are the celebrated countries of focus at this year’s event and last night saw the party of the week at the Martinez on the Croisette, hosted by the Nordic Broadcasters in association with Ericsson.

Today saw a slightly cloudy day, but none the less many successful screenings, followed this evening by the Gala Dinner, including the Medaille d’Honneur ceremony. This year’s winners of the prestigious award are Ben Silverman, Chairman and CEO of Electus, Cécile Front-Coutaz CEO of Freemantle Media, Ricardo Scalamandré, Head of International Business at Globo and Irfan Sahin CEO of Dogan TV Holding. All recipients have been honoured for their significant contribution to the world of TV through their longstanding leadership, talent and passion.  Well done to all and we wish you a fabulous evening!

Bespoke Yacht Charter are a London based company with representative offices on the Côte d’Azur specialising in all types of Cannes yacht charter.

Read more in Planning the Perfect Event Charter in Cannes

Le Marché de la Condamine in Monaco

Marché de la Condamine in Monaco
Marché de la Condamine in Monaco

Bursting with life, vibrant colours and tantalising aromas, it’s easy to lose oneself amongst the expansive array of fabulous fresh produce on offer in the Monaco’s Condamine market. Walking around the Place d’Armes where the market is held each day, it’s almost impossible to choose from all the delicious delights on offer. In every direction are the most divine strawberries, the juiciest oranges, the greenest limes and the freshest micro herbs, just to add the finishing touch to a delicious salad. Fresh mushrooms, still covered in soil and their earthy scent just screaming “buy me!”, bright green peas and broad beans perfect for shelling and throwing together with fresh lemon juice and virgin olive oil for a quick lunch. The choice is mesmerising and nothing beats an early morning walk around the stalls to bring inspiration for the day. Mixed in with a heady aroma of fresh coffee and warm pastries, the only sensible option is to take a seat at the Place du Marché cafe to enjoy a coffee or freshly squeezed juice and soak up the atmosphere before finally deciding what to buy!

Le Marché de la Condamine in Monaco – 15 place d’Armes, 98000 Monaco – Tel. +377 93 30 63 94

Eden Plage Mala reopens Easter weekend!

 

Eden Plage Mala Cap d'Ail
Eden Plage Mala in Cap d’Ail

Summer has officially been announced, with the reopening today of the magical Eden Plage Mala!

A paradise nestled into the beautiful Mala Bay in Cap d’Ail, this beach restaurant has to be one of the most special locations on the coast. Easy to access from the sea, but verging on impossible for many to reach by foot – forget by car, that’s truly impossible! Guests who do make it down the 121 steps are treated to an intimate, secluded privacy usually reserved for the superrich onboard private yachts. At Eden Plage Mala, all who make the effort enjoy a fabulous warm welcome by Sophie and her team. The vibrant colours of red and turquoise, conjure up exotic locations. The soothing koi carp pond by the entrance ensures every guest arriving by foot enters this relaxed utopia feeling wonderful – forgetting all about the long climb back up the steps at the end of the day!

With live music, fabulous fresh food with a strong Mediterranean feel with a twist of the Orient, the rosé chilled to perfection, this Easter is set to be a great one for everyone lucky enough to be heading to Eden Plage Mala this weekend!

Happy Easter everyone and welcome to the summer!

Eden Plage Mala is best visited by renting a yacht from Monaco.