From London – Claridges, another reason to visit!

Need another excuse to visit the five star luxury London hotel in Mayfair? One of my personal favorites, the decadent foyer with grand fireplace is a delightful space to sip Champers with friends, and now with the addition of a series of rooms and suites designed by Diane von Furstenberg, we have another superb reason to pop into Claridge’s.
In June, Claridge’s launched the series of rooms & suites by the internationally recognized designer, her signature style and flair has been the talk of London since the rooms were recently unveiled. It is her first interior design project with a series of stunning rooms and suites. Claridge’s, the Art Deco jewel in Mayfair, has always been at the forefront of design and Diane von Furstenberg, a long-time guest and friend of the hotel, brings her iconic prints, bold colors and original pieces of furniture to the legendary landmark.
As an ardent traveler herself she has approached the project from the guest’s perspective first and as a designer second, with an instinctive understanding of what will satisfy not only men and women but also their families.
My clients also love Claridge’s; one family is planning a winter holiday visit over Christmas, where else to enjoy a traditional celebration?

The VV Best – Glamour Trains

Love lists- must do, must have, must see, must experience…I’ve experienced many train adventures in France and Italy, Switzerland, once in California- which doesn’t really count, does it? Pleasurable memories of stopping in small stations and leaning out the window to purchase a baguette of jambon and fromage, to nibble with a split of champagne; waking up to the sound of an interminable train whistle in the longest tunnel through the Alps, honestly, I thought we would be within the mountain forever!
On the MUST DO list are two trains, each with it’s own distinctive personality: Orient Express and The Blue Train.
Venice Simplon Orient Express, pure sophistication and comfort. Carried across Europe in the style of a bygone era, one I would like to experience. The Orient Express dates back to the 1800’s, today one run a week in September makes it’s way to Istanbul to Venice; another once a  year journey departs Paris to Istanbul, the remainder of the year is spent in grand tours from several charming capital cities.  Plush and formal with white linens, glittering china and silver, languid and luxurious. I hope the passengers leave the hand held devices home- no texting or emailing allowed! Orient Express also has a sister train in Asia and the Royal Scotsman.
The Blue Train, my next escape to the bush will include the 24 hour jaunt from Pretoria to Cape Town. A smooth speed of 68 miles per hour assures plenty of time to soak up the spectacular scenery. Luxury suites with a full size bath tub, can you imagine soaking while gliding across the rails? Champagne is served on boarding, what could be better, baths and bubbles in the bush, however, safe from the prowling night lions!
Leisurely and Luxurious travel options – trains, yacht charters, I’m organizing a  two week client tour through France-with car and driver for an unhurried fall tour of vineyards.