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Friday, 10 March 2017

Thanda Island - Tanzania's Newest ECO-Luxe Jewel

Situated within southern Tanzania’s newly proclaimed Shungimbili Island Marine Reserve, one of Thanda’s initiatives to further the restoration of the local marine life, Thanda Island is one of the few truly private tropical islands in the world.

Providing absolute exclusivity for families and friends to enjoy on a sole-use basis, it features just one expansive five-bedroom villa comprising an impressive glass rim-flow swimming pool, a boat house full of water activities equipment, a tennis court and an outdoor cocktail bar, a yoga sala and a fully equipped gym. It is surrounded by its own private coral reef which can be explored in total seclusion with a snorkel and mask straight from the beach.

Off-grid and solar-powered, Thanda Island offers guests an environmentally sensitive, fun and restorative Indian Ocean, East African experience infused with the Arabian influence of passing Arab Dhows on the horizon and a spectacular “Arabian Night” experience. Deeply committed to the conservation of the region’s marine life, as well as the preservation and rehabilitation of the Shungimbili coral reef, Thanda Island invites guests to learn about the endangered Green and Hawksbill turtles as they nest and their eggs hatch on the island or catch sight of whale sharks that congregate nearby from October to March.

Providing the further insight into the local way of life, they also introduce guests to the Swahili sea-faring culture on nearby Mafia Island and offer the opportunity to explore its ruins, coconut plantations, lakes as well as the underwater sights of Chole Bay in the Mafia Island Marine Park.

Officially opened on Friday 28 October 2016 with marine life and its ecology of upmost importance, working with Sea Sense, the local Tanzanian marine conservation NGO which Thanda Island closely supports.

Managing Director, Pierre Delvaux chronicled Thanda Island’s story that began in early 2006 cumulating in its environmental authorization in late 2013, the signing of the lease agreement in March 2014 and the beginning of the villa’s construction in early 2015. He went on to explain the vision and objectives for the development to provide a world-class, 5-star, exclusive private island and villa experience for discerning vacationers, whilst also aligning with the objectives of Marine Parks.

Delvaux went on to say: “Our mission is also to become involved in the education of neighbouring rural communities on Mafia in terms of biodiversity protection and particularly sustainable natural resource utilization. Our vision to create a unique and authentic guest experience within a protected marine reserve, whilst observing and directly participating in the protection and preservation of its natural resources in harmony with the Marine Parks Authority and neighbouring Mafia Island communities, has been very important to us right from the start.” 

Acknowledging this, Dr M.E Machunu, Manager of Marine Parks said: “The luxury villa and island development falls squarely within the Tanzanian agenda of attracting foreign investors to the country. This opening is both momentous and historical, as it is the first time that such an exclusive villa development has been permitted within the boundaries of a Marine Protected Reserve in Tanzania, and possibly within East Africa.”

He thanked Thanda sincerely for their commitment and initiative of investing in such a worthwhile development, explaining that the Government’s agenda to promote tourism was in harmony with conservation through sustainable development that not only assisted them to manage their natural resources, but also created employment and other benefits for neighbouring communities. He went on to explain that the Government was supporting tourism more than ever before, that Marine Parks and the Government were committed to supporting Thanda Tanzania Limited with this venture as it had followed all investment procedures and guidelines, including environmental authorization, and that they saw Thanda as an agent for growth in the region.

Pierre Delvaux wrapped up the day by thanking Dan and Christin Olofsson, who unfortunately were unable to attend the function, for their vision, enthusiasm, investment and commitment to developing such a world-class luxury villa hotel that had the opportunity to make such an enormous difference in the region in so many ways.



Monday, 27 February 2017


Nothing fuels dreams and innovation like getting out and seeing the world; and it is this celebration of wanderlust that is at the heart of champagne House Veuve Clicquot’s heritage.

It is this thrill of travel, and seeing new and interesting places that brings to life the #ClicquotJourney theme for the 2017 Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo Cape Town.
The popular polo and social event of the year, currently in its seventh incarnation, celebrates the sport of kings combined with the finest champagne. Socialites and the crème de la crème of African influencers will descend on South Africa’s most prestigious polo estate - Val de Vie Estate - on Saturday 4 March 2017 to witness international polo players compete for the coveted Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo Cup.

With this year’s #ClicquotJourney theme, guests can expect to taste food inspired by some of the iconic cities that the popular Yellow label champagne brand travels to – such as Los Angeles, Tokyo, Paris, London, New York and Cape Town to name a few – all this enjoyed with Veuve Clicquot champagne of course. Val de Vie estate will also be transformed in line with the theme, to ensure guests experience a journey (of the senses) around the world with Veuve Clicquot, without leaving the picturesque Paarl/Franschhoek valley.

Since its founding in 1772, Veuve Clicquot has exported its champagne, first throughout Europe, then to the US, to finally extend into Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, at a time when traveling was an adventure and shipping champagne around the world was a challenge. It was a necessity for Madame Clicquot (the grand Dame of Champagne) to grow her business, but it was also an occasion for sharing, the chance to build bridges and make new discoveries.

“As Madame Clicquot wrote to one of her grandchildren, “The world is in perpetual motion, and we must invent the things of tomorrow.” The same maxim holds true today. Passion is at the root of all inspiration and adventure. It’s what propels you to get out of the familiar and to discover - to let life surprise you. We are thrilled to take guests on a journey where the world meets Cape Town during Veuve Clicquot’s most highly anticipated event in South Africa,” adds Moet Hennessy Market Manager, Patrick Madendjian.

“Veuve Clicquot Masters Polo Cape Town remains one of the most sought-after social event tickets in South Africa. The event is ranked as one of the best polo events in the world and for the 2017 edition we aim to exceed expectations, from the quality of the thrilling polo match, to the festivities on the sidelines, the fashion experiences and more,” commented VIVIDLUXURY CEO and event co-owner, Anina Malherbe-Lan.

The event continues to attract the attention of international VIPs, African stars and local celebrities such as Nigerian film and TV stars lilke Vimbai Mutinhiri, local entertainment celebrities like Lee-Ann van der Walt, Jeannie D, Bonnie Mbuli, Maps Maponyane and Nomzamo Mbatha, along with captains of industry and ministers such as Fikile Mbalule and Marthinus van Schalkwyk. More than 2000 people are expected to attend the 2017 event to see premier polo players including Nicky van der Walt, HRH Prince Malik-Ado Ibrahim of Nigeria and Springbok colours player Le Roux Hendricks play on the day. 

For the 2017 event, there are also a few exciting international celebrity appearances planned, which will be announced in due course. And of course the event’s Official Broadcast Partner, E! Entertainment Africa will be there to capture all the glitz and the glam on the red carpet. “We have some exciting new ticket offerings for the 2017 event, these are however limited - expect more details on how to savour international standard polo with Veuve Clicquot soon, when we make the formal announcement,” shares event co-owner and Val de Vie Events MD, Simone de Wet. Join the journey, and witness “Cape Town meets the World” in March 2017.

Tickets will be available directly from Computicket. For more information
about the event, the various ticket options or for press inquiries, visit
the website


Friday, 24 February 2017

Haute Edit - Sought After Never Looked So Good

Haute Edit's Bespoke Personal Shopping Service is an epicurean experience. It is all about luxury retail, focusing on the ‘slow movement’. Expect to find no fast fashion here - everything is handmade with love :-)

Showcasing a finely curated, ever-changing collection of unique handmade gifts, homewares, ceramics, fashion and jewellery pieces by celebrated artisans from all over the globe.

The collection features mostly hand-made limited edition and one-off collectable pieces that are great conversation starters, appreciated by collectors, tastemakers and fashion aficionados all handpicked by StyleSociety's Fashion Director, Kumari Govender , whose style can be described as an alchemy of old world classic and contemporary.

As per Kumari the Personal Shopping service is by appointment only and available to select top-tier clients who have been pre-approved by myself and added to my special 'Haute List'. I host ultra-exclusive, invite-only, private shopping parties in secret locations with an unending flow of champagne and hors d’oeuvres where my clients get to preview my latest collections before they go on sale to the public.

I also take note of special occasions and assist clients with gifting for birthdays, anniversaries and special holidays. If a client is looking for a bespoke piece of jewellery, premium ceramics, fashion or decor items, I work closely with artisans to create something special and unique for the client. For clients who require Fashion Concierge services, I assist with everything from expert styling advice to tailored wardrobe recommendations. I have also assisted with interior styling and made-to-order furniture for the home.

Kumari Govender, is an influencer, tastemaker, curator of style, fashion entrepreneur and the creative strategist behind the South African Fashion Brand, Style Society™. Widely interviewed for her distinctive wardrobe statements, coveted for her canny ability to predict market trends and respected for the ease with which she can create brand interest through her thoughtfully vetted recommendations, Kumari is a one women army who has seduced a whole generation of style mavens with her piercing fashion insights, and her spot on recommendations.


Wednesday, 22 February 2017

The Bisquit Cognac Perfect Serve

The House of Bisquit Cognac has developed a special serving ritual that demonstrates the best way to enjoy cognac.  The tradition of consuming cognac with many ice cubes or swirling it in the palm of a warm hand does not bring out the best in the cognac for ultimate enjoyment.

The most crucial element of the ritual is the temperature at which the cognac is consumed. In order to ensure the perfect temperature, the Cuillère de Richesse (Spoon of Richness) is employed. The design of the spoon includes a small stainless steel plate upon which an ice cube is placed before cognac is poured gently over it.

The temperature at which cognac is served is important for two main reasons: “Warming cognac is not appropriate as increasing the temperature of the cognac makes the lighter aromas more volatile - they evaporate too quickly, leaving you with an unbalanced glass of cognac. Another consequence of warming cognac is that when the alcohol is warm, it has an aggressive taste - when it is served at the correct temperature, the alcohol is less aggressive, smoother and rounder.” commented Lahouratate.

The Bisquit Cognac Perfect Serve ritual is simple, yet sophisticated:

Step 1: Place the Cuillère de Richesse over the cognac glass.
Step 2: Gently place one ice cube onto the stainless steel plate.
Step 3: Slowly pour a serving of Bisquit V.S.O.P over the ice cube. The Cuillère de Richesse will guide the cognac into the glass through the opening in the spoon.
Step 4: Enjoy your cognac at the perfect temperature!

When using the Perfect Serve, it reduces the amount of time that the cognac is in contact with the ice cube, quickly reducing the temperature but avoiding the dilution of the cognac.
“We are not dictating how everyone should enjoy their cognac, it is after all a matter of personal taste. However, should you wish to become a true Bisquit Cognac connoisseur, our style of cognacs is best suited to our Perfect Serve ritual which brings the cognac to the optimal temperature for maximum enjoyment.” concluded Lahouratate.

The Bisquit Cognac Perfect Serve Kit consists of the Cuillère de Richesse, a bottle of Bisquit V.S.O.P, pair of tongs, four cognac glasses, a pouring spout and a porcelain dish for ice. This kit will not be available for sale to the public but can be enjoyed in selected outlets upon request in the near future. Keep your eyes on the Bisquit Cognac Facebook page for more information.

The Bisquit Cognac Connoisseurs is a prestigious collective dedicated to the enjoyment of the finer things in life. #BisquitCognac #BisquitVIP