Burning Man 2017

Santiago Event, Music December 10, 2017

By Natalia Kapchuk


Over the years, Burning Man has become very popular, even amongst famous people from art, music, fashion and the film industry. You can spot celebrities, models, musicians, artists – like Paris Hilton, Alessandra Ambrosio, Cara Delevingne, Katy Perry, Jared Leto, P Diddy and Daft Punk, to name a few.

This year, I decided to experience Burning Man (BM) for myself and paid a two-day visit to Black Rock City. BM has always been on my bucket list but the long preparations and stories which I have heard about the organization behind it kept my trip delayed for years and years….until this year.

In September my best friends and I (all virgin Burners) decided that this was the year we were going to make it happen. I was sure nothing would go further than chit chat but I was wrong. To my great astonishment, everyone took the idea seriously and started preparations. You will need from 6 months up to 1 year prior to the event to plan the trip, unless you are joining a camp or have someone who does it all for you – personally I would take the ‘radical self-reliance’ principle seriously. People change their plans and you might just end up being homeless in the middle of the desert.

Step One: Joining a camp. It is advisable to join an existing camp via a friend’s recommendation. There is a number of different camps in BM, from big theme camps to smaller personal ones, and most of them are listed on the official BM website. Every camp is unique in their offering and ‘vibe’ – choose one that resonates with you and your interests, hobbies, music taste etc. Luckily I had a few friends from a camp called Payaskool, it is a pretty big camp with more than 420 people. I absolutely loved it! We had TED’x talks on environmental, digital and psychological themes with great speakers from around the world. Furthermore, we had a Dome, a huge space with remarkable fire and laser shows and AAA DJ’s.

BM has a strong sense of community, responsibility and teamwork. You need to take the ten principles seriously when you arrive on the playa, especially ‘Leave no trace’ – Black Rock Desert is a protected                                                                                                                                        area and it must be left clean once the thousands of burners leave. Do not drop anything and do not hesitate to pick up someone else’s micro moop (matter out of place) on the playa. Camp fee may vary, we paid around $9.000 for four people. That includes parking, breakfast and dinner. When you consider how many gallons of water each individual needs, gasoline, construction, recycling and all the work that takes place behind the scenes to set up a camp, you can understand where the cost comes from. Our camp management team was supportive and always gave us great feedback, trying to solve our issues when necessary – but please understand that these people are volunteers and they want to, and deserve to, have fun themselves too. They are not there to serve you so rather only contact them in case of emergency.

Step Two: Tickets! It is not easy to get a BM ticket. You need to create a BM profile online and you must be registered and logged in to participate in online sales (dates and hours are available on www.burningman.org). Unfortunately, there is no guarantee you will get tickets at the original price. The ticket system is like a lottery. We were left with no tickets. The true essence of Burning Man is not to make any profit and commercialize on BM ticket aftersales but we had no choice other than to buy our tickets from third party companies like Vividseats or Viagogo. The tickets from these websites cost usually between $1000-$1200 each. Please verify the authenticity of the tickets and always ask for original receipt as there are many fake tickets out there. You will also need a vehicle pass if you are arriving by car.

Step Three: Where to stay? There are a few options when it comes to accommodation at the Burn. You can stay in your car, in an air-conditioned tent or in an RV. In our case the RV was the most suitable choice. Our RV had a bedroom, kitchen, shower, WC, 2 single beds and 2 sofa beds. To save costs, many people rent their RV’s from another state like California and drive it up to the playa themselves. Unfortunately, many RV renting companies would only accept US driving licenses. For one week of rental we paid $17000 for an RV, there are less expensive options out there if you book in advance.

Step Four: Outfits. When all organizational logistics are done and dusted, it is time to think about costumes. BM allows for full creative and personal expression so it is very important to wear something extraordinary, otherwise you may feel like the odd one out. I changed two or three times a day. You need to change outfits a few times for various reasons, mainly due to the weather changes which go from very hot during the daytime to very cold at night. Bring warm coats and a hat for nighttime and sunrise – a funky neon fur coat with LED lights would be perfect. Where to get costumes? Mix and match! Lots of thing I ordered online were from the Etsy website (goggles, masks, bodysuits) and from Instagram BM designers. Don’t hesitate to pass by a local sex shop and Halloween shop or upcycle your old clothes using your own imagination and fantasy. Get creative, be yourself, express who you are, it always turns out the best. The desert is very alkaline so make sure to bring boots, many socks and sunscreen, it makes your skin very, very dry. Masks and goggles are also essential. Sand storms are worse than those seen in a Mad Max movie and appear out of nowhere so always be prepared!


Ok, it is now time to tell you about how the whole system and temporary city works. The Playa is a metropolis built for 2 weeks in the middle of Nevada desert. There are streets with different names which makes it easy to move around and find things using the map. There are hundreds of camps, each camp providing different services, interactive workshops, music and all kinds of activities.You move around on a bike, it is almost impossible to walk as the distances between camps are very long. Make sure you rent a bike. Our bikes were included in the price of our RV. It is very important to decorate your bike with LED lights, the more visible you are the better as at night it helps people (and your friends) to identify you. Make sure you lock your bikes when you park as someone can take it by mistake!

I was wearing a head light to light up my way at night, plus LED decorations that I ordered on Amazon and eBay. There is nothing you can buy at the Playa as money doesn’t exist there, you can only exchange things. People are super friendly and willing to help, even if you forgot something at home I am sure you will find it out in the desert. This is the idea of the ‘gifting’ principle and people take it seriously too. In our case we didn’t have enough wet wipes and had to trade it for tequila. There is only 2 things you can buy out there: ICE (queue to get it is insane) and coffee.

Food and Supplies. Make sure you bring with you supplies of food and drinks for the whole period of your stay. In our case we pre-ordered most of the things online and a delivery company loaded it into our RV before our arrival. The most crucial is drinking water and coconut water. You will end up drinking up to 6 litres a day as you will feel thirsty most of the time. Make sure to bring some extra gallons of water for others and some for common use in the kitchen. Pickles are a famous thing at the Playa, they retain water in your body,
pickle juice is something you will appreciate. We also got soups, tuna in cans and lots of power bars! Do not forget vinegar! You will be surprised! To wash away dust
from your feet and legs you will need to dilute vinegar in water. As I mentioned earlier, the dust is alkaline and penetrates inside your skin making your skin dry and only vinegar can help as it is acidic.
Other essentials are body butter, foot cream, lip balm and a nourishing hair mask. You don’t want cracked skin and dry hair or dreads right? Wet wipes are very handy too.

How to get to Black Rock city? Reno is the closest international airport. From there you can buy a seat or charter a whole small plane. The only problem with this plane is that you can take only 1 hand luggage with you, big suitcases are not allowed. So, if you
manage your clothing and suppliers to be delivered to the Playa, the burner express is an ideal option. The same company, Burner Express, provides bus services too. With the bus you can buy luggage space. Bus tickets go very fast though so you would need to buy in advance. The last option is to go by car. That is what we did. We then rented a huge GNC. The drive normally takes 2,5 hours but it is never this short in reality. It can be 6 or 9 or even more depending on weather conditions and the traffic.
Don’t forget – over 70000 people come and leave over this period and it is only 1 road that brings you to the Playa… The road trip to the
Playa is beautiful with amazing scenery surrounded by lakes and gorgeous mountains, breathtaking I should say, and road trips are always fun.

When we arrived our RV we booked wasn’t as cute as it looked on the pictures and our water supply was somehow finished on the first day we arrived. You will get 2 vouchers to pump out black and grey water and refill it with fresh water. So we had to stay without water for a whole day – luckily there was a public shower and WC. At this point I remembered my childhood and summer camps with outdoor showers and smelly toilets. On our first day we were woken up quite early with little sleep as our luxury RV ended up not being the 5-star hotel we were used to 😉

All the people we met on our way were super friendly which was quite shocking at first and something our society is not so used to. Many camp members gathered together for breakfast. Burners get to know each other and chit chat about their plans and life. Then you have to be registered and get a job assigned. Everyone has a job in the camp: cook, dish cleaner, security, etc. By the time I registered my favourite position as cooking was fully booked and I picked cleaning the dishes instead.

By the time breakfast was finished I was already covered with dust from head to toe. On my first day I changed 4 times!!! It takes some time getting used to the feeling of being dusty and dirty. What I saw when we began exploring the city was mind blowing – art sculptures of different forms and sizes spreading throughout the Playa. On our first day we had not even seen 5% of the city. The Man and the temple are in the center. On the last day of the Burn the man and the temple are set on fire. The fire displays are spectacular and part of the great excitement to go to Burning Man to witness such massive structures go up in flames.

It was incredible to go on a bike with no agenda, stop by different art objects, explore different camps. Here are some examples of the camp names: 17 Virgins, bike Gods, camp Bang Bang, mystic, candy land, department of peace, dusty bum, insomnia, love cow, miso horny, just to name a few. There are fantastic art cars moving around, from a fish to a boat or an emoji to a dragon on wheels. You can jump inside an art car, make new friends and enjoy the ride. Sunsets are unbelievable at the Playa, colors are spectacular and so bright. At night there is a lot of parties going on and lots of camps are offering various cocktails and drinks, free of charge. The most famous parties are Robot Heart and Mayan Warrior, which you can find on the Playa at nighttime and District and Disconnect for daytime fun. The majority of the burners are up until sunrise and I have heard that the sunrises are stunning and even more enchanting than the sunsets. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to stay up that long to enjoy it and I guess my 2 days at the Playa were not enough to experience it to the full. Now that I have experienced a teaser of the magic, I am very much looking forward to next year, which will be a full week experience.

The closest airport is Reno. From Reno you can take a card and drive. It is about a 2 hour drive, but much longer with traffic, to make it to the entrance of Black Rick City. Make sure you buy a car pass, which you have to arrange separately, for the price of 100 usd. There is is a small private plane called the Burner Express. I would consider it as the best option if you have a small amount of luggage because only 1 piece of hand luggage is allowed. This is the most costly option. Another option is a bus from the Burner Express. Remember to buy tickets well in advance because there is a limited number of seats. This is the website where you can book a tickets:


British Motoring Summer

Santiago Dream Cars, Event, Sports December 10, 2017

By Leila Russack

Goodwood Festival of Speed – Chichester

The girls are at it again, driving the miles into our F-types at speed along the A3 for the Goodwood Festival of Speed weekend in Chichester. Our just-in-case packing didn’t have quite enough chiffon, but no matter, we brought enough Champagne. I wore McLaren orange and my girlfriend wore her signature linen white. Both of us in reasonably sensible shoes, as we were warned, there is a lot of walking, and I was promised a chance for the Hill Climb.

Hay bales and burning rubber is the perfume of the British motoring season, and in this beautiful English Summer, it is welcomed and divine. My friend sneezes, “Where are those ear plugs?” We swap tissues and squishy latex and take a spot by the grid. The crowd watches Andrew Jordan tickle his right foot in a silver Eagle Speedster Low Drag GT, grabbing it into the first corner, smoke billowing into the trees. A Jaguar pouncing through the mist.

Add five or six decades of design and technology and we are at the Jaguar F-types which we know and love at the JLR pavilion. Geoff escorts us to the VIP section and gives us over to the ruthless Rosco. The former F1 driver swings me about the drift track, screaming and laughing, my hair flying everywhere. “We’ve got to learn how to do this!” Shredding tyres at a rate of 60 per day, we thank the designer for the holding bar on the passenger side console.

The Noble M600 on display at the Michelin stand had the sexiest roaring revs and the loudest crackle I’ve ever heard, we really needed the earplugs for the demonstration after all. “What I’d do to touch that peddle in there!” Noble are making one of the last manual transmissions in modern cars, which makes me love it more. Peter Dyson offers us a sit in the red metal wonder, and we dream a little dream. “Now this is a real car!” You can hear it a mile away and it really is the stand out of the modern cars at the festival.

That brings me to my main question-slash-gripe. How is it that McLaren don’t do a stick shift? They made a Lego 720S, but they retail automatics and I abhor paddle shifts. They get in the way of the steering wheel! My word, though, is the 1967 Can-Am a beauty on the Goodwood track? Bruce McLaren lost his life on the Goodwood track at Woodcote in 1970 testing the M8D. The 650S is modelled with the Can-Ams in mind. I just wish they’d put a stick shift in instead of those pesky paddles. Nevertheless, we adored the 570s and 720Ss on the hill-climb, and the new paint colours pretty much sealed the deal for my girlfriend.

Mercedes gave us a spark with the Turbo green GT machine. Andre d’Cruze, a charismatic stunt driver for films like adrenaline-filled Rush, tells us the reason he calls it, The Beast. “The AMG GTR certainly keeps you focussed past the flint wall. The gear changes are aggressive and the brakes pin you to the belts!” My friend congratulates Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi with his new plastic playtoy Pininfarina V8 creation, the 600 brake horsepower EF7. On our way to get another coffee from the McLaren marquee, we meet Rene Arnoux at Gerry Judahs iconic FOS central feature. Rene raced the canary yellow 1977 Renault RS01 and what a vision he is in his racing overalls, my favourite you know.

We retire to what we thought would be dining heaven and bump into Tiff Needel, who is already sawing through a loosely abbreviated steak. “More wine!” He insists, I concur, “How dare they serve this to a legend!” The Goodwood Hotel has a novice on the crepes stand outside, which is intermittently on fire in a safety-hazard way, and it takes a good half an hour to squash and serve anything to us. “No one here had an interview!” We opt for the Crown Inn in Chiddingfold for our subsequent square meals as there is nothing worse than bad steak and malnutrition. Tiff MCs at the Sponsors ball at Goodwood House, and he sincerely advises us to party-crash. “We’re too sophisticated to do that, Tiff!” But it does remind us to get our outfits and tickets organised for the GP Ball.

Grand Prix Ball – Hurlingham Club

We are both fitted in floor-length Herve Leger and sparkling Alice McCall at the Hurlingham Club on the red carpet studded with a bold BAC Mono, the new company who won one of the Hillclimb time trials at Goodwood, an electric-blue McLaren and midnight berry Weismann. We take care with every step in Valentinos as we are invited to the grounds for the Formula One display. Clayton Kingman of Twitter to Track infamy drives through. He peels off the racing onesie like James Bond in black-tie and lace-up driving shoes. “Don’t let me fall on your Hesketh!” I jibe at Clayton, holding my waist. “Heels are not meant
for the lawn.”

We find ourselves privy to the charms of two Scotsmen fit in kilts, recanting any lewd comments about their National Pride. They are sponsors of the event, and after a photo opportunity, they take us to meet their friend Pierre Gasly at the only glass doors that don’t have a pile of broken Champagne glasses, however, it’s precisely where we have the Diors knocked from our clutch by the host. A guest recognises our eye rolls and and shakes his head.

Tiff shushes the crowd with the guest mic, and comes forth for safety, “Are you two the only girls without an Instagram sponsor?” There is, my friend concurs, a remarkable lack of couture at this Ball. “Balls are hit and miss these days,” we overhear an aficionado. “We should have snuck in some real Champagne,” whispers another. Those half-bottles of Dauby would be perfect, we joke. We were outbid on the access-all-areas F1 International experience and the Beatles Swimming photograph. All proceeds of the auction went to the Wings for Life charity, which really reminded us that we shouldn’t be quibbling about the Prosecco, because some people in the world make no excuses to make the most of often dire situations. No one was discussing aerodynamics or brake horsepower by the end of the evening, we were dancing to The Gypsy Kings with the kilted set and other fun sponsors.

British Grand Prix – Silverstone

Our drive to Silverstone on Sunday at 7am pre-empted heavy traffic on the M40 and not enough parking, and with barely a BMW in sight, my friend said I was being a little Speedy Gonzales. I’m not the Latino of us, but I certainly enjoy the sixth gear in sports mode, who doesn’t? Especially on that amazing curve at High Wycombe. The first race of the day was the early starting Formula Two. We gathered with the team supporting Oliver Rowland at the Luffield stand. Unfortunately he was penalised three places for passing up into third place at the grid. “But how can you help yourself in a thing like that?!” His PR
manager laughs. “True!”

Over 20 identical Porche 911 GT3 Cup cars compete in the Round 5 2017 Porsche Super Cup. We see them race around Brooklands, Luffield and Woodcote from the British Racing Drivers Club. In good company with nice Champagne, we lunch on oysters and smoked salmon before heading back up to the terrace for the Formula One. “What a view!” The roar of the engines is so loud. My friend reads the quote across the track. “Sebastian Vettel You Naughty Boy!”

We witnessed Lewis Hamilton’s fifth British Grand Prix win in the second last year of Silverstone hosting. Hamilton ticked the racing history checkbox with local legends like Jim Clarke and Alain Prost with his win. The energy bubbled from the track and into our Champagne flutes, we were excited as we were whipped up from the BRDC to the Paddock Podium for the Flying Scot Sir Jackie Stewart and his wife Helen’s presentation of the trophies for the ecstatic confetti-fledged UK win and the melodramatically sullen Finns placing second and third. Kimi Raikkonen tipped the magnum up, drinking straight from the bottle like a true Finn, and Valtteri Bottas fizzed it up, partying Hamilton-style shaking it at the media. However, the two Finns waited for the crowd-surfing Brit, who was back long after we ran through the pits, finding shelter from the rain in the Red Bull bar.

Carol & Nicholas’s Birthday Weekend

Santiago Event December 9, 2017


Buzz and excitement was in the air for months, culminating in the constant rhythm of helicopters, planes and boats arriving from all over the world to celebrate the #18and50ShadesofPink birthdays of glamorous Carol Asscher and dashing young Nicholas in idyllic St. Tropez. The warm breeze of the Cote d’Azur sweeps across your skin, sighing softly as a silk scarf. Chiming peels of laughter and joyous multilingual “hellos” and kisses punctuated every turn as dear friends embraced and greeted each other.

The glow of the sunset sky set off the theme of the first night of Welcome to Saint Tropez. We were welcomed with a delicious Red & White Tropezien beach party confection of fun on Moorea Plage. We glided to each other clicking glasses of champagne for friends arriving from Greece, Turkey, Bali, London, New York, Monaco, Hong Kong, Geneva and Italy. We all gravitated to beautiful Carol to steal a hello kiss before she flitted off to beam her smile at each one of her guests fluttering their red fans. The rising full moon seemed to be shining even brighter, casting a spotlight on the birthday goddess Carol. I turned to the glimmering sea to take a breath and saw 18 year old beaming Nicholas laughing merrily with his friends, many of whom flew in from around the world to celebrate with him. They were children before and now they are the beautiful new generation.


As the sensual glow of the dusk evening gently descended upon us, the lights on the stage grew bright. An elegant man dressed in white and an insouciant red vest with sunglasses sauntered to the microphone. When the first notes ascended the air, it was none other than the stellar Andreas Bocelli filling the moonlit night with the magic of his voice. Carol and Nicholas joined him on stage with friends cheering this amazing moment of celebration. We were transported to another level of sublime excitement blessed by beauty, talent, and feeling the warmth of friendship surrounding us. Bravo Carol, Andreas and Nicholas!

As the afternoon sun rose in the sky, the next day we rolled out of bed for our late lunches along the beach at Bagatelle or 55 gaining sustenance for the night ahead. 50 shades of fantastic pink gowns and black tie were the order of the night as we walked the shocking pink carpet at Las Palmas, greeted by fantasy costumed dancers under the arc of roses. We fluttered our pink fans while sipping champagne and posing for pictures under the glitter balls. The night could not be more perfect as the twilight sky also reflected the pink setting sun and pale blue of the ocean. Carol looked stunning in her pink sequin gown flowing and her hair coiffed in blond cascading waves. The London, New York and Monaco girls posed with roses in the backdrop against the sea sky then swished our sequined trains to ascend to the dinner. We passed through corridors of white orchids and silver dancers. Thousands of roses in hues of pink and white arched above us, the open air festive expanse punctuated by thousands of roses and orchids. Every detail reflected Carol and the beauty of music, flowers, light and daring drama which she loves around her. The aesthetic dreams of Carol’s spectacular birthday weekend was lovingly realized with the brilliance of beautiful Christina Montori Mandelli of the Endo Group, you could see Carol’s touch in every detail. Musicians greeted us with festive music as we were brought to our tables overflowing with exquisite flowers and crystal. At our crazy American table we hopped up and down greeting friends, posing, dancing and laughing.



The entertainers came out in a fierce show performing along the long runway perched in the centre of the room. Dancers in spangles, feathers and fringe. Victoria Secret models prancing in feathered wings to the delight of Nicholas. Giant birthday cakes rolled on the stage revealing dancers. Whirling and twirling roller skaters keep our eyes spinning. The crowd of friends went wild when stunning Carol and handsome Nicholas came down the runway dancing. It was a wonderful mix of the generations all filled with love and fun as we were invited to jump up on the runway and festively dance and sway.

Fireworks were set off in the clear starry sky. It was explosions of beauty, glamour, excitement, joy, celebration and years of friendship and family. Awe filled the air, constant moments of astonishment culminating in a magnificent firework display! Then the fireworks continued with the Le Cave DJ who had everyone dancing with abandon, hands up in the air, jumping to the beat. High heels were kicked off, black ties went missing and part of the runway became an all night into morning bar. We all danced until we could dance no more at dawn but never stopped laughing.

As the warm morning sun rose in the sky, we all came to lunch at Nikki Beach the next day to recuperate, or so we thought. Guests dressed in summer white hiding behind dark sunglasses with big smiles on their faces. Again, God blessed Carol with a perfect blue sky. Delicious food and bottles of rose had everyone energized again. The music began to blast as the sax player took to the stage, and in St. Tropez style we took to dancing on the tables. Carol twirled on one table, then Nicholas and Alfie jumped on another. We were clapping and shouting, cameras came out to capture the moment. More rose glasses clinked and pictures snapped a wave of friends swayed to the music on table tops and chairs and we all felt the love in the air. Carol brought us all together for her and Nicholas’s birthdays sharing their joy, blessing and friendship with their dear friends from so many nations. Carol, we will never forget the magic you created and thank you for the joy and love you give us. On our journeys back home we brought back that love which will always make our hearts glow with thoughts of you. Love, laughter and friendship forever!

L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Festival

Santiago Event, Sports July 2, 2017

By James Trotter


Over the last decade, the historically significant and prestigious L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate has established itself as Africa’s most exclusive raceday, as well as one of the world’s most desirable racing events to attend. Every year thousands of Cape Town’s youngest, sexiest and most fashionable stream into Kenilworth Racecourse dressed in the sponsors colours of blue and white to revel under the Cape summer sun. In January this year the event chartered new ground when innovatively growing from a single day celebration into the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Racing Festival – Africa’s first multi-day horseracing event, up there with the likes of Royal Ascot or Glorious Goodwood in the United Kingdom.

As the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate has risen in international popularity in recent years, so the number of racing fans, socialites and holiday makers from abroad – especially Europe – has steadily increased. L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate organizer, Katherine Gray, explains the reason for the launch of the new festival, “We see more and more internationals coming to the event every year, and the raceday has become a celebration of people from around the world. We wanted to look into ways of extending the length of the festival and provide our international guests with a multitude of fun activities to attend over the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate week.”

Cape Town in the summer – with its white sand beaches, crystal blue waters, iconic mountainous backdrop, Michelin-star restaurants and party-filled buzz in the air – is already one of the world’s most popular places to be in January. It is little wonder that the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate, arguably the most memorable party in Cape Town’s social calendar, attracts an increasing number of European visitors each year, as many look to escape the cold of the Northern
Hemisphere winter.

The original event is traditionally run on the first or second Saturday of January, which sees the running of South Africa’s championship mile event, and the oldest race in the country, the G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate. Over ten thousand people are treated to wines and champagne from the vineyards of Anthonij Rupert Wines, while resplendent amongst the dreamlike white and blue themed setting created by L’Ormarins, with finishing touches from premier luxury brands and co-sponsors such as Cartier and BMW.

As a build up to this year’s racing festival, an inaugural social celebrity cricket match was held on the Wednesday at the Groot Drakenstein Games Club near Franschhoek – approximately an hour outside of Cape Town and neighbouring L’Ormarins Wine Estate. The venue is home to both Anthonij Rupert Wyne and Drakenstein Stud, one of the country’s leading and most picturesque thoroughbred stud farms. Out on the field were the likes of former international cricketers Jacques Kallis and Craig Kieswetter as well as European Tour golfer Richard Sterne. The spectators were not only treated to an afternoon buffet, an assortment of wines and beer, a beautiful summer’s day sitting beneath umbrellas, but also to a commentary from former English cricketer and famously voiced
Geoffrey Boycott.



On Thursday, the eve of the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate Racing Festival, a number of the guests attending the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate were invited to the beautiful Mount Nelson Hotel for High Tea. Hosted by the Cape’s leading trainers – Snaith Racing – brothers Justin and Jonathon Snaith created an elegant setting where guests were encouraged to indulge in the complimentary wine and gin bar and relax into a festive mood while listening to the music of American based musician, Louise Carver. In anticipation for the racing to come, the trainers went through the racecard for the weekend, generously giving their tips on what to follow over the next two days
of racing.

The G1 L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate this year saw a repeat from the year before with reigning Horse of the Year, Legal Eagle, defending his crown in an imperious fashion. Saturday’s raceday also sees the hosting of the Best Dressed competitions. The highlight of which is the prize for the Best Dressed Lady, this year won by Camilla Beazley, whose award is an all-expenses paid trip to London for a week to attend the prestigious Glorious Goodwood racing festival during the British summer.

Although the Saturday ultimately builds towards a climactic closing party, dancing to the sounds of top DJ Euphonik, the Friday is labelled as ‘the LQP Garden Party’ and has more of a relaxed feel to it. An afternoon affair with a harvest table and L’Ormarin’s Brut. The main race of the day is the G2 Cartier Sceptre Stakes, which sees a number of the fastest female horses in South Africa taking each other on over the straight Kenilworth 1200m. The sun only sets in Cape Town after eight in January, so once the racing has concluded late in the afternoon, guests can sit and savor the rest of the day. Sipping on Methode Cap Classique under the giant oak trees, it is truly a blissful day spent watching the shadows grow longer on the green forests of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, gradually growing darker on the mountains above them.



Coachella diaries

Santiago Event, Music July 1, 2017


By Liliana Nova


Going to Coachella is truly an incredible experience – from the exotic location in the middle of the Colorado desert to the amazing weather, parties, fun in the sun with friends and endless great music, it is truly a festival not to be missed, particularly for the fashionistas. I had an amazing time this year and was grateful to be attending on behalf of my favorite sunglass brand, Gentle Monster. With the endless pool parties and sunset sessions, these shades made the perfect match. Coachella is fun in terms of fashion because you can take more risks and dress a bit differently to how you would normally. Let us just say you can truly let that inner hippie out and channel your inner sun loving goddess.


The first day began with a cool pool party by Revolve for star influencer and friend Chiara Ferragni. Pool parties at Coachella are not your usual pool parties, they are an explosion of crazy outfits, the most delicious food and cocktails as well as an exciting array of activities. At Revolve we even had the chance of getting inked by the world famous Tattoo Artist, Jon Boy who was creatively expressing his talents for anyone who wanted to get a tattoo. Trust me he is worth it, I was really close on getting one but then something must have distracted me, next time!

I love festival weekends because you get to experience the perfect balance between an exciting escape from your daily routine as well as some much needed relaxing, socializing and catch ups with new and old friends from all over the United States – and even the world – who come to Palm Springs for these two much anticipated weekends. Besides the outside parties and events there is also of course the festival itself. You get to hang out with all your friends and listen to the top artists play phenomenal music, indulge in all kinds of food and snap a bunch of unforgettable moments. Something about the energy at these events makes you forget about anything negative or stressful and allows you a time to really appreciate being present in the moment!


Let us look into a more detailed take on fashion for Coachella…You see, there are not many occasions in your daily life where you get the chance to either dress like a flower child hippy from back in the 60s or play around with some crazy fantasy looks and still be deemed as “fashionably appropriate.” For Coachella you can truly live your little girls (or boys) dream and have fun with your styling (although there are of course still some tasteful rules at Coachella, do be warned). This year I mixed up some casual pieces with some crazy ‘It-Pieces’ such as this oversized Bob Marley Vest that looked totally incredible with my jean shorts and a pair of my old Chanel Dallas Over-the-knee boots. I also enjoyed the attention I received in my beloved black bodysuit with gold metal details that I wore for a shoot in the middle of the desert (note, this was was pretty hardcore considering the heat and landscape but all worth it for a glamorous
shot, right?)

As far as accessories go, I found my backpack to be the ideal item and most worn piece. They are the perfect on trend festival handbag – easy to throw on, super cute (obsessed with the Mini Louis Vuitton one I’m wearing) and they keep your hands free, love it! Speaking about my shoot in the Palms Springs, I was also lucky enough to get the chance to shoot in the most breathtaking surroundings with the sunglass brand I was marketing called Gentle Monster. We shot at the so called ‘Mirage House’ – a glass house in the middle of the Colorado desert and around a Circle of Mirrored Sticks by Phillip K Smith III. The art installation was truly breathtaking and the talent really blew my mind, impeccable!

Last but not least, I must mention my favorite part of Coachella which has to be the Neon Carnival.The Neon Carnival is sponsored by Levis and Tinder and truly brings out one’s inner child. It is a playground for adults (and semi- adults) who get the opportunity to embrace euphoric and melodic beats by the world’s best DJ’s while taking a wild ride on a roller coaster. I mean what more can one ask for? Hanging out and having fun with new and old friends from around the globe, sometimes even the artists themselves, appreciating great music, great food and great company. What an enchanting weekend !


Santiago Event December 12, 2016




by Simon Piggott

This year has been a special year for all those participating at Royal Ascot as it marks Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday celebrations with her favourite sporting event of the season.

Presentation by Princess Beatrice to H M The Queen, Michael Stoute and Olivier Peslier for The Hardwicke Stakes won by DARTMOUTH Royal Ascot 18 Jun 2016 - Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com

Presentation by Princess Beatrice to H M The Queen, Michael Stoute and Olivier Peslier for The Hardwicke Stakes won by DARTMOUTH Royal Ascot 18 Jun 2016 – Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com

Many members of Cercle were present at this year’s event and had the added joy of being able to share Her Majesty’s favourite sport coupled with all the traditions that beset the beautiful surroundings of Ascot Racecourse, Windsor Great Park and the Royal Meeting.

Tuesday started off with the traditional Royal Procession in carriage onto the racecourse by Her Majesty and her family down from Windsor Castle , her 70th since her first time with her father, George VI, in 1946. 

This may also have proven to have been a significant moment for British racing because of who was alongside the Queen during the Meeting in the Royal Box and the Winners’ Enclosure.

DARTMOUTH (Olivier Peslier) wins The Hardwicke Stakes Royal Ascot 18 Jun 2016 - Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com

DARTMOUTH (Olivier Peslier) wins The Hardwicke Stakes Royal Ascot 18 Jun 2016 – Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.com

The Prince of Wales has often been characterized as being ambivalent towards the sport about which his mother is passionate. But there he was, clearly taking an interest and joking with the Queen about her trophies. The heir to the throne has also been here much more than usual this week, even participating with two runners.

The Royal support for the ‘Sport of Kings’ is a massive thing, and, with the future in mind, it’s clear that he’s taking an active part in being moulded to perhaps one day take over a baton that Her Majesty has held for so long,” said Cornelius Lysaght correspondent for the BBC.

The second day saw the participation for the first time of Kate, Duchess of Cambridge with her husband Prince William, who were joined by Princess Mary of Denmark as well as the Duke and Duchess of Wessex, who all seemed to have winners that day.

The weather was mixed during the week but we still had time to have the traditional picnics in Car park One followed by the very high standard of racing that we are accustomed to at the Royal Ascot.

ASCOT, ENGLAND - JUNE 16: Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, John Warren and Prince Andrew, Duke of York during the Royal Procession on day 3 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 16, 2016 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

ASCOT, ENGLAND – JUNE 16: Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, John Warren and Prince Andrew, Duke of York during the Royal Procession on day 3 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 16, 2016 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

To be seen amongst the regular goers were The Count and Countess Edouard de Guitaut, the Veaseys, Andrew and Serena Woodward, Charles and Agnieszka Hancock, Mark and Sinead Read, all joined by their children for the Saturday as well as our foreign contingent with designer Isabell Kristensen, Prince Hannibal di Reitano, Lara Preston and Natasha Bruun from Texas, Masato Hisamune from Japan, Brandon and Masha Nejati, Olga Stepp and many more.    

The five day meeting ended on a high note for the birthday girl who was able to celebrate in style upon the winning of Dartmouth, which won the Hardwicke Stakes on Saturday, its final day. The 10-1 chance, ridden by Olivier Peslier for trainer Sir Michael Stoute, was her first winner at the meeting for three years and how better to end the week with her 23rd win!

It was also a record-equalling 75th triumph at the meeting for Sir Michael Stoute, her trainer, set by the late Sir Henry Cecil. Nearly £130,000 in prize money went to the winner, with the majority of this for her victorious owner.

ESTIMATE after The Queens Vase Ascot 22Jun12

ESTIMATE after The Queens Vase Ascot 22Jun12

The race was a very tight one with an inquiry held after Dartmouth and Highland Reel came close together but the placings were unaltered with Dartmouth winning by a head from Highland Reel, and Almodovar finishing third.

Victory brought a high for the Queen, a week after her official 90th birthday, following the low of losing her runner Guy Fawkes, who suffered a fatal injury at Ascot on Thursday –  John Warren, racing advisor to the Queen said that The Queen got such a thrill out of him sticking his neck who went on to say that “this is the Olympics (of racing) and even to have a runner here is huge. To end up with a winner is so fantastic.”

The Queen was congratulated by her son, The Prince of Wales, on such a great ending with the spectators cheering along.

God Save the Queen, Long live the Queen!