Another Place, The Lake

Words & Photographs by Renae Smith

Around 20 minutes after leaving the train station I felt our taxi turn down a long driveway. My husband and I were in the heart of the Lake District and my eyes were instantly drawn to the blue waters of Ullswater – until we came to a complete stop in front of the doors to Another Place, The Lake.

With a few guests to check in before us we took a seat, admiring the central part of the original Georgian house. We’d passed by a collection of wellington boots by the entrance, ranging in size and shades of mud, and I spotted a bundle of wood in the corner of the library room, hinting at the presence of a fireplace, and a restaurant off to the right. As couples, a young family and dogs filtered through, it felt less like the reception area of a hotel and more like a large family house full of warmth and charm.

A smiling face caught my eye from behind the reception desk and as we were shown to our room in the hotel’s new extension, passing the Living Space and a casual restaurant/bar area and terrace, followed by the pool, sauna and treatment rooms. With the team from the Watergate Bay Hotel behind its creation, there are significant similarities in design and overall feel throughout – however, its place amongst the vast national parkland on the second largest lake in England ensures Another Place, The Lake stands on its own.

I lingered by the entrance to the indoor pool, struck by the view through the wall to ceiling windows. With a complete rundown of the hotel facilities and outdoor activities – from canoeing and paddle boarding, to tramping along the area’s many trails – I could foresee the challenge of indecision about what to do beyond the itinerary we had already booked in. Why do holidays never come with quite enough time?!

Our room was light and welcoming, with a view out over the lake and on to the snow-capped mountains in the distance (it had been an unseasonably long winter). I opened the balcony door and welcomed the crisp air into my lungs, the weight of the city now far behind me.

The next morning, the cloud that had rolled in over the lake in the early hours having long since burnt off, we went for breakfast at the Rampsbeck Restaurant, and it felt like the sun and the blue skies were competing for brightness.

As my husband had a paddle boarding lesson arranged, I opted for indulgence and made my way towards the treatment rooms for a pedicure. Although, having passed the Library with the sun streaming in, the thought of grabbing a book and curling up on one of the couches in front of the fire for the day certainly appealed.

With my feet thoroughly pampered I was tempted to give in to my relaxed state and head back to the room as I still had some time before my husband was to return, but then I remembered the three-course dinner we had planned that evening, so instead grabbed a map and selected a hiking trail. The map had a great selection of walks ranging in length and difficulty, but with limited time I decided on a short amble, saving a longer trek for the both of us to do the next day.

On my walk back to the hotel I spotted my husband’s paddle boarding group out on the water and decided to watch them come in from the terrace while I enjoyed something to eat from the Living Space menu. I felt deliciously calm and thought about when we would return; it was easy to imagine spending many types of holidays here throughout the year, each of the season’s offering up a different backdrop and range of adventrues.

Whatever the reason for making a trip to Another Place, The Lakes, you are assured of a view that will overtake the desire to curl back under the covers, no matter the weather.

Purobeach Barcelona

Words by Vivienne Day

In a city known for its good weather, good food and laid-back lifestyle, you might come to Barcelona seeking a break but you will leave invigorated and energised. Long days wandering down picturesque streets, late nights sampling tapas and cava (the local wine) and dancing ‘til the sun comes up: the city’s vibrancy draws you in and the whole place really comes alive after dark. Be ready to adopt a more Spanish schedule to get the most out of your visit. Start later and spend your days strolling around the city, soaking up the magnificent Gaudí architecture and stopping regularly at cafes to unwind with a coffee and observe daily life. Locals eat late so head out for dinner after 9 or 10 and then – if you fancy – check out one of the city’s lively nightclubs after midnight.

But when you’re looking for a real break from the buzz of Barca, make for the waterfront Hilton Hotel in the city’s newer eastern district. Inside, the hotel’s glamorous new Purobeach Barcelona offers you endless hours day of lazing by the pool and pure indulgence in a quieter part of town. Book a luxurious sun bed by the pool, lie back and you really don’t have to move for the rest of day. Staff will tend to your every need, bringing whatever you desire to sip or nibble to your day bed. Between glasses of Moet and plates of salad and sashimi you can sit back and watch the glamorous crowds. If you feel like a more substantial meal then wander over to the adjoining restaurant where I tucked into fresh fish, giant salads and piping hot patatas bravas. When you’ve had enough of lounging and eating, pop into the pool for a dip. Or indulge in the ultimate Barcelonan ritual: the siesta. After a day here, you’ll be relaxed, recharged and ready to head back into the crowds and addictive energy of Barcelona.

 

Que Sera Sera

Shedding a little light on what our contributors get up to outside the magazine. 

Que  Sera  Sera  documents  a  year  long  FA  Cup  campaign  across  England  with  full  access  to  the  stadiums  throughout  the  competition,  providing  a  looking  glass  in  which  to  view  the  modern  game  beyond  the  glitz  and  glamour.  The  series  is  now  being  turned  into  a  photo-book  with  a  kickstarter  campaign  in  collaboration  with  renowned  documentary  publishers  Bluecoat  Press.  It’s  currently  live  with  only  a  days  to  go  to  make  it  a  reality    kickstarter.com/projects/queserasera/que-sera-sera/

The  FA  Cup  is  one  of  Britain’s  greatest  sporting  institutions. With  a  history  stretching  back  to  1871,  it  is  the  oldest  football  competition  in  the  world  and  still  possesses  huge  cachet  for  players  and  supporters  alike. Photographers  Joseph  Fox  and  Orlando  Gili  saw  the  FA  Cup  as  an  opportunity  to  reverse  the  camera  and  capture  fan  culture  from  the  top  teams  down  to  the  grassroots,  taking  you  on  a  footballing  right  of  passage from  the  perspective  of  the  fans.

Que  Sera  Sera  tracks  the  campaign  beginning  in  mid  August  during  the  extra  preliminary  rounds,  a  few  miles  down  the  road  from  Wembley  stadium.  Following  each  winner  into  the  next  round,  the  two  photographers  travelled  a  combined  total  of  more  than  3,000  miles  over  10  months,  taking  in  13  rounds  and  15  games  (including  two  replays), returning  full  circle  back  to  Wembley  for  the  final. Uniting  every  fan  across the  country  during  each  round  you  can  hear  a  hopeful  yet  resigned  chant  reverberating  around  the  terraces  ‘Que  sera,  sera,  whatever  will  be,  will  be,  the  future’s  not  ours  to  see.’

The  series  of  images  build  up  to  provide  an  anthropological  look  into  Britain’s  obsession  with  football, at  every  level  of  the  game. It  questions  whether  the  country’s  preeminent  domestic  cup  competition  still  retains  it’s  magic,  in  the  light  of  competition  from  top  flight  football  leagues  and  the  European  cup competitions.

France Unseen

Within these pages you will find all things archetypically French, from snow-covered chalets, mighty châteaux and fromage, to every variety of wine a connoisseur could desire. But you’ll also encounter the unexpected – food- inspired jaunts through the Pyrénées-Orientales, journeys across the Alps in the footsteps of literary giants and a coastal road trip that pays homage to the elegance of yesteryear. This is a country of jasmine harvests, market splendour, Parisian decadence, fairy tale islands and adventure; a place to chase light and history and appreciate the marvels of terroir and creative daring. Full of the singular, serendipitous and spectacular, France, je t’aime.

Every issue our talented-beyond-words contributors share with us the most outstanding work. However, being limited by pages we simply can’t print it all. So, we wanted to share with you just a few of the spectacular French images we didn’t have space for – these come from Sarah Arnould, Arturo Bamboo, Tom Bunning, Mary Gaudin, Jim Johnston, Georgina Skinner, Renae Smith, Beth Squire and Angela Terrell.

To buy a copy of our France magazine (or invest in a few back issues) click here.

 

The Old Clare Hotel

Sydney has changed since I left for London seven years ago. It’s still an utterly glorious harbour-side oasis adored for its coffee and cafes, and it still has beaches I yearn for on cold English mornings. But it has become noticeably cooler in my absence. The galleries that were little more than tiny, unknown establishments in my early 20s have flourished and spread, architects are taking greater risks, food is increasingly daring and festivals of light and creativity seem to be on everybody’s minds. This may be the distance speaking, but I love what Sydney has become.

 

This change is most noticeable when booking into the city’s hotels – and Chippendale’s The Old Clare Hotel in particular. Constructed from two heritage-listed buildings (the original Clare Hotel pub and the Carlton & United Breweries Administration Building), this 62 room property, part of the Design Hotels collection, is the warm, light-filled definition of industrial chic. A place that honours its history, embraces Australiana and makes leaving its welcoming, elegant interior very difficult indeed

 

 

Within the hotel’s walls natural tones abound, with each room (all subtly different in design) boasting high ceilings and massive windows. There’s polished wood, exposed brick, marble tiling and gleaming concrete, with glass used in communal areas to invite the outside world in and draw attention to the bones of the original buildings – metal external stairwells transformed into pieces of art and brick walls mirroring the streets beyond. There are pendant lights and vintage furnishings (the dentist chair by reception sets to tone immediately), all of which nod the Chippendale’s industrial past. Colour is added with the use of soft furnishings, which include cushions inspired by Australia’s wildlife and wildflowers and throws you long to secret away. 

 

 

Once a lesser-known haunt coveted by locals and uni students (music posters from its earlier incarnation have survived, which look rather glorious beside the brilliantly retro central bar), the revamped Clare Bar is open to all, with many of the cocktails made from spirits produced by the local distilleries popping up across the city. A rooftop pool beckons on warmer days – the chaos of the city seeming particularly far away – while the attached Kensington Street Social restaurant is the ideal breakfast haunt. Those unwilling to leave the lushness of their rooms are able to sample the fare as part of the in-room dining service. The hotel is also right beside Spice Alley, perfect if you have a hankering for something Japanese, Malaysian, Chinese … I could go on. This is Sydney street food and accommodation done right. Here’s hoping my hometown continues to thrive.

 

theoldclarehotel.com.au

 

São Tomé e Príncipe

Words & Images by Miguel Neves

The sense of stillness is palpable, the scene before me otherworldly. In the archipelago of São Tomé e Príncipe the world is put on hold and time has no need to move forwards; the only real motion is the swaying of the banana trees and the Atlantic Ocean’s gentle waves that roll upon seemingly empty beaches.

This feeling of timelessness – of a land forgotten – is also present in the island’s colonial architecture. The tropical rainfalls of October to May leave their mark on São Tomé e Príncipe. They blemish the facades of the old Portuguese era buildings, leaving room for mould and vegetation to form between their cracks and tiles, blending the work of man and nature. 

Perhaps the residents of São Tomé describe this sensation best with the islands’ motto of ‘leve, leve’, which translates to ‘lightly, lightly’. This seems to capture the idea that life here should be enjoyed at a leisurely pace and that one should not trouble themselves with mundane problems that really do have no place among these parts.

It’s in this communion between man, nature and time that sets São Tomé e Príncipe apart and allows this place to consume you. You can get lost in thought here, free from worry, totally absorbed in a collage of green. You breath, hike up mountains, wander through villages and float in turquoise water, free from time’s constraints.  

Miguel Neves is a travel photographer and videographer from Lisbon, Portugal who imbues his landscapes and portraits with genuine emotion, hoping to not only tell stories but shed light on the deeper connections that bind us to the world and to others.

Follow his work on Instagram @thedeserts and Tumblr

 

Paramount House Hotel

Retuning to Sydney on my annual pilgrimage south there are certain things I need to do. Have a scoop of mint chock chip at Messina, indulge in a burger or two at Harpoon Harry, swim in the sea at Camp Cove, wander the Wendy Whitely Gardens, bask in all things Australia at the Unicorn and, because being a bit of a cliché is fun sometimes, be on Bondi for at least one sunrise.

On my most recent journey back to The Great Southern Land however I found a glorious new activity to indulge in – swapping the spare-bedroom-meets-storage-room I normally claim in my childhood home for a Loft room at the newly opened and utterly gorgeous Paramount House Hotel. This brick and copper-adored structure, in ever-trendy Surry Hills and just a short amble from the transport hub that is Central Station, is a destination in it’s own right. Across the road sit Longrain and Chin Chin, restaurants any gourmand would swear by, and within the building you’ll find Golden Age Cinema and Bar (the ideal date location for lovers of all things a little bit retro), long-adored breakfast haunt Paramount Coffee and co-working hub The Office Space

 

Having once been the offices and warehouses of Paramount Picture Studios, the 29 room hotel, which took four years to fully restore, feels like it comes with creative history. The interiors are warm, almost earthy – there are plants throughout and natural tones and textures abound. You’ll find polished concrete, exposed brick, floor to ceiling windows (in the Loft room at least), rich furnishings, a lift with the best wallpaper in town, French linens you long to secret away and a Japanese style bath made for soaking. The artwork has been curated by the nearby China Heights Gallery, while check in within the lofty lobby comes with a welcome drink – I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the the sour beery from Marrickville brewery Wildflower – and plenty of indie reading material. 

Paramount House Hotel is the work of Melbourne-based Breathe Architecture and you can really sense the love and attention that has gone into making it something distinctive – an industrial-chic hideaway you don’t want to leave. And you don’t have to. Check in, admire the set up, catch a film downstairs, listen to the sounds of Surrey Hills, raid the cheese and wine in the mini bar and bask in the brilliance of one of Sydney’s newest additions.  

Rooms from $240 
paramounthousehotel.com

Photos by Sharyn Cairns & Tom Ross

 

 

 

 

 

Corsican Craft

Words by Kieren Toscan & Photographs by Renae Smith

It was October when we arrived in Bastia, Corsica’s northernmost city. The summer had already left on its annual journey south, taking with it the best of the heat and the bulk of the tourists; a draw I would argue was a win, allowing us to have the still-sun- kissed island all to ourselves. Alas, as a result there are fewer flights to and from Corsica at this time of year and this, combined with vagaries of airline delays, meant it had taken the best part of the day to fly from London. Nevertheless, rest and Napoleonic history were on my mind – even if they required further travel – so my wife and I left the airport to chase the softening glow of the sun west towards La Balagne.

Bastia to La Balagne is not far as the crow flies and, even accounting for the narrow roads that wind and unwind along the way, it should have taken little more than an hour to drive the distance, yet we found ourselves arriving well on the wrong side of two. Traversing the tip of the high granite backbone that runs almost the length of the island proved to be more than we bargained for. But this wasn’t a challenge of conditions, rather one of attention.

No sooner had we started our journey than the landscape began to show us glimpses of its harsh beauty, beckoning us to stop at every turn and marvel at its offerings. Partially covered in dark green, fragrant scrub – which makes up a biome known as maquis – the ranges and peaks seemed to fold over and into themselves, again and again off into the horizon, and grew more indiscernible as the sun receded, almost to the point of confusion. Was that another range? An angry bank of dark clouds making its way towards us? Or something else entirely?

It was harder still to keep moving once the ranges had parted and dropped away to reveal the deep blue of the Ligurian Sea, still sparkling in the early evening light. Bordered in parts by golden sand, topped with the occasional white cap, and finished with gusts of clean, salty air, the scene was one we had known would be bountiful, but was unexpected nonetheless – worlds away from the wintery London we had so recently departed. By the time we reached La Balagne we were wholly enlivened and rendered utterly refreshed, retiring with the travails of travels past a faint memory.

Given our glorious introduction to Corsica, we awoke the next morning greedily wondering what more it would gift us. The answer revealed itself as we arrived in Pigna, a small medieval village of sand-coloured buildings, blue shutters and cobbled alleys, perched on a hillside with expansive views towards the coast. It was here that we had the good fortune to meet some of the artisans of Strada di l’Artigiani – the Artisans’ Road – a serpentine, scenic drive between the villages of La Balagne, conceived in 1993 to help regenerate the region and promote Corsican heritage. Along this route one can find craftsmen and women creating everything from sculptures, ceramics, honey and wine, to leather goods, music boxes, wooden flutes and guitars. Part of the joy of journeying along Strada di l’Artigiani is found not just in the creations encountered but in the time spent with the artisans themselves after you’re welcomed into their workshops, where they reveal just how keen they are for visitors to understand a little more about them, their art and their island home.

Renae and Kieren’s full article appears in the Lodestars Anthology France magazine. You can order a copy here.

 

Postcards from Japan

We returned to Japan this April with Wondertrunk & Co and Polaroid Originals to explore glorious San’in – a lesser known region on the island of Honshu that overlooks the Sea of Japan (bring on the freshest fish we’ve ever sampled) and remains a centre for Kagura (a brilliantly dramatic dance – serpents and all – performed for the gods), craft and Shintoism. We’re working on a custom magazine with Wondertrunk at the moment, but in the meantime, wanted to share some of the polaroids gathered on the road. Getting rather hooked on shooting on vintage film, there’s something about slowing down and rationing your images that makes you see a setting in an entirely new light. Watch this space!

XECO

The blossoms are blooming, the sun is out (occasionally) so we feel like it’s time to update our seasonal cocktail menu. And for this we look to the lovely crew at XECO who have released a collection of sherries that are worlds away from the somewhat dated drink you have come to expect (we’re talking the stuff you want to savour and make the star of your picnic spread, rather than something to hide in a trifle). Yep, XECO is making sherry cool again.

Hailing from Spain’s sun-kissed Andalucian region, sherry is having a bit of a moment right now and the ‘fino friends’ who founded XECO share more than just an appreciation of the tipple, they want to revitalise the drink while honouring its origins. Teaming up with local Spanish bodega Díez Mérito, XECO’s collection includes Fino (crisp and dry) and Amontillado (light and nutty ). Stunning with food, wonderful on its own and kind of perfect in a cocktail!

We’ve also can’t help but admire the the XECO labelling, which captures sherry’s Spanish and English connections – it has been traded between the two countries since the 13th century. Two sketched historical figures from each country (created by Ben Rothery) adorn the bottles (meaning they’ll make rather wonderful vases when the time comes) – historic feuds, friendships and unions beautifully re-imagined. Here are a few of our favourites and, as promised, a few cocktail recipes too!

To invest in a bottle (or three), click here.

“On Sherry: The destiny of a thousand generations is concentrated in each drop. If the cares of the world overwhelm you, only taste it, pilgrim, and you will swear that heaven is on earth.” Pedro Antonio de Alarcón