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Panos’s new adventure: hearty, heartfelt food and exclusive beers at the Panos Panos Tavern

Filed by Lucire staff/September 14, 2021/12.33

Panos Papadopoulos, the founder of Panos Emporio and dubbed ‘the king of swimwear’ by the Swedish press, has announced his newest venture: the Panos Panos Tavern in Göteborg.
   Spurred by his own thoughts of good food and wanting to create a venue where people can socialize as they emerge from the pandemic, Panos took over the site of the acclaimed Thörnström’s Kitchen (Teknologgatan 3), which had closed due to COVID-19.
   He has breathed new life into the space, including painting some of the art that adorns his new restaurant, and offering a menu that celebrates his Greek heritage. Once again, he has confounded those who said it couldn’t be done: after doing the deal before the summer to take over the premises, he has managed to launch the Panos Panos Tavern before the end of September.
   Alongside a new menu of well cooked food made from locally produced ingredients, Panos has also developed two unique beers that are exclusive to his Tavern. Eros lager and Agapi IPA are Swedish-made craft beers that have been developed to complement the restaurant.
   Panos promises that the food has soul, with hearty dishes that are as ‘heartfelt and as healthy as something you will find in a good home in Greece and on the Mediterranean,’ but that there are new twists with the flavours.
   ‘We live in strange times and opening a restaurant in the wake of the pandemic may seem like an impossible task, given the longer delivery times, difficulties in obtaining materials and machines, getting hold of craftsmen, etc. Although those who have known me before know that I am embarking on the impossible. With hard work, perseverance and creativity you go a long way!’ he said.
   He worked many 18-hour days as his planned launch in mid-September neared, paying close attention to detail, a formula that netted him such huge success in the swimwear fashion market.
   Panos Panos Tavern opens on September 15. Reservations can be made at, via email at, or telephone +46 31 12-75-73. Opening hours are presently 5 to 11 p.m. seven days a week.


Markus Hansen’s Library for Claude Lévi-Strauss opens in Paris

Filed by Lucire staff/July 3, 2021/13.51

Opening today, the newest addition to the Musée de la Chasse is an exciting permanent installation by artist Markus Hansen entitled Library for Claude Lévi-Strauss, which celebrates one of the fathers of structuralism. Hansen’s career, influenced by the likes of Josef Beuys and the Fluxus movement, spans installation art, painting, photography and architecture. The artist says the new conceptual work represents an ideal library which samples the multiplicity of knowledge and the plurality of sources, concealed under a trellis of feathers. Well worth a look and highly recommended.
   One of the lesser-known treasures of Paris, the museum is home to a noteworthy collection which includes paintings, taxidermy and historic objects, housed in a remarkable historic building located at 62, rue des Archives, in the 3rd arrondissement.
   Claude Lévi-Strauss had an extensive collection of ethnographic art from Brazil, North Africa and North America. He donated 1,478 pieces which are today displayed at the Musée Quai Branly in the 7th.
   Now that Paris is suddenly back in business, the sidewalk tables are filling and the popular museums have reopened. A visit to a smaller museum will mean no crowds and the luxury of leisurely browsing extraordinary rooms and objects. And a first-hand encounter with the incisive installation vision of Markus Hansen is a rare delight in a landscape of overblown hyperbole.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor


Top-tier luxury offerings in Saint-Tropez

Filed by Lucire staff/June 30, 2021/19.04

In February, we reported the reopening of favourite properties in Saint-Tropez. Word has just come in that Airelles Château de la Messardière reopens July 1 with two exceptional luxury offerings of interest.
   First, from July 1 to October 10, 2021, Château de la Messardière will partner with world-renowned chef Nobu Matsuhisa. The pop-up restaurant Matsuhisa Saint-Tropez will offer guests a signature focus on fresh seafood. The extensive menu will boast a unique blend of Japanese–French fusion cuisine drawn from Matsuhisa’s legendary dishes. An impressive selection of sake is designed to perfectly pair with his culinary masterpieces.
   Interiors of the restaurant will be kept minimal and sleek, with a focus on surfaces that show off the chef’s gastronomic artistry. Another enticement will be the outdoor terrace, with its breathtaking views over Pampelonne Bay. Guests will be able to enjoy spectacular sunsets, followed by Matsuhisa’s delicious presentations under the stars.
   Next, for that Instagrammable luxury moment you crave, why not opt for a private classic cycle sidecar vineyard tour? You can explore the surrounding vineyards of Saint-Tropez in style as you cruise around picturesque villages and rolling countryside with an experienced driver. You’ll get a tour of world-renowned vineyards, followed by wine tasting and a delicious picnic.
   Rates at Château de la Messardière start from US$1,366 in a Classic room based on a new inclusive rate concept. For more information, visit—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor


Visual Arts Authority takes a step towards a comprehensive Saudi cultural renaissance

Filed by Lucire KSA team/June 13, 2021/22.34

Saudi Arabia has always emphasized the importance of promoting science, culture, and the arts to contribute to dialogue and communication between nations for the sake of a prosperous present and a better future for the next generations.
   In 2020, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Minister of Culture, appointed Dina Amin as CEO of the Visual Arts Authority and undertook the Ministry’s vision towards the sector.
   Dina Amin is a Saudi expert in visual arts academically and professionally. She holds a BA in history of arts and architecture from Wellesley College, Massachusetts, USA, and has passed a training course at MIT in architecture.
   Amin has a distinguished career that spans more than 20 years in international companies specializing in contemporary arts, including Philips, the global leader in the sale and purchase of art pieces and designs, and Christie’s, one of the largest art auction houses in the world.
   The Visual Arts Authority comes as one of 11 new cultural bodies recently launched by the Ministry of Culture to manage the Saudi sector. Their responsibilities include setting a development strategy, following up on its implementation, supporting and empowering talents, encouraging individuals, institutions and companies to produce and develop content related to visual arts, supporting the protection of intellectual property rights, and holding courses and programmes.
   The Saudi Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, stresses the Kingdom looks at culture as one of the most prominent foundations for human development; it builds bridges of understanding between societies for the sake of a stronger world where people are interconnected.

Pillars of national transformation
Five years ago, the Kingdom announced culture and arts among the pillars of national transformation through Vision 2030. The goal is to build a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation.
   Subsequently, confident steps were taken towards a more prosperous future through the ambitious vision launched by Prince Mohammed bin Salman under the guidance of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. The Minister of Culture affirmed: ‘Soon its features began to be reflected positively in several sectors, including education, culture and the arts.’
   Once again, the Kingdom is determined to continue its journey in promoting joint work with UNESCO and achieving the United Nations’ goals for sustainable development under the umbrella of joint collective action.

Visions and trends
The Ministry of Culture launched the vision and orientations on March 27, 2019. They represent the framework of the Ministry’s mission to develop the cultural sector in the Kingdom: culture as a way of life, for economic growth, and to enhance the Kingdom’s international status.
   These goals are closely aligned with the strategic axes of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, represented in building a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation.
   In this context, the Ministry of Culture seeks to develop capabilities and enhance opportunities within the sector by transferring aspects of the Saudi cultural heritage to the daily life of citizens and residents.
   The Ministry of Culture has identified 16 priority sub-sectors to focus on and enhance pioneering initiatives. The vision and orientations stipulate the creation of 11 cultural entities.

Membership of UNESCO Executive
The Ministry of Culture is the supervisor of the cultural sector in the Kingdom, initially affiliated to the Ministry of Information, but separated from it afterwards to become an independent department.
   The Kingdom is interested in developing the culture and arts sector within the Saudi Vision 2030. The country is a founding and supportive member of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and obtained a seat on the UNESCO Executive Board in the November 2019 elections, occupied by the Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Farhan.

Four Pillars
The Ministry’s tasks rely on four fundamental axes: leadership, support, care, and development. These lead the cultural movement in Saudi Arabia, expose its cultural aspects, define and sponsor the Kingdom’s heritage properties, set the necessary regulatory and legal frameworks for the development of sectors, and take care of the cultural heritage.
   The Ministry also develops talents, facilitates initiatives, and works to enhance community participation through an integrated plan that contributes to cultural and heritage development.
   Although the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 contains many ambitious goals, its support in culture and entertainment are the two primary life quality components that strike the most.

National Music Ensemble
After decades without the Saudi Radio Music Band, which included among its members the pioneers and symbols of modern Saudi music (most notably the composers Omar Kadars, Sami Ihsan, and Ghazi Ali), the Ministry of Culture took an important decision. It established the National Music Band in 2019 to represent the Kingdom in global and regional musical forums. The band has 26 Saudi musicians; the King Fahd Cultural Center is its headquarters. Its first official appearance was in a ceremony at the Okaz market in Taif.

Cultural investment
The vision emphasized that the reality of recreational and cultural opportunities did not live up to the enormous potentials stored in Saudi’s land, culture, history, and civilization, nor did it fit the prosperous economic situation of the Kingdom.
   Fortunately, the local cultural reality has witnessed a different movement over the past five years. In addition to establishing the vast Islamic Museum in Riyadh, the prospect will develop culture and provide investment opportunities through festivals and programs aligned with the current digital transformation worldwide. The Ministry has determined that by supporting non-profit and private sectors in organizing festivals and events.
   The role of government funds will be in contributing to the establishment and development of entertainment centres and encouraging Saudi and international investors. The plan includes partnerships with global entertainment companies and land allocation for cultural and entertainment projects, such as libraries, museums, arts, and others.

Openness and cinema
For years, festivals and cultural events have welcomed guest of honour applications as part of a global tradition. The Kingdom did not ignore this aspect, and it hosted several countries from all continents. Such an approach is currently witnessing remarkable growth through some festivals to be implemented by the Ministry. Perhaps the most anticipated of them is the Red Sea International Film Festival, not to mention the upgrade of previous festivals, now with international dimensions, most notably the Janadriyah Festival and the Okaz Market.
   The most prominent points of this plan are the approval for opening a movie theatre in Saudi Arabia, an aspiration of intellectuals and artists alike who hope this next step will be of great importance in the film industry in the country.
   Simultaneously, the upcoming Red Sea Festival adheres to the initiative of the Ministry of Culture of a cultural movement at the local, Arab and international levels. The event is one of the Red Sea Film Festival initiatives, a modern institution registered as one of the supporting actors of the local film sector. The Minister of Culture, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, chairs its board of trustees.
   Observers can note that the steps for Saudi cinema are leaping well and moving in a planned and thoughtful direction, within a complete march of the organization announced during the Kan Al-Mady festival.

World Heritage
Five sites in Saudi Arabia were included in UNESCO’s World Heritage sites list. The first was Mada’in Saleh in 2008, followed by the Al-Turaif neighbourhood in the old Dir’iyah area in 2010.
   Historic Jeddah was registered in 2014, and finally, the rock art in the Hail region in 2015.

World Summit
Next March, the Kingdom will host the World Summit on Artificial Intelligence, a global annual forum for exchanging experiences and forging partnerships between local and international actors and companies in the world of data and artificial intelligence.

Temporary list
In 2015, UNESCO added ten Saudi intangible cultural heritage elements to its World Heritage temporary list.
   The list includes the art of falconry, an ancient hobby in the Arabian Peninsula region and some other Arab countries, and Arabic coffee under the title Arabic coffee is a symbol of generosity.
   Al-Arda Najdi was registered as Al-Arda Najdi—Folk Dancing, Drum Beating and Poetic Songs from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is also called the Saudi Arda.
   The folk flute dance, one of the traditional dances in the Hijaz and often practised in family or national festivities is another highlight.
   Finally, the art of the Asiri cat made its way to the list; it is one of the abstract arts from the Asir region performed by women to decorate their homes.

National Theater Company
Similar to the establishment of the National Band, the Ministry of Culture included the launch of the National Theater Company. Playwright Abdulaziz Al-Ismail was appointed as Head of the National Theater Company, the King Fahd Cultural Center in Riyadh is the headquarters.


Unique Aston Martin DB5 Vantage collection for sale, including one-off Shooting Brake

Filed by Lucire staff/June 7, 2021/11.52

Fluid Images

The most iconic Aston Martin is arguably the DB5, the one piloted by Sean Connery as James Bond in Goldfinger. Aston Martin made 1,021 DB5s, including 60-odd in Vantage tune, and 123 convertibles. Getting a DB5 is hard enough, but getting three Vantages—a coupé, a convertible, and a one-off Shooting Brake—would qualify as a very special, unique situation. Aston Martin specialist Nicholas Mee & Co. is offering this very special trio for sale, with a price tag of £4 million.
   The DB5, developed from the DB4 Series V with the slanted headlights first seen on the DB4 GT, was incredibly desirable from its launch in July 1963. The engine was enlarged from 3·7 to 4 litres, increasing the power to 282 hp. Vantages saw the power increased further, to 314 hp, giving a 0–60 mph time of 6·5 s.
   The Shooting Brake is unique, and when some sources cite that only 65 DB5 Vantages were built, they omit this very special car. It would be fair to say it was not a production model: the first was produced for Aston Martin chairman David Brown, to accommodate his gundog and polo equipment. Eleven were ordered by customers, with hand-made bodies by Radford. Only one Shooting Brake was ordered in Vantage tune, commissioned by dealer Cyril Williams of Wolverhampton. It is the only one to have left the factory and was delivered to its first owner in 1966. This one-off is finished in California sage over red hides.
   The DB5 Vantage convertible—the Volante tag had not been coined at this point—is in Caribbean pearl blue with white gold hide interior, and is one of five in this specification. Finally, the coupé is finished in silver birch with a black hide interior—the same colour combination as the cinematic James Bond’s.
   The trio have been collected over a 12-year period and were subject to full restorations by Aston Martin specialists. Each car comes with a detailed history with original build details, BMIHT certificates, maintenance records, ownership documentation, and restoration particulars.
   They are being shown at a concours event at the Honourable Artillery Company’s HQ in London, over three days from June 8. Find out more from Nicholas Mee & Co. at

Fluid Images


Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle: vivre comme le roi

Filed by Lucire staff/June 6, 2021/23.24

Rénée Kemps

This week, in an eagerly awaited launch, Airelle’s seventh property, Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle opened outside Paris. The first hotel to operate within the grounds of the Château de Versailles, it’s situated in a building constructed by Louis XIV’s favourite architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, in 1681. Guests have access to the 2,000-acre gardens, historic palace halls, apartments and grounds, including areas of the Château that are normally closed to visitors. Here is a property where you can raise the bar on your expectations.
   Exclusivity is the watchword with only 14 meticulously restored regal rooms and suites, including a 120 m² signature suite. You will enjoy views over the Orangerie, the Pièce d’Eau des Suisses and the Château. Finished in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century style, the light-filled rooms feature authentic colours and fabrics, chandeliers, art and objects, artefacts and original period furniture. Opulent historical features recreated include parquet flooring, fabrics, stonework and wood panelling. Time to brush up on your Revolution-era French: you may happen upon a love letter from Madame De Staël to her lover Louis, Comte de Narbonne-Lara.
   You will discover many other bonuses to this remarkable one-of-a-kind offering, not the least of which is a new dining experience from Alain Ducasse, Ducasse at Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle. The salon has views onto the Orangerie parterre, a bell rings at 8.30 p.m. to signal the beginning of dinner, and in addition to a dazzling multi-course heritage menu, Ducasse offers a Sunday royal brunch. A table not to be missed.
   The on-site Valmont spa features a 15 m indoor swimming pool and a wealth of exclusive treatments.
   Luxury at this level allows for excessive flights of the imagination. The allure of private events in such a unique venue might include intimate weddings, private dinners or exclusive launches, for up to 54 guests. Imagine hosting an event inside the Palace itself followed by an exclusive overnight takeover, accommodating up to 36 guests across the 14 rooms and suites.
   Guests may also choose to add on private tours; after-hours access to the Hall of Mirrors; a Marie Antoinette-themed day including a costume fitting; a private performance at the Royal Opera; or private dining with a string quartet, all at additional cost.
   Luxury at this level does not come cheap, but it’s worth every penny. Rates at Airelles Château de Versailles, Le Grand Contrôle start from US$2,077 including a dedicated butler; daily tours of Château de Versailles and the Trianon; access to the Palace grounds and Orangerie; use of boats and golf carts on hand to explore the Grand Canal and gardens at leisure; breakfast, afternoon tea and minibar.
   The prestigious hotel collection comprises Le Grand Contrôle, Les Airelles in Courchevel, La Bastide in Gordes, Mademoiselle in Val d’Isère and Château de la Messardière and Pan Deï Palais in Saint-Tropez.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

Rénée Kemps


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