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DINNER IN THE SKY

Are you looking for something a little different for dinner? Then look no further: Dinner in the Sky is a company that takes dining to a whole new level… literally! Renowned Michelin three-star chef Alain Passard recently prepared a special dinner party for guests suspended above the stunning Cathedrale d'Amiens in France.

AvBuyer   |   1st January 2012
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Are you looking for something a little different for dinner? Then look no further: Dinner in the Sky is a company that takes dining to a whole new level… literally! Renowned Michelin three-star chef Alain Passard recently prepared a special dinner party for guests suspended above the stunning Cathedrale d'Amiens in France.
The creator of Events in the Sky, David Ghysels, is passionate about the unique experiences on offer. "People of means want to live extraordinary things. They want to be able to tell their friends that they have done something incredible, unique."

So far his company has held events all over the world including in Chandigarh ;Dubai (for BMW);Beirut and Bel Hawa Sawa (for MTV);Lebanon (forHSBC); and Jerusalem (a Bar Mitzvah in the Sky).

Prices for events over major landmarks range between $20,000 and $50,000 which guarantees an incredible meal and a night for you and your guests to remember always.

Other experiences offered by the company include Lounge in the Sky, Golf in the Sky, Showbiz in the Sky and Marriage in the Sky- all coming soon.

BEAUTIFUL CARS, LEGENDARY HOTELS - PERFECT COMBINATION
The title reflects the thinking behind the global partnership of Bentley cars with The St Regis and The Luxury Collection hotels and resorts. Guests will enjoy driving programmes, special events, brand initiatives and house fleets at flagship hotels around the world.

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur models have been chosen as the house fleet at St. Regis hotels and resorts around the world (including The St. Regis Singapore, The St. Regis Saadiy at Island Resort in Abu Dhabi and the brand’s flagship hotel in New York).

In April of this year, The Luxury Collection and Bentley conducted the scenic Springtime Bentley Grand Tour from Vienna to Salzburg. Lasting two days, the journey by Bentley Continental W12 and V8 included stops at the Hotel Imperial in Vienna and the Schloss Fuschl in Salzburg.

BENTLEY’S NEW SUV CONCEPT CAR
Having unveiled its new EXP 9F SUV at the recent Geneva Salon d’Auto, the chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors, Wolfgang Duerheimer, remarked: “You may ask yourself ‘what does the ‘F’ in EXP 9F stand for?’. Well the ‘F’ simply stands for Falcon. The outstanding characteristics of this animal have been guiding us through the concept phase of this car.”

It’s unmistakably a Bentley - yet a Bentley like none before it. The ‘EXP’ name pays homage to EXP 1 (Experimental Prototype), the very first car to bear the Bentley name, built in 1920.The last experimental concept vehicle to be developed was in 2001. The ‘EXP Speed 8’ was an experimental racing car that just two years ago raced to victory at Le Mans.

Bentley believes that many of its customers already own SUVs (alongside the Mulsanne or Continental in their garages) and that a dramatically-styled, Bentley all-wheel drive SUV would be a natural choice both on and off-road.

Notable Bentley design features such as the matrix grille, round lamps and the strong power-line and haunch along each flank have been reinterpreted for EXP 9F.The rear lights are inspired by the forms and details of fighter jet engines, uniquely designed so that they glow from within, spreading their light outwards, whilst the amber glow from the indicators give the appearance of an after-burner.

The EXP 9 F seating is 4+1.Rear seat passengers can choose between two modes: Business mode, with fold-down keyboard and full internet connectivity via an iPad or tablet, or a more reclined position for leisure purposes with powered footrest, drinks table and a screen for movies. When the rear seats are not in use, they can be powered forward to create a larger load space for sports equipment or luggage.

Three different driving modes – Driver Focus, Command Drive and Grand Touring – will be selectable depending to the road environment and type of journey. Thus the driver information TFT panel will be able to switch between satellite navigation on the motorway to a ‘sump cam’ when negotiating a bumpy track.

The SUV is characterised by Bentley’s exceptional levels of power and performance. Although the EXP 9 F concept is based around the Bentley 6.0 litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine with an eight-speed transmission, both the company’s recently-launched 4.0 litre, twin-turbocharged V8 or a hybrid drive train could meet the performance requirements of a pinnacle luxury SUV.

SPACE TRAVEL FROM ABU DHABI
Richard Branson’s Abu Dhabi-backed Virgin Galactic will establish a second spaceport for the company based in the UAE capital. The spaceport will handle international flights with a remit to reduce flight times to the US by an hour and will also eventually provide a base for the first private travellers’ flights into space.

Announcing the spaceport, Virgin painted a picture of an exciting future for the new space port, whose exact location in Abu Dhabi has yet to be decided, and a new era of inter galactic travel. Perhaps one day this will include a future generation of spaceships flying from Abu Dhabi to New Mexico in no more than an hour.

Virgin says its flights into space are at least a year away from commencing at its US location in the Mojave Desert where it is now extending the runway. Once underway, Space tourists will get a two-and-a-half-hour flight with about five minutes of weightlessness and views of Earth that until now only astronauts have seen.

In September 2011, a businessman from Singapore paid US $1 million for a ticket for him, his wife and two children to travel to space with Virgin Galatic and will become the first Asian family to fly to space together with the space-tourism airline.

Speaking at an international media and marketing conference in Singapore, Virgin Galactic commercial director Stephen Attenborough said the customer had asked to remain anonymous because “apparently he hasn't told his wife yet”.

Virgin Galactic has already taken 500 customer deposits at US$200,000 a ticket for its anticipated space programme.

2011 - A VINTAGE YEAR FOR CHATEAU LAFITE?
According to International Fine Wines Company, Berry Bros. & Rudd, 2011 might not be at the same level as the superlative 2009 and 2010 for Bordeaux-produced wine. But this connoisseur says the 2011 vintage does offer some pleasant surprises, and the campaign promises to be an interesting one, with Chateau Lafite-Rothschild releasing very early and Chateau Latour pulling out of the en primeur system.

Indications from the barrel tastings undertaken by Berry’s experts’ annual pilgrimage to Bordeaux, suggest that those who have produced gems will be similar to 1996 in terms of style, but even those who haven’t made wines of blockbuster appeal will not be bad – considering the advances made in winemaking technology during recent years.

The good news is that this 2011 vintage is likely to have produced lovely drinking Bordeaux to fill up the cellar, with those that bought 2002, 2004 and 2008 aware of what great value these wines are - and of course how delicious they are.

Simon Staples, Fine Wine Sales Director for Berry Bros. & Rudd, said: “We have seen far greater wines at the top end than we could have possibly hoped for. The gap between "The Super Seconds" and the “Firsts” is tiny this year with several surpassing the Firsts’ quality. I have tasted very good dry whites and exceptional sweeties that are as good as 2001.”

Alun Griffiths, Berry’s Wine Buying Director, added: “Nobody in Bordeaux is pretending that this vintage is on the same level as 2009 or 2010. It does seem superior to 2008, 2006, 2004 and 2002. So now all depends on price. Logically we would expect to see prices pitched between the opening offers of 2008 and 2009, perhaps nearer to the former than the latter.

“Early indications from the chateaux are that they will release the wines early and at prices which reflect - in part - this sentiment. If this happens then we would be recommending some of this vintage strongly; if prices fail to drop sufficiently, however, then it may be wiser to sit and wait, or to look at older vintages which could offer better value,” he concluded.

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