The Whiteley is Luxury Living in London’s First Department Store

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The Whiteley building

When Whiteleys first opened as London’s inaugural department store in 1911, the Lord Mayor of London reportedly deemed it the “most beautiful building in the UK”. More than a century has passed, and while the department store may have closed and its name formalized to The Whiteley, that title arguably still holds true. 

When a building has such a decadent and rich history, it is rarely promised that its future will be as equally exciting. The store closed its doors for the final time in 1981, sitting more or less empty as a forgotten shopping center on Queensway’s high street. That was until 2018, when development managers Finchatton, with investment partners MARK and C C Land, began a £1bn (approx. $1.28bn) regeneration project, which is set for completion this year.

The redevelopment will see The Whiteley become the new home of Six Senses London – the first UK location for the unrivaled well-being and sustainability brand – a number of private residences and choice restaurants and retailers.

[See also: What are Branded Residences?]

The Whiteley interiors
The Whiteley is designer Kelly Behun's first London-based project / ©Paul Raeside
interiors by Kelly Behun
Hand-carved stools were sourced from Bali / ©Paul Raeside

Out of the 139 unique residences on offer, however, one has certainly caught our eye. Curated by

A Pawfect Stay at Ellenborough Park

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ellenborough park exterior

Standing within a bucolic 90-acre estate, Ellenborough Park is supremely located between the highest point of the ever-enchanting Cotswolds and the famed Cheltenham Racecourse (it’s under three miles away, in fact). 

The five-star hotel and spa dates back to the 1400s when it was originally known as Southam House. Throughout its lengthy history, it has been home to the De la Bere family (whose marriage crest still sits above the fireplace in the Restaurant), hosted King George III during his extended stay in Cheltenham to access the spa waters, and was a girls’ school for a number of decades. 

It opened as Ellenborough Park in 2010 following a thorough refurbishment where many of the original features were restored — including the full removal, restoration and reinstallation of the staircase. 

[See also: The 15 Best Luxury Hotels in London]


As Ellenborough Park sits amongst 90 private acres, it is practically made for bringing along any four-legged companions. Luckily, dogs are more than catered for — downright spoilt, in fact. My labrador, Rhubarb, was treated to a Le Chameau bed in our suite (she tried her very best to sleep on my four-poster bed, though) along with a welcome dog’s dinner for her and even a dog room-service menu in case she fancied something extra — dog tapas, chicken roast dinner and even ‘bark brew’ were on offer. 

The dog-friendly suite also had a sizable enclosed garden for her to run around in privacy. It is worth noting that if you are visiting with your dog, no one will enter your suite without you being present. So that means no housekeeping or turn-down service if you’re out at dinner. This was music to my ears as Rhubarb  is a particularly nervous girl and would be uneasy about any unexpected visitors. 

[See also: The Gainsborough Bath Spa: The Healing Power of Water]

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A Weekend Travel Guide to Austin, Texas

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Lady Bird Lake

Texas’s state capital, Austin, has something for everyone: eclectic live music focusing on country, blues and rock; lots of parks and lakes; a vibrant nightlife; excellent shopping; and delicious food, as this travel guide shows.

To begin your ultimate Austin music tour, head to Austin City Limits for a behind-the-scenes look at the Moody Theater. Austin Detours offers a fun tour led by an Austin musician who will take you off the beaten path to discover hidden gem music venues.

Animal lovers should explore the Austin Zoo. Situated southwest of the Barton Creek Habitat Preserve, it houses more than 300 animals and 100 different species. See lions and tigers, black bears (that have been rescued and rehabilitated), monkeys, reptiles and exotic birds — and there are peacocks roaming the grounds. Be sure to get a picture with a Texas Longhorn.

[See also: A Luxury Guide to a Long Weekend in San Antonio]

Congress Avenue Bridge
Congress Avenue Bridge / ©Shutterstock

When the sun sets, head to Congress Avenue Bridge to see around 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats soar through the sky from beneath the bridge.

History buffs will find tons to see in Austin: Explore the Texas Capitol Complex at the Texas Capitol Visitors Center to learn about the state’s history with a guided tour.

The University of Texas at Austin also has an impressive collection of museums including the Harry Ransom Center. Enjoy the great outdoors at Lady Bird Lake — do the 10-mile hike-and-bike trail; canoe, kayak or paddleboard through the calm water; or enjoy a beer and some lunch on a river cruise.

Texas Capitol Complex
Texas Capitol Complex / ©Shutterstock

Where to sleep

On the corner of Brazos and 6th streets in central Austin, you’ll find The Driskill Hotel. Filled with character and historic charm, it’s the perfect base for sightseeing in Austin. Prosperous cattle baron Jesse Driskill built the hotel in 1886; the hotel maintains many original fitt

Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea: An Oasis of Serenity

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Six Senses Southern Dunes

Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, was the first resort to welcome guests to The Red Sea, a regenerative luxury destination that will eventually be home to more than 50 hotels. As an initial example of what’s to come, Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, paints an impressive picture of the region’s potential.

The partnership between Six Senses and Red Sea Global — the multi-project developer behind The Red Sea — was founded upon shared values. Namely a commitment to sustainability and preserving the natural environment, while providing a unique guest experience, and true sense of place.

Inspired by the ancient heritage of the Nabataean people, in addition to the immense backdrop of desert plains and the Hijaz Mountains, Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, rises from this landscape like an oasis of serenity. While firmly in the Alnesai desert, this new sanctuary lies just an hour's drive from the coast and the newly constructed Red Sea International Airport — most visitors' gateway to the region.

Six Senses southern dunes bedroom
The rooms are modern and luxurious but also feature textiles and notes of the fascinating Nabataean culture / ©Red Sea Global

Since 1995, Six Senses has built its reputation as a luxury brand that puts sustainability and wellness to the forefront. Leading the team at Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea, is an industry veteran, general manager Fredrik Blomqvist, who for over 25 years has worked in some of the finest hotels across the world in Europe, the Middle East, the Read more

Leica Camera Opens Flagship Store in New York City

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leica cameras new york flagship store

Leica Camera has welcomed guests to its flagship store and gallery in New York City’s Meatpacking District. Located on 13th Street, a stone’s throw from the Highline, the new shop will showcase the renowned German camera manufacturer’s full range of products catering to everyone from budding shutterbugs to professional photographers.

Spanning 3,000 sq ft, the sprawling store is set to become a hub for art and culture. The ground floor is home to the Leica boutique – a retail experience where customers can browse cameras, lenses, short optic products and accessories, alongside the Leica watch collection and new Leica Cine 1 Lase TV.

Also on the ground floor at Leica Camera’s New York store is the Leica Gallery. Here, guests can visit exhibitions displaying an array of work from emerging talent and renowned photographers.  

[See also: Leica SL3 Camera Revealed]

leica camera new york flagship store
The ground floor is home to a store showcasing the German manufacturer's full range of products / ©Leica Camera

Upstairs, visitors can drop by the Leica Library – a space featuring an extensive collection of photography books curated by Todd Hido – and experiment with the company’s cutting-edge technology at the photo studio. The outdoor rooftop also provides a setting for keen photographers to connect with other creatives.

The latest outpost is the brand’s seventh Leica store and third gallery in the US. An exclusive invitation-only opening ceremony will take place on March 14 followed by a weekend of immersive events open to the public including panel discussions, talks and book signings from esteemed photographers.

“We are excited to expand our presence in Manhattan with the opening of our flagship store and gallery in the heart of the Meatpacking District,” said Matthias Harsch, CEO of Leica Camera. “This new location, in one of the city’s most dynamic neighborhoods, provides photographers with a space to explore, connect and find inspiration. We are thrilled to expose more people to the Leica e

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