Bébé Bob: London’s Poshest Chicken Joint

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Bébé Bob

Bébé Bob’s concept is simple: chicken, champagne and caviar in a glam hideaway in London's Soho. If that sounds like fun, trust us – it is. The playful younger sibling of the iconic Bob Bob Ricard – famed for its Insta-worthy ‘press for champagne’ buttons – opened last fall on a quiet corner of Golden Square, across the street from the original site on Upper James Street.

It’s the third outpost from restaurateur Leonid Shutov, following the opening of the glitzy Bob Bob Ricard, City, back in 2019. Those who have visited either of the sister properties can expect the same flamboyant interiors with a more casual vibe and pared-back menu.

Veggies and vegans can stop reading here; the only options at Bébé Bob are chicken and… more chicken. So if you’re looking for something meat-free, this isn’t the spot for you. For those with a penchant for rotisserie-style chicken, however, it’s the stuff of dreams.

A quick warning: tables are strictly limited to up to four guests. “Larger groups, alas, cannot be accommodated,” reveals the website. This all adds to the fun. You won’t find any big, rowdy groups at Bébé Bob – the plush velvet dining room has an intimate, buzzy feel that will make you want to linger over your dinner.

[See also: Coqodaq is Making Fried Chicken Fancy]


caviar at Bébé Bob
Caviar is served with pillowy blinis and creme fraiche / ©Bébé Bob

Group chef director Ben Hobson helms the kitchen at Bébé Bob, working closely alongside head chef Sherwin Mauro.

Hobson’s career kicked off at the Michelin-starred Galvin at Windows – a Read more

The Most Traditional Thermal Pools in Spain

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Thermal pools in Ourense, Spain

In the ever-changing world of wellness, where new technologies, terms and trends appear to pop up every five minutes, sometimes it is best to take it back to the natural source. The powers and benefits of thermal waters have been known since the Romans and were a strong reason why many settled in the towns across Spain – with many of these same traditional thermal pools still being used today. 

Thermal waters, as opposed to hot springs, are known for their high mineral content as well as their naturally occurring high temperatures, and soaking in them is known as balneotherapy – as opposed to hydrotherapy, which is just bathing in plain old tap water. Beyond simply being a place to soak and relax, historically, balneotherapy has been used to ease symptoms of conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and psoriasis. Further research has also suggested it can improve the body’s immune and hormone systems, leading to anti-inflammatory, pain relieving and antioxidant effects, which can help inflammatory conditions such as eczema and rosacea.

Spain's various natural thermal pools found in its different regions will produce different mineral contents and ratios, varying in levels of calcium, silicates, sodium and magnesium salts, and sulfur compounds – to name a few. These different concentrations will mean different thermal pools will offer different therapeutic benefits; for example, waters high in iron content have been known to help with anemia or weight loss, while sulfurous waters have been known to improve skin conditions. 

In a country pocketed with spots to sample the local thermal waters, we have selected our picks of the five most traditional thermal pools in Spain –  so you can get back to relaxing. 

[See also: The Best Wellness Retreats in Spain]

Ourense, Galicia

Thermal spas along the River Miño.
Several thermal pools run along the River Miño in the town

Deborah Calmeyer on Empowerment and Her Pet Lioness

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Deborah Calmeyer

When Deborah Calmeyer was 12 years old, her dad came home to the family’s farm in Zimbabwe with a lioness cub he had found at a local rescue center. Carmel — as she was soon named — quickly became a much-loved member of the family.

“She was like our third Labrador,” recalls Calmeyer with a smile. “She would come and pick me up from school. And then she grew and grew until she terrified everyone. She was well-fed on the farm so she was never really hungry, but that didn’t mean she lost her instincts as a wild animal… one swipe and our other dogs would go flying!”

Carmel eventually went back to the lion sanctuary, but she left an indelible mark on Calmeyer’s life. Now 51 years old, the entrepreneur runs an ultra-luxe safari business, Roar Africa, crafting bespoke itineraries for guests (Robert Redford and Leonardo DiCaprio are among her star-studded clientele).

[See also: Ben Goldsmith on Philanthropy, Rewilding and Tackling His Critics]

Roar Africa safari lion cubs
Deborah Calmeyer crafts bespoke itineraries for guests / ©Roar Africa

Calmeyer greets me warmly over a video call from her home in Cape Town (she splits her time between Cape Town, New York and Miami). She’s wearing a flowing lime-and-cream linen dress, her hair perfectly coiffed. At first, it’s hard to imagine her as a little girl growing up on the farm, water-skiing in lakes full of crocodiles and tracking elephants in the Zimbabwean bush. Scratch the surface, though, and it’s clear to see her deep affinity with nature never went away.

A profound respect for wildlife was instilled in her from a young age by her father, who worked as a zoologist. “Both my parents were, in their own ways, in love with the bush, as I think most Africans are,” she tells me.

At 15, with mounting pressure under the Mugabe regime, Calmeyer and her family left Zimbabwe and moved to South Africa, settling in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal. But she had always yearned to live in New York and, at 24, finally moved with her boyfriend (now husband) to Manhattan.

Nothing could have prepared her for how much she would miss home. “I didn’t expect to feel the absolute rip from Read more

Enjoy a Private Opera at Lake Como’s Villa La Cassinella

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Opera on the water cartoon

Spellbindingly beautiful, bursting with history and coveted by A-listers: It could only be Lake Como.

The lake has taken on many guises throughout its life; once a military battle site, now a favored vacation destination for the rich and famous, and always an inspiration for poets, artists and musicians, Como is a place like no other. Where better, then, to immerse yourself into the captivating art of an opera performance?

At several of its Italian properties, luxury villa rental company Red Savannah can arrange just that — an exclusive opera performance to be enjoyed in complete privacy.

[See also: The Most Enchanting Hotels on the Amalfi Coast]

Among the lineup is Villa La Cassinella, a handsome palazzo nestled on the shores of Lake Como near the pretty village of Lenno.

Accessed only via boat, La Cassinella is grand as they come with space for 17 guests across decadently fitted rooms imagined by English interior designer Maggie Austin.

The villa dates to the 19th century but in recent years has reemerged following a careful restoration. Now, it artfully balances splendid details such as Italian antiques and vintage furnishings with modern amenities including a floodlit tennis court, a media room and the latest Technogym equipment.

As the sun begins to dip behind the mountains, casting an orange glow around the lake, head down to La Cassinella’s pristine waterfront gardens to be serenaded by an entrancing opera performance — be it a soprano solo or an entire ensemble. Little resembles la bella vita better.

From $135,000 per week. Contact Amy Ropner, villa specialist, +44 124 278 7815,

[See also: A Long Weekend in Lake Como]

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