Tables for two are a hot commodity on February 14.
These five restaurants are especially enticing, with innovative Valentine’s Day menus that engage both the heart and the mind.
Aquavit, New York
Red is the theme of the evening at this modern Nordic restaurant. The four-course menu includes Maine lobster with blood oranges and sea urchin, or smoked lamb tartare with bright watermelon radishes. Scottish salmon is cured with bull’s-blood beets, and seared diver scallops are paired with red sauerkraut. $250 per person with wine pairings. (212.307.7311, www.aquavit.org)
L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, Singapore
The eight-course menu here begins with round-trip transportation in a chauffeured Rolls-Royce. The first course, Le Caviar Impérial, includes caviar in a coral infusion and green asparagus with lemon balm leaves. Delicacies such as black-truffle soup and lobster in a sauce of black Malabar pepper follow. $1,250 per couple. (+65.6577.6688, www.rwsentosa.com)
Hatfield’s, Los Angeles
A deviled quail egg with smoked trout, goat cheese, and apple starts the six-course meal at Karen and Quinn Hatfield’s quietly glamorous restaurant. Karen oversees pastry, while her husband Quinn runs the savory side of the kitchen. For February 14, the couple’s combined efforts will include braised pork belly with creamy beluga lentils, slow-cooked beef-rib pastrami accented with smoked honshimeji mushrooms and grainy mustard butter, and a Meyer-lemon custard “tart” with huckleberries and blood-orange sorbet. $400 per couple with wine pairings. (323.935.2977, www.hatfieldsrestaurant.com)
The Musket Room, New York
After only four months, this new restaurant from the New Zealand chef Matt Lambert has already earned a Michelin star (becoming the youngest New York restaurant to do so). Lambert is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a 10-course tasting menu that includes uni custard with squid ink and caviar, foie gras torchon with maple syrup and apple, New Zealand red deer with gin, and irresistible pumpkin-pie doughnuts. $680 per couple with beverage pairings. (212.219.0764, www.musketroom.com)
Nobu, London Berkeley St.
The six-course omakase menu for Valentine’s Day features grilled king-crab legs with quinoa and tosazu truffle, crispy shrimp harumaki with caviar, venison loin with wasabi salsa, and selections of sushi and sashimi. Approximately $500 per couple with wine pairings. (+44.207.290.9222, www.noburestaurants.com)
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The indubitable winner of the eyewear style stakes this season goes to Gucci.
The fashion label has given its Spring 2014 collection the web ribbon treatment – expect to find the Gucci stripe in the form of a grosgrain ribbon on the temples of all sunglasses and eyewear.
At the 2014 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, the watchmaker Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced the latest addition to its renowned Grande Reverso series, the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931.
The new watch pays tribute to the art deco design of the original Grande Reverso, which was created at the request of polo players who wanted a way to protect their watches’ crystals during hard-hitting matches.
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s solution was to design a case that allows its wearer to flip over the watch’s face, thus protecting it from impacts.
The new Ultra Thin 1931 sports a rose-gold case and a chocolate-colored dial that pairs perfectly with its leather strap, which, in honor of the watch’s polo heritage, is created by the famed Argentinian polo-boot maker Casa Fagliano.
The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance.
TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.
While I’ve run across numerous effective strategies that successful people employ when faced with stress, what follows are ten of the best. Some of these strategies may seem obvious, but the real challenge lies in recognizing when you need to use them and having the wherewithal to actually do so in spite of your stress.
They Appreciate What They Have
Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the “right” thing to do. It also improves your mood, because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%. Research conducted at the University of California, Davis found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being. It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.
They Avoid Asking “What If?”
“What if?” statements throw fuel on the fire of stress and worry. Things can go in a million different directions, and the more time you spend worrying about the possibilities, the less time you’ll spend focusing on taking action that will calm you down and keep your stress under control. Calm people know that asking “what if? will only take them to a place they don’t want—or need—to go.
They Stay Positive
Positive thoughts help make stress intermittent by focusing your brain’s attention onto something that is completely stress-free. You have to give your wandering brain a little help by consciously selecting something positive to think about. Any positive thought will do to refocus your attention. When things are going well, and your mood is good, this is relatively easy. When things are going poorly, and your mind is flooded with negative thoughts, this can be a challenge. In these moments, think about your day and identify one positive thing that happened, no matter how small. If you can’t think of something from the current day, reflect on the previous day or even the previous week. Or perhaps you’re looking forward to an exciting event that you can focus your attention on. The point here is that you must have something positive that you’re ready to shift your attention to when your thoughts turn negative.
Given the importance of keeping stress intermittent, it’s easy to see how taking regular time off the grid can help keep your stress under control. When you make yourself available to your work 24/7, you expose yourself to a constant barrage of stressors. Forcing yourself offline and even—gulp!—turning off your phone gives your body a break from a constant source of stress. Studies have shown that something as simple as an email break can lower stress levels.
Technology enables constant communication and the expectation that you should be available 24/7. It is extremely difficult to enjoy a stress-free moment outside of work when an email that will change your train of thought and get you thinking (read: stressing) about work can drop onto your phone at any moment. If detaching yourself from work-related communication on weekday evenings is too big a challenge, then how about the weekend? Choose blocks of time where you cut the cord and go offline. You’ll be amazed at how refreshing these breaks are and how they reduce stress by putting a mental recharge into your weekly schedule. If you’re worried about the negative repercussions of taking this step, first try doing it at times when you’re unlikely to be contacted—maybe Sunday morning. As you grow more comfortable with it, and as your coworkers begin to accept the time you spend offline, gradually expand the amount of time you spend away from technology.
They Limit Their Caffeine Intake
Drinking caffeine triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the “fight-or-flight” response, a survival mechanism that forces you to stand up and fight or run for the hills when faced with a threat. The fight-or-flight mechanism sidesteps rational thinking in favor of a faster response. This is great when a bear is chasing you, but not so great when you’re responding to a curt email. When caffeine puts your brain and body into this hyperaroused state of stress, your emotions overrun your behavior. The stress that caffeine creates is far from intermittent, as its long half-life ensures that it takes its sweet time working its way out of your body.
I’ve beaten this one to death over the years and can’t say enough about the importance of sleep to increasing your emotional intelligence and managing your stress levels. When you sleep, your brain literally recharges, shuffling through the day’s memories and storing or discarding them (which causes dreams), so that you wake up alert and clear-headed. Your self-control, attention, and memory are all reduced when you don’t get enough—or the right kind—of sleep. Sleep deprivation raises stress hormone levels on its own, even without a stressor present. Stressful projects often make you feel as if you have no time to sleep, but taking the time to get a decent night’s sleep is often the one thing keeping you from getting things under control.
They Squash Negative Self-Talk
A big step in managing stress involves stopping negative self-talk in its tracks. The more you ruminate on negative thoughts, the more power you give them. Most of our negative thoughts are just that—thoughts, not facts. When you find yourself believing the negative and pessimistic things, your inner voice says, “It’s time to stop and write them down.” Literally stop what you’re doing and write down what you’re thinking. Once you’ve taken a moment to slow down the negative momentum of your thoughts, you will be more rational and clear-headed in evaluating their veracity.
You can bet that your statements aren’t true any time you use words like “never,” “worst,” “ever,” etc. If your statements still look like facts once they’re on paper, take them to a friend or colleague you trust and see if he or she agrees with you. Then the truth will surely come out. When it feels like something always or never happens, this is just your brain’s natural threat tendency inflating the perceived frequency or severity of an event. Identifying and labeling your thoughts as thoughts by separating them from the facts will help you escape the cycle of negativity and move toward a positive new outlook.
They Reframe Their Perspective
Stress and worry are fueled by our own skewed perception of events. It’s easy to think that unrealistic deadlines, unforgiving bosses, and out-of-control traffic are the reasons we’re so stressed all the time. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So before you spend too much time dwelling on something, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. If you aren’t sure when you need to do this, try looking for clues that your anxiety may not be proportional to the stressor. If you’re thinking in broad, sweeping statements such as “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out,” then you need to reframe the situation. A great way to correct this unproductive thought pattern is to list the specific things that actually are going wrong or not working out. Most likely you will come up with just some things—not everything—and the scope of these stressors will look much more limited than it initially appeared.
The easiest way to make stress intermittent lies in something that you have to do everyday anyway: breathing. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back. When you’re feeling stressed, take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing. Close the door, put away all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe. The goal is to spend the entire time focused only on your breathing, which will prevent your mind from wandering. Think about how it feels to breathe in and out. This sounds simple, but it’s hard to do for more than a minute or two. It’s all right if you get sidetracked by another thought; this is sure to happen at the beginning, and you just need to bring your focus back to your breathing. If staying focused on your breathing proves to be a real struggle, try counting each breath in and out until you get to 20, and then start again from 1. Don’t worry if you lose count; you can always just start over.
This task may seem too easy or even a little silly, but you’ll be surprised by how calm you feel afterward and how much easier it is to let go of distracting thoughts that otherwise seem to have lodged permanently inside your brain.
They Use Their Support System
It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it. This means tapping into your support system when a situation is challenging enough for you to feel overwhelmed. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as talking about your worries will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and supply you with a new perspective on the situation. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. Asking for help will mitigate your stress and strengthen your relationships with those you rely upon.
The coveted Isle of Gaia has finally become available for purchase.
Touted as the perfect millionaires' playground, Gaia is an idyllic paradise surrounded by the calm crystal clear waters of the Ionian Sea.
These waters are protected by north-eastern winds and the region is marvellous for water sports, sailing, fishing, deep sea diving and swimming. A picture perfect paradise that you can own.
The island is 43 acres (17.5 Ha) in size with approval to build 6 villas and permission to subdivide into 6 plots. The Isle of Gaia has clear ownership papers – a clean company owned Island.
This beautiful Island is part of the Echinades, which is among the Ionian Island group. The Ionian Islands are a small group of islands just off the western Greek seaboard.
Price Request: € 3.750.000
For more information contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Moscow's first-ever ice terrace with a bar has opened at the Reka Moscow restaurant in the heart of Russia's capital.
Almost twenty tons of pure Siberian ice was used for the creation of the 120 square meter area which can seat up to 80 people. Here, fashionable Muscovites will be able to drink their favorite cocktail surrounded by a unique ice interior and comfortable warmth, thanks to an infrared heating system.
The highlight of the opening was the sale of the world's most expensive cocktail. The cocktail contained three 1-1,5-carat diamonds from the event's jewelry sponsor, the Italian company Crivelli, and went for a cool $50,000. Andrey Melnikov, an entrepreneur and regular guest at Reka Moscow, was the proud buyer of the exclusive cocktail. At the close of the evening Crivelli ran a raffle in which more than 100 guests took part and where a pendant could be won.
Restaurants with terraces may not be special. But since summers are short and winters never seem to end in Russia, Michel Lombardi, Reka Moscow's head chef, envisioned giving Moscow's high society the chance to eat out for a change: "I like adventures. My whole career has been an adventure - not least of which was my move to Russia. The harsh winters, adjusting to a new culture and especially to life in the kitchen here - it all was a challenge. But now, just two years later, I feel completely at home. My feeling is that an ice terrace suits the country of Russia, a land of snow and ice. And we have gone out of our way to create something really special, something which will make Muscovites who are used to the best stop and say: Wow, this is amazing!"
Within six months Lombardi's vision became reality: The ice terrace opened during the run-up towards the upcoming Winter Olympics with the participation of TV presenter Irina Slutskaya, Olympic silver medal winner of 2002 and two-time world champion.
Since Hennessy V.S.O.P. acts as the ice terrace sponsor, guests will be able to order cocktails made with premium alcohol products from the French producer. The ice terrace is a unique environment and the high-quality kitchen suits all kinds of events, from business meetings to romantic dinners.
To find more information visit: www.rekaclub.ru
While no woman in her right jewelry loving mind would hope for anything less than the charm of Harry Winston, a feisty fashionista would pray for nothing better than to keep sync with trends.
Satiating both comes savior Vuitton. The maison’s fine jewelry collection combines the gem set best of tradition and fashion. So listen up men with feisty better halves. If a stunning ring is your present of choice this season, we present you ravishing of Louis Vuitton’s fine jewelry selection.
The 150-foot Benetti Panthera was launched late last year and recently unveiled to the press.
Constructed at Benetti’s shipyard in Livorno, Italy, Panthera sports gracefully undulating lines that mirror the waves passing beneath it.
The yacht’s all-aluminum hull, the second in the builder’s 500 series, was designed by Benetti to minimize noise and vibrations during operation, ensuring maximum comfort for many as 10 guests.
The yacht owner’s designers worked closely with Benetti’s in-house team to fashion clean and contemporary interior spaces dressed in a palette that pairs gray hues with vivid splashes of color. Large fashion photographs hung throughout the yacht add a sense of glamour to Panthera’s uncluttered interiors. The main-deck saloon is outfitted with fabrics and lamps from Armani Casa, and long banks of windows flood the room with natural light. Two opposing sofas stretch most of the length of the space and encourage socializing, while a silver side table preserves the main deck’s open layout by separating the saloon from the ship’s dining area.
The full-beam owner’s suite, located forward on the main deck, is furnished with a king-size bed, and includes a personal office, walk-in closets, and a private exterior lounge at the bow. The suite’s bathroom features his and her white-onyx sinks, Bisazza tile mosaics, and a large shower with a one-way window that looks out from the yacht’s starboard side. Panthera’s lower deck is home to three additional double-bed-equipped cabins, including a full-beam VIP suite amidships. A second VIP cabin is found on the upper deck, along with a media room that can be converted into a disco, complete with strobe lights and a vintage turntable.
Outside, the yacht’s upper deck is particularly well suited for midday naps, with several chaise longues aft and a massive sun pad forward. Above the upper deck, the sundeck offers a more intimate setting that encourages indulgence with a hot tub, a large sun pad, and a bar. Astern, Panthera’s garage houses a tender and personal watercraft. When lowered, the garage door converts into a 108-square-foot swim platform equipped with an outdoor shower and a built-in trampoline.
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Starting a business involves financial risks as well as rewards. And running a business means balancing multiple priorities—from delivering products and services to building revenue to maintaining customer and employee relationships.
“As busy as they are running their company, business owners have to keep in mind they also are operating the financial engine for achieving long-term goals for themselves, their families and their employees,” says Martha Kendler, CLU®, ChFC®, director of business markets at Northwestern Mutual. “Making plans to protect and sustain the enterprise is critical to keeping the business on a positive, long-term course.”
When you plan for business success as well as your own financial security, you’ll stay on the right track.
Consider these eight steps to protect and grow your business today and for the future:
Tap key advisors. Assemble a trustworthy team you can count on for advice on personal and business matters important to your financial security.
Create a business plan. Your plan should guide your company’s success and present it positively to investors and lenders by outlining your vision and goals, products and services, target customers, marketing plans, operating procedures and financial strategies.
Focus on personal planning and business succession. Your personal and business finances are intertwined, and your overall plan should reflect that. Create a personal financial plan based on your specific goals, including individual life and disability insurance to protect yourself, your family and your assets. Work with an estate planning attorney who has experience in business succession planning to ensure you have a business continuation plan and the essential legal documents in place should anything happen to you.
Manage liability. Safeguards should be in place to secure the physical and human assets of your business. These include property and casualty insurance to cover accidental damage or destruction of property; workers compensation and liability insurance to cover personal injuries that occur while clients and vendors are on your property; and business or professional liability coverage suited to your industry and business needs.
Take good care of your employees. Your company’s success depends on the experience, knowledge and skills of its employees, and keeping them is critical to continued growth. A competitive employee benefit program and qualified retirement plan can help attract, retain and create incentives for people with the talent your business needs.
Protect and reward your key people. The loss of an owner or other key person can have severe financial implications—especially in the start-up stage—so it’s important to protect your business from those consequences. Business insurance helps offset the loss of cash flow, increase in costs and drop in profits that may occur if you or a key person is unable to work. And rewarding these employees with benefits that are not available to others demonstrates your understanding of how valuable they are to your company’s success. A nonqualified benefit plan allows you to offer attractive supplemental benefits only to the employees you select.
Set up a business succession plan. Whether you intend to transfer ownership of your business to a family member or sell it to other owners or an outside party, you need a plan. A written and properly funded succession plan can correctly transfer your business in a timely manner to the desired people with the least possible conflict, expense and delay.
Review and update your overall plan. Every successful business progresses at its own pace through the four stages of the life cycle—from startup to growth to maturity and eventually to the transfer of assets. Keep your plan updated to reflect your current needs and opportunities.
“Owning a business is an opportunity to build financial strength for your family, your employees and your local community,” says Kendler. “With your personal financial success closely tied to your business success, effective planning in both areas will prepare you for the inevitable challenges and changes ahead.”
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“Behind Closed Doors” Spring Summer sees the false Utopian world, synonymous with the suburban housewife of the 1950s, brought to life by globally renowned photographer Miles Aldridge.
The distorted perfection of the Stepford Wife is the inspiration behind the Agent Provocateur Spring Summer Campaign.
Creative Director Sarah Shotton describes the inspiration:
“The Campaign embodies my inspiration for Spring Summer 2014, the pristine and glossy 1950′s Housewife. I was interested in the irony behind the idea of the ‘Perfect’ woman, unfazed by the everyday pressures of life. Our campaign girl has it all, she’s a lady in the street and a wild cat in the bedroom and the collection mirrors her pretty perfection. It is a fantasy of silk and lace in the modern day world.”
Photographer Miles Aldridge described the experience:
“Shooting with Agent Provocateur was like a childhood dream come true where I drop by unannounced on a school friend to find his mother home hoovering the kitchen in just her lingerie. These sensations from early adolescence run through all my work like the pink sugar writing inside a piece of well sucked Brighton rock, except the endless word in my rock is woman, woman, woman, woman, woman.”
Shop the collection here.