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Evolution of Luxury

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Calendar 2017–2018

Jul. 02

Il Palio di Siena

One of two summer instalments of an event held in this Italian city’s Piazza del Campo, where bareback horse riders representing local wards battle it out for victory. Plan the rest of the day too, though, the race lasts no longer than 90 seconds.

Jul. 03

Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Blooms

The world’s largest exhibition of horticultural prowess returns, this year with a number of firsts, such as a celebration of iconic garden designers (starting with Piet Oudolf) and the purple-hued Verbena bonariensis extravaganza. Ends 8 July.

Jul. 05

Summer Series at Somerset House: Mics On

Across 11 nights, the romantic, Thames-hugging Somerset House hosts a strand of gigs including ebullient hip-hop-soul veterans The Roots and UK reggae flagbearer David Rodigan. Until 15 July.

Jul. 06

Festival Puccini Begins

This magnificent celebration of Giacomo Puccini – composer of Madame Butterfly – sees open-air operatic concerts against a backdrop of Massaciuccoli Lake. Until 25 August.

Jul. 06

Le Mans Classic

Two years ago, 123,000 vintage car enthusiasts descended on the circuit used for the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans for this Classic. Only pre-1979 models can be entered, and this time around there’s an appearance by former Formula One champion Jenson Button.

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Perfect moments


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On the Pulse

By Avril Groom

The V&A’s exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up elucidates the life of the fabled Mexican artist through personal items such as medical corsets, photographs, jewellery and distinctive clothes, all shown outside Mexico for the first time.

With a living area reflecting the interior of a traditional manor house, the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire’s redesigned Royal Suite evokes the past but is forward-thinking too in its use of swish lanterns and a marble bathroom.

In a revamped space on The Mandarin Oriental, Munich’s rooftop, take in panoramic views of the dome-dotted city while feasting on Asian, Latin American and Mediterranean fare – then jump in the heated pool.

Image: Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

By Avril Groom

Richard Mille’s first in-house automatic women’s tourbillon, the 71-01 Automatic Talisman, was revealed in Paris. The Cécile Guenat-designed timepieces feature fine strips of hardstone, enamel and diamonds on gold.

Image: Philippe Louzon

Up-and-coming “culinary artist” Adam Handling will be executive chef at Belmond Cadogan Hotel London, which opens this year. Expect British fare with a difference prepared in an open kitchen.

Panerai’s first Australian boutique – a joint venture with retailer Kennedy – is an engraved-oak and burnished-brass space in Melbourne, designed by Patricia Urquiola and showcasing the marque’s array of sublime novelties.

Pragnell marks the opening of its Mount Street, London store by hosting the Patek Philippe Exhibition Collection, featuring almost 100 of the watchmaker’s distinguished timepieces. From 5 to 9 June.

Shielded from the outside world on a pristine beachfront, the recently opened Principote Panormos Mykonos offers innovative food, refreshing cocktails and a beach club for a momentous summer escape.

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SIHH 2018

Crafting Excellence

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