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A Devine Luncheon

James Andrew

James Andrew

I do love a luncheon served al fresco in a glorious garden setting, and my super-chic friends Michael Devine and Thomas Burak offered exactly this at their lovely country home. Needless to say, I quickly had my outfit sorted out and train tickets purchased.

With 25 x 120 feet to work with, they’ve managed quite cleverly to create the illusion and feel of a much larger plot. Its formality, Devine says, draws inspiration from the gardens at the Rodin museum in Paris.

Our garden table was set with the most beautiful palette of lavenders, purples and cornflower blues punctuated with a crisp white table cloth and lavender napkins. This all to accommodate Devine’s delicious menu, with many of the ingredients harvested right on the spot.

We were treated to a chilled gazpacho, followed by a salmon and leek tart with salad. We finished with an uber fantastic raspberry fool of sorts and lots of ice cold white burgundy.

With such a lovely garden laboratory to work in, it might not surprise you to hear that Devine’s textile work owes much to these natural surrounds.

Michael Devine Home 'Fretwork'

Michael Devine Home 'Fretwork'

Take for instance the Michael Devine Home line “Fretwork” pattern—an impossibly fresh take on a treillage (it’s one of my favorites to utilized as, say, a curtain backdrop). Match it with a gorgeous floral chintz fabric, and you have a wonderfully luxurious interior garden.

Enjoying the lovely garden setting, I’m sporting the palest pink silk jacket and lilac cotton over check shirt by Tom Ford, Charvet Paris pale gray silk pocket square, vintage moon stone cuff links, Gucci python belt with silver buckle and white and gray striped cotton pant, Lanvin sneakers and my fragrance is Iperborea by Lorenzo Villloresi.

Mallorca and the Hotel Cap Rocat

James Andrew at Hotel Cap Rocat

James Andrew at Hotel Cap Rocat

When visiting the Balearic Islands, Mallorca is a must—our only regret is we didn’t get to explore much of it. You see, once we beheld the Hotel Cap Rocat, we were so utterly captivated that we never actually ventured off of the property! With 88 private ravishingly rustic acres and stunning views of the Bay of Palma de Mallorca, there is in fact not much reason to stray beyond the hotel’s beauteous bounds. We’ve spoken here at WIJW of hotels that capture the essence of a place—Hotel Cap Rocat does this, and with undeniable world-class sophistication.

James Andrew at Hotel Cap Rocat - photo © Cap Rocat

James Andrew at Hotel Cap Rocat - photo © Cap Rocat

Built as a fortress and military base in the late 1800s to defend Palma and its bay, the fort wasn’t utilized in battle and nearly two centuries later in the 1990s it was declared a national monument. The property is now owned by the brilliant Spanish architect and interior designer, Antonio Obrador, who has been responsible for the refurbishment and decoration, as well as the landscaping—which he has approached with an eye toward preservation, integrating indigenous new plantings quite seamlessly with the existing geography.

Hotel Cap Rocat - photo © Cap Rocat

Hotel Cap Rocat - photo © Cap Rocat

So that is enough for now, but we’ll be sharing a few highlights from this magical place over the next few days with the hope of luring you to experience Cap Rocat for yourself.

James Andrew at Hotel Cap Rocat - photo © Cap Rocat

James Andrew at Hotel Cap Rocat - photo © Cap Rocat

I’m pictured above basking in the golden rays of a spectacular sunset and enjoying a bit of exploration before a fantastic dinner on the terrace of The Fortress Restaurant, which serves a perfect menu using seasonal local Mediterranean produce of course! I’m wearing a mint green cotton jacket and lavender silk paisley band collar shirt both by Gucci, lavender cotton glenn plaid pocket square by Tom Ford, white cotton slim cargo pants by Uniglo, Lanvin sneakers, sunglasses by Gucci, rock crystal pendant on white leather cord from Las Dalias Hippie Market and my fragrance is Creed Orange Spice.

More Marvelous Madrid

James Andrew at the Museo del Prado

James Andrew at the Museo del Prado

While visiting Madrid you couldn’t do much better than to secure the uber-luxurious Royal Suite at the Villa Magna Hotel. With its own private terrace, spectacular views, and many special amenities, it’ll definitely have you feeling like La Duquesa de Alba.

Royal Suite at the Villa Magna 

Royal Suite at the Villa Magna

Style has much to do with the details—even breakfast at Villa Magna is served with proper linen napkins, starched table cloths, and fine silverware—the most perfectly civilized way to begin one’s day!

Work by Santiago Castillo at Fundacion Pons

Work by Santiago Castillo at Fundacion Pons

I’m continually amazed by the support and feedback I get online, and when the opportunity presents itself during our travels, we do love to meet some of our most avid WIJW friends for an insider’s tour.

The super chic Pepa Charlton so graciously offered to share a bit of Madrid with us—she came to collect us at the hotel with her lovely friend photographer Sylvia Gurrea-Nozaleda and whisked us away to the Fundacion Pons, a fantastic gallery dedicated to the promotion of emerging artists. There we enjoyed an exhibition of works by the brilliant artist, Santiago Castillo. I think I’ve found homes for several of his wonderful paintings!

We then had the great pleasure of going to the home of the highly esteemed interior designer Lorenzo Castillo. Needless to say, it was an absolute dream. (More on Lorenzo Castillo in our coming posts).

We had lunch at the legendary restaurant Lhardy. Established in 1839, it retains much of its original romantic flavor. With a long history as a favorite political hangout, it is said that the fate of Spain has been decided many times amongst its tables.

Michiel Sweerts painting, Boy with Turban

Michiel Sweerts painting, Boy with Turban

Madrid has a superb collection of museums. At Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, I was quite taken by Michiel Sweerts’ (1618-1664) painting, Boy with Turban. At El Prado—considered the Louvre of Spain—we focused on the works of important Spanish artists like Velazquez(my favorite), Goya, and Ribera, and finishing our day out at the nearby Jardin Botanica.

Villa Magna Restaurant

Villa Magna Restaurant

After our lovely day of beauty, culture, and meeting new friends, we decided to return to the exquisite perfection of the Villa Magna hotel to dine at the exceptional Villa Magna restaurant, where we were treated to chef Manuel Gutierrez’ “cuisine of sensations.” We were quite taken by his motto, “the perfect way to resist temptation is to indulge in it,” and of course we were happy to oblige!

I’m wearing a Gucci mint green jacket and a linen madras plaid shirt, Ralph Lauren purple alligator belt with silver buckle, Tom Ford lavender silk mini herringbone pants and lavender cotton mini glen plaid pocket square, Lanvin sneakers and Gucci sunglasses my fragrance is Creed Royal Water.