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WONDERFUL HOLIDAY WISHES

James Andrew Season's Greetings

James Andrew Season’s Greetings


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We can barely believe that the holiday season is already upon us, and 2016 is nigh!

What a roller coaster it’s been this past year. A lot of ups and some downs — and one can always expect quite of few of those. When things aren’t going that well, though, sometimes the simple act of letting go will allow for unexpected delights. Realities can change so quickly! Case in point: some time back I spotted the suit I’m wearing (above) at Ralph Lauren and was absolutely smitten (yes, my usual Duke of Windsor fantasies!). I simply had to have it, but alas, I did not have the resources to splurge. I was very reluctantly forced to let go of the idea. But as you might have surmised, the story didn’t end there. Some time passed, and this year the self same suit was made available to me at an outrageously discounted and affordable price. Voila, my Windsor wishes were realized! The point is, things don’t always happen on our timeline – delays don’t necessarily mean denials. We can let go a little bit (getting a suit is not a life or death scenario after all, even if one IS a confirmed dandy!). Better opportunities can and often WILL present themselves! Stay open to possibilities.

Today we are sending all of our gorgeous WIJW readers Wonderful Holiday Wishes with lots of love and light!

Be sure to follow me on the James Andrew Instagram feed. I’ll be sharing my musings on some last minute gift ideas from cheap and chic to the higher end of the spectrum!

En route to a fabulous xmas fêtes I’m sporting this ravishing Ralph Lauren Purple Label cashmere/wool tartan suit (no doubt inspired by the Duke of Windsor’s tartan evening suit), Tom Ford white cotton shirt with French cuffs and black silk tie, Seaman Schepps black pearl cuff links, Charvet black silk pocket square, Tom Ford black and saddle leather loafers, Creed Windsor fragrance, and Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for a healthy glow.

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SINTRA AND THE HOTEL TIVOLI PALACIO DE SETEAIS

James Andrew at Tivoli Palacio de Setais

James Andrew at Tivoli Palacio de Setais

After a fabulous breakfast at the Pestana Palacio de Freixo in Porto, we boarded an express train back to Lisbon. There we were collected at the train station and brought to Sintra for the last leg our sublime journey.

With its lush micro-climate, enchanting wildlife, and fairyland architecture, the town of Sintra is an absolute dream, and thankfully we had a good three days to explore! Of the Sintra hotels, Tivoli Palacio de Seteais is a stand out. This neo-classical masterpiece dates to the late 1700’s and was purchased by the Dutch consol, Daniel Gildemeester. In 1800 it was sold to the 5th Marquis of Marialva who added the second matching pavilion and the triumphal arch in honor of the Prince Regent and future King Joao VI. It became a hotel in the early part of the 20th Century. With its superb location and spectacular views, the Palacio de Seteais was certainly a splendid place to spend our remaining days in Portugal, and the perfect base of operation from which to explore the rest of Sintra.

Quite nearby — actually just a quick walk from the hotel — is the must-see, Quinta de Regaleira. Built in the early 1900’s, it was the esoteric fantasy retreat of eccentric millionaire, Antonio Augusto Carvalho Monteiro. The Italian set-designer and architect Luigi Manini was enlisted to create the magical gardens and palace and it is imbued throughout with historical, mystical, and even occult symbolism. To say that it is a visual feast is an understatement.

Gardens at Quinta da Regaleira

Gardens at Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira

Redering - Quinta da Regaleira

Rendering – Quinta da Regaleira

Interior, Quinta da Regaleira

Interior, Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira

Quinta da Regaleira

James Andrew at Quinta da Regaleira

James Andrew at Quinta da Regaleira

For a day of touring, I’m sporting a Tom Ford charcoal wool silk tweed jacket, grey cotton cashmere corduroy pant, grey and charcoal checked cotton shirt, a Ralph Lauren black and ivory dot print silk scarf and red alligator belt with sterling buckle, Seaman Schepps black pearl cuff links, Tom Ford era Gucci black suede loafers, Turnbull and Asser grey and black dot print silk pocket square, vintage Rolex, my fragrance is Tom Ford London, and I’m using a bit of Tom Ford Bronzing Gel for a healthy glow.

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EXPLORING THE PALACES OF LISBON VIA PESTANA PALACE

James Andrew – Pestana Palace Hotel

James Andrew – Pestana Palace Hotel

After touring so many of the great houses of Lisbon, it was always so nice to seamlessly slip into our very own palace — one simply can’t help but feel like Windsor in residence as one enters the grand entrance rotunda at Pestana Palace.

On our many jaunts, the Palacio Fronteira certainly stood out. This divine country manor house built for the First Marques de Fronteira in 1640 and is still owned by the family (yes, this is the Old World!). The stunning use of Portuguese tiles throughout and the exceptionally glorious gardens all make for a highly inspirational visit!

Palacio Fronteira

Palacio Fronteira

Palacio Fronteira

Palacio Fronteira

Palacio Fronteira

Palacio Fronteira

The Jardim Botanica da Ajuda is also a must-see. These fabulous formal gardens in the Italian style provide a respite from the city and the roaming peacocks are truly one of those unforgettable sites!

Jardim Botanica da Ajuda

Jardim Botanica da Ajuda

Jardim Botanica da Ajuda

Jardim Botanica da Ajuda

Jose Avillez’s many restaurants score at the top of our list. His highly imaginative take on Portuguese cuisine with influences garnered from his many travels throughout the world will absolutely delight the senses! Belcanto, Cantinho de Avillez, Cafe Lisboa, Mini Bar…do try them all!

Dressed for a day of touring, I’m sporting a Tom Ford charcoal wool, silk cashmere tweed jacket, grey checked cotton shirt and gray cotton cashmere corduroy pant, Hermes gray silk pocket square, Ralph Lauren black alligator belt with sterling buckle, Tom Ford era Gucci black suede loafers, vintage Rolex, Seaman Schepps black pearl cuff links, my fragrance Tom Ford London and Tom Ford Bronzing Gel provide a healthy glow.