By Floyd Cowan
ILTM Asian Shanghai kicked off with a fun event for delegates which gave them the opportunity to mingle, enjoy champagne and cocktails while learning some of the finer points of luxury lifestyle.
Shanghai thrives to be an edgy city highlighted and created by a diverse mix of local talent. The Ritz-Carlton Suite became a creative environment dedicated to innovative art, fashion and epicurean Asian culinary eats, which they paired with generous servings of champagne, wine and selected sips.
It was a delightful mid afternoon in which we were given the chance to put a little more style into our life.
A Coin Purse
Even before the Lifestyle Series began I found myself talking to artist Coin Qian who creates very striking modern art that exudes the artistic history of Shanghai from its golden period. Sadly, she does not sell the colourful paintings of the modern chic young ladies with their pensive looks. She acknowledges that there might be a little of herself in these portraits, but only a hint. If you wish to buy her work she has created a line purses and pouches and other objects with her art on them.
There were seven stations and I began with the Rare Diamonds Appreciation. Learning from Mr Yves Lemay we had the opportunity to have an in depth look at one of the rarest diamonds in the world. The small 24 point red diamond is worth US$100,000. Mr Lemay, who has been in the trade for many years, says this is only the second he has ever seen.
Gentlemen of Style & Adventure
Mr Philippe Lim, Founder of the Man's Workshop gave us a few pointers on what 'Smart Casual' really means before letting us at jackets, shirts, ties and pocket stuffers to put together a wardrobe. We only had one minute to choose clothes for our manikin that we then dressed. Mr Lim critiqued our work and style selections.
Guillaume Rue de Bernadac, CEO and Founder of Academie De Bernadac had us do a table seating arrangement with ourselves as host and the leaders of China and the USA along with their wives and celebrity guests. Left to our own devices we would have had a diplomatic row on our hands for not putting the most important people in the proper places. Guillaume then taught us the correct eating and serving utensils to use, based on a menu.
New Executive Chef
I got a bit of break next as I enjoyed canapés, snacks and Executive Sous Chef Bradley Hull’s Soy Cured Salmon.He gave us the recipe for his creation that includes light soy sauce, cilantro, ginger and red Thai chili. Recently arrived at the Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai he says he is here to bring the food to the highest level in the city. Considering the track record of the Canadian born chef I would think that you can soon expect only the best, and the leading edge in cuisine from all the hotel’s F&B outlets.
Twentyfourteen, says Thierry Georges, is all about elevating the humble bamboo into modern furnishings for every day living. Twenty-fourteen pushes the boundaries of the use of a material that is recognized for its aesthetics, strength and sustainability. The unique Foliage Lamp (which you might never guess was made of bamboo) is so designed and named as it was inspired by foilage swaying in a breeze. Unique, attractive and sustainable make it a very appealing addition to any home.
Everyone loves the feeling of the wind in their hair and Shanghai Insiders gives you the opportunity to experience this by exploring the city in a sidecar. It gives you a different perspective of the city - and you can decide where you would like to go. Says Abigail Leeban, “Drive in style, in open air, past historic buildings, through shady alleys and traditional markets.”Adds Chloe Pringalle, Discover the hidden, the historic and the authentic Shanghai.