• Where to go

    "Life is a lot like jazz… it's best when you improvise," George Gershwin mused. His point still stands: jazz and life are often best when messy, chaotic and practically unhinged.  And both are more delightful with a bucket-sized gin cocktail in hand.

    For the past three years, the Arch Bar at the InterContinental London Park Lane has reverberated twice monthly with jazz music. Some of the freshest, not to mention, most inventively named jazz musicians (The Dixie Ticklers, Shirt Tail Stompers, The Swing Ninjas) take over the entire bar for two hours of seat swaying and foot stomping. There's a back-bar designed just for the evening, shimmering with 1920s-style bottles and brews. And they haven't skimped on the cocktail menu; the hotel has 40 different types of gin on its shelves, and a specially designed gin cocktail menu. Your tongue will be tickled with idiosyncratic cocktails: strawberry and cracked pepper, juniper and fresh lemon - all paired with a long slurp of gin. Or try the more conventional Mayfair Hop, Martini Bianco, or Champagne and fresh mint.

    The table service is reassuringly attentive, so you never have to leave your plump beige seat, except to give a standing ovation.  And to ring in three well-tuned years, on October 3rd Gin & Jazz is celebrating with the sounds of eight-piece band Benoit Viellefon alongside a three-course dinner of smouldering beef cheek on celeriac purée and cox apple followed by marinated salmon loin, and plenty of wine.  It's supermurgitroid!

    By Bridget Arsenault

    For further information and bookings, please visit www.ginandjazz.com and www.parklane.intercontinental.com

    InterContinental London Park Lane offered all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win a pair of tickets to Gin & Jazz's third birthday event on October 3rd, 2014 including a three-course dinner and half bottle of wine per person along with a night's stay for two at the InterContinental London Park Lane with breakfast the next morning (value £500). Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List. 


  • What to buy

    Post-holiday and not only have the blues kicked-in, summer's hard-earned tan is vanishing at double-speed.

    However there's a new trick to be had: Clarins Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster - is like Clarins has trapped the sun and bottled it in a palm-sized cartridge ready to bathe you in golden kisses whenever you fancy. Add three small drops of this amber liquid to your favourite mosituriser (whether it's a day or night cream, serum or even a gel), mix it all together in the palm of your hand, smear on your face and let the magic happen.  A bronzed golden glow will appear well past the tan-disappearance sell-by date without having to disrupt your regular skincare routine.  Gold star to you, Clarins.

    Clarins - Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster, £18


  • What to wear

    When I was 16 my boyfriend gave me a wallet from Coach.  The minute I opened the box, the expensive leather smell escaped from layers of tissue, revealing the butter-soft purse inside.

    I'm ashamed to say, I probably would have rathered a razzy frock from Top Shop, as I'd never even heard of Coach.  But he was sophisticated and travelled to New York a lot and knew that this brand, first created in 1941 by six artisans in a Manhattan loft, was a slick thing to give a girl.

    It's only now I fully appreciate the gift.  Because this season Coach is looking particularly delicious thanks to the recent Executive Creative Director appointment of Stuart Vevers (formerly at Bottega Veneta, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton).

    The Autumn/Winter collection is his first for the brand and Vevers credits, 'A lightness of spirit born of American sportswear' as his inspiration.  And I'd rather like this spirit to be lighting up my wardrobe; particularly the oversize shearling coat - just the right side of Del-boy, tough girl boots worn with leather skirts and chunky knits, bomber and leather jackets with the right amount of detail and cross-body bags all made from the most beautiful leather.  And there are more treats in store for Spring/Summer. Vevers is doing those original Coach artisans proud.