• Where to go

    To the Maldives, where one of the Vanity Fair research team reports back from the newest island resort, Amilla Fushi.

    The word is, the Amilla Fushi concept flips the Maldivian reputation on its head. This is not about thatched huts and Robinson Crusoe honeymooners, but slick design for the Ibiza crowd. It's still barefoot - so no need for stilettos in the sand - but for those who've been searching, here is the Indian Ocean's party island. Amilla Fushi is the place to hang with a bunch of friends as you would in St Tropez; guzzling rosé at lunch, followed by a bit of a sunset cruise, cocktails at dusk then a right old knees-up in a tree house or on a nearby deserted island - there's even a DJ on tap.

    Fresh, uncomplicated food is by chef Luke Mangan - Australia's answer to Jamie Oliver. And dining's so informal, that if you don't want to eat in the restaurant, you can nibble on cheese and wine in the cellar or choose food from the Emperor General Store deli to have in your room. But don't call them rooms; each is so capacious, they're known as 'Houses'.

    Spa treatments include doctor-designed QMS facials, podiatrist Margaret Dabbs pedicures and body therapies using Himalayan salt-based Ila products. Staff are impeccable, (including the brilliant but unfortunately named butler Saddam Hussein) delivering handwritten notes at every turn, setting up desert island picnics, wading into the water to deliver a well-shaken cocktail or making up a memory-stick of favourite tunes.

    Still to come, are 'Residences' with up to six bedrooms, including one with a full-on recording studio… making it loud and clear which crowd Amilla Fushi has been designed for. 


    Amilla Fushi and Cleveland Collection offer all Vanity Fair A-List members a 7-night stay at Amilla Fushi from £2,998 per person sharing in an overwater Lagoon House on a half-board basis. Room upgrade subject to availability. Price includes flights, transfers to and from the island, water sports, and daily Spa treatment for adults, plus a private island picnic. Valid for travel between 11 May - 15 October 2015. Terms and conditions apply. Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List.

  • What to buy

    Unlike some hotels where the interiors are wholly unmemorable, the sensory blast at Firmdale hotels can't go unnoticed.

    The colour, warmth and textiles have more layers than The Princess and The Pea's bed. And there's no generic design or 'that'll do' attitude, with many of the wallpapers, fabrics, rugs, furniture and artwork individually crafted for a specific space. The reason for this imaginative design and hawk-eye detail is creative director Kit Kemp, who with her husband Tim owns the hotel group, (which includes Charlotte Street Hotel, Ham Yard Hotel and Crosby Street Hotel in New York).

    And for those who yearn for a slice of Kemp's colour and creativity in their own lives, now's your chance. For this week Kit launched a collaboration with high street shop Anthropologie, called Folkthread; a sensibly priced range of home furnishings including oak side tables, collage upholstered armchairs, pretty dining chairs and fair isle rugs. 

    "Anthropologie and I love folk art and handmade crafts," says Kit, "This includes embroidery, collage and beautiful materials that last and feel good. I have taken a few of my favorite designs and have adapted them especially for Anthropologie. Interiors should be fun so let's enjoy the colour." Thanks colourful Kit, we darn well will.


  • What to know

    Bang in the middle of the King's Road, in a nice-ish but rather stagnant slice of Chelsea, the hoardings finally came down this week to reveal The Ivy Chelsea Garden.

    The latest project from Caprice Holdings (Scott's, 34, J.Sheekey) has taken up residency in a Kings Road building that dates from 1722, when it was the Six Bells pub, known for its bowling green.  More recently it was Henry J. Beans, where noisy teens would go for cocktails if they fancied somewhere a shade more glamorous than the pub. 

    But forget pubs and rowdy kids; since opening this week, the building's glamour stakes have shot through the roof out the back door and into the garden. For while the interior is laid-back clubby, by Martin Brudnizki and the food is familiar brasserie-style with brunch for hangovers, crumpets and marmite for tea and a phenomenal chocolate bombe for greedys… it's the garden that sets this place apart. 

    One hundred feet of unexpected leafy glory; wisteria-clad pergolas, evergreen jasmine, trickly Italianate fountains and of course plenty of ivy. There's no doubt that on a sunny day, there'll be a scrabble for lunch at one of the 120 ticking covered chairs in London's new oasis. So start by making besties with General Manager Daniel Smith, right now.

    Bravo The Ivy - your Chelsea garden is a King's Road game changer.

    197 King's Road, London SW3 5ED
    Tel: 020 3301 0300