• What to see

    One of the amazing things about Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album exhibition at the Royal Academy is simply the breadth of subjects he captured in a relatively short period of time during such a pertinent decade in America and Mexico history.

    The 400 photographs that make up the exhibition, were taken  between 1961-67.  Hopper was aged 25-31 years old, observing the life that surrounded him, and the happenings he chose to seek out - whether that was Andy Warhol at The Factory, pop artist Claes Oldenburg with segments of cake sculpture or photographing Martin Luther King on the marches from Selma to Montgomery at the height of the African Civil Rights movement.  Or hippie gatherings, Hells Angels and their surprisingly well-groomed 'molls' and beachside girls in bikinis. 

    This wide variety of images, gives a fascinating slice of life in the 60s whilst at times allowing you to forget the actor behind the camera.  And then you are suddenly reminded that it is Hopper, with initimate access to Hollywood heroes; Paul Newman, Jane Fonda and Roger Vadim at their wedding in Las Vegas or Ike and Tina Turner at the piano.

    The photographs were first exhibited at The Fort Worth Art Center in Texas in 1970, after which the collection apparently disappeared.  But amazingly they were found after Hopper died in 2010, in a box at his home - in surprisingly good nick.

    All 400 prints are of a similar size, which is also a reflection of the time.  A pre-Instagram era, when viewers were content to look at a series of images without needing the lure of visual trickery.

    So while the modern eye might find it hard to commit to 400 similarly sized black and white images, for those who can, the rewards are great; an utterly unique slice of 60s culture through the eyes of a one-off creative.

    Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album
    26 June - 19 October 2014
    Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Gardens, London W1S 3ES

    The Royal Academy offered all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win a private tour for two of Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album  on Saturday 9th August between 8.30-9.45am (before the gallery opens to the public), 2 nights for two people in a Classic Suite at Brown's Hotel including breakfast (Friday 8th, Saturday 9th August), 2 Unlimited Leader's Club Membership (valid for 1 year, worth $1,200 USD).  Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List.

  • Where to eat

    You're in London.  Working. All your friends are off on summer jaunts - a frolic in Formentera, paddling in Positano, cruising round Capri.  You're stinking jealous.

    But make yourself feel a little better with a trip to Dover Street, where this week, Charles Finch (a lover of fine things) has opened CHUCS Bar & Grill.

    Snuggled in beside CHUCS Store (the spot for 50s playboy inspired beachwear and winter sports gear) - the new restaurant has the dream menu: uncomplicated Italian food - with a few American favourites for good measure. (Yes please to the Cobb Salad and Club sarnies.)  The interior of the restaurant is designed like a yacht - smothered in wood paneling with navy leather banquettes and street-side tables beneath a grotto-blue awning for summer smoking.

    So whilst you might not be bobbing around on a boat in the med - hanging about at CHUCS with a martini, truffled pizza bianca and the waft of your neighbour's cigar - is the closest thing London has to offer. 

    CHUCS Bar & Grill, 31 Dover St, London W1S 4NB
    Tel: 020 3763 2013

  • Where to go

    It's fair to say that a massage at Enasoit in Kenya is wonderfully unusual.

    Set amongst the foothills of Mount Kenya, Enasoit is a permanent tented camp, created by a Scandinavian family with a passion for Africa.

    However, unlike staying at some of Kenya's big name lodges, Enasoit has the low-key luxury that comes with being in someone's private home. While there are all the whistles and bells you'd hope for (a cup of tea in bed in the morning, night time game drives, a helicopter on hand to chopper you up for fishing expeditions on Mount Kenya),  you can also make requests on a whim; a sundowner at the top of a neighbouring mountain, a fire lit in your tent before bedtime, disco dancing around the mess tent after supper, or an outdoor massage with masseuse Salome, while giraffe and other game go about their business at the watering hole. 

    You can do (almost) exactly as you please.  As if it were your own chic home.  Which frankly is the most elegant way to discover and enjoy this magical country.