• What to buy

    It's all too easy slinging on the same-old beachwear labels year after year.  But dig a little deeper than those familiar names and you'll find some great new designers making tracks in the sand.  Tallulah & Hope is one such company, designing 70s inspired silk kaftans, cover-ups and pareos using unique prints and strong colours. 

    The idea for Tallulah & Hope was born at the beach.  In 2008 fashion PR Lisa Ispani, (who'd worked with Versace amongst others), and costume designer/stylist Zoe Holborough, (who'd worked with super stylist Camille Bidault-Waddington as well as being lead costume designer for the 2012 Olympics), were on holiday together.  Lying in the sun, they whiled away the hours dreaming up their fantasy holiday wardrobe.  Two years with much research and hard graft later, Tallulah & Hope was launched.

    For this summer's sunshine frolics, Lisa and Zoe have created a small capsule collection (www.tallulahandhope.com/lookbook) inspired by the tropical destinations of four of The Luxury Collection Resorts in Asia Pacific, which will be sold both in the hotel shops and online.  So that when stylish women visit the resorts in Bali, Koh Samui, Phuket or Langkawi and spend beach-time pondering their dream holiday dress… they won't need to go to the trouble of designing their own collection. 


    Tallulah & Hope offers all Vanity Fair A-List subscribers the chance to win a limited edition Tallulah & Hope for The Luxury Collection large silk scarf (worth £225) and a £500 gift voucher to spend at tallulahandhope.com .  Don't miss out on future offers,  sign up to the A-List.

  • Where to go

    A spring weekend in Venice and the place to stay is The Gritti Palace. 

    Speed from the airport by water taxi and spy The Gritti, sitting magnificently just a whisper beyond the mouth of the Grand Canal, the sunny terrace waiting with open arms and a glass of prosecco.

    The hotel, which in 1525 was Andrea Gritti -  the Doge of Venice's 'little palace I like to call home' - re-opened last year having undergone a whopping restoration effort.  So what's new? The rooms are fewer but bigger (82 down from 100), clad in archive brocades by Rubelli, a ginormous terrace with spectacular views over the city has been created on the roof as part of the Redentore suite and a spanking new Acqua di Parma spa on the ground floor. But Gritti habitués were of prime consideration during the delicate 15-month operation; the exact positions of furniture, lighting and paintings were meticulously charted, pieces photographed before being sent away for TLC and as many as possible returned to their very own spot.   So for old-timers the overall effect is sort of the same, but different.  And so immaculate is the revamp that Venice's other - possibly laurel-resting - grand hotels now need to give their socks a jolly good yank.

    However, the biggest difference to the Gritti is utterly invisible.  Because the very thing that draws us to Venice was also it's drawback.  Water. Previously, the palazzo wasn't waterproof, so high tide or floods and 'oh mio dio', the canal's murky water would seep through the floor.  But now that the building is tanked and sealed with whizzy hydraulics in place to batten the hatches, you can twirl your lemon linguine and cicchetti on the terrace while staring at the splendor of Santa Maria della Salute or considering a trip across the canal to Peggy Guggenheim's modern-art jammed former-home, knowing that your Charlotte Olympia kitty flats can pad about safe and dry. 

    If you're at the pretty Gritti this spring, then life is beautiful.


  • What to wear

    The health is wealth attitude continues to osmose from across the pond.

    More than ever, creative and exciting ways to exercise and be healthy are sprouting up - whether you're slurping cold-pressed green juice from a new wave of shops or practising yoga whilst dangling in a suspended cocoon.  So now's the perfect time for Lululemon to land with a great big store on Long Acre in Covent Garden.

    The Vancouver-born brand emerged in 1998 when skater/surfer/snowboarder dude Chip Wilson took his first yoga class.  He was sold on the exhilarating practise but - coming from a world of technical athletic fabrics - Chip was disappointed with the predominantly cotton offering for such a steamy, stretchy activity as yoga.  So he started his own design studio. 

    16 years later and Lululemon is globally famed for its own 'Luon' wicking, four-way-stretch, signature fabric.  And with this it clads both men and women, yoga bunnies, runners, cyclists the world over.   But for those who are all dressed-up with nowhere to go - fear not.  Lululemon in Covent Garden holds a free weekly Saturday run-club and Sunday yoga classes. Time to join the revolution.