• What to see

    Hurray for awards season, when all the year's best films come at you like thoroughbred fillies suddenly untethered all at once. 

    Out of the stash of films I've watched so far (including Oscar Nominated must-sees HerPhilomenaTwelve Years A Slave), my award goes to The Wolf of Wall Street.  Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort - a young New York stockbroker in the 80s.  The film is a tale of temptation, greed and excess to the point of destruction, with all the wicked, wild, fast-paced fun along the way.

    Leonardo di Caprio is masterful as Belfort, Jonah Hill plays friend and fellow trader Donnie Azoff, while Margot Robbie nails the bird-in-a-gilded-cage part of Belfort's wife, Naomi Lapaglia.  The passion and energy with which this extravaganza is directed belies the age of its director, the phenomenal 71 year-old Martin Scorsese.

    A movie feast starting with The Wolf is a great way to perk up dreary January. 

    www.thewolfofwallstreet.com goes on general release today.

  • Where to go

    They say there's treasure on Frégate Island. 

    The story goes that when notorious pirate Olivier Le Vasseur - known as La Buse (The Buzzard) - was executed in 1730, he tossed a masonic-code written letter into the jeering, cheering crowd.  The letter was filled with clues as to where he'd hidden his loot, including the jewel encrusted Golden Cross of Goa. Many years later, Bond writer Ian Fleming deduced that a fair hunk of the spoils were buried on Frégate…

    But sadly I haven't stubbed my toe on any crocks of gold whilst hanging out on this private granitic island off the mainland of Mahe.  Instead I've been enjoying more accessible treasures; spotting fruit bats, sting-rays and almost tripping over a hawksbill turtle laying eggs on the beach.  Dragging my carcass out of bed for crack of dawn walks with the island's resident conservationist Tania Liebrick, who points out the once almost extinct Seychelles Magpie Robin (it has a rather sarcastic sounding song) but of which there are now well over 100.  Being given guided tours of the impressive fruit and veg gardens by French chef Arnaud Davin (remember that name - he's one to watch). Being prescribed hot spice massages and yoga breathing classes by Ayurvedic practitioner, Doctor Abhilash.  And being wowed by lunch that magically appears on private beach Anse Maquereau (once you've claimed the beach it's yours for the day to frolic about in whatever state of dress - or undress - you fancy). 

    Frégate Island has recently been taken over by Oetker Collection (think Hotel du Cap in South of France, Le Bristol in Paris and Palais Namaskar in Marrakech) - so necessary tweaks and changes can be expected.  But as one of the originators of the Robinson Crusoe deluxe ideal (the villas were built in 1995) - the infrastructure at Frégate remains impressive.  In fact the whole island is a treasure.

    Pick your time of year carefully; the rainy season is December/January and for blue skies the best months are April and May.



  • What to know

    Ever woken up in the dead of night and thought, 'What I really need right this minute is a good haircut'?  Hmmm, me neither.  But according to hairdresser Neil Cornelius, there are plenty who do. 

    "You'd be surprised; people who are about to get on a night flight, or they work in the city and need their hair done at 4am  or maybe they're suddenly off out clubbing," explains Neil.  "There's one gentleman who when he's in London, wants his hair done in his hotel suite at 11pm every single night."  And Neil Cornelius , who operates London's only 24 hour salon, is the man for the job.

    Cornelius started his career earning pocket money washing hair at the local barber in Hackney before a move to snazzy Mayfair where he was often charged with washing a young Princess Diana's hair.  He became creative director at Jo Hansford before starting up his own salon.  "But even then, my dad still wished I'd become an architect!" jokes Neil.   

    Now, from his first floor plot on New Bond Street, Cornelius delivers his trademark 'sexy' hair for both men and women, with a raft of clients including Lily Allen and plans for opening a salon in LA.  "It's all in the detail," explains Neil adjusting his own barnet.  "It could just be that all you need is a shorter piece at the front that falls in front of one eye."  And if you wake up at 3am and need that tendril, then Neil's your man.  

    Neil Cornelius, 1st Floor, 109 New Bond St, W1S 1EG. 
    Tel: 020 7493 5304

    Neil Cornelius offers all Vanity Fair A-List subscribers the chance to win a one-to-one consultation with Neil Cornelius, including cut/restyle and blow dry, (total worth £200).  To enter this prize draw, send your details, (name, address, email, telephone number) to info@thisisgrapevine.com by 12pm on Friday 17th January.  Terms and conditions apply.