• What to see

    By now we should all know that 80% of plant species rely on bees for pollination. And we should also know that something seriously wrong is up with bee populations. Depending on where you are in the world, between 50% and 90% of bees have disappeared. But you only have to look in your back garden to realize that seeing a buzzy bee is almost as rare as spotting a tiger padding through the undergrowth.

    New documentary More Than Honey intimates that a combination of pesticides, parasites, viruses, stress from travelling (some honey farmers tour their bees across America chasing the seasonal blossoms) or changes in electromagnetic waves could be the reason for this 'colony collapse disorder'. However all of these factors are due to man's greed. The big fat finger of blame points at each one of us.

    Director Markus Imhoof introduces us to the bee world; a curious spread of characters from old-fashioned mountain-dwelling bee keepers, to honey farmers working on a massive scale, to Professor Menzel - aka 'the bee whisperer'. He films shocking footage of an apple farm in northern China where there are no more bees. Instead Chinese ladies with oversize cotton buds in one hand and a packet of pollen in the other, are seen clambering amongst the branches pollinating the blossom by hand.

    The heroes of the film are of course the bees themselves; like furry bears, enormous on the screen and imbued with character and almost human emotion by Imhoof, as they build the comb in their hives, zoom about searching for new nests or immaculately tend to their Queen.

    More Than Honey is narrated by John Hurt, (who at times sounds comfortingly similar to David Attenborough) and who despite the gloomy reality, delivers a final message of hope in the unlikely shape of the robust and 'wolf-like' killer bee.

    More Than Honey in cinemas from 6th September

  • Where to go

    Escaping the muggy city and heading for the hills is a one-way ticket to peaceful relaxation. But if it's not an option, then here's a darned good alternative.

    Make your way into the thick of Knightsbridge, slip into The Berkeley Hotel, hit floor 7 and prepare to be disgorged from the elevator into an unexpected slice of the countryside. For the hotel's spa and health club has been magic-wanded into a new Bamford Haybarn Spa.

    All the philosophy and chic but rustic trappings of Bamford HQ at Daylesford in the Cotswolds has been meticulously replicated, right here in London town. A pebbled heart inlaid in the lime-washed wood floor sets the tone, as ladies in white beckon you into clapboard-clad treatment rooms named 'Willow' or 'Log Cabin'. Everything from the interior decoration to the therapists and treatments, is soft and nurturing. The Bamford Body signature treatment is a melting pot of the best bits of shiatsu, meridian and Swedish massage, reflexology and yogic breathing, with plenty of Bamford Body rosemary or chamomile oil.

    Keep the rural fantasy alive a little longer post-treatment with a moment by the rooftop open-air pool. This too has been given a Bamford make-over with sun beds designed by Spencer Fung and the smell of jasmine, lavender and rosemary wafting in from the secret garden. A rare and peaceful treat before heading back into the real world below.


  • Where to go

    The Mount Street area of Mayfair continues to lure interesting, exciting designers and the latest to hit the patch is Jessica McCormack.

    This talented New Zealand born jewellery designer has upped-sticks from her East End digs and moved into an entire house on Carlos Place. She's handily opposite The Connaught (they'll send over cream tea) and has Roland Mouret as a neighbour.

    McCormack is beautiful, clever and funny - traits reflected in her jewellery designs that sit upon Italian marble plinths of Jessica's own design alongside endless art works by Ryan McGinley, Rick Owens and Louise Bourgeois, amongst others.

    It's a sophisticated way to buy or dream of buying jewellery; the ground floor leads out to a pretty garden, while upstairs on the first floor is a clubby panelled library with a piano that plays all on its own.

    Jessica's design studio is just the next floor up, which adds something charming and reassuring for those lucky folk designing bespoke pieces; the wizard and her elves are in the house. And for those buying off the peg… there's an impressive new emerald necklace that Liz Taylor would've acquired an extra husband for.

    Jessica McCormack - 7 Carlos Place, London W1K 3AR

    Jessica McCormack offered all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win one of twenty places at a champagne and jewels evening on Thursday 12th September at Jessica McCormack from 6.30-8.30 with talks by Jessica on her inspirations, the bespoke process and the house. Don't miss out on future offers, sign up to the A-List.