• What to eat

    It's all getting a bit delicious at The Conran Shop.

    The latest treats are quirky biscuits from Biscuiteers, bespoke chocs by Amelia Rope and… caviar from Gourmet House.

    The thing about Gourmet House is that their prices are fairly reasonable because there are no middlemen. The 45 year old company has farms across Europe, China and Iran and work the salting to a 30 year old Persian recipe.

    To introduce the different types of caviar (you gotta know your Baeri Royal from your Imperial to your Russian Oscietra) The Conran Shop in Marylebone is hosting a masterclass in their gleaming Alpes Inox kitchen. 

    However much you hated school, this is a class worth taking.

    The Conran Shop, 55 Marlebone High St, London W1U 5HS 

    The Conran Shop offers all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win a pair of tickets to the Exclusive Caviar Masterclass at The Conran Shop, Marylebone on Wednesday 12th November and 60g of caviar from Gourmet House, a Ercuis caviar vodka cup and caviar horn spreader (total worth £500). Don't miss out on future offers,  sign up to the A-List.

  • What to buy

    Twigs, bugs, lamps, mirrors - there's little that hasn't been given the Midas touch in the new interiors collection 'Gilded Pleasures' created by sisters Isabel and Stella Tennant.

    The duo, (granddaughters of the enchantingly original 'Debo', Dowager Duchess of Devonshire who sadly died this week) work together from a studio near their homes on the Scottish Borders.

    Isabel has worked for 30 years as a gilder, while Stella was studying sculpture at Winchester College of Art before being 'discovered' as a model and working for the big guns including Chanel, Burberry and Givenchy.  They've pooled their talents and inspiration to create their first collection that showed during London Design Festival at Ben Pentreath's elegant Lambs Conduit studio space.

    Ultimately, the idea is to find their own Tennant & Tennant London showroom, but for now the collection can be viewed online or by appointment.  It's a joyous, pleasing mix of decorative and function: for example, small, carved flowers in burnished gold alongside an impressively wide console table of rough-edged marble placed upon a bronze-cast hawthorn bush.  The only thing missing from the collection… a lily.


  • Who to know

    Not only has London's Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park got a spectacularly swishy new 'wellbeing facility' - but they've also nabbed top trainer Ruben Tabares. 

    So alongside the 17 metre pool, Technogym filled fitness centre, sauna, steam, ice fountain and squashy gel-filled beds that change colour and squirt essential oils according to your your mood - you can hone your body with the man who helps shape folk including David Haye (see left- Former Heavy Weight Champion of the World), Tinie Tempah and Puff Daddy.

    Unexpectedly Ruben's physical career began with ballet.  But he quit aged 13, "I started at a new school and didn't want anyone to find out I was Billy Eliot," he explains. 

    A swathe of sports followed: basketball, football, rugby - alongside playing the piano, double bass and learning jazz at Italia Conti school.  "My mum instilled a competitive edge in me," says Ruben.  "She said, 'Even if you're a road sweeper, you need to be the best road sweeper in the world.'"

    There was no road sweeping for Ruben. He became English junior hurdles champion.  Then disaster struck.  He contracted Epstein Barr virus and spent two and a half years in bed until finally he discovered Dr Robert Jacobs - a Chinese herb, homeopathic practicing surgeon from Dorset, who got him well again.

    It was overcoming this physical blow, and as a result learning about health, nutrition and psychology that gave Tabares the holistic edge as a personal trainer; whether it's changing David Haye's diet to stop him cramping and getting injured or preparing Tinie Tempah for a huge tour.  And now he's available to train Mandarin Oriental Hotel guests or gym members. "I love working at the Mandarin Oriental," he explains, "because the level of service mirrors my standards."  And Ruben will take on all challenges, "whether someone's recovering from injury, want the legs of a ballerina, or want to get a six pack in six weeks!"

    Ruben Tabares personal training at Mandarin Oriental from £200 per hour.

    Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London
    66 Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 7LA

    For further information and bookings please contact Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London on +44 (0) 20 7235 2000 or visit www.mandarinoriental.com/london

    The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park offers all Vanity Fair A-List members the chance to win two personal training sessions with Ruben Tabares combined with use of the new fitness facilities and swimming pool (total worth £400).  To enter this prize draw, send your details (name, address, email, telephone number) to hfield@mohg.com by 12pm on Friday 15th August.  Terms and conditions apply.