STM is hanging out next week . . .

So STM has decided that it’s been a while since the last break and while these inner city breaks and tasting menus are fine to stall the inevitable, this city does get a bit much! With all the time being dedicated to the move to Shanghai there has been little time to get away (well for more than a weekend that is) so a family wedding is the ideal excuse to sneak out for a week or so!

So if we are a little quiet xia xingqi (that means next week – soon we will be writing only in Manadarin Pinyin) you will know why!

First, a few days in Mayfair (which if you are going to London – I don’t care what anyone says – IS the best area to stay in London if you disagree just punch yourself in the face #thatsall) at the sensationail ATHENAEUM HOTEL with its famous ‘living wall’ by Ptrick Blanc . . .

Measuring 8 stories tall this vertical garden contains over 260 plant species and more than 12,000 individual plants. Patrick Blanc, a research scientist and artist designed the wall and plans to spread the notion that we don’t have to give up nature just because we live in cities.

Maybe a few trips to the SPA to unwind . . .

But without doubt one thing im looking forward to is the Afternoon tea, I just love the civility of it all!!

So onto more pressing business, land in Heathrow T5 quick hotel car to to the Athenaeum and into the shower, for the main reason of this trip is a little family wedding (and by little my family means a week of getting drunk and pushing our bodies to the limit!) and as with all great weddings come a great night out for the bachelor (this bachelor is far less sleaze and far more class) so here is the evening of London night ONE!

Dinner at the EPICALLY good Hakkasan in Mayfair (and I thought just to show you what I mean I’d insert a little menu sample!)

Click on it to see bigger (trust me you want to read this!)

Then onto BOUJIS which is famous for drunk royals and celebs stumbling out at all ungodly hours of the morning, something I hope to emulate this trip!

Here is a small taste of what these guys do . . .

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUVcePda1aM

Then, if I know my self as I do there will be the desperate need to prepare both my body and mind for the upcoming familial nuptuals. So in order to focus there must be a break from the city and a few days in the ‘old country’ of Oxford at the classic OLD PARSONAGE HOTEL . . .

I cannot express to you how excited I will be at this point to read a thousand English newspapers, sitting outside, and gently consuming glass after glass of Chardonnay (or sitting inside next to that stoked fire and doing the same with a few bottles of Merlot)

But most importantly one cannot just walk into a wedding on an unprepared liver , so three bookings at restaurants like LE MANOIR AUX QUAT ‘SAISONS have been secured just so my liver can absorb some decadence before its bombarded with all the brilliance this wedding will bring and all the damage that, while I know may not be good for me, I’m going to do it anyway! 

Then back into town for what should be an absolutely monstrous party and sadly a flight back to Shanghai the next day! Wish me luck – I assure you I will need it to survive. If you don’t hear from us for a few days at least now you know where we will be!

But enough about me, now that you are feeling a little vexed, know that i wish you only THIS for your week ahead!

Hold fast to small victories . . .

As you are aware I have moved to Shanghai recently (if you are not click the link) and while getting used to a new city that operates in a language that sounds mostly like klingon is a little difficult, I have started to navigate the city and so I decided to put on my big boy pants and walk home.

Now if you are South African this concept will be rather foreign to you but never the less, I put my iPhone in, put on NERD- Hot n Fun (if you don’t know this song – YOU REALLY SHOULD) walked the total of 25 minutes to my front door on a warm spring evening. If you live in a city (I mean a real city) you will probably think I am quite pathetic and cant work out what all the fuss is about but the truth is I have never, ever walked home.

The small sense of pride I got when I arrived home has seldom been better and I started to wonder why we seem to let these small moments of joy pass us by.

You see for me I have always tried to behave far senior to my years and perhaps this has always stopped me from enjoying small moments that could be perceive as trivial – things like getting my first assistant, my first office, my first apartment etc

I’ve been so hell bent on acting above my age that sometimes I tend to forget the smallest joys in life which are so often the most important ones. Moving to a new country all these tiny victories seem to become magnanimous and rightly so. From now on I’m going to try and enjoy these a lot more – like setting up two outside chairs from IKEA (even though there are step by step instructions and a 4 year old could do it)

The moral of the story is quite simple – enjoy the little things. They are the things above all else that are most important! No victory is to small and no victory is not worth celebrating whether it be with a jeroboam of champagne or a small silent victory dance in the middle of the street. Life is there to be enjoyed and if you cannot do that even for the smallest of moment then you have a serious problem!

In the words of Johnny Drama ‘VICTORY!’

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azziWE8BFUU

Just to show you where STM is hanging out this week!

So STM decided to stick out the quiet and peaceful Joburg until all of you animals started returning – now it’s our turn!

First a small hop to Dubai on the new A380 Business Class (don’t worry we know we’ve let you down but next trip will be First I promise) but still I fear a few glasses of Champaz at the bar are necessary to kick off the holiday (yes there is an on-board bar)!

Then I think there shall be an important focus on TV, movies and perhaps the needed few hours of work!

Finally after a sleep in the hotel in Dubai and a leg to Zurich its time to hit the majestic KULM hotel . . .

For a bit of a relax . . . .

Some superb dining . . .

And most importantly to behave like absolute animals on the slopes!

Don’t worry though, I may decide to write something or other, but if I do just know that I will be lying on a deck chair overlooking the crisp white mountain with some kind of vodka concoction in hand in the middle of this!

Don’t HATE – its just not nice :)

 

Just to show you where STM is hanging out this week!

STM has to do a little business in Shanghai this week so we thought we would give you a little taste of what most people think is purely high-rise madness!

Now if you are a frequent hotel stayer like me you will know if you are a big hotel kinda person or a boutique hotel kinda person. The truth is I have spent so much time in hotels that I can pretty describe my ideal hotel room down to the tap fittings! So without giving you too much detail I’m a big hotel kinda person with the style, class and attention of a boutique hotel . . . enter the world class PULI HOTEL (a boutique hotel with like 300 rooms! Paradise!)

Just look out the window of this net pic and tell me if this looks like a concrete, dull, grey world?

And if you think its just the hotels . . .

The (in)significance of being.

If you think you’re important, perhaps you should think again…

I’m not entirely sure what my view on this is. While by default we’re the most significant things in our own reality, and while we have the ability to be hugely influential in the lives of those around us, our communities, countries or even the planet, in the bigger scheme of things what does this actually mean?

Just to show you where STM is hanging out this week . . .

SO STM is out of office for the rest if the week (yes i know it’s nothing new except for the lineup)

We are hitting THE CONSUMER GOODS GLOBAL FORUM for a few days in Barcelona.

Now I was relatively unexcited until I saw, firstly the hotel (which after the last time I was there, in the W, will be hard to beat) and second and more importantly the lineup of speakers!
First the sensational HOTEL ARTS . . .

Then, far more impressive is the list of speaks – heres just a snapshot . . .

– Guida BARILLA – Chairman of the Barilla Group (fun, no?)

– Amir KAssaei – Chief Creative Officer DDB WORLDWIDE (getting interested yet?)

Nobu Matsuhisa – You may know him better as the founder of legendary restaurants NOBU

Indra Nooyi – Chairman & CEO Pepsico (told you it was star studded)

Muhtar Kent – Chairman & CEO of Coca Cola Global (cause Pepsi and Coke cant be without each other)

Franck Riboud – Chairman & CEO of Danone global

Thats just a snippet of the lineup – HERE’S THE FULL SHOW!

Finally just to add insult to injury end off the week with a little lunch on Lake Zurich (without doubt one of my best places in the world) . . .

. . . and then a little coffee at SPRUNGLI and a shop on the BAHNHOFSTRASSE – anyone want anything?

 

Because who drives anywhere anymore . . .

Tomorrow i have a distinctly unique and fairly foreign journey to undergo – im driving to the burg! Now the reason will or will not be made clear in the days to come (if i survive that is) but never the less it has brought me to a rather important point! That is who drives anymore – i mean with the beauty of air travel nowadays (NOT SAA THAT IS) why would you go anywhere by car? Now you may argue there is not exactly a plane to the Drankensburg – BUT – there is something else much more fun! Itll take you just under an hour to get there rather than the stupid driving 4-5 hours and lets be fair you will make an entrance designed for royalty (manoco royalty – they are cool – not british nonsense) so why be silly and drive your supercar all the way down – get aboard!

A special edition EC145 Mercedes-Benz Style helicopter designed by Mercedes and Eurocopter wasjust unveiled at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition 2010 in Geneva. The luxurious EC145 is equipped with comfortable seats made of exclusive materials coupled with sumptuous wood fittings for the floors and ceiling. The project, conceived by the Mercedes-Benz Advanced Design Studio in Como, Italy, is the only helicopter in its class that can seat up to eight passengers. For the cabin layout, Mercedes-Benz opted for a modular approach inspired by its new R-Class crossover. All seats are mounted on rails and can be quickly and easily reconfigured or removed to make room for luggage including golf bags and bicycles (also designed by Mercedes, of course). There are also three multi-function boxes with features such as a cooler, cup holder, table, 15-inch monitor and DVD player.

FROM WHERE ELSE BUT LUXIST!

Oh my! The glory that is OKTOBERFEST!

As you probably are very well aware we do hold drinking in quite high esteem her at STM and so i guess the pilgrimage to beer is OKTOBERFEST! STM has just decided that after seeing the pics of this years fiesta on BOSTON BIG PICTURE next year is our time to go! Real life is far too serious most of the time and if you can fly half way around the world to be surrounded by beer heaven – then why the fk not!

Anyone wants to be in we will be taking a touring party for five days and anyone alive will return with us – dont worry you have 360 odd days to prepare yourselves!

Via BOSTON BIG PICTURE

And for our die hard fans who thought somehow we had lost our other focus – heres one for you – GET READY FOR OKTOBERFEST 2011 – YOU GONNA NEED ALL THE PREP TIME YOU CAN GET!

Why am i not here – RIGHT NOW!

Its seeing things like this that make me want to open my window and leap like a stock broker to the concrete floor below! The biggest problem is we could be chilling in a place like this unfortunately there seems to be no time – now dont get me wrong its not like im chained to an office desk all day in fact i get to run around the country every week BUT the fact that i do that means i cant be HERE theres NO TIME . . .

The idyllic island of Mauritius with its unspoiled beaches and azure waters offers a unique experience of European, African and Asian cultures. The Oberoi Mauritius on Turtle Bay captures the spirit of the island in a resort that combines its abundant natural beauty with refined luxury. The resort, which is nominated for a Luxist Award for Best Beachside Hotel, is located in 20 acres of beautiful sub-tropical gardens with a 600 meter oceanfront.

The resort offers a range of water sports and recreation like wind surfing, water skiing, diving and sailing. The Spa at the The Oberoi Mauritius is a sanctuary where guests find peace, harmony and a new sense of well-being. State of the art facilities include a beauty parlor, sauna, steam bath, gym and individual spa suites with private jacuzzis. Traditional Mauritian treatments are featured, using natural local oils and fruits star alongside conventional therapies; one example is the blissful coconut husk body brush, followed by a deep massage with freshly ground coconut.

The resort offers 71 rooms and suites, each featuring a romantic four-poster bed. Wooden slatted ceilings and wall-to-wall restful neutral tones contribute to a feeling of relaxed grandeur. The hotel Villas, each with its own lush gardens and dining gazebo, most of them overlooking a private swimming pool with, views of the sea make an exclusive and luxurious retreat for those seeking privacy.


Hotelicopter?

Now a maximum of 18 partners can travel in luxury on-board a Hotelicopter. A giant Russian Mil V-12 helicopter totally customized to offer the same comfort as a 5-star hotel.
There are 18 double suites equipped with anti-noise, mini-bar, internet wireless, TV access… etc, etc… access to everything that can be defined as optimum service.

If you think you can’t get any better, how about baby-sitting, Yoga, hydro-massage, thermal treatment?

The Hotelicopter also has a full games room to entertain its passenger-guests.


We’re in the wrong business

An e-mail is going around about a drug bust where they uncovered a SH!TLOAD of cash at the dealer’s house. Besides the fact that you could spend the rest of your life only getting affection from Bubba and that you may ruin some lives along the way (unless you’re just selling weed, which is actually a good deed – crazy rhyme that!), this is great business. You’ll notice I struggled to categorize this piece…

Random fact: Apparently $1m worth of $100 bills weighs 17kgs.

Thanks Garth