New yacht by Heesen Yachts launched at MYS

The 70m Galatica Super Nova: Heesen’s biggest yacht to date

The new CEO of Heesen Yachts, Arthur Brouwer has stepped up to the helm at an exciting time for the luxury brand. Following the launch of their biggest yacht to date, 70m Galactica Super Nova at the Monaco Yacht Show, Arthur spoke to LUX, as part of our Luxury Leader series, about meeting the demands of the modern consumer, new technologies and sailing on the Amalfi coast.

Portrait of CEO of Heesen Yachts

Arthur Brouwer. Image by Dick Holthuis

LUX: What makes a yacht truly luxurious?
Arthur Brouwer: At Heesen Yachts we strive to combine engineering and design, with luxury elements such as detailed interiors with high-end materials. All these aspects are perfected with top-notch technology, innovation and modern cutting edge-design, creating a truly luxurious yacht.

LUX: How has the super yacht market evolved in the last ten years?
Arthur Brouwer: Superyacht owners are now looking for bigger, faster, yet comfortable and silent superyachts. The exteriors are becoming increasingly important with more request for more outside space to enable guests onboard to take in the surroundings. 70m Galactica Super Nova, launching at the Monaco Yacht Show on September 28th, is the perfect example of this trend, with a maximum cruise speed of 30 knots which is exceptional for such a calibre.

Read next: Francois Paul Journe on the art of watchmaking

LUX: What are the most difficult issues you face as CEO of an international business?
Arthur Brouwer: As discussed previously, the superyacht market is forever evolving and changing. As you can imagine, building a superyacht takes a certain amount of time, and when building on specs, we take a risk in offering the market something we predict will be suitable for future expectations. With the help of my great team, we seem to get it right though, but it is a risky process. Next year we will launch Project NOVA, a 50 metre Fast Displacement featuring a new hybrid technology for silent cruising. As we expected, silence is becoming the ultimate luxury.

Galatica Super Nova Heesen Yacht

The spacious foredeck can be used as helipad, sunbathing platform, informal dining space or an outdoor cinema

LUX: How have the demands of your customers changed?
Arthur Brouwer: More and more our customers are asking for detailed and extravagant interiors and design. Since we build full-custom superyachts, we constantly seek to satisfy these demands, however outrageous, and generally make the impossible, possible. We are also very lucky to have a team of exceptional in-house naval architects to make this happen.

Read next: Jean-Claude Biver on the levels of luxury

LUX: All of your yachts are bespoke designs, what’s the most challenging customization you’ve faced?
Arthur Brouwer: I think the most challenging customization was creating a glass pool bottom. The engineering around this had to be detailed to perfection to make sure the yacht could still cruise at high-speeds without shattering the glass floor.

LUX: What are the most interesting growth areas of your market?
Arthur Brouwer: I may seem repetitive, but once again, size is the constant growing area for superyachts. This is why we are currently building an 85m dry dock, meaning we will be able to build yachts up to 80m.

Luxury yacht by Heesen Yachts

The yacht features a 6m swim-jet infinity pool with waterfall, glass-panelled bottom and spa jets for hydro massage

LUX: Are your competitors other yacht companies or houses, other indulgences etc?
Arthur Brouwer: We are competing against all the other shipyards, but competition is good. It means that we continue to raise the bar year on year and deliver at an ever higher standard.

Read next: Cary Arms brings luxury to Babbacombe Bay

LUX: What are your best insider’s tips for visitors coming to the Monaco Yacht Show?
Arthur Brouwer: Obviously no trip to the Monaco Yacht Show would be complete without a visit to a Heesen yacht, particularly this year where Galactica Super Nova is proving to be one of the stars of the show.

LUX: Where’s your favourite place to sail?
Arthur Brouwer: I love to sail to all kinds of exotic places, but a personal favourite is the Amalfi coast.

Read next: Investment tips from international entrepreneur, Javad Marandi

LUX: What’s next for Heesen Yachts?
Arthur Brouwer: Other than the development of unusual specialist builds like Project Nova; over the last few years we’ve seen a trend in the demand for bigger and bigger yachts, which doesn’t seem to be slowing down. We’ve just completed the addition of an 85m dry dock to our shipyard which will allow us to develop 80m yachts.

LUX: How do you relax?
Arthur Brouwer: Not at the Monaco Yacht Show! I enjoy long distance classic rallies.

Reading time: 4 min
Cary Arms luxury hotel in Devon
Cary Arms hotel luxury beach huts on Babbacombe Bay

The new luxury beach huts at Cary Arms

Digital Editor Millie Walton rediscovers the charming imperfections of the English coastline from the cosy luxury of a cliffside beach hut at five-star boutique hotel The Cary Arms

Many of English coastal towns have fallen off the tourist map. Flights are now so cheap that it’s just as easy, if not easier (consider traffic, extortionate British railway prices, inevitable delays) to hop on a plane to France for the weekend as it is to drive down to Devon. Take a turn around Torquay and you’ll be able to see the desperate attempts to lure in tourists.

This is not how it used to be, though; the Babbacombe Cliff Railway is living evidence of a more vibrant past. Built in 1926, the railway (which is actually an old-fashioned kind of cable car) has shuttled thousands of holidaymakers to and from Devon’s Oddicombe Beach. Antique photographs in the makeshift museum/visitor centre show crowded scenes of men in suits on deck chairs, women in wide-brimmed sun hats and 1920s style swimsuits. You can barely see the sand between the well-oiled bodies, supine on rows of pastel coloured towels.

Read next: The best of East London’s gastronomy

Babbacombe Bay is as staggeringly beautiful as it would have been back then. Red cliffs covered in dark green forest drop down into deep, clear waters. If it weren’t for the slight chill in the air, this could be Croatia or the South of France. The real appeal though is exactly that: this isn’t Croatia or the South of France. This is England and when you go to the beach, it’s rustic, makeshift and quite often, a little bit blustery. That’s not to say, however, that English seaside holidays can’t be luxurious. Babbacombe Bay, in fact, is home to one of Devon’s most charming coastal boutique hotels: The Cary Arms.

Reached by a treacherously steep drive down the cliffside, The Cary Arms sits poised right on the ocean’s edge. The hotel belongs to the exclusive de Savary group and it provides a homely kind of luxury where wellingtons and dogs are welcome (even in some of the rooms). The hotel has been poised on its rocky perch since 2009, but it has recently opened six private beach huts and suites, with a new spa currently under construction.

The huts are painted in nautical colours as you’d expect of these shores, reached by a little walkway through the hotel and out the other side. They are built to maximise the natural light and views with glass doors that fold open onto the balcony for especially balmy days and porthole windows upstairs so that the first thing you see when you open your eyes is the sea. The interiors are cheerful, bright and quirky with a spacious living room downstairs and the bedroom on the mezzanine floor.

Read next: Luxury is simpler than it used to be, says Eric Favre of The Alpina Gstaad

Sea views from Cary Arms restaurant

Dining with sea views

The details are what makes these huts extra special. Champagne in a cool box with a glass bowl of strawberries awaits new arrivals, along with a stick of rock on each pillow, a well-stocked, complimentary mini fridge with snacks and a decanter of sloe gin. It’s generous, but not flashy, befitting of the British coastal lifestyle.

The restaurant is also excellent and a destination in itself. The menu changes according to the catch of the day and the season. For us, the highlights were a half pint of cold prawns that came with a little pot of garlicky mayonnaise and crusty bread, and the Monkfish cooked whole in butter and herbs, served with new potatoes and green beans. We washed it down with a glass of Baileys on ice, in the study over a game of scrabble. It was all delightfully British.

Overnight stays at the beach huts cost from £375 per night, beach suites from £475 and luxury doubles in the main hotel from £245 per night. For bookings and further details visit: 

Reading time: 3 min
Cocktail from East London bar Discount Suit Company
Czech beers, Bloody Marys, live jazz and padrón peppers, East London’s gastronomic scene is more vibrant than ever. Digital Editor, Millie Walton picks some of her favourite spots for drinking and dining in the city’s hottest neighbourhoods
Discount Suit Company
Bar snacks at Discount Suit Company

Elegant bar snacks: Neal’s Yard cheese board

This low-key little bar hides in the basement of an old suit tailor’s storeroom (hence the name), five minutes walk from Liverpool Street station so not so far off the beaten track that you start clutching your pockets, but still safely removed from the groups of city slickers swarming into every pub in sight come 5.30. Discount Suit Company attracts a genuinely cool crowd, the type who look like they’ve recently raided a thrift shop, matching the bar’s own ramshackle interiors and Motown soundtrack. The cocktail menu is impressive, but the bar tenders will also happily whip up something bespoke to suit your mood. There’s no kitchen as such, though you can order olives or a cheese platter courtesy of Neal’s Yard.

Read next: In the saddle with Hermés 

Lounge Bohemia
Lounge Bohemia drinking spot East London

Laid back interiors at Lounge Bohemia

Everything about Lounge Bohemia is cool. Firstly, there’s absolutely no way you’ll get in without an appointment, arranged in advance via text. Then there’s finding the unmarked door and being approved for entrance (there’s a very rigid no suits policy). It can be a little intimidating to say the least, but inside the atmosphere is relaxed and causal. Water is served in caravan style plastic jug and cups, whilst the menus are hidden in volumes of classic Czech literature, pages of which are also plastered over the walls. There’s a large selection of Czech beers on offer as well as shots served in test tubes and cocktails paired with tiny spoonfuls of canapés designed to enhance each alcohol’s flavour.

Speakeasy style bar, Night Jar

Night Jar’s elegant interiors

Old Street’s once secret, underground watering hole is fast gaining reputation for London’s best cocktails. The menu is mind blowing with page after page of classic and experimental alcoholic concoctions divided into three historic periods and the bar’s signatures. Order something at random and it’s guaranteed to stun purely for its creative presentation. Hug a Wild Cat (a delicious mixture of tequila, juices and jam), for example, is served in a Peruvian puzzle jug. The bar’s interiors invoke a sense of old school glamour as does the almost nightly live performances of jazz. It’s about as close as you’ll get to Fitzgeraldian decadence without a time machine.

Read next: The art market has gone global, says Simon de Pury 

Black Pig with White Pearls
Black Pig with White Pearls dining menu

Octopus Salad

This unassuming tapas bar started out life as a one-off pop-up before planting permanent roots in the increasingly trendy Stoke Newington neighbourhood. The menu specialises in Iberican ham sourced from farmers in Spain and served in generous portions on wooden boards, though there are also great seafood and vegetarian options for the less meaty minded, particularly the sauce drenched octopus and the classic favourite, padrón peppers. Partners and co-founders, David and Melvin are always welcoming and eager to recommend.

Dinner dish at Rotorino

Clams & Mussels

The brainchild of talented trio chef Stevie Parle (Petersham Nurseries), Jonathan Downey (Street Vin Wine) and Ruth Spivey (Rotary bar and diner pop up) is a hugely welcome addition to the heaving Kingsland Road. Not only can you actually hear yourself talk (a rarity in these parts), but you can also relax in an elegant environment with hearty servings of really great Italian food and wine. The delicately flavoured gnocchi is undoubtedly the highlight of the menu, complimented by a chilli watermelon salad that freshens up the typically heavier dish. It attracts a more mature crowd to most of the usual Dalston haunts without feeling too pretentious or Mayfair smart.

Read next: Adam Brett-Smith’s on the world’s thriving wine culture

Andaz, Eastway
Make your own bloody mary at Andaz Eastway

The Bloody Mary bar at Andaz Eastway

The more informal of Andaz Hotel’s five drinking and dining spots has become a weekend brunch favourite amongst hungover hipsters. Partly due to it’s inventive menu, which includes the Spitalditch Benedict (bbq pulled pork, Sriracha hot sauce, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce) alongside more timid options like bircher muesli and homemade granola, but mainly because of it’s DIY Bloody Mary bar. With bottles and bottles of infused vodkas, spicy sauces, juices and various pickled vegetables, it’s overwhelming even to the less blurry-eyed visitors. Thankfully there’s usually someone nearby to offer gentle advice without robbing you the satisfaction of ‘inventing’ your own bloody concoction.

Reading time: 4 min

In the five years since it opened, The Alpina Gstaad has become an iconic European hotel, featuring award-winning restaurants and spa, spectacular indoor and outdoor pools, a gallery-worthy art collection, and an ambience of relaxed chic that epitomises modern luxury at its best. Here, Eric Favre, its Managing Director, talks about how it’s done as part of our ongoing Luxury Leaders series.

Managing Director of The Alpina Gstaad

Eric Favre

LUX: The Alpina Gstaad opened into a market, Gstaad, with plenty of choice at the luxury end. Why did it succeed?
Eric Favre: Since it opened in 2012, our property has offered an entirely different experience than Gstaad has seen in the past 100 years. Our owners, architects and consultants had a clear vision of today’s discerning guests, who seek a chic but casual, authentic but refined hideaway in the mountains. So yes, the hardware is still important and we are fortunate to be offering outstanding facilities, but it’s really about meeting the exacting needs of our guests which is at the crux of our success. More and more, hotel and spa clients are looking to connect with a 360 degree lifestyle brand, which offers a compelling combination of art, fashion, wellness and personality. We make it our mission at The Alpina Gstaad to deliver this in a truly exceptional way.

LUX: What were the greatest challenges?
Eric Favre: Finding the right people that are able to transport your philosophy has always been a challenge. Your biggest assets are the people behind your brand and who are willing to go the extra-mile for the satisfaction of your guests. We are fortunate enough to have built a team which goes above and beyond in achieving that task. Another challenge we were facing at the beginning was to build up a loyal clientele given the competition in the area. Today we are thrilled to welcome a strong percentage of returning guests year after year.

Summer in Gstaad, Switzerland

The Alpina has the best outdoor pool zone in the Alps


Read next: Luxury means excellence, know-how and innovation, says watchmaker Francois Paul Journe

LUX: What are your clients like?
Eric Favre: Our guests are looking for a sophisticated hideaway to unwind from their busy schedules and responsibilities. It is a wide and international audience that we attract, from high profile celebrities to active couples and families seeking some quality time. What they appreciate is the casual but classy environment at The Alpina Gstaad – not needing to oblige to any dress code, for example. They appreciate the discretion and natural beauty that Gstaad is so famous for.

LUX: Why is Gstaad thriving when many Alpine destinations struggle at the top end?
Eric Favre: I believe that it’s a mix of Gstaad’s world-class events, alpine authenticity, breath-taking landscapes and lively social scene, not only during peak seasons. We keep reinventing ourselves without compromising on the local traditions. The world has always met in Gstaad and I am confident that this will remain a hot-spot for many generations to come.

Read next: Jude Law on life and love

LUX: Are you “new luxury” and what does that mean?
Eric Favre: We go beyond what you would expect from a luxury hotel. Yes there is a Michelin starred restaurant and an award-winning Spa, however we are not celebrating the opulence in it. The idea of luxury is much more simpler than it was 20 years ago and today it evolves around re-connecting with yourself, your loved ones and a piece of heaven that we believe is Gstaad.

LUX: What are the most important elements of your offering?
Eric Favre: High-end accommodation, interesting gastronomical experiences, a holistic wellness area and a personalised service from our 170 employees. Moreover, it is also the high level of discretion and Alpine authenticity in a stylish and contemporary setting.

LUX: Is The Alpina Gstaad old money or new money?
Eric Favre: I’d say we are well-invested money.

Read next: Chopard’s co-president, Caroline Scheufele’s vision of the future

LUX: How is running a very exclusive hotel different from the rest of the hospitality industry?
Eric Favre: It is highly labour intensive and there is no room for error.  It is also important to tread carefully the fine line between being exclusive and inclusive – while we wish to offer the utmost in discretion and privacy, it’s important for all of our guests to feel welcome.

Luxury in the Alpine town of Gstaad

One of the hotel’s spacious junior suites

LUX: How important is PR and how do you generate it at the high level?
Eric Favre: We consider PR to be very important, but it needs to be well managed with a strategic approach. We are very selective with the opportunities we pursue and the media we work with, to ensure the results generated are the most effective. It’s important for us to have exposure in the right lifestyle magazines, newspapers and supplements, as well as niche websites, in order to reach our target demographic. Part of this comes from working with the right journalists who have a clear understanding of our offering, and of our audience.

Read next: LUX checks into the Maserati Suite at Hotel de Paris

LUX: Is The Alpina Gstaad a brand, to roll out?
Eric Favre: The beauty of our hotel is that we are completely independent from any international hotel chain.

LUX:If you were a guest in your own hotel, what would you enjoy most about it?
Eric Favre: The ability to be myself in a beautiful environment, which feels like its a million miles from anywhere in the mountains, yet is just minutes from all that Gstaad has to offer.

Reading time: 4 min

Francois Paul Journe is the CEO of the eponymous Geneva-based watch company that is the ultimate object of desire for some of the world’s most discerning collectors. For our Luxury Leaders series, he talks to Darius Sanai about how F.P.Journe’s watch business has thrived as an independent, focused on scientific precision, in a world dominated by luxury groups.

Francois Paul Journe watchmakers at work

FP Journe watchmaker’s atelier

LUX: Why have you succeeded where so many others have failed?
Francois Paul Journe: I believe we have to go back in time to explain. Watchmaking schools do not teach to conceive a watch and being a watchmaker is not synonymous with changing a battery. I was lucky enough, after finishing my watchmaking school, to work with my uncle Michel, renowned antique horology restorer in Paris and learn “on the field” to repair complicated watches, benefit from his experience and discover a world of culture the school does not teach. My uncle was also the curator of the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, I discovered the most astounding creations by the great French Masters and that obliged me to go further in my research, in order to create watches as beautiful as theirs. But I had to work tirelessly and acquire a real knowledge of the horological history. You do not acquire this kind of experience at school. I became totally passionate and horology became my life.

At the time, there were maybe 15 collectors who were interested to buy authentic horology as the quartz was revolutionising the watch industry and haute horology was not any more in the trend. I had to wait for the taste of clients to revert to real horology until about 1991 when I sold my first wristwatch with tourbillon. I set up my own independent manufacture, to remain independent above all and not have to depend on anyone. From then on, I created a full collection and I never stop selling my watches after that.

Read next: Jean-Claude Biver on the evolution of luxury

Also, F.P.Journe is the only manufacture in the centre of Geneva, and we are producing 95% of the haute horlogerie components necessary to make our watches, dial and cases included. We also offer a true watchmaking art. Each certified watchmaker makes a specific watch according to his technical sensitivity, and performs all production stages from beginning to end without anyone interfering in the process. A long lost privilege in today’s industrial watchmaking that is more and more segmented.

This is why my horology is different, authentic and respecting the fundamentals of haute horology. Above all, I remain in my own path, innovation, quality and independence. And collectors appreciate our authenticity, transparency and our permanent researches for precision, innovation and exclusivity.

Luxury watchmaker and owner of eponymous brand FP Journe

Francois Paul Journe

LUX: How does history inform your brand?
Francois Paul Journe: I respect the history of horology as a musician would study Mozart. If one does not understand the philosophy of the ancient grand watchmakers which only goal was to make watches that were giving the exact time, then you only create gadgets.

LUX: How can you make a product stand out to a consumer who owns everything?
Francois Paul Journe: Our collectors who can have the best money can buy, and above all, exclusive objects know that I am running an independent manufacture with an integrated production of all the components necessary for the making of our watches. It includes the creation and production of all its dial and watch cases which echo our 18 karat rose gold movement in perfect harmony. We are the only manufacture in the world to do so. My goal is continue my pursuit of precision in creating innovative precision chronometers in the respect of the fundamental values of haute horology and I will not disrupt this rule under any circumstances.

Read next: Sky high with Bombardier private jets

LUX: What is luxury?
Francois Paul Journe: Luxury is a term that has been perjured and used outrageously. It means excellence, know-how and innovation, within a limited production combined with genuine craftsmanship, an exclusive design with a genuine authenticity. It is also a desirable object that is not a necessarily a necessity.

LUX: How do you honour tradition while still innovating?
Francois Paul Journe: You can certainly innovate but you have to respect the fundamentals in high horology that have pertained for over 2 centuries, and there are not many horologists doing so today. I am proud to be one of the only fervent defendants of the fundamental values of haute horlogerie. We have a real manufacture and we continue to produce our watches as if they were scientific objects. That is how watches were considered in the 18th century.

LUX: What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced as the owner and CEO of a luxury brand?
Francois Paul Journe: Independence is in your genes; for me it is not negotiable. Many of the challenges I set for myself would be difficult to achieve if I depended on large financial groups, on a financial side as well as on a creativity side and on a component production side. When I create a new calibre, I can modify components as I please in no time as they are made in our manufacture and I don’t have to depend on a supplier either.

As an independent, we have to demonstrate a strong resistance against big groups and provide a genuine authentic concept and rely on ourselves only. We thus have to be self sufficient and control our production as well as our sales network. That is why we have opened our own network of boutiques which are offering the best possible service to our client, a professional approach of high horology and a perfect knowledge of our collections, without mentioning receiving our clients in a décor at the image of our brand. But creativity is our most powerful weapon to exist and coming out of groups’ shadow.

Big groups sell industrial watches, and we are selling authentic high horology watches. I can only hope a certain public will know how to make the difference and do justice to the genuine values of craftsmanship that we will never cease to perform.

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LUX: Would you define F.P.Journe as a discovery brand?
Francois Paul Journe: I don’t know what you mean exactly by a discovery brand. We can be called a discovery brand in the sense of innovation as we are producing innovative mechanism, or reunite different technical developments another brand have not put together, i.e. the Tourbillon Souverain with remontoir d’égalité and we are the only ones to do so. If you mean a recent brand, yes we are not for the general public but we are one of the best known brands in the world of collectors.

FP Journe watchmakers at work

FP Journe watchmaker’s atelier

Francois Paul Journe plush room

The entrance to the FP Journe Manufacture in Geneva

LUX: How many watches would you recommend an individual owned?
Francois Paul Journe: I cannot tell a collector how many timepieces he should own, each collector has a collection that correspond to his taste but also its financial means. If he has only a few watches and he is happy with them, it is fine but he is not really a collector. But it is also fine if a passionate collector owns one models of each available in my collection .

Read next: The silent speed of a Rolls-Royce Wraith 

LUX: What innovation are you most proud of?
Francois Paul Journe: The Tourbillon has been my first fascination of course and the resonance phenomenon has been occupying my mind for years in order to produce my Chronomètre à Résonance with 2 mechanical beating in opposition and auto-regulating each-other. But the watch I am most proud of is certainly the sophisticated Sonnerie Souveraine, the most difficult and most accomplished horological creation never realised and the one that has certainly given me the widest challenge in my career. It means six years of research for the Invenit and 10 patents for the Fecit, over 500 components, 4 month of assembling, adjusting and fine tuning, and this without counting the manufacturing of the components entirely produced in our manufacture in the centre of Geneva.

Operating a chiming watch has always been risky. If you do the slightest thing wrong, like setting the time while the chimes are engaged or ringing, you damage precious mechanisms. My challenge was to create a Grande Sonnerie that was safe to use, and what sets it on a higher plane is that it is the only grand strike clock watch safe to use existing today.

LUX: How do you relax?
Francois Paul Journe: I work a lot and I do not have so much free time. Mostly it is dinner with friends, tasting good food and good wine, and enjoying each other’s company. And Formula 1 racing.

Reading time: 7 min
Jude Law pictured with classic car for Johnnie Walker Blue Label's short film

Is Jude Law the coolest actor alive? The star of ‘Sherlock Holmes’, ‘The Talented Mr Ripley’ and ‘Alfie’, among many others, chills out with LUX amid a plethora of classic cars to speak about beauty, gratitude, the importance of wearing hats – and how to serve the perfect whisky.

Jude Law pictured with classic car for Johnnie Walker Blue Label's short film

Jude Law with the Delahaye 135S classic racing car he drives from Italy to Monaco in the film ‘The Gentleman’s Wager II’

Jude Law looks very much at home leaning on a 1930s racing car. The British actor, who is as comfortable playing Shakespeare on stage as he is in a Hollywood movie, has a nonchalance, a motoring raffishness, that hark back to the era of Steve McQueen and James Dean, to which he adds charm. This son of south London schoolteachers has never lost his head, his roots or his nerve. We spoke to him about his life and career in a break from filming the latest Johnnie Walker Blue Label short film, The Gentleman’s Wager II, which sees him return from his exploits in the first Wager film. This time he takes a fancy to a sky-blue 1930s Delahaye 135S (worth north of £1 million today). To win it from his old friend and rival, played by Giancarlo Giannini, he has to race it from southern Italy to Monaco by noon the following day.

LUX: Have you ever taken part in a real-life wager?
Jude Law: You know what, I don’t think I have. In real life I’m not really a betting person, and I don’t get a massive thrill from it. So in a way I’ve bet vicariously through this adventure with Giancarlo in the last two Johnnie Walker films. I’m probably a bit too cautious in real life if I’m honest. I seem to live out most things in the roles I play as opposed to doing so in my own life.

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LUX: The film is in part about gratitude. Is there anyone in your life you think particularly owes you a debt of gratitude?
JL: Who owes me?! Oh, all my children, I mean huge gratitude, every day… No, well… I suppose with gratitude you don’t keep an account of it. You do it and you move on and don’t necessarily expect anything back. So I can’t think of anyone as I don’t see it as a debt really. But I like to think of myself as generous, in trying to offer people my advice or ideas of favours.

LUX: How important it is that you feel connected to the brand that you’re working with?
JL: It’s really important. One of the things that struck me at the very beginning of my relationship with Johnnie Walker was that they really wanted my input. It wasn’t a case of turn up, do this, and do what you’re told. Secondly, they also have a really healthy overview; the idea of using a campaign like this to also spread a positive message is great, and in the past they’ve been involved in organisations that I’ve championed, like Peace One Day . If you’re going to forge a relationship with a company or with a brand, it’s got to be something that you can hold your head up high and feel a part of. On a personal level, the most important thing is the people you’re working with, and on set they’ve been great, both at the company and the people they employ to make the films. It’s been a really pleasurable experience.

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LUX: What’s your greatest passion?
JL: Well, the obvious one is movies, and that’s been true since I was a boy. I’ve always been obsessed with seeing films and have been fortunate enough to get involved in making them now. I like architecture, too. It’s not something in which I have any expertise, but I know what I like. I’m living and working in Rome at the moment, so I’ve become obsessed with the Baroque architect Francesco Borromini, and I’ve been hunting down all of his little gems around the city. Well, little and not so little, some of them are huge. Travel’s a passion as well.

Classic cars driving through Italy's countryside to celebrate new Johnnie Walker Blue Label short film

A cavalcade of classic cars driving through the Italian countryside to launch the latest Johnnie Walker Blue Label short film

LUX: What does beauty mean to you?
JL: When I was younger it was something that I felt almost apologetic about in a way, because it felt like an indulgence. But I think more and more now that it’s actually an integral part of your day, and funnily enough, it’s been more apparent since I’ve been living in Rome, because it’s such a beautiful city and you get so much from that just on a daily basis. Whether it’s inspiration or just feeling incredibly at peace. So I think it’s a really important part of my life actually. Natural beauty is also something that feeds the soul. I seem to be more moved by surroundings than objects.

Read next: Emilia Wickstead’s royal designs

LUX: Where would your ideal road trip be?
JL: I think it would probably be in South America. I went to Bolivia earlier in the year and I would like to go back and explore more of South America as I don’t know it very well. Want to come?

LUX: What is your favourite classic car?
JL: I’m a bit of a Rolls Royce  fan actually. I just like the scale of them. I like sports cars too, but really I would say that my favourite classic car has to be an early-sixties’ Rolls-Royce, preferably in chocolate brown.

LUX: What has been the best thing about being involved in the Johnnie Walker films?
JL: The people certainly – they’ve been really fun and there’s something very organic about a group of people who get on so well while creating something that they believe in. And then there’s the fantasy of driving a car, or spending the day on a boat and the challenge of learning to dance for the first Wager film, and particularly the environment of this one. We were in Monte Carlo a few days before the Grand Prix, so we had the whole of the finishing line to ourselves and driving down that straight in the car, with all the bleachers on either side and the crash barriers, was just a dream and fantastic fun, too.

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LUX: In line with the Johnnie Walker ‘Joy Will Take You Further’ brand campaign which you are involved in, how has joy taken you further?
JL: Some things you say to your children such as, “do things for others”, can become something of a cliché, but the truth is, I think, that when you do things for others, it gives you a warm feeling of personal well-being. A lot of the stuff I’ve done outside work, with charities and with other organisations, has been very uplifting and that’s certainly taken me further as a human. Experiences with friends and family, with whom you have the perfect Sunday or the perfect holiday or a good Christmas or anything like that, elevate your sense of well-being as well. It’s the simple pleasures.

LUX: How would you serve the perfect whiskey?
JL: I’m really straightforward. I like it large and without any ice, and that’s it. I like it a little bit warm, just as it comes synthroid tablets buy online. Only a straw required. It’s such a delicious drink.

Actors Giancarlo Giannini and Jude Law in Italy

The stars of the film, Giancarlo Giannini and Jude Law, at the Villa Mondragone in Frascati, outside Rome

LUX: The Gentleman’s Wager films are very stylish and you’re a very stylish guy. Do you have any style tips or guidelines you would like to share?
JL: I’m quite old fashioned. I like dressing up for events as opposed to just turning up in whatever. I like making a bit of an effort, and I know I get that directly from my father because he was always a jacket-and-tie man. I love hats, too. Someone told me a story once that John F. Kennedy was the first public figure to stop wearing a hat because he thought they made his ears look big, and since then, men have stopped feeling the need to wear hats in public. Prior to that, every man wore a hat. I think there is something gentlemanly about men who wear hats, and that’s why I always wear one. I think being yourself, being comfortable, enjoying yourself with how you live and how you

express yourself in your clothes or whatever it might be, is probably a good way forward.

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LUX: How happy are you with your career so far?
JL: I’m pretty happy. I’m always restless and looking out for new challenges though. I find the longer you work in film, the more you get to work out what it is you want to get out of it. And that can change, obviously, depending on where you are in your life, and how old you are and what stuff you’re being offered. When I turned forty I really felt like it was a new chapter starting because prior to that I leaned more towards playing romantic leads or the sort of hero-type roles that are often written for guys in their twenties and thirties. At forty, suddenly you start to get a little bit more opportunity to play character and that’s something I’ve always been keen to explore. So as long as work keeps coming I’m happy really, because I really love it. I’d like to maybe start trying other stuff as well, maybe a bit of directing. I’ve always been curious about how films are made, I’ve just never really found anything that I felt I could commit that amount of time to. But that might be something I do in the future… if they let me.

LUX: You became Hollywood royalty at a young age. What has that meant to you?
JL: I’ve never thought of myself as Hollywood royalty! It’s interesting because on the one hand, if you find a certain amount of success in films that come out of America, it opens a lot of doors, mainly to choice. It means that you can start to really think about the kind of films you want to make and the kind of people you want to work with, as opposed to just trying to get a job, so it makes the immediate future a little easier. On the other hand, though, there’s the down side, which is that you quickly become aware that you’re in a game and that your worth can rise and fall accordingly. That can get very confusing for a young actor who experiences a high early on. If that success can’t be maintained, the fall can throw you and you can become paranoid. But weathering that is part of the job, of course, and what I’ve realised over the years is that as long as you keep working and as long as you’re doing stuff you’re interested in with people that interest you, then you’re learning and it’s alright and is always pleasurable… well, it should be. So at the moment, I can’t complain. I’ve been blessed with a career that I’ve always dreamed of having.

Interview by Alice Clarke

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