Author

Angela Bortenschlager

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Without Compromise

He actually only wanted a solid travel bag so he could unpack his shirts without creases and the need to iron. But the Swiss man with Indian roots and a love of Italy could not have imagined that this wish would later create his own product line. At «Brocki» Achill Prakash found exactly the model he was looking for, with the leather fitted onto a wooden frame, only unfortunately without the fashionable slant he would have liked. The outcome in Milan was disappointing, the quality he found even more so. But he did meet a 75 year old who still mastered this art. And so by complete coincidence he began the search for suitable leather and the creation of his own bag collection. The name «Alvener» comes from Rhaeto-Romanic and means black-white. The perfect name for a product that knows no compromise with regard to quality.

He found the leather in Tuscany. It is tanned without ammonia in a natural plant-based procedure. Thanks to the long production process it remains soft and extremely robust at the same time. After countless attempts a unique color was created which suits everything. Depending on how the light falls and on the surroundings, it may appear black or sometimes brown. And the best thing: the leather develops a wonderful patina  over  time  and  becomes  increasingly  more  beautiful the  more it is used. The search for the perfect zip was not easy, each link should snap in cleanly and with Swiss precision without sticking. At the Paris trade fair a small producer from Bergamo recognized the Swiss man’s passion and consented to an order quantity which every other retailer would have turned down with a smirk.

That’s how the precious zip in gold and dark green from the Lombardy family company was integrated into the material in an unpretentious and yet accentuated way. The inter material was also selected with the same degree of care – wool interwoven with wood of the highest quality from the English manufacturer Holland & Sherry, which holds for years without ripping. Here again no compromise, not even on the interior.

An Alvener bag is produced on a small scale. It takes roughly 16 hours until the Signature Weekender has been made by hand. However, the price is honest, like the product itself.

www.alvener.com

Photos Copyrights: Achill Prakash

Highlands Highend

A Train Journey in the Belmond Royal Scotsman

Day 1

I generally prefer individual trips and single expeditions, but in this case I am venturing something new: A journey that literally embodies the term «travelling». At Waverly Station in Edinburgh I receive a hearty welcome with Champagne and bagpipes before boarding the nostalgic Belmond Royal Scotsman. I savor the feeling of the train pulling out of the station from the viewing platform on the luxurious «Observation Car» and with each kilometer of track travelling north in the direction of the Highlands I gradually bid farewell to everyday life and dive deeper into the gentle green of the countryside that is slowly rising up around me. At English Afternoon Tea my last remaining thoughts of mails and “to dos” vanish. I look forward to the days to come.

Day 2

What an amazing morning setting! As the train moves in the direction of Inverness and light hands skillfully massage my back, I look out of the spa-carriage at the play of colors in the forest. I lose myself in the change between the blue of the pine trees and the green of the deciduous trees. I could not be any more relaxed. Equipped for the day I travel by private bus to Cawdor Castle, a beautiful castle with an even more enchanting garden. Seemingly random flower creations gently border the dominant tower, mossy ground and walls give the property an air of mystic.

But Ballindalloch Castle is also a must. The extensive rose gardens would impart a sense of romance to even the most masculine male. My statement: just lovely! The same applies to the «Secret Whisky Cocktail», awaiting us back at the platform, served by the Royal Scotsman Crew … The journey continues past flocks of sheep to the most westerly point on probably the most picturesque section of our route. Arriving at Kyle of Lochalsh, a secluded fishing village, I relish the contemplative evening mood and the cool breeze from the sea and start to get dressed up for an enjoyable evening.

Day 3

The early bird catches the worm. After a good long morning walk at the harbor, I enjoy my first coffee and the free view from the veranda of the train, slowly departing and travelling east. Sea inlets similar to fjords gently wind inland in the rising sun. Now and then a stray white house appears on the grassy cliffs. The calm water surface reflects the stillness of the countryside – and also in me. Grateful for these unique images, I make my way to breakfast, after all I need some sustenance before the pending whisky tasting, which is part and parcel of a visit to Scotland. On the advice of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society representative, I advance from the smoky 9-year-old to the milder 23-year-old Single Malt. Adding a few drops of water makes the rough character somewhat tamer. I gain a deeper understanding at Tullibardine Distillery. The flavors of the national drink are diverse but there is still only one rule: «Let the oxygen in, let the alcohol out. Wait and taste.» I decide on the 25-year-old «Big Bad Boy» and make a toast in Scottish: Slàinte Mhath!

Day 4

I am looking forward to trying something completely new – clay pigeon shooting. Optically equipped with my camouflage trousers we travel by bus from Boat of Garten to the shooting range. I follow the instructions of the professional and prop the shotgun against my shoulder and cheek. Shifting the weight forward for attack, I attempt to follow the agile clay pigeon with the barrel. The first shot misses, the others are much better. I then try variations in height, direction and speed. The clay pigeon rolling around the ground at the last shooting range slips through my fingers. In hunting days of old that would mean: no rabbit for dinner. But I have no such worries about my creature comforts on this trip, on the contrary. Every day the culinary team conjures up the most delicious meals in the train’s small caboose; gaining my utmost respect. And the last evening in Dundee is no exception to the previous soirées with regards to enjoyment; it is announced in elegant fashion. The ladies opt predominantly for the little black dress, the gents appear in fine suits – and our whisky expert joins the international group stylishly clad in the traditional kilt. The secret remains uncovered as to whether one wears something underneath or not…

Day 5

Slightly wistfully I sit down for the last time at the table set with old silver and look through the window at the dewy morning green. I could really get used to the crisply fried asparagus on poached eggs and fine Scottish salmon. And the fresh smoothie will probably not appear automatically on my breakfast table for the next while. The train is travelling back in the direction of Edinburgh. Not only the countryside but also the experiences of the past few days pass before my mind’s eye. The journey on the Royal Scotsman was travelling in its truest sense – slowly and continually diving into, breathing in and relishing everything around me with the path as the destination.

Photos Copyrights: Belmond/Matt Hind, Angela Bortenschlager, Scott Powell, Ryan Davies

Larch wood floors and oak barrel

PURESLeben, South Styria

The Southern Styria wine country is a veritable paradise for nature lovers with its gentle hills and old wine routes. Hundreds of kilometres of marked hiking and cycling paths invite you to get acquainted with the charming landscape with its numerous vineyards, hop fields, meadows and forests.

Ten exclusive holiday homes from PURESLeben are located in the middle of this nature park – in the direct vicinity of countless wine estates, award-winning restaurants and rustic wine taverns. Each of the premium homes is a gem and conveys a feeling of PURESLeben (pure life), for example the revitalised Stadl Tunauberg or the scrupulously restored Stadl in Altenbach. Situated in the best location, your gaze wanders over the gentle hills or rests in the middle of the vineyard. The gentle landscape merges with the interior through large glass facades and indigenous solid wood provides a cosy home for the duration of your stay. You can swim and avail of the sauna in absolute privacy in the in-house spa area, with panoramic sauna and outdoor pool and afterwards relax in the comfortable hammock.

And last but not least, the regional products from the on-site Silly wine estate and farm taste particularly good. Every morning you are treated to the smell of a freshly delivered breakfast basket and what could be better than a barbeque on your own patio on a warm evening…

The focus lies on the simple things in life here – such as a good night‘s sleep, food and drink. And it is exactly this awareness of reducing life to the essentials that the guests take home with them as the feeling of PURESLeben.

www.puresleben.at

ADAM Activity tip:

Hiking:  A particular highlight – Hikes along the border panorama trail accompanied by a donkey carrying your picnic basket.

Hot-air balloon trip: The gentle hills of Southern Styria can be best explored from a bird’s perspective in a hot-air balloon.

Immersed in nature

Wiesergut, Hinterglemm / Salzburger Land

The gentle foothills of the Pinzgau mountains and the imposing summits of the Kitzbuehel Alps and Hohe Tauern provide a frame for Glemmtal, nestled in its impressive world of nature. 400 kilometres of hiking trails and designated cycling routes wind along the valley – past mountain lakes, craggy summit rocks and beautiful Alpine landscape.

Wiesergut emerged from this archaic and pure simplicity with a high degree of attention to detail and architectural flair. The former manor captivates with pure living space and impresses in particular with its exclusive garden suites. The high glass facades in the light-flooded rooms provide a clear view of the surrounding mountains. You can gaze at the starlit sky from the freestanding bathtub. The interior and exterior blend perfectly. Simple materials have been used such as native oak or walnut wood and natural stone. Warm earth tones, exquisite loden cloth and weathered leather create a cosy atmosphere.

The owner’s individual signature can also be seen elsewhere: The smell of freshly baked “Wiesernbrot” bread coming from the wood-burning oven; fruit trees entice you into the generous courtyard for a chat. The kitchen serves wild herb dishes and regional products from their own farm. And not least the spa on the roof, which is always open, holds a surprise or two with an open fireplace, bathtub and breath-taking view of the Glemmtal mountain world.

www.wiesergut.com

ADAM Activity tip:

Hiking: Morning summiteers can experience spectacular mountain moments on the sunrise hike to Tristkogel.

Mountain climbing: The 24 kilometre long mountain tour „Seven Summits“ leads over the highest summit in Glemmtal and is a highlight for very fit and experienced mountaineers.

An oasis for sensuality

Royal Mansour

It evolved from pure inspiration. The most beautiful form of life. A dream come true. These descriptions are all befitting of the Royal Mansour, the realisation of Moroccan King Mohammed VI’s vision – the creation of a luxury oasis of superlatives that simultaneously reflects the traditional living culture in his country. Two Parisian architects made the vision reality with precious materials and perfection down to the last detail. A delightful interplay of colour, shape and material. A masterpiece of Moorish-Andalusian architecture. A homage to Moroccan craftsmanship.

Concealed behind heavy walls, the guests reside on the three and a half hectare estate in uniquely beautiful riads, arranged in a typical Medina and embedded in a wonderful garden. When the heavy front door is opened into the patio area, you are carried away by the fragrance of cedar wood. Lavish flower arrangements adorn the breath-taking high rooms. Each of the 53 riads is designed over three stories and has a private pool on the rooftop terrace, where the attentive staff serves breakfast if you wish and disappears almost invisibly via the concealed passageways.

In the garden, the old orange and lemon trees exude their fragrance. Softly rippling fountains and small waterways lead through the artwork of blossoms and palms. Only the music of the water interrupts the magical tranquillity. And right in the middle you come across a fairy-tale Moroccan spa like an airy birdcage. The garden with its old olive trees, which was designed by landscape architect Luis Vallejo, gives the Royal Mansour its mystic peacefulness. The new poolside pavilions combine contemporary design with the necessities of the old Berber soul and convey the relaxed feeling of being a nomad for a day.

The member of the Leading Hotels of the World caters to its guests with culinary delicacies in three restaurants. The well-known 3-star chef, Yannick Allen, captivates with French-Moroccan cuisine of the highest level. The garden, interior and cuisine of this estate reflect the Moroccan high culture – a private haven of bliss in the heart of Marrakech.

 

Photos Copyrights:  Isaac Ichou, Angela Bortenschlager

Green Lifestyle

Out into the open. into nature.

Spring is in the starting blocks. Nature is waking up. It is time to get the mountain bike and the hiking boots out of the cellar! Our desire for outdoor experiences remains unwavering and holidays in a timber hotel are booming. Health and physical fitness have become a status symbol, retreats in the heart of nature a luxury commodity.

Offering breath-taking landscapes, traditional hospitality and nature resorts,
Austria and South Tyrol provide the perfect conditions. ADAM put together a few recommendations for you.

Hotel Priesteregg Leogang / Salzburger Land

Hotel Pfösl / Deutschnofen South Tyrol

Tradition with a new look

Hotel Pfösl, Deutschnofen / South Tyrol

Surrounded by the majestic mountain backdrop of the Dolomites, Hotel Pfösl is situated on a sunny high plateau at just under 1’400 metres altitude – a newly interpreted architectural gem with tradition. The outer facade has been inspired by the colour and material of the listed Stadel (barn) from the former Pfösl farm, which complements the overall appearance like a mirror.

Sustainability, regionality and the experience of nature run like a thread through all sectors of the hotel, which was opened in 2017 following extensive conversion work. In the nature suites and exclusive forest chalets fitted with Alpine pine, you do not only get a wonderful night’s sleep but your eyes can rest in the reduced Alpine design. In the naturaspa you can disappear from daily life in the 25 metre long Infinity-Sole-Pool and the Kneipp path revitalises tired hiking feet. Both hosts maintain ancestral traditions in the garden – for example with old tree and rose varieties or carefully cultivated medicinal herb beds. Regional products are also favoured for use in the kitchen. In line with the motto “tasty and healthy“, the chef creates Alpine-Mediterranean dishes with a high degree of tradition. You can bake bread yourself in the over 300 year-old stone oven.

Surrounded by 35 hectares of meadow and forest, the guest finds a place of tranquillity and strength. The surrounding holiday region, Eggental, is seen as a hiking, biking and climbing paradise.

www.pfoesl.it

ADAM Activity tip:

Hiking: Striking massifs such as Sellastock, the highest mountain in the Dolomites – the 3’342 metre high Marmolata – and the well-known Drei Zinnen offer a number of sporting highlights.

Mountain biking: Guided bike tours are available directly from Deutschnofen to the mountain ranges of Rosengarten, Latemar and Karerpass.

Back to the roots

Priesteregg, Leogang / Salzburger Land

At 1’100 metres altitude in the heart of Salzburg’s mountain landscape lies the small mountain village of Priesteregg. From its idyllic situation on a high plateau, a fantastic panorama of the surrounding mountains unfolds. It is a place of solitude, as there are no streets and no noise in this car-free village – instead you can find a village square with a swimming pond, nature in abundance and countless sport possibilities. In the summer months, Leogang is transformed into a paradise for mountain bike enthusiasts and hikers. Six mountains over 3000 metres and 400 kilometres of hiking paths speak for themselves.

Your unobstructed view wanders over the fragrant meadows from the Alpine patio of a cosy chalet. Take a deep breath and extend your horizon from the comfort of your tub. Because bathtubs are, of course, situated unpretentiously outdoors in the summer months. The culinary offer is just as down-to-earth. In Huwi’s Alpine hut you can savour homemade bread; the milk and cheese come from the farmer. And if you are partial to Galloway beef, it is from the hut’s own organic produce.
On request, you can also eat in your chalet – garnished with authentic charm and warm hospitality. The rustic appeal of the high-end Alpine hideaway only reveals its luxury factor at second glance – the warmth from the wood on an open fire, handwoven linen and bedrooms in aromatic mountain pine. The true luxury however is the silence. This is a place where you experience not only tranquillity, but also inner peace.

www.priesteregg.at

ADAM Aktivtipp:

Wandern: Direkt vom Bergdorf führen schöne Wanderungen zum Beispiel zur Wasserhöhle in den Leoganger Steinbergen und zum niedrigstgelegenen Gletscher Mitteleuropas.

Mountainbiken: Die 8er-Kabinenbahn bringt Biker zum Start des Bikepark Leogang, einem der renommiertesten Bikeparks in Europa.

 

Photos Copyrights: Günter Standl

Everything’s coming up roses

GARDEN-TRENDS 2017

Barbequing goes digital

The Swiss national sport is as popular as ever: Cooking in the great outdoors is simply twice as enjoyable. In the coming garden season we will see beautiful designs merging with innovative technology. The new charcoal Booster grill from Röshults for example scores full points with its infrasound technology. Instead of 20 to 30 minutes warm-up time it promises the necessary heat in only 5 to 7 minutes. But above all the barbeque of the future will communicate with us, or rather with our smartphone or tablet … in the latest models numerous parameters, such as temperature and length of cooking time, can be controlled from a convenient distance via Bluetooth and the compatible app. So get barbequing!

Outdoor Living

The trend of the last few years to chillax outdoors continues: The garden is the new living room. Indoors and outdoors merge to one living space. Garden professionals intertwine materials such as wood and stone to a harmonious connection. Lounge furniture, high quality outdoor kitchens and flamboyant light designs transform the green retreat into a personal sanctuary. So take your portable speakers with you and enjoy your garden!

In the name of the rose

The permanent “higher, further, faster” call in our work-orientated society is triggering a countertrend in a number of areas of life. In the garden this means: too much perfection is out. Garden professionals are called upon to give the garden the overall appearance of having grown naturally. This type of garden setting involves a lot of work. The English gardens with their enchanting paths, romantic rose gardens and seemingly wild climbing plants – hiding an occasional rippling well or a small fountain – set a good example. Home grown happiness!

Water is life

What a blessing this cool water! That’s obviously what garden owners are thinking more and more, because the boom in pools and swimming ponds is unbroken. The trend is moving toward natural pools – to chlorine-free swimming pleasure in drinking water quality. Surrounded by natural stone walls or gently curved paving stones, it brings an element of elegance with an added pleasure factor into the garden. Bridges of natural wood intentionally interrupt the overall picture and are used as integrated reclining areas. So put on your trunks and have fun!

Classic autumn

Summer is not the only time we can enjoy the green living room: The Mediterranean way of life has become part of native gardens. Even at somewhat cooler temperatures the outdoor pleasure is popular: Thick fur and blankets keep the autumn champagne drinkers warm and winter barbeques are experiencing a veritable boom. And the cosy, warm whirlpool helps you relax completely at frosty temperatures. It’s good to enjoy life to the full!

We recommend HAUSER GÄRTEN AG as a competent contact partner for all trends and tips for your garden. The family-run company is a specialised, comprehensive service provider in the design, planning and implemen- tation of challenging projects. In the ATELIER VERDE, managed by Sarah Hauser, all ideas and concepts for garden and terraces are developed. The experienced garden designer implements, among other concepts, a wide range of different gardens and landscape parks in England and combines the secrets of English garden tra- ditions with the modern simplicity and elegance of Swiss Designs. HAUSER LIVING also presents selected garden furniture collections from renowned manufacturers such as Roda, Paola Lenti, Kettal, Tribù or Dedon. 

Photos Copyrights: Hauser Gärten, Gärten & Pools Sven Studer, Depositphotos

Furnished

Tips from the interior designers Doris Ambühl and Martin Piffer from Roomdresser

Pure structures and discreet colours tend to be predominant in male apartments. Do men and women furnish differently? This is actually the case. Men prefer less mixes of material and form. The trend is towards clear statements with contrast, beautiful leather, warm metals and dark wood. Features are emphasised with only a few, however, spectacular highlights such as a light sculpture, artwork or a special solitary piece.

Retro inspiration from the 70s has been influencing furniture design for years. Is the classic armchair a “Must” or a “No-Go” in a male dwelling? We consider it a “Must”. If it is positioned right, as a solitary piece, it is a real eye-catcher. There are terrific upholstery fabrics, which can be combined with piping as a contrast or beautiful soft leather to retrieve the atmosphere of the smoking room. Whether you choose an old piece and reupholster it or a newly interpreted design, you are increasing the character of the living room.

Opinions tend to differ on the subject of wall colour. Some can do without it completely, for others it’s indispensable. What do the professionals say? Wall colours are an essential interior design element when combined with other materials. It’s not necessary to have a striking colour. For example dark wall colours emphasise everything that is positioned in front of it perfectly. If you are apprehensive, you can reach for the “non colours”, these create a cosy ambiance and make hard, cold materials appear softer.

Motifs and patterns on the walls are becoming increasingly popular. Is wallpaper now finally acceptable? Wallpaper is definitely back! In contrast to wall colours it also provides the chance to give the room a structure, a style or even a piece of art. From textile wallpaper, which makes everything warmer and cosier, to hand-painted silk wallpaper that is customised to suit the wall, there are endless splendid possibilities.

Mit einem sicheren Gespür für Form, Farbe und das richtige Objekt bieten die beiden Einrichtungsprofis seit 2008 massgeschneiderte Lösungen für ihre Kunden.

A carpet can have a staid and conservative effect or it can give the room that certain something. What should we look out for? Size, material and colour are decisive when choosing a carpet. Carpets that are too small appear lost. The most important pieces of furniture should fit onto it. A round form is often advantageous for example in a more square room, as it forms an island. We recommend natural materials such as wool, silk or leather. But again, a beautifully patterned carpet can make a statement or a simple version can create more comfort – depending on your needs.

 

 

Photos Copyrights: Roomdresser