Luxury London Magazine Summer 2023

Summer 2023


The plan had been to head up there in the afternoon. It looked like as good a place as any. A medieval turret on a sunny hill overlooking a lake. What more could you ask for? But, come afternoon, she’d changed her mind. Why would she want to trek up a mountain (it was a hill) when she could continue working her way through the cocktail list by the pool? ‘We’ve only got two days left. Chill.’ Didn’t I know it. The thing had been burning a hole in my pocket for the past 10 days. Change of plan. Think.

Danilo Zucchetti. He’d be able to help. We’d had drinks with Villa D’Este’s Managing Director a couple of nights previously. I found him at reception. Explained the situation. ‘Don’t panic,’ he said. ‘We have a boat.’ Great guy, Danilo Zucchetti.

I ended up popping the question on a wooden runabout just around the corner from George Clooney’s gaff. Sickeningly clichéd. We were wearing life jackets. It was choppy. The photo, the one you post, was awful (we faked another). Still, makes for a story. Everyone that visits Villa D’Este has a story about Villa D’Este. Even George Clooney has a story about Villa D’Este (he and Amal took Barack and Michelle there).

Turns out I got lucky. Villa D’Este never used to have many boats. On becoming CEO of the Lake Como hotel last year – a hotel voted best in the world by readers of Forbes and The Telegraph – it was one the first things Davide Bertilaccio prioritised. “I thought there would be a fleet of Rivas, 10 or 20, but when I got there were none!” Since taking the reins, Bertilaccio has had regular guests chasing him around the gardens demanding he unveil his masterplan, so petrified are they that the former Rosewood Vice President has something drastic planned for their beloved bolthole on the lake. They needn’t worry.

Who else do we have in this travel-themed summer issue? Laurent Gardinier, President of Relais & Châteaux, on connecting people with places; Paola Paronetto, the Italian ceramist and designer, on collaborating with Veuve Clicquot; and John Hitchcox, mastermind behind The Lakes by Yoo, on his grand ambitions for Olympia London.

Plus: Six Senses’ new Himalayan hotel; behind the scenes at the Masters in Augusta; a road trip around the French Riviera in Jaguar’s last ever F-Type; and some style pointers, if we may, for the summer ahead.

Happy holidays.

Richard Brown

Please note annual subscriptions are only available for addresses in the UK. If you are outside the UK and wish to subscribe to Luxury London please email [email protected].

Magazine | Print (Previous Issues)

luxury london summer 2023 issue

Discover Luxury London in print

Never miss an issue with an annual subscription