Spring is Nature’s Way of Saying Let’s Party

Spring is around the corner, my favorite season. Time to wake up your outer beauty and to get ready to party. Green is the color of nature and health representing growth and nature. It is said to have healing powers – so get ready for the blooming season… with those tips:

WAKE UP YOUR SENSES

Champagne Grand Brut Edition Miami by Perrier-Jouët
Nothing beats a glass of bubbly – it always puts me in a good mood. I am very proud to announce that I am one of the ten founding members of the Artistic Society by Perrier-Jouët. Soon, I can tell you more about this secret club!
CHF 55.00 (75cl)

WAKE UP YOUR SKIN

Energie De Vie Exfoliating Mask by Lancôme
«Energie de Vie» means vitality in English. This is exactly what our skin needs after the cold winter months. Reduce the appearance of pores and reveal softer, healthy-looking skin with this exfoliating mask. I use it daily as a cure.
CHF 85.00 (75ml)

EGF Serum by Bioeffect
This amazing serum restores your skin’s natural glow and youthful appearance. It contains EGF, a cellular activator natural to human skin, which stimulates the skin’s ability to renew itself. My personal must in the spring season. To be used in the evening. You just need 2-4 drops, great for traveling.
CHF 198.00 (15ml)

Super Acid X-Treme Hangover Mask by Rodial
A triple action rub off clay mask to deeply cleanse, exfoliate and restore a radiant looking complexion. Use it once a week for best results in addition to the daily mask.
CHF 69.00 (75ml)

Pro Spa Skincare Hand & Feet Intensive Callus Smoothing Balm by OPI
Last year, OPI launched the first & only professional salon skincare line that brings the quality & efficiency of facial skincare to premium products developed specifically for hands & feet. And here is one of my personal favorites that I use every night. This softening foot and heel treatment balm helps restore dry, callused soles to relieve severe dryness that you get during the cold winter months. For perfect spring feet!
CHF 35.90 (118ml)

WAKE UP YOUR NOSE – THE  MOST BEAUTIFUL SCENTS FOR SPRING

Elements of Man Strength by Ermenegildo Zegna
Such a yummy fragrance for men that gets spring fever for sure. It fuses the tenacity of tobacco leaves with rich gourmand notes. Drips of golden honey and ripe apricot highlight the intensity of agar wood. Deep smoke penetrates the intricate chainmaille of woven pine needles, encasing a core of burnt musk.
CHF 250.00 (50ml)

Valentino Donna Rosa Verde by Valentino
A new fresh scent that is lovely for the first spring days. A radiant composition that combines green rose, mate tea, bergamot, ginger and magnolia. Contemporary and sophisticated.
CHF 174.00 (125ml) – available in Switzerland from April 2, 2018

Aura by Mugler
The latest fragrance launch by Mugler (not Thierry Mugler anymore) Aura might become another iconic fragrance of the brand. After the first spritz, it has really got me by being different, unexpected. Something I would love to wear on a spring evening. By reinventing the Oriental Green family, Mugler has signed  a new olfactory experience for the brand. The mix of ingredients is unheard of: rhubarb leaf, orange flower (new distillation process), vanilla pod bourbon and Firmenich Wolfwood® (Firmenich exclusive).
CHF 109.00 (50ml)

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Prêt-à-Portea

This week, I was in London for Fashion Week and treated myself to the legendary Prêt-à-Portea designer afternoon tea experience at the Berkeley Hotel which is inspired by the world of fashion. I had already done it once 6 years ago (for the previous post click here please) and was curious to see the Collins Room after it had undergone renovations.

You might be wondering what is Prèt-à-Portea exactly? It is a menu of couture cakes especially designed for the respective season gets a makeover every six months to reflect the latest catwalk trends, colours and designs. For F/W 2017-18, Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat has sent out a brand new collection of exquisite biscuits, bakes and fancies. It takes inspiration from an array of distinguished fashion and accessory designers, and the latest creations shown on the international fashion runways.

YOUR FASHIONISTA’S TEA INCLUDES
A delicate collection of cakes and fancies inspired by the world’s finest designers:

Gucci’s kimono, complete with a charming parasol, transformed into a pomegranate and grenadine bavarois, with cassis and apple compote topped with a crystallised edible flower and a chocolate parasol.

Balenciaga’s effortlessly luxe black-and-white flouncy dress reimagined as a moist chocolate cake, layered with white chocolate Grand Marnier mousse, crunchy ganache and a sexy orange leg.

Gianvito Rossi’s red-heeled boots, recreated as a fennel seed biscuit iced with burgundy red royal icing.

Bottega Veneta’s daring mustard-coloured suit, gracing the cakewalk as an iced speculoos chocolate biscuit.

Anya Hindmarch’s orange leather clutch as a dulce and ginger cake sandwiched within foxy orange chocolate.

Burberry’s sleek white feathered cape, recreated as a tonka bean cheesecake with cinnamon crumble base, covered with glossy white glaze and finished with a curvy white chocolate feather.

Miu Miu’s luxuriously warm coat transformed into a bûche of pistachio crémeux set on hazelnut sable and topped with waved meringue.

Christopher Kane’s ‘LBD’ taken to another level with stunning flowers and transformed into a chocolate moelleux cake with lacte café and Bailey’s cream, finished with sugar flowers.

Dolce & Gabbana’s stand-out dress, now an almond génoise complete with a mango & passion fruit insert and a cocktail caraibe mousse, topped with a rainbow of chocolate disks.

Your tea also includes a flavoursome collection of miniature savoury skewers, taster spoons, elegant canapés and tea sandwiches. To drink, choose from a large selection of loose leaf teas (I personally recommend the Ceylon & Rose tea) from the hotel’s extensive collection and treat yourself to a glass of bubbly like I did. Raise a toast in style!

Prêt-à-Portea is priced at £52.00 per person.
Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier, £62.00 per person.
Couture Champagne Prêt-à-Portea, with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Rosé, Bollinger Rosé or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, £70.00 per person.
A 12.5% discretionary service charge will be added to your bill.

Bookings
Email: dining@the-berkeley.co.uk
Call: +44 (0)20 7107 8866

THE PRET-A-PORTEA BOOK
There is also a great coffee table (I meant tea table book :-)) that I can recommend: «Prêt-à-Portea: High-Fashion Bakes and Biscuits» was published to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Berkeley’s iconic afternoon tea with 20 recipes and baking techniques from the hotel’s Head Pastry Chef Mourad Khiat. To buy the book, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht
Runway Photos: Courtesy of the Brands
Photos Cover: Courtesy of the Berkeley Hotel

My Look: Greetings from Vienna

Greetings from beautiful and very cold Vienna where I spent the last days and attended the famous opera ball. More coming up soon… here you see me strolling through the city in some of my favorite pieces since many seasons on my way to the Sacher hotel for some culinary Austrian treats such as Viennese Schnitzel and the famous Sacher cake.

My look: Belted shearling coatfloral-appliqué striped wool-blend cardiganicon, and scarf, all by Gucci, dress with leather and lace appliquéicon by Saint Laurent, Rockstud leather-trimmed knee boots by Valentinoicon, «Paris Cosmopolite» Pré-fall 2017 Métiers d’Art Gabrielle bag by ChanelT Wire Narrow 18-karat rose gold bracelet by Tiffany & Co, and Tonda 1950 Galaxy by Parmigiani Fleurier.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

Fashionable Pasta

This is a must for every fashionista who loves to cook or at least eat. Dolce & Gabbana has signed the new look of Di Martino pasta. A special edition celebrating the Italian excellence through the colours, symbols and monuments identifying their home country the designer duo is so proud of.

The new packs designed by Dolce & Gabbana have become real postcards from Italy, that are going to enliven and scent tables worldwide thanks to their lively Mediterranean design. But the designers haven’t turned chefs for the project, the pasta itself is made by its aforementioned collaborator.

SPAGHETTI
– al dente in 8 minutes
Long circular shape whose appearance evokes a twine. They immediately bond with everybody tasting them: impossible to resist them, especially when paired to simple and genuine seasonings.

PENNE MEZZANI RIGATE
– al dente in 10 minutes
Short shape, featuring the same section of mezzani, a striped surface and an oblique cut. They are perfect with meat or cheese sauces.

MISTA CORTA
– al dente in 9 minutes
This mixture of small shapes comes from the old families habit to keep various pasta shapes left-overs and put them altogether into a single soup, usually legumes or vegetable-based.

PACCHERI
– al dente in 13 minutes
Great classic of the Neapolitan tradition, they are believed to be so-called because, when blended with their sauce, they recall the sound of a slap, a “pacchero” indeed. Their strong point? Versatility! Put them in the oven, sauté them in a pan or make a sweet seasoning and serve them as a dessert.

AVVOLTI A MANO
– al dente in 8 minutes
In the past, in Gragnano, pasta was used to be sold hand-wrapped into blue sugar paper called “macaroni paper”.

THE GIFT BOX
All the shapes leading the special edition and an apron designed by the stylists, together into a lively tin box. The most exclusive present for the Italian taste lovers.

The box contains:
N. 2 Spaghetti 500gN. 2 Penne Mezzani Rigate 500gN. 1 Paccheri 500g
N. 1 Apron designed by Dolce&Gabbana

TO SHOP, CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Dolce & Gabbana

My Look: Fondue Time

Living in Switzerland during the festive season means that you are treated to cheese fondue and raclette almost every evening when you are invited. Those are great meals with friends as they are traditionally for sharing and perhaps some of the most iconic foods that people relate to the Alpine country. But to be honest, those amounts of melted cheese can be quite heavy in your stomach, so you better dress up in something comfortable. I like to call it mountain chic.

My look for the opening of the Chalet au Lac: Suede-paneled embroidered wool coat, high waisted suede skirtwool and cashmere-blend intarsia sweater, and embroidered bag, all from Emilio Pucci’s F/W 2011 collectiondrop flower earrings with green crystalsicon and black fur stole, both by Gucci, embellished choker by Dolce & Gabbana, and Paris ankle bootsicon by Saint Laurent.

A great place to enjoy the warmth and coziness of a mountain cabin in Zurich is the Baur au Lac‘s pop-up CHALET AU LAC which is open Monday to Saturday from 6pm -11pm until December 31, 2017 in the park of the iconic hotel.

Reservations: +41 44 220 50 66, 

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Baur au Lac, © Sandra Bauknecht

Grand Hotel Globus

Happy 1st Advent! I love this time of the year when it is cold outside and you enjoy the coziness of your home. Decorating for Christmas is somethings I truly adore. In Zurich, I love passing by Globus to look for new baubles and gift ideas. Each year, they celebrate a new motto, now it is time to welcome the «Grand Hotel Globus»! Get inside the 5-star Christmas world…

Christmas world at Globus Bellevue in Zurich

My favorite: Lobster Bauble, CHF 24.90

So fun: Champagne Bucket Bauble, CHF 19.90

Great gift ideas…


THE HOTEL BAR.
N°01 Pineapple Mug / Shot Glass, CHF 29.90/12.90 / Shaker, CHF 54.90 / Bowl, CHF 6.90
N°02 Cigar Box with Cutter, CHF 299.00
N°03 Bottle Opener Anker, CHF 14.90
N°04 Whisky Glass, CHF 7.90
N°05 Le Tribute Gin with Tonic, CHF 119.00
N°06 Bar Spoon, CHF 15.90
N° 07 Backgammon, CHF 19.90
N°08 Tray, CHF 139.90
N°09 Strainer, CHF 22.90
N°10 Jigger, CHF 20.90
N°11 Cocktail Shaker, CHF 75.90

THE AFTERNOON-TEA.
N°01 Teapot, CHF 29.90
N°02 Bell Jar, CHF 39.90
N°03 Pastry Tong, CHF 29.90
N°04 Tea-Light Holder, CHF 12.90
N° 05 Champagne Bowl, CHF 19.90
N° 06 Champagne Truffes, CHF 6.60
N° 07 Seat of 4 Teaspoons, CHF 24.90
N° 08 Laurent Perrier Cuvée Rosé Brut Limited Edition, CHF 99.90
N° 09 Grand Hotel Napkins, CHF 6.90
N° 10 Mules by Emanuela Caruso, CHF 299.00

From now on you can take the afternoon tea literally at Globus Bellevue‘s newly opened restaurant «tartar» on the first floor. Top chef Nenad Mlinarevic offers all sorts of culinary treats including the signature dish tartar in all sorts of interpretations.

«tartar» restaurant lead by top chef Nenad Mlinarevic

Moreover, besides Kiehl’s, Acqua di Parma, Aerin Lauder and Molton Brown, Globus Bellevue has expanded its product range. Tom Ford, Jo Malone London and Le Labo are now all available there. For the latter it is the first point of sale in Switzerland.

Have fun strolling through this beautiful Christmas world – for my foreign readers, I hope you could seek a little inspiration for your home as well.

Happy Sunday!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Globus and © Sandra Bauknecht

Elle Macpherson’s Beauty Secret

Supermodel Elle Macpherson has got the nickname «The Body» for good reason: Her god-given form is, in a word, smashing! Now in her 50’s, she is even more toned, sculpted, and absolutely stunning than most 20-year-olds.

What’s her secret? Probably «THE SUPER ELIXIR™», a supplement that supports your wellbeing by keeping the body within a desired alkaline range that the blonde Australian-born developed together with nutritional expert Dr. Simone Laubscher.

It is an investment but it’s cheaper than a good face cream.” – Elle Macpherson

Voted «Best Beauty Product 2017» by Tatler, «THE SUPER ELIXIR™» is a tasty, vegan-friendly way to have breakfast. Created from organic ingredients to maintain blood sugar levels, combat stress and provide a healthy metabolism, its combination of vitamins, Chinese herbs, enzymes and pre- and probiotics helps support optimal functionality of the body’s systems.

Mix this vitamin and mineral-rich powder with almond milk or coconut water to start each day on an energy high.

TO SHOP THE SUPER ELIXIR (300g), CLICK HERE PLEASE.
In Switzerland also available at Vestibule in Zurich.

I love this limited edition glistening gold ceramic caddy which it’s designed in collaboration with luxury lifestyle brand, AERIN and that offers «THE SUPER ELIXIR™» in a double size. It also looks great on display in your kitchen. A stylish way to prepare your breakfast.

iconTO SHOP THE SUPER ELIXIR + AERIN CADDY (600g), CLICK HERE PLEASE.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of THE SUPER ELIXIR and © Sandra Bauknecht

Time to Unwind at Villa Stéphanie

With email at my fingertips, nonstop traveling, and around-the-clock social media delights and business events, actually making the time to unwind and shut down at the end of the day sometimes seems to be one of my biggest challenges. Therefore I was very much looking forward to taking some time off at the VILLA STÉPHANIE in Baden Baden and hope that you all want to hear about the best detox experience I have ever had!

There are plenty of different ways that you can give your body the relief that it needs from all of the pressures and stresses of the day. Each of us has to decide what works best for him or her. I had to try different kinds to finally find this haven on earth that offered me what I was looking for in order to regain energy. Probably you are like me and wished there was an easy, quick way to cleanse your body of all those bubbly toxins. Funnily enough, I believe we are all equipped with a natural cleansing system in our bodies, called liver and kidneys. Together, these two toxin-bashing organs act as a superefficient system for filtering out the vast majority of the harmful substances we eat and drink. The only important factor that those work well is a healthy and moderate lifestyle. And this can be hard sometimes.


Personally speaking that is the main reason why I choose to «detox» from time to time but not in this heavy, depriving way of barely eating anything but dry bread rolls. This doesn’t work for me! I get cranky, have no energy to do sports then and the overall effect is frustration and unhappiness. What I need is healthy pampering. And this is what I got at VILLA STÉPHANIE in perfection.

This luxurious and exclusive destination spa, which is part of the iconic Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, is dedicated to beauty, detox & nutrition, emotional balance and medical care. Every aspect of those mentioned is at your disposal. The beautiful and spacious rooms (15 rooms and suites only at VILLA STÉPHANIE) with views overlooking the River Oos have everything you wish for. There is even a button to turn off the electricity and the Wi-Fi connection in a second so that you will sleep better the old fashioned way without any radiation or e-smog disturbing your system.

Upon my arrival, I had a meeting with Kevin, my health coach. Before deciding on my tailor-made program and menus, I had to stand on the InBody 720 machine, which is a premium, medical-grade body composition analyzer that can fully tell your physical composition and water level in a single test. My results were great and I was looking forward to indulge in the House’s vitality-detox cuisine. Deceivingly filling, absolutely satisfying and beautifully presented, I could not believe that the three meals per day weighed in at around 1200 calories only.

What was served? Typically something like a porridge with berries and nuts in the morning and this fabulous green smoothie, a three-course meal for lunch, including even a filet of beef with a baked potato followed by a light desert. In the evening, I always started with a soup, nothing raw, and an entree such as grilled scallops with vegetables.

One evening, I was spoilt by two Michelin star chef Paul Stradner to a 5-course Vital Menu (completely lactose and gluten free as well as light on the carbs) in the Brenners Park Restaurant. Decadent detoxing I would love to call it.

There are plenty of group fitness activities, such as aqua fitness, yoga, jogging and biking for example, but I preferred working out by myself in the well equipped gym or taking a yoga lesson with a private trainer.

To accompany my detox program, I was spoilt to different treatments, such as a lymphatic drainage, clarifying and detoxifying body treatments and a luxury facial, all with products by AQUA ORGANIC, especially created by Munich based dermatologist Dr. Kuhr to support the cleansing effects of the body, to honor and stimulate the multiple talents of our skin. Other brands the experienced and fantastic therapists work with are SISLEY PARIS and SKIN CEUTICALS to offer also a more anti-aging and nurturing approach to their clients.

VILLA STÉPHANIE is dedicated to the world of spa in every aspect. Stretching over five floors and covering over 5000 square metres, it comprises a 500-square-metre sauna, plunge pool, private gym, hamam and a ladies sauna. The inspiringly designed treatment rooms overlooking the gardens offer complete relaxation. I truly felt the whole time so chilled, quiet (my readers who know me in person can assure you that this can be a challenge for me:-)) and just happy. Even digital detox seemed easy.

On the way to the Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, where I enjoyed lunch and dinner, you pass the entrance to the gigantic swimming pool in Roman style. In the gardens, there are multiple possibilities to relax in the sun or just walk around.

VILLA STÉPHANIE is also connected to Haus Julius, a clinic with personalized state-of-the-art medical care from some of Germany’s top experts in fields like aesthetics, gynaecology, holistic medicine, dentistry, ophthalmology and preventive medicine. The medical teams will even visit you in the privacy of your room or suite if you wish.

I also recommend a visit to the Eden Being boutique located in the main building that offers a lot of one of a kind things. Moreover do not miss a stroll around Baden Baden. You will be amazed how many high end designer shops this little German town has to offer. The only challenging part was to pass the perceived millions of ice cream parlors.

In the evenings, I loved to sit in the lounge with its extensive library, enjoy one more green smoothie and play a round of backgammon or two before going to bed. After one week, I did not want to leave, something that I have never experienced before when being at a detox retreat as I was always looking forward to retoxing again:-).

On my last day, I got a final body analysis with my nutrition expert who gave me individual workout tips and a tailor-made menu plan, including recipes, for me to take home.

I left my stay calmer, balanced and more upbeat, regenerated by the surroundings of this picturesque resort in the Black Forest. During my whole stay at this former royal residence with its classic architectural heritage, I have never felt like being on a diet or deprived of anything. Old-school service reigned supreme. The friendly staff and professional executive team added a high touch to my experience. I will be back – that is for sure!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht

The Perfect Summer Champagne

Don’t we love the excuse to drink bubbles at every opportunity?! Champagne has the ability to always make any occasion feel special and the VEUVE CLIQUOT RICH ROSÉ has become my new favorite summer treat. Perfectly blended with the Maison’s expertise, it is the most versatile champagne designed to allow anyone to create its own tasting experience. The perfect serve is simple and innovative.

HISTORY – CLIQUOLOGY

In the history of Champagne, wines that were blended for greater sweetness were customarily described as «Rich». In Russia, consumers would add sugar to their champagne, thus adding a personal touch to their wine. Today Veuve Clicquot propels this tradition into the contemporary era with the Rich Collection dedicated to mixology. Bringing a cocktail spirit to the House, this duo was created expressly to be combined with a selection of ingredients that bring out the mixologist— no, the Clicquologist—in anyone.

TASTING NOTES

Citrus – Floral – Creamy finish

The fruit aromas in VEUVE CLIQUOT RICH and RICH ROSÉ have been boosted to sensational new levels. Veuve Clicquot’s signature Pinot Noir is given a new versatility with the higher dosage, while the greater presence of Meunier emphasizes fresh, fruity, gourmand notes.

Veuve Clicquot collaborated with skilled mixologists to select the perfect ingredients to naturally enhance the wines’ flavors, while adding a unique twist. I love mine with a zest of lime…

The signature notes in VEUVE CLIQUOT RICH wine are magnified by the presence of chosen ingredients: pineapple, grapefruit zest, cucumber, celery, peppers or tea – all on the rocks.

Alongside Maison oenologists, VEUVE CLIQUOT RICH ROSÉ has been paired with its own complements, to bring out its characteristic red fruit notes: ginger, pineapple, lime, tea – all on the rocks.

Happy Weekend!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Veuve Cliquot and © Sandra Bauknecht

Contest: Mother’s Day at Park Hyatt Zurich

«A mother is the one who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take

Are you still looking for the right gift for your mum this Mother’s Day? I have a great idea and an amazing contest for you today (how to win, see below please)! Create unforgettable memories for a very special person with moments of pure well-being.

Say thank you to your mother and spoil her with a delicious mother’s day brunch at Park Hyatt Zurich in the elegant Lobby Lounge or treat yourself.

If you have small children, no worries. In addition, plenty of chocolate cockchafer will be ready to be painted by the little ones.

Sunday, 14 March 2017 from 11 am to 3pm
CHF 80 per person, children 14 years old and younger can enjoy 50% off
Reserve a table by e-mailing masters. or by calling +41 43 883 1042.

This is your chance to win an invite for four people to the Mother’s Day Brunch at Park Hyatt Zurich this Sunday!

The lovely menu that is waiting for you on Sunday!

To participate in the contest, please send me an e-mail with your postal address and the header “Mother’s Day” to . All entries must be received until tomorrow Friday, May 12, 2017 at 3pm CEST.

No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this contest. By entering this contest, entrants accept and agree to be bound by these official rules.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Park Hyatt Zurich