You can compete in a season of motor racing for the price of a golf club membership. Adam Hay-Nicholls gets behind the wheel of a Ginetta and realises a childhood dream.
The Rake journeys to the heart of Italy’s Tuscany and there rediscovers the style and spirit of Salvatore Ferragamo, a company whose forays into fashion, footwear and fragrance are always delivered with the epitome of taste and beauty. By Adam Hay-Nicholls.
GQ is in Sölden, Austria, 3048 metres above sea level and inside the summit of the Gaislachkogl Mountain. The slate grey entrance door is concealed against the side of the cliff face, and as it swings ajar it triggers the searing horns, piano and strings of Writing’s On The Wall, the opening theme to James Bond’s 24th mission.
My wild Indonesian beach horse had a split personality. We headed to the tip of the three-mile-long Nihiwatu beach, me giving the animal polite but firm kicks to the ribs, yet it refused to so much as trot or go near the water. Then, and I knew this was going to happen, once we turned around and it saw where it lived it went, in two-wheeled terms, from being a push bike to a Ducati 1299 Superleggera. It went faster than anything I’ve seen at Ascot. It rode through the surge of the Indian Ocean, which was fun for the first mile. But as I pulled on the reins, and the nag refused to heel, the cartilage in my back went on strike and it felt like nails were being hammered into my spine. So, there I am, flat-out aboard one tonne of pot roast, and I see a couple on a romantic sunset stroll. Rather than scream HELP I decided to grit my teeth and try to look cavalier as I galloped past, leaning backwards ever further, knowing that at the end of the beach was a huge infinity pool and no way round it. Finally, as the frontier of sunbathers appeared, it slammed on its anchors, pulled a 90-degree left into its stable and, shaking and sweating, I prized myself off its saddle and gingerly slipped off.
Whether on a race track or a public road, two hours behind the wheel is enough for Lewis Hamilton. “I do like driving,” says Lewis Hamilton, almost defensively, “but I hate sitting in a car for more than a couple of hours.”
Velaa Private Island, in the Maldives, is a resort for billionaires by billionaires. Where else, in addition to the standard private pool and butler, does the hotel provide a personal submarine? Welcome to the real James Bond island.
As I thunder north up the M6, I am fulfilling a mission 30 years in the making. I’m at the wheel of a Jag and the destination is Uncle Monty’s cottage. I am re-enacting Withnail & I. Continue reading
Cliveden House: An estate synonymous with the swinging Sixties; of power, sex, class, beauty, and the corruption of the British establishment itself. An Aston Martin seemed the perfect car with which to visit.