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12/13/23: A Train Journey for the Memoirs

A milestone is celebrated in Miami's Design District; the world's most glamorous train creates a new connection; An Italian maestro releases his first comprehensive monograph.

December 13, 2023 By THE GRAND TOURIST
The Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Photo: Courtesy Belmond

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The Liaigre panel moderated by Dan Rubinstein in Miami’s Design District. Photo: Eric Petschek

Marking a Milestone in Miami
Last week during Art Basel Miami Beach, The Grand Tourist joined the French luxury design house of Liaigre at their showroom in the city’s design district for a lively panel conversation, “Living With Liaigre.” Marking the tenth anniversary of the space in the District, Dan moderated a panel of experts—including Miami-based architect Alejandro Barrios-Carrero, art consultant Arthur Duncan, Sanlorenzo Yachts style director Sergio Buttiglieri, and Liaigre’s communications director Anne Schuhmacher—to chat about the unique breadth of expertise Liaigre has in everything from bespoke residential interiors and furniture design to the house’s extensive experience in the nautical world. “Even though I never met Christian Liaigre personally, I always felt an affinity for his incredible style,” said Barrios-Carrero, whose portfolio includes the beloved restaurant Juvia, as well as the Four Seasons Brickell. “The company’s incredible sense of modernity and materiality that live on to this day have deeply influenced my entire career.”

The interior of a cabin on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Photo: Courtesy Belmond

A Match Made in Travel Heaven
This June (20-23), the one and only Venice Simplon-Orient-Express will connect two incredible destinations for the first time: Paris and Portofino. Traveling along the coastline from France into Italy, the overnight ride culminates at Splendido, the five-star hotel with a storied past (everyone from Maria Callas to Charlie Chaplin were fans) that hugs the famed coastline near Genoa. Both the train and the hotel are Belmond properties, so part of a three-night experience includes a special evening at Splendido with a tasting menu prepared by the train’s Michelin-starred chef, Jean Imbert. As this Grand Tourist did a similar ride once (from Paris to Genoa) on a decidedly more democratically priced locomotive, I can attest that the views in that part of Europe are stunning. And if you experienced it from within the Orient-Express? Well, what’s beyond heavenly?  —Dan Rubinstein

Piero Lissoni’s new monograph is available now. Photo: Francesco Caredda

Guest Update: An Italian Master Writes His Monograph; The Maldives Is Getting an Eco-Friendly Oasis; A Rising Star Makes His UK Debut
As 2024 looms on the horizon, this year has been a big one for our beloved guests who only continue to inspire us. When we spoke with the Italian architect Piero Lissoni, we discussed his industry-defining approach to design. Rizzoli details his philosophy in the first comprehensive look of 30-plus years of architecture, interiors, and design, titled “Environments”; Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has unveiled a plan for a resort residence in the Maldives called Infinite Maldives. The 5 hectares comprises 44 villas on the water, gardens, and a wooden boardwalk  harmoniously integrated into the landscape and, of course, sustainably built with timber and locally sourced materials; the Dutch designer Hella Jongerius has been named an Honorary Royal Designer for Industry 2023, the highest accolade for designers in the UK and which only 200 designers hold at one time, for her pioneering product design. The Munich-based designer Stefan Ernst Diez was among last year’s recipients; and, this Spring the fine art photographer Paul Mpagi Sepuya, known for his intimate studio photography, presents his first exhibit in England at Nottingham Contemporary (January 27 to May 5, 2024). —Vasilisa Ioukhnovets

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