Sabrina Reynolds’ 2019 collection of leather handbags shines in our final issue of 2018! Read her rebirth story by Marshelle Haseley on page 17. Then island-hop with us to Grenada as we shine the spotlight on Belmont Estate- a true foodie’s paradise. Kaleidoscope makes a colourful splash back into the Jamaican market- learn more about their future plans for the vibrant island. Get wooed once more with Miami Temptations as you check out Choiselle’s new soursop oil infused face elixir; amazing holiday recipes and more!
Let me start by saying I’m now torn, as I recently did a review of the Sony 1000XM2 which is comparable, and in my opinion they are both on par, but let me get into the details.
Unboxing the headphone was the first time I noticed was how good they looked and felt. Included in the box, was a very simple case, which includes a micro USB cable, wired connection jack, a connection to use on airplanes, the manual -which I normally don’t read, however, that changed quickly as understanding the functionality wasn’t as easy as I expected.
As was expected from Sennheiser, the headphone had some great features, the noise-cancelling was excellent with a switch that adjusts ambience. You can use gestures on the right ear up, to stop/play/forward/next track etc., however the only drawback, these features were very sensitive.
Another feature, which I found interesting, was how to turn off the device. This was done by closing the Headphone and to turn it on, you open them. Initially, I had my reservations in regards to the call quality while using the headphone, but that soon changed when I installed the app, which allowed me to adjust the setting to my preference. After I charged the headphone for about 4hrs-I’ve been using it for a combined 17hrs so far.
So why should you buy it… because it’s made by Sennheiser, & I’m a DJ so I should know- Just kidding.
The truth is, the Sennheiser PCX550 has great sound, quality, durability & a reputation that speaks for itself. This headphone can more than compete with its competitors in the same price range.
If you’ve never heard about Bowers & Wilkins before, this brand represents class, style and quality. So when I got the Bowers & Wilkins T7 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker to test- my initial excitement was obvious, however having experienced it, I have mixed views.
Firstly, when I unboxed it, as expected you could see the quality and workmanship that went into designing & building this speaker- it is top class. The T7 box came with the speaker and the charger included, however, no USB cable.
This wireless speaker had a nice spider web/honeycomb design in its housing with a rubber frame around plus the finish was black blended with dark grey. It’s not too big for a portable speaker, but it’s not exactly lightweight either nor can it hold in your pocket.
The foremost thing that I noticed which bothered me, was what I thought was a USB charging port. It actually turned out to be just for updating the device. Thus, the only way it can be charged is with the charger that comes in the box which I later used and charged it for about five hours.
Connecting the wireless speaker was easy, the buttons are built into the frame at the top. The Bowers & Wilkins T7 also offered a connection via auxiliary cable. Nonetheless, I decided to test the Bluetooth function by connecting my iPhone and let me tell you, the sound was incredible! I already own two other Bluetooth speakers and the T7 blew them out the water. With that said, this didn’t have a speakerphone function. It has two speakers at the front and a subwoofer styled speaker at the back, nevertheless, as I said before, it sounds awesome.
I’ve been using this wireless speaker on and off now for about six days, yet I’ve still not charged it since the initial power up- now that’s a battery life that I can’t complain about at all.
This is definitely a high-end speaker, so you’re definitely paying for a quality well-made Bluetooth speaker, which produces great sound from a reputable brand.
It’s presently on my living room shelf for all to see, as this is not one of those speakers to have around the pool or outdoors, unfortunately, it is not water-resistant or waterproof. But all in all, it’s the best sounding Bluetooth speaker for that size I’ve ever used and heard.
Inside Sonastério, Brazil’s First World-Class, Destination Recording Facility
Global architectural acoustic consulting firm WSDG (Walters-Storyk Design Group) designed Brazil’s first world-class, destination recording studio. A 30-minute drive from Belo Horizonte, the luxurious home is a collaboration between famed Brazilian architect João Diniz and WSDG, for musician/engineer Bruno Barros.
Perched atop a scenic bluff overlooking the pristine Minas Gerais mountain range the modernistic glass and concrete 8,000 square foot structure is meticulously well appointed and features a 1,500 square foot world-class recording studio with 20′ high ceilings. Acoustic consultant/studio designer WSDG was engaged during the earliest phases of the project to ensure a seamless integration of the recording studio component — a key requirement of Mr. Barros from the beginning.
“It is hard to imagine a more conducive environment to inspire creativity,” commented WSDG Partner/Director of Design Renato Cipriano.” Superb acoustics begin with geometry — we worked hand in glove with the architect to ensure that every square foot was precisely calibrated. The high comfort level set the stage for an extraordinary recording experience. The 750 sq. ft. live room is distinguished by a 20’ ceiling height, an 80 sq. ft. Iso booth, panoramic mountain views, custom ceiling clouds outfitted with a pro lighting grid to facilitate video shoots, and a striking ‘Sunburst’ studio logo hand painted over an acoustical broadband wall treatment.”
In addition to the recording studio, the showcase home features three guest bedrooms, five-star amenities, abundant natural light and drop-dead gorgeous views from both indoor and outdoor spaces.
“Sonastério Studios is a work of art in itself,” concludes Bruno Barros. “More than just a recording studio, Sonastério is a house of creation designed to enhance the natural expressiveness of each artist.
The drive from Kingston took about 2 hours & 40 minutes, check in was no longer than 5 minutes. I was shuttled to the room, which was located on the Lady Hamilton Block, the bellboy was very helpful & knowledgeable, giving me a quick overview on the hotel & answering my questions adequately.
The room I was given was on the ground floor, it had a King Size Bed, Balcony, a Mini Bar which was fully stocked, a couch, safe, & I must say the bed was extremely comfortable.
The food options were better than I expected, I went to the main buffet, for breakfast & lunch, which at all times the wait staff was always checking if I needed anything.
The beach was a bit disappointing for me, as I mostly spent my time during the day at the main pool, which was massive but not crowded, it had a great swim up bar & the Johnnie Walker was always flowing. There was also a water slide which I saw the kids enjoying.
The dining options were very good, I went to Poseidon (Mediterranean), Bhogali (Indian), Arte E Cuccina (Italian) Bubbas (Steak House), Lotus House (Asian), they all were excellent.
The property is also well laid out, with easy directions as well as the covered area from the lobby to your room, in the event of rain and room service is also available.
The resort is very family friendly & also has access for the disabled. For the parents, the play area is really good & the nanny is very experienced.
The interaction I had with the staff during my stay was excellent, they always had a friendly smile & happy greeting.
Overall it was a great experience, and I’m definitely looking forward to going back.
Welcome to Miami, where farm-to-table cuisine means juicy heirloom tomatoes in the middle of winter, mangos, and jackfruit in the summer and fresh greens year-round. Here, chefs embrace the bounty of fruits and vegetables that flourish in South Miami-Dade’s agricultural district.
Paradise Farms was established roughly 18 years ago specializing in organic produce and edible flowers sold to restaurants. Located in the heart of Homestead, about 45 minutes south of Downtown Miami, the farm supplies many chefs and farmers markets with local fruits and vegetables, herbs, eggs, mushrooms, and other produce.
In Homestead, you can sample authentic tropical farm-to-table dining – and drinking – any time of the year at Schnebly Redland’s Winery & Brewery and its RedLander Restaurant helmed by Chef Dewey LoSasso, a lush, palmy outpost in South Dade. Your meal might include mahi-mahi ceviche and salad made with Malabar spinach or guava-basted chicken wings. Accompany your meal with avocado or passion fruit wine or a Big Rod coconut ale, all made on site at the winery.
Bringing the Farm to Your Plate
James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz is credited with making fresh, local ingredients the star of the show when he opened Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink in Miami’s Design District in 2007.
The pioneering farm-to-table restaurant, Essensia at The Palms Hotel & Spa, takes local love a step further. While they’ve relied on farmers like Teena’s Pride for heirloom tomatoes and other produce, they also grow their own herbs and vegetables in an organic garden behind their tiki bar. Thai basil, lemongrass, lemon balm, Cuban oregano, edible flowers and vegetables all find their way into recipes and cocktails on the menu.
During one of my summer vacations, my family and I travelled to the wonderful island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. This was my second trip to the island, and it left an everlasting impact on my life, and my photography.
The first time I visited Saint Vincent, I was only a child and had a vague memory of my experience— evidently I knew one day I had to visit the island again. I had to regain and enrich my memory of this wonderful island. Fortunately, for me, my aunt and uncle currently live in Saint Vincent, so I am at liberty to visit the island at my leisure. On the third day of our trip, my aunt suggested that we visit some unique places. One of those places mentioned was the salt pond located in Owia.
Immediately, I Googled the location to see where we were about to embark upon, and I was truly amazed at the natural phenomenon in pictures. Upon seeing the pond, I was ecstatic to take many pictures but before I express my experience and thoughts about the pond, let me elaborate on some facts about the Owia salt pond.
The Owia Salt Pond is located on the North Eastern Coast of St. Vincent in the village of Owia which is home to some of the indigenous people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines— the Black Caribs. The salt pond was formed when larva from the volcano erupted and met the sea. The salt pond forms a vital buffer zone between terrestrial and marine ecosystems.
The volcanic rock formations magically formed itself into a pool which is continuously refreshed by waves splashing in from the sea. Reef fish and coral formation gives the pond a unique colour which looks a tropical pool. I stayed at the pond for approximately two hours. My experience at the Owia salt pond was one filled with amazement, joy, laughter and fun. Bathing in the pond felt therapeutic. The reef fish lightly nibbling at my feet in the water felt relaxing and unlike anything I have experienced thus far. The salt water in the pond felt warm and calming and I felt like never leaving. Although I was engrossed enjoying my time bathing in the pond, I was able to photograph this natural phenomenon.
It was truly a delightful site to see and experience first-hand and I recommend it to anyone who is planning to visit Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. It is said that The Owia Salt Pond has been used for therapeutic purposes in the past, I concur to this as I have experienced bathing in the pond myself. It will be an experience unlike any other.
The rocks depicted in the photograph are the volcanic rock formations that surround the pool. The pond consists of reef fish and coral formations that give pond its colour. It is truly a wonderful natural phenomenon that visitors should see and photograph while visiting the beautiful Island of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
By Tricia Williamson |Photos courtesy of Loews Miami
Nestled on Miami Beach and just minutes away from the vibrant Art Deco District, the Loews Miami Beach Hotel is truly your hotel to call home. The excellence in customer service starts even before you arrive at the hotel. I personally received an email days before my arrival which not only welcomed me to the hotel but also took the notation of any food allergies and special requirements I or my guests may have had.
The first thing that really sets Loews Miami apart from the rest is their commitment to excellent customer service. Everyone truly makes you feel like a VIP and always willing to assist you. One such example was at the check-in desk, I had arrived hours before the usual afternoon check-in time and surprisingly the room was ready and I was allowed to go up and rest. For a traveller, who has been up flying from 2 a.m. in the morning to arrive in Miami at 12noon- I can’t share enough how much that meant to be able to do that upon arrival.
Loews offers you a wonderful service called “Chat Your Service” where you can also text message whatever you need and it is handled. The turndown service was excellent and it really left you feeling welcomed home, especially after long days out in the heat of this beautiful sun-kissed city.
This renowned oceanfront resort is truly Miami Beach’s oasis for luxury comfort perfectly blended with sophisticated style, exceptional service, and great value for money. Be sure to immerse your taste buds in the culinary creations offered in the food and beverage experience known as the “Flavor Miami”.
I also enjoyed early morning swims in the oceanfront poolscape as well as relaxing in the St. Tropez-inspired SOAK Cabanas and Daybeds. Loews Miami Beach Hotel is one of the most “instagrammable” hotels I have ever enjoyed (Find them on Instagram @LoewsMiami). From the from the hip strip side to the oceanfront you’ll love sharing your experiences with the world from this hotel. The private beach access was also great for long walks in the evenings along the boardwalk and just quick access to the sun and sand of the beach front.
As a Travel Editor, I have stayed at several hotels in Miami and Loews was a truly unforgettable experience and now my favourite places to stay. It’s the little things they do to truly make your stay great. From the ice cool flavoured waters of cucumbers to watermelon all around the resort. After walking the strip or coming from the beach, there is no greater refreshment that a tall cool drink from Lowes in the Miami sun. It’s the beautiful platter of fruits, chocolates, mojito cocktails (featuring a bottle of locally distilled rum) and chips that greeted you in your room after a long hard day’s work. It’s the genuine warmth and care of the staff as they tend to all your needs. It’s the beautifully designed room with an ocean front view that you just love coming home to each day.
Whether it’s to stay on the renowned Miami Beach or be able to take a 20 minute Uber ride from the airport to the hotel or the rich plethora of shops and restaurants in the Art Deco District… if you are looking for a great place to stay- make it Loews Miami Beach Hotel.
Luxury Boutique Resort Ranks #1 in the Caribbean and #3 Hotel in the World
Frangipani Beach Resort has received the top award from the readers of Travel + Leisure magazine, #1 Resort in the Top 25 Caribbean Resort Hotels,in the 2018 World’s Best Awards. The luxury resort was also named among the top 100 hotels in the world, ranking #3 in the overall category.
“We are incredibly grateful to have been chosen by the readers of Travel + Leisure for this prestigious award,” said Shannon Kircher, Director of Marketing & Communications at Frangipani Beach Resort. “Our guests are like family to us, and our main focus is on creating unique memories and experiences for each of them. Knowing that guests cared enough to vote and share our story means the world to us. The resort wouldn’t be where it is today without our team and without community partners that help support our mission,” added Kircher.
Offering a peaceful haven overlooking Meads Bay in Anguilla and its pristine white sands, Frangipani Beach Resort features 19 rooms and suites and an impressive 5,000 square foot beachfront villa,designed to host special beach escapes in a private sanctuary for families and groups. The resort provides an intimate setting with the luxury and amenities visitors have come to equate with the island.
“This award is especially meaningful knowing how hard we worked to get back up and running following Hurricane Irma. Our guests supported us so much through that challenging time and it really encouraged us to recover as quickly as we could,” continued Kircher. Frangipani strives to continually augment the guest experience with annual property enhancements and will debut a new rooftop lounge space and Balinese spa which will open in November 2018. The resort has continued to place a focus on sustainability and the use of renewable energy, and will be incorporating solar power into their design as part of their upcoming enhancements.
The 2018 World’s Best Awards honors the top travel destinations around the globe. The full awards list will appear in the August 2018 issue of Travel + Leisure, and online at https://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best.
Written by Tricia Williamson | Photos courtesy of Stush In The Bush
Stush in the Bush at Zionites Farm, nestled in the hills of Free Hill, Bamboo St. Ann, Jamaica is a 15-acre organic farm. The brainchild of Lisa and Chris Binns, this farm-to-table tour reflects a true love with nature. Nature blends with stushness to give you a unique gourmet experience made from homegrown ingredients.
Stush in the Bush is unapologetic in its authenticity and is all about the experience.
Many traditional crops are grown on the farm in addition to exotic vegetables that are used to freshly create preserves, dressings and sauces that excite your taste buds. Beautiful farm to table lunches are the hallmark of the farm. So be sure to book your reservation early!
Beyond the food, it’s a great farm tour that focuses on tasting as well- so you enjoy the tastes of pineapples, sugar cane, coconut water fresh from nature as you learn about the land, plants and their medicinal properties.