Monaco Summer Ball: A Walk on the Wild Side

What: ‘Animal Planet’ Summer Ball (Bal de l’Été)
Where: Sporting Monte Carlo
When: 8pm Friday 17 June to Sunday 19 June
Dress: black tie

Flushed with the success of last year’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ theme, the organizers of the Monaco Summer Ball are once again guaranteeing a fantastic party that promises to unleash the wild animal in all its guests. And the event really is going to have guests roaring with delight, as savage drumbeats and wild musical rhythms fill the air with passionate excitement.

Basking in the high patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and organized by Princess Catherine Colonna de Stigliano, the ball – now a sweet sixteen years old – is always taken as one of the first signs of summer in the Principality. And what better way of preparing for the forthcoming princely wedding between two great ambassadors of the natural world than to celebrate with the call of the wild?


The glittering weekend, tickets for which are available from €400, starts on the Friday evening with a beachside reception before continuing to the famous Jimmy’z nightclub. On Saturday – after an energetic game of tennis or spa treatment at the Thermes Marins – champagne will be served in the gardens of the Sporting Club followed by a gala dinner at the Salle des Etoiles (black or white tie), and dancing till dawn to music provided by top DJ Ariel Wizman.

And on Sunday, not only is there the traditional breakfast and brunch, served from 10.30am till 3.30pm on the terrace of the Hôtel de Paris, but also a final visit to the animals’ watering hole at the Buddha Bar from 11pm


17 June: 8pm Beach Club Cocktails moving on to Jimmy’z Nightclub
18 June: 8pm ‘Animal Planet’ Gala Dinner at the Salle des Etoiles
Drumbeat of the Night, raw rhythms from DJ Ariel Wizman, and dancing till dawn
19 June: Sunday brunch from 10.30 to 3.30 on the terrace of the Hotel de Paris
8.30pm Farewell Roar and last raid on the terraces of the Beach Plaza
11pm: ‘Watering hole’ at the Buddha Bar

As is customary, an auction will be held at the gala dinner to raise money for the Order of the Knights of Malta, a major NGO whose role in managing hospitals and care centres worldwide cannot be underestimated.

© First published in CityOut Monaco


Appealing to all the Senses in Monaco

Who: Nicholas Loubser
What: Tous Les Sens
Contact: Tel +33 6 43 91 35 80

What brings people to the Riviera? A sense of adventure, the high life, copious measures of sunlight, and – without a doubt – the fresh seasonal produce. No wonder that the area has attracted, and continues to attract, some of the most skilful chefs, restaurateurs and lovers of food to its bountiful shores.


One such is Nicholas Loubser. Descended from ancient Languedoc stock, his roots are firmly embedded in the Mediterranean terroir, whose secrets he has been cultivating for twenty years – many of them spent as executive manager and chef on the exclusive island of Frégate in the Seychelles. An expert in the choice of ingredients, his services on Frégate ranged from barbecues and candlelit dinners to tours of the island’s greenhouses and plantations and entertaining in his private garden.

Now his expertise has brought Loubser to Monaco, where he has established Tous Les Sens to answer to every gastronomic requirement of resident and visitor alike. To call his company a catering business does it a great disservice; this is a world of gourmet delight, to which Loubser contributes a wealth of knowledge garnered not only from Creole cuisine of the Seychelles but also many years’ experience in the UK, China and India.


Rather than setting up a restaurant, Loubser has appreciated that many of his clients wish to lunch or dine in the luxury of their yacht, villa, or in some specially-chosen location. He and his team produce highly customized menus, arranging everything from the sourcing of fantastically fresh products to the carefully-designed table plan. And the cuisine is both astonishing and exotically-flavoured, his dishes adorned with sun-ripened figs, walnut bread, a suffusion of truffle oil, and refreshing lavender and orange.

If you are arranging a Monaco Grand Prix get-together or are spending time this summer sailing in the Mediterranean, Nicholas Loubser promises an experience which will appeal, literally, to all your senses… and those of your guests!


© First published in CityOut Monaco


Tesla Roadster at Top Marques Monaco

Just nine months ago, when CityOut Monaco reported the victory of the Tesla Roadster in Monaco’s Alternative Energy Rally, electric cars were still a little outside the ‘comfort zone’ of many readers, in terms both of cost and geekiness, even for the incredibly ungeeky – and actually rather sporty – Tesla Motors. But in the last year, things have changed. From BP to Libya, the question of what to do when the oil runs out has once again been making the headlines and dinner party chat. Eco vehicles seem to be much more in the news these days, and so it is that we bring you the latest results from this year’s Alternative Energy Rally. And the winner is…. yup, once more, it’s the Tesla.


Named after the 19th century Serbian physicist and pioneer of electrical engineering, Nikola Tesla, the Silicon Valley company was founded just eight years ago, but has already made its name at the cutting edge of eco-sports technology. From an initially small fan-base, the company has grown exponentially, such that they can now claim to be leading the world in saving energy. According to last month’s report, “Electric Roadsters in over 30 countries have now covered over 10 million miles, the greatest collective distance covered by any electric vehicle maker to date. Roadsters have collectively saved 500,000 gallons of fuel and over 5.3 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.”

Thanks to early electric vehicle companies like Tesla, the image of an electric car as something like a milk float running on a converted washing machine motor has been finally dispelled. Not only do these cars look beautiful (they are based on the design of the Lotus Elise); they are also high-end performers, accelerating from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds, and consuming the equivalent of just 1.7 litres per 100km – for the non-metric, that’s an astonishing 140 miles per gallon! All of which makes the cost of the Roadster seem suddenly less prohibitive.

Charging networks for all electric vehicles are being delivered quietly but steadily across the planet, including exciting plans for induction plates embedded in car parks. But even with the option of 110-volt or 220-volt power outlets, filling her up is one of the few points of detraction for cars like the Tesla. Even so, they can be topped up at home overnight at minimal cost (taking account of off-peak electricity), and Tesla claim a 245-mile range from a single overnight charge.

Tesla are exhibiting all week at Top Marques Monaco, and European deliveries begin in June.

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Ship ahoy! The Monaco Yacht Show 2011

What: 21st Monaco Yacht Show 2011
Where: Port Hercule
When: 21 to 24 September 10am to 6.30pm

The big draw of the coming yachting season is without doubt the 21st annual Monaco Yacht Show, With over 80% of visitors coming from abroad, and forty countries exhibiting, the show remains one of the most international of all the great displays of the nautical calendar. Last year’s show posted excellent figures, and similar, if not higher, numbers are anticipated this year, flocking to see boats of all shapes and sizes ranging from the latest 30/40s and sailing yachts to exclusive superyachts of 25 to 90m in length.

Forty new designs are making their worldwide debuts here (ten more than last year) and what stands out this time is the remarkable range of yachts, attracting many different kinds of owner.

For the explorer, there are two yachts of particular note: the dramatically-designed Big Fish – who since her launch last year has already explored great swathes of the world’s oceans and visited Antarctica – and Galileo, the latest exciting design from Vitruvius Yachts: a blue-water, global explorer yacht also designed for Arctic and Antarctic conditions.

The collector and aesthete will come to admire the new 39-metre Snowbird, a veritable floating art gallery; while for sportsmen and women, all eyes will be on Shooting Star, a superfast 38-metre superyacht from the drawing boards of Danish designer Espen Oieno.

The Amels 212 ‘Imagine’

One of the biggest, yet most appealing yachts on show is the high-volume 64-metre Imagine, a spectacular craft built in Holland by Amels. Her graceful hull and gull-wing mast arch will certainly be turning heads, as will the 50-metre sailing vessel Zefira, winner of this year’s Sailing Yacht of the Year title at the World Superyacht Awards. But it’s not just the big yachts that are exciting press attention. Already many compliments have been paid to the excitingly designed Mugler Spire  – a tiny 9.5 metre superboat based on the Batmobile, capable of over 90 knots.

It’s perhaps no surprise to see such a wide range of new builds. Many of the world’s superyacht shipyards are operating below capacity, and there are half-finished hulls and new projects just waiting to be snapped up by discerning owners or speculators. In the opinion of Hein Velema, CEO of Fraser Yachts and former marketing manager for Feadship, ‘Now is the time to build… shipyards are still operating well below capacity and my recurring message to all our customers for the last 18 months has been build, build, build and start now!’


This is the event which more than any other sets the tone and the standard for prestige yacht shows, with royalty and millionaire yacht owners mingling with visitors to the Principality over a four day period fuelled by great weather and great entertainment.

But of course this is principally a meeting and market place, and as well as admiring the boats, visitors have the chance to meet representatives of the international luxury yacht trade: over 500 brokers, builders, charterers, designers and equipment manufacturers will be on hand to demonstrate their wares and – who knows – maybe even persuade you to part with your money. Despite continuing economic uncertainty, the general mood is that the market is picking up again – not too fast – but definitely showing signs of positive recovery.

Dark Knight: Thierry Mugler’s’ Spire’ superboat

As in previous years, organisers have pledged their continuing support for the Monaco Association against the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a local charity. Last year the Association received a donation of €51,500. Helping the cause this year will be the Only Watch charity auction. which will take place at 4pm on 22 September at the Hotel Hermitage.

In the lead up to this year’s show, CityOut will be providing comprehensive coverage of latest developments from exhibitors, as well as a guide to key companies and events.

Additional events

20 September 2011

The Captains’ Hideout
plays host to all professional captains and crew during the Monaco Yacht Show, with complimentary refreshments and internet access throughout the day. The Hideout is the perfect place to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the show. Please note that the Captains’ Hideout is open only to professional superyacht captains and crew living on board the yachts participating in the show.

22 September at 4pm
Hotel Hermitage

Only Watch 2011 – auction of one off and limited edition luxury timepieces on behalf of charity

23 September at 7pm
Monte Carlo Beach Hotel

Captain’s Party for yacht captains and yachting industry representatives taking part in the show. This event organized jointly with Informa Yacht Group and backed by The Yacht Report and Ascoma Maritime is an opportunity for guests to socialize in a convivial ambiance while admiring the view over Port Hercule. By invitation only.

To find out more, please visit

© CityOutMonaco 2011

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The Royal Courts of Europe

What: The Splendour and Grandeur of the Courts in Europe
Where: Grimaldi Forum
When: 11 July to 11 September
Entry: €12/€8
Contact: +377 99 99 30 00, 12-7pm, Tue to Sat.

For many hundreds of years, the history of Europe both in war and peacetime has been determined by a handful of elected and hereditary monarchs and the courts which surrounded them. Now, to coincide with the wedding of the Prince of Monaco, the Grimaldi Forum is hosting an impressive exhibition covering the history of the twenty royal courts of Europe from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries.

More than seventy private and public collections, including items from the royal palaces themselves, have been brought together for this unique occasion. Curated by Catherine Arminjon, Monaco’s Director of Heritage, the two-month-long exhibition covers the life and times of some of the greatest names in European history and sets the context for the celebrations of the current generation of Monaco’s ruling Grimaldi family.

Portraits, sculptures, objets d’art, furniture, porcelain, silver and gold, costumes and jewellery – some 700 exhibits in all – bring to life the individuals and couples who left their mark on the histories of their dynasties and countries. Many were not simply rulers, but contributed widely to the fields of the arts, history and science, and these areas will form a large part of the display, as well as archive film, both documentary and dramatic.

Among the royal families represented in the exhibition are those of

  • Augustus the Strong, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland
  • Frederick I, first King of Prussia, and Queen Sophia Charlotte
  • Ludwig I, King of Bavaria, and his grandson, Ludwig II
  • Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth of Austria
  • Christian IV and Christian IX of Denmark
  • Philip V of Spain, grandson of Louis XIV, and Elizabeth, heir to the fabulous Farnese collections
  • Napoleon and Josephine and the first French Empire
  • Prince Nicholas Esterhazy, a great collector and Joseph Haydn’s patron
  • Luís I, King of Portugal, and Queen Maria Pia
  • Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland and her consort Prince Albert
  • Gustavus III, King of Sweden
  • Tsar Alexander II who launched the vogue for imperial Russian holidays on the French Riviera
  • Leopold I, first King of the Belgians
  • Haakon VII, first King of Norway following the dissolution of the union with Sweden
  • John III Sobieski, elected King of Poland, victor over the Turks at Vienna
  • Charles, King of Naples, who launched the excavations of Herculaneum and Pompeii
  • Victor Amadeus II, King of Sicily and of Sardinia
  • Adolphe, Grand Duke of Luxembourg
  • Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands
  • The Grimaldis, Princes of Monaco

To complement this ambitious exhibition, the Grimaldi Forum will offer educational workshops for young people from 6-14 years from July 11.

This article originally appeared in CityOut Monaco

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You ain’t seen nothin’ yet

What: ‘On aura tout vu’ presents the Galéa collection
Where: National Museum of Monaco, Villa Sauber
When: 11am-7pm, 22 June to 30 September 2011
10am-6pm, 1 October 2011 to 29 January 2012
Admission: €6, groups (minimum 15 people) €4

Afficionadoes of design will instantly recognize at least part of the title of the latest exhibition at Monaco’s New National Museum at the Villa Sauber: ‘on aura tout vu‘ – whose name roughly translates as ‘you ain’t seen nothing yet’  – have been the creative spirit behind some of the world’s greatest couturiers, including Lacroix, Dior and Givenchy. Since 1995 they have developed their own range of pret-a-porter, accessories, design objects and cosmetics, and today are responsible for a wide range of co-branded products with some of the greatest Parisian institutions such as Caron, Le Moulin Rouge, La Maison Fabre, and the Galerie de l’Opéra de Paris.

Now, in an extraordinary collaboration with the National Museum of Monaco, chief designers Livia Stoianova and Yassen Samouilov are breathing new life into one of Monaco’s most famous attractions – the Galéa collection of dolls and automata, by showing off the original mannequins alongside their own amazing 21st century creations.

This Lilliput-sized version of the real world will appeal to everyone interested in seeing how fashions have changed between the 19th century and today – with some fantastic juxtapositions like this one showing the contemporary nightclub scene and its equivalent – a Second Empire ‘rout’.

Clubbing – 21st and 19th century-style!

Madeleine de Galéa was born in Réunion, the French island off the coast of East Africa. Brought up in Paris, she became a lover of Second Empire style and of antique dolls’ costumes in particular. Widowed at a tragically young age, she began to collect in earnest, first traditional porcelain dolls and later an unrivalled pageant of accessories and furniture.

At a time when the world was becoming fascinated with robotics, she extended her already vast collection to included animated puppets and automata, and towards the end of her life hosted frequent elegant tea parties attended by her devoted guests, and robots dressed in – among other items – scottish tartan.

For all the eccentricity of this venture, Mme de Galéa is today remembered as one of the great collectors, whose unerring eye for the quirky and unusual was tempered by a genuine fascination for fashion. After Mme de Galéa’s death in 1956, the collection was offered in its entirety to – and accepted by – HSH Prince Rainier III, who himself displayed a similar passion for collecting, as Monaco’s museum of automobiles testifies. The Villa Sauber, now newly refurbished as the National Museum of Monaco, became home to her collection.

So it’s appropriate that ‘on aura tout vu’, in conjunction with the Villa Sauber, has taken the opportunity to revive the collection in the National Museum of Monaco’s latest exhibition in its ‘Looking Up’ series, initiated by British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare. The aim of the series is to connect the often bizarre world of Monaco’s history with the wider artistic visions of today.

Last year’s hugely successful Shonibare exhibition placed his ‘anti-colonial’ art in the context of the aristocratic Monaco of the the late 19th century.  The aim of this display is similar, comparing some of Mme de Galéa ‘s most exquisite objects with today’s fashion designs. Since 2002, ‘on aura tout vu’ have displayed their fantastic creations twice a year on the catwalks of the French capital. This latest extravaganza, in Monaco, is rather different but just as thrilling!

This article was originally published in CityOut Monaco