Your guide to the sensational sights and flavours of the French Capital
A GRAND OCCASION Saut Hermès 2019
Every March, Paris plays host to the Saut Hermès where the world's greatest showjumpers battle it out for supremacy at the CSI5* event held in the spectacular Grand Palais . The event, now in its eleventh edition, is hosted by the Fédération Equestre Internationale and the French Equestrian Federation and sponsored by Hermès. This major competition has become one of the equestrian season's key events and has prize money on offer totaling nearly Euro 800,000. Our UAE riders have competed represented by Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club. Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi. Abdullah, who is on top form at the moment and won the HH Sharjah Ruler Grand Prix with a showcasing round and added numerous Grand Prix titles in 2019.
Other competitors at the event are amongst some of the most elite in the sport including: Egypt's Abdel Said who competed in the World Equestrian Games in 2018, and is a familiar face on the Arab League circuit, Abdel took the only double clear in Nations Cup qualifier in Abu Dhabi last year. Also Steve Guerdat former Olympic Gold Medalist and Longines Global Champion Tours Champions Luciana Diniz and Scott Brash. The best in the world battling it out in one of the most iconic settings in global equestrian events.
Forty-five minutes by train outside busy Paris, you will find this bucolic slice of country-life. Le Barn, a 71 room hotel on the grounds of horse
farm and riding academy La Cense. The entire property is built to make the most of the beautiful landscape but also the horses on and around the property. Activities include horse-whispering sessions and trail rides around the grounds, and you can even watch them grazing from your window. The property has two restaurants where guests can sample exquisite French delicacies as well as a supremely well appointed spa.
Paris and fashion are entirely synonymous, and it would be a terrible shame to miss out on its sartorial pleasures.
Equestrian fashions are well represented in Paris, and Guibert walks the line between style, taste and substance so exquisitely that taking a look around its centrally located showroom should be on anyone's to-do list. Guibert also specialises in beautifully tack and horse apparel so you can bring a treat home for your faithful steed too!
The Musee du Chaval located at the sublime Domaine de Chantilly charts the history of horsemanship of all kinds. The museum has 31 rooms with exhibits comprising over 1,200 paintings, drawings, sculptures, and ceramics, covering equine topics. The museum is referred to as "living" because it houses 31 horses of various breeds.
Part of the intent of the museum is to promote the education of the public by encouraging interaction with the animals. Three to five dressage demonstrations each day illustrate the basis of horsemanship, and a large equestrian show is presented at least once a month. This is a wonderful day out for the history buff and horseman alike.
Paris on horseback sound good? Sign up to a Horse In The City tour and you can ride through the parks of the French capital, taking in the sights and sounds and enjoying the tastes of French cuisine. Speak with the tour operators and they will arrange further excitements with stops at well respected French restaurants - even a tour through the grounds and the interior of the palace of Versailles
Authentic French bistro cuisine in the heart of Paris with a Michelin Star to back it up sounds all too perfect and Benoit delivers the kind of dining experience that only history, authenticity and skill can provide. Since 1912, the restaurant, now under the careful guidance of Alain Ducasse, has been a mainstay of the Parisian culinary scene and
any night of the week you will find locals and visitors alike enjoying the ambiance and the beautifully curated menu. Sometimes a cliché is exactly what you want - and the scent of garlic from the kitchen alongside fresh baked bread and free-flowing chatter is exactly what you should want from a Parisian vacation.
One of the great classic Parisian café-brasseries in bustling Montparnasse, this one gets bragging rights for its long list of past clients. Henry Miller, Hemingway, Picasso, and F. Scott Fitzgerald all took their coffee breaks here as the sun draped over them on the terrace.
Mosaic tiles line the floor and prop up the wicker chairs found in most traditional Parisian cafés. Le Select offers the quintessential Paris Cafe experience. Sit outside and watch the world go by or take your coffee indoors - either way you won't be disappointed.
While others find inspiration globally, Sharjah’s rich heritage and natural wealth brings the focus a little closer to home. Stepping firmly onto the global stage, the city has unashamedly embraced its origins, reinvigorated its legacy and curated a hub of global significance for the region’s art and culture. Sharjah has single handedly rewritten the rule book on what makes a modern and iconic Arabian city- and its one which holds authenticity, vitality and soul at its very core.
Created and Directed by Mike Beech, Sound by Adam Layland, Music by Max LL, Produced by Mohamed Parham Al Awadhi for Qissa.social
For those in the know, Sharjah is fast becoming synonymous with the very best contemporary art, culture and Arabian experience the region has to offer. With a focus on quality, a taste for the authentic and an eye for the unique, it is truly a city on the rise.
Discover Al Bait – where Arabian heritage, contemporary design and luxury- become one. After years of painstaking restoration, three historic manor houses set in the heart of Sharjah have re-emerged as possibly the most jaw-dropping example of contemporary Arabic architecture and hospitality in the region.
Dine at the Emirati inspired ‘The Restaurant,’ and discover local dishes re-imagined by top international chefs, get inspired in the vast library stocked with hundreds of antiquarian and contemporary books, and when evening falls, relax in the sumptuous and expertly curated cigar lounge.
This fresh new Sharjah inspired street wear label takes on and represents the city’s multicultural youth and its many iconic micro-cultures, turning everything from Dokha to gaming and Nissan Patrols into infinitely wearable streetwear. See @wear.culture on Instagram.
Discover Fen Cafe, a restaurant where art and cuisine combine – and one of Sharjah’s best kept secrets. Fans have dubbed it worthy of three-Michelin stars, and given the restaurant’s Sharjah Art Foundation location, dreamy modern interiors and impressive Asian fusion menu with dishes such as gravlax made in-house and zaru soba dressed with chukka wakame and black sesame, it's only a matter of time before Fen earns significant recognition.
Grab a coffee at Hoof, the city’s beautifully thoughtful ‘homage’ to the horse. Owned by some of the emirate’s top show-jumpers, Hoof’s clean, modern take on an equestrian theme sees bridles, saddles and loose-box fittings re-imagined- fit for a show-jumper. Enjoy a taste of the region, with the signature hibiscus rosehip tea or pistachio milkshake or an artisan coffee, all served by waiters clad in aprons of the butteriest tan saddle leather imaginable!
Experience a taste of ancient Arabia from the back of the region’s iconic horse. Take a local guide and explore the UAE’s oldest archaeological site the mysterious and ancient Jebel Faya mountain, where artefacts have been found dating back over one million years. Equestrian experience is not a must on this guided tour, as the centre has horses to suit riders of all levels. And, as the sun goes down, make for the centre’s luxurious desert gazebo for refreshments and a tour of the stables.
Take a walk through Sharjah's incredible 'old town,' restored and re-imagined as a extensive art district, where coral homes now house the best in contemporary art, and impressive new architectural installations are home to everything from sculpture, film, master-works and of course, who could forget- Sharjah's current obsession- The Rain Room.
Travel in style with Sharjah’s only dedicated private charter jet operator- Gama Aviation. With 230 aircraft, based in the UAE and across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the rest of the Middle East, Gama Aviation provides a bespoke, VIP service for those travelling to Sharjah and the rest of the UAE in a private capacity.
With convenience and service a top priority, Gama's VIP terminal facility is geared towards a seamless service. Gama operates stunning passenger and crew lounges, with dedicated customs/immigration services, along with line maintenance and hangar/parking solutions at prices below the regional market rate.
Setting Gama’s facility apart from other regional hubs is the arranging of airside access for passenger vehicles on both arrivals and departures. This true door-to-door service is a key time saving solution and privacy protection for VIP visitors and residents to Sharjah and the other Emirates. Gama will be opening a brand-new, purpose-built Business Aviation Centre (BAC) in 2020, further enhancing their service offering. It will provide new VIP lounges, passengers and crew facilities, apron space, hangars and offices, on a private area of the airfield, designed to further streamline and enhance the travelling experience.
The Show Hub's definitive guide of where to go and what to do while
you are in the British capital from the finest equestrian themed shopping, to dining and exhibitions.
Heritage, prestige and good old-fashioned fun at the London International Horse Show
The London International Horse Show, or simply ‘Olympia’ to its fans is not only one of the oldest annual equestrian events but is also one of the most loved. Dating back to 1907, this quintessentially British institution has been attended by almost every major British Royal ever since.
The show offers something for everyone; from the major UK FEI qualifiers, to the dazzling equine-entertaining shows, the iconic Puissance wall, plus carriage driving, canine agility, flat-racing Shetlands and of course the incredible Olympia Shopping Village.
Showjumping classes at Olympia are for many- the highlight of the show. The classes range from the extreme to the comical and everything in between. The Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Leg is one of the biggest competitions in the sport with fences set at a maximum height of 1.60m. The competition attracts some of the biggest names in the sport who all hope to win the prize of over 145,000 AED. There’s also the most enduring class of the show, the Cayenne Puissance- a high-jump challenge which often sees the iconic red wall towering well over two-metres high. The week long show also hosts; the Pony Club Mini-Major, the Santa Stakes, The Musto Inside Edge Stakes, The Christmas Stocking Stakes Six Bar, The Longines Christmas Cracker and The Mince Pie Stakes.
Olympia promises two incredible new dressage launches for 2018. Firstly, organisers have worked in conjunction with the FEI and international dressage riders to revitalise the UK leg of the FEI Dressage World Cup. Although we don’t quite know what this means yet, the show organisers do promise incredible performances and a compelling new format. And, for the ‘Queen of Dressage,’ fans, Charlotte Dujardin and Mount St John Freestyle, dubbed ‘Mrs Valegro’, will be performing their new and never seen before Freestyle test when they compete in the FEI World Cup Dressage Freestyle to Music.
Outside the Arena
For those seeking a little more luxury, the Olympia Private Box boasts excellent views onto the Main Arena, fine dining and a top-class beverage selection. Experience equestrian shopping at its finest at the ‘Olympia Shopping Village.’ The Village is host to hundreds of unique stalls selling everything from equestrian wear and horse equipment, to handmade gifts, leather-work and gourmet foods.
Olympia’s equestrian displays have traditionally stunned even the least horsey spectators, and this year promises to be no different with a show from the Karabakh riders from Azerbaijan performing their ‘Land of Fire.' Originally created by the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation the show includes acrobatics, Cossack riding and an interwoven ‘Sarhadchi’ dance. This year's Markel Champions Challenge is themed, ‘the battle of the sexes.’ Watch the drama unfold as world class jockeys try their hand at relay Show Jumping competition. Who will be victorious?
The men led by Frankie Dettori or the women captained by Bridget Andrews? The world-famous French cavalry regiment ‘La Garde Républicaine,’ will also bring their display to Olympia this year. The ‘Reprise des Douzes’, is a spectacular balletic dressage show with twelve chestnut horses working to music. The show is choreographed to reflect the origins of French equestrianism andthe way in which horses were ridden in battle, with speed and precision. Everyone’s favourite, the Osborne Refrigerators Shetland Pony Grand National will be held nightly throughout the show. This fast and furious race showcases some of the UK’s young, talented, and up-and-coming jockeys and of course, the UK’s cutest pony breed!
Olympia runs from mid December in Hammersmith, West London.
Get some shut eye at
St Paul's Hotel 153
Stay in this quintessentially British boutique hotel conveniently located near the Kensington Olympia exhibition halls. The building was originally St. Pauls School and was designed by Alfred Waterhouse in 1884, the architect of the Natural History Museum.
Each room is unique and encompasses the original character of building with several rooms still boasting original fire places. St Paul's is elegantly decorated, yet comfortable and welcoming. The hotel even has a place in global history when it became the setting for the historic meeting of Eisenhower, Montgomery and Winston Churchill to plan the D Day landings.
The Osborne Studio Gallery is known around the globe for its exceptional equestrian art. The gallery specialises in sporting paintings and bronzes by leading contemporary artists.
The main emphasis is on horse racing, however, the gallery has, over the years, branched out to handle the works of many respected landscape and figurative painters too.
Dine Out at
Ralph's Coffee Bar
The décor at Ralph’s Coffee Bar pays homage to Ralph Lauren’s trademark equestrian sensibilities. The interior features a brass topped bar, saddle leather banquettes, and equestrian themed art. An intimate oasis in the heart of Mayfair, the cafe seats 24, with 12 additional seats at the bar. The curated menu offers light fare in the traditional American style, and, of course, Ralph’s Coffee—the immensely popular custom blend roasted specifically for Ralph Lauren.
Ride Through History at
The Household Cavalry Museum
Based in the heart of historic London, the museum celebrates the dual roles of the Queen’s mounted bodyguard. The regiment has operationally been at the forefront of every major battle since its genesis in 1661. The museum celebrates their lives and achievements as well as the ones they protect. Set in the 18th century regiment stables, the museum allows guests a unique glimpse into a modern working world of the regiment set in the 18th century stables, a site they have guarded for over 350 years.
Hack Out at
Wimbledon Village Stables
With Hyde Park Stables closing earlier last year, we recommend those wishing to ride visit Wimbledon Village Stables instead. For hacking in quintessential English Parkland, the 1,100 acres of Wimbledon do not disappoint.
Riders seeking a longer adventure can make use of the additional 2,700 stunning acres of Richmond Park and Ham Common adjacent to Wimbledon. See if you can spot the wild deer amongst the ancient trees!
Schneider and W&H Gidden
For some of the finest bespoke handmade boots and leather goods a visit to Schnieder Boots and W & H Gidden is essential. By appointment to the Queen, Schneider boots are worn by British royalty and the Household Cavalry. W H Gidden has been making the finest saddlery since 1806 and holds the Royal Warrant as saddlers to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The aristocratic patronage dates from 1815, when the Duke of Wellington rode into battle against Napoleon on a Gidden saddle. For the convenience of customers, W & H Gidden also offers a bespoke concierge service. Whether in your home, office, hotel or Members Club, the W & H Gidden concierge will meet you and work with you to create your special bespoke piece.