Chinese New Year is upon us once more, with 2018 marking the lunar Year of the Dog in China's traditional zodiac. Vibrant parades and a plethora of colourful celebrations will descend across the streets of London and beyond, as the Chinese holiday, also known as the Spring Festival, officially begins on February 16. The dog, one of 12 animals in the zodiac, is characterised by loyalty, honesty and intelligence, and the year of the Earth Dog is said to be one of action - requiring planning and energy in order to succeed. With that in mind, luxury brands are marking the festivities with exclusive launches of gorgeous gifts and experiences to ensure you can pay homage in style. Read on to see our pick of the best. >>
Breguet has unveiled a special limited edition timepiece in celebration of the Chinese New Year. The model Classique 7145 pays tribute to the art of guilloche, with a hand-engraved image of one of the most cherished breeds of dog in China, the blue tongued Chow-Chow. The intricately crafted canine etched onto the gold plate of the watch dial lights up this new creation, with each iteration representing a unique work of art, highlighting the meticulous work of the manufacture’s artisans. A must this new year.
Blancpain have announced the exciting release of their Traditional Chinese Calendar Watch designed to honour the age-old celebration of the Chinese New Year. Kitted out with features such as the intricate Chinese calendar hidden behind the platinum face, this timepiece represents a useful yet symbolic model indicating a promising year ahead. The inspiration behind this design is the timekeeping tradition rooted deeply within Chinese culture. A detailed canine stands at the 12 o’clock aperture to indicate hope while the watch’s fascinating dial, hours and minutes all sit next to the main indications of the Chinese calendar, including the signs of the zodiac, the five elements and 10 celestial stems.
Mandarin Oriental have launched The Year of the Earth Dog Spa Experience across many of it's locations worldwide including: Asia, Europe (Barcelona, Marrakech, Milan, Paris, Prague) and USA, while the Spa at Mandarin Oriental here in Hyde Park will reopen in May 2018 as part of the hotel's wider refurbishment. The dreamy 80-minute treatment, inspired by the famous downward facing dog yoga pose, is designed to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and ease muscle tension. Guests are welcomed with mandarin orange or tangerine oil infused towels, both of which symbolise good tidings, and invited to enjoy a drink made of Chinese red dates, honey and goji berries, which help to destress and encourage sleep. Traditional sweet treats popular during Chinese New Year festivities will be available in the spa’s relaxation area, including sweetened tangerine, coconut and ginger from the customary ‘Tray of Togetherness’. The treatment utilises the powerful effects of the group’s bespoke Flourish Oil, which contains lemongrass, cardamom and coriander combined with hot, healing stones, and a soothing abdominal massage. To finish, guests will receive a traditional Chinese lai see lucky red packet.
Riedel, the 260-year-old crystal glassmaker, have unveiled the latest addition to its collection of hand-blown decanters. The Dog Decanter is hand crafted in Austria, and adorned with chic black and red stripes signalling luck, success and happiness, making it the perfect centrepiece addition to any dinner table. The hollow profile aids decanting by swirling and perfectly aerating wine while being poured, a feature for which Riedel is renowned. Made from the finest crystal, this striking glassware is ornamented with the howling profile of a dog’s head on the inside, to celebrate the dawn of the Year of the Dog in the Chinese zodiac calendar. This piece is the latest Chinese New Year celebration from the brand – they first created the Dragon Decanter in 2012, Boa the Snake in 2013, the Horse in 2014 and Ayam the rooster in 2017.
Hakkasan is to welcome guests with a limited edition signature menu created by Hakkasan chefs from around the globe including: London, USA, the Middle East and Asia. Guests can enjoy dishes made with ingredients believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the coming year, including szechuan oyster with lotus root and crispy rice in mantau - the oyster traditionally symbolising fortune and good luck. Other light dishes include braised beef tongue and caramelised walnut with asparagus and mint, and crispy scallop in sweet plum sauce with mango in a golden cup. Authentic Chinese lion dancers will be on hand to deliver high energy performances on 25 February offering symbolic expressions of luck, prosperity and good fortune associated with Chinese New Year.
Drawing inspiration from the high energy and bright colours of Chinese New Year celebrations across the world, Radley London’s lunar themed handbags and accessories feature the iconic Radley Scottie dog, complete with decedent gold foil fabric and surrounded by intricate Chinese lanterns. Tieing in with the launch of their new collection, the brand is also installing a giant 10ft tall Scottie dog. Adorned in gold glitter and plenty of sparkle, the installation will take centre stage in Covent Garden’s quaint cobbled streets. The spectacular exhibit will be unveiled at 9.00 a.m. 18 February, in line with the London Chinese New Year Parade. Viewers will also get the chance to win by picking up one of Radley London’s traditional red envelopes containing prizes, which can be claimed in the Floral street store.