Every year, in June, the Principality of Monaco hosts a Festival. Studios, TV channels and stars of the small screen get together for several days in an idyllic setting to promote their programs for press and public, and compete for the prestigious Golden Nymph Awards.
SALLE DES PRINCES, GRIMALDI FORUM
At the opening night of the Monte-Carlo Television Festival on Friday, June 14, 2019, the L.A.’s Finest series will be screened, as a French premiere, in the presence of actresses and executive producers Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba.
As every year after the Opening Ceremony, the Festival offers a public preview of an original and unseen series. This year, the Festival hosts invite you to discover L.A.’s Finest, the spin-off of the movie Bad Boys (with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence). Gabrielle Union plays Sydney Burnett, Marcus’ s sister, the clownish character of the famous duo of the saga Bad Boys, while Jessica Alba plays Nancy McKenna.
In this female version, the action focuses on the lives of two policewomen who have become teammates in the Los Angeles Police Department. The two conspirators with dark and complex past help each other to fight against organized crime in the City of Angels. Both of them struggling in their personal family life.
The series created by George Gallo includes thirteen 42-minute episodes and will air on Monday, May 13, on Spectrum, the video-on-demand service of the Charter Communications group. Of course, other public screenings are planned during the Festival.
GOLDEN NYMPH AWARDS CEREMONY
The Golden Nymph Awards are among the most prestigious prizes in international television, rewarding the best TV programs and actors.
Over the course of the Festival, an international jury of leading actors and industry professionals attend screenings of all the programs in competition.
The Golden Nymph statuettes are copies of the Nymph Salmacis, the original of which can still be seen at the Louvre in Paris. The original was created by the Monégasque artist François-Joseph Bosio, who was chief court sculptor to Louis XVIII.
The Golden Nymphs competition – featuring the best in TV programming from around the world, will reveal the 2019 winners at the Golden Nymph Awards Ceremony, ending the 59th Monte-Carlo Télévision Festival edition.
Michael Douglas will receive the Crystal Nymph
Michael Douglas, the famous actor and producer, will receive the Crystal Nymph at the 2019 Monte-Carlo Television Festival.
Internationally renowned, son of the iconic Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas will make the honor of his presence at #MonteCarloTVFestival and will receive the prestigious Crystal Nymph award, a symbolic prize celebrating the outstanding career of the actor, as announced by Laurent Puons, president of Monaco Mediax, host of the festival.
At age 74 and after more than 40 years of career in the film and television industry, very few actors can justify such an impressive record. After starting on television and receiving first recognition in the 1970s for his role as Inspector Steve Keller in The Streets of San Francisco, the rising star of the film industry will try his hand as a producer and win the prize. Oscar for the best movie with the timeless “Flight over a cuckoo’s nest”.
However, it is as an actor that Michael Douglas will receive the consecration of his career by winning the Oscar for Best Actor in 1988 for the role of a corporate raider, Gordon Gekko, in Robert Zemeckis’ Wall Street.
After receiving dozens of other international awards (Golden Globes, Honors Césars, BAFTA’s) and worked with the greatest directors (Ridley Scott, Paul Verhoeven) the actor has recently appeared in television series like The Kominsky Method. You can also find it at the end of the year in Green Eggs and Ham, new Netflix series in production.
Laurent Puons said, “Michael Douglas’ long career includes television, film and theater at their highest levels. Even today, he remains among one of the most respected actors in the field. It is an immense honor to receive such talent and to be able to celebrate at our Festival all the impact it has had on the television industry. “.
Michael Douglas will receive the Crystal Nymph awarded by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, during the closing ceremony of the Festival on June 18.
This year, the editors were asked to take the temperature of the industries under their watch and sum up the single “big idea” that has defined the year just gone.
Some of these stories are poignant: The tourism industry finally woke up after a report suggested it caused 8 percent of global greenhouse emissions. Meanwhile, the reverberations are still rippling through the art world from the decision of several institutions to reject the philanthropy of those who they felt were tarnished by associations: The Sackler family fell afoul of the Guggenheim in New York, as well as the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate in London, because of its links to the opioid crisis; and the Whitney and Museum of Modern Art both had questions to answer over some of their patrons’ past dealings.
Other ideas, no less contentious in their fields, include the bold supposition that we are at the point in audio technology where both analog and digital reproduction have reached equally exceptional levels; and that Napa winemakers are moving more in line with their European cousins by producing leaner, more elegant wines that will age gracefully but, more significantly, are also ready to drink now; or that the suit has been reborn, worn with liberation and élan, to mark a new sense of freedom in style circles.
You will find these big ideas in little excerpts below, hopefully, they add a little color and context to the Best of the Best choices in each category.
BIG IDEA IN AUTOMOTIVE: Artificial Intelligence Takes the Wheel
A self-aware, crime-fighting car named KITT. That was the premise for the 1980s hit TV series Knight Rider. But what was once automotive fantasy is now found—minus the crime-fighting and banter—in new models that offer advances in artificial intelligence (AI).
Take the Audi A8, touted as the first production example to attain Level 3 autonomous status. And it’s only the beginning, according to Thomas Müller, head of the brand’s chassis development and automated driving team. “Our vision for Audi AI is divided into two functional areas: intelligent assistance systems—on the path to fully autonomous driving—and interactive intelligence, whereby the vehicle becomes an empathetic companion,” Müller says.
Mercedes-Benz provides its own early stages of the latter with the Hey Mercedes voice-recognition platform on the A-Class. “US customers running MBUX [Mercedes- Benz User Experience] are able to direct long, compound questions, as well as general knowledge inquiries,” says Nils Schanz, head of the company’s voice control division.
One car anticipates your intentions without a word—the Lamborghini Huracán Evo. Its “feed forward logic” relies on a processor that analyzes driver inputs to adjust handling and power-train systems proactively every 20 milliseconds. “Artificial intelligence is the synchronization of human and machine, a way for these two to understand one another,” says Maurizio Reggiani, Lamborghini’s chief technical officer. “The Evo is exactly this.”
Whether offering computer-controlled commuting, enlightening conversation or predictive performance, more of today’s autos give KITT some real competition.
BIG IDEA IN STYLE: The Suit Lives On
Turns out the reports of its death were a little exagerated, because the suit is back—but this time without much of the formality and structure of the past. If you’re skeptical, especially after New York’s conservative bastion of wealth Goldman Sachs declared a flexible dress code in March, just look to the runway shows in London, Paris and Milan earlier in the year. Menswear brands downright flaunted the two-piece—some even without a shirt underneath (don’t worry, we’re not advocating that)—reviving it in a modern context. Sharper cuts, roomier silhouettes that still flatter but deliver ease of movement, and lightweight, soft materials were all prevalent. So away from the catwalks, what does that mean for you? It’s time to get friendly with your tailor.
BIG IDEA IN AVIATION: Greener Business Skies
One of the most expensive aspects of owning or chartering a plane is the cost of fuel. It takes a lot of energy—and creates a lot of CO2 emissions—to get these amazing machines into the air. And while we have seen an uptick in alternative-energy aircraft—Israel-based Eviation’s all-electric and Boeing/JetBlue–backed Zunum’s hybrid planes, for instance—vast efforts are also going into raising the awareness and availability of sustainable alternative jet fuels (SAJF) for business and commercial aircraft already in service. In January, California’s Van Nuys Airport became the first general aviation airport in the United States to offer SAJF on a trial basis and serve as a model for offering alternative fuels at other airports, which could help the industry achieve emissions reduction goals. Gulfstream, which has been using SAJF since 2016 at its Savannah headquarters, proved how well the alternative fuel performs by flying its G280 aircraftinto Van Nuys on renewable fuel and breaking a city-pair record on the way—covering 2,243 nautical miles in 4 hours and 49 minutes at an average speed of Mach 0.85. Early this year, the brand also announced its first sale of SAJF to a Gulfstream operator. After years in development, these new approaches to flight are finally taking off.
BIG IDEA IN MARINE: The Thirst for Adventure
Expedition- or explorer-style yachts have been around for years, built by a specialized few. Now, however, echoing the rise in popularity of the SUV in the automobile market, every boatbuilder wants to get in on the action. Earlier this year, Jonathan Beckett, CEO of superyacht brokerage house Burgess, said, “The new style of yachting is to be more adventurous, both with destinations and activities.” Think kite surfing near a remote Pacific atoll or in a northern fjord. This last year, Dutch shipyard Heesen unveiled plans for its first explorer yacht concept, the 187-foot XVenture, and Italian yard CRN has three AlfaRosso explorer-style vessels in build. Baglietto, also based in Italy, has a 141-foot explorer-yacht project in the works, and the 230-foot Project Crystal (above) from Dutch firm Mulder Design will have an Ice Class hull and sleep 14 guests. Sanlorenzo launched its steel-hulled 500Exp expedition yacht at last fall’s Monaco Yacht Show. It looks like the off-the-beaten-path destinations just might be a little more crowded in years to come.
BIG IDEA IN WATCHES: Jumping Hour
The watch industry is a slow-moving business—it takes time to create time. But as the world moves at a faster pace, even the titans of watchmaking have had to rethink how they do business. Those calling the shots remain, remarkably, the heads of family-owned businesses that include Swatch Group, Richard Mille, Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. As head of Swatch Group, the largest watch conglomerate, Nick Hayek announced last year that he would no longer be showing his brands at Baselworld, Switzerland’s—and the world’s—biggest watch trade show. Richard Mille and François-Henry Bennahmias, Audemars Piguet’s CEO, followed, declaring they would not be showing at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the second-largest show. Meanwhile, amid rumors that Patek Philippe was looking for buyers, president Thierry Stern had to clarify that the family would never sell the business.
Patek Philippe’s grip on top consumers allows it to do as it pleases. Stern committed to another year at Baselworld; without the brand (and fellow power player Rolex), the event would fail. Patek Philippe does not have stand-alone stores, and official retailers run Rolex boutiques, so the fair serves a different purpose for these two pillars. But for the others, forging a new path is paramount as they pivot toward direct-to-consumer business models and experiential mono-brand shops. What will change for consumers? New product innovations and an onslaught of elevated red-carpet experiences from brands looking to capture the attention of clients, collectors and followers.
BIG IDEA IN SPIRITS: The Spirit of Experimentation
Across the millennia, wherever man has gone, he’s made something potent to drink. It seems there would be little to add after those centuries. And yet . . . the world’s top distillers keep following the advice of poet Ezra Pound to “make it new.” To the lab, the fields and the forests they go, experimenting with atypical cask woods, different barrel finishings and unusual botanicals, and employing native ingredients, such as yeasts and potatoes, in different ways. We look forward to the next renditions of their spirited adventures in and out of the lab.
BIG IDEA IN CULINARY: Fermentation
With a glint in his eye and a mischievous grin, the chef said, “Follow me.” He darted up the stairs into an office above the restaurant, where menus and invoices were strewn about, then approached a fully stocked bookcase in the corner. “Check this out,” he said, while straining to slide the bookcase on hidden casters. His efforts revealed a large hole in the wall, stocked with jars of various sizes filled with vinegars and vegetables suspended in murky liquids. The chef, who requested anonymity to evade detection by the health department, wanted to experiment with fermentation without having to jump through his city’s endless hoops to get approval. He was on the search for flavor, no matter the cost. Because although the cool thing for chefs to tout over the last decade has been the freshness of their ingredients, he also was driven to explore the culinary possibilities of letting food rot.
He’s not alone. While others have their ferments secreted away like this chef, this past year has been filled with cooks such as John Shields at Smyth in Chicago or Justin Legaspi at Bateau in Seattle showing off their experiments, celebrating garums, vinegars, misos and kimchis on social media and menus. The movement ramped up in earnest last fall when René Redzepi and David Zilber, Noma’s chef and head of fermentation, respectively, published The Noma Guide to Fermentation, in which they sing the praises of ferments for adding depth of flavor to cooking and also provide step-by-step instructions on how to ferment at home.
Noma had been characterized as the foraging restaurant for so long, leading that revolution in cooking, that people missed the fact that fermentation has driven its cuisine. “Imagine you’re sautéing some greens, and you want to have something that just builds a bridge between each ingredient and lifts everything,” Redzepi says. “A dash of the right ferment and it’s like poof. Suddenly your guests are like, whoa—they’re feeling happy.”
BIG IDEA IN TRAVEL: Strides in Conservation
Last year, just as the 2018 edition of Best of the Best was going to press, the travel industry was put on blast. A new report by the scientific journal Nature Climate Change revealed that tourism now accounts for roughly eight percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Of course, we already knew that flying was bad for the planet, and nobody was in denial about the waste of all those little plastic bottles in our hotel rooms, but this was a wake-up call. And tourism has finally begun to answer.
The past year has made green the new black like never before as hotels and airlines at last put their money where their mouths are when it comes to giving a damn about the planet. Brands such as Four Seasons and Oetker Collection have gone single-use-plastic-free, and Marriott International has vowed to eliminate the use of straws in all 6,500 of its hotels, eliminating roughly 500 tons of plastic annually. Qantas has begun test flights using a biofuel made from crop seeds—a switch that could decrease emissions by up to 80 percent compared to traditional jet fuel—and other airlines, including Delta and United, have introduced carbon offset programs that compensate for emissions by funding global recycling and waste minimization processes.
But it was a little hotel in Belize that had us thinking even bigger about travel’s big idea. Itz’ana, an eco-resort in the beach town of Placencia, announced a collection of solar-powered villas whose small footprint will be completely offset by a national reforestation project. When the resort opens later this year, it will only be the start, but it will be a blueprint for the future of sustainable travel. Better late than never, we say.
BIG IDEA IN TECH: The Antipodes of Audio
There are two camps in the audio community—analog vs. digital—and they have been crusading against each other like zealots since the dawn of the compact disc in 1982, each swearing that their solution to state-of-the-art sound is audio’s true religion.
In the early days, most digitally recorded and reproduced music could make your ears bleed because it was so unnaturally sharp and edgy, with sound not remotely comparable to magnetic tape or LPs. The intervening decades have further honed the analog and digital arts, with phono reproduction today achieving the highest fidelity in its history and causing analog acolytes to exclaim “Eureka!” Meanwhile, digital technology has played leapfrog, making sonic advancements in hardware and software, to a point where high-resolution audio streaming from music services like Tidal and Qobuz—with vast libraries of music—offer irresistible convenience and unimpeachable sound.
So, is the highest-of-high fidelity found in the grooves of the ancient LP, or the bits and bytes of high-res digital? We think the time has come when music lovers who refuse to compromise can finally get on board with both.
BIG IDEA IN WINE: The Old World Is New Again
In a winemaking sense, the West Coast has been looking back across the pond to France and Italy recently for cues on both style and technique. We’re seeing a shift from the big fruit bombs of yore to leaner, more elegant reds that are just right to drink now but still have the power and structure to hold their own in the cellar. Taking another cue from Europe, some pioneers are backing away from new oak and experimenting with neutral casks, looking for an even greater emphasis on terroir. Even Oregon and Sonoma Pinot Noirs have become more Burgundian in style. We couldn’t be happier about all these juicy developments.
BIG IDEA IN ART: Donors’ Ethics Come Under Scrutiny
It wasn’t so long ago that the Sackler clan was celebrated for its generous philanthropy: There are Sackler wings, galleries, courtyards and the like at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Louvre, the Guggenheim, the Royal Academy of Arts and the Victoria and Albert Museum, to name just a few of the institutions that have benefited from the family’s largesse. What a difference a few years—and an estimated 47,000 opioid-overdose deaths in 2017—make.
Once wooed and honored, the family that has become synonymous with the opioid crisis—through one branch’s ownership of Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin—was roundly shunned by the art world in the spring. In a stunning turn of events, first the National Portrait Gallery, then the Tate, both in London, declared a moratorium on gifts from the Sacklers. The Guggenheim in New York, where artist Nan Goldin’s activist group Prescription Addiction Intervention Now (PAIN) had staged a “die-in” the previous month, quickly followed suit. By the end of March, the London-based Sackler Trust announced that it would “pause all new philanthropic giving.”
Meanwhile, protesters at the Whitney Museum of American Art—including almost 100 staffers—pressured its board to cut loose its vice chair, Warren B. Kanders, whose company Safariland has been linked to teargas used on migrants along the border. And another activist group decried the Museum of Modern Art trustee Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, for investing in private prisons. According to reports, about 10 protesters showed up at an awards lunch honoring another funder of private prisons, shouting, “There is blood on this art!” Both museums stood firm behind their patrons but did not obstruct the protesters.
Transparency about entities—be they individuals, corporations or sovereign nations—using cultural institutions to put a gloss on abhorrent practices is a positive development. But exiling them has its downside. As some museum professionals have recently told Robb Report, a staggering number of fortunes have shady connections—so many, in fact, that were institutions to decline all ethically tainted money, they might have a hard time keeping the lights on.
BIG IDEA IN JEWELRY: Artist’s Jewelry
If you love Alexander Calder’s mobiles, why not acquire one of his playful necklaces? So goes the thinking among a growing set of stylish women looking for bold, unique jewelry, as the overwhelming interest in collecting modern and contemporary art permeates the jewelry world.
“There is a greater cultural sensitivity to art and artists today,” says Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos, whose New York jewelry gallery Mahnaz Collection offers many artists’ pieces. “People want to learn about an artist’s oeuvre and their variety of métiers.” She offers pieces by sculptors who also made jewelry in the 1960s and ’70s, including an aquamarine and 18-karat-gold necklace and earrings (above) by Brazilian brothers Roberto Burle Marx and Haroldo Burle Marx.
Jewelry created by artists, which tends to be more sculptural and about the entirety of the composition rather than emphasizing diamonds and gemstones, is also the right accessory for the times: Everyday style is now more understated, less formal. Demand is catching on internationally: Louisa Guinness’s eponymous London gallery sells artists’ jewelry exclusively, and other boutiques that once carried only vintage designs are starting to show artists’ work. Buy it while you can: Once word gets out that artists’ jewelry is on the rise, prices will likely go the way of the rest of the art market—up.
BIG IDEA IN DESIGN: The Art and Design Merger
The line between art and design, long fuzzy, has now been almost completely erased. For Idea years, emerging and established designers alike have been creating limited-edition and one-off pieces of furniture with only a hint of function, which get presented at fairs like Design Miami and TEFAF. And artists have occasionally been tapped for design collaborations. Now, instead of trying to find balance between these different disciplines, artists and designers—if we still care to differentiate—are working freely in both.
The well-regarded contemporary artist Deborah Kass designed rugs with BravinLee programs, which came out late last year. The veteran industrial designer Jasper Morrison has an exhibition of his cork furniture running at the New York art gallery Kasmin through June. And a new wave of talents who once operated in the middle ground are simultaneously producing both more exclusive artworks and more accessible consumer products.
At the top of the heap are the Los Angeles–based Haas Brothers, twins Nikolai and Simon, whose beastly, fantastical furniture has always put a premium on creative experimentation. As their profile has risen, they have relished expanding their oeuvre. Their work is repped by Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, which also boasts the likes of Frank Stella, and was the focus of a solo show at the Bass museum in Miami this year. At the same time, the home accessories company L’Objet introduced the Haas Brothers’ 65-piece tabletop collection, including otherworldly cups, bowls and vases, as well as monster-shaped serving vessels—good news for anyone looking to shake up a dinner party.
BIG IDEA IN CIGARS: On Fire
For decades now, public spaces for cigars to be smoked have been whittled away to almost nothing. Last year saw a seismic shift in smoking culture, however, with the legalization of marijuana across many states. Suddenly there’s a new enthusiasm for the luxurious accessories that cigar smokers have long appreciated—beautiful ashtrays, lighters and humidors—as well as a greater need for social spaces in which to light up. While cannabis and cigars are two very different substances (with very different effects), we expect to see a more embracing attitude toward smoke in general in the years to come.
Seemingly reserved for the upper echelons of society, Monaco has forever been a stomping ground for glitz and glamour. A picturesque microstate of opal, coral and periwinkle blue-coloured buildings, from the historic opera house – designed by Charles Garnier – the same architect behind Paris’s Palais Garnier, to the concentration of designer shops and the meticulously manicured gardens, there’s no shortage to see or do. Take in the summer air from the retractable roof of a fire-engine-red Ferrari or simply stare across the shimmering Mediterranean sea. And for the quintessential Monte-Carlo experience, decamp along the fabled Casino Square. The intricate Belle Époque building impresses both inside and out.
Decadence is sewn into the lining of every experience in Monaco. Founded in 1864, Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo is truly just as its founder François Blanc imagined, a “hotel that surpasses everything”. In 2014, the iconic property closed in order to undergo an intensive four-year transformation, and today, the grande dame has returned. This palace hotel abuts the Casino and Opera House, as well as boasting the best position in Monaco to watch the F1 Grand Prix blister past. It’s somewhere you would have found Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and Roger Moore among its regulars and now, you would be well-placed to walk past the likes of Lady Gaga, Naomi Campbell or Julia Roberts.
The gorgeous and gilded interiors now house 207 rooms, 96 of which are suites. The design cues are classic with hints of modernity and with every contemporary technology you can imagine. Every room has a terrace, a brilliant addition considering Monaco’s bright and temperate year-round climate. The generous rooms feature white marble floors, Louis XVI-style furnishings and Murano glass chandeliers and lamps. It is worth noting that the Winston Churchill suite includes furniture that once belonged to the statesman himself.
Two of the most impressive suites in Europe if not the world sit in this hotel – the Princess Grace and the Prince Rainier III suites. Each multi-floored suite measures in at close to 11,000 square feet and features a gargantuan terrace with an impressive outdoor pool and hot tub. Here the interiors and the exteriors compete, as the rooftop views are sublime. Inside the floor-to-ceiling windows let in reams of natural light and this palatial two bedroom suite with dressing rooms, two bathrooms complete with sauna and steam room, multiple lounges, a dining room and an office is unlike any other. The Princess Grace suite was designed with the support of the Monaco royal family, and it includes artwork and family photos, as well as her favourite literary and poetic works, all donated directly from the royal household’s private collection.
For those seeking an alternative form of respite, the Themes Marins (connected to the hotel by a tunnel) is 75,000-square feet of heaven. The expansive facilities include a heated saltwater pool and a hammam and an extensive programme for preventative health care and wellness.
Le Grill is located on the eighth floor and offers a serious punch of Mediterranean views. The roof peels back providing a 360-degree panoramic view of the azure sea, fulfilling a wish of Maria Callas’s to dine overlooking three countries at once. And do not leave without trying one of the fluffy soufflés.
A new addition to the hotel is Ômer, the ground-floor garden restaurant. The intuitive design from Pierre-Yves Rochon is reminiscent of a boat, made up of three distinct alcoves, as well as the spectacular casino-facing garden and terrace created by France’s preeminent landscape artist Jean Mus. Helmed by Alain Ducasse, inside you’ll find a contemporary twists on credible Mediterranean cuisine. Dishes are designed to be shared and combine the essential flavours of Greece, Lebanon and Turkey, as well as Morocco, Spain, Nice and Malta. Breakfast, however, is distinctly French, with baskets of teeming pastries and flaky delights.
Of course, Alain Ducasse has long had a place at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo – thanks to his world-renowned three-Michelin-starred restaurant. From its hulking 30ft-high ceilings to its gold-gilded walls and Baccarat chandeliers, Le Louis XV is an impressive spot at every level. Also home to the world’s largest wine cellar, this icon of a dining establishment attracts everyone from Bond stars to lithe French ingenues.
Not more than a 20 minute drive from the esteemed Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, you will find the property’s delightful sister hotel. The Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel has been a paean to society scene since the 1920s. Set amidst the whimsical Cap Martin coastline and sheltered under a blanket of green pines, this dolce vita property is the epitome of French glamour and charm.
Moments from the Monaco tennis club, there is no where better to book when the annual The Rolex Monte Carlo Masters rolls around. part of the ATP World Tour Masters, this elite competition brings the world’s best male professional players to Monaco. Over the years, this clay-court competition has been won by such talented players as Gustavo Kuerten, Cedric Pioline, Andrei Chesnokov, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Guillermo Coria, Ivan Lendl, Novak Djokovic and the unrivalled Rafael Nadal, who won the tournament 8 times in a row from 2005 to 2012.
Open from March to October, the Monte-Carlo Beach blends French chic with Californian style. First opened in the 1920s, it was the legendary architect Roger Seassal who designed this now historic marmalade-coloured hotel.
And it was the chimerical Parisian designer India Mahdavi whose recent overhaul of the design has brought the hotel into its next phase. Frescoes inspired by Matisse and Cocteau decorate the walls of the 40 individually designed rooms and suites. An upmarket beach property, you’ll find soft white furnishings and Breton stripes punctuating the room and restaurant designs. The superior rooms have a terrace with steps down to La Vigie promenade – giving a sense of space and scope. And if you have time head outside and dangle your feet over hotel’s private jetty or do a lap across the Olympic-sized outdoor pool.
The Riviera’s finest sea vistas are gulped in from Le Deck restaurant, an idyllic outdoor spot serving salads and grilled fish or for a more laissez-faire experience pull up a table at La Pizzeria, for a crispy organic focaccia and a piquant pizza.
The true culinary wow factor happens at Elsa, the world’s first 100 percent organic Michelin-starred restaurant. Expect old-school charm – waiters in white dinner jackets – and a menu of unending delights. Expect a rainbow of colours and flavours on your plate and a focus on local, seasonal produce almost goes without saying. Breakfast is outstanding, a beautiful buffet of succulent meats and cheeses alongside an extensive hot menu made-to-order.
Health and wellness is a big part of the conversation here, most of which takes place in the spa – a separate terracotta-coloured building – 80 metres squared dedicated to all things wellbeing. Inside you will find three massage cabins, a hammam, and a host of treatments and programmes designed by La Prairie and eco-certified Ymalia treatments.
A place to show off, splurge and be seen, of course Monaco is all of these things, but it also proves an exciting getaway destination with heaps to do – from the tennis to the F1 racing to the Longines Global Champions equestrian tour – all while ending the day off at an extraordinary hotel truly fit for a king.
If you fancy exploring London with your four-legged friend in a different fashion, there is an option that you should consider: taking your dog for a ride on a dog-friendly cargo bike in London! We found a dog-friendly place were you can hire the perfect one for the purpose, and went on a dog adventure to test it and tell you all about it.
Exploring with a Dog-friendly Cargo Bike in London
One thing that I had on my bucket list even before Argo arrived in our life was taking a dog for a ride on a cargo bike (my parent’s dog at the time, but any dog, really!). This year I finally got on to the task and found a cargo bike hire in East London that welcomes dogs. It is called CarryMe Bikes, and is located in Hackney, not far from the river Lee.
CarryMe Bikes is a community interest company that was founded in 2012 by Alix Stredwick, a bike enthusiast working in transport policy since 1999, “pushing for more sustainable, healthy forms of travel”, as she says. CarryMe Bikes is involved in a number of community projects and gives back to the local community. She started it as a part-time project, but in the last couple of years it became her full-time activity.
Alix explained that, so far, CarryMe Bikes has very sporadically seen people with dogs hiring their cargo bikes, and those few times they were families with children, who also happened to have a dog. She added that they were mostly small or medium-sized dogs, apart from one that was large, and that they all took the Bakfiets or the Nihola Family models.
She was so kind to invite us for a ride last weekend and Humphrey and Hattie, the Wired Fox Terriers, with their dad(s) Philip (and Gil) came along to help on this dog adventure!
Our dog adventure with a dog-friendly cargo bike in East London
CarryMe Bikes is not only a rental. It also sells both the bikes they rent out and new ones, so their fleet is in constant evolution. In particular, last Saturday morning, a Bakfiets Cargotrike was available for our adventure. This black and wooden three-wheeled good-sized beast, with two wheels at the front, on the side of a sturdy wooden box, and two foldable bench seats (with four seatbelts/safety straps), was of the perfect size to carry our two canine companions.
According to the plan, Humphrey and Hattie would have travelled together in the cargo box, with Philip driving and myself following on a foldable bike (also kindly provided by CarryMe Bikes).
When we arrived, Alix briefed us about how to drive the cargo bike, warning that it could take a bit to get used to it, also depending on previous experience. Her advice was to take corners at a very slow speed and be mindful when turning, counterbalancing the weight of the box with the person’s weight, while sitting straight on the bike and staying relaxed.
Philip and Gil had been very mindful and brought two dog pillows and a blanket to fit in the box, in order to ensure that Humphrey and Hattie’s riding experience was extra comfortable. We then started to look at the best way to secure Humphrey and Hattie in the box. They both wore their harnesses, so we were able to shorten the seatbelts and secure their leads to them, tight enough so they would not be slack, avoiding the risk of our furry friends jumping out.
The Bakfiets also came with a rain cover, but Philip and Gil were confident that Humphrey and Hattie would have been fine without that extra layer, so we took it off and carried it with us in the cargo box, just in case.
Before leaving, Philip did a test drive around the block to become acquainted with the Bakfiets. His first feedback was that he didn’t feel too confident on it, since it felt a bit heavy, and was challenging especially when turning. He was also concerned when passing on speed bumps. On their side, Humphrey and Hattie, who participated to the test drive too, were very quiet and seemed extremely at ease on that new transportation device.
We decided that we would have driven directly to the river to keep on quieter safe paths and we were all set to go around 11.30am, planning to be back at 2pm.
Our ride along the river Lee and Hackney Marshes
The weather forecast for the day was not the best ever – cloudy with chances of rain showers -, so the original idea of organising a picnic was left aside and we headed off for a normal ride.
From the hire point it is just few minutes to the River Lee (probably about 5) and there are signs on the road pointing to a ‘Quiet Route’ for bicycles. It was easy to follow it (basically we just had to go always almost straight to reach our first destination). We went slow down the hill, with Hattie and Humphrey looking around from their privileged observation point, and they didn’t try to jump out when they saw a dog on the footpath, which was already a good thing.
When we reached the river, we didn’t cross the first bridge we found, just because there was a sign indicating restricted access on the main bridge, while the pedestrian part was a bit tricky to get on with the cargo bike because of some trash bins in the way. For this reason, we decided to ride north on the West side of the river until we reached a second bridge (at Daubeney Fields). This time we crossed it and turned South on the Capital Ring. Home boats, water, bushes, trees and paths leading to Hackney Marshes were the landscape of our ride, and of course, two quiet dogs leading on the front!
I was very impressed especially by Hattie, who put her paws on the box and rode standing on them, as to enjoy it the most. We stopped after a bit to let them off to sniff around and have a good run (and a play with a ball). For the rest of the trip we alternated stretches with them running along our bikes (we were not speeding obviously), to get some good exercise, and stretches where they would ride in the cargo bike. Philip explained that he normally gives them a good 3-4 hours of exercise a day to wear out their energies!
On the path, we encountered the development Here East’s Canalside, which hosts cafes and other places where you can have a brunch and a drink. There were a few dogs around and we had a coffee to go at Shane’s on Canalside, which is dog-friendly (and also hosts monthly doggie days!). There Hattie and Humphrey could have a drink, before heading to Hackney Marshes for another dog run.
Apart from Humphrey’s idea to roll in fox poo in the bushes, adding a fragrance to the adventure, we had just a little other incident towards the end of our adventure, with Hattie. Due to Hattie’s intolerance to her harness, during our adventure Philip had taken it off; when we stopped in Hackney Marshes for a last run before getting back, her leash had become a bit slack and Hattie impatiently tried to jumped off the bike almost hanging herself. Luckily Philip was there to catch her, and nothing bad happened, but good to keep in mind this risk and I’ll tell you more about some safety tips below in the post.
Philip’s feedback on our way back was that it takes time to get used to driving the cargobike and is probably the more you ride the more confidence you gain. I gave the cargotrike a brief try when at the marshes and I must agree with him: turning the bike is not too intuitive if you haven’t done it before and definitely needs practicing!
Luckily we were spared the rain and a few sun rays made their way through the clouds as we were on our way back, and it was not bad to ride with that temperature and sky. Nonetheless, I imagine that the best day for a dog ride would be a sunny one, if it is not too hot.
The 77th edition of Monaco Grand Prix will take place from Thursday 23rdof May to Sunday 26thof May 2019. The program of this event will remain as sportive, animated and festive as always. This 1003rd Grand Prix of the History will be the 6th stage of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship.
Of course this Grand Prix is awaited every year. In 2019 the Monaco Grand Prix will be even more special. For one particular and simple reason : it celebrates its 90thanniversary since its first edition on 14thof April 1929. Cars have improved, pilots have changed. The circuit has evolved over the years, to make sure the security remains as high as possible.
In 90 years this unique Grand Prix has established itself in the motorsport. From the dives in the port of Alberto Ascari and Paul Hawkins, to the six wins of Ayrton Senna – which is still a record since 1993 – the circuit of Monaco was the theater of some of the craziest Grand Prix in the History. Unexpected developments and strategies are the keywords of this prestigious mechanical rendez-vous.
Crashs at Sainte-Dévote, grip changes in the tunnel on rainy days, pass always nearer the rail at the section of the swimming pool…The 19 turns, full of myths and anecdotes, push the pilots to the limits. They all have the same dream : to put their name on the record of the Monaco Grand Prix.
Specialists of motorsport are all of one mind to say that qualifications are determining for the win, but the race on Sunday remain the climax of the weekend. Every single person who took a start in Monaco knows it and will tell you : the win is certain only when the chequered flag is waved.
After his galling defeat back in 2016, Daniel Ricciardo finally won the Monaco Grand Prix in 2018 and also managed to set the all time best time of the track during the qualifications in 1’10’’810. From now on « Dan » is part of the Renault F1 Team – which the parent company is the historical partner of the Automobile Club de Monaco. The kind and breezy Australian will have much to do to defend his title, facing formidable opponents. Including Charles Leclerc. The Monégasque had his first ever F1 season during last year. Starting as an Alfa Romeo Sauber driver, he was promoted to the giant Ferrari at the end of his brilliant season, during which he scored 39 points. He will certainly have his heart set on winning his home Grand Prix. The verdict is awaited on Sunday 26th of May at the end of the 78 laps.
When I meet Izzy for the first time, she’s wearing a custom version of Lady Gaga’s pink feathered Valentino dress, created by her personal designer who used to work at Dior. I’m wearing jeans, coming from my cramped Yorkville apartment. She’s coming from the Plaza (she’s an ambassador) by way of the Hamptons, where she lives with her two dads, Rick Hendrix and Shane Jordan. One of my recent Instagrams got 224 likes; that’s good for me. One of Izzy’s recent Instagrams got 5,226. That’s good, especially when it’s a paid Dyson vacuum ad.
So, yes, Izzy is more fabulous than me. Which stings a little, because Izzy is a French bulldog.
Better known by her Instagram handle, @Izzythe.Frenchie, she’s one of more than 70 pet “influencers” appearing at New York City’s PetCon, the annual convention of Insta-famous pets. There’s @TunaMeltsMyHeart, a chihuahua-dachshund mix with an overbite and 2 million followers; @BertiebertthePom, a photogenic Pomeranian with fur that seems heaven sent; and @Crusoe_Dachshund, who stars in his own original short films.
Over the next two days, thousands of people will visit PetCon at the Javits Center, some to see the influencers like Tuna, Bertie, and Crusoe, the pets they like and follow from afar. But many don’t just want to see the stars. They want to be the stars.
PetCon is aware of these two audiences, and it carefully caters to those aspiring pet owners who will make the industry bigger. Behind it all is the Dog Agency, the first—and really, only major—management company for social media celebrity animal clients. Want to spon-con your sheepadoodle? Make your vizsla go viral? Turn to the Dog Agency. At the back of the room at PetCon—past the photo booths, the agility course, the step and repeats—there’s a partitioned off section for panels. Panels like “Grow Your ’Gram: Content Creation and Community Building” and “Pet Money, Big Money: The Pet Industry Boom.” They’re packed with people armed with pens, pads of paper, and . . . pets.
Then there’s what I call the Roaming Rovers, the owner-animal pairs who, not affiliated with any official programming, aimlessly wander the fair handing out business cards to anyone who shows the slightest interest in interaction. “Follow us!” they say, an intense longing lingering in the air.
It’s easy to mock their mission, to dismiss their drive. But to do so is to ignore the influencer movement as a whole. Influencer marketing grew 198 percent in 2017, according to social media analytics company Klear, and is expected to reach $10 billion by 2020. There’s money to be had in the pet sector: “On average, someone with 100,000 [followers] is getting around $1,000 to $2,000 per post; someone with 500,000 is around $5,000-plus; and someone with more than 1 million is in the $10,000-plus range,” Loni Edwards, CEO of the Dog Agency, tells Vogue.
“I am an interior designer by trade. I never thought I would quit doing that or leave my job,” says Courtney Dasher, the human behind Tuna Melts My Heart. But after her account started gaining traction, she left her firm to run her dog’s account. At first, “it was a total leap of faith,” she says. “But then I got a book deal a couple months later.” She and her husband now both work full-time on the account.
Ryan Beauchesne, who runs the Crusoe the Celebrity Dachshund account, launched seven years ago and now has more than 1 million followers across all social media platforms and more than 1 billion video views. Three years ago, he went full-time. Like a traditional pet influencer, Crusoe has partnerships. But Beauchesne also parlayed his social media fame into another business opportunity, launching a line called DoggoRamps, meant for small dogs who need help climbing onto beds or other furniture. He says the company has already raised more than half a million dollars in funding.
But in order to make that kind of money, you have to become an “influencer” in the first place, which isn’t as easy as snapping a cute picture here and there. Most managers of successful accounts put in full working days between answering emails, responding to fans, and creating consistent content for their platforms of choice. “Our content is a pretty extensive production. We are doing big video productions with voice-overs. There’s writing the scripts, props, a set, costumes,” Beauchesne says. One recent example? A Prison Break–themed video for which Beauchesne and his team built a jail cell complete with real dirt under the floor so Crusoe could tunnel out. “It’s a whole week to make one, three-minute video,” he says.
But even posting a photo a day isn’t going to get you from 200 followers to 200,000. Most pet influencers admit that they stumbled into popularity—they started posting pictures of their pets, people liked them, and then it just snowballed.
Talking to several influencers, however, common threads emerge. In a 2011 TED Talk, Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s head of culture and trends, broke down the three reasons things go viral. One is participation—it needs to resonate with people, and make them want to comment and share. This is an easy one for pet influencers: People love animals, particularly in contrast to the content that has filled the Internet of late. “The Internet is such a dark place. I think people are desperate for humor and positivity,” Kathy Grayson, who runs @BertiebertthePom, says of her success. The Dog Agency’s Edwards agrees: Her most successful clients have “great content—content that makes you want to share it, tag a friend.”
The second factor is unexpectedness. Many influencers dress their pets up in fantastical, stand-out costumes like Izzy, or create fantastical stories, as with Crusoe. All of them have distinct voices beyond the typical animal baby voice. Tuna’s attitude is “old grandpa,” Bert “has elaborate conversations with people,” Izzy the Frenchie is a sassy fashion lover (complete with a Joan Rivers–style fashion blog called Pawshion Police). Edwards confirms that a successful pet Instagram account will have “a strong brand identity, so people know what they’re getting when they come to the page, whether it be a fashion focus, travel focus, rescue focus, et cetera.”
The appeal of the unexpected may also explain why America’s most popular dog influencers do not correspond with the most popular dog breeds, a phenomenon noted in The New York Times. Logic would have it that Labrador retrievers would make up the greatest percentage of pet influencers, but people are more drawn to, well, frankly, the funny-looking ones: dogs with missing legs or tongues that stick out, with erratic hair or misshapen silhouettes. The underdogs, like Mervin, an 11-year-old Chihuahua with more than 125,000 Instagram followers. “He is a very tough little guy. He had to have his teeth removed, his back legs repaired. His bladder ruptured, and he had to have surgery. Then he had cancer,” says his owner, Joey Teixeira. “So people really rallied behind him, because he is so tiny but still so strong.”
The third reason something or someone goes viral is due to support from a tastemaker—basically, someone famous needs to share it. Take Tuna: After he was featured in the @Instagram series #WeeklyFluff, his follower count grew from 8,500 to 32,000 in 12 hours—and that was in 2011. By 2017, virality had become a whole different ball game. Izzy the Frenchie became famous after 9Gag, a Hong Kong–based site, featured a video of her taking a bath. Nearly overnight, the video got 12 million views and 250,000 comments and was picked up by Today, People, and RightThisMinute.
But even for those who make it, pet fame has its perils. Many can’t take their dogs out for a walk without being bombarded by strangers. Grayson, who owns The Hole gallery in New York City, sometimes has to hide Bert from swarming crowds at art fairs. “I’m starting to build a wall to hide him behind. I have to sell 200k worth of paintings or bust, and everyone wants to buy a Pomeranian,” she says. Tuna has become so recognizable, says Dasher, he needs the doggie version of a tinted-window SUV: a black airplane bag with wheels. Dasher also capped his meet-and-greet time at two hours, although she tries to stick to an hour and a half. “I mean, he’s a dog.”
And then there’s the sad fact that pets don’t live forever—so, neither will this revenue stream (which is why it’s a good business move to launch an account with multiple animals of staggered ages or phase in a new, younger pet over time. Dark, but true). Plus, it can be isolating to be the manager-maestro for a creature that likely has no idea what is going on in an industry that’s just figuring itself out. “It is such a weird thing, honestly,” Grayson admits. “Whoever pretends this is normal is kidding themselves.”
The dates, the president of the jury, the theme: Here, Vogue Paris breaks down one of the most important events in international cinema, this year led by Mexican director, Alejandro González Iñárritu.
When will the Cannes Film Festival take place?
The 72nd Cannes Film Festival will take to the Croisette between May 14 and 25, 2019. Like last year, the festival will stretch across 11 days.
The festival poster pays tribute to a shining light of French cinema
Unveiled on April 15, 2019, the poster for the 72nd edition pays homage to Agnès Varda who passed away on March 29, 2019, with a still taken from her 1994 film, La Pointe Courte. A member of the Jury in 2005, she was awarded an honorary Palme d’Or in 2015. Her light will continue to shine at the Cannes Film Festival 2019.
Who will be on the jury?
Alejandro González Iñárritu will lead the jury at the Cannes Film Festival. Following in the footsteps of Cate Blanchett. The multi-award winning Mexican director, (who has received Oscars for Best Film, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay in 2015 for Birdman, as well as the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama and Best Director for The Revenant in 2016) is no stranger to the Croisette. “Cannes is a festival that has been important to me since the beginning of my career. I am humbled and thrilled to return this year with the immense honor of presiding over the Jury, he has declared. Cinema runs through the veins of the planet and this festival has been its heart. We on the jury will have the privilege to witness the new and excellent work of fellow filmmakers from all over the planet. This is a true delight and a responsibility that we will assume with passion and devotion.”Alejandro González Iñárritu has been making waves in Hollywood since his first film in 2000, Amores Perros, thanks to his unique perspective and daring style. The director will award the Palm d’Or on the evening of May 25 with a jury composed of Elle Fanning, Maimouna N’Diaye, Kelly Reichardt, Alice Rohrwacher, Enki Bilal, Robin Campillo, Yorgos Lanthimos & Paweł Pawlikowski at his side.
The 19 films in competition are:
Opening film: The Dead Don’t Die, Jim Jarmusch
Dolor y gloria(Pain and Glory), Pedro Almodovar
Il Traditore (The Traitor), Marco Bellocchio
The Wild Goose Lake, Diao Yinan
Gisaengchung (Parasite), Bong Joon-Ho
Le jeune Ahmed (Yound Ahmed), Frères Dardenne
Roubaix, une lumière(Oh Mercy!), Arnaud Desplechin
The Unknown Saint / Le Miracle du Saint Inconnu (Morocco), Alaa Eddine Aljem
Vivarium (Ireland), Lorcan Finnegan
Dia de festa / Jour de fête (Portugal), Sofia Bost
Fakh / The Trap (Egypt), Nada Riyadh
Ikki illa meint (Denmark), Andrias Høgenni
Journey Through a Body (France), Camille Degeye
Kolektyviniai sodai / Community Gardens (Lithuania), Vytautas Katkus
Lucía en el limbo (Belgium), Valentina Maurel
The Manila Lover (Norway), Johanna Pyykkö
Mardi de 8 à 10 (France), Cecilia de Arce
She Runs (France), Qiu Yang
Ultimul Drum Spre Mare / Le Dernier Voyage à la Mer (Romania), Adi Voicu
Litigante (Colombia), Franco Lolli – Film d’ouverture
Tu mérites un amour (France), Hafsia Herzi
Les héros ne meurent jamais (France), Aude Léa Rapin
Demonic (Australia), Pia Borg
Naptha (United Kingdom), Moin Hussain
Please Speak Continuously and Describe Your Experiences as They Come to You (Canada), Brandon Cronenberg
Invisível Herói / Invisible Hero (Portugal), Cristèle Alves Meira
Tenzo (Japan), Katsuya Tomita
Chun hiang shui nuan / Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains (China), Gu Xiaogang
Who will open the festival?
The Dead Don’t Die
Jim Jarmusch will present The Dead Don’t Die on May 14. In competition and shown as a world première, this horror film with a twist has an all-star of Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Selena Gomez, Iggy Pop, Adam Driver, Chloë Sevigny and Danny Glover, all off whom will be surprised by a zombie invasion in the peaceful town of Centerville.
Alain Delon will be receive the honorary Palme d’Or
The French cinema icon has earned it. Following in the footsteps of Jeanne Moreau, Woody Allen, Bernardo Bertolucci, Jane Fonda, Clint Eastwood, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Manoel de Oliveira, Agnès Varda and Jean-Paul Léaud, it is Alain Delon who is next to receive the honorary Palme d’Or in recognition of his immense career.
The Monaco ePrix returns to the Formula E calendar on May 11th, 2019. Once again the track uses a modified configuration of the iconic GP street circuit.
At just under 2km in length, the Formula E cars will use the same famous start/finish line before turning right and immediately towards the harbour, where they’ll tackle a new hairpin before rejoining with the more familiar track configuration, including the well-known Tabac and Swimming Pool corners.
FIA Formula E and ABB Formula E offer a selection of former Formula One pilots such as Felipe Massa or Sebastien Buemi driving 225 KW E-Formulas. These very attractive formulas of the future involved in the business top manufacturers such as Audi, Nissan, Jaguar and BM.
FIRST CLASS ORGANISATION has selected for you prestigious terraces with panoramic views showing 90% of the circuit and overlooking the starting grid. These venues are well-equipped and can accommodate 40 guests. It is the perfect package for your private stay with friends and family or for entertaining your guests.
FIRST CLASS ORGANISATION team is at your disposal to select the best venue for your event: VIP terraces, apartments with balconies overlooking the track and can set up your reception area and hospitality in the most professional way.
POLE POSITION – Location
FIRST CLASS ORGANISATION has selected for you prestigious terraces with panoramic views showing 90% of the circuit and overlooking the starting grid. These venues are well-equipped and can accommodate 40 guests. It is the perfect package for your private stay with friends and family or for entertaining your guests. Other terraces available from 20 people – Price on request.
ROOF TERRACE – Lounge
The reception area is decorated in a modern style and provide single seat for 40 guests for lunch. For the viewing, the balcony offers space entirely covered to enjoy the race.
VIP – Welcome & Services
Your package includes a VIP daily access badge with a personalised line yard. Our staff will welcome you upon arrival and our hostesses will assist you during the day. Our security, cleaning and maintenance staff will be happy to assist you if needed.
CATERING – Hospitality
First Class hospitality, with coffee and pastries on arrival, a gourmet lunch and a complimentary bar with Champagne, wine, beer and soft drinks throughout the day.
For more information contact First Class Organisation here
How smart is your dog? It’s a question more and more people are asking and trying to answer with things like a DIY dog IQ test. Now, there are even more academic studies of the subject with some universities, like Yale, setting up their own centers for canine cognition. According to the New York Times, people are flocking to them to find out how smart their dogs are.
But you don’t need to travel miles to a university lab to help improve your dog’s intelligence. Here are eight simple games you can play to help increase your dog’s smarts, fulfill her need for discipline, and tighten your bond with her.
Old dog, new trick
The simplest way to boost your dog’s intelligence is to teach him a trick or command he doesn’t know yet, while ignoring the tricks that he does know. As with teaching a dog any new tricks, the most important props are positive rewards and patience and your best tool is instinct.That is, if you’re trying to teach your dog to shake, don’t grab their paw to try to make him get the idea. Instead, wait for him to move his paw, then reward that. As he associates a reward with the action, he should become more definite with his paw movements, until he’s performing “shake” and thinking it was his idea.A variation on this one which is good if your dog already knows a lot of tricks is “no repeat.” That is, reward your dog for performing a trick he already knows, but then don’t let him repeat any tricks during the training period, which should last no more than thirty minutes so you don’t overtax your dog’s mind. This will also help him improve his memory, since he has to remember what he’s done already and try something else.In case you’re looking for new tricks to teach your dog, here’s a list of 52. That’s a new trick every week for a year!
Creating a mental challenge for your dog doesn’t have to that complicated or expensive. For this one, you probably have most of the part already around the house or can find them at the local dollar store. All you need is a muffin or cupcake pan, some tennis balls, and treats.Start by hiding a few treats in some of the cups in the pan, then filling them with the balls, which should be just the right size to fit the openings and cover the treats. Then, let your dog try to find the treats and figure out that she’ll have to move the tennis balls to get to them. Best of all, this costs a lot less than commercially available hide-a-treat toys.
Nose, eyes, ears — that’s the order in which a dog perceive the world, and this game is all about the sense of smell. It can also be a good starter if you ever want to get your dog into search and rescue training. Basically, your dog is going to be using his nose to find the hidden treats. When starting out the game, begin by having your dog sit and stay, and then show him where you’ve hidden the treat amongst a few small boxes. Once he gets the hang of finding the treat that he’s seen you hide, make it a little more difficult. Don’t let him see where you’ve hidden the treat, increase the number of boxes, or find a hiding place that can mask the smell, like with an old sock.If you want to vary things or add more incentive, reward your dog with a high value treat for finding the hidden regular treat.
This is exactly what it sounds like and a variation of hide-and-seek, although shells are strictly optional and you’ll probably want to use something bigger. The important part is that you have three covers that your dog can’t see through.Hide a treat under one of the covers and start by just letting your dog figure out that she has to knock over or move only that one cover to get the treat. Once she’s mastered this part, then you can shuffle the covers after you’ve hidden the treat. Note that she doesn’t get a reward for cheating by knocking over the wrong cover or more than one. She only gets the treat when she picks the right one on the first try.
Hide and seek
This one doesn’t require very much explanation because it’s exactly what it sounds like, although you can choose between hiding a treat or other scented object somewhere or by hiding yourself and seeing how long it takes your dog to find you.Depending on how easily you can get your dog to sit and stay while you go hide, you may need another person to help with the game. It also works indoors or out, so you can play no matter what the weather is like.
Name that toy!
There’s still some disagreement on how many words the average dog can learn. A lot of estimates put it at around 165, although several dogs have tested higher, with the current record-holder, a border collie named Chaser, demonstrated knowledge of 1,022 words. Fortunately, you probably don’t have that many toys lying around, so your dog is probably perfectly capable of learning the names of all of his.The goal is to teach your dog to bring you a particular toy when you ask for it by name. The secrets are repetition and consistency. You have to repeat the name in association with the particular toy until your dog will select the right one every time, but you also have to use the same name for each toy every time. You can’t say “Bring be the blue ball” some times and “Bring me the ball” others, because this will confuse him.Incidentally, while dogs don’t see color the same way that we do, they can still learn to associate a color with an object if there are other differences — for example, if one ball is very bright and the other is dark, if they’re different sizes, or smell different because of the material they’re made of. And they can distinguish the colors themselves if they are different enough in dog vision — for example, a red ball and a blue ball. Dogs are particularly adept at seeing blue.
Pick a hand
This is a good trick for teaching your dog to pay attention to you and follow your instructions, and is fairly simple to teach. The idea is that you will show the dog which hand you have a treat in, but teach her that she has to pick the hand you name regardless of where the treat is hidden.This trick is a bit more advanced, so it shouldn’t be the first one you teach, but if your dog is sufficiently motivated by the reward, she should pick it up eventually. Show the treat and hide it in your hand, then hold both of your hands in front of the dog while repeating which hand you want her to choose — for example, your left. When she touches the correct hand with her nose or her paw (your choice), then she gets the treat. Try to vary it so that sometimes you’re naming the hand with the treat and sometimes you’re not.Keep in mind that this trick can be very confusing to your dog at first, so watch for signs that she’s becoming frustrated, in which case you’ll want to start with the treat in the hand you name most of the time until she seems confident on the difference between right and left.
Stop and go
Before this game, your dog should already have a mastery of the commands “sit,” “stay,” and “come.” Work in an area where your dog can safely be off-leash, or at least where you don’t have to hold his leash if you’d prefer to have a quick way to step in and stop him.Next, get your dog to chase a toy — ideally, one with some kind of rope or line attached so that you can pull it from a distance. Then, while your dog is chasing the toy, give them the command to sit or stay. If they ignore the command, withdraw the toy and put them in a sit. If the dog does sit on your command, then give him the okay to go immediately.The idea is to train your dog to focus on you even during the distraction of play, as well as the idea that the faster he sits the faster you’ll release him to chase the toy again.
Remember that our dogs like to make us happy and they like to figure things out. With the games above, you can help fulfill your dog’s need for a job and discipline, while improving her mind.