The ultimate luxury these days are things money can't really buy: holidays with family; empty white sand beaches; camping under a blanket of stars," explains Andrew Glenn, a man who could be considered an expert on the subject of the good things in life. "In this sense New Zealanders have luxury in spades. New Zealand is blessed with space, clean air and water and amazing wildlife; sadly all things that are increasingly in short supply in the world these days."
Glenn, born and raised in Hong Kong, began his career as an intern at Women's Wear Daily in New York before moving to fashion PR. He worked for Louis Vuitton as head of PR in Asia, before going to London to work as their communications director until 2008 and then as Topshop's marketing director until 2010. He settled in Auckland last year, and established luxury brand consultancy Comprador Communications. He is currently working with Christian Dior on the opening of their first Australian flagship store in Sydney in December.
His appreciation for luxury extends to food: Glenn describes himself as a foodie from an early age - his mother had a gourmet food importing business - and he will open a restaurant and small hotel on Waiheke Island with his partner Jonathan Rutherfurd Best later this year. The Oyster Inn will feature beautiful views, rooms and a shop stocked with clothes and accessories for island life.
He tells us about his favourite things.
11 FAVOURITE THINGS
1. Waiheke Island
Where else in the world can you be so close to a big city yet be able to forage for tua tua clams at low tide to make your own spaghetti vongole? I love the island's super-relaxed vibe and amazing beaches, particularly Onetangi, where I am going to live.
2. Herbst Architects
We're working with Lance and Nicky Herbst on our house. We love their amazing sense of proportion and appropriate relationship between environment and structure. Their own bach on Great Barrier is inspiring.
3. Personalised gift cards
I have these made in Hong Kong by a great printer I've used for years. I think it's always better manners to thank someone with a nice handwritten note than a text or email. Sometimes being old-fashioned is more appropriate.
4. Wing Shya photograph
Wing is a photographer based in Hong Kong I have been lucky enough to work with. In this photo, taken when I worked for Louis Vuitton, my friend Maggie Q had to cross a busy intersection in Hanoi about 20 times. I was so worried she would be run over - luckily she wasn't.
5. The steak frites at the Engine Room
Every few months I literally feel an urgent need to go to Northcote Point to order this dish. I love this restaurant, and Chef Carl Koppenhagen's steak is so tender, the fat just melted enough, and the maitre d'hotel butter so perfectly seasoned with parsley. Heaven.
New Zealand is blessed with so much choice in one country. I love them shucked on the spot. We're so lucky to have Te Matuku Oysters on Waiheke who have great oysters we'll be serving at the Oyster Inn.
7. Rolex Explore II Watch
My mother gave this to me almost 20 years ago and it never fails. I will wear it until I'm six feet under.
8. Dior Homme skinny black tie
I've owned this tie for years and it's perfectly versatile from daytime to night-time black tie. A skinny tie should be a wardrobe staple for the urban man and Dior is single-handedly responsible for bringing a chic 60s look into the 21st century.
9. New Zealand photographer Roberta Thornley
I love her portraits. She uses only natural lighting and the resulting work has almost a painterly quality that almost reminds me of Vermeer.
10. My bathroom
You spend an hour of each waking day in the bathroom. I love a good bathroom and separate basins are essential to keeping the marriage status quo.
11. Orlebar Brown shorts
They may be expensive, but this brand has created the ultimate men's swim short that every style conscious man should invest in. The company was founded on the principle that boardshorts below the knee are a major sartorial faux pas. I second that notion, and will stock these shorts in my shop at the Oyster Inn.