Everything looks, feels and tastes better in the summer and any -or all- of the below can only enhance the mood.
1. Azteca appeal
Made in Italy still means top of the range as the 72-metre Azteca superyacht shows. A joint effort between builders CRN and designers Nuvolari & Lenard, standouts are a 330 square metre semi-open sun deck, rooms for 12 guests and cruise speed of 15 knots.
2. No ordinary opera
A floating stage that costs €7m to build and is used for just two months during its two-year lifespan screams excess. From July 18 to August 18, Giordano’s opera André Chenier will be performed on Lake Constance, off Bregenz in Austria. There are 7,000 seats but some are better (and at €288, ten-times more expensive) than others.
3. Golf gold
There’s no better way to beat the Americans than in their own back yard. Europe’s 12 best golfers head in September to the Medinah Country Club just outside Chicago to defend the Ryder Cup title won two years ago and bring the curtain down on an unforgettable sporting summer. Admission for all four days costs $5,800.
4. Tree of life
Unique and exclusive are the most abused words in marketing but the Treehotel in Swedish Lapland has every right to use them. The 24 rooms in five styles redefine cool – though the real luxury lies in being able to reach this remote part of the world. The best room is €500 per night.
5. Dining stars
The Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian reopens this month after a renovation to spruce it up for its centenary. Named after Queen Maria Cristina, it is indelibly linked with the royalty and haute couture figures such as Coco Chanel who stayed there. A night at the Suite Royal is €1,150. It’s the ideal base from which to attack the city’s restaurants, which boast 16 Michelin stars, making it the most starred location in the world per head.
6. Olympic regatta
The runners and riders may be up in London but the sailing fraternity will decamp to Weymouth and Portland on the Channel for the Olympic sailing events. Surprisingly, tickets for the princely sum of £55 are still available for the last four days.
7. Bond is back
When the latest Bond movie, Skyfall, is released in October, 007 will be driving the same Aston Martin DB5 from the Sixties. The original car was sold two years ago for $4.6m but this summer the way to be as daring as Bond is driving a €175,000 DB9 Volante convertible.
8. Dram drama
The Royal Salute Diamond Jubilee Limited Edition Scotch whisky will be available only this year to coincide with Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years on the throne. It’s rare but even rarer is the €2,500-a-bottle Coleraine 34 Year Old Single Malt Irish whiskey, mainly because the distillery closed long ago and every drop is like gold dust, lovingly downed in the knowledge that it may never be tasted again.
9. Watch those angles
Keeping the theme Italian but with Swedish refinement, the Hasselblad H4D-40 Ferrari Limited Edition camera has 40 megapixels, allowing you to remember the summer with an outrageous amount of detail. Having the Ferrari name tagged on makes up about a third of the €26,000 price.
10. Crystal-clear pool
Victorian gentlemen savoured such whiskeys by challenging the guests to a game of pool in the billiards room. A Nottage G-1 table, with a glass playing surface, should provide plenty of conversation – it costs €43,000, as much as 17 bottles of Coleraine (with some change left).