It is no wonder why we have been attracted for decades to the lifestyle this sport represents. And no other name lives up to the spirit and history F1 represents then Martini with the Williams Martini racing team. I had the unique privilege to get in the passenger seat this summer and spend a few days in Barcelona for the Grand Prix. My friends at Synergy in London invited me amongst a very select few to be a guest of Martini for the race and to see the depth of the brands' involvement in the racing culture.
After arriving at the stunning Hotel Arts on the beaches of Barcelona and quick change it is time to sample the aperitivo culture that only Martini can do. The evening's gala is held at the Martini Terrazza on the harbour, specially erected for the Gran Prix. The guests are international and jet- set. The cocktails are a perfect compliment to the sublime setting. Martini has appointed the supermodel Bar Rafeli as it's ambassador and she is there mingling with guests and enthusing about racing. She is a perfect match for the brand and F1. Cate Underwood the edgy model/ photographer is also present photographing the whole night. She has just done a very exclusive set of snaps of Bar which will be featured later in WSI. Overall the evening is vibrant and full of energy and excitement. "Teddy from Wonderland magazine and Artem a Russian celebrity broadcaster and I meet up as we are all guests of Martini and are enthusiastic about the what the rest of the adventure holds".
The next afternoon we are whisked to one of Spain's most famous restaurants The Bodega 1900. Martini has had the honour of collaborating with chef Albert Adrià. On the collaboration “Martini couldn’t be a better companion for this project, we are built on the same principles. On one side we have Bodega 1900, a look-alike vermutería, which is a tribute to the Bodegas from the early century. We pay homage to the romantic tradition of hacer el vermut. On the other side we have Martini, a brand with more than 150 years of history and with the shared values of respecting tradition but modernising aperitivo for a new generation.”
This famed chef treated us to a taste of his extraordinary food as well as bespoke deserts created for Martini. Enticing the pallette with a liquid bon- bon, which combines the flavor of the vermouth and chocolate. It’s the technique of creating a liquid bonbon that one can drink. It’s made by preparing a caramel, to which is added Martini rosso, black chocolate and orange peel. It’s like having sweet vermouth. As well he created a Melon with Vermouth by infusing a fruit (in this case it’s melon but it works with any porous fruit) and vacuum pack it in order to get all the flavor of the Martini Bianco but maintaining the original texture of the fruit. We found that the aromas of the Martini bianco combined perfectly with the sweetness of the melon.
This culinary experience was truly a once in a lifetime experience. The synergy with all of the key players exhibited with perfection. After a dinner al fresco on the beach retire excited about getting to the track for the qualifying and the final.
We are transported to the racetrack and given many passes which gain us entry to the inner circle: The Paddock Club. An abundance of food and drinks are every few feet. The style and glamour of the guests are just as one would think. It is an exhilarating air that I breathe. After being taken to the trailers behind the track by Lisa, the Martini brand director I am hooked. I never was seriously attracted to this sport but I have now been bitten by all of it.
The trip was organised with aplomb by Synergy and they sincerely did the Willams Martini racing team proud. It is about celebrating the lifestyle off the track that compliments the action on the track. Martini with it's rich and dynamic heritage and solid place in our culture brings an immense style and flair to FI. I cannot wait till the next race.
All photos by Cate Underwood.