I’ve never been a dog lover, until I fell in love with this particular dog. He’s a Lagotto Romagnolo, a lake dog from the Romagna region of Italy – we called him Dado, after aristocratic Alessandro ‘Dado’, Principe Ruspoli, the man said to have inspired Fellini to make La Dolce Vita. He’s one of the oldest breeds known, with the most incredible range – active, working, a gun dog and of course a water retriever. Nowadays in Italy they’re most often used for hunting truffles! But most importantly, he’s so tender with the kids. A true beauty, real grace, but he also loves a bit of rough and tumble along the beach, in the waves, chasing me about on the paddle board – any adventure, really! The ultimate gentleman’s companion.
To my mind, design excellence is about performance and craft melded into a unique offer of absolute authenticity. So when BMW asked me to test-drive a gleaming new 4 Series Convertible – a true object of desire – I leapt at the opportunity. At a glance, the lines are slick, the solid, compact volume inspires confidence, the tone of arctic white just right. Seated, you’re confident, assured. (You know you look good!) It glides out from the curb, effortlessly, you feel the power under the hood as you pick up speed – aware that on city streets you will never feel it hit maximum throttle, you begin dreaming of long drives on deserted roads. It’s an incredible piece of engineering in every aspect, from engine to axle, to suspension and the best bucket seats around. And of course, it’s also very beautiful, truly sophisticated. And then, you pop the top – it drops at lightening speed, and stops with a self-satisfied ‘click’. Low-lying, high-flying, This little beauty is the epitome of quality design and creative engineering.