Gideon Schneider

La Reserve Ramatuelle

By Gideon Schneider, March 3, 2011

The bijoux La Reserve group opened this property in in the South of France in 2008. The hotel's USP - apart from space and relentless luxury - is a serious spa, the only one in France to offer treatments using the fabulous but punishingly expensive Crème de la Mer products.

The hotel has been designed by architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte to exploit its spectacular location in a secluded bay.



By Gideon Schneider, January 21, 2010

When Tina Green was looking for somewhere to hold Sir Philip’s £5 million, 50th birthday bash, she picked the Anassa, taking over the 177-room Cyprus property and flying in a slew of celebrity guests to entertain the Topshop boss.

You can see why. Designed as a kind of faux Provencal village (though not many of those have £15 million lavished on them for renovation and refitting), it has a main building and a series of whitewashed, pastel-shuttered villas set amid luxuriant gardens.


Cyprus: A hot island with a very cool hotel

By Gideon Schneider, August 13, 2009

Philip Green’s wife apparently spent £5 million at the Anassa on hubby’s 50th birthday, taking over the entire hotel and flying in guests — among whom were Kevin Costner and Prince Albert of Monaco — to this corner of south-west Cyprus. Apparently Rod Stewart, George Benson and Tom Jones performed there.

A neighbour who had taken her family there some time ago had also been impressed by their “Baby Go Lightly” service which meant there were lots of baby items she didn’t have to pack.


I'm a man. And I’ve had breast cancer, honestly

By Gideon Schneider, June 17, 2009

I didn’t think a man could get breast cancer.” That was how most people reacted when Michael Rubenstein told them about his illness. Not that their surprise was the first thing on his mind. “I was too worried about having cancer to care too much about the fact that, usually, my illness only affects women,” he says.

The 59-year-old father of two from Enfield, north London was diagnosed with the disease in 2008. Male breast cancer is rare — there are only 300 new cases a year in the UK, compared to over 45,500 female cases.


Coming off chemotherapy means this really is a happy new year

By Gideon Schneider, January 8, 2009

Healthy people are a fascinating species, I observed, as the euphoric crowd on Waterloo Bridge raised its collective voice, counting down from 10, willing on the approach of 2009. Untainted by illness, their unquestioning reliance on the infallibility of their bodies gives them an enviable innocence. For me, the cancer cat was out the bag and I doubted I would ever take my health for granted again.


The End Is Nigh

By Gideon Schneider, December 26, 2008

A mass exodus of war-zone refugees is less chaotic than Oxford Street, two days before Christmas. An impenetrable wall of harangued and fatigued gift-hunters surge forward, escaping the crush by veering off through the doors of Selfridges and HMV. Salmon may swim upstream, but there’s no hope for the pedestrian trying to walk against this tide.


Feeling The Stress

By Gideon Schneider, December 19, 2008

“I think you’re thinking too much,” my nurse Becky ventured. Sometimes, well meaning friends offer guidance that ends up exacerbating the problem they sought to alleviate. Examples include “calm down” - likely to send anyone in the throes of a hissy-fit into an all-out Naomi-Campbell-throwing-telephones-at-maids style rage. There’s also “Pull yourself together,” which is only useful when the despondent one is a pair of curtains.


Bonus of a nasty illness: it gets easier to sort the humans from the lost boys

By Gideon Schneider, December 11, 2008

I arrived 10 minutes early for our get-together. Dim lighting wasn’t enough to conceal the lack of other diners in the restaurant. I ordered an unwanted drink, before sitting at the nearest of the vacant tables. The waiter shot me a suspicious glance. “My friends will be here in a minute… er, I’ll order food then,” I stammered.

Why was I grovelling? Surely the restaurant would value a seated customer, who might convince passers-by to enter under the false assumption the establishment was popular.


Just Like In The Movies

By Gideon Schneider, December 5, 2008

If you’ve ever found yourself being chased down Regent’s Street by an angry mob of drooling zombies baying for your blood, tarmac melting beneath your feet, while Eros swoops down from Piccadilly Circus taking aim at your forehead – you’re either starring in the latest George A. Romero project, or more likely, you woke up several moments later reconsidering the wisdom of downing three glasses of Merlot before bed. Some situations are so implausible they could only be a hallucination or celluloid projections on a silver screen.


‘One Week On, One Week Off’

By Gideon Schneider, November 27, 2008

I have a terrible affliction for which there is no cure. Try as I might, I can't seem to stop myself arriving on time. I aim to turn up fashionably late to parties, but I'm always there before the host. When meeting friends I'll call in a panic to say I'm running ten minutes late, only to turn up ten minutes early. The Swiss could set their clocks by me. With my height, I should change my name to Ben and chime on the hour. Unfortunately most things in life aren't so punctual, so I'm often left waiting around with only my frustration to keep me company.


Healed by Rolo-therapy

By Gideon Schneider, November 20, 2008

Claire circles the room and hones in on the unfamiliar face. She approaches. "I've put you on the list and will be back when I'm finished with my regulars." I'm attending a chemotherapy session at University College Hospital in London. Claire is there to offer patients complementary therapies while the drugs kick in. For anyone sceptical about the benefits, her warm smile is enough to melt all doubts.


The timing of the US election couldn't have been more perfect...

By Gideon Schneider, November 13, 2008

The timing of the US election couldn't have been more perfect. As all those reheated Amy Winehouse exposes dried up, my thirst for drama needed quenching. Headlines such as ‘Dizzy Broad Runs For Camden Pub' were replaced by the more compelling ‘Dizzy Broad Runs For White House'. For me, Sarah Palin's achievements as well as those of her victorious nemesis, confirmed the mantra that in America you can achieve anything. The trouble is, when anything is achievable, how do you know when you've achieved enough? My cancer helped me find an answer.


Waiting for my hair to go

By Gideon Schneider, November 7, 2008

In anticipation of my hair falling out, my hand kept on straying towards my scalp to check that all was still in place. Every time I passed a mirror I wondered whether my crown had thinned or if it was just a trick of the light. In the mornings, there were no escapee strands coating my pillow. Maybe a patch of night drool, but no hair. And as for the shower plug hole, that remained follicle free.


Food Inglorious Food

By Gideon Schneider, October 31, 2008

With a sultry voice she unveiled a list of ingredients like it was a catalogue of forbidden pleasures. At the same time a thick, gooey flow of rich Belgian chocolate sauce oozed from the carafe, inching its way to the moist, spongy cake below. Normally the advert would have me salivating like an oligarch over an oil well, but my recent chemotherapy session had left my stomach churning so violently that I gagged at the mere thought of eating. This wasn't just nausea, this was M&S nausea.


Finding Chemo

By Gideon Schneider, October 24, 2008

I arrived at the hospital for my first chemotherapy session. This appointment was about as appealing a prospect as cleaning for Pessach. The dreaded ‘c' word has so many negative connotations it makes ‘colonic irrigation' seem poetic in contrast. Admittedly, my fears were not grounded in any actual knowledge of what the treatment involved. But in any event, it didn't seem like the type of thing anybody would include on a list of ‘try before you die' experiences.


I’m left waiting for the tubes after my big technical fault

By Gideon Schneider, October 16, 2008

Trapped on the Northern Line between Tottenham Court Road and Goodge Street, the passengers pricked up their ears as the driver's weary voice broke through the void. "Please mind the gap between the high cost of your ticket and the appallingly low standard of service you are getting." Or rather, that's what I heard him say in my half-awake, wholly indignant state.



By Gideon Schneider, October 10, 2008

Starbucks Caramel Frappaccino in hand, I parked myself on one of the well-worn couches in the Hampstead branch to escape the midday sun. Around me, tables were being used for impromptu business meetings, while old friends chatted over steaming espressos. I was smugly slurping the cream from the top of the cup when it dawned on me that the £3.20 cost of this thick, frozen, altogether harmless-looking beverage had single-handedly eaten up 10% of my weekly income.


"Don't hug anyone for the next two days. Especially children"

By Gideon Schneider, October 3, 2008

"Don't hug anyone for the next two days. Especially children", she said as she injected dye into my bloodstream. No, I wasn't in some seedy tattoo parlour in Soho, but a mile north in University College Hospital (UCH) being prepared with a radioactive liquid designed to show up in a PET scan.

"You're going to be toxic," the nurse added casually. I was seized with visions of Chernobyl and my young cousins spawning third eyes at my very touch.


No longer "that guy with charisma" but "that guy with cancer"

By Gideon Schneider, September 25, 2008

Being named after the place of your conception may just work for Paris Hilton and Brooklyn Beckham, but ‘University College Hospital Fertility Laboratory' hardly has the same ring. Not even Bob Geldoff or Gwyneth Paltrow would entertain such a name.


Schneider Vs Cancer

By Gideon Schneider, September 19, 2008

I've got cancer. Here's what to say if we meet

A few days before my diagnosis, I had been sceptical about the accuracy of that advert that says one in three people in the UK will be "directly affected by cancer". Surely some advertising guru had sexed up the stats for dramatic effect.