Monday, 26 December 2011

The Most Coveted Luxury Gifts in the World 2011... By Paulina Opoku-Gyimah…..

I grew up with my mother on my back -going on and on about TIME! I was told over and over again about how precious it was, that I-must-pick-up-my-life and work with TIME!! I was constantly told not to squander it and to use it well etc etc -and its only NOW that I truly appreciate and understand what she was going on about!!!…Plus as I’ve gotten older, -like most Sybarites, I’ve found out that TIME -is the ultimate -luxury item, but how to bottle it -and make a killing? Thus the nearest anyone can get to having a monopoly on TIME is to buy convenience or services that enable you to have more TIME -like private jets and concierge services etc!! So whilst my ultimate most coveted gift will always be TIME, the other yummy stuff on this list -are non too shabby -either!! Some are reasonable -some are not, but all are scrummy -and coveted by yours truly and make for the most fabulous gifts ideas -ever… Enjoy xx

The Most Coveted Luxury Gifts in the World 2011....

1) A Penthouse in the KEMPINSKI GOLD COAST HOTEL GHANA -* £POA (I have no idea but do contact the Hempenski group)..

Hip, Hip hooray the Hempenski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra will open early 2013 and I can’t wait! I’ve celebrated many hotels on Ghana Rising but nothing in my books can beat the Hempenski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra. I’ve had the privilege of talking to their PR lady and its going to be absolutely fabulous.

From the luxe interiors, via its uber thread count crisp white Egyptian cotton bed sheets to its state-of-the-arts spa and gym, -this much anticipated home-from-home is about to add the icing to Accra’s burgeoning luxurious cake. Apart from coveting one of its numerous commercial outlets, I really want …no, I really need one of its scrumptious penthouses -which boasts fabulous views across Accra…. yummy!!! For more information about the Hempenski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra, Ghana visit:

2) A sample of the soon to launch Sankofa Make-up range by Bridget Addow --* £POA (Price? You need to email Bridget)

(*A model backstage at the Derek Lam Fall 2011 Fashion Show/Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week)

Ghana born British jewellery designer Bridget Addow is a sweetheart and an inspiration to me. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Bridget Addow, -a beautiful young mother of four; a fantastic business woman, she makes and sells the most delectable jewellery, made using African semi-precious stones and crystals -and she is launching her own make-up range next year (yippee). Uber Chic, full of wisdom, ideas and incredibly positive -I truly can’t wait for the launch of the Sankofa Make-up range by Bridget Addow. Oh….as this is my list -and its all about the most coveted gifts -ever, the idea is that I get a sample now before this much anticipated make-up brand -launches (laughter).. For more information visit: -where you can also purchase her beautiful jewellery.

3) A subscription to the soon to launch Black Star magazine ….….*£POA.

Lessons learned when doing pioneering things are lessons well learnt -and these lessons must never be wasted!!. Thus this glossy will not only be relevant, informative and a must read; -it will be a celebration of: fashion, beauty, culture and Ghana. For more information email:

4) For The Ladies: Make-up and hair done by Claire De-Graft -* £POA (Price? I have no idea if this is a reality or not, but cross your fingers and contact Claire)….

In my head I see myself having my make-up done by the ever beautiful Claire De-Graft before a fabulous night out -and I’m working on making it a reality. The crème-de-la-crème of the make-up industry, Ms De-Graft is at the very top of her game and contributes to glossies including: Harpers Bazaar, You, Pride and Arise magazine. She has also worked her magic on the likes of: Toni Braxton, Ronnie Wood, Claudia Winkleman and many more. I’ve had the pleasure of talking to Claire De-Graft and she’s a sweetheart: For more information about Claire De-Graft please visit:

5) A Home designed and built by Joe Osae-Addo in Accra.. -* £POA (Price? I have no idea, I’ve yet to locate his company’s website!)….

(*Joe Osae-Addo'S home in Accra)

After feasting my eyes on world renown Ghanaian architect, Joe Osae-Addo’s Accra home with its uber serene interiors, all white spaces and lovely wooden floors and chrome kitchen -I just had to have one! I don’t know whether Joe Osae-Addo works on private interiors but I do know -he works on big project around the world! Whatever, on my list -is comes in at number five -and its what I want….now!!!

6) A Years Membership to Accra Polo Club…. Prices: Entrance fee- GHc 2000 & Membership -GHc 300 for singles and GHc 500 for a family..

Honestly…I’m not a horsy person but I love the buzz and glamour of Accra Polo Club and would love a years family membership for my son and I.

There’s so much going on at Accra’s premier polo club. From riding lessons to polo games, the season is from September to April, with local and international matches and chukkas at the weekend, Accra Polo Club offers several amenities throughout the week including a world-class Italian restaurant, Il Cavaliere Pazzo, a fully equipped squash court and bar. Please note that even though access to the club is by membership only, with endorsements sort from existing members and committee, concessions can be made for those wanting riding lessons only. The entrance fee is GHc 2000, with yearly Membership -GHc 300 for singles and GHc 500 for a family. Riding Lessons start from GHc 10.00 per hour. For more information email: or call: 0244 358 922

Accra Polo Club
North end of Airport Bypass Road, Accra, Ghana.

7) Cioccolatina Pure Unrefined Sheabutter (Whipped) by Akua Wood - £2.80 (plus p&p)…

When one thinks of cult beauty products; Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream, Maybelline’s Great Lash Blackest Black Mascara, Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream, Chanel No.5 Eau De Parfum, Chanel Rouge Noir Nail Polish, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula, Johnson's Baby Oil and newly improved upon favourites like: Vaseline’s Limited Edition Lip Therapy Crème Brûlée and YSL’s Touche Eclat’s darker shades -come to mind -right?

Well Cioccolatina Pure Unrefined Sheabutter (Whipped) from Akua Wood’s Shea Butter Cottage -has just joined this exclusive list. Environmentally sound, gentle and kind, free from artificial colouring and synthetic fragrances -Cioccolatina Pure Unrefined Sheabutter is a must-have. For more information visit:  Also check out:

8) For Men: A make-over by uber stylist, Abena Ofei… -* £POA (Price? I have no idea if this is even possible, but cross your fingers contact Abena)….

For the man who has it all or Ghana’s new oil rich, why not get one of the worlds best fashion stylists, Abena Ofei, who specialises in styling men and has styled the likes of Reggie Yates, contributed to publications including: I-D, Interview, Men's Health, Sport & Style Australia and done ad campaigns for the likes of: Virgin, EMI, Fenchurch, River lsland, D.S. Dundee and Bench -to help you make an entrance? . For more information about Abena Ofei visit:

9) Book: Kofi and His Magic by Maya Angelou -Price: From £31.95 from

I’m a real sucker for books with beautiful African illustrations, especially if the country in question is Ghana. Kofi and his magic by Maya Angelou with beautiful illustrations by Margaret Courtney-Clarke; is a lovely tale about the wondrous life of a young Ashanti boy who lives in the West African village of Bonwire in Ghana. If you’re thinking of buying this one for me, do buy an extra copy as my Jojo also wants a copy -and I refuse to have chocolate finger prints on mine!!!! Visit:

10) A batch of yummy cupcakes in a jar from Gillian Boateng’s G-Deserts -Prices start from £2.00 each (plus P&P)...

“Let Them Eat Cake” ….No party, hot event or goody bag is complete without one of Gillian Boateng’s homemade cupcakes in a Jar. Made using only natural ingredients and beautifully packaged in a charming clear jar with a pretty bow -G-Deserts’ cupcakes are the best. I’m a real fan of her luxe ‘Strawbubbly’, made from a light, moist champagne flavoured sponge, complimented with strawberry icing -its beyond delicious…. Prices start from £2.00 (plus P&P). For more information or to order the above yummy treats visit:

11) A Hope & Unity Silver Necklace by jeweller Alex Akuamoah for Della…Price: $40.00

Handmade by village jeweller Alex Akuamoah, every piece is individually crafted from Sterling Silver. The above Adinkra Symbol is "Nyame Biribi Woo Soro" and its meaning is "Hope & Unity" and measures approximately 1" long, 3/4" wide and comes on a 16" sterling silver chain. I wonder if he makes it in gold? Visit for more information.

12) Bespoke Kente Cloth…. *£POA (You’ll need to get hold of Mr Eric Kwanteng)…...

Have you ever googled, ‘I want to buy bespoke Kente cloth in/from Ghana? No? Well if you do… -it will come back void!! And I can’t believe it!!! I can’t believe that nobody in Ghana has written about this? Don’t tell me that the good people of Ghana are under the impression that only the Asantehene, -Otumfuo Nana Osei Tutu II and his beautiful wife, Lady Julia Osei Tutu can access this very doable service?

Thankfully via Dr. Carol Ventura’s website at: she notes a man called Eric Kwanteng (telephone 020 8234012), who prepares a warp that’s, “long enough to produce all the strips for one cloth“ in Bonwire. Eric Kwanteng is a members of The Good Parent Kente Company (PO Box 17, Bonwire - Ejisu, Ashanti, Ghana, West Africa). Credit: -I’m thinking…. I want my Kente cloth simple and chic -made using two of my favourite colour combinations -turquoise and gold -lovely…But honestly, you’re going to have to wait for Black Star magazine to launch -for a more thorough research…

13) A night of live music by William Chapman Nyaho.. **£POA (Price …me? Honey I haven’t the foggiest -be bold and try him…)

When I think of throwing the perfect party/event, -thoughts of: fragrant gardenias & crisp white roses, gold bamboo banquet chairs, scented candles, crisp white Egyptian cotton table-clothes, crisp white porcelain crockery, antique silverware and elegant name settings come after ……sweet music by Ghanaian-American concert pianist, William Chapman Nyaho!! I don’t know what its takes to secure an elegant night or day of Mr Nyaho’s moving and serene music but I’m willing to try. “On his CD, SENKU, Piano Music by Composers of African Descent, he performs works by composers from Africa, the Caribbean, England and the United States. He is the editor of Piano music of Africa and the African diaspora (New York : Oxford University Press, 2007. 2 volumes).” For more information visit:

14) Interior design by Paulina Opoku-Gyimah….*£POA (I tend to not to get out of bed unless there’s a big budget involved…but you never know…..try me!)

‘I am a very stylish girl’… (laughter) and some of you know this and have asked about my interior design work etc!! Truth-be-told….I’m a real lover of the eclectic, for example; somethings -old, somethings -new, different textures like a cashmere blankets and silk cushions, a piece of mouth watering art, some commissioned must-haves like: an Adinkra inspired silk wallpaper, reupholstered chairs and sofas in commissioned Kente clothes etc -vintage bits & bobs, antiques chandeliers and working with real artisans in Ghana to achieve this look, and unless you come loaded with a big budget -my juices don’t flow!

I work sporadically for a friend when she’s about to sell her properties (and as she has a storage full of stuff and some of my bits it works) -but in all honesty -I would love to work on THE RIGHT PROJECT in Ghana (only -right now)…

I’ve been approached to do a restaurant and a small hotel in the past and when I suggested ideas -I found out very quickly that my idea of quality and the aforementioned parties idea of quality -differed greatly.. I do not do MDF furniture or get out of bed for a project that I will…. be out-of-pocket for!!

The right project means just that -the right project….-thus, if you have some really fabulous ideas or want to introduce some much needed  pizzazz  into your Ghana based property/venue/gallery/shop or are in desperate need of direction & ideas (it will cost yaaa) for you or a loved one …-try me, but only if you have the budget for a custom-made rug by Henzel….xx

***(The above photographs are my property and show some of my interior work -and must not be used by anyone without crediting me -thanks)…

15) A front row seat at the Ghana Fashion & Design Show next year….….*£POA (If you are press, a sponsor, a buyer or an A-List celebrity -there’s real possibility -if not, I don’t really know -but try them -anyway)....

Roll on October 2012 for one of the biggest events in the Ghanaian fashion industry diary, Ghana Fashion & Design Week (GFDW)… Yep real fashion insiders with real experience are putting Ghana on the map with a professional ‘Fashion Week’ and I can’t wait -but….. are you hot enough to sit in the front-row?? For more information about Ghana Fashion & Design Week visit:

16) A bottle of Michael Boadi’s White Gardenia Petal Eau de Parfum 100 ml for women…. Price: £100.00

With a growing celebrity fan base including the Duchess of Cambridge, she wore it on her wedding day and the ever beautiful, first lady of America -Mrs. Michelle Obama; Michael Boadi’s White Gardenia Petal Eau de Parfum 100 ml for women from his Illuminum Perfumes range is a tour de force -and I want one for Christ Birthday -nowwWW!! For more information visit:

17) A Bespoke ‘Taste of Ghana’ Cookery Lesson from the Akhaya team ….Price: Private courses start from £120 for one person…

I don’t know whether I should confess this …but I’m rubbish at cooking and would love to master the delicious cuisines of my beloved Ghana. Thankfully the good people at Akhaya, the UK’s first cookery school dedicated to African cookery offer a host of courses to suit all African palates; covering everything from dishes from North African Tagines to Ghanaian Tatale and South African Bobotie to West African Benachin; all made using authentic and fresh ingredients. Current classes on offer include ‘A Taste of Nigeria’, ‘A Taste of Ghana’ and ‘Spicing up Seafood’ which features recipes from Morocco, Tanzania, Ghana and Congo. All skill levels are welcome and bespoke classes are available making it ideal for getting together with friends or sharing some couple time and ideal as a gift for budding chefs. To book or discuss a bespoke cookery course with team Akhaya visit:

18) A bespoke wardrobe by Ajepomaa Mensah of ajePomaa Design Gallery -* £POA

Ajepomaa Mensah of ajePomaa Design Gallery is absolutely fabulous and the best advert for her exquisite designs. In a country full of seamstresses, many in Ghana call themselves fashion designers but this lady is the real deal. Prepared to travel the globe in search of the best textiles, inspired by her travel and love of art -Ajepomaa Mensah’s designs are rich, well made and beautifully lined pieces that fit the wearer like a glove. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Ms Mensah in person and she doesn’t disappoint. Wearing one of her nipped-in-at-the-waist Jackie O type jacket, I feel in love with it instantly and I want one -right now! For a consultation please email Ajepomaa Mensah at: or call her on (+233) 265645284

For more info about ajePomaa Design Gallery visit:!/ajePomaaDesignGallery?sk=info

19) A piece of art by Joseph Ghattaba Price: Drumming By Joseph Ghattaba cost Euro 1000 / $ 1302.00 From:

In my head I’m about to open an art gallery in Accra’s soon-to-be hottest venue, the Hempenski Hotel Ghana -in one of its uber coveted commercial outlets (I’m giving you ideas here people) -and I have many Ghanaian artists on my list including: world renown Ghanaian sculptor, El Anatsui (I love, love his work), and contemporary Ghanaian artists like: Wiz Kudowor, James Cudjoe, Ben Agbee and many others…but at the top of this yummy list -is any piece by fabulous sculptor Joseph Ghattaba, affectionately known as Joe Big Big!! Not only are his bold sculptures uber collectable -or fabulous conversation pieces but they’ll also add pizzazz to any setting. To purchase the above sculpture visit:

20) Celebrity Guest Appearance *£POA (Price..? I have no idea but mercifully many of Ghana’s dazzling celebrities now have agents -so get googling)……
Kwaw Kese

A friend of mine has a real thing for Ghanaian actor John Dumelo -and watches his films regularly even though she doesn’t like African movies! And its got me thinking …not that I want or not want actor John Dumelo to make a guest appearance at my birthday bash -you hear (because he’s lovely but I’m more into what’s been described as bad boys -I don’t know why) Nope…, If you want to surprise me with a celebrity guest appearance at my birthday party -say, -you’ll need to head in the direct of Ghana based musicians like -Okomfo Kwadee!!! Mr Kwadee can sing, ‘Wotaataame’ whilst climbing out of my birthday cake -if you know what I mean? Also, I likeeeee Kwaw Kese! I saw him in his black tie garb collecting a hand full of awards at one of the Ghana Music Awards ceremonies and decided -there and then that he must come dressed ..just like that…..(laughter), the wonderful Atongo Zimba and Scizo of ‘Rain Rain’ fame..-how gorgeous is he? For personas based outside of Ghana -its pretty easy!!! My top two are: footballer Mario Balotelli and politician Adam Afriyie -and if its all toooo Ghanaian for ya…Hollywood actor, Benicio Del Toro -will do. Note, I’m not a selfish person -so I’m thinking….for that special men in your life -why not book the likes of, actresses Nadia Buari and new comer, Helen Asante -men love them..

*£POA -Price on Application

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