2011 January 26

La Vie En Ruffian: Brunching With Sabine Heller

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We love it when our Ruffian boys get in the field with their reporter hats on. This week, they had brunch with Sabine Heller. Do tell!


"For this week’s La Vie en Ruffian, we decided to have breakfast at Pastis with the international and glamorous Sabine. Newly inducted president of the tony and very private online fellowship, A Small World, and recently appointed to the position of Editor-at-Large for Vogue Italia's website Vogue.it, Mademoiselle Heller educates us on elephant polo, caviar hippies and rare truffles with eggs.


Brian: Hey Sabine, we haven’t seen you forever, so where have you been jet-setting to these days? 


Sabine: I did a lot of traveling last year because of my new position at A Small World.  I feel very fortunate.  I was in Milan at the Carlton Hotel Baglioni, and Gstaad for A Small World’s first weekend event series.”


Brian: Where did you stay in Gstaad? What is your weekend series all about?


Sabine: The Gstaad Palace Hotel is the place to stay in Gstaad. It has a wonderful history.  Elizabeth Taylor, Roger Moore, Ella Fitzgerald all used to frequent the hotel. It has a lot of old-world glamour. It was the first of many  events to come, including elephant polo in Mongolia and chateau weekends in the South of France.


Claude: Is elephant polo something you did in your childhood in India? What is elephant polo?


Sabine: I am obsessed with elephant polo. They play it a lot in Nepal, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Many royals play. It’s a royal tradition in those parts.


Brian: Do the elephants actually run?


Sabine: Elephants don’t run. They lumber.


Claude: I am going to have to Youtube this. I want to cover the elephant polo weekend for The Daily! Sorry, I digress.  So tell me a little about your trip to Mexico?


Sabine: I was in Tulum over New Year’s. Tulum is new Goa! The Miller sisters have been going there for a while. It was crawling with fashion people.  It was like the Boom Boom Room on the beach. The amazing hotel is Coqui Coqui Spa. Kate Bosworth and her new beau, Alex Skarsgård, were there. It felt like Formentera, the island of the coast of Ibiza - very bohemian chic, free. Tulum is for caviar hippies.


Brian: Amazing!  We love chic hippies. Talitha Getty is our favorite! Speaking of bohemian chic, tell us about your trips to India?


Sabine: I went twice last year. I have a lot of friends and family there, so I generally don’t stay at hotels. I was also there for work.  I have a A Small World team in India that's working on developing the Indian market. It is the largest English-speaking democracy in the world. The market is exploding for luxury and hospitality. I was mostly in Bombay and Delhi. While I was there, I was lucky enough to meet with Rahul Ghandi, Indira Ghandi’s grandson and the future prime minister of India.”


Claude: How do you get your fashion fix in this new luxury economy?


Sabine: My favorite stores are Bungalow eight and Bombay Electric.


Brian: You were recently made the president of A Small World.  What are your responsibilities, and how are you changing things?


Sabine: I am running the day-to-day operations. It is really exciting and invigorating. We are looking to do a 180-degree rebranding with a strong focus on traveling. We want to be the go-to place for jet set living. It’s for people who travel as a byproduct of their normal life, not necessarily vacationers. The great thing about A Small World is it's a fellowship of people, not an online community. Members are willing to help each other, especially when they are in their local environment. It’s a private club online.


Claude: So you were just assumed editor-at-large for Vogue.it.  What are you planning on doing there?


Sabine: I am really passionate about videos and intimate portraits.  I just did lovely ones of Waris Ahluwalia and Olivia Chantecaille.  These are all online. I am looking forward to what’s new and exciting for Fashion Week and who will stand out.


Brian: So let’s talk about your country home in Kripplebush, NY. 


Sabine: It’s an 18th century farmhouse in the foothills of the Catskills. What I love about it is you can feel the history when you stay there. I entertain quite a bit.  I frequently have gatherings and long weekends.  It’s kind of a hippie commune, where people can come and go and feel free. It’s very Mediterranean—we have a long table in the garden where we share meals. It’s the joke amongst my friends that there is no time in Kripplebush.  Dinner often starts at midnight. My favorite feature is the old copper outdoor bathtub, where you can lounge in the garden and take a bath under the stars.


Claude: With Valentine’s Day around the corner, give us some of your recipes to get to a man’s heart.

Sabine: I love to cook!  For breakfast, I have been experimenting with a variety of pancakes—raspberry/chocolate chip, banana with sliced almonds and eggs with truffles. I also like to mix high and low.  For lunch, I love delicious cheeses from Murray’s, meats from Di Palo’s, pate and fresh tomatoes from the farmstand. Dinner is more seasonal but for Valentine’s Day, a hearty bolognese!


To watch a clip of elephant polo, CLICK HERE Can you really pass that up?"

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