If you’ve been a reader of The Rake for a number of years, then you’ll almost certainly be familiar with a certain chap by the name of Alexander Kraft. ‘Krafty’ is firstly a very good friend of The Rake, while also being a great ambassador for all it espouses, that being living life to the full (even at the expense of lopping a few years off the end) and doing so in the most stylish manner possible. Mr Kraft is, in short, an exemplary purveyor of la dolce vita. Secondly, he is the CEO of Sotheby’s Realty France and Monaco, which, the two elements combined, make him something of a baller. So when he invited The Rake to take part in the second annual Sotheby’s rally – “Castles, Cars and Art de Vivre” – from Paris to Deauville recently, one needn’t have taken much time to answer in the affirmative. Fine wines, fine cigars, fine watches, fine real estate, fine cars and fine style all wrapped up in the company of the finest people – you’d have to be a heathen, or worse, a socialist, to turn down such a magnanimous offer.

Equipped with the purring engines of a pair of Jaguar XKs, an E-type, various Ferraris (including Alexander’s own 365GT), one Mercedes 600, a Morgan and the Range Rover “Overkraft” support vehicle, the purpose of the trip was manifold: to experience a snapshot of Sotheby’s frankly astounding realty portfolio, but in such a way that reflected the lives of those very people who might indeed purchase such contemporary fortresses. Hence the vintage cars, the fine dining, the impossibly stylish attire, and the goblets of joie de vivre into which all the aforementioned was poured into and slaked back.

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