Unique Sake Bar opens in London.

A few months ago someone said to me “To keep silent and act wise is still not as good as drinking sake, getting drunk, and weeping.” Sp when i heard that Covent Garden  had recently welcomed what can only be described as a unique Japanese-inspired drinking spot, called Moto I had to see what all the fuss was about. Focusing strongly around sake and paired with pimped up bar snacks. And I don’t mean bar nuts, try their Nekomanma, warm riced with cured yolk and bonito flakes or their version of Chicken karaage, if you’ve never tried Sake, fear not. The staff at Moto are not only friendly but extremely knowledgeable (and patient too) and will recommend great Sakes for you or try their Sake Flights. Being a gin martini fan I had to try the Ocean Martini an interesting blend of vermouth, miso and bonito gin. As I enjoyed my martini I managed to sit down with the owners of Moto, Brandon and Erika who told me everything I never knew about Sake and why Sake means so much to them. 

Erika what is Sake?

Sake is DELICIOUS! Besides for that obvious fact, it is Japan’s national drink. Generally, the alcoholic strength is between 15% and 18% and is only made from natural ingredients without the use of any preservatives, tannins or sulphites. It is a historical artefact, as it is a rice brew that has existed in Japan for over 2,000 years. Furthermore, it offers a wide spectrum of aromas and flavours depending on varying production methods and serving styles. 

Also, here’s an insider’s tip for you – next time you want to order some sake (hopefully when visiting us at Moto!), ask for a “nihonshu” if you want to feel like a native, as the word “sake” in Japanese does not actually refer to sake as the western world knows it, but to all alcoholic drinks in general. 

What does Sake mean to you?

Sake is a work of art, an expression of the brewer’s passion and craftsmanship. It is a preservation of Japanese history and culture. It demonstrates terroir, as it is made in almost every Japanese prefecture to fit each locality’s climate and food culture. Finally, it is a vehicle that brings people together in merriment, as sake is a convivial drink meant to be enjoyed with friends and family. 

What is your earliest memory of Sake?

Erika: Visiting my Japanese grandfather and uncle for New Year’s celebrations (a very special spiritual holiday in Japan) and seeing them sipping on some sake as we all gathered around the dinner table for our annual feast. Back in the day, I thought sake was a stuffy and outdated drink meant to be enjoyed by old people alone… who would have thought it would become my passion, and in my 20’s at that?! 

Brandon: Sake smells very similar to Taiwanese cooking wine since both of them are made from rice but Taiwanese one has a higher abv. When I was a kid, I used to stay away from cuisines adding cooking wine because of the smell. I, therefore, did not try any sake although Taiwan is one of the biggest sake consumption countries. My earliest profound memory happened in my 20’s when my friend brought me a water-like, but complex sake from Hakurakusei, in memory of assistance from all around the world during the 311 earthquakes. I was amazed by the taste and the story behind it, and this triggered me to dive deeper into the sake world. 

What cliches would you like to banish that exists about what sake is? 

  • Sake is not a “rice wine”: This is a misnomer since it is made in a way which is closer to the brewing of beer than fermenting of wine. 
  • Sake is not a spirit: Sake is not distilled but fermented
  • Sake does not need to be served hot: Sake can be appreciated at a wide variety of temperatures ranging from 5°-60°C! 
  • Sake does not need to be paired with Japanese food alone: Quite the contrary, sake goes beautifully with any cuisine in the world! As it is often said in Japan, “sake does not fight with food.” See for yourself by having some sake next time you are cooking up a French dish, as all its umami-rich cheese will go beautifully with umami-rich sake. Or perhaps Italian, as more purer styles of sake will not clash with a highly acidic meal with copious amounts of tomato sauce. 

What made you decide to focus on sake in London?

Given how Japanese cuisine and culture is extremely popular here, even “trendy” if you will, sake is not a foreign concept in London, which made for a great receptive environment in promulgating our mission of demolishing barriers of entry into the exciting world of sake. With that being said, we noticed a severe lack in variety when it came to the current portfolio of Japanese sake represented in the British market, especially sake produced by small, artisanal Japanese breweries, which are the hero producers that deserve the most recognition. Also, we could not find many bars where you can go to order a glass of sake in and of itself. Instead, most sake purchased here is as an afterthought when dining at a Japanese restaurant. And even in such a scenario, servers are rarely, if at all, equipped with adequate information to help guide customers as to how to best enjoy the beverage. With all these qualms in mind, Moto was born as a place where sake newbies and aficionados alike can sip on a glass (or two!) of sake imported directly from Japanese craft breweries and served by knowledgeable staff that can provide the appropriate education needed for guests to better appreciate this time-honoured industry. 

How did you come up with the name Moto and what does it mean? 

The word ‘Moto’ is derived from the Japanese language which has dual meanings. First and foremost when thinking about sake, moto is the name of the fermentation starter, one of the most crucial stages in the sake brewing process. Without the moto, there would be no sake, Japan’s most traditional alcoholic beverage and therefore our bar’s drink of choice most widely represented on our menu. Another meaning for ‘Moto’ can be translated as ‘origin.’ We thought the name fitting as we import our brews directly from the source, thereby showcasing the seasonality and terroir of our drinks in real-time as well as the faces and stories behind every bottle.

What makes Moto different from other bars in London that have an extensive sake list?

First of all, Moto’s sake list is entirely different from any other bar in London as not one of our products have reached the U.K. market as of yet (including many that have never been exported outside of Japan for that matter). Additionally, not many London bars with sake on their menu also function as retail spaces but at Moto, if you have a glass of something which you love too much to leave behind, you can purchase the bottle for takeaway. Finally, Moto staff are subject matter experts that can guide any guest through the wide variety of different aromas and flavours that the sake world has to offer, with tips on food pairings, service temperatures and more! 

If you could only drink one sake for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Erika: A rich, umami-bomb of sake that is also fruit-forward, bursting with flavours of juicy peaches and pears. Such moreish and savoury sake can be enjoyed at room temperature or warm, to have on its own or with strongly flavoured foods like hot pot or a truffle and triple cheese pizza! 

Brandon: I would definitely pick that sake from Hakurakusei. 

And what dish from your menu would you pair this sake with?

Erika: Miso salmon with a side of Nekomanma (rice topped with soy-cured yolk and bonito flakes). 

Brandon: Chicken Fry could be a nice partner. The water-like feature of the sake can balance the oily taste so I can eat more! Who doesn’t like fried chicken?


To find out more about Moto visit



Celebrate Old Fashioned Week with Woodford Reserve

To celebrate Old Fashioned Week, Woodford Reserve one of the most celebrated American whiskeys will be hosting an array of curated events, experiences, bespoke cocktails and limited edition menus in celebration of the iconic cocktail considered as the ‘Father of all cocktails’. 

From 1 – 10 November, drinks enthusiasts and cocktail aficionados alike will explore the rich and complex flavour profile of this beloved tipple, as some of the UK’s best bars serve up twists on the original recipe. No one will feel left out or bitter, as Woodford Reserve partners with 285 bars from London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol and Cardiff to showcase the importance of flavour.

The roots of the Old Fashioned cocktail go back to 19th Century, with the earliest variation being mentioned in Jerry Thomas’ Bartender Guide: How to Mix Drinks. Called the Old Fashioned Holland Gin Cocktail, the recipe says “Crush a small lump of sugar in a whiskey glass containing a little water, add a lump of ice, two dashes of Angostura bitters, a small piece of lemon peel, one jigger Holland gin. Mix with a small bar spoon. Serve.” This is considered to be the earliest example of the Old Fashioned Cocktail as we know it today although it used gin rather than whiskey. Credit for the modern version of the drink seems to have been given to a whiskey bartender called James E Pepper in 1880. Created in a private social club in Kentucky called the Pendennis, Pepper brought the recipe to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel bar in New York City and its popularity began to grow. 

So given its unique history, its only fitting that a unique bourbon like Woodford Reseve is celebrating the Old Fashioned by working alongside some of the UK’s leading bartenders to create a map across the UK this Old Fashioned Week. Kicking off in London, Soho institution Swift will be serving up a sweet take on an Old Fashioned called the ‘Timber’, inspired by Woodford Reserve’s sweet aromatic flavour notes. For those staying locally, check out Murder Inc’s grain influenced, ‘Oryzae Does It Mate!’ while spice lovers can head down to Discount Suit Company where they can experience a spicy, ‘Fast and Loose’ amongst Spitalfields scenesters and City pros. Finally, minimalist icons, Three Sheets, will offer a woody twist with their nutty alternative labelled ‘Whiskey + Milk’ as Islington haunt Homeboy list a fruity ‘Orchard Old Fashioned’.

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To find out which other bars across the UK are particpiating in Old Fashioned Week www.woodfordreserve.com/oldfashionedweek/


Happy International Gin and Tonic Day

For most people October 31st is the only day in October that matters, except for me. For me that special day in October has to be October 19thalso know International Gin and Tonic Day (19th October 2019). And to celebrate the lovely people at Silent Pool Gin have given me the perfect step-by-step guide to making the perfect gin and tonic, as well as their version of the perfect gin martini.

Step 1 –  Choose your vessel wisely…

With the popularity of gin and tonic becoming ever more prevalent, the type of glass it’s served in has undergone some changes. Historically, if ordered in a bar it’s always been a traditional highball. However, in recent times it’s more likely to be served in a large goblet glass known as a Copa de Balon, which looks great and usually means your gin and tonic lasts longer. It’s wide bowl shape allows plenty of ice and various garnishes, whilst the curved shape helps to concentrate the delicate aromas of the gin, much in the same way a wine glass would, enhancing your experience when sipped.

Step 2 – the gin to tonic ratio…

This is one of the most important parts of making a gin and tonic, which most people often get wrong by trying to guess measure with the naked eye. The perfect serve of gin to tonic is what makes the perfect balance of taste and strength. It should always be one measure of gin, to two parts of tonic. It’s worth investing in a spirit measure to use at home, as it’s also an easy way to keep track of consumption.  

Step 3 – Ice, ice baby

The perfect gin and tonic should be served ice-cold, even for a winter tipple. This means making sure that you have ice in the freezer and tonic in the fridge. A tip could be to pop your serving glass in the freezer for 10 minutes before your serve. In summer months, pop your gin in the fridge as it won’t affect the liquid and will mean its extra cold (in winter months it’s fine to keep at room temperature). Once you’ve added your gin serve, add 5-7 large cubes of ice – bigger cubes will hold their temperature for longer without melting too fast. (Avoid smaller cubes or shavings as they melt quickly and dilute your drink).

Step 4 – The ultimate garnish…

This is very much down to your personal taste and the type of gin you favour, as well as the botanicals in your chosen gin. Some prefer rose based and more floral gins, whilst others opt for sweet or dry notes. Whatever your tipple of choice, it’s important to consider how this will impact your garnish, whether it’s a wedge of lime or a handful of junipers. Silent Pool Gin is made using 24 botanicals including camomile, lavender, kaffir and citrus and it is recommended to be served with a twist of orange zest. For an added extra, we’ve created a selection of Silent Pool Gin mists which are a liquid garnish, designed to enhance the flavour and botanicals in your gin.

Silent Pool Gin Signature Serve 

The ultimate gin & tonic served with a twist of orange zest in a wide-brimmed Copa Glass or Tumbler.


  • 50ml of Silent Pool Gin
  • Tonic
  • Ice
  • Twist of orange zest to garnish


  • Start with a generous handful of ice, add the gin and then top up with a premium Indian tonic. Finally finish with a twist of orange zest.

 Silent Pool Gin Martini

This is by far my favourite cocktail ever. Something I have to confess I drink on a daily basis. The delicate intricacy of Silent Pool Gin, is best enjoyed neat. However, the sweet and floral flavours in the gin come out beautifully in this classic cocktail.



  • In a mixing glass, add gin and dry vermouth. Fill the mixing glass with ice and stir until thoroughly chilled.
  • Strain into a coupe or martini glass.
  • Finish off the drink with a twist of lemon peel, an olive or a few sprays of Silent Pool Bergamot Orange Liquid Garnish.

So Happy International Gin & Tonic day.




10 Minutes with Actor and Writer Tom Ratcliffe


Following a critically acclaimed run at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2018 and an even successful UK tour Tom Ratcliffe’s award winning play has found a new home at Above The Stag Theatre.

Set against the events that took place when he was performing at the Fringe in 2017, Velvet is a play that examines sexual harassment against a young gay man, and with #MeToo gaining attention at the same time, he knew his play, and his story, had to be part of that movement. 

Hi Tom, tell us a little bit about your show and what inspired you to write it?                               VELVET is a one person show about the complex realities of harassment within the entertainment industry. The play isn’t solely about the abuse of power but looks at our need for recognition as a society and how the struggles of being in a highly competitive industry can lead someone down a path they would not expect to take.; how far is someone willing to go in order to achieve their dreams.

I would be lying if I sat here and said that the show wasn’t derived from some of my personal experiences I’ve had whilst working within the industry. Of course, the prospect of turning something I’m essentially incredibly embarrassed and ashamed of into a huge positive and fantastic opportunity for my career was a significant part of what empowered me to write VELVET. Turning negative experiences into positive influences is a philosophy I like to think I go by and I’ve really enjoyed writing and performing this play.

What do you hope that the audience will experience when watching this show?                                          

I think they will be very uncomfortable (in the best possible way) as they should be! It isn’t a subject matter that is in any way comfortable and the show reflects that (although there certainly are lots of elements of humour in the show). The audience will hopefully take away a broader understanding of how these situations arise; with much more depth and colour than simply good and evil or victim and perpetrator. As well as this, I hope they’ll empathise with the emotional and psychological damage that impacts those directly involved. Finally, I’d like to think that their perception as the general public will be challenged in the way different people, depending on their standing (i.e. celebrity or unknown trying to make it) are perceived in situations such as these when all is revealed.

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas?                                                                

I think performance is the BEST place for a public discussion of ideas. For me, the best way to reach the hearts of people is through stories, whether based on a true story or not. There is only so much depth you can get out of a two-minute TV news package or words on a screen. The theatre has historically been a place to be outspoken and to generate discussion and I certainly believe it still serves this purpose and I hope so more than ever.

Obviously, the way to reach a greater number of people is through film, TV or web series these days but that is still performance; and that doesn’t take anything away from live performance either.   

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?

I think the funniest, and definitely most embarrassing, thing that has ever happened to me on stage occurred during the run of Sketat the Park Theatre. I was playing JC who was a volatile, if not misunderstood, teenager and I had a scene where I grabbed one of the other actors and threw them around the stage. The play was in a 90-seat space and was very intimate. So one night I grabbed the other actor ready to throw, and as I did I let out a very loud (plastic chair in school style) fart – and as I felt this happening I just shouted over it! It was very embarrassing (and let’s face it; hilarious). I had to carry on being angry for the rest of the scene. That was really hard.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?    

As an actor and writer, especially as someone with a one-person show, it’s hard to look past the likes of Phoebe Waller-Bridge. I’m a big believer in creating your own opportunities and she is an exceptionally talented example of what it’s possible to achieve.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?      

Nothing fancy here. I always make sure I do some sort of warm up before I go on. I don’t tend to take things too seriously before I get on stage as I’m trying to keep as playful as possible! However, that’s going to be far less fun being the only actor this time around.

Lastly, who would you recommend comes to see the show?      

I always find these questions hard as a writer because I always feel that there is something different for everyone to take away. Maybe that’s because subconsciously I want bums on seats, but I do think it’s true! I think those that have taken an interest in the events and revelations of the couple of years (in reference to the #metoo movement) should certainly come. Those that work within the theatre/television/film industry will connect to the material, but the play certainly does not exclude those outside of that realm and it is a story everyone can follow. I think those that have been in similar situations or have a close personal relationship with the #MeToo movement should do what is best for them mentally.

On a simpler level if you love a piece of theatre that will make you laugh before emotionally challenging you, this is one for you!

Velvet will run at Above The Stage Theatre from October 2nduntil 27th. Tickets and more information at the website: http://www.abovethestag.com/vxl/whatson/velvet/





Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world …

It’s the Quintessential Gent’s favourite cocktail, but for a recipe which only has just two ingredients the debate whether it should be shaken or stirred, Olive or lemon, Dry or dirty will never end. Well fear not, for  this Thursday ‘The World’s Best Martini Challenge’ returns to London for its final round . Boutique brands from all over the UK and Ireland have already competed in a number of gin-soaked heats and the final will see brands which include Arbikie Ak’s, Bertha’s Revenge, Kokoro, Lilliput Dorset, & Pothecary Gin competed to be crowned World’s Best Martini 2018.

Taking place at one of East London’s hottest bars, Oslo, the finale event will be a chance for the Contenders to showcase their two cocktails to an audience of industry names and the gin-loving public including myself. From £15 per ticket, attendees will be able to meet the gin-makers and sample martinis from each Contender gin, ultimately voting for their favourite. Gin aficionado and founder of The World’s Best Martini James Thomas says “We’ve had the good fortune and privilege to meet lots of friendly and enthusiastic people, dedicated to bringing all manner of gins to the world. This year’s event is going to be a lot of fun and we can’t wait to see what the audience, as well as our line-up of expert judges, decide is The World’s Best Martini of 2018.

The World’s Best Martini Challenge, Thursday 18th January 2018 Oslo 1A Amhurst Rd, London E8 1LL Doors open at 7pm.

Tickets Priced From £15 and can be purchased at 



The Quintessential Gent’s Most Wanted

To mark the 40th anniversary of the Williams Formula One team, Oris have created a limited edition chronograph, based on the original 1970s Chronograph.

The Williams 40th Anniversary Oris Limited Edition features the iconic Formula One team’s colours and logo. And comes in a special leather pouch and includes a grey NATO textile strap, a strap-changing tool and an antistatic watch-cleaning cloth

Since 1904 Oris has been known for its flawless craftsmanship and yet again have created a real collector’s piece. But hurry because this piece will be limited to 1,000 pieces only.


The Quintessential Gent’s Most Wanted

Statement sweaters don’t come much more statement than this Shetland wool sweater by Prada.

Famed for its bold and iconic designs, and drawing inspiration from times gone by. Made from 100% Shetland wool and using 13 different colours, it’s clear that Prada was inspired by classic Swedish prints and the retro era of the 70’s.   This sweater is clearly a future classic and definitely on my Christmas List

Stockist information

www.matchesfashion.com or click on image.

National Pasta Day

Today is National Pasta Day. Pasta in my opinion is the ultimate comfort food. Its also one of the first things I learn to make, but I have to confess I used ready made pasta sauce from a jar. But times have moved on and I can just about make a decent pesto sauce from scratch. 

The best pasta dishes need to be fresh, wholesome and made from scratch. And Canova Hall in Brizton delivers on all three.  A restaurant where the chefs use the best ingredients they can, cooking from scratch and focusing on each dish delivering 12/10 flavour.  From their House Tagliatelle, with stracciatella, pink peppercorns and gremolata to Smokey Rigatoni with smoked scarmoza, pistachio pesto and rosemary, there’s something for everyone.

So why not head over to Canova Hall and eat some of the best pasta in London. If only everyday was National Pasta Day. 


Canova Hall

250 Ferndale Rd, Brixton, London SW9 8BQ





The Quintessential Gent’s Most Wanted

Launched in 2013, Richard Brendon is known for bringing together contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship;  to create timeless collections.

Richard Brendon has partnered with Gleneagles to develop his new hand-crafted crystal collection, Fluted. Reminiscent  of the iconic and decadent culture of the roaring 1920s, it fits perfectly in the American Bar at Gleneagles.

Mouth-blown by master craftsmen in Bohemia the hand-crafted crystal coupe by Richard Brendon combines just the right amount of traditional and contemporary elements to create a progressive yet timeless coupe. 

Perfect for any cocktail lover.

For stockist please click on image or visit www.richardbrendon.com



The Quintessential Gent’s Most Wanted

Since 1895, socks brand Falke have been providing the world with stylish and classic style socks.

Perfect for the stylish gentleman, Falke has produced this limited edition sock made from rare Peruvian Vicuña.  Known for it is fine, dense wool the Peruvian vicuña is considered to be one of the most rarest and most expensive wool in the world.

After the vicuña has gone through the traditional shearing proces, the softwool hairs of the fleece are carefully separated from the coarser guard hairs and submitted to an elaborate hand-washing and drying process. The final step is to spin the yarns.

The socks will be crafted personally for you upon request and shipped in an elegant wooden box and priced at €860 per pair.

To order your own personal Falke vicuña socks, tailored to your foot. Click https://www.falke.com/uk_en/luxury-line/finest-vicuna for more detail. 

You don’t listen to music, you absorb it.

With a successful career as a violinist cut short due to a hand injury, Ros Gilman refused to give up his love for music and instead cultivated a highly successful career as an award-winning music composer. He tells the Quintessential Gent how music is part of his DNA.

I arranged to meet Ros at the Reverend JW Simpson, and I immediately recognised him from his 6-part documentary detailing the process of making the Soundtrack for the critically acclaimed short film ‘Johanne’. A short film for which Ros has since gone on to win the Audience Award for the Best Music at the British Animation Film Festival.

As we settled down and ordered our drinks, the conversation inevitably turned to music and it Ros’ love for music quickly shone through. Both his parents are professional musicians, and growing up in a household where he was surrounded by music, it was inevitable that music would be a big part of his life. A naturally gifted musician, he started playing the piano before moving on to the violin from the age of 5. Ros believes he was is lucky to have performed across three continents including radio and television appearances in Australia. Having met him, I can assert that he wasn’t lucky; his natural talent and strict routine carved the path for this promising young violinist to perform around the world.  He was destined for a great musical career.

A promising career which abruptly came to an end following a tragic hand injury. Ros says that when his violin professor retired, he found a new professor allowing him to complete his diploma. His new professor adjusted his hand position which irreparably injured his hand. The injury was so severe that he was unable hold a knife and fork. He saw several doctors but none could help him. A young man who had sacrificed 21 years of his life to playing the violin must have been heart-broken to have it snatched away; I asked him? Ros smiled contentedly and replied ‘I couldn’t go without music being part of my life, so I decided to study to become a composer instead.

He studied hard for a number of years to master his craft at a number of prestigious universities across the world including the University of Music in Vienna and then at the Royal College of Music in London.  Since completing his degrees he has been in constant demand as a composer and songwriter and has worked on a host of film and television projects, including most recently the short-animated film ‘Johanne’ directed by Anna-Ester Volozh. The film, inspired by Joan of Arc, follows a day in a life of the heroine.  Working with a talented director with such a deep knowledge of music was an honour, especially since Anna-Ester had a clear vision of the music score for ‘Johanne’.  She trusted Ros to be able to interpret her vision through music score. The entire process of creating the score was wonderful but Ros admitted, after further probing, that the real beauty lay when he conducted the finished score with F.A.M.E.’s Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra, an experience he describes as “a great privilege”. The film caught the attention of the industry and it has been nominated for a number of awards. Ros recently won the Audience Award for the Best music at the British Animation Film Festival, which will undoubtedly provide him the platform to write another beautiful score.

So, what’s next for Ros? Well he’s just finished composing music for a TV documentary for French TV channel ‘France 5’ called “Enfants De Daesh” (The Children of ISIS) and is working on his debut EP, ‘Fantasies’, due for release Spring 2018. Does he ever relax or unwind I ask? Ros laughed and replied “I enjoy running or working out; it’s an important part of my daily routine and I find my best musical ideas come to me when I’m working out”.  I laugh and think even when he’s meant to be relaxing music is always at the forefront of his mind.

Ros Gilman’s debut EP is Fantasies is out Spring 2018 and Enfants De Daesh will be broadcasted on October 4th at 8.50pm on France 5

The Quintessential Gent’s Guide to London Pop-Up Bars

Londoners love to drink. But going to your local boozer or some trendy bar just doesn’t cut it anymore. We are a city that is easily bored and are always on the lookout for something unique and innovative. So, of course, Pop-Up Bars are ideal.   Usually, open for a few months before disappearing.  Over the last few years, London has become a haven for pop-up bars across the city. 

So for those people who haven’t got their finger on the pulse, here are my top 5 pop-up bars to look out for this summer. Blink and you might just miss them.

GQ Bar at the Rosewood Hotel

HolbornDinningRoom_GQBar_Tanqueray10GinandTonic _©AddieChinn

The Rosewood Hotel in Holborn is by far one of my favourite hotels in London.  Not only do they have one of the best hotel bars in London, Scarfes Bar but also it’s Holborn Dining Room. Home to London’s best-stocked gin bar, offering over 400 gins and 27 tonics, so of course, it’s only natural for men’s lifestyle magazine GQ and Tanqueray No Ten to open their first ever pop-up bar at The Terrace. Described by Gary Robinson, Conde Nast International’s Director of Restaurants as a “ space for modern urbanites to come together in an environment inspired by the magazine.”

Offering cocktails, wines and champagnes and food created by Gary and Holborn Dining Room’s head chef Calum Franklin.  Drinks will include a white Negroni garnished with grapefruit and the Daisy Sour made with gin, chamomile, lime and green chartreuse as well as GQ’s signature Manhattan made with orange-soaked barrel-aged bourbon and vanilla bitters. A GQ Bar Burger by Gary is exclusive to the pop-up and comprises a tower of char-grilled wagyu, caramelised onions, watercress and peppercorn umami in a brioche bun, complete with garlic-salted fries.

The Terrace_GQBar_©AddieChinn

GQ Bar will run from June to September and will be open from 7 am until 11:30 pm (Sunday 10:30 pm).

The Botanical Bar at the Floating Pocket Park


Opening just in time for World Gin Day, the Botanical Bar is a new pop- up bar by the team from Lockhouse at Floating Pocket Park on the Grand Union Canal.  A newly developed urban ‘green space.’

So it’s only fitting the green-fingered team from Lockhouse have created a menu where all the drinks will have a botanical look and feel, featuring handpicked herbs and essences along with a fresh and colourful garnish to reflect their surroundings.  Serving an eclectic range of gins and gin cocktails such as ‘We’ve Got The Whole World Gin Our Hands.  And for you spoilsports there are mocktails.

The floating Botanical Bar provides the opportunity for Londoners to re-connect with the canal and enjoy this newly developed urban ‘green space’; the perfect setting to watch the sun go down with a G&T or enjoy a warm summer evening with a cocktail in your hand.

Gin garden

The Botanical Bar will run from on June 10th, and then every Thursday & Friday from 12pm to 9pm until  August 19th.


El Bandito at the Victory Mansion


El Bandito, already a hugely successful tequila and mescal bar based in Liverpool, it was only a matter of time this bar was going to move to the capital. With the pop up making its way exploring around London and now taking up residency in the basement drinking den of the Victory Mansion in Stoke Newington. Taking inspiration from Asia and South America, you can expect to try cocktails such as frozen watermelons margaritas to Kale Mezcalarita.

The brainchild of business partners John Ennis and Matt Farrell, El Banduti aims to educate and introduce guests to rare and high-quality tequilas and mezcals, including a first for the UK, tequila from the famous El Pandilo distillery.


The El Bandito Pop-Up will run from May 21st. 

The Dead Rabbit at Claridge’s Hotel

Dead Rabbit Vol 5 - Cocktails

Although we have to wait till mid-august, Claridge’s one of the capital’s most iconic hotel will be playing host to a week-long pop-up to New York bar The Dead Rabbit. Having won World’s best bar 2016 and the pop-up at Claridge’s Bar will recreate the second floor ‘Parlor’.

Serving several of its signature cocktails including Irish coffee and Psycho Killer, along with favourites from their food menu such as lobster deviled eggs, Cumberland sausage rolls and Irish lamb stew. With its familiar ragtime piano soundtrack and comic book-style cocktail menu, the pop up will be bringing a little bit of Manhattan to Mayfair.


 The Dead Rabbit Bar will run from Tues 15th – Tues 22nd August 2017.


Pitch Black at No Such Place


Dubbed the ‘Dans Le Noir’ of the drinking world, Pitch Black as its name would suggest 90-minute blind tasting experience in ‘pitch black’ darkness.  However don’t panic, the evening doesn’t start in complete darkness. The experience begins with a glass of bubbles in a dimly lit room, where you can familiarise yourself with your surroundings before the lights go down.  You are then given two inventive cocktails, a palate-cleanser and two wines, with lots of witty banter from your host.


The ideas behind the Pitch Black is that by depriving us of our sights, our other senses are heightened leaving us to concentrate flavours & aromas of what we are drinking. The evening ends with your drinks revealed to you so prepare to be pleasantly surprised.

To book tickets https://pitch-black.designmynight.com/pitch-black 

Click on the images for more information including how to book

Watch and Jewellery Week at The Royal Exchange

The Royal Exchange is one of the City’s most iconic landmarks. With a history spanning nearly 500 years, this building was once the home to the City’s brokers and merchants. Now its home to the world’s most desired retailers and placing it, once again, in the thriving centre of commerce. So, of course, it’s only fitting that The Royal Exchange are hosting their fourth annual Watch & Jewellery Week (22 -26 May).



Celebrating luxury, heritage and craftsmanship, with exclusive preview previews, expert talks and entertaining events will showcase the creative and technical craftsmanship at the heart of horology and fine jewellery.

Bremont, Georg Jensen, Halcyon Days, Omega, Tateossian, Tiffany & Co and Watches of Switzerland, among others, will be showcasing exclusive collections and offering in-store experiences to showcase the creative and technical craftsmanship at the heart of horology and fine jewellery. Guests will also have the chance to win a pre-owned Rolex Submariner (worth £4,350) from Watchfinder & Co. or enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime flight in a Spitfire, courtesy of Bremont.

Central Courtyard

22-26 MAY

Enjoy £5 espresso martinis at Royal Exchange Grind & Co, exclusive in-store promotions at Georg Jensen and Tateossian, and special offers from many boutiques throughout the week.

 24-25 MAY

Visit the Bremont boutique to witness a watchmaker at work.

24 MAY

Add a personal touch with custom engraving at Halcyon Days available from 12-8pm.

24 MAY, GQ READERS’ EVENT, 6.30-8.000PM

Robert Johnston, fashion director at GQ will host a Q&A with Robert Tateossian, founder of Tateossian London, about watches and accessories.

To  view  the  full  schedule  of  events  happening  at  The  Royal  Exchange  or to receive further details on the exclusive previews and talks, please visit



10 Minutes with Artist Laurence Jones

Having spent the last two years exhibiting at prestigious international fairs like Seattle Art Fair, Art Toronto and Miami Project, UK based artist Laurence Jones is only now getting his first solo exhibition.  A relative newcomer to the art scene Laurence has been described by Saatchi as an artist to watch. His work features mostly scenes of architecture and interiors. Each painting incorporating elements of both fiction and reality. By varied means of production, Laurence is able to draw from a pool of collected images that are then digitally edited, and serve as a starting point for a process-based practice. So I sat down with Lawrence to find out more about his first solo exhibition. 

 What is your new work about?

My new show ‘Night Works’ brings together some recent large-scale paintings, which explore ideas about our psychological relationship to spaces and how we construct realities.

How do they differ from your earlier works?

I have been exploring different ways to heighten the psychological reading of the works, and they feel much more immersive and real than my previous work due to the larger scale and focus on the technical handling of paint.

Laurence Jones Liminal Framework, 2017 acrylic paint, acrylic ink, glazing medium, self-leveling medium and graphite on linen 140 x 180 cm 55 18

What are you trying to explore within your works?

I am trying to explore how to construct open-ended questions with the medium of paint. I am fascinated by the idea that a viewer of these works can come to any number of possible conclusions as to what the scene is about. The idea that the viewer has a sense of familiarity with the painted environment whether through first hand experience of being in a place, or perhaps more likely in this day and age, the second and third hand experience of shared imagery and video, is interesting to me, because it calls into question the nature of that familiarity, which can be read as being almost a symptom of ‘information overload’. It also questions where real meaning lies, and where to look for it if not to our instantly shareable modes of communication.

What/who influences your practice?

I have recently been quite interested in artists that manage to convey a visceral sense of meaning through their painting, such as Anselm Kiefer and Matthias Weischer. There are many early influences that resonate through my work taken from the fields of street art, graphic design, and illustration. I also look at a great number of artists who work within the expanded field of painting, as a means of creating new possibilities within my figurative work. Also: TV and film stills, books, staged photography, graphic design, skateboard graphics, tea, and alcohol (not combined).

Laurence Jones Black Palms 2, 2016 mixed media on medium-grain linen 140 x 180 cm

You have exhibited at a number of international Art fairs in major cities over the last two years, how would you describe the art scene in Seattle, Toronto, and Miami? And how do they compare with each other?

I have been exhibiting extensively over the last two years, but I feel it’s still early for me to describe the scenes in these cities, as I am yet to visit them! But they seem to be diverse art scenes, and Toronto has been exciting me from afar – lots of interesting art and music coming out of Canada at the moment.

Has this always been the style you have painted in?

More or less – I have always painted with the idea of breaking up the surface and half-erasing it as I go. That way the painting has agency, a life of its own that I am able to respond to as I work.

What atmosphere is it that you are looking to create with your solo show?

I intend for the worlds created to feel real; familiar and immersive, but balanced with the idea that the normal rules don’t apply. I intend for the works to have a dialogue with each other, and wider ideas surrounding the gaze in the current age.

How long would you say it has taken you to prepare for this show?

It has taken around 4 months, along with some fairs in between.

How do you get started creating a painting?

I usually begin by making digital mockups when I have an idea for the work or some images which I would like to work from. Then I build the scene from the back to the front, starting with underpainting and initial washes. From there I get the initial forms drawn in and begin layering the work. However, I try not to have a set format and instead respond to each work based on the effects I would like to create.

Laurence Jones Infinity Pool 2, 2016 mixed media on medium-grain linen 180 cm diameter 71 in diameter

How do you add narrative to your painting?

Because the spaces I paint are highly realistic, I think the initial reaction is to look for a clearly visible narrative. The notion that you may have missed the moment, or are too early is something I want to play with. In this sense, the narrative is less something that is present in the work, but the works are about the nature of narrative itself.

How do you select a good subject for a painting in this style?

I spend a lot of time researching images and ideas pertaining to the work. Generally, I work with a combination of found images and my own photos of surfaces and textures. I try to make works that have motifs that are culturally tied to a sense of spectacle and imminent suspense: pools, cityscapes, and modernist architecture to name a few. Within that, I am able to layer in gestures that may, or may not, give a sense of narrative or presence. Ultimately, there has to be a space that the viewer can fill.

Laurence Jones solo exhibition Night Works will run from 4 – 28th May at Rebecca Hossack, Conway Street, London


The Quintessential Gent’s Guide to Weekend Bags

This weekend begins the first of many long sunny bank holidays. And while some of us will be staying at home, some of us may take advantage of the warm weather and go away for the weekend. Whether you are staying with friends, visiting family or staying in an idyllic bed & breakfast we always make sure to pack appropriately. But we always forget about our luggage. Unless you are going to a music festival, carrying your old rucksack covered in dried up mud is probably not the ideal bag to carry your belongings. We all choose bags based on what works for us as a modern traveller. Some of us choose bags that are functional, versatile, stylish, and spacious or something that will last a lifetime.

So check out my top five picks below:


The Weekender


The Weekender bag from luxury British accessories brand, Bennet Winch is the ideal bag for long weekends away.  A modern take on a classic bag, the Weekender is both aesthetically pleasing and functional.  Each bag is handmade from waterproof canvas and leather and full of compartments. This includes two compartments for shoes, perfect to keep them separate from your other belongings


The Explorer Medium Blue Holdall

The Explorer bag from Tusting is perfect for the demands of the modern lifestyle and the ideal bag for weekends or short breaks and good. It is available in three sizes and made from tough new denim blue canvas. This bag is sure to last a very long time, whilst retaining that distinctive and classic look that Tusting is so well known for.


Cronos Leather Holdall

The Cronos leather bag from Ted Baker is the ideal bag for a stylish gent. It’s incredibly sleek and sophisticated and made from leather with a secure yet chic padlock fastening. You’d be hard pressed not to be noticed with this bag as you’re travelling companion.


Contrast Webbing  Barrel Bagg

Famous for its classic barrel bag, Fred Perry has reconstructed the classic from tough, woven fabric to give it a strong, durable, high-shine, and rich colour finish.  With small details such as a bomber stripe tab, a subtle reference to Fred Perry’s tennis bomber jacket, this bag is perfect for a light or sporty weekend away.


Barbour Wax Holdall

Known for its quality and classic British country style Barbour’s waxed cotton holdall.  This spacious and versatile bag has been made using cotton coated in rich wax, protecting it from the weather and giving it more character over time as it ages. A bag that can be used for years to come. 


For stockist information please click on images.

The Luxe Sportswear Edit

Sportswear is now totally acceptable for any non-gym based occasion lunch; with friends, school runs, and even the office. Luxe Sportswear is all about pulling off a chic, high-end look that must also be multifunctional. But how do we make sure that your sportswear look is more luxe than football casuals?

Men’s Cashmere Lounge Pant in Navy

Sunspell Cashemere Track Pant in Navy

Invest in a nice pair of track pants. If you want to take your Sportswear Luxe look seriously then these navy cashmere pants are perfect. Both comfortable and stylish these track pants are perfect for being multifunctional.


Linen Studio Polo Shirt

Linen Polo Shirt

To add a sense of refined sensibility, team those Cashmere pants with a long sleeve polo shirt, linen is best.


Pink Boucle Textured Wool Rich Smart Bomber Jacket

Pink Boucle Textured Wool Rich Smart Bomber Jacket

Bomber Jackets have never been more on trend but finding the right one can be difficult. Avoid bold prints, certain fabrics, and cuts. Fabrics to avoid include silk and denim. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with a good bomber jacket.  I’m a big fan of this pink bomber jacket from Topman, crafted from a wool-rich looped boucle yarn for a heavily textured finish, its bang on trend for Spring/Summer ‘17 and extremely versatile.

Stan Smith Leather Sneakers

adidas Originals Stan Smith

Finally to finish off the look, a classic pair of Adidas Originals Stan Smith sneakers.


The luxe sportswear trend is here to stay, so rather than ignore it its times even I embraced it. A trend that is perfect for the gents who lives a fast past life. A life where we wear clothes that must be comfortable enough to wear on the morning commute, yet still stylish enough for after-hours engagements.

For stockist information please click on images.


The Quintessential Gent’s Christmas Gift Guide

With less than two weeks to go to Christmas, it’s about time you start thinking about gifts. Whether you’re gift browsing for someone else or want to treat yourself to a little something special,  here is The Quintessential Gent’s Christmas gift guide, that every true quintessential gent needs.






j-crew-jumper£98 – J.Crew




£398 (frames) £60 (Candle) – Oliver Peoples 020 7730 0085



£155 – The Cambridge Satchel Company



$249 – Brathwait



£75 – Mr Porter


MR PORTER Grooming Kit, Winter 2016

19.95 –  Reiss


Telephone & Post Box Bookend Pair

£160 – Modern Souvenir



£60 – English Pewter Company


Life Styled Planner

 £45 – LIFE Styled Planner



elliot-lapel-pin £95 – Alice Made This



£450 – Church’s

Lock x Borsalino fedora

£395 – Lock & Co Hatters


£185 – Turnbull & Asser 


£49 – Tabl


Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GX80

£549 – John Lewis


FORTNUM & MASON The Gentleman's Party Hamper

£250 – Mr Porter



£285 – Hamilton & Hare

Have a Quintessential Christmas


For stockist inquiry please click on images.



Sock Monkeys to raise money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital

One of my favourite sock brand London Sock Company has teamed up with world-renowned photographer Alistair Morrison to host a silent auction of their iconic sock monkeys, signed by some of Britain’s most recognised figures with all proceeds will be donated to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

The sock monkeys have been signed by British household names including brand ambassador and model David Gandy, television baking star Mary Berry, legendary singer Dame Shirley Bassey and actor Rufus Sewell; each of whom have signed – and been photographed with – one of the brand’s iconic sock monkeys.




This charitable fundraiser is inspired by Alistair Morrison’s ‘Great Britons’ legacy photography. A photographic collage of 90 famous Britons, unveiled in honour of the Queen’s 90th birthday, a unique photograph, littered with British icons from all walks of life

The silent auction will close on Wednesday 21st December 2016. So pull your socks up and bid online via the following link www.londonsockcompany.com/monkeys  to win a one-of-a-kind signed London Sock Co. sock monkey accompanied by a Polaroid photograph of their chosen celebrity with the exclusive prize.







The Quintessential Gent’s Guide to Men’s Fragrances

The one thing I hate receiving every birthday or Christmas as gift is fragrances. The reason being is people never get it right and they tend to be re-gifted (I apologise to my friends and family secrets out) or they tend to gather dust in my bathroom. With more variety out there now for men it’s not surprising that they are overwhelmed on what to buy. Like everything else in life even fragrances have a must have criteria. For me that criteria includes a fragrance that is masculine, subtle, sophisticated, sexy and timelessly classic . So here are my favorites in no particular order.

Dior Homme


François Demachy describes Dior Homme as a fragrance that eschews every masculine cliché. It explores a new virility, immediate yet complex. I couldn’t have said it any better. To me Dior Homme is a fragrance that is very loyal to the spirit of the Christian Dior brand, with it blend of tradition & modernity. With its woody undertones and spicy trail of elegance it’s no wonder I have been wearing this fragrance for the last 11 years.

Tom Ford, Extreme


To me Tom Ford is the epitome of masculinity, subtle and classic. So of course Tom Ford Extreme had to be included. Still a relatively new fragrance it’s no wonder that it’s been described as the gentlemanly interpretation of sensuality and fearless confidence. Traits that all modern men should have, By fusing black figs, dark spices with smooth woods Tom Ford has created another intoxicating and sexy fragrance.

24 Old Bond Street Triple Extract


A recent discovery of mine, I was blown away on this reworked version of the original 24 Old Bond Street fragrance. Although I have to admit I fell in love with the bottle first before I fell in love with its content, which can only be described as very potent, full of tonicity and dramatic contrast. A triumph of English elegance, the 24 Old Bond Street Triple Extract is a fragrant statement of astounding perfume pedigree.

Mr Burberry


Most of my friends know about my borderline obsession with Burberry but I have to admit I’ve never been a fan of their men’s fragrances. However after trying Mr Burberry, it quickly became a new favourite.   The fragrance which was only launched earlier this year captures the essence of London and its moments, fusing classic scents of British perfumery with unexpected ingredients. While the bottle is inspired by the iconic black Burberry trench coat, its quality, craftsmanship, style and timeless appeal, and honours its signature design details: bold and masculine. For a truly unique gift for yourself (remember the cardinal rule never by a fragrance for a loved one) why not get the bottle engraved with your initials. Mine is engraved with Q.G


Valentino Uomo


Valentino once said ‘elegance is the balance between proportion, emotion & surprise’ a quote which is very fitting for Valentino Uomo. A fragrance with its precisely chosen ingredients in the last two years has become a firm favourite of mine. Its classic fragrance with soft smoky and woody accords and a touch of vagueness that upsets the balance, it is an expression of unmistakable style. Everything about Valentino Uomo is restrained, yet enticing. 


So there you have it my 5 favourite which all have my fragrance criteria of  being masculine, subtle, sophisticated, sexy and timelessly classic. Also remember the cardinal rule never buy a fragrance as a gift for someone else. 




For stockist information click on the images.


London’s latest pop-up dessert destination: Dolce by Ferrero Rocher

When I think of Christmas I think of Ferrero Rocher. The ultimate chocolate with its cocoa-roasted hazelnut in a praline mousse, a ganache ball rolled in wafer, a chocolate dome topped with hazelnuts, a ganache-filled chocolate. Just thinking of it, is making my mouth water. So when I heard that Ferrero Rocher, had opened their first ever pop-up dessert destination called Dolce in St Martin’s Courtyard, London of course I had to share it with my quintessential readers.


Dolce, can only be described as multi-layered dining experience will take customers on a delicious journey of the classic after-dinner chocolate. Guests will enjoy a tasting plate of five mini hand-crafted desserts, curated by respected chef Paul Hannagen – owner, director and head chef at Cuisson, the luxury gastronomy company

After the tasting plates the experience will finish with a delicious Ferrero Rocher to demonstrate how the elements of a whole hazelnut; rich, smooth chocolate; crisp, wafer shell; and gently roasted hazelnut pieces – all wrapped in gold – come together to deliver its unique multi-sensorial taste.

Sessions last 45 minutes: £10 for walk-ins and £15 for pre-booked slots (includes a glass of Prosecco).  But hurry the pop is only open for 10 days.  And like the famous chocolate, tickets will sell out quickly. Like gold dust.

For pre-booked dining and for more information visit: www.dolcebyferrerorocher.co.uk or click on the images. 




Northampton Sneaker Co

When you think of the finest quality men’s shoes in the world you think of Northamptonshire.  Well regarded all over the world for skilled workers who make incredibly beautiful shoes for brands such as Loake, Crockett & Jones and Church’s. All of these brands came from very humble beginning but are now world renowned. But now Northampton has a new kid on the block. A shoe brand with a twist, they make sneakers.

Enter Northampton Sneaker Co, a shoe brand created by two sneaker designers, who wanted to create something unique. A modern style and comfort of sneaker and infuse it with high quality of traditional British shoe making.


The sneakers are made from start to finish in Northamptonshire, sourcing incredibly skilled craftsmen and women, as well selecting leather from local suppliers of high quality European leather, like most of the finest Northamptonshire shoe factories do. Each pair takes two days to make and goes through 200 separate operations, including a traditional technique called Goodyear Welted. This technique involves stitching the sole and upper together rather than gluing, which is how most traditional sneakers are made. To give the sneakers a nod to history the sneakers all receive the delicate punched ‘brogue’ details.


In a few short years Northampton Sneaker Co, will no longer be just another humble shoe brand from Northampton but a well-renowned shoe brand all over the world.


Available to buy from Northampton Sneaker Co website (please click on images to be redirected)


Help! I Need Somebody

Reclaimed scrap metal sculptures may seem predictable to some, but when those sculptures question the division between urban materials and natural territories than the word predictable should be tossed out of the dictionary. This is the power that Iain Nutting, the former assistant to Turner Prize Winner Antony Gormely has.

Iain NuttingOrangutan, 2016reclaimed scrap metal71(h) x 64 x 60 cm

His latest exhibition at the Rebecca Hossack gallery focuses on endangered animals such as gorillas, orangutan, spix macaws, and a komodo dragon. Iain’s work manages to offer a poignant commentary on the way that technology encroaches upon the natural world. And yet, by utilising recycled materials, Nutting is also able to reflect on one way in which we can help these threatened creatures and care for the planet. Some of Iain’s earlier work from the 80s will also be featured at the exhibition.  

Iain NuttingSpix Macaws, 2016reclaimed scrap metal117 x 67 x 51 cm, 46 1/8 x 26 3/8 x 20 1/8 in


The exhibition is on between 2 – 26 November 2016 at Rebecca Hossack, Conway Street, London

To find out any more information on the exhibition please click on the images

The Quintessential Gent’s Guide to Winter Coats

Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are not the highlight for Autumn/Winter season. The real highlight is packing your spring/summer wardrobe and unpacking your Autumn/Winter wardrobe again. Out pop the sweaters, scarves and of course those thick winter coats. Winter coats are my addiction and a vital part for every true gentleman’s wardrobe. It’s the last thing you put on when you leave the house and its the first item of clothing someone will notice when you walk in anywhere. So of course the winter coat has to be perfect. However a lot of men make the ultimate mistake by buying a cheap and dull coat and then when the season is over it ends up in the bin. A winter coat should be an investment as well as stylish, so why not spend a little extra money and buy something that you can wear for years to come. To help you here are my top  perfect winter coats. 




Crafted from pure wool for a robust yet luxuriously soft handle, the Bradey green double-breasted coat is an elegant outerwear option which is ideal for wearing over formal tailoring.




Herringbone Studio coat with classic lapel is what I call the wow factor coat. I included this coat because I can see it being an ideal investment piece.



This coat may look more like a bathrobe but having seen and tried on this coat I have to say this beautiful wool rich coat, with blue and grey flecks for a blended melange finish feels extremely luxurious. Wear over light tailored trousers and roll neck sweater for a relaxed yet formal look.



Burberry I have to admit makes some of the best coats ever. In fast this entire guide could have featured Burberry coats but I whittled it down to two coats. The first is this double-breasted coat cut from plush cashmere with a soft handle. The tailored design is detailed with peak lapels, button cuffs and flap pockets, reinforcing the coat’s sartorial credentials. Wear over jeans and knitwear for a polished off-duty look.




 This coat is part of Men in Motion, a new collection this season with a fluid and luxurious aesthetic to form the foundation of a contemporary wardrobe. Knitted from a heavyweight wool alpaca blend supplied by prestigious British mill Fox Brothers, design features include a single breasted two-button closure with notch lapels and full lining. Further characteristics include patch pockets, notch V detailing at the cuffs and centre back vent.




Burberry yet again, a quirky piece this double-breasted check topcoat in soft double wool, Designed as an ultra-warm outer layer, the piece has a long silhouette and a back vent. Peak lapels and flap pockets lend the coat a sartorial look.

So there you have it Gentleman, my guide to the perfect winter coats, just remember coats are an investment not something to be thrown away at the end of the cold season.


For stockist information or to buy these coats click on the images.

The Diplomat Experience

In my humble opinion everyone should have a regular bar, where the drinks are well made, the bartenders are well dressed, and your drink is waiting for you at your favourite seat within seconds of walking in. My regular bar, which is pretty much my second home, is the Rev JW Simpson. So when I heard that one of the charming bartenders was hosting an event called ‘The Diplomat Experience’, nothing could keep me away.

An evening where, for a slight moment, we were all transported to the heart of Venezuela, a country some called “Land of Grace.” An evening of drinking Diplomático Rum based cocktails, (the Maracaibo cocktail by far the best of the night) and gorgeous Venezuelan food that I couldn’t get enough of.

Apart from the canapes and drinks, one lucky person (alas not me) also had the chance to win a vintage bottle of Diplomático, with all the profits being given to ‘Behind Bars Akademia’; a charity which is the brain child of Stephanie Simbo, one of the excellent bartenders at the Reverend.

‘Behind Bars Akademia’ has been set up to help rehabilitate and provides skills for former inmates, battered women and individuals willing to start a career within the service industry. Upon release from prison, these women will have a chance to learn a trade skill and secure a job using the new skills they have acquired.


The project, which will be starting in Cape Town, South Africa, in association with NICRO (an NGO specialised in rehabilitation), is all about giving women a second chance. Stephanie believes that every single human being, regardless of what they have done, deserves a second chance and believes that it is society’s job to push and inspire these people to take this second chance. Stephanie grew up in a rough neighborhood, where most people never finished school or were in and out of prison and felt getting a second chance was wishful thinking. She believes that her life could have been just like this, but after her own brother went to prison and no one would give him a chance, she decided she wouldn’t become a statistic. She studied hard and went to Law School, pulling pints in the evening. Although she struggled with law, she realised that being a bartender was less about pulling pints and more about being a therapist, a friend, a matchmaker, a chemists, and always done with a smile.

With these skills and of course her amazing cocktail-making skills she felt she wanted to be the change she wants to see in the world, and to give these ‘statistics’ a second chance.  A second chance where Behind Bars Akademia, with the help of donations, send an ex-inmate to school in their Hospitality Rehabilitation Program.

To find out more about the Reverend JW Simpson or about Behind Bars Akademia or donate to their fight click on:  www.revjwsimpson.com or www.behindbarsakademia.com

The Quintessential Gent’s Guide to Socks.

Having a great sense of style is making sure you are well dressed, from your head right down to your feet. It seems however that some men missed the memo when it comes to socks. Wearing sports socks with office attire, or mismatched socks and in one case sheer socks (no comment on that) thinking no will notice. Guess what Gentleman? Everybody noticed and it’s a major faux pas. Your socks like any other item of clothing you wear is important so don’t ignore them. So here is The Quintessential Gent’s guide to sock. Something for everyone, a splash of colour, a little in your face and a little quirky too.

Happy Socks

Happy Socks

Happy Socks has been around since 2008 and is one of the few socks companies that definitely delivers the oomph factor, with its bold colours and jazzy designs. With their new Athletic Range you can expect these socks to be just as colourful and stylish, as well as being quite comfortable and soft. Designed for those leading an active lifestyle, Happy Socks Athletic makes it possible to look and feel great even while you’re sweating. So it’s not surprising these White and blue stripes socks are a great addition to any sporty ensemble. Now all I need to do is join a gym just so I can wear these socks.



London based sock brand MrD is still fairly a baby in the socks world but in the space of a few years has managed to build a loyal fan base who appreciate its luxe socks which come in some seriously bright colours and patterns. A rich colour and pattern combination these are perfect for any gentleman about town, and work perfectly with a pair of brogues.



Established in 1892, Corgi still produces all of its luxury socks in the small Welsh mining village, where the company first started.  Corgi is also one of the few British companies who can proudly say that their products are 100% Made in the UK. Recently they have launched their AW16 collection with themes including Nautical, City and Country.  Their Country collection is all about making use of earthy green tones, rust and burnt orange, helped Corgi create a country theme, which they developed further by introducing some new motifs – a stag, foxes and a huntsman. By far these Fox motif socks are my favourite and perfect for the style-conscious gentleman.

The London Sock Company


Friends Ryan Palmer and Dave Pickard started The London Sock Company back in 2013 because like me, they feel people do notice yours socks. Their socks are perfect for today’s modern day gentleman, who needs to add a little style, personality and be noticed for the right reason. Their Summer collection inspired by the Notting Hill Carnival comes in a number of pastel tones but as the Canary is possibly my favorite one.  So why not add the ultimate summer style twist whilst keeping your feet cool in these light cotton socks. The London Sock Company also offers a popular Sock Club subscription service, where members receive new socks conveniently delivered monthly. My father is a fan after I bought him some for his Father’s Day and he never likes anything I buy him.

So there you have it Gentleman, my guide to socks, just remember we all notice what you are wearing even if you think we don’t.


For stockist information click on the images.



The Quintessential Gent’s Guide to Sunglasses

Its slightly ironic just as I finished writing this piece, its starts to rain. Oh well I guess welcome to England. You would think that by now I would be used to the unpredictable English weather. But guess what? If like me you would wear your sunglasses, come rain or shine than here is your guide to  my top five. Unique, stylish and most of all, they all get The Quintessential Gent’s approval.

Orlebar Brown

Teal Acetate Round

Orlebar Brown is my go to brand for tailored mens beach and swim shorts. So when I saw these Teal Acetate Round sunglasses I had to include them in my guide.  The round frames with the coloured acetate frames combine a retro ‘50s feel with a more modern look.

Oliver Peoples 

Gregory Peck Round-Frame Acetate Sunglasses

Exclusive to Mr Porter  these Oliver Peoples sunglasses were created in collaboration with the Peck estate. Paying tribute to one of the most stylish actors of all time, Mr Gregory Peck, in the iconic movie To Kill A Mockingbird.  The vintage-inspired round frames are rendered in transparent acetate, with dark-grey lenses to keep your eyes protected.



The Palm Sunglasses by Spanish clothing brand Scalpers, are extremely classic, plus they won’t break the bank.  A bit of a newcomer in the UK this Spanish brand whose name and logo is inspired by Native American Indians, is known for its tailoring and quirky accessories.  Its collection is focused on three tenets; design, detail and “quirks”. And these glasses represent the best of the quirky nature of Scalpers. Check out the Scalpers store on Carnaby Street.


Bailey Sunglasses

Tens is one of my new favourite sunglasses brands (To find out why, check out  my previous article called Filter your World). Started by three friends,  who as photographers and filmmakers who added  rich, warm colours to their work. It was only natural to bring this process to the real world. A simple ambition to make everyone’s day look & feel ten times better. The Bailey sunglasses features a playfully rounded frame divided by classic keyhole bridge geometry, and definitely represent the brand’s ethos of making everyone’s day look and feel ten times better


MAISON MARGIELA + Mykita Round-Frame Acetate Sunglasses

Uber-hip Berlin brand Mykita’s collaboration with Maison Margiela to create a limited edition of sunglasses has go to be one of the best collaborations so far.   Handmade in Berlin from matte-acetate, giving them instant contemporary industrial appeal. The olive-green hue is subtle and suits all complexions.  Dressed up or dressed down. You choose.

So there you have it my Guide to my top 5 sunglasses this summer. Come rain or shine.


Filter Your World

Tens, the filter sunglasses brand, have just opened their first pop-up store in Covent Garden, London for the month of July. The brand which, was founded in 2014 through a highly successful Indiegogo campaign that achieved almost £400,000 in pre-orders. The campaign remains one of the most-funded fashion projects on any crowd funding website globally.


To top it off the brand has just received a significant investment from businessman Richard Branson. Richard Branson discovered the brand through a friend commented “Kris, Marty and Tom have shown tremendous entrepreneurial spirit to get where they are today; they’ve done an amazing job bringing their ambition to life. Tens have come in and disrupted the sunglasses market, a tactic I’m all too familiar with! And I love the product, no matter where I am in the world I can stick on a pair of Tens and feel like I’m right back on Necker Island.”


The current SS16 collection comprises eleven styles priced from £60, each boasting Tens’ Instagram-style filter lens that transforms the users view into a vivid experience, full of clarity and colour. The sunglasses work with the warm colour palette of the sun to enhance everything you see; making everyday life looks and feel ten times better. For decades, ordinary sunglasses have deprived the world of the sun’s natural glow, replacing its bright and beautiful rays with cold and lifeless shade. Using custom filtered lens that works with natural sunlight, with Tens – the world around you is transformed into a vivid experience full of clarity and colour.


The latest Tens collection is available online from tenslife.com and from the Tens pop-up store on 10 Earlham Street by Covent Garden, London. Exclusive ranges are also available from the Necker Island Store and from throughout SOHO House locations across North America.

Product photography by BERT SPANGEMACHER fotografiert for TENSLIFE.COM



Paolo Troilo … the artist who converted me to ‘Live Art’

I have never been fond of live art. To me it’s a gimmick and I find it highly distracting being pushed and shoved by people trying to get a better view. However my perception changed after I came across a video showing Italian artist  Paolo Troilo hard at work. What I saw was a phenomenal and curiosity drove me to attend his live show at The Ransom Gallery

Born in Taranto in 1972, Paolo is a self-taught artist. He started drawing by pencil at the age of 4, and has never stopped. In April 2005 he started his career as a professional artist, as a result of this long, unconscious stage of preparation towards a future change. Paolo started to paint with his fingers, after he forgot his brushes. Paolo abandoned the traditional “tools of the art” and now just dips his fingertips into jars of acrylic, black and ivory, and spreading colour on to a blank canvas.

“Faraglioni” Acrylic on canvas with fingers

I watched closely as he finished his painting; a painting that he had been working on since 10am, I watched him interact with visitors and all I saw was a remarkable man, who spoke with such passion and conviction, and a man who didn’t seem to lose focus with his art or with his rather busy and packed environment.


What I realised in that moment was that this was no ordinary artist, nor was this some ordinary ‘live art’. But it was a space, a collective, where every single person who had seen Paolo painting this wonderful piece had become part of the journey, part of the story, and most importantly they had become part of this painting. I mentioned this to Paolo who smiled and thanked me. However later on in the evening he came up to me and said what I said to him earlier was probably the most remarkable thing he had heard all day. He said I understood what he had created in that moment and I was the only one who described it the best. To a person who never enjoyed Live Art that was a compliment, which I would treasure.


For those who missed the live show, fear not. Paolo’s current exhibition is still being exhibited at The Ransom Gallery 105 Pimlico Rd, London SW1W 8LS


Just a Small note to say Goodbye & Hello.

Its hard to believe that I started The Quintessential Gent more than three years ago. Combining my love for writing and Mens fashion The Quintessential Gent was meant to be a bit of  fun. But than people started reading it and commented it was good and funny, which just put more pressure on me.

However the last 18 months I have hardly written anything for The Quintessential Gent, which I’m afraid isn’t good at all. My ambition for The Quintessential Gent has always been pretty small. It usually involved writing every few weeks and sometimes every few months. Its not that I didn’t want to write, I was just comfortable to write when I could be bothered. I was happy with just a little success and small amount of people reading my blog.

However in January this year I stopped thinking small and started to create a new possibility. That possibility was that The Quintessential Gent would no longer just be a a mens fashion blog but a mens lifestyle blog. It would be cover mens style, grooming, travel (when I can afford to travel), culture, food & drink that all gentleman like myself would enjoy.

A few months ago I hired a company called Gleconnect to overhaul my entire website and bring it up to a standard that I have only dreamed of. And I have to admit I became aware how demanding I really am. I  must have caused Steve the website designer from Gleconnect a lot of headache, so Steve if you read this I’m not sorry at all. As of last week that possibility became a reality and the blog you are seeing now is totally different .

So gentlemen (and ladies) and all my loyal readers thank you for being part of this journey with me, but its times that we all stopped thinking small and start thinking big. This year is only the beginning, with your help and my bloody hard work The Quintessential Gent will be incredibly successful. All I need is my readers, my every growing collections of hats and a copious amount of gin.





10 Minutes with Interior Designer Harleen Mclean

I recently had the pleasure of meeting London based interior designer Harleen. A remarkable woman who specialises in interiors for wellbeing. Known as a talented fabric artist, Harleen draws her inspiration from nature and the natural world. On a trip to the US she discovered that she was in fact a biophilia fabric designer.  I sat down with Harleen at her pop up workshop Awestruck, to find out more.

What is biophilia interior design?

Biophilia (meaning love of nature) focuses on a human’s innate attraction to nature and natural processes. It suggests that we all have a genetic connection to the natural world built up through hundreds of thousands of years of living in agrarian settings.

It is a term popularized by American psychologist Edward O Wilson in the 1980’s, when he observed how increasing rates of urbanisation were leading to a disconnection with the natural world. With high rates of migration to urban settings in the developed world and soaring rates in developing countries – Biophilia is of ever increasing importance to our health and well-being in the built environment.

It is an innovative way of focussing design around elements of the natural world, designing the places where we live, work, and learn improving human health and productivity.

What are the benefits of biophilic design in one’s home?

Biophilic Design uses human’s innate attraction to nature and natural processes to improve the many spaces we live and work in. Key aspects include improving natural light, improving views onto nature, incorporating natural materials, textures & patterns, ventilating spaces and creating restorative spaces.

Through strengthening the human connection with nature we can deliver significant benefits to the health and wellbeing of the many spaces we live and work in, with a research led approach and demonstrable results.

How do you incorporate biophilia when designing the interiors for one of your clients?

I find out what interests them in nature and I work with various boards [mood, sensory, fabrics] to see what lights them up.  I will pay attention to their need both spatially as well as their needs. I work with them to find out who uses what space and why. Then work on what their basic requirements are.  They get to work with me as I design bespoke.

Why is creating a sensorial connection to nature within our interior space so important to you?

The five senses are critical to designing, and impact our productivity and effectiveness in how we live.  There is evidence that we are neurally predisposed to prefer vast, expansive views from a position of refuge. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging test (fMRI) that measured neural activity as a response to a variety of pictures, researchers found that subjects who were shown images of prospect from a point of refuge experienced the most fMRI activity in a part of the brain associated with pleasure. Moreover, the test results showed that natural settings were generally preferred to man-made environments. Anthropologists attribute this phenomenon to our evolutionary connection with nature, and the preference for views of prospect to the basic human need to find the best location for a camp or village.

Our innate preference for open spaces does not extend to just any open space; physiological research indicates that our bodies react most positively to savanna-like settings with moderate to high depth and openness.

Spatial organization around us drives a major portion of our emotional and mental state. The design concepts of prospect and refuge—elevated views coupled with protected spaces—as well as enticement and peril—exploring unseen space and evoking pleasurable distress—are examples of Nature of the Space.

Where do you get your inspiration when working on a project?

I was born and raised in Africa on the Savana. Nature is part of how I design, colours, shapes and light I use. Nature is where I get all my inspiration. Nature of the Space, a similar concept, refers to the way humans respond psychologically and physiologically to different spatial configurations.

As mankind developed in the savannas of Africa, our species’ existence among low-growing grasses, clusters of shade trees, and broad vistas have yielded a modern-day affinity for similar landscapes in indoor and outdoor. In fact, our innate preference for open spaces does not extend to just any open space; physiological research indicates that our bodies react most positively to savanna-like settings with moderate to high depth and openness.

There is now evidence that Biophilic design can enhance the following areas of productivity.

  • Illness and absenteeism
  • Staff retention
  • Job performance (mental stress/fatigue)
  • Healing rates
  • Classroom learning rates
  • Retail sales
  • Violence statistics

You mentioned you were born and raised in Nairobi, how much of your design ascetic is influenced by your time in Kenya?

I would say the foundation of how I work is based on the biodiversity of plant and animal life in Kenya.  Having lived in Italy and the UK, I have been influenced by colour, materials, different light and style.  This has brought a first world approach and execution to how I now design.

Is Biophilia just the next big trend or do you think it is here to stay?

I would be hesitant to relate to Biophilia as a trend as our current lifestyles have had an impact on us mentally and physically and this now needs to be addressed.  I relate to this way of designing as a lifestyle choice.

Over the last quarter century, case studies have documented the advantages of biophilic experiences, including improved stress recovery rates, lower blood pressure, improved cognitive functions, enhanced mental stamina and focus, decreased violence and criminal activity, elevated moods, and increased learning rates.

Financially it is of benefit, by examining five of these sectors—workplaces, healthcare, retail stores, schools, and communities—we can begin to understand the fiscal implications of biophilic design across the economy. The numbers and percentages presented reflect powerful evidence that many traditional design strategies that ignore nature can lead to negative impacts on human health, child development, community safety, and worker satisfaction. These effects translate directly to increased profits.


                                                                 Awestruck tree hanging display

Tell me how you got the idea for your popup exhibition and wellbeing workshops Awestruck?

For a while now I have been working with various health and design practitioners and in addressing these thoughts and ideas it became obvious that the next thing would be to make people aware, rather than keep it to myself which would be a waste.


                                              Awestruck termite mound fabric and stool

What is next for you and Awestruck?

I would like to keep holding workshops with the intention of making people aware and eventually leading to projects that impact the lives of people and how we work and live.


To find out more about Harleen Mclean click on her website www.harleenmclean.com

Instagram: @harleenmcleaninteriors

Twitter: @bhabrabydesigns