Friday, 29 June 2012

In The Mood for...Henley

Check the rules of your enclosure at the Henley Royal Regatta. In the Steward's Enclosure, for example, a dress rule is imposed: "lounge suit, blazer and flannels, or evening dress, and a tie".

This annual rowing event is held on the first weekend of July in Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England.

The umbrella is often the most important piece of kit.

Lock & Co Hatters - Straw Boater Hat

New & Lingwood - Boating Blazer

Richard James - Tailored Fit White Royal Oxford Cotton Shirt

Drake's London - Silk Spot Tie

Dunhill - Engineered Fit Beige Chinos

Anderson's - Woven Leather Belt

Pantherella - Socks

Lodger Footwear - Brayford Cap Toe Tan White

Drake's London - Navy White Spots Travel Umbrella

Lawrence and Mayo - Antique Binoculars

Pimm's - Original

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Vienna - The Acceptable Face of Coffee

Now that Starbucks have said they'll be opening a tea room, we're not going to be contrary and go all coffee on you. Tea is the national drink and we will defend it to the last teapot. But when In Vienna...

Vienna is a coffee society. The café is their pub. If you're a visitor, you'll no doubt have found a favourite café. I'd found one or two I liked on previous visits, but this time I asked around to see if I'd missed any hidden gems. I was given tips and I tried them. It turns out I hadn't.

My three favourites remained unchanged. And you can be smartly dressed in these and not feel out of place. Always a bonus.

Café Sperl 1880

Café Sperl is the most formal of my picks. A nice, quiet café. People speak in hushed tones. It felt inappropriate to take photos, but I sneaked a little one out where nobody was sitting.

Sperl is notable for the unchanged interior including carom billiards tables. I'm sure the interior will be protected. I hope so.

Café Prückel 1903

Café Prückel has a 1950s utilitarian feel inside, with modernist touches. Less touristy because of its location, out of centre but walkable.

The house special is Prückel Cream - a mocha with whipped cream.

Café Central 1876

Café Central is perhaps the most famous of the three. Certainly the largest and with one of the nicest interiors. Cavernous with cathedral-like vaulted ceilings, the Café is well-known for being the meeting place for famous and infamous 20th century thinkers.

Look brainy as you sip your coffee.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Vienna - Take a Walk on the Genteel Side

Oh, Vienna

Wonderful to be in Vienna, one of my favourite cities, for a few days. Vienna is bourgeois, cultured and contented and not ashamed to exhibit any of these traits. Its high-European cultural heritage has provided it with the dignity and maturity not to feel it has to reinvent itself as an edgy or 'cool' destination, although it has elements of this too if you're looking for it.

A Vienna travelcard and museum card will get you where you want to go. I fitted in the culture between the cafés. Café musings to follow.

Let's consider Viennese retail here. Actually, before we get onto the shops of Vienna, we talked about travel essentials recently and I forgot to mention a really important one - the Daines and Hathaway travel tray.

Daines and Hathaway Travel Tray

A travel essential, this is the Missisipi Croc version of the travel tray lined with green suede. The studs at the corner mean that it packs flat, taking up next to no room in your Globe-Trotter.

A travel tray is something that, once discovered, you wonder how you ever managed without. Sums up my feelings about Vienna.

Viennese Shops

You want a trilby, a pipe, an elaborate shoe-horn or a pair of riding boots? And why wouldn't you? No problem, Vienna has it.

On this level, Vienna certainly passes the arbitrary indicators for our Tweed Pig Index of Civilised Cities. As we've said before, if you can walk out of a hat shop and into a tobacconists, you're in a civilised city.


The big name in Viennese hats is, of course, Muehlbauer. This artisan hat maker, a century-old family business, has a shop in Seilergasse.

Above we see the Karl Panama in blue and white.


I seemed to recall a shop selling Tricker's shoes that were hung for sale like rabbits outside a butcher's shop on my last visit. I couldn't find it this time. Can any Viennese residents confirm that such a shop exists or existed? Was it just a marketing idea of my imagination? It would have made a great photo.

Rudolf Scheer & Söhne (1816), the fine Viennese shoemakers, certainly do exist. A seventh-generation family business, the shop is in Bräunerstrasse, in the very centre of Vienna near Stephansplatz.

The remarkable shoe below is their mid-brown ankle boot in calf leather and cotton felt with ivory buttons.


Choose your time right and you can have a quiet moment and a delicious slice of Sachertorte in that tourist magnet, but classic all the same, Demel (1786). The Demel pastry and chocolate shop is a Viennese institution and is located in Kohlmarkt.

Demel was the first place that served the world famous Sachertorte. However, after legal wrangling, Vienna's Hotel Sacher has the right to call itself the home of The Original Sachertorte. The torte has a troubled but delicious history.


J. & L. Lobmeyr (1823), the Viennese glassware people in Kärntnerstrasse, recently collaborated with our very own dear Vivienne Westwood to produce the tumbler below. See, the Viennese can be edgy if they want to be.

Tweedy's Thought: Fascinating Lobmeyr's involvement in the Wiener Werkstätte. We'll stay in the shallows and leave a discussion on that movement for another day. Whither romantic art movements?

Top Photo: Teabags from a selection at Haas Haas in Vienna.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Music to Button a Cardigan By: Echo's Answer


Broadcast is a British indie band who filters 60s psychedelia and library music into their dreamy pop sound. Similar to Stereolab if we need to clumsily compartmentalise for brevity.

The singer, Trish Keenan (above), sadly died in 2011, but a new Broadcast album featuring recordings of her vocals has been mooted by the single remaining band member James Cargill.

Echo's Answer, our latest cardigan-friendly tune, is from their 2000 album The Noise Made by Other People. It reveals their confessed love of the 60s band United State of America, particularly Cloud Song. Fabulous.

Released as a single in 1999, no official video of the song exists. We're talking bona fide hidden gem here.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Hold Onto Your Bates Hats

Hats for the Hols

As The Tweed Pig annual Bloggers Fortnight approaches, I've been looking into a nice summer hat to prevent those blessed Mediterranean rays from boiling my bonce.

Bates the hat people have some nice ones this season.   

About Bates Hats

Edward Bates Ltd has been located in Jermyn Street, London, since 1898. Bates is renowned for its traditional British head wear. The range includes all the classics you'll need: trilbies, panamas, flat caps, bowlers and their signature pork pie hats.

The Veneto

I'm toying with a blue Veneto (above). A small brimmed straw hat. A day hat. I can see myself licking a stracciatella ice cream on the back of a Lambretta TV 175 in this one (see video below).

The Fino Trilby

The Fino Trilby is a finely woven folding Panama. Like all the best Panamas, it's woven in Ecuador. I see myself sipping a pre-prandial Aperol spritz amongst the Bougainvillea of a courtyard bar in this one.

Maybe I should travel with both?

Tweedy's Warning: The quality and fineness of Panama weaving can vary greatly. Buy your hat from a reputable hatter like Bates.

Do the Lambre Twist this Summer

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Brooks Brothers Dressing The Great Gatsby

Brooks Brothers Dressing The Great Gatsby

We can't ignore our friends Brooks Brothers' involvement in the latest film version of The Great Gatsby directed by Baz Luhrmann. Even though the collaboration's probably been covered to death on the web by now. (We don't look.)

Brooks were chosen as clothiers for the male characters and created more than 500 items of day and evening wear.

As fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald (above), we're looking forward to seeing the fruits of Brooks Brothers' participation in this adaptation of his most famous novel. They worked with the film's production designer and drew from their archives to do their research on menswear from the Jazz Age.

Brooks were an excellent fit for this project, as Fitzgerald was a customer and mentioner of theirs.

From what we've seen of the stills from the film, the collaboration and research has paid dividends. The men's clothes look terrific and appear to have the impeccable authenticity we have come to expect after Boardwalk Empire. Certainly different to the more wispy and romantic, but still delightful and elegant, 1977 take on 20s attire in the film featuring Robert Redford as Gatsby; much of which was shot in England. Who knows, we might look back and see 21st century signifiers in the clothes of the new film a couple of decades from now.

Gatsby is played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the new film.

Is it Really Going to be in 3D?

Not sure what to make of the film being shown in 3D. I suppose those walking canes and bow ties will really stick out.

Meaning Business - DiCaprio's Gatsby

Wispy - Redford's Gatsby

Monday, 18 June 2012

In The Mood...for the Summer Exhibition

The Tweed Pig has teamed up with itself to create a series of mood boards.
Covering all summer weather eventualities, this mood takes us on thoughts of the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in London and the languid Cornish seaside paintings of Royal Academician Henry Scott Tuke. 

Loro Piana - Woven Waxed Cotton Belt

Peckham Rye London - Paisley Print Scarf

Thomas Pink - Phoenix Jumper

Turnbull & Asser - Royal Oxford White Shirt with Button Down Collar

Brioni - Linen and Silk-Blend Blazer

Barbour - Joshua Chino

Barbour - Ripon Socks

Loake - Classic Tassel Loafer Shoe

Private White VC - Insulated SB4 - Cinnamon Ventile Coat

Cutler and Gross - Sunglasses

Friday, 15 June 2012

Dark Star Brewing - The Grand Triumvirate

Dark Star Brewing - The Beer Sessions

The breadth of variety and the quality of British beer constantly surprises. And that can be from a single brewer. Take our dear friends at Sussex-based Dark Star Brewing.

We recently enjoyed a mini beer festival at Tweed Towers, sampling three from Dark Star:
  • Sunburst
  • Six Hop
  • Espresso
All tasted of glory. I didn't take notes, but I'll try and recapture the essence.

Conditions for tasting session: Beers were drunk on a picnic rug in the back garden in early summer sunshine (between rain showers).


Thinking of a preferred order, we went for Sunburst first as it was the lightest of the beers. A seasonal summer golden ale, this was Mrs T's favourite. The beer has a light citrus flavour amongst the bite of hops. Delicious. A good picnic ale.

Six Hop

Next up was the sophisticated and stronger Six Hop. I like this bottle and label. Something of the Victorian about it. You could see Charles Darwin carrying a few on to HMS Beagle.

As the name suggests, this IPA-style beer is brewed using six varieties of hops, which gives the beer a satisfyingly hoppy complexity. Medium-bodied, the beer has fruitiness amongst the crisp bitterness of the hops. Refreshing.


It seemed sensible to finish with a coffee, or rather the Espresso beer. After consuming the first two beers we thought it amusing to go with the contrived photo above. For some reason I donned my very old John Partridge quilted jacket. I forget what that was meant to signify.

Anyway, about the beer. What we have is a stout made with freshly ground espresso coffee beans. I'm a big fan of stouts. Milk stouts. Chocolate stouts. Oyster stouts. Being a tea man, I'm never quite sure about anything coffee-flavoured.

I needn't have worried. Very tasty. The coffee aroma and taste are certainly in evidence, along with stoutish malt and caramel flavours to provide a balance of sweetness and bitterness. Nicely full-bodied.

A successful little festival. We may do another.

The Fall and Rise of the British Pub?

We're often bemoaning the decline of the British Pub at The Tweed Pig, normally in a nice pub with a good pint, so it was interesting to hear James Cuthbertson's take on the situation. James is the Company Director of Dark Star Brewing,

He tells us:

"There's no doubt that the smoking ban took its toll on many pubs, as has the recession, the tie that exists on some brewery agreements and the constant increases in duty.

"However we must also recognize that as a country we were probably 'over-pubbed'. Depending on who you listen to, we're losing pubs at a rate of between 20 and 40 a week, but whatever the source, the rate of decline is slowing. With the decline, I think we've also seen a rise in the quality of pub you'll find, licensees are getting better at the whole 'meet and greet' customer service thing, and it seems to be that food and drink standards are also on the up. On that basis, I'd like to think that whilst the industry is shrinking, the quality is rising and we'll soon find the right balance, so that licensees can make a living and pubs can remain at the very heart of the fabric of our communities."

Positive words. Let's hope that quality will out in the survival of the British pub, which, at their best, offer so much more than bland North American coffee chains that say nothing about the environs in which they're plonked.

Great Pub Tip

James provided us with the name of a hidden gem of a pub close to the Dark Star Brewery: The Royal Oak, Wineham. "A 30 minute cycle across country from the brewery and worth every turn of the pedal."

Tweedy's Request: Are you a quality pub, perhaps of historical interest, that serves great beers? If so, please get in touch. And if you're encompassed by a nice bicycle route, my Pashley Roadster would like to hear about that too. 
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