Friday, 28 October 2016
Agatha Christie mentioned British futurist artist Christopher Nevinson's Unfortunate Witch (above) in Murder is Easy, a story set in Ashe Ridge — a strange village inhabited by peculiar people holding ancient superstitions, where revelries are believed to be held on Walpurgis Night and Halloween.
If you're considering your own revelries this Halloween, might I suggest a few items that could make your party go with a scream.
BOOK: Cecil Williamson's Book of Witchcraft
Cecil Williamson's Book of Witchcraft — A Grimoire of the Museum of Witchcraft by Steve Patterson — out on Troy Books — provides a history of Cecil Williamson, founder of the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall. The book also provides an account of how the museum began, and an anthology of Cecil's writing on witchcraft.
What strikes the eye is the quality of the Fine Edition of the book (above), which is hand-bound in burgundy goat leather with foil blocking, has lithographic printing on paper with a sewn binding, and a buckram slipcase to keep it in good order.
MUSIC: Kiitos (Eeva Kilpi) feat. Islaja
The sound evoked on the track Kiitos by German producer AGF (or poemproducer) is pretty bloody creepy to my ears, but it's also the type of music I might drift asleep to on a winter's evening, which may or may not say a lot about me.
FILM: Asylum - When Suits Kill
We all love a good horror film for Halloween (or Christmas), Hammer or Amicus, the old British productions.
Peter Cushing, Richard Tood, Britt Ekland, Robert Powell and a whole host of wonderful British actors feature in Asylum (1972), a portmanteau horror film with four terrifying tales centred around an insane asylum. Robert Powell plays a young doctor who has to guess which of the inmates was the former head of the asylum.
In the first story, Frozen Fear, a man uses an axe to separate (from) his wife with the line: 'Rest in pieces.' He pays for it and his mistress ends up as the first inmate. In the second story, The Weird Tailor, we learn that, depending on the material used, suits can kill. Be warned. In Lucy Comes to Stay, a troubled Charlotte Rampling is haunted by a malevolent Britt Eckland who goads her into doing terrible things. Finally, in Manikins of Horror, Herbert Lom plays a mad scientist seemingly capable of creating killer dolls.
Why not watch it (below) or the whole Amicus Box Set? After all, you have nothing to lose but your mind.
Whatever you do tonight, remember the words of Mary Wollstonecraft: 'No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness which is the good he seeks.'
Cue echoing diabolical laughter.
Thursday, 27 October 2016
The Moon Under Water - An Update
I don't cover pubs enough on The Tweed Pig. I love a good pub. If the balance of offerings and ambience is right, what finer way is there to spend time with friends? Coffee shops and tea rooms are fine, but a good pub is best.
George Orwell considered the perfect pub in The Moon under Water, a 1946 essay published in the Evening Standard. In his essay (full deets here) he lays out his criteria for an ideal public house.
Let's consider his thoughts and see if they still represent the ideal pub.
George thought that the interior of the ideal pub should be Victorian, though he was specifically referring to London pubs.
My interpretation would be that the interior of the pub should have some grounding in the history of the building, which may be multi-layered, and its time as a public house. You should get a sense of place.
George wanted games such as darts and skittles restricted to the public bar. I would say that it's a pity we don't see enough dartboards in pubs nowadays, and the tendency to make pubs more open plan may have played a part. Where's the next Phil Taylor going to come from?
George didn't like added noise, so no piano or radio. Personally, I think a well edited playlist of music at a subtle volume can add to the ambience of a place, though we shouldn't have to talk over it.
The bar-staff should make an effort to get to know your name and your preferences, and make you feel at home. Essential, and I think this kind of personal service has fallen by the wayside a bit now that pubs are less family-run and more likely to be staffed by students working a few hours a week.
George believed that the pub should have a ready supply of those essentials you tend to run out of: tobacco, aspirins and stamps. Now we can't smoke in British pubs (the cafés of Vienna are still holding out on a ban), tobacco is fairly moot; but it's a great idea for pubs to stock stamps and the like so you don't need to seek out a corner shop after a sociable half (dozen).
George wanted a snack counter in his perfect pub where snacks such as sandwiches, mussels and cheese and pickle were available; and an upstairs room for roast lunch and good stodgy puddings.
Bar snacks are still important, but I don't think enough consideration is given over to them. Pubs should have wonderfully presented snack options sitting on the counter like the tapas bars in Spain or the wonderful bàcari in Venice — serving delicious hot and cold snacks to soak up the booze throughout the day.
Having a dining room set away from the serious drinkers is a good idea, and it's always good to have the option in a pub to have a proper sit down meal in a less formal setting than a restaurant. The balance is fine: concentrate too heavily on the food and do you cease to become a pub? One for the philosophers.
George enjoyed a pewter pot for his stout, but recommended china for beer. I'd like to try a china beer mug, though I'm a big fan of the dimpled glass mug. Neither of us are keen on the straight glass. Orwell: '[Never] make the mistake of serving a pint of beer in a handleless glass.'
George might get into trouble now by suggesting that beer gardens were good for families, because 'it allows whole families to go [to the pub] instead of Mum having to stay at home and mind the baby while Dad goes out alone.'
I think a well-tended and nicely planted beer garden, somewhere to stir a jug of Pimms, can really be a draw in summer. A tarmac yard with a couple of benches does not make a beer garden.
How does your own local fare? Does it fulfil your own criteria? Do you feel comfortable and welcomed? If you think we would too, let us know.
The Lord Poulett Arms — Perfect?
I was reminded of George Orwell's criteria on a visit to The Lord Poulett Arms in the delightful village of Hinton St George in God's own Somerset. They'll be celebrating Punkie Night in the village this Thursday.
Serving the village since 1680, it has been described as 'a pub that dreams are made of', and I really do think it might have it all.
It is a beautifully preserved building inside and out — no hideous 'improvements' like uPVC windows and the like (Why aren't councils tougher on this kind of thing?) — and has a lovely enclosed beer garden with a space to play boules. You can play skittles near the bar, but there are also rooms away from the bar if you wish to be more private. You can enjoy ale poured straight from the barrel and good wine. The pub is well lit, with candles in the evening, and there are open fires in winter. You can order bar snacks and reserve a table for lunch or dinner. You can even book a room if you've overindulged somewhat —and there's a defibrillator in the phone box on the other side of the street if you really have overdone it.
You should wear your best tweeds to this venue to complete the picture.
Everything about the pub feels right. If George Orwell were alive today, I'd invite him for a drink, fully expecting him to agree — though he would have to bring his own china mug for the beer.
Wednesday, 26 October 2016
Load of Crêpe
I've been having a lot of shoe repairs recently. The latest were old black Oxford shoes with Goodyear welt that received a full resole using my cobbler's hard wearing leather option. Rubber soles were applied on top of the leather, and metal sections added to heal and toe. I should be able to gallop for another ten years on top of all that.
I warned him not to use any cover-up cobbler's paint, so he said he would apply wax and polish to the outer sole and heel edges — I live in dread fear of bodges being covered over with cobbler's paint. He was as good as his word.
When I collected the shoes, we got to talking about other types of sole. My Alden All-Weather Walkers are close to needing a resole. These shoes actually have quite an eccentric combination of a leather toe on a plantation crêpe sole — attracting some controversy. I found the toe shrank away from the crêpe and will look to go full-crêpe with the re-sole. Mr. Cobbler blanched at the mention of crêpe, he thinks it's the hardest material to work with.
Crêpe may be hard to work with, but I find it bouncily good to walk with. Alden's All-Weather Walker might easily be called the All-Day Walker, such is the comfort it provides to one's trotters; perfect if you're on a walking holiday around the North Coast 500 route.
To my mind, the All-Day Walker represents the pinnacle of crêpe-soled footwear.
We had friends visiting from Spain last week. Were they eager to visit the Bishop's Palace in Wells? No. Stourhead? No. The Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Bruton? Well, yes, but just for the restaurant. What they wanted most of all was to take home some Clark's Originals.
We went to the old Clark's factory in Street to seek out some rare specimens at the factory shop. I couldn't help but join in the fun. My choices all had one thing in common: crêpe soles.
I think I've gone a little crêpe ape recently.
Classic Desert Boot
I scooped up a pair of classic desert boots in sporting green suede. Every home should have the Clark's Desert Boot on their shoe rack. No need to go into the history of this boot — we all know it.
Encouraging to hear that a limited-edition collection of these classics was made in Northampton last year. More please. The closest I could get was this pair, which were made with suede from Charles F. Stead (1890) of Leeds, Fine English Tannery. There's a nice stamp on the inside of the boot to indicate such provenance.
Beckery Hill Boot
Based on a Clarks archive model, the Beckery Hill Boot has a double-stitch storm welt and a seriously thick crêpe sole (see top photo) — it's almost like being propelled on springs like Tigger. The boots are just the job for a planned Cornish walking holiday at Christmastime, although I think they would be fine for skirmishes in the desert. They might look a bit clunky shown on their own like this; if I find the time to show them with sock, trouser, leg and so on I will — as they make better sense that way. The grain leather looks like it will scuff easily, but age nicely. I promise to cream it often.
The London Derby shoe has a pleasingly soft beeswaxed leather upper. I'm tucking these chaps away until next summer. Funnily enough, given the shade, I wouldn't consider wearing these shoes in London, though I think they will make excellent companions when travelling to dry and dusty Israel.
Tuesday, 25 October 2016
This is rather fun. Hunt & Holditch of Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, have added the Brace Builder to their web site to allow you to design a pair of braces.
First of all you choose a width between 18mm and 38mm. You then choose a fabric from the range available in that width, with the fixings (fobs, clips or combination) and levers of your choice. I created the ones above by way of example.
A whizzy idea, but that's as far as I could get. I was expecting to step through and buy my braces, which would then be made in Huddersfield and shipped down to Somerset. I would then take a snap of my wearing them in a lovely setting — quite probably taking afternoon tea at Bovey Castle on Dartmoor.
I could be doing something wrong, but it appears that you need to be an approved retailer to purchase your creation. If so, I do hope this facility is opened up and simplified — fair enough if the retail price differs from the wholesale price — so that we can create and purchase braces directly that are just right for a pair of trousers that so desperately needs them.
How do you match braces? First of all, the fobs should match or complement the colour of the shoes. The colour of the brace straps should reflect the colours used in the entire outfit, matching or contrasting with the colours used elsewhere. You can have brace buttons sewn in to trousers to attach the fobs, though purists would say you should only use braces for trousers made for braces alone, and that means no belt hoops and a high waist. Others will see no issue with a more multi-functional approach, with trousers that can accommodate braces and belts for different occasions and outfits. I had a suit made once with belt hoops, side-adjusters and brace buttons — perhaps that was a little excessive, but it did give a lot of flexibility. The tailor certainly didn't discourage me.
Saturday, 22 October 2016
Bones and Eggs
I know we've only recently published a post about bones, but it turns out that you people are crazy about them. First we had Bertie from Melbourne reminding us that Tom Parker-Bowles has a fine recipe for Devilled Bones in his book Full English: A Journey through the British and Their Food; then another reader got in touch to suggest that we should all head over to the Hawksmoor Guildhall in the City for the best 'power breakfast in London' and 'tongue to tail' beef eating. Thanks for both recommendations.
God's truth! Just look at what you get on the Hawksmoor Breakfast for Two:
Smoked bacon chop, sausages, (made with pork, beef, & mutton), black pudding, short-rib bubble & squeak, grilled bone marrow, trotter baked beans, fried eggs, grilled mushrooms, roast tomatoes, HP gravy, unlimited toastWhen you think about it, grilled bone marrow belongs on an English breakfast. More please, British cooks. I'm sure its presence has historical precedence.
If we're ordering Hawksmoor's breakfast, then it should be started with a Marmalade Cocktail — one of Hawksmoor's 'anti-fogmatics' made with gin, Campari, lemon juice, orange bitters and English marmalade — to open the appetite.
I can't think of a better way to start the day ahead than with this winning combination. If you beg to differ, and think Hawksmoor's offerings can be matched — Surely not beaten? — feel free to add a comment below. Better still, get in touch with the English Breakfast Society who are experts in this field and would value the intel.
Tweedy's Note: Good news for readers from the former British colonies. Hawksmoor will be moving in to Tower Three of the new World Trade
Thursday, 20 October 2016
Worcestershire Leather Company
Dear new chum Tim Hardy and his team up at Cropthorne in Worcestershire have been crafting leather goods for the past thirty years.
Using the best British materials, everything the Worcestershire Leather Company sells is made by hand, including wallets, belts, bags and sporting goods. I imagine the team wearing brown aprons, sitting and tapping away at their respective benches, aged tools laid out in front of them, their glasses perched on the tips of their noses, rapt in concentration and working their materials lovingly. I suspect there's a Jack Russell or a Border Terrier padding around the premises. Being Worcester, the classic folk song Worcester City will be playing on loop in the background. I hope I'm not overly romanticising this business.
Tim says: 'I have always been passionate about British handmade, superior quality products encompassing the heritage of this country, and try to reflect this in my products by using British leathers, fittings and materials wherever possible.'
The leather worked by Worcestershire Leather comes from J. E. Sedgewick and Pittards of Yeovil. The fittings come from the skilled loriners at the Abbey Foundry, formerly B. B. Stanley Bros. of Walsall.
Tim's early influence was through handling the leather tack used at his father's farm in his youth — his father kept working horses — from which he developed an interest in leather working that was honed through study at the world-famous Cordwainers Technical College, now part of London College of Fashion, training in leather-working.
The Tottie Box
Perhaps nothing better represents Tim's love of craftsmanship and working with the best British materials than the Worcestershire Leather Company's Tottie Box you can see above (and below with their shotgun cleaning kit). The Tottie Box is a mini bar you can carry around with you. The case has solid brass locks, corners and handle plates, with a bridle leather exterior and pigskin suede interior. The interior is fitted out to hold twelve solid silver and gilt-lined tots made by hand in Birmingham's jewellery quarter. The tots are held in a lift-out tray, beneath which is found a cedar-lined cigar box.
I've just finished a generous tot of whisky myself — all this writing about tots left me hankering for a noggin —but I don't think I'm overstating the case when I say that the craftsmanship of something like the Tottie Box represents the greatest expression of the human spirit; art being a revolt against fate and all that, eh what?
For Men of Action
Anything with Shakleton's name attached and we're interested, particularly a clothing company that has the involvement of his granddaughter, the Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, and bases its modus operandi on Shackleton's maxim: 'I hold that a man should strive to the uttermost for his life's set prize.'
The clothes from Shakleton are intended to equip today's men of action. I suppose men of inaction can also present a more dynamic impression of themselves if they're wearing such clothes.
For the anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1916 Endurance expedition, Shackleton brings out the Canvas Box Jacket (above and below). The jacket is made in Britain from heavy duty cotton canvas and has a leather collar and patch pockets.
You might want to throw a Shackleton Signature Jumper underneath the jacket at this time of year, so make sure the size of jacket you buy can accommodate one.
The sweater is made from British wool that is undyed with a natural brown fleck (nepp).
The basket weave and roll neck of the sweater take direct inspiration from the sweaters worn by Sir Ernest and his team of explorers.
Shackleton describes the sweater as 'an investment in comfort; a dependable companion that is built for life'. If you look after it, it will look after you for a long, long time.
They call the wool Jacob's nepp, so I wonder if it comes from the Jacob sheep. I hope so, as they're wonderful-looking things (see also Jacob Sheep Association). I'll get my people to speak with their people and find out.
The Jacob's sheep is an ancient breed, with an attractive piebald fleece and multiple horns, which survived largely because it was used as ornamentation in the grounds of English stately homes. Apparently, they make good 'guard dogs', too. You can see one of the largest preserved flocks in the country at Charlecote Park, Warwickshire, where lamb and hogget from the flock are sold by the National Trust.
Shackleton’s Imperial Trans Antarctic Expedition
Wednesday, 19 October 2016
What am I Looking For?
Out of ideas for a present for a friend, I decided on a print from the National Portrait Gallery.
I could have spent forever trawling the huge collection from the National Portrait Gallery's web site — so many portraits are available for printing using their 'award-wining Portrait Printer system' in which portrait images are printed on demand 'in their original proportions within a white border on a selection of standard paper sizes or canvas.'
But it's the devil of a job locating what you're looking for if you're not sure what you're looking for in the first place.
After considering several by Angus McBean, I went for the photograph you can see above of Evelyn Waugh by (Madame) Yevonde Middleton. My friend is a fan of the City look, though I'm not sure what he thinks about having Evelyn Waugh hanging on his wall. The photo has it all though — pinstripe suit, brolly, bowler hat and cigar.
I was rather taken by a couple more of Madame Levonde's photos — the one below of actress Joan Maude (1932) from Powell and Pressburger's A Matter of Life and Death in particular. I'm considering them as further gifts.
The photograph of Mrs Edward Meyer as Medusa (below) is quite breathtaking — remember this is 1935.
Mesmerising — I look at it and all the world is a rhyme.
On the subject of the National Portrait Gallery, they've been exhibiting the work of William Eggleston (pictured below in a very nice sweater and jacket combo) since July, and — apologies for not mentioning sooner — it finishes at the end of the week.
Do hurry along if you haven't visited.
Yevonde was a pioneer of colour photography, using an early British process called Vivex, where the image was built up from three exposures in each primary colour. Similarly, William used a special colouring technique called dye-transfer (described in the video below). Both processes, despite the glorious end results, are now sadly defunct.
Tuesday, 18 October 2016
Just when I thought I was Out...Trousers Pull me Back In
I sometimes think about cutting back on the posts on clothes. Can I really say anything more about sweaters? Who cares? Besides, know-it-all, self-important chroniclers of men's clothes are ten-a-penny nowadays.
From the correspondence I receive on this subject, readers of The Tweed Pig regard them as completely interchangeable — just change the banner. I would never betray a confidence, but one very distinguished reader is highly peeved by a particular writer who specialises in dry-as-dust, surgical dissections of clothes, and seems to be stamped into the marketing material of every other clothing company we care about. I don't wish to arouse that level of opprobrium — hence the thoughts about bowing out on the clobber front. But...
...I then spy something else that tickles my fancy and the urge to pass on the intel proves too great. Call it clothes madness — an incurable case.
So it was with these delightful trousers by New & Lingwood. Don't most other trousers we know and love pale in comparison? You have to be very careful about what you combine with these trousers. I'm reading a book on the history of dandies at the moment (more on that later), and these could very easily verge into fop territory if you don't keep things muted elsewhere. We don't want to stand out too much; although it's hard not to when everyone around you is wearing Superdry anoraks.
The All Ireland Tartan Trousers have side adjusters and brace buttons, rather than belt hoops, which keep things neat and tidy at the waist. I wouldn't recommend a colour for the braces for these trousers until I see what you're wearing with them.
By the way, I've been wondering about leather braces. Has anybody tried them? Are they light enough, comfortable? Perhaps our excellent chums at Equus might consider adding them to their product line. I would be looking for a pair on the same level of quality as Equus' stunning belts.
Saturday, 15 October 2016
Spry as a Fox
In capes for foxes news this week, our good chums at Stewart Christie were asked by Hendricks Gin to design an outfit for a stuffed fox that replaces the old one ('Hamish') at Mark's Bar in Soho, London. And doesn't he look well turned out, with his lovely little dear stalker and bow tie.
Wondering what happened to the old fox? The video below reveals all. We can only hope we receive such a heartfelt and fitting send off when our time comes.
Friday, 14 October 2016
Sitwell's Façade - As Ugly as Modern Poetry
The findings are out. Rap was invented by an Englishwoman in England in 1923. This was the year of the first performance of Edith Sitwell's Façade, an after-dinner entertainment featuring a series of Edith Sitwell's poems set to music by her protégé (and sometime lodger) William Walton.
For the original performance, the poems were recited in proto-rap form using a Sengerphone (a papier-mache megaphone). The performers were hidden behind a curtain, with the Sengerphone poking out of a hole in the mouth of a face painted (by artist John Piper) on the curtain — avant-garde doesn't come close. Edith was very much a product of a time when Britain was a cultural Galapagos, before the cultural homogenisation of globalisation seeped in.
This 1929 recording with recitation by Edith and Constant Lambert gives a flavour of its odd, creative brilliance. Try to make it to 7' 04" where you get the slightly famous Popular Song.
Take that Jay Z.
If you dare, there's a CD transfer of this 1929 recording that includes a later recording Edith made with Peter Pears. As a bonus on the CD, you also get The Triumph of Neptune by Edith's contemporary and fellow English eccentric Lord Berners thrown in.
Edith on English Eccentricity
In her 1933 book English Eccentrics, Edith — who a shallow critic once described as being as 'ugly as modern poetry' — wrote: 'Eccentricity exists particularly in the English, and partly, I think, because of that peculiar and satisfactory knowledge of infallibility that is the hallmark and birthright of the British nation.'
English Eccentrics is out of print, so you will need to hunt around for it. I obtained a very nice hardback edition by The Folio Society after some searching.
God bless the English eccentrics and long may we maintain a habitat in which they can flourish.
Tweed TV - Walton on the Sitwells
This short documentary describes William Walton's relationship with the wonderfully free-spirited Sitwell siblings in the 1920s, whose patronage and contribution to the art and culture of England has never been fully recognised.
Wednesday, 12 October 2016
A Bone to Pick
It's good to see that bones can be still found on British menus. As any avid Bond reader can tell you, bone marrow was M's favourite dish at Blades, his club. Or was it Bond's favourite dish when he visited as a guest? Anyway, I imagine that they both enjoyed bone marrow. They say that most meat is prepared too lean and bone-free nowadays, so we're missing out on the vital collagen-giving properties of a good plate of bone marrow to be scooped out and spread on crispy toast.
Grilled Bones with Parmesan and Parsley Salt is a lip-smacking starter at 45 Jermyn Street, Fortnum's restaurant in one of our favourite London streets. You should pop into the restaurant after you've had your shave and bought your bowler hat just for the bone marrow alone, though the menu has all kinds of wondrous, timeless non-faddish treats on offer (oysters, caviar trolley and so on). You can even try some Dorset snails.
Actually, with my particularly Victorian palate, I tend to favour unfussy food so I'd be spoilt for choice at 45 — Dover sole, ox cheek, calves liver — just my kind of grub — though I don't see any pigs ear stew.
PS: I'm also hearing very good things about 45's Sunday roast, which is carved at the table just as it should be.
Recipe for Bone Marrow
Can't make it to 45 Jermyn Street? You will find recipes for baked bone marrow in Mrs. Beeton's Cookbook and her Every-Day Cookery. You can obtain a free copy of these invaluable kitchen aids from Project Guttenburg.
Of including bones in the diet, Isabella says that two ounces of bones contain as much gelatine as one pound of meat. Time for a bone marrow transplant — into your welcoming mouth.
Do you know, if you're thinking of opening a hipster restaurant, you might not go far wrong resurrecting some lost dishes from Mrs Beeton and her ilk. Personally, I'm willing to travel great distances for v. good steak-and-kidney pudding — it's getting increasingly hard to find. Please, someone make it fashionable again.
Back to bones — Mrs Beeton has a recipe for boiled or baked beef marrow bones in Every-Day Cookery. Why not ask your butcher for some decent bones this weekend?
BEEF MARROW-BONES, Boiled.
Ingredients.—Bones, a small piece of common paste, a floured cloth. Mode.—Have the bones neatly sawed into convenient sizes, and cover the ends with a small piece of common crust, made with flour and water. Over this tie a floured cloth, and place them upright in a saucepan of boiling water, taking care there is sufficient to cover the bones. Boil the bones for 2 hours, remove the cloth and paste, and serve them upright on a napkin with dry toast. Many persons clear the marrow from the bones after they are cooked, spread it over a slice of toast, and add a seasoning of pepper; when served in this manner, it must be very expeditiously sent to table, as it so soon gets cold. Time.—2 hours. Seasonable at any time.
Note.—Marrow-bones may be baked after preparing them as in the preceding recipe; they should be laid in a deep dish, and baked for 2 hours.
Tuesday, 11 October 2016
Something for Your Next Race Meeting
I flicked through the autumn/winter Paul Stuart catalogue and singled the rig out above as a possible for your next race meeting. What should you like about it? I'm sure you'll like the man-sized tie and collar. You might say from this angle that they're a little too big for the lapel of the jacket, but the collars fill the opening nicely.
The outfit has an undeniable elegance you always get from our favourite Anglo-American outfitters. Let's zoom in...
No, we see that our concerns about scale are unfounded. We're looking good.
Note how the purple lines of the plaid in the jacket match with the colours on the print of the tie and cotton twill shirt. Finishing off with what looks like red needlecord trousers completes the picture very satisfactorily.
Note also that building checks on checks, as with the tie and jacket, and mixing patterns works as long as the colours complement. It's a very English approach to dressing. The chap above wouldn't look out of place at the Badminton Horse Trials, apart from the all-American handsomeness. We just need some outdoorsy windburn on that face.
The jacket is made from Scottish lambswool of a full canvas construction, with slanted hacking pockets and with a throat latch on the lapel.
The Equestrian-themed tie — perfect for horse events — is hand-made in the USA of printed Italian silk and cashmere, self-tipped and looped with wool interlinings. It's one of those patterns that come around and then it's unlikely to be seen again. You know what to do.
Thursday, 6 October 2016
Right for Each Other
A few weeks back, during my summer sojourn, I waxed longingly over a Cordings tie. The tie never really left my thoughts. I'd be clipping my box hedging at Tweed Towers by hand or supping a half of bitter in the Queen's Arms at Corton Denham and just wishing it was there with me, wrapped lovingly around my neck.
Despite the distance between us, it was clear we were meant for each other. We shared the same interests; culturally we were in perfect alignment.
I'm glad to say that this story has a happy ending. As you can see from these photos, as of this day we're now together.
The Cordings Crest tie (made in England) is based on a tie from the Cordings archive. It's available in blue and navy. I plumped for the green version and the Cordings Pale Blue Overcheck Tattersall shirt to be its perfect canvas. The shirt has a manly-sized collar — none of those childish micro collars at Tweed Towers.
And look at the tattersall tipping at the back of the tie.
Of course, they're going to look good out in the heather with your tweeds, but the ties and tattersall shirts from Cordings work in any off-duty situations; inimitable and easy-wearing British style that Cordings like to think they do well. They might consider it impolite and boastful, but after all these years I can say on their behalf that they actually do it well.
I have to tell you a bit about the mail service from Cordings, too. (Remember: I'm loathe to leave Somerset at the moment.) The shirt and tie arrived wonderfully packaged by the delightful Natalia and Catherine over at Cordings HQ in London.
I've tried to capture the artistry here, but you'll have to imagine the pleasing rustle of the tissue as the booty was uncovered from the box and my excitable face beaming like a child on Christmas day. Tears of joy? Utter poppycock! I don't know where you heard that from.
I'm rather pleased with the first photo of the packaging below. It has something of the style of Willy Hameister's work on The Cabinet of Dr. Cagliari about it — accidentally, of course.
Behold! Purest Cordings delivered fresh to my door:
The darling package from Cordings also included a rather nice little booklet (bound with string): Cordings and Pol Roger Present Your Guide to the Autumn/Winter Season (Tastefully Curated by Aunt Agatha and Uncle Bernard)
The booklet has some lovely illustrations by Oliver Preston.
I do like what Uncle Bernard is wearing on the cover. I think I have something similar to everything but the sweater — excellent, a wardrobe gap. We should have Uncle Bernard as a pin-up.
You can read the booklet, courtesy of Cordings and Pol Roger, here.