Since the start of the year, it’s been mental.
Wedding season is in full swing, Manchester is flying and we’ve just had a record month.
It’s all adrenalin fuelled, pink-cheeked positivity, but all work and no play, makes James a dull boy.
So, this month Mr Anderson and I headed down to London for the annual Bespoke Tailors Benevolent Association dinner, held at the Merchant Taylors Hall at Number 30 Threadneedle Street.
What a venue. Old school elegance at its finest with stunning chandeliers, Georgian windows and hand-carved oak-panelling. It’s my fourth time to this venerable institution and yet my heart still raced as I entered the fray, a veritable Whose Who of the Bespoke Tailoring and Textile trade in the UK and beyond.
Generously invited by the cloth company Scabal to join their table, we dined with members of the team from The Rake Magazine.
For those of you haven’t read this, it’s a must – with a focus on the good things in life and people of note, it’s witty, informative, a right riveting read and something every aspiring dandy needs on their coffee table.
After a fabulous meal, we headed out into the Courtyard Garden to commence the best part of the evening – simply having a good drink and a natter with fellow cutters, tailors, shoe-makers, hatters, shirt-makers and men of the cloth.
Here we are before things started to get messy.
I feel that Bespoke Tailoring is a genuine calling in life, and as individuals gathered together, our bond was the decision to tread a similar path. Enthusiasm for our trade and the satisfaction of doing something highly personal, creative and service driven was apparent in all I spoke with.
Time flew and before I knew it we were in a cab, heading to the Duck and Waffle on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower.
The chap with his back to you is responsible for extreme distress to my kidneys, liver and bank account. My paymaster, Mr Scrivenor, would have winced at the price of a bottle of Asahi beer – but that’s London for you.
At the risk of doing irreparable damage to my reputation, let’s just say it was ‘rather late’ when we got back to the hotel.
All too soon, the day after the night before, was upon us.
Whilst waiting in the lobby for my partner-in-crime to materialise, I spotted two chaps with their wives, resplendent in trilby’s and immaculately cut overcoats.
A sociable beast and still ‘buzzing’ from the night before, I introduced myself and commented on their attire. It turns out they were also at the dinner, representing the City tailors Couch & Hoskin, and their rather pink eyes, told a similar story to my own.
A truly fabulous firm, here’s a picture of one of their creations – a Silk Velvet Smoking Coat – made for the BTBA ‘ President Patrick Bunting of Dormeuil, who was at the top table that evening.
A cooked breakfast was called for and we found a belter of a place round the corner at St Katharine Docks. We sat outside, the sun shining down upon our alcohol drenched faces, and wallowed in a sausage and bacon recovery programme, admiring the glorious view before us.
London Town. The perfect place to let off steam in style.