Dining with Giants

On Wednesday 12th February at 6.30pm, I was formally announced into the inner sanctum of the Merchant Taylors Hall in the City of London. Based at Number 30 Threadneedle Street, this has been home to The Livery Company of The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors’ since 1343, and tonight was their annual Benevolent Association Dinner.…

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Growing too quickly

On Monday January 6th, the scales confirmed I’d had an exceedingly good Christmas. Half a stone above fighting weight but oh, so worth it. For two glorious weeks, the Michelsberg log fire had crackled along to the bubble of my gastric juices. Every single calorie had been savoured with relish. The sweet, aromatic taste of…

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Friends, Food and Fine threads

As the proverb goes, “If you build it, they will come.” That was my hope on Friday 6th December at 5.30pm, when The Tingley Brass Band raised their horns to kick off the Michelsberg Christmas Party 2013. Corks popped and the scent of mulled wine filled the air, as my customers, suppliers, family and friends,…

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A Christmas Package

So, will it be ‘Calvin’s’ for Christmas? Money says the shedding of wrapping paper at Casa Michelsberg will reveal a white box, emblazoned with the image of a smouldering footballer. His body, a waxed temple to muscular perfection, laughs in the face of love-handled lesser mortals. Sullen eyes, lowered towards his slim waist, fall on…

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Wool Week

Last week was “Wool Week.” Run by The Campaign for Wool since 2010, it’s an international salute to the mighty sheep, on behalf of woolgrowers, fashion designers, retailers, artisans and shifty looking Welshmen. Patronised by The Prince of Wales, it’s a PR platform to extol the virtues of a fibre that is sustainable, bio-degradable, non…

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Dugdale Bros & Co

Farewell sweet Summer – you’ve been a joy. This year we’ve been spoilt rotten, but gin and tonics must now give way to a warming brandy, as the cold, hard barrels of Autumn and Winter swing in our direction. Now is the time for log fires, pastry and mash and breaking out the winter wardrobe.…

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A ten inch rise

There aren’t many professions where you inform a customer that you’re going to give him a ten inch rise in his trousers. The ‘rise’ in the world of tailoring is the difference between the outside and inside leg measurements. In simple terms it’s roughly the distance between the top of the waistband and the bottom…

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An Englishman abroad

In a past life, I’m convinced I was one of the sun-worshipping Inca tribe down in Peru. God bless those healing rays and everything they stand for. Blue skies, short skirts, the crackle of Hendricks gin on ice and the whiff of Hawaiian tropic. Magical. Earlier on this month I was having it large in…

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Doing “The Baz” in Ibiza

I’ve seen that look in my customers eyes before. Desire, longing, want. Every new Bond film spawns a thousand suit fantasies and the latest catalyst for sartorial spending has been The Great Gatsby. God bless The Silver Screen. I remember the ‘Unit 4’ cinema in Shipley when I was a child. A lurid horror-show of…

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