SPRING/ SUMMER 2 0 2 1
SPLASH DOWN INSPIRATIONAL ACCESSORIES FOR SPRING/SUMMER 21
ESCAPE CAPSULE SUSI HENSON LOOKS AT THE SEASON’S KEY CAPSULE WARDROBE MUST-HAVES
TERROIR-STRUCK CHRIS GOODRUM EXPLORES THE MYSTERIES OF ‘DISTILLERY CHARACTER’
News - updates from around the centre SS21 Highlights Gifts
SPRING/SUMMER 2 0 2 1
CONTENTS 04 |
Updates and lowdowns from around the centre
Susi Henson looks at the key essential add-ons for a stylish SS21 great escape
Splash Down This season’s shoot lands with a splash, as we look at awesome accessories for the season
Pret Chez Vous
Great inspiration for all those present dilemmas
Malt Meister, Chris Goodrum attempts to decipher the mysteries of distillery character as he goes in search of …The Terroir
Tasty treats from Pret a Manger to try at home
EDITIOR / Adrian PARKINSON CONTRIBUTOR / Susi HENSON PHOTOGRAPHY / Micheal LAU PRODUCED BY / 18twenty Creative Media T: 01909 540218 firstname.lastname@example.org
2_ All prices correct at time of publication
THIS PAGE / Sofa.com: Harper Armchair in Peony Velvet £850
E D I T O R’S LETTER Welcome to the Spring/Summer 2021 edition of The Exchange Magazine This time last year we were starting the first national lockdown. Who would have thought, 12 months on, we'd have endured another two? As we emerge from what will hopefully be the final one, we should pause to give our thanks to those who led the fight, our sympathies to those who suffered and our hopes for a more certain future. Like most in retail, The Exchange and its stores bore a cumulative seven months of closure. But through the efforts and creative thinking of store owners and staff, The Exchange has opened its doors again to begin its 92nd year of unbroken retailing in Nottingham. This would not have been possible without your ongoing interest and support, and we look forward to welcoming you back to the centre soon. In this issue of The Exchange Magazine, we look at the SS21 highlights from some of the centre's core stores, including Castle Fine Art, Dr Martens and Bubble Vintage. Designers from Harvey Jones offer insights into planning your new kitchen, and Sofa.com get into Cool Cocooning. With summer breaks looking like they might actually happen, our regular style commentator, Susi Henson, assesses SS21 capsule wardrobe accessory musthaves. Head to Page 6 to ensure your Escape Capsule is fully loaded. This edition's photoshoot also makes a splash, as we highlight some of the key accessories for the season. Turn to Page 12 for a Spring/Summer 21 Splash Down. And, in his latest article, malt-meister Chris Goodrum goes in search of The Terroir - the elusive ‘distillery character' that defines individual whiskies. Head for Page 24 to find out more… if you dare! Keep well and hope you enjoy the magazine
Adrian PARKINSON Editor April 2021
THIS PAGE / PDR at Tutu Urban Boutique
N E W S / SS21
COME DINE WITH ME Launched as part of their SS 21 collection, sofa com have introduced two new dining seating designs. Ready to be upholstered in a luxurious, eye catching fabric of choice, the Coco and Margaux will add a touch of chic to your humble abode. Inspired by Art Deco design, Margaux adds Gatsby-style glamour to home décor and mealtimes, with its sleek curved back and polish wooden frame. Coco sees opulent, sweeping curves embellished with blind button detailing and a cut-out leg feature, and bring a boutique hotel elegance to a space. Patricia Gibbons, from the design team at sofa.com commented: “The way in which we live in our homes is ever evolving but the two factors that we universally appreciate are comfort and style. As everything is increasingly on show, the furniture we choose now has to meet our practical needs but look fabulous while doing so. Both these new styles offer timelessly elegant shapes and look particularly good in accent coloured fabrics which will add personality and draw the eye in your interior scheme.” Margaux dining chair in Deep Turquiose Velvet £540
Sofa.com 16 – 18 The Exchange, NG1 2DD
CUTTING CREW The Exchange’s resident hair stylists, Exchange Barbers, celebrated their two-year anniversary recently, having developed a loyal and extensive clientele despite the challenging conditions over the last 12 months. The salon was a first venture for owners Tim Neal and Rajan Landa, who drew on their extensive experience in men’s haircare to open in The Exchange in 2019. Tim Neale commented, “It was not how we expected to be celebrating our second anniversary! But we were able to manage over lockdown and are now open once more and welcoming customers. We’d like to thank all our clients for their continued support, especially over this past year. Stay safe everyone and we look forward to seeing you all soon.” Exchange Barbers are open daily at 19 - 21 The Exchange. A walk-in service is available, but appointments are recommended at busy times. Call the salon on (0115) 959 9879 for bookings and enquiries.
VISION: ON As well as being one of the area’s foremost ophthalmic opticians, Optique Vision also offer an extensive repair service, enabling customers to easily and inexpensively extend the life of their favourite glasses, or have a usable spare pair. They can replace nosepads, screws, rimless nuts and bolts, fix spectacle hinges and repair broken metal sides, as well as remove and replace crossthreaded or sheared screws and repolish and re-gloss plastic acetate frames. Optique also offer genuine RayBan replacement lenses and spare parts, along with replacement of genuine branded sunglasses lenses to many designer brands. Contact the store to get a free quote, with a service available from £10. Optique Vision 17 The Exchange Tel: 0115 950 1499 www.optiquevision.co.uk
TEA FOR TWO… Enjoy an indulgent Afternoon Tea from Patisserie Valerie to celebrate our new-found freedoms. Whether it's out in the park with your loved ones or in the comfort of your own home, Patisserie Valerie can deliver all the classic treats straight to your doorstep for you to enjoy. PV’s Afternoon Tea includes: 2 x Mini Chocolate Sponge Cakes, 2 X Mini Lemon Sponge Cakes, 2 X Mini Raspberry Tarts, 2 X Mini Praline Tarts, 2 X Mini Chocolate Tarts, 4 X Mini Raspberry Eclairs, 2 X Mini Plain Scones, 2 X Mini Fruit Scones, Jam, Clotted Cream and Loose Leaf Tea.
FIVE AT TUTU
Available to order online for £29.95 at www.patisserie-valerie.co.uk
New in for SS21 at Tutu Urban Boutique is French women’s jeans collection FIVE. Known for its effortless rock chick style, with boyish prints and embroidery flourishes, their jeans and jumpsuits are perfect everyday wear with a vintage edge.
Patisserie Valerie 8 The Exchange Tel: 0115 9584094
Tutu Urban Boutique 1, The Exchange T: 0115 947 0189
In the fervent hope that summer getaway’s are on the cards this year, The Exchange’s regular fashion commentator, Nottingham designer Susi Henson, looks at some of the season’s key accessory must-haves to ensure a Great Escape…
ESCA PE CAP SULE
Buying beachwear for a summer holiday abroad might not be quite on the cards for us just yet, but this season's accessory trends are full of all the colourful charm we want from our holiday wardrobe. So, we need not to be missing out on adding some whimsical delights to our outfits over the coming months, especially with the focus on practicality and comfort for this season's fashion trends, the attention is on the accessories to bring some vibrancy and fun.
Luxe Eco: This season the reusable water bottle and coffee cup are not only essential items, they are essential fashion accessories. Of course, we all want to do our bit for the environment and its doubtful anyone carrying them are doing so as a fashion statement, even so, it is a trend as bizarre as that is. The fashion world is however slowly moving in the right direction, and any item of clothing or accessory that is ethically and sustainably produced from organic fabrics and dyes to being recyclable, ethically manufactured, recycled and upcycled or second hand is bang on trend and it's a trend that is here to stay.
Artisan: One of the biggest accessory trends this spring / summer is for artisanal and handcrafted products. The pandemic has seen a rise in supporting local and independent businesses and with that artisans and handcrafted products are having their moment quite rightly in the spotlight. Beautifully crafted products and accessories that are handmade or have a handmade feel to them are the object du jour this season. As are accessories with a boho vibe such as layering multi coloured beads, jewellery with healing crystals, fringing and folk style colours and embroideries.
Statement Sparkle: When we start meeting up with friends and family again, each time is going to be a very special occasion and special occasions require a little bit of sparkle. Sequins are a big fashion trend this season, as are diamante accessories and bling. The catwalks for spring were full of sparkly statement accessories particularly at the Chanel show which featured oversized diamante hair slides and tiaras. Dr Martens
photo Marcus Holdsworth
F A S H I O N / SS21
Other accessories on trend are the single big earring with a small mismatched earring the other side, layering of lots of delicate chains and bracelets (this spring / summer the main metal is gold) and also chunky gold chains for bag straps as well as jewellery. Monochrome: Black and white accessories are a timeless classic and this season black and white in any combination are a key look. A pair of white slouchy boots or chunky platform sandals are footwear trends that work with another big trend for the season which is the black dress. Because this is such a classic look there is plenty of choice out there whether you are shopping new or vintage. Pastels: Balancing out the bold colour trends of red and monochrome this season is the trend for pastels. There's always something about a pastel colour palette that brings about a sense of nostalgia. This season's sugary pastel shades for clothing and accessories can be mix and matched as you please, whether you are block colouring pastels for an entire outfit or accessorising for a hint of colour pastel shades look great however they are styled. Camel: The colour palette for this season couldn't be more classic and timeless with the monochromatic shades and red, so it makes sense for camel to be in the colour palette too. A perfect shade for the wide leg trousers and classic lightweight trench on trend for the warmer months, it is also a great shade for accessories, especially leather goods. Any shade of camel or tan for a bag or pair of boots or shoes is never a wasted investment and will go with absolutely everything.
Footwear: Boot styles on trend this season are tall and slouchy or a chunky ankle boot. As practicality is the theme with bags, comfort is the theme with footwear. White trainers (and active footwear in general), classic loafers and chunky platform sandals are the go-to footwear styles for day wear as well as the slipper shoe for ultimate comfort. For eveningwear the trend is for kitten heels so we are being eased back into wearing high heels gently. Eyewear: The ongoing trend for retro style sunglasses continues this season, with the Aviator style being a seasoned favourite exemplified by Ray Ban and Aspinal. Feminine cat-eye style frames popular in the fifties and sixties also continue to find favour with designers. Large frames for sunglasses and spectacles are also a key shape for eyewear this season - in fact, the bigger the frame the better! Men: The men's trends for this coming season very much mirror many of the women's trends in terms of colour palette as well as the eco, active-wear and artisanal influences. Practicality and functionality are key for men's accessories this season, hailed as the 'new utility' using technical fabrics with interesting features and attention to detail.
Bags: Bags for spring / summer are mainly practical and functional, with the back pack and cross body bag style being a major trend. The popularity for active wear has grown enormously over the last year for both men's and women's wear and this had a knock-on effect on the fashion trends. The 'micro bag' which has been quite an odd bag trend over recent seasons and continues to be a trend this season has become quite the ironic accessory in the last year as we have needed to carry much less with us as there has been so few places we could go. As too has the phone bag worn on a long cord around the neck for just your phone.
_7 Dr Martens
Tutu Urban Boutique
P R O F I L E/ BUBBLE VINTAGE
SUPPORT BUBBLE the same time. Guilt free shopping, no less!
Bubble Vintage is a new brand that champions sustainability, acting as a hub for environmentally conscious shoppers who value personal style and timeless pieces.
From Gen-z's wanting the latest Nike spell-out sweatshirts, to Millennial's shopping the clothes they wore way back when, there's sure to be something for everyone.
The store carries an eclectic mix of old, classic and modern fashion, with customers able to rummage through the easy-to-understand colour coded sections, finding plenty of bargains effortlessly. Alternatively, shoppers can scour the store's premium vintage rails and pick up some exclusive designer clothing and accessories.
The store is structured in an easy-to-follow layout, with stock priced as low as £4 so customers are guaranteed to bag a bargain! There is also a premium range, where shoppers can find designer goodies such as Louboutin heels for less than £100, or Gucci handbags for under £150.
Bubble Vintage opened its doors in August 2020 in Nottingham’s oldest purposebuilt shopping arcade, The Exchange. Its aim is to supply current, on-trend, sustainable vintage clothing for a wide range of customers - style that doesn't break the bank and helps the environment at
Follow Bubble on Instagram @bubblenottingham where you’ll find updates about the latest stock drops and outfit inspiration, along with howto-style video reels.
BUBBLE VINTAGE 15, The Exchange Nottingham NG1 2DD Tel: 0115 9587126
PROFILE/ DR MARTENS
MADE IN ENGLAND For more than 60 years, Dr Martens have been crafted using original techniques and manufactured in Northamptonshire. DM's Made in England range includes some of their most iconic pieces, handcrafted at the original Wollaston site by experienced factory cobblers. The Made in England collection features Originals such as the 1460 boot and 1461 shoe, and the 2976 - Dr Martens take on the classic Chelsea Boot. 1461 Suede Lace Up Shoe £189 DM's new 1461 shoes have been crafted from Desert Oasis, a soft, textured suede with a rugged nap. The high-grade leather comes from C. F. Stead, a Leeds tannery that's been around since 1904, and refined in producing some of the finest skins available. The premium Made in England shoes are finished with a trademark Goodyear-welted sole and a goldscripted sock liner. 1460 Pascal Full Grain Leather Ankle Boots £239 Constructed with a CF. Stead's Culatta leather and marked with the tannery's branded swing tag, these premium Made in England boots are finished with a trademark Goodyearwelted sole and black and gold heel loop.
Needles 2976 Snaffle Chelsea Boots £219 Notorious for seamlessly fusing the old with the new, Needles' post-modern takes on vintage American garments are as legendary as they are quick to sell out - and now they're taking on DM's 2976 Chelsea boot. Draped with tassel detailing and made to perfection in the Wollaston factory, the boots come in both Black and Cherry Red. The Chelsea boots are printed with Needles' instantly recognisable 'Papillon' logo which floats just above the yellow welt stitching for a unification of brand beacons. 1460 Harris Tweed Lusso Leather Ankle Boots £219 Northamptonshire has a shoemaking legacy that dates back centuries. In DM's original Wollaston factory, they keep it going with premium materials and traditional British craftsmanship. These tough 1460 boots are enhanced with Harris tweed a classic British fabric first woven in 1840 and with a rich heritage of premium outerwear and accessories. The boots come with Harris Tweed internal branding, a goldscripted heel loop and gold foilembossed sock liner. Sat on a rugged commando sole, they're welted in place with Docs signature yellow stitching. Vintage 3989 Brogue Shoes £169 The Vintage 3989 is a re-issue of an archive style, faithfully re-created at Docs Cobbs Lane factory in Northamptonshire, and handcrafted using traditional cobbler's techniques and machinery. The result? A fine piece of footwear, full of Dr. Martens heritage. The shoe is made using Quilon, a durable, fine-textured recreation of the classic Dr. Martens leather that ages to perfection. Built to last, it's made using one of the finest methods of construction: the Goodyear Welt - which means the upper and sole are sewn together in a heat-sealed z-welt stitch. The boot sits on DM's durable, comfortable AirWair™ sole, that's oil and fat resistant with good abrasion and slip resistance.
Visit Dr Martens at 11, The Exchange Nottingham NG1 2DD T: 0115 9240068 www.drmartens.com
New for Spring/Summer 21, the latest collection from sofa.com will feature a beautiful selection of new fabrics, sofa and chair shapes and a new range of mirrors - joining sofa.com’s made-to order upholstery and home accessory offering. Embodying the themes of cocooning and comfort, the new collection will see the launch of five new designs; two hero sofas, Reuban and Bowie, stylish dining and bar seating, Margaux and Coco, and Poppy, a deep buttoned accent chair. Ranging from contemporary to retroinspired styles, these pieces are perfect for a living room update, a kitchen island refresh and every room in between. On the designs for next season, Patricia Gibbons from sofa.com’s design team comments: “Cocooning” (in every sense of the word) was our starting point when creating the new shapes for SS21. With more time spent at home, there’s been a notable shift into what sofa.com customers are looking for when choosing their forever pieces. We designed each shape with deep cushions and curves wherever we could, for optimal cocooning as well as sitting.” Speaking on aesthetics and trends, Patricia added, “We have expanded on our contemporary shape range this season with Bowie and Reuben - both clean-cut in design with sleek silhouettes for fuss-free living. Catering for the growing number of homes wanting modern simplicity as a canvas for their interiors and instead using artwork, rugs, cushions and accent pieces to accessorise their sofas for a unique, personality filled space. We’ve also introduced Coco and Margaux for the now popular open-plan multifunctional living - you can have cool, curvaceous comfort froml iving through to kitchen x dining.” In addition, SS21 sees the launch of five new fabrics with sofa.com’s first-ever Bouclé finish alongside their new mirror collection - a 19piece range of contemporary and classic mirrors to join their growing lighting and home accessories range.
Pictured: Reuben 3 seat sofa in Marina brushed linen £965
16-18 The Exchange Nottingham NG1 2DD T: 0345 400 2222 www.sofa.com
PROFILE/ CASTLE FINE ART
CELEBRATING 25 YEARS OF CASTLE FINE ART The UK's top retail art company, Castle Fine Art, is celebrating 25 years of success and will be marking its landmark anniversary with a look back on some of its finest artists and collections. Over the last quarter of a century, Castle Fine Art has showcased a portfolio of limited-edition prints, original artworks and sculptures from the best contemporary artists around the world. First launched in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1995, the brand has gone on to establish itself as experts in the accessible art market and now boasts 40 prime high street locations across the UK, including London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, and of course its art space in Nottingham's Exchange Arcade.
the world. It has showcased an ever-expanding portfolio of limited-edition prints, original artworks and sculptures by cultural icons Bob Dylan, Billy Connolly and Ronnie Wood, as well as developed the careers of now globally collected artists such as Raphael Mazzucco, Paul Kenton, Stuart McAlpine Miller and Nic Joly. Ian Weatherby-Blythe, Group Managing Director, commented: "Despite it being a very difficult year for retail we are enormously proud to have maintained our strong position on the high street, and this success has been thanks not only to our amazing artists and staff but also our loyal customers. Over the last 25 years it has been wonderful to see our art transform the homes of our clients.
From exhibiting the work of exceptional contemporary artists to the specialist knowledge of its consultants, Castle Fine Art has built a strong reputation for offering clients exclusivity, the very best in customer service and an immersive shopping experience
"Working with some of the biggest names in the industry has been a real privilege, while nurturing the careers of so many home-grown artists and allowing them to be seen by a wider audience has been our honour. In our journey to make art accessible to everyone we have grown into the country's leading retail art company, something every member of our team is rightly proud of."
Since its launch, the team has welcomed thousands of customers, including a host of celebrity clients, supported countless charities, seen their work featured in the national press, as well as displayed in homes and venues across the
Castle Fine Art invites you to pop into the gallery the next time you're passing, to hear more about their history and get the inside track on what new artists and collections will soon form part of their next chapter.
8-10 The Exchange | Nottingham NG1 2DD | T: 0115 958 3883 | E: email@example.com www.castlefineart.com
PHOTOSHOOT / SS21
Bubble Vintage: Christian Louboutin black leather stiletto boot £40
T H E E X C H A N G E E D I T S PR I N G / S U M M E R
Splash Down Photography: Michael Lau Photography firstname.lastname@example.org Photographic Assistant: Mike Spencer Stylist: Susi Henson Eternal Spirits www.eternalspirits.com
Dr Martens: Combs Tech utility boot £119
PHOTOSHOOT / SS21
Bubble Vintage: Jimmy Choo purple sandal £40
Dr Martens: Black leather Mini Backpack £109 Cherry red leather satchel £119
PHOTOSHOOT / SS21
Dr Martens: Voss 11 white leather sandal £89 Dante white leather lace-up shoe £109
Gauntleys: Canes from £39.95 - £45.95 each
PHOTOSHOOT / SS21
Bubble Vintage: Gucci trainers £140
Bubble Vintage: L - R: Pink & cream bag £22 Embossed leather purse £18 Black leather bag £32.50
PROFILE/ HARVEY JONES KITCHENS
When it comes to renovating a home, choosing a kitchen is one of the most exciting home projects. As the most hardworking room in the house, the kitchen has to be suitable for many different tasks cooking, socialising, home working and so much more - so careful planning is essential.
to do is block the natural light source and cook in a dark area. Therefore, we’d suggest keeping tall cabinets away from windows and placing them in the corners.
We've asked Lucia and Bethan, kitchen designers at Harvey Jones Nottingham, to share their top tips to help you achieve your dream scheme.
With so many cabinet styles available, it's natural to become overwhelmed by choice. The main thing to bear in mind is if a style will work in your home and if you'll be happy with it in the next 5, 10 or 20 years. Hand-painted furniture is a great way to ensure the cabinetry can be adapted as trends and colour preferences change. Opting for a door that's not overly detailed will keep the cabinetry timeless, and the option to change the colour overtime means you can future-proof your space, which gives you much more flexibility.
ASSESS YOUR SPACE:
When planning a kitchen from scratch, start by considering the overall style and look you're hoping to achieve, as this helps determine the layout. Would you like a more traditional design or a more unique and modern space? Once you've chosen the style of your kitchen, it's important to think about what kind of appliances you'd like (freestanding or integrated) and consider the positioning. Often, there are only one or two practical options for where to place each appliance, and this will influence how the space around each of them can be planned. The positioning of appliances can also be impacted by the light within the space - ambience is another element to consider when designing your kitchen. The best thing to do is break down the decision making into simple steps: function, appliances, accessories (such as lighting, handles and worktops) and finally your colour scheme.
5. INVEST IN WORKTOPS AND FLOORING: The worktop is likely to be in your kitchen for a long time, so ensuring it goes with various colours as you redecorate is very important. Stone, whether granite or quartz, is very durable and requires little maintenance. Colour and practicality are the main things to look at when choosing your kitchen floor. As flooring is over a large expanse, its shade is really important to create a light and bright room. Keep in mind that, as with wall paint, colours look darker over a larger area. 6.
CHOOSE THE CABINETRY:
PICK YOUR COLOUR SCHEME:
CONSIDER THE BEST LAYOUT:
The layout possibilities for each individual kitchen will be largely dependent on the shape and size of a room. Most importantly, the space must be easy to navigate - this is where the working triangle comes in, with sink, cooking, and fridge zones all in relatively close proximity. There should be a decent space for preparation, preferably next to or opposite the hob zone. Thinking about how the space will function and how you will use it is essential i.e. breakfast bar seating may look really nice and symmetrical in one long row, but could possibly work better in an L-shape layout, so it's easier for family and guests to interact.
When it comes to choosing colours, the first aspect to keep in mind is how much natural light is in the room. If you have a welllit room, opting for bold, dark colours can be very effective and create a dramatic statement. If it's not very well-lit I'd suggest keeping the walls, flooring and worktop fairly light. A dark wall can look great against a bold cabinet colour if there's plenty of natural light in the room, however, if you don't like the idea of redecorating, neutral is the way to go - you can always incorporate colours with smaller decorative items in the room, such as stools, appliances and soft furnishings. PLANNING A KITCHEN NOW?
THINK ABOUT LIGHT:
How natural light enters the room is one of the first considerations when planning a kitchen. The last thing you want
Harvey Jones has developed an immersive showroom experience that can be delivered through a virtual home consultation. To book with a designer, visit harveyjones.com
When planning a kitchen from scratch, start by considering the overall style and look you're hoping to achieve
20/22 The Exchange Nottingham NG1 2DD T: 0800 389 7365 www.harveyjones.com
G I F T S / SS21
T T / RIT AR RO B E E FIN OM
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D UM I EM PR £27 T I K
MA UN DO ATEA 4.23 CH 3 £4 1 20
/ NS TE R A 0 R M 146 £60
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/ Y S CH LE L BAT 91 T UN AL 35. GA ’S SM GIN £
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S/ R EN HE RT LEAT A R M CK
D UBU 9 1 N £11 4 1 6 OE S H S
E/ AG T VIN RS
LE INE BB RA BU CCI T GU 0 £14
D R I N K S / SS 21
TERROIR STRUCK It's all about the land of course, terra (or should that be terroir) firma, and its relationship with and influence upon those things produced on it and from it. And, as with so many things-epicurean, the French have come up with a suitable mot juste. In his latest article, malt-meister, Chris Goodrum from Gauntleys, looks into the intimate symbiosis between the spirit and the soil, as he attempts to pin down the elusive distillery character of Scottish whiskies. So, buckle up and brace yourself for…The Terroir!
Here's a question for you. What does the whisky in your glass smell/ taste of? Is it rich and fruity? Maybe it's barley-dominated, possibly very citric or minerally, or perhaps it's quite earthy or heavily influenced by peat. It's possible that there's some oak character, whether that's vanillery American oak or fruitcakey sherry, either way it will more often than not be a magical amalgamation of characteristics that we tend to call 'distillery character'. For years both I and many other whisky reviewers have gone on about this concept to the point in which it has become the buzzword of the whisky industry. It is for me, one of the most intriguing aspects of whisky - a magical combination of aromas and flavours that are derived firstly from the barley and augmented by the fermentation and distilling techniques used by each individual distillery. In essence it's what makes the spirit produced at Laphroaig, for example, very different to the spirit produced at Balblair and so on. However, these days there's a new buzzword doing the rounds, and that is terroir. For most wine drinkers this terroir concept is nothing new - in fact, major regional classifications of European vineyards have been largely based on this concept. So, what exactly is terroir? There isn't an exact English equivalent for this quintessential French term and concept; however, simply put it is a holistic combination of the soil in which the vines are grown, along with the local topography and the influence of both meso and microclimates. The way that each of these elements interact with each other gives rise to this concept and underlies the reason why wines made from grapes grown in adjacent vineyards can taste dramatically different to each other. Without getting overly technical, certain grape
varieties, such as Pinot Noir and Riesling are extremely adept at channelling terroir, but what has this all got to do with whisky? One man was responsible for this new buzzword - Mark Reynier. Many of you will know Mark from his days at Bruichladdich and some will know him for his forthright and outspoken views on social media. Mark's first obsession was to finish pretty much all Bruichladdich's spirit in ex-wine casks, (I'm not going to get into that here as that discussion would take up an entire article on its own!), but once he had got that out of his system, his next preoccupation was soil, or terroir, to be exact. Mark was convinced that barley grown in different parts of Scotland, on different soils and affected by different climactic conditions would have a distinct effect on the character of the finished whisky, and he set out to prove that theory. To be honest I was somewhat sceptical about this claim. Obviously, I was a believer in the concept of terroir as far as wine production went, but I believed that any trace elements of terroir would be lost in the intensive production methods of making whisky. This scepticism was challenged by Bruichladdich's head distiller Adam Hannet in 2016, when he kindly sent me three new-make samples from the distillery's regional barley trials. The first sample was of Concerto barley from farms located in Turniff (East Aberdeenshire), the second was made from the same variety of barley grown on farms in Rainsfield (South Lothian) and the final sample was, again the same barley, but harvested from farms in the Black Isle, near to Inverness.
The Aberdeenshire sample was classic Bruichladdich new-make with signature notes of hyacinth, acacia and honeysuckle. The South Lothian sample was a lot less oily than the Aberdeenshire new-make with an almost starchy character. The barley notes were sweeter, and a lot more pronounced. There wasn't as much heavy, oily feintiness and there were also fewer floral notes as well. Finally, the sample from the Black Isle displayed even sweeter barley notes than either of the other two regional new-makes. I also concluded that it was overall, less expressive. One could argue that it didn't have a lot going for it bar a bit of barley and a little floral note on the finish. It certainly didn't appear to have the strength of character that the Lothian newmake had, and I deduced that it would probably be easily swamped by first fill oak. So, you're probably thinking that I was converted to this whole terroir business in whisky - well, yes and no. There was absolutely no denying that all three of these samples were very different to each other and given that the variety of barley and production methods were exactly the same, there appeared to be enough evidence to support Mark's and Adam's supposition. But go back to the last sentence of the preceding paragraph - yes, that's right, there was one thing missing here and that was oak. Again, I wondered how much of this terroir character would remain after prolonged maturation in oak. Obviously, I was going to have to wait some years before that question could be answered. That wait was not as long as I was expecting, because prior to Adam sending me these samples, Mark had sold Bruichladdich to Remy Cointreau and had established his own distillery/ laboratory at Waterford on the south-east coast of Ireland. Here, unfettered, he could continue his experimentation, but on a much larger and grander scale. Even if you are not signed up to Mark's vision, you can only marvel at the lengths he has gone to in this experiment. Firstly, he signed up around 100 Irish farms, including organic and biodynamic farms, which grow 12 varieties of barley on 19 distinct soil types, and has created a state-of-the-art logistics system which keeps track of each farmer's harvest.
Not only are these stored separately, but he malts and distils each farmer's harvest individually and documents every minute detail of the terroir, harvest, fermentation, distillation and casks that are used. Distilling at Waterford began in January 2016, but it was around a year later that I had the opportunity to taste a couple of new-make samples. Both samples were made from a variety of barley called Taberna, the first grown by Tom Fennelly on the Cloncassan farm (fine loamy drift soil) and the other grown by David Walsh Kemmis on the Ballykilcavan farm (grey brown podzolics/alluvium soil). Once again there was a distinct difference between the two samples. The Cloncassan farm sample was lightly oiled and displayed a pleasant, sweet barley character, which was the most dominant character, although there was a light earthiness present. When diluted, an almost violety floral note appeared along with some subtle citric notes. The new-make sample from the Ballykilcavan farm was a completely different animal. It was pungent and earthy with an overriding soil character. There was a subtle barley character and more 'whisky-like' fruit notes as well. It was also more complex, and when diluted I could pick out notes of tobacco and waxy spice. A further two samples of new-make spirit came my way in October last year that were distilled from Olympus barley, which like the previous samples the barley came from different farms. The first sample came from barley grown on the fine loamy soil of Timogue farm and the second from barley grown on the shale soil of Tinnishrule farm. The Timogue farm sample was warm, oily and rich with an almost vanilla accented barley character, and seemed to me that there were definite similarities between this and the Cloncassan farm sample, and I wondered if loamy soils amplified this pure barley character. As expected, the Tinnishrule Farm sample was completely different. It was angular, fresh, sharp and stony with a slightly ascetic, agave-like pulped white fruit. The palate was very lemony and stony with an almost icy fresh austerity; it also felt less evolved than the Timogue farm sample.
So, once again I was left in no doubt that the individual terroir of these farms had a clear impact on the character of the new-make spirit, but there was still an itch that needed scratching for me, and that was oak. Given that Mark's first obsession was ex-wine casks, it was a sure-fire bet that he was going to use them to mature the Waterford spirit in. In fact, he was planning to use not only ex-Vin du Natural wine casks but premium French oak casks, first fill American oak and virgin American oak casks as well. Now, that's a serious amount of oak, and I wondered how the Waterford spirit would stand up to a hammering from such a large amount of oak, including new oak and ex-wine casks. The question was, would there be any spirit character, let alone terroir character left after all that oak had imparted its imprint? Thankfully it wouldn't take too long to find that out, as the distillery kindly sent two pre-release samples of what they were calling their 'Single Farm Origins' range along with the new make samples. Those samples were the Sheestown 1.2, distilled from Irina barley, harvested in 2015 and grown by Phil O'Brien in Kilkenny, and the Ballymorgan 1.2, distilled from the Overture barley variety and grown by Robert Milne in Wexford. So, with baited breath I poured the samples into my nosing glass… The Sheestown 1.2 was indeed quite oaky. The American oak casks had imparted a fair amount of vanilla, the French oak had added a good dollop of taught tannin and there was, of course, a slight winey note as well. There was a lovely, fleshy, fruity spirit character and a distinct minerality on the palate. The combination of the 50% abv and the developing citrus notes left the finish a little on the austere side, but it appeared that the spirit had handled the oak pretty well. The Ballymorgan 1.2 was, considerably less influenced by the oak. That's not to say there wasn't any - there were hints of vanilla and tight wood spice, but it wasn't overwhelming the spirit and terroir character. It was about 600 days younger than the Sheestown 1.2 and that youthfulness was noticeable, but I got a distinct earthiness
and pronounced minerality on the palate. Like the Sheestown 1.2, the finish was a bit on the austere side, but it had a lovely progression to it. If this were my project, I would probably have opted to just use refill American oak, because that way the oak imprint would have been minimal and a lot more of the spirit and terroir character would have been evident. But would that have made for an enjoyable drinking experience? It could certainly be said that the use of the different cask types had added an extra dimension to the finished Waterford whiskey, which is what you would hope for, and my fears about all the spirit and terroir character being lost under a mountain of oak were definitely put to bed. I concluded that not only is Mark right in his belief that terroir affects the character of the finished spirit, but that it can still be detected after a period of maturation in oak. Now, whether those characteristics will still be evident when the spirit is a lot older, I just couldn't say and obviously only time will tell, but for now I can say - I am a believer! Here are some choice whiskies with their own distinct character to try now: Waterford Single Farm Origin - Sheestown 1.2 50% £69.95 Btl: Sept 2020 (aged 4 years & 9 days). 33% American oak, 19% New American oak, 25% French oak, 23% Vin du Natural casks The nose is a little fresher and showing more barley character than the pre-release sample. The creamy American oak is subtler with just a touch of toffee. Quite citric and stony with lemon, botanical spirit, soil, bran flakes and late fortified wine notes. The palate shows subtler creamy oak and French oak tannins making the spirit character more apparent. Long if a little austere with lingering mineral and citrus. Subtle soil, cereal, fortified white fruit, sweet spice and cereal in the finish.
Arran 21-year-old 46% £126.95 First & refill Sherry hogsheads. Btl: 2019 A lovely aromatic nose of mature apricot, pineapple and some gentle, spicy sherried dried fruit. Hints of toasted oak, almond and juicy, sub-tropical fruit follow. The aromas are predominantly refill sherry-orientated that it is beautifully balanced with late white chocolate and lime conserve. The palate opens with some soft and mature oak vanillin and slightly coffee'd Oloroso. Hints of raisins and prune give the fruit a darker character, but there's still mature tropical fruit notes. Long, citric and very salty with returning vanilla, pepper and dried fruit. Like the nose the balance is superb. Bruichladdich Port Charlotte MRC:01 2010 (7-year-old) 59.2% £88.95 50% First Fill American oak/ 50% Second Fill French Red Wine. Btl: 2018. A lovely mellow and woody nose with a distinct French oak grainy tannic character. Hints of vanilla, medicinal peat, red fruit, leather, earth and dry peat smoke emerge. With time a smidge of coconut, black pepper and dark chocolate. The palate is soft and mellow, with dried redcurrant/ cherry, earth, medicinal peat and like the nose a distinct grainy French oak character. The alcohol although quite high is impeccably contained by the weight of the spirit. Very complex and mouth-filling with treacle, tar, dark chocolate, dry peat and gritty peat smoke. Long and medicinal with lingering menthol, bog myrtle and tar.
Water makes the nose slightly oilier and waxy. It's less woody with more emphasis on the dried fruit. Subtler peat notes as well. It also emphasises the dried red fruit and earth on the palate. Still quite medicinal and sinus cleansing but the peat is drier and dustier. Starward Two-Fold 40% £34.95 Wheat spirit and barley spirit aged separately in Australian red wine cask. A dense fruity and tropical nose - apricot, pineapple, barley and hints of pepper, winey red fruit and vanilla. Aromatic and Mackmyra-esque with late red sherry and subtle mentholated herbal notes. The palate opens with oft red fruit conserve and hints of barley. Less tropical than the nose suggests but there is still a good depth of fruit. Noticeable red cherry and tannin on the middle along with a light creaminess. Long and spicy with notes of tobacco, red wine, barley, spice and liquorice in the finish. Stauning Triple Malt Kaos 46% £64.95 A blend of single malt, malted rye and peated malt - bourbon matured A definitely interesting nose! Opens with youthful rye and chunky barley with hints of apple, red berries, red grape and smoky, oily peaty spices. Slightly earthy with a touch of chocolate powder. The palate also opens with the oily rye. Not quite as full as the nose suggests but there's a good depth of sweet apple, roasted malt, cereal, hazelnut and astringent, oily peat. Subtle American oak notes on the middle. Long, oily, peaty, rye finish with grippy, peppery spice and subtle dried fruit.
PRET CHEZ VOUS Many of Pret's most loved recipes are freshly made in their shop
Dark Chocolate Vegan Cookies
kitchens by Pret Team members. No scary machines, no red-faced shouty chefs… and no reason not to try making these delicious dishes yourself! From souper soups to sweet treats, now you can make your favourite Pret recipes at home.
A rich dark chocolate cookie, studded with melting chocolate chunks and crunchy almond pieces, enriched with almond butter and sprinkled with a little sea salt.
Here we’ve featured two favourites - an indulgent Vegan Chocolate Cookie and a fab Espresso Martini. Espresso Martini Ingredients 60 ml brewed coffee (espresso is preferable, but you can use whatever coffee you have available at home) 100 ml base spirit (vodka is the traditional base spirit but experiment with gin or rum) 40 ml simple sugar syrup (1:1 ratio of sugar and water - gently heat sugar and water in a pan until fully dissolved) 50 ml coffee liqueur (we'd recommend Mr Black but if you don't have a coffee liqueur experiment with a sweet liqueur like Bailey's instead) Good handful of ice Garnish - 3 coffee beans or chocolate powder
Ingredients 43g Caster sugar, 112g Soft light brown sugar, 4g Salt 40g Almond pieces (for best results, use flaked almonds lightly smashed up) , 112g Dark chocolate pieces, 205g Plain flour, 20g Cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda, 65g Coconut oil 72g Almond butter, 100g Golden syrup, 40g Water Method Preheat the oven to 180°C. Pour the caster sugar, soft light brown sugar, flour, almond pieces, salt and chocolate pieces into a large bowl. (For best results sieve the cocoa, flour and bicarbonate of soda). Mix the almond butter, oil, water and golden syrup together and add to the bowl. Mix together with a wooden spoon and then bring the dough together using your hands.
Equipment Martini glass or any cocktail glass you may have at home Coffee maker (Espresso or capsule machine, cafetiere, stove top, filter machine, will all work) Cocktail shaker (if you don't have a cocktail shaker, try a reusable bottle!) Strainer or sieve Jigger or measuring jug / spoon
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Split your dough into 8 golf ball-sized balls and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Bake for 8-10 minutes (This will vary depending on thickness - if the edges of cookie feel firm but centre is still soft, it should be ready to take out). Leave to cool for 15 minutes. Enjoy!
Method Brew your coffee and add 60 ml to your cocktail shaker to begin cooling Add 100 ml of your base spirit, then add 40 ml of sugar syrup and 50 ml of coffee liqueur. Follow with a good handful of ice and shake, shake, shake! Pour into your glass of choice through a strainer, garnish and enjoy!
There are more great recipes to try at Pret, go to: www.pret.co.uk/en-GB/pret-recipes for the full menu - and happy cooking!
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