Michael Spiers W
ith the exception of Santa Claus, the people who work at Michael Spiers may just have the best job on the planet.
As Chairman Keith White MBE so eloquently puts it “we are in the business of happy occasions.” Birthdays, engagements, weddings, christenings – at all of the happiest times in life, Michael Spiers are there to offer a tangible way to celebrate. For nearly 60 years this prestigious jewellery company has led the way in the South West, a family business now with the third generation showcasing their expertise in this glittering field. Michael himself – who sadly passed away 17 years ago - grew up around his father’s jewellery business and found himself fascinated by gems and precious stones, setting up his first shop in Looe way back in 1957. At that time the company may not have had the big brand associations it does today, but it was a success, so much so that Michael brought brother in law Keith White and diamond expert (and family friend) Michael Cox to support him. It would be correct to describe Michael Spiers not so much as a family business but as an extended family business, as so many members of the team have stayed with the company for decades. That’s certainly true of Group Manager James Walker who has been with the company for 30 years and, who laughingly recalls how he joined straight from school “on a YTS scheme.” “I knew nothing about jewellery but you are made to feel so welcome and so part of the company, there are many of us that have spent our whole working lives here,” he said. And those relationships also extend to the customers, many of whom travel from around the world to visit one of the four Michael Spiers stores.
International brands such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breitling, Omega, Tag Heuer and Gucci have chosen Michael Spiers as their authorised retailer, recognising the quality that the stores offer. What really makes the company unique however is their own team of jewellery designers and goldsmiths who make breathtakingly beautiful and bespoke pieces. “The engagement ring that someone sees in our window is a unique piece,” explains Director Michael Cox, member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses. “Like every piece from Michael Spiers, we hand select each individual diamond and gemstone”. This includes the diamonds being sourced and selected for their clarity and brilliance and then hand crafted into a beautiful piece of jewellery – a ring, a necklace, a bracelet or earrings. It is that attention to detail which has given the company such a loyal customer base. Michael’s son Adam is now at the helm of the company, working alongside his father’s two original partners. “We have people who live a thousand miles away who see us as their local jeweller,” says Adam. “We have a unique relationship with our customers providing jewellery for all the special occasions in their lives. Very often the second and third generations of these families return to us for their own special occasions.” For everyone who visits Michael Spiers, it’s a memorable experience and there’s no doubt they’ll receive attentive service, a warm welcome – and a piece of jewellery that can be treasured and passed down through the generations. As Keith White says, “it’s the Michael Spiers experience!” 1
Plymouth 54 Cornwall Street Plymouth Devon PL1 1LR 01752 661981 email@example.com TRURO 82 Lemon Street Truro Cornwall TR1 2QA 01872 272264 firstname.lastname@example.org Exeter 22 Cathedral Yard Exeter Devon EX1 1HB 01392 666590 email@example.com Taunton 16 North Street Taunton Somerset TA1 1LJ 01823 333152 firstname.lastname@example.org
www.michaelspiers.co.uk Photography by Edwin HO Hair & Makeup by ENVY Hair Salon, Plymouth Model: Vicki & Heather-Louis from IMPACT MODEL AGENCY Photography Assistant: Alessi Heitman-Rice, Jon Cooney, Isabelle Luscombe & Zack Langsdon Concept & Direction by ANRÁN DESIGN STUDIO Shot on location at ANRÁN PHOTO STUDIO Digital Imaging: Meiling from Wanted Pictures (double models body contour shots) Design/Art Direction: MOVEdesign
Wear it with Confidence â€¦
Alfa Romeo Giulia Style, Speed And A Body To Die For...
The Big Softie of Seafood: Nathan Outlaw
Made In The West Country
LUKE YOUNG: Creator of Custom Surfboards
ROB CHAMBERS: Creator of the Finest Quality Bespoke Cricket Bats
MICHAEL SPIERS: Designers of Beautiful Jewellery
TARQUIN LEADBETTER: Distiller of Award Winning Gin
The Perfect Watch
Wear it with Confidenceâ€¦ A DAZZLING NECKLACE. A SPARKLING RING. AN ELEGANT WATCH. WITH THE PERFECT PIECE OF JEWELLERY, WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?
Michael Spiers classic 3 carat diamond stud earrings, £25,000. The classic design stud earring collection is available in Truro, Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton, from £695 Patek Philippe reference 5960/1A, annual calendar chronograph. £37,040 Michael Spiers platinum graduated emerald cut diamond bracelet, featuring over 26 carats of diamonds. Price on application Gucci’s iconic Horsebit bracelet in silver. £1,850
Michael Spiers classic 3 carat diamond stud earrings, £25,000. The classic design stud earring collection is available in Truro, Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton, from £695 Patek Philippe reference 5067A, the Aquanaut Luce with diamond bezel and “Glitter White” strap. £11,770 Gucci’s iconic Horsebit bracelet in 18ct yellow gold. £5,350 Michael Spiers triple diamond bracelet, over 6 carats of brilliant cut diamonds set in 18ct white gold. £9,995
Michael Spiers classic graduated diamond collar featuring 16 carats of brilliant cut diamonds. £35,000 Fope Mia Luce 18ct white gold diamond necklace, Italian style and elegance from Fope, £15,470. See the Fope collection in our Truro and Exeter stores Georg Jensen Aria slim bar silver necklace, £425. See the Georg Jensen collection in our Truro and Exeter stores Gucci’s iconic Horsebit bracelet in silver. £1,850 Gucci’s iconic Horsebit bangle in silver. £1,110 Michael Spiers collection of ruby, sapphire and emerald rings, set with diamonds and available in 18ct gold and platinum from Truro, Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton
Michael Spiers raindrop diamond necklace, featuring 2.30 carats of brilliant cut diamonds, £6,450. Available as a bracelet or necklace in 18ct yellow or white gold from £650 Rolex Datejust 41 Everose Rolesor wristwatch with chocolate dial. £8,700 Michael Spiers fine diamond bracelet in 18ct pink gold. Also available in yellow and white gold. £1,895 Michael Spiers 18ct pink gold diamond scatter ring, also available in yellow gold. £2,250
Hans Kreiger seven stone diamond drop earrings. £6,750 Michael Spiers diamond cross, in 18ct white gold with 2 carats of brilliant cut diamonds. £5,950 Patek Philippe Twenty-4, with diamond case and blue diamond dial. £8,810 Southsea cultured pearl necklace with gold diamond set clasp. £5,950
Gucci Steel Cut silver earrings, £225, and ring £185. Also available in a matching necklace £260 Diamond double halo engagement ring in platinum. £3,150 Breitling Avenger Hurricane automatic chronograph crafted from Breitlight. £6,480 Gucci Horsebit silver pierced design bracelet. £1,240
Michael Spiers 18ct yellow gold diamond cluster circle earrings £1,995, and necklace £1,650 Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 with white grape dial. £3,600 Michael Spiers diamond six stone Celtic influenced ring in 18ct yellow gold. £1,850 Michael Spiers diamond scatter ring in 18ct yellow gold, also available in pink gold. £2,295
Michael Spiers classic graduated diamond collar, featuring 16 carats of brilliant cut diamonds. £35,000 Tag Heuer Aquaracer white ceramic quartz watch. £1,950 Michael Spiers diamond drop earrings, set with over 4 carats of marquise, princess and brilliant cut diamonds. £8,500 Michael Spiers scatter diamond ring in platinum and featuring over 1.5 carats of brilliant cut diamonds. £5,500
Michael Spiers classic diamond cluster ring, in platinum and with 3.5 carats of brilliant cut diamonds. £14,950 Michael Spiers classic 3 carat diamond stud earrings, £25,000. The classic design diamond stud earring collection is available in Truro, Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton from £695 Michael Spiers triple diamond bracelet, over 6 carats of brilliant cut diamonds set in 18ct white gold. £9,995 Omega Globemaster in steel with Master Co-Axial movement. £4,785 Hans Kreiger “ribbon” diamond pendant on double chain in 18ct white gold. £6,500
Gucci Horsebit silver pierced necklace, £535. Complete the look with a matching bracelet. £1,240 Fope Wild Rose diamond necklace in 18ct pink and white gold. £5,200 A selection of Michael Spiers bracelets from £650 including a stunning sapphire and diamond piece. £22,500 A collection of diamond rings including a classic Michael Spiers diamond cluster ring. £14,950
A stunning collection of Fope bracelets, available in our Truro and Exeter stores from £755 Michael Spiers diamond bangles in 18ct yellow or white gold. £1,995 Michael Spiers round pave diamond pendant, £6,995. Complete the look with matching earrings. £3,285 Stunning triple strand diamond collar in 18ct white gold and featuring over 8 carats of brilliant cut diamonds. £24,500
Fope Mia Luce diamond and black diamond necklace in 18ct white gold, £26,500. Complete the look with a matching bracelet £22,600, earrings £6,400 and ring £9,800 Michael Spiers coloured gem stone and diamond ring collection: pink tourmaline £5,950, aquamarine £10,950, tanzanite £19,950, green tourmaline £6,950 and Gucci amethyst cocktail ring £3,950
Timeless elegance Jewellery that adds sophistication and style to any outfit, for any occasion. Wear by day to show you mean business, wear by night to turn heads.
Stunning diamond crossover necklace, featuring 7 carats of brilliant cut diamonds ÂŁ16,950, matched with a beautiful pair of graduated five stone 1.5 carat diamond drop earrings ÂŁ3,250. All set in understated and timeless 18ct white gold. Available exclusively at Michael Spiers.
Elegant and with a beautiful vintage edge, this diamond necklace has two graduated pear shape drops and features over 1.5 carats of brilliant cut diamonds ÂŁ5,500, perfectly complemented with a matching pair of drop earrings ÂŁ1,395. Available exclusively at Michael Spiers in Truro, Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton.
Add a sophisticated splash of colour with this ruby and diamond necklace ÂŁ4,750. Featuring luxurious cabochon rubies and brilliant cut diamonds, this necklace is sure to turn heads. Available exclusively at Michael Spiers in Truro, Plymouth, Exeter and Taunton.
The bespoke wedding dresses from Sam Cox and the beautiful jewellery from Michael Spiers will create your perfect wedding. The Sam Cox Bridalwear collection is a reflection of what we believe to be the most elegant and highest quality dresses in the world. 52 Southside Street, The Barbican, Plymouth. PL1 2LB.
The rarest of all pearls 50
Beautiful Tahitian cultured pearl necklace. £6,250 Southsea cultured pearl necklace, stunning 12-14mm pearls. £17,500 Multi-coloured cultured pearl necklace, with 12-15mm pearls. £11,950 Fabulous coloured 12-14mm cultured pearls from Tahiti, Indonesia, Australia, China and the Philippines. £18,950 51
Itâ€™s the perfect way to seal your
love Whatever you choose...
The tradition of giving your beloved a ring to mark your engagement and marriage has its roots in ancient Egypt. Itâ€™s the way for the world to see that you and your loved one are together, tangible evidence of your commitment. Say it with yellow or white gold, with platinum or with diamonds. 53
Style, speed and a body to die for...
In recognition of a watershed moment for the much-loved marque, the company has reached deep into its rich heritage for inspiration and produced this, the Giulia – a sporting saloon straight from the glory days. It’s a car unashamedly created for the keen driver, clearly signalled by the engine located in the front paired with a rear wheel drive layout. But Alfa’s engineers went further, because the big news is that there’s a fire-spitting Quadrifoglio (or Cloverleaf) model powered by a twin-turbo 2.9-litre V6 with 510hp. Rumours suggest Ferrari’s engineers have had a hand in how the Giulia’s chassis has been calibrated, but it helps that Alfa gave them a thoroughly modern set of components to work with in the first place. There’s judicious use of lightweight materials such as aluminium and carbon-fibre, while significant effort went into centralising the
location of heavier components in order to achieve the perfect frontto-rear weight distribution. With the mechanics correctly arranged, Alfa set about optimising the experience with the latest in electro-gadgetry. There’s a new Torque Vectoring system that controls torque delivery to each of the rear wheels independently without resorting to fun-spoiling traction control, plus a formidable braking system that allows stability control without pedal vibrations and can bring the Quadrifoglio to a halt from 62mph in just 32 metres (the Highway Code claims you need nearly 2½ times that). Adaptive dampers work to keep all four wheels pressed into the tarmac, and they link together with the car’s other systems – including the active aero splitter and eight-speed paddle-shift transmission – under the supervision of Alfa’s DNA control and its choice of four modes: Dynamic, Natural, Advanced Efficiency and Race.
On the road, this all translates into a car that feels delightfully well balanced â€“ poised, even. The front wheels respond keenly to inputs from the helm, yet despite little more than a couple of turns lock-tolock, thereâ€™s no nervousness to it. Of course, with 510hp to play with, the Giulia welcomes every opportunity to drift through a corner in an easily-controlled powerslide leaving behind only the tell-tale scent of tortured rubber.
But this is no one-trick pony. Because for all its active this and torque vectoring that, the Giulia threads itself from one corner to the next with an air of sporting elegance. In the greatest tradition of the brand, then, Alfa have created that most delicious blend of accessible power and light-on-itsfeet sensations, all wrapped in a body thatâ€™s been styled to beguile.
And while the Germanic competition offer a similar level of performance in a rear-drive saloon package, Alfa shows us that these ingredients alone do not an experience make. What marks the Giulia out is how every part has been infused with that interminably elusive quality that Alfa offers in abundance: A soul. You too can experience the excitement of Alfa Romeo at your local Vospers showroom, at either Marsh Mills, Plymouth or Marsh
www.vospers.com Hennock Road, Marsh Barton, Exeter. EX2 8RU. Alfa Romeo Marsh Mills Motor Park, Longbridge Road, Plymouth. PL6 8AY.
Barton, Exeter. Major investment and development is planned for both locations with new state of the art showrooms coming soon there’s never been a better time to get to know the iconic brand. To book your very own test drive please call our Group Alfa Romeo Manager Mark Swain on 01752 636363, with over 12 years’ experience with the Alfa Romeo brand he is looking forward to welcoming you into the Alfa Romeo family.
Softie of Seafood:
Namai Bishop meets one of Britainâ€™s most well-liked chefs and discovers his passion for seafood and his latest project that is taking him from the Cornish Coast to the Arabian Sea.
Ask many chefs about Nathan Outlaw and they will tend to agree: an all-round good guy, dedicated to his work and unpretentious. This seafaring chef is as down to earth as it gets. Descriptions of him invariably refer to a big guy with a big heart and talent to match Jamie Oliver in his forward to Nathan’s latest book, “ Nathan Outlaw’s Everyday Seafood describes him as just that “a massive softie with a big heart and one of the nicest guys in the restaurant industry.” And given his adept skill with seafood, you could suspect that there may well be seawater pumping through his veins. He honed his skills from an early age – his father was a chef and Nathan was initiated into the kitchen at an early age, buttering toast for breakfast service at 8 and by 14 working in commercial kitchensin the evenings and at weekends. The hard graft continued as he
trained at Thanet Catering College in Broadstairs before moving to London to work under Peter Kromberg, then Gary Rhodes and Eric Chavot. But the call of the ocean proved strong for Nathan and it wasn’t long before he moved to the Cornish coast, where he discovered his true passion for seafood. Today, he is remarkably the chef-owner of the only specialised seafood restaurant in the UK to boast two Michelin stars for his eponymous restaurant in Port Isaac Cornwall. Factor in his other successful outposts (the Mariner’s Rock, a public house and his Michelin-starred London restaurant at The Capital Hotel) along with his latest high-profile international venture and temper that with genuine humility – now that is what makes Nathan so exceptional.
Having reached that degree of success could be seen as much as a burden than a blessing, but Nathan doesn’t see it that way. So his response to my question, asking him if he sees himself as a Michelin star chef, comes as no surprise. “I don’t worry about it and I don’t ever lose sleep about the Michelin stars because I think that it comes down to what you put in day in and day out. I’m the only one to blame if the standards go down, not anybody else, that’s the way I see it and how I’ve always done it. So with the Michelin thing, yes it’s important because it does put the restaurants into categories quite well. I think it’s a good guide even though they do come under criticism - probably by those who don’t have stars!” he laughs, but continues more seriously: “ It is a good way of marking a benchmark. But at the end of the day it’s not something I’ve ever got out of bed and aimed for.”
I refer to some of his mentors, like fellow fish fanatic Rick Stein with whom Nathan trained, who never achieved the stars. “Rick probably shot himself in the foot on his TV appearance when he said the Michelin guide was terrible! I worked at the seafood restaurant in Padstow for two years with Rick and there’s no reason why it wouldn’t have stars . It’s just that it’s about consistency – that’s what Michelin are after. From what I can gather - and this is totally guessing - the guide is basically about recommending people to go to eat at places and so if you’re consistent you’ve got more chance. If you’ve got a good team behind you and you put in some safety nets you shouldn’t have a problem with that.” It’s that very teamwork that Nathan credits for his success.
Secret to Nathan’s Success: Teamwork “The secret to my business is the people I work with; nurturing talent and nurturing people.” He continues “We have two academies in Cornwall that encompass all hospitality, front and back of house - and that’s what’s exciting. We’re into our 5 th year now and it does prove that if you spend some time it does make a difference. So in my pub for example, from the head chef right through to the comis they have all gone through the apprenticeship, every single member of staff, each of the seven chefs have come through from it and they stuck with us. Tom [Brown] (Head Chef at Outlaw’s at The Capital, London) is a product of that. Pete [Biggs] has been with me for 19 years. We have good fun too! I’m most
proud of the retention we have for staff in all my restaurants, because we create an environment they are proud of and it’s also fun. And that reflects into the dining room and obviously that makes people much happier to come back again and again because they know that they’ll be looked after. Hospitality – that’s all it is!” In just one word Nathan outlaw shows a profound understanding and love of his craft and profession – yet delivers it in a characteristically honest and uncomplicated manner. Just like his cuisine. A taste of the Cornish seaside to the Arabian sea I met him at a tasting for the launch of his new venture, Outlaws at Al Mahara at Jumeirah’s iconic Dubai hotel Burj Al Arab .
Nathan is overseeing the entire project, along with famed GM and F&B supremo Anthony McHale (formerly of Mandarin Oriental, responsible for the hugely successful opening of Bar Boulud and Dinner by Heston Blumenthal in Dubai). The chef, along with fellowBrit Anthony, is at the very helm of taking a taste of the Cornish seaside to the Arabian Sea. Nathan is certainly keeping this project close to his heart, with his signature style and work ethic dictating the entire tone of the restaurant, so dishes are clean, light, simple but pack a punch on flavour. His philosophy on teamwork is also consistent, from a lighter approach on the floor with less fussy service, to sourcing and right through to the back of house. Here, he’s moving his number one
chef, Pete Biggs, from his post at The Capital hotel in London to take up the role, while at the same time closing his restaurant at the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock so that Tom Brown, the chef there, could step into Pete’s shoes at The Capital. “So they all shifted over ,” laughs Nathan. This highlights once again the loyalty of his team and their enthusiasm in adapting to the changes and opportunities in the business. No ‘brand’ Nathan! With his protégé Pete already based in Dubai ahead of the scheduled September opening, Nathan has no intention of leaving him out at sea. Unlike many Michelin-starred chefs who see Dubai and international markets as an opportunity to roll out their ‘brand’, Nathan emphasises. “This is not about a chef going in there and ‘endorsing’ a restaurant – far from it! I wouldn’t do it. I’m not that sort of person. That’s why I wanted to go over and see it originally and actually going over seven or even eight times a year, which is a lot more than most of the other chefs go over to their restaurants in Dubai. So for me it’s really serious.” I question Nathan about how he is adapting his honest British classic cuisine to the very different environment of Dubai. “The philosophy behind my food transcends across the world. The style of my food will not be changing much, just adapting according to the ingredients that will be best available. We’re bringing the same standards. I’m always going to cook to my best ability and for me, it’s about good ingredients. Yes, the atmosphere and surroundings are different but the appreciation of good food is worldwide, no matter where you are.” He continues, “At the same time, my food relies heavily on the quality of ingredients. I can do the technical stuff but I don’t see the point of mucking about with decent food, decent ingredients. If you’ve got good ingredients why would you want to blend it up and turn it into something else? It doesn’t make sense to me. And that’s just my personal view on food. I think people enjoy eating just well cooked, well sourced, simple food.” Nathan admits that the main challenge for him will be working with local fishermen, markets and suppliers to develop a sustainable source of seafood – something the chef is renowned for championing.
What is a hotel vs restaurant chef? Having worked with several restaurants within hotels, as well as running his own highly successful restaurant, I wanted to find out from Nathan what the difference for him was.
That is Nathan, through and through: valuing not the (increasingly commonplace) egotistic obsession of ‘his’ restaurant done ‘his way’, but rather, placing value on building relationships and working with, and to support, other people.
“It’s very different. With my two-starred restaurant in Cornwall I can turn the key, turn the lights off and just go home. It’s completely mine. At a hotel it’s all about relationships. If I’m being honest, the restaurant’s easy, but it can be boring. Having a relationship with a hotel is actually fun. There’s lots going on, lots of challenges. I quite enjoy it.” he beams.
He’s modest too: “I’d say I’m level-headed, quite calm. I’d say I lose my temper twice a year. I think it’s about being organised and keeping it simple in everything you do, not just in food but everything you do. For me it’s about nurturing people, being patient - I’m very patient.”
“My first job was at the Intercontinental on Hyde Park Corner and from day one Peter [Kromberg] said to me ‘Nathan you’ll always be a hotel chef. I didn’t realise what he meant by that at the time. But now I understand: he didn’t mean a hotel chef that does catering, banquets and that but one thats about relationships. What he meant was I’m good with people and that’s what I’m suited to.”
“I genuinely enjoy working in this industry and I get out of bed every morning and get on with it. I never planned to have restaurants, I just did this because I love cooking. That’s why I cook today.” His enthusiasm and positivity is echoed in his parting words “You’ve got to love what you do, right? otherwise don’t do it”. With that pure and honest statement, amiable Nathan, like his flavours, makes it seem all so simple.
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Made in the west country Luke Young - Surfboards.....................................................................................................................................
Rob Chambers - Cricket Bats.........................................................................................................................
Michael Spiers - Jewellery..................................................................................................................................
Tarquin Leadbetter - Gin.....................................................................................................................................
Luke Young: Creator of Custom Surfboards
Luke Young can get very excited about his Volan cloth and black resin 10-footer. And if that is gobbledegook to you, the chances are you’ve not spent much time longing for big waves around Plymouth. Young is the surfboard ‘shaper’ - surf lingo for craftsperson and maker - behind the city’s LY Surfboards. “When you’re earning £14 a week with a paper-round, the idea of saving for a surfboard seems like a dream,” says the now 38-year-old. “So my mum suggested I make one. I thought ‘you can’t do that’. But I took some advice and found that, in fact, you can.” Indeed, Young made a surfboard for his GCSE technology project and started his surfing life around the town selling boards and making ‘ding’ repairs to others’ boards. But he would soon progress to making them professionally: bespoke-moulding polyurethane foam, polyester resin and fibre-glass into slick streamlined shapes ideal for an individual’s height, weight, ability and even where and how they surf. “From the outside the job looks romantic, but, given the materials you work with, the process really stinks. It’s sticky. It isn’t good for your health. You have to be careful - and when you start out making boards you’re practically wearing these chemicals,” Young explains. “But I wouldn’t do anything else - it’s a combination of engineering, maths and, of course, the craftsmanship. You can see a board that’s been rushed in the making a mile off.” He is in the right part of the country, of course. And Young notes how interest in surfing only looks set to increase, perhaps all the more so following its selection as an Olympic sport. “Surfing is really a sport as much as a lifestyle now. It’s mainstream in the way it wasn’t when I started out,” he notes. “But that’s because it’s just such a nice thing to do, whether the weather is good or not. Besides, travel is cheaper and easier than it’s ever been - getting to warm seas isn’t hard.”He doesn’t see those off the south coast too often. But still he is passing the tradition on: his five and sevenyear-old children are tentatively dipping their toes in the water. Surely it won’t be too long before they too are demanding that dad gets out some Volan cloth for them.
ROB CHAMBERS: Creator of the finest quality bespoke cricket bats
Rob Chambers has, in business terms, what you might call an unusual batting stance. Although he continues to hand-make many of the cricket bats produced by the Taunton-based company Millichamp & Hall, he is also the company’s owner. And this is not just because the company is small - indeed, it’s a world leader in the maker of bespoke bats, counting the likes of superstars Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh and Michael Beavan among his customers, “not to mention many young players and the slightly over enthusiastic type who think they can play like the pros,” Chambers jokes. It’s just that it’s the making part of his business that he loves. He joined the company as an apprentice 20 years ago and just four years later the chance came up to buy it. “But being covered in sawdust most of the time is what I really enjoy - I consider what we do a form of art,” he says. “It’s akin to sculpture - interpreting the shape of the bat to best suit the end user, like a Savile Row suit, best for their physique but also for their style of play.” Naturally Millichamp & Hall’s bats are made of English willow, the traditional material, with the handle of Malaysian cane - said to be best for shock absorbency - the two parts slotted together tightly with a blade of willow much like a join in bespoke furniture, and similarly without the use of glue. But much work goes on before Chambers gets to shave and mould the bat into the desired shape, using the antique Sheffield steel tools he favours. Most notably the wood has to be compressed at around two tons per square inch to give it its rebound quality - this process is an art in itself, and the mark of difference between a quality and average bat. “I still love using all the hand tools,” Chambers enthuses, “though the sanding is rewarding because you know the bat is almost complete. But it’s the bespoke bats in particular that are the greatest challenge and also most satisfying to make. The men receiving them can get very excited about it. Their eyes light up.”
Michael Spiers: Designers of beautiful Jewellery
My father gave me my most treasured piece of jewellery. It has been much commented on over the years by people who have seen me wearing it on television…it is often the first thing people mention when they meet me. It was an extraordinary ring that was designed by my father and the minute I saw it I was captivated, it was over two inches long and seemed to wrap around the little finger. A few years later, whilst filming the Brixham Trawler Race for Westward Television, a huge wave swept over me on the deck of the boat and the ring was condemned to Davy Jones locker! I was so sad to lose the original, but the Michael Spiers workshop team came to the rescue and hand crafted an equally stunning replica of the original. I’ve revisited the workshops recently and have been working with workshop manager Bruce Baker to design and make something to complement that special ring my father designed nearly 50 years ago. The first piece is a bracelet. From my first thoughts to the initial design stages I worked closely with the designers and goldsmiths at the Michael Spiers workshops. It was an amazing and eye opening experience to work so closely with these artisans, and made me more aware than ever of the passion that goes into designing and creating these exquisite items of jewellery we all see in the windows at Michael Spiers, it really is breath-taking. I’m wearing the final copper prototype of “my” bangle as I write this, and even in copper I get that feeling I got when I first saw the ring my father designed. I think he’d approve. Judi Spiers
TARQUIN LEADBETTER: Distiller of Award winning Gin
“I started out at 23, so it’s not as though I had much time to become a big boozer,” jokes Tarquin Leadbetter. He’s the founder, now aged 29, of Southwestern Distillery in Cornwall and maker of not just the UK’s first pastis - the traditionally French, and little known spirit - but also the county’s first gin in over a century. Leadbetter has had his own steep learning curve to climb. Always interested in food, his intention was to open a restaurant. When plans fell through, he worked in a bar - something he’d never done before and decided to become part of what he calls the second wave of craft distillers. He concedes that nothing of his business journey has been carefully planned. “To some extent I seem to operate in business much the same as I do in life,” he laughs. “I didn’t know anything about gin - it was all trial and error. But it intrigued me that anyone could make a gin, and its focus on flavour always appealed to me. I also liked being part of shaking up that idea that gin is an old person’s drink.” Certainly, despite the competition Tarquin’s Gin has been wellreceived. It’s already exported to 12 countries and recently won a gold medal at the prestigious International Wine and Spirits Competition, won out against some 200 other gins. That suggests just how big the sector is getting: Leadbetter notes how Cornwall alone has some 30 craft breweries with, he suggests, just as many craft distilleries to come. “I think the craft spirits sector is only going to keep growing, which means more choice for people, but also more room for creativity among the makers - drinkers are more and more interested in drinks of local provenance and seem happy to pay more for perhaps less but better,” reckons Leadbetter, whose next step, ideally, is to open a visitor centre and tasting room. “Intriguingly the industry is very friendly, given the competition. And let’s just say that I’m a bigger gin drinker now.”
Peaceful Paradise Discover a piece of heaven in Devon at luxury boutique hotel ANRĂ N. Be prepared to have your olfactory sense jolted in the most delightful ways when you step over the threshold of ANRĂ N. Formerly a derelict farmhouse and barn, it has been fully restored and its once dank, musty interiors now smell herby, fresh and exotic. The clean fragrance of lavender and lemongrass permeate the rooms, the cupboards are perfumed with warm and woody camphor, and bath time is a sensory indulgence with exquisite toiletries infused with eucalyptus, orange, gingerlily and sandalwood.
The scents of ANRĂ N are not the only thing that linger in your memory long after you leave. The sense of absolute stillness and peace is something that many guests come to appreciate after spending a few days here. And that is what ANRĂ N means in Mandarin: a place of serenity and rest. The owners, a British-Singaporean couple, have lived and travelled in Asia, Europe and the US, and were looking for a place to lay down roots. As they searched for their perfect home, they came across an old and rundown property in Devon. But they saw something beyond the crumbling walls and purchased it, spending three years painstakingly renovating the house and its adjacent buildings.
It is still an ongoing process, as they did not want to completely erase the character of the house and turn it into a manicured, modern residence. Retaining some of the rustic original features was important to them, as those were the things that appealed to them when they first clapped eyes on the property. The feeding trough, the bricks surrounding the base of the drainpipes, the metal gates coloured by rust, the undulating barn roof with recycled tiles – these were saved while the rest of the necessary repairs were done. Every piece of furniture and artefact in the rooms has been personally chosen and often has a story behind it – where it came from, where it was found. So don’t be surprised if you spot a couple of exposed wires hanging from the ceiling; it means that they haven’t yet found the perfect light fixture. What the owners have introduced in the way of modern comforts at ANRÁN are the elements of the finest hotels they have stayed
in on their travels around the world: beds and plump down pillows encased in crisp white Egyptian cotton linens, gleaming bathrooms fitted with proper, powerful showers, essential mod-cons like flat screen TVs and Wi-Fi, and freshly squeezed orange juice and gourmet coffee for breakfast. And they want their guests to feel as though they are staying at a good friend’s home rather than just a slick hotel. The owners often join the guests in the sunlit conservatory as they tuck into their breakfast while the conversation flows around the table. On cool autumn evenings, why not light a fire next to the former piggery hut that overlooks the lake, and huddle under the blankets with a glass of wine? For the best view of Devon’s rolling hills and the setting sun, nothing beats Kaya’s Meadow, the resting place of the owners’ beloved Labrador, where you can fully appreciate the true meaning of “an ran”.
Originally a dairy farm, Tidwell Farm was closed for many years before it was given a new lease of life as ANRĂ N. Being avid cooks who love hosting dinner parties for their friends, the owners were especially passionate about bringing back farming to the land. To that end, they started producing their own fruit and vegetables about two years ago. Last year, they harvested three tonnes of cider apples, and plan to eventually press their own cider. This year, they have planted over a hundred fruit trees, including eating apples, plums, peaches, quinces, pears and greengages. The vegetable garden yields a
variety of crops, flowers and herbs like rosemary, thyme, Thai basil and coriander. Growing wild are raspberries, blackberries and gooseberries, which are turned into jams and jellies for the breakfast table. Some of the produce are put up for sale at a small shop opposite the main entrance, alongside bottles of honey from their own bees, freshly laid eggs from their hens and cured pork. In future, they plan to expand the retail offerings to include merchandise like home-baked treats, fashion and lifestyle accessories, all carefully curated.
With a shared love for food and entertaining, combined with their hospitality and design backgrounds, the owners decided to put their expertise to good use by developing ANRĂ N as an events and creative space, beyond a luxury B&B. In the past year, it has seen a growing number of weddings, held in Greenhouse or by the lake. It has also hosted pop-up dinners with menus concocted
by the resident chef. Yoga, pottery classes and outdoor activities such as falconry and clay pigeon shooting that are booked by prior arrangement are among the list of recreational pursuits one can try out at ANRĂ N.
Pastoral and urban, East and West, past and present all converge at ANRĂ N. The result is an inspiring, creative amalgam that truly brings together the best of both worlds. ANRĂ N @ Tidwell Farm, Ashburton, TQ13 7LY, Telephone: +44 (0) 1803762828, Website: www.anran.co.uk
watch is a combination of the practical and the highly ornamental and there is no better place to find the holy grail of timepieces than at Michael Spiers.
Black and white Aviator watches ensure excellent readability and divers are now being treated to their very own â€œocean pilotâ€? from Breitling. Featuring a black steel case, black ceramic bezel and a black dial bearing large luminescent indications enabling divers to plunge safely to a depth of 1,000 m (3,300 ft.). The art of combining originality and efficiency.
Gucci is pleased to introduce the GG2570 collection comprised of a selection of watches for men and women, named in homage to Gucci Creative Director Alessandro Michele’s lucky number, 25 and Gucci’s hallmark decade, the 1970s. The GG2570 watch introduces a new shape of case for Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry that has a squared-off, slightly rounded design. This typically 1970’s geometric form is a perfect canvas for alternate variants around the GG2570 theme; some have a depth of texture achieved through brushed and polished bezels, which gives the watch a sportive allure; other styles have a polished stainless steel bezel, for a more classic look. The sun-brushed dials feature the G monogram shadow in a three dimensional interpretation which gives iconic identity where indexes are presented in a variety of styles.
The Patek Philippe Annual Calendar mechanism celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2016. Since it was patented, this practical solution endorsed the idea that the calendar only needs to be adjusted once a year on the 1st March to accommodate the variable duration of February. The annual calendars presented in todayâ€™s current collection include the Ref. 5146J-001 with which the annual calendar mechanism is indicated discreetly in the sub dials embodying the classic symmetry Patek is renowned for. Its self-winding mechanism visible through the crystal case back enables the wearer to appreciate the complexity of the movement and is complimented by the classic Calatrava shaped case.
THE SEAMASTER PLANET OCEAN “DEEP BLACK” COLLECTION These four remarkable timepieces represent the next step in the evolution of ceramic watchmaking which began with the Dark Side of the Moon. By combining a GMT model with a diving watch, OMEGA has created a stand-alone collection of “Deep Black” watches that are truly state-of-the-art.
KEEPING PACE WITH CHANGING TIMES Although the GMT-Master was designed essentially for professional use, its combination of peerless functionality and rugged good looks has attracted a wider travelling public. As well as appreciating its ability to display different time zones, these travellers admire the robustness and versatile appearance that make the GMT-Master eminently suitable for globetrotting and, indeed, for any occasion.
The TUDOR collection was developed according to two main cornerstones, heritage and technology. The watches it encompasses present a subtle alchemy of references to the brandâ€™s history and modernity, masterfully measured according to the cornerstone to which they belong. In this spirit, and always with an experimental dimension in terms of materials and innovation, the technological cornerstone that forms the sporty lines of North Flag, Pelagos,
Fastrider and Grantour presents a shared aesthetic language, the most representative feature of which is the entirely matt finish. Brushed middle cases, sandblasted details, matt colours: this choice provides a reading of the object through contrasting volumes rather than the play of light. This is tool watch DNA as opposed to a decorative approach. Functionality and reliability reinforced.
“It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” Steve Jobs.
Published on Nov 21, 2016
We published this book to display the beautiful Jewellery and Watches available from our stores. Throughout the pages you will find a very a...