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Spring 2016

Spirit of adventure Blasting the land-speed record • Shackleton’s legacy • Timepieces for tough guys A north Italian wine odyssey • The sub-zero holiday home • Rowing the Hudson in a rubbish boat

Breguet, the innovator.

Tradition Chronographe IndĂŠpendant 7077 The Tradition Chronographe IndĂŠpendant 7077 perpetuates the creative heritage of Breguet by interpreting it in a contemporary and innovative way. It is comprised of two entirely independent gear trains. The first, set to a frequency of 5 Hz to enhance precision measurement, is devoted to the chronograph, while the second, operating at 3Hz, is dedicated to the hours and minutes. History is still being written...

B R E G U E T B O U T I Q U E – 10 N E W B O N D S T R E E T


+ 4 4 2 0 7 3 5 5 17 3 5 – W W W. B R E G U E T. C O M

Welcome to Brummell This issue of Brummell takes us on adventures, telling tales of explorers who push on, cars that take off and nights spent in a dome-shaped lair made entirely of ice. We celebrate the centenary of the inspirational Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to traverse Antarctica and salute the pioneering spirit of the endeavour; we explore the extraordinary progress of the Bloodhound Project, and its aim to break the land-speed record with a supersonic car driven by a fast-jet pilot at speeds of 1,000mph; and we stay in a giant igloo worthy of a starring role as a high-altitude location in a Bond movie. Elsewhere, we rev up for overlanding, also known as adventure motorcycling; report on the polymath who’s just finished navigating the entire

length of the Hudson River – from its ice-crusted source all the way to Manhattan – in a boat made of rubbish collected from New York’s streets; and talk to an ex-City professional who stepped up to a new exploit with an innovative model for the ski-chalet business. We also follow a gentler path, making a foray to the vineyards of northern Italy to enjoy some of the region’s fine wines and meet their passionate makers. Whether you’re inspired to pursue adventure, take a voyage of discovery, or simply savour the comfort of armchair travel, we hope you enjoy this edition and deploy a pioneering spirit – both at work and at play. Joanne Glasbey, Editor


Contents • Brummell

Contents 14


Cover illustration: Cynthia Kittler Show Media Brummell editorial 020 3222 0101 — Editor Joanne Glasbey Senior Art Director Dominic Murray-Bell Managing Editor Lucy Teasdale Chief Copy Editor Eirwen Oxley Green Deputy Chief Copy Editor Gill Wing Art Director Jo Murray-Bell Picture Director Juliette Hedoin Picture Editor Amy Wiggin Editorial Assistant Jemima Wilson Copy Editors Kristin Braginetz, Nicky Gyopari, Tanya Jackson Creative Director Ian Pendleton Managing Director Peter Howarth — Advertising & Events Director Duncan McRae 07816 218059 — — Visit Brummell’s website for more tailor-made content: @BrummellMag







Foreword With the right vision and approach, the City can make a tangible, positive difference to Britain’s big issues, says David Charters Money no object Leather and aluminium unite in Passavant and Lee’s sophisticated No. 25 briefcase BEAUMONDE News Fine footwear for work or play; a new De Grisogono boutique; brilliantly tailored leisurewear; a tough-as-nails camera Overlanding Adventure motorcycling is kicking the classic road trip into high gear, both on and off the beaten track After the City Why former executive Duncan Robertson traded the City for ski chalets


STYLE Accessories For the gallant globetrotter: functional and stylish pieces for all manner of adventure Watches Fittingly rugged timepieces that lend elegance to an action-packed lifestyle






56 Colour proofing by Rhapsody, Printed by Pureprint Group, Brummell is published by Show Media Ltd. All material © Show Media Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is strictly prohibited. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, no responsibility can be accepted for any errors or omissions. The information contained in this publication is correct at the time of going to press. £5 (where sold). Reader offers are the responsibility of the organisation making the offer – Show Media accepts no liability regarding offers.


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FEATURES Travel Fit for a spy: Igloo accommodation atop Germany’s highest mountain Endeavour How James Bowthorpe rowed the length of the Hudson in a boat built from rubbish Shackleton Celebrating the legacy of Ernest Shackleton and the centenary of one of history’s most courageous rescue missions Land-speed record Hitting 1,000mph with the Bloodhound Project and its daring driver, Andy Green EPICURE News Noteworthy restaurant openings; wine and design; Brazilian chocolate; and a legendary live music venue gets a grown-up makeover Wine Northern Italy’s ambitious new crop of wine producers is reinvigorating the region through hard work and innovation Need to know From the opulent to the extraordinary, luxury rentals are becoming an increasingly popular choice for private accommodation

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Turning the tide

Foreword • Brummell


With the FCA’s banking review off the cards, it’s time for the City to move forward and start using its powers for good

Words: David Charters Illustration: Brett Ryder

What a way to end the year. The FCA called time on the banking review that some say never was: the Big Bad Review of Banking, or was it the Big Review of Bad Banking? Instead, it will engage with individual firms to make sure we are all eating properly, exercising, not drinking too much, getting plenty of sleep – oh, and respecting our fellow man, being kind to each other and not misbehaving. It will be discreet, low-profile, and, of course, very difficult to measure the outcome. There is a popular view that the FCA’s task was impossible from the start. It might as well have tried nailing jelly to the wall. Except that jelly is inarticulate, vaguely transparent and, most of all, doesn’t fight back. Anyone getting between me and my selfinterest can expect a robust response, and there are thousands like me in the City of London. We are well-heeled, determined, hard-working and motivated. We also happen to be law-abiding, productive and, for the most part, pay our taxes, but let’s not let that distract us from a good headline or two. Attack us and we will respond, as we are entitled to do, with armies of lawyers, lobbyists and pillars of the Establishment on our side. By comparison, the FCA has a small talent pool at its disposal – admittedly, of far higher quality today than it has probably ever been. But they are under-resourced and underpaid – certainly compared with the best of those they are expected to regulate and control. A legitimate part of the problem is working out what the City is. Literally dozens of umbrella organisations, trade associations, lobbying and public-affairs bodies represent bits of the industry. This is not a single, cohesive entity. The firms compete with one another, but also internally. And the whole world is present – part of the triumph of the City is that it is a place to which everyone comes to do business. But don’t confuse that with supporting the British national interest, in case anyone thinks they know what that is. There may be a temporary and expedient alignment of interests, and a basis of shared values, but we are not one happy family.

I would not go so far as to say we should be doing God’s work in 2016, but we may not be that far away

There is no single voice or face of the City with which to engage – at most, we can find half a dozen more or less representative bodies or individuals, from the Lord Mayor to the Corporation, who can engage in sensible discussion. Although don’t expect the big firms not to reserve the right to speak for themselves as well, whether publicly, privately or through their own intermediaries. So in the end, common sense prevailed and an announcement at a quiet time when most people were away was a smart move. The question now is, what next? From a City perspective, it would be good to see a positive and distinctive response. An acknowledgement is overdue that the government is willing to draw a line under the ritual kicking of bankers we have all come to find so unproductive, regardless of the fun it gave some politicians. The question is who should make the response, and how, given the fragmented, contradictory competitive nature of our industry and the obvious merit in keeping your head down when anything controversial happens. My suggestion is we take a leaf out of the Victorians’ book, or look back even further. In the days of the coffee houses and the early merchant banks, they took on large tasks that resonated at national level, still competing between firms, but with a greater sense of common objectives and cohesion, and got things done that made a profound and obvious difference to the nation – such as building railways and canals and funding the Industrial Revolution. Some of those trade bodies could do worse than pull together a posse of finance giants to

tackle some of the big issues, which might, coincidentally, earn the gratitude and grudging admiration of the politicians and the public. How about the floods? Was anyone not shocked by what could happen in one of the world’s wealthiest economies in the 21st century? I happen to believe the City, properly galvanised and energised, with government tagging along as partner and facilitator, could fix the floods problem. A combination of large-scale infrastructure finance and insurance products promoting individual residential floodproofing solutions could transform life on the flood plains and badly protected coastal areas. Interestingly, the technology already exists. Check out a company called UK Flood Barriers, offering intelligent, passive large-scale defences – walls that effectively rise out of the ground, pushed up there and sustained at the required height by incoming water. One part of Cockermouth, shielded by such a barrier, stayed safe. We all saw what happened to the other part. There are dozens of clever companies out there with engineering solutions for the most intractable problems. Even houses built on flood plains can be made secure with devices such as air bricks with non-return valves – and the cost per residence of floodproofing is a fraction of the repair bill if you don’t have protection. Step forward, the insurance industry and the banks with small loans. Look what we did with the killer diseases of the past – we largely eradicated them. We need the same vision and approach for the future, and the innovative, creative talent of the City, harnessed in a single campaign that achieves critical mass and widespread recognition, is a key component in making progress. I would not go so far as to say we should be doing God’s work in 2016, but we may not be that far away. If we devote half the time and energy to this that would have gone into the banking review, we might yet change the world. ● The Ego’s Nest by David Charters, the fifth novel in the series about City anti-hero Dave Hart, is published by Elliott & Thompson, £6.99



Aircraft-grade aluminium ensures Passavant and Lee’s briefcase is more than a match for the mean city streets

Words: Jemima Wilson

Fine leather and tough aluminium have sat side by side in the creation of timepieces, motor cars and military aircraft for centuries. Now, luxury men’s-accessory company Passavant and Lee has combined the two materials to create a range of sophisticated bags and cases that are practical and sturdy, yet stylish enough for all manner of metropolitan adventures. Founded by an American, Jon Passavant, and an Englishman, Benj Lee, the brand captures in its wares – designed in New York and assembled by hand in London – the pioneering spirit and creativity of each of its founders’ home countries. The No. 25 briefcase, £1,950, is the company’s signature style. Its rigid, water-resistant outer shell, made from aircraft-grade aluminium, gives its contents maximum protection. Covered in full-grain leather and lined with high-density foam for added durability, it’s as resilient as it is refined.



Beaumonde Boots with a pedigree, a go-anywhere camera, a six-star yacht, and the reissue of a cult watch

Boots that mean business ← In 1851, 22-year-old farmer’s son John Lobb left his home in rural Cornwall and walked 200 miles to London to find work, wearing a pair of boots he had made himself. Recognised for his innate talent, not to mention the durability of his footwear, he was taken on as an apprentice bootmaker. By 1866, he had opened his own shop on Regent Street purveying gents’ fine footwear. One hundred and sixty five years later, Lobb’s epic town-and-country walk continues to inspire the designs of the company that bears his name. Its canvas and leather lace-up boots, from its spring/summer 2016 line, are as suited to a stroll in the park as to a formal business meeting. Sturdy yet elegant, they feature canvas on the quarters and a buckle at the ankle, lending extra breathability as well as comfort when negotiating city terrain. £1,190;

Devil’s in the detail Swiss high-jewellery and watch house De Grisogono, creator of contemporary baroque pieces, has opened a boutique on New Bond Street. A collaboration between the company’s founder, black-diamond specialist Fawaz Gruosi, and interior architects David Collins Studio, the space’s bold design echoes the stand-out, statement style for which the brand is globally renowned.

Camera, action ↑ Capturing high-quality images in challenging environmental conditions is no mean feat. Now, using Leica’s first camera specifically designed for outdoor and underwater photography, it’s possible to do so with extraordinary clarity, even at depths of up to 15m. Waterproof, shatterproof and shock-resistant, the Leica X-U (Typ 113) incorporates a fast Summilux 23mm f/1.7 ASPH lens with a sub-aqua protection filter and a APS-C CMOS sensor. £2,400;

High-flyer ↑ The MB series of timepieces from British watchmaker Bremont has long set the standard for the modern pilot’s watch, having been subjected to the same rigorous criteria as the ejection seats made by its namesake, Martin-Baker. This year sees the 7,500th life saved by a Martin-Baker ejection seat, and the launch of the MBII White – the result of a much-anticipated design update. Its crisp white dial is finished with trademark features including a knurled-effect barrel. £3,595;


Beaumonde • News

High seas ← The world’s first six-star ‘discovery yacht’, The Scenic Eclipse, sets sail in summer 2018. Designed by naval architects, it will take ocean-cruising to new levels. In addition to all the luxuries you’d expect of a stellar stay – 114 all-veranda suites, six onboard dining options, a 450sq m spa with whirlpool, and a gym – it has not one but two helicopters plus a seven-seat submarine, so adventurous guests can explore heights and depths previously experienced by only the fortunate few. Her maiden voyage takes her from Istanbul to Venice, after which the roster of once-in-a-lifetime cruises will encompass the Americas, Antarctica, Europe and the Mediterranean, plus the Arctic and the Norwegian fjords.

Chucs away Charles Finch opened his 1950s-inspired swimwear and apparel store Chucs Dive & Mountain Shop on Dover Street, Mayfair, in 2010. Four years later, he launched New territory ↑ Contemporary swimwear label Orlebar Brown and traditional Savile Row stalwart Gieves & Hawkes may not be the most obvious of collaborators, but to celebrate their mutual affinity with travel and exploration, they have joined forces to create a capsule collection of tailored leisurewear. Inspired by Dr Livingstone, it features reinterpretations of the Scottish explorer’s original hand-drawn maps, printed on a range of utilitarian clothing. Key pieces include a safari jacket, cargo trousers, swim shorts and desert boots – all wardrobe staples for the modern-day adventurer. Available from March, prices start at £75;

Top flight ↑ Since its launch in 1952, the Breitling Navitimer has become a cult object for aviation aficionados. It has been recreated with a number of distinctive faces over the years and the Navitimer 01 Limited Edition is the 2016 iteration. Issued in a 1,000-piece series, it has a sleek, dark-grey dial with black contours and a black oscillating weight. The watch is available on a steel bracelet or leather or crocodile strap in a range of colours. It’s powered by a Caliber 1, the high-performance ‘engine’ produced in the company’s own workshops and chronometer-certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, meaning precision and reliability are guaranteed. From £6,350;

Chucs Restaurant & Café next door. Now, bringing shopping and dining together under one roof, there’s a new Chucs site on Westbourne Grove, with menswear on the upper floor and an Italian restaurant with a terrace at ground level, for post-retail recovery.

Bit of rough The classic road trip has grown up – and this time it’s heading off-track. Welcome to overlanding: the ultimate union of man and mean machine

Words: Simon de Burton

Actor Ewan McGregor and his long-time biking buddy Charley Boorman really started something when they embarked on their celebrated Long Way Round global motorcycle adventure back in 2004. The book and DVD recounting the journey were bestsellers, and the Long Way Down follow-up that emerged from the duo’s 2007 trip from John o’Groats to Cape Town proved equally successful. What’s really significant, however, is that the trips did a great deal more than provide fodder for armchair adventurers – they also sparked a global boom in so-called ‘overland’ motorcycling that shows little sign of slowing down. For those unfamiliar with the discipline, overlanding, or ‘adventure motorcycling’, is about discovering the world on a dual-purpose machine that, rider confidence and confidence permitting, can tackle both the highway and the toughest tracks and mountain passes. Once the domain of wild and woolly maverick bikers riding adapted road machines, overlanding has become an activity that transcends both class and profession. That said, it does seem to have been embraced by high-achievers looking for a voyage of discovery that will provide respite from their high-pressure working lives while also offering what might be considered one of the few remaining truly adventurous ways of travelling. Whereas regular trail bikes tend to be light, nimble machines designed for off-road days

Overlanding • Beaumonde


Top off-road riding courses BMW Motorrad (Wales) KTM (venues nationwide) Triumph (Worcestershire) Yamaha yamaha-offroad-experience. (Wales)

This page and opposite The overlanding experience is half road trip, half trail ride – and 100-per-cent adventure

out, a true adventure motorcycle usually has a large-capacity engine, a long-range fuel tank, dual-purpose tyres and a set of tough, purposebuilt luggage. That means it tends to be tall, large and, to the inexperienced, decidedly daunting in appearance. As an example, the most popular overlanding motorcycle of all, BMW’s R 1200 GS, weighs in at a hefty 525lbs. With a skilled rider on board, such a machine can be made to skip up a rock-strewn incline, ford a swollen river or plough through desert dunes – although the BMW’s 125-horsepower engine means it can also cruise the blacktop at three-figure speeds, and its impressive dimensions make it possible to ride in comfort for hours on end. The big fuel tank is there to provide enormous range – because there aren’t too many petrol stations in the back of beyond – while the impressive availability of original equipment and after-sales luggage systems means travelling light is no longer compulsory. Specialist firms such as Touratech produce every imaginable accessory for the overland rider, from super-tough, quickly detachable aluminium cases to motorcycle-specific sat navs, armoured clothing and high-intensity lighting systems. Inevitably, getting the bike, equipping it and deciding where to go is only half the story. If you have no off-road experience, that potential

Best overlanding motorcycles trip of a lifetime could end in disaster at the first river crossing, so some basic training is essential. Major manufacturers, including Honda, Triumph and Yamaha, offer comprehensive off-road training programmes and organised adventure ride-outs in the boondocks that are suitable for everyone from complete beginners to experienced off-roaders who want to brush up on their technique. In our opinion, however, the best of the best is the BMW Off Road Skills school run in Wales by the legendary Simon Pavey, a veteran of a remarkable 10 Dakar rallies. It offers various course levels, and Pavey will happily impart his not-inconsiderable knowledge of adventure motorcycling to help you decide everything from what to take with you to how to pack it, where to go and how to get there. Once you feel comfortable riding your fully laden machine off road as well as on, the world really is your oyster – you can go virtually anywhere – war zones, carnets and border guards notwithstanding – and discover places and people you would likely never encounter on a conventional holiday or even from behind the wheel of a four-wheel drive vehicle. A word of warning, however: adventure motorcycling is addictive, and once you’ve got the bug, it can be more difficult to shake than a tropical disease. ●

BMW R 1200 GS The most popular large-capacity motorcycle by a country mile and the overlanding king. From £12,185; Triumph Tiger Explorer The British marque’s rival to the class-leading BMW features a silky-smooth, three-cylinder engine. £11,599; Yamaha Ténéré The original Ténéré of the 1980s was hugely popular among overlanders. The latest XT1200Z Super Ténéré is far more refined. £10,999; Honda Africa Twin Another legendary name from the past, the new Africa Twin offers a 1,000cc, twin-cylinder engine and rugged good looks. £10,499; Suzuki V-Strom 1000 Desert The hardcore adventure version of the standard V-Strom comes off-road equipped. £10,699; KTM Super Adventure The Austrian firm specialises in off-road motorcycles, and this is its top model, with a 1300cc, V-twin engine. £16,199;

Winston, made in England using the ямБnest quality full grain European calf MADE IN ENGLAND










After the City • Beaumonde


High time Enterprising ex-City executive Duncan Robertson filled a gap in the market, applying superyacht service levels to ski chalets

Words: James Medd Photography: Trent McMinn

They really didn’t intend it. At first, Duncan and Natasha Robertson were just looking for a way out of the rat race – the City and advertising, respectively. Duncan had always wanted to spend a season skiing, so they took on a chalet in Verbier and worked their way through a winter, cooking and cleaning and all the rest, friends-of-friends as customers, no grand plan. ‘We were escaping,’ smiles Duncan. ‘Life had got quite pressurised in London and we wanted a change.’ But, being clever people, they couldn’t help taking it further. First, they realised that if they had more than one chalet, they wouldn’t have to do the bits they didn’t enjoy (cleaning, for a start), and secondly, the top end was the place to go. ‘We saw the mid-market was the mass-market,’ says Duncan, ‘and that the job’s exactly the same for a £3,000 holiday as it is for a £200,000 holiday. The operation costs are more, but, fundamentally, you’re doing the same work. You’re just earning several times more.’ Bramble Ski was born in 2005, with the addition of Colin Mayo, in charge of operations and accounts, and Barry Cox, a ex-photojournalist who now heads the sales and marketing department. By year four, they were running 10 chalets; now, with the addition of ultra-luxury sister business Haute Montagne, it’s in the mid-80s. It all happened so fast because they’d also realised something else other ski companies hadn’t: that, rather than book out a chalet from a private owner and guarantee them income for the season, they could pay just for the weeks a property was rented. It sounds like they should have been laughed out of the Alps, but at the top end, it works – and only partly because they pay more per week. ‘We’re not forced to take in everyone – stag dos, corporate groups and so on,’ explains Duncan. ‘We can be very selective, and the owners love that. Some of the properties we operate are worth £25m, and they want to protect their assets.’ Inside a Bramble Ski property, you can expect en-suite spas and pools, cinema rooms and panoramic views; outside, besides the skiing, helicopters and husky rides, firework displays and glacier picnics are all laid on by request. Clients tend to fall into two types: ‘We have Fur Coat and Gore-Tex,’ explains Duncan. ‘Gore-Tex resorts are sporty – St Anton, Zermatt, Verbier, Val d’Isère. Fur Coat is a winter experience rather than skiing – Gstaad, for example.’ They cater to both, and though none of the founders came from a hospitality background, they learnt fast that, for the luxury market, when it came to service,

faultless was a minimum. ‘We see it as taking the service level of the superyacht and putting it in a chalet,’ says Duncan. ‘The ski-chalet standard is a few people who’ve been on a two-week cooking course, but our staff are from Michelin-starred restaurants, private yachts and private homes. They set the table, the food’s there, your drink’s in front of you – it’s called ghost service.’ Clients come from all over the world, and have their own particular needs, from transport to table service. One arrived with a lorry full of garments and requested a tailor be flown in to adjust the clothes for the other guests. Another requested a glass of sparkling apple juice to be delivered to him every 40 minutes. ‘Natasha’s in charge of the service and she has a great expression,’ says Duncan. ‘You should be saying to the guests, “The answer is yes. What’s the question?”’ Duncan’s specialism is working with the owners. They tend to have several properties around the world, so they see Bramble as managers as much as profit-providers. Contracts are his

favourite part of the job. You have to tailor each one to each owner and the resort’s regulations,’ he says. ‘It’s fascinating.’ Bramble also tracks the exact gross profit on every single sale they make. He relates this directly to his experience in the City, where, via engineering and a post-grad at Cambridge, he worked in private equity consultancy. ‘The City was almost like an MBA, and now we’re putting the theory into practice,’ he says. ‘When clients go away happy, there’s something tangible about it. Everything I used to be advising on is now real. And being able to walk into a chalet with Picassos on the wall is very real.’ But the question has to be asked: does this former ski bum get on the slopes much these days? The answer is not so much – which he regrets for more than sporting reasons. As a qualified Swiss ski instructor, he used to take clients out incognito. ‘I’d get amazing feedback,’ he confides. ‘That’s when you really find out about the food and staff.’ It’s the enthusiasm of one born to work in hospitality. ●

Adventure • Brummell


Adventure Icons & odysseys

‘If the boat breaks in white water, I’ll fix it; if we experience storms, we’ll weather them,’ says explorer James Bowthorpe about rowing the length of the Hudson River in a vessel he hand-built from scrap. In the pages that follow, paying homage to the spirit of adventure, we go off-piste, checking in to an upmarket igloo in the Alps and retracing the steps of explorer Ernest Shackleton, who led one of the bravest Arctic rescue missions ever recorded. We discover what it takes to break the land-speed record in a supersonic car, and, because timing is everything when you’re counting milliseconds, pick six watches that make rugged and reliable companions for adrenaline-packed action. Finally, whether for deep-sea diving or a desert safari, a man must be appropriately attired, so we select the best accessories for every terrain.

Boy’s own By land or by sea: from the stylish to the pleasingly practical, we have the gear and gadgetry for your very own adventure

Photography: Andy Barter Styling: David Hawkins

Clockwise from top left Sailing gloves, £30, HENRI LLOYD. Blu Mediterraneo Cedro di Taormina, £87 for 150ml, ACQUA DI PARMA. Eight Hour Cream, £26, ELIZABETH ARDEN. Barrel bag, £345, TROUBADOUR. Leather belt, £100, PAUL SMITH. Travel journal, £150, SMYTHSON. 849 ballpoint pen, £35, CARAN D’ACHE BY PAUL SMITH. HDR-AS200VR Action Cam, £249, SONY. Speedmaster ‘57 watch, £5,690, OMEGA. Wrist viewfinder, part of Sony camera, as before


Brummell • Accessories

This page, clockwise from top left Calf-leather briefcase, £2,090, ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA COUTURE. Ultravid Colorline binoculars with leather case and strap, from £700, LEICA.

Loafers, £560, JOHN LOBB. Linen, cashmere and silk scarf, £245, ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA. BR 03-92 Desert Type Watch, £4,000, BELL & ROSS. Marrakech Intense eau de

toilette, £53 for 50ml, AESOP. Parachute silk vest, from £550, HARDY AMIES Opposite, clockwise from top left Multitasker backpack, £695, MULBERRY. Leather and wool

felt boots, £429, LUDWIG REITER. Cotton jumper, £145, GIEVES & HAWKES. Cap, £35, VICTORINOX. Double billfold, £85, TUMI. Wash bag, £150, PAUL SMITH

Clockwise from top left Emperor goggles, £84, BOLLÉ. I.N.O.X. watch, £399, VICTORINOX. Boston calfskin pochette, £630, DUNHILL. Silver Mountain Water eau de parfum, £160 for 75ml, CREED. Leather gloves, £95, DAKS. Leather backpack, £2,300, EMPORIO ARMANI. High-top shoes, £410, JOHN LOBB. Sunglasses, £197, BURBERRY AT DAVID CLULOW. Passport cover, £195, TUMI. Ski jacket, £1,025, MONCLER GRENOBLE


Brummell • Accessories

Clockwise from top Voyage bag, £1,350, BALLY. Bristol suede derby shoes, £325, CROCKETT & JONES. Leather and cotton gloves, £40, DENTS AT ROULLIER WHITE. Socks, from £12, LONDON SOCK COMPANY. Silk scarf, £238, PAL ZILERI. On The Road eau de parfum, £120 for 60ml, TIMOTHY HAN AT ROULLIER WHITE. Pocket square, £55, AQUASCUTUM. Sunglasses, £210, BURBERRY AT DAVID CLULOW. Double billfold with ID, £125, TUMI FOR STOCKIST DETAILS, SEE PAGE 62

Tough it out An action-packed lifestyle calls for a suitably rugged timepiece, be it 007’s latest wrist wear or a chronograph that might just save your life

Photography: Emma Todd Words: Simon de Burton

Clockwise from opposite, bottom Tudor North Flag; Richard Mille RM 39-01 Aviation; Bell & Ross BR-X1 Carbone ForgĂŠ; Chopard Superfast Chrono; Breitling Emergency II; Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre


Brummell • Watches

Richard Mille RM 39-01 Aviation ↑ If you’re put off the idea of learning to fly by the fact that it’s somewhat complicated, Richard Mille’s RM 39-01 Aviation watch will likely prove too mind-boggling to contemplate. The hand-wound, tourbillon movement is contained within a 50mm titanium case. Functions include a second time zone, flyback chronograph and countdown timer – but it’s the split bezel that’s really clever. With fixed and rotating halves, it is based on the naval E6-B flight computer system and can be used for everything from calculating altitude to converting measurements. The instruction book is quite thick... £108,500;

Bell & Ross BR-X1 Carbone Forgé ↑ The original Bell & Ross BR-X1 was made in tribute to the legendary rocket-powered Bell X-1, which in 1947 became the first aircraft to exceed the speed of sound. This latest version of the 45mm watch – which is based on the bestselling BR-01 – features a forged carbon case protected by a high-tech ceramic and shock-absorbing rubber bumper. The carbon look is complemented by a grey-tinted sapphire crystal that protects the highly skeletonised (but still easily legible) dial, which incorporates a 30-minute counter made from aluminium. Just 250 examples will be available worldwide. £14,900;

Tudor North Flag ↑ The 2014 relaunch of the Rolex-owned Tudor brand has gone down a storm, and this latest addition to its impressive array of rugged and affordable ‘tool’ watches is boosting sales even further. The North Flag is a sporty number with a matt black steel case and a choice of stainlesssteel bracelet or leather strap. Perhaps its most important feature, however, is its in-house MT5621 movement, which offers automatic winding and a 70-hour power reserve. An example of the watch was frozen in a block of ice during last November’s Salon QP watch show – and kept on ticking. £2,430;

Chopard Superfast Chrono ↑ When Chopard launched its ‘Superfast’ drivers’ watches in 2012, they were available only with rosegold cases. A steel-cased line has since followed, using the brand’s in-house industrial movements. This chronograph model features the Calibre 03.05-M flyback, column-wheel mechanism, which offers 60 hours of power reserve and is COSC-certified for accuracy. The 45mm case is fitted with a rubber strap and a tachymeter bezel for speed and distance calculations. A special version of the watch celebrating Chopard’s partnership with Porsche Motorsport is also available. £8,220 (standard model);

Breitling Emergency II ↑ In 1995, Breitling made a significant contribution to the safety of adventurers with the launch of its original ‘Emergency’, the first watch with a built-in SOS transmitter operating on the international air distress frequency. Over 40,000 were sold, but it has now been superseded by the Emergency II, which broadcasts for 24 hours on both the 121.5 MHz and 406 MHz frequencies, enabling it to send alerts and to act as a homing device. Powered by a rechargeable battery, the transmitter operates separately from the quartz movement, which features a chronograph, dual time zones and countdown timer. £12,040;

Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre ↑ If it’s tough enough for James Bond, it should be tough enough for anyone. Indeed, Omega’s Seamaster 300 ‘Spectre’ edition ought to be pretty robust, thanks to its 300-metre water resistance and Master Co-Axial self-winding movement capable of withstanding magnetic fields of up to 15,000 gauss. Identical to the watch worn by Daniel Craig in the film, it combines vintage-look dial markings with contemporary touches, such as a black ceramic bezel and NATO-style strap in black and grey stripe. Each watch is engraved with the Spectre film logo. £4,785;


AN Y R E SE M B L AN CE TO T H E DA SH BOAR D O F THE E-T YPE JAGUAR IS PURELY INTENTIONAL . Enzo Ferrari called it the most beautiful car in the world. Now two new watches pay homage to Malcolm Sayer’s ground-breaking design. The Bremont MKI, MKII and MKIII have been developed in partnership with Jaguar. The dials are inspired by the E-Type’s tachometer and the winding weight is based on the car’s iconic steering wheel. You may never own the car, but a Bremont Jaguar timepiece might just be the next best thing.

Snow board If ski chalets cut no ice with you and hotels offer cold comfort, check in to Germany’s most outré accommodation: an igloo

Words: Ian Belcher

Location scouts for Bond movies have rarely had it better. The recent rash of stellar wilderness architecture offers a wealth of megalomaniac lairs, perfect for climactic high-altitude shoot-outs, inventive torture scenes or 007 seductions. Think Zaha Hadid’s Messner Mountain Museum in South Tyrol, Canada’s Glacier Skywalk above the Rockies, or Alila Jabal Akhdar Hotel, clinging to a 2,000m-high pinnacle in Oman. All fabulous. All slightly unnerving. But none come within a Blofeld’s-cat’s whisker of the tubular metal-and-glass climate-research station on top of 2,962m-high Mount Zugspitze – the highest point in Germany. The sci-fi structure gazes 200km across Austria to the Italian Dolomites, south-west to Switzerland’s Alps and east to Bavaria’s neighbouring mountains. On a blue-sky day, you can see more than 400 Alpine peaks alongside Munich’s tallest buildings. But I’m not counting skyscrapers or summits. Instead, I’m looking down, studying another unique feat of construction. Around 360m below the cable-car station, on a ridge kissing Germany’s only glacial ski piste, is a cluster of perfectly symmetrical domes. I appear to have swapped my Bond-movie set for the Star Wars’ planet Tatooine. Willkommen to Iglu-Dorf – one of Europe’s more unusual hotels, in one of its most astounding

Travel • Brummell


Getty Images; Doug McKinlay; ©

Opposite Iglu-Dorf, with its network of ice tunnels This page, from top Garmisch-Partenkirchen’s spectacular vista; the intricately carved walls of Iglu-Dorf’s bar

locations. The huddle of giant igloos, linked by frozen tunnels, provides pop-up accommodation, rebuilt every year, for 48 guests. Like its six sister properties, constructed every winter in elegyinducing locations in Switzerland and Andorra, it’s a less flamboyant version of Sweden’s Ice Hotel. What it lacks in Northern Lights displays, it makes up for with sublime widescreen views. My stay starts more than 2,000m lower down, beneath the vertiginous wall of Bavaria’s Alps. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is no ordinary resort. It has historic churches, houses with witty frescoes and the Richard Strauss Institute, in the composer’s former home. More darkly, it also has the stadium built for the 1936 Winter Olympics, where Nazi statuary is iced with freshly fallen snow. Next to the startlingly beautiful contemporary ski jump – a giant, sleek steel-and-polycarbonate apostrophe – they appear grey, tired, vaguely ridiculous. The 90m jump exerts a magnetic pull. As with a clifftop, I’m drawn to its edge, peering down the run and wincing at the bravery and utter lunacy of competitors. It makes me appreciate the sensible thrills of the Zugspitze’s cogwheel train, with its functional station and elegantly retro ski posters. We rattle past Christmas-card hamlets and rise sharply through fir forests into a lengthy tunnel, the train wheezing and groaning like an

We’re given a safety talk: drink liquid to compensate for the altitude and don’t go walkabout in the dark

arthritic jogger, before exploding into a dazzlingly light, white, bright world where Ray-Bans are a necessity, not a fashion statement. A few carving runs on the scenic piste below the summit and I’m ready to check in to my boutique igloo. It’s a wild, isolated setting for soft urban types, so, instead of a demonstration of the air-con, mini bar and entertainment system, we’re given a safety talk: drink liquid to compensate for the altitude and don’t go walkabout in the dark. ‘We can only hear for a 4m radius because of the wind,’ says the coolly understated guide, Michael Buck, providing a welcome I’ve yet to experience at a Four Seasons. ‘You could be screaming with a broken leg, but nobody will know.’ Sobering announcements over, it’s time to divvy up the rooms. There are standard igloos for six people; ‘Romantic’ ones for couples, complete with artworks, including phallic cacti of carved snow and roses frozen in blocks of ice; and even a ‘Romantic Plus’ category. It’s also a little tense. I’m on my own. It’s nearly a full house. Who will I be sharing with? The guest list includes a shamelessly tactile couple from my train carriage. Please God, not them. I don’t want to be a frozen gooseberry; I want frigid roommates. Thankfully, the lovebirds disappear into a Romantic Plus, perhaps to join the 2,600m-High


Brummell • Travel This page, from top The weather station on Mount Zugspitze, overlooking Iglu-Dorf; the vertiginous Olympic ski-jump, in the same arena where the 1948 Games were held

Club. Three hundred quid has bought them privacy, zip-together sleeping bags and – be still, my beating heart – their own en-suite loo. ‘Happy anniversary, darling. I’ve booked a -1°C room with a chemical toilet. Why the long face?’ I’m still nervous. My igloo is a swinger’s dream. I’m sharing with two young German couples I’ve known for less than an hour and already we’ve a communal waterbed, sheepskin rug and moody lighting. Add in the impending fondue and it can’t get much more Mike Leigh circa 1977. Iglu-Dorf originated in Switzerland 20 years ago, when an ambitious snowboarder, desperate to be first onto virgin piste, built a remote igloo and soon found himself swamped with curious guests. It still employs young mountain addicts. They’re multitaskers, doing everything from serving in the al fresco ice bar with its astonishing views, to leading evening hikes. After the refuelling on gloopy fondue, Michael shepherds us uphill through increasingly deep snow to Windlöche, a viewpoint and a border. Just a few more inches and there’s a sheer 600m drop into Austria. ‘It’s a thin rail,’ he explains, relapsing into another X-rated warning. ‘If you slip, that’s it.’ No one slips, but most people plunge. The on-site hot tub – offering a warming dip in the -15°C air under a blizzard of stars – is the final ingredient in a recipe that ensures a good night’s kip. We’re woken with tea, to watch the moon burning a hole in the dark purple dawn: a chance to catch the cable car for a private breakfast in the summit’s panoramic restaurant. Next door, the extraordinary cylindrical research station is ignited in a gold and pink wash of rising sun. It’s the perfect finale, and – take note, 007 – it’s been expecting you. ● Iglu-Dorf Zugspitze is now open for a limited period, from £87pp a night;

Rafale - Dassault Aviation NEW Bell & Ross London Boutique – Units 48-49 Burlington Arcade – London – W1J 0QJ – +44 (0)207 629 6464 – e-Boutique :

Come hell or high water Not content with circumnavigating the globe on a bicycle, adventurer James Bowthorpe has since rowed the length of the Hudson in a boat built from rubbish

Words: Robert Ryan

Antony Crook

Endeavour • Brummell

I suspect that, for most visitors from the UK, the Hudson River is just an annoying stretch of water separating Manhattan from Newark Airport, meaning they have to pay the taxi tolls to pass through the Lincoln Tunnel. Wide, grey and relatively benign, the Hudson thereabouts is nobody’s idea of adventure, apart from the hardy souls who swim in it or kayak along it. Travel north, though, and it’s a different story. Take the train to Poughkeepsie and ride the new lift up onto the Walkway over the Hudson. Formerly the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge, the longest cantilevered and truss-span example in the world when it was completed in 1888, it’s now the world’s longest footbridge. Looking down on the wide, straight stretch of water, herringboned as the wind riffles it, you can see treacherous currents, mudbanks, buoys warning of wrecks, and the barges, tankers and tugs that still ply this part of the 507km river, and can appreciate it would take a brave chap to navigate it in anything other than a substantial vessel. It would need someone with a reckless streak as wide as the river itself to attempt the upper reaches of the Hudson, particularly the 27km white-water section in the Adirondacks known as the Hudson River Gorge. Especially solo. And in a homemade boat. Enter James Bowthorpe, Somerset native, Edinburgh University graduate, cyclist, furniture designer and documentary-maker. Early last year, he declared that, in winter 2015, he was going to navigate the entire length of the Hudson, from its ice-crusted source, Lake Tear Of The Clouds, at an altitude of 1,317m, all the way to Manhattan. And, like something from a postmodern version of The Owl and the Pussycat, he was going to set off in a boat built from rubbish gathered on the streets of New York. Furthermore, it would be powered by something that Edward Lear would recognise – no sail, no motor, just a set of oars and brute strength. At this point you could be forgiven for thinking, WTF? ‘I wanted to make this journey, and the accompanying film, because the ideas behind it are important to me,’ says Bowthorpe, whose background – thankfully – includes spells working in boatyards. ‘It’s about how we connect our city environments to the world around us, how we relate to wilderness and how we can reinvigorate the concept of “adventure”, so it’s about much more than one individual.’ The 36-year-old has form in the madcapadventure department. He might affect a bearded hipster-slacker look, but in 2009, he completed a circumnavigation of the globe by bicycle, in a then-world-record 175 days – or, as he puts it, ‘pretty fast’. The bicycle was not, however, built out of discarded waste scavenged from NYC. ‘No, it wasn’t. But it’s a key part of the whole enterprise that the boat was built on the streets of New York, mostly from scrap metal, because it was vital we captured the excitement and energy of the city – if I’d built it in a workshop, it would’ve felt very static. I also wanted to make a link between cities – where most people live now – and the huge area outside those cities that supports them and enables them to exist. The river seemed a really simple way of connecting those two things.


It won’t be plain sailing. There’s white water, wilderness and international shipping lanes

Opposite And so it began… the Hudson near its source: the frozen Lake Tear of the Clouds This page Bowthorpe, sporting his North Flag, by expedition sponsor Tudor Watch

This trip isn’t going to save the world on its own, but the world doesn’t need saving – it’s man’s relationship with it that needs to change.’ Just because an adventure is in the midst of a ‘civilised’ country does not diminish the danger. The NewYorker recently ran a poignant story about Dick Conant, an eccentric solitary canoeist who had paddled from Plattsburgh, New York, near the Canadian border, down the Hudson, then taking obscure waterways and canals into North Carolina, before going missing. His canoe was discovered overturned in late 2014, but there was no sign of him. His body has never been found. I spoke to James Bowthorpe shortly before last October’s launch date – a couple of weeks away from the boat being transported upstate and not long before The New Yorker story appeared. What, I asked, were his particular concerns about the undertaking? He laughed. ‘Everything! I’m not anticipating this will be plain sailing at all. In the two-week descent, there’s white water, wilderness, international shipping lanes and everything in between. There will be challenges along the way.’ One thing he was sanguine about, however, was his choice of timepiece, which was supplied by expedition sponsor Tudor Watch, sister brand of Rolex. ‘We spoke to a number of companies about sponsorship, but Tudor was the first one that felt right. I treat all my gear pretty hard, so it needs to work well and be really resilient. It has a history of supporting undertakings such as the 1952 British North Greenland Expedition and its North Flag model is reminiscent of the watches worn by those early explorers. That resonates with me. Like them, I’ll just have to adapt to any problems that come along – if the boat breaks in white water, I’ll fix it; if we experience storms, we’ll weather them.’ And weather them he did. There was operational silence from his team for a while, and then I got a message saying the elusive James was ‘walking and talking, safe and well’ in New York City, having successfully completed the journey. Right now he is editing a documentary about the trip, which was shot by Antony Crook. ‘How did it go?’ I asked one of the production team, trying to get a sneak preview. Any hair-raising moments? ‘Ah,’ said the man, with the amused confidence of someone with a good story to tell. ‘You’ll just have to wait and see.’ ● The Hudson River Project documentary will be released later this year;;

This page, from top In full sail, Endurance before she became trapped; relaying the James Caird lifeboat across the ice; the expedition’s photographer Frank Hurley with a movie camera beneath Endurance’s bow Opposite Ernest Shackleton with one of the dogs aboard the ship

Freeze fame

Shackleton • Brummell


Nearly a century ago, legendary polar explorer Ernest Shackleton led one of the bravest – and most enduring – rescue missions ever recorded

Frank Hurley/Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)

Words: Nick Smith

If ever there was an epic tale of derring-do straight out of the pages of Boy’s Own, it is that of Ernest Shackleton’s rescue of his men from Elephant Island. A hundred years ago, Shackleton, doyen of British society and explorer extraordinaire, was having another crack at Antarctica. His earlier expedition, aboard Nimrod, had taken ‘the Boss’, as he was known, tantalisingly close to the South Pole. But he had been forced to turn back, a frustrating 97 miles short of his destination. A few years later, Captain Robert Falcon Scott would attain 90° south, only to discover he’d been pipped to the post by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen, who, in 1911, became the first man to set foot on the South Pole. Britain could not bear the insult of being beaten by a foreigner, and Shackleton resolved to upstage Norway by being the first man to cross the White Continent shore to shore, and in doing so restore national pride. No one could accuse Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition – Endurance, as it was informally known – of going to plan. By 1915, before achieving any of its goals, the ship that gave its name to the expedition was held fast in pack ice, which was to soon crush and sink her. In a time before even rudimentary long-range field communications, Shackleton had no way of letting the outside world know of his desperate situation. And even if he had, the world was preoccupied with the war that was tearing Europe apart. With the chances of survival minuscule at best, the only possible way of ensuring the 28-man crew lived to fight another day lay with their leader conjuring up a miracle. What followed was to become one of the greatest survival stories ever told. Endurance had three lifeboats, later named James Caird, Stancomb Wills and Dudley Docker, after the expedition’s main sponsors. Each

played a critical part in the rescue. The Boss’s first job was to get his men on to terra firma, and so they hauled the boats over the ice by hand and sailed through freezing seas, eventually fetching up at Cape Valentine on Elephant Island. The explorer’s granddaughter, Alexandra Shackleton, describes what awaited the men as ‘a deeply disagreeable place, effectively a rocky mountaintop sticking out of the ocean’. A makeshift mess was lashed together on the hostile foreshore, improvised from the upturned hulls of the two smaller boats. All the while, the ship’s carpenter, Harry McNish, fitted out the sturdiest of the three lifeboats, the James Caird, for a voyage across the Weddell Sea in search of the nearest inhabited settlement: the whaling station at Stromness, almost 1,300km away on South Georgia island in the South Atlantic. So, on 24 April 1916, Shackleton launched the 23ft James Caird, taking with him five men and leaving the remaining 22 to fend for themselves with no food other than penguins, and very little hope. ‘They might just as well have been on Mars,’ says Alexandra, who recalls the line in her grandfather’s diary that simply read: ‘A man must set himself to a new mark, directly the old one goes.’ For 17 days, Shackleton fought the biting gales, gnawing cold and vertiginous rollers of the fearsome southern seas. Six men in a boat: impossible to stand up, impossible to lie down. They were soaked to the skin, had no sleep, very little food and, crucially, half of their water was gone – one of only two water barrels was foul and undrinkable, which led to the crew’s tongues becoming blackened and cracked. ‘It was an incredible gamble. If Frank Worsley, the Endurance captain, hadn’t been such an incredible navigator


Brummell • Shackleton

The only possible way of ensuring the 28-man crew lived to fight another day lay with their leader conjuring up a miracle

they’d have missed South Georgia, never to be seen again,’ adds Alexandra. Getting to South Georgia was one thing, but landing was another: ‘A hurricane rose and they had to stand off to prevent being dashed on the rocks.’ Somehow they made landfall by a stream, where they drank fresh water for the first time in days and ate baby albatrosses. Too weak to pull the boat fully ashore, the men rested while Shackleton remained awake, taking the longest watch, holding onto the rope that was the only thing preventing the James Caird from getting away. Shackleton still had a problem. By sheer bad luck he’d fetched up at King Haakon Bay, on the wrong side of the island. To get to the whaling station, there was one more seemingly insurmountable obstacle in his way: a heavily glaciated and unmapped mountain range that runs the length of South Georgia. Carrying climbing equipment no more sophisticated than 30ft of rope and a carpenter’s adze, a team of three selected from the six – Shackleton, Worsley and Tom Crean – walked into atrocious weather and constant danger. After three days of virtually suicidal risks in the mountains, the all-but-broken and totally unrecognisable men staggered into Stromness, where they were taken to the station factory manager, Thoraf Sørlle, who greeted them with the words: ‘Who the hell are you?’ ‘My name is Shackleton,’ came the reply. Some accounts say that Sørlle turned away and wept. Although far from a formality, Shackleton’s men were now as good as saved. There was no radio at Stromness with which to raise the alarm, but the men continued to the Falkland Islands, where there was. After several aborted missions to Elephant Island, with the help of the Chilean navy (Britain wasn’t interested in diverting war resources to help the explorers), Shackleton engaged Captain Luis Pardo of the steam-tug Yelcho and personally went to remove his men from Elephant Island. Not one man was lost and all returned home. They had lived to fight another day – in some cases quite literally, with several being killed on the Western Front, having immediately volunteered to serve their country in the Great War. ● This page, from top Fully encased, Endurance is eventually crushed by the ice; the discovery vessel’s indomitable crew – incredibly, all would make it home alive

Images taken from The Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley, an exhibition showing at the Royal Geographical Society until 28 February

The need for speed When you’re attempting to break the land-speed record, a supersonic car that looks like a rocket and a fast-jet pilot are just the start of it…

Words: Ben Oliver

There is something ghoulish about land-speed record attempts. In 2003, an unmanned rocketpropelled sled used to test ejector seats at a US Air Force base became the fastest vehicle to cross the face of the earth when it hit Mach 8.5, or 6,416mph. But nobody gives a monkey’s, because there wasn’t a man aboard, driving it. We are not interested in pure speed as much as how fast we can propel ourselves. We need a man in there to identify with and to experience it for us. And we require human jeopardy. The land-speed record we care about is held by Wing Commander Andy Green, OBE, who became the first (and so far only) man to break the sound barrier in a car when he drove Thrust SSC to 763mph on Nevada’s Black Rock Desert nearly 20 years ago. Now he plans to break a less tangible but more extraordinary barrier. Over the

Land-speed record • Brummell


The wheels might liquefy the surface beneath them, or themselves. A wheel has never turned so fast

next two summers, on a 12-mile-long mud flat in a remote corner of South Africa, he will attempt to hit 1,000mph in his new car, Bloodhound SSC. In the age of precision-strike drones, Bloodhound could be driven by remote control. But if we require a man to be aboard, we need the very opposite of a racing driver whose instinct would be to push the car beyond what it is safely capable of. Bloodhound will hit 1,000mph slowly, feeling its way towards its Vmax with up to 50 runs, the target speed increasing by just a few miles per hour each time as it explores speeds never before reached by a wheeled vehicle, and experiences forces and reactions so complex and unknowable that no computer can predict them. So you need a human computer to drive it. Someone who is utterly egoless, but who bears the extraordinary mental and physical capacities that are required to execute a complex series of procedures in a short space of time – an entire 1,000mph run will last only about 100 seconds – while pulling 3g, keeping the vehicle going

straight ahead and having enough spare mental processing power to analyse how the car is behaving and if it’s safe to keep the throttle open. You need Andy Green. He’s a proper hero – an Oxford Maths first and a rowing Blue, a fast-jet pilot who served in the Afghan and Libyan campaigns and the captain of the RAF Cresta Run team, in addition to being the world land-speed record holder. He looks much younger than his 53 years and his head has the smooth, taut, aerodynamic look of someone who has been perfectly fit his entire life. Richard Noble, his partner in the Bloodhound Project and the former record holder at 633mph in Thrust 2, recalls being astonished by how Green was able to provide a calm commentary while going supersonic in Thrust SSC, ‘when all I could do in Thrust 2 was hang on and try to keep the thing in a straight line’. When Green tells you his attempt is ‘not about proving how great I am’ you believe him, and there’s an appealing nerdishness in the way he revels in his car’s insane engineering and physics.

Imagine Steve Redgrave crossed with Moss from The IT Crowd and you’re just about there. It’s a relief when he answers questions in English rather than in binary. Half the trouble of setting a new land-speed record is finding a venue big and flat and empty enough – you’d better be prepared to travel to some pretty weird and distant and inhospitable places. Green went to four continents looking for somewhere to drive his new car at 1,000mph. Black Rock’s surface is now too damaged, but instead Green found the Hakskeen Pan in South Africa, close to its borders with Namibia and Botswana. Loincloth-clad San people roam its empty landscape of copper-coloured earth and scrubby sage vegetation. There is little industry, poor agriculture and just the occasional gritty settlement of a few dozen breeze-block bungalows. It’s little wonder the local politicians agreed to Green’s plan – that he would bring the Bloodhound 1,000mph project here if they would clear the stones from 24 million square metres

Flock London; E. Bacon/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images; MacGregor/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images; Stefan Marjoram; Richard Meredith-Hardy/REX/Shutterstock

Land-speed record • Brummell


Previous page Life in the fast lane: the Bloodhound SSC From far left Sir Malcolm Campbell’s 1927 land-speed record attempt; and in 1925, after setting a 150mph record on Pendine Sands; Andy Green in 2012, next to Bloodhound SSC; Thrust SSC in Black Rock Desert, 1997, at 550mph, with shock waves beginning to form

of the Pan, the equivalent of a two-lane highway running from London to Moscow. It is the largest area ever cleared by hand – tracked vehicles were not allowed, as they would have ruined the surface. The Bloodhound Project has set one world record before the car has turned a wheel. Green sees Bloodhound as a car and talks about driving and steering it. It looks like it ought to be pointing at the sky rather than down a track, but there are some pleasingly familiar analogue features. Sponsor Rolex has been associated with the land-speed record since Sir Malcolm Campbell set his in the 1930s. For Bloodhound, it has made a bespoke analogue speedometer and chronograph that will sit either side of Green’s hands in the cockpit, providing an instant visual reference, and a back-up should his displays fail. He will also be wearing a steel Daytona Cosmograph, long associated with going fast on four wheels. He won’t have time to check it. But otherwise, Bloodhound doesn’t bear much relation to how a normal car operates, and its

dynamics are better compared to an aircraft or boat. This ‘car’ is 13 metres long, weighs more than seven tonnes and rolls on solid aluminium wheels that are nearly a metre across. It is powered by a supercharged Jaguar V8 engine, a Eurojet EJ200 jet engine and a rocket. The jet gets it up to about 400mph, at which point the rocket is fired. The Jaguar engine never drives the wheels but serves as a fuel pump for the few seconds the rocket is lit; nothing else can throw the gas in fast enough. At around the time the rocket ignites, the front wheels stop steering the car by gripping the surface and instead start to work like rudders; there’s a ‘nasty moment’ of instability between 300 and 400mph, when the mechanical grip has declined but the car’s aerodynamics haven’t started to work properly, though Bloodhound accelerates through that in less than four seconds. The wheels start planing across the surface like a speedboat; handy, given that the impact of four solid wheels travelling beyond the speed of sound might liquefy the surface beneath them. Or they

might liquefy themselves; they will be pulling 50,000g at the rims. A wheel has never turned so fast. And what is truly unknowable is the effect that the supersonic shock wave will have as it penetrates the ground; it might cause the track to explode beneath the car. We won’t know until Andy tries, and we’ll be able to watch what happens on the live feed from Bloodhound’s dozen cameras. I wonder how a man used to the certainties of mathematics and military life copes with the uncertainties of exploring uncharted speed. ‘It’s like the moment when Neil Armstrong stepped off the Eagle,’ he says. ‘There were still people who thought he would sink up to his neck in moon dust. He had a high degree of confidence, but he didn’t know until he’d left that first footprint. It’s amazing to be able to push back the boundaries of human endeavour, and make life more exciting by sharing it with people. It’s part of what makes us human. So why wouldn’t you take a chance like that? Why wouldn’t I?’ ●

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Epicure Near & far On the cusp of spring, Brummell’s epicure pages aim, as always, to satisfy curious appetites. We offer an overview of the capital’s most innovative wining and dining, recommending notable new launches, including Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan’s Aulis, and Restaurant Ours, the second venture from the ever-inventive Tom Sellers. We take a tour around northern Italy to taste the region’s finest wines, and, closer to home, quaff best-of-British café Albion’s bespoke range of own-label red, white and rosé. In good time for Easter, we sample chocolate from Q, the family run Brazilian brand gaining a name across the globe for its exotic creations. Be as adventurous as you dare...

Epicure • Brummell



Brummell • Epicure news

M-ore to enjoy ↑ With Victoria fast becoming a new financial centre for London – Deutsche Bank decamps there early next year, joining a raft of already-established hedge-fund, asset-management and private-equity firms – it’s upping its game when it comes to eating out. M Victoria Street, the second from M Restaurants, is in the vanguard – the multifaceted space incorporates a grill restaurant and a raw bar, above, serving carefully sourced and skilfully prepared meat and seafood from across the world – viz, kangaroo tartare – as well as a members’ bar, with its own boutique cinema, and a wine store, complete with tasting table, purveying a superb list of international vintages.

Fresh flavours ↑ Jason Atherton’s The Social Company ( is opening its seventh venue, Sosharu, on Clerkenwell Road in March. An izakaya restaurant (think Japanese gastropub), it will serve relaxed cuisine under the watchful eye of head chef Alex Craciun, who spent a year in Japan in preparation. The menu majors on small dishes: temaki, sashimi, tempura, and hibachi- and yaki-grilled meat and vegetable morsels. Tom Sellers ( is about to launch his second venture, Restaurant Ours, on Brompton Road, South Kensington. It will focus on classic and contemporary European fare, and the extensive interior – central bar, 10m-high ceiling, mezzanine with three huge trees – is set to impress. Opening soon near St Paul’s is SHOT (, above, a healthyfood and cold-pressed-juice concept by Citigroup veteran Rahil Malik and club DJ Asad Naqvi. The menu, by Harley Street nutritional therapist Alice Mackintosh, is entirely free from refined sugar, additives and preservatives, and informed by the mission statement that prompted the company’s name: ‘Simple. Healthy. Organic. Tasty’.

Gigging for grown-ups Between 1964 and 1988, it hosted gigs by more than its fair share of icons, among them The Rolling Stones, Hendrix and Bowie. Staying true to its rock’n’roll past, the 100 Wardour Club, once The Marquee, is still a live-music venue. It’s now open from 5pm to 3am, with food served till 2am, and its Lounge is an all-day bar and restaurant headed up by executive chef Liam Smith-Laing, formerly of La Petite Maison. Which means, whatever time you arrive, you’ll be fuelled till the early hours.

A label less ordinary ↓ Paul Smith has long been a fan of Berry Bros. & Rudd’s Good Ordinary Claret and Good Ordinary White, so it’s fitting that the historic wine merchant asked the fêted designer to create limitededition labels for its two bestsellers. The inspiration was Matisse’s paper cut-outs, and creative director Geordie Willis describes the labels as ‘traditional yet modern, quintessentially British but admirably international’ – qualities that both parties wholeheartedly endorse. 2013 Good Ordinary Claret, £54, and 2014 Good Ordinary White, £53.10, for a case of six;

Form an orderly Q ← In time for Easter indulgence: exotic chocolates from family-run Brazilian brand Q. The recipe contains only pure cocoa melded with cocoa butter and a pinch of sugar, and the pretty packaging reflects the rainforest where the cacao fruit it uses is still picked by hand. The Q range is available in varying grades of cocoa mass, from suave (aka soft: 55, 60 and 65 per cent) to intenso (aka intense: 75, 80 and 85 per cent). Opt for a wooden box containing all six in bar form, or a tin of chocolate bites filled with toasted cocoa nibs. From £27.95 at Harrods;

Patricia Niven

Up close and personal ↓ Michelin-starred chef Simon Rogan has just launched Aulis, within Fera at Claridge’s, which serves as both a development kitchen for chefs and an exclusive, interactive private dining room. Guests can book individually or reserve the entire six-seat counter to enjoy watching dishes being prepared. Ever-changing, the menu reflects Rogan’s modern British style and the seasonal produce he sources from native suppliers, including his own farm near Cartmel. Aulis serves dinner at 7pm from Thursday to Saturday. £150 per person;

Give me five ↑ Albion has just launched its first range of five wines. It includes two whites (Viognier and Sauvignon), two reds (Malbec and Syrah) and a Provence rosé (70-per-cent Grenache, 30-per-cent Cinsault). It joins the restaurant’s existing own-label drinks portfolio of pale and golden ale, wheat porter, soda and gin. The wines are available by the bottle or glass in its Shoreditch and Bankside cafés, and can be bought in its Boundary Street shop. Bottles from £8.50;



Vine art Fusing indigenous grapes, ancient methods and innovative ideas, northern Italy’s newest producers are bringing fresh influence to the wine-making map

Words: Nick Savage Illustration: Nathalie Lees

It’s a fascinating thing to watch someone perform a job they seem fated to do. Richard Rotti is one such person. As wine buyer for Caprice Holdings, one of Britain’s most established restaurant groups, with a prized portfolio that includes Annabel’s, Scott’s, The Ivy and Sexy Fish, he has the opportunity to subtly change the way Londoners drink wine. I have the pleasure of accompanying him on a whistle-stop tour of northern Italy, visiting a smattering of the region’s all-star producers. In Venice, we board a water taxi at the airport and wend our way past the islands of Murano and San Michel to arrive at Sant’Erasmo, where we’re greeted by Michel Thoulouze, owner of the Orto Venezia vineyard and the former boss of Canal+ International. Thoulouze had initially purchased the property for its view – an arrestingly blue vista of sky and lagoon. It was only after buying it that he realised the land was home to historic vineyards dating back to the 12th century. With the help of celebrated winemaker Alain Graillot, he chose to grow grapes on the 4.5 hectares in the traditional way, with no fertilisers or pesticides






and plenty of other species present to provide biodiversity. For his grape varietals, Thoulouze picked Fiano, Vermentino and, mainly, Malvasia Istriana – an ancient grape brought over from Greece by Venetian merchants. Later in the evening, we take a water taxi back into Venice, passing under the Ponte di Rialto; disembarking next to the Bridge of Sighs. We walk through an eerily desolate Piazza San Marco to arrive at the Michelin-starred Il Ridotto, where we taste Orto Venezia. It’s highly mineral and aromatic, with hints of pepper and sage, and beautifully complements the cucina povera-inspired menu, particularly a dish of squid-ink spaghetti with sea urchin. There’s harmony between the salinity of the shellfish and the wine, its grapes grown just metres away from the lagoon. The next day, we find ourselves on a forest hilltop in Collio, within sight of Slovenia and the Dolomites – a serrated gunmetal-grey ridge spanning the northern horizon. We’ve arrived at Vigna del Lauro, run by the Coser family. The 13-hectare vineyard edges upwards around a

swiftly rising bluff to 275m. The terrain is too steep and tumultuous to be mechanised, so pruning and harvesting have always been manual. Nine grape varietals are grown on the estate, with a tendency towards white, including regional grapes such as Malvasia Istriana, Ribolla Giolla and Friulano. However, Rotti was quick to seize on the subject of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc: ‘Collio is the beating heart of Pinot Grigio – it’s the region that made it what it is. People come into the restaurant and ask for “a nice Pinot Grigio”, and it will be nice – in fact nicer than nice, because we’ve chosen the best Pinot Grigio available.’ Whereas much of the Pinot Grigio on the market is sickly sweet, fruity and muddled, the Vigna del Lauro is immediately fragrant of the grape, with an unbridled freshness and salinity. We sample the 2000 and 2014 vintages of Sauvignon Blanc. In between delicious mouthfuls of frico (Montasio cheese melted over potatoes), Rotti mentions the tax he levies on glasses of Sauvignon Blanc, marking them up by £2–3 to encourage guests to try some of the lesser-known

grapes, such as Ribolla or Friulano, which he barely marks up at all. Vigna del Lauro Sauvignon Blanc is a different animal altogether. Deeply mineral and elegant, it’s unlike any other Italian Sauvignon I’ve sampled – a complete reinvention. Later, in Veneto, I have a similar experience with Prosecco, drinking Christian Zago’s sparkling wines in Valdobbiadene in the Treviso province. The vineyards from which he produces Ca’ dei Zago have been in his family since 1924, and are spread over six hilly hectares. He’s the fifthgeneration Zago to work the fields, and effervesces with excitement as he describes the methods he’s been pioneering to make his wine exceptional. A dynamic character, he never stands still, one moment stooping to paw the mocha-coloured soil, the next jumping to his feet to describe the cows that used to keep the grass at bay, or to show bullet holes left in the walls of his villa from the war. Zago is just 29, and you get the sense he has great things ahead of him – and definitely great wine. His family has always tended toward traditional biodynamic methods. Herbicides,


Brummell • Wine

The evening becomes a bit hazy. The bottles, once open, are not the type you allow to spoil. We drink them accordingly

pesticides and fertilisers have been strictly off-limits. The wine is fermented in a pressurised concrete tank before being transferred to the bottle, where a secondary fermentation takes place with no sugar added, creating a sophisticated low-alcohol sparkler named Col Fondo, after the sediment of yeast that gathers at its bottom. In the tasting room, Zago leans out of the window and sabres the bottle with a rustic kitchen knife. He pours the wine into wide glasses and a cappuccino-like froth ripples to the top. I’m shocked by how dry and energetic it is. It’s unlike any Prosecco I’ve had. It’s a force of nature – the result of all the love Zago has put into his vines. The next day, the weather is uneasy as we drive into Gavi, dense vapour clinging like a shroud to the lazily rolling hills, the vine leaves blanched yellow by the autumn chill. It’s the day after Halloween and the landscape has a spectral aspect. As we round a bend, the Forte di Gavi hoves into view through the mist, its ramparts resembling the bulwarks of a ghost ship. An unsettling effect, but the warm welcome we receive from the Rosina sisters feels all the more congenial for it. Their winery is ineffably charming, the villa nestled between a gently swelling slope and a stand of 40m-high poplars. The three siblings bought it along with 15 hectares scattered around Gavi, on which they mainly grow Cortese grapes. Although they had successful careers in academia, science and law respectively, their late mother urged them to enter the world of wine, which, at the time, featured few female producers. Their adventurous spirit quickly reaped rewards, with many connoisseurs, including Rotti,

touting La Mesma as some of the best wine to emerge from the region. The Gavi DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita – the highest classification for Italian wines) is light and easy, with floral aromas and notes of apricot. To taste the wine with food, we are served ceixei in zemin, a Ligurian stew of chickpeas with chard that was traditionally prepared for All Saints’ Day. After the Rosina sisters’ warmth and wine, it’s difficult to say farewell. Cantine Nervi in Gattinara is only an hour’s drive north of Gavi, but the difference in landscape is striking. With roughly 29 hectares spread along Alpine foothills beneath the stern gaze of Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn, brutality and beauty hold equal sway. Erling Astrup, the proprietor of Cantine Nervi, purchased the vineyard in 2011. The Norwegian banker became besotted with Nervi Molsino during a series of skiing trips in the region. Fond of hunting and climbing, Astrup is an intense man, which is expressed in the sparkling Nebbiolo we drink as the sun sets over Molsino’s natural amphitheatre, and his preferred manner of sabreing the bottle: with an ice axe. The vineyards in the Gattinara region date back to the 2nd century BC, when they were planted by the Romans. American President Thomas Jefferson was known to be a great admirer of the grape – he canvassed European consuls to acquire a shipment of Gattinara Nebbiolo. The Nervi family had owned the land since 1530 and established the winery in 1905 – plenty of time to create a wine of such depth and structure as to be haunting.

During dinner, we enjoy venison risotto with a dusting of shaved white truffle and a re-imagined vitello tonnato – a fillet of Piedmontese veal served warm on a bed of bitter greens beneath a smooth tuna sauce. We begin tasting vintages dating back to 1955. Rotti describes them as ‘mind-bending’. There is an almost hallucinatory aspect to the wine, with its near-incomprehensible dryness, depth and elegance. Astrup refers to Barolo and Barbaresco as the Coca-Cola of Nebbiolo – a grape almost endemic to the region. Attempts to recreate it elsewhere have, in the main, been literally fruitless. At 2–3°C cooler than the Langhe region, with three times the rain and wind, coupled with a terroir of volcanic gravel and clay, his wines have an astonishing power and longevity – Nebbiolo rebooted, so to speak. The evening becomes a bit hazy. The bottles, once open, are not the type you allow to spoil. We drink them accordingly. Rotti recounts the story of his first wine trip to Alsace: ‘I’d bought a guide of the region and read it cover to cover, but when I arrived it was nothing like it. Alsace was green. I’m eating it and facing it and breathing it and it’s nothing like the book.’ I feel similarly about this trip. Though I’d read plenty about northern Italy and was au fait with its wines, Rotti had really taken me under its skin, introducing me to winemakers who are breathing new life into their respective regions and varietals through obsessive fieldwork and innovation. It goes without saying that the best way to experience them is to book a flight. Barring that, there’s always dinner at The Ivy. ●

For stockists in the City see Please enjoy responsibly.

Experience the Softer Side of the Highlands. Since 1897 there has been a quiet revolution unfolding in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. High up amongst the smooth, rounded peaks of the Monadhliath Mountains there is no room for the rugged and robust. Here patience, a gentle hand and a passion for purity rule the day.

Brummell • Need to know

Pierre Cardin’s Bubble Palace: one of the unique homes available to rent through Le Collectionist

House style East, west, home’s best: the prestige properties where a stellar stay is guaranteed

Words: Jemima Wilson

However niche your needs, there’s no shortage of stellar hotels across the globe primed to meet them. But for those seeking somewhere more private to spend a holiday, whether sybaritic or adventure-filled, luxury-home rental is becoming an increasingly popular alternative. It was with this in mind that, at the end of last year, French entrepreneurs Olivier Cahané, Eliott Cohen-Skalli and Max Aniort launched Le Collectionist. The service allows connoisseurs access to a hand-picked selection of premier properties around the world that offer the added benefit of hotel-like perks such as a housekeeper, butler, chef or chauffeur on request. More than 1,000 properties are listed in the company’s extensive online portfolio. Many

of them are the second or holiday homes of high-profile individuals, so there are plenty with the wow factor. Palais Bulles, or ‘the Bubble Palace’, for example – one of the most unusual homes on the French Riviera – is owned by couturier Pierre Cardin. Situated in the town of Théoule-sur-Mer, near Cannes, the Surrealist labyrinth of baked-clay domes comprises 10 suites, each one decorated by a different artist and decked out with quirky furniture ranging from inflatable armchairs to circular beds. There’s a 500-seat amphitheatre on-site, offering an impressive – and memorably eccentric – venue for a party or meeting. If you favour ancient over modern design, however, take a look at Le Collectionist’s listing for Villa Giulia, perched high on the Sorrentine Peninsula on southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast. The property’s interior is every bit as spectacular as its location – each of its six en-suite bedrooms has marquetry floors and ornate, coffered ceilings and is studded with antique sculptures. It has a vast, vertiginous garden, at the cliffside foot of which is a naturally formed private pool and a secret cave with direct access to the beach. From the villa’s imposing promontory, the view stretches from the Gulf of Naples to Mount Vesuvius. But guests need not merely settle for observing the latter from afar – Le Collectionist’s concierge can arrange trips to climb the volcano and visit the historical city of Pompeii. Perhaps the ultimate exclusive getaway is a stay on a private isle. There are a number to rent through Le Collectionist, and Dolphin Island, at the tip of Viti Levu, Fiji, is one of the most secluded. Having flown into Nadi International Airport, you’re chauffeured to its private boat to make the crossing – though you could also opt for a higher-octane transfer by either floatplane or helicopter. Dolphin Island’s rooms are in individual pavilions scattered across its extensive grounds, and guests who are game for a taste of the great outdoors can reserve the ‘sleep-out bure’ – an open-air space on a hilltop facing the sea. Snorkelling and diving excursions, plus equipment, can be arranged by Le Collectionist’s concierge, and staff are poised to take you island-hopping, kayaking or sailing in the aforementioned private boat. One thing’s for sure, whatever your version of adventure, Le Collectionist will have a property that perfectly fits the bill. ● Palais Bulles, from €1,000 per person per night; Villa Giulia, €16,500 per night; Dolphin Island, €6,100 per night;

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Louis-Philippe Breydel/Pierre Cardin Archives


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Brummell Spring 2016  

Our Adventure Special - blasting the land speed record, Shackleton's legacy, timepieces for tough guys, a north Italian wine odyssey, the su...

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