All the fun
of the Fair Reinventing Wheels Smoked & Uncut
s well as plenty of information and ideas to help you make the most of the glorious New Forest – even more glorious as autumn approaches and the leaves start to turn colour – this, the third edition of Limewire, profiles several inspiring people: Wasfi Kani, for instance, the founder of Pimlico Opera, a company that stages operas and musicals inside prisons and has given hundreds of inmates the confidence to do something positive with their lives. And Nell Gifford, whose travelling circus is now a fixture of the summer scene in the West Country. We learn, too, about a remarkable scheme to help women with breast cancer by teaching them fly fishing. As well as the inspirational, we have the aspirational: William Asprey, whose family has been involved in luxury goods for centuries, tells us about his love of fishing, shooting and fine wine. And Nick Edmiston reminisces about sailing’s golden age, when classic six-metre yachts from both sides of the Atlantic fought it out for the America’s Cup. Like the guns and watches you can buy from Asprey’s shop, William & Son in Mayfair, and the yachts available for sale or charter from Edmiston, in St James’s, the beautifully crafted, custom-built motorcycles that Battistinis sell blur the lines between function and art: Mark Battistini tells us about the extraordinary pink motorbike he made for Grayson Perry. And, talking of art, we look back at the life and work of one of America’s finest and most popular artists, Keith Haring, whose fame started with drawings on the New York subway and ended with exhibitions all over the world. Plenty to nourish the soul... and plenty more tangible nourishment too, whether it’s a pint of craft cider and a sausage sandwich on the Jurassic Coast, or a box of something lovely for lunch from London’s splendid Street Kitchen!
Published by: The Lime Wood Group, Beaulieu Rd, Lyndhurst, SO43 7FZ Publisher: David Elton Editor: Bill Knott (firstname.lastname@example.org) For advertising enquiries contact: Victoria Gibbs on: email@example.com Emma Cripwell on: firstname.lastname@example.org Design and production: Strattons (www.strattons.com) © Lime Wood Group 2012
All the fun of the fair
Cox and rocks
Smoked & Uncut
In rod we trust
Pushing the boat out
The doodle bug
Meals on wheels
Just William – Interview with William Asprey
The performers of Giffords Circus travel the village greens and commons of the West Country with their particular brand of exuberant showmanship. Cider is staging a comeback, as the plethora of cider festivals around the south coast confirms, but just make sure it’s the real stuff! And look out for the fossils. The art of customising a motorbike, as demonstrated by Mark Battistini. Are newspapers a thing of the past?
A profile of Pimlico Opera, the opera company teaching prisoners how to put on a show. JC Caddy talks about his new Live At... CD releases, and talks cooking and guilty pleasures with festival legend Rob Da Bank. The remarkable success of Casting For Recovery, a charity that teaches women suffering with breast cancer how to fly-fish. Nick Edmiston, whose family firm is one of the world’s leading yacht brokers, remembers the glorious races involving the classic six-metre class. From whimsical drawings on subway walls to exhibitions at the world’s great galleries: the short but brilliant career of Keith Haring. Two London chefs take to the road in an attempt to brighten up the street food scene.
William Asprey talks about his passion for guns, watches, wine and fishing.
A round-up of what’s happening around the New Forest at this time of year.
Should you be driving through the towns and villages of the West Country this summer, you might well find yourself stuck behind a string of painted wagons. If you do, they probably belong to Giffords Circus, the phenomenally successful troupe set up by Toti and Nell Gifford in 2000.
Maisie Bagley knows all about Giffords Circus. “Nell and I have known each other for ages: when I was a little girl, Nell and her sister put on a circus together as a birthday party for me. Nell always had a thing about circuses.” Maisie now manages Circus Sauce, the Giffords’ travelling restaurant; her Californian husband Shane is the chef. After graduating from Oxford, Nell’s love for the circus took her to the US and Europe, learning as much as she could about the circus. The other great love of her life, husband Toti, had a flourishing landscape gardening business in the West Country, and Nell’s peripatetic lifestyle would clearly make a successful marriage very difficult. And so they hatched the plan for a miniature village green circus: “packed, rowdy and glamorous”, as Nell describes it. “Birds and horses and motorbikes bursting from a fluttering white tent.”
Photograph by Laurie Fletcher. www.lauriefletcher.com
The first show coincided with the launch of Nell’s book, Josser: The Secret Life of a Circus Girl. Nell had been invited to the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival and suggested that she stage a small circus. She and Toti cobbled together a show, then took it around
several other venues that summer, building the template for subsequent shows, with Toti taking care of all the logistics and Nell concentrating on the artistic side. “It has all grown organically from there,” recalls Maisie. “Our big top now seats 500 people. And the restaurant has grown, too: it started as a little café just for the performers, then we started selling teas, and now we have a proper restaurant. Shane buys his produce from local farm shops, we have a small market garden growing salads, and we even have a few Tamworth pigs.” This year’s show is called The Saturday Book, taking its name from the annual art-andliterature miscellany published from 1941 to 1975, its contributors including Philip Larkin and P. G. Wodehouse. Its pages were an enchanting mix of essays, verse, fiction, photography and woodcuts.
“It’s a kind of vintage variety show,” says Maisie. “We have a Parisian wire walker, some Ukrainian acrobats, our jugglers Bibi and Bichu – who even juggle while standing on horseback at one point – and the ever-popular Tweedy the clown. And there’s Jan the German with his dogs, who do all sorts of fabulous tricks, including a bit of hat-catching.”
routines rehearsed, scenery built, costumes stitched together. From late September to early November, participants can learn about equestrian circus skills; try their hands (and feet) at various kinds of dance; learn how to make cider bread, chutneys and game cookery; or spend a day with Nell, learning the secrets of costume design, set building, prop making and direction.
The show is directed by Cal McCrystal, who was the Physical Comedy Director of the West End hit One Man, Two Guvnors, and it is, by all accounts, a very funny show: “it’s very light-hearted,” says Maisie, “and everyone has said how much fun it is.”
Well, maybe not all her secrets. According to Maisie, “Nell always comes up with an idea for next year’s show the previous autumn, travelling in search of new acts and finding the best person to direct the show. But she keeps it secret! Then the tent goes up in March and the show starts all over again.”
One new string to the Giffords’ bow is the establishment of various workshops: day courses held at Folly Farm, in Bourton-on-theWater, Gloucestershire. Folly Farm’s Cotswold barns are where each show is put together:
COX AND ROCKS
Limewire 05 There are few things that sum up England at its bucolic best more than a late summer picnic in an orchard: hunks of cheese, thick slabs of ham, crusty bread, a few pickles, and a big, cool stone flagon of cider, made, perhaps, with the previous year’s fruit from the orchard itself. Rustic bliss: on a fine day, anyway. You can almost hear the Morris men’s bells jangling in the distance.
“We sell three ‘expressions’ of cider,” explains Kevin,
Everyone knows what cider is. It’s fermented apple juice, isn’t it? Well, up to a point: for commercially produced cider, the actual juice content can be as low as a paltry 35%. The rest can be made up with anything fermentable, and even the juice can actually be imported apple concentrate. The “cider” can then be carbonated, pasteurised and micro-filtered before it reaches the bottle or the cask: remember that next time you turn on the TV and see ravenhaired colleens cavorting through orchards in traditional dress, advertising “authentic” cider.
All of which is sold in the pub, where cider is starting to approach 50% of all the pints pulled. “We sell other ciders as well: Westons, from Herefordshire, Hecks, from Street in Somerset, and Cider By Rosie, made by Rose Grant in Mid Dorset.
Real cider – or “craft cider”, as it is often known – is a very different beast. At its simplest, it is just milled apples, pressed to extract their juice in early autumn and left in barrels somewhere cool for the winter: the wild yeasts on the skins of the apples ferment the sugars, producing alcohol, which in turn stops the cider from freezing in all but the harshest of winters. Come springtime, it is dry, strong, still and ready to drink.
You can find a fine pint of cider at the Square and Compass any time of year, but perhaps the best time to visit is on the first Saturday in November (the 3rd this year) when the pub hosts its annual Cider Festival. The festival features not only a wide range of local craft ciders, but there is freshly pressed apple juice, some very toothsome sausages, lessons in identifying different varieties of apples, and live music later in the evening.
This style of cider is something of an acquired taste. It can be mouth-puckeringly dry, and it can also have a distinct smell of vinegar. Some craft cidermakers, including Charlie Newman and landlord Kevin Hunt of the Square and Compass in Dorset, prefer to use a cultivated yeast, which controls the fermentation more accurately than its wilder cousins, producing a more reliable brew. The Square and Compass sits in the little village of Worth Maltravers, a few miles west along the Jurassic Coast from Swanage. They have been making and selling their own cider for the last six years, and were awarded the prestigious title of “Real Cider Pub of the Year” by CAMRA in 2008.
“Dry, medium and sweet. In the first year they have a bit of cloudiness in them, then they get clearer as they age. Charlie uses a mixture of traditional cider apples and eating apples. We made 14,000 litres last year.”
“We do have Stowford Press as well: it’s our only fizzy cider. I’m not here to upset the customers: anyway, often people will move from lager to the Stowford Press and then they’ll try a half of real cider. Lager consumption has dropped off big time.”
The Square and Compass also boasts another attraction, unusual (if not unique) for a pub: it has a small museum dedicated to fossils. The Jurassic Coast – the 95-mile stretch of coastline from Orcombe Bay, near Exmouth, in East Devon, to Old Harry Rocks, not far from the Square and Compass – is a World Heritage Site, and hugely popular both with walkers on the South West Coastal Park and with amateur paleontologists. The area was home to the 19th-century fossil hunter, Mary Anning, who famously discovered a fossil of an entire ichthyosaur: she was just 12-years-old at the time. Visitors these days may not be so fortunate, but there are plenty of ammonites to be found, as well as many other relics of prehistoric life.
For a wealth of information about the Jurassic Coast, and a comprehensive listing of organised walks (from easy to strenuous), talks, visitor centres and museums, visit the excellent www.jurassiccoast.com. Or you can simply admire the collection at the Square and Compass over a pint or two of craft cider. Not that the Square and Compass is the only place to drink proper cider in Hampshire or Dorset: far from it. The exhaustive website www.ukcider.co.uk lists every pub selling cider in the two counties, as well as upcoming festivals: real enthusiasts might try New Forest Cider’s annual steam-pressing weekend, on the 13th and 14th of October. The company’s “Workman” cider press is, so they claim, the only steam-driven press in Britain that is still working. CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, are also fans of real cider: most of their beer festivals feature several ciders as well as excellent local beers. Both the South Hampshire branch (www.shantscamra.org.uk) and the West Dorset branch (www.camrawdorset.org. uk) have plenty of information on cider stockists and festivals: you could try the beer and cider festival at the Gaggle of Geese in Buckland Newton, Dorset, on 14th September (01300 345 249), where you might pick up a goose for a snip at their charity poultry auction. Whether you are a dedicated rambler, a music fan, a fossil fiend, or just someone keen to investigate in a practical fashion the happy marriage of the fermented apple and the cooked pig, the historic Jurassic Coast and its pub-strewn hinterland has much to offer, and much to enjoy. And the world seems much rosier after a pint of proper cider.
here are bikers, and there are Battistini bikers. The Battistini workshop, in Dorset, builds just a small handful of custom-made motorcycles each year, and they are truly distinctive. The phrase “work of art” is often overused, but in the case of at least one Battistini bike, it is literally correct. The company was founded in 1990 by Rikki and Dean Battistini, with the aim of bringing to Europe some of the specialist, custom-built bikes and parts they had discovered on their trips to the USA’s West Coast. Their passion for Californian bespoke creations turned into a thriving business in Europe, especially in the UK and Italy, and brother Mark joined as Italian Sales Manager in 1994. A year later, Dean was tragically killed in a motorbike accident, leading the remaining two brothers to remodel the business. Nowadays, Rikki is based in the US, doing the circuit of motorcycle trade shows and doing business with dealers eager to secure some of Battistini’s custom-built “bolt-on” accessories – handlegrips, for example – while Mark looks after the UK business from his Dorset workshop. Mark’s main business is selling hard-to-find parts for HarleyDavidsons and other high-end bikes – he is also starting to sell some of his brother’s US accessories – and fulfilling orders for custom-made motorbikes. Hence the “work of art”. As Mark explains, “we were contacted by [Turner Prize-winning artist] Grayson Perry, who wanted us to build him a motorbike. He drew the design, and we built it: it was a great project to work on. He rode it to Germany and back, and now it’s insured as a work of art, for £250,000, I think.”
Perry’s bike is, as one look will confirm, unlike any other. An extraordinary, custom-made bike, based on a Harley-Davidson Knucklehead and named the “Kenilworth AM1”, it also features a reliquary – a sort of saintly Wendy house – on the back, specifically to carry his 50-year old teddy bear, Alan Measles. The stretched petrol tank, painted in pink and blue, sports the words “Patience” and “Humility” on either side: not qualities usually associated with Harley riders. The bike was the star of the show at last year’s Grayson Perry-curated show at the British Museum, “Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman”, positioned at the top of the imposing staircase in the museum’s atrium. Mark has also built bikes for a variety of corporate clients, including the Hogs Back Brewery, in Tongham, Surrey. Another HarleyDavidson, this time a Panhead, the bike also featured a sidecar seemingly fashioned from a beer barrel. Battistini also built a bike to promote a show for the now defunct “Men & Motors” channel, and the royal blue, super-accessorised “Battistini Opex” for an exhibition comapny of the same name. How much does it cost to have your own bike custom built by Battistinis? “Upwards of £80,000,” says Mark, “and you can spend a lot more than that, depending on what you want.” And what bike does Mark ride himself? “Well, we used to have a showroom with about 20 different bikes in it, so I just used to pick out whichever one I fancied. Now, though, I mostly ride around on my 125cc Vespa!” www.battistinisusa.com
Limewire Are newspapers a thing of the past?
round 1440 German inventor Johannes Gutenberg invented one of the most important and influential inventions of the second millennium, the printing press, and it was from the advent of this technology that the newspaper was born. Newspapers went from strength to strength and they became an important part of democracy. George Washington in 1788 stated that: “For my part I entertain a high idea of the utility of periodical publications; insomuch as I could heartily desire, copies of... magazines, as well as common Gazettes, might be spread through every city, town, and village in the United States. I consider such vehicles of knowledge more happily calculated than any other to preserve the liberty, stimulate the industry, and ameliorate the morals of a free and enlightened people.” 1 In the 21st Century, however, with the availability of other forms of media, such as TV and the Internet, the once highly important newspaper entered a state of significant and rapid decline in many places across the world with readerships entering a seemingly never-ending downward spiral. This has left many
commentators to suggest that newspapers are a thing of the past, Phillip Meyer in The Vanishing Newspaper suggests, by extrapolation of current trends, that by the first quarter of 2043 the newspaper industry in the US will be completely extinct. Others suggest, however, that this is overstating the decline of newspapers, it could be suggested that there will always be a demand for printed word despite the current decline, for example in the UK on the 26th October 2010 the first daily newspaper to be launched for 24 years hit the shelves and as of April 2011 the “I” newspaper had a regular readership of over 160,0002 suggesting that perhaps that some demand still exists. What is most certainly true of newspapers today is that they are, in general, losing their readerships, however, does this necessarily mean that there is no longer a place for them in the modern media landscape, are newspapers dead or are the rumors of their death greatly exaggerated?
1. Barber, A Brief History of the Newspaper. 2011. 2. ABC’s: National Daily Newspaper Circulation April 2011. The Guardian.
1. People no longer consume media in a linear way, people prefer to pick and choose what news they consume
1. Newspapers offer a better reading experience than digital alternatives
2. In the internet age immediacy is everything, newspapers can often contain out of date information by the time they hit the shelves
2. Newspapers provide higher quality journalism than other media 3. Newspapers are a more trustworthy source of information than independent bloggers
3. Newspapers cannot be environmentally sustained 4. Newspapers are financially unviable
4. The balance of analysis and relevancy is better struck by newspapers 5. The internet edits what you can see without your knowledge
This debate has been made avaialable by IDEA (www.idebate.org). See the full debate at: http://idebate.org/debatabase/debates/culture/house-believes-newspapers-are-thing-past. ‘THIS HOUSE BELIEVES THAT NEWSPAPERS ARE THING OF THE PAST’ Copyright © 2005 International Debate Education Association. All Rights Reserved.
Inside Story T
here cannot be many opera singers, theatre directors or stage managers – or, indeed, other members of the public – who would willingly spend seven weeks of each year in prison. And yet that is what the dedicated bunch of professionals involved with Pimlico Opera do every year. They do get to go home at night, of course, but during the day their aim is to turn prisoners, some of them convicted of the most serious offences, into performers. Their “residency” at various prisons all over southern England – and one in Dublin – culminates in a full-scale performance of whichever opera or musical they have rehearsed: in the prison itself, with an audience of 200 or so visitors. If this sounds like a stunt prompted by too many TV reality shows, it isn’t. Wasfi Kani, who founded Pimlico Opera 25 years ago, grew up in Wormwood Scrubs, near the jail of the same name in West London. “I always thought ‘you know, that could be me in there, or any of us.’ It’s to do with circumstances, upbringing, all sorts of factors... but everyone has talents, and I wanted to nurture them.”
Kani is a talented musician – she was a violinist in the National Youth Orchestra and is a professional conductor – so “putting on a show” seemed like a natural development. In 1990, the newly-formed Pimlico Opera staged The Marriage of Figaro and Walton’s The Bear for the prisoners at Wormwood Scrubs; the following year, they staged their first collaboration, a production of Sweeney Todd. Subsequent annual productions, like the first, have hardly shied away from the themes of crime, punishment and social justice: Chicago, Assassins, Threepenny Opera and Les Misérables have all been popular productions in their repertoire. The process of rehearsing and staging a production is inevitably disruptive to the routine of prison life – movement within the prison needs to be relaxed, and banned items like power tools, ladders and costumes are permitted - but is welcomed by the governors of the prisons in which they work. Ian Mulholland, Governor of HMP Wandsworth, is one of them: “My job is to send people out of prison less likely to offend than when they came in. The effect of programmes like the Pimlico Opera’s productions is huge.”
And what of the audience? “More than 50,000 people have come to see one of our shows,” says Kani. “For many of them, it is their first time inside a prison. The immediate reaction is sheer astonishment at the quality of the performance they see.” It is the prisoners who benefit most, however, picking up the skills and the confidence that give them a fighting chance of a successful life once they are released. “One of our potential actors was asked if he had ever performed before,” recalls Kani. “Yes,’ he replied, ‘in the dock of No.1 Court at the Old Bailey.” His future appearances, one hopes, will be for an audience of more than a dozen. Erlstoke Prison and Pimlico Opera perform West Side Story in March next year: visit www.pimlicoopera.co.uk for more details.
Music Manager at Lime Wood Group
We are excited to have recently launched Smoked & Uncut, a label with a unique twist. We pick the music to reflect the atmosphere of each hotel, and have just released our 3 CD box set: Smoked & Uncut.
We launched the series of gigs in May, welcoming BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music favourites The Slow Show, then the soulful chill-out sounds of Stereofixx and Capitol K in June, with many more bands scheduled for the rest of the year. Music at Lime Wood, The Pig and Le Portetta has had a major restyle over the last year: all bedroom iPods and hotel music systems are now loaded with cool new musical discoveries from emerging and established artists from cinematic, indie-folk to chill-out. All the music is refreshed every six months, creating new playlists to make sure we have interesting new sounds playing. Nowadays, music festivals sum up the magic of the British summer for many, ranging from the intimate farmyard festival (Truck Festival, Secret Garden Party) to the major festivals (Isle of Wight, V Festival, Glastonbury, Bestival). More are appearing each year, aiming to meet the growing demand from both musicians and the public. The live sector is where artist and bands generate the majority of their income: because of downloads and streaming, record sales are severely depleted. The revenue produced by these festivals is crucial to the future of music, and the UK does festivals best!
Photograph by Dominic Marley
Limewire 11 Rob Da Bank
I got a few answers from one of the UK’s coolest festival founders, Radio 1 DJ Rob Da Bank, founder of Bestival, Camp Bestival and the ‘Sunday Best’ label.
Tell me how it all started, Rob?
I started Sunday Best as a club night in 1995. Playing boardgames and chatting to mates was quite a novelty in a club and it lasted seven years week in, week out. Eventually I thought why don’t we try this in a field and Bestival was born. The magic of Bestival is mostly in the people who come – the most amazing mix of everyone imaginable but all up for some fun and exposure to new and exciting music.
What’s your favourite film music?
Until recently, I’d have said Love Theme by Vangelis from Blade Runner but I’ve just watched Drive and fallen for its excellent score and soundtrack in a big way.
What are your guilty musical pleasures?
I have many! Dolly Parton and Tears For Fears are just two of them.
Are you good in the kitchen?
I’m terrible in the kitchen, as my wife and kids will attest! Luckily, Mrs Da Bank is a gourmet chef so I get away with it. I have many other duties around the house, but I get steered away from the kitchen.
What’s your favourite town in Britain?
Has to be jolly old Yarmouth, one of the smallest towns in the UK. We spend about a third of our year on the Isle of Wight, and Yarmouth has the best mix of posh delis and hotels, with regular pubs and a classic chandlery.
What are your musical inspirations?
John Peel, Lee Scratch Perry, Michael Eavis and Thom Yorke, to name just a few.
What will it say on your gravestone?
Rob Da Bank – he lived to the ripe old age of 143. The Smoked & Uncut 3 CD box set is available to purchase from Lime Wood and The Pig, and online at www.limewoodhotel.co.uk or www.thepighotel.co.uk
We Trust This September will see the fifth anniversary of one of Britain and Ireland’s most extraordinary charities. Casting For Recovery, which organises fly-fishing retreats for women who have suffered – or are suffering – from breast cancer, held its first retreat in West Sussex, in September 2007.
s Jill Grieve, Casting For Recovery’s chairman, explains: “It all came about when our Executive Director Sue Hunter, who had suffered from breast cancer, was invited fishing by a male friend. She wasn’t sure about going, but eventually said ‘why not?’...
and she loved it!”
“Then she found out about fly-fishing schemes to help women in the USA and Canada who had been affected by breast cancer, and decided to bring it over to Britain and Ireland. She approached the Countryside Alliance, who wrote out a cheque to get the idea off the ground, and the charity has been growing steadily ever since.” The idea is quite simple. Casting For Recovery funds weekend retreats in a number of locations around Britain and Ireland – “they need to be high-end, beautiful locations, with suitable residential accommodation” – at which groups of women meet to try their hand at casting flies. Most have little or no experience of fishing, but are guided through every step by a team of dedicated, voluntary tutors. “Just getting out in the countryside is part of the therapy for many women”, says Jill. “We have ladies from Clapham Junction, or the middle of Manchester, who tell us that they just wouldn’t get the chance to do something like this normally. Many of them are worried about holding their families together during their illness, and they really appreciate having everything done for
them for a change: coming back from the river to a cream tea, for instance.” “There are many types of cancer, and many different surgeries, but casting is always possible, and the weekends offer the chance to talk to other women who are at different stages in the recovery process, and realise that there is light at the end of the tunnel.” Counselling sessions are available to guests, too, and, as Jill puts it, “the focus is definitely on wellness, not illness. The American retreats are a bit more touchy-feely: we’ve anglicised them a bit, but there is a real feeling of togetherness. And a bit of competitiveness usually creeps in! One of our ladies from Ireland, who had never fished before, is now an international fly-fisherman.” The charity has attracted a remarkable response from people all over the UK and Ireland: Clay Brendish, owner of the superb Kimbridge on the Test fishery in Hampshire, is Patron of Casting For Recovery, and many of the other venues for retreats have become actively involved in fundraising. Casting For Recovery now holds half a dozen retreats a year, and, according to Jill, many more are planned. “Our eventual aim is to hold a retreat every weekend, but in the meantime we’re just building slowly each year.” As they say in fly-fishing, more power to their elbows. www.castingforrecovery.org.uk
pushing the boat out
Happily, that is by no means the end of the story for the aristocratic J-Class yachts. In 1984, Elizabeth Meyer, a yachting enthusiast from a wealthy East Coast family – her ancestors had founded the World Bank and owned the Washington Post – started the restoration of Endeavour, and then turned her attention to Shamrock V. Endeavour sailed again for the first time in 52 years on 22nd June 1989. Nick Emiston was delighted to present the trophy the following year, when Endeavour raced Shamrock V once more, and media mogul – and, according to Emiston, “a fine sailor, one of the great amateur yachtsmen” – Ted Turner triumphed on two-time America’s Cup winner Intrepid. The resurgence of interest in the J-Class sparked by the enthusiasm of Elizabeth Meyer has now led to several more J-Class yachts being built, including replicas of Ranger, Rainbow and Endeavour II, the only one of the British J-Class yachts to be scrapped. Several more J-Boats are under construction.
A gentleman could spend an entire day in St James’s Street without missing the capital’s other attractions in the slightest. He might start by nipping in to Lock & Co. for a Montecristi Panama hat; choose a new pair of brogues at Lobb; restock the claret cellar at Berry Bros & Rudd, or Justerini & Brooks; top up the humidor at J. J. Fox or Davidoff; and then potter off for lunch at the Carlton Club, White’s or Brooks’s, whichever takes his mood. Should his post-prandial thoughts turn to thoughts of the ocean, he could do worse than stop at Edmiston, at 62 St James’s Street, opposite J. J. Fox and next door to Justerini & Brooks. Chairman Nick Edmiston founded the company in Monte Carlo, in 1996; since then, the company has grown to include offices in New York, Antibes and Mexico City, as well as London and Monaco. Edmiston are world leaders in the chartering of large yachts – “superyachts”, as they are known – and the company now employs more than 80 people around the world. Nick Edmiston seems thoroughly at home in St James’s: his taste for fine wine and cigars may have something to do with that. He has another great passion, however: yachts, of course, but specifically J-Class yachts. Ten of these great boats were designed and built between 1930 and 1937 – six in the United States, four in Great Britain – and they raced three times for the America’s Cup, perhaps the greatest prize in international yachting. “Yachts should be elegant,” says Edmiston, “and the J-Class yachts were the most elegant ever built. I admire modern yachts a great deal, but there is something special about the J-Class. They have tremendous power and they are so exciting to sail: you can do 16 or 17 knots downwind, which may not sound a lot but it certainly feels it.” The development of the J-Class yacht would not have happened without the additional spur of the prestigious America’s Cup. Wealthy industrialists on both sides of the Atlantic – tea magnate Sir Thomas
Lipton, from Ireland, and aviation tycoon Sir Thomas Sopwith, from Britain; Harold Vanderbilt, of the shipping and railroad dynasty, and Gerard Lambert, heir to the Listerine fortune, from the USA, as well as various well-heeled syndicates – competed for the trophy. Despite strong British challenges, however, the New York Yacht Club (and hence the USA) triumphed each time, although they had the rules on their side, as Edmiston points out. “The rules stated that the British yachts had to be constructed in Britain and sailed to New York, so they had to be built to cope with the Atlantic crossing as well as the races themselves. The American boats could just be built for speed, which was a great advantage.” The seaworthiness and high specification build of the British yachts may be part of the reason that the only three original J-Class boats that survive – Shamrock V, Endeavour and Velsheda – are British, all designed by Charles Ernest Nicholson and built at his yard at Gosport, in Portsmouth harbour. Velsheda never challenged for the America’s Cup, while Shamrock V was defeated in Sir Thomas Lipton’s last challenge for the trophy, in 1930, and Sir Thomas Sopwith’s Endeavour narrowly lost out four years later, to Vanderbilt’s Rainbow. Many J-Class yachts were sold for scrap during or after World War II, and the class was deemed too expensive for the America’s Cup. A new class of yacht, the Twelve-Metre, was introduced, and a Golden Age of sailing had come to an end.
The great news for J-Class lovers is that these boats, along with the surviving boats from the 1930s, are now regularly to be seen racing each other once more. Between the 18th to 21st July this year, several J-Class yachts – Velsheda, Lionheart, Ranger and Rainbow – competed on the Solent, over the round-the-island course originally used for the first ever America’s Cup (then known as the 100 Guineas Cup) in 1851. There will also be races in the last week of September in St-Tropez, but the Solent is the spiritual home of the British J-Class yacht, and Nick Emiston, in particular, is delighted to see them back. “It’s a great thing that they are back in the water. I remember seeing Endeavour, Endeavour II and Velsheda lying in the mud on the Hamble river: it was very sad. As a company and a family, Edmiston are passionate about these beautiful old boats, and restoring them has been so worthwhile. “I’ve been sailing for 63 years, since I was fouryears-old: I suppose I should be on an allotment somewhere, but I love yachting at this level. Whatever the money in sailing these days, there is still a Corinthian spirit to be found: I’ve never been paid for sailing.” Owning a boat, it must be said, is not cheap: as J. P. Morgan famously pointed out, “if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it.” Nick Edmiston recommends that you “never spend more than 10% of your net worth on boats. Somebody once said that owning a yacht was like standing under a shower, tearing up £20 notes: these days it’s more like €500 notes, and I’m not sure you could tear them up fast enough!” “Mind you, if you want to try J-Class boats, you can charter Shamrock V from us, or you can buy Ranger.” And what would be Edmiston’s cigar and wine of choice for sailing? “I think I’d have a box of Partagas Serie D No. 4s, and then a case of Château Lafite 1982 would do very nicely.” And the yacht? A J-Class, naturally.
n May 4th this year, visitors to Google – in other words, almost every computer user on the planet – would have seen, in place of Google’s normal logo, a series of exuberantly colourful, cartoon-like men. The artist for whom this was the most modern of accolades, Keith Haring, did not live long enough to witness the global spread of the Internet: he died in 1990, aged just 31. He would have appreciated the tribute, though: Haring was an artist who rose to fame in the New York street art scene, and had little time for the cliquey, stuffy world of art galleries and private views. The Google Doodle is the logical extension of his quest to make art available to the many, not the few. He described it as “breaking down the barriers between high and low art.” Haring was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, on May 4th, 1958. The young Haring briefly studied commercial art in Pittsburgh before deciding on Fine Art, moving to New York when he was 19 and enrolling at the School of Visual Arts. As he puts it in the first lines of The Universe of Keith Haring, Christina Clausen’s exhaustive and fascinating 2008 documentary,
“I was in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.” Influenced by the graffiti around him, Haring’s first forays into pop art were chalk drawings on the blank, black spaces awaiting advertisements on the New York subway: “Radiant Baby”, a crawling infant surrounded by a starburst of lines, was an early motif.
His drawings chimed neatly both with the Warhol-influenced street art scene and with the emerging dance and street music scene of the early 1980s: it was Warhol, in fact, who helped Haring develop his art further, later encouraging him to open his SoHo boutique, Pop Shop, in 1986. On sale were Haring’s thoughtful, cheerful designs in a huge variety of formats: everything from key fobs to badges, posters to
Untitled, 1982 © Keith Haring Foundation Used by permission Self-portrait Polaroid, circa 1980 © Keith Haring Foundation Used by permission
toys. His simple, life-affirming art was open to all; as he said himself, it was a place where “not only collectors could come, but also kids from the Bronx.” As Haring’s fame grew, commissions started to arrive from all over the world, often for large murals: the mural at Collingwood College in Victoria, Australia, for instance, painted with the help of local children in 1984. Over the next four years, he worked in Rio de Janeiro, Minneapolis, Manhattan and Paris, painted a mural on the Berlin Wall, and held exhibitions in Antwerp, Helsinki and Bordeaux. Bordeaux was the source of another honour, too: in 1988, Haring joined the select group of artists (including Jean Cocteau, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol) who have been asked to design the label for Château Mouton Rothschild. His unique fusion of art and pop continued, too: designing a jacket for Madonna, painting Grace Jones’s body for her music video “I’m Not Perfect”, and painting the set for an MTV programme hosted by his friend Nick Rhodes, of Duran Duran. Haring’s art was always fun, but never trivial. From 1986 onwards,
his work started to reflect social issues more strongly; in particular, the menace of crack cocaine, the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa, and the AIDS epidemic. Openly gay, Haring was a keen promoter of the “safe sex” message: in 1988, however, he was himself diagnosed with HIV. The following year saw the launch of the Keith Haring Foundation, established by Haring to raise funds through the licensing of his images, with the proceeds to be spent on activism and awareness-raising programmes about HIV and AIDS, and on programmes to help disadvantaged children. Haring died the following year, but his philanthropic work continues to this day: you can even visit the virtual Pop Shop – the original shop closed in 2005 – at www.haring.com and buy Haring-designed merchandise from fridge magnets to condoms. The Foundation also loans his works to exhibitions around the world, as well as continuing to fund projects related to children and AIDS, and new generations will no doubt discover the ebullient, accessible, colourful art of Keith Haring just as, forty years ago, passengers on the New York subway saw his whimsical drawings and smiled.
MEALS ON WHEELS
ot so very long ago, the British idea of what consitituted street food was simple: ice cream, basically, or – at festivals and seaside resorts – hamburgers and hot dogs of distinctly dubious provenance. Maybe a tub of whelks if you were lucky.
Contrast this with the USA, where freshly-cooked, restaurant-standard meals served from a van are all the rage: known as “gourmet food trucks”, specialities include cupcakes, tacos, grass-fed burgers, schnitzels, dim sum and waffles, each cooked and served from a customised van. You might ask why nobody has done it over here: which is exactly what chefs Jun Tanaka, from Pearl on High Holborn, and Mark Jankel, formerly head chef at Notting Hill Brasserie, wondered. “You can’t really blame it on the weather,” says Jun, “New York gets much harsher winters than us. Anyway, Mark and I thought it was worth trying in London.” And so, for the London Restaurant Festival two years ago, the two chefs kitted out a rather sleek Airstream van and served up meals to hungry and grateful City workers.
The experiment was a great success, and the bus’s distinctive aluminium curves have spent most of this summer parked at Finsbury Avenue Square, near Liverpool Street, doling out decidedly superior lunches to office folk. The bus moved east for the Olympics, another advantage for a restaurant with mobile premises.
There is no skimping on ingredients. For the lamb dish, Elwy Valley supplies top quality meat from the hill farms of North Wales, the shoulders of which Jun and Mark patiently brine and then confit, giving meltingly tender lamb which keeps a rosy hue even after 36 hours of preparation, done in their Battersea production kitchen.
The bus may hail from Ohio, but Jun and Mark’s ingredients come from considerably closer to home: nothing, in fact, is from outside the UK. Rapeseed oil replaces olive oil; garlic, salt and sugar are all British; black peppercorns are nowhere to be found. It is an extreme philosophy, but the chefs want to make the point that good, fast food can be entirely British and sustainable. Typical dishes include soft poached eggs with broad beans, pickled red onions, warm crushed potatoes, mixed leaves, tarragon mayo and rosemary breadcrumbs, or slow roast lamb with tomato, cucumber and pickled onion salad. Customers can expect to pay less than half of what they might pay in a restaurant: around £7.
“We use a combi oven, and we cook four shoulders at a time: it might seem like a lengthy process – and it is – but it doesn’t take a lot of work, and the lamb comes out appetisingly pink at the end of it all,” says Jun. If you still hanker after something a bit plainer, like a hamburger, Jun and Mark can sort that out for you, too: just head down to their Battersea offshoot, The Hatch, for Burger Night on Fridays. And keep an eye on the Street Kitchen website: as Jun points out, “even we don’t know exactly what we’ll be cooking tomorrow.” www.streetkitchen.co.uk
Just William INTERVIEW WITH WILLIAM ASPREY Born into the famous Asprey luxury goods dynasty, William Asprey started his own business, William & Son, on Mount Street, Mayfair in 1999, four years after the family business was sold to the brother of the Sultan of Brunei. William & Son specialises in bespoke watches and, two doors down in Mayfair, bespoke sporting guns: Asprey has a keen interest in both. Jewellery, luxury leather goods and country clothing are other specialities. BREGUET MARINE ROYALE ALARM Available at William & Son Price – £30,700.00
When did you first work for the family firm? When I was still at school: I worked as a porter and packer in the holidays. It was great fun. And you originally wanted to be a chef? I wanted to try my hand at hospitality, yes, but I eventually decided on the Army, and I spent four years in the Royal Green Jackets. The Army must have prompted an interest in guns... Actually, I got more into guns after I left. I grew up with it all: my family were all shooting people. Do you have a favourite gun? A side-by-side shotgun, I suppose, but I’ve shot with different guns all over the world: Berettas, shooting for doves in Argentina, and rifles, of course: I was once shooting in Russia and was rather alarmed to be handed a sniper’s rifle complete with night sight. But “have gun, will travel” is my motto!
Who buys guns from William & Son? We have a lot of overseas clients, especially Americans. The British tend to inherit their guns, so it’s more difficult to get them to buy a pair. Our guns take a year and a half, on average, to complete: we have a team of highly skilled outworkers who make them. You’re looking at £45,000 plus VAT per gun, but they are very beautiful. Where is your favourite shoot? I like the Well Barn Estate in Oxfordshire, for partridge and pheasant, and Reeth’s estate in North Yorkshire, for grouse: grouse are the most exciting, the most difficult birds to shoot. You can’t be entirely certain of shooting anything in a day. And I’ve shot woodcock on the Pembrokeshire coast, and snipe in Scotland. What’s the perfect size for a shoot? I think eight guns, and maybe 200 good, high birds. A good shoot should be challenging and exhilarating. One of my favourite places is the Angmering Estate near Arundel, West Sussex, run by Nigel Clutton... although you have to watch out for his fairly lethal vodka and gin concoctions! They’re delicious, so they’re hard to turn down: there’s one he makes called “Cat’s Piss”, which is flavoured with gooseberry. Definitely not to be sampled if you’re driving. You’re a keen fisherman: have you ever thought of selling rods as well as guns? As with shooting, I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world fishing: from the Kennet for trout to Alaska for wild salmon, Arctic char and rainbow trout, and Mexico for sailfish. It’s a very different science, though, making fishing rods. I have a rod custom-made in America by an amazing guy called Ira Stutzman at Hell’s Canyon Custom Rods, in Oregon – motto “Because you only have one life to fish” – and it’s a thing of beauty.
Watches are another passion of yours: do you collect them as well as sell them from the shop? Yes, although I do own a Swatch as well! I have 60 or so classic watches, though, and they all have proper Swiss movements. Once you start collecting them, it’s very hard to stop. Now everyone has a mobile phone, they’re not essential for telling the time anymore, but some of them are great works of art. Also, what jewellery can a man wear? Just cufflinks, maybe a St Christopher, and a watch. And you have a well-stocked cellar, too? I do love good food and fine wine: I’m a bit of a traditionalist, I suppose. I was brought up on Bordeaux and Burgundy and I rarely stray too far from that. The Château Figeac 2000 is drinking very well at the moment – I tend to drink claret fairly young, partly out of curiosity or impatience, but mainly because I like it when it still has plenty of fruit. And I visited Château Pontet-Canet recently: the owner, Alfred Tesseron, is such a gentleman. Do you have a favourite restaurant? I love The Ledbury, in Notting Hill: Brett Graham is a great chef, and the food seems to get better and better each time I visit. He made a dish of frozen foie gras on green beans with white peaches and almonds last time I was there: wonderful. And Brett is a very keen shot, too! I’ve thought about owning my own restaurant occasionally, but if I did then it would have to be with someone who could run it properly. Never say never, though. How has Mayfair changed in the dozen years you’ve been there? There’s a lot of building work these days! Other than that, though, it’s definitely still the place to be, and people from all over the world make their way here. It’s a wonderful area. Lime Wood has a selection of William & Son’s country clothing available for purchase.
Limewire 21 Smoked and Uncut
The New Forest Centre
For anyone unfamiliar with the area, perhaps the best place is the New Forest Centre. Handily located in the middle of Lyndhurst, in the heart of the National Park, the Centre has much to engage, inform and entertain, including an interactive museum, a reference library, an information centre and a well-stocked gift shop. We’re launching a brand new Boot Camp for women on October 14th, in collaboration with Tim Weeks.
What is it?
We have taken the traditional boot camp and given it a twist. This isn’t a 3-day military regime. It is the ultimate women only lavish health and fitness experience – 3 days of physical and mental invigoration, which is tailor made to your wishes, needs and goals. In the natural setting of the New Forest, we have a full range of outdoor activities so that clients absorb the surroundings both inside and outside the spa. Designed by our
in-house team in consultation with top women’s fitness, health and wellness consultant and trainer Tim Weeks. Visit our website to find out more www.limewoodhotel.co.uk/pamper
What does it cost?
£2,200 per person single occupancy, £1,750 per person double occupancy including room, fitness sessions, spa facilities and bespoke treatment package.
Our first camp will run from 14th – 17th October. Camps will also run in November and January.
The New Forest Centre, High Street, Lyndhurst, SO43 7NY, 023 8028 3444, www.thenewforest.co.uk. Open daily from 9am – 5pm: last entry to the Gallery at 4pm.
Farmers’ Markets As you will have noticed from the menus at
Lime Wood and The Pig, we are lucky to have an abundance of splendid produce right on our doorstep. The New Forest is, of course, a fabulously unspoilt treasure trove for foragers: mushrooms, wild herbs and vegetables, nuts and berries; and the nearby coastline provides sea vegetables, wild mussels and seaweeds. Just ask Garry Eveleigh, The Pig’s forager, who regularly returns from shore and forest with baskets full of greenery: three-cornered garlic, ramsons, alexanders, moon daisies (ox-eye daisies, as they are also known), and trugs full of claytonia, a fleshy-leafed relative of purslane also known evocatively as “streambank springbeauty”. But the area also has a plethora of small farmers and producers, rearing or growing everything from rare breeds of pigs and cattle to heritage varieties of apples and pears. The best places to track down some of this wonderful produce are local farmers’ markets: some may have just a few stalls, but they offer the chance not just to touch, smell and feel the produce, but also to meet the people who produced it: shopping over the internet just isn’t quite the same. One of the biggest farmer’s markets in the region is Sunnyfields Market, at Totton, on the edge of the New Forest, just three or four miles from Lyndhurst. What’s on offer changes, of course, with the seasons, but you can be assured of finding a huge range of fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables, as well as local jams, preserves, honeys, breads and cheeses: look out for Loosehanger’s cheeses from their dairy at Redlynch, in the north of the New Forest. Their prize-winning cheeses include nettle and wild garlic and goat’s curd with tarragon.
It also boasts a gallery, staging several different exhibitions each year. This summer is dedicated to the winners of The Olympics Open Art Competition, jointly sponsored by the National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission. Entrants were allowed to choose their medium – photography, painting and sculpture are all represented – and asked to follow the Olympic theme of “gold, silver and bronze” in their work. Expect plenty of images of the New Forest at its most colourful and beautiful, at sunrise, sunset and covered in frost.
Sunnyfields Farm Shop, open 9.30am – 6pm Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm Sat, 10am – 4pm Sun. Sunnyfields Market open every Saturday, 9am – 2pm More local markets can be found at www.thenewforest.co.uk: you might also try these monthly markets: New Forest Local Producers’ Market, Everton Nurseries Farmers Walk, Everton, near Lymington, SO41 0JZ. Open from 9am to 3pm on the first Saturday of each month. Offers a range of products: honey, bread, cakes, eggs, wool, beef, local game, pork and bacon, cheese, vegetables and specialist plants. East Boldre Farmers’ Market, East Boldre Village Hall, Main Road, East Boldre, Brockenhurst, SO42 7WL, open on the fourth Saturday of each month. Sixteen stalls selling a wide variety of local produce, plus the Kitchen Café for tea, cakes and other refreshments.
The rowdy and glamorous village green circus that has been entertaining audiences in the rural southwest for more than a decade, returns with its 2012 show “The Saturday Book”. See article on pages 2 and 3.
Lime Wood and The Pig’s high-spirited monthly live music sessions, in aid of chosen charities, Action Against Hunger and The ARK Foundation, continue until November. 23rd September: Lime Wood – Police Dog Hogan and The Voodoo Trombone 14th October: The Pig – The Miserable Rich 11th November: Lime Wood – Shake Tiger Shake
On the water Southampton Boat Show, 14th – 23rd September The biggest water-based boat show in Europe, featuring a massive range of nautical-themed attractions and boats of every shape and size – you can even try your hand at sailing – as well as food villages and a fish-themed cookery theatre hosted by chef Mark Sargeant. www.southamptonboatshow.com
Stratton Meadows, Cirencester, Gloucestershire, from 6th – 16th September More details at www.giffordscircus.com
Beer Festival 5th – 7th October The Red Shoot are proud to host their Autumn Beer Festival with over 30 real ales and 10 traditional ciders available over the weekend. This is a popular event, with live bands playing each night. www.redshoot.co.uk
Published on Sep 10, 2012