"Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.” – P.J. O’Rourke
I've been told I'm a difficult man to buy for. As if to prove this belief wrong here are my picks for Christmas gifts for the Senior and seniors-alike. Containing everything for the champagne-imbibing, cigar-smoking, scarf-wearing, dog-walking, caviar-enjoying, dice-rolling, Negroni-quaffing, hip-flask-carrying, train-journeying, gentlemen’s-barber-shop-scented bibliophile (and audiophile) in your life.
Here we move into the main course of the wine list. Like "Steak Bordelaise in Bone Marrow Jus" at Brasserie Zedel this is rich mouth-filling affair that will warm your belly like your mother's cooking too. Consume in small mouthfuls if needed and always chew well before swallowing (as The Senior found out recently). Most importantly may it spur lively discussion and good meals with your friends and loved ones too.
Like the Godfather Part 2, this piece is in fact two histories which share a common theme. A look at two masterminds. It's a long Sunday Paper type of affair. It's sort of like what How to Spend it might read like if written by a outsider amateur or self besotted genius in need of an editor.
To a wine lover there is something magnificent about a wine list, like a cookbook to an amateur chef, or a blank canvas to an artist, it implies infinite sense of possibility. This is a personal list including some of the producers and wines that have impressed me over my life.
Dukes is a small bar in the same way that Fenway is small ballpark or that Humphrey Bogart, perhaps the largest man onscreen, was only 5’8’’. Its global reputation and stature completely transcend its physical constraints. To anyone who has successfully meandered around the clubland-lined streets of St. James in search of it Dukes is renowned as the font from which the world’s best Martinis flow...
The film Jaws, whilst undoubtedly a classic, will indelibly blemish, if not completely extinguish, the joy of open sea swimming for the rest of your life. Whilst the line “we’re going to need a bigger boat” will amusingly grace your fishing trips or visits to Scott’s, you'll never be able to experience blissful relaxation whilst swimming serenely at sea without hearing John Williams’ bloody score in your head every time an unrhythmic wave of saltwater stirs against your skin.
As an optimist in extremis I've already got an incredibly well-researched list of those elements I'll buy when my impending lottery win actually happens. The fact that I've been carefully planning my future lifestyle as a lottery winner means I've already saved myself many wasted years and eventual dissatisfaction when that moment finally arrives.
In 1952, at the age of 44, whilst on his annual 2-month holiday at Goldeneye in Jamaica Ian Fleming wrote the book Casino Royale - simultaneously inventing the character James Bond. In an interesting twist, Fleming eponymously named Bond after a bird-watcher and the author of a book on his bookshelf "Birds of the West Indies - a guide to the species of birds that inhabit the Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles and Bahama Islands”.