With the holidays behind us and a fresh new year now in full swing there is always a desire to compensate for over indulgence with a boost of health and fitness.
This year when considering ways to make lifestyle improvements I have been conscious of just how much more screen and desk time I needed in 2017 and that this should be an area I look at addressing before I step out into the freezing January air for another jog and lungful of exhaust fumes!
I first noticed standing desks when visiting a friend at work, it struck me what a good idea these may be, if only they looked far less ugly! Recalling this I began to have a look at what was out there in the marketplace and the brand that stood out to me is Varidesk.
I particularly liked their Pro Plus 36 model in white as pictured above, this desk is a standalone unit which can be placed on a regular table to convert it into both a standing desk and seated desk. Looks wise the desk unit has nice minimalist curved lines and does not look out of place in my modern office.
Feature wise The Pro Plus 36 incorporates a two tiered design ideal which allows me to separate my laptop and monitor from keyboard and mouse. Adjusting between sitting and standing is achieved via a spring loaded boost with 11 different height settings where you can find the perfect level for your own height.
If you are reading this and thinking of buying one I must mention that you need a sturdy desk underneath as this is a solid piece of kit which weighs a fair bit and is certainly not portable over long distances which is a good thing as my new elevated desk feels very sturdy and any wobbles would most likely drive me mad after a while.
The million dollar questions is “is the change to standing desk worth recommending?” and I can honestly say it is. For the first few days of use my legs tired towards the end of the day and I sat down again toward the end of days 1 and 2, however I have not sat down at my desk now for 3 weeks and the most noticeable change is that my leg muscles have become significantly stronger since and I no longer get tired from standing all day.
The main advantage I really like is that after work it is now really nice to enjoy sitting down to watch TV or read, it no longer feels lazy to sit down again after a day of sitting in the office!
Critically standing has many health benefits that while not as noticeable as stronger legs make my decision to move to a standing desk seem long overdue:
- 50 extra calories burned an hour
- Reduced risk of cancer linked to a sedentary lifestyle
- Reduction in back pain from better posture
- Reduced risk of blood sugar spikes and diabetes
VARIDESK UK Website | VARIDESK Instagram
The VARIDESK Pro Plus 36 currently retails at £365
Spring is finally in the air this March and with the sun shining over London skies again it feels time to abandon darker tones and embrace colour
I received my first invite to dine outside this year, weather permitting, for a good friend’s engagement bash. Fingers crossed the weather holds and we are not rushed indoors.
So, what to wear. I decided a light suit worn without a tie in favour of matching white shirt and pocket silk would be the right choice for the occasion. This outfit finished with a pair of tan or sand loafers will make the ideal outfit to embrace the first alfresco dining opportunity of 2017.
I can think of nowhere better than the Hardy Amies store at number 8 Savile Row to find such a suit; their store offers an excellent selection of modern attire for both formal and casual suiting in a very welcoming and relaxing environment. Hardy Amies himself was a dressmaker and tailor to the royal family and has been on Savile Row since 1945. In 1961 Amies made a history hatrick with his catwalk show at The Savoy; not only was it the first time a men’s ready-to-wear collection was presented to an audience but the first time a catwalk show was accompanied by music and included the presence of a designer. 5 years later Amies designed clothing for the England football team, perhaps no coincidence, and adds another historic event we can nod towards Amies and be grateful for.
The 2017 Spring Summer collection offered some elegant blues, greys, whites and splashes of colour and bold check and I was really impressed with their current range of suits which are pictured below. My eyes were soon drawn to the perfect suit, a light blue ‘Heddon’ fit suit jacket (£295) and trousers (£145) which have a relaxed linen viscose mix. With careful and helpful assistance I matched the outfit with an ice-grey pocket silk (£35) and white ‘Brinsley’ fit shirt (£58).
To complete the outfit I am adding a vintage dark blue leather plaited belt, Illesteva sunglasses and matching AĀRK watch from my wardrobe along with a pair of sand-coloured loafers as yet to be decided following an unsuccessful shopping spree. If only buying shoes in Kensington on a Saturday afternoon was as easy as choosing a suit at Hardy Amies in Savile Row.
Detailed Images of Hardy Amies Suit
Hardy Amies Spring Collection Ideas
Hardy Amies | hardyamies.com
8 Savile Row
Tel: 020 3696 1408
I have recently been introduced to Yaxell, a Japanese brand who make high quality kitchen knives favoured worldwide by many top professional chefs, and an amateur like myself.
I’m sure you will agree from the image above that their ‘Ran 25.5cm Chef’s Knife’ really looks the part for a very affordable RRP of £129.95. This, along with their other blades, are produced in Seki Japan formerly the traditional home for the manufacture of Katana swords for over 780 years.
Quite sensibly a law was passed in 1876 prohibiting public sword-wielding and this forced skilled tradesmen to find a new outlet producing fine domestic knives, a tradition which has carried on to this day, with Seki remaining at the forefront of worldwide knife manufacture.
Established in 1932 Yaxell combine their knowledge and expertise with cutting edge technology to produce several knife ranges; Gou, Super Gou, Ran and Tsuchimon. On all Yaxell knives the tang is forged from an 18/10 stainless ingot which is then seamlessly welded onto the blade and is as strong as the blade itself and this construction itself is unique to their knives.
Yaxell Knives are only available from a company called Steamer Trading, a family owned cookshop from Alfriston East Sussex since 1985.
Their website is definitely worth a look and they also have stores throughout the UK. You can browse their Yaxell Knives here but they also offer a great range of other knives and cookware; a useful gifting source for gadget-lovers.
I have often chuckled to myself watching grown adults whizz around Chelsea on scooters. The scooters may well belong to their children and save precious time but nothing can detract from the fact that an adult on a scooter looks like an overgrown child.
I know parenthood tends can take your eye off the ball with regards to personal style, understandably, but adults riding a scooter in my opinion is a no-no.
That is… unless it is a SCROOSER.
The SCROOSER is a new trend of adult-friendly scooter I have been alerted to from Germany and you can tell straight away by looking at it that it is no child’s toy.
The exterior is really appealing with wide tyres and a curved frame that offers a very unique style. The interior features an electric motor which lasts for around 34 miles on a 4 hour charge with a legal road speed. All the rider has to do to get going is simply push off against the ground with your foot to activate the drive and the integrated electric motor will then augment the force of the push and accelerate to up to around 15mph.
According to the manufacturer “the SCROOSER detects how hard the rider pushes and scales the motor power accordingly.
Guaranteed to get you from A to B in style – and back again. Absolutely no stress – and absolutely loads of fun.”
Series production of the SCROOSER has just begun meaning it’s available to order now. I truly hope to see more of these on the streets soon. Anything but adults on child’s scooters!
Take a look here: scrooser.com
Best Of 2015 is a retrospective look back at my favourite items and experiences of 2015, an excellent year in which has seen much exploring as well as the opportunities to brush up on sailing, golfing and fishing.
Best Hotel Experience
The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire Scotland. Quite possibly best place in the UK to learn to play golf with excellent rooms and faultless service.
Best Dining Experience
Dinner on the beach at Four Seasons, Koh Samui. An evening of spectacular entertainment including fire dancers and superb seafood and Thai cuisine.
Catching my first Grayling on the river Itchen in Hampshire. Boating on The Norfolk Broads. Sailing from Athens through the Corinth canal to Kefalonia.
Favourite Clothing Brand
Our Legacy. Yet another Scandinavian clothing brand which consistently produces great quality casual clothing. I particularly like their Oxford Shirts which are near perfect.
Favourite Destination Visited
Kefalonia, Greece. A beautiful island with many hidden charms and lots of sailing opportunities.
Alabama Shakes ‘Sound & Colour’. I first saw the Alabama Shakes on The Jools Holland show a few years ago and was impressed but didn’t get around to following it up. This year was a different story with another live performance and their latest album ‘Sound & Colour’ which is often on my stereo.
Glass Animals ‘Gooey’. A dreamlike song which best captures the bands unique sound and lingers in your memory.
Banks of the river Tweed in October. A stunning Autumn shot with the rusty, orange and yellow leaves at their most magnificent. Pictured Above.
I would like to share the latest watch to catch my eye, The INSTRMNT 01-A; a high quality, minimalist watch designed with care in Glasgow and made in Switzerland.
INSTRMNT’s small collection draws inspiration from mid 20th century industrial design whilst blending in high quality Swiss components with simple utilitarian design to create minimalist, high quality watches that are accessible to all at the price of around £180.
The watch pictured above features a gunmetal steel casing with high quality German-made tan leather strap.
This watch and two other variations are available to buy now from Opumo.
Swiss Ronda 585 3H movement
PVD coated 40mm steel casing
Sapphire crystal glass
18 MM German leather strap
5 ATM water resistance
Minimal watches look set to be big in 2016, what do you think? Comments and tips always appreciated.
If you are looking for bags which combine three essential attributes of being casual, hard wearing and high quality GT believe Filson offer the best products on the market.
The beauty of Filson’s casual bags is their use of rugged twill which is highly durable and a water-repellent fabric which according to the company “maintains its integrity even after heavy use in punishing conditions”. What really completes the bag though is the very pleasing quality of the fittings the straps and handles are of excellent bridle quality leather and their closure are heavy duty brass snaps and zips which are really built to last.
I became a fan of their products through a fishing friend who owns one of their bags which is still going sighting after a decades use and recently purchased their original briefcase and medium sized weekend bag as pictured above which compliment each other beautifully by covering both of my most frequent needs: My working days with laptop, notepad and accessories and my weekend travel breaks with just enough room for two changes of clothes a pair of shoes and washbag.
I opted for the brown colour but there are also options in green, tan, navy and black which all look well. I find the bags to have a kind of effortless cool and simplistic appeal. The label inside the briefcase says ‘MIGHT AS WELL HAVE THE BEST’ a notion in which GT firmly agree.
The fabric is simply wipe or brush clean and I can tell you although the fabric looks like canvas it can withstand quite a downpour which I found to my peril at the CLA Game Fair a couple of weeks back!
Filson luggage is available from their London Store, the first ever stand-alone Filson location outside the US.
Best Of 2014 is a retrospective look back at my favourite items and experiences of 2014, a year which firmly reignited my childhood passion for fishing and included perhaps the best beach holiday I have ever had.
Best Hotel Experience
Four Seasons, Koh Samui. More small mountain village than hotel we were surrounded by forest overlooking a white sand beach in the Gulf of Thailand.
Best Dining Experience
Korobuta, Chelsea. Had a really memorable meal here reunited with friends in great spirits aided by a really well selected sake menu and their excellent Tuna Sashimi Pizza dish.
Leaving a cold British January behind to attend a beach wedding in Koh Samui Thailand. Catching my first Salmon on the fly from the River Oykel in the Scottish Highlands.
Favourite Clothing Brand
Norse Projects. This Copenhagen based company creates seasonal collections which blend streetwear and classical workwear with high-end fashion.
Favourite Destination Visited
Benmore, Lairg, Scottish Highlands.
Wild Beasts ‘Present Tense’. The bands fourth album is a masterpiece and you must listen to it. I will say no more on the matter.
Rae & Christian ‘Happy’. Great new material from my favourite music production duo and an upbeat song that always lifts the spirits featuring vocals by Mark Foster.
Benmore Lodge catching the sun over Loch Ailsh.
I wanted to share a micro-trend that is making its way onto the backs of the stylish…
The Quilted Shirt/Jacket aka The Quilted Shacket.
Although this made its first appearance a couple of years ago, as with most trends, it needs time to develop its own mark.
It is a perfect A/W piece either as outerwear on a chilly Autumn morning or a cosy quilted layer in Winter. Easy to wear & easy to incorporate into a variety of outfits it is perfect as the temperate starts to drop & the number of layers needed increases.
Look for snap closes and chest pockets. Corduroy trim and contract collars.
Personally I find it’s a great way of making a dapper outfit more relaxed, which means I get to be immaculately dressed underneath and still retain an air of cool on top. I’m a fan of a juxtaposition, so my quilted shirt from Barbour is absolutely perfect. Other brands with Shackets worth a closer look are Mark McNairy as pictured above and J.Crew below.
So there you have it, The Quilted Shirt/Jacket.
With our deep rooted desire to travel as often as possible it is about time GT recommended our swim shorts of choice.
Having scouring stores in London and online we approve Orlebar Brown for their quality Bulldog range.
What we love about these shorts:
They feature a timeless shape, cut just above the knee with classic looking side fasteners on the waist.
The real winner for these swimming trunks is their wide array of prints taken from stylised photographs. The photographic edition features photograph images from various creative archives and the images have been expertly mapped to the trunks in 360° so the rear of the trunks also feature the photograph.
The shorts are created with a very fast drying polyester fabric that is chlorine, salt water, light and rub tested so they look and wear well in and out of water.
Kaufman Print Bulldog Swim Shorts £225
Apparently the Bulldog short was in their very first collection and is now their best selling item. The shorts are based on the traditional 17 piece pattern of a man’s suit trouser and are described by Orlebar Brown as “not just a swim short – but a short you can swim in. A perfect bridge short, tailored for style, comfort and performance. Wear on and off the beach”.
GT put these trunks to the test on our recent visit to Grenada and liked them so much we have since bought another pair.