Have We Forgotten How to Be Gentlemen?

being a gentleman

When did Men forget to be gentlemen? I know the world is changing and I of course support that men and women are absolutely equal. That said, there is nothing wrong with respecting the good elements of tradition.

It amazes me that men so frequently disregard basic manners. Holding the door, standing when a lady enters the room, why did these traditions die?

Guys, there is nothing wrong with holding the door, helping somebody with their coat.

Moving on from your girlfriends, why can’t we show respect our elders? Recently I interacted with an elderly lady in Trader Joes by offering a helping hand as she battled with her shopping baskets. A smile and a hand of assistance is the simplest thing to give and is always so handsomely received.

Guys, step outside your comfort zone and be a gentlemen.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Your Jacket

the power of a jacket

As a good catholic English / Irish boy I was always taught that clothes don’t make the man. The harsh reality is, they do! New York attracts the best of the world’s population in every industry. Whatever profession you choose there is always somebody one step ahead, richer or more educated. That said, I truly believe that NYC is the land of opportunity. To seek those opportunities you must present yourself in the correct way.

You jacket / overcoat is your handshake, your signature and your first impression. Treat it with respect and make sure you make the correct choice!

Most of the people that see your image never speak with you and never have any interaction. Your overall outfit is all they will see.

First impressions mean everything in this every competitive world and your jacket is your signature piece. Get it right, investing in a handful of beautiful jackets will never be a bad move. 2 -3 colors will complement almost any outfit and have you looking sharp for every occasion.

A few tips:

ElGanso – The Spanish to the rescue

Burberry – True English elegance

 

 

The Next Horizon of Air Travel – Etihad – first class suite

etihad first class suite

Given my choice of career, I have been lucky enough to travel around the world for the last ten years building my corporate career. One of the added benefits is business class travel and over the years it becomes the normal way to travel (I appreciate that this sounds very snobby)! You find yourself saving every mile from your business trips to try and stretch to business class on personal travel. For those that are given this luxury, they will know that it is very hard to return to traveling in coach!

On a recent trip to Abu Dhabi, I decided to take it one step further and take a first class ticket. Knowing Etihad offers a private suite in the sky I was eager to experience this next level of travel. I have always been a great fan of flying and this seemed like too good an opportunity to miss.

I generally travel with Delta  and Virgin Atlantic.  Both offering good business class service, however no first class!

I took the fight from London – Abu Dhabi. Ushered down a separate tube (even from business class) to the aircraft I was greeted by my private chef, in flight manager and my suite (as shown below).

The service was outstanding, excellent champagne, restaurant style three course dinner, fine wine and liquor all with a personal touch.

There are also onboard showers, and excellent bathroom facilities allowing you to arrive fresh and ready for the day ahead.

Whilst this is exceptional you are looking at such a limited time in the air for such a fabulous amount of money! I find it a wonderful treat, but not something to do on a regular basis unless you are simply made of money!

To go one step beyond, Etihad have recently introduced a three room apartment on their A380, called ‘Residence class’. I will report if I manage to charm myself in their on a flight.

 

 

An English Perspective: Locker Room Etiquette

locker room men

I recently joined a new GYM in New York and having been used to Boutique class driven fitness, historically I rarely used the locker room. I would attend the class and head home. Now I tend to workout, go to the steam room and then get ready before heading to the office each morning

Having joined Equinox  I am amazed at the lack of Etiquette in the locker room and steam room.

It seems that the people that are willing to swing around the locker room freely are not the ones that look like the below, more the men who should be keeping as much as possible hidden!

Why do Men feel free to walk around without a care for anybody else or how hideous they look!

As a man with a reasonable body (not the above) I am naked for the minimal amount of time possible. When pulling my underwear up under my towel, the towel occasional slides and reveals some element of my personal side for no more than a second.

What drives men to walk around with everything hanging and swinging around? I recently was asked by a naked guy for the time! Being English I obliged and answered his questions, however screaming inside me what not the time, simply to say ‘TIME TO PUT YOUR FUCKING PANTS ON’. Hair drying your personal areas, creaming your naked body with your leg on the bench, I could go on.

If that is not enough we then move to the steam room. I understand this is an opportunity to allow all your body to breath. That said, there is no reason to be completely naked. Whilst others are relaxing we don’t want to see your steamed crown jewels on the stone bench!

In summary, the towels are there for a reason and you are not missing anything by keeping it on.

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A Weekend in Amsterdam

amsterdam

I have been traveling to Amsterdam for the last ten years and the city never fails to impress me.  The city is small enough to be manageable on foot for the weekend and large enough to be interesting.  If you are looking for culture, impressive art,  getting drunk, prostitution or smoking pot you can find it all.  As a conservative good English boy there are only some of the above that I enjoy.  That said, the wonderful spirit of Amsterdam is it’s liberal culture.  Being raised in a mainly Irish Catholic family where nothing is discussed and everything is brushed under the carpet it is refreshing to see such an open society.

So what to do, where to stay and of course where to eat!

Hotel:

traveling to amsterdam

The DE L’Europe hotel, owned by the Heineken family is always my go to hotel.  Set on the can all in the centre of town you have everything you need.  The rooms are individually designed and so delightfully Dutch.  The service is perfect and the cigar bar is a delightful retreat for the end of your day.  The spa is  quite excellent, so don’t forget to take some time to rest your feet after a day of getting lost in the canals in the city.

Culture:

rijks museum amsterdam
The city is full of interesting places to visit, the house of Anne Frank, the red and blue light district (red being ladies on offer and the blue being men dressed as ladies, whatever tickles your fancy), and the Van Gogh museum are some interesting choices.  This trip I chose the recently opened Rijks museum. After years of renovation and whoever knows what expense I have to say it is magnificent.  Not only one of the best collections of art but also a treasure trove of interesting objects, furniture and artifacts.  The building inside and out is breath taking.  A must visit in Amsterdam.
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Father and Son – A day with Dad in London

father and son

As I have said in previous articles, British Fathers and Sons find it almost impossible to express affection. In recent years I have realized that spending time with your parents is terribly important.

The relationship with your parents is one you never fully understand until you are in its third evolution. When we are children (between birth and eight/nine we completely depend on our parents in every way and respect them). Most of us then enter the difficult stage as teenagers and treat our parents with different levels of respect! The majority of people enter a stage of rebellion against their parents as they enter their teenage years. We then enter our own periods of adulthood and we reestablish our relationship with our parents and more importantly realize the importance of it.

With the above in mind, I decided on my Father’s birthday to arrange day in London without our normal distraction of work and enjoy a personal day together.

Here the day in London:

http://www.bookingofficebar.com/

Breakfast at St Pancras – Renaissance Hotel – The Booking Office

The restoration of this building is fabulous. A true gem in London and starting the day for breakfast here was the perfect hit.

Late breakfast meant we would skip lunch and wait for our early dinner reservation.

After breakfast then time for some culture and I would recommend the Churchill War Rooms.

Fantastic display of the original bunker occupied by Churchill and his government during the Second World War. It is a perfect father and son exhibition to visit.

A couple of historic spots to take a beer in London and enjoy watching the world go by!

The Coal Hole

Narrow bar on the heart of the Strand and a must stop for a pint!

 Wolseley

Traditional restaurant in London with a tiny bar with great people watching to enjoy.

 

hotels in london

London dinner with Father

Wiltons Restaurant opened in the seventeen hundreds and many of the originals features and customs that still stand. Very old English and the perfect place to find a final dinner.

In conclusion, spending time with your parents is both important and for me, a rare treat these days. Don’t underestimate the importance of appreciating your parents.

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January in London: Claridges

A few highlights from my recent London trip; firstly, an old English friend (a hotel I dearly love) that I have not visited for some time. For any English man this is like steeping into our heritage in every way and I believe is uniquely offered by Claridges.

claridges london

Whilst I don’t stay here on a regular basis I always visit. It is a wonderful place for lunch, afternoon tea or just to simply sit at the bar with a cocktail. The staff are a delight and always pay special attention to a familiar face. You can take any nationality here and they will be impressed with the history in so many different ways.

Some of the highlights:

Fumior Bar

claridges london

A delightful spot to take drinks with even Mom, friends or a date:

Cocktails are spectacular, service is done with such perfection and the crowd is never disappointing.

If timing allows for afternoon tea or lunch, check out:

Reading Room and the Foyer

claridges london

My Grandmother used to visit Claridges when studying over sixty years ago and I always feel a connection to my own history as well as that of London when visiting this place. £35 pre fixe lunch provides the perfect setting for a truly English part of your day.