A Newsletter lost in time

So let’s STOP the PRESS.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (The World’s Greatest footballer) has spoken, he will stay at Paris St Germain if; if they replace the Eiffel Tower with a statue of him, the arrogance of the man. I admit I had to climb down from the top of my column in Trafalgar Square just to make sure my eyes weren’t deceiving me. Surely, the answer is in his name, it’s all about ‘him’.

Looking down on you?

Looking down on you?

It seems like and age.

Where have I been?

Writer’s block?

Have I been preparing for hibernation like a snake, fattened up for Chinese New Year, and Snake Soup?

Gong Hey Fat Choy.

Have I adopted the Northern European model of taking a mid-season break? Have I adopted a Northern European model?

Have I been travelling?

Is Donald Trump a catholic?

So since the last newsletter, it’s been Venice, Bologna, Florence, Rome and Hong Kong again, Rome, Florence,Bologna and The Wolseley!

I’d like to thank all of you I have shared a meal with, in each of those locations, hence the reference to snake soup, although they were eclipsed by Luk Yu Teahouse in Hong Kong and their house speciality Pig Lung and Almond Milk Soup.

I was discussing this with young Jason at The Wolseley this morning, as I tucked into my Marmite on toast; Jason prefers Bovril on his, because, and I quote, “I prefer something a little beefier!” Ooh, you are awful!

In Venice my favourite restaurant was shut for a month, as were so many others for a holiday. So pickings were scarce and the tide was high.

By the Rialto

By Rialto, not Canaletto

So I bought these interesting over-boots which had a half-life of 2 hours and sprung a leak in the middle of Piazza San Marco, leaving me to hop glamorously to the nearest duck board and dry land!

I love Venice in January. The streets are quiet, at night the mist comes down, the waters rise, an eerie silence pervades the canals and I can put on a little red cape and scare people all I want!

It’s assumed that Venice shuts down at about 9.30 in the evening, but there are little, late night bars tucked away all over Venice. So, just when you think everyone has snuck off back to Mestre, you can turn a corner and there it is, a bar glowing neon in a darkened alley way and a final cocktail to take the edge off the chilly night air, and cut through the mist.

I wonder is ‘Venice Mist’ the same as ‘Scotch Mist’, or can you get mist anywhere?

Booties!

New Boots and……

Gone Dollars?

Gone Dollars?

Day view from my window

Day view from my window

Night view

Night view

I prefer to arrive in Venice by train, but it was not to be this trip. I love the fact that you walk down the platform after ‘alighting’ from the train and step outside to be greeted by the Grand Canal, rather than Alan Clark (he of the dairies) in red trousers, hurtling past on a Boris Bike!

The next day I hopped aboard a train and headed for Bologna, Emanuele’s cooking and Florence for the Pitti Uomo Trade Fair.

There's nothing on TV these days

There’s nothing on TV these days

Emanuele never ceases, never rests, he continues to produce consistently excellent food and an atmosphere and conviviality only matched by Issy at About Thyme, and Vash at the Cork and Bottle. It’s not only about the food, but about the people, the camaraderie, the conversations, not forgetting the food, time stands still, and the glass remains full.

Hard Cheese?

Hard Cheese?

I was working on next Winter’s collection, and what goodies I have in store for you will have to wait until next winter we have to get through summer first.

The summer stock is starting to arrive, and some interesting new developments are afoot. These I will outline in a following emails.

I followed this up with a day trip to Rome, for nefarious reasons, a long way to go for lunch, but I had my reasons.

I must admit, it was a struggle.

It followed a Champagne tasting with Vash, where Ayala and Bollinger flowed as if it were a mountain spring, and a 1.30 am finish was followed by a dash in a taxi to the airport at 4.30 am!

But breakfast Pietrolucci style and lunch at Edy, had me functioning on all twelve cylinders again. I’m now chanelling my inner Alan Clark, who as we all know should have been Foreign Secretary, if only he could have got Maggie to listen to him, sadly he was too busy fantasising about her driving a tank!

He’d have told those damn Europeans where to go, put a portcullis, a draw bridge and a moat (all on expenses) at the end of the Channel Tunnel and had this country back on it’s feet whilst doing donuts in his XK120 outside Fortnum and Mason.

Is that Mrs T in the passenger seat looking a trifle green?

IMG_6960

Strawberry Fields forever

Strawberry Fields forever

On the Saturday night I headed for Hong Kong to look after my growing group of friends and clients there.

Once again home was The Landmark Mandarin Oriental, and they do there very best to make it feel like home. So much like home, that the room had a dessert fridge, doesn’t everyone have one?

Dessert Fridge?

Dessert Fridge?

Now back on Terra Firma, I shall be adding further cities to my list, so if anyone requires my services in another location, I will entertain the thought!

More emails to follow, with lots of new stock.

 

Copyright © 2016 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 2012 – Volpe Newsletter

Well, I suppose you thought I’d forgotten.

The truth is my hands are so cold that even a random striking of keys was not producing anything coherent. So I have employed someone to blow on my hands to keep them warm. Trust me it’s cheaper than heating the shop, and at a time when we are looking at every penny we spend, I am doing my bit by employing someone.

My friend Michael has recently joined the fold. He has proved to be a rich vein of anecdotes. My current “fave” is how he spent a small fortune on museum quality blinds for the back of his house, which is entirely made out of glass. You may have guessed where this is going. Lit from behind with low lights and soft candles, he has managed to produce his own perfect shadow puppet show, sometimes, more than once a night and even the “odd”, very odd matinee.

Enter stage left, Ian, a friend of longstanding.

Now that Rosie has relocated to Neuschwanstein and stable of Astons, Ian can park his cars outside without incurring her disapproval. Today he arrived with his Ferrari 360, he has a predominantly Italian collection at the moment. I have known him *%# years, stop it, you at the back, it reflects my failings, not his.

In those days he drove a Ferrari Testarossa. It used to infuriate my boss at the time. My boss only drove a Jaguar XJS, or the “Big Cat” as he called it. Meow. He would often unleash it, a la Alan Clark along Piccadilly, mounting the pavement outside Fortnums and pulling a handbrake turn in front of the Albany, just to get a bit of lunch. We only worked a couple of hundred yards away. I could have walked it in half the time.

It sported a number plate with the letters FOL in it. As a child on long motorway journeys, mother would always get my brother and me to play games. One of the games was to make a phrase from the letters in the number plates. I’ll leave you lot to play that one, and feel free to email your examples.

Many a time my boss and I would speed off to Heathrow to catch the early shuttle to Edinburgh at 7.00am. Like an automotive Arthur Daley, he would be dodging here, weaving there, and the taxi that had been alongside us outside Harrods would be in front of us by the time we got to Terminal 1.

However, my favourite Ian story is……Shall I save it? No I’ll take a punt. One of you might do something interesting in February worthy of a mention.

Oh, now look M*#k, put your trousers back on, it’s not big, it’s not clever and it’s not, February.

Sorry, it is big and it is clever. Do you feel better now?

Anyway back to Ian. He and his lovely family have a house in the hills, just outside Cannes, and a few years ago we were holidaying in Cannes. At this time Ian was keeping the Testarossa there. I asked him if we could meet up for dinner, but he explained that they wouldn’t be there at the same time as we were.

However, he enquired as to whether I had arranged for a hire car (second creative writing course, please note Richard). Ian explained that he would be driving the car to Nice airport on the Friday, before I arrived on the Saturday. He would send me the spare set of keys and I could use the car for a couple of weeks before returning it to the house…….

Lost for words, I dreamt of cruising “The Croisette” tanned left arm, hanging out of the window. Arriving at restaurants, eager valet parkers grabbing the keys from my hand to put a thousand kilometres on the car before dawn, only to meet Dawn and find out she was David from Droitwich…

Meanwhile I can hear Ian chuckling. He was offering me an elastoplast coloured Peugeot 309. I had been suckered, and not for the first time, by the dreams of riches beyond my wildest desires. I would be a Russian oligarch, call me Otto (It means eight).

The car was perfect, just the right shade, but the air conditioning was heaven sent, and wherever we went the valet parkers made sure the car was well hidden. Nobody was going to kidnap me and demand money for the release of my daughters.

When I returned the car to Ian’s house, the nice chap from next door waved as I parked it on the drive. He was holding a lighted taper and striding towards the cannon on his lawn. For once, I was unsure what to do next.

Hit lit the fuse, and began to run a flag up his flagpole. Oh stop it, it’s not a metaphor. It was his personal coat of arms. The cannon fired, fortunately only a blank. Time for lunch; what ever happened to gongs?

If this is what money does to you, then I want to know what happened to mine. Touched by madness, I may have frittered it away, here and there. But it seems more likely there, than here.

The sale is nearly done. Life will return to normal and I may regain my sanity. Unlikely I know, but……

 

Copyright © 2012 Adrian Holdsworth. All Rights Reserved.