There’s one thing that I consistently do in the morning, right before heading out. I look down at my shoes and make sure that they are well tied, and above all properly polished. It’s tough to keep your favorite brogues shiny in London because of the rain!
I always make sure to visit once a week my favourite – and most convenient shoe shiner in town: the guys at London Shoeshine Limited. With 7 locations around London (and home visits if you’re feeling lazy!), you can rest assured that your shoes will look their best and age beautifully. I prefer the Alfred Dunhill location in Bourdon House in Mayfair. It is tucked away inside the building, that also houses a gentlemen's club, but don't be put off, the prestigious location does not come with pretentious service.
With shoes buffed to a shine it’s about time to go for a trim. I hop in a cab or jump on a Boris bike to Covent Garden where Ruffians has recently opened their flagship London shop. Whatever your grooming preferences (trimmed on the edges, sleek moustache or bushy beard), Ruffians is the go-to destination for the discerning gent. They offer everything you can think of from haircuts to cut-throat razor shaves, moustache trims and beard tidying.
Now, if you’re like me and like to keep your clothes for a long time. Not because you don’t like shopping, but because you cherish quality purchases rather than disposable fashion, and sometimes, your favourite pair of jeans or vintage Belstaff jacket needs a little TLC reach out to Luke Deverell of Shoreditch-based Darn and Dusted, a full-fledge mending service for the most rugged of materials.
Alternatively if your favourite boots need new soles head to K G Shoes in Camden, who has been making and repairing shoes since the 1950's and are the official cobblers for Christian Louboutin and all the top department stores in London.
With a fancy shindig to attend in the evening and needing a little nip and tuck on my vintage Canali tux, I head to Beautiful Tailor Studio. No advertising or signposts and in a nondescript building, this is an alterations studio for those in the know. It operates strictly on word of mouth. Recommended by Vogue as the one of best alterations studio in London, it can make a vintage suit picked up at a charity shop look like a million dollars although does not come cheap.
Finally to get me looking and feel good for the evening ahead I head for a session at 10 Pilates. I am on a mission to convince fellow gents that pilates is not just for women! Dynamic pilates at 10 Pilates with locations in Notting Hill, Hatton Garden and Mayfair offers core strengthening, aerobic exercise and body sculpting, it's an amazing total body workout and perfect for those who suffer from sports injuries. A few weeks of this and your performance in other sports will see marked improvement, not off course forgetting to mention you feeling refreshed for the evening ahead.
Believe it or not, in London it can be a struggle to find a restaurant for many reasons. Faced with a befuddling amount of choice on where to go, one can become paralysed with indecision. One of my favourites however is Trullo, a great neighbourhood restaurant with a great ambiance and authentic seasonal Italian fare. Its classy without being too expensive or pretentious.
For post dinner drinks head down the road to 69 Colebroke Row, often referred to as the bar with no name. This is a place for Londoners in the know with a very “1930’s Amalfi Coast, The talented Mr Ripley” vibe. I dare your date not to be thoroughly impressed