13 March 2008

Italian Ices

05 March 2008

Tea & Wine

Increasingly, in these ominous days, I find immense joy in slight pleasures. The exquisite curve of a hand-rolled lapel. The rich antiquing on a pair of old brogues. The self-annhilating blast of California sun in my face. The endlessly thumping, churning surf, which is almost provocative in its insistence. And the spicy flavours of tea, wine, and tobacco. It is the tang of tea and tobacco to which I am often drawn in the evening. Settling down with a pot of Earl Grey or a glass of chardonnay, or occasionally an Avo robusto, sporting an OCBD, a pair of khakis, and velvet slippers, I muse on the day's proceedings and indulge in cheerfully inane conversation. It may be perceived as a mundane way of being, and perhaps to some—those who rely on unending distraction—it is. But I think it is important to infuse every minute of the day with ritual and order, meaning and significance. It is necessary, I think, to face life in a direct manner, to accept fate on its own terms—and to sip tea while doing so. A life of sublime implication; this is the objective.

04 March 2008


It's time to break out the reds. No, I am not referring to the bottles of claret in your wine cellar. I am talking about Nantucket reds. Originating in the island of Nantucket off the coast of Massachusetts, where Nantucket reds were first sold to vacationing families, reds have been a summer staple on the East Coast for generations. Legend has it they were based on the trousers worn by members of the New York Yacht Club. However, as is my wont, I like to imagine reds were influenced by the uniform of Lord Cardigan's 11th Hussars, although that distinction probably lies with the red moleskin and denim trousers worn by off-duty Guards officers in London.

Reds consist of a red canvas that fades to pink in the sun over time. Variations include Breton reds and other cherry-red cotton trousers offered by several merchants; however, strictly-speaking, these should not be referred to as Nantucket reds. Reds are a great accompaniment to a plain white polo or blue OCBD, a pair of boat shoes or tan loafers, and a surcingle belt. A navy blazer, or, if you are especially daring, a madras sport coat, can also be worn. Reds look particularly smashing when paired with a pair of Persols, a Gordon's and tonic, and a 53' Luke Brothers classic sloop.