Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Feedback


Posts posted by The_D

  1. For food, Chor Bizarre, on the ground floor of the Broadway hotel, has always been pretty reliable for me. Can't go wrong with the veg thali (the Maharani thali, I think it's called), and the dum aloo kashmiri is completely sublime.

    If you've got a bit more money to spend on food, there are two other restaurants (both in hotels) worth eating in. Bukhara is good for tandoori grills (can't remember which hotel it's in), and lots of people rate its dhal; and Daniell's Tavern, the curry restaurant in the Imperial hotel, is really very good.

    If you're after tourist shopping, you can go to the Central Cottage Emporium on Janpath for a one-stop shop. It's like a department store for Indian crafts, and has everything from wood carvings to silk scarves, gold and silver jewellery, carpets, you name it.

    Delhi can be utterly hectic and overwhelming (I often think the best reason to visit Delhi is so that the next time you go, it's not the first time you' ve been), and one of the best ways to drink it in is from the back of a cab or tuk-tuk, just moving slowly through all its vibrant, dusty craziness. You can also see the incredible contrast between Old and New Delhi The subway is a great way to get around too.

    The Red Fort is supposed to be a great thing to see, but I've managed to miss it every time I've been to Delhi (seven times...). Shame on me.

  2. looking for some BoO and Gitman stockists?


    Dover Street Market stocks both. Well, theoretically it does; they had a fair few of both at the beginning of the season, but last time I was there most had been sold.

    Garbstore has Gitman. It's also the only UK stockist (to my knowledge) of Fil Melange, and Mountain Research, if those are your thing.

    Expect to drop your pants for UK prices for both.

  3. Ah, London in the Autumn; best time of year for it.

    Seconded on AgentRed's curry recommendations. Go to the Lahore towards the end of the week and eat the amazing Nihari - slow-cooked lamb on the bone in an ridiculous flavourful sauce. Unless you're a vegetarian, obviously. And seconded on Brick Lane - their curries are fucking dreadful, and a tourist trap for drunk office workers. Only go if you're with a member of the Bangladeshi community who knows the owner and knows what to order.

    Present, on Shoreditch High Street is also worth checking out. A

    new clothes store stocking Nigel Cabourn, Arn Mercantile, and various others. The Cabourn stuff I saw the other week was the Summer 09 stuff though; and at Summer 09 prices, too.

    Also worth seeing is the revolving pop-up store at Cube on Lamb's Conduit Street. The last time (a month ago, I think) I was there it was a Universal Works store, before anyone else had received their shipments. Not sure what's there at the moment, but it might be Wrangler Blue Bell. Oliver Spencer has its shipment of Universal Works and Engineered Garments now, so it's worth a visit to the street anyway.

    Ranoush Juice on the Edgware Road isn't so far from you. Nor is Kebab Kid on the New King's Road. Both awesome cheap food.

    Where are you studying photography? LCC? Westminster? Central Saint Martin's?

  4. Man, I'm in awe of all the beautiful shoes in this thread. A sort of... measured awe so that I wouldn't have to use funds I didn't have. However, the funds have come, and I'm also going to be in London the next few days.

    Does anyone know where there is a good place to buy Church's, Grenson's, Tricker's in London aside from Saville Row? I heard there was a place that sold British shoes for a decent price but I can't place my finger on it. Thanks guys.

    Try John Rushton on Wimpole Street, W1; he stocks Alfred Sergeant, Cheaney, and various others. Really knows his stuff, and has some exclusive things that he has the manufacturers make up just for him, I believe.

    The place on Camberwell Road that fre$co mentions is also good, but his stock of Sergeants can be a bit hit and miss, I'd say. It's also a bit out of the way, but well worth a visit.

    Also, Albam has ltd edition Grenson collabs, but you'd want to check the stock levels on their website before heading over there.

  5. Anybody know of any decent opticians in London?

    Assuming you don't need your eyes tested and you already have your prescription, the following are all worth checking out:

    Cutler & Gross, in Knightsbridge Green

    Opera Opera, on the corner of Long Acre and Endell St

    Meyrowitz, in the Royal Arcade (Bond St)

    All three sell their own frames, as opposed to the usual suspects available elsewhere (although Opera Opera has a wide selection of other brands' too). The latter two sell beautiful hand-made stuff (among others), while Opera Opera also has all kinds of vintage stuff to check out. Cutler & Gross you probably already know. The latter two are also worth visiting if you're into the 'this is our take on the chunky/nerdy black glasses' thing. Opera Opera also stock vintage Raybans with the Bausch & Lomb lenses; they also have some vintage deadstock lenses for Raybans, I believe. That's what the owner told me, anyway.

    If you need to get your eyes tested, go to a branch of Boots.

  6. AgentRed, I reckon the Pineal Eye is now closed. Not sure exactly when, but I'm sure it was empty last time I walked past it. Similarly, Designworks on the other side of the street was having a closing-down sale. Broadwick Street maybe just didn't get enough foot-traffic... I think Kokon to Zai on Greek Street is still going though (wasn't it run by the same people?)

    If you're in that area, though, Concrete is well worth checking out on Marshall Street. New designers plus a curious mix of antique Chinese furniture. Think the guy that runs it also runs a fashion-PR company. Also, that's just round the corner from Cinch (on Newburgh Street) - the LVC store, if that's your thing. And at the end of that street is Liberty; and just round the corner from there is the Photographers Gallery. Anyway, enough already.

    I think you might be right at the wrong end of the wrong season to catch too much goth-ninja shit in London.

  7. Second on the Tate Modern; worth going to Tate Britain too, to see the new contemporary acquisitions on display there. There’s also the Jeff Koons show in the Serpentine gallery, which also happens to be in the middle of Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens if you need some fresh air. If you want newer contemporary art, go to the galleries in Vyner Street (although it’s a bit out of the way).

    If you want touristy crap, the London Eye is fun; best time to do it is early evening, I think. Most of the major London museums are pretty cool, and are also all free. The Tower of London is great if you like history or big jewellery. Don’t go the London Dungeon or Madam Tussauds unless you are both brain-dead and like standing in long queues to see waxworks. Taking the river boat on the Thames is quick and moderately amusing. There’s one that runs between the two Tate museums, which is useful. That way you can see places like the Houses of Parliament from the river, instead of dealing with the tourist crush on the pavements. Also, if you want something super-touristy but a bit different, there’s an amphibious coach tour called Duck Tours, that uses WW2 vehicles to drive round London and then into the river. Think their booking office is near Waterloo.

    If you want to see something a bit different, go to Dennis Severs’ house – it’s a mad art performance/museum that’s a completely restored 18th century house in Spitalfields, that you view by candlelight in the evenings. It’s really worth visiting, and quite unlike anything else you’ll. Also, because it’s in Spitalfields, you can check out all the shops in Shoreditch and Spitalfields first.

    The decent independent shops are quite spread out. E.g. Garbstore is in West London, A Butcher of Distinction and Three Threads are in the East, The Hideout and Albam are in the centre. But all of these sell the usual suspects that you can get online (e.g. Engineered Garments, overpriced Japanese labels, etc), and it’s sale time so there’s not much stock left, and the new stuff isn’t in yet. Savile Row and Jermyn Street are interesting to see, as the homes of traditional English menswear and tailoring and shoes, but if you’re young, this might not be your thing (but might be your dad’s…). The arcades in the west end, like Burlington Arcade, close to Bond Street, are also touristy diversions to walk through. Also worth going to the food hall at Fortnum and Mason’s if you want touristy English food gifts for people (tea, chocolates, etc). Avoid Oxford Street like the fucking plague, unless you have to go to Selfridges, which is basically just another department store, or the Uniqlo flagship which is just down the road from Selfridges. And of course, there’s the Dover Street Market, on Dover Street. It’s a bit in the middle of nowhere, but the Old Curiosity Shop is interesting to look at, because it’s really old, written about by Dickens, and now stocks clothing by Blaak and remakes of Ian Reid shoes. And Sir John Soane’s museum is just round the corner, which is another amazing, unique house like no other museum.

    Food-wise, if you want traditional English done well , it’s going to cost you, but hey, if your old man is paying…. Rules on Maiden Lane is an ancient and old-fashioned place that serves expensive but very good food.

    The other ‘traditional English’ dish that’s worth eating while you’re in London is curry. If you’re in the centre of town, try Masala Zone on Marshall Street, or Floral Street (same street in Covent Garden as the various Paul Smith shops); if you fancy going for a more ‘local’ experience, take a taxi to the Lahore Kebab House off the Commercial Road; or Tayyabs, on Fieldgate Street. Both very good.

    Finally, buy a copy of Time Out as soon as you arrive – it’ll give you up-to-date information on what’s going on.

  8. I'm not sure 'dining' is really what the majority of people who live in Bow do in the evening.

    I might be being a little unfair here, but Bow is pretty rough. Dining and shopping aren't really on the menu.

    If you like curry, there are some amazing restaurants a little further in, but still in East London: the Lahore Kebab House, and Tayyabs being two of them.

    Like I said, I might be being really unfair here, but if you're in London for a year, there are a dozen other neighbourhoods that you'd probably want to spend time in before Bow. It's a bit of a khazi.

  9. I like. I'm very partial to pullover shirts. More info on this one?

    If pullover shirts are your thing, check out Albam's carpenter shirt - well made, lovely materials, and good value; also Old Town do old-fashioned pull-on shirts (with quite long shirt-tails), and in some wonderful linen. Margaret Howell makes beautiful pull-on shirts, but not every season, it seems.

    Finally... last time I checked, Kiosk 78 had a couple of Warehouse pullover shirts on their site, one in denim, another in a pale hickory stripe; both on sale.

    (I guess I have a thing for pullover shirts too)

  10. Neil,

    Do you have regular Kato sample sales in London. A friend of mine told me about one he went to and got a great bargain on a jacket. Is there an email list for us to be notified of these?

    If any of you are in London, I just got back from Shoreditch, where there's a mixed-label sample sale at 29 Charlotte Road. There was a small rail of Kato jackets and shirts, and a small pile of trousers and some denim. Shirts included the two-tone chambray shirts currently on sale at Oki-Ni - but for 60 pounds rather than nearly 200, and some oversized flannels in large sizes. Some very interesting jackets, in wool and navy cotton twill; trousers were buckleback, some wide leg, some narrow, in navy blue, grey, and sand, all cotton. Denim was piled into a display cage - sorry, didn't investigate, and only saw a large label saying 'red cast denim'. All at about 70 per cent off, by the looks of things.

    Obviously I had my head in my ass, so I forgot to ask how much longer it's on for (it will have closed for the day today), but it would be well worth going there tomorrow to see what's left.

  11. If you go to the Palais de Tokyo (for contemporary art), make sure you go to the Museum of Contemporary Art (de ville de Paris, or whatever) which is literally next door to it. They have an extensive collection, including a whole room downstairs with three Boltanski installations and a video-art space with a constantly rotating programme, if that's your thing.

    When I lived in Paris (which is a few years ago now - I am old), the place for Jazz was the New Morning club. It's like the Paris equivalent of Ronnie Scott's in London.

    If you want 'seemingly sophisticated' traditional French food without blowing the bank, try one of the famous (if ever so slightly touristy) bistros in Paris - Au Pied du Cochon (open 24 hours a day; onion soup is fine); Bofinger; or Chartier.

  12. Poly, I just wrote you a ludicrously long reply to your request, and ended-up getting logged-out and losing the whole lot. So I’ll keep it shorter this time.

    Nepal is a great place for travelling around, and is well set-up for solo travellers. There are plenty of travel agencies in Kathmandu that you can deal with when you arrive, who can arrange all kinds of activities, internal travel and so on. Food is good (the best curry I’ve eaten was in Kathmandu, although the chef has now left the restaurant (the Moti Mahal)), and the people very friendly. Kathmandu is a bit of a scene, but once you leave the city, it’s a beautiful country. Some of the more popular trekking routes (generally anything with the word ‘Annapurna’ in it) can be a bit crowded, and it’s sometimes hard to get away from it all, which can kind of defeat the purpose of being there. But a great place to visit.

    Tibet, however, really is something else – utterly spectacular scenery, and wildly barren in places. Even at some of the more ‘popular’ tourist sites (e.g. Nam Tso lake), you can still feel like you’re the only people there; and Everest base camp (on the Tibetan side) feels like the surface of the Moon. But… the Chinese military/police presence, along with the relentless sprawl resulting from Chinese urban colonization in the cities, is impossible to ignore. The military presence also makes it hard to get around as a solo traveller. The last time I was there, the easiest way to get around was still as part of a group visa, which means you have to travel with that group; as well as entering the country with that group… this may have changed, and you’d have to check that. But given the recent demonstrations, I can’t imagine this will have eased. You used to be able get in with a solo Chinese visa, but this was really touch and go. I met people who had got in, eventually, after three or four tries; and I guess you don’t want to spend your two weeks vacation loitering round the border. But if you do choose Tibet, it is a truly spectacular place to visit. Getting around is hard (I lost a whole day moving rocks from a landslide – by hand – with other bus travellers, and then had to push the bus over the remaining rocks while the Chinese military stood and laughed), the food can be abysmal (unless you like boiled chicken's feet, say), but the people and scenery are worth it. And if you do go, try to get on a trip that leaves the country overland via the Friendship Highway to Nepal – a ridiculously vertiginous white-knuckle drive from the Tibetan plateau down to the green foothills outside Kathmandu.

    Bhutan is also spectacular, but I guess the infamous daily tourist tax is still in place, which can make it prohibitively expensive. You might be able to get round this – my wife got a place on a trip from Nepal that was sponsored by the Bhutanese government, to look at development opportunities for adventure tourism, which meant they avoided having to pay the tax; but if you can’t , it adds a chunky extra cost to your trip.

    One final thought: if you only have two weeks, and you’re travelling in the summer, please give serious consideration to Ladakh, in northern India. It’s not called ‘Little Tibet’ for nothing. You can get there easily (Jet Airways flies from Delhi every day, and it takes about an hour, I recall), and Leh is a great base for trips into the mountains, to get your fill of temples and Tibetan culture. The food is good, and there are loads of travel agents in Leh who can sort you out with all sorts of trips and activity. Leh is, like Kathmandu, a bit ‘scene-y’ (with lots of European travellers exchanging, “when I was in Thailand…” stories), but not nearly as much as Dharamsala, say (where the Dalai Lama lives). Also, you can drive over the two highest motorable roads in the world, which are completely breathtaking in every sense of the word.

    Whichever one you choose, take a good camera (with a polarizing filter to deal with the high altitude sunlight).

  13. The construction walls downstairs at Liberty have gone now. It still feels really disorganised to me, I have to say. There's a new(?) room with pyjamas, scarves, knitted ties, and underwear (with none of the Schiesser stuff they had a couple of seasons ago), which just feels weird - full of stuff they didn't know what to do with (is that even English? Sorry).

    The 'streetwear' room is, as others have said, still shit. A weird little Folk concession, low-rent T-shirts, a motley collection of APC stuff, couple of racks of YMC, and Oliver Spencer (basically you'd be better off going to Lamb's Conduit Street, so you can see Spencer's shop, which also stocks Engineered Garments and Margaret Howell, and the Folk shop, as well as some other interesting stores like the Persephone bookshop.

    Liberty has also extended the men's shoe department - they've done away with the random collection of Japanese woodblock prints and filled it with a ropey collection of predictable shoes, like Kurt Geiger (incl. another dull Grenson collaboration), Margiela German Army trainers, and those bloody Prada trainers that casuals wear.

    How-ever... no one seems to have mentioned (sorry if I missed it) the Editions de Frederic Malle perfume concession on the ground floor. Finally you can try this stuff in London. They have fancy smelling booths/pods there. Maybe this should be in the fragrance thread.

  14. Go for the Claska - it's great - definitely my favourite hotel in Japan, and a much nicer place to stay than some much more expensive places.

    Room 501 was the best value room last time I was there, although it's been renovated now, so might not be any more. It's a bit of walk from the nearest subway station, but the place is really worth the money. The staff are great, and they're really clued up on interesting places to go.

  15. For those of you in London, Start (on Rivington Street) have two models on sale at the moment - the buckle-back, and the slim straight. They've also got the buckle-back on sale on their website for £120 - but they're only £80 in store... The slim straights were more, but can't remember how much. Sorry.

  16. Well with the shocking exchange rate and no tax for you lot in the USA, I think now is the best time to buy trickers. I think it would probably end up somewhere around $600 but this is a guess

    Edit it's £350 which without tax must be about $450 for you guys now. Pretty cheap for custom boots!

    I think the service that Trickers offers for that price is only to make-up a boot using their standard last (for that model), using whatever leather (or combination of leathers) that you choose. It's not what I'd understand to be 'true' custom - where the shoe is made to on a bespoke last. That service is £850 - which is going to hurt whatever the exchange rate. But I might be understanding 'custom' differently...

  17. Small umbrellas are for ladies. Why not carry a proper, full size umbrella? If you want the best, you have three choices, and fortunately you are in London so you have all of them on your doorstep.

    They are: James Smith & Son; Fox; or Brigg.

    James Smith don't, I think, make their own frames, but have them made in Italy. They're very well made and will last you a lifetime, with proper solid-stick handles. Also, their shop is a London retail landmark (it's an old Victorian shop), and worth a visit. They also stock folding ladies' umbrellas should you decide this is really what you want.

    Fox have a shop in Moorgate, and make the best umbrella frames (all hand-made). They also make the frames for Brigg umbrellas, I believe. You can also buy their umbrellas online, and, I think, at Oi Polloi (online, and in Manchester).

    But the very best umbrellas money can buy are Brigg umbrellas, which you can see at Swaine Adeney & Brigg in St James. Serious items, and not for leaving on the bus. They also have an online factory shop, which is on the Papworth website. They sometimes have factory seconds there, which are still excellent quality. The factory seconds go for between 60 and 120 quid.

    None of these are cheap, but if you want quality that lasts (and which never, ever blows inside out, which gives you a strange, conceited form of pleasure as you watch others struggling with their lesser umbrellas in windy weather), then you can't go wrong with one of these three. You're in England, after all. Why not go for the real deal?

  18. Sailor 1911 with a Naginata Togi nib. Beautiful classic-design Japanese fountain pen, but with a nib made by possibly the greatest living nib-maker: the guy is basically the nib-making equivalent of a national living treasure in Japan. Alternatively, if money is no object, go for the Sailor King of Pens - possibly the most understated high-end pen there is.

    That said, I'd have to also second ddml's suggestion of a Parker 51 - if you can find a vintage one in good condition, they make wonderful everyday pens. I still write every day with my father's, which was given to him in 1955 - and it's never needed a service. If you do buy one, make sure you get one with the ink-bladder replaced, because they eventually wither, I think. Also, there are large stocks of replacement nibs for 51s, so you can have a new nib fitted to the old casing, so you're not stuck with a pen that's adapted itself to someone else's writing.

    But if you're into the crazy Japanese craftsman thing, check out the more classic designs among the Sailor pens...

  19. The Hideout stocks Head Porter, but doesn't always have a large selection. But you'll get flamed on the price.

    Also The Dover Street Market had some of the Porter x Monocle collection. In spite of the slightly dubious association with a magazine's marketing department, the bags were absolutely up to the usual Porter standard.

    Not sure if there's anywhere else; but it would be a lot cheaper to proxy them from Japan, or even buy them from The Glade online from Germany...

  20. I've been thinking about a pair of the Moscot Yukel's


    Badass. I've been hearing some complaints about Moscot's quality recently though - anyone seen something along these lines for the same / lower price point from a quality manufacturer?

    Cutler & Gross made a pair just like this a couple of years ago. Not sure if they still do. Their website is rubbish, and shows very little of their stock, so you'd need to visit one of their shops to check.

    I tried their version of this on at the time. They were a little narrow, and only came in one width. Maybe I have a wide face, though...

    Also, I got a pair of Nebb frames (the nerdiest of their black plastic frames?) from Moscot last month, which they made up with my prescription in an hour. I've got no complaints about the quality of the frames or the lenses - and I reckon they were about a third cheaper than Cutler & Gross. And the service there was much more accommodating than that of the uptight poseurs in the London Cutler & Gross store.