By popular demand Jason Yapp continues his inimitable guide for the modern, metrosexual man-about-town.
London, Paris, New York, Skegness – the world’s your oyster with this ground-breaking accommodation website. You can visit any of these hip and happening cool conurbations without suffering the ignominy of check-in. It’s like staying with well-appointed relatives without the relatives. What’s not to like?
2. ‘Sid’ Blazer by Carharrt
I found this indispensable item of apparel round the corner from my (airbnb) apartment in the old quarter of Barcelona in a very accommodating outfitters. Like a Mars bar it’s good for work, rest and play but attempts to replicate it on-line have proved challenging.
(Cornas hat = model’s own]).
3. Mrs Kirkham’s Lancashire Cheese
Music is not the food of love. Cheese is. As a West Country chap I will always champion proper Cheddar but credit where it’s due Ruth Kirkham’s hand moulded, unpasteurised, raw milk cheese is sublime. Creamy yet tangy it is just the ticket with a mature Northern Rhône Syrah or sweet Coteaux du Layon.
4. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
This is Yapp Brothers Book Club (membership 2 people) ‘Book of the Month’. It’s a gritty and grizzly Cold War chiller. If you like grit and grizzle then this is a real page turner. Hamish and I commend it to you.
5. Glen Baxter Artwork
If you want a cheeseboard hat or grenade toting girl guide Glen is the ‘go to’ guy.His inimitable ligne claire artwork coupled with wonderful Baxterisms in a distinctive upper case serifed writing never fail to please. He’s big in France, much appreciated in the Netherlands and absolutely massive in Mere - where you can view lots of originals in our shop.
6. Moleskine© Notebook and Hi-Tech V 5 Pen
If you want proper ‘Old School’ wine tasting notes go analogue. You can’t beat this trusty combo of pad and pen for hurried scribblings on the go. Also good for shopping lists, phone numbers and recipe ingredients. No batteries required.
7. English Asparagus
We might be incompetent at football and a bit crap at cricket but we absolutely rule when it comes to asparagus. The season is upon us so whether you steam, roast or griddle it it’s time to get stuck in. Serving suggestion = a wedge of lemon.
8. Wine to Accompany the Above
There’s much debate about what wine to serve with asparagus and an obvious option is Old World Sauvignon. Our chum David Galetti, chef sommelier at Le Gavroche, favours the white Vin de Corse Porto Vecchio from Domaine de Torraccia – a herb-scented, organic Vermentino. We’ve just secured a parcel of ‘Cuvée Amanlie’ an unusual blend of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne and Viognier made by wine-maker and asparagus grower Lionel Pourquier in the hills above Uzès. It boasts: “Delightfully creamy apricot fruit and a long, persistent savoury finish.” according to Jonathan Ray in the Spectator and we reckon it’s a perfect pairing.
9. The Week
If you are a time poor executive beleaguered by balance sheets and budgets not to mention arsy adolescents who won’t tidy their bedrooms then you need someone to cut through the crud and cut to the chase. This nifty, digested, hebdomadal read picks the gems from a swathe of international publications. Personally I just read the cartoons but it makes me look well-informed on public transport.
10. Medcalf - Restaurant and Bar
This Exmouth Market stalwart ticks all of the boxes. They deploy seasonal British produce on a sensibly short menu. The staff are well-informed and really friendly, there is great artwork on the walls and there’s a well-chosen and inexpensive wine list in which we must declare a vested interest. Go there for a bavette steak and a bottle of Costières de Nîmes and you can’t go wrong.