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Bohemian Paris

I still find the Eurostar really rather wonderful. You get on a train at St. Pancras and alight some two hours later at Le Gare Du Nord into a different world, where the attitudes, tastes, smells, people and culture are as different from London as sand is to salt. Undeniably, it is quite an anomalous experience – one that usually only a plane journey can really prepare us for – stepping off a train into this alien environment that’s both Paris and, due to French colonisation, Gambian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Sudanese and Algerian. It’s in all respects downright foreign. I have… Keep Reading

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Fashion/Features

Chap To The Future

Wherever you look in pop culture, you will see signs of our beloved Chap Fashion. Whether you are looking into a far-flung cyberpunk future or back to the romanticised past of fantasy worlds, there are clues and signposts all over the place to the classic influences that brought us here. Why have a few very specific time periods had such a large influence on our huge entertainment industry? Take my hand, oh dapper one, and let us go on a journey of discovery through the history of pop culture to find out. As a young person, I’m pretty sure that… Keep Reading

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The Chap Travels/The Chap Travels

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

From the eleventh floor balcony of a hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the horizon flashing with lightning, brassy wisps of Mariachi music wafting up from somewhere through the heat of the night, was the sense that we were definitely in Mexico. It had taken nearly 20 hours to reach this moment of Mexican awareness, though our sense of time had been hurled out of the window on the journey; it was either tomorrow or yesterday in England, the confusion of jetlag and 6-hour time difference loosening the mind from the shackles of the clock. Puerto Vallarta is a sprawling series… Keep Reading

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Features

The Flâneur

“The crowd is his domain, as the air is that of the bird or the sea of the fish. His passion and his creed is to wed the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate observer, it’s an immense pleasure to take up residence in multiplicity, in whatever is seething, moving, evanescent and infinite.” Charles Baudelaire, The Painter of Modern Life Charles Baudelaire may not have been the first man or woman to wander the streets of his city with no particular destination, and no purpose other than to absorb his surroundings, muse on whatever took his fancy and… Keep Reading

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Features

Sartorial Disposophobia

“Disposophobics can’t, don’t or won’t make fast value judgments about their ‘stuff’,” says Ron Alford of Disaster Masters, Inc. ‒ a New York-based ‘crisis management’ service specializing in solving anomalous mess. “So their solution for their dilemma is to keep everything. If you put a $5 note, a magazine, a diamond ring and two dozen plastic Chinese food containers on a table and ask a disposophobic to trash two of them, their response would be, ‘I want all of them. It’s really a disease. It starts in the head of the people and manifests by filling their dwelling units to… Keep Reading

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The Chap Travels/The Chap Travels

Rajasthan, India

On a recent trip to Rajasthan, I discovered that not only does India possess its famous wealth of history and architecture, but it is also one of the most natural habitats for the travelling Chap. My journey took me first to Delhi, only nine hours away by plane but, as soon as you land, the noise, bustle, phantasmagorical arrays of spices, colourful fabrics and around 18 million people, all jostling for space, make it seem like another planet. I took a quick look around before heading out to the land of the kings, Rajasthan. It’s quite a drive to Rajasthan… Keep Reading

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The Chap Travels/The Chap Travels

Kentucky

Kentucky is regarded as the first of the Southern states, sitting south of the Ohio River on the eastern side of the United States. It is a green and pleasant land, literally. There are miles of gently rolling hills, clean air and plentiful amounts of fine pure mineral water. All these elements play a large part in the success of the state’s principal assets. This ‘porch of the south’, as it is known locally, has many things going for it, not least its hospitality. Everywhere I went in the state, whether it was the ‘metropolis’ of Louisville or the quaint… Keep Reading

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Features

Grappling With the Art of Zen

I am seated in a dimly lit room on a comfortable white leather cushion, wearing a pair of headphones. There are five other people in the same position in the room, and a seventh leather cushion against the rear wall – but this one is red. Into the headphones a soothing voice tells us to relax our bodies and allow all thoughts to float away from our minds, for we about to take part in a Zen meditation session with Kendo Nagasaki. Just as we hear that name, there is a shuffling at the door and it is opened by… Keep Reading

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Quito, Ecuador

One of the fourteen countries that straddle the Equator, Ecuador took its name from that imaginary line and offers an engaging place for the traveller to explore with much historical interest, museums and art galleries but, more significantly, it’s the best place in the world to buy a Panama hat. I took a trip out to the far-flung continent of South America to find out what a chap really needs to know about the intoxicating capital of Quito. This is a country where avocados grow all year round and there are only two seasons: wet and dry, although it might… Keep Reading

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Miami, Florida

Miami greets the arriving driver with a glittering cluster of skyscrapers flanked by bright blue sea. As soon as the heart of the city has caught your attention, you’re in it, cruising through mid-town Miami with the buildings getting taller and taller and the sea coming nearer, like the opening scene of a disaster movie but with the only impending calamity being: where on earth will we park? Our first hotel was on an island across a bridge at the very tip of Downtown Miami, reached over a narrow two-lane bridge over the sea. The Mandarin Oriental dominates Brickell Key,… Keep Reading

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Fashion/Features

Princess Margaret

In previous articles of ‘The Dandy Doctor,’ I’ve explored Dandies like Marlene Dietrich and Eartha Kitt – women who were labelled by their contemporaries as ‘difficult’, ‘cold,’ ‘cruel,’ and even mad. The same traits that we often associate with male Dandies (affection for excess, icy demeanour, cutting wit), when seen in a female Dandy are often unfairly interpreted as a marker of instability – something Princess Margaret Rose discovered to her detriment. Born 21 August 1930, Margaret was four years Elizabeth II’s junior, but by all accounts their relationship was one of intimate closeness. Elizabeth even had a dedicated phone… Keep Reading

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Miami Beach

As soon as you cross the narrow causeway to the large island that is Miami Beach, you depart from a world of hi-rise wealth, power and keep-fit fanatics to a world of wealth, power and sun worshippers. The tans on display are unlike any of the lobster-hued disasters you see in Southern Europe – a Miami Beach tan is sleek, smooth, healthy and perfect. Suntan lotion is squirted free from dispensers all over the beach provided by the Miami Medical Centre. To reach the beach itself, you dart off any side street on the main strip, where super-luxury hotels are… Keep Reading

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