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Angostura Bitters
News

Anguish Over Angostura Dearth

Last week, those with a predilection for the Manhattan, Old Fashioned or Pink Gin had a sharp increase in blood pressure, when it was learned that the world’s supply of Angostura Bitters had run dry. The highly aromatic elixir, made from a secret recipe of rare herbs, has been the mainstay in many a cocktail for over 150 years, giving drinks that extra impeccably spicy touch. The drought has only just come to light, when the company who manufacture the bitters in Trinidad revealed stocks had completely run out. “You can’t just turn on and off supply of bitters. It’s… Keep Reading

Shoe Polish
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Shoe Shine Back in Style

The noble and ancient art of the shoe shine, long absent from our cities, has made a welcome return with the launch of Spit ‘n’ Polish Shoeshine booths. The first booth was opened at Marylebone Station in London. Spit ‘n’ Polish Shoeshine is the brainchild of Ronan McCarthy, who plans to put a shine back on what he sees as the scuffed footwear of a nation in need of some boot blacking. McCarthy turned down the offer of £108,000 on popular noctovisual programme Dragons Den, perhaps threatened by the shiny faces of the eponymous “Dragons”, yet he appears to be… Keep Reading

Matthew Fleming
News

Bowling the Taleban a Googly

Former England cricketer Matthew Fleming is helping to make a difference to the lives of children in Afghanistan by teaching them England’s finest export. Fleming, a 44-year-old former Royal Green Jackets officer, described how he felt compelled to help the grassroots game in the war-torn country. “People were saying they thought we had done our bit in Afghanistan. But as an ex-soldier, I don’t think we have while there are still British fighters in the country.” This May, the MCC sponsored a cricket training camp in Jalalabad, where 150 boys trained with Fleming and Afghan international players. The former Kent… Keep Reading

Keith Floyd
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Bon Vivant Keith Floyd Dies after Pudding

Vivacious television chef Keith Floyd has died aged 65 at his Dorset home. The celebrated bon vivant, who paved the way for future cookery programmes, died shortly after a hearty luncheon at a restaurant in Lyme Regis. He had just extinguished one of many post-prandial cigarettes when he suffered a heart attack and passed away on the sofa. Keith Floyd’s career as a chef began in the Army. He had turned down the 11th Hussars to take a commission in the less snooty 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, but found his billet in Germany a far cry from the image of… Keep Reading

Kilchoman
News

Congratulations: it’s a Whisky

Just as the drinks industry becomes consumed by giant corporations, hell bent on designing unpalatable new alcopops by extensive use of the ‘focus group’ and ‘blue-sky’ marketing twaddle, comes a brand-new independent microdistillery, built from scratch right where Scotch whisky itself was probably invented. Kilchoman, based on the Scottish island of Islay, can lay claim to being practically at the centre of the cradle of distillation – it was reportedly here in the late 15th Century that King James IV was first introduced to the art of distillation by the Celtic Lord Of the Isles. A recent Launch event marked… Keep Reading

Loop
News

High Tea over RAF Cosford

An RAF Pilot has broken the world record for looping the loop in an aircraft while drinking a cup of tea. Corporal Stewart Hefti, who recovered from serious leg injuries sustained in Basra two years ago, completed 14 loop-the-loops as a passenger. Flying the plane was former RAF Red Arrows team leader Andy Offer. Due to centrifugal force, the tea does not spill during the loops, and Cpl Hefti landed with his cup of tea still nearly full. Speaking after completing his record at the RAF Museum Cosford, near Wolverhampton, he said: “When we first took off I was more… Keep Reading

Panama Hat
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World’s Most Ethical Panama Hat

A British company has turned the tables on the traditional exploitation of hat weavers in Ecuador. In the past, the straw harvesters and weavers of hats selling for up to £600 in the UK were receiving a pittance, while members further along the food chain were making handsome profits. Carry Somers decided to change all that, after a research trip in 1992 to Ecuador, where all Panama hats are made. The straw used to weave Panama hats comes from a palm species that only grows on the coast of Ecuador. It was given the scientific name of Carludovica Palmeta in… Keep Reading

Stephen Fry
News

Stephen Fry Hates Panama Hats

In an exclusive interview in The Chap, legendary actor, raconteur and author Stephen Fry puts forward some frank and unashamed views about headwear, including comments to the effect that Panama hats make him want to vomit. What started as a jovial discussion about the usual Chap matters, in which Mr. Fry waxed in his usual lyrical fashion on common courtesy, cricket, Englishness and whether flip flops are an appropriate form of footwear in the civilised world, this soon developed into a heartfelt outpouring on the subject of hats. “Anyone who wears a Panama hat ought to be thrashed,” was his… Keep Reading

Indian Moustache
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India’s Facial Hair Cutbacks

India’s legendary moustaches are disappearing as India enters the clean-shaven digital age. The traditional Indian belief that facial hair is a sign of virility is being replaced by fears of a moustache or beard making a young man look older, or even being slightly itchy. Well-known Indian cricket players no longer have facial hair, while Bollywood actors have opted instead for “designer” stubble. During the days of the Raj, Indian moustaches had a profound effect on British facial hair. The British Army, with their naked upper lips, had difficulty maintaining authority among their Indian counterparts, who saw their lack of… Keep Reading

News

Fastest Tache in Britain

03A 25-year-old English chap with a superb moustache is building a rocket that will help set a new land speed record. Daniel Jubb is working on the Bloodhound SSC, a rocket-powered car whose makers plan to break not only the current record of 760.343 mph, held by Briton Andy Green, but also to break the 1,000mph mark. Mr. Green will also be the driver of the Bloodhound SSC. The vehicle will use a prototype jet engine, originally developed for the Eurofighter, to take it to 300mph. Then a hybrid rocket, designed by Mr. Jubb, will boost the car to 1,050mph,… Keep Reading

Tweed
News

Get Tweed. Wear Tweed. Drive.

Earlier this year, three brave, intrepid and immaculately attired chaps set off on an epic 3,000 mile journey across the Indian Subcontinent. This might not sound so remarkable, with today’s efficient transport methods, except that these foolhardy fellows relied not on rail, motor car or internet transfer, but that vehicle in which gentlemen generally move betwixt bordello and bazaar – the humble Tuk-tuk. Their journey took Edd Rushton, James Kilkenny and Deniz Hassan from the southern tip of India all the way up the East coast and into Bangladesh, via the Bay of Bengal, and into the foothills of the… Keep Reading

News

Not Really Made in England

Soho tailor Tony Lutwyche has launched a sartorial campaign to stop manufacturers labelling products ‘Made in England’ when they have really been made abroad. He plans to petition 10 Downing Street and demands the Government acts quickly to protect the standards and integrity of English tailoring, and other goods, by prohibiting any product not made entirely in this country from displaying the ‘Made in England’ label. “This week,” said Mr. Lutwyche, “John Lewis was forced to stop selling falsely labelled ‘Made in England’ suits for £350, but the net spreads much wider. Other leading clothing brands are still selling inaccurately… Keep Reading

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