Tuesday, 18 February 2014

A Double Helping of Relish: Under-use of Dressing Gowns, a Special Editorial.

As previously promised, the Relish is proud to present to its noble readership our very own special editorial on dressing gowns and their unfortunate decline in the modern world.
Avert your eyes, those with delicate sensibilities!

For those that watch television, it appears that for many, the presentable attire for bed consists of something rather like this:

The pure unbridled horror of this image cannot be described in words alone. The bare, hairless chest is exposed not only to the naked eye but to the elements as well. This unfortunate creature here has chosen to inflict his outhrust nipples on any household staff he may encounter during a nocturnal sojourn, although no doubt in this oaf's case it is a trip to procure another can of lager or shandy from his 'den'.

Instead, at the Relish we feel what this image is lacking is a good old fashioned dressing gown.
This dandy dressing gown/shirt and tie combination allows one to exude an air of both formality and leisure, the perfect attire for an own clothes day at work!

However, this grand ensemble is not yet complete. This fellow's unshod feet are still painful to even contemplate. Indeed, this appears to be a 'fad' with the current generations, who seem quite content to stroll around their mortaged properties bare-foot, vulnerable at any time to cutting a foot open on a broken Scotch bottle after their last domestic spat. Needless to say, we at the Relish eschew such a dunderheaded idea and instead recommend a choice of footwear for any night time stroll any of our readers may be considering.

Monogrammed velvet
really is the only choice.

When combined with the shirt and dressing gown, the effect is, as expected, a delicate visual sensation

This fellow had his specially molded to
fit his  new haircut
There is yet more work to be done in the field of dressing gown accessories though! Notice this buffoon's uncapped head, open to attacks from bedbugs while he slumbers! What shall protect his scalp, nestled under his thinning hair, we hear you cry?! Of course, the Relish has an answer to your question. The finest in nocturnal head protection; the nightcap. Not only does it keep one's head warm, it also acts as a helpful counterweight to balance one's nose. If we add this to our diagram, it is easy to see that our inventory is coming to an end.

One last thing remains to complete this Guide to Appropriate Nightwear for the Youth of Today, and that is the Relish's favourite embellishment, a pipe. Personally, we prefer the noble Meerschaum but if you must then you are welcome to add a clay or briarwood pipe to your ensemble. And so, to our diagram once more for the final flourish!
The pipe of the Relish's editor

And there it is, ladies and gentlemen. On your left you can find the Relish's completed illustration demonstrating both the the practicality and style of dressing gowns and well as serving as an inspiration to those that still wander the dark night shirtless of what they too could one evening look like.

The Gentleman's Spring Wardrobe: 2014

Firstly, please allow us to apologise for our hiatus. The life of a modern gentleman is, as we all know well, a life of activity and industry and sometimes cultural pursuits are forced to take second place to these more primary concerns. However, the oft-called cry for the Relish to return has been heard, and what better way to introduce our return to the periodical racks of the country than with another installment of our famous wardrobe supplement!

As Christmas has long since come and gone, we look instead this spring to items for the workplace. We have, as always, been extremely diligent in our scouring of the fashion pages to handpick the finest garments for your perusal. First up in our list is a perennial favourite, albeit for those of a more middle-aged disposition. Hopefully, with a gentle nudge from the Relish, crimson braces may once again supplant the belt and become the youth of today's preferential method for holding their trousers up.

As most excellently demonstrated by the gentleman on the left, red braces give the wearer a sense of authority, of purpose, and exude the confidence of a man who is willing to hand over control of his trousers to a couple of thin bands of cloth. When combined with a dazzling array of pinstripes, the effect is quite simply staggering. We would like to add though, there is a time and place for braces, and it is not when one is wearing 'jeans' and a Trillby. The hipsters may have taken waistcoats from us, we will not surrender our braces quite so easily!

Talking of waistcoats, this brings us on to our next item: the watch chain. I for one find the added weight and inconvenience of a watch uncouthly strapped with a piece of cow flesh to my arm tiresome. My colleagues here at the Relish have encountered similar problems and so we have opted to return to a simple time, when one's watch was safely stowed in one's pocket, where if required it can easily be fetched by a questing hand. However, a quick appraisal of the streets of modern Britain has revealed that still only a few stick to this practice, and so the Relish has devised an all new, illustrated guide to how a pocket watch should be correctly worn.

Gentlemen's Relish Guide to the Correct Usage of Pocket Watches

Example                                                                                                              Relish Rating

A top 10 points from Dave

'Fucking fantastic' Nigel Farage
One of Bo-Jo's fashion no-gos.

Above: Woman responsible for umbrella shortage
Now that this has been cleared up, we think it's time to move on to our last item. Much maligned in recent years due to global warming, the crew of chums here at the Relish believe the humble umbrella has been getting a bit of a bad press recently, we think largely due to this unlikable character:
Instead, we feel it's time this noble tool regained its place amongst the great water deterrent equipment. Not only is the umbrella useful for keeping the rain away, it can also be put to use as a device to illustrate points, to give directions with and is excellent as a thrashing stick (the Relish's very own fag, Tuppence Middleworth, can attest to this). 
Indeed, we have found in our extensive investigations that the umbrella reaches its true potential when it is in fact rolled up! Not only does it promote an image of effortless style, it can be converted a cane/swordstick implement for use both in country, town, and at Association Football games!

The Relish's in-house artist's step by step guide to defending
oneself against
supporters of the Blackburn Rovers football club.
And with that, we leave you this week. Stay in touch though, the Relish will return soon. Feel free to contact us by telegram, in writing or by any other means that facilitates communication and we will reply to you without delay!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Relish Does Glorious Goodwood

Glorious Goodwood. Two words that encourage excitement and trepidation in gentlemen all over the country. Excitement due to the thrill of the race, trepidation on what suit to wear. Luckily the Relish was prepared to sort both out when we headed off to the final meeting of this famous event.

(Centre: Mr. D Horgan, Equine Expert Extraordinaire)

The sun was shining and the skies were blue as we arrived and after some brief refreshment in the form of strawberries and champagne we entered the enclosure and got a decent look at some of the runners. Luckily for us, help was at hand from Mr Daniel Horgan, the Relish's recently hired horse racing expert, who filled us on which horses were looking the best and we were soon laying down bets and getting into the swing of things. Strangely, the best tip of the day came just after the first race from a chance meeting at the bar. After this fellow (who seemed to be well hydrated) had stopped shouting the name of a well known lager at us (either that or he was reenacting a scene from A Streetcar Named Desire) and despite not really seeming to know where he was, he somehow managed to give 2 of the highest earning tips of the day! To you sir, wherever you might be, thank you.

However, as the day wore and our wallets grew emptier and emptier it soon came to the point where it was all or nothing. We'd already gambled away the Relish's emergency scotch and cigar fund and as we pooled our last change together there was only one thing to do; bet it all on the last race. Several tense minutes later and our boy stormed home by over a length, not only putting us back in the black but doubling our winnings as well. With the day ending with that last, epic race, we retired to The Red Lion in Lymmington, where we reinvested our hard earned cash into some of the local ales and celebrated well into the small hours.

Of course, the racing is only half the affair at Goodwood. On the female side, we were reasonably impressed with what was being worn although we had an early shock when 3 stretch Hummers pulled up and a tribe of spray tanned creatures tumbled out without so much as a hat between them. Needless to stay we stayed well clear of this lot and instead retired for a stiff G and T whenever this herd neared us. On the whole though, top marks to the ladies; understated, smooth and classy.


Unfortunately we are unable to say the same for our male counterparts. It became very clear to us that there were 2 distinct camps among the men this year. Firstly, the lottery winners. A message to them; gentlemen, you should not be able to see your own reflection in a suit. It is an item of clothing, not a mirror. Please, you're worth £20 million, hire a tailor. The second bunch we observed were the hipsters. Yes, you hear us right, hipsters. Not only hipsters, but ironic Sloan hipsters. There was a lot of  'I could wear tails, but I'm not going to, instead I'll wear a smoking jacket, turquoise cords and boatshoes with no socks, and why not through in a cane for good measure, as that will surely help make a statement about how working class I am'. You went to Eton. Deal with it. Not amount of living in an artist's collective in Shepherd's Bush will ever change that, so please, please stop ruining smoking jackets and boating blazers for the rest of us.

Apart from these two minor indiscretions, all in all we had a thoroughly enjoyable day out and we would highly recommend it to any readers who have not been yet. The only thing we could have done with was some sort of barge pole to negotiate though the sea of cockney touts but apart from that, there is little else to find fault with, especially when we were treated to free strawberries and cream all day. And on a final note, to our mysterious drunk friend, thank you once again, may your luck never run out and yes, we were drinking Stella.

Relish Rating: 8/10.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

The Relish does the Melrose 7s.

Although we don't get out much here at the Relish, we do enjoy a good game. Whether it be tennis, cricket, elephant polo or Guyball we love all of them, so naturally when we were offered the chance to go to the world famous Melrose 7s we leapt at the chance.

The oldest 7s rugby tournament in the world, every year the tiny town of Melrose plays host to 24 teams and over 10,000 fans who descend to enjoy the sun, rugby and beer. We thought this sounded like a good combination so we go and check out what all the fuss was about.

On the rugby front there were some cracking teams on display including Premiership champions Saracens, Singapore and Hong Kong Scottish all competing for the Ladies Cup and there was some fine rugby to be had for connoisseurs of the game. Hosts Melrose bowed out in the third round and Singapore were early casualties to Aberdeen GSFP. A good effort from London Scottish saw them through to the semis but they failed to make it through to the grand final,

which rather disappointingly was a bit of a wash out with Heriott's RFC being blown out of the water by the professional Sarries.

The action wasn't simply restricted to the pitch though. With the ground boasting a sizeable beer tent, the Relish frequently took a chance to refresh itself and have a chat with some of the locals, which proved most illuminating. After a couple of hours of much needed lubrication we were lucky enough to be given a tour of the environs by a couple of local students and ended up, with the aid of sufficient refreshment stops of course, having a pint in a prep school cricket pavilion, hiding from a group of Thai children behind a portaloo, a field, a butcher's van,  and at one stage the centre of the main pitch along with 7,000 others. What happened next can only be described as a 3000-a-side scrum.

As far as after rugby entertainment goes, the 7s offered a wide range of events, from a Lady Gaga tribute act (something the Relish decided to give a miss), to various house parties scattered around the surrounding countryside, one of which graciously played host to us. As much as we love to recount what went on that night we're afraid you'll have to ask someone else, but we do know we had an excellent time and would like to offer readers of the Relish one piece of key advice: never, ever accept a drinking challenge from a Kiwi rugby team.

All in all, we had an excellent weekend, full of excitement and laughter and thoroughly recommend the Melrose 7s to anyone looking for a fun couple of days over Easter who loves 7s and a bit of good fashioned, amateur era rugby banter.

Relish Rating: 8/10. 

Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Gentleman's Spring Wardrobe

As many young gentlemen about town are fully aware, life is full of difficult decisions. Taylor's or Graham's? Moet or Krug? Monaco or Cannes? These are just some of the devilish dilemmas that the latter day gent must deal with on a literally day to day basis. However, there is one question which towers above all the rest to all self respecting modern men, and it is as follows: what the bally hell shall I wear today?!?!?

Alas, never fear! We here are the Relish are on hand to guide you through the sartorial minefield, starting with our first offering - The Gentleman's Spring Wardrobe. Listed below are but a few examples of what we at the Relish believe to epitomise the essential look this season.

We begin with a hat. Until recently hats had been somewhat neglected by the international fashion community, relegated from their status as the sine qua non of the wardrobe. In the past few years, however, the hat has gone from strength to strength. Variously championed by fedora'd film stars and hipsters alike, the hat is now back where it should be: on top. And what better hat to sport this Spring than the fez. Yes, to quote everyone's favourite time travelling physician, fez's are cool. Just look at this chap here. Look at how cool he is. Look at how happy he (probably) is. That could be you.

Next comes the upper body, and with it the jacket. Fortunately for us this is a relatively simply choice. A staple of Gents from ages past, the vintage velvet smoking jacket seems to us here at the Relish to be the perfect accompaniment to the fez. That the wearing of a smoking jacket should be restricted to quiet nights in with one's friends, or worse yet, to the pages of a P.G. Wodehouse novel, seems to us an absolute travesty. After all, not often does just one item of clothing seem to encapsulate such a wide variety of qualities, from unparalleled comfort to peerless suavity. As such, we at the Relish are making it our mission to put the jacket where it belongs: at the forefront of everyday clothing. And if you needed any more more persuasion, take a glance at the fellow on the left and ponder upon the potential rewards that the jacket can bring.

Our third and final offering deals with the trouser department. Now we struggled for a long time to think of some suitable pantalons d'excellence which would be able to complete our Spring look, but in the end, we're fairly sure that we came up with a cracker. The answer came late one night, as I dozed upon the chaise longue and waited for the sweet tedium of the PGA tour to carry me off to the land of nod. All of a sudden, there they were in front of me. It was so obvious, how could I have been so stupid?!

Tartan trousers, of course! So much range, so many choices! Blue, green, red, the list is literally endless! Yes, tartan trousers are the perfect celtic twist to finish off our collection, with just a hint of a nod to sporting athleticism, too.

So that concludes our Spring Wardrobe. We hope that you have found it instructive, or at the very least entertaining. Until next time, chaps, keep your Fez's held high, and your smoking jackets delinted.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Monocles: The forgotten eyewear?


I'm going to give you a challenge. Think hard, and try and remember the last time you saw a fellow gentleman sport a monocle. Can't think? My point exactly. The monocle, in my book, is in its last death throes as a piece of eyewear. These days the trend is all for bionocles, or glasses if you will, and these dual lensed contraptions are quickly becoming dominant over British gentlefolk's faces. Take for instance, this gentleman. Not only does he have excellent taste in lapels but his monocle forms a useful piece of equipment. When handed with a breathtaking piece of news he can be easily supplied with a superb squint of disbelief, courtesy of his monocle. Say he is handed a diamond or some other precious stone, the monocle comes to the rescue! The monocle can serve some other lesser uses as well. Take for instance, a gentleman who is short sighted in just one eye. Under the modern trend of spectacle wearing he would have his face and nose overburdened by cumbersome frame work, the monocle solves all this and more. For those looking to cultivate strong eyebrows, the exertion required to hold said eyepiece in position can be of great use.

Of course, the image of the monocle is one that has come under recent scrutiny. For too long the monocle has been associated with evil wartime Jerrys, such as this cretinous example. For a start, the wrinkle marks that adorn his face indicate bad monocle wearing practice, as it is a well known fact that the wearing of a monocle strengthens one's jaw and gives one a handsome, dashing look. Indeed poor monocle wearing is a practice that is sadly too great in the current monocle wearing classes and is one that we must address at a later date. So the solution that I give, gentlemen of Britain, head to your nearest optician, scorn the spectacle and seize yourself a monocle and once again we will prepared to address any situation that urgently requires the use of one eye, and one eye only. If it was good enough for Tennyson it's good enough for us!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

David Cameron: time to grow some facial hair?

A leading expert's prediction of how the RH David Cameron MP would appear with whiskers

It's a sad day for Parliament. In days gone by connoisseurs of fine facial hair were treated to some excellent examples of how to groom one's face. The great William Gladstone for example was in possession of a proud pair of mutton chops that gave him an powerful and authoritative look. Or General George Colley, whose mighty jowl adornments would have been sure to strike fear into the hearts of his foes. At this point the British Empire was at its largest extent and had reached what many believe to be its cultural peak. We hazard to ask a question; was this more than a coincidence?

Today we are surrounded with hordes of clean shaven politicians. The three major party leaders can barely muster a mug full of stubble between them and a moustache is a rare sight in the House of Commons (although Anne Widdecome does assist in keeping the quota up). At the time of writing Britain is being economically pummelled, we face huge levels of national debt and our armed forces are a mess, all of which have been increasingly growing problems which without a doubt correlate with a drop in male facial hair. Moustache strainer sales are at an all time low and so is Great Britain's credit rating. What we here at Gentlemen's Relish suggest is this; David Cameron, grow some mutton chops, George Osborne, grow a Van Dyke and Nick Clegg, for God's sake, grow some balls!