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You may need to go to Raffles for an original Singapore Sling but there are other famous confections to be enjoyed at the hotels and bars that lay claim to their inventions – with some disputations here and there.

Take, for example, the Mimosa, a respectable mix of champagne and orange juice. This is credited to the Ritz Hotel in Paris, created in 1925. However, it bears a strong resemblance to Buck’s Fizz, drunk at the old London gentlemen’s club, Buck’s, and served there from 1921.

The plot or the cocktail thickens with the details that Buck’s founder, Captain Buckmaster, was inspired to create the drink by a mixture he enjoyed in France, made from champagne, peach juice and another ingredient. Buck’s barman at the time couldn’t find any peach juice, and so used orange juice instead. The third ingredient is a Buck’s secret, but for general consumption a mix of 2 parts freshly-squeezed orange juice to 1 part champagne is usually accepted as a Buck’s Fizz. Traditionally a fresh starter for the day, it has also become much favoured for wedding breakfasts, presumably in the hope of keeping guests reasonably sober. The mixture should be gently stirred, not shaken.


Bucks Club, home of Buck’s Fizz

A few years later, a French barman at the Paris Ritz came up with a similar champagne cocktail but reduced the amount of orange juice, upped the fizz a bit, and added grenadine or Grand Marnier, according to which report you choose. This not only gave it a bit more kick but transformed it from a day-starter to one that might be enjoyed at any old time. And so it is, all over the world.

A Bellini uses the Italian fizz Prosecco rather than Champagne, in a recipe that started in Harry’s Bar, Venice. Here, the likes of Ernest Hemingway (claimed as a regular by more bars around the world than could possibly have allowed him to write anything) and Noel Coward might have enjoyed this cocktail, invented in 1948. It uses one part peach puree to three parts Prosecco and a small amount of sugar to taste. Alas, the bar, declared a national landmark by the Italian government in 2001, went bust in 2012, but bounced back in true Italian fashion, and remains a Venice treasure, though no longer with the Cipriani family in charge.

America likes to claim invention of the cocktail, particularly in the form of a Martini. It has to be said that there were many versions of a gin and vermouth in London long before it became a sophisticated choice in the US but it has certainly become largely associated with city slickers across the pond, especially in the 1920s.

Ratios vary, according to taste, but while early mixes might combine 2 parts dry gin to 1 part dry vermouth, the vermouth gradually reduced until, as Noel Coward is quoted as saying “A perfect Martini should be made by filling a glass with gin, then waving it in the general direction of Italy.” Bemelmans Bar at the Carlyle Hotel in Manhattan is credited as being one of the best spots to enjoy one, while the Waldorf is no slouch. The latter is rather more famous for its Waldorf Salad, said to have been invented there in 1893.

London is now recognised as the world centre for cocktails, with bars and hotels claiming special varieties and accomplished mixologists – not barmen any more, please note. The American Bar at the Savoy Hotel has a particularly impressive history as the birthplace for many cocktails, served to an equally impressive clientele over the years. During WWII, the head barman created cocktails for each branch of the armed services, from Eight Bells for the Navy to Wings for the RAF. An earlier barman, Harry Craddock, came up with the White Lady, a mixture of gin, Cointreau, lemon juice and a dash of egg white, still to be savoured in the revamped bar today.


The Savoy’s White Lady

After dinner, a stiff digestif mix rather than a sweet cocktail might be called for. Over at the Ritz in Mayfair, a combination of 15 year old Dalmore whisky, Carpano Antica Formula, Amer Picon, toasted barley syrup, vanilla bitters and absinthe comes under the name of London Mist – which may well envelope the unwary imbiber. Created here in the year that the hotel opened, 1906, it has, we found, ‘a unique taste’. Served in a glass with a lid, which the waiter removes on serving to reveal rising mist, it has not yet achieved world renown and is undoubtedly an acquired taste.

More of a favourite is the one concocted to celebrate the hotel’s centenary in 2006, the Ritz 100. This is a mix of gold-infused vodka, Grand Marnier, Champagne and a dash of peach, plus one brown sugar lump, which must be dropped into this heady mixture using silver tongs, says the Ritz. As with all cocktails, it is the detail that counts.


The Ritz’s Rivoli Bar

You may need to go to Raffles

Many a fine Savile Row suit has been ruined by the wrong choice of accessories and, it has to be admitted, many a bad suit transformed with the stylish application of a good supporting cast.

Scarves have been the primary fashion accessory for some time, and here we are not talking about something to keep the neck warm. Think TV historian, Michael Wood, noted for his stylishly, seemingly carelessly, draped scarves, or Johnny Depp, long scarf thrown over one shoulder, or David Beckham, who shows how to knot or not.

Styling requires length, so that the scarf may be wound round the neck, then knotted, or loosely wound and ends left dangling, or doubled up and wound, then one or both ends passed through the loop. It adds dash.



But the scarf is being upstaged in the style stakes by hats. Very much back, it is nice to see young be-suited men about town wearing fedoras with aplomb, and not simply as fun items. Wider brimmed models are more dramatic and worn by braver souls, but they will gain in favour as the hat wearing habit spreads.


Narrow ties are the choice of fashionistas amongst many brightly coloured plains, or patterned knits that make a statement worn with a classic suit – “I am not boring”. Another TV figure, Jon Snow, wears eye-catching versions that don’t really go with him or his clothes but he is trying. Bow ties are making a bit of a come back but need a certain je ne sais quoi to carry them off. Best with a Savile Row classic is a medium width silk tie which can be quite colourful and brightly patterned if it goes with the wearer.tandaman

Savile Row tailors still recommend that braces are the best support for trousers but belts are the preferred choice for many of their customers. Instead of the ubiquitous black, a leather of a different complexion can suggest a slightly more relaxed approach – but ornate buckles only with jeans or the more casual suit affairs.britlaundePlain gold oval or oblong cuff links have long been the traditional item of jewellery to just peak from beneath a coat cuff on a double cuffed shirt. Happily, men are now allowed far more excitement in ornamentation, even with classic suits, so cuff links have become much more innovative and a popular choice for presents. This means, alas, that some pretty dire examples are out there, leading to a resurgence of the classic.longmirelinkFinally, the foundation. It used to be said that one could tell a man by his shoes. A pair of well made, polished and cared-for shoes not only look good but will last, and, importantly, be comfortable.  A pair of too-tight trousers may be uncomfortable but a pair of too-tight shoes can be excruciating and do lasting damage to feet.


Many a fine Savile Row suit has

The French fiercely protect usage of the term Champagne, allowing its application only to those wines grown and produced within the Champagne region of France. Other protected produce under EU rules include such delights as Cornish pasties, Melton Mowbray pies and Somerset cider.

Now campaigning to have similar protection extended to items other than food and drink, in particular to Savile Row, is Angus Cundey, senior statesman of the Row and chairman of Henry Poole.

In a remarkable address to a 300-strong body in Brussels early this year, Mr Cundey made the case for Savile Row, citing the growing threat to its reputation from those who would impinge on its reputation without its quality. Ranging from Marks & Spencer registering ‘Savile Row Inspired’ for a men’s collection made in the Far East, through Taiwan, German, US and Chinese examples of the name Savile Row being misappropriated, he emphasised that such registrations would damage the Row’s reputation.

“Savile Row is a small exclusive location in London’s West End and our fear is that our product reputation will be downgraded and abused by world markets being flooded with inferior mass produced garments all labelled Savile Row,” Mr Cundey told the assembly.

“It is proving most costly and difficult to successfully oppose these unfair registrations due to Savile Row being a location and street name, not a trademark. We desperately require the same protection as GI (geographical indications) food and drink. Not only would Savile Row be saved, but similar protection could be given to Harris Tweed, Shetland Wool, Sheffield Steel and Cutlery, Solingen Knives, Jermyn Street Shirts, Avenue Montaigne Paris Couture and even Wall Street for bankers.”

His address was “very favourably received”, he told Savile Row Style, by an audience of EU officials and others with like-minded concerns. And it had the mighty weight of the GMB Union in support from its Brussels-based office. With the employment of over 400 skilled craftsmen and women in Savile Row workshops, the GMB union is strongly backing Mr Cundey’s action.

One of the following speakers at this gathering was a representative from the Harris Tweed organisation, also seeking protection for its industry.

The wheels of Brussels bureaucracy move notoriously slowly, yet Mr Cundey has already received a positive response via the GMB office, indicating that his address is being looked at very favourably. How long it will take for action to be taken is a moot point but it seems the tailoring practitioners in Savile Row may look forward to their own GI protection.

As Angus Cundey said, “Savile Row and Champagne would sit well together.”

The French fiercely protect usage of the

The modern bachelor may no longer benefit from a Jeeves but he hardly needs one. Blessed with sufficient bucks in the bank, the unattached man of 2015 has the world as his oyster. A modern pad will provide all the facilities a Jeeves might, and more; take-aways and delivery services take care of food and laundry; surfing the web covers most eventualities; and a host of agencies are all too eager to help him meet up with agreeable young ladies.

Just such a service is based hard by Savile Row, in Berkeley Square. This is Berkeley International, which claims to be ‘the world’s pre-eminent introduction agency’ and which has seen a 55 per cent increase in customers/clients eager to sign up in the past year.

The emphasis here is on what they call a personal and bespoke method rather than an online database, staff talking to every member to find ‘their perfect partner’. The agency says many high profile media figures, plus entrepenuers, financiers and lawyers are using their service – the sort of bachelors, presumably, who may be rich but are time poor.

So more and more chaps are making their way to pour out their desires to the understanding staff at Berkeley. Fees start at £10,000 up to £50,000.


For the bachelor who is pad-hunting, a surfeit of new-builds on the market means he has his pick of the latest hi-tech, streamlined properties. These are ideal for the man about town who wants everything on tap, in hi-rise buildings that have a swimming pool, sauna, restaurants, gym and sometimes parking on site.

But to be at the heart of the action, a lush penthouse has just come onto the market in Soho Square. Spread over two floors, it provides the ultimate bachelor pad, with a master bedroom suite that takes up the entire top floor. This includes a study area, dressing room and bathroom, and has its own private terrace. There are two further bedrooms below, plus a living/dining area that spans the length of the building and overlooks the Square.

It is, says David Humbles, managing director of developer Oakmayne Bespoke, “the perfect choice for those looking for a spacious pied-a terre”. Some pied-a-terre. Price £5,950,000, through Harrods Estates.

belstaffSome new apartments come fully furnished to buyer specifications, but any style-conscious bachelor will want to put his stamp on the territory. Esoteric ornaments, objet d’art and unusual equipment indicate the owner’s penchants. One noted bachelor with the ultimate bachelor love nest of a Thames houseboat had a well used vaulting horse in his bedroom, an item of some interest when the vessel was put up for sale. Number one installation for consideration must be the bed. The one pictured here comes from top bed name Savoir, who hand make designs to suit all tastes and sleeping requirements. Know that Marilyn Monroe slept on a Savoir bed, as did Winston Churchill, though not at the same time. Like a Savile Row suit, each is made by one craftsman, ‘fitted’ to the customer’s needs, and this one took over 80 hours to make. It is upholstered in a suitably masculine check, pure wool, brass studded, price £42,270

Art is the thing that transforms a place and there’s plenty of opportunity to browse wonderful events in London this Summer and maybe find that one exquisite piece. Not to be missed by the serious buyer is the Olympia International Art & Antiques Fair, June 18 to 28, and the Masterpiece show at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, June 25 to July 1. Fabulous treasures at both.

An artist with street cred as well as international acclaim is Adam Neate. He started as a London street artist and has gone on to produce multi-dimensional art works that sell for many thousands of pounds around the world, whilst still keeping in touch with his street public. He uses intricate layered and carved materials to create many works that have ‘movement’, changing his approach every few years. This one is The Brother, price £30,000, exclusively through Elms Lesters Painting Rooms

A parking facility is a must for the man who loves his car – unless of course he joins one of the top car clubs. This allows him to ring the changes of luxury marques to drive, from Aston Martin to Lamborghini, McLaren to Ferrari, without the worry of keeping or servicing.


These and other de luxe motors are available at Auto Vivendi, a rather special car club based in London that serves the world’s richest. Not only does it offer the latest models but its collection and pick-up services, club events and world tours mean it is rather more than just a rent-a-car operation. Membership comes at a range of prices, from £5,000 per year up to £30,000, giving points that can be traded for days with different car types, according to membership level. Membership may also be tailored to individual requirements.

“I’ve owned a lot of supercars in the past, and having lost so much money on them, the decision to join the Club was actually an easy one,” says one member. “ I can pay for two years membership with the money I would lose in a year on one of my own cars.”

Few may wish to be bothered with driving in the city, so wheels are more for jaunts out of town. At one time, the swish option was a weekend in Brighton but then more exotic ports of fun took over. Now, it’s smart once more to opt for a luxury break in the UK, at a country house hotel – though an invitation to a private country house weekend, on a grand scale, trumps other options

Situated in the lovely Vale of Aylesbury is Hartwell House, an 18th century pile that provides a home from home of Downton Abbey style. Not only is it furnished with beautiful antiques and fine art, but it has the sort of cellar that a discerning bachelor will appreciate. With a fine restaurant and indoor pool, it is distinctly more impressive than a seaside inn. There are many places of interest nearby, including the popular Bicester shopping mall,

The private jet still has power to impress. Inviting a young lady up, up and away in the luxury of a personal aircraft has definite appeal, though renting has largely replaced ownership nowadays. As with second homes, horses and gym membership, personal jets were largely jettisoned during the economic crisis. One can be ordered at pretty short notice from SHY, who claim a stable of over 12,000 jets and 6,000 helicopters across the globe. Or there is NetJets Europe offering ‘fractional’ ownership , and a fleet of 130 aircraft in Europe. With both, the world is the oyster for today’s bachelor.

But first and foremost for any bachelor must be personal appearance. The bespoke suit or jacket, accompanying style-right quality accessories, and the confidence such impart all contribute to that certain indefinable air of the irresistible gentleman. With that, all the rest must surely follow – particularly if, underneath, he is also a bit of a rascal.

The modern bachelor may no longer benefit

The Singapore Sling – a cocktail redolent of sultry bars in the East, where almond eyed ladies in slinky dresses give promise of Eastern delights – is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

And where better to celebrate than in Singapore, in the very bar where it was invented, at the Raffles hotel.

It was in the Long Bar here in 1915 that barman Ngiam Tong Boon created the cocktail, something of an answer to a maiden’s prayer. At that time, naice ladies in this British colonial outpost were not expected to drink alcohol in public, so while their menfolk got merry on the hard stuff, they were expected to sip fruit juice.

With an astute appreciation of demand and supply, Ngiam concocted a drink that looked like a fruity punch and which the ladies could sip demurely through a straw. But the list of ingredients that he chose gave the Singapore Sling one helluva punch, and undoubtedly brought more exciting times to the Long Bar.

It quickly became a favourite tipple, not just for the ladies but for male customers too, and where British colonial forces travelled, they took the recipe with them. Now a staple in bars around the world, it belies its age by continuing to capture fresh waves of young enthusiasts on the cocktail circuit.


Entering the graceful foyer of Raffles hotel and to be served a Singapore Sling must rank as one of life’s great pleasures. This lovely old hotel started life quite modestly as a 10-room bungalow back in 1887.   Since then it has grown into the extensive classical colonial-style building it is today and one that has hosted more famous names than you can shake a stick at.

From Rudyard Kipling to Hemingway, Ava Gardner, George Bush, Charlie Chaplin Noel Coward, and many later celebrities, and most recently the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, it continues to provide an oasis of old-world glamour in a decidedly new-world town. The service is immaculate, with personal butlers, and the variety of bars and dining options on site provides some exercise in locating them between Slings.

Alas, it used to be on the sea front, but determined land reclamation means it now has a forest of hi-rise buildings between it and the ocean. But this only seems to emphasise its tranquil elegance, an oasis amidst Singapore’s thrusting development.

And what development. The message now should surely be Go East, Young Man, not West, as this city, and others in that direction, provides the sort of opportunities, excitement and sheer chutzpah on which youthful adventurers may flourish.

Raffles apart, there are many great places to enjoy other cocktails, not least the stunning Sky Bar, from below looking like a sky train, with fantastic views over the harbour and the city. You don’t have to book for the bar/terrace, but you do the adjoining restaurant. Next to Raffles is 1-Altitude, another popular sky-high venue, and there are so many other splendid hi-rise bars atop Singapore’s grand modern buildings that it is difficult to single them out – but the Supertree, perched atop a manmade tree surrounded by other such giant trees in the Gardens by the Bay, is particularly novel.

Finally, maybe head back to Raffles for a nice relaxing digestif, perhaps in the jazz bar. Or perhaps the butler might bring a final Sling before breakfast.

The Singapore Sling – a cocktail redolent