Designer Patrick Grant on cycling in Yorkshire, eating in Edinburgh and the occasional facial
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My personal style signifier is one of two uniforms: either a simple Norton & Sons bespoke suit worn with a pale blue shirt, or E Tautz baggy field trousers and a navy crewneck jumper. In summer, I like navy crewneck T-shirts… just to keep things consistent. Field trousers, £230; etautz.com. Two-piece bespoke suit, from £4,400; made-to-measure shirt, from £245; nortonandsons.co.uk
The last item of clothing I bought and loved was a cream-coloured 1980s Gallini anorak. I bought it from a vintage dealer online as a reference for upcoming collections. And I recently purchased an Armani Collezioni overcoat, also from the 1980s. It’s olive drab with a check lining and has a very drapey silhouette.
And the item of clothing I’m eyeing next is a single-breasted tweed jacket – most likely by E Tautz or vintage – as this is one big gap in an otherwise very full wardrobe.
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is Ilha Grande National Park in Brazil. I stayed on Bonete Beach in a rustic cabin that is part of Pousada Canto Bravo. It was a magical place with only candlelight, no wifi and no road access. An idyllic escape. pousadacantobravo.com.br
And the best souvenirs I’ve brought home are two absolutely lovely little carved wooden figurines from Tanzania. They look like Giacometti sculptures, but better. They’re on a bookcase in my sitting room.
An accessory I would never part with is a wardrobe trunk handed down from my great-grandfather and grandfather. It’s inscribed with my great-grandfather’s address in India from his time in the army and bears a label from my grandfather’s time in the RAF. I took it to school with me and have always felt like they have travelled with me.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is Richard Serra. His monumental pieces feel hewn from the natural world, and there is a material richness to his paintings and sculptures. I also like the pervading sense of calm.
A recent “find” is interior-design boutique Pentreath & Hall in Bloomsbury. With its unique mix of handcrafted things, it is charming and full of surprises, and Bridie Hall, one of the owners, paints linen lampshades upstairs. 17 Rugby Street, London W1 (pentreath-hall.com)
The last meal that truly impressed me was at Okan Okonomiyaki in Brixton Village. It isn’t fancy but the food is phenomenal. I had pancake stuffed with prawn, squid and noodles, and tofu gyoza dumplings. The chef cooks in front of you and it feels very authentic. Unit 39, Brixton Village, London SW9 (okanbrixtonvillage.com)
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose Mayfair. It retains an intimate feel with its small boutiques and cafés. Shepherd’s Market is a step back in time, and I love HR Higgins for coffee and local colour. Susannah Lovis sells beautiful antique cufflinks in Burlington Arcade, while Berry Bros & Rudd has amazing wine selections. Brasserie Zédel does a great post-shopping lunch. Berry Bros & Rudd, 63 Pall Mall, SW1 (bbr.com). Brasserie Zédel, 20 Sherwood Street, W1 (brasseriezedel.com). HR Higgins (Coffee-Man), 79 Duke Street, W1 (hrhiggins.co.uk). Susannah Lovis, 50 Burlington Arcade, W1 (susannahlovis.com)
If I weren’t doing what I do, I’d be an architect or a landscape designer. I studied engineering as an undergraduate and later volunteered with the National Trust, where I learnt about gardening. It was an MBA at Oxford that led me to fashion and a bankrupt tailor on Savile Row, and, well, here I am.
My style icon is Jarvis Cocker. So many male celebrities today don’t have an individual style, but his look is hip and charming and idiosyncratic, which makes him a standout. His sense of colour, proportion, shape and pattern all feel unforced, and the way he mixes old and new clothing feels just right for his projects.
The best gift I’ve given recently was a watercolour I painted for my mum – it hangs in her sitting room – of some trees in the mist in the Cotswolds. I painted it using a photograph taken by a friend who knows how much I love that particular row of Scots pines.
And the best gift I’ve received recently is a day at Parade Mews pottery studio in London, given to me by my sister, where we had the opportunity to hand-build and wheel-throw pots. It’s something I used to love to do; I taught pottery and craft at Kennolyn Camp in Santa Cruz, California, for a few summers and I had forgotten how joyous and meditative it is to work with clay. Pottery day, £76; 7 Parade Mews, Norwood Road, London SE27 (parademewspottery.co.uk)
The best book I’ve read in the past year is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. The dialogue is funny and pithy and Thomas Cromwell’s work ethic really resonates with me. I spend 18-hour days managing five different businesses, so I find his juggling act very familiar.
The people I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing are the aestheticians at Claridge’s, where I get the occasional Sisley facial, and the spin and yoga instructors at Cadence Performance, my gym in Crystal Palace. Classes, from £12; Cadence Performance Limited, 2A Anerley Hill, London SE19 (020-8676 8825; cadenceperformance.com). Sisley facial, £120 for 60 minutes; Claridge’s Health Club & Spa, Brook Street, London W1 (020-7409 6565; claridges.co.uk)
In my fridge you’ll always find free-range eggs. For somebody who is incredibly busy, eggs are a staple. I can always rustle up an omelette, though I like them poached and hard-boiled for sandwiches as well. I always have Cholula extra-hot pepper sauce on hand to go with my eggs, and a good selection of non-alcoholic beer. Cholula pepper sauce, $6.49; cholula.com
If I didn’t live in London the city I would live in is Edinburgh. It’s very beautiful geographically with all of the surrounding hills, and the pace of life is relaxed. I love that there is world-class cuisine – Number One at The Balmoral, The Kitchin by Tom Kitchin and Martin Wishart are among my favourite restaurants – but that you can also be in the Highlands within an hour. The Scottish National Gallery on The Mound is wonderful, as are Edinburgh Castle and the Royal Botanic Garden, considered among the world’s best. The Kitchin, 78 Commercial Quay, EH6 (0131-555 1755; thekitchin.com). Number One, The Balmoral, 1 Princes Street, EH2 (0131-557 6727; roccofortehotels.com). Restaurant Martin Wishart, 54 The Shore, EH6 (0131-553 3557; restaurantmartinwishart.co.uk). Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Arboretum Place, EH3 (0131-248 2909; rbge.org.uk). Scottish National Gallery, The Mound, EH2 (nationalgalleries.org)
My favourite room in my house is actually a 185sq m milking shed at my home in Yorkshire. It’s a 1950s structure made of brick and steel and is actually one huge space, full of natural light. It has sweeping views of the Bowland Fells, and it’s just really, really cool.
The grooming staple I’m never without is Sisley’s Sisleÿum Anti-Age Global Revitalizer, which is basically a very lightweight moisturiser. I’m quite low-maintenance in the grooming department. £179 for 50ml; sisley-paris.com
An indulgence I would never forgo is going for long bike rides in the Yorkshire Dales. I love the peace and quiet and just taking myself off for eight hours at a time.
The last music I downloaded was Harry Patch (In Memory Of) by Radiohead – a tribute to the last surviving British soldier to have served in the trenches in the first world war. The lyrics are from Patch’s perspective and even incorporate his own words. I’m a fan of Radiohead’s work generally, and although this song isn’t typical of their music, I love its message.
My favourite apps include Spotify for the latest music, and I use Twitter and Instagram lightly – I like them, but I’m not a prolific poster.
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