September 08 2011
My style icon is the Artful Dodger. I have a long, frock-ish coat from Vivienne Westwood, which has a very Dickensian feel to it, and boots from Jeffrey-West that look like a Victorian working man’s boots: wear them with some skinny jeans, and you start to look like the Artful Dodger. www.jeffery-west.co.uk. www.viviennewestwood.co.uk.
An unforgettable place I’ve travelled to in the past year is the south of Peru. My brother David and I went there in January to visit small-scale, artisanal gold mines with Fairtrade. It was an emotional, unforgettable experience. www.fairtrade.org.uk.
And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a wolf-skin rug that I bought at a market in Almaty, Kazakhstan. I was with Bryan Ferry after he played a private gig for one of our outlets there.
An indulgence I would never forego is my annual road trip in the US, now in its fifth year. I pick a destination between seven and 10 days’ driving from New York, and I only ever go with my friend Jeff. It is pointless, but some of the best things are.
My favourite website is Amazon. I buy books from there because I know what I’m buying, but otherwise I don’t browse the internet; it doesn’t really interest me. However, the last time I looked at the Hermès website I found it very interesting, as it really focused on the craftsmanship behind the brand. www.amazon.co.uk. www.hermes.com.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could? Hard to say. I have pieces by many contemporary artists, such as Tracey Emin and Polly Morgan. We recently held an exhibition in Beverly Hills by Jonathan Yeo, and when we saw each other after the Serpentine Party a few weeks back he said he would paint my portrait. He was drunk, it was at the Groucho Club; but I’m going to try to hold him to it. www.emininternational.com. www.jonathanyeo.com. www.pollymorgan.co.uk.
My favourite room is my front room, which has a 9m-high ceiling with a gallery. The room is a perfect example of Arts and Crafts architecture, and it also houses my record player, television and my favourite couch.
The best gift I’ve received recently was a 1957 Ural motorcycle and sidecar from my wife. She had it shipped over from Siberia – it was made in a factory where the Russians used to make their tanks – and I had it restored by a couple of Hell’s Angels, who would occasionally call me in a state of excitement because they’d found some handlebar grips in Ukraine, or something. I had the inside of the sidecar redone in red leather.
And the best one I’ve given was to my wife for her birthday: a black diamond and sapphire locket with an intaglio print of our daughter inside. I was judging a stone-cutting competition in Germany and one of the entrants was a woman called Andrea Sohne, who had carved these amazingly lifelike magazine portraits into agate. I asked if she could do a picture of our daughter rather than Madonna or Lady Gaga; and the result still brings people to tears when they see it. www.andrea-sohne.de.
The last meal that truly impressed me was Webster’s Fish Fingers with chips and mushy peas at Hix restaurant – it’s the dish that never changes. I am not really a foodie; in fact, I have no interest in food, it’s more of a necessity. But Mark Hix is one of my closest friends and his food has an unfussy style that I find delicious and unique. 66-70 Brewer Street, London W1 (020-7292 3518; www.hixsoho.co.uk).
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city, I’d choose the area around Mount Street in London. In this one street I bought my gun, and my luggage; I get my hair cut and buy most of my wife’s presents. As well as this, I can always get good fish at Scott’s. We count ourselves lucky to be among the sensational line-up that comprises Mayfair’s most fashionable street. Scott’s, 20 Mount Street, London W1 (020-7495 7309; www.scotts-restaurant.com).
The grooming staples I’m never without are a Kenneth Cole leather-bound men’s vanity set that looks like an old cigarette box, and Boots’ No7 Protect & Perfect [Intense Beauty Serum]. I went and bought loads of it when it came out, then my wife said that you’re supposed to use it in moderation. Does it work? God knows what I’d look like if I didn’t use it. www.boots.com. www.kennethcole.com.
If I didn’t live in London, the place I would live in is St Margaret’s Bay, Kent, where I have a second home with wonderful sea views and a big back garden. Even though it’s only an hour and six minutes away from London, the pace changes so drastically once you’re there that every day feels like you are on holiday.