The Aesthete: Philip Hewat-Jaboor talks more personal taste

The art adviser and collector concludes his list of likes with shopping in St James’s, life in Rome and the Alexander technique

Philip Hewat-Jaboor in the garden of his Jersey home
Philip Hewat-Jaboor in the garden of his Jersey home | Image: Kensington Leverne

My style icon is my late uncle, Sir William Aykroyd, who ran Hardy Amies for a time and had an immaculate dress sense. He wore impeccably tailored, slightly edgy suits and smoked John Player cigarettes in a long black Cartier cigarette holder. 

An unforgettable place I have travelled to in the past year is Mons Porphyrites in Gebel Abu Dukhan. It was the 2,000th anniversary of the Roman discovery of these quarries in the Egyptian desert, and I slept under the stars in a remote camp outside the Temple of Serapis. It was an incredibly special experience.  

Mons Porphyrites in Gebel Abu Dukhan, Egypt
Mons Porphyrites in Gebel Abu Dukhan, Egypt | Image: Alamy

And the best souvenir I’ve brought home is a beautiful 19th-century Japanese lacquer box. It was a lovely, fortuitous discovery in a small antique shop in Nara – sadly I don’t remember its name – and it now has pride of place in my drawing room. 

The last meal that truly impressed me was at Clay, a very small and beautiful farm-to-table restaurant in the middle of Harlem. I ate combinations I wouldn’t have expected, such as pork belly with fermented cabbage followed by gnocchi with heirloom tomatoes, corn and maitake mushrooms. claynyc.com.

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In my fridge, you will always find Ruinart Blanc de Blancs champagne, which is rich but light and made entirely from Chardonnay grapes; potted shrimps from Baxter’s in Morecambe; and Edouard Artzner’s foie gras d’oie from the wonderful Relish deli in St Helier. Baxter’s potted shrimp, £25 for 6 x 50g cartons; baxterspottedshrimps.co.uk. Foie gras d’oie, €25.75 for 145g; edouard-artzner.com. Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, from £60; champagnedirect.co.uk

The person I rely on for personal grooming and wellbeing is my Alexander technique practitioner, Helen Cartier-Knox. I see her once a month to ensure I grow old gracefully. £48 per session; alexandertechnique.co.uk.

Dr Schrammek Skin Elixier, £48 for 30ml
Dr Schrammek Skin Elixier, £48 for 30ml

The grooming staples I am never without are my Guerlain Vétiver eau de toilette, which is distinctive without being overpowering; Santa Maria Novella shaving foam because it’s the most luxurious, foamy foam that allows for a terrific shave; and Dr Schrammek’s Skin Elixier, with extract of stinging nettles, as it makes my skin look fresh and perky. Dr Schrammek Skin Elixier, £48 for 30ml; drschrammek.co.uk. Guerlain Vétiver, from £55; guerlain.com. Santa Maria Novella shaving foam, €20; smnovella.com

The best gift I’ve given recently was a colour photograph of the Room of the Greek Cross at the Vatican, to my partner [the milliner] Rod Keenan, for his study. It’s by Massimo Listri, who takes these precise, unbelievably clear photographs and, rather selfishly, I chose it because two of the main antiquities in the room are ancient Egyptian porphyry sarcophagi. massimolistri.com.

Hewat-Jaboor’s library in his Jersey home
Hewat-Jaboor’s library in his Jersey home | Image: Kensington Leverne

The last music I bought was Philippe Jaroussky’s spectrally beautiful recording of Vivaldi’s Nisi Dominus

If I didn’t live in Jersey, the city I would live in is Rome, because it is so vibrant; the food is marvellous – Ristorante Piperno serves the best stuffed artichokes in the city – and every church is filled with fascinating materials. The Lateran Baptistry, the oldest in the world, and the Baroque Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi are favourites, and I’ve recently discovered the Mirabilia Art Gallery, which is full of unexpected stuffed objects and stones – it’s like a medieval kunstkammer [cabinet of curiosities]. Battistero Lateranense, battisterolateranense.it. Mirabilia, +3933-8247 8570. Ristorante Piperno, ristorantepiperno.it. Sant’Antonio dei Portoghesi, Via dei Portoghesi 2, 00186 Rome. 

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My favourite room in my house is my library-cum-gallery. Almost fully buried in the hillside adjacent to the house, it has a sloping copper roof and an amazing floor inlaid with coloured stones and contains my collections of reference books and coloured-stone objects. 

If I weren’t doing what I do now, I would be a hotelier because, like the art world, it’s all about delighting the senses with enticing, exciting environments.

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