My style icons are Yves Saint Laurent, a very well-groomed man who had that neat suit aesthetic and the frame to carry it, and Prince Michael of Kent, who looks wonderful and is totally uninfluenced by trends. Other than him, I struggle to think of a true icon alive today whose style isn’t fabricated.
An indulgence I would never forgo is riding. I grew up doing it and ride every week on the Berkshire-Hampshire border. It is so close to London, yet it’s total countryside.
The last items I added to my wardrobe were several pairs of shoes from Crockett & Jones – I bought a laceless pair and some monkstraps. I also love its brogues and the fact that it is family-owned. From £380; 69 Jermyn Street, London SW1 (020-7976 2684; www.crockettandjones.com).
If I didn’t live in London, the city I would live in is Tokyo. I find the mix of tradition – its respect for heritage – and modern life appealing, with its oscillation between ancient tea ceremonies and high technology. I always return to the same places when I’m in town: I’ll go to Toriyoshi in Ginza for yakitori, and to Peter, Tokyo’s coolest bar on top of the Peninsula Hotel. I also like to go out to Tenzan, a wonderful hot-springs place in Hakone. Peter, The Peninsula Hotel, 1-8-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo (+813-6270 2763; tokyo.peninsula.com). Tenzan Tohji-kyo, 208 Yumotochaya, Hakone, Ashigarashimo, Kanagawa (+813-4608 64126; tenzan.jp). Toriyoshi Ginza, 8-9-4 Ginza Corido, Chuo, Tokyo (+813-3574 7066).
The books on my bedside table include Past Imperfect by Julian Fellowes, who I have known for some time. I found his book Snobs hilarious; I could see so many people I knew in it. I’m also reading Thoroughbred Racing Stockand itsAncestors: the Authentic Origin of Pure Blood, an antiquarian equestrian book by Lady Wentworth. I buy at least one vintage equestrian book each month. I like them because while some are over 200 years old, people used to ride in exactly the same way that we do now.
In my fridge you’ll always find fruit and vegetables for juicing – celery, limes, cucumber, ginger, blueberries and raspberries – and Hildon Mineral Water, both still and sparkling. I only buy it in glass bottles and don’t have much else in the fridge, because I don’t want to binge on anything. £12 for a case of 12 x 750ml bottles; www.hildon.com.
The two artists whose work I would collect if I could are Lucian Freud and David Hockney. Freud is like a contemporary Michelangelo – he painted the same subject matter over and over, as if he were trying to perfect it. His depiction of skin, for example, became more and more lifelike. And I like Hockney’s early paintings – Mr and Mrs Clarkand Percy from the early 1970s, featuring Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell, and his 1960s images of Californian swimming pools.
My favourite room in my house is the study. I work in there a lot – sitting on the sofa with a low table in front of me piled high with reference books and surrounded by artists’ work hanging on the walls.
If I had to limit my shopping to one neighbourhood in one city I’d choose Mayfair and St James’s, for Bond Street, Jermyn Street and the Burlington Arcade. This pocket of London represents a commitment to quality and is buzzing with real commerce. If you walk along Sloane Street people are just looking, but here they are shopping. In particular, I love Hermès, Gucci and Prada, while on Jermyn Street I like John Lobb for shoes and Emmett, run by my friend Robert Emmett, for shirts. I have been buying his playfully colourful and patterned designs since I was at university. Emmett London, 112 Jermyn Street, SW1 (020-7925 1299; www.emmettlondon.com). Gucci, 34 Old Bond Street, W1 (020-7629 2716; www.gucci.com). Hermès, 155 New Bond Street, W1 (020-7499 8856; www.hermes.com). John Lobb, 88 Jermyn Street, SW1 (020-7930 8089; www.johnlobb.com). Prada, 16-18 Old Bond Street, W1 (020-7647 5000; www.prada.com).
The grooming staple I’m never without is Tom Ford Noir de Noir. I have a selection of his eaux de parfum, but this is my favourite. There aren’t many of this type of fragrance for men and I like how heady it is. I also use a variety of REN products, which I think are brilliant; they don’t dry out your skin. www.renskincare.com. Tom Ford Noir de Noir,£142 for 50ml EDP; www.tomford.com.
If I weren’t doing what I do I would be an artist. I trained in ceramics in Japan and I still paint – huge abstract pieces on 3m sq canvases. If I want to test a colour for a Huntsman collection, I’ll do a painting.