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Friday Cool - Dimplex Flames

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on December 7, 2012 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

We have spent the last hour tucked away in our den, blogging some thoughts on our new JCW Coupe and we realised that  it was Friday Cool Day and we needed to do our feature. After an hour up here on this chilly night we knew what was Friday Cool. And boy is this week's friday Cool hot! We realised what was really, really Friday Cool...

"The Dimplex MCF15R is the word’s bestselling flame effect, but in miniature! It’s Optiflame® coal effect is bound to have you feeling all snug, and there’s even a flame effect only setting, perfect for those evenings when you want to create a warm atmosphere - without the warmth. 1.5kW output Miniature compact design Choice of 2 heat settings On/off switch High gloss black, or red finish."

Friday Cool - The Pocket Watch

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on November 30, 2012 at 1:15 AM Comments comments (0)

This Winter it's the heritage look, patched elbows, tweeds, the English country gentleman with a modern twist. The look has been kicking around in the watch world for some time and Bell and Ross for good measure can have a watch that is part of their vintage range but with the heritage look! Go figure but whatever, you know you love it as much as I do! Burberry and Barbour have never had it so good!  For a more modest pocket though Marks and Spencer has worked hard on this heritage look, typified by their promo photo above.

Success with this look will pivot on the attention to detail. If you want to add a splash of sartorial to the heritage look then make sure your top pocket handkerchief is classy and go the extra mile when it comes to the watch. The Pocket Watch.

For me the Bell & Ross shown above is just about perfect for this. It is appropriately expensive, and perfectly mixes the traditional with the new. If you have just walked out of Moss or Marks and Spencer having given Barbour abd Burberry a miss, no problem Nixon is your friend. They too have a few modern/ traditional offerings or if you really want to give a modern take to the pocket watch idea, then check out the second one shown. This is already retro - a 2010 model that frankly now will be a mission to track down. Get one though and you are the last word in cool.

Finally, you need analogue  time in your car, Mondaine are just so cool since Apple stole their watch face for the iPhone 5, stick this on your dash and those who know will just know - know what I mean?

Friday Cool - Black Friday with Bell and Ross

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on November 23, 2012 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Today Friday Cool is also Black Friday, the first Friday after Thanksgiving in America and the opening of the Christmas buying season. Celebrate it  with black. Wear a black watch, shoot a black and white photograph, dress black, don't just be Friday Cool be Black Friday Cool.

Two of my favourite watches are the Bell & Ross 123 and 126 from their Vintage range. Particularly I like the Heritage range but for today drool over these watches given the Phantom treatment by B & R! We love them!

Here is my watch and photo for the day, My Timex in black - you gotta love it.

Friday Cool - A Red Wine Aerator

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on November 16, 2012 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Everyone knows that red wine is better for being allowed to breathe before drinking. Wine experts will tell you that allowing air to pass through the wine softens the tannins and allows the full flavours to come through.

Most people will decant the wine a few hours before they intend to drink it. But, what do you do if you only want to drink one glass or if you don’t have the time to allow the wine to breathe before drinking? This is where a red wine aerator is useful.

There are a variety of little gadgets, not too expensive, simple to use, that make a huge difference to the flavour of a red wine. They can be used instead of decanting, or alongside decanting to enhance the effect. Once you have got in the habit of using an aerator it becomes an addiction – you will never pour red wine straight into a glass again.

But is allowing a red wine to breathe just a myth?

Uncorking a bottle of wine does not allow the wine to breathe as air needs to get to the surface of the wine. If the wine remains in the bottle only a very small surface area is exposed to the air, so that is the reason for wines being decanted. It allows them to breathe and gives exposure of a much greater surface area during the process of pouring.

Also there is some difference of opinion on how long wine should breathe before drinking. Some say very old wines need a lot longer, whereas others say this could spoil an old wine, but all wines will benefit  from being allowed to breathe as the process results in a smoother wine, regardless of age or cost.

Red wine aerators expose as much of the wine as possible to the air. Most designs involve the aerator being held over the wine glass or decanter and as the wine is poured through it, a vacuum is created which sucks air through the aerator at the same time. They can also be attached directly to the bottle or decanter.

As wine aerators can be used again and again and can make your £10 bottle of red wine taste like a £15 or £20 bottle, they make good sense and look stylish on your table. There are a variety of red wine aerators on the market at a variety of prices.

Probably the best-known red wine aerator is the Vinturi, which sells for around £40. This is made of glass, is similar to a funnel and as it is held over the glass and the wine is poured through, the air is sucked through. The glorious results will be waiting in your glass. The aerator comes with a drip stand handy for its next use without making a mess.

Cool for any Friday.

Friday Cool - The Knitted Silk Tie

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on November 9, 2012 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)

The Knitted Silk Tie - a tie often associated with a more dressy look that manages to double up its options by also achieving a casual look when required. For the perfect look it should be tied using the Four in Hand Knot.

How to Tie a Four in Hand Knot

The Four-in-Hand is the only tie knot for the knitted silk tie. The knot is simple to tie, keeps a good shape and will go well with most shirt collars and necktie styles. The Four in Hand, is in fact the oldest of all the popular tie knots that are still in common use today.

The Four in Hand is slightly smaller in size, is somewhat asymmetrical and has a longish shape. It is best suited for traditional striped ties, such as British regimental ties, and formal solid colour ties. The Four in Hand looks best when combined with dress shirts that have a narrow to medium collar spread or have button down collars.

Four in Hand Instructions:

1. Turn up your collar, unfasten the top button, and lay the necktie around your neck so that the wide end of the tie hangs approximately 5-6 inches lower than the narrow end. Make sure that the inseam of the tie faces your body.

2. Place the wide end of the necktie over the narrow end, and wrap it around. Hold the narrow end down with your other hand.

3. Then, wrap the wide end over the narrow end. Don’t pull it tight, but create a loop at the front of the unfinished tie knot.

4. Then, loop the wide end of the tie through the gap between the unfinished tie knot and your collar. Then take the wide end of the tie and pull it through the loop you created on step 3.

5. Give the Four-in-Hand knot some final adjustment, pull it tight, centre it between the collar, and turn the collar back down.

Friday Cool - Just Gloves

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on November 2, 2012 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

It's Winter - you need gloves!