December 2020 is the month of the substantial meal. And not simply because the government mandates it — but equally because you deserve it. Cauliflower cheese and creamed spinach and an extra Yorkshire pudding on the side of your 28-day-aged beef rump roast. A cheese course and a sticky toffee pudding and some extra brandy cream, thanks very much. It’s not gluttony — it’s charity. Both to the restaurant and to yourself. What a year. Nigella Lawson butters her toast twice. We recommend a third layer.
In that very spirit, the Gentleman’s Journal Winter Issue is a feast. A banquet. A smorgasbord. Heston Blumenthal might have guest edited it. Multiple courses and hearty indulgences and tantalising side dishes and pleasing palette cleansers, tumbling one after another.
We begin with our stalwart Portfolio section. There are some delectable Alpine spirits to ensure you’re suitably ‘piste’ this winter, whether you’re on the slopes or otherwise; some highly palatable leather gloves (sometimes, if you’re lucky, with cashmere linings); sturdy yet elegant winter boots to stomp around in; sparkling wines to celebrate simply getting through the day; and, of course, some of the loveliest watches that have come across our transom this year.
In our House Notes section, things get a bit spicier. Four of the world’s finest caricaturists dissect their depictions of Donald Trump. Sam Leith wonders how gossip became the true force for change amongst the chattering classes. Josh Glancy recalls life on a particularly bizarre election campaign trail. And photographer Isaac Marley Morgan selects some images in homage to his spiritual home, New York City.
Then the meat. Our Features section overflows with delicious, juicy stories and toothsome tales — like the decline and fall of WeWork and its bizarre leader, Adam Neumann; or David Bailey’s reminiscences of some of his most colourful collaborators; or strange encounters down at Bohemian Grove, the summer camp for the 1%; or tales of secrecy and celebrity at Chateau Marmont; or Matthew McConaughey’s many, many, many lives.
For our annual black tie shoot, meanwhile, we headed to Kent — the home county of photographer James Harvey-Kelly — for something of a grand tour. Here, in a driving-home-for-Christmas extravaganza, eveningwear hit the road — specifically in a charming red MG Roadster.
To wash it all down: our Society section, the literary equivalent to a good digestif. Dafydd Jones, the party photographer extraordinaire, remembers the dying institution of the country house party; Manoli Olympitis — arch gambler, friend to all and utter gentleman — recalls a life with marked cards; and we delve into the incomplete history of posh-bashing — the nation’s favourite sport (and quite right too.) Bon appetit.
Gentleman's Journal Winter Issue
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