After a whirlwind 12 months, a new year upon us. But while there’s no guarantee that 2017 won’t bring more of the same, we can reassure ourselves by looking closer to home for comfort. The Resident predicts that 2017 will be about life’s little pleasures…
Words: Nick Hammond
No-one could have foreseen what came to pass this last year. Turbulent world events, a US election result that saw us splutter over our morning tea, the passing of much-loved musicians… all have served to unsettle.
But while there’s no guarantee that 2017 won’t bring more of the same, we can reassure ourselves by looking closer to home for comfort. Our families, friends, traditions and beliefs are never more important than in troubled times – and that’s why 2017 will be about life’s little everyday pleasures.
It’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference
Luxury comes in many forms. A personal treat in a busy day; a snippet of indulgence to ease a worried mind. In the end, it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference. These little escapes from the humdrum of everyday life can be achieved in many ways, without resorting to burying your head in the sand – or without spending a fortune.
And that’s why we predict that 2017 will be the year of the book. Nothing provides a dose of low-value, high-quality escapism than a good old-fashioned read. And Heywood Hill – Mayfair’s emporium of wonderful, mind-changing, world-travelling, adventure-seeking tomes – is worth a visit any time of the year.
Tucked away on Curzon Street, this beautiful shop reminds us of one of the stores in Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley. Not because it’s stocked floor to ceiling with wands, but because magic happens when you cross the threshold.
A day on the riverbank is nothing less than zen – have you ever thought of taking up fishing? It’s a hot tip for 2017
New books, old books, rare and hard to find; birthday presents, wedding lists, private libraries and personal selections; Heywood Hill can take care of them all. If the winter months get you down and you need something to see you through, treat yourself to their inspired Year In Books.
Your own personal bookseller will be in touch to discover what you like best – and then every month, a beautifully wrapped new read will slip through your letterbox in Heywood Hill’s instantly-recognisable livery. The very thought lowers the heartbeat.
And it’s a truism that city life can be stressful, which is why a foray into the countryside is recommended to soothe. A day on the riverbank is nothing less than zen – have you ever thought of taking up fishing? It’s another hot tip for 2017.
The trance induced by repeated castings of a dry fly to a somnolent brown trout on a secluded stretch of river is one of God’s greatest gifts. And help is at hand to get you to the stage where you can land spot a fish, cast to it and land it all by yourself.
Orvis of Regent Street is a store to capture fishermen as much as fish. Box after box of intricately tied and maddeningly named flies; whippy rods of cork and carbon; gleaming, silver-spun reels with spools of intriguing, colourful fly line.
These – and racks and racks of some of the most exquisite outdoor wear you could hope to pull upon you – adorn the walls of this lovely, peace-inducing store.
Keep your eyes peeled on social media for Orvis’ regular Casting in the Park sessions, where, under the expert tutelage of Orvis’ own experts, you can try your hand at casting a line, quite safely – and for free. And you’ll have just taken your first step to that riverbank…
Nothing ticks the box of snatched moments of relaxation quite like a good cigar, which is why we believe 2017 will go up in a puff of smoke. Davidoff – purveyor of high-class cigars and exquisite accouterments – even has the perfect motto: Time Beautifully Filled. And time spent in the glorious Davidoff of London store on the corner of Jermyn Street and St James’s Street is certainly that.
Nothing ticks the box of snatched moments of relaxation quite like a good cigar
One of our favourite stores, this is an emporium of delight for those of a certain disposition. You’ll find fine lighters here, pipes, humidors and world-class, handmade Fox brollies. But King is the Havana cigar, aged and stored to perfection and served with knowledge and deference by Edward and Eddie Sahakian.
Edward came to these shores to escape the Iranian revolution. And since then, he’s revolutionised our view of cigars. Together with his son, Eddie, they form the UK’s answer to cigar royalty and an hour in their company is worth a week of worktime stress.
Don’t believe us? Drop by, get some advice, grab a cigar. Your troubles will disappear when you light your match.
Heywood Hill Ltd, 10 Curzon Street W1J 5HH; 020 7629 0647; heywoodhill.com
Orvis, 11B Regent Street SW1Y 4LR; 020 7930 8521; orvis.co.uk
Davidoff of London, 35 St James’s Street SW1A 1HD; 020 7930 3079; davidoff.com