Saturday, 30 July 2011

Never ruin an apology with an excuse


Newspapers, especially the Sun and the Daily Mirror, were quick to launch a character assassination on the former schoolmaster Chris Jefferies when he was briefly accused of the murder of Joanna Yeates last year. Yesterday many of them were punished for their actions when they were forced to settle actions brought against them in relation to their prejudicial coverage.

This mammoth victory for a “little man” didn’t attract a great deal of coverage in today's Daily Mail. In their brief 105-word attempt at an apology, the paper admitted that the press had been wrong to accuse Jefferies of having “acted inappropriately to pupils” and having had “links to a convicted paedophile and an unresolved murder.” They didn’t say much else.

Chris Jefferies

Though the Daily Mail and eight other newspapers paid substantial damages to the entirely innocent Jefferies, these papers should have been forced to go much further. They got it wrong when they ran headlines like “The strange Mr Jefferies.” They got it wrong when they suggested Jefferies “might be a homosexual… peeping Tom.” Their painting of a man “you didn’t want to come near you” was, in fact, frankly disgraceful.

Whilst phone hacked celebrities may bleat about their treatment, the likes of ordinary people like Mr Jefferies are the true victims of the press because they lack the resources, in general, to fight back. Thankfully because of the likes of the Attorney General personally intervening in this case, justice has thankfully been served.

Even though the man they called an “odd-bod” has been paid damages, he’ll sadly, however, forever be best remembered for his links to this case. Whatever sum has been paid, I’m sure Jefferies would rather have not been described in the manner chosen by the Sun, the Daily Mirror, the Sunday Mirror, the Daily Star, the Daily Mail, the Scotsman, the Daily Record and the Daily Express. His lawyers should have also demanded at least one of these papers gave him a decent space where he could give his right to reply.

Brief mentions aside the apologies here have just been the best way for the newspapers to have the last word. Sorry, for them, is indeed the hardest word to say.


Friday, 29 July 2011

Food fit for a ploughman


A celebration of all things food has commenced today in Battersea Park with the launch of the first Foodies Festival there.


Having opened with the unveiling of a giant food-art structure made from a one tonne piece of Seriously Cheddar that attempts to break the record for the biggest ploughman’s lunch in the world, the Foodies Festival features Michelin starred chefs, over one hundred exhibitors and a pop-up cookery school supported by AGA Rangemaster.

A touch of metropolitan chic is brought to the festival with a Harvey Nichols foodmarket and cookery demonstrations by The Ivy’s Gary Lee and Murano’s Angela Hartnett. Bar tents and hot food areas will no doubt also provide much welcome shelter should the heavens open.

Having never been before, I look forward to a tutored champagne tasting tomorrow by Susie Whitmarsh of The Bubbly Champagne Company and to meeting David Tait of David’s Chilli Oil, of whom I’ve written previously.

Somehow, though, I doubt much of that mighty cheese mountain will remain.

For more information see http://www.foodiesfestival.com

Follow on Twitter @foodiesfestival

The Bubbly Champagne Company: http://www.thebubblychampagnecompany.com

David’s Chilli Oil: http://davidschillioil.com

The Foodies Festival is at Battersea Park from the 29th to the 31st July:
·      Friday 29th: 12noon - 8pm
·      Saturday 30th: 11am - 7pm
·      Sunday 31st: 11am - 6pm

Tickets are £15 per day or £10 for concessions.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Caution and Cabs


On Saturday evening I was the victim of an unprovoked attack by a particularly unreputable taxi driver.

After a night out with friends, I got into a car outside a club in the Fulham Road and found myself in the company of an especially angry man who plainly had a mighty chip on his shoulder. This person drove like a maniac and on arrival at my home, I was relieved to have arrived in one piece.


I climbed out and tapped on the window to give the man the fare. Instead of opening it and accepting, he climbed out of the car and kicked me into the steps of the building where I live. I fell to the ground and cannot remember anything beyond that. The above image of my face tells the tale of what happened next.

As Katherine Whitehorn once said: “No nice men are good at getting taxis.” The lesson here is simple: Be very careful when taking cabs.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Made in Hacksville


The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail, newspapers whose actions haven’t yet been examined properly in the context of to the phone hacking scandal, are now resorting to monitoring Twitter accounts in order to get stories. Plainly the silly season has begun early this year.

In today’s Mail, an unnamed columnist reveals that the Conservative MP Brooks Newmark failed to attend a meeting about job losses in a postal depot in his constituency as he was too busy drinking on terrace of the House of Commons with his daughter and a star of E4’s Made in Chelsea show named Francis Boulle.

The photo Brooks Newmark MP sent to Twitter of himself and his daughter with Francis Boulle

Newmark was originally meant to attend the meeting about the postal depot at 8pm on the 14th July but cried off claiming “commitments at the House of Commons.” Naively, at 8.30pm on the same night though, he posted photos of him and his daughter with Boulle and then sent them to Twitter.

Constituents and postal workers were not impressed. Steve Knight, who runs Halstead's postal museum, commented: "If he was supping on the terraces at the Houses of Parliament that is a disgrace and is only to be expected from MPs who are not closely connected with communities. "

David Hume, the Mayor of Halstead, added: "I am disappointed he wasn’t at the meeting. I think it would have appropriate for our MP to be there."

Whilst the Daily Mail states that the reason for the meeting between Brooks and Boulle was held because the former’s daughter is a big fan of the show, Boulle, whose website promotes his links with The Givingtree Foundation, later “tweeted” that he’d: “Met @TweetBrooks last week and discussed the completion of the new primary school he built in Kigali, Rwanda.Greatstuff [sic].” If this is indeed true, this story is just another storm in a teacup.

Whatever else results from it, Harvard graduate Newmark has certainly learnt the perils of Twittering. He’s since removed the offending photo.


Follow Francis Boulle on Twitter @FrancisBoulle and view his website at http://www.francisboulle.com

Follow Brooks Newmark on Twitter @TweetBrooks and view his website at http://www.brooksnewmark.com

Stirred NOT Shaken


Made with dried chilli, extra virgin cold-pressed rapeseed oil from the Cotswolds, garlic, black beans, ginger, shallots, sugar, salt, mixed spices and individually selected exotic chillies, David’s Chilli Oil is the product of one man’s quest for a tastier chilli oil with a stronger heat sensation.

David's Chilli Oil: Medium and Hot

The creation of David Tait from Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, this is a chilli oil that the maker insists should be treated in the opposite way to James Bond’s martini – it is one that should be stirred and not shaken.

Available in both medium and hot, David’s Chilli Oil is a high quality, artisan chilli oil that will enliven any meal by giving it flavour and colour. It’s perfect for drizzling over hot or cold food, cooking and marinating and is especially perfect with a hunk of crusty French bread or to give that extra zip to a pasta sauce.

David Tait

Tait has achieved a rare thing in getting foodies into raptures of delight. “You’ve changed our lives” comment Natalie and Richard on David’s blog. Another, Olynx, suggests: “David’s Chilli Oil is quite simply an essential for any kitchen.” On The Virtual Farmer’s Market webpage a reviewer adds: “I am rapidly becoming addicted.” I have to admit, so am I.

Retailers of David’s Chilli Oil include O’Shea’s of Knightsbridge and Partridges of Sloane Square. Buy online through The Virtual Farmer’s Market for £10 for a 308g jar at http://www.vfmuk.com/David-s-Chilli-Oil/David-s-Chilli-Oil-Hot-308g.html or direct from David Tait at http://www.davidschillioil.com/shop/catalog/browse?shop_param=

Watch a video where David Tait introduces David’s Chilli Oil at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KYPO_ywC_M

For more information see http://davidschillioil.com

Friday, 22 July 2011

Six for One


For just £6,000,000 an opportunity to purchase a property three times the size of Hong Kong and equivalent in size to the entirety of Kent has become available through Savills.


The Estancia Punta Del Agura in the Caucete and Jachal departments of San Juan Province in Argentina consists of 989,186 acres of land that supported 400 people until just after the Second World War. Now uninhabited, this vast estate is crossed by three main rivers and is currently having a road built though it that will ultimately connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and give access to the ports of Chile.


With great potential for development and currently owned by a “multi-national family,” the Estancia Punt Del Agura is said to be ideal for growing cash crops such as sugar beet, alfalfa, olives, vines and sunflowers as it is situated in one of the largest aquifers in Argentina.


Running parallel to the new road will be a new network of 132kv electricity lines. This will give the new owner potential for power offtake and also the ability to export any power produced on the property. With pilot tests complete for jatropha, castor beans and sugar beats, the estate also has the capability to produce biofuels and because of the abundant sunshine, solar panels are another potential income generator.

The World Heritage sites of of Ischigualasto Provincial Park and Talampaya National Park, along with the Estancias Jesuitas, a World Cultural Heritage site, are all within easy reach and whilst there are restrictions on property development, housing could certainly be built in certain areas alongside tourism related businesses.

Ken Jones of Savills comments: “This is probably the largest ring fenced freehold block of land to be offered for sale on the open market ever.”

For just £6 an acre, this truly is one of the bargains of the century.

For more information contact Ken Jones of Savills (L&P) Ltd on +44 (0) 20 7016 3712 or email kjones@savills.com

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Sumptuous Santini


On Monday, after a saunter round Bonhams, I was invited to a restaurant in Belgravia I’ve passed countless times, but never visited before.

Santini was established in 1984 by Gino Santin and immediately became a hit with stars like Michael Caine, Princess Diana, Bill and Hilary Clinton, Tom Cruise and Baroness Thatcher. The restaurant, I’m reliably told, went on to become Frank Sinatra’s favourite when in London.

Santini, Ebury Street, Belgravia
Subsequently, in more recent years, Santini was relaunched by Santin’s daughter, Laura Santtini. She gave the premises a stylish makeover whilst managing to retain the very values that had made the restaurant so popular and the resulting look is elegant and refined

Even on a rainy Monday night Santini was buzzing and busy. Over conversation about Rupert Murdoch’s phone hacking scandal, we not only enjoyed convivial surroundings but also a truly superb meal in a setting that reminded me of several of the smartest restaurants I’ve visited in San Francisco.

From the Venetian influenced menu I opted for the Filetto Santini, an excellent piece of Scottish beef with Barolo butter. The meat was succulent and full of flavour and accompanied by roast potatoes and green beans this was a perfect main course. Options such as the “Cheeky Lobster” dish of a whole poached lobster with Marie Rose sauce, a green salad and French fries will definitely ensure I’m tempted back.

For those seeking out pasta, there is a good selection including carbonara, ricotta and spinach ravioli and spaghetti alle vongole, whilst the 18oz grilled Dover sole was very much enjoyed by one of our party. Here is a menu that is extensive yet not overwhelming and one that is accompanied by a reasonably priced wine list with bottles priced from £27 upwards.

Santini's terrace

The exterior is a rare treat in a location so central. Hedging and olive trees conceal a terrace that accommodates up to forty on a summer’s day. This is a place where the power brokers and stars can sit, talk and digest in the sun.

Santini also offers a pre and post theatre menu that features such classics as insalata tricolore, calamari, risotto and chicken in a mustard and white wine sauce served with roast potatoes. For £25 for three courses, portions are substantial and the option of concluding with such dishes as lemon and mango sorbet or tiramisu make this a most popular choice.

The Santtini family have been doing it their way for many years and long may they continue.

Santini, 29 Ebury Street, London, SW1W 0NZ. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7730 4094. Website: http://www.santini-restaurant.com

Dear Mr Murdoch


“You’re King of The Tits” goes Queen’s Roger Taylor’s re-released song about Rupert Murdoch. Blaming him for “screwing up The Times,” buying up the airwaves and his “bare-assed cheek,” Taylor plainly isn’t a fan.

Roger Taylor

In this updated version of the 1994 song Dear Mr Murdoch, Taylor suggests the Australian media tycoon doesn’t know if “he’s a Yank, Oz or a Pom” before accusing him of “sharpen[ing] our hatred” and “blunt[ing] our minds.” He blames him for “twist[ing] and ly[ing]” and leaving us “drowning in nipples and bingo and sex crimes.”

Taylor’s dislike for the tycoon first came to light when he funded Manchester United fans in 1998 in their battle to stop Murdoch buying the club. Now, in a statement he explains his “original lyrics speak for themselves” and that this is why he has chosen to re-release a song about a man who he thinks is “really the pits.”

The most relevant line in the song in today’s context is: “Dear Murdoch you’re a powerful man, you control half the media whose lifeblood is scam.”

Like Jim Morrison before him, Taylor plainly believes: “Whoever controls the media, controls the mind.” Dear Mr Murdoch probably won’t choose to listen to this tune himself though.


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Conceit is God’s gift to little men


Today I attempted to deliver a letter to Rupert Murdoch. Enclosed in a Smythson envelope, this was simply a letter that asked Mr Murdoch a series of questions and argued that he and his company are not alone in being to blame for the phone hacking scandal.

Rupert Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks outside his London residence. A surly little man stands in the background right outside his door.

On arrival at Mr Murdoch’s home in St James’s Place, I was met by a particularly inefficacious door man who refused to take my letter and refused to allow me to put it through the letter box which was centimetres from where I was standing.

Whilst Murdoch may well have been attacked in parliament yesterday, all I wanted to achieve was to deliver a broadly supportive letter. The surly little man controlling the door, however, was having none of it. If only the residence, like Downing Street, had had a back door as like Murdoch himself I could have gone there and avoided the cameras.

Mr Murdoch: My letter is in the post. I jolly well hope that stupid little fool doesn’t hack it.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Eating Humble Pie


Rupert Murdoch, alongside his son James, faced a parliamentary committee over the phone hacking scandal this afternoon and stated that this was “the most humble day of my life.” A couple of hours later, humble pie was indeed served.

 James and Rupert Murdoch appear before the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport committee with Wendi Deng Murdoch sat immediately behind along with amongst others Chris Bryant MP

Murdoch Senior was candid with the committee but when asked about his meetings with prime ministers, he simply joked: “I wish they’d leave me alone.” Of his lack of knowledge of activities at The News of the World, he stated:

“I lost sight of it because it was so small in the general frame of our company… This is not as an excuse. Maybe it’s an explanation of my laxity… I employ 53,000 people around the world.”
When accused of “wilful blindness,” as is said to have occurred in the Enron case, Murdoch was categoric in his denial: “We were not ever guilty of that,” but when asked about his relationship with his management he quipped: “Most of them think I’ve got crazy ideas.”
Murdoch Junior was far more cautious. With a plainly prepared mantra, he repeatedly used the phrase: “We’re being as transparent as we can” in response to questions that he felt could not be answered because of the ongoing legal proceedings. He claimed his training for the committee appearance had simply focused on “telling the truth.”
 Jonnie Marbles tweets
At 16.51, a protestor, who had plainly had enough, tweeted: “It is a far better thing that I do now than I have ever done before #splat.” Minutes later a foam pie was thrown into Rupert Murdoch’s face by the troublemaker who called him “a greedy billionaire.”
 Wendi Deng Murdoch deals with her husband's attacker
“Tiger-like,” Murdoch’s wife, who was sat just behind her husband, threw the pie back at the protestor, who has now been identified as an activist named Jonnie Marbles, and then slapped him in the face. As police intervened, one Murdoch aide was knocked to the ground and the protestor was then handcuffed and removed.

A handcuffed Jonnie Marbles with police

After an adjournment of ten minutes, the committee resumed their questioning of a now jacketless Murdoch Senior before moving on to Rebekah Brooks shortly after.

Guy Ritchie once said: “Relationships are about eating humble pie.” Today, Australia’s answer to Citizen Kane and his relationships were very much publicly humbled.

Watch the HOC Culture, Media and Sport Committee questions the Murdochs at http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=8923

Monday, 18 July 2011

You're Hired!


Another series of The Apprentice is over and Tom Pellereau, an inventor, has been crowned the winner.

Tom Pellereau

Pellereau, who in being “hired” secured a £250,000 investment into a joint business partnership from Lord Sugar, was without doubt the best candidate.

As ever, the series featured some pretty wacky candiates who in the main made utter fools of themselves. Edna Agbarha will be memorable for being loud, rude and annoying whilst Vincent Disneur, who described himself as “a self confessed perfectionist,” will only be remembered for his fake tan. Susan Ma, one of the finalists, never knew when to shut up whilst Jim Eastwood could not stop using clichés. Here was a group of people whose individual egos were bigger than their combined brain power.

This series lacked the Stuart “I’m a Brand” Baggs-like characters of previous years but in Pellereau, Sugar has found a talented man who has already achieved success in Wal-Mart with his Stylfile curved nail file in spite of being dyslexic. Here was a person who was so different to the other candidates. Here was a person who was polite and unassuming but intelligent.

It was good to see a “nice guy” emerge triumphant for once. I suspect there’ll be much more to come from this James Dyson like man.

To watch the final episode go to http://www.bbc.co.uk/apprentice

Stuart Baggs is still claiming he’s The Brand. See more at http://www.stuartbaggs.com

To view Tom Pellereau’s website go to http://www.tompellereau.com

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Theatre of Diversion


A classic diversion tactic was used by the Metropolitan Police today when they arrested Rebekah Brooks on allegations of corruption and phone hacking at the same time as letting their own chief resign.

Rebekah Brooks, former News International chief executive

Brooks, alongside Rupert and James Murdoch, is due to give evidence about the hacking scandal to the culture, media and sport Commons committee on Tuesday. At this committee meeting she would inevitably have been questioned about the role of the police and by arresting her, the police have effectively silenced her talking about them and the bribes their officers received.

Brooks, to her credit, states Paul Connew, a former News of the World editor, has shown a willingness to meet with police about this matter since January. Mark Lewis, the lawyer for the Dowler family, adds: “The timing stinks… I think this gives the impression that certain questions can’t be asked… To be arrested two days before a committee attendance… It looks deliberate.”

Even if she still attends the Commons committee meeting, just like the Maxwell brothers back in 1992, Brooks will almost inevitably have to refuse to answer questions.

Sir Paul Stephenson, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service

The Metropolitan Police’s intervention today has only served to fuel the flames of this saga. That Brooks’ arrest accompanies Sir Paul Stephenson being forced to resign over his links with a PR man named Neil Wallis, makes it appear even more conveniently timed as a diversionary tactic.

Wallis previously worked for the News of the World and more recently the Metropolitan Police. He has also been arrested in relation to the phone hacking scandal. Today, though, when Stephenson was accused of taking £12,000 of hospitality at Champney’s Health Spa, a resort also represented by Wallis, the Commisioner’s position became untenable. In his resignation speech Stephenson argued that his connection to Wallis “wasn’t a matter of concern.” He concluded that his “integrity was completely intact” and that he won’t be “losing any sleep over” this.

Though Stephenson has done the decent thing in resigning, arresting Rebekah Brooks two days before parliament was due to question her was certainly not the wisest PR move to accompany it.

As one News Coporation executive said this afternoon: “We just don’t know what’s going to happen next.”


I dreamed a dream


On Tuesday Colin and Christine Weir of Largs, Ayrshire realised they’d won the £161,000,000 Euro Millions lottery.

Having matched odds of 116 million to one, this ordinary couple were immediately catapulted into a league of extraordinary wealth that puts them ahead of The Marquess of Bath and alongside David and Victoria Beckham in any rich list.

Colin and Christine Weir accept a cheque for £161,653,000

The Weirs, who are both retired, are described as living in a modest three bedroom detached house but also own several rental properties nearby. They both drive Suzuki cars and their only hobby is said to be “takeaways” from the local fish and chip shop three times a week. Even with this newfound fortune, the pair don’t have any desire to leave their “nice wee hoose” or change their cars (though Mrs Weir “might” get a new Lexus).

Now earning £14,000 a day in interest, this unassuming couple surprisingly chose to opt for the win to be publicised claiming that they didn’t want to lie to their relatives. As a result, Mr & Mrs Weir’s relatives have already been interviewed in The Sun, begging letters are flooding in at the local sorting office and police are patrolling the cul-de-sac where they live. Consequently, today's papers report that they've fled to Spain.

One neighbour, David Simpson, commented: “It's hard to imagine they'll be able to stay here now everyone knows... They will be pestered to death. No one would have known if they'd kept it quiet. Why let the cat out of the bag?”

Like their fellow Scot, Susan Boyle, who dreamed a dream of stardom, this ordinary couple plainly deserve to enjoy all that their win can deliver them. One can only hope that they’re left in peace once their moment in the limelight has passed.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

The empty vessel makes the loudest sound


An MP known for nothing other than posing in his underpants on a gay chat site is trying to revive a career that never started by attempting to create a role for himself as Rupert Murdoch’s nemesis.

Rupert Murdoch

Chris Bryant MP may have been a victim of phone hacking but can he not leave the investigation of it to others? Bryant’s attempts to put himself at the fore of this story is just about as phony as the Daily Star now calling themselves “a Sunday paper you can trust.”

In today’s Evening Standard, Bryant sensationally states: “For too long we have allowed one man, who doesn’t even live or pay taxes here, to have a vast sway over our national life.” Bryant doesn’t stop there arguing that Rebekah Brooks should be arrested by the House of Commons Serjeant at Arms, Murdoch should “wave goodbye” to Britain and suggests the former Spanish prime minister, who sits on the board of the News Corp, has questions to answer as well. He launches into a tirade against BSkyB, who he terms “anti-entrepreneurial,” as well as the “chihuahua with no bark that is the Press Complaints Commission.” Next, I imagine, he’ll find reason to include Lord Lucan, Dolly Parton and Jack the Ripper in this story. Anything seems to do for Bryant. All he seems to care about is keeping his name in the papers.

Chris Bryant MP

One reader responds to Bryant’s piece on the standard.co.uk with a most suitable rebuttal: “If you hadn't put pictures of yourself in your undies on a website, he [Rupert Murdoch] might never have bothered you in the first place.” This sour grape of an MP really should pipe down.

Lord and Lady Black

Lord Black has also been give space in today’s Financial Times to air his view on a man he describes as “an exploiter of the discomfort of others.” Black continues:

“All his instincts are downmarket; he is not only a tabloid sensationalist; he is a malicious myth-maker, an assassin of the dignity of others and of respected institutions, all in the guise of anti-elitism. He masquerades as a pillar of contemporary, enlightened populism in Britain and sensible conservatism in the US, though he has been assiduously kissing the undercarriage of the rulers of Beijing for years.”

“… Although his personality is generally quite agreeable, Mr Murdoch has no loyalty to anyone or anything except his company. He has difficulty keeping friendships; rarely keeps his word for long; … and has betrayed every political leader who ever helped him in any country, except Ronald Reagan and perhaps Tony Blair.”

Here speaks a disgraced tycoon who is about to return to jail to serve the remainder of his mail fraud sentence. Lord Black might be a master of wordplay but, as I’ve said previously, isn’t it time he just focused on his own woes?

Pandora Maxwell

Meanwhile, even the view of Pandora Maxwell, the former daughter-in-law of the pension plundering Robert Maxwell, has been sought. In the Daily Telegraph’s Mandrake she states that she was very  “concerned about how, since Maxwell died, Murdoch’s stranglehold on the British media tightened immeasurably.” Most arrogantly this woman, who happily enjoyed the spoils Captain Bob provided her with, concludes: “Competition is a healthy thing in the media and Bob actually enjoyed it. Murdoch, by contrast, always seems to want to wipe it out.” Here speaks a woman whose former husband failed to say very much when he was himself brought before parliament.

One could have never imagined that the empty vessels that are the Daily Star, Chris Bryant MP, Pandora Maxwell and Lord Black would end up united and batting for the same team.


Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Dickensian Mr Miller


Martin Miller’s London Dry Gin immediately became one of my favourites when I was introduced to it back in 2003.


Miller, best known for his Miller’s Antiques Guides, has had a career that has encompassed not just publishing but also hotels, property and pizzas. In 1999 he went into the booze business because “everyone was doing premium vodkas, but not gin, and I liked the sound of Miller’s Gin.”

The natural flavours of coriander, angelica, orange peel, orris, cassia, cinnamon bark, ground nutmeg and liquorice in Martin Miller’s London Dry Gin don’t dominate the juniper unlike in many other new wave gins such as Citadelle, which features a remarkable nineteen botanicals.

Miller’s London Dry Gin is available at two strengths, one being the standard 40% ABV and the other, The Westbourne Strength, at 42.5%. At 40% ABV the gin is soft and has a dominant taste is of citrus whilst The Westbourne is richer and spicier with a stronger note of juniper.

Distilled at the Langley Distillery in The Black Country, Miller’s London Dry Gin is then taken to Iceland where it is blended to bottling strength with the finest glacial water. Purer than Evian, this untainted water gives the gin a smoothness and freshness that is unmatched.

Martin and Iona Miller at Great Brampton House

Aside from selling gin, Miller and his wife Iona have also recently commenced a million pound refurbishment of Great Brampton House in Herefordshire. The result will be no doubt be something akin to Babington House meets The Old Curiosity Shop with a contemporary 6,000 square foot art gallery, luxury rooms and self-catering cottages.

Life never stands still for Martin Miller but his gin has deservedly become a long-standing stalwart in all the best drinks cabinets.

For more information about Martin Miller see http://www.martinmiller.co.uk

For more information at Miller’s Hideaway at Great Brampton House see http://greatbramptonhouse.co.uk

Buy Martin Miller’s London Dry Gin at Waitrose and through TheDrinkShop.com at http://www.thedrinkshop.com/products/nlpdetail.php?prodid=1811

For more information on Martin Miller’s London Dry Gin see http://www.martinmillersgin.com

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

“Fame is a bitch, man”


Julian Assange is a man famed for Wikileaks and his alleged antics with the ladies in Sweden. He’s become a bit of a cause célèbre for the likes of Ken Loach, John Pilger, Bianca Jagger and Michael Moore.


Julian Assange puts his feet up

In the Metro and Daily Mail it was claimed that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were amongst the guests at his 40th birthday at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk. Oprah Winfrey was allegedly going too along with Anna Wintour and Johnny Depp.

Having spoken with sources close to Jolie and Pitt, I can reveal the chance of them attending was as much of a fantasy as a dinner party featuring Churchill, Ghandi, Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and Lord Lucan.


The truth is often stranger than fiction with Assange. Today he’s back in court to face the reality of the extradition proceedings for those rape allegations that simply aren’t going away.