As many of you are aware, I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed a good amount of travel in my lifetime, through my work and as a personal choice. To take off somewhere, whether to a familiar locale or towards a previously unknown destination, has and continues to add great joy to my life. Exploring new lands, revisiting old haunts, meeting new people, looking and learning about someplace, its culture, its history and art, never fails to energize me — I’m convinced I’m a gypsy at heart.
So after my most recent trip to Rome, Solomeo, and then London and Yorkshire, I thought it perhaps useful to pass on some of my very favorite discoveries — from the simple to the luxurious. No-one’s paying me for any of these — simply my own opinions on stuff that makes me feel good, and thus I wish to share with you all.
Tenuta dei Mori, Umbria, Italy
Incredible setting, food, service, and staff — though using the latter two nouns seems cold. Staying in their room/apartments is akin to being hosted by your favorite friend or relative, set in the sublime and beautiful landscape that this area of Italy is famed for. Effortless and warm, I felt catered for without condition, with not the slightest intrusion or ‘sell’. Literally, such a breath of fresh air.
Jolita Canty Skin Clinic, Yorkshire, England
When in Yorkshire, tired, jet-lagged or simply run ragged by contemporary life, Jolita provides the very best of rejuvenating treatments. There’s an array of hydrating facials to suit your tastes, in the most perfect 25 acres of rural setting. An hour or two of Jolita’s expert touch and you feel like you’ve rested for a week. And for a party of two or more, she’ll provide the most delicious and nutritious lunch (and maybe a bottle of excellent pop!). Real men have facials!
Lime Bikes, London
Operated via your Uber app, Lime bikes are simply the best way to skirt the English capital’s traffic and congestion charge — and get your exercise in a fun, stimulating, and economical way. Do recommend carrying your own bike helmet, especially if not used to two wheel transportation.
Brunello Cucinelli Shirt
My beloved Brunello Cucinelli slim fit white shirt is the perfect cut and wearable as fancy or casual. My entire adult life and career as a model, I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect white shirt (and tee). My Cucinelli shirt is top of them all and, so long as I remain trim, will serve my lifetime and hopefully be passed on to my sons. Quality, quality, quality!
Thom Sweeney Corduroy Suit
My Thom Sweeney cord/cashmere suit — perhaps better suited for a cooler climate but so damn comfortable and chic. Great with my Adidas OG Sambas and Buck Mason tee. Mine is in deep blue and have to say, cycling my Lime bike home, post supper at the Chelsea Arts Club, in the rain, made me feel like the great Bill Nighy in some fabulous movie! Memorable indeed!
O Brother by John Niven
A recent Mr Feelgood cover star, novelist John Niven’s first non-fiction book is an engaging account of his brother’s life and eventual suicide. Heart-wrenching, smart, provocative — delivered with a wryness that keeps you riveted and makes you think.
Jerome Dixon in Mr Feelgood
While on the road, I listened to my conversation with Jerome Dixon again and once more felt moved, humbled, and inspired by this gentleman’s grace and lack of bitterness having been incarcerated for 21-and-a-half years as a young boy for a crime he didn’t commit. We sometimes forget that within the noise and chaos, there remain many incredible humans. I’d like to believe the majority of us strive to do our best, in a good way that benefits our community, large or small. Jerome Dixon personifies such and will forever fuel my hope.
The Parks of London
Clapham Common, Battersea Park, Hyde Park, Hampstead Heath… Oh boy, London has a multitude of green lungs where you can pause and take a moment, refuel, breathe deeply, satisfy your historical curiosity, and feel good.
Maison Bertaux, Greek Street, London
This eatery has been around forever, owned by two sisters who don’t suffer fools. Perfect place to sit, have a refreshment, and observe the never dull, always colorful, action of Soho.
Portobello Market, Notting Hill, London
Its vibe and action, the variety of food on offer, and the plethora of proper old school market traders fills the street with joy and makes this one of the most special markets on the planet. And especially so Frank Akinsete, who sells the greatest vintage finds and more. Frank’s a top guy. Stop by and you may even get featured on his famous Instagram stories!