Chez Denise - La Tour de Montlhéry

This is one of Paris's hidden gems, if only they still served Ortolan!

When they did, indulge I did.

The birds must be taken alive; once captured they are either blinded or kept in a lightless box for a month to gorge on millet, grapes, and figs, a technique apparently taken from the decadent cooks of Imperial Rome who called the birds beccafico, or "fig-pecker". When they've reached four times their normal size, these; “lumps of fat”, are then grabbed (take them by the beak, and holding it close between your finger and thumb) drown in a snifter of Armagnac.

Cooking l'ortolan is simplicity itself. Simply pop them in a high oven for six to eight minutes with a little lard and serve (may be cover’d or strew’d with Bread and Salt, and eaten with Salt and Orange). The secret is entirely in the eating. First you cover your head with a traditional white linen cloth. Then place the entire four-ounce bird into your mouth. Only its head should dangle out from between your lips. Bite off the head and discard. L'ortolan should be served immediately; it is so hot that you must rest it on your tongue while inhaling rapidly through your mouth. This cools the bird, but its real purpose is to force you to allow its ambrosial fat to cascade freely down your throat.

When cool, begin to chew. Work your way through the breast and wings, the delicately crackling bones, and on to the inner organs. You can taste the bird's entire life as you chew in the darkness: the wheat of Morocco, the salt air of the Mediterranean, the lavender of Provence. The pea-sized lungs and heart, saturated with Armagnac from its drowning, burst in a liqueur-scented flower on to your tongue.

Drink: Bordeaux.

This could well be a contender for my forthcoming dinner party.



For the love of male pride and humanity get clothes that fit, and like this gentleman, honour them!

Come Dine with Kings

This is an annual event of the world renowned and unsurpassed, AWL / JWL / PLT / NLT / AJF. Of-course based on the dribble of Channel 4s - 'Come Dine with Me', however ours has ridiculous extravagance and opulence.

Yesterday evening was the start of the magic series of events and started I might add in sheer indulgence by the hybrid of the gentleman, none other than PLT. PLT kicked off the evening with a duck breast pan fried with smoked oysters on a bed of celeriac and fennel salad, followed by pan fried fillets of salmon with a chick pea and tomato side coated with a fine cauliflower sauce, finished with what can only de expressed as incredible: poached pears in red white and star anise with chocolate sauce and creme Chantilly.

This we all agreed was a superb bench mark for the quality of cooking that has clearly set the standard for the next events. All of PLT's dishes were cooked well, so being competitive gentlemen we have decided to turn this into a little competition with 5 awards; Best Starter / Best Main Course / Best Pudding / Best Event (excluding the food) / The Sheer Opulence Award. As PLT's pudding was so good, we all came to the conclusion it will be very difficult indeed to beat making him a very strong contender for Best Pudding Award '09, however all will be revealed in the forthcoming days as the dinner parties continue.



Steak Tartare

The finest food know to mankind.


Custom made replica marble plinths, constructed from woods of the clients requirements and hand painted in any choice of colour to represent marble. Also available with fabric sides; velvet or tapestry. Made-to-measure.
£40 - £500

Contact for information and quote
07929 034 888

Debt Collection

Knock, Knock. We have got our money, the debt collection firm we choose did the work smooooooooothly



I popped to my tailors today, a meager tailors I might add in Worcester, but very professional. I have had a small alteration on a fine pinstripe double breasted jacket, having it taken in a little extra as I find myself not wearing it as often with a waistcoat these days. Upon walking in to the tailors, it hit me that this act of meeting the tailor and standing there not wanting to feel awkward nor far too relaxed while the gentleman tightens you up with pins, is a fantastic pursuit of the Gentleman. This wash of splendor and importance came over me, I thought this is such a wonderful thing to be doing. So I reveled.
I walked back to my car and thought about a conversion I had with a dear friend of mine; PLT about a matter which distressed me some what, on a topic which has now become rather a special point in my days, slippers. Reading Debrett's guide to the modern gentleman casually, whilst I was checking up on boiled fronted shirts, I noticed about monogrammed slippers and how gentlemen should not, I quote "DON'T Your feet don't need to be monogrammed.". This set an alarm bell ringing in my head, PLT and I are going to be blatantly breaking this rule. Debrett's suggested check slippers! Pavlos immediately said: "We are a hybrid of gentlemen. " Pavlos is right, we are, Debrett's have it wrong, our manners and posture are second to none, likewise are our morals, style, sophistication and traditional methods. Debrett's is superb, but bland. The masters of Saville Row and kings of Jermyn St. would certainly not be selling such vulgarity, monogrammed slippers are merely the hybrid of the traditional gentleman, taking pride in dressing to impress with that little extra that is needed these days, difference. PLT and I are setting ourselves out to be that little bit sharper and bringing back the dandy, the wonderful sense of style and of-course notability.
We moreover justified our choice - PLT and AWL - on each foot.


A wonderful lady from a generation that will soon be lost.


All buillon thread and hand dyed and coloured silk. Immaculate.


Hand & Lock

Hand & Lock, the finest embroidery in the world.


I think I find something endearing about these flying rats. They really are bags of stupid rubbish, but they have that incredible ignorant look in there eye, nodding along after scraps of gone off biscuit crumbs, what a life hey. They piss people off which warrants a small merit in its own right. Love to hate them.



Coco before Chanel. There seems to be a lot of good films being made at the moment or perhaps I am only seeing the good ones and before didn't go to the cinema enough.



A spider had been giving me a little trouble at home...


Freddie :)


The trip so far....


Inglourious Basterds

I have just been to one of the advance screenings of Quentin Tarantino's new film; Inglourious Basterds. This is superb, the shooting and imagery is sublime, the attention detail surpasses any of his films prior. For a gentleman who does not like Mr. Pitt, I can say hand on heart I have been turned, but Mr. Pitt was completely shadowed by the screen presence and magic of Christoph Waltz. An absolute must see.



Certainly not Faux Pas!


For Sale

A large 18th Century painting of a Roman General
perhaps used in early theatre productions. Oil on canvas,
167cm x 100cm (framed) - 142cm x 78cm.

For Sale

A large 18th Century painting of a Roman soldier 
perhaps used in early theatre productions. Oil on Canvas,
169cm x 73cm (framed) - 166cm x 68cm.

A spot of music




Initialed and crested slippers, need I say any more. PLT and I, understand.


To start off my blog, I feel I should probably start with something that is dear to my heart, so you can get a gist of the blogs that will follow in the future. 
As an antique dealer, I need to have a good eye but as a gentleman I need to have a good mouth, and mine might I say is rather keyed to a certain drink; Armagnac. 
Armagnac is a relatively misunderstood drink these days, many confuse it for cognac, it is eau de vie and one of the first sprits of France, produced in the Armagnac region of Gascony. Armagnac is what you should be drinking, distilled in column stills rather than pot stills, the enrichment of the wine is much better. Swirling in your crystal glass this drink is going a miss, its that part of cuisine that is being lost: the digestif. Bring it back! Actually I believe it can be drunk whenever, as a substitute to the old gambling partner: whisky or as a fine tipple with an open fire. 
It gets even better, as you are drinking yourself to death in the surrounds of the gentleman's club, you are in-fact never going to die with Armagnacs' power qualities: "Research conducted by scientists at Bordeaux University in 2007 suggested that Armagnac has health benefits, finding that moderate consumption can help protect against heart disease and obesity. The research seemed to indicate that the benefits derived from its unique distillation process and aging rather than from its alcoholic content. The southwestern area of France, where Armagnac is produced, has some of the lowest cardiovascular disease rates in the world." - Superb


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