Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Day Lunch

Christmas Day is Heavy Lunch Day at the south-bavarian Suitorial headquarters, which traditionally means roasted turkey with Serviettenknödel (that is "napkin dumplings" in English, a regional variation on the sphere-shaped dumpling made of bread, milk, egg and parsley) along with some other, not bit less intense courses. Now that the meal is slowly starting to settle, here is what some of it looked like.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Autumn cuisine

Home made Orecchiette with chestnut and smoked duck breast — delicious autumn comfort cuisine.

Monday, December 12, 2011

As per your request...

... dear reader (whoever you are) who asked for pictures of my new bespoke shoes in the wild — here goes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beat this, Paolo!

I am pleased to report that I did my best to outdo Paolo's excessive dining habits recently having a pasta tasting menu consisting of 12 courses total, including two sorbets. In short, everything was good to very good, with the two ragù dishes and the squash stuffed mezze lune being my favorites. Beat this, Paolo!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas time begins

Christmas time is officially starting today — time to get some gingerbread, nuts and oranges.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

More shoes

Here is one more pair which was on display at my shoemaker's atelier. The model is called Erzherzog Johann. It is said to have been invented by Rudolf Scheer & Söhne in Vienna for, well, Archduke Johann. Even today, this style is quite popular in Vienna. A number of shops in the city keeps shoes in this configuration (although not as immaculately built as these displayed here) ready at all times for tourists and non-bespoke shoppers.

The Erzherzog Johann model is basically a one cut upper with a long, hand sewn edge from the toe tip to the lacing. Here, it is executed in Horween Shell Cordovan on a slightly heftier sole, finished with a goyser welt.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Initials at Visconti

I wrote about Visconti pens and their unique store in Florence the other day. What I didn't tell you so far is that Visconti also offers a pretty unique service for clients who like their writing instruments personalized. The cap tops on some of Visconti's pens are snap-on magnetic and can be replaced by two magnetic half circles bearing letters, symbols or semi-precious stones.
For those of you who would like such a pen for themselves — be warned: First, (and I speak from experience here) collecting pens is rather addictive and second, custom initials are only available through authorized Visconti boutiques.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Firenze — Buying Pens

During the last issue of Pitti Uomo, I visited the shop of Florence based fountain pen maker Visconti a few times. Don Paolo was kind enough to snap a couple of pics at one time, so here they are. This was the second time I was there during my visit. I accompanied a friend of mine who wanted to buy his first serious fountain pen — the same one I had bought a day earlier.

You can see the pen in question in most of the pictures. I looks kind of "boring" to the undiscerning eye due to its matte finish and near-black surface. The connoisseur reckons a model named "Homo Sapiens" (what a fitting model for yours truly...) which is made of a mixture of precious resin and basaltic lava from the Etna Volcano. Its matte and porous surface is hygroscopic, which means it practically absorbs hand sweat. The trimmings are solid natural brass, which is developing a lovely patina over time.

The rest of the specifications of this pen is nothing but stunning. 23kt dual color flexible palladium nib, patented safety closure, abrasion-free clip and solid brass vacuum ink tank. The writing experience is exceptional and Visconti's boutique service is excellent. Visconti pens are not exactly cheap and yet they are a bargain given their built quality. And, just for the record: This is coming to you from somebody who is a devote Pelikan pen collector (which should already tell you something)!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Vienna — Zum Schwarzen Kameel

Zum Schwarzen Kameel in the heart of Vienna needs no introduction to most of our readers. For those who don't know what I am talking about: This establishment started out as a gourmet shop centuries ago and supplied European royals, among them Emperor Franz Josef of Austria. It quickly became a hotspot for the who's who of all times. Nowadays, there is also an excellent restaurant in addition to their bistro and food shop installed in the same building. Their speciality is Beinschinken, a cooked ham made especially for the Kameel — not from camel of course, but from non-encarcered pork. Their Mehlspeisen (or sweets) are also worth a try. Luckily, the bistro servers every dish in a small size so one can try a variety of different things at a time. Zum Schwarzen Kameel also stocks a wide selection of Austrian and international wines. I went the local route with a traditional Wiener Gemischter Satz, a white made from several varietals which were grown, harvested and fermented together.

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Prince of Wales fitting — from the inside

Paolo is going through a phase in which he disapproves of any tailor willing to finish a suit in more than one fitting. So I have to share my pictures of a first (also known as "basted") fitting with you instead of with him. Poor Paolo! He would have seen some delicate handwork being done inside my new Prince of Wales double breasted suit, including hand padded fronts and shoulder pads. Yes, pad-stitched shoulder pads, made from scratch. Mine are extremely thin and soft and not what you would normally consider a shoulder pad. No stiffness and constriction here.

The suit will be styled rather conservatively. In fact, my tailor found it so conservative he thought of it quite modernist. The overlap of the jacket will be quite wide and the lapels will be wider than normal, with a bit more belly to them. Trousers will be high-rise with fish-tail backs and buttons for braces. Double forward pleats of course. I had a second fitting two weeks after these pictures were taken. The suit should be finished when I return to Munich after another week of travelling.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jungmann & Neffe — Odds and Ends

Here are some more pictures of my latest visit to Wilhelm Jungmann & Neffe in Vienna. This time, I focused on accessories only. Enjoy!