A Gentry Spring

Wolf RayetFor those us in London, there is so such thing as spring. In this city, it’s hard to live seasonally. The daffodils which promised so much only a few weeks ago have been cruelly levelled by gale force artic winds and rain. Still, we are made of strong stuff and hope, um, springs eternal? So, here some ideas for spring, both at home and abroad – things to buy, places to go, that kind of thing. If you’re lucky enough to be somewhere where there’s the promise of renewal, all the better. If not, pretend.

Paris Blues with the Duke himself

A weekend in NYC: The dollar is weak, long live the dollar! With the pound on a high, almost embarrassing bargains are still to be had. Whatever you pay for your flight will be more than made up for by stockpiling shirts: Michael Bastian at Bergdorf Goodman or Seize sur Vingt’s own custom-made line. While you’re there boosting the American economy, try to track down Wolf-Rayet’s close-to-perfect suede Oxfords , which will go well with a pair of Randolph Aviators (they supply the American Air Force and NASA, so are the real thing.) Now that you’re looking snappy, take in some vintage American culture – head to MOMA for their ‘Jazz Score’ exhibition, complete with a brilliant jazz-influenced film series (don’t miss Paris Blues: 1961, Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, music by Duke Ellington, need we say more?) . During a requisite walk in Central Park, head to the Met and catch the very smart exhibition, Jasper Johns: Gray. Johns is best known for his colours – red, white and blue flags, for a start – but this show brilliantly shows the sleight of his monochromatic hand.

BallantyneRetail Therapy in London: Not all of us will be lucky enough to head to the Big Apple, but don’t despair. You can buy yourself out of late-winter doldrums in London, too. Start with the refreshingly simple Albam Clothing and get their must-have Fisherman’s Cagoule – be quick, though, because they’ll sell out. It’ll be hard to choose between yellow and apple green, but either will make you feel springy, even if the weather doesn’t. We also like their shawl-collared, cotton waffle sweater in raisin (which sounds so much nicer than purple). If you’re in an even chillier northern climate, where there’s still snow (ie, Scotland), then you owe it to yourself to plump for all-out luxury and comfort. Ballantyne’s 6-ply cashmere cardigan with shawl collar (we are a fan of the shawl collar, you’ll note) exclusively at Harrod’s, is a treat, if an expensive one. With any of these new closet favourites, you’ll look dandy wandering around the fine exhibition of neo-Classical architectural drawings at the Sir John Soane museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields.

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