Mr A. A. Gill

Fast Facts

Biography

Restaurant and television critic for the Sunday Times and contributor to Esquire magazine, Mr Gill has become famous over the years for his unsparing journalism. Managing to be well-dressed and witty; acerbic yet affable; catty yet occasionally cuddly (which is no mean feat); he is the author of several books, including Breakfast at the Wolseley and The Angry Island: Hunting the English - a collection of essays mercilessly dissecting the English character. www.thesundaytimes.co.uk

Mr Gill's Recommendations

note

FAVOURITE RESTAURANT AND DISH

“I don’t have one. I’m a restaurant critic.”

VACATION CHOICE

“I try and go somewhere different, but the two places I go to the most are Sienna in Tuscany and Provence in south-west France. They are full of all the things you want. You can relax. Actually, I don’t know why I said that. I don’t relax.”

FAVOURITE HOTEL

“I use lots of different hotels in different countries. I’ve recently come back from Le Meurice in Paris, which was fantastic.”

note

FAVOURED BRAND

“I don’t have one. My favourite designer is me. A lot of my clothes are handmade.”

note

ESSENTIAL WARDROBE ITEM

“My father’s handkerchief. People don’t tend to carry them anymore.”

A protest march in N.E England, 1936
A protest march in N.E England, 1936

STYLE ICON

“It’s almost always anonymous people in photographs. The style is usually people in working clothes. Look at photographs of the Jarrow March, or those photographs of the crowds at the end of WWI celebrating, or men going to work in the City in the Fifties. There’s a German photographer called August Sander. He’d get ordinary people to stand and take their own pictures. The way they wear their clothes is wonderful – it’s completely unconsidered.”

note

STYLE TIP

“If there is a trick to style it is to be unconsidered. It’s what is left over from being practical. It is the result of practicality.”

TAILOR

“I have two tailors. Brian Russell & Co Ltd on Sackville Street in London has a tailor called Fadia. She’s a marvellous woman. She’s one of the best cutters I’ve ever come across. She worked for Stella McCartney and now she does men’s tailoring. My other tailor is Anderson & Sheppard on Old Burlington Street in London.”

BEST SHIRT BRAND

Budd Shirtmakers. They are probably the best shirt makers in London. You can have very nice shirts made from Charvet in Paris, but actually Charvet makes the best pyjamas.”

note

FAVOURITE SUIT

Brian Russell & Co Ltd

note

CUT OF TROUSERS

“The ones that go all the way to the bottom. I have all sorts of trousers. They’ve just got to fit.”

note

JEANS BRAND

“I’m just getting to the end of jeans. I’m actually wearing them now but I’m getting to the stage where I can’t wear them anymore. I’ve always bought the same jeans all my life – Levi's Vintage Clothing 501. There might be better ones, but I haven’t tried them on.”

note

UNDERWEAR CHOICE

“Marks & Spencer, pack of three. I always buy a cut that I’ve never had before. I hate the idea of missing out on a good underpant. I have every conceivable shape and size. I’ve also got some huge Brooks Brothers boxers that have ties at the back and three buttons at the front.”

note

PREFERRED JACKET STYLE

“I have all sorts of jackets: I have double-breasted jackets, I have single-button jackets, I have three-button jackets, I have two-button jackets, I have Norfolk jackets, I have unconstructed jackets. It depends what you’re doing.”

note

SHOE MAKER

“I’ve got hundreds of shoes. The whole point of fashion is not restricting yourself. In the end, age restricts you enough.”

note

FAVOURITE GROOMING PRODUCT

“Andrex. There is not an orifice it isn’t available to. You can blow your nose on it; you can clear out your ears. It’s brilliant. What else does that? Not your hair gel.”

note

DREAM CAR

“I don’t dream about cars.”

note

WATCH BRAND

“I really need a new watch. I’m open to suggestions.”

note

ESSENTIAL GADGET

“My door key.”

note

FAVOURITE ALBUM

“There is a thing that I listen to more than anything at the moment, which is an old Decca record of Rostropovich and Benjamin Britten playing Schubert Arpeggione. They are unbelievably beautiful. They are two such amazing virtuosos. Schubert is the man. Just the best.”