Sergio has lunch with Mr Fabiani

Whenever I find myself in Cape Town I try and hit one of the hot new eateries or bars that seem to pop up weekly, you gotta be quick though as they seem to close almost as quickly. At the top of my list was Cape Town’s iconic new landmark The Silo Hotel and its “Granary Cafe”, an old grain silo that has been converted into the Royal Portfolios newest 5 star hotel. Over 90 years ago this building was the tallest in Sub-Saharan Africa and today with a facelift courtesy of Heatherwick Studio Architects in London it proves that you don’t need to be the tallest to stand out! This place is crazy impressive.

I had arranged to meet one of my favourite local fashionistas for lunch (no one likes to eat alone right?) in order to pick his brain on the upcoming winter trends. I was a little late – fashionably so – but found Sergio at the Willaston Bar sipping an Iceplant Negroni (a house speciality it seems). “I judge a bar on its ability to make a Negroni” Sergio says, “it’s incredible how something so simple can be done so wrong sometimes”. Hmmm, that rings true for a lot of things in life I guess, even fashion. The Negroni, infused with fig and cinnamon was excellent though, so we ordered another.

The Willaston Bar is surrounded by the pillowed windows that make the Silo Hotel so Iconic, offering incredible views across the city, this place is just perfect for that business lunch. When our table was ready we left our plush turquoise booth and took our drinks to The Granary Cafe for lunch. Men will be men and we went ahead and ordered the steak frites and pork belly with a side of sweet potato fries before getting into some serious fashion talk. Cape Town had just got its first taste of winter so Sergio was layering a tobacco coloured trench coat over a burgundy polo neck, bang on trend. Sergio said he picked up a tobacco trench coat last year to replace his classic black one and its remained a staple in his winter closet for 2017. With tobacco being such a great neutral colour, it pairs well with almost anything, it lets you add a brighter colour to stand out or layer with other neutrals for a refined monochromatic look, it also transcends from formal to casual super easy by just wearing it with a pair of jeans and a chunky knit. “Winter is my favourite fashion season” he says, he goes on to explain that because our winters can go from hot and sunny in the day to cold and chilly at night it’s the perfect opportunity to layer up and have multiple looks in one outfit. I couldn’t agree more.

The conversation continued and before we knew it our plates were empty – always a good sign of a good meal I think. My steak was perfectly cooked and Sergio claimed his pork belly was some of the best he’s had in a while. The winner though may have been those chunky sweet potato fries, because, well, fries!

We decided to take our dessert back at the Willaston Bar in the form of an Old Fashioned, Sergio’s favourite winter cocktail. “A good old fashioned is like a good pair of shoes” he says taking his first sip “when made properly that one ingredient can be enhanced to a level where it becomes something brand new”. As we kept on enjoying our drinks Sergio explained himself, thankfully. The Old Fashioned is pretty much a one ingredient cocktail, bourbon on bourbon enhanced with bitters and sugar and stirred over ice, when made properly the drink becomes perfectly balanced and full of soul. According to Sergio a good pair of shoes should be made inside and out with one ingredient, leather, and when made properly, they will last you a lifetime. “If that doesn’t fill your soul, nothing will” he exclaims taking is last sip. I’m not sure if he’s speaking about the drink or his 2 toned oxfords, but either way I know he’s right.

We took one last look at the beautiful views around us, paid our bill and set a date for our next lunch. I leave wondering what new restaurant we’ll visit next and what new advice Sergio might have in store.

The Getaway Bag: Your Essential Guide to Holiday Packing

Whether you’re planning on chilling surf-side, or sightseeing in the city this long weekend; Fabiani has you covered on what to pack for your holiday destination of choice.

The Relaxed Beach Town

Low-key sea side towns like Plettenberg Bay are the perfect place to kick-back and enjoy a few days of R&R in the sun.

01-beach

In Your Bag: Casual looks to take you from beach to braai – A quilted puffer jacket, a light weight knit, cotton chinos, polo shirts, caps, sneakers and a pair of sandals. Don’t forget the GoPro to capture all the fun along the way.

Hot Spots:

The Fat Fish – “Infamous for its fish. Legendary for its seafood. Famous for its beyond moreish tapas.” The Fat Fish in Plettenberg Bay boasts a beautiful view of the beach and the kind of relaxed vibe that makes you want to stay a little longer… www.thefatfish.co.za

Equinox Flame & Flavour – Sister restaurant to Plett’s iconic Lookout Deck; the understated luxury of the Equinox filters through the contemporary interior, to the delectable and diverse menu. Positioned right on the pristine ‘Lookout Beach’; many cocktails, and moments, can be enjoyed here at leisure. http://www.lookout.co.za/equinox/

The Big City Buzz

Whether it’s a staycation, or you’ve opted for a city escape; enjoy the vibrant sights and sounds of Jozi for an action packed long weekend.

02 big city

In Your Bag: Dress up for city escapades – A versatile suit, a couple collared shirts, leather shoes and enough ties and accessories to keep the look fresh. Pack a city guide or a restaurant Hot List, to make sure you’re seen at all the right spots.

Hot Spots:

70 Juta Street – This colourful strip in downtown Braamfontein is home to Jozi’s hippest cafes, shops & bars. If you happen to be in town for “First Thursday” (the first Thursday night of each month); enjoy the buzz around the local art galleries and the popular ‘Neighbourgoods Market’, which stays open after dark. On any other weekend, this area is just as fun, with lots to do day and night. www.gauteng.net/attractions

Maboneng Precinct – Joburg’s trendiest neighbourhood evolved from a run-down block, into a collaborative hub of culture, business and lifestyle. Situated on the east side of the city’s business district, Maboneng offers a curated choice of retail stores, entertainment venues and restaurants.

www.mabonengprecinct.com

Back to Nature

Time to enjoy the tranquillity of the great outdoors and connect with your inner Alpha. Nothing like a trip to the Kruger to tame the corporate beast…

03 nature

In Your Bag: Practical style rules in the bush – A casual jacket and knitwear for the evening, polo shirts, cotton chinos, jeans, and comfortable boots. Needless to say, binoculars and bug spray are a must.

Hot Spots:

Madikwe Game Reserve – Whether you’re down for an authentic camping experience, or hoping to spoil yourself at a luxury five-star lodge; the Madikwe Game Reserve has numerous accommodation options to suit your level of outdoor adventure. Currently the fifth largest game reserve in South Africa, this hidden gem is one of the continent’s best conservation areas, and offers the opportunity to spot the ‘Big 5’ from the comfort of a malaria-free zone. www.madikwegamereserve.co.za

Shamwari Game Reserve –  Situated in the Eastern Cape; The Shamwari Game Reserve is one of the most successful, and responsible, private conservation initiatives in South Africa. Their luxury facilities, spectacular location and passion for the environment, make this an unforgettable safari experience. www.shamwari.com

The Cosmopolitan City

From white sandy beaches to Café Caprice, a holiday in Cape Town is about rewarding all your hard work with some much-needed play time.

04 cosmo

In Your Bag: Think laid back cocktails (all day) – A polo shirt, tee shirts, jeans, leather sneakers and a leather jacket for after sunset. Pack your laptop, sunglasses and a few cool  tech gadgets to pose on point when you get your morning coffee.

Hot Spots:

Bootlegger Coffee Company – This cool coffee chain has it all from a satisfying coffee-fix to free WIFI. There are a few scattered around the city, so you can take your pick – they’re all good.

www.bootlegger.co.za

The Silo Hotel – The newly opened Silo Hotel in the impressive architectural Silo District of the V&A Waterfront is a must-visit ‘it’ spot. Head all the way up to the Rooftop to enjoy a drink with a view of the entire harbour. www.theroyalportfolio.com/the-silo

 

Paying Tribute to The Jazz Legends

Fabiani Jazz Legends Cape Town Jazz Festival

With the 18th Annual Cape Town Jazz Festival taking place at CTICC from 31 March to 1 April; we tip our cap to the jazz legends who played their way into the hall of fame, and shaped the legacy of jazz that we celebrate today.

Cecil Taylor – Jazz Pianist & Poet

Born March 15, 1929 in New York City, Cecil Taylor began playing the piano age six and studied at the New York College of Music, and the New England Conservatory. Despite his classical training, Cecil is acclaimed as one of the pioneers of ‘free jazz’, his famously avant-garde piano technique likened to percussion on drums. In 2013, he was awarded the ‘Kyoto Prize for Music’, and in 2014, his career and 85th birthday was honoured at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia. More recently, in 2016 he received a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art entitled ‘Open Plan: Cecil Taylor’.

Charles Lloyd – Jazz Musician

A descendant of African, Cherokee, Mongolian and Irish ancestry; Charles Lloyd was exposed to a mix of jazz and the blues while growing up in Memphis. Given his first saxophone at nine, he spent his early teens playing jazz with a band of his peers, and at eighteen, left his home town to study music in LA. Lloyd is well respected for incorporating music from other cultures into his compositions, as early as the late 1950s. But he took a break from jazz in the 70s to play on tour with the Beach Boys, only returning to the jazz world in 1986 after been hospitalized with a near fatal medical condition.

 Fabiani Jazz Legends Cape Town Jazz Festival

Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea – Jazz Pianist, Keyboardist & Composer

Armando Corea’s father, a jazz trumpet player in a Dixieland band, introduced him to the piano at the age of four. Growing up surrounded by jazz; he was inspired to play music at an early age, and by eight he took up drums, which would later influence his favour of the piano as a percussion instrument. Throughout his career, Corea explored various musical styles such as Jazz Fusion, Avant-garde jazz and Bebop, to name a few. He celebrated his 75th birthday in 2016 by playing with more than 20 different groups during a six-week stand at the Blue Note Jazz Club in Greenwich Village, New York.

 

Herbert Jeffrey “Herbie” Hancock – Jazz Pianist, Composer & Actor.

Considered a child prodigy; Herbert Hancock studied classical music from seven, and played his first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto #26 at a concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at just eleven. Although Hancock never had a jazz teacher growing up; he developed a sense of harmony which would make him one of the originators of the ‘post-bop’ sound, and one of the first jazz musicians to embrace synthesizers and funk music. Regarded as melodic and accessible; Hancock’s songs have gained success among pop and jazz audiences alike, and in 2013 he was given the Kennedy Centre Honors Award for achievement in the performing arts, with artists like Snoop Dogg and the Beastie Boys performing his music.

Farrell ‘Pharoah’ Sanders – Jazz Saxophonist

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Sanders was introduced to jazz in high school, while playing tenor saxophone in the school band. During his teen’s, he would often sneak into African-American clubs downtown, playing with acts passing through on tour. But Sanders found himself limited by the state’s segregation and jazz standards; so, he moved to California, and then New York, playing with R&B bands. Times were tough in New York; Sanders was eventually living on the street, when band-leader Sun Ra gave him a place to stay, new clothes and encouraged him to use the name ‘Pharoah’. He finally got recognition playing with John Coltrane’s band in the 60s where he developed his avant-garde jazz style, going on to produce free jazz – famous for his overblowing, harmonic, and multiphonic techniques on the saxophone

 

Roy Owen Haynes – Jazz Drummer

Named one of Esquire Magazine’s Best Dressed Men in America in 1960; Roy Owen Haynes is among one of the most recorded drummers in Jazz, with a career lasting over seventy years. Recognized by his highly expressive drumming style, he earnt the nickname “Snap Crackle” – adding his musical flair to several genres such as; swing, bebop, fusion and avant-garde jazz. Performing worldwide and recording with multiple artists, he was inducted into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1999 and has received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2016, At the age of 91, Haynes performed drums on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and continues to perform today.

 

Ron Carter: Jazz Double Bassist

Ron Carter began to play the cello at age ten, but battled to perform due to racial stereotyping of classical musicians. Not giving up his passion for music; he switched to double bass, later receiving a master’s degree in double bass performance from New York City’s Manhattan School of Music in 1961. Over 2,221 recording session later, Carter is the most recorded jazz bassist in history; winning two Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Instrumental Group and Instrumental Composition on the film ‘Round Midnight’. In 2008 he joined the faculty of the Juilliard School in New York, teaching bass in the school’s prestigious Jazz Studies program.

 

For more information about the Cape Town Jazz Festival visit www.capetownjazzfest.com

*Photographs by Christian Weber for GQ.com

One Time Shoe Shine

Your Guide to Caring for Leather Shoes

Genuine leather shoes are what we call an ‘investment piece’ for your closet, and let’s face it, nothing makes a better impression than a good pair of wingtips with your suit. Like all luxury items, they might seem expensive when you swipe your credit card… but these guys are going to stick around a long time if you just give them a little T.L.C – and years from now they’ll seem a bargain at the cost-per-wear. To make sure your leather investment lasts and lasts, here are some steps to shine your shoes like a boss.


Step 1: Clean Up

If your shoes are a little damp from the rain, stuff with newspaper and leave overnight to absorb all excess moisture. Once dry, take a soft brush and gently brush off any excess dirt or grime. If your shoes already have ‘character’, use a tooth brush to get into the creases.

Take Note; Product caught in the seams from your last polish also needs to go, so make sure the surface of your shoes is 100% clean before you start. Also, stuffing your shoes with paper, or inserting a ‘Shoe Tree’ while cleaning, will help retain your shoe’s shape.


Step 2: Waterproof

Winter can be a killer on your footwear so take action and waterproof your leather brogues before the rain pours. First warm your shoes up using either a hairdryer or a warm cloth, then using a clean cloth or a brush apply ‘Dubbin’ (a natural wax based product) rubbing in really well to ensure good penetration. This is going to both soften and waterproof the leather, extending its life.

Take Note: You don’t need to waterproof on every clean, but once you notice that the rain isn’t collecting in repellent droplets on your shoes, make sure you follow the steps to waterproof again.


Step 3: Condition

Just like your skin, leather needs nutrients on a regular basis to look its best. Before you get going with the polish; take a cotton cloth and dab on some cream conditioner, spreading liberally, and working into the leather in circular motions. Once thoroughly conditioned, let your shoes relax for 20 minutes, then rub vigorously with a shoe brush to remove any excess cream.

Take Note; shoe conditioners come in different colours (black, brown and tan) – so pick the one closest to your shoe colour, and always use different cloths and brushes for your various shoe colours.


Step 4: Polish

You’ll find there are two types of polishing products on the shelf; one is a ‘cream polish’ which is good for colour rejuvenation (you ideally need to use a “welt brush” to apply this type) and the other is a ‘wax polish’ which is ideal for surface shine if you want a super-buffed look. Once you’ve decided on your preference – select the colour closest to your shoe colour. Now you’re ready to start; use a soft cloth (or a clean welt brush) to rub the surface of the polish until it’s collected about a poker chip size amount of product.

Then apply the polish evenly across the entire shoe; making circular motions with your index and middle finger (or for cream polishes, a welt brush) to really work the product into the leather. Give the heels and the toe area extra love, as these wear the most and take the most knocks. Once polished to perfection, allow to dry for 15 minutes.

Take Note; for tricky areas like the seams, use an old toothbrush to polish evenly.


Step 5: Buff

Finally use a soft brush to buff each shoe to a gleaming finish. Using short, even strokes, remove any excess polish; heating up the leather to enhance the shine. The more you buff, the smoother and more reflective the finish – so put your muscle power into it – then sit back to admire the results.

More Tips for Happy Feet:

  • Leather doesn’t live well in humid, non-ventilated boxes, so ditch the original shoe box and rather place on the shelf or store on a shoe rack.
  • Don’t leave your shoes next to the fireplace in winter, this will severely dry out the leather.
  • Use a shoe horn so you don’t damage the back of your shoes by forcing them on in the morning.
  • We know you love them, and they’re your office-go-to, but try give your shoes at least a day to ‘breath’ in between wears. They’ll last longer if they get some time out every now and again.
  • After you’ve worn your shoes in for 12 to18 months, visit a cobbler to reinforce the heels of your shoes and protect from wear and tear on the ground.

 

No Date No Problem

Not all Fabiani Gents have a date lined up this Valentine’s Day; and to be honest, a few of us might prefer it that way… If you want to escape the coupledom hype of the fourteenth (without retiring to the couch): steer clear of those restaurants you know will be set two by two, call up your fellow singles, and plan a relaxing night out whisky tasting with the boys.

Here’s our pick of the top whisky bars in your city, so you can celebrate Singledom with a Single Malt this Valentine’s Day:

Cape Town

Bascule Whisky & Wine Bar, Cape Grace Hotel, W Quay Road

Bascule Bar

Whether you’re really into your whisky, or you just want to imagine what it would be like to own your own yacht. Few bars can top the luxury feel of the Bascule Bar set amidst the playboy playground of the V&A Marina. Enjoy choosing from their impressive selection of over 500 whiskies, nibbling on gourmet tapas – all while gazing on the Cape Grace Hotel’s waterfront view. www.basculebar.com

 

Hank’s Olde Irish, 110 Bree Street

Hanks Olde Irish

Located on Cape Town’s uber-hip Bree Street, Hank’s Olde Irish is modelled on an old English pub, but way cooler. A favourite feature: comfortable leather booths to kick back and watch the night go by – but let’s not stop short at the décor; this hipster watering hole boasts an awesome selection of Scotch, Irish and Japanese whiskies, as well as malt and bourbon from around the world. www.hanks.co.za

 

Johannesburg

Churchills Bar, Melrose Arch

Churchills Bar

From 12 to 25 year olds, you’ll discover your favourite malt at Churchills Bar in Melrose Arch. Created for the up-market Johannesburg crowd; Churchills provides a luxurious and entertaining experience for its discerning clientele. With elegant surroundings described as “Quintessentially British”, its style is only matched by its worldly whisky selection and cigar menu. www.churchillsbar.co.za

 

Maxim Lounge, Legacy Corner Mall, Nelson Mandela Square

Maxim Lounge

If you’re looking for the ultimate bar experience, what could be more premium than your own Whisky Keep at the Maxim Lounge: Once a bottle of whisky is purchased, a lock box and key is presented which allows you to store the bottle away to be enjoyed whenever you and your friends return. And if this, and the opulent setting aren’t exclusive enough for the high rollers, they also serve the rarest most coveted whiskies in the world. 011 292 7000

Durban

Chukka Bar, Oyster Box Hotel, Umhlanga

Chukka Bar

With over 50 years of history, the Chukka Bar, is brimming with masculine charm and fond memories. Filled with interesting Polo memorabilia (hence the name) this intimate bar is a firm favourite with locals, and the perfect place to unwind after a tough week at the office. Relax in the comfortably furnished lounge area, while sampling an excellent selection of whiskies, cigars and specialist beers. www.oysterboxhotel.com