Tag Archive | "How To"


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A Beginner’s Guide To Kitchen Knife Techniques

Posted on 08 June 2017 by Chris Ford

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Sponsored video: Learn how to seduce with Expert James Charm

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Sponsored video: Learn how to seduce with Expert James Charm

Posted on 15 February 2012 by Chris Ford

This week we had the single Gentleman’s  nemesis – Valentines Day.  Although does any man really enjoy Valentines Day?

If you are single you may feel alone and  unfulfilled, hearing the plans of all your colleagues and friends for their special night,  if you are with someone you have all the stress of curating a perfect evening to please your loved one and show you care.

The thing is though ultimately we all want to find that special someone and as they say first impressions count!

But fear not men’s fragrance Joop! Homme have sponsored a series of videos presented by seduction expert James Charm who will guide you onto the right  path to woo the object of your desire.

Take a look at the latest video here


Joop Homme itself  has  marvellous  rich citrus scent and since I started wearing it this week in place of my normal scent I have been getting constant remarks from both men and women asking what I was wearing, a definite winner and looks destined to replace my 5 year love affair with Issey Miyake!



sponsored by Joop


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The Perfect Shave By Jason Shankey

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The Perfect Shave By Jason Shankey

Posted on 14 July 2011 by Chris Ford

Belfast based Male Grooming expert Jason Shankey, who launched his unique range of hair and skincare products into the Urban Retreat at Harrods this year, has now gone one step further by promising men a completely pain-free shave.

The Perfect Shave comprises Shankey’s three shaving products and his expert guide to shaving, all packaged together in a gorgeous, masculine box.

Shankey, who is a regular contributor to magazines such as Men’s Health and FHM, and TV shows including 10 years younger, told us “97% of men suffer from pain, irritation and redness due to shaving, and my unique ‘Perfect Shave’ recipe utilises our three hero products which target men’s underlying shaving problems, facilitating a quick, painless and easy to follow daily routine.

His range of products were developed over a number of years using a hands-on approach, and contain a fascinating list of ingredients which claim to help men’s skin to look clearer, healthier and younger. In Northern Ireland, it is available exclusively in his salons and at House of Fraser Belfast.

From hair growth inhibitors to super exfoliants, his range guarantees a pain-free shave by targeting both the natural and man made processes which cause skin to look red and aggravated, resulting in baby smooth skin with no visible signs of redness.

“By slowing down the beard regrowth, men don’t need to shave as often. And shaving less often means less scraping of the skin, resulting in better looking skin”, he said.


The Perfect Shave gift box is £48  More details about his products can be found on the company’s website: www.jasonshankey.com/expert

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How To : Cook the Perfect Steak

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How To : Cook the Perfect Steak

Posted on 18 October 2010 by Chris Ford

I recently had the chance to ask BBC chef Simon Rimmer how to cook the perfect steak and these were his top tips:

Selection – Pick some good-quality meat – something that’s aged for at least 21 days if you can. That means that even if you cook it rare, the blood doesn’t seep out.

Temperature – Take the steak out the fridge ahead of time and bring the meat up to room temperature.

Seasoning – Rub a little olive oil into the meat and then season, don’t oil the pan

Heat – Get the pan really hot; use a griddle pan if you can to get those charred lines on the meat.

Turning – You only want to turn your steak once, any more will ruin it. Different cuts take different times depending on how rare you like your steak.

Is it ready? – Don’t be tempted to cut into the steak to check its cooked, try and get a feel for how you like your steak cooked as cutting draws the moisture and flavour our of the meat.

If you are looking for a source of quality meat may I suggest the rather excellent Donald Russell who will deliver steaks straight to your door www.Donaldrussell.com


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How to: Buy Your Perfect Watch

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How to: Buy Your Perfect Watch

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Chris Ford

Tag Heuer MonacoStep 1

First off is deciding on what style of men’s watch you want. Will you wear it at work, out on the town or both?  A big bulky watch designed for hunters probably isn’t the best watch to wear while wearing a suit.

Step 2

After you decide on the general type, you need to decide on the movement. The movement is basically the inner workings, there are three types; quartz, mechanical and digital. A quartz watch uses a tiny vibrating crystal inside, these are very accurate. Mechanical watches are either hand wind or Automatic (self winding using body movement) .The digital watch is battery powered, cheaper although considered a more casual style of watch, certainly not ideal for the boardroom!

Step 3

After you decide on the style and type of movement there are some additional considerations. Make sure you get the proper size face, a regular size face on a large man could end up looking like a ladies watch.

Look for quality construction including polished bezel and case. When it comes to mechanical watches Swiss made are generally the best.

Step 4

Waterproof, water resistant? Water resistant is NOT water proof, it just means the watch is OK if it gets splashed. When it comes to waterproof, men’s watches are rated by depth.

Step 5

Take a look at the crystal, the clear covering over the face. There are three possible materials it can be made of:

  • Plexiglass: this is the cheapest, it scratches quite easily but is difficult to shatter
  • Mineral crystal: this is more expensive, it’s more likely to shatter but less likely to get scratched
  • Synthetic sapphire: this is the most expensive, it’s almost scratch proof but is easy to shatter.

Step 6

Strap type, metal, leather or rubber.  Tradition dictates that a metal or rubber bracelet should be reserved for a more casual dress with leather to be worn with a suit. But in recent years the lines have blurred largely thanks to the recent Bond films showing off the Omega Seamaster.

Step 7

When you’re ready to buy consider second hand,  not only are some vintage watches amazing, but you will save yourself some money and look much cooler in your vintage 70s Omega than the guy who just bought a brand new version of the same watch.

If you are going for a premium Swiss Made watch then  stick to authorised dealers, the internet is full of fakes and replica watches some that look extremely convincing to the untrained eye.

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How To: Tie a Half Windsor Knot

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How To: Tie a Half Windsor Knot

Posted on 19 March 2010 by Marc

Last month Mr Black discussed the Four in Hand knot.  Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a mighty fine knot but if I may be so bold, I’d say it’s more of a beginners knot.  It’s what you might use while attending high school but once you’ve grown up, you’ll want a grown up knot to accompany you and that’s where the Half Windsor comes into it’s own.  Matched with a crisp shirt you’ll have what is known as sartorial elegance.

So, if you don’t want to be left in the collar-fashion wilderness, follow the advice of Charles Tyrwhitt of Jermyn Street who have produced a nifty step-by-step video guide on how to tie the knot.

Prepare yourself First, turn your collar up and pass the tie around your neck before folding the collar back down. Make sure the wide blade of the tie is around 10 to 12 inches longer than the narrow tail.

Get stuck in Next, pass the wider section over the tail once, then back underneath before bringing it through the loop to create the knot. Fold the blade over the knot, back through the loop once again and tuck it inside the knot. Then gently pull the blade down before pinching the knot to create a neat triangle.

Tidy up You can then tighten by pulling the narrow tail while pushing the knot towards the top of the shirt. Before it reaches the collar, fasten the button and adjust to comfort. The result is a larger knot than the four-in-hand, but extremely smart all the same.

How to wear it The Half Windsor tends to suit a larger and more rounded face and is ideal if you have a beard as it draws ones attention to your neck. When choosing your neck wear bear in mind that a diagonal striped tie goes well with a crisp white or blue shirt while a versatile solid neck-tie suits check and striped shirts.

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How to: Make Great Coffee in a Cafetière

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How to: Make Great Coffee in a Cafetière

Posted on 05 March 2010 by Chris Ford

In the last year I have discovered a passion for fresh coffee, so much so I now cannot bear the frozen instant granules that are so popular here in the UK.  Anyway, after doing a bit of research for myself I thought I would share with you my tips on how to get the best from your cafetiere or french press as the Americans call them. This is the model I use the Bodum 1923 Chambord French Press Coffee Maker 0.35lt

Invest in a bean grinder, these can cost as little as £10.00 and will make such a difference to the pre-ground stuff as your cup of coffee will have an added flavour benefit.  I went for this Krups Twin Blade Coffee Mill

Choose a coffee blend that you really like. This may seem obvious, I know, but bad coffee beans really can’t make a good cup of coffee.

Select or grind your coffee beans coarse to medium this ensures you avoid sediment from entering your coffee.

Ensure that your cafetière is really clean. Again, an obvious one but often overlooked, don’t just rinse it under the tap; unscrew the filter end of your plunger regularly and wash each part separately.

Put coffee into the base of the glass jug part of the cafetière. Usually 1 generous dessert spoon per person is enough but you can vary this to your own taste. As a general rule, the coarser the blend the more coffee you will need.

Boil your kettle, then wait until the water has just come off the boil. Boiling water will scald your coffee.

Pour the water over your ground coffee and leave for around 3 minutes. Pour enough water for the number of cups you need.

Put the plunger on top of the jug and gently lower until the filter is down as far as it can go.

Serve and enjoy




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How to Tie a Four in Hand Knot

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How to Tie a Four in Hand Knot

Posted on 23 February 2010 by Chris Ford

Yesterday I mentioned where to find a shirt but unless you’re aiming for the casual look, you’ll want to pair it with a tie and it’s surprising how many modern men seem to have lost the art of tying a tie! So if you learn just one knot, make it the Four in Hand which is the perfect tie knot for the novice tie wearer. The knot is easy to tie, holds a good shape and will go well with most shirt collars and neck-tie styles.

The Four In Hand Knot

The Four in Hand knot was invented by us Brits during the end of the 19th century.  It originated from gentlemen who tied their scarves with one hand while holding the reins of their four horses drawing the carriage in the other – hence the name four in hand. Although the four in hand is one of the oldest knots it is still a popular and fashionable knot that is a popular choice and my favourite. Although this knot is easy enough to be tied with one hand no one will object if your use two!  Just click on the picture above for a larger image and you are a few wraps and a tuck away from the perfect knot!

Among the many retailers of ties we do like the current selection from Austin Reed who also happen to be offering a discount of £10 off an order of £100 if you quote ar100 at checkout until 31 December 2010.  We do however advise you to check their site as they offer promotions during the year and as is typical, you can rarely combine offers so make sure you get the best deal!


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