Dear John

One of my favourite books is Gisele Scanlon’s The Goddess Guide.

Though perhaps not as weighty or seminal as its literary neighbours, it is nonetheless a valuable docket of good taste. Like a dear friend, Scanlon conveys exclusive morsels of information on the very finest shops, restaurants, hotels, and little hideaways that we might not otherwise have discovered.

There is something sisterly about her work and the selfless – okay, selfless if we negate the advance paid by her publisher – sharing of a little black book of contacts.

This blog will serve that same purpose.

I am neither a politician taking bribes nor a journalist under pressure to attract advertising revenue. As such, everything here that receives my praise is deserving of it – these will be the things that I genuinely adore, couldn’t be without, and have discovered after many years of trial and costly error.

So, what do I know this far? Tom Ford Private Blend lipsticks are extraordinary. Rupert Sanderson, too. The Moroccan Rose Otto line by REN is an elixir of unadulterated bliss. Oh, and Lauduree macarons are the most sublime in the world.

The most cursory inspection of my bank statement will reveal, however, that there is plenty more to desire. One name appears on those statements more than most…

John Smedley.

There are very few vestiges of the British textile industry remaining today but, of those that have survived, this is one for which we should feel particularly proud. After a rich heritage of more than two centuries, the brand has come to be synonymous with all that is accomplished in knitwear.

Whether it be the sumptuous colour plate, the new 13.5 range of fine merino wool, the sense of craft that ensures each sweater takes seven weeks to make, or the highest quality provenance of natural fabrics – everything is without compare. It explains why their garments regularly feature in the most prestigious magazines and films.

This may have become something of a love letter to Mr Smedley – and perhaps it is unbecoming for a lady to speak so ardently of a man not her boyfriend – but know this.

For me, he will always be the last word in fine knitwear.

|John Smedley|
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