Alistair Guy’s Little Black Book
Alistair Guy’s Little Black Book

Alistair Guy’s Little Black Book


If you follow us on Instagram, you’ll have seen that photographer and man-about-town Alistair Guy is our new SLMan contributor. To introduce him, we followed Alistair around with a camera of our own to see how he spends his ideal day in London – from morning beard trim to late-night cocktails. And he’s also ready to share his little black book of restaurants and shops around the capital…

For a spot of grooming, it has to be Truefitt & Hill in St James’s for a beard trim. It’s the world's oldest barbershop, and it’s got history with the military and the royal family. I was introduced through friends and have been going to see Jason there for five years now. They just know how to look after you and what you need as soon as you sit in the seat. Every time I go, I love smelling the different scents and watching people passing by the windows. My current favourite cologne is The Gentlemen Sandalwood, which the team created with Netflix to celebrate Guy Ritchie’s new series. 

I’m not much of a coffee man – I much prefer tea (make mine an earl grey with a splash of milk). In fact, my new drink of choice is a hot chocolate – I think it’s massively underrated. I really got into in after a visit last year to Mexico City, where it was insanely good, as it’s made with 100% cacao. Of course, it’s not quite the same back here, but the one place I’ve found in London that makes an exceptional one is the José Pizarro Poster Bar at the Royal Academy. 

As a photographer, I feel at home in spaces with lots of natural light, so I quite like terraces.

I’m massively into chocolate at large. In the summer, I like to have a scoop or two of chocolate sorbet from Oddono’s gelateria in Chiswick. I think Chiswick is a bit of a hidden gem – people always think it’s really far out of central, but it’s so quick on the District Line and there’s so much green space. If you like antiques and furniture, The Old Cinema is a treasure trove of good design.

Another of my favourite places to roam around in London is the fantastic courtyard of the Royal Academy. Specifically, I like approaching it from the other side of Burlington Gardens. That’s where you’ll find that José Pizarro bar. I’ll pop in before or after seeing the latest exhibition, which always fills my mind with inspiration. The last thing I saw there was Entangled Pasts: Art, Colonialism & Change, which focused on artists such as JMW Turner, Ellen Gallagher, Joshua Reynolds and Yinka Shonibare. I’m also looking forward to the Summer Exhibition next month.

I’m passionate about cars, so I love to have a nose around showrooms. Last year, Lotus opened one of the most perfect showrooms I've ever experienced. Bang on the corner of Piccadilly and Berkeley Street, it's a must-see for any design fan. It’s full of cars and visuals unlike anything I've seen before – my favourite car of theirs is the new Eletre.

If I’m on the hunt for presents, I always head to Charbonnel Et Walker. At its shop on Bond Street, I like the heritage of it all – and the fact they still sell violet and rose creams. My absolute favourite box is the Dark Sea Salt Caramel truffles – I often buy them for Valentine’s Day and Easter. 

New & Lingwood has dressed me for various events around town. Its high-quality fabrics and tailored clothing always impress, and the friendly staff offer help without taking over. The fabrics are very fine and the clothing is rooted in history, but they’re also very contemporary with their designs. They always seem to get it right, as it’s a masculine offering, but some of their colours push the boundaries. There was a lot of coral last time I went in. But I like that – it very much leans into the trend for women borrowing their boyfriend’s clothes. I believe that every man needs one of their dressing gowns – I’ve got its Livonia Paisley lined version.

I love The Connaught hotel. My grandparents used to stay there, so I've always admired it. I like how it mixes traditional with modern. You enter and there’s this beautiful, old, wood-panelled, winding staircase with oil paintings. Then you enter the Red Room, its super-modern bar. It’s the perfect place for tea or an early evening cocktail. The specialist cocktails are exceptional and definitely hit the spot. My tipple of choice is the White Martini, a twist on the classic.

Some of my favourite new places to go include Il Gattopardo in Mayfair. The pasta is out of this world and the room is gorgeous. As a photographer, I feel at home in spaces with lots of natural light, so I quite like terraces. I had a great time on the new rooftop at Los Mochis on Broadgate Circle. The sushi was fantastic, but the views were something else – it was awesome to see all the cranes and construction work going on around the City. I recently went to the new cigar terrace at Upstairs at Langan’s – that’s a nice little spot too.

Truefitt & Hill just know what you need as soon as you sit in the seat. Every time I go, I love smelling the different scents and watching people passing by the windows.

In terms of old favourites, I still love having brunch at Granger & Co on Westbourne Grove. And I think the Princess Royal in Notting Hill is a great pub that serves great food. I much prefer a gastropub over a traditional boozer. I also really like The Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue. I can never visit without ordering a bowl of its legendary sweet potato fries.

For more, follow Alistair at @AlistairGuy

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