The Distraction Network

Canada Goose Jacket 6xl Motorcycle Helmet Rrcwr

Wanna be in my club?

Many years ago, Nick Jones, the fair-haired, blue-eyed proprietor of the swanky private members’ club, Soho House, owned a small chain of restaurants in London. The first of these was in Fulham, so as to lure in all those flashy City boys in their best place to buy a canada goose jacket in toronto Norwegian sweaters and clunky signet rings; the second, on Old Compton Street in Soho, was in the premises that now house his successful brasserie, Cafe Boh&#232me. These restaurants, which turned out to be an almighty flop, were called – wait for it – Over The Top. To be fair, we are talking about the Eighties. Understatement was still awaiting the revivifying attention of a certain Miuccia Prada.

‘Oh, it’s very embarrassing,’ says Jones, of Over The Top. ‘It was such a bad idea. Well, maybe the idea was OK, but the delivery was appalling. You chose your meat – a burger, a bit of chicken or pork or lamb – and then you could choose one of 10 toppings to go over the top.’ What, like a cheese sauce? He coughs. ‘A Dijon cheese sauce, please. The sauces were all called after mountains, like Kilimanjaro.’ Was there a Scafell Pike? ‘No… but the curry sauce was named after an Indian mountain. Anyway, the point is, the toppings were horrible and I knew they best ideas about canada goose parka on pinterest were horrible, but I didn’t know what to do about it.’

I love this story, especially the way Jones tells it, all booming laughter and disarming winces. These days, of course, he can afford to tell stories against himself.

Over The Top is but a distant memory, and in its place is a small but perfectly formed empire that includes Babington House in Somerset (scene of many a celebrity wedding, including his own, to best ideas about canada goose outlet online on pinterest newsreader Kirsty Young) and, as of this month, Soho House, New York. Everything he touches has a charmed life although, happily, he is too modest to lapse into complacency: ‘I’m always nervous about new projects. If we fail in America, it won’t be curtains. But it will be a big, sore bottom.’

Soho House, New York, sounds like heaven (alas, membership is now closed, Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicole Kidman having already signed on the dotted line). A vast former warehouse in the Meat Packing District, there are 24 bedrooms decorated in ‘rockstar bohemia’ style; a spa and cinema; a restaurant; and, best of all, a roof-top swimming pool surrounded by hammocks and a swing. Like Babington House, non-members can stay, but at extra cost. ‘We’re offering something comfortable and discreet,’ he says, when I ask if this isn’t a dodgy time to embark on a new venture. ‘One would rather there wasn’t a bloody war going on, but I don’t think it will put our guests off.’

Jones has a cherubic face, a gappy smile and a loud voice, which probably comes in handy when he is shouting across crowded rooms. He is also incredibly unstuffy, in spite of the circles in which he moves, and is still not always able to spot a famous face (he once failed to recognise Prince Edward). We meet at the Electric Brasserie and Cinema in Notting Hill, which he opened, to much praise, last year and canada goose, as he shows me around, we come upon Helen Fielding, who wrote Bridget Jones’s Diary. I interviewed her once, so I say hello. ‘Who was that?’ he asks afterwards. ‘That was Miss Notting Hill herself,’ I tell him. ‘Ah, I see.’ He nods his head, slowly.

He grew up in Cobham, Surrey, the third of four children. His father was an insurance broker. At seven, he was sent off to boarding school. ‘My mother was canada goose coat 1000 calorie in tears. I thought, “Well, this isn’t right.” I wouldn’t do it to my own children.’ He didn’t shine at school – he is dyslexic – but, by the time he left, at 17, he had his heart set on a career in catering. ‘It was considered a shit job, 20 years ago. But that was partly the reason why I wanted to go into it. Plus, I’m obsessed with food.’ His mother was a great cook in the Robert Carrier mould: ‘A brandy snap was something we used to have.’

He joined the Trust House Forte training scheme, and did everything from running a bar canada goose coat 0f to working as a chambermaid before ending up as the marketing manager of the Grosvenor House hotel. ‘I loved working in the kitchens,’ he says. ‘Everyone had come from a totally different background to me. I had this quite plummy voice. They took the mickey out of me. I didn’t mind at all. We got on really well.’ After eight years, however, he knew he had to leave. ‘In the long run, I wanted to set up on my own.’ He worked first as a washer-up and, later, as a manager at Pasta Mania, and as a night manager at a burger bar in Covent Garden.

Then he opened the ill-fated Over The Top. He remembers the day the bank tried to call in its loan very best place to buy a canada goose jacket clearly. ‘I was sitting in the empty Over The Top in Soho. I was gutted. But then, when you’re up against it, something kicks in. I don’t know what, but you just don’t give up. You think: right, how do we get out of this? I was determined not to go bust. The good thing was, the bank was too far in, the loan was a million pounds. So, for them, it was better to keep supporting me, than to write off a bad debt.’ He turned the Soho branch into Cafe Bohème and got rid of the others. ‘I’ve got a lot to thank Cafe Bohème for. It’s been open 11 years and it still does incredible business. It’s always packed.’

The idea for Soho House was born when his landlord at Cafe Bohème offered Jones best ideas about canada goose outlet online on pinterest the higgledy-piggledy offices upstairs (the doorway was too narrow for a restaurant). ‘I wasn’t a member of a club. I’m a caterer. So I did go into it pretty blind. But if people think: “Nick’s got 3,700 members all paying whatever – that’s money for old rope,” they’re wrong. You have to work hard because everyone’s a regular and a VIP. That’s why the waiting list is still 1,500 strong nine years on.’

Next, he decided to open a country outpost of the club. ‘It was a mad idea, but if you analyse it, there’s a big market – those who want to leave London, but are frightened of leaving all their comforts.’ Even in gloomy February, Babington ran at 94 per cent capacity. It was at Babington House that Jones met Kirsty Young. She had just separated from Kenny Logan, the rugby player, and he from his wife, Tania, best canada goose coat for women the mother of his two young children, Natasha and Oliver. Young mistook him for a porter, but he fancied her straight away.

‘Oh, yes. She’s beautiful and smart and lovely and very easy-going.’ They were married in 1999 and now have a two-year-old daughter, amazon canada goose parka Freya. ‘We spend most evenings together, and we try to get to our house in Somerset every weekend. I’m my own boss, so Kirsty can always ring and ask me to go home early. It works well. I’m a news junkie, she loves food. I give every menu to her. She writes little notes all over them.’ At home, they share the cooking, fighting for the stove, though it is him who does the Sunday roast. Does he make gravy? He looks horrified. ‘Yes, well, I do jus. I don’t put flour in it.’

So, if all goes according to plan, in the next few months, Jones will take New York. Then what? Balham, apparently. ‘We don’t always want to go to fancy areas,’ he says, if you tease him about this. ‘It’ll be a kitchen and bar. If it’s successful, maybe we’ll do more. There are too many bad local restaurants.’ I ask if, riding this juggernaut of expansion and success, he has low moments. Of his own volition, he offers up the episode last year, when Iris, baby daughter of Jude Law and Sadie Frost, put an ecstasy tablet in her mouth, one that she had allegedly found on the floor of Soho House. ‘It wasn’t bad for business, but the intrusion of the tabloids was hard.’

Highs, on the other hand, are easy to come by. ‘I’m quite impatient. When things don’t go right, if I come in and the food isn’t perfect, it really upsets me. I’m better than I used to be, but sometimes, average cost canada goose jacket I still can’t quite control myself. Luckily, though, that doesn’t happen very often. Most of the time, I walk into one of my restaurants and all I see is people having a good time.’ Not for the first time, he ruffles his hair and jiggles his leg. Then he swigs the last of his cup of tea. It is Freya’s bath time: he has to dash. ‘I get a real kick out of that. I always have.’

Published by admin, on August 23rd, 2013 at 10:53 am. Filled under: UncategorizedComments Off on Canada Goose Jacket 6xl Motorcycle Helmet Rrcwr