Well Tailored, Mixed and Cut. 

  • By Stewart Christie
  • 19 Dec, 2017

An editorial in the Stewart Christie Atelier, featuring some of Edinburgh's finest cocktail specialists from Panda & Sons, Voodoo Rooms and The Chop House, styled by local hair experts, Stag Barber.

Mr Jono McDowell & Mr Kyle Jamieson - Panda & Sons, Queen Street, New Town/West End

Panda & Sons is a wonderful little hidden gem of a speakeasy, with a secret entrance just along Queen Street. But why is it called "Panda & Sons"?

It’s called Panda and Sons because the owner Yan (Iain McPherson) was nicknamed panda growing up, then that’s where the whole panda family was created.

With such a well presented team what are your roles there?

Both myself(Kyle) and Jono are part of the management team. Myself being bar manager and Jono being General manager.

Recently, you won an award for best cocktail, which we believe was named after Queen Street. Can you tell us more about the concoction? And the competition?

The cocktail is inspired by three words as well as the history and heritage of the bar scene on Queen Street in Edinburgh and Scotland in general. These three words are: Education, Collaboration and Innovation. These three words symbolise the journey of the person behind the drink(Panda & Sons bartender, Leon Back) as well as the core values of the drink itself. The competition, Bacardi Legacy is the biggest single branded cocktail competition in the world and has been a big part of the bar world celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year.

As we are practically neighbours, there seems to be excitement about the new developments on the street, do you expect this to have a positive impact on the bar?

The development will be huge for us and the surrounding areas. It will bring more people to our side of town and allow Panda and Sons to go from strength to strength.
What has been your favourite event at the bar? And are there any other forthcoming events we should know about?

We held a few events for Tales in tour, an event which brought hundreds of hospitality professionals to our fair city! The takeovers were super busy, but was awesome to work with old friends and make plenty of new ones.

With such a dapper workforce what would be the perfect addition to the Panda & Sons uniform Stewart Christie could create?

I think something like tartan/tweed arm bands would be cool, or aprons.
Is there a particular favourite cocktail you could recommend for Hogmanay to drink in the bells, and ease ourselves into a New Year?

If you haven’t tried the Queen St cocktail, designed by one of our very own, Leon Back(who will be competing in next year's Bacardi Championship) you should have a go. Short, sharp and delicious!

Recipe is as follows:
50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
20ml fresh Lemon juice
20ml Martini Ambrato
20ml 1-1 sugar syrup
3 dashes of celery bitters

Shaken and strained, served straight up in a cocktail glass, garnished with a spray of Islay whisky.

Mr Lachlan Rooney - Voodoo Rooms, W. Register Street, New Town
The Voodoo Rooms is one of Edinburgh's premier venues, can you tell us about the ethos behind it all?

The ethos behind the Voodoo rooms is really to create a fun, chilled out atmosphere that stands out from the rest. As a venue that does food, drinks, parties and gigs it's a different environment every night which is one of my favourite things about working here. Our directors are super committed to making sure voodoo is one of the coolest places in town while keeping it as relaxed and fun as possible-and they have been doing so for the last 10 years!

As manager there we know you must work extremely hard to keep the cocktails flowing. What has been your most memorable evening there?

There have been a fair few memorable nights at voodoo including birthdays (mine, Rosie's and Voodoo's), gigs, parties, competitions, cool events, but to put one on top of all of them would be pretty difficult. I'd say seeing Miracle Glass Company last month was a highlight, I've seen them like 10 times now but that performance at voodoo was a special one, flawless. 

You recently won an award for one of your cocktail creations, we know you were suitably attired in a Stewart Christie Suit for the event, what was the inspiration for the cocktail, and does it have a name?

So the award wasn't as such for a cocktail in particular but more for contribution and dedication to the Scottish spirits scene. It was a good night and cool to meet Jimmy Carr in person and it certainly helped being dressed in Stewart Christie-at least 8 people asked where the suit was from! I've been shortlisted for a Class Magazine award in February next year in London so I might be back at your door very soon for something new!

If you could pick your favourite era of fashion for men, when would it be? And what would you be wearing in it?

My favourite era of men's fashion has to be the 1950's. From winkle-pickers to 2 tone oxfords, letterman jackets, slim fit suits and fedoras, Levi's and thick black glasses. I also love the long pointy collars of old 30's-50's gangster's suits. You don't see those anymore.

I'd be wearing all of the above depending on the occasion!

If you were designing the perfect mixologist uniform, what would be the two key pieces?

It'd probably be a smart, dark shirt and thin Dinner Jacket style blazer. I like that classic style that bars like the American bar at The Savoy go for, it's timeless and respectable and shows both confidence and skill- everything a customer likes to see. Both items would have to be machine washable because they'd be constantly in the firing line behind a bar. 
Could you recommend a festive cocktail to finish Christmas Day with some refined cheer? 

The drink is a Christmas Bramble, just swap out creme de mure for a home made mulled wine syrup and garnish it with a little clove punched orange wedge and some mint & icing sugar. Super festive and a refreshing little winter warmer.
Recipe is as follows:
50ml Pickerings Gin
25ml Lemon Juice
12.5ml 1-1 sugar syrup
25ml mulled wine syrup

Shake all ingredients except the mulled wine syrup, strain into a rocks glass half full with cubed ice, top with crushed ice, garnish with orange and icing sugar covered mint, then drizzle mulled wine syrup over the top.
Cameron Burnett - The Chop House, Constitution Street, Leith
The Chop House is not just known for its fine butchery, but with its well stocked bar, a perfect combination (apologises to vegeatarians). Where did the idea come from?

I can’t speak on behalf of the owners regarding the original inspiration, however I feel Chop House simply provides some of best local food that Scotland has to offer. That, paired with a fine selection of alcohol from around the world and a comfortable, relaxed environment makes for an enjoyable, top class culinary experience.

What is your role at the Chop House?

I tend the bar at the Chop House in Leith, helping to ensure that customers' appetites and thirsts are fully satisfied and that they leave with a smile on their face.

What would be your perfect pairing of food and drinks for an opulent evening at the chop house? (Bear in mind we could probably only manage three courses!)

I would start the evening with a Smoked Salt Negroni, one of the classic twists on our new cocktail menu, perfect for getting the tastebuds tingling whilst you relax at the bar. Starter, scallops and sesame squid, accompanied with a glass of Durbanville Sauvignon Blanc, a nice combination of fresh herbs and spice. Main course, Rib Eye, medium-rare and a glass of Primitivo. Desert, cheese, always, with a hefty dram of Springbank 15. Alas, follow your heart, do what makes you happy!  
As a repeat 'adorn-is' on the Stewart Christie social style pages, we know you are no stranger to fine attire and a quirky sense of style. Do you dress up or down for work?

Firstly, thank you, you’re far too kind. Although I do enjoy a good pair of tweeds as much as the next man, when it comes to work, uniform dictates. Dark brown brogues, black jeans, dark blue denim shirt and butchers apron. Simple but smart.

As the beard has become "past cool" we note you are adorning your upper lip with hirsute dapperness, is this refinement about to become more mainstream?

I’m definitely not qualified to decide if something is ‘past cool’ but swings and roundabouts, horses for courses etc.. many men look proud and strong like a mighty lion with a beard, others perhaps not so much, who am I to say? The moustache started its life as a joke between friends during my student days and I guess it still is in a way, it’s just evolved slightly. I like it and feel it suits my character and profession, so why not? Just go for whatever makes you feel comfortable and confident. As far as becoming ‘mainstream’ well, who knows? I just heard it’s the best place to drown a hipster..
With all the trimmings of the festive period could you recommend a restorative elixir to aid us through the nights between Christmas and Hogmanay?

Buttered Rum Bombardier

Recipe is as follows:
25ml Woods dark navy rum
50ml Blackball stout
50ml Milk
15ml Creme de Cacao
10ml Demerara
Dash of angostura
Wee knob butter
Pinch salt

Heat her up, drink her down.

All garments and tailoring by Stewart Christie & Co.

Special thanks to Stag Barber , Panda and Sons , Voodoo Rooms and Chop House .  

Photography by Laura Meek
Styling by Vixy Rae
Hair by Ruth Furneaux, Angus Knott, Nicole Lang and Murray McRae
Queen Street logo, compliments of Amy Jacobs

Stewart Christie & Co. Tales of Tailoring

By Stewart Christie 19 Dec, 2017

An editorial in the Stewart Christie Atelier, featuring some of Edinburgh's finest cocktail specialists from Panda & Sons, Voodoo Rooms and The Chop House, styled by local hair experts, Stag Barber.

By Stewart Christie 29 Nov, 2017

For more than a decade Will Lyons has written a weekly wine column, first for The Wall Street Journal now for The Sunday Times. His humorous, informed, down-to-earth writing has been recognized in both the Glenfiddich and Roederer wine writing Awards. He is a past president of the Edinburgh University Wine Society, where in between wine tasting, he read History. A Commanderie de Bordeaux Lyons works in St James’ as a fine wine advisor for Berry Bros. & Rudd.

By Stewart Christie 30 Oct, 2017

Mark Thomson is simply the best chap for the job - Ambassador to Scotland for Glenfiddich Single Malt Whisky and a man of Distinction and Style

By Stewart Christie 01 Oct, 2017
A welder and restorer of stained glass windows by trade, cycling enthusiast by heart. Mark Stevens is the quintessential gentleman ready and impeccably dressed for any jaunt, come rain or shine. 
By Stewart Christie 24 Aug, 2017
We recently spent some time in the shop catching up with one of the elite players of Scotland's Rugby Team. Sam has the charisma and charm that is a perfect match for his classic style and passion for the well loved sport. A scrum half, leading the pack, sporting the Scotland regalia on the pitch by day, classic-timeless gentleman, clad in tweed by night, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, professional rugby player, shares his experience representing the country's national team as well as his fondness for well-tailored, classic attire.
By Stewart Christie 27 Jul, 2017
Jack Lowden, one of Scotland's greatest contemporary talents who has recently starred in the closing film of the Edinburgh Film Festival, England is Mine, as well as Christopher Nolan's epic blockbuster, Dunkirk, spent the afternoon with us at Stewart Christie talking all things Morrissey, theatre, Nolan and Spitfires. From Essex to Oxton to London, Jack has embraced his profession both on stage and screen in a massive variety of roles. Read on for a little insider of his experience pursuing a rather exciting career. 
By Stewart Christie 26 Jun, 2017
It was a complete pleasure to meet and dress the eminent actor, author and director Mr Richard E. Grant. Daring to be different and breaking away from the black tie, he cut a dash across the red carpet in our stone prince of wales check three piece in the light summer weight tweed. At the Edinburgh International Film Festival opening party. And of course, we asked him a few quick questions and cordially invited him to our prestigious Stewart Christie & Co Gentleman's Club.
By Stewart Christie 08 Jun, 2017

Shot amidst the wooded glen of Roslyn, just down the hill from the beautiful Roslyn Chapel. This was a day to embrace collaboration, and celebrate the craftsmanship of bespoke creation, design and immaculate aesthetic of some of Edinburgh's finest, that are dear friends to the team at Stewart Christie. A fairy tale display, with florals strung up in the trees, topping off the ethereal gowns and coats adorning our sublime black and white swans, the scene was set. It was a splendid day indeed in the woods for a celebration of beauty and craft.

By Stewart Christie 07 Jun, 2017
Francois and Nella, artists from France, friends of Stewart Christie and lovers of all things Scottish, had the dream to venture over to Skye for a timeless wedding at Dunvegan Castle. Dressed in fine tweed and tartan, of course.

From the finely crafted wedding ensembles, including a Victorian inspired bespoke gown to the immaculate and well preserved interior of the castle, the day easily alluded to what could have been experienced a few hundred years back for guests at a Lord and Lady's special day. Not to mention, the weather was particularly mild, unexpected, but happily welcomed by all, which led to a most exquisite sunset to polish off such a classic affair.

Nella wore a hand made Stewart Christie 'Inverleith' Cape, made from a beautiful soft lovat green herringbone tweed from the Scottish Borders. The Kilt Jacket and Waistcoat were tailored for Francois in a matching tweed to compliment his beautiful bride. He was proudly adorned in his Ancient Clan Farquharson Kilt and sash. The outfit was completed with a hand crafted sporan by McRostie in a chestnut bridal leather. We were proud there were a number of other guests dressed head to toe in our finely tailored tweed and tartan garments.

Following the wedding day, Francois and Nella strapped on their hiking boots along with their wedding outfits for a walk through the wooded Fairy Glen, just around the corner from Uig, for a romantic and equally magical morning, surrounded by inspiring nature to further embrace the beauty of Skye over their fairy tale wedding weekend.

By Stewart Christie 16 May, 2017

Ian was brought up in Fife, but finally settled in Edinburgh, with his wife and two sons. Before becoming a full-time novelist, he had a rather wide variety of character building jobs, such as a grape picker, taxman, alcohol researcher, hi-fi journalist, college secretary and punk musician-to name but a few. Now his immense passion and knowledge for music and writing go hand in hand. We had the great pleasure of Ian's company in the Oxford Bar for a quick pint and a catch up, after measuring him up in the store for his first Stewart Christie bespoke three-piece, in a soft grey lambswool tweed to be completed for the Edinburgh International Book Festival, where he will present various events in true Scottish style.

Name? Ian Rankin

Profession? Novelist

Do you usually complete your work and then get it published or have you got some novels that you’ve secretly shelved that you may finally release at a later date?

I've only got one unpublished novel - my very first. Unlikely ever to see the light of day. It was a not very funny comedy set in a Highland hotel. There is one novel, Westwind, which was published, but I was unhappy with. I've never allowed it to be reissued. 

Very interested to know what you are currently working on that we may look forward to?
This is a sabbatical year. I am tinkering and pottering, but not doing a novel. A few short stories, meetings about film and TV. Travelling to festivals far and wide to promote Inspector Rebus' 30th anniversary.

It’s incredible that Rebus has been translated into 22 different languages, have you ever read them in other languages? We understand you resided in France for a while. It must be quite a strange feeling to see them in French, not that you would read it, but is there anything that would make you read any of your novels again once you've written them?

Translated into 35 languages - I need to update the information available online! I lived in France for six years but it wasn't translated into French until after I'd moved back to the UK, which was a bit annoying. I only ever reread my novels when asked by my publisher to provide the introduction to some new edition. 

Where do you find your inspiration in Edinburgh for such crime stories? Do you have a few "favourite haunts" you like to go to and write, or are you one of those writers who is constantly inspired throughout the day, like Alexander McCall Smith, who is forever writing?

I write seldom. I'm certainly no McCall Smith. The man is a machine. I hang out in pubs, especially the Oxford Bar. I eavesdrop on conversations. I go for drinks with retired cops. I am also a news junkie, and often get ideas from newspaper reports and such like.

We know you have a great passion for music. In a recent interview with Tim Burgess at the book festival, we experienced your immense knowledge of artists and albums, it was an interesting talk. Would you host or partake in more of them this year?

Like most crime writers, I am a frustrated rock star. Putting so much music in my books has led me to form friendships with a host of musicians, which is a lovely bonus. I will be interviewing at least one musician at this year's festival - but it's under wraps at the moment.

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