I’m on the board of children’s theatre company Theatre Hullabaloo which has just built an amazing new venue in an old fire station in Darlington. It’s a huge thing for a small team to achieve and it’s great to see the team who work there flourish in the new space and to understand their passion, focus and belief in what they do – making inspiring experiences for really young kids.
Luxe places >>
For a weekend > Amsterdam for museums, Paris for food, Rome for history.
A long holiday > In recent years I’ve worked in a lot of huge cites which I had never heard of across China – a real highlight was Xian in central China, not just for the Terracotta Warriors but also for the cable car up to the epic five peaks of Huashan Mountain.
A treat > We are visiting Milan and Verona soon to see some opera I’m not an expert but opera does make you stop, focus and imagine.
Luxe relax >>
Best food > Shellfish of all types!
Best wine > French white, Spanish red.
Favourite restaurant > The Feathers, Hedley on the Hill is local and the perfect country pub. The Staith House at the Fish Quay in North Shields for super seafood cooking.
Perfect weekend > Exploring a new city through its museums, galleries, restaurants and bars.
Downtime means > Don’t really like the idea of downtime – I’d rather be visiting something or meeting someone.
Best telly > Best avoided apart from C4 news, Newsnight and Family Guy – much prefer Radio 4 and 6 Music.
Best book > Everything by Murikami and most recently Patti Smith’s ‘M Train’ memoir – she is great at creating atmosphere even when writing about nothing happening in a coffee shop.
Best sounds > Grandaddy – great gig at Hoults Yard last year. Baxter Dury’s album is the best thing I’ve bought this year; my playlists seems to indicate that I listen to far too much Lou Reed. The Boiler Shop behind Newcastle Central Station is creating a real reputation for presenting special bands and rare music – new year’s resolution was to definitely see more live music.
Luxe shop >>
Best shopping city > Anywhere that’s avoided being overrun by chain stores – a thriving market is a good measure of a city – Grainger Market rather than Eldon Square every time!
Favourite shop > Details art shop – makes me want to create things!
Luxe retail treat > Early, most Saturday mornings around Newcastle.
Luxe party >>
Perfect party > I was one of the curators for the China Western Biennale in 2017 in Inner Mongolia- they arranged some amazing meals to welcome the international guests with extraordinary Tuvan Throat singers accompanying each course!
Best dress > I seem to struggle to look smart – if it’s a formal dinner then my wife says I look like a bouncer!
Dinner date > Always cooking for my wife, Wendy Scott.
Your luxe thing in life >>
Travelling! The more I travel and work beyond Europe the more curious the UK looks – in a good way – it’s fascinating how other countries really admire our heritage, music, art and culture as a really special, world class thing…often seems to be overlooked here in the UK!