Is it that cosy corner chair, a fireplace, a great film, a piece of abstract art or a friendly plant?
In its latest event, The Singleton of Dufftown is exploring just what gets people in a dram drinking state of mind. And for today and tomorrow (27/28 September) at the Singleton Taste Room at 33 Portland Place you can go and discover what various designers, chefs, musicians and creative types all deem necessary to have near them when they drink a dram.
I headed to the space – a quirky, creaky wooden floorboarded room used as a set on The King’s Speech – on its opening night to find out what various people believe is necessary.
The room features items donated from the likes of chef Mark Hix, DJ Gilles Peterson and Dominic Wilcox, a designer. It sits on the edge of bonkers, as all of the featured pieces are rather eclectic. But it is equally intriguing as the items have been placed to flow together to create a comfy interior.
In one corner you might find a pair of crystal glasses from The Savoy’s American Bar (donated by writer Damian Barr) while in another sits a 16mm wind-up film camera (care of Corin Hardy, a sculptor, illustrator and film-maker) or a neon sign from Chris Bracey. Hix has not only created the food to go with the whisky you can taste but also donated his vintage billiards table.
Of the pieces there that night, my favourite was the stuffed sheep, donated by curator and designer Daniel Poole. The creature seemed like he’d be easy to curl up against when I’d had too many drams and as if he would listen to me spout out my problems.
And as for what I like to have around when tasting whisky? A comfy corner chair I can fully curl up in, a great book and a bit of Coltrane (preferably on a record player if I had one) would all be essential to making my perfect whisky environment. But, what’s yours?
The Singleton Taste Room is free to the public and open from 6-9pm on the 27 and 28 September at 33 Portland Place, W1B1QE.