Thursday, June 30, 2022

Foodie Friday in Florence


Deep in the heart of Tuscany, in one of our favourite cities, two restaurants you should consider when you’re visiting this most beautiful of cities.


Il Borro ( – owned and built by Ferruccio Ferragamo – just 50 yards from the Ferragamo Palacio and flagship store in the centre of the town on the riverside.  A modern, beautifully designed Tuscan bistro, great service, interesting, modern twists on traditional dishes and terrific wines from their own superb Il Borro vineyard.


And a well-kept secret.  Our favourite fish restaurant in Florence – Osteria La Pescatoria (, just eight minutes walk from the Piazza di Republica.  Small, no frills, just great fish – only four/five choices.  I had anchovies, then octopus, Trudy had Amberjack.  Family run, laid-back Vagabond luxury.



Monday, June 27, 2022

Our Florence Lovemark

We’ve been staying at the Villa San Michele in Fiesole, a 600 year old former Renaissance Monastery designed by Michelangelo and where Leonardo Da Vinci first tested his flying machine – for 20 years now.  We’ve visited almost every year to enjoy the sensational Tuscan woodlands and gardens and to reconnect with our old friends there – Paulo, Adriano and Silvestro who are all maturing superbly – just like the Villa’s wine cellar.


Overlooking Florence, San Michele has been tastefully – and quietly – upgraded during Covid.  Check it out on: Villa San Michele.  A great way to enjoy the bustle of Florence and then relax in the tranquil beauty of San Michele – a 30 minute shuttle – and a world – apart.



Monday, June 20, 2022

Lemons Into Lemonade

At 2pm, after a 14 hour flight from Dubai to JFK on Saturday, I was just about to check into my Delta connection to Phoenix when I got the dreaded text – your flight has been cancelled and you’ve been rescheduled on the first flight tomorrow at 6.50am.


No options; no apologies; no refunds; no hotel.  Nothing.


And thousands of passengers were receiving similar emails at airports throughout the US as inept, immoral airlines/airports cancelled flights willy-nilly in the face of increased demand, holidays and corporate greed and incompetence.


I decided to bunker down at the airport given the early morning start and the chaos in the airport, and remembered the TWA Hotel at Terminal 5.


The landmark 1962 TWA Eero Saarinen Flight Center re-imagined as a first class hotel.


Check it out:


1962 recreated.  The Golden Age of flight.  Of music.  Of fashion.  Of design.  All faithfully recreated.


A nightmare stopover reframed as a once in a lifetime rediscovery of Adolescent Dreams, 60’s music playing throughout, the London lounge complete with TWA vintage uniforms, a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the runway, a Lockheed Constellation “Connie” L-1649A transformed into a cocktail lounge, Jean-Georges’ Paris Café, a Twister Room where you can play the iconic game, a 60’s museum, a roller-rink, a sunken sixties cocktail lounge.  Come celebrate the 60’s – it’s worth a visit.


Lemons to Lemonade – a day to remember.




Thursday, June 16, 2022

Gee but it’s great to be back home

Back at Beckwood for 24 hours in between Wales and Portugal; 16 of us for a decadent lunch at home catered brilliantly by Chef Michael, Lauren, Rachel, Sophie and overseen by All Inspired’s Jan.


The sun shone – all day – the timeless 60’s music mix was never ending, the storytelling got more and more outrageous, new truths emerged, old memories resurfaced – the boys were back in town again.


Old friends from primary school and grammar school, the wives stylish, fun and laughing.  We started at midday and finished at midnight.  That’s what I call a post-pandemic lunch!!!!


Living well is the best revenge.



Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Riding through Wales and the South West (England’s, not the US)

A great week speaking at The Celtic Manor in Wales (home of a couple of Ryder Cups) and Leigh Court in Bristol at the Wales Football National Coaches Conference, their UEFA pro licence coaches’ opening two days and Bob Reeves’ Foundation for Leadership in Sport.


Vim ‘n vigour, passion, belief, ambition in spades – inspirational stories, players, coaches, leaders wherever you looked – yesterday’s legends, today’s heroes and tomorrow’s champions.  I spoke about Winning/Leading in a Crazy World – Yes we can.


(And Bravo Wales.  Going to the World Cup – first time since 1958.  Inspirational!)



Thursday, June 9, 2022

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Was in Estoril last week at The Congress Centre in front of 600 Portuguese marketers and retailers – aided by my trusted Tech producer, Mark Fitzpatrick, celebrating 22 years on the road together.


Estoril is magical.  James Bond creator, Ian Fleming spent time here during the Second World War as an MI5 agent – Estoril and Portugal were neutral and Estoril became the hotbed for spies from both sides to mix/mingle/plot in the Casino, where the Allies frequented one bar and the Germans another.


(On this note, have you seen Operation Mincemeat on Netflix?  Ian Fleming plays a role here too.)


It was great to be back on stage in such a well-organised, well-conceived, well-executed conference – talking about the future of Marketing in our post-Pandemic, crazy world.


The audience were engaged, lively, upbeat – and just glad to be out and about with other people.  We talked about the Three HUMs, the Four S’s, the Three C’s and of course, Lovemarks.


(I stayed in a Lovemark of mine – the beautifully refurbished Hotel Albatroz on the beach in Cascais – five minutes away from Estoril and only 40 minutes from Lisbon.)


So good to catch up with old friends, talking about brands, and sport (an ex Portugal Rugby National Team Captain is now President of CentroMarca and loved the clips we showed of the All Blacks) – and socialising over Sogrape’s fine wines – in their home country.


Hello World!



Tuesday, June 7, 2022

The Jokerman


The Texan Bobness (Bob Latham) was in Tulsa 10 days ago (who knows why ...) and took two hours off to visit the brand new Bob Dylan Center – which is built next to Dylan’s hero’s (Woody Guthrie) own Center/Museum.


100,000 items spanning Dylan’s continuing journey.  My kind of place.  Amazing.  Our Generation’s most important storyteller.


Now – where the hell is Tulsa ...?