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A day in The Travel Suit with Manish Puri

Our Travel Suit is designed to tackle to conundrum of a long day’s travel and heading to meetings. We want it to take you the from checking your emails at home, to that coffee meeting in town, heading into the office and off to the airport, where the suit can offer you ultimate comfort on a long hall flight. It is a comfort focussed suit, however it does not compromise on looking smart, tailored and refined.

We put it to the test as we got to know menswear enthusiast and loyal customer, Manish Puri, who took the Travel Suit for a spin.

1. Where is home for you?

I’ve lived in London since 2001 which you would think qualifies me as a Londoner but according to my London-born-and-bred girlfriend I’ll always be from the Midlands!

2. Is a comfy home important to you?

Yes - comfy enough to provide a sanctuary at the end of a tough week but not so comfy that you never want to leave it.

3. What do you do?

I’m a consultant to Insurance companies. Nothing funny or interesting to add to that.

4. What's your ideal Sunday?

Coffee, music, trying in vain to beat my 15 year old downstairs-neighbour at Chess and watching a film with my girlfriend. To sustain us through the day we’ll either pop across to the local for a Sunday roast or cook some one-pot recipe that can sit in the oven for hours and fill the flat with delicious smells (hopefully).

5. What's your favourite room in your home and why?

I live in a pretty small place so there’s not that many rooms to choose from! However, any room with a tree outside the window is a winner for me. My last place had a pretty ropey courtyard outside but it didn’t matter to me as there was a beautiful old tree in the window that I could gaze at all day. One night, during a particularly heavy storm, this gorgeous tree that shielded my window was blown over. The following week I gave notice on the flat and moved out!

6. Do you get much opportunity to work from home? If so, do you enjoy it?

Yes and yes. It is amazing how much more work you can do and how much more focussed you can be if you take out travelling to the office and all those 5 minute office interruptions that are about nothing in particular other than the fact that someone has physically seen you and now feels obliged to remind you of something. That being said if I work from home too much I do start feeling pretty isolated and miss the same 5 minute interruptions!

7. Do you like to travel?

Yes. It never ceases to amaze me how instantly transformative travel is. You walk differently, you talk differently, you try new things, you look and listen more. You shake yourself loose from the patterns of everyday life.

8. What was your most recent travel destination?

New York. Not the most original answer but a bloody good one.

9. Any recommendations or hidden gems to check out?

Tending bar is an art form in New York - largely because your income is heavily dependent on tips and so you need to know your business and your patrons. I’d recommend you find a good neighbourhood place and park yourself up at the bar on a weeknight (not a Friday or Saturday) and just enjoy watching and listening to the regulars and some of the irregulars as well. If you can find one of the ever-dwindling spots that honours the bar buyback then all the better.

If tending bar is an art form then my friend KP, whose real name lost in the sands of time, is Michelangelo. He runs two very different but equally awesome bars in Brooklyn that I’d recommend spending a lot of time in: Washington Commons (Prospect Heights) and The Armory (Park Slope). I have another friend, Andrew, who runs a fantastic pizza and cocktail place called Parkside (Prospect-Lefferts Garden). They hold a free Jazz night on Tuesdays too.

As far as pursuits that don’t result in liver failure go I’d recommend the Cloisters museum (it’s about as uptown as you can go but well worth a visit if you have time), shopping at Stoffa (they have a new studio in SoHo) and eating at Davelle (the cutest Japanese place in the Lower East Side).   Ooh, can I have one more drinking den please? McSorley’s! Yes, it is firmly on the tourist trail but if you go at the right time it’s still pretty magical. Plus you can have a Feltman’s hot dog with your beer.

10. Do you have a travel routine / ritual?

I’m one of those weirdos that absolutely loves plane food!! I keep thinking that would make a great pop up restaurant concept - tiny little foldaway tables where you’re served a tiny tray of food at not so tiny prices (you can see why I work in the Insurance and not the Hospitality industry!). And so my favourite travel ritual is the airplane meal. I treat it as though I’m about to embark on a tasting menu at El Bulli! I’ll line up a film on the in-flight entertainment, order a gin and tonic, lay my napkin out, butter my roll using the blunt miniature knife and I think to myself “what a wonderful world”.   I’ll also use the plane ride to try and memorise a few useful words of whatever language is spoken at my destination. It’s incredible how much goodwill knowing ‘Hello’, ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’ and ‘A round of drinks for the bar on me’ will get you.

12. You're into your menswear, what got you into that?

This question has really got me thinking! Social media has been an amazing tool and I love reading Permanent Style, Die Workwear and L’Etiquette magazine (although that’s in French so it’s less read and more gawp at pictures). However, if I cast my mind back I’d have to say my Dad was a big factor in getting me into menswear. He was born in Ludhiana which is a city in Northern India famous for its textile industry - my Uncle still runs a hosiery factory there. When I was a kid my Dad would tell stories of watching the latest Bollywood smash film with his mates and then visiting one of the many tailors in the city to instruct them to make a specific shirt or pair of trousers to mirror the hero that they’d just seen in the cinema. So even though my sartorial tastes are very different to my Dad I’d have to say that level of permissiveness to talk about clothes and enjoy clothes was very liberating as a young boy.

13. Lastly, what's your favourite Hamilton and Hare piece?

Without hesitation I’d say the boxer shorts. They’re made of a soft yet sturdy cotton, a comfortable fit but not too voluminous and they’re available in a good range of styles and colours. I absolutely love them.

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