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Modern Manners and hedonism

Big wine bottles and effervescent pain relief are among the vices advocated in our collection of articles from The Gentlewoman magazine

The Gentlewoman celebrates modern women of style and purpose. This fabulous biannual magazine offers a fresh and intelligent perspective, featuring ambitious journalism and photography of the highest quality; it showcases inspirational women through a distinctive combination of glamour, personality and warmth.

Our new collection of personal essays from the magazine, entitled Modern Manners, reflects this ethos, with a series of pieces filled with wise, worldly wisdom from such writers as the New Yorker’s Lauren Collins, the Telegraph’s Caroline Roux, and the Observer’s Eva Wiseman.

Of course purpose and intelligence, doesn’t mean the Gentlewoman’s contributors and readership don’t know how to party. “Like the magazine itself and the female icons it features, these readers paint an optimistic picture of life lived fabulously well today,” writes the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Penny Martin.


The Gentlewoman's editor in chief Penny Martin, photographed by Thomas Lohr
The Gentlewoman's editor in chief Penny Martin, photographed by Thomas Lohr


Indeed, Modern Manners offers quite a bit of advice when it comes to enjoying oneself. The writer and restaurant critic Marina O’Loughlin finds pleasure in moderation, having been introduced to tiny glasses of wine, via one of the world’s best-loved restaurants. “I love a half glass of wine, a shallow, fragrant pool at the bottom of the bowl,” she writes.

“I first came to appreciate the joys of restrained quantities of wine served in good glassware when I was fortunate enough to score a table at Catalonia’s el Bulli in 2009.

“The parade of courses at this legendary (now sadly closed) restaurant was so numerous that to accompany them with fuller glasses would have required the installation of a vomitorium,” she goes on. “But the elegance of the small servings was notable, underlining the fact that this was food and drink to really absorb and be bewitched by — not a blowout or what the Beano used to call a ‘slap-up feast’. From then on, a judicious more-than-a-splash at the base of a glass was known in my house as ‘the Bulli pour’.”

At the other end of the oenophile spectrum, Seb Emina, editor-in-chief of the Happy Reader, advocates for the regular consumption of magnums, or double-sized wine bottles. In his piece, he reveals that these super-sized wine bottles actually age better than conventional 750ml vessels, and tend to be produced when a winemaker feels they have a great cuvée on their hands, and remain an easy (and flashy) way to order for the table.

“A magnum contains between 10 and 12 glasses of wine, which is, let’s be honest, more in line with the demands of many dinner tables, than the somewhat spartan regular ration,” he writes, “and it saves us from the awkward hassle of gauging communal interest and then flagging down a waiter.”


Modern Manners
Modern Manners


A few contributors opt for less conventional sources of stimulation. In a group piece, headlined ‘What drug can you not live without?', the restaurateur Melanie Arnold declares her for the painkiller, Solpadeine, “fizzy bubbles for the stomach and pain relief for the head — it’s amazing!”.

The illustrator and designer Julie Verhoeven meanwhile, advocates for Nurofen, “the small liquid capsules are my favourite. They’re so pretty, like jelly beans. I reach for them at the first hint of any ailment or annoyance”. The writer and filmmaker Miranda July, admits she would like to smoke more cannabis, “I hardly ever smoke pot, but I’m always planning to. It’s on my list of things to do more, along with exercise.” 

If you have such a list (and let’s face it, most of us do) why not add a commitment to spend more time reading articles such as these? You can order a copy of Modern Manners right now, here.