I am wrapping up the Finds from my recent trip to London on this Good Friday, by presenting the final “London Edition” of my Friday Finds.

FF LONDON: The contemporary vintage cool clothes of Ben Sherman

BS1While in London I popped into a couple of Ben Sherman stores – including one on the mid-century swingin’ Carnaby Street – one of London’s trendiest shopping destinations.

Ben Sherman, whose shirts were a big hit with the post war counter culture crowd, developed a strong brand which is still thriving with new generations continually discovering the classic cool of his clothes.

This year, Ben Sherman (the brand) is celebrating its 50th anniversary and I am a big fan of the brand and have been for years.

BS2Among the several items for the new season, I love Ben Sherman’s Plectrum polo:

“This Plectrum polo is embellished with a host of subtle details that put a distinctive spin on a classic garment. The main bulk of the shirt is made from Aertex fabric, crafted in Manchester since 1988 and renowned for its insulation and aeration capabilities. The button-down penny collar, extended 4-button placket and curved chest pocket are all made from contrasting denim, finished with subtle Plectrum branding on the pocket.”

You have to love a casual polo shirt with a button-down collar.

Visit Ben Sherman online here.

FF LONDON: Barocci: Brilliance and Grace at London’s National Gallery

BAROI already mentioned visiting London’s National Gallery on my trip. However, I ended up going back to the great museum on my last full day to check out an exhibit I read about but missed on my first visit: Barocci: Brilliance and Grace – featuring the works of a somewhat lesser known Italian master Federico Barocci.

About Barocci: Brilliance and Grace: “Experience the charm and sensitivity of Barocci’s masterpieces – never before seen outside Italy. Federico Barocci (about 1533–1612) is celebrated as one of the most talented artists of late 16th century Italy. Fascinated by the human form, he fused charm and compositional harmony with an unparalleled sensitivity to colour. The exhibition will showcase Federico Barocci’s most spectacular altarpieces, including his famous ‘Entombment’ from Senigallia and ‘Last Supper’ from Urbino Cathedral, thanks to the cooperation of the Soprintendenze delle Marche. The display assembles the majority of Barocci’s greatest altarpieces and paintings, together with sequences of dazzling preparatory drawings, allowing visitors to understand how each picture evolved and revealing the fertility of Barocci’s imagination, the diversity of his working methods and the sheer beauty and grace of his art.”

Barocci: Brilliance and Grace continues at the National Gallery through May 19, 2013.

Visit the National Gallery online here.

FF LONDON: Master of Malt

MofMMaster of Malt! Let me say that again: Master of Malt! I love it. Another great British institution that curates the best in whiskey from the British Isles and beyond.

About Master of Malt: “Master of Malt has a proud heritage of over 25 years in whisky retail. From humble beginnings in our retail shop in Royal Tunbridge Wells, we have painstakingly compiled our vast catalogue of fine single malt scotch whiskies over a quarter of a century to provide one of the most expansive ranges of fine and rare malts to be found anywhere in the world, and if we haven’t got it – the chances are we can find it for you. Combining industry-leading knowledge and experience with a drive and passion for all things whisky-related, we‘re here to help you in any way we can. We’re committed to helping you make informed decisions about the whisky you drink, and as such we’ll always try and present you with as many independent reviews, opinions and comments as possible from industry-leading experts, our own in house tasting team, and of course from other like-minded users.”

Good news – Master of Malt ships to the U.S. and they have an amazing collection of “American Whiskey” = Bourbon!

I am going to order Master of Malt’s Bourbon Tasting Set: “The ultimate tasting set for bourbon lovers. This features five stonkingly good 3cl whiskey samples from America, a couple of which are very rare indeed.”

Check out all the bourbons offered by Master of Malt here.

See all the coolness of Master of Malt here.

FF LONDON: Royal Albert Hall

C8JXE2One of the world’s great performance venues sits in the Kensington neighborhood of London on the south side of Hyde Park: the glorious Royal Albert Hall.

About The Royal Albert Hall: “The Royal Albert Hall was built to fulfil the vision of Prince Albert (Queen Victoria’s consort) of a ‘Central Hall’ that would be used to promote understanding and appreciation of the Arts and Sciences and would stand at the heart of the South Kensington estate, surrounded by museums and places of learning. The Hall is a Grade I Listed building; and has been in continuous use since it was opened in March 1871. It was always conceived as a multipurpose building to host not only concerts of music but exhibitions, public meetings, scientific conversations and award ceremonies.”

I have been fortunate to see a couple of concerts in the Albert Hall over the year. On this trip I was fortunate to see my childhood idol, Miss Olivia Newton-John perform her first concert in London in over 30 years to an Albert Hall full of extremely enthusiastic fans. I will just say: “Best. Night. Ever.”

Learn more about The Royal Albert Hall and see “what’s on” here.