Winston Churchill knew that his political prowess was at its best when propped up by powerful brands, sharp suits, and general good taste. Barry Singer’s Churchill Style: The Art of Being Winston Churchill offers some great insights on how to emulate the great man’s image.
Churchill understood the strong image that smoking a cigar could project. Romeo y Julieta and Camacho were two of his favorite Cuban brands, although he enjoyed a cheaper American alternative throughout much of the Thirties: “They are in a box marked Royal Derby and are called Longfellows,” he wrote. In 1941 Churchill received a gift of 2,400 Havana cigars from the President of Cuba, but one cigar from every box had to be tested for poison before Churchill could enjoy them.
Enjoy your food
Unsurprisingly Churchill had a rather refined palette. He only liked clear soups (“It must be limpid”, he wrote), he enjoyed gourmet seafood such as oysters and caviar, lobster and dressed crab, and his favorite meats were roast beef shoulder of lamb and fois gras. After-dinner Churchill enjoyed indulging in delicacies including Gruyere cheese and chocolates éclairs, at which point he’d often read fellow diners sections of speeches he was preparing. Known for being able to consume a great deal, Churchill once sat for a 6-hour dinner with Stalin in Moscow.
Drink whiskey – whether you like it or not
Churchill had never like whiskey before he was transferred to India as a young army officer; “I disliked the flavor intensely,” he once wrote. However, faced with only tea, water with lime juice, or whiskey to quench his thirst, he soon became accustomed to its appeal. “Once one got the knack of it, the very repulsion from the flavor developed an attraction of its own,” he recalled.
Churchill’s favorite whiskey was Johnnie Walker Red Label or Black Label (we prefer Johnnie Walker Blue Label), while Hine was his favorite cognac.
Dress smartly and sensibly
In the name of practicality and comfort, Churchill designed his own zip-up “siren-suit”, that his children referred to as his “rompers”. He had a number made for him by the bespoke tailors Turnbull & Asser in differing colors and fabrics – including a smart blue business-like suit, and one made for him to wear while painting.
Also, just because you’re not leaving the house doesn’t mean your style should slip. Churchill famously wore silk pajamas and a goose down comforter to bed. The renowned politician even had a customized crested pair of slippers made for him by Peal & Co.
When it comes to cars, buy classy and remain brand loyal
Churchill used to drive a little Wolseley two-seater, which he later turned in for a De Luxe Landaulette, before again swapping it for a Wolseley four-seater Landaulette. He also used the first advance on the sale of his war memoirs to buy a new Rolls-Royce Barker cabriolet for £2,250. He wasn’t the best driver though, and on one occasion he couldn’t get the car to start. The statesman enlisted the help of a number of people to push it up a hill, before realizing he’d forgotten to turn on the ignition and unlock the brake…