Eating burgers. Sipping whisky. Watching films. A lot of hard work goes into new going out guide Mr Hyde. Editor Jonathan Pile (lucky chap, image one) explains...
Does anyone know a good place to get breakfast near Oxford Circus?” The question was asked aloud in the ShortList office and it made us forget the business of making a magazine.
The war to offer the ‘winning’ option (The Riding House Café, incidentally) was frenzied and brutal. And it got us thinking: shouldn’t there be something that’s already collated this information? And so Mr Hyde was born: an email delivered to your inbox that will save you hours trying to work out what’s out there and whose opinion to trust.
Sorting your spare time
The run-up to Christmas is always a popular period for theatre, and we got in on the act with our recent ‘Best small theatre shows’.
We also whittled down London’s museums to the five essential ones, billing them as “secret”, only to blow their cover by publicising them.
We’re also fans of high-quality TV, so we curated the finest box set options – Breaking Bad came top. We followed this with a round-up of hit shows and their foreign originals. Turns out Wallander inspired Wallander. Who knew?
Mr Hyde’s guide to meat
The question of what the regular daily feature would be on Mr Hyde was raised early and it went through many iterations. Yet the idea our gut feelings kept us returning to (and indeed our research groups insisted upon, too) was meat. We settled on the name Urban Carnivore. The idea: not just a review of the restaurant, but a recommendation on exactly what you should eat when you get there.
And so that’s what we’ve been doing, early-onset gout be damned. This mission has taken us to Camden’s Blues Kitchen to eat a 21in ‘dino rib’, 200m above Liverpool Street to pour mustard maple syrup on duck leg confit at Duck & Waffle and to Soho’s Bocca Di Lupo to sample chocolate and pig’s blood pâté.
We’re also confident we now know where to find London’s best burger. You’ll need to walk into Brixton Village to find Honest Burger. The good news: they’ve just fitted heaters. The better news: there’s also a branch in Soho.
Ushering you through the cinematic maze
We carried forward the two-sides-to-your-personality idea intrinsic to the Mr Hyde name (that’s how pleased we are with the notion), and along came Friday’s Complex/Multiplex.
In the weekly slot, we sift through the latest releases (either at the cinema or on Blu-ray) and select the top three, depending on what you’re in the mood for. That involves going to advance film screenings, so we can ensure we’re only recommending real cinematic quality.
We’d pretend we’re martyrs, but it’s not much of a hardship. Trying to think of a witty way to title the feature every week (eg “Popcorn or wasabi peas?”) usually is, though, so suggestions are welcome…
A quest for better drinks
Oliver Reed has nothing on Mr Hyde. Since we’ve launched, we’ve knocked back smoking cocktails, shots of pickle brine and more whisky than is probably advisable. However, the biggest undertaking was our huge, downloadable wine guide, ‘30 Wines Under £30’. It’s not the only spin-off drinking guide we’ve done, though. One issue of ShortList also included a pull-out-and-keep guide to London’s best bars, complete with a map. Hic.
A friend to your wardrobe
We moved quickly to assemble a team of fashion experts – which, disappointingly, didn’t involve any covert operations. If you need proof of our passion for menswear, check out the “which member of the Hyde team chose the best Christmas jumper?” competition we ran on Twitter.
We don’t draw the line at clothes: we’re trying grooming products and learning how to use a cutthroat razor after Skyfall reminded us of their majesty. Pity our poor, poor faces.
Sign up now for free
So that’s Mr Hyde, a daily email from the makers of ShortList for cultured men. We hope you like what you’ve seen and have decided to sign up (which you can do at MrHyde.com). But if you’re still considering your position, let us tempt
you further. Sign up today (and we really do mean today – this competition closes at midnight on 20 December) and you’ll be in with a chance of winning a Nicole Farhi leather jacket worth £990. That URL again: MrHyde.com.