Dean Gomilsek-Cole on his month ahead in the capital

Words by
Sphere Life

29th September 2017

Head of design for Turnbull and Asser since 2013, Dean Gomilsek-Cole spends his free-time seeking inspiration from the bustling city around him, while relaxing and enjoying the company of his family

Head of design for Turnbull and Asser - Dean Gomilsek-Cole
An item you want to buy and where? 

I'm going on holiday soon and need to add to my extensive t-shirt collection, so I will probably visit Paul Smith on Albermarle street, because it is conveniently on my walk between my office in Mayfair and the Turnbull & Asser store on Jermyn Street. My son Kasper tells me I’m too old for graphic tees, but I have been buying Paul Smith tees for over twenty years, and some are still going strong. The quality of the organic cotton in particular is great and the graphics are humorous but  ‘grown-up’ at the same time so I can get away with it.

Paul Smith at No. 9 Albemarle Street

Paul Smith at No. 9 Albemarle Street

A walk you are looking forward to doing? 

I love walking along the Southbank, if it’s not raining! The crazy mix of street performers, skateboarders, booksellers, bars and restaurants against the backdrop of the river, the Royal Festival Hall (in all its concrete beauty) and the Tate Modern is a perfect snap-shot of the chaos that can be London life. In complete contrast I also love walking through Nunhead cemetery and discovering new names on hidden gravestones. Getting lost in the meandering trails that criss-cross this space whilst telling my 11 year old son ghost stories to keep him on his toes is a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

A new book you want to read? 

I started the year with a resolution to read one book a week, but soon realised this was not sustainable as I often start two or three books at once as the week comes to an end and I haven’t finished a book. That aside I have a varied interest in the type of books that I read, but I do love a good inside story that relates to something in our recent history. I looking forward to starting Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House by Alyssa Mastromonaco, because I love the back story of Mastromonaco and her journey to a career in the White House. It’s also intriguing to see the Obama administration from another perspective, I can’t wait to see what books come out after the Trump administration finishes…

Bob Bob Ricard restaurant

Bob Bob Ricard restaurant

Which bars will you be visiting? 

Now when I go to bars it more about the quality of the interiors and the knowledge of the staff making or serving the drinks that is of paramount importance. I have a couple of well established favourites like Scarfes Bar in The Rosewood Hotel for it’s late night jazz sessions, well mixed cocktails and Gerald Scarfe inspired imagery, Bob Bob Ricard for it’s amazing art deco inspired interiors , (by the late, great David Collins), and amazing service. i’m also going to check out TT Liquor in Shoreditch after a recommendation from a friend. I love the period inspired drinks menu and the prohibition feel to the secluded cellar bar. A new one I’m looking to test run is ‘Untitled’ further up Kingsland road into Dalston, a cocktail bar from Tony Conigliaro of Bar termini fame.

The T T Liquor cellar cocktail bar

The T T Liquor cellar cocktail bar

Which cafes? 

Got to be Frank’s Café on the 10th floor of a multi-storey in Peckham. Designed and built back in 2008 as part of an architectural project it commands amazing views over London and often houses up and coming artists work within the carpark space below. If i’m on my own I will visit my old neighbourhood and go to The Bike Shed in Shoreditch, to get my fix of everything motorcycle as well as a great coffee, burger and a beard trim! It has a great industrial vibe, being built into the railway arches, and there are always plenty of custom built bikes to view and I nearly always leave with a new t-shirt!

Which new restaurants? 

There is a great little neighbourhood restaurant not far from my current home in Brixton called The Naughty Piglets it’s a great place, my favourite dish is the Scallops with Cauliflower puree, but a bit out of the way if you are in town. Luckily I wasn’t the only one who thought this and The Other Naughty Piglet has just opened in a new theatre in Victoria (The Other Palace theatre) and promises a wider, but just as tasty, menu. Another restaurant coming from roots in Brixton is Kricket, based in the shipping container based venue ‘POP’, it serves what I would call Indian style tapas small plates. It has a great casual atmosphere and the style of food means its a good way to share and try lots of different flavours.  For those who find Brixton to far to venture fear not as it has now opened in a more central location, also named Kricket, that is at 12 Denman Street in Soho, so you can have a taste of my ‘local’ cuisine.

Some of the food at Kricket

Some of the food at Kricket

Any in the know shops you might go to – florists/ hat shop/ umbrella shop etc. 

I love going to The Photographers Gallery tucked away on Ramilies street, but it can be reached via a sneaky side alley off Oxford Street, see if you can find it.  As well as a gallery it is my favourite place to buy photographic prints and hard to find polaroid film for my cameras, there was life before Instagram you know! I also love buying unusual things for my house and I love Retrouvius on Harrow Road, Lassco in Bermondsey or Vauxhall for everything from door handles to marble busts, but even just for wandering around its fun. I recently had the opportunity to develop a scent with Floris on Jermyn Street, and the process is fascinating. If you are looking for a very special gift you can develop a bespoke fragrance with Floris which they will create in their London workshop and have hand poured into a specially engraved bottle, keeping the scent on record for future generations. 

Where might you get a lovely spa treatment done or where do you enjoy fitness? 

I’m not really a spa kind of guy, but my wife loves it. When we recently had a short stay at The Rosewood Hotel she had an amazing experience in their spa, whilst I was ‘relaxing' in Scarfe’s Bar. However I can confess to being into Flotation and would highly recommend Floatworks in Vauxhall for an hour of complete relaxation and an occasional out of body experience it can’t be beaten. For fitness I have a very active son and lots of local parks to run around, Dulwich and Peckham Rye being my favourites, and we often take part in the weekly Park Runs that happen all over London. Outside of this I also have a local Yoga session, but it is a system developed especially for Boxers, and the location underneath the railway arches in Herne Hill makes me feel like I’m getting a Rocky fix without being punched.  (Boxing Yoga with Eleanor ‘Ellie’ de Zoysa at Fisson Fitness in Herne Hill) 

Your favourite hidden spot in London? 

I live in South East London an one of my favourite hidden spots is actually now out of bounds to the public. It is a piece of land on top of a reservoir in Nunhead that overlooks the whole of London and was ideal for watching sunsets over the city. There has been an ongoing petition to get it reopened for public access but sadly it has been unsuccessful so far. As an alternative I go up to the top of One Tree Hill in Honor Oak Park which is a woodland area ideal for dog walkers, or the Horniman Museum gardens.

Scarfe's bar

Scarfe's bar

Which play might you be seeing? 

Who isn’t excited about Hamilton? Luckily I have managed to get some tickets, but that is some months off so in the meantime I’m looking forward to seeing another spin on Hamlet featuring Andrew Scott (Moriarty in the Sherlock TV series and the best TV bad guy for a while) that starts in June at the Harold Pinter Theatre in Soho. It’s directed by Robert Icke, who was involved with the direction of the adaption of 1984, which I saw in Nottingham’s Playhouse theatre, which was very engaging and breathed new life into a very influential story, so I’m expecting the same. The Ferryman also looks exciting, Paddy Considine is an amazing actor and Sam Mendes mix of stage and screen direction experience always brings something new to the theatre audience. 

Your favourite London brand and why? 

How do you define a London brand? True London Brands are hard to come by, many began their life here but have long since finished making products here, so I admire those brands that have resisted the opportunity to make their products offshore and stayed true to their roots. 

Obviously my first answer will be Turnbull & Asser, which has been based in London since 1885 and continues to make most of its products in England, including London, and is widely seen as the best shirt-maker in the world.  Another brand I admire, and one that has stayed true to London is Brompton. I love their bikes, and the ingenuity of them is perfect for city life and you will never see a line of commuting cyclists without seeing one in there somewhere. They have become globally iconic and the business has flourished to employ over 190 people in West London. An inspirational story for any Londoner seeking to develop an idea into a business.  Finally, a most crucial product for London, the humble umbrella from Fox Umbrellas, which began life in London in 1868 and still has a workshop in Croydon making and repairing its beautiful umbrellas. I have been lucky enough to visit their workshop and witness the love, care and attention they put into each piece.