Autumn Interviews vol. VI: Charles McDermott
Charles McDermott runs Augustus Harris, an Italian wine bar in Covent Garden inspired by the bacari of Venice. They serve fantastic wine, classic cocktails and delicious crostini, cheeses and cured meats, as well as Italian produce and wine to take home.
My inspiration for Augustus Harris is Italy, but especially Venice where the idea of the bacari originates. I just love that people would pop into their local bacaro for a glass of wine and a bite to eat, and how convivial and relaxed it is. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is or if you are alone or with friends, you can stay and eat and drink as much or as little as you like.
The thing I love most about what I do is looking around and hearing and seeing people laughing together and socialising. The clatter of laughter is one of the most infectious things in the world. I think hospitality is all about bringing people together and we are so happy to have created a space that facilitates that.
If I didn’t live in London the city I would live in is either New York, where I used to live, or Tokyo because it is such an incredible city with a great aesthetic. But London is such an exciting place right now; it’s hard to imagine leaving.
If I weren’t doing what I do I would like to do something equally creative – perhaps something to do with interior design.
My signature style piece is a pocket square – It’s great that Augustus Hare has launched them. They make the perfect gift.
The book on my bedside table is Shogun by James Clavell – mainly because it’s taken me two months to get through half of it, but it is a cracking read.
The best cocktail I recently drank is our Rosmarino – the perfect mix of heady Rosemary, sweet lemon and dry Gin.
An unforgettable place I have travelled to is Mongolia – they call it the Land of Blue Sky and I was completely taken aback by the beauty and vastness of the sky. The people are also incredibly friendly and I would love to go back one day.
The best restaurant I discovered recently is Fischers by Corbin & King. I loved it – beautiful space and great service, like all of their restaurants. The Fat Radish in New York is also a must, if you haven’t been there already.
The artist whose work I would collect is Peter Rocklin. He has done some fantastic commissions for a London/New York hotel group that I like and I would love to add some of his pieces to my collection.
The Augustus Hare product I would most like to find in my stocking is the Hammered Emerald cufflink – understated, with a dash of colour.
You can visit Augustus Harris in Covent Garden at 33 Catherine Street, or online at: www.augustusharris.com