What’s on every Gun’s luxury wish list?
If money was no object, what luxuries would every keen Shot indulge in? Here's our definitive list, and if you've any to add, please let us know by leaving a comment...
1. Top gun
The Holland & Holland Royal is a dream of an over-and-under shotgun with the traditional Holland & Holland scroll work. Beautifully made, wonderful to use, shoots well and quite simply superb. Prices begin at £60,375 plus VAT.
2. A Bisley shooting instructor
If you’re looking for world-class teaching, then book some lessons with John Heagren at Bisley. He competes at the highest level himself and comes with some serious recommendations. “A master of the art” says Shooting Gazette. Matt Clarke, editor of Sporting Gun raves about him: “A superb shot and one of the best.”
3. Faithful hound
Whatever breed you choose, a beautifully-trained gundog is going to draw some seriously admiring glances when you’re out on the peg. Book your new puppy in for a residential course at Mordor Gundogs in the Perthshire Hills (surrounded by pheasant shoots and grouse moors) and you’ll be rewarded with a working dog that will handle just about every situation out in the field with aplomb. Owner Charlie Thorburn regularly flies newly trained graduates abroad to destinations like Dubai and Florida.
There’s not many Guns who don’t hanker after a set of made-to-measure tweeds. Make an appointment with Huntsman Savile Row, then head off to their historic premises to have a jacket and breeks tailored to perfection.
For comfort, style and practicality whilst out on the peg, then you couldn’t do much better than to invest in a bespoke pair of boots from Tricker’s. They have shod some of the world’s most distinguished feet and took Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing up Everest in 1953.
Every customer has a personal last constructed to follow the shape of their foot and the shoes are hand-made around it, using top, time-honoured materials.
6. Award-winning clay ground
Book yourself a day at EJ Churchill and you’ll soon realise why it has just won the 2017 Shooting Industry Award for Best Shooting Ground. About an hour’s drive west of London, the ground offers 40 acres of woodland on Sir Edward Dashwood’s West Wycombe estate in Buckinghamshire where you’ll be exercised by over 100 clayshooting stands.
7. Shoot day
A beautiful Georgian house, 1,100 unspoilt acres and high-testing partridges and pheasants await you at Ashcombe, which belongs to Guy Ritchie, Madonna’s ex-husband. It may attract celebrities (David Beckham has been here) but it’s an outstanding and well-managed shoot and if you get offered the chance of a day here, grab it with both hands.
8. Game chef
Eating what you shoot is very much the etiquette of gameshooting. We’d recommend having a private dinner cooked for you by game chef Tim Maddams, author of no less than the River Cottage Game Cookery Book. He’ll handle all the pheasant, partridge, grouse or venison you give him and produce a sublime meal. Oh, and he’s also excellent company and gives good banter. He’ll teach you how to cook game too.
It’s a lucky Gun who gets to have the run of the Berry Bros & Rudd wine list to choose some delectable bottles to have with dinner. In fact, a trip to the London shop, which opened in St James’ Street back in 1698 is all part of the experience. Talk with a Master of Wine, discuss what you’ll be eating and then treat your palette.