Ben Gardiner featured in East Riding Journal April 2011

Ben Gardiner featured in East Riding Journal April 2011

I was privileged to be invited by The Journal – “For Yorkshire Homes Of Distinction” – to feature in its “My Favourite…” spot.

They used a photo they had of me from an earlier photoshoot and, as you can see it was chucking it down at the time.  This was one of the few times it was an advantage to be bald – it would definitely have been a bad hair day otherwise.

You can click the image to enlarge it, but in case you can’t read the text, I’ve put the transcript below.  Let me know what you think…

Favourite restaurant

We’re blessed with so many top restaurants in the Beverley area it is difficult to choose just one.  But I can be found most often in Panizzi in North Bar Within. I love it in there for the relaxed atmosphere, great food, great coffee and great wine. It is such a versatile bar – it is an ideal spot to take a girlfriend, a client or just my laptop.

Favourite hobby

At this stage of my life, I’m not sure if I play sport to keep fit or keep fit to play sport. Either way, I like to be active. This is my favourite time of the year as cricket nets have started and the new season is just around the corner. I play for Walkington and we had our most successful season ever last year. I play tennis for fun at David Lloyd and this winter went with 30 of my fellow tennis players to Tignes for a fantastic week’s skiing.

Favourite music

I’ll admit to being stuck in the 1970s and 1980s music-wise, so anything by Stevie Winwood or Eric Clapton, or preferably the two of them together. One of the highlights on the music calendar, though, is Hank Wangford’s visit to the Shed at Hovingham in December. I’m not generally a fan of country and western and he sings songs tongue-in-cheek about misery, but he is such an entertainer his shows are two hours of pure fun.

Favourite book

I used to regularly drive 30,000 miles a year on business and it was really tedious until I discovered the talking books section of the library. Listening to thrillers made the long journeys bearable and I discovered some great writers such as Henning Mankell and his Wallender series. Of books I’ve read rather than listened to, I would say Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks stands out – it really conveys the claustrophobia and horrors of war while giving the story a real human dimension.

Favourite shop

One of Beverley’s strengths is its unique retail offer, with a good mix of national chains and local independent shops. For me, the most interesting is Inspiration in Vicar Lane.  Neil and Mada Wharton have a fantastic range of products in there. I always go when I’m looking for an unusual gift and I defy anyone not to find something which would go well in their kitchen.

Favourite film

The best film I saw last year was Inception.  It took me about half an hour to start to follow it, but after that I was completely drawn into the various dreams and the challenge to keep up with the plot.  The film I have watched the most and could watch again and again is Where Eagles Dare. I’m not sure why, as it has a ridiculous plot and dodgy special effects, but once it starts I suspend all disbelief and enjoy the music, the scenery and Richard Burton hamming it up.

Favourite building

Last November I went to India for the first time and had the privilege of accompanying a Sikh family on their pilgrimage to the centre of Sikhism, the Golden Temple at Amritsar. We had a very long, sometimes uncomfortable journey by road from Delhi to get there, but it was worth all the discomfort.  We arrived in the evening which, looking back, was a bonus because this is when the Golden Temple looks its best. It is spectacularly lit at night so the gold shines brightly and is beautifully reflected in the surrounding lake.

Favourite food

Curry. One of the joys for me of going to India was having curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner for three weeks. And there was nothing better than the butter chicken at the United Coffee House Restaurant in Delhi.

Favourite holiday

India was the most interesting holiday I’ve been on and the Maldives is simply paradise on Earth.  But the holiday my son Tom and I look forward to most is our annual skiing trip with friends to Oberstdorf in Germany.  Skiing brightens up a long winter and is just a whole lot of fun.

Favourite designer

I’m afraid I don’t have strong views on this one. I’ve a couple of nice Ralph Lauren shirts though.

Favourite memory

No surprises in my favourite memories. I share one with 50,000 others – being at Wembley for the play-off final when Hull City finally made it to the big time. And, of course, being present when my son Tom came into the world.