At work with: Dan Keeling, Noble Rot

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One clear theme at ModMag15 was the different ways magazines are extending themselves beyond print: digitally, of course, but also via radio, live events and conferences. This week our friends – we’ve been art directing the mag for the last four issues – at ‘wine and food entertainment’ Noble Rot make their move in this direction, with the opening of a wine bar in central London. We catch up with co-founder Dan Keeling (above left) to hear about their plans for the venue; also this week, issue nine of their magazine is published.

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Where are you today?

I’m in our new premises in Bloomsbury, a Grade 2 listed townhouse on Lamb’s Conduit Street that dates back to 1700. The area is so full of history: one of our neighbours is the undertaking firm who organized Admiral Nelson’s funeral!

What can you see from the window?
A rain swept tree-lined street, and a Spanish restaurant clad in crazy paving.

Are you a morning or evening person?
I’ve been both, through my twenties, thirties and then fatherhood. Before kids I could never bear to go to bed in case I missed out on something; now I appreciate early mornings as the most productive time to work on the magazine.

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What was the first magazine you remember enjoying?

The Beano – I still love it’s timeless brand of contemporary social commentary – bullying, dishonesty and thievery.

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And your favourite magazine today?
Fool magazine from Sweden. Per-Anders Jorgensen’s photography is never less than stunning, and they always feature great writers.

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What wine did you enjoy over the weekend? And are you hungover this morning?
Last night we drank a 2010 Didier Dagueneau Silex (one of the Loire Valley’s best Sauvignon Blancs), a 1994 Thierry Allemend Cornas and a 1986 Auguste Clape Cornas. The Dageneau and Clape were both great, but the Allemand was special. After 21 years of age was in it’s prime drinking spot, with a mellowed, alluring perfume of blackberries, brambles, earth, blood and game. And no, I’m not hung over, I feel like a million bucks.

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Why do you think there’s been such a rennaisance in wine and wine bars in London recently?
Londoners have become much more knowledgeable and aspirational about what they drink, which is in part due to the Internet and the retail availability of so many great wines. Also, this renaissance follows revolutions in things like craft beer, coffee and organic food over recent years; a lot of people are now looking for the most authentic experiences possible.

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What qualities do the new Noble Rot winebar and the print magazine share?
Noble Rot restaurant and wine bar shares the same fun, engaging attitude to wine and food that the magazine has. We think great wine and food are two of the most beautiful subjects in the world, and Noble Rot’s mission is to create a stylish, informal, friendly environment for people to enjoy the best of them in.

What are you most looking forward to this week?
Getting our place up and running.

What are you least looking forward to this week?
There’s no time for that, just a long list of things to do before we open our doors.

What will you be doing after this chat?
Getting back to finalizing our wine list!

Noble Rot Winebar and Restaurant opens Friday 13 November.
51 Lamb’s Conduit St, London WC1N 3NB.

Editors: Dan Keeling and Mark Andrew
Art direction: Holly Catford/magCulture studio

noblerot.co.uk

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