THE CHIVAS BRAND AMBASSADORS are located in various countries around the world, and their job is to inspire people with their youthful enthusiasm around Chivas Regal and Scotch whisky. Explore the unique contrasts and venues in different cities through the eyes of those whose job is to know the best.
FROM SPEYSIDE TO THE BIG SMOKE. ‘When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’ – ain’t that the truth. I often thought about Samuel Johnson’s famous quote during my year in London as Chivas Regal’s Brand Ambassador. Moving to the Big Smoke after having spent most of my life in the Scottish countryside was exactly the change I needed, and boy, was it a change to Speyside.
THAT WOW FACTOR. In London, the vibe is non-stop and the people are eclectic. I adapted fairly quickly, but even after two years here, I never got over London’s wow factor. It first hit me after one of my first ever events in London as Chivas Brand Ambassador. Driving through Westminster late at night in a taxi home, I remember thinking, “Wow, this is my home now.” Indeed, London never fails to impress…
London is a city steeped in history, yet is always reinventing itself.
CELEBRITIES IN STRATHISLA. Before, during and after university, I was a tour guide at a major Speyside distillery, so this part of whisky-making country has always been dear to my heart. Now imagine being asked to show none other than Javier Bardem round Strathisla distillery, the home of Chivas Regal. That was the biggest pinch-me moment of my career, if not my life! And there’s even a film to prove it – can you spot me? Star-struck doesn’t even begin to cover it…
Showing Javier Bardem around Strathisla Distillery was one of those 'pinch-me' moments.
FRIENDS FOR LIFE. My experience in London wouldn’t have been half of what it was if it wasn’t for the people I met along the way. Meeting new people every day was the best part of my job. I was lucky as I had a group of friends already here, but I think establishing a good network of friends in the workplace is key as I spent most of my time in London with other Brand Ambassadors and the Sales Team.
URBAN TRENDSETTERS. London has a history spanning 2000 years, and more than 300 languages are spoken here. From the ancient core and outwards, it’s a leading global city, a world cultural capital – yet it’s a city that’s constantly creating and reinventing itself. While there is already a plethora of bars, restaurants, theatres, museums and activities, there still always seems to be room for more. Pop-ups are always popping up in tube stations and along the River Thames. Boundaries are constantly being broken and Londoners don’t just embrace new trends, they create them.
Old, historical buildings stand side by side with glittering new skyscrapers.
WHERE THE PAST AND FUTURE COLLIDE. The abundance of history in London is obvious to any visitor, especially in its stunning architecture; the mix of charming old buildings and glittering modern towers is striking. Earlier this year, I was at an event in Guildhall, a building that began construction in 1411, and round the corner from there, you’re in the middle of the City of London surrounded by skyscrapers. Some of the best and most beautiful spots are well concealed. I’d spent a good amount of time in that area yet I’d never come across Guildhall! The English capital is home to four World Heritage Sites, and the London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world (and still one of the most advanced).
City Social has glorious, panoramic views of the City of London.
SKYLINE VIEWS. London is always growing upwards, making way for some brilliant skyline bars. For a beautiful view and delicious drinks, head up to the 24th floor of Tower 42 to City Social. As the name suggests, City Social is in the City, the nation’s financial centre which means you’re surrounded not only by mighty skyscrapers but also ancient and iconic buildings, like St Paul’s Cathedral. Choose the “Marvellous Medicine” cocktail, made using Chivas Regal 12 with Lillet blanc, ginger, locket syrup and peychaud’s bitters. I would recommend trying the bar snacks too…
Ask for the Marvellous Medicine cocktail at City Social.
COCKTAILS, NOT HAIRCUTS. From there, on to Fleet Street, the home of the world’s deadliest barber, Sweeney Todd. Steeped in history and legend, Fleet Street has been a major thoroughfare since Roman times. Tonight we’re stopping at Merchant House of Fleet Street to sip on any whisky your heart desires, not to mention some of the most delicious whisky cocktails I’ve ever had! I have fond memories of taking my Dad to Merchant House for the first time on World Whisky Day and he loved it.
Enjoy delicious whisky cocktails at the Merchant House of Fleet Street.
THE WORLD’S BEST BAR. Next stop: The American Bar at The Savoy, which has just been crowned the world’s best bar at The World’s 50 Best Bars awards, so it’d be a crying shame if you left London without paying this 125-year-old institution a visit. Set in the heart of Covent Garden, The American Bar is one of the first bars I visited when I moved to London. Ask for “The Shire Cocktail”; it has candy floss on the side and is made using my favourite Chivas Regal 18, La Venenosa raicilla, roasted sunflower honey and cider.
Some candy floss with your cocktail?
SOMETHING TRULY BRITISH. For something a little different, Scout is a relatively new bar in the ever-popular area of Shoreditch. In recent years, East London has witnessed a regeneration of sorts, becoming one of London’s most up and coming hotspots, and overriding its shabby past. The heart of the East End is like a street art gallery, with vibrant and colourful graffiti murals everywhere you look. After you’ve taken some photos for Instagram, head to Scout, where the motto is “live by the land.” The ingredients for cocktails here are sourced from the British Isles and the result is zero waste. Everything from boiling and drying, to infusing and fermenting is done by Scout’s team, and the result is well worth a visit.
THE END. There’s so much happening in London all the time that it’s hard not to feel like you're missing out. It’s also impossible to get bored in a city that is constantly in flux and ever-changing, yet is rooted in so much history. I couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome from an adopted second home, and this job made it the experience I had hoped for. I had an unforgettable time discovering some of the world’s best bars in one of the world’s best cities, and I made friends for life. Now I’m back in Speyside based out of Strathisla Distillery, but London, baby, it’s not goodbye…