Planning a winter sat inside with a skinny latte and a good podcast? Or dreaming of a summer sipping Aperol Spritz’s while watching Wimbledon? Unfortunately, that makes you rather common.
So says interior designer Nicky Haslam in his fiendishly snobbish annual list.
With an impecably posh Eton education and an eqully credible connection to nobility (his mother’s godmother was Queen Victoria), Haslam has become Britain’s self-appointed arbiter of what’s hot, and what’s most certainly not when it comes to being upper class.
For the past five years, he’s put together his annual selection of “things Nicky Haslam finds ‘common’”, printing the list on a tea towel that can be purchased on his website.
The 84-year-old socialite’s choices have previously included lists including celebrity chefs, expensive bikes, and skiing in France.
On Sunday (5 November), Haslam unleashed “The Fifth Nicky Haslam Common List” on the world. It’s a wide-ranging selection, covering everything from hobbies and interests to food and drink and, erm, health conditions.
Items on the list can be sorted into a number of categories. There are those most in line with old-school class snobbery: coffees with “crystal coffee sugar”, feel-good TV like The Repair Shop, attending festivals.
Then we have those with a different approach to “common”. In the recent past, these items were considered edgy or unusual, have subsequently become popular and in turn oversaturated the market. Here, common can be taken back to its most simple meaning: something that commonly occurs. “Basic”, as Gen-Z would put it.
Aperol, the lurid Italian apéritif, makes for a delicious drink, but is hard to escape in the summer.
Podcasts were once a cutting edge medium, but with more than 1 million individual shows out there, they’re clichéd.
According to a recent survey, seeing the Northern Lights is the number one travel event on the British public’s bucket lists. Not only is that considered common, in Haslam’s eyes, but so, bizarrely, is having a bucket list at all?
Those wanting to avoid Haslam’s “common” food and drink items will have to eschew more than just Aperol. Strawberries? Out, apparently. Think “ordering lobster” is a show of wealth and sophistication? Not according to Haslam. In fact, avoid Italy altogether; not only is Aperol apparently a no-go, but so is Puglia and “Italian food” in general.
To impress Haslam, culture vultures will want to steer clear of the works of Grayson Perry, the BBC Radio 3 presenter Petroc Trelawny. and Choupette (the late Karl Lagerfeld’s cat).
And whatever you do: don’t use the words “110 per cent” as an agreement or describe something as “more-ish”. Haslam wouldn’t like that.
The most bizarre “things Nicky Haslam finds ‘common’” (2023 edition)
The Northern Lights
Your Brownies recipe
Mrs Grayson Perry
Pride in grown-up children
The Repair Shop
Selling your business
Needing house keys
…with crystal coffee sugar