Country Life’s gentleman’s guide couldn’t have got it more wrong

One must ‘sing lustily in church’

Country Life magazine have produced what they’re calling the “definitive list” of what makes a modern gentleman.

While the guide is occasionally obvious, advising the aspiring gentleman to “never slam a door in someone’s face” and “always break up with someone face-to-face”, it also has some strange tips in there.

Describing a man who fits somewhere between James Bond and a Tory politician, the modern gentleman should apparently never wear lilac socks and he could never, ever own a small dog like a chihuahua.

And here’s what they think we should be like:

1. Negotiate airports with ease

Turning up late for a mates’ holiday and trying to navigate the way through duty-free while your flight number is being called over the speak doesn’t exactly count as navigating with ease. Miles away.

2. Never let a door slam in someone’s face

This one is glaringly obvious and is more “decent human being” than perfect gentleman. Unless you’re in a rush and then all rules go out the window.

3. Can train a dog and a rose

Teaching a pug to shake hands and roll over is fun, but the only training it really needs is to stop every stranger who walks in and to learn not to piss on the stairs. As for training a rose or weeding a garden, your guess is as good as mine.

This is a gentleman, apparently

This is a gentleman, apparently

4. Is aware that facial hair is temporary, but a tattoo is permanent

Beards are still on trend and I’ll never get rid of mine, even though that’s exactly the same thing I said about my emo fringe and converse. Everyone knows tattoos are for life, even the weird local in halls with his favourite football team inked on his ankle.

5. Knows when not to say anything

Staying quiet during exams would be a good start.

6. Wears his learning lightly

I won’t be the first or the last person who mentioned their A* English A-level during freshers’ week.

7. Possesses at least one well-made dark suit, one tweed suit and a dinner jacket

Most of us have two suits at a push and a jacket purely for dinner seems a bit self-indulgent. Shouldn’t the perfect gentleman be spending the same money on buying flowers or something?

8. Avoids lilac socks and polishes his shoes

Polishing shoes before a formal is a no-brainer, but why lilac? Why not stretch to all coloured socks instead of just picking on the light shade of purple?

9. Turns his mobile to silent at dinner

This depends entirely on where you’re going for dinner. You might consider putting on vibrate while on a date, but why would you want to stop getting notifications when you’re eating alone in your room?

If a gentleman is supposed to own three suits, most of us would fail

If a gentleman is supposed to own three suits, most of us would fail

10. Carries house guests’ luggage to their rooms

When friends come to stay they’d be pretty shocked if you offered to haul their bags from the door to the hallway and all the way to wherever they’re sleeping. Most of the time they won’t even get their own room anyway.

11. Tips staff in a private house and a gamekeeper in the shooting field

Anyone who already has a gamekeeper is probably too posh even for Country Life. Nobody really tips unless they’re American or are going somewhere a bit more upmarket than Byron.

12. Says his name when being introduced

“Hi I’m [insert name] isn’t too hard to get wrong, unless you’re trying to hide your identity.

13. Breaks a relationship face to face

It would take a special type of monster to end things over WhatsApp.

14. Is unafraid to speak the truth

Surely everyone tells a little white lie every now and then? Even perfect gentlemen like Colin Firth and Heathcliff stretch the truth from time to time.

15. Knows when to clap

Just don’t clap at the end of a film or a lecture, it’s not hard.

16. Arrives at a meeting five minutes before the agreed time

I set my watch five minutes fast and I’m still always late. Nobody actually turns up on time anyway, it’s weird if you do.

17. Is good with waiters

Presumably this means don’t offend them and don’t ask too many weird questions about where the beef comes from. If your waiter happens to be the server at McDonald’s, just try to hold yourself back from diving over the counter in a drunken heap.

A gentleman should always break up with someone face-to-face

A gentleman should always break up with someone face-to-face

18. Has two tricks to entertain children

This is weird. Don’t do this.

19. Can undo a bra with one hand

You’re fumbling around and trying to be smooth, but eventually you tragically just end up asking the girl to help you out . This is one to brag about your mates about but not necessarily one to pull off.

20. Sings lustily in church

Lust and church don’t really go together like bread and wine. Avoid singing like this in church unless you want some disapproving looks from your nan.

21. Is not vegetarian

This is the 21st century, I can have my kale if I want to. Apparently a gentleman would go straight for a steak, which probably makes him a real man.

22. Can sail a boat and ride a horse

Hopefully this doesn’t mean sailing a boat while sitting on a horse at the same time. This isn’t Life Of Pi and there’s nothing gentlemanly about it.

23. Knows the difference between Glenfiddich and Glenda Jackson

It helps if you don’t have to Google Glenda Jackson to make a point. Vodka’s better anyway, right?

Gentlemen should appreciate their alcohol

Gentlemen should appreciate their alcohol

24. Never kisses and tells

What’s the point getting with someone in a club if you can’t brag about it.

25. Cooks an omelette to die for

Three eggs, dash of milk, no problem.

26. Can prepare a one match bonfire

The only time you’d ever need to light a fire is at a festival, and they’re banned anyway.

27. Seeks out his hostess at a party

The Great Gatsby wasn’t bad, but sometimes at a party you don’t even know who’s house it is.

28. Knows when to use an emoji

Don’t use a genital emoji and lay off the wink faces. It’s hard to imagine any gentleman using emojis in the first place?

29. Would never own a Chihuahua

This is just author bias leaking out. If a Chihuahua bit him once then he should just say so.

30. Has read Pride and Prejudice

Anyone with an English GCSE to their name should have read this.

31. Can tie his own bow tie

You could learn but a bow tie is much, much easier.

32. Would not go to Puerto Rico

What’s wrong with poor Puerto Rico? Beautiful white sand beaches, surfing, sailing. Is this because Puerto Rico doesn’t have enough horses and hounds for Country Life?

Sandals are also off-limits for a gentlemen too

Sandals are off-limits for a gentlemen too

33. Knows the difference between a rook and a crow

If the modern gentleman has a passion for birdwatching he clearly has too much time on his hands.

34. Sandals? No. Never

On holiday they’re fine. In England, never.

35. Wears a rose, not a carnation

Apart from a poppy there’s no reason to ever wear a flower.

36. Swats flies and rescues spiders

This is one rule for spiders and another for flies, is the modern gentleman intent on wrecking the ecosystem too?

37. Demonstrates that making love is neither a race nor a competition

Country Life touched on this with bras, but now they’ve dragged sex into the equation too? If the modern gentleman is sleeping around on the daily, I wonder if he goes down on people too?

38. Never blow dries his hair

I blow dry my hair, I’m not afraid to admit it. Rule 14 states that a gentleman should never lie, and more “gentlemen” do this than they admit.

39. Knows that there is always an exception to a rule

Written by their deputy editor Rupert Uloth, this tip almost undoes their entire perfect gentleman guide. The exception here being that you should probably take anything from Country Life as lightly as a glass of port.

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