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The Gentleman Driver’s Diary. Convertible attitude: driving and sleeping with the top down

It's Friday and I've began to pack my Weekender Bag for an adventure on the road. I have been anticipating this weekend for a long time and finally I’m about to take off to a very special place, a place that every Gentleman with a passion for cars would enjoy discovering. A Jaguar F-Type S AWD awaits me outside, so I quickly leave the house to a magnificent spring day and naturally I immediately put the top down and enter into complete convertible mode!

That’s right, I'm in a convertible type of moods these days, and honestly how could you not be? There is nothing more pleasurable than an open-air drive on a spring day...or is there?

I leave Milan and my destination is the Franciacorta, a well-known region in Italy for their numerous and prestigious wine cellars, therefore the name the first leg of this trip will be called “Heritage”: a return to the origins starring the F-Type and E-Type.

Father and son, in black and white, just like watching a vintage film from the 50’s, charming even still now, much like the same charm that the Jaguar brand has continued to bring us all along.

For a moment I feel myself at a crossroads: I don’t know which of these two beauties I should drive first! I I let my passion decide and opt for the E-Type first, a classic and timeless charm. A tough, but at the same time, full of life car with a 4.2-liter engine that hides under the hood.

The steering wheel is rigid, but the feel of it in your hands is really nice; the gloves increasing any driving-related sensations! The winding road, the sunshine on your face... It almost as if everything was going in way that was allowing me to fully enjoy the experience of this superb “open-air” E-Type.

After a few hours of driving, overtaking and numerous gazes between the vintage Jaguar and the modern F-Type, it's time to take the E-Type back to the garage.

As I let the 'classic' rest, my journey continues on board the modern black F-Type, thoroughly appreciating all its 380 hp and sounds that contrast among the quiet rural landscapes that this land gives. Ancient villages immersed in the vineyards, a perfect setting for this escape from the city.

After covering 200 km on board the F-Type I reach my special place. Here I am at L'Albereta, an hotel from the Relais and Chateaux chain, which conceals a hidden gem filled with charm.

After a welcome coffee on the veranda overlooking Lake Iseo I head towards my suite for a relaxing shower and prepare for a truly unbelievable show.

My suite, in fact, is among the great attractions of this resort: it's called Cabriolet Suite and its name says it all! I walk down the stairs that lead me to the room, I open the door and what I find is a refined, very well put together environment surmounted by a surprising convertible ceiling that, by simply pressing a button, retracts to open up a wonderful open-air sky.

The feeling that you experience is of absolute freedom, without any limits. I make myself comfortable on the bed, I put my sunglasses on, grab an apple and and lose myself gazing up at this perfect blue sky. I'm truly happy here: after a long day of open-air driving to now enjoying an open-air suite!

The passion for cars leads you to discover and appreciate so many places, itineraries and every other aspect that a getaway brings, discovering new roads and spectacular sceneries along the way.

The day ends with a few glasses of delicious local wine while I enjoy the sunset from the Bistrot's terrace. Back in the suite, I take advantage of the night by enjoying a sky full of stars.

The next morning, I prepare myself for Lake Como, where the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa D’Este awaits me. I wear the tie and pocket square I chose for the occasion and I'm ready for today's new adventure.

a final look at the Albereta garden and a farewell to the Cabriolet Suite... Back to the other cabriolet: the F-Type, a companion for a true Gentleman's weekend, as well as an authentic Outlier!

Location: courtesy of L'Albereta Relais & Chateaux
Cars: courtesy of Jaguar Italia and Colpani Motori
Photos: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman © 2017

1 comment

  • Philip

    I discovered this post accidentally and enjoyed every bit of it! I am a Hong Kong Chinese in my early 50s, love fine-dressing and convertible cars. I have an Audi A3 Cabriolet – nothing as fancy as the Jaguar here – but I am still proud of the 4-ring badge. I envy you that you can drive away to another place for the weekend, here in Hong Kong there’s nowhere to go because it’s so small! We have hot and rainy season from May to October but outside this period I always drop the roof as often as possible, and I’d like to dress up in my Italian ISAIA or Canali suit as well. I haven’t seen many convertible drivers like that, and those that are like that are usually foreigners (white men) in Porsche or better, probably working in Finance or something as expats. I will come back often to enjoy your site. Keep up with the good work!

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