When is a hobby more than just a hobby? When it’s a way of moving up in the world…
Research conducted for the Great British Class Survey suggests how you spend your free time significantly affects your social status. Hobbies, in the words of Philip Trippenbach, the survey’s producer, ‘are an actual mechanism for obtaining and maintaining social advantage. They are a key means of exercising power and influence in today’s society.’
Ideally, you want a wide range of hobbies, balancing mainstream and highbrow interests, to show you have your finger on the pulse and appreciate the finer things in life. According to the research, you’ll then enjoy the rich cultural capital required to get ahead.
Here’s our guide to hobbies to try if you fancy hobnobbing with Lords, Ladies and other privileged members of society.
Collecting Art and Antiques
The quality of the collections – which encompass everything from art by Rembrandt to a Victorian tiara studded with over 1,800 diamonds – reflects the Duke’s noble heritage and fabulous wealth.
Collecting and appreciating beautiful, valuable objects plays an important role in upper-class lifestyles. Becoming a member of the National Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts or a similar institution is an excellent way to enhance your knowledge of art and antiques, as well as boost your status. Members often enjoy access to exhibitions ahead of the public and entry to exclusive areas, such as the Royal Academy’s Fine Rooms.
Arts and antiques fairs are ideal for treating yourself, even on a modest budget. Christie’s auction house offers advice on how to build a collection that’ll be the envy of your friends.
Competing in Equestrian Eventing
Equestrian sports are firmly associated with the Royal Family, as well as the aristocracy. The Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne, and granddaughter, Zara Tindall, have both competed in eventing (i.e. dressage, show jumping and cross country contests) at the Olympics.
Business Insider notes that a first-class horse could set you back $100,000 (around £73,000). It’s no wonder eventing competitors tend to be wealthy.
Does that mean equestrian sports are out of bounds unless you have a fortune to spend? Not necessarily, as Dressage Lifestyle explains. The equestrian blog suggests you lease a horse instead of buying one and avoid custom-made tack.
Other sporting hobbies with aristocratic appeal include archery, fencing, lacrosse and polo.
Investing in Fine Wine
What country estate would be complete without a well-stocked wine cellar?
Expanding one’s wine cellar is a popular upper-class hobby, with coveted bottles commanding eye-watering prices. According to luxury lifestyles magazine Town & Country, Domaine Romanée-Conti Burgundy has sold for as much as $551,314 (just over £403,500).
However, you don’t need to re-mortgage your home to become a wine connoisseur. Wine-tasting classes will help you decide which varieties to collect before you seek out good deals at local wine auctions. There’s no need to invest in costly vintages straight away. Wine Spectator magazine lists wines that are likely to accrue value.
Sailing Luxury Yachts
Many people dream of sailing around the world on a luxury yacht, and for affluent aristocrats and other high-flyers, that dream can become reality.
Our glorious part of England, the South Devon harbour town of Dartmouth, often plays host to these incredible vessels. Their fortunate owners come to participate in Dartmouth Royal Regatta or simply soak up the atmosphere.
Prestigious sailing events (Henley Royal Regatta and Cowes Week are other notable examples) are opportunities to mix with the smart set. Who knows, you might even be invited aboard a multi-million-pound yacht for a sundowner!
The elite also enjoy displaying their spending power at classic car rallies and other motorsports fixtures.
Aristocratic-Style English Titles for Sale
If you’re keen to emulate the nobility, why not order an aristocratic-style title from Elite Titles?
Our latest service enables you to become a Lord or Lady of the Manor for show purposes. You’ll be granted a legal change of title to Lord/Lady and ownership of a small land parcel in Dartmouth (your ‘manor’) for you to name as you wish. You can include your partner for no extra cost.
Don’t delay – order your Lord or Lady of the Manor title today!