We might have a huge website but we are a small wellformed team, each with our areas of expertise.
Simon Difford - Founder & CEO
Simon lives and breathes the modern drinks industry. His private bars, the Cabinet Room at his and Paloma's apartment in South London and at our office, the Clocktower in East Sussex, are among the best-stocked bars in the world. He has become an authority on cocktails and is respected for his encyclopedic knowledge of spirits and liqueurs. And when he's not tasting and testing new products, he's out there 'in the field' road-testing bars around the world. Read Simon's story here.
Likes: Scotch whisky, beer (particularly British cask ales), his bars, his Caterham 7, blue shirts, gadgets and everything just-so.
Dislikes: Religion, social media, public transport, slow drivers, slow drinkers, drunks, the colour pink and cold weather.
Paloma Alos - Managing Director
Simon's partner in business and in life, before meeting Simon, Paloma was a high-flying global director at KPMG and although she now looks after much of the business side of our company, her skillset for many years has been marketing and communications. Paloma keeps us in touch with the rest of the drinks industry as well as organizing Simon.
Likes: That she is named after a cocktail, her fluffy Siberian cats and POETS day.
Dislikes: Indecision, her alarm clock and waiting for the check to arrive.
Dan Malpass - Art Director
Dan is our happy-go-lucky Art Director and has worked with Simon for 20 years on all our publications. Happiest when taking photographs, he lives with his fiancee, two sons and many dogs in Lincolnshire and makes sporadic appearances at Simon's bar on days when there's something to photograph. He also looks a bit like Bruce Forsyth.
Likes: Drinking, smoking, stripes, sheds
Dislikes: Colour, pictures of people smiling, pickled onion Monster Munch
Alicja Rymarowicz - Filmmaker
Our website is much enhanced by our in-house director, cameraman, editor and even key grip. Alicja is a very talented all-round filmmaker and we put her skills to good use in bars, distilleries and breweries all over the world.
Likes: Cold and snow, sushi, coffee, watermelon and expensive camera kit.
Dislikes: Hot weather, corrupted CF cards and lugging our heavy camera bags about.
Sammy Hemmings - Social media & editorial assistant
Sammy joined the team in July 2018 as our editorial assistant. Besides looking after social media, Sammy writes copy for the website and supports our day-to-day projects.
Likes: Books, pasta, writing and animals.
Dislikes: Delays, drizzle, and early mornings.
Chris Bird - Client Relationship Manager
Chris is charged with client communication after having left the world of bartending to join team Difford at the end of 2019. He's our report wizard and go-to-guy for details on sponsorship or how we can help brands.
Likes: Making cocktails, drinking cocktails, playing the piano, and waking up with nothing planned.
Dislikes: Slow drivers, cleaning, people that talk about their 'gap yahs', procrastination.
Harry Webster - IT Director
Harry jumped aboard the good ship Difford in July 2010 as our pet geek. He's responsible for taking us into the 21st century and beyond and has built our website from the ground up using several of the ten different computer languages he's conversant in. All the more impressive since he does it from our office in picturesque Matlock in Derbyshire.
Likes: Golf, darts and anything IT-related
Dislikes: Buses, triple-bogeys, Watford Gap Services (M1)
Matt Mason- Senior Production Engineer
Matt Mason is our IT whizz kid from the tech generation: he could code before he could walk, and we suspect he sees the world like it's The Matrix. He abandoned a prospective job in animation (he decided it was a Mickey Mouse career) and ventured into web development instead. He works with Harry and James in our Matlock office where is credited as being the creative force and the one that makes our interface understandable by mere mortals (us non-tech people).
Likes: Rum, making music and Italian food.
Dislikes: Autotune, balloons and ankle sprains.
James Biltaji - Developer
James' boss Harry and colleague Matt call him a Millennial, mainly due to his extensive knowledge on Video Games, YouTube and Memes. While in his final year of studying computer software development, he worked at Difford's Guide part time, now he is a full-time adult.
Likes: Classic Rock, Quentin Tarantino movies and being good at videogames.
Dislikes: Boy bands, movie cliff hangers and being bad at videogames.
Meet our Global Team
We aim to make Difford's Guide a global go-to resource for all things drink and bar related and are being joined in this pursuit by our talented partners:
Jane Ryan - Australia
Marcelo Sant'Iago - Brazil
Denny Kallivoka & Eleni Nikoloulia - Greece & Cyprus
Tess Posthumus and Timo Janse - Netherlands
Over the coming years we look forward to welcoming many other writers to our team to provide truly local coverage in numerous languages in countries all around the world.