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£3.25 ISSUE 44

RULE BRITANNIA The very best British fashion, luxury & design T: +44 (0)207 283 7284


For a list of PIAGET stockists, please telephone 0207 343 7200 or e-mail




EDITOR Martin Deeson DEPUTY EDITOR Mark Hedley ART EDITOR Matthew Hasteley ASSOCIATE EDITOR Eugene Costello FASHION EDITOR Amelia Pruen LUXURY EDITOR Jessica Fellowes INTERN Damien Gabet CONTRIBUTORS Jamel Akib, Martin Bell, H A Brown, Lou Cooper, Bernadette Costello, Gareth Groves, tJames Gurney, Angela Knight, Antonia Methuen, Steve McDowell, Sally McIlhone, Rebecca Newman, Johan van Overtveldt, Rhymer Rigby, Nick Scott, Alex Steuart Williams, Russ Tudor, Saul Wordsworth JUNIOR DESIGNER Matt Gregory PRINTING Colourfast Europe






MANAGING DIRECTOR Tim Slee PRODUCTION MANAGER Alan Raine MARKETING Clare Brind ADVERTISING MANAGER Vicky Miller ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES Michael Berrett, Mark Edwards, Christian Morrow, Kevin Rudge, Tom Rutherford, Alex Watson ACCOUNTS Steve Cole Natalie Jackson

CONTACT 020 7819 9999

CERTIFIED DISTRIBUTION: 33,079 (July-December 2008) square mile uses paper from sustainable sources

FRONT COVER SPARE A THOUGHT for our brethren across the pond. As has been well publicised, Obama’s administration is actually doing some of the things that Brown et al would love to but just don’t quite have the cojones to carry through. Or aren’t quite left-wing enough to. The Fed’s latest proposals for 90 per cent paycuts for senior execs of banks taking government money go so much further than anything anyone in this country would dare to do that it must give cause for relief about exactly how safe the UK banking industry is. Citibank CEO Vikram Pandit, who has said he will pay himself just $1 a year until the US financial giant returns to profitability, has set the tone and reminded us that in many ways America, where there is less history of the state trying to enforce fairness on its population than here, does in many ways have a far greater tradition of civic responsibility and philanthropy than we do. It doesn’t mean they don’t still like a good harangue, though. Elizabeth Warren, the chairwoman of the US’s $700bn (£421bn) Federal Bail-Out Fund said on television recently, “Guys, you have to understand that you can’t party on like its 2007. If you’re going to take taxpayer dollars, then the game has to change.” Now, of course, though we do number CEOs of the City’s biggest banks among our readers, the majority of square mile’s subscribers are just regular working joes who just happen to be bankers trying to get by on a measly quarter of a mill or so a year. So it might tickle you to know that if the US proposals were introduced in the UK RBS CEO Stephen Hester, would see his pay cut from £1.2m to £120,000 and Lloyds CEO Eric Daniels, from £1.15m to £115,100. I won’t tell you what effect a 90 per cent cut would have on my pay. You would just laugh.

Martin Deeson, Editor

To receive your complimentary subscription to square mile visit

In May 1977 – the Queen’s Silver Jubilee – The Sex Pistols released their second single God Save the Queen. “Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive.” We capture the spirit of the age for our Best of British issue


… was one of the most distinguished foreign affairs reporters of his generation. He famously became an MP after his anti-sleaze battle against Tatton MP Neil Hamilton in 2001.


... has been the British Bankers’ Association chief executive since 2007. As the Conservative MP for Erewash, Derbyshire, she was economic secretary to the Treasury under John Major.


… writes about business, travel and lifestyle. As well as a weekly slot for the Financial Times he has written for titles ranging from GQ and Conde Nast Traveller to the Telegraph and Daily Mail.


… is director of economics thinktank VKW Metena in Belgium. A widely published author and journalist, he examines Alan Greenspan’s legacy on p64. © Square Up Media Limited 2009. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. All information contained in this magazine is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Square Up Media cannot accept responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Square Up Media a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in all editions of the magazine. All material is sent at your own risk and although every care is taken, neither Square Up Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be held liable resulting for loss or damage. Square Up Media endeavours to respect the intellectual property of the owners of copyrighted material reproduced herein. If you identify yourself as the copyright holder of material we have wrongly attributed, please contact the office.




▼ CITY 50 PADDY POWER The affable Irish bookie on how being one 49 of the lads has made his company the punter’s pal

55 POST-ITS The world’s most comfortable workstation, escaping to other worlds on the Tube and how to turn wine into water. No, really…



Michael Wainwright, co-owner of Boodles, on how keeping your family 200 miles away makes for a good working relationship






Eugene Costello introduces the key issues that will decide whether the City of London remains the world’s financial centre

The former anti-sleaze MP on what lessons the banking community can learn from political scandals



The head of the FSA puts the case for greater regulation, the breaking up of the banks and the dreaded pay restraint

Art gallery and bar owner Alex Proud unveils his latest venture: a City cabaret and burlesque club




Is it a phone? Is it a clock? No, it’s a ‘communication instrument’, brought to you by TAG Heuer

The forthright chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association robustly challenges Lord Turner and puts your case



Is the Fed’s former chairman Alan Greenspan to blame for the whole mess we find ourselves in?

It’s a nine-page fashion spectacular, it’s our forthcoming City exhibition of British luxury brands and it’s four pages of luxury goods with classic Brit iconography












ENGLAND EXPECTS: Independent watchmaker Peter SpeakeMarin trained in London, honed his art in Switzerland (where else?) and now pioneers undeniably English timepieces of distinction




 12 november

100 Things to do After the City #18 driVing instruCtor

drIVInG InStrUctOrS are vile and disgusting. Look at this: “A 57-year-old driving instructor who groped his female pupils during lessons over a 24-year career has today been jailed for three months. Peter Pob, of Big Hand Driving, fondled his teenage pupils whilst pretending to help with clutch control, Preston Crown Court heard.” Of course, not all driving instructors are vile and disgusting. Many are nothing of the sort, and instead fulfil the role with which we are familiar – that of teaching our children to drive (though their capacity for evil remains). Driving instructors have their own language that we pick up, then dispense with once we have passed our test. This includes phrases like “biting point”, “hill start” and “mind that nun!” Like all bullies, they will seek to undermine self-confidence and create a pattern of self-loathing in order to bleed money from acne-faced inadequates. A short example: “Am I ready for my test yet, Richard?” “Fat chance. And it’s Mr Judd to you, numb nuts.” All-time top weapon in an instructor’s armoury? The Emergency Stop: “Very soon, and without warning, I will slap the dashboard with this rubber chicken. When I do, please stop as if in an emergency. Now step on it, fartbox.” Driving instructors spend their days loitering outside schools, making small talk with adolescents and reversing round corners. As a result, many go round the bend, often at high speed and with their eyes closed, in order to escape such unfortunate lives. ■

proud Cabaret launChes

as readers of square mile, you are invited to the visit the City’s newest establishment, Proud Cabaret. Modelled on a 1920s supper club, Proud Cabaret brings together fine dining and entertainment in surroundings that recall the glamour of the jazz age. the establishment is brought to you by alex Proud – the owner of Proud Camden – who is interviewed on p60. If you didn’t make the launch party we hosted last month, then make sure you head down for a night of fun, frolics and frocks. Well, not so many frocks, actually – more tassels. For more information email with ‘Proud Cabaret’ as the subject heading. No1 Mark Lane, Corner of Dunster Court and Mark Lane, EC3;

the festiVal of rauCous Cheer

this December sees comedy, arts, music and theatre crash together on regent Street. on 3 December, the ‘Festival of raucous Cheer’ opens at 295 Cavendish Gate. the festival is an ideal corporate entertainment environment where your clients will actually be, well, entertained. aside from arts and theatre, there’s some cracking comedy nights, and a last chance to see hit Edinburgh festival shows such as tV-Star, and winner of the ‘Edinburgh Fringe award for Funniest Joke’ Dan antopolski’s lauded show ‘Silent But Deadly’. tickets start at £10. a full festival ticket costs £60 and entitles you to see anything throughout the month. Group bookings are available from £50 per head. For info go to

West ham Vs man united on 5 December West Ham United take on Manchester United in the Barclays Premiership. throughout november a limited number of hospitality places – which include three-course meals – are available at a discounted rate to square mile readers. Choose between the Sir trevor Brooking Suite, including VIP director’s box and complimentary drinks package (£360); or Greenwood & Lyall lounge, including VIP seats in the Bobby Moore stand (£160). to book contact 0871 222 2700 quoting ‘Square Mile’. offer terms and Conditions

no employees of Square Up Media or employees of the competition provider are eligible for entry. Square Up Media is not responsible for this offer. any bookings are between the reader and West Ham Football Club. Bookings should be made by 29 november 2009. any readers wishing to take up the offer should contact West Ham FC on the above number, quoting ‘Square Mile’.


the square mile 2009 Best of British Collection is a showcase of the country’s finest luxury brands held at Gibson Hall on 17 november. square mile readers are invited to attend this complimentary event where the top names in British design will be exhibiting their latest collections for you to try and buy. a proportion of proceeds will go to our official charity partner the Prince’s trust. If you’re interested in attending please email ‘British’ to

the stunning new rooftop club Eight Moorgate from 6pm to 9pm. Girard-Perregaux and Jeanrichard are offering this one-off opportunity to buy its very exclusive, handmade Swiss watches at an exceptional price. needless to say, these watches are superbly manufactured and one of only a handful of premium brands still in existence. Please email clareb@ with ‘GP Watch Event’ in the title as soon as you can to request a space on the guest list. Eight Moorgate, 1 Dysart Street, EC2;

alain duCasse Christmas treats

WatCh Club eVent


We are offering our readers the chance to attend a Square Mile Watch Club evening on tuesday 24 november. Girard-Perregaux and Jeanrichard will be holding a sale in conjunction with their authorised retailer Beau Gems. the evening will be taking place in the members’ lounge at

treat yourself this Christmas by booking a table at alain Ducasse at the Dorchester and you will have the chance to win one of the decadent gifts being given away in ‘the twelve Gifts of Christmas’ competition. the Michelin-starred restaurant has teamed up with other luxury brands, including Christian Dior, amanda Wakeley, and Vertu, to offer approximately £5,000 worth of exclusive gifts to be won in the six weeks preceding Christmas. To enter the competition, guests booking a lunch or dinner at Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester will simply need to leave behind their business cards.

Overregulate now, and we risk damaging an industry that we badly need to succeed. hOward wheeLdOn, SenIOr StrateGISt, BGc PartnerS

best of british 2009 ColleCtion

Crunch Bunch #9 in our regular series for people Who’Ve missed the neWs... aleXena CaYless, Chip fork silVer, £65

LateSt reSearch FrOm those pickled-egg heads at Mintel finds that a truly British institution – the local fish and chip shop – ranks as Britain’s favourite place to eat. In fact, results of the survey show that one in every £100 spent on food is at a fish and chip shop. Chances are your local chippie won’t supply this particular utensil, though: Alexena Cayless’s solid silver chip fork. Engraved with the words ‘open or wrapped’, each fork is cast and finished by hand by Climal Castings – based in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter. The fork, available exclusively from Liberty’s, costs £65 – so remember not to throw it away with yesterday’s newspaper. Cayless actually specialises in furniture design, but the south Londoner has always been intrigued by anything that’s uniquely British. The fork is also available as part of a Fish & Chips Condiment set that also includes a ceramic hip flask – perfect for adding your own liquor. For fork’s sake… what will they think of next? ■

november 13



CroCkett & Jones



■ bonus buster bösendorfer presents audi design grand, €100,000

car and watchmaker tieups are nothing new (see p63). But car and piano-makers? It’s crazy, it’s madcap – but it might just work, dammit. Bösendorfer has been banging out – sorry, painstakingly crafting – the world’s finest joannas for years. But asking Audi to come up with a new set of ivories has

reinvented the piano wheel. With a lid that seamlessly disappears on the pianist’s blind side, its sharp lines and aluminium legs make it a thing of chic, contemporary beauty. Rumours that the first three pedals were a clutch, brake and accelerator are said to be baseless. Vorsprung durch joanna, we suppose…

Founded in 1879 and celebrating 130 years of uncompromising commitment to fine quality, detail, and exceptional craftsmanship, Crockett & Jones stands at the pinnacle of the industry. the family-owned shoemaker offers some of the finest quality men’s footwear in the UK today. the Hand Grade Collection boasts specially selected calfskins, oak bark soles, extensive hand work and polishing – with prices from £350. the range includes the new Clarendon in dark brown antique calf, pictured here. the Main Collection – with prices from £190 – provides perfect classic footwear for business, smart daywear and the country weekend. There are stores in the City, Mayfair and the West End. 020 7929 2111;

the first Square Mile Poker night in association with Goldchip is taking place at one of London’s top casinos later this month. the buy-in at our inaugural poker night will be £100. Proceeds will be going to our charity partner, WWF. To register your interest, email ‘Poker’ as the subject to

14 november

Cartoon: Modern toss,

square mile Club poker nights


+ golDSMithS’ Fair 2009

goldsmiths’ Fair ’09, is the UK’s largest contemporary jewellery fair. square Mile Club hosted a private event at the Fair on Monday 5 october. held at the historic goldsmiths’ hall in the City, the Fair offered our readers the perfect opportunity for early Christmas shopping or commissioning a bespoke ring or necklace.

16 november

Notice board

+ the watch gallery

the opening party of the Watch gallery attracted the great and the good from the world of haute horlogerie. 129 Fulham Road, London, SW3 020 7581 3239;

the pioneer of White Collar Boxing, the real Fight Club, held its most recent event, Capital punishment IV at Kensington town hall giving City boys a chance to lamp lumps out of each other. Legally. Its gym is five minutes from Liverpool st.

november 17

photographs by (goldsmiths’ Fair) Damien gabet

+ white collar boxing


tOkyO GRiFt

18 November

city talk

Our man in Japan H A Brown on a tale of greed, retribution and controlling the bonus pool. Not to mention, the importance of learning local customs…

IllustratIon by russ tudor

After ten yeArs of lying, cheating, back stabbing, theft and fraud, I was finally getting my Mugabe moment. Not quite up to being able to plunder a large African country for the next 30 years, but the next best thing. I was finally running a broking desk, which meant I controlled the bonus pool. As everyone knows, the City is – and always will be – one giant pyramid scheme, with those ruthless enough to make it to the top controlling the enormous wealth generated by some of the smartest villains in the known world. Admittedly, we financial types are in the sin bin at the moment, as even by City standards we got a bit carried away with those mortgage thingies – but of course the underlying forces that drive the City remain fear and greed. Now while those elected darlings may try to dampen the symbiotic relationship between leverage and bonuses, ultimately no one goes to work in the City for any other reason other than to make, steal and swindle as much money, in as short as time as possible, before some other sod turns up and takes over. In fact, pretty much what any potential African dictator worth his salt knows from birth. Therefore, dear reader, you can understand my joy at finally getting my hands on that bonus pool after all those years of back-alley knife-fighting and receiving the barest bonus dregs from those higher up the pyramid. There was just one slight snag; the desk was in Japan and I had heard weird things about the bonus culture out there. I needed to go and speak to ‘Barry’ Suzuki, who had been stranded on UK shores when one of the big Japanese brokers blew up in the late 1990s. “Brown-san, you must understand, Japan is an egalitarian society, that getting rich quick is frowned upon and that one’s working life is dedicated to the common good, first of the company, then the country and last one’s own selfish needs.” “Er, that’s all great Barry, but I actually want that Ferrari now.”

“Brown-san, you must understand, in Japan it is better to die in poverty but be known as the man who created a widget that allowed Toyota to sell yet more cars to the Americans than to have a Ferrari.” “So what you’re telling me is that there isn’t much of a bonus culture in Japan?” “Brown-san, we are not communists! Of course there is a bonus culture. Every December and June every employee in Japan gets between three weeks’ and six weeks’ salary as a bonus – depending on how many Toyotas Japan sold over the previous six months.” “So let me get this straight. When you were at Ramaichi and doubled your sixmonthly bonus, you were still limited to the maximum six weeks’ salary?” “Not so simple Brown-san. It depends on how many Toyotas were sold, so it might have only been three weeks’.” Wow! Can you imagine the state of the global economy if City bonuses were linked to the sales figures of British Leyland? There would have been no financial crisis, there would have been no boom-and-bust; there would be just a lot of depressed bankers driving really crap cars after having tried in vain to boost the exports of the world’s worse car maker. So thus armed with the latest Toyota global sale figures, I headed off to Japan, to take charge of my bonus pool. Now, as mentioned, Japan considers itself an eligatarian society, with no class divide. Which, of course, is bollocks. At

●● My first sixmonths saw revenues double. I surreptitiously started getting in ferrari brochures

the top are royalty; then the warrior class, the Samurai; then the priests; and finally the merchant class. But there is also the rarely mentioned ‘Epsilon’ class – this includes the hairy Ainu tribe, gaijin (meateating foreigners), tanners and, at the bottom of the bottom, the Untouchables. “Ah,” I hear you say, “he talks of the burakumin, that class of people that used to live on the edge of society, clinging to the fringes of the hamlet – or these days, living out of 24-hour internet cafes.” But you would be wrong: the absolute lowest of the low are Japanese who work for foreigners, and within that, those working for a foreign money broker are so low down that people will cross the street to avoid getting too close to them. So it was with trepidation that I went to see my new staff. It wasn’t so much that I was worried about their ability. I was far more concerned that they would not be Japanese enough to be satisfied with the usual three- to six-week bonus, regardless of how much commission they generated, and thereby a threat to my percentage of the bonus pool. My concerns were unfounded: they all knew they were untouchables, so tried to be more Japanese than the blue bloods, working 18-hour days, always on the phone, and they knew their stuff. To my pleasant surprise the money started to pour in. My first six-months in Japan saw revenues double. I surreptitiously started getting in Ferrari brochures. But first I had to test out Barry’s words of wisdom on the first round of bonus discussions I was to have with my Japanese staff. “Now Watanabe-san, last bonus you got six weeks’ salary. You doubled your revenue this half, so I am going to give you eight weeks’ salary in recognition of your splendid work.” Watanabe-san looked mortified. Oh God, I had taken Barry’s advice too far. I should have just doubled his bonus to 12 weeks and not been greedy. I was flapping large as Watanabe-san was my best producer – I had trebled my six-month bonus on the back of all his hard work. ▶ November 19

city talk


▶ I am just about to utter the words that all financial mangers fear over all else – “er, I can probably improve it a bit if you are not happy?” – when Watanabe-san whispers to me, “Brown-san, Toyota sale figures were down ten per cent last half; I will be condemned in society’s eyes if my bonus goes up.” Oh my God, thank you, Barry! I instantly apologise, leave his bonus unchanged and cut the rest of the team’s bonus to five weeks’. Meanwhile, my bonus has now gone up five times, because the bonus pool is a fixed amount, to be divided fairly between me and what clearly is the success of Toyota’s export sales. I order the Ferrari. The next six months were spent happily telling my personal lines how crap my life was, how badly I get paid, that if they were real friends they would pay me more, bro, while carefully monitoring the monthly car sales figures coming out the US, which were imploding, along with the rest of the world. We brokers, however, being the bottom feeders that we are, were having a record half with all that volatility and the bonus pool was growing to an incredible size. Move over Mugabe, there was a new pilferer in town. Bonus day again: Watanabe-san has worked his arse off the previous six months and trebled his previous half – but Toyota sales are down 30 per cent. “So Watanabe-san, depressing half.” “Very, Brown-san.” “This Lehman thing has really hurt us, Watanabe-san, I expect we will have to close the Texas factory.”

●● I had just taken 90 per cent of the six-monthly bonus pool for a team of 21. I was ecstatic 20 November

“I fear you are right Brown-san.” “So I can only pay you three-weeks bonus this half.” I had just managed to take 90 per cent of the total six-monthly bonus pool out of a team of 21 people. I was ecstatic: to celebrate I rang up all my lines to complain how I had been totally shafted in my bonus, and to get several of them to take me out to dinner to compensate. The Ferrari deposit was wired. I started looking at Noosa beachfront property. Still with a big grin on the face, I walked into the office the following Monday, where all the Japanese were staring at me with a rather disquieting gleeful glint in their eye. I made my way to my desk, where I was rather surprised to see my biggest line ringing, a line not known for early starts. “You are a lying, deceitful sack of shit Brown; your line is out forever!” Cue frantic attempt to recall the weekend, but I had definitely not done anything with the wrong woman. Then my second best line rings: “Brown, what gets me, is how you had the affront to make me pay for your commiseration bonus dinner, you lying shit. Your line is out forever!” So it continues for the next hour. After sitting in a dazed state for several minutes once the abuse stops, I cast

my eyes down to my in-tray to see Japan’s equivalent to the FT, the Nikkei Shinbun. The lead story reads “…in growing recognition to the importance of foreigners in Japan, the Tax Bureau is honouring the top 50 foreign taxpayers.” WTF! I grab the paper, and with growing horror, read that “honouring” means publishing the name, company and how much tax that person has paid in a list on page 2. I turn the page with terror, and there it is: H A Brown, honoured as the number 39th highest foreign taxpayer in Japan. As the tax rate is pretty much 50 per cent, it doesn’t need a genius to work out what I had been taking home bonus-wise. Hence those extremely miffed clients. Ironically, my staff weren’t that upset; they knew all foreigners were two-faced thieving gits. So no need for G20 intervention: the Tax Bureau had done for my greedy and immoral exploitation of the bonus culture – and that was after I had paid the ungrateful sods 50 per cent. With my client base destroyed, I was soon fired, and in fine irony ended up as a junior at a domestic brokerage. With my now clear understanding of the bonus culture in Japan, the Ferrari is up for sale and I am linking my fortunes to Toyota. I am due shortly to take delivery of a Prius. ■

Centre Pompidou, Paris. Architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers.

WAIT. GIRARD-PERREGAUX 1966 Full calendar Indicators of the date, the day of the week, the month and the moon phases. Girard-Perregaux automatic mechanical movement. Pink gold case. Sapphire back.


sleeping beauty Whether you call it an uncle*, a scratcher** or the more prosaic pit, your bed should be one of the most important investments you make, says Lou Cooper


and so to bed georgian four poster £4,325 Where do you spend more time than anywhere else? No, not the golf course, or Corney & Barrow. And no, not the office – you’re only there five days a week. We mean, of course, bed, where you’ll spend more time over your life than any other place. This wonderfully grand Georgian four-poster, with hand-carved canopy, Prince of Wales feathers and poster drapes (above) from And So To Bed, is the perfect combination of sophisticated glamour and sheer comfort to ensure a slumber that the softest, pinkest, chubbiest baby would envy.

22 November

And So To Bed has been designing beds for over 30 years, so buying from them is not so much a routine household purchase as an educational (with added bed-bouncing fun) experience. A consultation will take into account with whom you sleep, how much you weigh, the room space available, your budget and so on, and a specialist can then advise you on the ideal bed frame, mattress, complementary furniture and bed linen to suit you. And if your ideal mattress differs from that of your beloved, they can even create a tailor-made half-and-half mattress to satisfy both your nightly needs.

Their fantastically creative designs range from the stunning Cézanne, with seasoned walnut and cherry wood-veneer panels, to the adventurous Handel & Chopin, featuring cast metal shaped to look like the leather of a horse’s bridle. And if you really want to push the bed out, they can design a frame to your exact specification, creating anything from headboards with your family crest to carved footholds you can use to step into bed. Now all you need is a top-of-the-range alarm clock to entice you from your haven. 020 7731 3593; (* Uncle Ted/Ned ** Scratch Your Head)



Miss K bY pHiLippe starCK for fLos £175 The French design master lights up your bedroom.


Mufti daY bed £1,815 Made from reclaimed teak, this can be covered in any fabric you want. (Not banana skins.)


arMani/Casa antoinette £12,500 A dressing table that doesn’t have to take over the bedroom.


tresserra saMuro £37,336 Opens up to reveal some super-stylish – if a little elaborate – storage solutions.


Montis oLiVier sWiVeL CHair £1,886 James Bond-chic that is fast becoming an iconic design.


settLe doWn, pLease antonia MetHuen traWLs London’s designers for nesting nuggets





ONE MINUTE YOU’RE basking in the excitement of an Indian summer, trudging around design shows in a constant state of indecision – jacket or coat, flats or heels, 100% or Tent – and then autumn appears from nowhere, full of mists and (let’s hope) fruitful order books. Whether visitors to London’s design festivals actually bought anything remains to be seen, but the shift in weather does incite the need to nest. With the twitters of Bill Oddie and Kate Humble in mind, we, the lesser-feathered variety, need to get cosy. But the pursuit of comfort does not come at the cost of good design – cosy design has its champions. Established & Sons gave its Mayfair exhibition space entirely over to The Bouroullec Brothers this September. The French duo showed their Quilt series of upholstered pieces – including a

sofa so futuristic that you could imagine Lieutenant Uhuru cosying up to Captain Kirk on it. One of our fave websites is – packed with lots of design-led furniture and accessories. The Lomme bed in particular takes hibernating to the next level: the ‘Light Over Matter Mind Evolution’ is apparently a “unique sleep experience and rejuvenation environment” – and for £33K you’ll want an exceptionally soft landing. However, if cosy can be both portable and luxurious, then what’s not to like? Our most lusted-after blanket has to be the most sumptuous GingerLily 100% Silk Blanket (left, £149). Made from only the finest grade mulberry silk, with a huge silk band around its edge, this is something that should ensure that, like Linda Evangelista, you won’t get out of bed for less than $10k. ■

November 23

L O N D O N . 1 1 3 , N E W B O N D S T R E E T Interior Design Service available •




BERLUTI DERBY KIMONO £920 Polished with a splash of champagne, Olga Berluti’s sleek calfskin shoes will put the fizz into any special occasion.


BLACK TIE SILK SCARF £165 Game for a scarf? Give it some Fred Astaire with this sumptuous silk scarf. Dancing feet not included.


Christmas party season will soon be upon us again. Make it a night to remember, says SALLY MCILHONE


RICHARD JAMES DINNER JACKET £895 Classic styling from the Savile Row stalwart. Job done.


ST LUKE DRESS SHIRT £225 Time to get shirty – and this elegant tailored classic ticks all the boxes.


ROGUE IDENTITY DRESS STUDS CUFFLINKS £145 Don't forget the wrist factor – and monochrome never looked so good, as these simple mother of pearl-andonyx dress studs.






5 ONE OF THE more interesting independent watchmakers is Englishman, Peter SpeakeMarin. After training in London, he made the almost inevitable move to Switzerland at an early age – despite this being the age of digital communications and cheap flights, there’s no substitute for attending the local watering-holes to learn and develop as a watchmaker. Speake-Marin was also lucky enough to get taken on at Renaud et Papi, watchmaking’s equivalent of McLaren or Williams. This, combined with a period at Somlo Antiques in London, has seen Speake-Marin, as an independent, try to develop a style that brings together the best of traditional English watchmaking and the best of contemporary skills and techniques. From the look of the

Piccadilly and, particularly, the SM2 calibre, it seems that he has succeeded. The SM2 is his in-house designed automatic movement that will underpin future creations, and is a rare feat for someone working on his scale. While the Piccadilly and most of SpeakeMarin’s output is firmly in this English style, he’s not averse to stepping onto wilder shores. A client request (later withdrawn) led to the Skulls Concept watch, a one-off piece that would become part of his 1in20 pièce unique series that houses the first 20 SM2 movements. And as some of the wilder horological creations of recent years recede from the limelight, Speake-Marin’s take on watch-making very much looks the future. ■ James Gurney is editor of QP magazine




A FITTING TALE DAMIEN GABET has searched long and hard but has finally discovered the holy grail of tailoring – Terence Trout – and goes to meet the man whose holding the shears

THE WORDS ‘contemporary classic’ are bandied about a little too lightly in today’s sartorial lexicon. It’s a true rarity to find a tailor that can actually combine traditional craftsmanship with something that is truly modern and cutting edge. Stephen Williams is one of those rarities. Inspired by an enigmatic dandy named Terence Trout, Williams decided to create a company in his image. Williams developed his style designing at Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani and Paul Costello, and working at Savile Row’s William Hunt, before launching his own business. Until recently, the Terence Trout service remained exclusive to a select group of devotees. The secret has spread though prompting the opening of the first Terence Trout store on Mayfair’s Grosvenor Street. Terence Trout is now the official tailor of more than one Premier League football team and is giving several well-known golf players the dashing looks that their course wear doesn’t permit. It’s not surprising that the sporting world is taking note, as Terence Trout offers a look that marries both a sharp, slimming cut with plenty of modern twists. Whether you’re interested in quirky materials, intricate stitching details, or even an Apple iPhone holder in the lining, the Terence Trout bespoke service can create the ultimate suit for any occasion. Just ask David Beckham – his sons have already been measured up, and he’s thought to be next on the list. One of the unique and most important elements of the Terence Trout style is the cloth. Developing a 20-year relationship with a top Italian mill has afforded Williams and his clientele exclusive access to the finest quality materials. These are put to good use in the creation of a suit that not only fits your look but your personality too. For those who simply can’t wait the four weeks it will take for your own glove-fitting, bespoke masterpiece, time too has been dedicated to the perfection of both a madeto-measure and an off-the-peg range. These join Terence Trout’s shirts and accessories which all help to create a modern look with traditional sensibilities. Contemporary and classic – it’s rare, but not impossible. ■ Terence Trout, 5 Grosvenor Street, London, W1K 4DJ 020 7495 3177;


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‘LOOK, OVER THERE, can you see the moose?’ I splash to the edge of the water and sure enough there is a moose, with its calf, ambling through the valley beneath me. The waiter sets down my drink, and I float back to admire the scene, which is framed by the Grand Teton mountains, and an orange sky. Close to Jackson Hole in Wyoming, Amangani is the only Aman hotel in North America. It has all the sybaritic spa treatments and generous pampering for which the first Aman, Amanpuri in Phuket, rightly became famous, but in a very different context. The hotel is built of rough sandstone, with floor-to-ceiling windows. Across the front of the property runs a 115ft heated infinity pool, whose smaller sister is a 112 sq ft Jacuzzi.

TRUEFITT & HILL ULTIMATE COMFORT GIFT SET £60 ‘Ultimate’ and ‘comfort’ – ‘nuff said.

5 After my swim, I drain my champagne, and pad into the spa. It is beautifully finished, with fragrant redwood walls, and black granite shower rooms. Hot stone massages can be hit and miss – I have a small scar on my back from an unfortunate experience in Nairobi – but the one I had here was divine. The hot of the oil and the stone on my back, the relief of my muscles letting go… Other options include customised facials, Swedish, Thai or cranial massage, Shiatsu, body mud masks, polishes and herbal body wraps. Heavenly. ■ Skitracer (020 8600 1650; offers a bespoke week at Amangani from £2,218 per person, including flights from Heathrow to Jackson Hole, private transfers, three-day lift pass, seven-nights in a suite with breakfast.

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PHOTOGRAPH by Ewelina Stechnij


HOPE AND GLORY: Nine pages of lavish, beautifullyshot pages of fashion, style and luxury act as the curtainraiser to the inaugural square mile Best of British exhibition



So iS it heaven or hell for the Square mile? The banks are out of control, says the FSA’s Lord Turner. Nonsense, says the BBA’s Angela Knight. EugEnE CostEllo introduces the Great Bonus Debate… In thE sEptEmbEr issue of Prospect magazine Lord Turner, the chair of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) took part in a round-table discussion with a group of leading financial analysts. The furore caused by some of his comments is still reverberating. Regarding the substance of his arguments, critics were, in many cases, scathing. Tim Congdon, who served on the Treasury Panel of Independent Forecasters (the Wise Men) under the last Conservative Government, was apoplectic: “It is ludicrous for Adair Turner to allege that the [financial] sector has grown too much… for the chairman of the FSA to chastise these industries… is appalling [and] amounts to… economic suicide.” London mayor Boris Johnson was more succinct: “Crackers” was his summary of Lord Turner’s comments. Richard Lambert, director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) sharply rebuked Lord Turner for focusing on the “wrong issues” – bankers’ bonuses, the size of the sector and so on – and argued that “getting credit flowing properly through to the private sector” (especially SMEs) was the real challenge. Lambert urged Turner instead to stop philosophising about the social matters and focus on the meat of his job: “In a free society, it’s not the job of a politician – or, for that matter, of a regulator – to argue that a particular form of activity is or is not of social value.” At time of going to press, the beleaguered FSA chair will have drawn some comfort from the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, who supported Turner’s view that some of banks’ “socially useless” functions on the investment side should be separated from the day-to-day business of retail banking. 32 November

The governor said “it was hard to see why” taxpayer support could not be limited to retail banking. “Anyone who proposed giving government guarantees to retail depositors and other creditors, and then suggested that such funding could be used to finance highly risky and speculative activities, would be thought rather unworldly. But that is where we now are.” Direct or guaranteed investment in banks from the government was close to one trillion pounds, he pointed out. “The sheer scale of support to the banking sector is breathtaking. “Never has so much money been owed by so few to so many. And, one might add, so far with little real reform.” Apparently showing some enthusiasm for the enforced separating out of retail and investment, or the ‘breaking up of banks’, he added: “It is hard to see how the existence of institutions that are ‘too important to fail’ is consistent with their being in the private sector. “Encouraging banks to take risks that result in large dividend and remuneration payouts when things go well, and losses for taxpayers when they don’t, distorts the allocation of resources and management of risk.” These are not comments he will have made lightly, and all serve to add to the

●● boris Johnson was succinct on turner’s views: “Crackers”…

sense that we are living in extraordinary times. Over these pages, we reproduce some of his initial comments in Prospect that sparked the controversy, while on p36 the chair of the British Bankers’ Association, Angela Knight, writing exclusively for square mile, mounts a robust defence of the sector…

lord turnEr on what stage of the crisis we are at... I think we are well advanced in the evolution of the financial aspect of the crisis – the extreme public policy interventions that followed the crisis last October have stabilised the system. We do now have banks that have adequate capital. I think there are still some issues across the world as to whether we have full transparency. But most countries have made sure their banks are capitalised to deal with the future. So I think we are beyond the point of fragility. Economically, we are at some sort of turning point, in the sense that the period of extreme GDP fall has occurred. We are seeing increases of GDP in some parts of the world, like China and much of Asia, and in the developed countries we are probably on the turn. on Conservative plans effectively to abolish the FsA… The institutional architecture is the least important issue here. If you look around the world, some countries combine the prudential supervision of banks with the central bank and some have it separate. And of those countries that are thought to have done well in this crisis, some of them do it one way and some do it the other. Everyone says Spain has done reasonably well and it has supervision of banks allied to its central bank. Yet Canada, a ▶

turner v KniGht

ILLUSTRATIONS by Echo Chernik;

November 33


and equity trading, which have grown beyond a socially reasonable size… The answer is, I don’t think we know. But I think that as regulators we will be much less susceptible in the future to the argument that says “this product or market will create more financial activity, therefore that is a good thing.”

▶ country that appears to have had a very sound banking system throughout the crisis, has a separation between the central bank and bank supervision. So there is a spectrum of activities, from the monetary policies of central banks through macro-prudential analysis, microprudential supervision and customer protection issues… wherever you divide it up, you’ll create interface problems and you’ll have to manage them. on what faces regulators next… I think we are still trying to work that out after a fairly complete train wreck of a predominant theory of economics and finance… But one issue here is, do we try to hardwire things into the system so that when you go into a boom an automatic formula demands of banks, for example, that they squirrel away more capital? Or should such decisions reside within a body of wise people, some financial stability committee?

34 November

Second… does that mean that we as regulators have to sometimes ban new products and say, “I’m going to ban that unless you can prove to me that it is socially useful”? The whole burden of proof in the past has been the other way round – an organisation like the FSA has worked on the assumption that it has to define that there is some specific market failure, or else our intervention is not legitimate. We have not felt the ability to act against market volatility for reasons of financial stability; we’ve only felt that we can act on it for reasons of market abuse. on the size of the financial sector… I think the fact that the financial services sector can grow to be larger than is socially optimal is a key insight. There clearly are bits of the financial system, and particularly the bits that relate to fixed income securities, trading, derivatives, hedging, but possibly also aspects of the asset management industry

on retail versus wholesale banking… On this issue of the size and profitability of the financial sector you must separate out the retail activity and the wholesale. On the retail side there is no evidence that it is too large in terms of employees or in terms of margins – the margin between what you get on a deposit and what you pay on a loan hasn’t gone up over the last 30 years. And the CEOs of the major retail banks are paid what the CEOs of the major retailers are paid. What is surprising is when you go to the wholesale side, and you see the enormous amounts of money that are made out of the provision of liquidity or the provision of complicated products or bits of asset management or hedge fund industries – those are activities that have ballooned in size, appear to be making hugely more money than 20 years ago, and where you end up with levels of personal remuneration that are just stunning. on bankers’ bonuses… Well, there’s a lot of politics being played here, but let me try to be clear about what we can and should do about pay and about who has to do it. We must distinguish three issues. First, whether the structure of how bankers get paid – not the total level of pay and bonuses but the balance between them – creates incentives for excessive risk-taking. Second, whether there should be a special approach for the banks that are now partially state owned. Third, public concern about the overall level of pay in a financial sector which, as we have been discussing, has swollen beyond its socially useful size and seems to make excessively large profits. The specific legal mandate of the FSA is solely on the first of these, so let me comment on that first. What the FSA can do and is doing is to require banks to take into account the implications of pay and bonus

turner v KniGht

policies for risk. It seems likely that in the run-up to the crisis bad remuneration policies did indeed create incentives for excessive risk taking – for instance by paying bankers bonuses for making shortterm profits before it was clear if they had also created toxic problems that produced losses later. So we will push banks to defer more bonuses for a period and to pay more in shares not cash, and we will demand higher capital requirements if we don’t like the policies we see. I am happy to consider taxes on financial transactions – Tobin taxes, after the economist James Tobin – [but simply] insisting that someone ‘does something’ about bonuses, by contrast, is a populist diversion.

on securitisation… The complex form of securitisation which grew in the past ten years was a bad thing. The basic proposition of securitisation is not daft and I think we will probably need to see the redevelopment of securitised credit in order to get the global economy running again. The problem was that it became over complicated, we had securitisation and re-securitisation, we had the over development of the credit-derivatives swaps market – somehow we just created this empire of activity. We need to create a stable and sensible form of securitisation rather than the monster of the past five years.

on alternative financial systems... If we do agree that there is a problem about the size of the financial sector, and the degree of profit extraction, it is expecting an awful lot of a regulator to then sit down and redesign the entire financial system to create better value added for society… [but] there is a slice of activity there to which the answer is not a private regulated market of any sort but rather a national funded pension scheme that essentially socialises the retail part of the distribution chain. Previously the government had been trying, through the stakeholder pension proposals, to create a product sufficiently simple that it could be sold at low margins but it didn’t work. Obviously we’re not going to decide that the whole financial system should be socialised because the alternative, which is the Soviet banking system pre-1989, also has its problems to put it mildly, but I think we have to realise that this is what we’re struggling with, where markets work and where they don’t.

on whether interest rates are too low… At the moment I wouldn’t worry about that, it would be like Scott of the Antarctic worrying about dying of heat stroke. Obviously it’s possible to overdo it, but I think we should still be more worried about potential deflationary pressures. One of the interesting things about this recession is that labour markets are proving surprisingly flexible, and that’s one of the reasons why unemployment is not going up as much as one might expect. Moreover, I think some of the more global factors which led to relatively low inflation are still there. Obviously it’s possible that pumping in huge amounts of liquidity means that we then get asset bubbles again, but I think we can deal with that when we see it. The real lesson is that we cannot rely on interest rates to constrain credit and asset bubbles. To stop the credit bubble of 2015-20 we do need to have levers for tightening liquidity rules or tightening capital rules. We have to make sure that during a downturn the weakness of the banking system does not become an autonomous factor driving the downturn. But if we think we are going to get rid of the economic cycle itself we are probably fooling ourselves.


Angela Knight is the chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association. She took over at the BBA in 2007, coming from the Association of Private Client Investment Managers. MP for Erewash, Derbyshire, from 1992 to 1997, Knight was economic secretary to the Treasury in the last Conservative government under John Major as PM. ADAIR TURNER

●● We will push banks to defer bonuses and pay more in shares

on the future of the square mile… I think London will continue to be a major financial centre and I say that despite agreeing that the whole financial system has grown bigger than is socially optimal. There will still be the process

Adair Turner was appointed FSA Chairman in September 2008. He has combined careers in business, public policy and academia. A cross-bench member of the House of Lords since 2005, he has been a non-executive director at Standard Chartered Bank, and vice-chairman of Merrill Lynch Europe. From 1995-99, he was director-general of the Confederation of British Industry. Prior to that, he was with McKinsey & Co from 1982-95, and between 1992-1995, built McKinsey’s practice in Eastern Europe.

of researching, distributing and trading equities; there will still be Lloyds of London doing wholesale insurance; there will still be ship-brokers and so on, and I think the concentration effects in financial services are very strong – London is a classic cluster and it will remain the dominant time zone centre in Europe. From the point of view of Britain as a whole we have over-relied on the City and we need other dynamic sectors, but in 20 or 30 years London is not going to have shrunk to the equivalent of Rome. There will remain four or five global financial centres, and it is almost certain that one will be London. ▶ November 35

turner v KniGht


▶ AngElA KnIght the bbA head says turner is wrong – the City is a world-class success story

no onE WIll be surprised to hear me say that Lord Turner’s views, as originally set out in an interview with Prospect magazine, have not gone down well in London. But I believe they spell bad news not just for the City but for the British economy as a whole. In arguing that our financial sector has grown too big, the FSA chairman claims that some of its activities are “socially useless”. And he threatens that if his code of conduct on pay does not work, then a new transaction tax should be levied on the City’s activities. The reality is that it is not every day that Britain builds a world-class industry, but in financial services we have done just that. In the case of other world-class British industries, we have toiled to build them up only to then lose them to other countries. Should we now do the same with our status as a world-leading financial centre? I would agree that thought should be given to diversifying the UK economy and diminishing its reliance on financial services. We should be supporting manufacturing and entrepreneurship to build strong businesses for the next generation. Towards this end, banks play their part, with lending to small businesses increasing by over four per cent in the last year despite a deep recession. Surely the key to re-balancing the

36 November

economy is to help these other sectors grow, rather than trying to shrink the financial sector. If the latter were to become public policy the sector would shrink very quickly: any number of countries are ready and waiting to snap up what we give up in terms of business. But it is unclear what would happen to the hundreds of thousands of jobs in London supported directly or indirectly by this industry. We should make no excuses for the fact that financial services have been a major contributor to the UK economy, with London as its engine room. In 2008, the financial sector made net exports totalling £50bn. And far from claims of “uselessness”, this contribution expresses itself in ways that are distinctly socially useful. Though centred in London, the sector employs a million people UK-wide, including every region, city and town. For the latest published year, 2006/07, it contributed a staggering £12.4bn in corporation tax – 27 per cent of the total – and £18.7bn in employees’ PAYE – 15 per cent of the total. These are major chunks of the tax income needed by the government to fund hospitals and schools right across Britain. Banks also happen to be the nation’s largest corporate charitable donors, collectively giving £138m in donations and other support to the voluntary sector in 2007/08. In an industry the size of the City, it is quite possible that there is some activity going on that we could do without. But recessions have an unforgiving way of shaking out such activities: if it isn’t truly needed it is unlikely to survive. All of the businesses criticised by Lord Turner appear, from another perspective, to be contributing to the efficient allocation of capital. And, as he says, it is hard to distinguish between valuable and non-valuable financial innovation. But what we must recognise is that innovation is a necessary and crucial part of a world-leading industry. Of all of Lord Turner’s comments, it is his proposal for a new tax on financial transactions – over and above stamp duty – which is the most controversial.

It appears to confuse two issues: the perceived inequity of bonus payments and the need to curb the excesses of globalised business. On the subject of bonuses, all UK banks have committed to complying with the FSA’s code of conduct, as well as consulting with the regulator on future remuneration strategies. If banks do not satisfy the FSA, their capital requirements will be hiked, limiting their ability to build their businesses. But if that does not work, Lord Turner says a new transaction tax could provide the answer. The idea of a ‘Tobin tax’ has been discussed by economists for over three decades, since James Tobin first suggested a global surcharge on all foreign currency transactions to raise money to redress some of the imbalances of globalisation. Unsurprisingly, it has never come close to being implemented anywhere: the idea is as utopian as it is hopelessly impractical. But at least its impacts would be spread globally. Lord Turner’s twist on the concept – a tax specific to the London markets – would be uniquely punitive and damaging to Britain. When it comes to financial regulation in a global economy, the UK cannot act alone in this way or British business will be put at a disadvantage. Lord Turner’s transaction tax would only serve to undermine the City’s international competitiveness and drive financial business – along with all of its social usefulness – into welcoming arms abroad. ■ ‘Prospect’ is the essential monthly magazine for anyone interested in the stories beneath the headlines. As Lionel Barber, editor of the FT, recently said: “The Adair Turner story was a great coup for ‘Prospect’ and made it a must-read in financial circles. [Prospect] is extending the range of its very readable long-form journalism – serious but never solemn and enjoyably unpredictable, it’s become a vital part of the media scenery.” Pick up a copy today from any good newsagent or try it for 6 months for just £12 – call 0844 249 0486 and quote reference HA65 or subscribe online at

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Saddle up for Square Mile’s canter through our homegrown fashion industry

38 November




Fashion Editor





Left to right: • Bespoke Tailors Mannequin: Henry Poole & Co Bespoke Prince of Wales check jacket and trousers (£2,969), shirt and tie (made to order) • Katerina: Dogwood Wellington classic riding hat (£103); Agent Provocateur Billie silk

jacket with body and suspenders (£895); Falke Stockings (£79); Hobbs leather gloves (£65); • Dogwood Cesare riding boots (£345) and dressage whip (£7); Richard Ogden pearl necklace (£4,475); Backes & Strauss watch (£13,743); Highgrove Summer

Flowers teacup and saucer (£40) • Siegfried: Dogwood Charles Owen riding hat (£87); Graham Tourist Trophy watch (£6,650); Budd sock suspenders (£15); Budd socks (£13.50); Lodger woven patent calf shoes (£600) • Michelle: Dogwood

Gate House velvet riding hat (£85); Agent Provocateur Love Basque (£185) Briefs £48, Stockings £25; Vivienne Westwood Jacket (£398); Paul Smith gloves (£149); Dogwood Royal riding boots (£699), dressage whip (£7); Richard Ogden broach (£6,000); Backes &

Strauss watch (£63,940); Highgrove Summer Flowers teacup and saucer (£40) • Props (from left to right): And So To Bed saddle stand (£205); Dogwood London hand whip (£8); And So To Bed Chopin table (£475), Georgian chair (£2,825),

brass telescope (£95); Ettinger Hip Flask (£35); Highgrove Prince of Wales Organic Gin (£23), Pig breakfast cup and saucer (£25); Highgrove Henry rocking horse (£150); And So To Bed travel trunks (from £495); Cole & Son Fornasetti Tema wallpaper (£63 per roll)

November 39


From left to right: • Art from Helium Foundation: Banksy Pink Mona Lisa, stencil and spray paint on canvas, original edition 1 of 1, 76 x 76cm (POA); Damien Hirst, Cineole, 2004,

40 November

signed etching, edition of 145 (POA); Banksy, Happy Chopper, 2003, screen print, artist proof (POA) • Neil: Ted Baker grey suit (£450); Paul Smith shirt (£140); Ted Baker shoes (£110); Simon

Carter Union Jack handkerchief and cuff links (£49); Vertu Ascent Ti Neon phone (£6,000) • Oliver: Vivienne Westwood black trousers (£375), black jacket (£530), purple shirt (£290); Oliver

Sweeney shoes (£250), belt (£65); Simon Carter watch (£95) • Louise: Ted Baker Gemme yellow dress (£129), red shoes (£110); Fabris Lane glasses (from £130); Lulu Guinness

Lips handbag (£225); Hamilton & Inches silver link necklace (£350); Lucie Campbell long platinum diamond briolette tassel earrings, 27.41ct (£58,000) • Alice: Ted Baker glassy blue dress (£149); Ted

Baker red shoes (£110); Fabris Lane glasses (from £130); Lucie Campbell platinum diamond and sapphire bracelet (£96,000), and short platinum diamond briolette tassel earrings (£22,500)


• Katie: Ted Baker Eoke red dress (£129); Ted Baker shoes (£85); Fabris Lane glasses (from £130); Lucie Campbell platinum diamond mesh bracelet, 42cts (£96,000) • Vinny: Vivienne

Westwood grey trousers (£350), Vivienne Westwood grey jacket (£510); Ted Baker blue knit cardigan (£70); Oliver Sweeney shoes (£250) • Phillip: Ted Baker grey shirt (£75); Vivienne

Westwood check trousers (£300); Ben Sherman black shoes (£80); Simon Carter Made in England tie (£75) • Props: David Linley St Moritz chair (£1,762); And So To Bed Rolls-Royce suitcase (£435)

November 41


42 November


From left to right: • Phillip: Holland & Holland jacket (£795), trousers (£395); John Lobb shoes (£950); Highgrove scarf (£35); Holland & Holland Royal Deluxe 16-bore side-by-side shotgun (£141,450 sold as a pair) • Louise: Philip Treacy side sweep hat with feather trim (£495); Aquascutum Ella skirt in timber wool (£450), Amelie jumper (£795); Chesil Embroidered Coat (£750); Hobbs long black leather gloves (£65); Falke stockings (£37); Hobbs Exbury shoes (£149) • Oliver: Purdey waterproof cap (£69), waterproof field coat (£795); shooting gloves (from £175); wool socks (£45); tweed breeks (£295); cashmere wool tie (£95); rough-out suede boots (£590); brushed-cotton check shirt (£95); Purdey 20-bore over & under game gun with large scroll engraving and ornamental gold inlays by S. Coggan (£106,662) • Props: David Linley Shooting Companion with two crystal decanters and cigar cutter (£3,495); Couverture Red Squirrel lamp (£49); And So to Bed large vintage travel trunks (£745), stag horn bench (£795); Grayham & Green silver deer antlers (£115); Hamilton & Inches silver pheasant candle stick (£4,000 a pair); Philip Treacy hat (£495); Johnnie Walker Blue Label King George V Edition (£375); Cole & Son Wall Paper (£47 per roll); And So To Bed large vintage leather trunk (£495), large vintage travel trunk (£745)

November 43


Left to right • Katerina: Agent Provocateur Elysia gown (£895); Beatrix Ong Fayette shoe for Jaeger (£298); Boodles Waterfall necklace (£30,000);

44 November

Boodles white gold, diamond and cushion cut amethyst ring (£9,000); Boodles cabaret star earrings, white gold and diamonds (£8,300). • James: Vivienne

Westwood jacket (£590); Ted Baker trousers (£85); Daks shirt (£95); Arianna Cadwallader headpiece worn as a tie; Beatrix Ong Chaplin shoe for Jaeger (£250).

• Phillip: Henry Poole Bespoke smoking jacket (£2,460); Thomas Pink shirt (£99); Maurice Sedwell trousers and bowtie (POA); Budd socks (£13.50); Beatrix Ong

black slippers (£99). • Tony: Jaeger jacket (£400), trousers (£250); Thomas Pink shirt (£85); Budd bowtie (£23.50); Beatrix Ong Minghella shoe for Jaeger (£280)

• Siegfried: Aquascutum Berkeley Eccelston Charcoal Suit (£1,495); Paul Smith shirt (£140); Budd bow tie (£23.50); Dent Parliament Watch (£14,500)


• Michele: Caroline Charles ladies tuxedo (£690); Thomas Pink shirt (£125); Arianna Cadweller headpiece worn as bowtie; Beatrix Ons Sayette shoes for Jaeger (£298);

Boodles four-row waterfall ring (£10,000); Boodles Waterfall earings (£8,000) • Dominic: Paul Smith jacket and trousers (£630); Thomas Pink shirt (£95); Budd cummerbund (£65);

Budd bowtie (£23.50); John Lobb shoes (£950) • Props (from left to right): Pickett lizardleather Scrabble board (£2,350); David Linley Aston chair (£2,398);

And So To Bed four-drawer chest in black and ochre (£1,755); David Linley crystal decanter and pewter cups – part of the Shooting Companion set (3,495); Johnnie

Walker Blue Label King George V edition whisky (£375); David Linley Skyline Humidor (£15,950); Dent Ministry watch (£12,400); David Linley games table (£29,264);

Pickett tan attaché briefcase (£1,695); Hamley’s playing cards; And So To Bed eclectic ladder chair (£449); Cole & Son Ex Libris wallpaper (£68 per 52cm x 10m).

November 45



For stockist details see p93 From left to right: • Siegfried: Maurice Sedwell bespoke suit (from £3,500), bespoke shoe b&w brogue (£2,400) • Katerina: Hobbs dress (£269); NW3 cardigan (£79); Beatrix Ong Gullivag shoe (£388); Pickett gentleman’s

46 November

umbrella (from £49); Trusting leather holdall (£299); Hamilton & Inches pendant (£4,500) • Props: Gnomeland Garden gnomes (from £17); And So To Bed wooden sleigh (£265), shallot blush bolster (£67), square blush cushion

(£65); Graham and Green Branch ceramic vase (£47); And So To Bed crystal candle holder (£375); Lakeland traditional British preserve jars and bottles (from £5.99); Fortnum & Mason Best of the Bunch Hamper (£500); Johnnie Walker

Blue Label Whisky (£150); Highgrove Prince of Wales check rug (£99), Summer Flowers cup & saucer (£40), organic gin (£22.50), organic vodka (£22.50), onion marmalade (£5.95), spiced fruit chutney (£5.95), Grand Padano cheese Straws

(£3.75), cheddar and chive crackers (£3.75), florentine jewels (£9.95), mince pies (£9.95), Christmas preserve (£4.95), small Christmas cake (£14.95); And So To Bed candelabra (310); Cole & Son Magnolia wallpaper (£67 per roll)

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AFFINITY AND BEYOND: Paddy Power’s irrepressible director of communication – believe it or not, Paddy Power – explains how being one of the lads keeps the company tuned into the punter’s mindset



Tell us a little about the Power family and its involvement. Well, David, who is on the board as a non-exec director, is my daddy. There’s a great tradition of bookmaking in my family, going back to 1894 when my great-grandfather, Richard, set up as a bookie. That has been passed down through the generations and Dad took it over when he came of age. Then in the mid-1980s betting regulations and taxes changed and the English bookies started coming into the Irish market and all the Irish firms were under great pressure. So Dad got together with a couple of other bookies to compete with the big guys. Power was already a strong existing brand – albeit Richard Power – and they threw Paddy into the mix just to play up the Irish thing. Apparently, they were down the pub discussing it and one was drinking Paddy’s whisky and another was drinking Power’s whisky and so it happened. It’s so bloody Irish but it’s true. Your dad is still an on-course bookmaker. Tell us a little about that. Well, he still stands up at the side of the track along with my brother Willie taking bets. The two of them are partners in the old traditional family business that is still going. We’re talking traditional bookies with odds on a chalkboard and using tictac, a kind of secret language for bookies to tell each other about sudden sharp movements in prices. A bit like Cockney rhyming slang, I guess. I used to be able to do it better than I can now but I can still get by. I spent all my summers off school working with Dad, going around the country, so I had a pretty good grounding in it.

William Hill and Ladbrokes have revised their profit forecast and cut their interim dividend but you have put yours up despite a recent reported 26 per cent drop in profits. How do you do this?



meets Paddy Power’s irreverent head of communication. His name? Er, Paddy Power We’ve always done things differently from the rest of the industry and we’ve been lucky, the way things have happened for us. Over the years, all our expansions have happened at exactly the right moment. So we’re now boosting our retail presence in the UK, for example, and we see these times as being a great opportunity for us to increase market share. Any investor in Paddy Power buys into the ethos and we have a very good management team, which means we have a lot of trust from our shareholders. We’ve always ploughed profits back into the business – some bookmakers were off buying speedboats in the 1990s while we were reinvesting, and that earned us trust. Many bookmakers are saddled with huge debts while we are lucky enough to have no debt – we have lots of cash sitting in the bank.

●● My favourite PR stunt was going to Rome when they were electing the Pope

What is the mix between institutional and private investors? Well, there is a good mix between the two, though I can’t tell you precisely what it is. What I do know is that we have plenty of characters who might just have a handful of shares but who turn up to every AGM and make them into fun events. And the share price has been pretty stable, even through the downturn. How stable a sector is gambling? Do any investors have ethical qualms about investing in the sector? I suppose there might be, though I am not personally aware of any. There are a lot of misconceptions about the sector – one of the most common ones I’ve been hearing a lot of is that the recession is good for bookies. That may have been true once upon a time, but the industry is so different now that those old generalisations no longer hold true. We’re feeling the crunch as much as anyone because at the end of the day it’s all about disposable income. People are spending less, whatever line you’re in. And with regard to William Hill and Ladbrokes, it’s generally the case that if things are tough for one of the big bookmakers, they’re bad for the whole industry. What we would argue though is that we’ve become very adept at managing risk and liability. And with regards to ethics – do you see reluctance from, say, church commissioners to invest in what they see as gambling? (Laughs) Sure, they all have private


That sounds like a great summer job. Well, it was, it was literally a different day, a different racecourse, seven days a week. So it was a great fun. And he was a good payer as well.

What Are the Chances?

So behind the company’s slightly maverick, mischievous reputation there lies a stable, conservative, risk-averse board? (Laughing) No, no, I wouldn’t say that at all. We’re certainly not risk-averse – we’re bookmakers! But I would say that we’re sensible with our profits: we plough them back into doing what we do best. That’s been the secret of our success: we really believe in what we do and we’re always trying to find new arenas and platforms to develop the business. We don’t just take the profits and run.


accounts with us, all the church people. I’m sure there is but I’ve never encountered it. Put it this way, it’s not a big enough problem that anyone has ever seen fit to bring it to my attention. You’re clearly a company that is about growth. As well as your aggressive online strategy, you’re increasing your retail presence in the UK. That’s right. In fact, we’re looking to double our presence to 150 shops by 2011. To be honest, if you have cash in the bank this is a tremendous time to be expanding. Rents have been crazy for the past few years but it’s all become more realistic. You just couldn’t get onto the high street, while now they’re crying out for good solid tenants such as ourselves. And where are you looking to site these outlets? Well, most of our sites are around London and we are still expanding in the Southeast. But It’s the North where we are looking to roll out the new branches. We’ve just opened in Manchester and Salford, and Glasgow. The North and Scotland is where you’ll notice the expansion – that’s where we’ll be painting the towns green. But we’ll still be a drop in the ocean compared to the big boys – were talking a couple of hundred outlets in total, whereas I think William Hill are about 2,500 and Ladbrokes around 2,000. But that’s not where we want to go. We want to have a respectable presence in terms of physical shops but it’s online where we would like to be competing with them. We wouldn’t be a million miles behind them on that front. You’ve become noted as a brand for fun and irreverence, especially with some of your publicity stunts. Do you have a favourite escapade? My personal favourite would be when we went to Rome during the time they were electing the new Pope. It was the best fun you could ever possibly have and still call it work. Myself and a colleague went over – we just jumped on a plane, pitched up and chanced our arm. It cost about £200 for the flights, about £100 to have a bookie’s board made up and

a two-star hotel that cost about 10p a night – that’s all we could get, the whole of Rome was full. So we set up our stand in St Peter’s Square and started roaring out the odds on the different candidates. We weren’t actually taking cash, we were just promoting the fact that you could bet online. But it was great – the world’s media were there but with nothing to talk about as all the cardinals were in conclave and everyone was just sitting around waiting for the puff of smoke. So all these TV crews were there with nothing to talk about so we gave them something to talk about. It was a PR man’s dream come true. We did something like 96 interviews over the three days, it was unbelievable. And it was a dream not just as a PR stunt but also commercially – as a direct result of that we took about €1m on the next Pope and cleared about €200,000 in profit. So it was a nice piece of work. Probably the only one of my PR stunts that ever paid for itself but there you go. But for all the good ones, there have been plenty that went tits up. And to clear up the bad press over us supposedly offering odds on Obama being assassinated, to be fair the press stitched us up on that. We never offered

odds on an assassination, we were offering odds on him failing to complete a full term, whether through impeachment or whatever. As a PR man, I didn’t enjoy that at all because you’re talking about the most popular man in the world. It didn’t sit right with our sense of fun. The whole advertising ethos for Paddy Power, and indeed the tone of voice on your websites, is slightly cheeky and mischievous, perhaps not dissimilar to that of Ryanair. Is that deliberate? Well, I think that sometimes Ryanair can stray into being perceived as slightly vindictive. Look, let’s be clear – Ryanair is a brilliant company and really successful. And people do often make comparisons between the tones of our advertising – both Irish companies, both cheeky. But we’re quite different really. Personally, I think Ryanair’s ads are very funny, very clever, very brave and get their point across very succinctly, but I don’t think it would suit us. It suits them because they always have an agenda and they get their point across in a funny way, but from our perspective, we’re more about being bullshitty, more touchy-feely, trying to communicate our core message, which is that we’re about being up for a bit ▶ NOVEMBER 51



favour of open competition as that creates more opportunities, barriers come down, we can expand around Europe. But from a personal perspective the EU has been the making of Ireland so I think it would be very churlish to turn around now and be cool on the whole thing.

▶ of fun. But I guess where we’re similar – though I can’t speak for Ryanair – is that I suspect we would both agree that advertising is a complete waste of money if it doesn’t get talked about or get you noticed. That’s half the battle, provoking a reaction – whether that’s a laugh, a raised eyebrow, or someone saying, “Jaysus, I can’t believe they did that!” You lost a lot of money on Ireland voting no in the EU referendum last year. Tell us about that. Well, again, that’s part of our brand and our ethos, we’re willing to take a punt and put our necks on the line. No other bookmaker would take such a huge risk so it’s a way of aligning ourselves with the punters, showing we’re not averse to taking a punt ourselves. The big firms wouldn’t dream of that. Another example was last year when we paid out on Stoke going down [from the Premier League] after only just one match. That is, anyone who had them down for relegation at the end of the season, we paid out on day one of the season. It annoyed the crap out of the Stoke fans but it was nothing personal against them, it just happened they got stuffed on their first match so we did it for a bit of a laugh. And the upshot


was that we had to send an ice-cream van along to Stoke on the last day of the season to dish out free humble-pie flavoured ice cream to all the Stoke fans. So it cost us a few quid in all, but it’s all just a bit of fun. We’re a company made up of the sort of lads you’d meet down the pub so all our ideas come up in that sort of spirit. Everyone in the company is very young – I’m 34 and I’m one of the old gits in the office. And was the EU vote a reflection of the company’s belief in the EU? Well, I don’t think we really have views ‘as a company’. Personally, though, as a company, I would think we would be broadly in favour because we’d be in

●● We’re really a company made up of the sort of lads you’d meet down the pub

What are your thoughts on the recession? I see it more as a pre-boom time. It’s been tough on us but it’s been tough on everyone. Everyone has less money to spend, so they have less money to spend with us. But fortunately for us we are in a period of growth and expansion in numbers of areas so we’re showing growth as a total. But elements within the business have been hit – for the first time ever, the Irish counter-shops part of the business was static last year – so we’re not taking it for granted. I think people are beginning to care more about value now, so we have traded harder, not only to put our competitors under pressure but also because people are more attracted by things they would have seen as gimmicks a few years back, such as our money-back guarantees. But I think that reflects a change in society – five years ago, people might have bragged about spending £500 on a pair of shoes whereas now they’re more likely to boast about how they got them for £5 on eBay. You’re lucky to have been given the name you have. “Hi, I’m Paddy Power” must be a great chat-up line? Well, I only used it once. I married her… One last question. Got any good tips? I’ll give you a couple of good tips. One for yourself, on Saturday in the Champion Stakes at Newmarket – back Sariska. And for your readers, when this comes out, the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham on 4 November is one of our biggest races of the year – Tatenan should earn them a few quid. And if you take a tip from a bookie, you’ll get what you deserve. (For the record, the 8-1 Sariska only managed third place at Newmarket. Paddy, you owe me £50…) ■

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Get De Beers In We all like to brag that we know a little more about wine than the next man. Who hasn’t played one-upmanship at the dinner table? But how would you fare if it was put to the test in a competitive environment with a gruelling field of wine buffs and aficionados from across the City? That was the challenge for a distinguished grid of teams of oenophiles from some of the City’s biggest firms that included PwC, Lovells, Deloitte & Touche and BT. They assembled for a wine-off at Vivat Bacchus Farringdon last month to do bottle. We mean, battle. Rounds included general wine trivia, specialised wine knowledge and – to separate the bluffers from the quaffers – blind wine tastings. Congratulations to ‘Only Here For de Beers’ who won.



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We’ve discovered the perfect read for City commuters who are short of time and space. The 26 individual booklets that make up the A-Z of Possible Worlds are ideal for Tube reading – and their escapist content is perfect for imagining your way out of commuter drudgery. Discover an archipelago where an entire race is burying itself alive, and watch a city of idealists try to build the perfect ship. Visit a golf course where only robots can play, an orbital road that lures motorists to their death, and a rail network where passengers can get lost forever. The books are short and can be read in any order – ideal if you’re the type who never gets past the first chapter of a book. Not only that, but as the books are small and light they can even be read with your nose in someone’s armpit. Unfortunately, the books don’t include a world where there’s no body odour. £13.99;


Culinary luminaries Heston Blumenthal, Angela Hartnett, Fergus Henderson and Herbert Berger joined forces last month to help raise £140,000 at Action Against Hunger’s Fine Wine Auction and Dinner, held at leading City dining institution, One Lombard Street. The proceeds of the evening will help to provide water for thousands of malnourished children and families around the world.

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MICHAEL WAINWRIGHT JOINED jeweller Boodles in 1984, and owns and runs the company with his brother, Nicholas. He is the fifth generation of the Wainwright family to own the business, which was established in 1798. Boodles have eight shops in total – four in London (including one in the Royal Exchange), three in the Northwest of England and one in Dublin. Michael is responsible for the Boodles brand and oversees the commercial aspects of the business. He has managed the tripling of the size of the company over the past five years.


meets Michael Wainwright, co-owner of Boodles, who says it’s all about keeping it in the family LOU COOPER

●● I’ve worked with my brother for 25 years. We’re pretty lucky; we get on very well

ON RUNNING A FAMILY BUSINESS I’ve worked with my brother for 25 years but he’s been in the business for 42 years. We’re pretty lucky; we get on very well, although that may have something do with the fact that we work 200 miles apart – I in London and he in our head office in Liverpool. We’re not under each other’s feet but we speak on the phone daily and see each other about twice a week. We never have board meetings but are constantly holding impromptu ones. We respect each other. He oversees the stone sourcing and the manufacturing and I look after the marketing side of the business, but he will have his say in marketing and I in design. In some ways you want individual responsibility, but if you value each other’s judgment, it’s quite good to get another opinion. I love working in a family business because you’ve got no one telling you what to do. I’m self-employed and as it happens, I probably work harder than if I was an employee, but if I want to go off and play golf this afternoon, I can, and nobody’s going to tell me what to do. Another concern is the shareholding issue – what I call the pyramid effect. I’m fifth generation, yet there are still really only two shareholders in the business; my brother and I. My father bought out his two sisters, and we bought out our two sisters. At the moment we’ve got a hold on it, although give it another generation and it could end up being a problem, with my children, with his children and so on.


ON THE BOODLES BRAND We have vertically integrated as much as we can without owning a diamond mine. We get the diamonds one step beyond that, as polished goods in the diamondcutting centres of the world, principally Antwerp and New York. Some of the stones we buy are for repeat designs, like engagement rings, but a lot are for new collections. Although the company is over 200 years old and we were really just a retailer until the early 1990s, we realised some 15 years ago that we wanted to create much more of a brand. An integral part of that was having a unique product. We are designers and creators of contemporary diamond jewellery. We’re going to be the only shop in the Savoy Hotel when it reopens next April. As a quintessentially British brand, we think it’s a good fit. It will also give us a chance to meet more foreign customers. Because we’re not an international brand and many of our competitors on Bond Street are, I don’t think people gravitate towards us. Two thirds of the Savoy’s client base are foreign, so being located there will give us a chance to meet oversees clients in an environment without the competing brands they are already familiar with. We’re also looking at opening in Monaco. The decision we’ve had to make as a brand is, do we try to do more in this country or do we look abroad? We’ve decided to look abroad, to somewhere that is a) going to be profitable and b) will be brand-positive. We are a very British brand but there are always opportunities to reach out to

It’s a Family Affair

new markets. We were approached by a company in Kuwait about two weeks ago. The fact that a Middle Eastern company has approached us is an indication that they like what we’re doing and they think our brand could travel there. Some of our jewellery would appeal to Middle Eastern tastes and their tastes are getting more European, so hopefully we’ll meet in the middle. We are employing a consultant to look at the design changes we might make for a foreign market. The easy answer is to make the designs glitzier, but I don’t think that’s necessarily what we want to do. We have our brand integrity, and we must bear in mind that British people are core to our business.



There are also two nephews working in the business now – my brother’s son, Jody, and our mutual nephew, who’s running our Irish business.

ON THE LATEST TRENDS Diamonds have been unbelievably strong for the past ten or 12 years. When I first joined the trade, other precious stones were very fashionable, possibly as a relic of Princess Diana having had a sapphire engagement ring. But as the 1990s wore on and into this decade, it’s been more diamond-driven. We do very well with semi-precious stones. Aquamarine, mint green tourmaline, pink tourmaline, mandarin garnet – there are about eight or ten semi-precious stones that we use. They are more pastel-y in colour than precious coloured stones and lately have become very popular with our customers. With regard to metals, platinum is still very much the king. People always say ‘yellow gold’s coming back’, but we haven’t seen it. We used to sell antique engagement rings, but we’ve got out of that business. I don’t think many people want the old-fashioned, ornate ring. Most young fiancés want a contemporary ring with diamond and platinum. It can still have a twist, but generally, they want something minimal looking. ON BRITAIN’S BIGGEST JEWEL HEIST Graff across the road has just been the victim of a £40m raid. I was on holiday at the time and I got back and none of the staff had much to say about it. It’s an occupational hazard. We’ve had similar incidents, although the values have been nothing like as high. Graff received so much publicity because it was a good old-fashioned jewellery theft and they happened to get a heck of a lot of value. We don’t carry the value that he carries. It’s Boodles policy never to let a combination of two men we don’t know into our shops – that’s been a rule for about five years - because we know that it’s a high-risk combination. Jewellery buyers, as a rule, do not come in pairs of men. I mean, obviously there are gay men and we sell to gay men, but our security guards and managers are now briefed

to interview groups of two men. We’ve upset some people as a result but we simply have had to do it.

ON DIAMONDS AS INVESTMENT People are realising that diamonds, historically, have been a good investment. That said, we’ve never sold diamonds as investment, not even in the last year. We sell diamonds because they’re beautiful, but if you look at their price, even through the credit crunch, they’ve held up remarkably well. Certainly in sterling terms, they’ve lost very little of their value. People are gravitating towards diamonds because they perceive them

●● We sell stones because they’re beautiful, but their price has held very well

as an investment, as well as something beautiful for their other half to wear. Pink stones are getting scarcer and scarcer and notwithstanding the credit crunch, there’s been a lot more diamond buyers in the world over the last three to five years. People have begun to understand pink diamonds a lot more and understand how rare they are. They are more difficult to find but are becoming much easier to sell. We sometimes get rare stones from Golconda, an old Indian mine. If we get a Golconda stone with a Golconda certificate, we have a handful of clients who we know will buy it. They’re beautiful stones, quite an old cut because they were mined a long time ago, but some people love them. They’re collector’s items. I don’t get to see as many of our good customers now. With a turnover of £35-40m, we are not a small company anymore. I still love selling but there is a lot to do. I do it at Christmas and occasionally on Saturdays. When you run your own business, I think you gravitate to focusing on what you like. ■


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THE MPS’ EXPENSES scandal had the effect that it did not because we had always supposed that our elected representatives were honest and upright tribunes of the people. We had always supposed that many of them were, as the late Gwyneth Dunwoody put it, “inadequate personalities”. It had the effect it did because we had understood that over a period of time and for a variety of reasons our politics had become dysfunctional. Now here was the living proof of it. And the effect was greater because the evidence of our MPs’ misconduct did not come out of a clear blue sky. It overlapped with the banking crisis. And the links between them were more than a coincidence. The two crises, one financial and the other political, connected with each other not as cause and effect, but as what happened when institutions were regulated with so light a touch that they could go their own way towards the brink and then, with no one to restrain them, over it. At that point an individual’s instinct to self-regulate, or whatever it was inside ourselves that we used to call conscience, also headed for the exit. I was never a banker, of course; but I was an MP. For three-and-a-half years I served on the Standards and Privileges Committee, and was part of the regulatory system that failed so badly. I saw what worked and what didn’t – especially what didn’t. And I would hazard a guess that there was a cultural similarity in the failure of these two systems to sort themselves out. Banks and political parties have proud traditions and almost regimental strains of loyalty. They are also aggregations of highly competitive people whose ambition is for their lot to outperform and outscore the other lot. They will not take kindly to Cassandras in their midst – whether troublesome back-benchers or obstinate compliance officers – who warn of impending storms and conflicts of interest. Bankers are not, of course, public servants in the sense that MPs are. They run businesses that are expected to turn a profit. But basic banking – the ability to provide deposit accounts and make loans – is as much a public utility as a water or gas company. It is a utility that also

Public Enemy No. 2 Bankers are about as popular right now as MPs, says MARTIN BELL – though a lot of the opprobrium is justified

●● Basic banking is as much a public utility as a water or gas company

depends on trust. When the trust is gone, the queues of angry depositors form, Northern Rock style, outside. Recent events have been a real shock to both systems. We feel extraordinarily let down by institutions that we not only trusted but may have taken for granted. We shall not make that mistake again. With banking it will be a long time before we hear again the siren voices urging the merits of lighter regulation. As for politics, MPs have long since ceased to argue that the claims they made were within the rules that they set. They are shamed and shell-shocked. The duck islands, mole traps and phantom mortgages will haunt them for years. “Corruption,” said Peter Ustinov, “is nature’s way of restoring faith in democracy”. One of the positives to come out of this is that all of us – MPs and bankers included – have come to understand the importance of reputation. It is not a desirable extra, like alloy wheels or satnav. It lies at the very heart of the machine. It is a key component. Some years ago I was asked to speak at an away day for one of the Big Five accountancy companies (an experience that, for me, ended for ever any notion of accountants being quiet, studious people – I have known calmer war zones than that weekend). By the time I got to deliver my speech the Big Five were down to the Big Four. The fifth had collapsed on an issue of integrity. With its reputation gone, it was out of business. Politics and banking depend on trust – trust that can be lost overnight but take years to recover. I don’t doubt that the vilification of both professions has been to some extent unfair. But it was their dodgy practitioners who brought this on themselves. The culture of sleaze certainly infected more than a small minority of MPs. It shocked me so much that I wrote a book about it – or in some sense the book wrote itself. I hope that the Square Mile will find it of interest, though it concentrates mostly on scandals in the Palace of Westminster just up-river. One idea for a title was “Swindlers’ List”. ■ MARTIN BELL is the author of A Very British Revolution (Icon Books, £11.99)



ALEX PROUD OWNS and manages Proud Camden, which started out as a photography gallery and has since become one of London’s hottest bars and music venues; he also runs a smaller gallery in Central London. This month he opens his first City venture – Proud Cabaret – near Fenchurch Street Station, which is modelled on a 1920s supper club and offers everything from fine dining to DJs to burlesque and cabaret. Next year he plans to open a bar and gallery along the lines of Proud Camden in New York and a gallery in Chelsea. It’s been an interesting journey for a man whose early career highlights included bidding on an antique condom for a Swedish Museum and selling bulletproof Rolls-Royces to the Russian Mafia.


meets Alex Proud, owner of the eponymous galleries and bars and hears why life is a City cabaret RHYMER RIGBY

CV 1989

Attended York University


Became Japanese art dealer


Began selling Rolls-Royces


Opened Proud Central


Set-up world’s first internet auction (too soon – it fails!)


Proud becomes a photo gallery


Proud Camden opens


Proud Camden bar and live music venue opens


Proud Cabaret opens

●● Photography gave me everything that I wanted – except a decent income

Have you left photography behind for good, then? Not at all. It’s still very much part of the Proud brand. The gallery and bar kind of hate each other – I suppose you could say there’s a kind of creative tension – and that’s a good thing. Even though the galleries don’t need to make money, they still need to be there and they can still tell the bar what to do. In a way, they keep me honest – it sounds a bit wanky, but they’re the soul of the business. Without them, I’d worry that we’d become like a lot of West End or Shoreditch clubs that look superficially cool, but are actually just commercial whores. What about Proud Cabaret – there’s no art there? That’s a bit different. It’s a horrible phrase – but it’s a kind of diffusion range. I don’t think there are that many cities in the world that could support places like Proud Camden. So Proud Caberet is much more scalable. You could have it in places like Newcastle and Liverpool and Dallas. I’m very excited about moving into the City – Fenchurch Street is a slightly off-piste location, but it’s a lot better connected than Camden and that area of the City is starting to develop nightlife, so we’ll see. As for the idea, we’d been doing a bit of burlesque


How do you go from Rollers, Japanese prints and antique erotica to becoming a nightclub owner? My dad was one of the world’s biggest stamp dealers which, I suppose, gave me a taste for slightly unconventional careers. I started out dealing in Japanese prints and art. The condom was a totally legitimate part of that, but it was one of those stories the media couldn’t resist. The Rolls-Royces were part of a complicated deal involving the Russian Mafia, suitcases stuffed full of money and a model from Uzbekistan. It was all pretty cool and glamorous – and terrifying – at the time. She and I broke up a few years later and the last I heard she made a fortune in the City. After that I moved into photography pretty quickly. I found the fine art world very standoffish, whereas photography was a lot more fun. It attracted a far younger crowd and gave me the chance to be a bit of a man about town. It also meant a lot of the art world really looked down their noses at me – which I rather liked – especially as my gallery was getting far more attention than theirs. So photography gave me everything that I wanted – except a decent income. The trouble in the art world is that you see a lot people in very high-profile careers who earn next to nothing, always thinking that someday their payday will come. Very few galleries make money.

Say It Loud, Say It Proud

They’re either run at a loss by people who are independently wealthy or they go out of business after a year or two. Photography’s relatively commercial – but even so, for a decade, I lived in a kind of glamorous, well-connected poverty. Then I got married and had kids and life became a bit more serious. So I sat the Proud team down and we came up with five ideas to make extra money. I can’t remember the other four, but the original idea here was to have a small bar where people might have a few drinks after going to the gallery. I thought it might bring in an extra £1,000 a week. I’d love to say it was a stroke of genius. But it just took on a life of its own and snowballed. If you told me a few years back that I’d be running one of London’s coolest venues in 2009 and looking at opening in New York I’d have laughed at you.


in Camden and it’s great fun – so we thought, why not have somewhere modelled on a supper club? We’ll have bands playing while you eat, DJs later on, comedy, the kind of thing you imagine from 1950s Vegas. No one else is doing that and I think people will really enjoy it. What it shares with Proud Camden is that there’s nothing contrived about it. We’re not trying to second-guess tomorrow’s trends and we don’t want our customers to be in awe of us – I hate those clubs where the staff think they’re cooler than you. Most nightclubs hold their customers in contempt. The West End is appalling – when you queue for a West End club, you’re begging to be allowed to pay £20 to get in so you can be ripped off and treated like you don’t belong there. It’s bizarre. I think that the main thing that differentiates us from a lot of other clubs is we like our customers. I respond to every complaint and comment we get personally. Basically, we just want you to come in and we want you have a good time. There’s no secret – it’s just good manners. Tell us about New York? The really exciting thing for us is Proud New York, which is going to be in

Greenwich Village. It’ll be about 6,000 sq ft of gallery and bar area, so similar to Camden. It’s the rough West Village end of Greenwich – so it isn’t totally gentrified and it’s still a bit down-at-heel and fun. I think it’s a really important move for us. London is Europe’s greatest city and New York is North America’s. So we want to bring the best of London to New York and vice versa. We’re also opening a new gallery in Chelsea (London), which I think makes a big statement about our commitment to photography. Is now the right time to be opening three more venues? I think we’ll be all right – our drink prices aren’t stupid and people are still going out.

●● I have been bankrupt. There’s a perception that it’s a huge stigma – it needn’t be

Of course, banks won’t lend to anyone in our sector, which is ridiculous. A few of the bigger players took huge falls because they’d hedged their property – so banks have blacklisted everyone. But I also think you have to take risks. I’ve been bankrupt before – there’s a perception in this country that it’s a huge stigma. It shouldn’t be – not least because it encourages you to carry on and on to the very end meaning you hurt the largest number of suppliers and staff. It also teaches you a lot – it taught me you can’t walk around saying “I won’t look at the figures”. Anyway, I’m older and wiser now and I know bars have much better cash flow than galleries – so they’ll be just fine. More generally, I think the UK’s in a kind of limbo right now. We’re skating on quite thin ice and whoever wins the next election will have to slash savagely. Will that affect us? Maybe. On the other hand, I expect City bonuses will be strong this year and I’m in two minds about this – it’ll be good for Proud Cabaret but my inner Liberal Democrat is saying things to me that probably have no place in a magazine with a City readership. ■ For more on Proud visit




POST-ITS Cartoon from: 101 Uses for a Useless Banker by ALEX STEUART WILLIAMS, published by JR Books in hardback at £9.99

Drive Time


What is it with luxury cars and high-end watch link-ups? Breitling and Bentley. Panerai and Ferrari. Jaeger-LeCoultre and Aston Martin. Parmigiani and Bugatti. Hublot and Morgan. Timex and Toyota. (I might have made that last one up. Someone’s sure to check it before we go to press. Aren’t they?) Now it’s time for the latest such partnership. Step forward TAG Heuer and Lamborghini. They will be unveiling their sexy joint venture the Meridiist at the Detroit Motor Show in January… oh, hang on a sec, I appear to have misread this press release. Apparently, the Meridiist is a “communication instrument”. As in, “Can you call back in five minutes – I’m just on the other communication instrument.” Still, it sounds pretty snazzy. The display is made from 60.5 carats of scratchresistant sapphire crystal. To you, guv, that means exceptional light transmission

with great stability in all “thermodynamic” conditions. So if you’re being transferred from the Tokyo desk to Ice Station Zebra, you’ll be laughing. Well, you probably won’t be but at least you can console yourself with a phone – I mean, communication instrument – that works. And the looks are pretty, pretty good too, coming as it does in a housing of black titanium carbide-coated stainless steel. The only niggle is the low-spec 2mp camera – why even bother? With 1,963 (Lamborghini’s founding year) on sale, you’d better be quick – though the £5.75k price tag should deter a few. – Eugene Costello



The fears of deflation, with prices falling throughout the economy and monetary policy thereby rendered important, as it was during the depression of the 1930s and in Japan in the 1990s, were not realised in


the United States. It is all too easy, therefore, to say in retrospect that the

Was Alan Key to the Crunch? JOHAN VAN OVERTVELDT

on Alan Greenspan’s regulatory refusal to intervene before the housing bubble burst

CV 1926

Born in Manhattan


Attended New York University – summa cum laude and MA in economics


Joins NYC think-tank The Conference Board


Becomes chairman and president of consultants Townsend-Greenspan


Appointed chairman of the Federal Reserve by Reagan


Retires, handing over to Ben Bernanke


Takes honorary position with UK’s HM Treasury

●● Many were criticising his Fed long before the housing bubble imploded

Federal Reserve’s actions – reducing the overnight interest rate all the way to one percent (in 2003) and then raising it only gradually (by mid-2005, it was still only three percent) – were excessively expansionary. As of 2003 the recovery was hardly firm, and crippling deflation was a real possibility.

Of course, many people were criticising Greenspan and the Fed long before the housing bubble imploded and the financial crisis exploded. The second observation relates to the development of the housing bubble and the subprime mortgage crisis that in August 2007 ignited the global financial crisis of 2008. Apart from interest rate policy, the Fed had the means at its disposal to do something about subprime mortgages. The Nobel Prize-winning Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, one of Greenspan’s earliest critics, commented: “[Greenspan’s] rate cuts helped make the bubble possible, but I’m not sure there was an alternative… What Greenspan did not do was listen to warnings about subprime. The Fed had substantial regulatory and moralising power. They could have done a lot to limit the excesses.” For Martin Eakes, chief executive of the Centre for Responsible Lending, a nonprofit group based in North Carolina, there is no doubt: “The Federal Reserve could have stopped this problem dead in its tracks. If the Fed had done its job, we would not have [the] foreclosure crisis [that we have] in virtually every community across America.” Desmond Lachman, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise institute, argued that Alan Greenspan “chose to forego the regulatory authority vested in the Fed over the US financial system. “In particular, he chose not to exercise his authority,” Lachman continues, “under the Home Ownership Equity Protection Act to rein in the non-bank mortgage loan originators, which were mainly responsible for originating and distributing subprime mortgages.”


WHAT THEN, IS the final judgment of Alan Greenspan and his tenure at the Fed? Considering the dual mandate of maximum employment and price stability, it is hard not to give Greenspan’s Fed a cum laude. Despite rising income equality, Greenspan’s almost 20 years at the helm of the Fed were, overall, a period of rising prosperity for the United States characterised by low unemployment and low inflation rates. Of course, the monetary policy of the Fed is open to criticism, and many found fault with it after the crisis in the financial markets began in the autumn of 2007. It has also been suggested that the Greenspan Fed overreacted to the October 1987 stock market crash. The Fed also probably reacted too late to the recession of the early 1990s, and it probably remained too expansive during the second half of the 1990s. Furthermore, and more importantly, Greenspan’s Fed took insufficient action, so the critics argue, to do away with the liquidity overhang that followed the new-millennium scare, and it kept its policy interest rates too low for too long in the years 2002-2005. These policies contributed heavily to the housing bubble, the subprime mortgage crisis, the general financial crisis, and, hence, the recession that followed. The basic argument of those who criticise the interest rates policy of the Greenspan Fed is that its policy allowed several bubbles to develop, with disturbing effects on the real economy of growth, jobs, and investment. For now, I will address two points about the track record of the Greenspan Fed. First, those who actively criticise Greenspan’s Fed with hindsight are taking the easy way out. Criticising after the fact is a lot easier than steering the policy wheel through a fog thick with uncertainties and unforeseeable events. In the words of Benjamin Friedman:


Inside the Fed, the most explicit signals warning that the subprime situation was getting out of hand came from Edward Gramlich, a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors during the period 1997-2005 and the man responsible for all consumer protection issues. In fact, a book containing Gramlich’s explicit warnings on the subprime crisis was published just before his death in September 2007. As early as 2004, Gramlich warned in a speech to the Financial Services Roundtable Annual Housing Policy Meeting that “fraud, abuse, and predatory lending problems have… been a troublesome characteristic of the subprime market... For mortgage lenders the real challenge is to figure out how far to go… Pushing homeownership so far that all the gains are offset by higher foreclosures does no good.” By the autumn of 2007, Fed vice chairman Donald Kohn recognised that although factors like “emotions of excessive optimism” and “the complexity and opacity of the newer instruments for transforming and describing risk” played a crucial role in the development of the housing bubble, “the low policy interest rates early in [the] decade” and “the fragmentation of regulatory oversight for the market” were also responsible. Krugman, Gramlich, and several other analysts and economists, pointing to the Fed’s refusal to use the regulatory arms at its disposal, make quite convincing arguments. First of all, the 1968 Truth in Lending Act and related legislation, such as the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act and the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act, give the Fed considerable power to intervene in the mortgage markets, should it choose to. The 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act also significantly enlarged the Fed’s regulatory power. This act designated the Fed as the “umbrella supervisor” of financial holding companies, a concept that allows the terms of the act to be interpreted very broadly. Calls by Gramlich (and others) to use this regulatory power to correct what was clearly becoming an untenable situation in the subprime mortgage market fell on deaf ears.

Alan Greenspan himself showed no sympathy at all for the call for regulatory intervention. His belief in free markets was unconditional, as his lack of attention for other excesses in the financial markets attests – specifically the stampede-like development of the totally over-leveraged shadow banking sector. In his memoir Greenspan comments only briefly on subprimes: “I was aware that the loosening of mortgage credit terms for subprime borrowers increased financial risk, and that subsidised home


He showed no sympathy for the call for regulatory intervention

ownership initiatives distort market outcomes. But I believed then, as now, that the benefits of broadened home ownership are worth the risk. Protection of property rights, so critical to a market economy, requires a critical mass of owners to sustain political support.” During the spring of 2008, Greenspan provided evidence that Gramlich’s criticism of his lack of regulatory zeal should be taken with more than a grain of salt. When he was interviewed at several points during the spring, he would often show journalists a letter Gramlich sent him just a few days before the latter’s death in September 2007. It read, in part, “You were a magnificent central banker and a great leader. I truly wish the press would stop kicking you around on this subprime supervision issue. What happened was a small incident.” ■ Bernanke’s Test: Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, and the Drama of the Central Banker by JOHAN VAN OVERTVELDT is out now (£15.99; Agate Publishing)




Luxury editor JESSICA FELLOWES keeps the British flag flying

SMEG FAB28 £1,465

This fridge from Smeg brings a whole new dimension to ‘Cool Britannia’. For the full effect, the inside should really only be stocked with pork pies, real ale and leftovers from your Sunday roast. The fridge comes complete with a built-in wine rack – ideal for storing a few British blends from Balfour, perhaps.





▼ D O O STW E WE ,955 N N 1 E VIVI RUG £ nne FLAG Vivie leap from ’s can, e e

ea ooters can mak Let's face it: sc a wellt Bu . well, girly man look a bit, ct the ra te un co s lp he chosen helmet ised or ot m s of these negative effect a d te ea cr s ha spa hair-dryers. Ve to tyled helmets range of 1970s-s tro re 5 12 S w ne match its stylish Jack ing this Union scooters, includ m .co zy cra ter oo sc instant classic.

OK, so we know that the Mini is no t technically Britis h anymore – but with its diminutive sta ture contradicting a global-sized eg o, it’s easy to pretend. This co mmemorative mo del celebrates the 50 years since this little skirt-chaser came into being . 0800 0836 464;

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HRH STAMP ◀ CUSHION £85 There’s nothing more British than the breadand-butter letter, sent post-haste from one of our beloved red letter boxes and delivered next day by a smiling Postman Pat. Except, of course, that particular scene hasn’t happened since 1952. In 2009, the stamp of our dear old Queen’s head is being put to better use on this cushion.

PAUL SMITH ▶ UMBRELLA £110 Queuing in the rain occupies 23 per cent of the average Briton’s life. Probably. Offset the queue blues with this Paul Smith wonder: perfectly respectable gent on the outside, raging patriot on the inside. Over 80,000 umbrellas are lost on the Tube every year – that one is true – so just make sure you don't become another statistic.




If it was good enough for King of Britpop, Noel Gallagher, it should be good enough for you. Sadly, just because you have a guitar with the Union Jack painted on it doesn’t mean you’ll be any good at playing it. But it will look great hung up on your wonderwall.





LOU COOPER says..... ICECOOL’s Mark Walker – the best in the business for bespoke and investment diamond jewellery.

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THE DON If you’ve got a racy Italian that you want to take away for the weekend MARK HEDLEY says head for Oxford. Just don’t tell his Cambridge prof dad… 74 NOVEMBER


PHOTOGRAPHS by Mark Hedley, thanks to Eynsham Hall

I WAS BROUGHT up to love Cambridge. I didn’t really have a choice though – the majority of my family attended the university, and my dad even teaches there. Of course, it’s not exactly a difficult place to like – with more history than most countries have, and the finest architecture that centuries of royalty could afford, it’s as picture-perfect as a city can be. So as I was growing up, even to entertain the idea of attending Oxford was heresy. I’m not talking about as a student, but just visiting for a weekend would be frowned upon. If you ever saw my dad watching the Varsity match, you’d understand why. Last month, I finally broke the cardinal rule, and for the first time in my life went to Oxford. And despite much hissing and heckling from the family, I rather liked it. In fact, as a weekend escape from the City, it’s idyllic. Especially if you’re driving a Lamborghini. (Then again, you could be driving to Basildon, and the Lamborghini would make it idyllic. Until it got keyed.) The new Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder is probably not the first car you’d associate with the hidden streets and cobbled courtyards of Oxford. But it has more in common than you might think. Beauty, history, legacy – natch. Eccentricity, certainly. But overall it’s the pursuit of excellence that connects these two entities. And like most of the university’s professors, the Lamborghini is mainly genius with a bit of insanity thrown in for good luck. The genius lies not just in its physicsdefying handling, or the mind-blowing braking, but in the little touches too. For example, if you’re approaching a speed bump, merely press a button and the nose of the car lifts so you don’t scrape the front. Clever. And when you hit 70mph or so, you’ll see in your rearview mirror an independently extended rear spoiler rise at the back of the car – helping to keep the car glued to the Tarmac. You see, it’s the thinking man’s supercar. The insanity, on the other hand, comes in the form of a 5.2-litre engine that delivers 560hp (40hp more than its predecessor), 398 lb/ft of torque, and an

exhaust note that will make you weep with joy. The ‘LP’ in the LP560-4 officially refers to the position – Longitudinale Posteriore – of the engine, which is located longitudinally behind the driver. But once you’ve hooned around in sport mode for a few minutes, I think ‘Laughing Psychotically’ is perhaps more apt. As the V10 gurgle echoed off the walls of Magdalen college, I couldn’t help think that Inspector Morse would be turning in his grave – possibly from jealousy: the Gallardo has almost twice the top speed and five times the power of Morse’s 2.4-litre Jaguar MkII. The Gallardo would probably be more up Miss Marple’s street – there’s no doubt it’s a hit with the ladies. I happened to be visiting Oxford during Fresher’s Week – total coincidence, you understand – and the heads of undergraduate hotties were turning quicker than you could say ‘Daddy, will you buy me one?’. More than any car I’ve tested, the Gallardo seems to do strange things to the female gender: women who would usually display no interest in – or indeed active disdain of – a supercar will instead go all gooey eyed. You know: the same way they do if you happen to mention Johnny Depp. Now, I’ve never understood the attraction of the pasty-skinned, pointy-nosed, greasyhaired actor (jealous, moi?), but the Lamborghini’s appeal to the opposite sex, on the other hand, makes perfect sense. As US artist Akon sings: “I feel you creepin’, I can see you from my shadow. Wanna jump up in my Lamborghini Gallardo”. W H Auden, eat your heart out.

●● Inspector Morse would be turning in his grave – possibly from jealousy at the Gallardo

But to treat the Gallardo as a mere pulling machine is to debase its raison d’etre. I decided it was time to leave Oxford’s quiet streets and genteel traditions, and tear up the rest of Oxfordshire instead. There are plenty of fantastic roads nearby to put the new Gallardo through its paces. My favourite has to be the A4095 near Kirtlington Golf Club. As well as some great bends, it leads to a Roman road that’s perfect for testing out the Gallardo’s cardiac-arresting acceleration – all the way to 60mph in four seconds, and then definitely not beyond to, say, 140mph or something. (Apparently it will hit 124mph in 13.1 seconds. I couldn’t possibly comment.) It’s here where you realise just how quick the new e.gear transmission is, flicking up through the gears with the reassuringly sturdy steering wheel paddles. All this fun doesn’t have to cost the earth, either – despite the considerable increase in performance, there has been a staggering reduction of 18 percent in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. When you want to pull over to let the brake discs cool, seek out The Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge. Not only does it sound – and look – like something from The Wind in the Willows, but it has also just won AA English Pub of the Year among a raft of other accolades. For a starter, I plumped for the Cornish crab, avocado and homecured gravadlax on toasted brioche with caviar dressing. The main-course draw for me was the Gressingham duck with spinach dauphinoise and caramelised peach, but to be honest, whatever you pick here, you can’t really go wrong. After lunch, choose the most convoluted route you can – ensuring maximum country-road quality time – before stopping off at Bicester Village. This retail outlet is possibly the most pleasant shopping experience in England – even men can enjoy it. For a start, there are very few teenagers. Also, as it’s all outside you don’t have to suffer the claustrophobia or artificial luminescence of a shopping mall. And you don’t have to use the word ‘mall’. Instead, the New England colonial style architecture, the wide avenues ▶ NOVEMBER 75





Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder 5.2ltr V10 560hp at 8,000 rpm 540Nm at 6,500 rpm 4.0secs 201mph £151,660.00 OTR Including delivery & NavTrak

OXFORD BLUES: After a weekend in England’s oldest university town with the Gallardo, the Monday morning depression is going to hit you hard

▶ and the clean layout, makes it all very welcoming and ensures that you can shop swiftly and efficiently without wanting to kill one or all of your fellow shoppers. There’s even an outpost of Villandry (of Great Portland Street fame) if you do need a respite. Sadly, the Lambo doesn’t have a great deal of room for your shopping bags (especially if you already have a weekender in the boot) – so it’s only really good for small, sparkly things. Perhaps another reason women like it so much. If you can’t stand to return to the city just yet, it’s worth booking a night at the magnificent Eynsham Hall. A huge Jacobean mansion with 3,000 acres of parkland, I felt it to be a suitable overnight parking spot for the Gallardo; I’d go so far as to say my car took pole position


on the gravel driveway. A favourite for conferences and weddings, it also boasts a new award-winning bar, The Gun Room, which is worth the stay alone. I drove to Oxford to see Oxford. And it was lovely. (Although, still not as nice as Cambridge.) But when I look back at

●● I’d go so far as to say my car took pole position on the enormous gravel driveway

the trip, I won’t think of it as the ‘Oxford Trip’; it will always be the ‘Lambo Trip’. It doesn’t matter where you take it; the Gallardo is always the star of the show. The honey-coloured dreaming spires of Oxford might seem a strange destination to take a fiery Italian such as the Gallardo. But it makes sense. Like England’s oldest university (sorry, Dad), the Lamborghini is rich, eccentric, and simply in a world of its own. ■ Lamborghini Sevenoaks, 92 London Road, Sevenoaks, TN13 1BA; 01732 467 827; Lamborghini Reading, Bennet Rd, Reading, Berks, RG2 0QX; 0118 965 8678; The Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge, Buckland Marsh, Faringdon, Oxfordshire SN7 8RF; 01367 870 382; Eynsham Hall, North Leigwh, Witney, Oxfordshire, OX29 6PN; 01993 885 200;

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je t’adore, BanGalore

Find yourself on business in India’s call centre capital? All is not lost, says Martin Deeson

Great escapes BanGalore after tiMe spent in even the smallest of Indian towns, the streets of London seem dull, underpopulated and above all, as orderly as a military tattoo. India is a fancy dress parade marching through the 21st century, a religious festival running a call centre, a cacophony of constant noise amid which it’s still possible to find pockets of greater peace than anywhere on earth. And if it’s business that takes you to the subcontinent, then eventually business will take you to Bangalore. If India is a blacksmith’s forge where the next 200 years of the world’s economic history is being hammered into shape (along with China, that other forge just the other side of the Himalayas), then 80 November

Bangalore is the cauldron in which the sacred and the profane come together to build what will one day be a new kind of global super-power. Mumbai may be where the glamour is: the film industry, the big business headquarters and the media – but

●● there are still eight separate classes of railway travel

Bangalore is where they get the job done. Phoning your bank to move around a little spending money? Then the voice that picks up the phone will probably be in Bangalore. Finding that your new computer runs twice as fast as anything you were used to? The micro-processor was probably developed, or tested or assembled (or all three) in the science park just outside the city. But despite all the smoked glass and manicured lawns on the city outskirts, the centre of Bangalore still has that fusion of ancient civilisation with outside influences that makes India so exciting. In many parts of Indian society you will find the influence of the world’s oldest religion mixed with the still present

Great escapes BanGalore

influence of the Raj. In a country where there are 3,000 castes and 25,000 subcastes and the main religion is said to have 330 million gods, this love of classification combined readily with the British love of bureaucracy to take rules and regulations to new levels. To this day, for instance, there are still eight separate classes of railway travel. In the centre of Bangalore, the dominant fusion is between old India and a twisted version of the 1980s, with geeks thrown in. A lot of India looks like the 1980s. On our first evening in Bangalore we ate vegetable pakoras in a gold and brown bar straight from the set of Scarface (albeit a Scarface set in need of an awful lot of TLC) with views across the city from the 13th floor of a decrepid tower block. An elephant god statue on the reception desk played counterpoint to European programmers talking loudly about the latest IT project they had been employed to work on. Imaginatively called ‘The 13th Floor’, the bar was an interesting place to assess our jet lag, but to be honest we’d have been better off staying in our oasis. If you, too, are lucky enough to find yourself in Bangalore on business then you will need a retreat from the dust and the noise of the streets where a thousand auto-rickshaw drivers compete with a million taxi drivers for the privilege of being the first to run you over. Our oasis was the Taj West End, a former guesthouse for visiting British officers and administrators called Branson’s West End which was built in 1887 and sits in 20 acres of tropical gardens right in the heart of the city. The colonial architecture, in a typical Indian blend of the old and new, is home to all the modern amenities you’d expect, including a recently re-modelled spa, a choice of swimming pools and the Blue Ginger – a Thai and Vietnamese restaurant serving some of the best food available in town. Sitting next to Bangalore’s golf course and opposite the racetrack and with a bar that is one of the most popular with the city’s young entrepreneurs (and also features in last year’s unforgettable Booker prize winner, The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga) there

really is little need to wander very far from this home from home. For those whose taste tends more to the ultra-modern than the old school, the Taj group has recently opened the Vivanta (for picture see p73), a ridiculously high-tech hotel with a “unique facade that changes colour, texture and tone to express the borderless potential for the guests who will feel at home in any of its 199 rooms and suites.” I’m quoting, of course, first, because I’m not 100 per cent sure what this means, and, secondly, as the hotel opened the week after I was in the city. But a recently returning friend from Goldmans assures me that it is the place to stay for those having meetings, or working in the tech industries. Welcome to India’s hightech heartland. Silicone Ali, anyone? ■ The Taj West End, Race Course Road, Bangalore 560 001, Karnataka, India. (91-80) 6660 5660. Vivanta by Taj, International Tech Park Bangalore, Whitefield, Bangalore 560 066, India (91 80) 6693 3333

●● taj group has recently opened the ultra hightech Vivanta

Kingfisher first

Dr Vijay Mallya is referred to by many as the Indian Richard Branson, and it is true that this charismatic Indian entrepreneur, billionaire and airline owner owes many similarities to our very own be-bearded and beloved high flyer. Kingfisher First provides a first-class experience at business-class prices, flying daily from the UK to India. With fully flat beds, in-flight entertainment and a really rather excellent wine list: we quaffed Margaux on the way out and Puligny-Montrachet on the way back (er, OK, we actually quaffed both in both directions), it would be hard to find fault with the value for money or standard of service. Kingfisher Airlines is India’s only five-star airline rated by Skytrax, and the only one to offer premium firstclass on domestic routes. The airline has received numerous awards for innovation, customer responsiveness and was voted the ‘Best New Airline of the Year’, within months of its launch. Kingfisher has a fleet of 71 aircraft and flies to 65 cities in India and seven international destinations. Kingfisher Airlines is part of the UB Group – the third largest drinks group in the world. From £450 economy; £1,897 first-class.

November 81



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1st place Ashley Moore & James Morrow (City Golf) 67 2nd place Placid Gonzales & Rob Cheney (St James’s Place) 68 3rd place David Radley & Ivan Purdie (St James’s Place) 69 (Countback) Thanks to our partners: Johnnie Walker blue Label, Land Rover, St James’s Place, WWF, City Golf, Paddy Power, Mizuno, and TrendyGolf. Thanks to the golf clubs: bearwood Lakes, burhill, effingham, Stoke Park, and a big thanks to Celtic Manor for hosting the final and allowing us to play the TwentyTen Course. PHoToGRAPH by Nick Scott;

November 83

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RestAuRAnt RevIews



the Taste of Christmas show by subjecting himself to a gruelling eight-restaurant marathon

RestAuRAnts RevIews EVERY SO OFTEN an invite flops on your desk which no sane man could ignore: ‘To publicise the forthcoming Taste of Christmas show at the Excel Centre this 4-6 December please join us for a food crawl: four courses, in four different restaurants with wine tasting in a black cab between each course.’ The Taste of Christmas is an event which let’s you eat and drink the produce of some of London’s finest restaurants and suppliers, where you can also order this year’s organic turkey, restock the wine cellar in time for its annual assault by relatives and prepare the cheese board – all under one roof and conveniently close to the Wharf. A no-brainer we thought, and so it was that a fresh-faced crew of some of London’s finest food and drink writers, and two greedy members of square mile’s editorial board, arrived empty of stomach and full of thirst at one of our favourite restaurants within staggering distance of Finsbury Circus: L’Anima. Chef Patron Francesco Mazzei had prepared a starter of bacalao and red peppers matched by Paul Boutinot of the Waterkloof winery with two wines from his Cape vineyard: first the Waterkloof sauvignon blanc 2008 and then the Circumstance Cape Coral Mourvedre 2009 – a seriously dry Cape Rose. As the ice was broken among the assembled hacks, and excuses prepared for why it would be impossible for any of us to return to our desks later in the

day, we soon found ourselves in the back of a black cab tasting the Circumstance viognier 2008, which, it has to be said, travelled very well that day – and we provided a picture of decadence which caused a quizicallycocked Cockney eyebrow from the front seat. Recession? Quelle recession, mon cher garçon? Once ensconced at Club Gascon, chef Pascal Aussignac dished out small plates of roast goose, a high-fat Christmas special that Boutinot matched with his 2008 chenin blanc and 2007 shiraz to demonstrate that, with such an unctuous meat, a red or a white can work equally well – the general opinion being that the chenin blanc was the surprise winner.

●● One foodie announced he was insulated by a chenin blanc-et

THE COURSE OF MANY COURSES: 1) (off map) L’Anima; 2) Club Gascon; 3) Modern Pantry; 4) Eastside Inn; 5) St John; 6) Jerusalem Tavern; 7) Hix Oyster and Chop House; 8) My bed (not pictured)

By now, guards were well and truly dropping as was the quality of the puns: on the subsequent walk to the Modern Pantry for a modest serving of pork belly one foodie announced he was no longer feeling the cold, insulated as he was by a Chenin blanc-et, the same then dubbed the day an example of his keep-fit regime, which he has christened ‘gastro-cise’. Bjorn van der Horst at Eastside Inn ended the tour by torching a remarkable Christmas log and then an unofficial aftertour took in St John and the Jerusalem Tavern before a thoroughly ill-advised brace of Temperley cider brandies at Hix. If this is a foretaste of Taste of Christmas, I would advise booking the next day off. ■ Taste of Christmas, Excel London, 4-6 December, 2009; tickets from £19;

November 85

RestAuRAnt RevIews




You’re sitting at a lunch meeting with your boss, in the usual, run-of-the-mill, order-from-your-waiter little eatery, chewing on the end of your Montblanc and wondering how you’re going to broach the subject of (whisper it) promotion. As he drones on in measured, monosyllabic tones, hope starts to fade as you desperately search for a way to bond with the balding powerhouse, while simultaneously demonstrating your strategic cunning and superior intellect. Oriental fusion restaurant Inamo is the perfect place for a business meeting, in

overseen by Alexander Ziverts previously of Eight over Eight and E&O, is spot-on. We started with shell crab maki rolls with warm, crispy soft-shell crab, sticky rice and firm avocado, the combination of which blended flawlessly in the mouth, and a tuna tartare with raw quail’s egg that was beautifully executed and even more brilliantly seasoned. Spurred on by a couple of sake mojitos, we ordered an innocent-looking jungle curry, which, despite its pretty little kumquats and innocuous-seeming green beans really packed a punch. Wagyu

that there are countless applications to distract you from actually doing any work. They have an interactive ordering system whereby diners choose from an illustrated menu projected onto their table surface. This is a lot more fun than it sounds. You can change the picture projected on to your table to set the optimum mood (a soothing spacescape, since you ask). All the dishes appear as images on your place setting and you can order whatever dish you like, as and when you feel like it. A tab on the menu gives access to tube and bus maps, as well as a Soho guide that lets you plot your route to the nearest drinking den. You can even order a taxi. Even more surprising for a restaurant with a gimmick, the food at Inamo,

Bavette was less challenging but no less flavoursome, perfectly tender and tasty. Dessert was similarly impressive; a macaroon and white chocolate mousse came pretty as a picture, accompanied by a nugget of zesty lemongrass and coconut sorbet and a splash of chocolate sauce. We discovered the games tab on our menus after the starters. By our second Asahi, I was three-one up in a battleships tournament of epic proportions. Using every ounce of strategic mastery, I outwitted my (inferior) opponent, using all my innate, formerly merely theoretical attributes. Next stop, a corner office with panoramic view. ■ – Lou Cooper Inamo, 134-136 Wardour Street, W1; £40ph; 020 7851 7051;

86 November

It’s a funny thing, but you can live in London all your life and then realise that you’ve still only seen a tiny fraction of everything the city has to offer. In fact, you could probably stay in a different hotel in London every night of your life and never sleep in the same bed twice. Danny Wallace is probably writing a book about it, soon to be a movie starring Brad Pitt. Still, at least I’m not bitter. Anyway, if you did take that terrible idea and turn it into a million-selling book and big-bucks Hollywood project, then just by the law of

averages, you would eventually end up at the The Kensington Hotel and probably decide to have dinner in their restaurant, The Aubrey. It certainly looks the part with a welcoming deep buttoned leather gent’s club vibe. A warm salad of black pudding and English asparagus would have been better if the black pudding wasn’t dry to the point of crumbly but the pheasant for the main saved the day. The wine list though was a problem: it was the Bernie Ecclestone of wine lists – short and over-priced. The bar, at least, was very good and the rooms come recommended. ■ – Martin Deeson Aubrey, Kensington Hotel, SW7; £30ph plus wine;


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height of good taste Wine malbec Malbec was a mass-produced Argentinian workhorse grape. Then Nicolàs Catena planted a vineyard 4,600ft up in the Andes… By gareth groves Most great New World wines are made from grapes that are also doing fantastic things in the Old World too. Aussie shiraz is echoed by wines of the Rhone Valley and Kiwi sauvignon blanc by those of the Loire. However delicious they are, there are few genuinely unique styles. But there is at least one grape that has thrown off the shackles of the old country, producing startling wines that don’t really have an Old World comparison. That grape is malbec, its new home is Argentina and the man who has put it on the map is Nicolàs Catena. Catena is a true pioneer, one of a handful of men and women around the world who have broken new ground with their wines opening up new regions and markets. Inspired by the work of Robert Mondavi in the US, Catena has lifted Argentina up from a bulk wine producer to the home of some of the world’s best wines, and he did it by going up in the world. His eureka moment was deciding to plant vineyards high up in the Andes mountains and in so doing he literally took Argentinian wines to new heights. He sited his new vineyard 4,600ft up in the Andes in 1993. No one thought that grapes would ripen that high up and even

his vineyard manager disagreed with the project. However, the wines Catena subsequently produced would begin a Gold Rush among Argentinian wineries to plant higher and higher vineyards. The grape that fuelled this trend was malbec. A largely forgotten grape in its native Gascony, malbec had been a workhorse grape in Argentina until Catena‘s high-altitude vineyards turned it into something extraordinary – and crucially into a unique selling point for Argentinian wine. Having discovered that the unique climatic conditions up in the Andes produced outstanding fruit, Catena used a rigorous scientific approach to isolate the factors that were determining malbec’s success. Now, here comes the science bit. The high altitude has two main effects. First, it means much cooler night-time temperatures than daytime ones, which helps keep the grapes’ acidity and aromas intact, so the wine is racy and fresh rather than baked and cumbersome. Secondly, these altitudes enjoy intense UV light that produces the thickest, ripest grape skins on the planet. And thick, ripe grape skins produce wines stacked with colour, fruit flavour and cashmere soft tannins.

The combination of floral aromatics, racy acidity and soft, juicy black fruit can be absolutely thrilling. Especially if there is a big slab of steak joining it. In a few years malbec went from bit-part player to one of the hottest properties in wine. Catena’s top malbecs are now generally regarded as among the world’s very best wines. He has a joint venture with Bordeaux First Growth Chateau Lafite and the big critics are full of praise for his wine. Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate regularly showers Catena’s top wines with scores of 95 or more out of 100, while Jancis Robinson frequently praises them for their bordeaux-like freshness and elegance. His work was honoured this year when Decanter magazine made him the first South American to win their prestigious Man of the Year award. Excitingly, Catena believes that the best is yet to come. His wines may already be world beaters but his research suggests that some of the best vineyard land has only been identified and planted recently. These vineyards still need to mature and won’t be producing their best wines for another decade or so. For Malbec lovers, the future is very bright indeed… ■ Find out for yourself at:

November 89


DeSert StorM? property uae

▲ tameer toWers al reem islanD, abu Dhabi

The Shams District occupies a quarter of Al Reem Island and is set for a growing population of skyscrapers and around 100,000 residents. The main focal point in Shams is Tameer Towers, an uber-modern complex that will cover nine million sq ft when complete in 2011. Four residential towers will flank the 300m business tower – the tallest in Abu Dhabi. It will split at level 20 and straddle on two ‘legs’ the canal between Central Park and the sea. The development is Tameer Holdings’ flagship project in Abu Dhabi and will

90 November

also include a seven-star luxury hotel, private marina, retail and dining venues. Global architects Gensler, the creative brains behind Tameer Towers, have also designed a supporting glass wall to create a light-filled 175ft high atrium. Residential towers will reach a heady 227m high and will offer both sea and canal views, while properties within the rest of the $6.9bn project will include a mix of townhouses, penthouses and private villas. PRICE: POA ContaCt: Tameer +971 4 601 0600

With prices showing their first signs of stabilising, BERNADETTE COSTELLO says it’s time to look again at Dubai and its neighbours A STICKY SUMMER of predicted price falls left those in Dubai’s property industry feeling a little less hot under the collar once they saw the actual figures. Market specialist Colliers found that the 42 per cent drop in prices for the first three months of 2009 was followed by a more bearable nine per cent fall in Q2. New transactions had also taken place. “Thankfully, the magnitude of the decline that occurred in the first three months of 2009 is now very unlikely to be repeated,” according to Colliers’ regional director Ian Albert. A new air of optimism is now floating through the emirate along with some hefty lease reductions on many new buildings coming to market. Real estate analysts at CB Richard Ellis say this has benefited both corporate and residential tenants who are moving to higher-spec properties for the same rate as their existing units. But inside the huge Burj Dubai tower it’s a different story. As the last panel of glass was fixed to the 800m structure, rentals for office, residential and Armani hotel space here soared. This is having an upward effect on retail, office and residential letting rates in the surrounding 500 acres of downtown Burj Dubai. Meanwhile properties at Arabian Ranches, the Palm Jumeirah and Dubai

●● During the boom, developers had no financial incentive to go green

property uae

Marina are reportedly among the top five places to invest in Dubai. According to CBRE, investors are now taking a longerterm view to let, rather than sell, their completed properties. Urgent calls for wider mortgage availability, safer investment terms and ‘greener’ property developments are giving consumers more buying power and value for money. “For many property owners it is as much about managing their costs as reducing their carbon emissions,” says Chris Speller, group director of Cityscape – the largest annual property show in the United Arab Emirates. “During the boom, developers had no financial incentive to go green. However, owing to changing market dynamics, developers now need a competitive edge.” But speculators still have their eyes on distressed property. Loxley McKenzie, founder of City-based property specialist Colordarcy, says: “We have been looking at a few distressed markets and our success in Florida has given us a proven model to follow for Dubai – from January 2010 we will be offering super deals. We believe that prices will drop further in Dubai so we will be extremely selective with what we market, and we’ll work with developers to package deals in various formats [fractional, Sipp-able].” The UAE’s focus on sport continues to draw both investment and tourism – much of Dubai Sports City is open, and golf’s most expensive prize, the Dubai World Championship, takes place this November at Jumeirah Golf Estates. Abu Dhabi has also just hosted its first Formula One Grand Prix on 7 November on Yas Island, where seven new hotels offered a total of 2,500 rooms. To prevent its economy from stalling, Abu Dhabi’s government pumped 16bn dirhams into five local banks earlier this year to make them “strong and well-capitalised compared with their international peers”. And to keep the UAE capital in the spotlight, Abu Dhabi invited a group of Hollywood producers there this summer to promote the benefits of filming future movies in the emirate. In other UAE states, Ras al Khaimah continues to

▲ Juniper Way Jumeirah Golf estates, Dubai

The Dubai World Championship, probably the world’s most talked about sports prize, teed off on 1 November at Jumeirah Golf Estates. The $10m prize fund is open to players numbered 1-60 on The Race to Dubai [formerly The European Tour Order of Merit] and players will be given the opportunity to compete for another $10m as a bonus fund. Fire, Earth, Water and Wind will be the themes of each golfing community living here, with 75 per cent of properties facing the golf courses. Jumeirah Golf Estates is home to courses designed by

ignite interest because property prices are up to 40 per cent lower than Dubai’s. Ajman has released a list of 24 approved developers including Sweet Homes,

●● The UAE’s focus on sport continues to draw investment and tourism

legends Sergio Garcia, Greg Norman and Pete Dye, and the official home to the European Tour International HQ. Villas and townhouses will offer both traditional and contemporary designs and will be set among spas, clubhouses, wellness centres, pools, shopping and dining experiences, as well as Metro stations. Even the new Arabian Canal will make an appearance. PRICES: Villas from £1.2m ContaCt: Jumeirah Golf Estates +971 4 366 2908

which is building Ajman Uptown – a project comprising a shopping mall, hotel, apartments, school, fire station, mosques, health club, markets and parks. Buying property in Sharjah, the third largest emirate of the UAE, isn’t so easy for foreign nationals. However, individuals can put the paperwork under someone else’s name, perfectly legally. Saudi developer Al Hanoo is leading the charge in investment into resorts in Sharjah with ten interconnecting Nujoom Islands – making it by far the largest commercial and tourism project in the state to date. Furthermore, a $4bn yachting marina is also set for Sharjah’s Al Khan peninsula. ■ November 91



SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT The Teens Unite Charity Cup offers a company day out that makes a real difference

TEENS UNITE FIGHTING CANCER – the charity dedicated to

improving the lives of young people with life-limiting illnesses – is offering City firms a unique corporate hospitality package. The inaugural Teens Unite Charity Cup is made up of six challenges over the course of 2010 and is a great way for your firm to be part of an amazing team-building experience, as well as raising funds and awareness for Teens Unite. Each team can put forward contestants they feel suitable for each individual challenge, meaning your whole company can be involved. The events are as follows:


This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to play at Stamford Bridge – the home of Chelsea Football Club. NUMBER IN TEAM: Ten DATE: May 2010


All the games will be just how you remember them from your school days – but without the teachers. NUMBER IN TEAM: 12 DATE: July 2010


Based on the iconic game show The Krypton Factor, the day incorporates all the best bits from the hit TV series, including tests in response, intelligence, observation, general knowledge and physical ability. NUMBER IN TEAM: Eight LOCATION: Hertfordshire DATE: January 2010


The day is filled with multiple activities that will draw on your practical, mental and – of course – driving skills. NUMBER IN TEAM: Eight LOCATION: Rye House Kart Raceway, Hertfordshire DATE: March 2010

About Teens Unite


Dragon Boat Racing is an ancient Chinese tradition with over 2,000 years of history – and is an exciting way of motivating and integrating staff from all areas of the company. LOCATION: London DATE: September 2010


Based on the BBC show of the same name, this is a fun-filled interactive day that brings a combination of games, quizzes and challenges. NUMBER IN TEAM: Ten DATE: November 2010

Teens Unite Fighting Cancer is dedicated to improving the lives of young people aged between 13 and 24 with life-limiting illnesses. As many as six teenagers a day are diagnosed with cancer in the UK alone. Teens Unite’s main objective is to raise enough money to provide respite homes for teenagers with life-limiting illnesses where they can spend time together. At Teens Unite we recognise that it will take time and money to build our homes; however, we recognise that these are very special people and they need action now. While we are fundraising to build our homes we plan to offer teens affected by a life-limiting illness the chance to meet up at exciting venues such as the O2 to be ‘our guests’ at concerts and other events. When a teenager is diagnosed and requires continuous treatment, it places a tremendous strain on all members of the family. Our respite homes allow such teenagers time out and give them an opportunity to spend time with others in similar situations to themselves.

Entry fee for the Teens Unite Charity Cup is £6,000 per team – this includes all six events across the year. Contact us on 01992 440 091;;





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IF THERE’S TWO words or phrases I like to see in the same sentence, it’s ‘corporate hospitality’ and ‘Amsterdam’. For a start, it shows that someone is trying to spend their way out of this recession – and it provides a handy boost for my personal Hedon-o-moter® as we approach the winter calendar of National Hunt racing and rugby. Hint, hint. This time, though, was all about football and better than that, decent football. Regular readers will know that I have a lifelong affliction of being a supporter of Ipswich Town Football Club, which is currently a living manifestation of the old axiom that money can’t buy happiness. Or success. Or even a win. We have a gazillionaire owner (who unusually for these times appears to have made his money honestly and legitimately), some perfectly good players and the former legendary swivel-eyed lunatic of a midfield genius as a manager. Sadly, what seems to be more evident at the moment is the loony rather than the genius but one can only live in hope. And so it is without prejudice that I can watch a foreign team and sit back and enjoy the football, European football at that – something that is only ever likely to happen to an Ipswich supporter in a sports bar on holiday in Ibiza. There I found myself flown out as a guest of Aegon, a highly civilised Dutch insurance company – yes, there are such things, apparently – to watch Ajax versus Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League. I found to my intense satisfaction that here were a couple of clubs who had players capable of chesting a long pass down to their own feet instead of ten yards away to those of a rampaging striker from the opposition. They also seemed to run mostly in the right direction rather than sideways or in circles, pass to players of the same team relatively regularly and their defenders even tackled people. It was a rare treat. There were goals too: three of them, two to Ajax and one to Zagreb in the final moments of the game. I suspect we will see Ajax’s extremely impressive Uruguayan winger Luis Suárez in the Premier League in the not-too-distant future. Like January.




finds a jolly to Amsterdam cures most ills – West Ham fans need not apply

The supporters seemed gentle people who were interested in watching the game and having a few beers and a good old sing-song rather than spitting at each other and inviting opposing fans into the back of an ambulance. Which was nice. And then into town for a good old style beer-up, and a spot of one of the greatest pastimes of all: people watching. There is no place on earth like Amsterdam for people watching. For a start, you can’t help but openly ogle the

●● He was fat, pissed, covered in tattoos, with a shaved bonce

spectacular six-foot blondes on bikes who teem past, returning your gaze confidently with that classically Dutch look of cultured disdain. That is, once you have avoided a potentially nasty accidental collision between head and bicycle/tram/car and weaved your way across the impossible roads. This is a feat when sober, let alone in a potential state of giggly confusion caused by indulgence in one of Amsterdam’s more famous exports. Speaking of which, it was then off to the Leidseplein, one of the prettiest and liveliest squares in this most aesthetically pleasing of cities. There is nothing surer to create an almost seismic level of activity on the Hedon-o-meter® than quaffing beer outside a café on a cool late autumn evening watching the world go by. Well, mostly. I swiftly formed a suspicion that one fellow who crossed my gaze as he meandered around the medieval square was English. I was able to eliminate citizens of most other lands because he was fat, pissed, covered in tattoos, had a shaved bonce, a large earring and a West Ham football shirt. Mind you, at least his tattoos appeared to be spelled correctly, so he was clearly a better class of yobbo. Anyhoo, the dude in question has emerged from a famous coffee shop called The Bulldog, all shouts and giggles and showing off. He has in his hand a reefer about the size of a rounders bat and lights it. He takes three or four big, showy tugs, creating a thick cloud of pungent smoke around his bald head. But as if the pavement beneath him had turned to mud his pace slowed and he turned with a look of utter confusion. The blood fell from his face, the chubby legs gave way, the saggy, tracksuited arse sank to the cobbles and a shower of vomit boiled up from his mouth before he lay on his back on the pavement. I understand from the cannabis cognoscenti of my acquaintance, that this is termed “doing a whitey”. I don’t know what effect the episode was having upon him, but it damned near killed me with laughter. If West Ham are as bad as Ipswich, perhaps that’s the best state in which supporters should watch. ■


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Square Mile Magazine - Issue 44 - 'Rule Britannia'  

Square Mile Magazine - Issue 44 - 'Rule Britannia' - God Save the City, Best of British - The very best British fashion, luxury & design

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