It’s London’s ancient seat of wealth, privilege and dubious foreign money. But things down in Mayfair get just as tribal as they do in the Amazon, thanks very much — only with much more elaborate courting rituals (and a not inconsiderable number of homeopathic witch doctors.) But how can you identify the to-ers and fro-ers of W1K next time you’re in Town? Eddy Downpatrick, our man on the street, separates the wheat from the naff.
The City Boy Gone West
After years spent silverbacking the trading floor of JP Goldman and singlehandedly justifying the HR department’s raison d’etre, our pin-striped protagonist (the suit was fitted for him, in between triumphant exhortations and nasal ablutions, in the office — time is money) has upgraded himself from the wastelands of the Wharf to the mercantile meadows of Mayfair.
Never to be parted from his silver money clip, a possession of talismanic import, gift from his mentor (who died on the job before he could ever make it west), engraved with the initials of that same man, he is to be found pestering the good ladies of the Guinea Grill, as liberal in the distribution of his welcome tender as with his not so welcome caresses.
We seek him here, we seek him there — he can’t find a black cab anywhere (shades, darling, even at night).
This dedicated follower of fashion (long-since eastwards departed) wanders the Row perplexed at the arrival of messrs ‘Ben Sherman’ and co. “For goodness sake, where are the niche Scando-Japanese designers?” our fair-trilby’d flanneur asks himself, 360ing about his pivot, careful not to trip on the hems of his oversize +2s, adorably unaware of his proximity to more fertile threading grounds. Central Line swallow this man and deliver him safely to Old Street.
The Mount Street Lady
MSL breezes out of the Connaught at an impressive pace, given the sheer weight of bespoke white gold around her gullet. She has just had a simply thrilling conversation with her personal bijoutiste-cum-pet-therapist, Ashra. (The marsupial canine resides in an alpaca-lined Mulberry carrier — all totally sustainable of course).
Lunchtime already? Anything in excess of a single interlocutory pre-mezzo-prandial exchange would be overdoing it. Carson, a Calvin Klein model-turned-personal trainer to the aureate-healed, joins her for forty pound salads (amazing the mileage you can get out of a poached egg with a sprinkling of indeterminate fish roe) and twenty pound sides of cavolo blanco (it’s very rare), hands grazing over wedding-ringed fingers. ‘No need for the bill, darling, Basil’s got us.’ Basil is not an employee.
The Gilet Mk 1
Three dark-blue-lined stations away from the sanctum of South Kensington, this particular perma-flu’d individual (a pre-scandal Francois Fillon fundraiser turned discreetly-abashed Macroniste) braces himself for fearsome central-London’s mid-teen autumnal temperatures (and almost total absence of wind) by air-locking that gilet and fastening that impossibly-long scarf, a cadeau from maman (or simply maman’s), e’er so tight to his delicate wind-pipe. It will not budge until he returns to his double-duveted boudoir from a hard day’s long-shorting. Bof.
The Gilet Mk 2
Not so fresh from the serial intoxications of yet another big shooting weekend, our b’Schoffel’d fund manager cuts a forlorn figure as he gingerly reminds Fred (or is it James) that ‘bloody hell, mate, Connemara on Friday and God what a nightmare BA cancelled that route because Ryanair can be such bores about shotguns’. A member of both Annabel’s and 5 Hertford Street, he feels he can finally return to the former because ‘the escorts are a thing of the past’. (Either that or the female members’ dress and conversation is now indistinguishable.)