I do apologize if this post is littered with typos, but I’m writing from the fly deck of Flavio Briatore’s yacht and the sun is bouncing off my laptop screen. #firstworldproblems.
The Force Blue has been chartered (if that’s the right word. Can you charter a yacht without moving it?) by friend o’ F1-SD, Jonny Dodge, whose events company Torch Platforms just threw the biggest party of the Cannes Film Festival, hosting the likes of Justin Timberlake, James Franco and Paris Hilton.
Tonight the boat is hosting a dinner with Princess Charlene and music from LMFAO.
Having never been on Flav’s yacht before, it was fascinating to scope it out. Inside, the theme is African with photographs of lions everywhere.
So that’s the scene this afternoon, and what a civilized way to recover from last night’s exploits.
Initially I was concerned. Tuesday and Wednesday were the quietest I’ve ever seen Monaco. Is everyone too broke or cynical to come to the Monaco Grand Prix these days, I wondered. With the lack of action in Monte Carlo I headed out to the village of St Paul de Vence to the fabulous Colombe d’Or, one of my favourite restaurants. The food is decent but it’s the art that sells it. The village used to be home to a community of famous artists, who would often pay for their dinner with paintings. So I ate underneath a Miro, which I believe is now valued at £4 million. There were also two Picassos and a Matisse in the dining room.
The paddock was quiet on Wednesday so I headed to Portofino for lunch. Why not, eh? This week I have commandeered a stunning Bentley GT Speed, so the Italian Riviera seemed like the right thing to do.
Thursday night was always going to be the night, though, and it delivered. Red Bull threw a media party on the Energy Station, which had a great turn out. Then it was to the Indian Empress for Vijay Mallya’s now traditional extravaganza.
Guests were given Indian scarves as we boarded. The yacht rocked to DJ sets plus an Indian fashion show and lots of UB Group liquors. He really is a jolly generous chap, Vijay.
The celeb count was down on previous years. Jeremy Clarkson and Cliff Richard. Hmm. Still, the real star was the boat.
The Indian Empress.
Michel Mol and friends.
Vijay Mallya, Prince Albert and Tara Ramos.