Leonardo diCaprio, Cameron Diaz and Prince Albert at the Tag Heuer party
When Hemingway wrote A Moveable Feast I suspect he wasn’t talking about Paris’ quatier latin at all. He was talking about yachts in Monaco, if this week’s Canapes Challenge is anything to go by.
The wager I set myself every year is to do Monaco race weekend without having to buy a single meal or drink, and as of Thursday morning so far so good for the boating community of Monaco have been very generous and forthcoming.
Last night Tag Heuer hosted a soiree aboard the fabulous Delma, which they’ve taken over for a cool £100,000 a day I’m told. Given it was the warmest port of call on a very windy and cold night, a wise investment.
As well as the canapés there was a never-ending supply of Veuve Clicquot (like Tag Heuer, part of the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy family). I was particularly impressed by the bar service actually. Normally at these dos, if you request a cup of tea you get a rolling of the eyes and a ‘sorry we don’t have a kettle’ excuse, but Delma delivered. The tea wasn’t for me, I hasten to add, but for a teetotal chum who, since moving from Shropshire to California, will do what ever he can to cling on to the empire.
My task for them was a Bloody Mary and they delivered on that too.
It was the second LVMH bash of the evening, for earlier I was on the terrace of the Ferrari motorhome present at the signing of a new partnership between the Italian brand and Veuve Clicquot, which will see the pair collaborate on a series of global lifestyle events.
After that I had to high tail it to the John Walker & Sons Voyager yacht, moored in the quiet Cap d’Ail harbour onto which Nico Rosberg’s apartment looks and Jenson Button keeps his Sunseeker, Ichiban.
Johnnie Walker’s 1920s-style yacht recently started a European tour in Portofino, and will take in Athens, Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Hamburg and Copenhagen before returning to Scotland, home of the whisky brand. They’re using it as an events space to push the heritage message.
I was on board to interview Sergio Perez, and the poor lad clearly doesn’t have sea legs because after our ten minutes was up he had to be excused and head for the deck, motion sickness getting the better of him. The questions weren’t that tough, I don’t think it was that.
My Perez engagement meant I had to blow off Cameron Diaz and I may never get my chance again, for by the time I made it to the Tag Heuer boat, where she was scheduled to meet a select group of VIP guests, she’d buggered off with Leonardo di Caprio no less.
The Germans were all very excited last night because they couldn’t lose the Champions League final. We’d been invited to go and watch it aboard the Torch boat, and while Princess Charlene held fort on Friday it was the turn of football royalty last night. Cameron Jerome of Stoke City and Tottenham Hotspurs manager Andre Villas Boas watched the match together. If I were a more imaginative journalist I might suggest they were discussing a transfer.
On my way off the boat I bumped into superstar DJ Bob Sinclar who, when he asked me if I speak French, was impressed with my comeback. All you need to say is ‘Je parle francais comme une vache espagnole’ and the Frenchies will assume you’re totally fluent, in their little jokes at least. Obviously that leads to some confusion later when you don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.
Monaco – always a mixture of emotions. Part of you never wants it to end, part of you wants to go home immediately and hibernate. It’s been a busy weekend and it’s not over yet. Stay tuned.