Accidental bidding at Coutts auction for ambulance charity

PRIVATE bank Coutts finished 2012 by writing one very large cheque – having raised over £50,000 for the London Air Ambulance charity in the last 12 months.

Staff handed over £51,705 to the trauma charity – after fundraising activities including a comedy night, treasure hunt, abseil and auction.

But The Capitalist hears that one new recruit got a bit of a shock during the live auction. During the lot for a private dinner cooked by Coutts’ executive chef Peter Fiori, an inadvertent scratch of the eager employee’s head caused her some concern as the hammer came crashing down. The auctioneer shouted “£1,700, to the lady in the pink dress.” The confusion was only resolved the next day, when it transpired that there were two ladies in pink dresses. At least it was all for a good cause.

■ Although technically business as usual, those in the Square Mile have reported that many offices are still in Winter hibernation, seizing the opportunity to extend the New Year holiday by taking the end of the week off. The Capitalist couldn’t help but wonder if City outposts such as EAT and Pret a Manger’s usual roaring trade had been hampered by this workforce decline yesterday. However upon contacting the offices of both of the popular chains The Capitalist was told nobody would be able to comment – as most of them were all still on holiday.

■ Those looking to start the annual New Year diet may already be familiar with Chef Michel Roux’s (pictured, with pigs) range of Scratch ready meals which come with exact ingredients pre-sliced and delivered by Ocado. Although minimal assembly is required, time-poor cooks ought to keep an eye out for the truffle which is lurking inside one package. However the finder would be advised not to eat the bounty, as the truffle is worth a huge £30,000.