Cannes blizzard can’t stop flow of champagne

THIS YEAR’S Mipim in Cannes may have got off to a rather frosty start, after blizzards left hundreds of property bodies stranded at the airport, but once delegates were all safely installed they wasted no time in hitting the property conference’s party scene.

Cushman & Wakefield’s annual lunchtime party was swiftly moved from the beach to the terrace of the JW Marriot hotel, but septuagenarian John Cushman III – the scion of the global property services firm himself – still put in an appearance.

The Capitalist caught up with the American property grandee who, wearing a black and red pin-striped suit in the Cushman & Wakefield signature colours, was keen to talk film. When in Cannes, after all.

It turns out cult comedy film Sideways – which sees Paul Giamatti embark on a tour of California’s finest wineries – was partly shot at Cushman’s own vineyard, the Zaca Mesa Winery in Santa Barbara.

Wednesday night meanwhile saw Generali Real Estate, the property arm of the Italian insurer, hosting the festivities at the Vegalunga beach.

Though the Italians rubbed designer shoulders with agents from CBRE that are working on 120 Fenchurch Street, Generali’s £420m joint venture office tower chatter was dominated not by City rental values, but rather the election of non-European Pope Cardinal Bergoglio.

Further along the Promenade de la Croisette elusive property firm Tristan Capital’s much hyped bash was getting underway, with flashing purple lights illuminating the pier – where bankers and investors were bestowed with flower garlands and shot glasses upon entry.

And what more could top the night off? Champagne and vodka flowing all night from magnums lit up with sparklers, while founder Ric Lewis busted his best moves on the dancefloor, of course.