CITY SNAPS UP FLATS IN DELAUNAY NEIGHBOUR

NO PRIZES for guessing who was first through the doors of The Delaunay: restaurant reviewer AA Gill, who was yesterday spotted having breakfast with the new brasserie’s co-owner Jeremy King.

Of course, Gill was followed closely by The Capitalist, who caught up with King as he studied the architects’ plans for his next opening Brasserie Zédel, which will launch next June on the site of the former Atlantic Bar & Grill off Piccadilly.

“Friends have remarked how good it is to see us back on form,” said the man who built up Le Caprice, The Ivy and J Sheekey into the pinnacle of London dining with business partner Chris Corbin, only to see them fall into the hands of rival Richard Caring.

King and Corbin’s restaurant is part of the No. 1 Kingsway estate, bought in 2005 by developer UK & European Investments (UKI), which also contains 105,000 sq ft of office space and seven residential apartments with an entrance on Kean Street.

Immediately to the east of the Midtown development is the City – which is why the seven people who have signed up for the annually renewed leases on the flats include a fund manager, a banker and a property developer. And a Middle Eastern prince – although UKI’s managing director Barney Kelham wouldn’t confirm whether the sheikh is the key-holder for the development’s largest property, the three-bedroom penthouse.

TOWER BLOCKED
MEANWHILE, UKI has quietly withdrawn its planning application to develop the prime sites in Shoreditch it bought in August from Lloyds Banking Group.

So there will be no “iconic residential tower” containing 116 private apartments next to members’ club Shoreditch House, and no affordable housing units at nearby Fleet Street Hill. Both sites are among the eight UKI bought from Lloyds this summer as part of the former assets of HBOS-backed London & Newcastle, which remains as manager.

“We are in the fortunate position that all the sites are income-producing assets,” Kelham told The Capitalist. “So we are reviewing our options and we will decide how we want to develop the sites when we believe the time is right.”

RARE COMMODITIES
TIMES are tough in commodities. But just how bad only became fully clear when The Capitalist heard how one “metals trader” had to resort to stealing the brass taps from the men’s washroom in Green’s on Cornhill.

The guilty party, as captured on CCTV, was wearing a red puffa jacket and carried a hessian supermarket eco-bag in each hand, before making off down Lombard Street with a £500 haul of coat-hooks, mirror screws and chrome-plated brass tap handles.

Green’s manager Abelines Geldenhuys didn’t trouble the police – “they have enough on at this time of year” – but has replaced the Italian-imported originals with B&Q fakes. Just in case this story gives any bonus-deprived bankers funny ideas…

MEN BEHAVING BADLY
LEGAL Business magazine is known for being an authoritative read. And even more so this morning, when it publishes its annual Christmas quiz on the excesses of City lawyers – all anonymous, unfortunately, to prevent a landslide of lawsuits.

So over to you to work out which partner at a major firm has gained notoriety by sleeping with every single secretary in the firm’s large litigation practice.

Or the individual at a “well-to-do West End firm” who purchased the adult DVDs Nina Hartley’s Guide to Spanking and Peeping Tom at St Luke’s. “Your returned cheque has been sitting there since April,” says the firm’s plea for said lawyer to visit the postroom. “Discretion guaranteed!”