SUNDAYS have taken on new meaning for Nomura’s joint head of global equities Benoit Savoret, ever since Downton Abbey returned to the nation’s screens.
So let’s hope the twists and turns of the First World War drama haven’t been spoiled for Savoret and his colleagues William Vereker, Paul Spanswick and Brett Olsen, after Nomura’s senior bankers spent the evening with the cast of the ITV show at a fundraiser hosted by its creator Julian Fellowes.
For once, the “very entertaining” Jeffrey Archer was upstaged, as the Earl of Grantham, Lady Mary and valet John Bates – otherwise known as actors Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery and Brendan Coyle – held court at the Silver Jubilee Ball in aid of Nomura’s partner charity The Rainbow Trust.
Fellowes was “on the verge of tears” as he talked about the work of the children’s charity, and his emotional turn inspired the cast of Downton Abbey to bid for dinner with the writer who made them household names.
None of his actors won the dinner with Fellowes though; another, unnamed, guest – “a few glasses of wine had been drunk by that stage” – placed the bid that helped the night’s takings reach £200,000.
DISHES OF THE DAY
JAMIE Oliver has already invited a few of his new neighbours round “to let the kitchen work its way up to fifth gear”. And from today, the doors of the latest Jamie’s Italian at 38 Threadneedle Street have been thrown open to the rest of the City.
The restaurant is “special anyway”, says Jamie’s camp, but mindful of its demanding banking diners, Oliver and his business partner Gennaro Contaldo have added some extra dishes to the menu. “City people are going to want different wines from people who eat in, say, Guildford,” explained a mole.
Nothing against Guildford, you understand, but the dinner ladies’ nemesis is limiting his Cumbrian rock oysters, Devonshire lobster ravioli, white truffle risotto and herb roasted quail to his latest “affordable” Italian franchise in the former Bank of Scotland building.