IT WAS au revoir (but not goodbye) last night at a leaving party at City restaurant Manicomio for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ John Whiting, the popular tax adviser who’s often been dubbed “Britain’s most quoted accountant”.<br /><br />Whiting – who’s known as “Mr T” on his regular stints on the BBC 2 Working Lunch sofa – has already started in his new job as tax policy adviser for the Chartered Institute of Taxation.<br /><br />But after 37 years at PwC, I ask him, didn’t he just feel like taking a bit of a break?<br /><br />“Sometimes I wonder if I’ve had a longer sentence than Bernie Madoff,” he jokes. “I didn’t get as much money, that’s for sure, but at least I don’t have to give it back.<br /><br />“But seriously, I didn’t want to stop working and I feel like I’ve still got a contribution to make. I come from Hull so I get teased mercilessly about Hull City’s success (or lack of it) – but at least they’ve stayed in the Premiership, and that’s what I like to think I’m doing. I’m still in the league, just switching clubs.”<br /><br /><strong>BUTLER SERVICE</strong><br />No sooner had we published a rundown of all the recessionary woes to hit the annual Cowes week regatta yesterday, than a City sailor emails in with an offer that’s bucking the trend.<br /><br />Champagne house G.H. Mumm has launched a special offer to celebrate the Cowes Ladies’ Day on Tuesday 4 August. It plans to send a liveried “water butler” to cruise the high seas, awarding chilled bottles of Cordon Rouge champagne to the most stylish crews of the competition.<br /><br />Much though The Capitalist likes the sound of dressing up to the nines and being served by a personal water butler, noone could argue with our reader’s wry comment that Mumm appears to have failed to pick up on the spirit of our newly-straitened times.<br /><br /><strong>ROMANTIC STREAK</strong><br />What is it these days with seemingly staid financiers writing steamy romantic novels?<br /><br />An email pops into my inbox flagging up the latest fictional offering from Sean Doyle, an investment manager at London & Capital – who’s being compared to romance queen Jilly Cooper. (Exhibit One: “Spain 1986, a summer of love, a summer that promised so much, yet in the end delivered nothing more than agony and anguish… I’d often wondered how she’d coped, what had happened to her, but here she was, as stunning as the image embedded in my memory…” And there’s plenty more where that came from.)<br /><br />His novel, When Fate Comes Calling, is about a holiday romance between an English student and a beautiful French maiden which is brought “to a sudden and devastating end”, before being rekindled decades later after a chance business trip reunion.<br /><br />All the makings of a great love story, I’m sure. It’s available on Amazon or directly from London & Capital, who are using their prodigy’s talent to raise vital funds for their children’s charity, the L&C Charitable Foundation.<br /><br /><strong>CITY CONNOISSEURS</strong><br />Exciting news for the City fine dining set yesterday as the Galvin brothers unveiled the name for their new City restaurant, due to open in the late autumn.<br /><br />The restaurant, which will be housed in the beautiful St Botolph’s Hall in Spital Square, has been named Galvin La Chapelle after a 13th century French chapel in the Rhone Valley, one of Chris and Jeff Galvin’s favourite haunts.<br /><br />And the best part about it? The restaurant will stock some of the best vintages of a renowned wine to which the chapel also lends its name, Hermitage La Chapelle, and which the pair say has a “particular resonance” with their cooking.<br /><br />One thing’s for sure: there’ll be no shortage of parched City patrons just itching to put that theory to the test.<br /><br /><strong>SHOE FETISH</strong><br />It’s certainly the case that the few brave ladies at the top of the banking world don’t exactly have it easy, but something tells me Annika Falkengren, the boss of Scandinavia’s SEB bank, needs to get her priorities straight.<br /><br />One of the most powerful women in the global banking industry, Falkengren is on the box tonight in an interview on CNBC’s The Leaders.<br /><br />“Sometimes I think you can feel a bit unfairly treated,” she says. “Nobody focuses on the shoes of males chief executives. But on the other hand, since there are so few of us, we just have to put up with it.”<br /><br />Look on the bright side, ladies: think what a dark place the world would be without the comfort of our Jimmy Choos...<br /><br /><strong>HORSE’S MOUTH</strong><br />Has everyone’s favourite veteran business commentator, BGC Partners’ David Buik, been spending a little too much time on the racecourse recently?<br /><br />I only ask because the cheeky chappie seems to have become partial to referring to fellow human beings in equine terms. A few weeks ago, he referred to former Treasury minister Kitty Ussher as “a fine filly, bred out of decent mare and sired by a thoroughbred”, while yesterday’s offering was about the late Charlie’s Angels actress Farrah Fawcett, who he described, in a similar vein, as “a fine looking filly with stunning confirmation, who walked well in the paddock”.<br /><br />Channel 4 Racing should take note, if they’re ever looking for a new commentator.<br /><br /><strong>FESTIVE FRENZY</strong><br />As is always the case at the height of summer, various seasonally-confused corporates begin preparing for the December rush and sending out flurries of winter emails.<br /><br />One of the first (I vaguely recall another, even more premature offering hitting the inbox back in March) arrives from Selfridges, peddling “the launch of a Cracking Christmas”.<br /><br />Those hostile double Cs are looking decidedly frosty amid all this glorious sunshine, even for The Capitalist’s festive-friendly tendencies.