Tag Archives: Olympic

BBC2…Lunch is Av-Ant Garde at Claridge’s!

18 Dec
Claridge's Hotel in Brook Street, London, Engl...

Claridge’s Hotel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Should the Big Yellow Box be worried? Apparently Claridge’s offer long term storage for their customers, particularly if you spend a reasonable time at the hotel. Say maybe 30 days a year for last 10 years and insist on a suite that sets you back £3,500 a night.

Welcome to another edition of BBC Two’s fly on the wall Documentary – Inside Claridge’s. Although being Claridge’s it probably more aptly termed rare Tibetan turquoise tiger beetle on the wall rather than some common domestic fly.

We start off with a visit from Jose ‘Pepe’ Fanjul. A billionaire with interest in sugar companies across the world including Tate and Lyle. For Pepe Claridge’s is a home away from home. In between jaunts to Scotland for a bit of shooting and trips across the world he likes to come back to the familiar luxury of Claridge’s.

He is in and out so frequently that the hotel stores clothes, furniture and presumably pretty much anything else he wants stored to ensure every night stayed there is as stress free as possible. At £3,500 a night it is the very least they could do.

The big theme tonight was the Olympics. The episode was filmed over this year’s London summer Olympics and Claridge’s was heaving under the weight of delegations from over 30 countries  If you ever wondered where some of the billions that the Olympics cost went, a fair sum seemed to have been spent here. With Rooms at £5,000 a night you would need an Olympic sized budget to cope which Seb Coe obviously had.

We saw entourages from across the world checking in, a team of 16 from Malawi staying for 11 nights, team of 9 from Gabon for 8 nights, the Attorney General of New Zealand and many more. Prince Andrew also popped up, although it was unclear if he was there as part of the Olympic jamboree.

As a special celebration of the Olympics, Claridge’s had teamed up with what is supposedly the best restaurant in the World – Copenhagen based Noma  - for a two-week special event.

Noma’s specialty menu for the event included amongst other things foraged greens, Juniper oil and live ants all for the princely sum of £195 a sitting.

I often find when people have to explain or justify why a particular dish is great you do come away with the sense that there is a lot of smoke and mirrors under pinned by great marketing rather it being simply great food.

That was the sense I came away with watching all the to and fro’ing as they set our recreating the spartan Scandinavian feel of Noma in Claridge’s ballroom. Maybe I am just a food pleb with an agrarian palate but it seemed that everyone shown ‘enjoying’ the food for this event had to ‘like’ it irrespective of what their faces portrayed as they nibbled of a selection of live ants.

I did warm a bit to Noma head chef Rene Redzepi though when asked about Prince Andrew and his quizzical response was “Who’s he?”.

The Olympics clearly looked like a winner for Claridge’s but it came at a price as the hotel was invaded by vast numbers of what can only be described as the hoi polloi, congregating in the lobby in numbers and even going as far as resting their feet on footstools. You get the feel that Claridge’s could not wait for the hotel to return to its traditional luxurious gentility.

BBC…Sports Personality of The Year (SPOTY)

16 Dec

If you enjoy watching sports on TV, 2012 has been MEGA!.  From the Manchester City’s last gasp win to snatch the Premiership from bitter rivals Manchester United, Bradley Wiggins historic triumph in France to win the Tour, the multitude of magic moments from the Olympics  and Andrew Murray’s winning his first grand slam after the emotional heartache of Wimbledon.

So many magic moments, how do you choose a winner for the sports personality of the year. Well it has to be done and tonight is the night.  The nominees were

  • Andy Murray – (US Open Champion, Olympic Gold [Tennis])
  • Bradley Wiggins – (Tour De France winner, Olympic Gold [Cycling])
  • Ben Ainslie – (Olympic Gold[Sailing])
  • Chris Hoy – (Olympic Gold [Cycling])
  • David Weir – (Paralympic Gold[Wheelchair Racing])
  • Ellie Simmons – (Paralympic Gold [Swimming])
  • Jessica Ennis – (Olympic Gold [Athletics])
  • Katherine Granger - (Olympic Gold [Rowing])
  • Mo Farah - (Olympic Gold [Athletics])
  • Nicola Adams - (Olympic Gold [Boxing])
  • Roy McIlroy – (PGA Championship 2012 Winner, Ryder Cup 2012)
  • Sarah Storey – (Paralympic Gold [Cycling])

The show as expected was heaving with sporting celebs, the great, the good, the okay and the not so good.  It was also heaving with nostalgia as we were taken back through the glory days of 2012, ably assisted by  mini montages of all the great moments. I have to say no one does montages better than the BBC.  My favorite was from ‘Super Saturday’ the day Jessica Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah came good winning three golds in the space of 46 golden minutes

Other great moments were the audience doing the Poznan, when Vincent Company and Sergio Aguero came one, that was brilliant. The award to Martine Wright, a victim of the 7/7 bombing who went on to represent the UK in sitting volleyball at the Paralympics was special, as was the segment with Fabrice Muamba.

It wasn’t all about celebrity honorable mention also goes out to Jim and Sue Haughton who won the unsung hero of the year award.

In other awards Team GB and Paralympic GB won team of the year. Coach of the year went to Dave Brailsford, cycling GB supremo. Usain Bolt won overseas athlete of the year. Lifetime achievement went to Seb Coe.

Then it was all down to the big one. Drum roll and the third place went to…. Andy Murray (shame I really wanted Andy to win, the Wimbledon Final, The Olympic Gold and the US Open were incredible achievements).

Second place went  to the Golden Girl Jessica Ennis and the winner was….Bradley Wiggins.  Congratulations sir, not my preferred choice but a deserved winner.

p.s. From reaction on Twitter it looks like Jessica Ennis’s well appointed dress has bagged her another honour – Rear of The Year.