Diary: The end of recession? No, it's just Easy Living

The recession may have been over for some time but, judging by the lavish antics of Conde Nast, it seems we are skipping the period of cautious optimism and leaping right back to 80s-style conspicuous consumption. Last week, the sex-and-shoes publisher held not one, but three opulent breakfast events to promote its Easy Living title (Good Housekeeping for the Prada generation), which will hit the shelves in March next year.

It staged a takeover of Gordon Ramsay's Boxwood Cafe, part of the Berkeley Hotel, on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning, with each event packed with retailers and media agency types.

While Diary was disappointed not to get its daily bacon and eggs, instead having to be content with fruit salad, Parma ham and smoothies, the combined value of the couture in the room must have been greater than the national debt of many small countries.

All of which made it hard to concentrate on Conde Nast's managing director Nicholas Coleridge's opening speech. That is, until he got to the bit about Conde Nast spending a meagre £17 million on the launch. "You can't put a magazine out without a big launch and hope it makes it," he explained.

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