Senior figures in advertising are having a tough time of it, what
with laying people off and freezing salaries - and all for reasons
completely out of their control.
It gets worse, however. Not only have they had to halt all the
discretionary spending that no-one questioned this time last year -
tickets to Cup finals, a new Hockney for the office, etc - but many are
also wondering where their next foreign trip is coming from.
For the members of the advertising dining club Blakes 7, the question
was easy to answer. Why not take a day-trip to the Colombe D'Or in St
Paul de Vence?
Only a hour or so from Nice Airport, sealed off from the common tourists
by a high stone wall, a perfect spot for some serious lunching and a
wonderful chance to talk about Jim Hytner's recent troubles with boxes
and thongs at a cricket match.
It was on the restaurant's beautiful terrace that some refugees from
Soho took their ease over a protracted lunch last week. Hytner, Amanda
Walsh, Martin Bowley, Tim Lindsay, Martina King, Derrick Morris, Mickey
Finn, Nicky Horner, David Kershaw, Jonathon Durden, Gill Butler - they
were all there.
And lest anyone should argue that airfares to Nice and slap-up lunches
cannot easily be justified in this climate, worry not - all the above
took a day off work and paid their own way.