Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Article excerpt

Gstaad

The snows came tumbling down just as the camel-drivers headed back to the Gulf. In fact, they never saw the white outdoor stuff. And a good thing it was, too. The outdoor stuff makes everything look so pretty that the glitzy types might have been tempted to return. God forbid. Let them stick to the indoor white stuff.

The problem with Gstaad is the local council. They remind me of the EU: they're intransigent, short-sighted and stick to a losing game. In Brussels they keep passing more and more laws and regulations. In Gstaad, they keep putting up their prices and building more and more apartments. As a gentleman with a close association to The Spectator told me, 'My son doesn't come here because there are no young women around.' His son is absolutely right. Unless you're a hooker, or have a very large fortune of your own, Gstaad can be prohibitively expensive. For some of us who prefer girls not for sale, and are weary of women with large fortunes who are used to pushing people around, this can be a problem. Like my South African friends Arnold and Penelope Taylor, with young sons, they head for Wengen, which is as traditional as Gstaad used to be and with a much lower profile.

Never mind. Now that the Donald is president, everything will change in a jiffy. The local council will tear down all the new apartment buildings that remain empty, prices will be slashed by 90 per cent, and beautiful debs will be imported from Paris, London and New York to service some of our young bucks. Yes, and the interiors of Dubai hotels will soon look like St James's clubs.

Otherwise, everything's hunky-dory. There is a multibillionaires' club planned on the Eggli mountain, one that will save its ski lift from being shut down. The mauvaise langues insist that the billionaires are all Jewish gents who no longer wish to wait for membership of the Eagle Club. Personally, I don't agree with the naysayers. Yes, the billionaires are mostly Jewish, but the reason their membership applications have been delayed is that the club is full, and that they're old and don't ski. (Nor do they look so good.) It has as much to do with being Jewish as I have to do with the Ecclestone family. Absolutely zilch. (Incidentally, I don't think that Bernie is involved in the project, but dropped his name just in case.)

Talking about being old, I went skiing for the first time this year and it was a bit like Sylvester Stallone doing a Nutcracker ballet solo: embarrassing and comical. …

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