Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chilling with the Eton Boys

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chilling with the Eton Boys

Article excerpt

Byline: ARABELLA CLIFTON-HALL

HEADACHE looming, I get up at about 1pm, with hazy memories of the night before flooding back. I urgently need a quick cigarette and a brief encounter with my makeup bag to hide the protruding bags under my eyes. I go downstairs to find Al, Biffy and Jamie tucking into a fry-up of bacon and eggs. Thank you, but a glass of water will do me.

It's that time of year again, when the public-school lot all trek down to Cornwall. From Eton, Harrow and other public schools around the country they come, in rain or sun: the boys looking for "birdage"; the girls hoping to catch some rays from behind those dreary clouds. Everyone who is anyone is in Cornwall now, with ages at the Mariner's Hotel ranging from the social-smoking 13-year-olds to the chain-smoking 18-year-olds.

The others join us and I realise, thank God, that I don't look quite as awful as Luce (who seems to have woken up in the same bed as Yammie).

Eventually, after getting everyone together, we all head off to Finn's Cafe for a late lunch. (A Caesar salad is usually the favourite for the weight-conscious girls; a plate of chips for the boys.) After the meal, we all sit around smoking Marlboro Lights, with mobile phones on the table. When a phone rings, everyone instantly jumps to check if it's theirs. Often the ringing is coming from another table, which always makes me laugh.

When, eventually, we get kicked out because "two Caesar salads and a plate of chips is not enough for 20 of you to remain here", we head off to chill on Polzeath beach, meeting up with people and/or bumping into those we remember with embarrassment from the drunken night before.

After we have smoked copious numbers of cigarettes, and the conversation about Jules and Georgie being busted "doing the business" by Georgie's dad is over, we all head off home for some serious drinking.

There we consume supper and demolish our purchases of the day (Bailey's and vodka), then we all traipse off to the Mariner's where we meet up with Tump and Tobs and the rest of the crew.

We public-school lot are not the only punters hanging out at the pub there's also the army of police on patrol, some of whom are ready to make an arrest for the slightest offence; others, however, are perfectly willing to have a chat. …

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