At this time of year, town life is all about the parties. Large or small,canapé or feast, plastic cup or crystal glass they all deserve an attendance. But then I went to a party that blew all the rest out of the water. Frankly, I don’t know if a bit of pineapple and cheese on a stick will ever be enough to entice me again. Held by Ric Lewis of Curzon Global Partners, this was anything but a corporate Christmas do. We were told next to nothing about the party in advance, except to wear only black and white and whisper the given password.

We knew we’d arrived, on several levels, when our destination was marked by a flurry of snow, purple spotlights, a horse and carriage with a ‘ghost’ sitting inside and top-hatted doormen, letting us in two by two. A Venetian mask was handed to each guest to wear and we crowded into a huge room, half-filled with an orchestra playing soul hits on strings.

Goodness, I could tell some tales about the medieval banquet, fire-eaters and corseted tap dancers; later the drag queens, disco dance floor and Diana Ross-a-likes…but sadly, I’ve run out of space. Hasta la vista, baby.