The word on the street for some time now has been ‘oligarch’ referring to the Russian variety that is buying the cream of the city’s properties and football clubs. London’s ‘first luxurious Ukrainian restaurant’ has recently opened, just off Pall Mall, serving pancakes with beluga caviar for a trifling £350. But even with this, Russian desks in our top estate-agents’ offices, and increasing sightings of fur-coat wearers, I realised this week that our town is lagging sorely behind those which are paved with gold. Moscow has just hosted its third ‘Millionaire Fair’, billing itself as ‘somewhere between the extravagance of Harrods in London and the complete pleasure of Disneyland’, which makes you worry somewhat for the sophistication levels of Russian taste.
There is something extraordinary about the thought of thousands of millionaires converging under one roof to mingle and debate the virtues of a solid-gold, diamond-encrusted mobile phone against those of a private island (a mere $10 million). Or consider the helicopter vs the Bentley. What would you call a collective of millionaires? A carbuncle? Answers on a gold-plated postcard, please