I attended the 'launch' of the retail park at Heathrow Terminal Two today. Held at One Marylebone - so pleased I looked again at the invite as I would have driven to Heathrow Terminal Two instead, I braved the tube strike, walked a bit in the sun and met some very interesting people who told me that the nightmare that is currently and has been nightmare for years at the terrible Two, will end on 4th June.
John Lewis (never knowingly undersold) rubbed shoulders with Cath Kidson (too twee for me), and Pink shirts where you can order tailor made and get it delivered all via touch screen app. Very clever, thought it was initially gimick but this will catch on.
And then to Sunglass Hut - so what suits me - Prada does. Devil wears it and so does Ms T - well for ten seconds anyway. Sunglasses that are a bit cats-eyes shape are in, which is good because I'm told I look like a cat anyway (better than looking like a dog I suppose). I always buy sunglasses there (genuinely). Airports are the only place where I have 'time'.
Then to Dixons who showed me a £5500 camera that you could make a Hollywood film with, and a bracelet for £100 which tells you what you've been doing all day. Beats a diary.
I had a five minute break for manicure (I have no nails so it didn't last long) and then onto the lounge which for £38 for two hours any one can go. Food, drink and business links and you don't have to work for a bank to get the business treatment. Entrepreneur (and ex Lehmanns banker) called Song Hoi See created it and pushed hard to open up a market which so reeks of common sense amazed it wasn't done sooner, but he had to push. "I had five meetings" he says grimacing. But you did it!!!
Then onto the foodie bit. Now I avoid World of Whisky but a lovely man told me all about whisky and showed me a £5000 bottle of whisky which was a collectors item. I didn't drink any and I don't drink on planes or at airports, but I've tasted some wonderful stuff (with Nick Nairn in Edinburgh).
Caviar House is also one I usually give a miss. But not any more. I met Natalie Rebeiz, Company director of Caviar House and Prunier. She reminds me a bit of a female version of Branson in that she sets the tone by being there, not hiding behind PRs. She put a dollop (£15 worth I should imagine) onto my hand and showed me how to eat it. "Smell your hand" she said, "it should smell of nothing."
It did smell of nothing. "That's good, that means it is fresh. If it smells of anything don't eat it."
"What happens if you have already eaten it?"
"Don't eat any more."
I am going to do more on the fascinating world of Caviar for some articles which you will read elsewhere. Title of next novel "Meet at the Caviar House" out at Christmas - looking for a title and got it here.
And then onto the four women who were starting up their own restaurant serving food with excellent ingredients. They looked wonderful. See how they look having dealt with harassed passengers wanting food yesterday with fractious children..
And the brewery creating beer just for Terminal Two (Fullers Brewery Chiswick, London Pride), called Wingman. Like it but it doesn't like me.
And Heston, who was there, who has set up The Perfectionist, a restaurant serving the best in English eccentricity, where you can have liquid nitrogen ice cream and fish 'n chips with the ultimate crunchy batter. I definitely definitely think he should do snail porridge for breakfast. Definitely.