The Chap & Hendrick's Olympiad 2007

By Jo Last edited 131 months ago
The Chap & Hendrick's Olympiad 2007

Londonist was thrilled to attend the The Chap & Hendrick's Olympiad 2007 last Saturday, a most amusing afternoon's entertainment in the leafy surroundings of Bedford Square Gardens. It was an absolute delight to see so many of London's brightest young (and not so young) things attire themselves with utmost care for the occasion, and the time simply flew by.

Of course, the day's focus was on sport (and disporting oneself), and after the ceremonial lighting of the Olympic Pipe (see left), the competition was on! The cream of the capital's sportsgentlemen and sportsladies lined up to compete in a variety of individual and team categories, jockeying genteelly amongst themselves for the honour of wearing the golden bowler hat, awarded to the winners of each of the afternoon's events. And what marvellous events they were.

Points and kudos were awarded for style, grace and becoming behaviour, and deducted for such vulgar transgressions as showing the signs of physical effort (perspiration a definite no-no), unsightly trouser creases and failing to follow the unspoken rules of polite society. Let those other Olympics concentrate so tiresomely narrow-mindedly on coming first; for Saturday competitors, the afternoon was about the journey rather than the destination.

So, without further ado, Londonist presents a round-up of photographs of the occasion, with grateful thanks to the organisers of the Olympiad, and with profuse apologies for any gin-induced shakiness of hand. One tried one's best.


The Martini Knockout Relay - where points were deducted by the judges for more than the merest suggestion of Vermouth


Highlights from two of the nail-biting bouts of Necktie Kwon Do, which left competitors in knots.

More pictures, including of some rather fabulous bounders, after the hop, skip and the jump - G&T in hand, of course. Points deducted for spillage - a most heinous crime.


The Three-Trousered Limbo - gin: check; boater: check; let's go, old bean.

The "Bounders" event was particularly amusing. First, approach your lady, and engage her in conversation - proper conversation, mind you, none of this appalling "banter" that is so en vogue chez les jeunes de nos jours:


Now, collect your just desserts:


Oh, harder than a diamond is the heart of the modern young lady.

Most perilous of all the day's events was the Umbrella Hockey match; a high-spirited match of skill and dexterity, it skated dangerously close to the realm of proper physical exertion.


Umbrellas were brandished in earnest as the young ladies and gentlemen contested ownership of the 'ball', a bowler hat.


Despite the occasional clumsiness on the part of the gentlemen:


'Twas they who were eventually victorious, by three goals to two.


Proceedings were only slightly disrupted by the appearance of the world's best-dressed streaker (frilly red lace knickers and a polka-dot brassière).

The Hendrick's Steeplechase was rather a hoot; the jockeys (all fillies, in a National Velvet-style twist) mounted their steeds, then galloped leisurely along the course, pausing to pick up effigies of those scourges of the modern world, Newcastle Brown, the mobile telephone, and the "chav":


It was all rather splendid, and helped along enormously by incredibly generous allocations of Hendrick's gin and tonics, and of course by the crowd, most of whom took rather a lot of care to make sure they were, sartorially speaking, above reproach:


In all, it was a smashing day out, and we are terribly keen to go again next year. As an oasis from the pressing demands of modernity it worked like a tonic, and as we staggered home with the aid of the omnibus we couldn't help but wish the Chap ethos would spread a bit further; everyone's life could do with a touch more elegance and civility, and rather less rushing around and unrefinement. To that end, hurrah for the "Anarcho-Dandyist".

Londonist apologies for the somewhat dilatory appearance of this post; we were feeling rather, ah, delicate yesterday and many applications of smelling salts were required before the rosy bloom of health returned to our cheeks.

More photos here. Many thanks to Catherine for the generous loan of her many-splendoured fascinator , and to Carolyn/Fanny for the photograph of the gin-pouring.

Last Updated 16 July 2007


So pleased you were priviledged enough to enjoy it. Nothing but a load of middle class useless tossers to be honest, arseing about in the 'irony' of elitism.

The sponsorship was utter shite - closing off a public space for the special few.



How tedious, another champagne socialist lamenting the zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. The public space is in fact as public as your living room (but then all property is theft, innit?). The tickets were freely available on the internet, so not really very exclusive, nor reserved to a privileged (note spelling, Onionbagblogger) elite.

Come along next year and sample the middle class delights of FREE gin (actually, it's upper class, but let's not let that get in the way of a good rant).


Wow. It's amazing to see that there are still some people who think the term 'middle class' is some sort of insult. How wonderfully retro (if somewhat lazy).



As pointed out above, tickets were available to everyone for the nominal sum of £1.65 p&p, and Bedford Square Gardens are not actually open to the public - see this for more. I actually think that the Gardens should be open to the public, but they're not, and it's a waste of time bitching about it.

Following on with your logic, what about concerts in places like Hyde Park or Finsbury Park? So they should be banned too as they're ticketed events in a public place?

In all, Saturday was a super day; perhaps next year you would like to get a ticket and join us? You could dress as a 1920s-style anarchist with a big fizzing bomb - that would be ever so Chap. Keep on with the class struggle, brother! (I trust your working-class credentials are impeccable.)

Oh, and @guest, property may not be theft, but proper tea is, which is why Karl Marx only ever drank the herbal variety.


oooh, it's looks like you guys had a great time!!! I wished I'd known about this in time to get tickets!

getting dressed up and being silly is what the day was all about by the looks at it... and doing it with Gin, well I don't really understand why everyone is so against it. Sounds like Christmas to me!


Dear Londonist,

Did the quinine get to your head? Erroneous grammar is not becoming of a modern day chap: Sir shall have either one gin and tonic, or a multitude of gins and tonic...

When it comes to Chapdom, the beauty of is in the detail, wot wot.



Bugger... just spotted my own erroneous grammar.


sorry, I'm gonna argue this one... though I could be wrong, surely if you have two glasses (or little plastic cups in this case) of gin and tonic, the tonic is plural as well. So gin and tonics would be correct.

Though this girly certainly doesn't mind if the gin is plural as well - in fact, all the better!

I await correction, but this makes sense to me....


It's a bit of a grey area - would you say "I had lots of gin last night", or "I had lots of gins"? I'd incline toward the former (although, funnily enough, my loathing of gin is surpassed only by my detestation of cucumber[s] - so Hendrick's branding effort was rather wasted on me ...). Likewise, it sounds a bit odd to pluralise the word "tonic".

However, my tiny little brain counts one "gin and tonic" as one "unit" of drink, therefore ripe for the pluralising (ooh er, sounds a bit rude, that). Does that explain things? Of course, it is more than likely that I am just an illiterate buffoon.

This one could run and run.


I'm sure everyone was far too drunk to really care by the end of it all!!!


I would suggest introducing a unit (the glass) to pluralise

x glasses of gin and tonic.

There, simple.