Remember those hedonistic parties during the economic boom, with guests swinging on chandeliers, bathing in champagne and diving into dollar-shaped swimming pools while £50 notes fluttered from the ceiling? No? Really? Well those days are far from over for some folk, as Mr Nicky Haslam, ex-Etonian interior decorator and all-round ridiculous dresser aims to prove with his lavish 'anti-recession' party tonight. These decadent events were popular during the Depression, to cheer people up while their life savings were slowly but surely decreasing in value like a steadily waning chocolate fountain.
Mr Haslam's soiree represents a firm V-sign to the economic downturn - a 14-piece orchestra flown in Paris (you just can't get them in this city), no parking available (because your chauffeur will circulate the grounds and wait for you - or maybe to encourage you to come on the tube?) and the finest venue in the city, in the shape of Parkstead, an 18th century villa on the fringes of Richmond Park. And if it all seems a bit, well, obscene, as single-parent families wonder how they will pay the bills and recently-laid off workers ponder how to feed their children, at least it gives us something to dream about, as we sweep our cellar floor, Cinderella-style.
They're a little different than our plans for the weekend, which pivot on a bring-your-own Lambrini party and a bowl of Wotsits. Still, it's nice to know that some people are enjoying themselves.
Image from Matthias Brook's photostream courtesy of the Creative Commons Licence.