Glamping came to the Square Mile recently care of a charity event in aid of the Prince’s Trust. Rather than being tucked up on a sofa wearing regal jimjams and watching re-runs of that wedding as Camilla brought out the cocoa and marshmallows, guests were invited to camp it up overnight on the roof terrace of One New Change so they could wake to the kind of City view afforded only to the super-rich and the homeless.
The choice of venue was ironic given that Prince Charles himself privately campaigned against it being built. Many of the shops contained within this modernist mall contributed to the event; Madison’s Bar supplied umpteen bottles of Moet plus a somewhat bizarre barbecue serving burgers and sausages but no baps or rolls to go with them.
Easigrass’s astroturf-covered horse was one of the more memorable features of the evening, standing at around seven feet tall. Dermalogica set up a stand giving out hand massages, something that (having tried it) should be on prescription to anyone who bashes a keyboard for profit or pleasure.
Around the terrace, about thirty tents has been sent up, all with an excellent view of St Paul’s and the City. The lightweight tents were anchored with 200kg of iron weights - a sound move considering the wicked crosswinds that often made an appearance on the roof terrace.
Other shops contributed to the goodie bags in which we found (amongst other things) a pair of small pink thongs and a his&hers set of slippers. Quite what the gay couple in the next tent along made of these items is not known.
The night’s entertainment started off with a lecture by Matthew De Abaitua from his book The Art Of Camping, a wide-ranging talk which covered Romans, in-tent sex and how a London tailor invented the pastime which transformed music festivals into what they are today. Yolanda Brown provided an hour of soulful saxophony but the highlight of the evening for us was a short set by the Flying Karamazov Brothers. They bravely fought the crosswinds as they threw light plastic bowling pins around with pace and panache. Away from the stage, campers could entertain themselves with giant games and telescopes.
Access to the event was arranged by Blue Rubicon. The event raised over £6,000 for the Princes Trust.
All photos (c) Lisa Thomson unless otherwise marked.