Far from mori­bund, the City is toast­ing the fu­ture

The Sunday Telegraph - - Features -

Liv­ing in “re­mainy” Lon­don, it’s easy to feel down as Brexit un­folds. Once the envy of the world, say the re­moan­ers, no­body wants to touch us now.

How wrong they are, as the re­cent open­ing of Lon­don’s op­u­lent mem­bers’ club, Ten Trin­ity Square, makes clear. The City is mori­bund? That wasn’t my im­pres­sion when I vis­ited the club last week for a sneak peek. For this is a vote of con­fi­dence in – even a love let­ter to – the fi­nan­cial mus­cle and cul­tural splen­dour of Lon­don.

Lo­cated in the tem­ple-like for­mer Port of Lon­don Author­ity build­ing, over­look­ing the Tower of Lon­don, Ten Trin­ity Square also houses a new Four Sea­sons Ho­tel on the first two floors. But it’s the club where ev­ery­body’s heart seems to lie. Ob­sessed with fine wine, the chair­man of the Reign­wood Group, which owns the build­ing, man­aged to pull off a part­ner­ship with Château La­tour so that mem­bers have pre­mium ac­cess to the first-growth es­tate’s tip­ples. The club fea­tures a bil­liard room, art gallery and cigar lounge, which – un­der the watch of Bri­tain’s only fe­male Mas­ter of Ha­vana Ci­gars – sells a range of vin­tage beau­ties rang­ing from £28 to £500.

Nigel Stowe, the man­ager, is the man to know here, since he over­sees the no­to­ri­ously ex­clu­sive mem­ber­ship list. For­merly man­ager of The Ivy restau­rant and used to world lead­ers and Hol­ly­wood su­per­stars, we found him some­what in awe of his new hushed sur­round­ings. Es­cort­ing us through acres of mar­ble and up a glass el­e­va­tor to the club, Nigel trod softly and quickly along the club’s long hall, streaked in a wine-red trib­ute to Bordeaux’s Gironde river.

Lon­don is over? That’s not how the group in­tensely in­volved in a Bur­gundy tast­ing seemed to feel as they pored over a glossy bound map of the re­gion with heavy mag­ni­fy­ing glasses. To us, too, any Brexit-in­duced Ar­maged­don seemed re­mote as Melodie, a som­me­lier from Hong Kong, made tall, slen­der glasses of cham­pagne ap­pear as if by magic. The City is not dead: it’s be­ing rein­vented.

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