Catching up, Cannes style

After finally making it to Cannes, Bruce Dear indulges in some R&R – MIPIM style


Bruce Dear
Bruce Dear

Yesterday, a 17-hour, snow-plagued train journey to Cannes; today I deserve some fun.

I (foolishly) volunteered to start the day playing tennis with clients.  When I last played. John McEnroe was World Number One (1982 for younger viewers). At that time, I had a spooky resemblance to the Superbrat and was forced to impersonate him in the school play. The role didn’t really use my full range. I had to stomp around in a sweat band yelling, “You cannot be serious!” McEnroe impressions I can do, McEnroe-style tennis, sadly, not so much….

A tip: don’t play a sport after a 31-year lay-off. My serve worked okay, but the rest of my game was at one-legged guinea pig level – and it got worse. But we still had a wonderful time and caught up on markets across Europe in a relaxed way.

So then to lunch at Vegaluna, a beautiful beach-front restaurant opposite the luxurious Carlton Hotel.  The Carlton has two extravagant domes, reputedly reflecting the décolletage of Cannes’ then most famous courtesan – La Belle Otero. Her nickname was ‘Grand Horizontal’. Our hosts are a very active Scandinavian Pension Fund. They are wonderfully kind to us and even give us silk ties and scarves to thank us for our advice this year.

The sea is glittering with the southern sun and the briny Mediterranean breeze adds special zest to the chablis. How could P.G. Wodehouse call Cannes ‘a loathly hole’? He can’t have had the right clients.

Tonight it’s drinks with an old friend, the DTZ dinner and then the Legal & General boat party.

Being a lawyer is not all grind.

Bruce Dear is head of real estate investment at Eversheds