Bunhill: Midem

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The Independent Online
THREE cheers for the selfless Brits prepared to forgo the cold, greyness and drizzle of a classic London February to fly the flag in far-off Cannes. For last week was Midem, the annual bash of the music industry. And someone had to endure that intolerable sunshine, those alien blue skies, that tiresomely flowing champagne.

A warm hand, please, for the dedicated lawyers of Frere Cholmeley Bischoff and their compatriots at accountants Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu International.

As old hands at buttering up the rock stars (Diana Ross, Duran Duran and Kim Wilde were there this year) the two firms cannily eschew the normal hotels, instead renting a couple of gin palaces moored next to the conference hall.

At pounds 1,100 or so a day, it is apparently almost as cheap as renting three or four hotel rooms, Frank Presland, Frere Cholmeley's senior partner, assures me. Oh, and much more convenient, of course.

'The boat we hire has an owner's suite, which I get as the the oldest and the fattest. But the other three cabins are very nice as well.'

Clients who tire of wandering around the palm-fringed esplanade can always pop on board for an aperitif. And since the boat's captain is always prepared to pop out to the nearest bargain-basement wholesaler to stock up on the Moet, Presland reckons the more champagne they wade through, the more economical the trip works out.

I couldn't find anyone at Deloitte to comment on its penchant for things nautical. Still toiling away on the Riviera, I expect, poor lambs.

(Photograph omitted)