Are the very wealthy ridiculous? Perhaps, says The Hedgehog column in Spear’s magazine, but not quite as ridiculous as the people trying to make money out of second-guessing and then “indulging their whims”. Take the latest offering from the World of Diamonds Group. It is a dinner. A dinner that costs $2m. There is (thank goodness) more than just food involved. Your “exclusive culinary experience” includes a 45-minute helicopter ride around Singapore, a private cruise and transfers in a Rolls – all before you even get to your table on the 57th floor of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
There you get 10,000 roses, custom-made armchairs (sent to your home for you to continue lounging on later), diamond-encrusted chopsticks with your names engraved on them, a fireworks display, a live band and a “beyond rare” 2.08 carat Fancy Vivid Blue diamond ring – once worn, albeit briefly, by Jane Seymour. And the food? There’s an 18-course modern Asian degustation menu (think oysters in champagne foam, etc), super special wines and an extra bonus in the fact that the ring turns up in a “delectable savoury”.
The good news here is that while the whole thing sounds totally nuts, it might not be completely overpriced nuts: Fancy Vivid Blues really are rare (a ten-carat one sold at auction for more than $32m recently) and the ring in the savoury is said actually to be worth $2m – the other bits and bobs are then just a bonus.
The bad news is that you might not be allowed to buy the experience. Only two diners can win the “privilege” of this dinner, says Karan Tilani of World of Diamonds. And the final owner of the ring will be chosen with an eye to the buyer’s status, affinity to blue diamonds in general and plans to display/wear the ring (the exact buyer requirements are not specified). I have no affinity for blue diamonds (so far) so that’s me out of the “buy one ring get two arm chairs free” deal. The rest of you can apply direct to Mr Tilani. Try WorldOfDiamonds.tv.
The most expensive house in the world
If that still leaves you with $2m burning a hole in your pocket you could put it towards a small part of the vast deposit required to buy the most expensive house in the world, the Ville Les Cèdres in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat.
It doesn’t come cheap, says Forbes magazine, at $1.1bn (not a typo…), but for that you get a ballroom, a chapel, a 50m pool dug into the rocks, stabling for 30 horses, a dollop of history (the house was once owned by Leopold II of Belgium), exciting neighbours (Paul Allen, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Hubert de Givenchy, various Russian oligarchs) and finally, says Forbes, one of the most beautiful private gardens in Europe: 35 acres filled with 20 greenhouses and 15,000 rare tropical plants.
The heiress who owns Ville Les Cèdres says she is selling to downsize. Tilani will perhaps be following the news and wondering if she will be able to squeeze in two custom-made armchairs from Singapore. After all, with $1bn to spare, she will surely fit his ring-buying criteria.
Tabloid money… first independence, then Olympic gold – just look at “Little Britain” now!
• Poor “Little Britain” was the object of scorn just eight weeks ago after the Brexit vote. Look at us now, says Trevor Kavanagh in The Sun. Our Olympic athletes have “brilliantly demonstrated that talent and tireless commitment can overcome all odds”. Great Britain won more gold medals than France and Germany combined. “We smashed superpower China – an even bigger humiliation than Hinkley Point.”
Our businesses do no less, says Kavanagh. They transformed Britain from the “Sick Man of Europe” into the world’s fifth-largest economy. Now they are “starting to win gold for Britain as an independent nation state”. Our entrepreneurs work “damned hard” to deliver for this country, just like athletes Mo Farah, Adam Peaty and Bradley Wiggins did at the Games. “We need to lure and nourish precisely the same sort of driven determination that led them to riches.”
• Congratulations to the girls who outdid the boys in gaining A and A* grades in their A-levels this week. “So, girls, what’s to be the glittering prize for all that hard work?” asks Alison Phillips in the Daily Mirror. Ah, sorry, did no one tell you? You’ll be paid 18% less than “the boy who was sat opposite you picking his nose through geography for six years”.
If in future you have children yourself, the pay gap widens to a “cavernous 33%”, according to the Chartered Management Institute. “Women are being punished for procreating. Fined for our Fallopian tubes.” For the vast majority of women – and men – work is what pays the bills. “So women have to and want to work. Just as they have to and want to care for their children.” It’s time employers accepted this.
• Former chancellor George Osborne vanished from public view after being fired by the new prime minister, Theresa May. But last week, the ex-chancellor popped up at a shooting range in Vietnam, where he was filmed doing a little firing himself, The Mirror’s Andy Lines reports. Osborne reportedly paid £1 a bullet and went for the biggest machine gun they had. “We were all having a bit of a laugh about it – that he was aiming at a picture of Boris Johnson or Theresa May,” said one British tourist. “He really let rip.”