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If billionaire spotting is one of your favourite past-times, then London is a great place to live!
Well, to be precise, it is the fifth best city to inhabit, or visit, because, according to Forbes, there are more billionaires residing in New York (82), Hong Kong (75), Moscow (73), and Beijing (54), than in London, which is home to “just” 50.
Still, that fifty have a combined net worth of $217.3 billion, according to Forbes. The richest, Len Blavatnik, is worth a cool $20 billion all on his own!
There are plenty of reasons why a carefully planned “accidentally on purpose” brush with a billionaire could pay off spectacularly. Perhaps you will have time to give them an “elevator pitch”, slip them a copy of your latest novel, or discreetly enquire as to whether they are in need of a private wealth manager to run their family office.
Maybe you are just curious to know whether they’ll be attending Cowes week this year, or who they are buying their hunting tweeds from.
Whatever the reason, and we won’t judge, our guide to the 10 best billionaire stalker locations in London will surely help you get off to the best possible start.
London’s smartest department store, frequented by some of London’s smartest people. Selfridges is situated in Bond Street, a prime real-estate location, and with its high-end fashion, super-pricey jewellery and hand-bags and distinguished air, Selfridges is where you’ll likely find an oligarch or two taking their wife / partner / children shopping on a Sunday morning – possibly still a little worse for wear from Saturday’s late-night junketings!
Tip: hang out at the Hix concession, where you can order a cocktail, some pork crackling, and take in the opulence.
2/ Regents Park:
just a short stroll from Mayfair, or right on your doorstep, if you are well-to-do enough to live on one of its surrounding streets or crescents, Regents Park is the last word in sophistication, with its ornate gardens, lose-yourself walks and classy, classy surrounding neighbourhoods.
Tip: take some bread to feed the ducks, or a picnic – and binoculars.
3/ The Curtain, Shoreditch:
run by the man behind Gansevoort in New York, Banksy’s ex-agent Michael Achenbaum, this private members club is where you’ll find social media and music stars, international trendsetters, and artistic geniuses, all trailing billionaires in their wake. Named after the 16th Century Curtain Theatre, the original venue for Shakespeare’s plays, what goes on behind The Curtain’s doors is the story of London’s and the world’s movers and shakers, from tech billionaires with “Unicorn” companies, to maybe even a Kardashian or two.
Tip: The Curtain wants to maintain a “presence of powerful and successful females as a focus of our membership”, and favours the “interesting and creative”.
4. The Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington:
the world’s leading museum of art and design, the whole concept owes its existence to an act of love – Queen Victoria’s for her tragically short-lived husband, Prince Albert. Inside this magnificent building, you will find treasure sourced from all over the globe during the days when the sun never set on the British Empire, as well as more modern, less colonial exhibits and shows. This museum has unrivalled wow factor.
Tip: a great place to find an art loving billionaire, possibly looking to add to their private collection.
5. The Chiltern Firehouse, Marylebone:
yes, Marylebone High Street teems with the well-to-do, window shopping at the Conran Store, or supping a pint of ale in one of its many olde English pubs, but unquestionably the place to be is the Chiltern Firehouse. This magnificent hotel is the place to be come evening time, a magnet for celebs, from Rihanna to Jude Law to Jemima Goldsmith, with a billionaire always on hand to stand the next round of drinks.
Tip: Casually drop into the conversation that your second favourite hotel is the Chateau Marmont.
6. Chelsea Football Club:
if the Club’s owner is in town, then you’re guaranteed a glimpse of an ultra-high net worth. Roman Abramovich has done wonders with Chelsea Football Club since he bought the club more than a decade ago. In fact, he has helped some of his most successful players climb the ladder towards the 3 comma club, awarding them outrageous salaries and win-bonuses. A win-win scenario for owner and club – if only every billionaire made his local community as happy!
Tip: try to get there and sample the atmosphere before the current stadium is demolished to make way for a brand new one – a triumph of modern design, we hear – although it may not be to everyone’s taste.
7. The Barbican:
yes, billionaires can be culture vultures too. Barbican has theatre’s, galleries, a museum and even a cinema inside its cavernous halls. A celebration of the arts, and the perfect place for the super-rich to relax in secret – not to mention purchase a pied-a-terre – the adjoining flats are a design triumph!
Tip: grab a pre or post-concert or theatre bite to eat at the Jugged Hare, just across the street from the main entrance.
8. Sadlers Wells:
what self-respecting billionaire does not enjoy an evening out at the ballet? The super-rich are great admirers of talent and especially dedication to a discipline. Ballet ticks those boxes emphatically. Most billionaires know what it’s like to suffer, and take a perverse pleasure in watching those toe-crushing pirouettes, demi-plies and wince-inducing arabesques.
Tip: Stomp! is unlikely to be top of any ultra-high-net-worth’s must-see list.
9. Berkeley Square:
the heart of Mayfair is where you will find your billionaires doing what they do best – making their money. A few hours of meetings in the morning, followed by a trip to the Rolls Royce showroom, and quick stop at a New Bond Street jewellers to buy something for their latest squeeze. Back home in time for tea.
Tip: if you’re staying out late, The Palm Beach Casino provides the thrills and spills
10. Lords Cricket Ground:
Situated in the heart of St John’s Wood, the “Home of Cricket” is an experience you will never forget – providing you can hold your drink! Ok, so you may not find too many oligarchs from overseas here, unless they are Indian, Australian, Sri-Lankan, or hail from one of the very few countries that understand the rules of cricket – and have the patience to wait 5 days for a match result. Those you do spot, however, will be in their element, and loquacious in the extreme if you can get them onto the subject of their country’s greatest ever player.
Tip: don’t start drinking too early, it’s a long day at the cricket.
Happy hunting, and feel free to add your own suggestion in the comments section below.
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