Coffee House

Diet secrets of the billionaires

The Billionaires’ Diet Book would not be a bestseller — or so I judge from limited experience of lunching with the denizens of this week’s Sunday Times Super-Rich List. They’re just not happy eaters. Lord Bamford (£3.1 billion) described the elegant little salad served in his office as ‘rabbit food’. In 48 hours of partying across India with Sir Richard Branson (£3.6 billion), I never once saw him tackle a sumptuous buffet. As for the list’s winners, Sri and Gopi Hinduja (£11.9 billion), they’re so fastidious that ‘when a dinner guest of the Queen, the teetotal and vegetarian Sri is said to bring his own food’: if I’d known that was the etiquette, I’d have taken a Whopper Meal with me when I tried to interview them.

Perhaps one of the secrets of wealth is to watch what you eat — I imagine oligarchs employ tasters against the risk of poisoning by their rivals — but the super-rich might be more lovable if they were seen to enjoy the pleasures of the table like the rest of us.

GoveThis is an extract from Martin Vander Weyer’s Any Other Business column in this week’s magazine. Click here to read for free with a trial of The Spectator app for iPad and iPhone. You can also subscribe with a free trial on the Kindle Fire.

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  • transponder

    If I had 11.9 billion I’d give more than half of it away to those that could use the cash.

    Bringing your own food when a guest of the Queen is simply gauche, as well as unnecessary.

  • Bonkim

    Eat to live not live to eat. Overindulgence is unhealthy.

    • transponder

      But fun.

  • manonthebus

    Wallis Simpson was reputed to have said “You can never be too rich or too slim!” Wealth goes hand in hand with sensible eating. There are not many slim people on ‘benefits street’.

    • transponder

      A fatuous, stupid comment by her. There is wealth beyond need and want (the billionaires, most of ’em), and skinniness without fitness and muscle is repellent as well as unhealthy in the long run.

  • Temple Melville

    Never trust a man ( or woman) who won’t eat a proper meal. It usually means they are hiding something from you

  • Hexhamgeezer

    They should have used a Rich Tea pic.

  • cromwell

    Roast peasant?

    • Kitty MLB

      Let them eat cake….

  • HookesLaw

    Top 1% of earners pay 30% of income tax. I’m only sorry they cannot be persuaded to by 2 Rolls Royces each.

    • Kitty MLB

      Indeed, those who earn the most pay the highest tax. They
      Pay for pulbic services and help create the countries wealth.
      Dirty word now ‘wealth’. How on earth would that benefit
      a country, when the politics of envy can keep us all the
      same. Poor and hungry.

      • telemachus

        Further dear Kiity
        As you look down the billionaire’s rich list you are struck by how many we’re immigrants
        We would not see that if Farage had any measure of Westminster success

    • Bonkim

      and use more resources/ pollute more?

  • you_kid

    Simply put for those who enjoy simplicity: r>g
    In a Magna Carta society, the return on extant capital (r) is greater than the general rate of economic growth (g). Now 72 no. billionaires reside in Londres, more than in cities #2 and #3, Moscú and Nueva York combined.

    Mexican socio-economic inequality structures – here we come.

    • Frank

      I thought that Branson had left to become a tax non-dom?

      • you_kid

        Refried beans anyone?

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