And for a man with a full beard, it is certainly the softest I have ever nuzzled, what's his secret, does he moisturise it daily, I shall ask next time and pass it on to you wiry beardy types.
R was staying at The Dukes Hotel (SKN toiletries), quintessentially English and famed throughout the world for their Martini's, combining top-shelf ingredients with flare and ceremony. A brass and mahogany drinks trolley is wheeled over to your table, whereupon alchemy is performed before your very eyes; I imagine it all adds to the taste expectation in one's head, a grand party piece.
I wonder if one could tell the difference in a blind tasting, comparing it against one that has simply been shaken at the bar, never stirred at The Dukes (Ian Fleming drank here). For those interested enough in learning this sleight of hand, one can book a 'Martini Masterclass' for a mere £95.00 with bar manager maestro Alessandro Palazzi.
Suffice to say we ordered two (with a twist), it'd have been a crime not to, along with a champagne chaser, doubly criminal not to.
Having caught up on each other's gossip, R had a lightbulb moment, well...more of a trouser bulge moment really. 'Frances, do you know anyone who might like to join us?' It was now 11pm.
'Well it's too late for TS Becky, she's an early bird these days, switches off her phone at 7pm and puts her feet up for a G & T,' good for her I say. 'There's Sophie, I could try her,' 'Great, give her a call.' 'Hi Sophie, are you busy, if not would you like to come join us at The Dukes for some fun,' 'Actually Frances, I'm in bed reading The Times but give me half an hour.'
Thirty minutes later Sophie was sat with us sipping upon a chilled Martini. I announced, 'I think we should all retire to the boudoir, anyone disagree, all those in favour raise you glass, chink chink chink. Having arrived at the room R suggested we order up a bottle of fizz, I played mother and called down to the bar, 'Yes, three glasses please.'
Room service arrived promptly, so I shuffled the other two off to the bedroom while I showed the waiter into the sitting room, where he poured three glasses of bubbles. I tipped him as he left, leaving him to his thoughts, I'm sure he's seen it all before.
R and Sophie were already getting it on or rather, off, when I entered the room. Stripping down to my lingerie I sat on the bedroom chair, glass in hand and watched, before joining in a few minutes later. R was rather taken with his new plaything, so I acted a bit like a traffic cop, waving and suggesting what should be their next move.
If I'm completely honest, I can't quite remember what we got up to (sorry about that, I blame the martini's), but I do know we had an awful lot of fun. I took care of Sophie's gift before she left and stayed on a little longer chit chatting with R.
Rather than jump a cab straight away, I took a stroll down St James' and along 'The Mall' beside Green Park, it was a cold crisp night with a bright hazy moon, but the winter air felt refreshingly good for my rather muddled head.
What I'm reading in bed...
Meadowland: John Lewis-Stempel