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.
This 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.