D M Wooster
With credit markets crunching, it may be worth asking in which direction Brand Jersey should be headed.
We must, after all, cement the Island?s status as destination of choice for the discerning traveller.
What would Great Uncle Bertie have said?
The answer was simple. Staring me in the face.
Some designer labels and a nice cup of tea.
A retail village to die for.
Bicester. Unprepossessing, slightly tired, much less good-looking than her nearby Cotswold sisters.
Add a designer retail village and some Agent Provocateur eau de parfum. Result? Hundreds of thousands of people flock in from across the British Isles and, with the help of that Stelios chap and his successors, from parts of the Continent I?m afraid I can?t even begin to spell.
Stay with me.
Jersey. Beautiful scenery. Clean beaches. Fantastic sunshine stats. Add a designer retail village and some Agent Provocateur eau de parfum (or some lovely smelly stuff from up at La Mare). Result? You fill in the blanks, dear boy.
Doing the math, as our cousins across the pond might put it, the tax saving should more than cancel out the shipping costs. Prada handbags and Versace trinkets are surprisingly light, or so I?m told.
Award winning tea rooms.
I?m not talking about somewhere which has broken the mould by managing to write cappuccino with two p?s and two c?s or which views its willingness to accept credit cards as irrefutable proof as to its customer focus.
I?m talking about something that knocks the pinafores off Betty?s of Harrogate and gives the clotted cream of Newton Poppleford a run for its lolly.
I?m talking about full silver service, somewhere which has heard of 12 or 18 types of leaf tea. Not three.
You smile politely. No-one in Jersey will pay north of £4 for a cuppa, you say in hushed tones. And I say, test it. Go to the Dorchester, the Ritz, the Savoy (fine, its closed at the moment, just peer through the windows), Brown?s, even the Wolseley. Nobody there is carping about shelling out £20, £30, or even £40 per head for a scrumptious, no-holes-barred, no limits on the teacakes, Jeeves-eat-your-heart out full afternoon tea.
To borrow the fateful turn of phrase from this year?s winner of The Apprentice-
That?s what I?m talking about.