Philip Eeles and the Honest Burger Story
18th January 2023
Honest Burger co-founder Philip Eeles entertained and fascinated Revellers with stories of the (seeming) chaos of its roots to its £55+ turnover now. We now all understand also what makes a great burger. No more well done burgers when they are ordered rare.
As Philip told his tale, it became apparent how the Honest culture is crucial to its success. But it was also down to their approach. "We buy the whole cow, because we don’t trust butchers” explained Philip. “Everything is prepared fresh centrally. Honest doesn’t even have a single freezer”.
007 Backgammon at Brinkleys, 17th January 2023
30 Revellers pitted their wits against one another, harnessing Lady Luck where possible. As Bond music reverberated in the background, Revellers played one game, then changed to a new opponent. The doubling cube was used to enhance scores. The winner was the player who accumulated most points by 9pm. Charles Hancock won with a stunning 96 points. He was duly awarded a bottle of Brinkley's excellent house champagne (The Dom Perignon 53 being momentarily out of stock.) Dinner followed and the fun continued, as the loser with the least points was fed to the piranhas.
New Year's Day Recovery Lunch, 1 January 2023
22 Revellers met for Hair of the Dog Bloody Marys and G&Ts before sitting down to a fab Sunday roast. From the Prince Albert's Bridge Room, we could see the shivering, wet, wind swept walkers exiting Battersea Park, as we tucked into succulent roast belly of pork, washed down with some fine wines and lively chat.
Reforming the Blob
10th October 2022
John O'Connell, Taxpayers' Alliance (TPA) CEO, provided some fascinating insights into the powerful combination of the Civil Service and Big Business. Michael Gove gave it a fine moniker, the Blob. (After the 1950s film about a slimy green alien that consumed everything in its path.)
John shared some of the insights from the TPA's extensive research.
One was about procurement.
Considering the spending cuts and tax rises that will soon take place, one silver bullet for the Government would be to reform procurement. For example, if the whole NHS bought energy at the same price as the Trust that pays the least for it now, the NHS would save over £200m a year. Imagine if the entire Public Sector could eliminate those kind of inefficiencies.
We're talking £100bns in savings.
Winning Coins and How to Spot Them
27th June 2022
This was the fourth crypto talk evening. William Ralston -Saul entertained those Revellers interested in being able to spot coins that will survive the bear market and go on to thrive. In many ways, William stressed, it was like trying to spot a winning share. Some common sense, coupled with some rather uncommon sense for figuring out the “tokenomics” of winning coins. William’s great quality is that he’s not only deeply knowledgeable, but has the gift of explaining it all simply in ways that ordinary people like us can grasp.
Peralta: A long Relaxing Tuscan Weekend
17th - 21st June 2022
A small group of us had a fabulous time. Tuscan cuisine and fine wines, long lunches, walks to restaurants, sunbathing by the pool and some most amazing views from 300m in the Apennines to the sea - which is only about a 30 minutes drive away. We danced, sang and laughed.
Understanding NFTs with William Ralston-Saul
2th April 2022
In our third crypto series talk, William Ralston-Saul explained Non Fungible Tokens, or NFTs. Luckily for those who had not attended previous crypto talks, or didn’t quite fully understand how Blockchain works, William used the superb public chess metaphor to bring them up to speed. NFTs have reached the headlines as the art auction houses have very well attended, high profile auctions of NFTs. William explained what they are, how they work and how they could revolutionise a number of industries, especially games and music. An engaging and interesting dinner followed, when Revellers could quiz William one-to-one over a glass or two.
Col Stuart Tootal interviews Falklands SAS veteran Mark "Splash" Aston
23 February 2022
Mark “Splash” Aston is an SAS Falklands War veteran. When his Sea King helicopter crashed in the South Atlantic, half his squadron perished. Splash went on to fight and help retake the islands. Sunday Times Bestselling author Col Stuart Tootal interviewed Splash, who gave Revellers a first hand account of the battles and endurances, the humorous moments and sad ones as brave colleagues were lost. Stuart and Mark have co-written Mark’s story in SAS: Sea King Down, which is now available in all good bookshops and at Amazon.
Understanding Crypto the Crypto Opportunity
23rd February 2022
Aubit, AKA Freeway, kindly sponsored this lively, compass setting talk on understanding what crypto is, how it will change the world and how Revellers can take advantage of it.
Complimentary fine wine and fizz poured perpetually. Aubit co-founder Peter Neilson gave a short, pithy introduction, explaining how Aubit’s Freeway is democratising capitalism by giving small investors the chance for huge returns normally reserved for large institutions. Blockchain tech is partly how this is achieved.
Next, William Ralston-Saul delivered an engaging talk giving an overview of the crypto scene. He started by asking if anyone knew how Blockchain worked. A few raised their hands, hesitantly. Using a brilliant public chess playing metaphor, William then explained it. So that’s how it works, everyone thought, as William gave an overview on everything from NFTs and stable coins to tokenomics and Web3.
19th January 2022
This was the first in a series of talks on crypto. Jonathan De Rin and Kristiane Backer gave an in depth presentation on Bitcoin. They were raising serious money for a completely green Bitcoin Mine in Norway, so their setting aside the time for this was appreciated. They explained what Bitcoin is, how it works and why it shot up to a peak valuation in 2022 of over $50k. All the usual questions about whether it has intrinsic value, how the environmental consequences can be managed and whether one day it will be hacked through quantum computing were all adroitly answered. A jolly dinner followed.
Col Stuart Tootal's Talk on Afghanistan
17th November 2021
Col Stuart Tootal DSO OBE provided insights into the current Afghan situation, as well as a fascinating talk about his experiences leading the 3rd Battalion Parachute Regiment (3 PARA) in 2005 spearheading the UK's first deployment into Helmand. At the time, the then Labour Defence Secretary, John Reid, said their mission was part anti-narcotics and part peace support and that he’d be surprised if a single shot is fired. Stuart pointed out that in the end 3 PARA fired well over 500,000 rounds.
Stuart described many aspects of the campaign, including a vivid glimpse of life in 55 degree heat with limited washing facilities and being under constant fire. In Stuart’s experience and opinion, the campaign in Helmand could have been successful if it had focused on providing local funding to the villages using a Command Control structure, rather than burning poppies, their main income source. With regards to the situation today, Stuart expressed sadness, regret and utter surprise as to how the withdrawal was handled. To help Afghan refugees and translators, Stuart will soon be organising fundraising about which Revellers will be made aware.
Toby Young's Talk - Free Speech Union
5th October 2021
Forty Revellers listened to Toby explain what the Free Speech Union is doing to combat the invasive and expanding "cancel culture". Toby spoke about professors being forced to resign because students are offended by their teachings. Particularly chilling was a story about a Public Sector employee fired for using a perfectly legal, though non-PC term, in a private WhatsApp message. Happily, most victims were reinstated after the Free Speech Union wrote to bosses, pointing out they were breaking the law. The Free Speech Union is doing much behind the scenes, helping lawmakers draft laws that enhance Free Speech. Click here to learn more about the Free Speech Union.
Thruxton Track Day Weekend
10th/11th October 2020 - a day of Testosterone and Speed followed by antique shopping, tea and dinner. Country walks followed on Sunday.
Gawain Towler Talk
2nd March 2020
Gawain is one of the UK's most successful political PR specialists as Nigel Farage's PR Director. Even for those who thought Brexit an unmitigated disaster, he provided valuable PR advice and some fascinating anecdotes in a very entrtaining presentation - which continued during dinner. Podcast interview here.
Stewart Pearce Talk
17th February 2020
Stewart Pearce is one of the World's most renowned voice coaches. His clients included Princess Diana, Margret Thatcher, Minnie Driver, Vanessa Redgrave, Joely Richardson, Michelle Williams, Hugh Bonneville, Eddie Redmayne, Simon Callow, Matthew Goode, and Mark Rylance. He gave a fascinating presentation on how to command your audience by "finding your note". Podcast interview here.
Backgammon at Brinkleys
13th January 2020
An evening of high stakes drama an intense competition to win a bottle of champagne. Drinks flowed during and dinner followed. A lot of fun.
Ian George Talk,
5th November 2019
Ian George is a highly paid and exceptionally effective professional business introducer. If you want to meet a cabinet minister, no problem. A billionaire, considerate it done. A Walmart buyer, whose time is worth more than hens teeth made of gold, well that is his bread and butter. Ian had a fascinating story to tell as he spilt the beans on his techniques to get through to - and convince - the most powerful to see his clients. That included what it felt like being near famous boxing impresario Frank Warren when he was shot. (Both survived.) Podcast interview here.