As he is on the mortgage industry’s best-loved weekly mortgage magazine, Mole is used to working with journalists who are proficient at sniffing out the top stories.
So, inspired by the investigative skills of fellow Strategy hacks, Mole went undercover last week to infiltrate an industry event denied to all but a chosen few. The occasion? Strategy’s girls-only trip to Paris to see sparsely dressed showgirls strutting their stuff at the Lido on the Champs Elysée.
Bored of all-male golf and cricket days, girls from lenders including Platform, GMAC-RFC, edeus and BM Solutions teamed up with the Strategy editorial and sales teams to enjoy a champagne lunch, a matinée performance of the all-singing, all-dancing show and a quick shopping trip.
The Strategyteam was left red-faced in the Eurostar departure lounge after several passport-related disasters. Ever-organised BDM Vanessa Tole pre-arranged for everyone to meet at Waterloo’s Eurostar lounge an hour before their train was due to depart.
Despite the 7am start all the girls, not to mention Mole, managed to make it there on time, passports in hand. All, that is, except associate editor Clare Bettelley, hackette Nicolette Botbol and sales executive Alana Heaton.
Bettelley was forced to make a round trip to the Strategyoffices to pick up her passport while Botbol resorted to breaking into a safe to retrieve hers.
But Heaton topped the lot by only realising that she’d left hers at home moments before check-in. Luckily a speedy taxi driver helped her retrieve it in time to catch a later train.
Once across the Channel, the Parisian Metro system proved something of a trial for the girls who were forced get their best French speakers together to ask for directions to the Champs Elysée. Despite their best efforts they were no closer to knowing the way until a kind English-speaking Frenchman pointed them in the right direction.
Mole salutes them for trying and for managing to get to the Lido in one piece just in time to be handed glasses of bubbly and sit down to a four-course meal.
Oo la la
Mole wasn’t sure what to expect from the show which was rumoured to contain mild nudity and highly offensive costumes (wa-hey! – ed). But an hour of watching glamourous dancers prancing across a stage flashing their assets was relatively painless, the highlight being a contortionist showing some surprising supple moves. Mole applauds her (and so do I – ed).
All in all an eventful day which ended in a quick shopping trip to Louis Vuitton and a few glasses of red wine. Mole was tired but in high spirits by the time the Eurostar made it back to London – this going undercover thing isn’t so bad after all.