Amidst the clouds above Biggin Hill – intermittently turbulent or shot through with sunbeams – the sky is full of noise. The small airport in the outskirts of South London is hosting the annual jet-set lifestyle event that is The Elite London Show and many of its VIP guests have chosen to arrive in style by private jet or helicopter. It’s early May, Britain has just voted once more for a Conservative government and the state of the nation’s wealth is a hot topic. But here at The Elite Show it is all about opulence.
Showcasing the best in private aviation, supercars, yachts, jewellery and art – the event is an invitation for a privileged few to preview the latest in engineering, caress the leather detail, or hold a gemstone to the light. And of course, to buy what amuses them.
One of the larger installations at The Elite London is that of Intrepid Design, who describe themselves as object d’art makers and create beautiful furniture pieces from declassified aircraft parts. Their dining room table is on display, made from a Rolls Royce 747 and measuring nearly three metres in diameter. Intrepid Design inform us ‘, it weighs half a ton and contains thirty three fan blades… it took a year to make and four hours to polish.’
Outside on the tarmac is a huge Boho yurt, decked out with vintage rugs and floral displays. To one side a pair of Siberian huskies sniff the air and within the tent’s comfort a man in a thermal fleece looks a little out of place. Until he takes a sip of champagne, that is. For this is explorer Simon Yates – he of the ‘left his friend hanging from a glacier’ fame, immortalised in ‘Touching the Void’ – and he tells us he will be leading the World’s First Adventure Holiday to the Antarctic in early 2017 with The Beyond Travel Company. At a cost of over £100K per person, the trip will apparently be as luxe as it will be dangerous and would-be-thrill-seekers will need to train in the Alps before setting sail for the ice cap. But Simon assures us ‘,the food will be great: we depart from Argentina, there will be beef and fine Merlot on board…’.
Jewellers Sally Agarwal and D’Joya have drawn crowds to their cases of sparkling one-off pieces and some striking menswear courtesy of tailors Morts & More and Italian leather craftsman Mark Giusti is also creating a furore. The London Saddlery Company flash the bright hues of their attaché cases – inspired by the box carried by Gladstone to present the budget – and their enthusiasm seems as upbeat as their colour palettes. ‘We’ve been amazed by the business connections we’ve made at this event, not just the consumer interest,’ the design duo inform us.
The Elite London is the brainchild of Alex Ayling and Graham Davies of Exclusively Events – partners with differing backgrounds but shared intimate knowledge of wealth brands. Growing year by year and attracting a specific clientele, clearly Ayling and Davies know their audience and what engages them ‘,The Elite London managed to showcase a wider range of exhibits this year and more importantly host a vast amount of exceptional calibre guests which truly represents the stature the event we are building,’ stated Ayling when we caught up with him after the 2015 event ‘,we are already aware of a Jet and Turboprop Aircraft sale from Cirrus Aircraft at the event and also multiple sales recorded from Deranged.’
Find out more at www.theeliteevents.com