A boob job for the missus’ — a night at the Presidents Club


. “The Presidents Club shall accept no responsibility and shall not be held liable for any actions of its members, staff or event attendees that amount to harassment.” But then the auction held on the evening of the Presidents Club 33rd Annual Dinner 2018 at London’s plush Dorchester hotel was an unusual one. And the club itself is no ordinary club. One of the main reasons for the Presidents Club’s existence is to raise money. Over the past two years it claims to have made donations of £2.1m to a string of charities focused on helping children, notably a long-term project with Great Ormond Street hospital to fund the Presidents Club High Dependency Unit, which opened before Christmas. Smaller acts last year included a £13,560 donation to React, a charity providing specialist supportive seating for life-limited children. If the club has held an annual dinner for 33 years without a break — and such is its secrecy it is hard to be sure — it has been meeting since 1985, the year before the Big Bang revolutionised the City and created a new breed of British millionaires. Guests outside The Dorchester Ballroom entrance during the Presidents Club dinner © Tolga Akmen/FT The Dorchester has been a regular venue. The welcoming words in the glossy brochure that hailed the achievements of the charitable trust and listed the lots for the auction held on Thursday night were signed by David Meller and Bruce Ritchie, the trust’s joint chairmen. Mr Meller has a strong interest in education, chairing the Meller Educational Trust, which sponsors five academies and two university technical colleges. He has government connections, too: he is a non-executive board member for the Department for Education and a trustee of the Mayor’s Fund for London. At the start of this year he was awarded a CBE for his charitable work. Close your eyes and you’ll be sleeping with the most beautiful woman in the world Broadcaster Jonny Gould Alongside Mr Meller and Mr Ritchie, the property developer Harvey Soning is a trustee of the charity. Harvey Goldsmith, the rock impresario, stepped down as a trustee two years ago after a long association but remains as a “lifetime president” alongside Peter Shalson, who made his money from pubs, the stockbroker Barry Townsley, and the old-time comic Jimmy Tarbuck. The other goal of the Presidents Club is to entertain its guests as they open their wallets for good causes. Dinner last Thursday featured smoked salmon — ready and waiting as the guests filed into the glittering ballroom — 34-day-aged USDA Black Angus beef fillet, prepared by chefs from the hotel’s restaurant The Cut, followed by “deconstructed Dorchester black forest gateau”, all washed down with a 2015 Chablis and a 2012 St Julien. Full bottles of Dom Pérignon champagne, Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky, Gran Patrón Platinum tequila and Stoli Elit vodka also sto


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