The Steeple Times asks entrepreneur Laurence Benson: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
I fear a 9 to 5 office job. I cannot run far enough away from it.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
“Cheer up, the worst is yet to come”.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
Unnecessary animal testing.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Long school summer holidays. 12 weeks of sun, sand and golf.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
To bring a tropical climate to the UK.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
As a once recent graduate trying to find a job in the banking crisis, I feel bad for the kids that aspired to becoming a big shot in the City. These fresh faces are finding themselves in an environment where they must work inhuman hours, contribute a greater value, have no job security and get minimal rewards for their troubles.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“Alright for some!” – It is usually used as a negative statement, judgmental of others decisions, full of resentment and jealously.
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
I support a lot of the main cancer charities as well as efforts in other areas. I have always been particularly close to The Aspinall Foundation and have worked with The Bill Clinton Foundation to provide clean water solutions to many parts of Africa.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
I loathe my mobile phone, but I am rarely detached from it when awake. They have become a ghastly anti-social necessity. More worryingly though, is my over riding belief that they will be the death of our generation.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
From past and present I would invite Salvador Dali, Nelson Mandela, Vivienne Westwood, Elton John, Audrey Hepburn and David Mitchell to keep the conversation amusing.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
I would have a picnic on the beach between the port and castle of Mandelieu. The basket would contain a large array of starters including tomato and mozzarella salad and garlic gambas. For the main course, rosemary rotisserie chicken from La Maison du Bon Poulet. I’d finish off with a white chocolate parfait with honeycomb.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
I’m trying to stop drinking before 5pm. The emphasis is on trying.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
Always a cup of tea.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
Any within my close circle of friends. Luckily, we are all fairly good party hosts and know how to have a good time.
Who is the most positive person you know?
Lulu Otte. She has had a few downs recently, but knowing that she will be blessed by many more ups in the future, she is always positive.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
A list of places I have visited and people I have met who have influenced my life, making me the person I am today.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
I think a beach buggy. Laid back, good fun but effective at the job they do.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
Half of my family has roots in the Seychelles, which is why I hold a Seychellois passport.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
A large mirror, a chiming clock, an MCC fixture list and a postcard from a friend in Hawaii. She’s rubbing salt into our cold April wounds.
Laurence Benson is a Belgravia based businessman. He began his career in the City but left to found first Lily & Benson, a design bureau and creative consultancy, and most recently a luxury accessories brand, Touni Minuit.
Follow him on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/LaurenceBenson
View Lily & Benson’s official website at: http://www.lilyandbenson.com
View Touni Minuit’s official website at: http://www.touniminuit.com