During her sojourn in Cannes Angela Monaghan found there was as much talk about the Russian's hostesses as there was about their hugely ambitious schemes

What a relief it was to enjoy a Hopkins-hosted dinner for ten in the Carlton brasserie on Wednesday evening. Champagne, fine food, good company, but most importantly a chance to sit down.

Obviously it is not hard, hard work in the sense that what you actually spend most of your time doing is chatting to people in the sunshine (this year the weather has been unseasonably warm and sunny) on yachts and in beach bars. But walking up on down the length of the Croisette ten times a day to get from boat to bar and back again takes it out of you.

To kickstart my day I attended a breakfast hosted by the London Mayor’s office and the London Development Agency. Despite the excesses of the night before, delegates were buzzing with conversation, mainly about the length of the legs attached to the beautiful women manning the Russian stand in the Palais exhibition hall.

Russian girls at MIPIM
A return to the bad old days?

Enthusiasm waned during deputy mayor Nicky Gavron’s less than polished speech on Climate Change (“read the slide and work it out for yourself” was her advice at one point), but nonetheless a healthy debate followed.

After an interview with Ted Kyzer, the LDA’s master of the Olympics and the Thames Gateway, and a spell in the press room, it was time to hit the drinks receptions. Mace’s tea and cake bash on the Manchester boat was a welcome change from the booze, then it was up to the other end of the Croisette for the highly attended Davis Langdon party on the beach.

Then ambition got the better of me and I foolishly thought I could make it to the Bovis party right down the other end of the Croisette, get on a shuttle boat across the port to the other side where the Bovis boat was, enjoy the party, then make my way all the way back up again to the end for the Hopkins dinner at the Carlton, all within an hour.

I soon realized it was not possible and hobbled back to the end of the Croisette for the Hopkins dinner. As the dinner drew to a close, the conversation returned to the Russian women. Some though it inappropriate to flaunt women in such a way, maybe ten years ago it seemed acceptable but now it was outdated and out of place. But surely all publicity is good publicity?

After a drink in the Carlton Club it was on to the best part of MIPIM, a scramble for a taxi along with 20,000 other delegates…