After all the talk of falling numbers, the European Petrochemical Luncheon (EPL) saw a record March turnout in
An EPL spokeswoman told me that in the end there were 95 registrations, which was even an increase on last year's 90, and that some people had said it was because they weren't able to go transatlantic. On Thursday afternoon, there wasn't a seat to be had in the Hilton lobby, and the staff in the café and the smoky bar were run off their feet. We retreated to the lounge on the 24th floor which is nice and airy, with free drinks and patisserie and a splendid view out over the golden dome of the Palais de Justice, still swathed in scaffolding after ten years.
Since everyone was watching the pennies, there was some creative managing of travel budgets. Two of my dinner companions told me that they had shared cars for the four-hour drive from
I too took the budget option, choosing a BMI flight which was fractionally cheaper than BA. Terminal 1 at Heathrow was deserted now that BA has pulled out - and the plane was empty. However, I hadn't appreciated that there was no lounge and not even coffee on the plane included in that price, so had to forgo my usual three fatboy breakfasts.
I even cut out the
Hot topics at the EPL were Hilary Clinton, who was staying in the Hilton with her entourage, and when the styrene "bubble" would burst.
Click here for Madelon's news article on the confusion in the styrene market.