John Gibson: From Goa and he’s a real goer

Harry Fernandes
Harry Fernandes
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The man from Goa’s proving a real goer. The Resident Manager at the Balmoral Hotel, Harry Fernandes, arrived eight years ago from the Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong and, action man he is on the move again.

And again he is five-starring. From here to the swank Brown’s in London’s Mayfair, as Hotel Manager. Says Harry, 42: “I’m staying within the firm, so to speak, and it has form. Brown’s is another of Sir Rocco Forte’s luxury chain.

John Betjeman

John Betjeman

“Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book there and Alexander Graham Bell, Scotland’s inventor of the telephone, made the first transatlantic call from Brown’s.”

Harry, who has his two children studying in Edinburgh, will be reminding guests at his farewell party that he was born in Goa and he is Portuguese. And proud of it.

Pillow talk

A MAN of letters, I’ve sent more than a few to Buck Palace, asking them what’s happened to the medal. Presumably lost in the post. Not to girn, John, just get on with it.

And Sandi Toksvig has yet to send me the pillow she dreams on. Another pressie held up in the tinsel mail. Things can only get better.

Afterwords . .

. . . BBC television’s Glaswegian home editor Mark Easton’s impression on Monday night of John Betjeman was first class as he mingled with the tent people at St Paul’s.