The Millionaire’s playground has nothing on us!

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I have recently returned from Spain’s ‘Beverly Hills’ Puerto Banus; nicknamed the Millionaire’s playground, and I thought I would compare it to our very own place of wealth and beauty.

Both places are well-known for their boating fetishes and flash cars. But that is where the comparison really ends.

Puerto Banus is showy and slightly tacky, although it has fabulous shops, the rich and famous do not live there, they come and visit on boats and move on to the next popular resort.

After 10pm the wannabes come out, dressed to the nines, even on a Monday night, ready to find a guy or gal with a boat and a Bentley.

It is expensive, with half a beer costing €4 and main meals up to 80 euros, so if you want a cheapish night out it will take you a while to stroll along the harbour for a nice restaurant at a reasonable price.

But, if you love Champagne then it definitely is the place to go, with some bars having bottles which could set you back €12000. There are also numerous champagne parties around the port at the end of the month that are visited by local socialites and celebrities; well so they say. But speaking to some of the bar staff who spent €1000 reserving their place at the last society event, the most famous person to attend was Peaches Geldof!

It is for these reasons that Puerto Banus could never live up to Marlow; there is no pretention, no one trying to show off how wealthy they are. Money is not flung around, and champagne is not over-stocked.

Marlow has a homely atmosphere, where people can come and visit and feel right at home, without having to plaster on the fake tan and false eyelashes (well maybe on a Saturday night!).

We have our fair share of celebrities, but they are not so tacky that their entrance at The Ship requires a fanfare or photo opportunity.

Marlow also offers a wide and varied history, reaching all the way back to the Doomsday book to modern times as the home of Olympic Rowers such as Steve Redgrave and Zac Purchase.

So, basically, the only thing they have in common is that outsiders think that both places are full of millionaires.

I guess the next stop for me is Beverly Hills – let’s compare them all! Anyone fancy offering me a ticket?

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