We had enjoyed the most grandiose entrance created by Scottish pipers before being wined and dined in Glasgow’s refurbished Grand Central Hotel.
Sponsors Camelot had laid on posh salmon tartlets, a pretty good beef dish with dauphinoise potatoes and a delicate selection of desserts, with decent wine to quaff.
Plus we were all in black tie get-ups, or kilts for some, gowns for the gals, with a mixture of glittering necklaces, glitzy cufflinks and shiny shoes, (and even a touch of what I’m convinced was black hair dye in one North-East editor’s case).
Then it happened…
Earlier in the day, renowned media legal eagle Tony Jaffa for some reason had an irresistible penchant for what he’d heard you could buy in Glasgow – a deep fried Mars Bar.
He had found none on his lunchtime tour of local chippies and, being a chatty chap, had jovially explained his disappointment to one of the waiters at the Grand Central.
And so it was that the thoughtful waiter arranged a favour with the chef and produced a freshly battered, crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside Mars treat for Jaffa… the only one on 30-odd tables.
As anyone who knows Jaffa will confirm, he’s a gent, and so he neatly divided the dish for all on his table to share – including me, Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford, award-winning investigative journalist Clare Sambrook and the slightly frowning ex-Guardian editor Peter Preston.
“It’s a Glasgow delicacy,” explained a delighted Jaffa. “There’s no such thing,” retorted Preston, quickly snaffling his portion anyway.
But while Jaffa’s joy was only shared by our table, the whole room was given a laugh at the end of the night when Nigel Pickover was presented with a bottle of plonk.
What had the esteemed editor of the Evening Star, Ipswich, done to deserve such attention? Well, this was his second trip to Glasgow in a week, having originally turned up seven days early on Sunday 7 November by mistake!
Check back here tomorrow for my closing report on the Glasgow conference.