People: Edinburgh diners get a taste of Thai hospitality

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Martin Stead, the Yorkshire power tools tycoon turned Thai restaurant entrepreneur, put on a heck of a show at his Edinburgh launch last week, with some staff going well beyond the call of duty.

Fun-loving chefs and waiters from his Manchester eatery – aka the “Ladyboys of Chaophraya” – entertained guests in the rooftop restaurant that used to be the rather more staid Oloroso. But one member of the business desk was left confused as the “ladyboys” not only made very convincing Weather Girls but also seemed to please the lucky men dragged into their stage show.

Other staff provided more traditional Thai dancing entertainment.

Stead – whose taste for authenticity means he is already the biggest employer of Thais in Britain – says the business is all about enjoyment and he likes to see his staff having fun too.

Although big in Glasgow and the north of England, Chaophraya has yet to tackle London and he sees the £2.1 million investment in Edinburgh as his first venture into a capital city.

Hacks triumph for charity

Tensions were high at the Cargo bar in Edinburgh on Thursday night, where teams of journalists faced opponents from the world of public relations in a “hacks versus flacks” charity pub quiz, organised by CIPR Scotland.

Hundreds of pounds were raised for the STV Appeal, which helps children and young people across Scotland who are affected by poverty. In the end, the hacks proved triumphant as the STV team put their general knowledge to good use. Keeping with the spirit of the event, they offered to sell their prize – a box of wine – to add to the night’s tally.

Despite only fielding a team of three, The Scotsman business desk finished a respectable third. It’s the taking part that counts (or so we told ourselves).

Top signing for Towry

Towry’s Edinburgh office has made an exciting signing as it picks up former professional footballer Pete Cormack on a transfer from RBS.

Originally a defender, Cormack will take up a position as wealth adviser with his new outfit. He started his career in the financial services industry shortly after retiring as a football player in 2000, spending two years as a financial planning consultant at Canada Life.

Before that, he made more than 300 appearances in the English and Scottish leagues in a 16-year career. Having spent time at Newcastle United in the early part of his career, he spent the bulk of his playing years at Greenock Morton, winning the Scottish second division in 1995. He also played for Albion Rovers, Clydebank, and Stenhousemuir.

Towry’s Ross Cameron said many former sportsmen and women make their way into financial services because of the resilience and leadership skills that they develop on the field of play. We reckon the experience of living on Scottish lower division wages may also help set a suitably cautious attitude to money.