Launched in Hamburg this summer, the arrival of this prestigious saloon car heralds a new age in passenger comfort. Its sleek interior and plethora of luxurious features will ensure that the new 2014 S-Class remains the number one choice for the best in chauffeur driven travel.
As part of our commitment to continual investment, we are delighted to announce that we are adding one of these fabulous new cars to our fleet from early December. This makes us one of the first chauffeur companies in the UK to take delivery of the new 2014 S-class, and we are sure that when you get the opportunity to try it out, you will be equally amazed.
To help whet your appetite, here is the Mercedes brochure clip – and you’ll be pleased to note that almost everything they demonstrate will be available on the vehicle we have ordered!
But don’t just take our word for it! Autocar magazine has been bold enough to vote this the “Best car in the world” in a recent article – quite a claim, when you consider that it was up against the old guard of luxury car Marques – Rolls Royce, Bentley, Range Rover, and Jaguar. And AutoExpress also have been raving about it:
We promise to keep you updated with more information as soon as we take delivery!
If you would like to reserve your spot and experience this fabulous new car, please call 0800 311 8938 or email your requirements to email@example.com
Why is it that getting someone to help around the house, or in the office, is seen as nothing more than common sense, while paying someone to do the driving for you is regarded as an extravagant luxury?
You work long hours in a demanding job. Your partner may well do the same. So you have someone to help with the cleaning and ironing, someone to keep the garden in shape, someone to help with the childcare, someone to cater when you throw a party…and that is regarded as eminently sensible.
Similarly, at work, you have a PA – it goes with the job, because it’s accepted that you have better things to do than manage your diary, handle routine administrative tasks and take calls from all and sundry.
And yet the idea of occasionally hiring a chauffeur when you have a meeting up in town, a plane to catch, or a social engagement to attend, strikes most people as ridiculously exorbitant and downright ostentatious!
The more you think about this, the crazier it becomes.
Do the math
What is the value of your time? It’s hard to quantify, and everyone approaches the question from a different angle. But let’s just look at what professionals are charged out at. An experienced solicitor is charged out at between £190 to £400 an hour. An experienced accountant is charged out at anywhere between £150 and £250 an hour. Hospital consultants are often paid in the region of £250 an hour. If you are a CEO, or own the company you get paid a salary, but as you grow the business the value of your bonus and equity increases, so you are in effect paid twice – sticking a finger in the air does £200 an hour sound unreasonable?
So, every hour you spend driving yourself, or doing a journey that involves a combination of driving, parking, trains, taxi or tube, is hugely expensive. You can perform a few tasks, but you are not working at anything like full capacity, so the opportunity costs are enormous. The chauffeur option costs slightly more (but there’s not a lot in it when you look at fuel, parking, train fares, taxis and so on!) but the net return on investment is at least £100 an hour, and probably a lot more.
It’s smart to take time out
Looking at it another way, there are only so many hours a day you can operate at peak performance. Taking a few hours out to sleep, read a magazine, listen to music, or just turn a particular problem over in your mind without constant interruption, is not time wasted – if it enables you to be sharper when it matters, more logical when clear leadership is required, and more creative when everyone else has run out of ideas, that “down time” can prove utterly invaluable.
So, in purely pragmatic and logical terms paying a professional chauffeur to drive you to appointments or airports is not an indulgence, or a “nice to have” – it’s a much more cost effective use of your time.
Life’s too short
But let’s flip it around one more time. A recent article in the Economist, entitled Buy buy love, suggest that even if travelling in chauffeur driven luxury limousine is a pure indulgence, then it’s still worth it! Two academics have recently produced a report which suggests that the most rewarding way to spend your money is not on material possessions – the pleasure soon wears off. They demonstrate, by using various techniques of behavioural research, that you get more “happiness bang for your buck” if you splash out on experiences.
Just going up to town in a limousine is a pleasurable experience – and why should you begrudge yourself that? What’s more, it gives you the opportunity to add further rewarding experiences. Instead of heading straight back to Paddington you could meet friends or colleagues for a few drinks and a meal. A number of museums are open in the evening, or you could take in a show. Or why not travel up with your partner? They can do whatever they fancy during the day then you can enjoy an evening on the town together – investing in your relationship is a lot cheaper, in time and money, than divorce!
So keep the cleaner, the gardener, the cook, the handyman, the nanny, the PA….and add a chauffeur too!
In our line of business we obviously spend a lot of time in London. Over the years we’ve taken the opportunity to explore some of the capital’s less well known museums. Next time you are up there, and have a few hours to spare, check out these little gems.
Picture credit Jonathan Brennan
Sir John Soane’s Museum
Sir John Soane R.A. was born in 1753, the son of a bricklayer, but became professor of architecture at the Royal Academy. His best-known work was the Bank of England.
Throughout his life he was an avid collector of antiquities, art, sculpture, books and all manner of curiosities. After the death of his wife in 1815 he lived alone at his house in Lincoln Inn Fields, constantly adding to and rearranging his collections. His home is now regarded as "the best house-museum in the world". Only a few visitors are admitted at a time.
The collection is too extensive to describe in detail but highlights include three excellent Canalettos and two series of Hogarth paintings, A Rake’s Progress and An Election. (his only other surviving series is in the National Gallery). There’s the sarcophagus of Seti I, one of the finest Egyptian pieces outside Egypt, the Naseby Jewel (a hat pin with a figure of a cavalier in the centre, studded with rubies dating from c.1630, said to have been dropped by Charles I at the battle of Naseby), Sir Robert Walpole’s desk and paintings by Turner, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Watteau. The house is an absolute treasure trove, and a museum like no other.
13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields WC2
The Horniman Museum
Founded by Frederick John Horniman in 1901, who had inherited the world's biggest tea trading business and used the money to indulge his lifelong passion for collecting. The museum is home to 350,000 items in various collections, ranging from natural history to cultural artefacts and musical instruments. There’s an amazing array of stuffed animals, an aquarium and a host of strange curiosities – weird masks, a Japanese mermaid, Korean Pan pipes, implements used by the Spanish Inquisition, ancient toys, lucky charms and much more besides.
100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ
Picture credit Rachael Lloyd
The Cartoon Museum
Just a stone's throw from The British Museum, The Cartoon Museum exhibits the very finest examples of British cartoons, caricature, and comic art from the 18th century to the present day. The collection is great fun and includes:
- Rare and original artwork on loan from The Beano, the Dandy, and Topper including The Bash Street Kids, Roger the Dodger, Billy the Whizz, Desperate Dan, Beryl the Peril and of course Dennis the Menace.
- Classic works by Gillray including The Plum Pudding, John Bull taking a luncheon and The Zenith of French Glory.
- Cartoons in 3D including Gerald Scarfe’s memorable Chairman Mao caricatured original leather armchair from 1971.
- Great joke cartoons by Larry, Kipper Williams, Tony Husband, Nick Newman and many more.
- Classic war cartoons including Sir David Low¹s ‘All Behind you, Winston’, and Bruce Bairnsfather's, ‘If you know a better ‘Ole...’
The museum also stages regular exhibitions.
35 Little Russell Street
The Charles Dickens Museum
This is the only remaining London home of the renowned writer and one of the most important collections of his artefacts in the world. He lived here from 1837 until 1839 and wrote Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby under this roof. It’s home to over 100,000 items including manuscripts, rare editions, personal items, paintings and other visual sources.
It gives you the opportunity to experience what Dickens’s home would have been like when he lived here as well as learn more about the life and works of the great novelist and social commentator.
48 Doughty Street, London, WC1N 2LX
The Library and Museum of Freemasonry
One of the most remarkable buildings in London, a tribute to the builder’s art. It was built between 1927 and 1932 as a memorial to the Freemasons who died in WWI.
The Museum contains an extensive collection of objects with Masonic decoration including pottery and porcelain, glassware, silver, furniture and clocks, jewels and regalia. Items belonging to famous and Royal Freemasons including Winston Churchill and Edward VII are on display together with examples from the Museum’s extensive collection of prints and engravings, photographs and ephemera.
It gives a fascinating insight into this once secretive organisation.
Freemasons’ Hall, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ
Picture credit Peter Pelisek
Old Operating Theatre
You can visit Britain’s oldest operating theatre, in the garret of a baroque church within St Thomas’ Hospital. Until 1822 patients were operated on in the adjacent ward but the 1815 Apothecary’s act required apprentice apothecaries to watch operations, so this theatre was purpose built with raised banks of seats and a skylight to maximise the light from above. Although not heated or ventilated, it provided an ideal, albeit small, area for demonstrating surgical skills.
You can also see the Apothecary’s herb store, also in the garret.
9a St. Thomas Street, London SE1 9RY
Museum of the Order of St John
This museum, given a £1.5million makeover in 2010, tells a unique and fascinating story. It traces the history of the Order of St John, from its origins in eleventh century Jerusalem, through to its role today with St John Ambulance and the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem.
When Palestine was recaptured by Muslim forces in 1291, the Order moved briefly to Cyprus and then, in 1309, to Rhodes. The Order remained on Rhodes until 1522, when the Turkish Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, conquered the island.
From Rhodes, the Order moved to Malta. After a famous siege by Suleiman in 1565, which the Knights and the Maltese people survived, a new capital city, Valetta, was built. The Order’s ships patrolled the Mediterranean and remained on Malta until 1798. Malta was lost to Napoleon in 1798. The original Roman Catholic Order still has headquarters in Rome; its full title is the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta. It remains a sovereign entity in international law and is engaged in international charity work.
St John’s Gate EC1
We hope you find this list stimulates your curiosity - and if you know of any peculiar museums you’d like to share then please let us know!
We’re a chauffeuring company – so we do the driving for you. On one recent occasion, however, the client took one look at the car and insisted on getting behind the wheel himself.
He is one of our regular customers, and it was his wedding day. In the past he’d mentioned that he was interested in a Rolls Royce Ghost. So, keen to surprise him, and with the help of a friend, we asked the company about the possibility of borrowing one and they obliged - for five whole days!
They had loaded it with ‘toys’ so we spent the two days before the wedding just playing with them. Some are for the driver’s benefit – like the ‘head-up’ display that projects information, such as your speed and Sat Nav directions, as if onto an invisible screen at the end of the bonnet. You can see straight through it for normal driving, but if you just refocus your eyes slightly, you can clearly read the figures. It has the latest form of adaptive cruise control – you don’t just set the desired speed but also the distance from the car in front.
It has cameras everywhere. There’s a feature that synchronises the images from all the different cameras to
give you an aerial view. You can look down on yourself, as if you were in a helicopter, and see the car in relation to the people and objects around it – totally amazing and excellent for parking! It has a large footprint and is a tall vehicle but cameras on all four corners make sure you don’t get near anything. This is especially useful at junctions as the bonnet is long – you can see what traffic is coming in both directions before pulling out. A night vision camera was included on our car and you can clearly see people and objects in the dark. Great when you are in the countryside and it is pitch black!
There were plenty of features for the passengers, including rear seats that recline, retractable tables, TV and DVD that connects to whatever you want by Bluetooth. The rear doors open forwards, which makes it easier to get in and out of, plus the passengers in the back don’t have to lean forward to shut the door – they just sit back and press a button (if your chauffeur doesn’t get there first!). There was lots of legroom, white leather seats and lambs’ wool rugs an inch deep – you just wanted to take your shoes off and let your feet sink into the softness!
When we picked up our client on his wedding day he just couldn’t resist getting behind the wheel himself - the temptation to say ‘I’ll take that, thanks very much’ was too great! He discovered, as we had, that this is not just a wonderful car to be chauffeured in, but the kind of car you want to drive yourself. Everything is very quiet and smooth – it just glides through the gears and is a thoroughly capable car. However, if you want to press on, you are in for some thrills. It has a 6 litre V12 twin turbo engine and it will do 0-60 in about 5 seconds! There is no rev counter (that would be vulgar) but a power reserve indicator that dips as you accelerate. That’s what it’s all about – refined elegance, without being too brutish.
The Ghost is more discreet than the Phantom, much less ostentatious and aggressive. It obviously turns heads but we found that the looks were appreciative and respectful rather than antagonistic – quite unlike the effect that some other expensive car can have on people.
This particular model cost around £250,000. Not surprisingly we’d love one. It’s the ultimate car, for the chauffeur, the passenger and for the owner that wants to drive themselves. Will we, or will he, get one? Watch this space!
We are delighted to announce that one of our drivers, Graham, has recently been awarded Gold for his advanced driving skill through RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents).
The aim of advanced driving is to control the position and speed of the vehicle in a safe and smooth manner, by judging the traffic and road condition to allow progress in a discreet and responsible way. The driver develops a positive and courteous attitude on the road, and a high standard of driving competence based on concentration, observation, anticipation and good handling skills. Quite simply, the car should be in the right place at the right time, travelling at the right speed and can always be stopped safely in the distance seen to be clear.
All permanent drivers with Sybaris have advanced driving qualifications, either through RoSPA or with IAM (the Institute of Advanced Motorists), so you can be certain of a safe and pleasant journey every time you travel with us.
If you would like to experience the first class service from Somerset and Bristol chauffeur company Sybaris Chauffeurs, call on 0800 311 8938
or email firstname.lastname@example.org