Duncan Quinn’s Guide to The Grand Prix de Monaco

Grand prix de Monaco piece

Why he’s our Tastemaker:  Duncan Quinn is a purveyor of extravagant taste.  He travels the world, is impeccably dressed, drives fast cars and knows how to have a good time.  If we’re anywhere in France, he is our go-to insider on the very best in food, wine and scene.   He has also been known to cut some of the finest bespoke suits known to man in his NYC and LA  ateliers.  Look him up if you are in need of a whistle or three.

Duncan’s Top Tips for the Grand Prix de Monaco

We should probably get one thing perfectly clear from the start.  I am an avid fan of all things mechanical.  I strive to be a driver and tamer of all things fast and fantastical. But I also enjoy letting the good times roll. Which is exactly what they do in Monaco, especially during the Grand Prix.

Make no mistake; the Grand Prix de Monaco may feature some prime machinery, along with one of the finest tracks in Formula One.  However, for all but a few for whom the result really matters (read: Bernie, Chris, Lewis and those whose TV deals and sponsorship depend on it) it’s not about the race at all. It’s about the bucket list bragging rights. It’s about whether you were in the right place at the right time, what you saw and whom you were with.

In much the same way that most events on the social calendar have elevated themselves above the fundamental basis for their origin, so has the Monaco Grand Prix. What does that mean?  It means ladies and gentlemen, start your engines for a weekend of glad-handing, over-boozing, and shaking the moths out of your wallet if your crocodile arms can reach.


Here’s the lowdown from a veteran who has been inhaling the rose tinted fumes for decades:

1.   Don’t believe the hype, or the urban legends.

No matter what your buddy tells you.  This applies especially if it involves access across the track on race day. This is about as likely to happen as you sprouting wings and flying. Unless, of course, your buddy owns a Formula One team, and even then we won’t believe you without photographic evidence.

2.  Your view is important, but not that important.

After all, even if you have the best seats in the house, you only get a fly-by every couple of minutes for a few seconds. In between gallons of champagne and rose, this can become very confusing anyway. There is a way to have it all, though I’m not going to just put that in an article and make it easy for you. For that, private message me, and we’ll talk.

3.  Choose your company wisely.

You are there for a chinwag and to catch up with your friends.

4.   Avoid the street party that commences after the race for locals.

Unless your idea of having fun is doing “bird baths” or playing “drink from the shoe game”.   Pie eyed and covered in vomit and pee is not the look you want to be going for.  And yes, we are talking about the glamorous Monte Carlo of Princess Grace Kelly.  Better to have something special lined up for cocktail hour and dinner.  Like a yacht sitting away from the stinkpots in the port.  Somewhere civilized you can head over to like Cap Ferrat or Cap d’Ail. Just whistle up your Wally tender and make a dash for it as soon as the chequered flag is out.

5.   The nightlife is a critical part of the experience.

For the young Turks, Amber Lounge, and for the old guard, the legendary Jimmyz.  Be warned, a night of excess here will make your New York $7,000 a bottle pink Dom Perignon feel like you got off lightly.  But then you aren’t here on a budget weekend getaway are you?

After you weave out of Jimmyz in the early hours of the morning (or in our case generally as the sun is rising or already up) you will be in need some shuteye in preparation for the afternoon’s antics.  Because of course you will be trying to squeeze past the door somewhere on the beach just up the coast to party with the drivers.

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