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Breakfast apartheid

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Bill Allen approaches his 84th birthday this year, I am pleased to report, with his enthusiasm for clubland undiminished, especially for the Athenaeum, where architects, university vice-chancellors and spies like to chill out. Next week he's chairing a post-dinner talk there by the distinguished engineer, Sir Alan Muir Wood, on the topical subject 'Tunnels: Environment's Friend or Financier's Woe?' I am interested to learn that the Athenaeum now lets women stay the night within its walls - but they are not allowed into the dining room for breakfast, which has to be served in their rooms. How very quaint.

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