Jim was a recklessly generous host, appreciating the benefits of barter and nurturing his networks, mingling convivial groups of diverse guests, often with unexpected results. Nepali, British and Indian aristocrats rubbed shoulders with ambassadors, writers, scientists and conservationists. Gurkha officers came tasselled in gold, and some years we danced on the front lawn to brass strains of the uniformed police band. Two veteran soldiers who had not seen each other since a World War II battlefield were reunited around the copper-roofed fireplace in Chitwan. Winston Churchill, the parliamentary grandson of Sir Winston, came with his children and adopted Nepali daughter, and hotelier Biki Oberoi brought his entire family, including wife and favourite mistress, to Jim’s palpable delight.
Anton Mosimann, the dapper Swiss chef whose most famous restaurant was in a Chelsea church, arrived from London. Disdaining the festivities, he asked me to show him around the staff kitchen behind the elephant camp so that he could sample real indigenous Nepali food at source.