March, 2011

Mar 11

Elizabeth Taylor’s Romantic Hotel Hideaways





Screen goddess, Elizabeth Taylor, is now resting in the great presidential penthouse in the sky. One thing that Dame Elizabeth knew how to do was travel in style, so, pack your jewels, eyebrow pencils and a Cleopatra DVD for a trip to some of the gorgeous one’s favourite romantic getaways.



Hotel Splendido

It was in Portofino, probably during a stay at the Hotel Splendido that Richard Burton proposed to Elizabeth Taylor for the first time, on a break from filming Cleopatra in Rome. The romantic proposal is thought to have taken place on the wisteria-covered terrace of the hotel’s bellissima first floor junior suite.











Inspired by this event, Fred Buscaglione, a famous Italian singer of that period, wrote the song ‘I found my love in Portofino’. To this date, this is the song that celebrates the love between Burton and Taylor and represents the ‘soundtrack’ to the Hotel Splendido and Portofino. For instance, if you are ever put on hold whenever you call the Splendido, that’s the song you will listen to – how gorgeous is that! The hotel boasts a myriad of photographs of its celebrity guests on its walls, and amongst them are pictures of Elizabeth Taylor with husband number four, Eddie Fisher.

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The legend amongst the hotel’s personnel though is that the image had to be very promptly and discreetly replaced when news broke of Taylor’s relationship with soon-to-be husband number five, Richard Burton.

The Beverly Hills Hotel

Elizabeth Taylor stayed here so often during her lifetime that you could probably still catch a whiff of White Diamonds in her favourite room in the house, Bungalow Five. It was in this luxurious private bungalow that Taylor consoled Burton on his Oscar near-miss in 1969.


This iconic Hollywood hotel was much loved by the violet-eyed star. Early in her MGM career she would often stop by to visit her father, who kept a gallery onsite, and later in life the Beverly Hills Hotel was the scene for many of Dame Elizabeth’s romances – in fact, the perpetual bride spent six of her eight honeymoons at the hotel.


The Dorchester

Elizabeth Taylor first stayed at The Dorchester as a child star and carried a lifelong affection for the London hotel, eventually commandeering the largest of the hotel’s rooftop suites to create The Harlequin Suite. The space is apparently sublime, with a large master bedroom, dressing room, living room, dining room, bar, a huge outside veranda with views over Hyde Park and a divine pink marble bathroom that was specially installed for Taylor – rumour has it that the bathroom wall is carved with celebrity graffiti that reads “RB XXX ET”.

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It was in the Harlequin Suite that Elizabeth Taylor signed her multi-million dollar deal to star in Cleopatra and so played out one of history, and Hollywood’s, greatest love affairs.


Mar 11

Jet Set Chic: How to Travel Like a Star

Whether they’re checking out the latest international hotspots, skipping between continents, or filming on location, the world’s most fashionable leading ladies are always packing a well-put together landing look – it’s so annoying! Take, for example, fabulous frequent flier, Kylie Minogue, who can step off a twenty-hour flight looking as though she has stepped out for a stroll in the park.


Mere mortals though generally arrive looking as if they have spent the night in a tumble drier being mauled by hair-hating monsters. Now, I’ve done my fair share of travelling and carry a pretty comprehensive in-flight kit but I’m always on the look-out for new travel tips so I asked my friend, and make-up artist and stylist to the stars, Phoebe, for a few of her top tricks for travelling and, more importantly, disembarking like a star.




Pre-Flight Prep

Pack like an A-lister. Stick to casual but sophisticated; team a great pair of jeans or leggings with a long-sleeve tee and some edgy boots or pumps. Wraps are also ideal for travelling, opt for cashmere as it won’t wrinkle and can be thrown over your shoulders for an effortlessly put-together look. White and Warren have a gorgeous range of knitwear with fans that include Gossip Girl, Blake Lively, Alexa Chung and Reese Witherspoon.





In-flight Beauty

The super-trendy Rodial Glam Balm range is a celebrity favourite. Scarlett Johanson and Kate Hudson are said to use the Glam Balm cleansing wipes (£15) en route. Packed full of vitamin E and camomile these designer wipes are perfect for replenishing dried-up in-flight skin. Rodial’s Glam Balm (£45) is another must-have product. It’s perfect for plumping skin, moisturizing lips and taming stray eyebrows and can also be used for a little in-flight facial – Nicole Richie apparently rates it as her number one travel essential! And SJP, Paris Hilton and 50 Cent (yes really) also swear by Glam Balm powers of rehydration.

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In-flight Comfort

As you probably won’t have an onboard entourage to keep you looking your best it’s really important to stay as comfortable as possible. I don’t go anywhere without ear-plugs, an eye-mask and slippers but those airline amenity kits just don’t cut it. To travel in true celebrity style try Holistic Silk’s exquisite in-flight accessories. Catherine Zeta-Jones is said to love their lavish silk slippers with magnetic massaging insoles, and Isabella Rossellini and Jessica Lange are known to adore Holistic Silk’s lush lavender-infused eye-masks.



Post-flight fabulous

When it’s time to hit the tarmac, dry shampoos are an absolute lifesaver. For most people an onboard wash and blow is out of the question so a great way to eliminate the signs (and smells) of a long flight is to reach for a travel size can of Bumble and Bumble’s Hair Powder (£28 for 125g and £14 for 28g). I’m a bit of a Bumble and Bumble devotee and love this product; it’s ideal for adding a bit of va-va-vroom, smells lovely and, as it comes in five colours, it’s perfect for touching up between visits to the salon. Miuccia Prada counts B&B’s Brown Hair Powder as her vital travel accessory and Renee Zelwegger and Avril Lavigne are also firm fans.


There are just two more things that you need to travel in celebrity style: some chic sunglasses and a designer carryall à la Beyonce.


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Follow in the Beautiful One’s footsteps with some HUGE sunglasses – the rule is go big, go dark, or go home – and haute holdall from the newly revived and truly fashionable MCM label.

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Since Joy Gryson started designing for the German label a slew of A-listers have been spotted sporting MCM bags and luggage. Other recent newcomers to the brand include Lady Gaga and Eva Mendes. I want!

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