A diamond dinner and a Parisian perusal
I wish I had never mentioned the ‘we never go out on Mondays’ rule considering I have had a plan every Monday. This Monday, I attended a beautiful dinner hosted by Fawaz Gruosi, the undisputed king of all that glitters, and founder of De Grisogono jewellery – which is worn by the bold and beautiful all around the world. He had flown into London to host the dinner at 17 Berkeley Street. Fawaz is a very good friend of mine and Giorgio’s and in fact made my engagement and wedding rings. On top of that, he also happens to be one of the most fun men in the world.
My oldest and best friend Emma Gold of GSP had organised the party, and it sounded like we were in for a treat. Ready to join in the celebrations, financier Robert Hanson was in town with his glamorous wife Masha. A jeweller’s party would not be complete without a girl’s best friend, so it was no surprise when the ladies swooned over a certain pair of diamond drop earrings, which I have sweetly photographed for you to stare at. The cocktail brigade were out in force and I was in a knockout midnight blue Pucci number – it was skintight to say the least and I had a rather unfortunate wardrobe malfunction later on.
Fundraiser Ella Krasner was also at the party, and full of excitement at how well her own night The Place for Peace had gone the previous weekend. The amazingly glam event was co-chaired by its founder Forest Whitaker. Model Christina Juffali is also a huge De Grisogono devotee, and snuck in just as we were called for dinner. We had fun with our good friends the Stevensons and the Agags who had arrived from Madrid. Alejandro Agag is the man responsible for bringing us the Formula Electric Grand Prix – watch this space – It will be amazing.
After a chic fashion show with very tall, severe-looking models dripping in rocks we had a jolly sing song and were sent on our merry ways relatively early.
Next morning and I was off to a property review meeting with my Dad, who is a veteran property developer himself. Thank goodness I had been super reserved at Fawaz’s. There was quite a lot of information to take on board and digest.
My new treat is a wonderful nutritionist called Gabriella Peacock. She looks the picture of clean and serene living but I happen to know she has the odd drink, which is a perfect fit for me. She has not tried to reinvent the wheel in terms of what I eat but has just made some easy to follow suggestions that I can hand on heart say have made me feel full of energy. Her secret trick of snacking on “protein bombs” has been revolutionary.
I had been to a very worthy girls lunch to raise money for cancer a few months ago, which was hosted by Tatler’s editor, and coincidentally an alma mater of my old school, Cheltenham Ladies College, Kate Reardon. Designer label Coach had gifted us all a bag and mine has just arrived. It’s not only chic in camel leather but also the most useful size for me. I felt so spoilt being sent such a nice present, and it’s even more fabulous that I love it so much I can use it to death.
On the subject of bags, Giorgio and I had to drop into Bottega Venetta to see another of his great pals, Marco Bizarri, who is the CEO of the Bottega brand, as they were launching their designer Tomas Maier’s new coffee table bible. Bottega Venetta is almost too cool for school and their cocktail crowd so chic and sophisticated that I was delighted to run into one of my favourite boys and London’s top stylists Gianluca Longo. He and I have worked together on many shoots and he is every girl’s best friend. TV presenter Noelle Reno was also there and I was just desperate to find a suitable birthday gift for a friend. Four books and one gift later we headed off to our birthday dinner.
Up again with the larks as I wanted to walk my little one to nursery as normal since I was heading for Paris. Of course, now my eldest daughter Anouska lives there I have much more of an affinity for one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I headed to Paris Photo, which is regarded as the most important photography fair in the world. Now my own gallery, The Little Black gallery, is five years old, I felt it important to go and meet with some new photographers for the shows next year. Naturally there was fun on the agenda with gallery owner Tim Jefferies. I love Tim dearly and whatever he does is so stylish and usually wicked fun. Anouska and I were both invited by him to have dinner at the Hotel Costes on Rue St-Honoré.
Lucy Doughty, one of my other girlfriends from London, was also there and we made a plan to hit the Alaia Headquarters the following day, the home of Azzedine Alaia, the great Tunisian-born, Parisian designer. I was sat next to the German photographer Christopher Thomas later on at dinner, whom was absolutely captivating and huge fun. The Costes itself makes you want to behave badly, and tempted me into having a sumptuous feast and a large number of guilt-inducing delicacies. Having had enough red wine to float a small island, I decided to head back to my own hotel on Place des Vosges. is a boutique hotel set up in the typical Parisiene courtyard. I had a small loft and I cannot tell you how amazing my stay was. Who still has an honesty bar? The Le Pavillon de la Reine was absolutely private, small and delicious, and I will from now on head there. I cannot recommend it enough for anyone looking for a really special experience that doesn’t cost the earth.
A forbidden breakfast of croissants with Anouska and her best friend Lulu and we finally got ourselves to the Grand Palais. The museum just proved how the French just do it bigger, better and grander. I missed last year’s Paris photo fair, and hadn’t seen it since its new home. The fair is huge, but in this magnificent building you could happily wander around all day. I found many new pictures that have swiftly been added to my ‘I will have one day’ list and had a couple of interesting meetings. My business partner Ghislain Pascal arrived the following morning on a silly o’clock Eurostar.
But first, we had a frantic morning dropping in on a fabulous boutique called The Space on Rue Bonaparte. Fashionistas Julia Van Hagen and Tallulah Rufus-Isaacs have taken on this Sixties store, which was once owned by movie legend Elizabeth Taylor and her best friend Vicky Tiel. The shop even have a pair of incredible flamingo pink and leopard print original armchairs, which I was captivated by. Whilst I had a sneaky shop, Anouska spent time hanging the WorldWideWomen pop up show at The Space. Once reunited, we decided to be typically English and lunch before another round at the Grand Palais. Brasserie Lipp in Saint-Germain fitted our requirements perfectly and we ate the plat du jour! How touristy can one get?
After another four hours at the photo fair, we somehow managed to leave empty handed – miracles do happen. Keeping an eye on our watches we had one last meeting with our new photographer, the amazing Australian, Vee Speers. She and her husband invited us to their apartment where we were spoilt with homemade canapés galore.
Leaving Paris and my daughter behind is always a bit sad, but Paris had, as always, left me very happy.