Enjoying the yin and yang of life…
The heavenly thing about November, other than all the autumn leaves and wonderful colours in the Parks, is that it really starts to get me feeling festive. Once Halloween is over it’s straight onto Guy Fawkes… are we even allowed to call it that anymore? Well my great girlfriend Linda Johnston and her divine husband Nick decided to throw a small, 150-friend fireworks party at their chic estate in Oxfordshire. Vivi was so excited as they have naughty twin boys who she is terribly fond of. There was even more excitement as Nick had lovingly restored 2 old Land Rover fire trucks so that they were shiny and red, with more bangs and whistles just like the modern day fire engines. The kids were scrambling over them with juicy cheeseburgers oozing ketchup everywhere, as if they had never seen anything so magical. Even Violet, who is usually ultra girly, was beside herself with excitement.
The BBQ was hyper efficient and the sausages were too delicious to be ignored (so much for my holier-than-thou etox juice diet!). A great gaggle of guests surrounded Ed Allen and his brood, feral I believe is the word he uses for them! Kate Driver was there with her gang of trendy little Notting Hill babies and Emily Oppenheimer with both her beautiful boys, Theo and Marlowe. They had built a tall and robust bonfire with a real-life, stuffed Guy sitting on the top of it. The fireworks were every bit as exciting and thrilling as I always find them. Vivi, however, found it all a bit loud and chilly and was more than keen to sneak back to the twins’ enormous, cosy playroom, packed with toys.
Back to London and I was thrilled to finally get my hair re-blonded by my team at Atelier. Josh Wood has been in charge of my unruly mop for over 15 years and he is the only one who can create his legendary “baby blonde” for me. I’ve had a black streak in my hair for about 4 years but people still act as if it’s brand new! Josh is in charge of some of the most important heads in fashion and show business so I find that the 2 hours in his chair flies by as I’m privy to the most fabulous stories. He is a true legend!
The following morning I was off to view a potential new school for Violet. She is a strong character and I feel quite anxious that I choose the right next school. It goes without saying that my dear, Italian husband cannot get his head around the hoops I have to jump through to get her into a London school! Fingers crossed she gets a place somewhere come January – I don’t think home schooling would work for us…
It’s a rare treat for me to ever go to a spa so I decided that, since my younger sister Clare has just had a milestone birthday, I would take her to the Corinthia Hotel’s Spa, ESPA. As it’s in Whitehall it doesn’t feel too local, so there’s no guilt attached. However, I had no clue all the X Factor contestants were in residency. Loads of young fans were penned in outside and Clare and I were given longing looks as if they wanted us to help sneak them in. Once in the magnificently grand, white marble, state-of-the-art Spa we finally turned off phones and gadgetry and took deep breaths. We felt a little bit like skiving school girls. After all, we had a gazillion things we could be doing but quality time together as sisters is rare without our girls, so it’s very treasured. Laura Martin, the SPA manager, came over to say ‘Hi’ and then our therapists snuck up and whisked us off for our various treatments. We were reunited a few hours later in terry robes for some light lunch. It was absolutely delicious and hilariously filling enough for us to ask to take it home in a doggie bag. Afterwards, lying on the heated marble day beds, we agreed that this should be a monthly ritual!
Life is all about yin and yang, and so, having de-compressed, I was ready to take on the world. Giorgio and I had been invited to a very select dinner in honour of the wonderful designer Prabal Gurung from New York. Uber party hostess Elizabeth Saltzman, who knows just about anyone who’s anyone in the whole World, was in charge. Nightclub supremo Piers Adam - a very old friend of mine – was letting her throw a dinner in his new cool Supper Club – Bodo’s Schloss. It’s the new place of about 2 weeks. Rumour has it there is a secret tunnel direct to Prince Harry’s apartment in Kensington Palace a stone’s throw away. Arriving at the Austrian ski chalet we were greeted by two handsome men with very little on but oversized fur trapper hats and huskies by their sides. Girls in cheeky dirndls looked ravishing with long, plaited hair -all very themey!
Once inside, we felt like we had arrived up a mountain and were about to tuck into a calorific cheese fondue. The decor was spot on and there was a real mountain, bubble-lift on the dance floor. I must say, the crowd was a who’s who as always with Gwyneth Paltrow beautiful and bare faced, Geri Halliwell on great form and I am sure I spied the fashion darling Henry Holland. Alice Temperley looked very boho in pink and Tim Jefferies was celebrating his birthday, so the men with bell ringing talents went wild with the Happy Birthdays. Giorgio was beyond thrilled with his table placement, next to the beautiful actress Annabelle Wallis and I was lucky enough to get her musician/model beau James Rousseau, a handsome cheeky chappy with a little gap in his front teeth. We had been blessed to join actor Luke Evans fresh back from the Fast and the Furious 6 film set. Elle Macpherson was newly blonde and Sophia Hesketh had on the best shoes ever! As always I was just getting into the swing of things, the dance floor was warming up when Giorgio eyeballed me and swiftly frog marched me home. As I turned around for one last goodbye, who should be emerging from the Ladies room but the divine Cameron Diaz, fresh from the red carpet of her new movie “Gambit” – Giorgio I know was half tempted to give in!
However, heading home turned out to be a brilliant call as the next day I was hosting a ‘girl’s’ lunch for luxury fashion brand Missoni at the Sloane Street boutique. My friend and owner of the store, Cavan Mahony Linde, was adamant about having legendary session stylist Snowden Hill in situ to keep our girls happy. Oh and Pooja and the girls from Blink eyebrows were on hand as well. First through our doors was artist and philanthropist Amanda Eliasch. She was drop-dead glamour with shades so dark I don’t know how she got around. Amanda Sheppard and model Kimberley Johnson popped in for a browse and jeweller Katie Braine came and made a new friend! Jackie St Clair held court upstairs with a few old friends and Lady Masha Hanson, looking very chic in dove grey mink found even more grey things she seemed to like. My great girlfriends Lilly Becker and Lilly Hodges arrived together and left together having sampled everything and tried on so many Missoni combinations I lost count. The day was a great success and Raj, the store manager was such a trooper. Luckily a quiet weekend beckoned…….
Next week it’s all gigantic bling, Hollywood and more rocks before a job in Paris…..