Miami: A little piece of heaven
I have always had a sort of love/hate relationship with Miami but since I started staying with our good friends the Colombo’s in their beyond beautiful home, I seem to relish our trips. Before, I was always flying in and out for work and was put up in hotels, not that it was all bad…but somehow, it was always a bit soulless and I couldn’t wait to leave. To say their home beats any 5 star Hotel is no exaggeration but what is even more brilliant than the sheer luxury and being spoilt with amazing Italian food 24/7, is that our children just spend all day exhausting each other!
Having dropped off our bags we headed straight for the new W Hotel and the beach. I cannot say the ocean really compares to the Dominican’s beautiful sea but Giorgio loves body surfing and he has taught Vivi not to be like me who stands on the edge with much toe-dipping going on… Tanned cabana boys are a huge perk in Miami and the healthy shrimp wraps brought to the cabanas were absolutely what the doctor ordered. As usual, once you hit American soil, fake boobs are the order of the day and I am always fascinated at the sizes these girls will stretch too. There is generally a lot of preening taking place!
That night we headed to one of our favourites – Casa Tua – run by Micky Grendene. All the Italians flock there and we never have a trip to Miami without at least one dinner there. Micky is a character and also has a wonderful photography & art gallery in the upstairs restaurant. This trip I was spoilt staring at Peter Beard’s creations.
Up early and you realise why the Miami life is so alluring. A little retail therapy after the Dominican was also hugely appealing. Sara, our girlfriend had just opened her new Design store ‘Nest’ in the uber new and trendy design district and so of course I was dying to see it. Giorgio on the other hand cannot resist Bal Harbour which is wall to wall designer boutiques. He has a thing for Tom Ford, the man himself and anything he designs, so dragging poor Vivi there is painful.
Robert Hanson and his lovely wife Masha had invited us for lunch there with their little boy but we ended up doing our own thing. All I can say is ‘thank goodness’ for the carp fish ponds that run across the entire downstairs, keeping all the small children entertained for hours whilst adults shop. Talking of shopping, no trip to Miami is complete without a hit at The Webster on Collins Ave. OMG it is just dripping with things you just have to have. The buyer is a genius and they always have a super selection of jewellery that ranges from ok to the ridiculous. They are also a huge stockist of Charlotte Olympia’s shoe and bag line! Utterly irresistible. I never make it out of there alive!
Finally we made it out without a huge dressing up situation and hit the legendary Toni’s Sushi on Washington Ave. Sara and I were so happy to be in jeans and flats! The food was delicious and super fresh and it added to our enjoyment that we had some gorgeous Cuban model, who starred in the Replay ads, forever sitting right in our eyeline. So nice for once to have the eye candy for us girls.
That night we watched the sun set over the water at the end of their garden. To say it was a beautiful start to the new year would be spoilt I know, but then I do know I am very lucky! Giorgio of course had work for Formula Electric in Miami and so Vivi and I flew home alone. She cried all the way from Sara’s house to the airport and can’t understand why we can’t live in Miami. She does have a point… She is such a veteran flier that she’s practically asleep as the plane takes off. British Airways – our preferred carrier is, in my experience, fabulous with little ones. They just always seem to go that extra little step.
So home to London with a jolt but as it wasn’t raining I thought that was a bonus! I must be quite a proper Brit because as much as I love being away and seeing and experiencing new things I really love getting home. Also my gallery, The Little Black Gallery, had a really exciting new show of Bruno Bisang’s polaroids, with the preview on the Tuesday night. Rallying our clients and some new faces is always relatively easy for January as everyone seems keen to get back out and do a little tentative buying. Bruno had flown in from Switzerland and was very happy with the hanging and the framing that we had done. This is always quite a relief but the images of the supers: Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni and Monica Belluci are so popular.
The party for the preview night is always quite fun as you just can’t tell who will pop in and who won’t. Our serious clients will always make an appointment as soon as the show is hung but the party is an important part of the show. It was freezing but since I am still a little golden I opted for my Vicedomini puff dress. It was a little skimpy for some but since I rush around an awful lot I hate to be hot. Darling florist to the stars Rob Van Helden and his beau Seb arrived early and the ever handsome Giancarlo Giammetti swung by in a chic camel coat.
Jewellery designer King Stephen Webster and his heavenly wife Assia came late with their little pooch, Gnasher, and we were all so thrilled for Stephen as he has been awarded a Queen’s Honour! Brilliant and so well deserved. Singer Paul Young and his delightful wife Stacey came and got everyone over excited, bikini babe Melissa Odabash and her great pal the Designer Julien MacDonald also came. To say the night was fun would be true but to see how much everyone loved Bruno’s work was far more exciting. Lets hope that excitement turns into sales!!!