Ponies, new dinner friends and cool art
Having recovered sufficiently from all of the costume stuff it was with a spring in my step that I hit the Smythson’s tea party – hosted by the somewhat elusive Samantha Cameron and the uber chic and achingly stylish Calgary Avansino. Smythson’s has now opened what I would describe as a mini department store on Sloane Street. The blustery rain didn’t deter the invitees and the poor photographers outside braved the elements and even seemed pretty cheery. Inside, Samantha Cameron was the perfect hostess, while I spent my whole time sipping amazing green juices. The waiters were definitely all part-time models and were offering old fashioned treats such as cucumber sandwiches! Calgary was in a jazzy purple pant suit by Emilia Wickstead – certainly not a onesie for this style icon and former Editor-at-large of Vogue.
I bumped into Jeans guru Donna Ida (one of our brilliant clients at the gallery) and I had a quick girlie catch up with the divine make-up queen Mary Greenwell and Yasmin Mills. Alice Naylor Leyland and her sidekick Astrid Harbord, both naughty girls about town, kept me busy and tried hard to stop me going on a shopping frenzy! Alex Shah from Premier was escorting the lovely Francesca Versace, who was showing off her new line of handbags. I left having fallen in love with so many little leather goodies and so was thrilled to be handed one of their famous sky blue bags with a wonderful set of notes as a gift.
The weekend ahead I had planned as a family affair and was very excited at the thought. My sister had smartly booked all the girls a riding lesson at the fabulous Stag Lodge stables in Richmond Park. Violet and her cousins Amber and Tatum were totally oblivious to the swamp-like conditions the ponies were trekking through. To warm us all up afterwards, we had a good hearty pub lunch at The Fox and Grapes on Wimbledon Common – just what the doctor ordered.
Straight back to all things of an arty persuasion – a dinner held at the very smart and discreet Privatus (co-owned by Mark Brooke) in Mayfair for the hugely collectable Andy Warhol polaroid show. I felt a huge dose of flu coming on but I hate cancelling a sit-down dinner after midday – it’s one of my little rules. The show of Warhol photographs was everything I could have hoped for and Dean and Dan (the designer twins for their brand D Squared) had already chosen a couple for their own collection. I particularly liked a self portrait of Warhol eating a banana – I’ll leave that to your imagination!
Swimwear aficionado Melissa Odabash was there in one of her little black creations, and my old friend jewellery rockstar Loree Rodkin was showing off her hand of precious knuckleduster diamond scattered rings. She and Daphne Guinness must be some of the only girls I know who can really carry off one on each finger. I was so thrilled to have not one, but two fabulous previously unmet dinner companions – that really is a result! One being the huge British movie producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor, The Dreamers, Crash) who was enchanting and I could have happily been left alone with him for hours, such was his knack with an anecdote.
To my right I was lucky enough to have the musician and film scorer Christopher Taylor – we found an immediate bond, us both having four-year-old treasured daughters. Schlepping to a dinner alone can sometimes be a travesty but, in this case, my night was a triumph. I also managed to only consume one glass of wine, as I knew I would otherwise get carried away and buy myself the Valentino polaroid which hung dangerously close in front of me!
The next day, having joined the most outrageous new all-women health and beauty club called Grace in Belgravia, I finally found my way to their Matt Roberts gym. Duncan, my assigned personal trainer, was exactly what I needed from a gym motivator – all sinewy muscle, he certainly looks as though he practises what he preaches. I am a tad jaded by trainers as I have never been a keen, or willing, gym bunny, however, the hour whizzed by. On questioning why there were no clocks in the gym, I was told that it’s against Matt Roberts’ ethos to not have their clients clock-watching – maybe they’re onto something! I skipped out feeling pretty well-stretched and clasping a green concoction with promise of a new healthy Tamara.
To finish off my week I had the very talented Tyler Udall’s opening show at my gallery. My business partner Ghislain Pascal and I were so thrilled to have got him in the first place – he is a well-respected member of the cool gang as ex-fashion editor of Dazed & Confused and Another Man. He is so removed from Chelsea it’s not funny. He arrived with his agent, Peter Halpert Hay, and very handsome boyfriend Cole. The gallery had never had so many new and unfamiliar faces, Tyler’s photography is very stark and, dare I say it, bares a slight nod to the hardcore photographer Juergen Teller.
The opening caused much amusement to our guests and neighbours as we had two rather gorgeous hunks in our window – making it feel more like an Abercrombie & Fitch party than an art opening! Rob Van Helden and hubbie Sebastian Barbareal arrived and we were keen to discuss the upcoming Oscars week where I am heading next week.