Anouska’s birthday, Poppy Delevingne and catching up with Princess Beatrice
Back on the early morning Eurostar after a spectacular result for my younger daughter’s school quiz night – in excess of £300,000 being raised for The Whitley Nature Foundation and the Royal Chelsea Pensioners. Not bad at all after six months’ gruelling committee work!
My eldest daughter Anouska’s birthday loomed and I had promised we would be together in Paris, where she lives. It happily coincided with my super Russian girlfriend Katya’s birthday and she had decided we would have a small dinner at the infamous Kaviar Kaspar. Eating caviar and drinking chilled champagne with Russians seems to make the experience that much more exquisite. I now stay at the Hotel Pavillion de la Reine as it’s bang next door to Anouska’s apartment. I don’t feel weird staying there alone either if Giorgio is away working. I have begun to feel more at home when now in Paris and cannot get enough of walking everywhere. It all seems so blissful and romantic and there is just so much to take in, I almost always need a nap before dinner. It must be a general beauty overload.
Warmed croissants and French baguettes are hardly my super greens but who can resist? Next we headed for the Pompido Center and a rather ungainly queue for the Henri Cartier Bresson exhibition. Once inside it was beautifully presented and to say it was crowded would be an understatement. I found some of my favorite images and realised why he is on such a pedestal. I left my beautiful girl for her romantic lunch with her equally beautiful beau, Maxime, but not until we had bought, tried and tested her birthday gift – a practical, comfortable sofa! How I got such a sensible child is way too difficult to fathom…
Back to London and a belated dinner to re-celebrate with Patrick Cox for his birthday at the by now almost too popular, The Firehouse. Crammed in would be too polite a way to explain the crush in the restaurant. Luckily I know the boys one needs to know and we were discreetly escorted to the magnificent residents’ lounge. I won’t bore you about how heavenly it is but suffice to say my business partner, Ghislain Pascal and one of our prestigious photographers, Tyler Udall, popped in for a quick aperitif with us and were absolutely blown away. It helped that our nutty pretend bartender had the gift of the gab and looked after us all until our table was ready. Once at the table it was worse than a school reunion as my husband Giorgio found so many friends!! New daddy, Nick Candy, almost decided to abandon his straight business dinner for us. Dino Lalvani, possibly one of the naughtiest bachelors ever, arrived and we knew that was trouble. When Italian Eduardo Teodorani, part of the Agnelli/Fiat dynasty, came by for kisses it was apparent the naughties far outweighed the goodies. For coolness factor Jefferson Hack was having a business supper with The Elizabeth Saltzman; if ever there was an unofficial stamp of a place’s coolness it is bestowed by Elizabeth’s presence. Much, much later I stumbled across ex-model and now uber nutritionist, Rosemary Ferguson, and her crew including her artist husband Jake Chapman. I’m not sure if she invited me to sit down and chat or if I just did anyway but either way, she was far too well mannered to ask me to leave!
If you ever receive an invitation from a girl called Rena Sindi, you know you’ll be in for a treat. She was the queen of themed parties in New York and although not hosting quite so regularly now, she still knows how to create a setting. One of her great friends is the legendary furrier, Dennis Basso, and since she had missed his 60th in Mexico she decided to recreate his party here for all of us Brits. The Mexican theme translated well in her newly spruiced home and the real live Marriachi band that got us going throughout dinner was spectacular. Tequila shots, so not my bag, were flying off the waiters’ trays and I was stupid enough to try one of the many bowls of candies she always decorates the tables with. Jeez, it was only a chilli Haribo… next a peppery jelly bean. I had to laugh at her dedication to a theme. Dennis made a sweet speech and Glenn Spiro (one of the jewelers to go to with a big budget) made some naughty replies. Caroline Stanbury was on quiet mode which always scares me far more than her normal full throttle. Thanks to my newly installed Uber car service I snuck off once Lisa Tchenguiz and Rena hit the dining table…
I am a glutton for punishment but I had secretly been saving myself for the launch of Anouska and my dear friend Alice Naylor-Leyland’s website launch, MrsAliceinherpalace.com (“High street buys with runway style”). Held in the heavenly spring bloosomed tea rooms of Fortnum & Mason it was a sight for sore eyes. Alice looked serene in her cream lace Alessandra Rich fitted number whilst her fabulous mother, Serena Freeson, scooted around being friendly. Lady Mary Charteris was on the decks with her rock star husband Robbie on hand. Alice’s bestie, Poppy Delevigne, fresh off the plane from LA and in wedding preparation mode, looked really great with a tan and modern red lips. Josephine de la Baume was adding her particular brand of Parisienne boho chic to the affair and Otis Ferry and Edie Campbell just looked cool! Alice must have felt like the cat who had the cream when Laura Bailey cruised by in achingly cool, pastel blue Chanel… We finally headed off for an even more cool and small dinner at Annabel’s. The flowers were simple but so pretty and our individual marshmallow selfies by James Middleton were a hilarious touch. I was happy to have a catch up with Princess Beatrice although the acoustics are not really ideal for long involved chats! I left the groovy gang to it, clutching my treasured bag of Jo Malone goodies.