Tamara Beckwith

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About Tamara Beckwith…”…

I am a gallerist, columnist and occasional TV presenter as well as the mother of two gorgeous girls Anouska and Violet.

When I´m not dashing off to some fabulous location on a photoshoot, writing assignment or to attend a friend's event, I am busy juggling work at my photography gallery, The Little Black Gallery in Chelsea, with keeping my Italian husband Giorgio and our three-year-old daughter Violet happy and fed. Writing up the previous evening's adventures is not so easy if I break the cardinal rule of no drinking on a school night!

www.thelittleblackgallery.com

A fabulous Greek adventure

Flying into Athens you couldn’t help but crane your neck to try and catch a glimpse of Greece’s famous Acropolis. No luck I’m afraid but, having not been to Greece since 1977, the fateful summer when Elvis ‘the King of Rock’n’Roll’ Presley died, I was intrigued to see if Greece and her legendary islands live up to their reputation…  Of course, being a guest on TM Blue with Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti (GG) is hardly roughing it!  So laden with rather an abundance of luggage (you never know what you’ll need with these chic two), Giorgio, Vivi and I were excited to see the gorgeous captain of the GG, Francesco, come to collect us from the quayside.  Once on board it was all about unpacking and getting re-acquainted with the best crew in the world, bar none.

The TM Blue

The TM Blue

Valentino and Giancarlo are the most gracious hosts and there are virtually no rules…  Other than to be chicly dressed and lots of fun!  Vivi was in her element as Valentino’s pugs and GG’s yorkie are always along for the ride.

Our first night we headed to Athens’s Nobu.  I was absolutely stunned at the beauty of the restaurant, perched on a dramatic rock edge with twinkling candlelight. The food was absolutely delicious, with all the staples of a Nobu feast being proffered.

The next morning we were treated to one of the great privileges of Greek island hopping, choosing a deserted cove for a delicious dip in the crystal blue sea.  When I say the water everywhere was unbelievable I am not exaggerating – blue and crisp, you just never wanted to get out.

 

Olivia, Valentino and Tamara at Nammos

Olivia, Valentino and Tamara at Nammos

The seriously glamorous couple, Johannes Huebl and his paramour, fashion doyenne Olivia Palermo had come to join the tribe on the boat.  I was desperate to count their luggage as she takes fashion very seriously! That evening we headed to another Athens hotspot called “Island”. We had been taken by a fabulously eccentric character called Ilias Psinakis who had organised it all with the touch of an iPhone.

Vivi with Francesco and Michael

Vivi with Francesco and Michael

We were all a bit over excited and I was desperate to throw some plates!  Call me a tourist but every movie I have ever seen concerning Greece or Greeks they throw stuff. All I can say is that “Island” was amazing, the sushi to die for and the charming restaurant’s cool lounge interiors breathtaking.

I was of course heartily encouraged to throw some plates off the terrace and my lips remain sealed as to who else was involved but suffice to say we did not go unnoticed!  In Mykonos a girl came up to me on the beach and said she had been next to us that night and furthermore in all her many nights at “Island” she had never seen plate throwing before….

The tribe was now complete so the boat headed for Mykonos…

Arriving to Mykonos

Arriving to Mykonos

The Old Port for those of you who haven’t seen it is picture perfect.  Wonderful ultra white houses with bright blue shutters, dotted in little clusters.  The famous windmills are a legendary landmark.  We were all excited to get off the boat and explore.  Mykonos is also very famous for it’s wind.  Well us girls learnt the hard way as our flimsy dresses were lifted skywards, ala Marilyn.  Vivi was very unamused.

Gorgeous Mykonos

Gorgeous Mykonos

The shops are out of this world and of course the jewellery boutiques are crammed with evil eye everything! Olivia is a pro and within moments had found some fashion treasures… the cobbled streets were filled with people and you couldn’t help thinking June would be a better time to explore!

We were off to the famous “Nammos” for lunch, think St Tropez’s Club 55 – a known hotspot for the beautiful people.  We were of course treated exceptionally well as, the world over, Valentino is treated with reverance.  People stop him constantly for his picture or autograph and without fail he happily obliges.  A Greek feast followed, while a grilled white fish kept us on the healthy road.  As we left Olivia, Vivi and I couldn’t resist the boutique, ‘Louisa’s’. Luckily it was just way too chi chi for us, with luxury designer labels galore but we noticed a fabulous outdoor pop up nail bar. Appointments were hastily booked and we made a dash for the tender.

Vivi at the beach ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi at the beach ©TamaraBeckwith

Giorgio and I were worried Vivi was getting a slightly distorted idea of reality being looked after by the divine, attentive Italian crew so we took her off to the beach in the afternoons.  The idea being we would find some young children for her to play with. Amazingly a lot of London had taken up residency at the beautifully immaculate, serene and best kiddie friendly beach in Mykonos, the Hotel Santa Marina.  My girlfriend, the designer Alessandra Vicedomini, was holidaying with her family and welcomed us to crash her sunbeds and drink delicious homemade iced lemonade.

Alessandra Vicedomini at Santa Marina beach

Alessandra Vicedomini at Santa Marina beach

Vivi of course found plenty of little friends and came across a couple who were home schooled living between Tokyo and Mykonos.  She liked the idea of this very much!  I was a little childishly excited myself as Giorgio found an old friend and one of the original Supermodel’s, Karen Mulder.  She had been one of my favourites and also one of Valentino’s big girls.  Needless to say she still looks wowee in a bikini and her face is still that pretty! Giorgio invited her to come back to the boat and say Hello to Valentino and GG.  My day was made!

Me with Olivia Palermo at Brian's birthday

Me with Olivia Palermo at Brian’s birthday

We had been invited to the birthday party of top cobbler, Brian Atwood.  The theme was genius, “Togas or Greek Gatsby”! We all managed to cobble some form of ensemble together and of course Valentino and GG did the ‘Greek Gatsby’ with their usual panache.  Magically I had thrown in a Stella McCartney toga-ish evening dress and some even older Greek inspired Jimmy Choos.  For once my overpacking paid off!  Olivia arrived on the deck beautifully coiffed with a little headpiece she had discovered on one of our Mykonos village raids.  We headed of to a wonderful house high up on a rocky point of the island.

Brian's birthday

Brian’s birthday

Greeted by exquisite toga clad young men with gladiator sandals to boot.  Thoughtful baskets with crowns of laurel leaves were on hand to add an extra touch.  Brian is a very handsome man and therefore looked wonderful as a Gladiator.  Within moments of our arrival fireworks exploded into the night sky and a cake the size of a small island was grandly carried through.  My good friend Evangelo who is from Athens, looked the genuine article in his slashed to the waist toga and was keen to introduce us to his friends.  It was a magical setting and all the guests had really dressed up to the theme. As we left I spotted the uber hotelier Andre Balzas with his current squeeze, Chelsea Handler dancing like crazy.

The Tribe - Port of Hydra

The Tribe – Port of Hydra

We awoke the following day to the boat heading for the very special island of Hydra…….

Moving house, a HELLO! photoshoot and a lovely Love Ball in Monaco

They say moving house is as stressful as a divorce or a death in the family… and I totally agree! After four blissful years at our old home we have moved on to a new home… only it’s not ready! Luckily the dream team movers over at Cadogan Tate, who have looked after me for at least 18yrs, came to the rescue. All I know right now is that all our worldly possessions are now in brown boxes so I am just letting it all float over me…

Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing

Wonderfully, to break up the sheer monotony of packing and tidying, my beloved father called to invite me to see the return of Dirty Dancing at the Piccadilly Theatre. It was fantastic and the audience seemed to think so too. I saw Gok Won in the front row and Bruno Tonioli of Strictly Come Dancing singing along quite happily. Even rock chick Jo Wood seemed to be having fun. We decided to skip the afterparty as I was up bright and early to head to the Cote D’Azur to shoot my dear friend Julian Lennon for HELLO! magazine to promote his forthcoming photographic exhibition at my gallery.

Julian Lennon & Deborah Anderson

Julian Lennon & Deborah Anderson

It had taken me a while to persuade him it would be a great idea. Sadly I cannot divulge too much as the piece isn’t ready to publish yet but his home was incredible. Very L.A. in some respects, with incredible, sentimental pieces strewn around. He is a very respected photographer, as well as a serious musician, so there was definitely enough to get him to talk about in our interview. I had a great 48 hours, culminating with a delicious dinner with the LA based photographer Deborah Anderson and her brother Damion in my favourite village – Villefranche…

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Back to London and I bravely tried a new hairdressers on Fulham Rd called “Massato”. A terribly cool Japanese whizz who has three salons in Paris and is already very popular with some hip London heads of hair. I left and was more than thrilled with the result. Later that evening I headed off to David Gandy’s Johnnie Walker party on the most awesome yacht moored alongside the Tower of London. It was the most divine sunset and alongside my old friend Astrid Harbord and chic stylist Martha Ward we had a wonderful couple of hours…sipping whisky sours!

Vivi at Pony Club

Vivi at Pony Club

Finally our summer vacation beckoned. Vivi had been in a local pony club with her Italian grandma for 10 days and was beginning to dream of owning a pony – dangerous territory at only four years old! We flew to Milan, despite our life still being in boxes, picked up Vivi and then promptly drove to Monaco. We had been invited to our friend Natalia Vodianova’s 3rd Loveball in aid of her Naked Heart Foundation. This time she had created a 1960’s Riviera theme and Prince Albert and Princess Charlene of Monaco were her patrons.

Natalia Vodianova

Natalia Vodianova

First we had a delicious day of sun and sea at the Monte Carlo Beach Club where our English skin got a decent exposure to some real rays. Next I discovered my dress was far from appropriate and I snuck off to the central square for a spot of shopping. Lanvin had an incredible boutique and the guy who helped me couldn’t have been more fantabulous: Loutfi, my new BFF. So one dress down I headed for the Valentino shop where, of course, I was spoilt for choice and I ended up with a divine black lace jumpsuit. Feeling I was at least going to be suitably dressed for the occasion, I then headed for a very late hair appointment.

 

Lanvin

Lanvin

 

Arriving at the Hotel de Paris terrace overlooking the Monte Carlo bay, the scene was quite breathtaking and I was pleasantly almost knocked over by the legendary Karl Lagerfeld. He seems to have traded his de rigeur black leather gloves for black fishnet. You have to give him credit for all he has accomplished and that he continues to do so at 77 years of age. My great girlfriend Astrid Munoz was also there with her dashing husband Edoardo Novelli. Harry Blaine and his bombshell wife Bodil were on great form and I found our partner in crime Tim Jefferies equally as chipper.

 

Opera at the Love Ball

Opera at the Love Ball

 

Albert and Charlene of Monaco duly arrived with Natalia – who looked as ever radiant in red Dior  – dinner was called and we crossed over into the famous casino. We actually had the dinner in the L’Opera Garnier, it was only the second time that all the seats had been removed for an event. Quite the most beautiful room I ever saw. You really just stood back to admire the craftsmanship. Natalia had her lovely beau Antoine Arnaud giving her encouragement, as well as the uber photographer Mario Testino. Mario and Natalia are old friends and I am sure his support was of huge importance.

Menu for the Love Ball

Menu for the Love Ball

The evening was packed with amazing musical vignettes and a very beautiful ballet performance by prima ballerina Diana Vishneva of St. Petersburg Mariinsky Orchestra and Ballet – we really were spoiled. The auction, which is what the whole evening is about, raised a whopping €3.5 million, absolutely incredible! Natalia’s team at Naked Heart Foundation were beyond ecstatic. Finally we were allowed to head off and play in the casino… British comedian James Corden, our compere, looked relieved to be off duty, man-about-town Dennis Blasberg had Camilla Al Fayed and Margherita Missoni on his table and looked like the cat who’d the cream. Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was as ever a genius at making that extra pot of gold materialise, by way of some Academy award tickets and some impossible to get Vanity Fair party tickets – harder to come by than golddust! My only peeve was that singer Bono was in the audience sitting with Princess Charlene and didn’t sing one note!

Laurent Reiss and me at LoveBall

Laurent Reiss and me at LoveBall

One last lunch the next day with our lovely Tim Jefferies before we packed again and headed back to the airport – this time destination Athens. The last time I was in Greece was 1977, the fateful Summer Elvis Presley died. We are heading for more adventures with Valentino and Giancarlo Giammetti…..

Mummy duties, red carpets and celebrities galore!

Summer craziness has finally arrived and looks pretty determined to stay. I try my upmost to be a non-flaky friend which means that due to my constant asking for people to attend my gallery viewings and other parties all through the year it falls to me to reciprocate! The next 3 weeks are always brutal…

Chicken Pox Day for Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

Chicken Pox Day for Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

We had just arrived back from Tamara Ecclestone’s beautiful, very private engagement/wedding surprise weekend, when my little daughter came down with the dreaded chicken pox! Good as gold she asked me if that entitled her to a week of chocolate and TV! I thank our lucky stars she didn’t get them too badly.

Kensington Mums shoot with Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

Kensington Mums shoot with Vivi ©Juliana

The next day I had to get the legs running fast as I was due to pop my head in at ‘Kensington Mums Motherhood’ exhibition at Beaufort House. A lovely girl called Dina had stopped me in Chelsea Green and asked if I would be part of her ‘Mummies’ project.  Never one to say no, I found myself filming a small segment at my house and as a result wanted to see their finished product. The response was amazing and the collage was beautiful. It’s a great cause and I think their hard work had really paid off. If you are keen to learn more take a look at kensingtonmums.co.uk.

 

Kensington Mums

Kensington Mums

More charity and even more worthy causes… our dear friends Holly and Nick Candy had a very small dinner at their sumptuous home in No1 Hyde Park. “Summer in the City” was created as a platform for Holly to share her intent and passion as an Ambassador for DRI (Disabillity Rights International).  They had just returned from a grueling five day trip to eastern Europe and Holly had shown Nick what dreadful conditions huge numbers of the orphans were living in. The evening was a weepy one with a very cleverly put together video and a speech by Holly that was brilliant. I think they raised all our awareness to levels that cannot be ignored. The Duchess of York was guest of honour and as we all know she is a relentless campaigner for these orphanages and the conditions. It definitely makes it all sink home just how lucky we all are.

 

Carrera's latest collection

Carrera’s latest collection

The following evening I was raring to go albeit to Soho! I am just hopeless these days at being adventuress of spirit and so rarely venture further than Mayfair! The Carrera Ignition Party was enough to get me moving and our good friend Ermes Steffanuto, the CEO of Safilo, was thankfully in the lobby when we arrived.

Me and Georgio at the Carrera party

Me and Georgio at the Carrera party

The queue to get in was almost down Greek Street. I can’t remember the last time I had to queue, very good for the ego!!

David Gandy wearing Carrera frames

David Gandy wearing Carrera frames

Once inside the party was already electric. Supermalemodel David Gandy was almost mobbed as he arrived sporting a great pair of tortoiseshell Carrera frames.

Me in my Carrera frames

Me in my Carrera frames

I lost my gang almost immediately as House of St Barnabas is a rambling venue and my Cassidea shoes were terrifyingly tall. I was also in immaculate cream Pucci so was a bit paranoid about spillages!

Me and James Rousseau

Me and James Rousseau

I found one of London’s most gorgeous boys James Rousseau and found the perfect excuse to park myself on a chair for a catch up… My sister Clare arrived in one of her trademark itty bitty dresses and the talented photographer Deborah Anderson was also in tow.

Nick Grimshaw

Nick Grimshaw

Amber Le Bon was the opening DJ which was fabulous. Next came the pretty Mary Charteris followed by Nick Grimshaw of BBC Radio 1! What a line up.

Pixie Geldof doing a DJ set

Pixie Geldof doing a DJ set

Pixie Geldof then had a set and they finally finished with Chelsea Leyland. All way too trendy for me and my crew!

 

Chelsea Leyland's DJ set

Chelsea Leyland’s DJ set

I met the legendary blogger DJ Bip Ling with my girlfriend Amanda Kyme and also young girl about town Zara Martin.

Amber Le Bon at the Carrera party

Amber Le Bon at the Carrera party

The cocktails were flowing and the glasses were flying off the stands – the huge garden in the back was thankfully our refuge and miraculously the evening was a beautiful Summer night.

Mary Charteris at the Carrera party

Mary Charteris at the Carrera party

Giorgio was anxious to get our crew to dinner and so we dragged socialite Dori Cooperman in from New York and the naughty Dino Lalvani off to Hertford St…We left the young to it.

Legendary blogger DJ Bip Ling

Legendary blogger DJ Bip Ling

Finally the Summer Party at the Serpentine. Giorgio was firmly on the wagon and beginning to moan at the sheer amount of parties I had said yes to. I had a divine Missoni dress I was supposed to wear so threatened to go alone. Our arrival couldn’t have been better, with Kate Moss in her trademark rock’n’roll black and Naomi Campbell in her trademark AlaiaJade Jagger and Trudie Styler in crisp white lace. Giorgio finally had to smile as he kissed Naomi hello! The annual cocktail party has become such a scene, this year Tim Jefferies was co-chairing with L’Wren Scott and Caroline Peyton-Jones.

 

Katya Formicev, Masha Hanson, Inga Rubinstein and Dori Cooperman

Katya Formicev, Masha Hanson, Inga Rubinstein and Dori Cooperman

Party thrower extraordinaire Amanda Ferry was at the entrance to greet us and had obviously upped the anti. Gone were the scores of tacky Russians of years gone by and in their place were the uber cool … Trillions of PYT’s in scaffold high heels and some of the best frocks I have seen all season. Eva Herzigova looked incredible in leather L’Wren Scott, especially bearing in mind she only had her third little boy a minute ago! Daphne Guinness has become a weird vision of her previously beautiful self, almost a cabaret dame. I was happy to bump into my old pal from LA Bruce Payne – a wonderful British actor and his other half Laura. I kept trying to disappear into the throng near the stage but Giorgio was having none of it! Tailor Ozwald Boateng was his usual jovial spirit and the privileged acceptable Russians, Katya Fomichev, Masha Hanson and Inga Rubinstein all looked sensational. Astrid Munoz was out again, twice in a week I was thrilled, with partner in crime, fashionista Annabelle Nielsen. Feeling we were off home I had a last laugh with make-up rock’n’kohl queen Charlotte Tilbury before we bade our goodnights to Tim and Malin Jeffries as they headed off to a crazy packed Hertford Street.

Me, Alice Naylor and Charlotte Tilbury

Me, Alice Naylor and Charlotte Tilbury

I was actually quite relieved we had had a curfew so to speak as we were up early the following morning to fly to Naples……

A Parisian family adventure and a glam A-list supper!

Fresh and off to Paris to spend a couple of quality days with my two girls. Vivi loves that her big sister Anouska lives in Paris and of course she thinks she actually lives in the Eiffel Tower. We were staying at one of the prettiest, private Parisienne boutique hotels called Le Pavillion de la Reine, on Place des Vosges. It’s quite exquisite, and more importantly right next door to Noushy’s apartment. Anouska and her heavenly new beau Maxime, a bona fide musician, came over and whisked us off to Le Petit Marche. Vivi was so enthralled with Maxime she was oblivious to the fact that it was 10.30pm and slightly past her bedtime…

 

Vivi and Anouska in Paris! ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi and Anouska in Paris! ©TamaraBeckwith

The next morning we were up to go to the new Ron Mueck show at the Fondation Cartier that Noushy thought we should see. His sculptures are quite spectacular and I found his elderly couple on the beach as giant human’s absolutely breathtaking in detail. Vivi naturally found it almost impossible to avoid the temptation of treading over the grey security lines and was on the verge of being escorted out. Although it had been rather rainy, we decided that some walking was in order and so off to the Seine we headed.

Vivi and Anouska on the Pont de L’Archeveche ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi and Anouska on the Pont de L’Archeveche ©TamaraBeckwith

It goes without saying that we put our heads in many dazzling little boutiques and a few small purchases made their way home with us. It was crossing the Pont de L’Archeveche that took all our breaths away. Vivi was thrilled to bits to be told that all the padlocks were placed there by couples in love. Back at our little hotel, Vivi had found a friend, a lovely little boy called Aleph who was far younger than her but desperate to play. He turned out to be Natalie Portman’s little chap and Vivi thought he was rather dinky.

Vivi on the Pont de L’Archeveche ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi on the Pont de L’Archeveche ©TamaraBeckwith

Back to London via the Eurostar – which I absolutely adore – we headed pretty much straight to the West Sussex countryside to stay with some friends. Bright and early we headed off for a serious bike ride and found a wonderful retro fair in the grounds of Knepp Castle.

Grainne Stevenson at a gorgeous food stall at Knepp Castle

Grainne Stevenson at a gorgeous food stall at Knepp Castle

We shot home and changed into some more vintage inspired clothing. I fell in love with a super stylish lady called Lucy who lovingly restores caravans. The one she had on display was absolutely perfect and all our kids piled in and held an imaginary teaparty. You should take a look for yourselves at lucyjaynecaravans.com.

The girls having an imaginary tea party!

The girls having an imaginary tea party!

Back to work, and we had a very packed Little Black Gallery for the preview night of our Anja Niemi “Starlets” exhibition. She is a very talented Norwegian girl and we are always inundated when her show is up. Anja and her husband Thomas are so lovely and she is always so happy to talk to the guests.

Amanda Kyme, me, Anja Niemi, Lily Hodges and Katya Formicev at the opening of Anja's Starlets at The Little Black Gallery

Amanda Kyme, me, Anja Niemi, Lily Hodges and Katya Formicev at the opening of Anja’s Starlets at The Little Black Gallery

The following afternoon there was a special tea-party being held at the very chic Temperley store in Mayfair. Our good girlfriend Yasmin Mills was hosting with Alice and they both looked very summery in floaty Temperley frocks. Kim Hersov was sporting her de rigeur rock chick armour and Donna Air looked absolutely fabulous in a new Missoni number – a gift from her daughter Freya. Loree Rodkin, jeweller extraordinaire, passed by and it just made me dream of more of her sparkly rings to adorn my fingers. Alice is the perfect model for her very romantic take on fashion.

 

Donna Air, Alice Temperley, Yasmin Mills and Kim Hersov at the Alice Temperley tea-party

Donna Air, Alice Temperley, Yasmin Mills and Kim Hersov at the Alice Temperley tea-party

One mad whirlwind and suddenly we were all trussed up in black tie for the annual Ormeley Dinner hosted by Damian Aspinall, Zac Goldsmith and Trudie Styler – a very chic event held at Bridgewater House in St.James’s. The House was breathtaking and is still privately owned. Everywhere I looked there was another familiar face and it was all I could do to get around and kiss all my girlfriends! Tamara Ecclestone was in the centre of the room with her darling sister Petra. Petra was full of smiles at the mere mention of her little daughter Lavinia. We were off to Tamara and Jay’s engagement party the following week so we all discussed what exactly was going to go on! Dora Lowenstein and her company had organised the evening and I must say she had done, as always, a special job. I found Camilla Al Fayed who of course always dresses quite impeccably – I love that she always has her hair done! Patrick Cox was in good form and had already decided what we were going to be bidding for. Jemima Khan outdid herself and looked knockout in quite a racy Chanel number with strappy heels. I have always had a bit of a soft spot for younger brother Ben Goldsmith – I just find him delicious and quite mischievous. Tara Bernerd looked great in a Cavalli number and Caprice was proudly showing off her baby bump.

My invitation to the Ormeley Dinner

My invitation to the Ormeley Dinner

Of course, beside all the glamour and power and money in the room it was all for a great cause.  To save our planet for future generations! We were all silent as HRH Prince Charles took to the intimate stage and made a very warm and intelligent speech – you could have heard a pin drop. The dinner was then served and was absolutely delicious – stuffed quail and some very tasty potato substitute. The dreaded auction came and went but Stephen Fry was snapped up for £100k to go for tea and needless to say he was more than chuffed. We were all given wonderful yellow, solar-powered torches to use in the auction and so naturally we all took them home! Finally we were treated to our surprise, a private audience with the one and only Chris Martin. He was incredible and terribly nervous, or so he kept telling us. He sang whilst playing the piano with one hand and the room went wild. He was on about his 4th or 5th encore before he leapt to safety! Damian Aspinall looked pleased with the evening as his three daughters hugged him and lavished him with praise, and rightly so, a fabulous evening…

Dior, Cannes and Leonardo!

Having driven like loonies to Monaco from Milan we arrived on the steps of the drippingly chic Hotel de Paris looking rather crushed. Giorgio was swiftly spotted by one of his old friends the genius CEO of the house of Dior, Sidney Toledano who of course looked pristinely handsome and relaxed.  He was hosting a huge Dior show Cruise 2014 the following evening in the presence of H.S.H Prince Albert and H.S.H Princess Charlene.  Would we like to attend? My French is schoolgirl and I just looked sweetly “How lovely”…

edDiorevent

The next day was thunderous rain.  Soggy palm trees, however, could not dampen the enthusiasm of the Monegasques.  They flocked in all their Dior finery to the pop-up fashion tent balanced precariously on the commercial port’s outer wall! Later I found out from Princess Charlene the whole project had been a labour of love for her for two years. I should add that the late Princess Grace was a Dior devotee and Princess Charlene has her own very close relationship with Dior designer Raf Simons.

edDiorshow

We had amazing seats right behind Sidney and his wife who had the misfortune to be sitting next to a very impolite American movie star’s guest who insisted on chewing gum as if her life depended on it.  Jessica Biel, dressed by Dior, looked as if she genuinely enjoys front row frivolity. Dior spokesperson Liv Tyler, on the other hand, is a real Old School movie star.  Fragile and exquisite to look at she gave very little eye contact.  A real bona fide beauty.  Marion Cotillard and a quiffed Clotilde Courau, both firm favourites of mine, of course are just sexy, French and utterly compelling to watch.  The show was greeted with awe as we were thankfully protected from the sheet rain (a last minute installation) and watched terribly tall, thin girls walk up and down in very paired down silhouettes.  Not for a curvy girl I am afraid but some of the suits were exquisite.

edDior2

The show over we all queued up beautifully and jumped into waiting blacked-out cars which ferried us up to the Pink Palace’s Musee Oceanographique.  Wow is all I have to say.  Of course it is a smaller Palace compared to our own Buckingham Palace but it’s equally very special.  I found the Fairy Godmother of Make-Up Pat McGrath and she was making us laugh at her horrendous travel plans. Dior had certainly pulled off a wonderful visual treat – at the end do the huge ballroom there was a small retrospective of Princess Grace’s vintage Dior pieces combined with some newer Princess Charlene pieces.  I was horribly pushy and took my own snaps quite shamelessly!  Giorgio and I managed to find Eva Cavalli who had come over from Cannes and she was her usual Happy-Go-Lucky self.  We had a big week at Cannes ahead of us so I was the bore who started hinting we should leave..so not like me!

Me with Tim Jefferies and Giorgio

Me with Tim Jefferies and Giorgio at the IWC Party

Arriving in Juan Les Pins, a small quieter version of Cannes we managed a little siesta before getting ourselves ready for the IWC “For the Love of Cinema” hosted by Georges Kern, the CEO.  It’s held at the Hotel du Cap – Eden Roc and is revered as a must go to party.  We have been included as part of Tim Jefferies’ posse, as he has been an Ambassador for IWC for I think about 10 years.  We had a great table with Tim and his wife Malin and Grey’s Anatomy star Eric Dane.  Kate Driver, who was accompanying her actress friend Naomi Watts, had been squeezed out of her seat by the larger than life Harvey Weinstein, and so happily joined our table.  I must admit I spent an awful lot of time studying the legendary Christoph Waltz as he was only a breath away.

Giorgio with Marpessa Henriksen

Giorgio with Marpessa Hennink at the AmFAR Party

Supermodel Karolina Kurkova, a Cannes babe looked jawdropping in Balmain and I asked her how she actually had climbed into the leather number.  The party moved to a huge marquee where Jay Kay of Jamiroquai put us through our paces.  The after-parties in Cannes are total bun fights but Malin and I had been very shrewd and found a great little corner right near the stage in the VIP and steadfastly refused to budge. Paris Hilton was being heavily accosted by young fans wanting to Instagram her and her even younger beau, the model River Viiperi was almost too pretty.  Once legendary Jack E from Le Cave took over I knew it was time for me to sneak off.  I told you I am a seasoned professional now at Cannes, it’s all about pacing oneself!!

Tim Jefferies and Mary Greenwell

Tim Jefferies and Mary Greenwell at the Eden Roc lunch

The next day we had a recovery brunch again at the Eden Roc.  Giorgio was happy to bump into his old Milan friend Gianluca Passi trying to have a romantic tete-a-tete (as the very contented boyfriend of Jessica Chastain).  In real life she is absolutely petite.  I dwarfed her.  We discovered the Bamfords have a very drinkable local rose called Secret de Leoube and promptly raced through four of them.  Did I mention the Jefferies are very bad influences!!  As star spotting goes it was quiet until Uma Thurman arrived in casual attire but with a smile to melt hearts.

edDeGrisogonojewels

Next I headed into Cannes to do a filming piece for De Grisogono.  Fawaz Gruosi is another of Giorgio’s old buddies and he has one of the most legendary parties at the Festival.  He is notoriously naughty whilst being fabulously charming.  He was celebrating his 20 years and had made 20 commemorative pieces for the occasion.  “Melody of Colours” is one of his new lines and all the pieces were to die for.  I am lucky enough to be allowed to borrow from him and I can’t tell you how much I love that!

edTamarasdeGrisogonojewels

That night was De Grisogono’s Party and I was squeezed into a very feminine, floaty Ralph Lauren evening dress.  A Pucci clutch, my new Cinderella earrings and I was good to go.  The red carpet in Cannes is of course a serious thing and you are meant to take it as such.  Well one Italian TV star did just that and demanded to be given a second shot at it. The girl had no shame…The cocktail reception was heaven and Fawaz was blessed with impeccable weather.  We stood in front of a full orchestra and drank bellinis.  My favourite hotter than hot girls are Jessica Hart and Bianca Balti.  They certainly are the whole package.  Flavio Briatore was in good form with his wife Elisabetta who looked beautiful in racy red.

Tamara Ecclestone and me

Tamara Ecclestone and me at AmFAR

 

Tamara Ecclestone looked absolutely gorgeous being escorted by her fiancé Jay Rutland.  They were very sweet and quite coy.  As friends of hers, Giorgio and I were just pleased to see her so happy… Leonardo di Caprio was of course the Star of the evening.  If you try to imagine how many eyes were looking at him, times that by a 1000. He was with his mother, stepfather and his longtime best friend Lukas Haas and seemed to have one of his ecological cigarettes pretty much permanently clamped on.  Sharon Stone, I have to say, was a resplendent show piece. She arrived in a red Cavalli dress and made Fawaz look like the cat that got the cream.  Sharon is the personification of Cannes.  The dinner is always – Why??? But as soon as it’s over the dancing starts and the champagne never stops.  Again, I felt the need to steal away at a respectable 3am – no husband in sight!!!

Olivia Palermo with her boyfriend Johannes Huebl

Olivia Palermo with her boyfriend Johannes Huebl at AmFAR

Almost done we had a surprise Cavalli Dinner on their decadent, animal print boat that serves as their HQ in Cannes.  Eva and Roberto always have really fun and loud parties.  They are excellent hosts and have their old school housekeeper/chef come in and cook proper Italian/Tuscan food for the night.  To say we all flocked around the buffet would be very unchic but it’s so delicious and to be fair probably the only party with heavenly food. Kylie Minogue was a guest and was very chatty. I was happy with my pal Olivia Palermo and her BFF Sarah Harris who were making me laugh with her quandary over tough Red Carpet decisions. Giorgio and Johannes Huebl were happy eye balling the various knock out Victoria’s Secret girls who kept on walking by!  Duran Duran star Simon Le Bon arrived with a very clean, clipped moustache followed by his band member Nick Rhodes.

Olivia Palermo and me

Olivia Palermo and me at the Cavalli Party

 

They secretly revealed they would be singing at AmFar the following night… Sharon Stone was also holding court and I think I caught a glimpse of her younger sister Kelly who I used to know.  Uma Thurman arrived this time dressed to kill and was, I think, a little taken aback by the crush that had formed inside.  My old friend Julian Lennon made a late appearance with Princess Charlene where I congratulated her on the Dior show.  Truthfully I could have stayed all night but I knew we still had AmFar to get through and that’s an endurance course…  I did manage to drag Giorgio with me this time though….

edAmfardinner

Last but not least and, of course, I have had to keep all the terribly juicy bits out, we found ourselves getting dressed one last time…  I had found an incredible black beaded Valentino evening gown and was feeling very sophisticated. Gypsy diamond earrings and I was all set.  AmFar is the party everyone dies to go to, it’s now so unbelievably expensive but the tickets literally vanish.  We had been included on Tamara Ecclestone’s table and she was right in the front row.  Of course it’s a beautiful party; you arrive through the Terrace of the Hotel du Cap and descend down those magnificent steps.  It’s all too perfect for words…  However the auction is what it’s all about. That and Harvey Weinstein cleverly cajoling all the movie stars in town for the festival to compere and present and basically sing for their supper.  Heidi Klum for once did not look her most beautiful, Nicole Kidman was quite reserved, but Sharon Stone was at her penultimate.  She is never better than when raising fortunes for Aids charities.  She comes alive and her white sheath Cavalli bespoke dress was genius.  Needless to say they (Simon de Pury is her side kick) easily raised $25 million.  I think a huge thank you goes to Leonardo di Caprio who seemed to be part of every auction lot package!  Former Vogue editor-in-chief Corinne Roitfeld added her own touch of fashion magic with an all gold fashion show which featured endless leggy gorgeous creatures.  Even brand new mother again (of three boys no less), Eva Herzigova made a little cameo.

 

Giorgio with Mark Vandelli and Johannes Huebl

Giorgio with Mark Vandelli and Johannes Huebl at the Cavalli Party

I could go on forever but I think to end my week I’ll leave you with the visual -  we were in a car around 3am headed to Leonardo’s after after party in a private villa – a sort of pop-up night club if you like! Great if you’re 20 years old but I spent the whole night in the almost pitch black with a vodka – no rocks!  That is so not me……

Charity clay shooting and the fabulous HELLO! birthday party

The day of reckoning has arrived. My alarm sounded at 5.30am and I was up and in the shower like a rabbit. I can’t recall the last time I was so enthusiastic about something! The Highclere Shooting Challenge had been blessed with a spectacular display of British weather at its best – blue skies and sunshine. The ride to Highclere with two of my fellow team members, Grainne Stevenson and Lily Hodges, was hilarious as we suddenly realised that we were about to endure 5 drives of 200 clays per drive – for novices like us that would be a lot of shooting!

Highclere Castle aka "Downton Abbey"

Highclere Castle aka “Downton Abbey”Highclere Castle

Arriving at the gates of the Highclere Castle we got our driver to stop so we could really take in the magnificent sweeping scenery of “Downton Abbey”. It is even more beautiful than you could imagine, pulling up outside in the drive we fully expected Carson to come rushing out – but no such luck! However, once inside the hall we were met with a swarm of men all dressed in their country khakis and tweeds. It all felt a little surreal. Sir John Beckwith (my uncle) and his daughter Nicola had masterminded the whole Charity event to raise much needed funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital’s ‘The Face Value’ fund. Nicola’s eldest son, Oscar, was born with Crouzon syndrome and has already undergone many facial surgeries. Urgent research is still required for extensive surgery to get him and many other little children safely into adulthood. Lord & Lady Carnarvon had been so generous to allow us to have the shoot on their estate.

LilyHodges, me, Grainne Stevenson and Annette Nygren

LilyHodges, me, Grainne Stevenson and Annette Nygren

One of my girlfriends had injured her shoulder the week of the shoot and had called me in a panic for a replacement. Lily Hodges mentioned our mutual friend Jodie Kidd and thankfully she was totally up for it! Breakfast was old school bacon baps and coffee. We had to sign for our shotguns and then were allocated spanking new Range Rovers  - so far so brilliant! I had found our fourth Girls member Annette Nygren – she was our secret weapon as she is a terrific shot and flies all over the world with her husband to shoot.

Me with Jodie Kidd

Me with Jodie Kidd

Our 1st drive was exhilarating – never had we loaded and shot so fast. It actually didn’t matter that we were not hitting much but the adrenaline was huge. The second was a whole different kettle of fish and we struggled a bit. The third was incredibly impossible to put it mildly – I barely saw the clays high up above! Walking away we were a little downtrodden but perked up when we saw Geri Halliwell looking every inch a Pro. She is a very sporty girl and loves a competition and she certainly looked the part. The fourth and fifth drives were thankfully wonderful and we all blasted away. Heading back for lunch we were all filled with renewed vigour and how much fun we had had.

Team Victorious Secrets

Team Victorious Secrets

Lunch was all about the auction and the talented Henry Delahunty was in rare form. Very sombre speeches ensured tears flowed and pockets emptied. I was amazed to learn a total of £315,000 was raised, a fantastic amount. Prize giving was of course what all the men had really come for and I was touched that our team “Victorious Secrets” got a booby prize! Well “Most Enthusiastic” or something!!!

Tina Hobley with my sister Clare

Tina Hobley with my sister Clare

After the day’s clay shooting, it was back to London and it was the hugely important 25th anniversary party for HELLO Magazine. As a contributing Editor I have been lucky to have been involved with them for over 15yrs. Juliet Herd, my lovely Editor has always been a great supporter and I know she has a tough job sometimes! I had chosen a really fun but slightly Rock n Roll Skaist Taylor dress and some Tracey Ross stud heels. My sister Clare was riding with Giorgio and I, as was my long suffering agent & business partner Ghislain Pascal. The venue was the magificant Wallace Collection (where Stella McCartney held her 40th birthday celebrations) on Manchester Square. It’s very grand and perfect for the beautiful party they threw. Eduardo Sanchez, HELLO!’s head honcho had flown in from Spain, was with all the HELLO! family.

Me with Stephen and Assia Webster

Me with Stephen and Assia Webster

As we arrived England’s favourite cheeky blonde, Denise van Outen, was making her entrance. Once inside more photos and bang smack into Theo Fennell and his glorious wife-turned-novelist Louise. Our good friends, Stephen and Assia Webster were also there and I promptly set about stealing her incredible blue opal earrings. Jodie Kidd arrived with her pretty mother Wendy and naughty brother Jack and her beau Andrea. I had just met her little boy the day before and to say he is delicious would be an understatement. The room was heaving with people but John Cleese and his wife Jennifer Wade stood out. Giorgio found Joan Collins and her lovely Percy. She of course looked amazing in a black sequin trouser suit! She always exudess glamour. Patsy Palmer and her partner Richard were right at the front next to the stage and I wanted to say how much Violet had liked their little chap Bertie.

Joan Collins and Ivan Massow

Joan Collins and Ivan Massow

My all time favourite Stacey Young, wife of crooner Paul Young, arrived and you can hear her giggling from the other side of the room. There was just such a huge turnout of faces that have appeared in the magazine, it was great – having obviously seen their faces before you kept thinking you knew them! The champagne was definitely flowing and all you could really hear was laughter. I think that’s a great sign for any party. We then had a fabulous speech by Eduardo and our editors before no 1 artist Caro Emerald got up and sang her heart out – in such a wonderfully intimate venue it really was something special.

Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster singing HELLO! 'Happy Birthday'

Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster singing HELLO! ‘Happy Birthday’

Finally whispering started and the one and only Rod Stewart was brought in with his gorgeous wife Penny Lancaster to sing a fun Happy Birthday. The room went mad and he was almost lynched! Our only complaint was that he didn’t play a full set!!! Realising we had an early flight to Milan the next day we slipped off, but not before being handed big red HELLO! goodie bags – fantastic treats and gifts, utterly spoiling. A really great night.

Photo shoots, princess parties and fabulous art!

Being back in London feels great although I am quietly nervous about the airing of my new CH4 TV show “Four Rooms”.  It was a great experience shooting the shows and I really enjoyed working with my fellow gallerists but there is a lot that can be done in editing!

 

Tamara on the Four Rooms photo shoot

On the set of Four Rooms © Ch4

Straight back into the thick of it though, Vivi and I headed off to Euston to a serious old-school studio for a HELLO! Magazine photo shoot with the maestro, photographer John Swannell.  It was a huge excitement for Vivi and watching her have her hair and makeup done was just too precious. National treasure, Patsy Palmer’s three children were also there and they were so good looking, polite and generally charming that I would have considered stealing little Bertie…

 

Vivi having her hair done! ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi having her hair done! ©TamaraBeckwith

I was up bright and early for yet another shooting lesson with my new BFF Pat. Remarkably I seemed to really get the hang of it and even got so cocky as to suggest we try a couple of pretend rabbit targets. I must say, it certainly gets the old adrenaline pumping. Not long to go now before the actual Highclere Shooting Challenge.

Kate Driver and her daughter Lily

Kate Driver and her daughter Lily

Next we had my great girlfriend Jenny Halpern Prince’s twin girls 4th birthday party. Jenny had gone all out! Little Princesses ran amok and poor Mr. Marvel really had to raise his game to keep them in line. Vivi had decided she wanted to wear her sari. I have to say it is the best thing I have given her in a long time! All my girlfriends were there and I finally had to drag Vivi home when she decided she had to help the poor face painter. Needless to say she was an unwanted assistant. Kate Driver and I left with Vivi and her daughter Lilly laden with armfuls of helium balloons and guilty chocolate-covered mouths.

My gorgeous older daughter Anouska had come home from Paris for a precious weekend with her new beau Maxime. I was very keen to meet the boy who has made her so happy!

Anouska and her boyfriend Maxime

Anouska and her new beau Maxime

Firstly I had to be up really rather early for a Sunday to appear on one of my favourite shows, CH4’s “Sunday Brunch” to promote “Four Rooms”. I watch it usually from the comfort of my bed but it was all quite different getting there at silly o’clock as it’s live. I was thrilled to be on with my old friend Capital Radio DJ, Lisa Snowdon. She is just a gem. Always cheery and what a body! We gossiped and laughed about the old days in LA and our mutual friend Adam Bernhard. She really needs snapping up! The boys, Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer were up to their normal high jinx but the whole show was an absolute pleasure to be on.

Me, Monty and Lisa Snowdon

Me, international cricketer Monty Panesar and Lisa Snowdon

Back to my other reality, The Little Black Gallery. We had curated a “Flowers” show with stunning pure black and white photographs by Japanese photographer Hiroyuki Arakawa, and as a contrast, highly digitised colour flowers by emerging British photographer Lisa Creagh. This was slightly different for us, but with two stellar photographers we hoped it would entice our loyal client base to come and take a peek.

Mark Vandelli, Tamara, Giancarlo Giammetti and Heather Kerzner

Mark Vandelli, Tamara, Giancarlo Giammetti and Heather Kerzner

Well the preview night was crackers. Ex Supermodel Marie Helvin, looking quite unbelievable, was one of the first to appear as she is longtime friends with Hiro’s wife, the heavenly Maxine Van-Cliffe. Maxine arrived from Tokyo and I must say between the two of us we never drew breath. We had met years ago at the Cannes Film Festival at the legendary Hotel Du Cap.

 

Marie Helvin and Hiroyuki Arakawa

Marie Helvin and Hiroyuki Arakawa

It was also quite mad to see another old familiar face, Charlotte Lewis.  We used to hang out in LA when she was still acting. She brought her very well behaved little boy along and was another old friend of Maxine’s. I remember so many crazy nights with Charlotte it made me feel ancient just recollecting them…

Tamara and Maxine Van-Cliff Arakawa

Tamara and Maxine Van-Cliffe Arakawa

Scent by Design, a seriously cool florist and candle maker run by my friend Charmian Taylor, had made some special arrangements for the show and even legendary florist Rob Van Helden made encouraging noises although it was his naughty sidekick Sebastien who was after more photographs for their home. Heather Kerzner swung by looking svelte and happy and full of vigour for her charity, The MacMillan Trust. Bless her for being such a tireless Charity Chick.

Heather Kerzner, Grainne Stevenson, Charmian Taylor and me

Heather Kerzner, Grainne Stevenson, Charmian Taylor and me

Designers Betty Jackson and Edina Ronay, both uber elegant, also came by to say their hello’s to Hiro. It was a huge success and we were all a bit worse for wear, having drunk the many Hibiki Japanese Whisky Highballs courtesy of Suntory Whisky, as we slunk off for a small supper afterwards next door at Eleven Park Walk. I was told off, in a nice way by Hiro, for not letting Maxine eat as we gossiped all night!

Edina Ronay and Betty Jackson

Edina Ronay and Betty Jackson

Another day, another lunch!  So much for eating light and exercising like a lunatic! It was off to Harry’s Bar for a small welcome lunch for the incredible Lorraine Schwartz, jeweller to the stars thrown by Denise Rich. The food is always the same old but I was seated next to Lorraine and I was allowed to touch and try all her magnificent rocks. OMG I was in heaven. Sliced 10 carat diamonds, I know they sound OTT but trust me, once on your little finger they so lose that vulgarity!! She was a character with a capital C and I loved every minute of her chat. I learnt more about Hollywood from her than I have seen in the 20 odd years I have flitted back and forth! All I can say is that I love Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds even more now….

So another quiet week has flown by but I have my eye firmly set on the prize of next week’s Highclere Shooting Challenge. Excited? Like a kid? You bet…

Sunny Miami and Beautiful Art

Arriving at Miami airport is an endurance test, pure and simple. As if flying 9 hours isn’t trauma enough with little people – the battle to get to the Passport Control first is an olympian task in itself. This trip was no different! We must have still waited in line for a good 30 minutes, bearable compared to one poor friend who stood for a mind-boggling 2 hours before getting that precious stamp and smile!!

Once we arrived at our hotel the SLS Hotel South Beach all my stress disappeared and Vivi, Bea (my rather too cute 22yr old Italian Nanny) headed to the pool to watch our first Sunset. As I knew the PR girl from Harrison & Shriftman back from my old LA days, we were literally treated like the Middleton’s relations. A perfect white-smiling, red-carpet genie called Leo Demarsh checked us in and literally never left my side. He was drop dead handsome, charm personified and was absolutely what a great concierge should be.

 

The fabulous SLS hotel

The fabulous SLS hotel

 

 

The hotel is the latest cool place on the uber hip South Beach and I hadn’t quite taken on board the heady mix of a Philip Starck Hotel in collaboration with the one and only Lenny Kravitz, meaning it was hardly a kids’ place! Not that Vivi cares terribly much! She finds fun wherever she goes and the beach was fantastic. All the staff, notably Terry, Andrea and Leo all made Vivi feel very special as she was usually the first by the pool in the morning. Our saving grace was also that a lot of my great friends were there with their children. We made a plan for everyday and heading off to various other hotels makes you realise where would have been a more sensible choice!

 

Our beautiful hotel room

Our beautiful hotel room

 

We arranged to see my dear friend PR whizz Jenny Halpern Prince with her delicious twin girls. We had a mad and much needed dip at The W Hotel before lunch  –  it was also where Nick and Holly Candy were staying. We bumped into another friend Damian Aspinall who had all three of his girls with him. The food was delicious and totally geared towards the kids and we spent a great afternoon with the girls leaping in and out of the pool.

 

Me, Giorgio and Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

Me, Giorgio and Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

 

That night my husband Giorgio was flying in from New York and some friends had planned a dinner at Mr Chows. The table ended up girl-heavy but Robert Hanson, who has moved to Miami with his lovely wife Masha and their little boy Max, was quite capable of handling us all. Our friends the Stevensons were off the following morning so actually it was relatively quiet. Nick Candy stopped by and was funny about the service at the W being so hopeless. Giorgio finally arrived rather bleary-eyed but by that time I was incredibly tired and so we jumped into a taxi and headed home.

 

Bara Boheme gorgeous glass bracelets

Luis Morais and Bara Boheme bracelets

Of course, staying right on South Beach means you have the famous boardwalk right on your doorstep. It is ideal for early morning runs or just watching the world go by. There are also quite a lot of street traders now. I had taken Vivi off for a morning jaunt and we came across a lovely lady, Bara Boheme who had made some really pretty pieces with coloured opals. Being as keen a shopper as her mother, Vivi picked some out for her cousins, one for her and one for her mummy!

Another plus to holidaying in Miami whilst your husband works, is that if the weather isn’t amazing, there is still plenty to do. One such day arrived and so I decided I would take Bea and Vivi to Jungle Island. Sat Nav or no Sat Nav I still didn’t listen to the very simple instructions. Robert and his son had called to say they would meet us there and so off we headed…a slight diversion and we added 20 mins to what should have been a speedy little trip!

 

Flamingos at Jungle Island!

Flamingos at Jungle Island!

 

Once parked and inside the first monkey shed we were in heaven – Americans really do do theme parks brilliantly. The humidity was a problem but over the course of three hours we saw every animal imaginable. A small lake covered in flamingos, parrots & cockatoo’s galore, lions, tigers, snow tigers, jaguars, leopards and cheetahs. However one feels about animals in captivity it is still quite something to see these magnificent animals up close. Apparently there are more big cats bred in captivity or kept in captivity than there are in the wild! That’s quite a sombre fact.

We caught the Wild Encounter cat show which, of course, had Vivi transfixed. Bea and I were about to pass out from dehyrdration but Vivi was far from done! Robert and Max had long gone but the sweetest bit was when we had finally convinced her to leave and were just paying for some drinks, Vivi piped up “Oh and Mummy can we buy a baby Cheetah?”

 

NEST

NEST

 

Although it all sounds lots of fun I was actually in Miami to work! One of my great friends Sara Colombo has an amazing new interiors showroom in the design district called NEST.  She and I had been collaborating over a Terry O’Neill show she thought would be perfect for her Miami market. As Terry is a very old friend of mine and The Little Black Gallery, he was thrilled to come over on his way to another show in Brazil. I was shocked at how much press he generated! Sara had sent out beautiful, chic invitations and we just hoped the show would be a huge success.

 

Me, Sara Colombo and Terry O'Neill

Me, Sara Colombo and Terry O’Neill

 

Terry and his business manager Robin Morgan arrived late – another passport control nightmare – but were staying with me at SLS. Sara and I had decided to take them on their first night to the most beautiful restaurant in South Beach, Casa Tua, owned by a very naughty, handsome Italian called Miky Grendene. It also happens to be one block from the hotel. He is thick as thieves with London naughties, Arki Busson and Tim Jefferies. Sara and Terry hit it off immediately and he adored the charming flowery terrace.  Miky was his usual charming self and had arranged a wonderful feast and actually sat with us. Fawaz Gruosi (owner of De Grisogono jewellery) arrived for his gang’s dinner and my husband’s great pal Marco Bizarri was hosting a think-tank for luxury label Bottega Venetta. As if we needed any further glamour, ex-supermodel Elsa Benitez arrived in a teeny red Herve Leger to celebrate her birthday.

 

Me, Miky Grendene and Terry O'Neill

Me, Robin Morgan and Terry O’Neill

 

The night of Terry’s “It Girls & Boys” show arrived and I arranged a car to take us to the Design District. Terry was such a trooper arriving not a single minute late, and I remembered to get a quick shot on the steps of the hotel for posterity. Sara’s showroom is absolutely sensational, beautiful Italian style furniture with very expensive looking accessories stylishly dotted around. Terry’s iconic images looked amazing. Bridget Bardot, Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, Richard Burton and Bowie – all instantly recognisable.

 

Me, Sara Colombo, & Masha Hanson

Me, Sara Colombo, & Masha Hanson

 

The party was crammed full of Miami faces, decorators and in the middle of all this were the few Londoners who had come to make Terry feel loved. Jo Wood and her sister Lizzie slipped in and bought books for Terry to sign. The glamazon Masha Hanson made a very stylish entrance and the seriously sought-after Luis Morais (another very cool jeweller) came by in a fabulous black leather ensemble. He is a huge star and a trip to Miami is never complete without visiting his studio!

Blaine Trump, Steve Simon and Bambi and Nigel Goodhew

Blaine Trump, Steve Simon and Bambi and Nigel Goodhew

 

Miky and Fawaz came by as did art collector Guido Orsi who was holding court, and there were a huge amount of rather pretty, tanned limbed females! My favourite sighting however was Blaine Trump and her dashing partner Steve Simon. They really are quite a knock-out couple. We finally headed off to the after dinner at Bazaar with Terry and Robin, Jo and Lizzie and Sara’s lovely parents feeling we really had earned a delicious feast….

Family, fun and sun!

You may or may not know I am cuckoo for a West End musical and luckily have some equally nutty friends who accompany me to these nights of bliss. I was thrilled therefore to be invited to see Chorus Line at the Palladium, it hasn’t been in London for 30 years. Unsurprisingly it has been one of the most successful Broadway shows of all time so I was beyond excited to see it. The opening scene was so fast, showy and complex with such incredible energy, I just knew it was going to be a wonderful evening. The storyline was pretty simple but the fact that there was no interval and that these incredible dancers literally never got to rest just took my breath away! I adored the actor John Partridge who was playing Zach, the ambitious choreographer (based on the famous Bob Fosse) – he was just phenomenal.  In fact the whole cast was utterly watchable – I couldn’t wait to know what was coming next. The costumes for the finale are worth going to the show for alone!

 

The fabulous actor John Partridge playing Zach in Chorus Line

The fabulous actor John Partridge playing Zach in Chorus Line

 

Next morning I was up bright and early, ready to head to the West London Shooting school with my old mucker Grainne Stevenson. She is a great girlfriend and is always up for any of my mad ideas! We have entered an all-girls team for a clay pigeon shoot at Highclere (the beautiful Estate where they shoot Downton Abbey) in a month and I have never shot before! My cousin Nicola Bearman is a tireless charity girl and is putting on a beautiful day to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. I have always wanted to shoot, not live things I hasten to add, and so I jumped at the opportunity. Of course, the weather was beyond freezing and once I had been introduced to my instructor Pat he immediately disappeared to bring me an extra coat! I had also forgotten gloves. Despite the severe weather, I loved it from the moment he showed me how to hold the gun. I found it quite hard to follow the clay but once I had hit a couple I was encouraged to keep at it. Grainne has shot many times and was therefore popping away. Pat was a hoot and a great teacher. I left with a total understanding of how addictive the hobby could become. I’m already looking forward to my next lessons.

 

Me, Pat and Grainne at Highclere

Me, Pat and Grainne at Highclere

 

From country pursuits to London life – I have a new TV show on Channel 4 called Four Rooms coming out the end of April and so the press bits have started. A portrait shoot at my home for the Telegraph Magazine and I was being my very unusual relaxed self. I am far from uncontrolling but instead had got my two looks ready for the photographer to choose from. He was a super chilled guy and I think it rubbed off on me. I usually want to see the frame and check every detail but instead I just let him get on with it!

 

Me at a shoot for The Telegraph

Me at a shoot for The Telegraph

 

Finally the Easter weekend beckoned and Vivi and I packed our numerous bags with glee. We were off to Milan to see her beloved grandparents and then off to the sunny shores of Miami. Milan was freezing and of course Miami would be searing heat. The luggage was ridiculous…

Getting to Milan is almost like an immediate decompressor for me as my parents-in-law literally take Vivi off to play from the moment we arrive until the moment we leave. Giorgio had been in Rome for work and so we all met at his home for some serious Italian home cooking and downtime. We also have our ritual of going to his old friend Christian’s pizzeria in the village. Vivi especially loves going there as she gets to play waitress!

 

The beautiful Rubiera in Italy

The beautiful Rubiera in Italy

 

On Easter Sunday Giorgio is quite particular about Vivi going to Church. Like a good Italian papa he likes her to be dressed properly and then go to see everyone. She actually likes to go and there are always loads of other children. She has just twigged about Jesus and also likes to light a candle or two for my lovely mother.

 

The beautiful church in Italy

Our beautiful church in Italy

 

There is something very embraceable about church-life in little villages and I am always happy to go. The church was absolutely rammed and even standing room was tight. So much for the decline of the Roman Catholic faith!

 

Me, Giorgio and Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

Me, Giorgio and Vivi ©TamaraBeckwith

 

Easter lunch is an amazing feast and we often head to the world renowned Arnaldo’s. Again, children are encouraged to play and wander around (my idea of heaven) and the food is really delicious. It’s a family run hotel and the two sisters who are now in charge are like characters out of a movie. Both are very glamorous!

 

Lovely Easter decorations

Lovely Easter decorations

 

As always when we have to leave, Vivi’s grandmother cries. She always asks if Vivi can stay behind but this time Vivi was definitely coming with us to get some much needed sunshine. I was never a girl to care too much about the sun before but now I am a devotee. England’s horrendous weather has just been enough already!

 

Vivi playing in Arnaldo's ©TamaraBeckwith

Vivi playing in Arnaldo’s ©TamaraBeckwith

 

Off to mad Miami we headed… It wasn’t to be all play as I had a very exciting first collaboration show in America for The Little Black Gallery with my dear old friend Terry O’Neill at my girlfriend Sara Colombo’s new showroom “Nest”. So although the beaches beckoned there would be time to work too even if done poolside in a bikini!

 

Easter bonnets and a decadent Indian party

Back to work and I had my usual meeting at my gallery with my long suffering partner, Ghislain Pascal. We meet weekly to discuss what plans we have to keep our gallery moving forwards. We were also rather proud of our new show by the very talented photographer Martin Usborne, entitled “The Silence of Dogs in Cars”. Our preview was that night and, as always, with these far-planned events it’s almost a miracle to not end up clashing with something else. Regardless, his deeply studied and beautiful dogs had already garnered many column inches so we just go through who we think they may be right for and which of our collectors would not be able to survive without owning one! That done, I had to head to the greengrocer as my persistence in drinking healthy greens for my breakfast has not slipped yet – in fact I’ve grown quite fond of  kale, spinach, ginger, kiwi, the odd apple and spirulina. I also had to nip into my local toy shop, well I say toy shop in a very vague sense of the word but it really is a piece of children’s heaven if I wish to label it correctly. Semmalina on Ebury Street, no Chelsea Mother can avoid it!

Martin Usborne and Tamara Beckwith

Me with Martin Usborne

It dawned on me that, whilst I would be busy hosting that evening’s preview at the gallery, I would have to produce a decent (well, better than last year’s effort at the very least) Easter Bonnet for Violet’s Easter Parade the following morning at 9am. Dreadful timing as always with these things! Now, I’m sure that many mothers feel no guilt at passing this duty off to an elder and more talented off-spring, or equally the nanny, but I feel quite strongly that I must make this myself. Baking is not my strong point and needlework at school was torturous, but creating a Philip Treacy or Victoria Grant-esque head piece I feel is within my grasp! So, whilst I chatted to shop owner and good-friend Sarah Standing, I grabbed what I deemed to be brilliant ideas for my four-year-old’s bonnet and headed back with 2 hours to get cracking.

My Easter bonnet supplies

My Easter bonnet supplies

It went quite smoothly as I have now learnt sewing the animals, flowers, etc is far better than gluing! I almost felt it had a teensy bit of style. Leaving it to dry, I scrambled to get ready for our Martin Usborne Preview. Vivi’s bonnet was a huge hit and I was asked by all the mothers how many weeks I had been preparing for it! One mother asked if I really had made it myself! I would imagine you can judge for yourself …..

Vivi and her Easter bonnet

Vivi and her Easter bonnet ©TamaraBeckwith

The Gallery was filled with new faces and lots of questions – always a good sign. Martin and his super wife Anne seemed to be enjoying themselves and were more than happy to meet the crowd. All in all, a good night. The next morning it was time for a training session. Now I am renowned for cancelling training sessions with some legitimate excuses, but equally with some darn lazy/cannot-be-bothered excuses! However, it did make me laugh that whilst I was still scared enough of the trainer that I arrived early, said trainer had not even been told I was coming – serves me right! Well, I got on the treadmill and whooped it up, even adding an incline – enough to make my heart race and my face turn puce.

That night I was having a pretty rare girl’s night out. One of my great girlfriends Katya had just had a birthday and we were both dying to see Rupert Everett in “The Judas Kiss”, also starring Freddie Fox. Bearing in mind how much has been spoken about the naked boys on stage, we thought it far more enjoyable to watch it just the two of us. From the opening scene you are transported back to a time when decadence was everywhere and the staging and the setting were gloriously sumptuous. The moment Rupert Everett makes his grand entrance as Oscar Wilde, you know he was born for that role. Vanity aside, he was glorious too! The young and wicked character Lord Bosey, played by Freddie Fox, was equally enjoyable. Without recounting the whole play, I can hand-on-heart recommend it.

Me and Grainne Stevenson sari shopping in Southall

Me and Grainne Stevenson sari shopping in Southall ©TamaraBeckwith

Another early morning and I was off to Southall with my girlfriend Grainne Stevenson. We had a huge 40th Birthday party to attend, entitled “A Touch of Indian”, and we had decided, in honour of the birthday boys (Dino Lalvani and David Peacock), that we would be authentic! In Southall we were drawn to a very bejewelled window of incredible wedding saris. Once inside of course we went a bit nuts. The shop owner and his very pretty assistant, Sharon, were more than helpful, pulling out a whole array of colours, materials and styles for us. Learning to put it on was a hurdle I knew I would fall at on the night, so rather ingeniously I asked one of the girls to film it on my iPhone! My eyes were, of course, out on stalks with the wedding saris but I was determined that there would be a modest budget. After all, it wasn’t even my own party. Saris done, we flew across the road and stockpiled bangles, bindis and hair jewels. Mission complete.

Fabulous accessories from Shagoon Jewellery

Fabulous accessories from Shagoon Jewellery

Finally it was the night of seriously successful business boys Dino and David’s 40th Birthday Party at No1 Mayfair. The entrance was enchanting with both boys in full costume, and candles twinkling everywhere. Dino was dressed as Maharaja and David as an Imperial Colonel. I love it when a party really does the costume justice and this party was exactly that. Everywhere you looked the girls had gone all out with bedazzled faces, nose rings, henna-decorated hands and glorious colours everywhere. Princess Beatrice and her longtime beau Dave were present and looked sparkling. Malin Jefferies was dressedin a beautiful powder pink sari with a Swedish twist in her blonde hair.

GrainneStevenson, Arabella Spiro and me

GrainneStevenson, Arabella Spiro and me ©TamaraBeckwith

David Ross looked incredible as an Imperial Colonel, Andy and Patti Wong almost stole the best dressed award. Lady Victoria Hervey had flown in from LA and looked suitably Indian-inspired. My sari was giving me a little trouble as my pinning had gone awry on the shoulder. I must confess it was quite an effort to hold the old tummy in too! The gorgeous Mrs Gabriella Peacock cheated slightly I am sure, by wearing a sexy Pucci number, as did uber-chic stylist Sophia Hesketh!  The debonair Arun Nayar had a head start with his Sherwani (a traditional indian wedding outfit for men) and looked sensational.

Gabriela Peacock and me

Gabriela Peacock and me ©TamaraBeckwith

The naughty but glamorous Dori Cooperman, who had flownin from New York, was whirling and twirling in fuschia pink and shooting Instagrams incessantly. Rather a few too many gin cocktails later, I decided that most people look rather gorgeous dressed up like that and that maybe we should make it a permanent thing. No takers? At some point we were rounded up in small couplings to make a music video for the boys! Hilarious but having now seen the link, I know it was utterly genius!

Me with Dori Cooperman

Me with Dori Cooperman ©TamaraBeckwith

 

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