Not even on day in London and I’m waking up with a English hangover! No worries…I can sleep in today though I do have lunch plans with my one of best friends in the entire universe (Too much?) Tamara Beckwith. When I come to London I almost always stay with Tamara and husband Giorgio Veroni (my Italian bestie), but this time around Giorgio is in Moscow for his Formula E race and Tamara is super busy with…well, being Tamara!! So I only get her for a quick lunch this time around…we’ll make the best of it. Tamara and I have been friends since we were teenagers along with my other two English best friends: Tamara Mellon and Vassi Chamberlain; and today I get to see two of them! Tamara is very fancy so of course we are going to the Bulgari Hotel (www.bulgarihotels.com) for lunch of which she is an ambassador, meaning free food and drinks for anyone she brings in…sounds good to me! I try to find something proper to were for the occasion and Uber off to Knightsbridge. Tamara looks ravishing as usual and our lunch seemed to go by in seconds before her next appointment shows up (busy little bee…). She is one of the funniest gals I know and when we are together it’s instant trouble…the good kind of course! After a quick catch-up, sadly we need to part, so I take the opportunity to visit Tamara’s Little Black Gallery in Chelsea before getting ready for another best friends dinner and a party at Andre Balazs’s super trendy Chiltern Firehouse in Marylebone (www.chilternfirehouse.com).
Front entrance of The Bulgari Hotel
Bulgari Hotel super chic lobby
I didn’t take a photo of us at lunch so I’m using an old one of me and Tamara Beckwith from Hannah Coleman and Edoardo Polli’s wedding in Milan
Tamara’s Little Black Gallery in Chelsea
After a quick disco nap, I’m so exited to see some of the greatest friends I have tonight; I start off with dinner in Chelsea with the wonderful and beautiful Hannah Coleman, along with her terribly dashing Italian husband Edoardo Polli, the sweetest girl in London Elika Gibbs and last, bit not least, the funniest man alive Karim Al Hawaggi, AKA Waggi. I met Hannah many years ago through Tamara Mellon; at the time, Tamara had just purchased Jimmy Choo and Hannah just started working for her. 20 years later, Tamara has sold Jimmy Choo and Hannah is now the President of the very successful, high-end shoe empire. She was just a shy girl then and now she’s a powerhouse of a woman with a family to match! Elika Gibbs (www.practicalprincess.com) is also an old friend, compliments of Tamara Mellon; I’ve watched this girl grow up into a wonderful person and mother and now a very successful business woman with her company: Practical Princess: a high-end service that goes into your closet and re-organized everything to perfection. And then there is Waggi…he’s just the sweetest and funniest man alive, you cannot have a normal conversation with him; it’s constant laughter to the point of abdominal total failure. Waggi and I have been through a lot of trouble together over the years and growing older hasn’t seem to have slowed us down in any way, shape or form! He gives “Silly” a whole new meaning.
Waggi and I are the first to arrive at Tom’s Kitchen (www.tomskitchen.co.uk), a swanky Italian eatery on 27 Cale Street in Chelsea, and we immediately go into compulsive giggling for 15 minutes before we even say one word to one another!!! The hysterics are finally broken off by the arrival of the rest of the gang and after lots and lots of hugging and kissing we make our way into the lovely open kitchen dining room for a delicious Lamb shoulder with garlic mashed potatoes and a fabulous Pomerol that Mr. “Gourmand” Polli picks for the table. Catching up with this group is more than I can wish for; we go back so long that this dinner fells a bit like coming home. After two hours of eating, drinking and most of all, laughing, it’s time to dash and join Vassi Chamberlain and husband Adrian Harris for the Net-a-Porter cocktail party at Chiltern Firehouse.
Tom’s Kitchen in Chelsea
Tom’s Kitchen’s interior
The signature Lamb shoulder and mashed potatoes
My darling Hannah Coleman Polli
The hilarious Wiggles, “Practical Princess” Elika Gibbs and Edoardo Polli
Vassi Chamberlain is the last link in the Mellon connection; she was Tamara’s best friend for ages and we met when we were just teenagers. Vassi is a wonderful writer and has been editor of top publications such as English Vogue, Tatler Magazine and currently, Net-a-Porter Magazine. We have gone through many chapters in our lives together and are still tight as thieves; I’m thrilled to see her and her terribly handsome husband Adrian; it’s been quite a bit since our last dinner in LA during Oscar’s. I’m also curious to see this place everyone is talking about: Chiltern Firehouse; the latest of Andre Balazs’s collection of successes in both the US and abroad. Clearly a converted Firehouse, this new Hotel-Restaurant-Bar-Lounge is truly hot and trendy and makes the Chateau Marmont in LA look outdated! After the customary “Balazs door policy nonsense” at arrival; we go into the bar-lounge area to join the Net-a-Porter cocktail party. The place is stunning and the staff is, as always, très cute and sexy in the little slinky outfits. Vassi is way to busy with her co-workers, so I gladly catch up with Adrian who’s always a great source of inspiration; this is until we run into Tara Bernerd out in the courtyard with a bottle of Rose in front of her. Tara is a successful English interior designer that I’ve know for many moons; she’s quite a “live one”, so it’s just a matter of seconds before we start boozing it up together! The place is packed to the hilt and trying to get a dinner table proves impossible. Thanks to Tara’s resilience with the now, very annoyed management, we finally compromise with a small table in the lounge area and hors d’oeuvres instead of dinner (fine with me since I already had dinner a few hours ago). I don’t know how much fabulousness I can take for much longer; Tara is now taking Latin..I think; and Vassi and Adrian are ready to take me back to my Chelsea Pad. Goodbye beautiful people…these Brits sure love boozing it up!
Chiltern Firehouse Hotel, restaurant and bar
Chiltern Firehouse’s stunning Bar and lounge
Chiltern Firehouse stunning Bar
Chiltern Firehouse Dining Room
Adrian Harris and Robert Kass having a chuckle
Uber-Designer Tara Bernerd and Robert Kass
This was definitely a F&F kind of day (Friends and family for those of you who don’t know…) with all of my English besties…I am sooooo satisfied, full of love and ready for bed! I love London….zzzzzzz