Friday, 29 July 2011

88* by Bistrotheque. Where we go to dinner on a speedboat

Our destination - I didn't take this, obviously.

Last Friday evening The Actor and I had dinner at Bistrotheque's latest pop-up restaurant 88.  We're very lucky to be invited to such fun things.  The venue was a soon-to-be-demolished postmodern office building in Canary Wharf.  Built in 1988, the theme was the glamour and excess of that time.  All the music was from 1988 and the food reflected the new Italian style that became popular at some of London's most popular restaurants - Le Caprice, The River Café and Alistair Little.

The others were picked up from Westminster Pier.  We were a bit late so rather than go into town The Actor and I got a cab to Tower Bridge Millenium Pier.  Not the best shot, it was 7.30pm and the weather was a bit gloomy.

Here's our lift

What a lovely way to get there

Here's the gang

I've never been driven to dinner on a speedboat before.  Not even in the 80's!

Two of my favourite boys ever - Bistrotheque co-owner David Waddington and the wonderful Giles Deacon

G H Mumm sponsored the boat and provided the Champagne, four different varieties to go with dinner.

Someone produced a packet of Sobranie cocktail cigarettes.  Remember them?  Here's LOVE magazine Editor-in-Chief Katie Grand, designer Jonathan Saunders, Fashion Director of Wonderland magazine, Grace Cobb and Catherine Russell, the publisher of LOVE.

David has a pink Sobranie.  I just sucked on my plastic nicotine inhaler!  Note the big boat in the background, they all started waving and calling us for some reason

So everyone waved back.  Gorgeous Phoebe Arnold, Fashion Director of Ponystep

I love Grace's shoes - perfect for going on a boat!

David made me get behind the wheel for photo op.  I'm looking rather windswept here

We're here.  It only took about ten minutes.  Centre is model Missy Raydar

Heron Quay


We're greeted by my lovely friend, actress Gwendoline Christie

Hosts David Waddington and actress Gwendoline Christie along with the waiters and waitresses were all dressed in clothes from or inspired by that period by designers including Thierry Mugler, Katharine Hamnett and Giles Deacon and styled by Grace Cobb.  I'm afraid I didn't get any more pictures of those.

They've gone really 80's in here so I won't make apologies for my pictures being pink but there was a lot of neon.

I like the fact the chap on the left is getting into the swing of 1988 with his smiley face t shirt and baseball cap

Princess Julia looking fabulous as always.  I love her vintage turban.  That nail polish looks familiar, it's Vix's favourite too

It was great to see the girls - Designer Hazel Robinson, Fashion's East's Lulu Kennedy, Hayley Richardson and designer Sophie Damann

I'm trying to show that we're in the middle of lots of office blocks.  It was quite a view.

Here's the smoking balcony.  I still hang out there even though I don't smoke anymore.

Now the food - There were big bowls of everything to share, I was so hungry I forgot to take a picture of the starter so here's a professional one.  My plate had a lot more on my plate than this.  The Actor and I finished a bowl of tapenade and the gorgeous tomato salad

Bruschetta with tapenade, artichoke hearts, salted duck and gooseberries, yellow and red tomato salad 

Pea risotto

Coquelet - or to quote Princess Julia "Baby chicken to you, dears".  Julia also said "It's like a scene out of Eraserhead."

Rocket and parmesan - not that you actually need a picture of this

And pavlova for pudding

Gwendoline was force fed the pavlova.  We were into the tiramisu shots by now

A bit of acid house came on.  Lulu and Catherine were into it.  Jean Marc looks disinterested

Oh hello, here we go - he starts pulling some dance moves - I wish I took more pictures, I love Jean Marc's dancing

Hazel was on brilliant form

A little bit of fashion and in keeping with the neon theme - I love Lulu's lucite clutch by Charlotte Olympia.  And her sunnies!

And her shoes by Michael Van der Ham.  The designers give Lulu great stuff and she wears it all so brilliantly.  I always want to know what she's wearing.

Then Lulu, Gwendoline and The Actor decide to style Hazel using some torn up napkins.  I'm not sure what look they were aiming for...

She loves it really and she's pulling it off very well.

Somewhere around this point the espresso Martini shots came out - they were fantastic.  Then it was time for us to go home.

I had a really fun night, thank you so much boys xxx

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Goodbye Amy xxx

"Why do I wish I never played.
Oh, what a mess we made.
And now the final frame,
love is a losing game"

"Over futile odds
and laughed at by the Gods.
And now the final frame,
love is a losing game"

"You went back to what you knew so far removed
from all that we went through.
And I tread a troubled track,
my odds are stacked.
I'll go back to black"

"We only said goodbye in words
I died a hundred times.
You go back to her.
And I go back to black"

Amy Winehouse

Rest in peace, Amy Jade Mermaid

Monday, 25 July 2011

Charlotte and Navin's wedding weekend

Photography by Britt Spring
Charlie and Nav

I finally have the time to blog Charlie and Nav's wedding weekend.  We were going for three days but of course I packed enough for a two week holiday and arrived at The Actor's at 2am.  After about an hour and half's sleep his alarm went off at 5.50am to drive to Somerset before we hit the London rush hour.  I never, ever get up at that time, I'm more likely to still be up.  We stopped once for coffee and once to get double sausage and egg McMuffins (so wrong but they're great).  We arrived at 10.30am on a lovely sunny morning.

My pictures are all over the place so do excuse the blurred ones.  As usual I kept fiddling around with my camera settings.  I have tried to edit them honestly.

The wedding was at Brympton D'evercy, a tudor country house built between 1460 and 1680.  We stayed there as they have fourteen rooms.

Even though the forecast was bad it was sunny when we arrived.
Here's a little tour.

The entrance to the chapel

The Orangery

View from the Orangery

The Great Hall

Ground floor sitting room

The bridal suite

Here's our room, the guest rooms were small but comfortable

They had pretty views

And ours had a big bathroom - I'd taken about four tons of products.
Just in case.

AD looked after us in the church

AD, Lawrence, Glenn and Nav.  I shouldn't take pictures with the light behind people.

The flowers were all purples and blues

There was a large Red Admiral butterfly flying around the chapel

The order of service

The bride was suitably late

Charlie arrives

Nav's happy

I think they've spotted the butterfly

The lovely Mr and Mrs Chowdhry

Charlie lost her bouquet so no one caught it

Here's some of us touching up our make up after the service!  It was quite emotional.  

I've put this in because I like the back of Charlie's hair

I love this one

Charlie's always laughing

Charlie's Miu Miu satin shoes

Next was Champagne on the terrace

And a jazz band

The bridesmaids minus the lovely Nicky

Afternoon tea

All the pictures on the tables were of different relatives of Charlie's

Next it was jugs of Pimms all round.  We got stuck in of course

Kellie gets more Champagne.  After this there was a hog roast and a ton of wine...

Then more drinks in the Orangery and all the girls get hennaed

Note the caterpillar on a leaf in the top left hand corner.  I'm obsessed with butterflies

Here's me.  Mine got smuged straight away by The Actor pulling a dance move

There was another religious ceremony

Followed by dancing

Ali and Liz get everyone up

Actress Kelly Shirley pulled some brilliant moves.  This chap didn't know what had hit him

Off to bed at midnight

I woke up in full make-up with the worst hangover AND it was pissing with rain.  That's England for you.

I made friends with this cockerel on the way to breakfast.  I thought Mary and Ruth would like him.  A pot of coffee, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs and a couple of Nurofen Plus and I was feeling fine again.  Now for the next wedding...

Kaftan dress copied by a Jamaican tailor in Dalston from a mini version I had for £30.  I already had the silk.  All jewellery by Husam el Odeh apart from violet sapphire ring by Dinny Hall.  Leather flip flops from Bullo Shoes, Dalston.

Red lurex snood sewn together from a £5 piece of fabric.  It was rather flimsy and I kept getting hooked on rings, handbags etc. but it lasted the day.  I'm looking a little bleary eyed despite all that make-up.  Unsurprisingly.

The henna starts wearing in

Sally, Kellie, Ali, Indy and Nicola

Sally and Liz couldn't wait for the professional henna ladies so did each other after a lot of wine.  I couldn't stop laughing at them.  Liz had, shall we say "men's parts" on her hand for a week.  Sally's leg didn't look to clever either.  They look like they're still laughing here I couldn't keep a straight face at how bad their artwork was.

The boys got turbans.  More laughing.

Actress Indira Varma and Adrian Bower

Drummers start playing and everyone gathers round

As the groom arrives

There's a ceremony where the families join together

Here's the dad's - Mo and Richard

Then more fabulous food

Another drummer greets us at the chapel

For the Sikh wedding ceremony

My first glimpse of Charlie

I love the back too

I'm trying to zoom in here

I managed one shot of Nav in his turban before he took it off

Beautiful Charlie

The gorgeous bridesmaids

Sally's daughter Daisy

Daisy and Kellie

Daisy, Kellie and I

The fabulous Sarah King whose an agent and actor Ciaran McMenamin.

We were served amazing Indian canapés

Followed by a Bhangra dancing lesson on the lawn!

Then we formed a circle

And the bride and groom joined in

That was great fun

Upstairs for dinner - here's the view from the window

A secret garden in the distance

More fantastic food

This time curry

Pudding and wonderful speeches that made everyone laugh and cry

Downstairs for a party

I have no idea what the first dance was?

Adrian Bower and director Ben Winston

Lovely Liz and Lizzy

Nav and his cousin, comedian Paul Chowdhry

Mary McCoy, Sarah King, Indira Varma and Shelley Rubenstein

Phil, Steven, Nicola and Jake.  At least I get them all looking at the camera

I'm wearing the kaftan I dyed.  See previous post.  Someone said "I'll take one of you all"  Nice one.

Then back to our room to carry on the party

The usual silliness.  I don't know what time we went to bed but it was daylight.  We had fun though.

Mr and Mrs C's car's been done up Indian style

The last of the friends are leaving and some music suddenly blasts out of the car stereo

The dancing kicks off again.  The owners must have thought we were completely mental.

They're doing well considering the hangovers.  I felt like someone had put an axe in my head when I opened my eyes.  Thank God for Nurofen.

The Chowdhry's leave

And we all meet in the pub up the road.  Three jugs of Bloody Mary later we've all decided we're staying another night.

We're recommended to go to a lovely village called East Coker

Where the Helyar Arms does excellent food

A proper olde English pub.  Perfect.

Somerset didn't know what had hit them.  What a fabulous weekend.

Photography by Britt Spring

Congratulations Charlie and Nav, we love you xxx

I can't believe I've run out of time again.
 I will be over to visit everyone this week I promise xxx