Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Another film star fabulous weekend

I wonder what will happen when I finally stop getting glamorous invites and have only cleaning the windows, washing the car and walking the dogs at weekends to look forward to encore une fois? Now that film fest is done, my mingling with the A list is over (well for a few weeks anyway, until the Monte-Carlo TV Festival starts in June) and I was expecting to come back down to earth with a bump this week.

Fortunately it has been mitigated by a few extra lovely excursions to postpone the inevitable return to drudgery a little longer. A swim at the beach with Bex and Tom followed by cocktails and dinner at the Marco Polo was a rather lovely start to the week. Then it was a girl’s night with Fiona and her Berkshire buddies at Sparkling in Cannes, a great new-ish bar restaurant in rue des Freres Pradignac, where the lovely owner Jean-Pierre plied us with Limoncello and strawberries in hibiscus after a delicious dinner on the terrace and made us promise to come back for a night at the club downstairs once Cannes gets all summer lively....and we will!

After writing gazillions of pieces about Elle Macpherson for Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model from my Miami trip (big raspberry to all those doubters, well, Iain and the girls, who think I just enjoyed myself partying and playing in the surf and didn’t do a stitch of work) it was time for a little R&R, which has been little in evidence lately...so to Saint Tropez with Sylvia on Friday morning for a weekend which started out as work but ended up as, well, a little light shopping, a little less light lunching, a little rose and some serious pitches to boutiques there with her fabulous jewellery.

We had good reason to celebrate after getting her designs commissioned by Trinity, Hippychic and the beach boutique at Club 55, where the A list will soon be clamouring to buy her designs. Only the three most happening stores in the town so flush with success, we went to Salama, a very chic Moroccan restaurant on a backstreet (rue des Tisserands as I recall) serving great food in a beautiful riad-like setting that transports you straight to Marrakech. They had the most amazing playlist which the lovely waiter compiled himself and where they played one of my all-time favourite tracks of the summer, La Ritournelle, try the address below for a taste of divine Sebastien Tellier...if this doesn’t put you in the mood for summer, nothing will...


Saturday lunch at Club 55 was memorable for the amazing atmosphere, addictive people watching, very sweet maitre d and humungous prices for what was very average food. Really not sure about the panier of raw vegetables that arrives on the table at €25 euros. Ditto my poulet fermier aux herbes which was actually chicken and chips but as I say, it’s not about the food, more about the ambience. It’s packed so they must be doing something right...

Then it was off to the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday with Milly. We are Formula 1 virgins, so this invite was mannah from heaven...come and watch the Grand Prix at a roof terrace party at the port, pictured above, 200 metres from the start line and in full view of the exit from the tunnel and the port stretch of track. Oh yes, and have some vodka cocktails and lush Lebanese fare for lunch and listen to the sounds of the Garden Brothers DJ-ing....We watched Vettel blast his way to victory, and being just above the Red Bull stand, also saw him arrive on a private launch after the race to party with his friends, family and Red Bull team, and spray them with Champagne as they cheered his arrival. Pretty special.

It made the fact that I almost missed the train there almost bearable...having driven inexpicably to Villeneuve-Loubet instead of Cagnes-sur-Mer where I was due to meet Milly on the second last carriage of the 10.35am to Monte-Carlo. I would have been fine if only Iain hadn’t mysteriously removed the sat nav from the car on Saturday for his journey to Barcelona WHICH WAS NOT HAPPENING UNTIL WEDNESDAY ANYWAY.

It should have been like something out of Brief Encounter, it was actually more like Benny Hill as I drove around VL for ages, watching the minutes tick by and driving in and out of private domaines in rising panic looking for the roundabout I recognised until I rang MC veteran Faye to plead for directions. Somehow she navigated me to the station where I abandoned the car, waited for the dork in front of me to try and get his ticket three times from the machine because he was putting his credit card in upside down and then legged it onto the platform just as the train arrived and Milly leant serenely out of the carriage to greet me. My beautiful silk dress was soaked in sweat and I couldn’t speak for the first five minutes. But as reported, all worth it to hear the beautiful drone of those engines in glorious reality rather than through the TV screen.

As I relayed this story to Faye and Fiona this morning just before yoga, they were screeching with laughter and urging me to follow my true calling which is surely as a stand up comedienne. It made me realise that there is a reason why these things always happen to me. It’s to bring joy and laughter to those whose lives operate without the same levels of disaster and drama....