Wednesday, 20 April 2016

A celebration of the greatest London has to offer....

It's been a month to the day, since nearly a hundred of my friends descended on The Club (A members only affair) in the Hotel Cafe Royal, London to celebrate my 48th Birthday party with me.

If ever an event should have been covered in finite detail by diary columnists of the press then this was the one.

But of course it wasn't. There were no "Celebrity" Z-List Reality TV stars, no unknown Lords or Ladies who could fill the pages of OK Magazine and no imbecilic football stars urinating into glasses.

Instead though, it was a through the looking glass collection of the great, good and the naughty all representing what London is truly about.

From the McDonald's Restaurant worker who took pity on me whilst homeless in Apsley to the previous winner of Australian's Pop Idol. Radio DJ's rubbed shoulders with Amazon Adventuresses and Syrian News Anchors chatted to famed London gatecrashers.

The venue, appropriately, had a history with Oscar Wilde's notorious parties and was therefore the perfect choice to host my celebration, but without the amazingly kind generosity of Hedi Sersoub the Lifestyle Executive Manager (whom I'd met at through a trial membership at the Hotel's Akasha Spa) the event would never have happened.

My guests arrived to the piano stylings of Paul Wiffen, friend, composer, pianist and film-maker. He'd had the good fortune to work with Vangellis on the music for Ridley Scott's film Bladerunner, so was performing a variety of film soundtrack classics.

Paul Wiffen at Piano in The Club, Hotel Cafe Royal
Photograph by George Chiesa

But having also worked with the late Keith Emmerson, he performed a small but touching tribute.

Certain guests had the immense luck to have their protraits painted by friend & artist Julia Sterland who has been the Artist in Residence at the Union Theatre and painted in the National Gallery. Her sittings began almost as soon as the evening started and went on until the night was nearly over.

Guests were not charged and Julia offered her services free of charge, all that was asked that a small contribution was made to the Macmillan London Cancer Charity fund

Actress Karina Cornell being painted by Julia Sterland

The results after just under an hour sitting per person were literally astounding

Composer Paul Wiffen's portrait by Julia Sterland
Peter Stanfrod portrait by Julia Sterland
Will Smith & Karina Cornell hold up portraits painted by Julia Sterland

First performer to the piano for the evening was the legendary Juliet Lawson. Juliet was cited as the English Joni Mitchell when her first album " was launched to huge critical acclaim in

Paul Atherton & Juliet Lawson in The Club, Hotel Cafe Royal
Photograph by Dave Bennett

The first group to attract themselves in a group were, as I would affectionately call them, the deviants. The party dwellers who know all the underground fetish establishments, the cross dressers, the transgender seekers, the fun lovers. Almost instantaneously they had sought each other out (unbeknownst to all my other guest, as tonight they were all formally attired) and had designated a table all to themselves.

I love it when that happens at my parties. People who never think I'd know people from their secret lives suddenly discover lost friendships or meet like minded people


George Chiesa said...

The first perfumer?

Sunder said...


Thanks a lot for share this one.

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