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There can be few more dramatic settings for a late summer wedding than Hilles, the enchanting arts and crafts house in Gloucestershire designed more than a century ago by society architect Detmar Blow — and positioned so that those sauntering along its terraced gardens could look out across no fewer than five counties.
But the dreamy views aren’t the only thing to have lingered in the memory following the recent nuptials of Tara Guinness and Russian-speaking Old Etonian investment manager James Kelway-Bamber.
Held at Hilles courtesy of Tara’s mother — designer Lulu Guinness, queen of the lip-print handbag, who has a cottage on the 1,000 acre estate — it was an intimate occasion, with just 50 guests at dinner following an afternoon reception.
The dreamy views aren’t the only thing to have lingered in the memory following the recent nuptials of Tara Guinness (pictured) and Russian-speaking Old Etonian investment manager James Kelway-Bamber
Tara’s father, Valentine Guinness, who was divorced from Lulu in 2013, was of course present, as was Tara’s uncle Sebastian, who had come over from his home in Spain. Pictured: Lulu Guinness with then-husband Valentine and daughters Madeleine and Tara at Buckingham Palace in October 2006
Tara’s father, Valentine Guinness, who was divorced from Lulu in 2013, was of course present, as was Tara’s uncle Sebastian, who had come over from his home in Spain.
But the restrained scale of the celebration made it easier to identify some surprising absentees.
‘At least two prominent members of the Guinness family were missing,’ I’m told by a Gloucestershire boulevardier, who adds that the no-shows adore Tara but allegedly couldn’t face seeing the man hosting the party, Hilles’ owner, grandson — and namesake — of its creator, Detmar Blow.
The absentees included Tara’s aunt, the inimitable fashion icon Daphne Guinness, Valentine’s half-sister, and an unflinching friend of Detmar Blow’s late wife, the eccentric but brilliant stylist Isabella ‘Issie’ Blow, who spotted and championed the talents of model Sophie Dahl, milliner Philip Treacy and fashion designer Alexander McQueen.
In the last years of her life, Issie, who married Detmar in 1989, was profoundly afflicted by depression.
She and Detmar separated in 2003 and, though they were reconciled 18 months later, she took her own life in 2007 aged 48, having made repeated attempts to do so.
The absentees included Tara’s aunt, the inimitable fashion icon Daphne Guinness, Valentine’s half-sister. Pictured: Art collector Daphne Guinness walks on the runway at the The Blonds fashion show during New York Fashion Week 2018
Daphne is an unflinching friend of Detmar Blow’s late wife, the eccentric but brilliant stylist Isabella ‘Issie’ Blow, who spotted and championed the talents of model Sophie Dahl, milliner Philip Treacy and fashion designer Alexander McQueen. Pictured: The late Isabella Blow (left) with fashion designer Alexander McQueen (right)
Daphne subsequently established the Isabella Blow Foundation, financing it by auctioning part of her own wardrobe at Christie’s in 2012.
She declines to comment on her absence from Tara’s wedding — as does Lulu. Detmar also remains silent. But a decade ago he admitted: ‘I had people snub me at [Issie’s] funeral. They loved her very intensely and they wanted someone to blame.’
The scars, it seems, remain raw to this day.
Meghan chef can stand the heat
She’s surmounted challenges that would make others wilt: Chef Clare Smyth (right) with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (left) who was visited the Hubb Community Kitchen in Al Manaar, North Kensington on November 21, 2018
She’s surmounted challenges that would make others wilt — cooking for Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding and becoming Britain’s first female chef to snaffle three Michelin stars.
Now Clare Smyth pays tribute to Gordon Ramsay, who recruited her in 2002.
Describing him as ‘great to work with’, she says toiling in Ramsay’s kitchens was ‘survival of the fittest’, adding: ‘I like that kind of environment’.
Her view contrasts with that of MasterChef judge Anna Haugh who, without naming names, has said: ‘It’s disgraceful that abusive chefs are excused because the environment is high-paced.’
The smart set’s talking about… Net-a-party girl DJ Isabella
Dame Natalie Massenet’s daughter Isabella (pictured) is taking dance music to New York’s beau monde
While Dame Natalie Massenet brought high-end fashion to the masses with the phenomenally successful retail website Net-a-Porter, her daughter Isabella is taking dance music to New York’s beau monde.
The 22-year-old alumna of the American School in London has become a DJ, spinning tunes under the moniker BellaBella at Manhattan parties for Louis Vuitton and her stepfather Erik Torstensson’s clothing brand, Frame. This week, she joined the all-woman music agency Les Filles.
Isabella, whose father is Natalie’s first husband, businessman Arnaud Massenet, is also a model and is going out with Prince Achileas-Andreas of Greece and Denmark.
She’s not the only musical member of the family: her sister Ava, 16, is a singer-songwriter, performing at Glastonbury 2022.
Clarkson has a swell time in the Med with Lisa and billionaire
He hosts Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? but Jeremy Clarkson aspires to a billionaire lifestyle.
The Grand Tour presenter, 62, and his statuesque girlfriend, Lisa Hogan, 53, have been enjoying themselves on a superyacht off Portofino on Italy’s west coast.
Clarkson is pictured on board with Tetra-Pak heir Hans Rausing, 59, who shares a £9.5 billion fortune with his three siblings.
Clarkson is pictured on board with Tetra-Pak heir Hans Rausing, 59, who shares a £9.5 billion fortune with his three siblings
The Grand Tour presenter, 62, and his statuesque girlfriend, Lisa Hogan, 53, have been enjoying themselves on a superyacht off Portofino on Italy’s west coast
Hans is the grandson of Ruben Rausing, founder of the Swedish food packaging empire, and remains a favourite of the Royal Family.
Hans and his first wife, Eva, agreed to donate more than £10 million towards the renovations of King Charles’s Scottish stately home, Dumfries House.
After Eva’s death from drug abuse at their £70 million Belgravia mansion in 2012, Hans has worked hard to rehabilitate himself into society.
He’s overcome his heroin addiction, married baronet’s daughter Julia Delves Broughton, and donated a staggering £39 million to good causes.
Has magic worn off for Emma and her beau?
Tycoon Sir Philip Green’s son, Brandon, cast a spell over Harry Potter star Emma Watson this summer, but is he losing his charm already?
I ask only because the 29-year-old retail heir was nowhere to be seen as Watson, 32, attended a gala dinner in New York.
Emma Watson attends The Kering Foundation’s Caring for Women dinner at The Pool on Park Avenue on Thursday in New York City
The actress wore an Alexander McQueen lace dress to The Kering Foundation’s Caring For Women Dinner which raises money for firms who support those affected by gender-based violence.
She and Brandon were pictured holding hands in Venice last month, seemingly confirming their long-rumoured romance.
A source previously told this newspaper that he had been ‘wooing’ the actress, who played Hermione Granger in the Potter film series.
Pop idol Cassidy’s royal lunch snub
As the world pays tribute to the Queen, there was one man who turned her down.
At the height of his fame as a teen idol, actor and singer David Cassidy, then 23, snubbed a lunch invitation in London from the monarch during a British visit In 1973, as he thought it would be too boring.
Writing later in his memoirs, Cassidy ungratefully said: ‘The British made a big fuss over the fact that the Queen of England invited me to lunch. I mean, all these English people are like, ‘Oh, ah, the Queen.’ And I’m, like, ‘The Queen? I don’t care about the Queen. The Queen means nothing to me. I think the monarchy is a joke. What makes her the Queen? Well, she waves and she’s the richest person in the world. Well, good for her. I’m rich, too. And I’d much rather meet Eric Clapton.’
In the words of one of Cassidy’s hits at that time: I Am A Clown.
Earl recalls ‘pain’ of boarding
Canings and other corporal punishments, cold-water dips, bullying by older boys: these are some of the things that went on at Earl Spencer’s £30,000-a-year boarding school when he was a pupil in the 1970s.
And now Princess Diana’s younger brother — who attended Maidwell Hall, in Northampton, from the age of eight — has declared that he won’t send his children away, to avoid the ‘pain’ that he suffered in his childhood.
Princess Diana’s younger brother Earl Spencer aged 8
‘I’ve not expected any of my children to board, although two chose to ‘weekly board’ (i.e. board in the week and come home every weekend), in their teens,’ says historian Charles Spencer, 58, who has a ten-year-old daughter with his third wife, Karen. ‘Best to break the chain and the pain.’
He says he was ‘dreading the enforced move from home’ when this photograph, left, was taken by his father.
Lord Spencer has six older children with his previous wives.
- When Bake Off moved from BBC1 to Channel 4, co-host Sue Perkins said she wasn’t ‘going with the dough’ and quit. Her earnings continue to rise nevertheless. Accounts for Sue Perkins Ltd, which handles her income, reveal she’s made her first million. The figures report a £400,000 profit for 2021 and dividends paid at £288,000. It now has a net worth of just under £1.1 million. Perkins, 52, took over from the late Nicholas Parsons as presenter of Radio 4 staple Just A Minute last year.