Friday, 31 August 2007

Day 75 – Magic Hour is here again

0530 – Desperate to catch the sun-up, I got up a wee bit too early! What a sunrise though! Spectacular!
0800 – Head to the Peninsula spa for a treatment … something to do with an exfoliation and a mudpack.

1030 – A REAL treat! A screwdriver with Johnny Chung. JC has been at The Pen for over 50 years!!! NO JOKE – 50 YEARS! In 1953, Clarke Gable was staying here while filming “Soldier of Fortune” when JC was a barman, Gable asked for a screwdriver… and JC handed him a tool! Gable taught Johnny how to make the cocktail and he has been making them – albeit part-time ever since. He made me one! What an honour! He’s made my day.
1300 – Head over to The Intercontinental to meet with Carol Klein – old school, excellent PR. There are over 400 rooms here and just under 100 suites, there is a Nobu AND an Alain Ducasse “Spoon”. It’s totally food! The hotel also has the largest and most expensive suite in town – US$12,000 for a 1-room Presidential Suite – with own pool and butler called Rambo!
Watched “Magic Hour” – lights and everything followed by the Sound & Music show – buildings “singing”! FAB!
A long day and it's only just finished…
Song of the Day: Let’s Dance (Bowie)
Weather: Purrrrrfect

Weight: Betterer

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Day 74 - Felix – the home of the greatest cocktail

Had a spring in my chew as I chomped through the BEST toast in the world in the Lobby for breakfast ... I slept like a tranquilised hippo last night!

Am on the 22nd floor of The Peninsula … on Kowloon and have views from 3 sides of Central, the Harbour and Kowloon … with a telescope, everything looks so detailed! Heehee!

0800 – film exteriors in BRIGHT sunlight!

0900 – drive around in one of the 14 Rolls-Royce long-wheelbase limos that the hotel has … not bad … not bad at all …

1000 – The Peninsula was opened on December 11th 1928 … then a Tower was added in 1994 – now 300 rooms and 54 suites … I have one of them.

1030 – afternoon “tea” … the BEST cucumber sandwiches IN THE WORLD!

1100 – part of my “family” in HK – Lamey is here to look after us. She takes me shopping in two of the 80 luxury shops in the hotel … one is Davidoff for some cigars … the other … I won’t say which … it’s a SURPRISE!!!

1200 – lunch – yum

1400 – general room/suite shots before wandering up to The Clipper Lounge for a wee helicopter trip around Hong Kong. Erm – totally brilliant! Understated … well, still smiling about it!

1600 – head up to 28th floor to my favourite bar in HK – Felix – for a special cocktail .. I am not giving the name or the recipe BUT it’s my drink of the year! Mine, mine, MINE!!!!
Cocktails at mine tonight!!

(Thank you Lamey, Rita, Stella and Priscilla …)

Song of the Day: Hey Little Girl (icehouse)

Weather: Helicop-tastic

Weight: Slimmer

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Day 73 – NO MORE … please

This entry is late as I went to bed ay 9 pm last night – without dinner. I am not looking for sympathy … yes, I was tired BUT also I was soooooo full of food that I could hardly move …

Here’s how the day went:

Checked out of the Four Seasons .. boo-hoo.

0800 – Arrive at The Luxe Manor – a 153 room & 6 suite “boutique” property on the Kowloon side of HK. It’s VERY designed – Dali-esque, surreal … the art work is out there … very neat though and the new “themed” suites will attract a new “trendy” clientele.

The S&M director Kevin and GM Andy are very affable and invited us to lunch in Aspasia, the Italian restaurant. Meal 1 – pizza.

1400 – Arrive at Zuma for a master-class in Japanese cooking (over a wee dram or two of sake) with chef Dan Segall .. we cook scallops with fresh wasabi. Meal 2 – the previous dish PLUS blackened cod and other lovely stuff. I am NOT a fan of Zuma London BUT am a HUGE fan of Zuma HK … from the Boss, Marc to the GM - Samuel to Sheeva, the PR – its just an excellent, friendly and yum place!

Dan the Man

1600 – back to Jar to eat & cook dessert with Dane Coulston. Meal 3: Pavlova with passion fruit and mango sorbet! LOVELY! Dane is a NZ who was put on this earth to cook .. and he does it well…

1800 – check into The Peninsula…VERY exciting!

Song of the Day: The Look of Love (ABC)

Weather: Shiny Sun ALL day!

Weight: yeah baby!

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Day 72 – Tired

Ok – it’s been a long day … so I will be short.

a.m. The Island Shangri-La … 56 floors overlooking Victoria Harbour & Peak … 531 rooms & 54 suites … its home

The Island Shangri-La is also home to the world's largest Chinese silk painting, The Great Motherland of China. It took 6 months to paint with over 40 artists on the case. There are 250 panels … its AWESOME!!!! TOTALLY AWESOME!!!!

p.m. had a jade massage at the hotel … fabulous ….

Late p.m. - Visited Henry at PJ Premier Jewellers on Kowloon to look at jade … this is the “stone of life” and costs up to 2 million pounds for a necklace …! phew!

Back at hotel … tired … sleep please …

Song of the Day: Step On (Happy Mondays)

Weather: Not bad

Weight: OK

Monday, 27 August 2007

Day 71 – Rain, rain, go away …

Up early for breakfast on the 45th Floor of the Four Seasons, Hong Kong.

0715 – Meet up with the lovely, gorgeous Nicola – the Hotel’s PR for filming outside the hotel

0800 – Out at the Pool area – to try my hand at some Tai Chi with Master William Ng … a total hoot! Had to wear shiny yellow outfit … the clouds are very dark …. So it all looks rather dramatic.

Did I mention that the pool is THE finest in HK with an infinity pool that overlooks Victoria Harbour … it also has a couple of outdoor Jacuzzis AND a pool … brrrrr

0900 – the hotel has 399 rooms inc 54 suites set over 45 floors … it also has Caprice (French), a Japanese, The Lobby (easy food) and Lung King Heen which makes excellent Cantonese cuisine under the auspices of Chef Tak … a local legend. I leant how to make Dim Sum with Chef Kwai – THE DS chef in HK!!

1100 – A haircut from the … I mean THE artist to the stars here in HK. Laurent is from Montpellier in France and has been here for 17 years.. Anyone who is anyone comes to him at QG Private-I for a snip … and he had time for me!!! Every follicle was massaged and preened and styled …

1600 – Interview GM – William McKay – an old friend …

1700 – Film my suite. It just has such great views!

1830 – Head to Pier 9 and Aqualune – a Chinese junk that sails the harbour – while its passengers drink cocktails. All WOULD have been well, except it rained and rained and rained .. and then some more! Nicola and her 2 buddies – Angie & Catherine – and my poor crew got totally soaked! That golf umbrella came in handy ….

2000 – dinner at the Caprice – fabulous! Very chic … very tasty … very perfect …

We did get some great shots at Magic Hour when the world lights up though…

Song of the Day: Do It – Nelly Furtado

Weather: Yuk

Weight: Pawing rather than fighting weight!

Sunday, 26 August 2007


Funny old day!

As we worked so late yesterday, we only had one appointment today to discover the history of Hong Kong. It seems that pre-1861 there is little to see of HK but after 1851/1853 – Treaty of Nanjing … in the Summer of 1997, HK was handed back to the Chinese and 50 years of “grace” started …

Anyway, we went down the Hollywood Road to oHon

Honeychurch Antiques and the marvellous Lucille & Glenn Vessa. They have been here for over 30 years … and also have an outlet in Seattle. Their stories on HK life over the years are fascinating … can’t wait to see it on the TV with pictures of what they spoke about.

Have checked into The Four Seasons – and have stunning views of Victoria Harbour. It’s going to be a tough week.

Checking out of The Mandy made me rather sad – it was leaving home again …
Walking round Central did make me smile though – the trams and the Philippino workers huddled around … like something out of Hitchcock’s The Birds … teehee

The Birds

Shopping … BAD ….!

Song of the Day: Fly - Blue

Weather: LOVELY!

Weight: Pawing rather than fighting weight!


Saturday, 25 August 2007

Day 69 – “no fanny … no access”

First, an apology to Gaew – the masseuse who made my week! Due to a “lost in translation” moment, I thought she was from the Philippines who lived in Phuket before coming to HK … BUT she is born & bred Thai – from Phuket. Sorry Gaew …

0700 – stumble out into the street and catch a cab with Mandy and make our way to The Landmark – the “other” ultra-luxury Mandarin Oriental property. While “my” Mandy has over 500 rooms, the Landmark has 113 rooms. It’s the most expensive hotel in HK … and even more amazingly, it does NOT have views of the harbour!

Filmed the MO Bar and then the STUNNING spa! Sadly, I still have cupping marks on my back. They look like the Olympic rings … hmmm….

Next the Amber Bar and the tablet PC wine list – fabulous – interview with the sommelier – Sebastian --- we went through one of my fave Pinots – Mud House – before 11 am! Haha!

Josephine, the lovely PR took us up to one of the suites and I can understand why they are SO expensive – just gorgeous!

A great hotel – in the top 3 top “boutique” hotels in the world methinx …

1600 – In the Mandy Spa – 2 hours of heaven with Irene – felt like a new person!

1900 - Headed off to 123 Wellington Road – to Art Jamming. Basically a lovely lady called Betty set up this company that basically brings people together to paint! SO tonight, me – who failed in the art of stick men drawing – tried my hand at erm … something .. well, you judge for yourself! ANYWAY – I have the piece here with me, so some VERY unlucky person in HK is going to get it!!!!!



Leaving my home tomorrow and I am off to the Four Seasons ….!! :)

Song of the Day: Steal my sunshine - LEN

Weather: Varied

Weight: doing better than well…

Friday, 24 August 2007

Day 68 – Park Life

To be honest, today has been a bit of a “blur” …

It all went so quickly.

I am at The Mandarin Oriental on Hong Kong Island. It was opened in 1963 and after a multi-million refurb and 9 months of closure, reopened in September 2006. I have stayed here often … and it’s very odd being back.

Staying in The Lichfield Suite is awesome. On the 20th floor, it has amazing views around HK … but it’s a huge 3 rooms for just lil’old me!

0600 – Awake! The sun is shining!

0700 – Meet lovely Shevaun at reception and battle the “fans” to get opening shots completed. All done.

It's just a bath Al!

0800 – A shave … quite brutal actually … very close …. but Stephen the barber was only acting on our direction … so who can I blame??? I know, Tim the cameraman! HAHA!

0900 – To the spa for some “cupping”. Apparently I am stressed and the cups (suction cups on my back) tell that story. Tim is worried by the rings left on my back – if it’s good enough for Gwinnie Paltrow at the Oscars, its good enough for “moi”! By the way, it was cryingly painful!

Cupping Painful

1100 – The Captain’s Bar – for a cigar and beer – for the show of course! Beer was served in a silver tankard … classy!

1200 – The Krug Room – the “secret” room in Hong Kong with the most amazing food you have ever tasted! The food scientist Uwe Opocensky – who has just spent 6 months with Ferran at El Bulli – is creating here in Hong Kong. OK – his cooking/creations are totally amazing – an apple caviar, a veggie plate where the veggies have been steamed under pressure to retain its taste, and the Star Wars inspired Universe dessert. OK – you have heard this first here (maybe) by Uwe is THE future of cooking … totally amazing. I owe this feature to a friend who suggested finding a secret room on location – well here it is Chick!

Science of Cuisine?

1400 – In The Lichfield Suite … room reviewing. Designed by Nicky Haslam, it’s very cool – especially when John Lobb and Ferregamo pop in with clothes and shoes for me to shop! Haha!

1600 – Interview hotel GM – Peter French … in The Mandarin Suite – 2222 at the hotel … the best! He’s a cigar smoker SO we're destined to be friends.

1700 – A HUGE Rolls picks us up & takes up to interview Rainy Chan, the GM at The Peninsula over the Harbour. Al is speechless … it’s very sweet.

2000 – Dinner with Shevaun & hubbie Al. They are fellow Pimlico chums so we have much to discuss! We dine at the Pierre Garnier restaurant – on the 25th floor. A VERY lovely evening! Thanks guys …

2400 – bed – have a 0600 call time tomorrow – yuk…!

Song of the Day: Easy Lover – Phil Collins & Phil Bailey

Weather: Sunny but sticky


Thursday, 23 August 2007

Day 67 – Back on Track!

The sun shines on those who wait! After holding my breath ALL night (while watching St Elmo’s Fire, followed by The Breakfast Club & Sixteen Candles) dawn finally broke with the sun shining through! Is it Christmas? No – just a good day in Hong Kong.
The crew slept … !

We bade a sad farewell to the folks at The Plateau. We were sent on our way with waves, cuddles and chocolate! We left in style – an original London Black Cab … can you see what is so special about? Yes – it has a front passenger seat! I couldn’t pass up the chance …

A Black Cab with Lurking General Manager

1200: We are arrived at our hotel for the day – JIA. Opened in 2004, it’s the first boutique hotel in HK and the first Starcke-designed hotel in Asia. It’s very trendy … Bob/Tom x4/Al was VERY impressed. There are only 54 rooms + suites spread out over 25 floors! Small but huge!
Everything is “designed” … very groovy … not really me… BUT the service IS excellent – mainly down to the GM – Helen Lee, ex-Four Seasons and her positive attitude …

Filmed & filmed & filmed. Also met with Dane Clouston head chef at Opia – one of the top restaurants in town. I hope I get to cook with him … top fellow. Had my first cigar (Trinidad) and another malt in the bar …

1700: went “home”… The Mandarin Oriental … my first stay since a multi-million dollar refurb .. more on that tomorrow. I am in the Lord Lichfield Suite – it’s VERY, VERY, VERY cool and very comfortable indeed … with roll-top free standing bath, all glass shower, huge bed, a projection screen (!) and more Aqua di Palma then I have EVER seen! I slept in heaven last night and I am back there again tonight! Whoo-hoo!

Two of the Three Little Piggies

My dear friend Shevaun (a Pimlico girl) is PR here so I am actually home in nearly every sense … the next few days will be fun … I feel it …

Song of the Day: Cosmic Girl – Jamiroquai

Weather: its getting’ better

Weight: I’m getting’ thinner

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Day 66 - A washout!

I am not sure I have ever seen so much rain! 30 mm fell in an hour …

There are 2 places to have breakfast at this property – 11th floor – where I am staying – outside or on the 30th floor – the Club Floor. This morning I ventured to the 30th – where the views are stunning!

Today I could see very little as the whole of HK was covered by a thick blanket of dark, dark clouds!

0900 – We met up with Jason Wordie, one of the finest historians in town, for a walk. This did not happen as even with my huge umbrella, the rain was just too much – so we just did a bit more filming in the hotel.

Sin Sin

1200 – Sin Sin. This lady (Sin Sin) is not a fashion designer (even though she is) or a jewellery designer (even though she is) or an artist (even though she is) and describes herself as a “lifestyle creator”.. her boutiques on Sai Street are superb … a must see & do on a visit! Also met a lovely pup next door and saw how Oyster Sauce is made (!).

Friendly Pup

1500 – back to the hotel for a bit of R&R before – apparently – we head into a few days of stunning weather! Whoo-hoooooo!

Am not looking forward to checking-out tomorrow … I do love The Plateau … am still wallowing in my superb Gaew massage!

Song of the Days: Scottish Rain (the Silencers)

Weather: Scottish Rain

Weight: trimmer!

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Day 65 - Relax, don't do it ....

A long, long hot & sweaty day.

Firstly, last night.

SO - my best massage EVER (until now) was from a lady called "Angel Hands" at the Maccu Picchu Lodge in Peru ... she didn't actually touch me, she just waved her paws about and sorted my back out.

Last night, Angel was replaced by Gaew, a Phillipino lady from Phuket. Over 90 minutes she manipulated, rubbed, pawed and scrubbed me into a happy gibbering wreck! The MOST excellent massage ever. I slept like a baby .. and woke up today with NOT one ache or pain - surely the sign of perfection ... AMAZING!


0830 - Head off to the Conrad - one of the BIG 10 in HK ... it has over 500 rooms. Set over the top 22 floors of a 61 floor building ... the lobby is MAGNIFICENT; HUUUUGE!


We filmed the Chairman suite that has views from the 60th floor of The Peak, the Harbour and Wanchai ... The Golden Leaf - with Chef So - serves awesome Cantonese cuisine - yum! I had sweet & sour prawns ... yum yum!

1400 - Back to the Plateau where we finish off the hotel - my superb bathroom -- note photo of Al in my bath trying to open the blinds to let some light in. I interview the GM - Gordon Fuller - who is fun/serious ... a lovely mix.

Al in my bath

1800 - A quick pizza ... gorgeous ... bed? sleep? I hope so ...

Song of the Day: Tomorrow's Just Another Day (Madness)

Weather: turning for the worse

Weight: losing again! whoo-hoo!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Day 64 - In and Out of the Spa

Gaw'd! Well I was awake at midnight and stayed awake watching TERRIBLE movies on HBO until 0600 ...

Felt like cat poo as I ventured into the Spa area for breakfast ... filled up on carbs ... I needed them!

The weather is SO bad it's scary! It's dark at 10 a.m.!!!!!! Not as bad as Jamaica ... but... a typhoon is on its way!

Spent the morning in the lovely presence of hotel PR Gladis... The Grand Hyatt has 549 rooms and suites ... over 36 floors. The Plateau is the only residential urban spa in HK and I love it! We have filmed all over the hotel - the 8 restaurants, public areas etc etc... it shoots well...!

Enjoyed my spa experience so much I fell asleep in the first one (and snored) and the second one (in an over-sized jacuzzi)... I am getting more and more uncomfortable in spas ... I am unsure as to why though ... :(

Another Spa Treatment

Am SOOO tired that tonight and I am having a proper massage and then I am off to sleeeeeeeeep!

One bright spot, I have now realised why my new watch has 2 faces!! yay!

Song of the Day: Any cartoon theme tune .. Hong Kong Phooey springs to mind!!! teehee!

Weather: Atrocious

Weight: hmmmm!

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Days 62 & 63 - Hello from Hong Kong!

A Room with a View

Yes - we are back on the road - 4 weeks this time - 2 in Honkers and 2 in Tokyo.


A blur. Picked up by crazy Bim in his cab. Took rather longer than usual to get through the traffic to T1 due to the loonies at the airport and finally arrived on BA 25 - HK bound.

On board, nothing worked! No TV, No Radio .. No Internut! I had to read and listen to my ipod for most of the journey. Rubbish BA.

OK - a Hindu meal includes chicken but not a KitKat or milk/cheesecake as that is deemed inappropriate! I had to have a word with the purser - who to his credit did send 4 KK's over to me...

The flight is LONG .... of course, a bed helps ... only just though ...


Arrive at midday! its SOOO humid that i sweated three pints before i even left the airport. the 40 minute journey to the centre of town was a wee depressing .. the "smog" is blocking the sun.

I am now on the 11th floor - The Plateau at the Grand Hyatt ....

My suite - look at the photo: 3 things to note 1) harbour view 2) futon 3) HUGE glass bath behind the bed! SUPERB!

Spa Suite

Tom x 3 and tim are well and happy downstairs in the main hotel as the Plateau is a residential spa & there's only room for me here! i am quite tired but we have a meeting now .. then bed...

The sun is setting over the harbour ... the lights have come on and HK is alive!! whoo-hoo!!

Song of the Day: So Lonely (Police)

Weather: cough! cough!

Weight: lets see tomorrow!

Friday, 17 August 2007

Day 61 - How Long!?

The London shows look awesome! That par 4 on the 18th at The Old Course .... genius!

Packing for 30 days.


Weather: Nay bad!

Song for the Day: Leaving on a Jet Plane (John Denver)

Weight: It Starts Again today ...!

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Days 58, 59 & 60 - And we're off again!

Where is life going? Every morning I wake up and the world is looming ... not that I am complaining.
I am off to Hong Kong tomorrow and am very excited but there is just so much to.

Editing is finished! WHOO-HOO!

My diet has gone to hell though which is a touch annoying ... but I now have 4 weeks of gyms .. surely with a wee nudge, I cannot fail?!?!

On Tuesday we went to dinner with dear friends Paul & Charlotte to La Poule au Pot on Pimlico Road ... Winner had given it a BAD review in The Times last Sunday ... "read between the lines Winner, read between the lines" ... we had a stunning evening .. haven't giggled so much for so long... I love that place .. only with special people though...

Bob/Alex/Tom x 3 is excited too... and she has now met the furry family ... poor lass...

Bored Pup

Just for "the boss" Helen: Word of the Day: Supercalifrafilisticexpealidocious

Weather: with You

Song of the Day: Romeo & Juliet (Dire Straits)

Weight: here we go again

Monday, 13 August 2007

Day 57 - Another Day of Editing!

Another day in the edit my escapades on the London shows! Did I really par the 18th on The Old Course at St Andrew? YES! Were those penguins as vicious as I remember? YES! Did I really pull 6.5g in an aerobatics plane? YES ...


Steph spends most of her day .. laughing ... at me!


Weather: changeable

Song of The Day: Don't Worry Be Happy (Bobby McFerrin)

Weight: flubber

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Days 53, 54, 55 & 56 – A Black Hole

Do you ever have those days/weeks when life just passes you by and you can’t remember much of it? The last few days have been like that for me.


Editing again. It is all going well and we are nearly there with the London shows. They look lovely.


A day at home. As the flat is undergoing a refurb, the whole place is slightly crazy. Cats, dogs, workmen … not fun at all.

Meet up with a student buddy from 14 years ago! Scary … that Facebook thing eh?


Golf …. Superb

A wonderful sight!


Tiling & eating! Yum…

Song of the Days: Rolling Rolling Rolling Rawhide (?)

Weather: Burn Baby Burn

Weight: ????

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Day 52 – Jet Lag

The lesson for today: Jetlag

Every day, millions of travellers struggle against one of the most common sleep disorders – jet lag. For our guests who arrive from overseas here are some simple behavioural adjustments before, during and after arrival at your destination can help minimise some of the side effects of jet lag.

Where possible select a flight that allows early evening arrival and stay up until 10.00pm local time (if you sleep during the day, take a short nap in the early afternoon, but no longer than two hours. Set an alarm to be sure not to oversleep).

- Anticipate the time change for trips by getting up and going to bed earlier several days prior for an eastward trip and later for a westward trip.

- Upon boarding the plane, change your watch to the destination time zone.

- Avoid alcohol or caffeine for at least three to four hours before bedtime. Both act as “stimulants” and prevent sleep.

- Upon arrival at your a destination, avoid heavy meals, (a snack – not chocolate)

- Avoid any heavy exercise close to bedtime (light exercise earlier in the day is fine) perhaps take a short walk or try our in room exercises.

- Bring earplugs and blindfolds to help dampen noise and block out any unwanted light while sleeping.

- Try to get out into the sunlight whenever possible. Daylight is a powerful stimulant for regulating the biological clock.


Song of the Day: Weather with You (Crowded House)

Weather: sweaty betty

Weight: ????

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Day 51 – The REAL work begins …

Scripts, scripts, scripts … and tetanus jab because of those violent penguins … (but they were sweet!)…

Song of the Day: Owner of a Lonely Heart (Yes)

Weather: Splendid

Weight: Not sure – diet is waning …

Monday, 6 August 2007

Day 50 – And now it’s over

0900 – Join Rosie & Patrick (3 & 5) & head off to London Zoo.

1000 – Meet up with Jane Harvey at the penguin enclosure.

1015 – Am introduced to some violent, angry and downright crazy penguins. Happy Feet? Yeah right! They bite, scratch, attack and nibble at will. The penguins all have names – all very sweet ones – all totally out of character! It’s all party of the very last feature – Zoo Keeper for a Day at London Zoo.

1115 – Say hello to a heron while cleaning penguin poop and “cuddle” Ruby.

Ruby, Ruby, Ruby

1200 – Finish up with ice-cream and sore hands, legs and arms … without doubt one of the most wonderful experiences in my life!!


p.m. start on the scripts …

Song of the Day: The Beautiful Ones (Prince)

Weather: Peckish

Weight: 84.0 kgs

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Days 47, 48 & 49 - Farewell 1 Aldwych


Another early start … checked out of 1 Aldwych - sad - it is my favourite contemporary hotel in London.

0700 – Arrive at Four Seasons, Park Lane for a lesson in floristry with James Pitman – the hilarious and witty on-site florist. Learnt how to do some floristry stuff that involved flowers and grass!

0900 – Arrive on Pimlico Road.

1000 – Dale Rogers Ammonite – basically fossils! It’s actually not only very interesting but its one of those places where you want to buy everything.

1200 – Lunch at the Daylesford Organic. A piece of Gloucestershire heaven has arrived in London. Great food and atmosphere and somewhere for the pup to sit!

That's Better!

1300 – David Linley – VERY VERY chic and wonderful furniture – meet up with Craig Allen – the creative director. You can buy a table for £20,000 or a door stop for £19.99 – I wonder which one I went for!

1400 – Plus One gallery – meet the lovely Maggie with pup, Jack. Her gallery focuses on “photo-realism” – basically a painting that looks like a photograph!

1600 – Head back to FS to pick up cars.

Mention of the day: Kate – Tom x 4 – who was very helpful!

Tom x 4 +Tim


0730 – Pup and I head off in car to Dorking (Surrey) to Denbies – the “home” of British Wine.

0930 – Arrive at vineyard and meet with Chris White – the General Manger; taste some fabulous stuff. Did you know that champagne was “invented” in the UK? Did you know that some soils in Kent & Surrey are BETTER than the stuff in Champagne … and so produce better wines?? Did you know that the Denbies sparkling stuff beat the likes of Moet & Chandon to be THE best in the world? Well, now you do …

Chris and Pup


1600 – bar-b-q


Day of rest, family and more bar-b-q.

Song of the Day: Boom! And there she was – Scritti Politti

Weather: Linen

Weight: 84.0 kgs

Thursday, 2 August 2007

DAY 46 – The Curry King

0800 – meet Tim & Bob/Alex/Mary/Tom x 3/Doris for breakfast

0900 – jump on the BA London Eye on a champagne capsule! Fab! PR – Courtney – is entertaining and the Laurent Perrier is in my bloodstream just before 10 a.m. Great tourist attraction … 30 minutes of fun and ‘oooohs’ and ‘aaaaahhhs!’

Eye Eye!

1100 – head back to The Four Seasons in Park Lane to interview the legendary GM that is John Stauss. It’s not often I am “in awe” but with John I tend to be! He’s a man with great hotel knowledge and is just fab!

1200 – have lunch with JS and the lovely Kristien (Sales & Marketing) and lovely Charlotte. We have the buffet – the BEST buffet in London – before running back to the hotel.

1400 – to meet Adrian from Volpe who has run me up the most amazing suit in lightning speed time!

1500 – special mention to Howard – PR Director – who is just so brilliant at making life easy! You are the best man … can life get any better????!!!

1530 – head down to Berkeley Square to Benares and chef Atul Kocchar. We are old buddies and this shows in our cooking! Fun and easy! OK so the food is NOT as good as my mother’s but hey, it’s close!!

Atul, Jitin and Me

1800 – back in 410 at the hotel …paperwork etc …

Song of the Day: Tomorrow’s Just Another Day (Madness)

Weather: Weird

Weight: It’s all pounds & ounces here!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

DAY 45 - Alex's Diary

I’m busy as ever, so I’ve handed the reins over to another guest writer. Today it's Alex Davies, who's on a two-day trial as our Camera Assistant.

My day started at the ‘grand’ One Aldwych Hotel. We started by shooting some exterior shots of Varun approaching the hotel in a stunning Alfa Romeo Spider, then moved inside to get some general views. Cameraman Tim, he kindly took the time to teach me things about the camera and inform me about certain technical tricks of the trade.

Before lunch we went upstairs to film Varun’s room, the lovely 410! What an amazing room, boasting views of the Thames and Waterloo Bridge - it’s a prime location for anyone lucky enough to stay in such a Hotel.

Varun’s room even has a gym in it… which is great in theory but in practice can prove to be a little painful as Varun later found out when he was greeted by his personal trainer who works at the hotel!

One Aldwych even has its own personal screening room where you can view films or your favourite TV shows with your friends or family. So after lunch we filmed that, and stuffed our faces with popcorn!

We also visited the gym, where Varun skilfully avoided the personal trainer’s wrath by wearing flip-flops. How cunning! But exercise couldn’t be avoided when it came to the pool, it was either sink or swim. But as Varun put it he wasn’t really swimming – it was more like dawdling in water.

To finish the day off, we went to Paxton and Whitfield Cheese shop, to taste exquisite cheeses. I was amazed to hear the shop has been open since 1797. It has 200 different types of cheese, including one which costs £60 a kilogram. I must say you get what you pay for, it was mouth wateringly good!

Ever wondered what the best cheese for making cheese on toast is? Well, according to the assistant manager who works there it's strong cheddar or Caerphilly. However Rhuaridh (featured in the series) disagreed, insisting it was Lancashire… something to do with the way it melts.

Well that was our day, now I’m off home to enjoy a nice cold bottle of their delicious ale and make myself a round of cheese on toast!

Song of the Day: Fool’s Gold (Stone Roses)

Weather: Brad Pitt Gorgeous

Weight: A lady never tells!
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