The week before last I was lucky enough to be invited not once, but twice to one of my favourite events of the Summer season, The Boodles tennis tournament at the beautiful Stoke park golf club in Buckinghamshire. I love tennis and as one of the first grass court tournaments of the year, lots of the players use the Boodles as a warm up for Wimbledon including this year, Raphael Nadal (be still my beating heart) and Novak Djokovic. Tuesday was the first day of the tournament and we arrived just after 11am for a champagne reception and a viewing of some of Boodles finest jewellery. I was lucky enough to be lent some jewels to wear for the day and picked out a beautiful diamond and rose gold necklace which went perfectly with my pale blue Beulah London Leila dress. Lunch was a delicious three course affair by Stoke Park’s head chef Chris Wheeler and fantastic company was provided by our guests for the day, Brendan’s former Strictly partner, Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton and her husband Dr Scott Gardner. It was a great opportunity to catch up and we had fun hearing about Vic’s latest challenge, training to be a jump jockey! After lunch we headed over to the court for the first of three matches. The fabulous thing about this tournament is that the stands are fairly small and therefore every seat has a fantastic view and proximity to the court. Our hospitality box also had my favourite champagne Veuve Cliquot on tap as well as fantastic hostesses to serve it with the most wonderful knack of popping champagne corks silently mid-point! With a short break for afternoon tea at 4:30, more fabulous tennis and a sip or two more of Champagne, we begrudgingly returned our beautiful jewellery and headed home at the end of a wonderful, hot, sunny English day ready and excited to do it all over again tomorrow!
Day 2 – Our second day out at the Boodles was courtesy of British fashion brand Beulah London. Launched in 2011 by Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Lavinia Brennan, Beulah is an ethical brand, helping provide a sustainable livelihood to those that have come out of Human trafficking. Their beautiful and ladylike designs are loved by celebrities such as Natalie Pinkham, Donna Air, Millie Mackintosh and Jodie Kidd as well as being a firm favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. The Beulah girls, affectionately known as Nats and Lavs by their friends are such good fun and we were joined for the day by our friends, creative director of luxury handbag brand Aspinal of London, Mariya Dykalo Burton and her Husband, Aspinal’s director Iain Burton. Also joining us for the day were Bravo TV’s “Ladies of London” stars Marissa Hermer and Julie Montagu. Whether or not you are a Tennis fan it’s impossible to deny that this is a beautiful, quintessentially English day out. Perfectly dressed men and women, sparkling diamonds, good-looking tennis players, great food and company and the most stunning and immaculate setting, not to mention the fantastic weather that always seems to bless this event, make for a truly fantastic day.
As if this weren’t enough glamour and fun for one week, on Thursday night we attended the Caudwell Butterfly ball at London’s Grosvenor House hotel. Caldwell Children is a wonderful charity set up by English entrepreneur John Caudwell in 2000 to help disabled and disadvantaged children. Since its inception the charity has raised over 27 million pounds. It was a star-studded evening and the first person we bumped into on the red carpet was none other than Sir Bruce Forsyth and his beautiful Wife Wilnelia. Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster were also in attendance and the night was hosted by former Strictly Come Dancing contestants Mark Wright and Rachel Stevens so there was definitely a bit of a Strictly theme going on! We had lots of fun at our dinner table with fellow guests including classical singer Camilla Kerslake and TV presenter Lizzy Cundy. I’m sure that I wasn’t the only guest in the room with misty eyes as John Caudwell got up to speak so passionately about the importance of the money raised by the charity and I wished I’d worn waterproof mascara as we watched the videos of some of the children helped by the charity. Amazing entertainment was provided by two of my favourite artists, rock goddess Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders and Lionel Richie, who both had us all up dancing all night long! 😉 The event was a huge success raising over 2 Million pounds for the charity.
After all this partying we were in serious need of some r&r so we headed off to my favourite place in the world, Mallorca where I’m currently writing this from. More on this soon!……