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BARONESS SUSAN GREENFIELD The mind and the media

MAYFAIR'S BUSINESS ELITE On surviving a recession MARK SARGEANT Ramsay's right-hand man


April 09


Mayfair Times

The house magazine of Mayfair now in its 23rd year




22 Right-hand man

Mark Sargeant, head chef at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's, on working with his mentor

30 Words of wisdom

Leading business figures give their tips for surviving the financial crisis


Interview with Baroness Susan Greenfield See page 18


6 News

Versace's villa goes under the hammer and Cecil Beaton makes a comeback

23 Food & drink

Egg-cellent Easter treats

26 Fashion

Classic clothes to see you through the new season

10 Events

Celebrate St George's Day in Trafalgar Square and learn detox cooking

28 Health & beauty

Get money off spa treatments and haircuts in Mayfair

Editor Selma Day T 020 7259 1052 E [email protected] Art Sophie Bishop Business Erik Brown Events Lucy Brown Fashion, Food & drink, Health & beauty Selma Day Property, Theatre Nuala Calvi Sub-editor Nuala Calvi Designer Andy Lowe Publisher & editorial director Erik Brown T 020 7259 1053 E [email protected] Publishing director Adrian Day Advertisement director Sam Bradshaw T 020 7259 1051 Advertisement manager Katie Thomas T 020 7259 1059 Printed in England by Precision Colour Printing. © Publishing Business Ltd 2009 Mayfair Times is produced by Publishing Business in partnership with Grosvenor Publishing Business Blandel Bridge House 56 Sloane Square London SW1W 8AX T 020 7259 1050 F 020 7901 9042

Publishing Business is a member of the Periodical Publishers' Association and observes the PPA Code of Publishing Practice

12 News analysis

The Tower Run is helping give young people a brighter future

42 Property

The Regent Street office block that's staging Shakespeare

14 Theatre

Frances Barber joins Judi Dench and Rosamund Pike in Madame De Sade

44 Interiors

Mirror, mirror on your wall

16 Art

The London Original Print Fair returns to the Royal Academy

50 Meanderings

Erik Brown gets an email from beyond the grave






Designer sale

ITEMS BELONGING to the late Gianni Versace sold at Sotheby's in New Bond Street for more than twice their pre-sale estimate. The 545-lot sale of the contents of Villa Fontanelle, Versace's early 19th century mansion on the shores of Lake Como, fetched £7.4 million, outstripping a pre-sale top estimate of £2.8 million. The highest prices were for a pair of Italian cherry wood bookcases from Versace's bedroom, which fetched £481,250 and £601,250. The sale follows Christie's International's record 373.9 million euro auction of Yves Saint Laurent's art collection in February.



Dragons' Guy

SCULPTOR GUY PORTELLI (below, far right) recently exhibited two new pieces from his Pop Icon collection at The Royal Society of British Artist's annual exhibition. He is pictured here with (from left) Dragons' Den stars Theo Paphitis, Peter Jones and James Caan, who have each invested £20,000 in his work. The full collection, which includes sculptures of Frank Sinatra, Madonna, The Who and John Lee Hooker, will be displayed at The Mall Galleries on June 24.

Off the wall

A NEW CONTEMPORARY artwork by upand-coming artist Alex Knell has won an innovative online art competition run jointly by Royal Academy Schools and international property company Hines. Knell's winning piece We Are Our Future was unveiled last month at the launch of One Grafton Street Urban Gallery. The 19m by 43m canvas stretches across the front of the building, which is currently being developed by Hines. The Urban Gallery is the first project in Hines' One Spirit Showcase, a series of collaborations with cultural organisations.

In prints

THE MOST comprehensive Cecil Beaton exhibition for years is being staged by Chris Beetles Gallery in collaboration with Sotheby's. The exhibition features around 70 prints and includes photographs of 20th century icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Gilbert & George and members of the Royal Family. Prints are available to buy in limited editions of 50, all authenticated with the archive's official stamp. The show is held at Chris Beetles on Ryder Street from April 22-May 16.


Martini class Fashion kick

LONDON FASHION WEEK brought a welcome boost to the West End, helping to revive footfall after four days' trading lost through heavy snow. Harold Tillman, chairman of the British Fashion Council, said: "London Fashion Week is worth £20 million to the London economy in terms of direct spend, some of this directly going to businesses based in the West End."


Healthy art

OPERA GALLERY has joined forces with Cancer Research UK to stage an exhibition entitled Life. Held in aid of the charity, it brings together paintings, sculpture and photography by 40 artists, including Andy Warhol, Bernard Buffet and Philippe Pastor. The show runs until the end of April at Opera Gallery, 134 New Bond Street.

WORLD FAMOUS for its Martinis, Dukes Hotel, St James's Place, is now offering Martini masterclasses. Bar manager Alessandro Palazzi will show you how to make a classic Martini and perfect your mixing technique, as well as teaching you a few tricks of the trade. The class is priced at £75 per person (£125 for two) and includes an hour and a half's guidance, Martinis and canapés and a voucher for a complimentary Martini at a later date. To book, call 020 7491 4840.

A month

in Mayfair

LEADING BRITISH artist Antony Gormley launched his nationwide work One & Other by inviting the public to help create a living monument on the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. From July 6 to October 14, different people will stand on the plinth for an hour each.

THE MET BAR was transformed into a vintage circus (left) during London Fashion Week for the biannual Pink Drinks Party, in honour of the designers showing at the Metropolitan. Guests from the fashion industry were treated to circus performances, candyfloss and tequila popcorn.

THE NATIONAL Gallery projected some of Picasso's greatest works along its 190m facade in celebration of the opening week of its blockbuster show on the artist.

LORD LUCAN'S desk sold for £13,200 to a British buyer, against a pre-sale estimate of £5,000 to £7,000 at a Bonhams Fine Furniture sale in New Bond Street. Lady Lucan instructed Bonhams to sell the late Lord Lucan's desk, originally used at the former family home in Lower Belgrave Street.

86 8


The American scheme

THE US DEPARTMENT OF STATE'S Bureau of Overseas Building Operations (OBO) has announced the four architectural firms selected for the final phase of the design competition for the new US Embassy in London. Kieran Timberlake, Morphosis Architects, PEI Cobb Freed & Partners and Richard Meier & Partners will each present threedimensional models to the jury in November, with the winning firm's design developed for construction on the Nine Elms site. Their task is to create a building and site complex that has a "timeless quality" and appropriately represents the US in the UK.

H&M link-up

MATTHEW WILLIAMSON is the latest designer to launch a capsule collection for H&M, starting with an exclusive womenswear range at selected stores from April 23, followed by Williamson's first ever menswear range. The Mayfair-based designer has also opened his first US flagship store in New York, which retains the vintage signature brand look of his Bruton Street store.

Whole Hog development

KENMORE PROPERTY GROUP and Appley Properties have received planning permission from Westminster City Council for the redevelopment of the Hog In The Pound pub site at the junction of Oxford Street and South Molton Street. The six-storey building, designed by DSDHA architects, will provide a mix of retail at basement, ground and first-floor level, with offices and residential accommodation above.

News in brief

THE ROYAL MEWS has reopened to the public until October 31, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life at Buckingham Palace. The Mews houses one of the world's finest working stables and a historic collection of royal coaches and carriages. Open daily, except Fridays, from 11am to 4pm.


at a new flagship store at 47 Conduit Street. The boutique is situated over two floors, while a separate gallery on the first floor will be dedicated to exhibitions and private viewings.

THE CAVENDISH HOTEL in St James's has been awarded a Gold Accreditation by Green Tourism for London for its and a heap of beach sand are among the items installed as part of an artificial landscape at the Fine Art Society's New Bond Street gallery. Beauty Spot is the latest in a series of horticultural installations by artist Tony Heywood. The exhibition runs until April 7. environmental policies. The hotel is the first in London to receive the award.

BENARES CHEF Atul Kochhar has joined forces with specialist tour operator Indian Odyssey to launch culinary tours to India. During each journey, Kochhar will showcase his own style of cuisine and invite guests to savour the authentic, contemporary tastes of India while they explore the country. For further information, visit or

FOUR TONNES of pine needles, a nine-foot fountain, five giant trees

TWO OF THE most established French luxury brands ­ crystal maker Lalique and porcelain company Haviland ­ have joined LAST YEAR'S CANADA DAY together to present TRAFALGAR CELEBRATIONS IN their creations

THE NATIONAL CAFÉ (left) is celebrating the Picasso: Challenging the Past exhibition at the National Gallery with two limited-edition Iberian menus and a £10 offer on Spanish wines until June 7.

NEWS Selma Day

[email protected]


WEDNESDAY 8 Handel Reveal'd Handel House Museum, 25 Brook Street, W1. Museum open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 10am-6pm, Thursday 10am-8pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm, closed Mondays, including bank holidays, except Easter Monday. Easter opening times: closed Good Friday (April 10), open April 11 10am-6pm, April 12, Easter Day 12pm-6pm, April 13, Easter Monday 10am-6pm. Museum admission £5 adults, £4.50 concessions, £2 children (children admitted free on Saturdays). Exhibition runs until October 25. To mark the 250th anniversary of Handel's death, a new exhibition explores the composer as a man, looking at his love of food, his business practices, his health, finances and patrons. Info: 020 7495 1685.

what's on events

creating the perfect afternoon tea, including delicious pastries. The practical session finishes at 2pm, followed by lunch. Info: 020 7409 6307. SUNDAY 19 Shakespeare's birthday party Shakespeare's Globe, Bankside, SE1. 12pm-5pm (last entry 4.30pm), free. A day of events and activities celebrating Shakespeare's sonnets. Info: 020 7983 4000. MONDAY 27 The logic of life Royal Institution of Great Britain, 21 Albemarle Street, W1. 7pm, tickets £8, £6 concessions, £4 Ri members. Tim Harford argues that despite sometimes acting in a way that defies rational thought, we are all, in fact, surprisingly logical. Info: 020 7409 2992.

TUESDAY 28 Herend charity auction St James's Restaurant, Fortnum and Mason, 181 Piccadilly, W1. 6.30pm-9.30pm, tickets £15. Exhibition free, runs until May 31. Alongside an exhibition of handpainted Herend porcelain, a charity auction will take place with lots including Herend vases. The ticket price includes a champagne reception and there are handpainting demonstrations on April 28, 29 and May 14, 15. Info: 0845 300 1707. [email protected] UNTIL APRIL 18. Jet Set Go! Jermyn Street Theatre, SW1. 8pm, matinees Saturday and Sunday 4pm, tickets £15 adults, £12 concessions. New musical about 24 hours in the life of a transatlantic cabin crew. Info: 0207 287 2875.

SATURDAY 11 Chiva-Som masterclass Claridge's, Brook Street, W1. 11.30am, £157.50 per person including lunch and welcome coffees. Paisarn Cheewinsiriwat, executive chef at destination spa Chiva-Som ­ known for its award-winning detox food ­ demonstrates how healthy eating can be a gourmet experience.

Info: 020 7409 6307. TUESDAY 14 250th anniversary of Handel's death Handel House Museum, 25 Brook Street, W1. 10am-6pm (last admission 5.30pm), free. To mark the anniversary of the composer's death, admission to the museum will be free and there

will be live music all day. Info: 020 7495 1685. SATURDAY 18 Afternoon tea masterclass Claridge's, Brook Street, W1. 11.30am, £157.50 per person including lunch and welcome coffees. Pastry Chef Nick Patterson shares some of Claridge's secrets to

SUNDAY 12 Hallelujah for Easter: live music and Easter egg trail Handel House Museum, 25 Brook Street, W1. 12pm-6pm, (last entrance 5.30pm), museum admission for adults £5, free for children. Listen to baroque music all afternoon, including excerpts from Handel's Messiah. You can also take part in a special Handel House Easter egg trail, with chocolate egg prizes for everyone. Suitable for all ages.

TUESDAY 14 Handel's death day St George's, Hanover Square, W1. 7pm, tickets £10-£55. The London Handel Singers and London Handel Orchestra perform Handel's Jephtha, the composer's last oratorio, to mark his death 250 years ago. Conducted by Laurence Cummings, leader Adrian Butterfield. Info: 01460 54660. THURSDAY 16 Ronan Magill St James's Church, 197 Piccadilly, W1. 7.30pm, tickets £10-£20, available from the number below or on the door. Ronan Magill plays The Moonlight Sonata by candlelight, along with favourites from Bach, Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt and Debussy. Info: 020 7381 0441.

what's on easter services

FRIDAY 10 St Matthew Passion St George's, Hanover Square, W1. 2.30pm, tickets £40, £35, £30, £25, £12, £10. The Passion will be performed in German in the context of Vespers. Laurence Cummings conducts the London Handel Orchestra and the Choir of St George's performing JS Bach's St Matthew Passion, with Adrian Butterfield as leader. Info: 01460 54660.

what's on music

Info: 020 7495 1685.

THURSDAY 9 ­ MAUNDY THURSDAY St George's Hanover Square St George's, Hanover Square, W1. 12.10pm, holy communion BCP (said). Info: 020 7629 0874. Grosvenor Chapel Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street, W1. 7pm, sung Eucharist with washing of the feet and prayer vigil. Info: 020 7499 1684. FRIDAY 10 ­ GOOD FRIDAY St George's Hanover Square St George's, Hanover Square, W1. 10am Good Friday liturgy, 2.30pm Vespers (St Matthew Passion by JS Bach ­ see Music section). Info: 020 7629 0874. Grosvenor Chapel Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley

Street, W1. 12pm stations of the cross, 1pm liturgy of the Passion. Music includes The St John Passion. Info: 020 7499 1684. SUNDAY 12 ­ EASTER DAY St George's Hanover Square St George's, Hanover Square, W1. 8.30am holy communion BCP (said), 11am sung Eucharist. Music includes Mozart's Coronation Mass and Handel's Hallelujah. Info: 020 7629 0874. Grosvenor Chapel Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street, W1. 6am dawn mass of the resurrection, 11am sung Eucharist with orchestra. Music includes Haydn's The Nelson Mass. Info: 020 7499 1684.

what's on film

SATURDAY 25 Concert on the Square Trafalgar Square, WC2. 12.30pm-6pm, free. Contemporary music with English roots to celebrate St George's Day (April 23). Artists include Seth Lakeman, Eliza Carthy, Jim Moray, Bishi, Kathryn Tickell (pictured). Info: 020 7983 4000.


EVENTS Lucy Brown

[email protected]

TUESDAY 14 Il viaggio a Reims Curzon Mayfair, 38 Curzon Street, W1. 7pm, tickets £25 (adult). Rossini's Il Viaggio a Reims, screened live and in high definition from Teatro alla Scala. Part of the Italy's Grand Operas season. Info: 0871 7033 989 (box office).

WEDNESDAY 22 Jamie Travis Shorts + Q&A The Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, SW1. 6.30pm, tickets £7, £6 concessions, £5 ICA members. Retrospective of Jamie Travis's short films including The Saddest Boy in the World, followed by a Q&A session with the film-maker. Info: 020 7930 3647 (box office).


news analysis


A running start

hef Chris Galvin has a lot to thank Antony Worrall Thompson for. When Chris was 15, his father left their Essex home and Chris, his younger brother Jeff and their mother began to struggle. Chris knocked on the door of the Essex restaurant run by Worrall Thompson and was given work in the kitchen, washing pots. That was how he got his start in life. These days, he's chef patron of Galvin at Windows on the 28th floor of the Park Lane Hilton and he and Jeff ­ both of whom have had Michelin stars in their careers ­ run Galvin Bistrot de Luxe on Baker Street, with another restaurant due to open this year in Spitalfields in the City of London. "It's like that in a lot of kitchens," Chris says. "If you're good you survive and you're given an opportunity. You have this lovely juxtaposition of people who have done better in life often eating in restaurants, so you get to be close to people who help you aspire to different things." As Chris points out, a lot of kids who haven't had the best start in life are caught in a Catch 22. Without experience they can't get jobs, but without qualifications they can't get experience. Galvin's Chance, a new project run by the Springboard Charitable Trust, is designed to break that cycle by getting disadvantaged young people onto a fast-track course at Westminster Kingsway College and then into apprenticeships at top London hotels. The project is being backed by the Hilton in the Community Foundation and is partnering with Alex Rose, a 20-year-old who launched his own campaign against gun and knife crime after his friend, Eugene, was murdered.


Alex, now training to be a graphic designer, launched STOP

executive Anne Pierce and the Hilton in the Community Foundation came up with the idea for Galvin's Chance. But it nearly collapsed when it emerged that the first phase, for a dozen apprentices, would cost £30,000. Super-fit Fred Sirieix came up with the answer: The Mayfair Park & Tower Race. And celebrities started to get involved almost straight away. Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jr was one of the first to sign up along with former Chelsea and England footballer Graeme Le Saux ­ officially the celebrity voice of Galvin's Chance. Many more have accepted invitations to run since. The race will be run on June 17 at 4pm. Full details, including nutritional advice, are now available at



(Stop This Ongoing Problem) when he was still a teenager. He won an Anne Frank Award for people who make a difference and has been called to 10 Downing Street to discuss strategies for dealing with street violence. Even so, Alex admits that he had fallen prey to the belief that people in central London were distanced from the issues he was putting his heart and soul into. But his first meeting with Fred Sirieix, Galvin at Windows' irrepressible general manager, changed all that. "When I spoke to Fred and the team, the passion that came from them ­ that for me was amazing," Alex says. "It's really come home to me now just how close the issue is to everyone's hearts, not just the people in my community." Together, Fred, Alex, Chris Galvin, Springboard's chief



French fancies


ehind the scenes of the Donmar West End production of Madame De Sade, starring Dame Judi Dench and Rosamund Pike, things have been getting rather out of control. There's been a lot of giggling, a fair few hands clapped over mouths, and some very red faces. "We're in hysterics each time we read about what he did ­ we're all just in total shock," says Frances Barber, who plays one of six women whose lives are in one way or another affected by the sexual antics of the infamous Marquis De Sade. "We all find it quite funny, I have to say, because it's so alien to anything we've ever experienced." For research, the cast have been reading letters written by the 18th century nobleman, which form the basis for the play and which detail the perverted acts he undertook. "In the play, the sexual acts are referred to in a very flowery, imagistic kind of way, but it's pretty much beatings, whippings, sodomy, sacrilegious acts using crucifixes ­ all the stuff he got up to ­ and it's all there in the letters, it's not made up," says Barber. "He really went for it, this man. I personally can't imagine why anybody would think farting in somebody's mouth is erotic, for example. It doesn't do anything for me, so I am kind of at a loss there." Madame De Sade begins with the Marquis on the run after committing a crime in Marseilles involving drugging, whipping and sodomy ­ just one of the many times he fell foul of the law. The play, written in 1965, chronicles the effects of his behaviour on the women in his life, including his devoted wife Renée (Pike), distraught mother in law (Dench) and Renée's sister Anne (Fiona Button), with whom he had an affair. Writer Yukio Mishima, who is unfamiliar to British audiences but had a celebrated career as a novelist, short-story writer and playwright in Japan, was interested in De Sade's tale in part because of the parallels with ideas of wifely devotion in Japanese society. Barber, who was last seen in the West End as Arkadina and Goneril, alongside Ian McKellen, in the RSC's The Seagull and King Lear, plays the Comtesee de Saint-Fond, a high-class courtesan who revels in De Sade's "anything goes" philosophy. "My character thinks what [the Marquis] does is exciting and goes in search of a similar kind of sexual elation herself," she says. "We're talking about the French nobility, remember, and anything went. They were like Roman Britain ­ it was completely normal to have an orgy and all kinds of what you might call depraved sex. They were pushing the boundaries all the time to get more aroused and have new experiences. "Doing this play you kind of understand that sexual deviance is a bit like drugs ­ if you start off smoking dope then you move onto harder drugs until you end up being a junkie. That's why you read in the papers about politicians ending up with oranges in their mouths."



To prepare for the role, Barber also spoke to people in the S&M scene ­ who are reportedly queuing up to buy tickets for the show at the Wyndham's Theatre. "I picked their brains and I am pretty shocked ­ I mean I don't get the gimp bags, I don't understand any of that," she says. "Years ago I went to a sex club in New York with Ruby Wax ­ we just went to see what it was like. It was called the Hellfire Club and there were different rooms with different levels of depravity and by the last room, which was called Heaven, I ran off ­ I just couldn't cope. I don't know what Hell would've been like. "We just pretended to be gay because we were frightened and they were whipping each other, they were dripping wax over each other and you thought, `If they do this on Thursday what are they going to do to top it on Saturday?'" Despite the subject matter, Barber says Madame De Sade is unlikely to cause audiences offence ­ since the Marquis never appears and his deeds are talked about rather than depicted. "There might be more prudish people who will think it's all pretty distasteful," she says. "But really the play is never base ­ it's too poetic to be that." Madame De Sade is at the Wyndham's Theatre until May 23.



Make-up artist

FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS, Cindy Sherman has been photographing herself as a variety of personas. From a glamourous film noir actress to a freakish clown, her incarnations are as varied as they are inspired. For her latest exhibition at Sprüth Magers ­ Sherman's first in the UK since 2007 ­ the American photographer continues her long-standing investigation into notions of gender, beauty and self-fashioning through a new series of conceptual portraits. Each of the characters featured in the exhibition share an acute consciousness of glamour and social hierarchy, reflecting contemporary obsessions with image and status. Acting as model, make-up artist, stylist and photographer, Sherman is in complete control of the images, with every strand of hair, touch of rouge and wrinkled brow meticulously planned to create vividly real and entirely individual characters. Cindy Sherman runs from April 16 to May 30 at Sprüth Magers, 71 Grafton Street. Tel: 020 7408 1613.

Prints charming

THE LONDON ORIGINAL PRINT FAIR returns to its old home in the main galleries at the Royal Academy. The longest-running print fair in the world, the event brings together some of the finest prints available on the market. This year's fair includes more than 50 international dealers, galleries, publishers and print workshops. Artists on show range from Rembrandt, Goya, Hogarth and Sickert to Sean Scully, John Baldessari, Rachel Whiteread and Keith Coventry. Picasso, David Hockney, Peter Blake and Paula Rego are also well represented. Prices range from £100 to £1 million. The London Original Print Fair runs from April 22-26 at The Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly. For information, call 020 7439 2000 or visit

Colour code



PAINTINGS FROM JOSEF ALBERS' influential Homage to the Square series are on show at Waddington Galleries. The series, which Albers worked on for 26 consecutive years until his death in 1976, explored chromatic interactions using the strict format of squares within a square. His experimental works looked at the spatial effects of colour, how it behaves and changes and how the same colour placed on different backgrounds can lose its identity. The influential colour theorist formulated four different compositions based on related proportions ­ three containing three squares and one of four ­ all of which are included in the exhibition at Waddington Galleries. Also included in the show are examples


Yard work

ABSTRACT PAINTINGS by John Hoyland are on show at Alan Wheatley Art ­ the latest gallery to open in Masons Yard. The exhibition features 25 works by the British abstract painter, ranging John Hoyland - Unmistakably Identity is at Alan Wheatley Art, 22 Masons Yard. Tel: 020 7930 1262. from key retrospective pieces to Murano glass sculptures and ceramics.

from Albers' earlier Variant series. Josef Albers: Paintings runs until May 1 at Waddington Galleries, 11&12 Cork Street. Tel: 020 7851 2200.

UNTIL MARCH 25 Andy Stewart: Abstract Climates New abstract paintings by Andy Stewart inspired by TS Eliot's poem The Waste Land. Sarah Myerscough Fine Art, 15-16 Brooks Mews. Tel: 020 7495 0069. UNTIL APRIL 14 Pablo Picasso: Linocuts Linocuts by Pablo Picasso. Connaught Brown, 2 Albemarle Street. Tel: 020 7408 0362.

UNTIL APRIL 24 Peter de Francia: Art World Drawings Satirical drawings by British artist Peter de Francia, which focus on the art world from the 1950s to the present day. James Hyman Gallery, 5 Savile Row. Tel: 020 7494 3857. UNTIL APRIL 25 Merlin Carpenter: Intrinsic Value The fifth in a series of international shows entitled The Opening, where artist Merlin

art events

Carpenter only produces the paintings during the show's preview. Simon Lee Gallery, 12 Berkeley Street. Tel: 020 7491 0100. UNTIL APRIL 30 Daniel Enkaoua Recent paintings by the figurative artist Daniel Enkaoua, featuring his portraits and still lifes. Marlborough Fine Art, 6 Albemarle Street. Tel: 020 7629 5161.

UNTIL MAY 4 We are all Flesh: Berlinde de Bruyckere Luca Giordano Major new sculpture by Berlinde de Bruyckere inspired by the paintings of Luca Giordano. Hauser & Wirth, 15 Old Bond Street. Tel: 020 7491 7408. APRIL 8-MAY 9 Ron Arad New works by Ron Arad, which are grouped around free-standing walls designed by the sculptor. Timothy Taylor Gallery, 15 Carlos Place. Tel: 020 7409 3344.

UNTIL MAY 9 Emil Cadoo: I Regret Nothing The first UK exhibition of works by the late American photographer Emil Cadoo, focusing on the 1960s and 1970s. Anya Stonelake/White Space Gallery, 13 Mason's Yard. Tel: 020 7930 5940. UNTIL MAY 16 Fred Tomaselli New works from LA artist Fred Tomaselli, ranging from his signature resin paintings to a

series of photograms, newsprint collages, watercolours and a hand-woven tapestry. White Cube, 25-26 Mason's Yard. Tel: 020 7930 5373. APRIL 22-MAY 22 Wangkartu Dreaming: Helicopter Tjungurrayi and Lucy Yukenbarri The gallery's first exhibition of Aboriginal art, featuring works by two prominent artists. Whitford Fine Art, 6 Duke Street, St James's. Tel: 020 7930 9332.

APRIL 22-MAY 30 Joe Tilson: The Printed Works New works and a selection of prints by the British pop artist. Alan Cristea Gallery, 31 & 34 Cork Street. Tel: 020 7439 1866. UNTIL JUNE 7 Kuniyoshi More than 150 works by one of Japan's greatest print artists, Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861). The Sackler Wing, The Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly. Tel: 0844 209 1919.


ART Sophie Bishop

[email protected]




in profile


n February 12 this year, the eminent neuroscientist and director of the Royal Institution on Albemarle Street, Baroness Susan Greenfield CBE, made a speech in the House of Lords in which she raised questions about the impact of social networking sites on "the young mind". Several days later the speech was picked up by the British national press, almost certainly from Hansard ­ the official report of proceedings in both Houses of Parliament. The Daily Mail ran a story on its front page under the headline: "Social websites harm children's brains: Chilling warning to parents from top neuroscientist". After that, news of the speech spread around the world like a virus, with tens of thousands of words being generated on the internet, in newspapers and magazines and in the broadcast media. Part of the response included personal attacks on Lady Greenfield. The curious thing is that not only did she not say what she had been interpreted as saying, she had already said what she did say in her latest book, ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century, which was published nine months earlier. "What I said, very simply, is a syllogism," she explains. "Premise A is that the brain is very sensitive to the environment and is easily changed by the environment, and there's lots of evidence for that. Premise B is that the environment for many people is changing into a two-dimensional one ­ the screen ­ and that's unquestionable. Therefore, if the brain is sensitive to the environment and the environment is changing, surely the brain might be changing. That's all I said, so let's talk about it." The Lords debate was about the problems of safeguarding children and young adults using social networking sites that could also be used by sex offenders. What was lost in the media coverage was Lady Greenfield's additional call to action. "When talking about safeguards," she had said, "surely we need also to think about safeguarding the mindset of the next generation so they may realise their potential as fully-fledged, adult human beings. Of course we cannot turn back the clock, nor would that be any solution to maximising the individual's potential in this new century. However, surely the government could consider investing in some kind of initiative, the goal of which would be the identification of realistic alternatives ­ be it in the classroom, on the screen, in conjunction with the media, or in society as a whole ­ for developing a sense of privacy and identity and, above all, a real appreciation of friendship." So, how does she feel about the media coverage? "What I was pleased about was that it obviously touched a nerve," she says. "It just went all over the world... and clearly that


The mind and the media



in profile

tells you something. It's something that people want to know about and talk about and think about, and for me that is what we should be doing." She adds: "It's more in sorrow than in anger that I read the misrepresentation... But it's what happens. It's not as if I seek publicity or want it or stress too much over it. It's what happens... I'm asking questions rather than giving answers and that, I think, is very hard for [the media] to grasp. I'm saying I'm concerned about the rise in autism. I'm concerned about the rise in ADHD, so why aren't we talking about it?" The personal attacks, she says, are "a bit silly". They don't change the issue, "so character assassinations are a rather cheap side-swipe". Lady Greenfield is Professor of Pharmacology at Oxford University where she is researching Alzheimer's disease and the physical basis of consciousness. She is also a noted "enthusiast for the democratisation of science through the media" and as director of the RI is keen to foster debate on a vast range of issues. She says of the regular public lectures at the RI: "My dream is that when you come here with your family and friends, you should leave at the end of the evening quarrelling and debating just as you would after a very good play or film... That's what we need in a healthy society. It's not that you come to learn things in an indoctrinated way, it's more that you leave really empowered and excited and thrilled or worried ­ all equally." She adds: "It's very important to empower people, so that they can evaluate and think and talk about these things rather than being driven by either a sensationalist press or by patronising scientists." ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century is published by Sceptre.

THE ROYAL INSTITUTION was founded in 1799 and

moved into 21 Albemarle Street in the same year. The building, with its row of classical columns, is one of Mayfair's architectural gems and has been extended and refurbished several times. Last year, the RI was reopened after a £22 million refurb to a design by the architect Sir Terry Farrell ­ which created a new restaurant (Time & Space, overseen by chef Anton Edelman), a café and bar, as well as a museum on three floors. The RI's entire staff elected to come in unpaid over a weekend to prepare the building for the opening by Queen Elizabeth last May. Recently licensed for weddings, the RI may look like an aloof gentlemen's club from the outside, but it is open to the public and runs a series of highly regarded and entertaining lectures and debates designed to connect people with the world of science (see Events, page 10). The RI has always been a centre for scientific research and still is today. Researchers on Albemarle Street are doing cutting-edge research into nanotechnology and health science. The RI's famous lecture theatre ­ which has seen presentations by scientists and Nobel Prize winners ­ is available for hire, as are the public rooms.



food & drink






aving overseen the opening of Gordon Ramsay's three pubs (The Narrow, The Warrington and The Devonshire), Mark Sargeant has now co-authored a book with Gordon called Great British Pub Food (HarperNonFiction, £20). Head chef at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's since 2001, Mark has helped on all of Gordon's books, but this is the first that he has officially co-written with the boss, and the one he's most excited about. "It's really opened my eyes to a lot of things and given me the opportunity to do the sort of food I like cooking at home for myself," he says. A homage to old-school pub grub, the book is packed full of hearty British recipes, which have been adapted to give them a modern edge. "When I was doing my research, I made all the old recipes from start to finish and they were disgusting, so we've tweaked them," he says. "It's not always about suet and things like that. It's very exciting because there are lots of old things that went out of use ­ like anchovies for seasoning, which are especially good with lamb. They just dissolve and give it a phenomenal flavour." The book features dishes that have become pub classics, such as sausages with mustard mash and sweet and sour peppers, cottage pie with Guinness, Lancashire hotpot and sticky treacle tart. Pub food may seem a world away from the Michelin-starred dishes Mark cooks up at Claridge's, but it's the kind of food he most enjoys. "Although I enjoy cooking Michelin-starred cuisine, as I get older, things for me are much more about simplicity and comfort food," he says. It's two years since the opening of the first Ramsay pub ­ The Narrow ­ and two others (The Warrington and The Devonshire) have since followed. "The whole concept of the pubs is mainly mine," says Mark. "Gordon and I were sitting down talking generally about food and I was saying that if I hadn't worked for him, I would probably have been running my own little gastropub somewhere. So we said, why don't we look at opening a pub? And from then it took about two years to find the right site." While Mark doesn't cook at any of the pubs, he oversees all the menus. "It's not like the restaurant here (Claridge's) where you've got to constantly be inspired and do new things ­ but it's important that we have a chef in there who can use a little bit of initiative and do things like specials," he says. "We have a couple of menus that run seasonally and we'll swap a few dishes ­ and as the years roll on, the menus will slowly evolve." Amid reports that 39 pubs are likely to close every week in the current economic climate, what does he think makes a pub successful? "Location ­ I think that's key and then how you greet and welcome customers," he says. "You've also got to stick to what you know. It was interesting when we were thinking of vegetarian dishes for the pubs, because there's not much traditional British vegetarian food. You can't say you're a good quality British pub, then put tagliatelle or risotto on the menu. And price is key ­ you can't charge restaurant prices."

Would he ever consider opening a pub in Mayfair? "We did look at a couple of sites, but I think it's a case of right site, right time. Obviously in the current climate, like everyone, we've got to be very careful. We don't want to rush in, but never say never. It would be fantastic because Mayfair's got some cracking pubs." Mark is often referred to as Gordon's right-hand man, having been involved in all the Ramsay books, newspaper and magazine columns, live shows and television appearances. He's worked alongside Gordon on TV programmes such as Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and The FWord and led one of the competition kitchens in the first series of Hell's Kitchen. But finding a place in the heart of Britain's most famous chef hasn't been easy. "I think I'd like to say that I've earned it," laughs Mark. "When I was younger and started working for Gordon, I was like a kid in a candy store, my eyes were just always wide open. I was keen to go and learn different things so I would always be the one asking Gordon if I could help ­ asking to go to shows with him or asking to help with his books. And it got to the point where he would automatically choose me ­ so that's how it happened. "I'm very happy doing what I'm doing ­ I don't look at Gordon and say why haven't I got what he's got. I'm very lucky that my name is out there slightly ­ as much as I maybe want it to be ­ because I've got a massive safety net beneath me, which is Gordon."

GODIVA HAS CREATED a sparkling, limited-edition Beaded Egg for Easter (above), hand-decorated with hundreds of vibrant sequins and beads, arranged in a bright butterfly design. Inside is an assortment of 15 little eggs in dark, milk and white chocolate. Available from Godiva, 141 Regent Street (£30).

FORTNUM & MASON'S Easter eggs are presented in stunning boxes designed by illustrator Rob Ryan. The collection includes this Rose & Violet Handmade Egg. Available from Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly (£27.50).

PHILIPPE ANDRIEU, head pastry chef at Ladurée, has created a collection of miniature chocolate hens, each garnished with a rich praline flavour corresponding to the colour of the hen. Available from Ladurée, 71-72 Burlington Arcade (£26 for a box of five).

EACH PIECE in La Maison du Chocolat's Easter collection is created separately and delicately moulded, with several layers of fine chocolate applied on top of each other. The eggs, available in milk or dark chocolate, are filled with a selection of pralines flavoured with bergamot, orange and coconut. Available from La Maison du Chocolat,

Mark his words

45-46 Piccadilly (£60 and £90).





WITH THE UNPREDICTABILITY of the British weather, a classic raincoat is a wise investment ­ and a versatile addition to your wardrobe. This spring/summer, Jaeger has given the trench a modern makeover. It looks great dressed up with a waistcinching eyelet belt or worn casually with jeans and summer T-shirts. Available at Jaeger, 200-206 Regent Street.

A CLASSIC WHITE SHIRT never goes out of fashion. It looks elegant simply worn with black (as seen on the John Rocha spring/summer catwalk) or with a splash of colour such as a scarf, brooch or necklace. With so many variations of styles, the only difficulty is picking the right shape for you. Try the Richard Nicoll collection for Thomas Pink (available at 85 Jermyn Street and 18 Davies Street), Grosvenor Shirts (4 Grosvenor Street), or John Rocha (15a Dover Street).

Less is more

THE WRAP DRESS has to be one of the most timeless styles, thanks to Diane von Furstenberg, who made it a high-fashion item back in 1972. You'll find a version in most high street stores these days, but if you want the real McCoy, head to the Diane von Furstenberg store at 25 Bruton Street, where you'll find a good selection. This one, from the spring/summer Cruise collection, is priced at £324.

THANKS TO THE LATE Yves Saint Laurent, the trouser suit is now a staple of many women's wardrobes ­ but it is also a key look this season. It's worth investing in a well-cut, tailored style, as the fit and fabric will usually be more flattering. This one from Jasper Conran is priced at £2,575 for the jacket and £765 for the trousers (made to measure at the flagship store at Sackville Street, by appointment only). For a more affordable version, try the J by Jasper Conran range at Debenhams.

ONE OF THE MOST VERSATILE pieces of clothing has to be the classic shift dress. It will see you from the office to after-work drinks or dinner. Simply add a pair of heels and a striking piece of jewellery to give your outfit a different look. Chanel (pictured) brings out a new twist to its classic styles every season. Some of the best can be found at LK Bennett (31 Brook Street), Reiss (78-79 New Bond Street) and Austin Reed (103113 Regent Street).


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Alternative outcomes

Spa very much

BROWN'S SPA in Albemarle Street is offering Mayfair Times readers a course of four Natura Bisse Thalasso Meso Wrap treatments for the price of three. Priced at £130 for 90 minutes, the treatments start with a full-body exfoliation and continue with a choice of three different thermo therapies: slimming, lifting or re-contouring. A sculpting mask is applied, followed by a firming or contouring cream. To book, call 020 7493 6020.

achel Simkiss is the woman behind Silver Pearl Trust, a nonprofit organisation that provides natural complementary therapies, holistic care and specialist advice for those affected by cancer. Rachel (pictured) set up the trust three years ago after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. "During that time, I helped various cancer charities raise money to help find a cure for cancer," she says. "It soon became very apparent that it wasn't just about finding a cure ­ it was about helping people deal with it on a day-to-day basis. "Not only are people's lives cruelly taken over with numerous trips to the hospital, waiting for days ­ often weeks ­ for results, and upsetting and often very painful treatments, but they also have to carry on living their lives, which have been turned upside down." It was at that time that Rachel, who recently gave up her job as marketing manager of a Mayfair art gallery to focus on her charity work, met complementary medicine practitioner Liz Signolet. "We saw how complementary treatments such as reflexology and acupuncture worked alongside the harsher treatments that patients were receiving in hospital," says Rachel. The official launch of the Silver Pearl Trust last year raised £40,000, which has since been used to provide complementary therapies, holistic care and advice for those affected by cancer, while private funding has enabled Rachel and her colleagues to open a beauty and therapy clinic at 108 New Bond Street (020 7491 4919). The clinic is open to all, not just those who have been diagnosed with cancer. All profits go towards funding the charity's work. Visit and

Man's world

TO CELEBRATE the launch of Kyoku for Men at Selfridges, the luxury grooming range will be offering complimentary mini-facials at the store from April 2-22. Shoppers will be able to try out the products with a 20-minute grooming treatment while listening to relaxing music through Bose wireless headphones. Visit the Kyoku concession in the menswear department on the first floor to secure an appointment.

Star treatments

MATTHEW ALEXANDER Bespoke Hair & Make-up has teamed up with Mews of Mayfair and the Elemis Day-Spa (all in Lancashire Court) to offer the Live Like a Star day package for £150 ­ a saving of £130 on the usual price. The package includes a cut and blow-dry at the Matthew

To advertise in the restaurant directory call 020 7259 1050


[email protected]

Alexander boutique, a full-body massage at the Elemis DaySpa and a bottle of vintage Moët at Mews of Mayfair. To book, call 0870 410 4210.

restaurant directory

health & beauty

30 PETER VERNON, chief executive, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland

2009 is set to be a challenging year for the global economy with a continuation of credit restrictions and depressed consumer confidence. In markets like this, the key is to make sure the basics are done better than ever. For our business, this means staying close to customers and understanding and meeting their needs whether they are Grosvenor's residents, officebased business in Mayfair or customers of the many excellent shops, restaurants and services in the area. Mayfair businesses also have the advantage of a world-class location that will help cushion the impact of the downturn. Our goal is to keep it that way and improve the location wherever we can.


PAUL SMITH, fashion designer

The main thing is not to give in to the recession. Try to make your shop look good and to keep changing your products so it always looks interesting for the customer. For me, it's all about making an effort on our part ­ doing something personal, something for the customer that they don't normally get, rather than cutting prices. The attitude we are taking to the credit crunch is don't panic. Stick to your guns. Be brave. Be positive.

Words of wisdom

JO HANSFORD, hair colourist

I started my business in the recession because, as a hair colourist, I had a niche in the market. Starting in a recession meant we could negotiate a good rental price for such a prestigious location. We took on an excellent PR company straight away because we felt there was no point in having a great business if no-one knows about you. We also made sure our standards and customer care were outstanding at all times. In a recession, you do not want to give anyone a reason to complain. We have kept at the top by sticking to what we know and focusing on our strengths. Anyone starting a business in this climate needs to have a strong focus point for their business and be very aware of their target audience. If it is service related, then you need to employ excellent staff with brilliant client-facing skills, and this is something you can never cut back on. You need to negotiate wherever you can, but also remember that quality comes at a price. Make sure you have a strong business plan and that you have analysed the worst possible and best possible scenarios. You also need a huge amount of self-belief and if you are confident in yourself and your company, then other people will be too.

PETER JONES, chairman and chief executive, Phones International Group

The global financial crisis is clearly a major issue, but I think we've talked ourselves into a far greater dilemma and I think we'll come out of it the back end of this year. Businesses that can survive the current climate have an amazing future. Starting a business in today's climate is tough. If you have the right business model and prove that you can become profitable very quickly, actually in two to three years, it'll be time to really make hay. In this climate, you have to work harder, focus more, really clamp down on your costs, but actually seize opportunities. There are many opportunities out there, particularly to buy businesses that are purely undervalued ­ simple as that. What a great time for entrepreneurs.

DES MCDONALD, chief executive, Caprice Holdings

We are fortunate to have developed and maintained some iconic restaurant brands. What is the secret to maintaining profitability? No rocket science required ­ back to basics. Offer quality and value, be flexible, maintain staff morale as they are your customer interface and life blood, be firm, honest and fair to your supporters and suppliers and finally, work bloody hard on a daily basis to keep improving.

SIR RICHARD BRANSON, owner of Virgin and Mayfair-based Virgin Galactic

It's going to be a tough recession in the UK and Europe for everybody, but there will be opportunities for entrepreneurs. Usually the big companies get stronger during recessions through mergers (just look at the banks and the car companies consolidating like crazy now), but this time it is different and some large businesses have been humbled by the slowdown. At the same time, the costs and the barriers to entry for new products, markets and ideas tend to be lower. When credit starts to flow into the real economy, which it will, I believe there will be British entrepreneurs ready for the challenge of creating the next generation of businesses.

SIR ROCCO FORTE, chairman and chief executive, The Rocco Forte Collection

These are difficult times for everybody. I think the thing is not to shirk the difficult decisions. You've got to take difficult decisions, unpleasant as they are. It's about surviving the next 12-18 months. All those long-term plans that you've focused on before have got to go on the backburner. But in the UK particularly, we have several stimuli to the economy. Suddenly we've got nil interest rates, which means the cost of borrowing has come right down. Oil prices have come down and we've had this drop in the exchange rate, which makes the UK a very inexpensive destination. So from a tourism point of view, I think this summer will be a very good one for the UK.

THEO PAPHITIS, chairman and chief executive, Ryman

For me, this is by far the most exciting period of my working life. I say it to everybody ­ you will never, ever live through this again so enjoy it, make the most of it, because you will not see opportunities like this ever in your lifetime. If you let them go by being a bit miserable and downbeat, you're going to regret it, so get in there and enjoy it.


[email protected]




JAMES CAAN, chief executive, Hamilton Bradshaw, private equity investors

Observe the masses and do the opposite. This is not about doom and gloom ­ this is about what you can create. You shouldn't be sitting on the fence ­ you should be participating. The last quarter has been the busiest quarter we've had in Hamilton Bradshaw and we're flying right now. And that's not because we're sitting there following the crowd ­ we're out there thinking outside the box and looking for opportunities that other people are going to miss. I think this is an environment that creates an entrepreneur. There are many fortunes that have been made in a downturn ­ it's your attitude, not your aptitude, which determines your altitude.

NEW YORK, LONDON, PARIS, MUNICH, so run the lyrics of an eighties pop song. It can be seen ­ or even hummed ­ as a list of the most successful cities of the era. However, as the lyrics progress with the line "shoobie, doobie, do wop", I had best turn my attention to a recent report by the Urban Land Institute, which states London, New York, Paris, Tokyo is a more credible list. The study involved the amalgamation of more than 40 indices used to rank cities, including assessments of centrality and connectivity, a boho index, a business trip score and liveability ranking, together with the more expected economic international benchmarks. The report found the top ten cities throughout the 20th century had changed very little, though the factors affecting them had. This underlines the importance of adaptability to success as a global city. The top four have been ravaged by wars, depression and earthquakes, making their reincarnation and continued supremacy all the more remarkable.

HAROLD TILLMAN, owner, Jaeger, and chairman of the British Fashion Council

A recession can definitely bring about new opportunities and it's times like this that people can flourish. The advice I give to people is stay focused, don't panic, try that much harder, trade as long hours as you possibly can and make sure everybody is absolutely on the button and has all the answers for every possible customer that walks through the door. Make sure that you are as competitive as you should be in your specific area of merchandise ­ and smile. Don't let outside factors show on your face because a lot of people in Mayfair are tourists and they are here at the moment because the pound is weak. Therefore they've got money and they're shoppers and they don't want to see a shop assistant or anybody else worrying about their own personal issues. They are in there to have some enjoyment.

NICKY CLARKE, hairdresser

During a recession, it is even more essential for Mayfair businesses to focus on service above all. Given the geographical area we are based in, customers expect a level of quality, cachet and exclusivity, but it's the personal touch that makes clients walk out with a satisfied glow ­ and choose to come back. Generating repeat business should be an absolute focus right now.

In 1900 London, with its population of 6.5 million, was far larger than New York at 3.4 million, but this success in terms of growth was negated as overcrowding, poverty and an infrastructure close to collapse tarnished its desirability as a destination. New York's strong urban development policies enabled it to inch ahead. In the 1990s, the pendulum swung back London's way. Here at Grosvenor, we pride ourselves on taking the long view. We have been promoting Mayfair for 300 years, but what happens next is of particular interest. The quality of life indices are becoming increasingly important, with newcomers Vancouver, Sydney and Barcelona entering the fray. London will need to become more sensitive to the social and environmental needs of its residents to stay ahead. I am confident that the refrain London, New York, Paris, Tokyo will remain as long as these cities continue to adapt and invest accordingly, though I am still unable to think of anything to rhyme with Tokyo. NB: Footage of M performing their greatest hit Pop Muzik can be found on YouTube.

LESLEY CLARKE, managing director, The Nicky Clarke Company

We opened our Mayfair salon doors in the early 1990s, right at the heart of the last major recession. At the time, we rode the wave of full-on deluxe glamour that was the fashion trend of the moment and fully exploited our PR credentials. We stuffed our salon with antique furniture and created an ambiance of sheer unadulterated style that bucked all the financial trends. Right now we feel fairly confident that the legacy of our brand will keep clients interested and attracted, but we are not simply relying on glamour to win over clients. By focusing on maximising the experience and value our customers receive when they come to us, we believe that the recession may even work in our favour. Everyone is currently craving the feel-good factor, so we aim to supply it ­ and at an affordable price.

GARETH CLUTTON, chief executive, The Portman Estate

Take time to remind yourself about who your core customers are and what they want from you. You need them to stick with you through the challenging years. What must you do to keep them and what mustn't you do if you are to avoid losing them? Keep them closer than ever, talk to them frequently, listen and respond to what they tell you. They will be grappling with the downturn too, so work with them to come through it together. Concentrate on your core business activities ­ those for which you are best known, which you can perform to the highest standards and which are likely to represent a significant proportion of your turnover. There is a tendency in the good years to build up what might be seen as peripheral service lines. In many cases, these can be moved to the backburner until those good years return.

Super cities

Giles Clarke Executive Director (Investment)




he entrance to 295 Regent Street could be the reception of any smart West End company headquarters. But as you head up the corridor of the six-storey former office block, things start to get strange. To the left, a large empty room opens up, eerily lit by red and blue spotlights, its ceiling stripped to reveal the concrete beams and its crumbling brick walls exposed. Ticket stubs are scattered on the floor, chairs lay strewn around and the remains of a makeshift bar are visible in the corner. This isn't the work of squatters, but the detritus from a cabaret night held by the theatre company Theatre Delicatessen, who have invaded the empty building while it awaits redevelopment. "Over here is where we're going to stage a Patagonian sheep-shearing festival," says Jessica Brewster, the company's co-director, who is preparing


to mount a South American-inspired version of The Winter's Tale here. "It's going to be extremely colourful, with flowers covering the floor and a bar serving free alcohol. "The beginning section, which we're staging on the other side of the room, will be inspired by 1950s East End gangster culture ­ the aesthetic is so right for it with the crumbling walls." Brewster & co previously used the warehouse-like room to great effect for an urban version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, set partly on a building site, and a production of David Hare's Fanshen. Getting their hands on this atmospheric space in the heart of the West End has been a dream come true for the young theatre company, who would otherwise be scraping together the money to hire fringe theatres in the suburbs. The arrangement is the result of a fortuitous

"I'm far more interested in working in spaces like this than traditional theatres" Jessica Brewster

Stages of development


conversation with James Bowdidge, chief executive of The Property Merchant Group ­ which acquired the premises three years ago and is planning to turn them back into offices. In the meantime, says Bowdidge, it didn't make financial sense to do up the building sufficiently to rent it out, so they decided to let the theatre company have it for free. "We've got a space that is currently useless to us, and we've given them something that's extremely valuable to them," he says. "It's fun to be involved with, and it's had benefits for us, too. We've sponsored a couple of nights of each show to which we've invited our families, friends and business contacts. I had the partner of a big architectural firm at one of the shows and he said it was the best corporate entertainment he'd been to in 20 years. Anyone can take a client to a restaurant and pick up the cheque, but this takes a bit more imagination." The partner of a City agency loved the recent cabaret show so much he hired Theatre Delicatessen to do a one-off performance for his 50th birthday. It's also proved great PR, since the shows have been reviewed in numerous newspapers. "We must be the only property company to have been praised by Time Out and the Morning Star," laughs Bowdidge. Overall, Bowdidge estimates the arrangement has cost PMG between £10,000 and £20,000, including various building management costs and direct sponsorship. "There are property companies that sponsor the arts, but they tend to sponsor big art exhibitions or

the Royal Opera House," he says. "I actually think this is more exciting because we're supporting a young, up-and-coming company." Theatre Delicatessen pays for its own insurance, security and performance and alcohol licences, as well as dealing with the inevitable red tape involved in opening a space such as this up to the public. But allowing it to use the building in this way has won PMG brownie points with Westminster City Council, which requires developers to make a contribution towards "public art" as part of planning applications. "The council say they're fed up with seeing yet another sculpture being put up, and this is something different," says Bowdidge. "Often developers find the public art duty a problem ­ how do you do something that spoils the building as little as possible? This is actually a really good way of doing it." And with site-specific theatre productions very much in vogue at the moment, and companies like Punchdrunk creating sell-out shows in warehouses, scores of theatre companies are itching to get the keys to buildings in London which would otherwise remain empty. "I did my MA dissertation at RADA on site-specific theatre and I'm far more interested in working in spaces like this than traditional theatres," says Brewster, whose first theatre job was directing a promenade production at Hampton Court Palace. "You can feel just walking in that the aesthetic is really conducive to theatre. It's not a blank space, which is what a theatre tries to be. It's got an atmosphere about it."



On reflection


GIVE YOUR HOME a touch of 18th century French elegance with this Rococo mirror (£39.50). Available from Marks and Spencer, 458 Oxford Street. Tel: 020 7935 7954.

GET NAUTICAL with these French, gilt-wood convex mirrors (£820). Available from Nicole Farhi Home, 17 Clifford Street. Tel: 0207 494 9051. LET YOUR MIRROR light up the room as well as reflect it. This funky, 1960s German design (£340) has a self-illuminating plastic and resin frame. Available from WHO SAYS BUBBLES are just for the bathroom? This Nick Munro wall mirror (£195) is stylish enough for any room in the house. Available from John Lewis, Oxford Street. Tel: 020 7629 7711. Paul Smith, 9 Albemarle Street. Tel: 0207 493 4565.

FORGET ANTIQUE-STYLE mirrors and go for the real thing with this George II oval gilt-wood mirror with floral cresting (£55,000). Made in England, circa 1730. Available from Mallett, 141 New Bond Street. Tel: 020 7499 7411. BASED ON Le Corbusier's sketch of the Modulor Man, showing ideal human proportions, this David Linley mirror (£695) will give you something to measure up to. Available from Linley, 46 Albemarle Street. Tel: 020 7290 1410.


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meanderings erik brown

Stairway to heaven

GOOD HEAVENS! Stephen Holmes, the personal trainer at the Purity, Mind & Body spa at The Hilton, has startled us all by running up 28 floors of the Park Lane hotel in two minutes and 37 seconds. He's the official training adviser to the Mayfair Park & Tower Race (see page 13) and he's made my personal best of six minutes 45 seconds look, well, a tad slow. Officially an old bloke, I was scrabbling around for some way of supercharging my training when physiotherapist Sarah Lawson (right) gave me the chance to play with her hypoxic generator ­ a device used to simulate training at altitudes of up to 6,400m. A triathlete, Sarah set up a company called Physio Remedies in 2004, which is based at The Lansdowne Club, just off Berkeley Square. The hypoxi-kit she's had installed at the club helps maximise speed and endurance, elevates strength and power, enhances weight loss and increases energy. And it does all of that by creating an oxygen-reduced environment in which athletes can train. Okay, cycling with an oxygen mask on is a bit weird at first. It's like exercising with asthma. But you get used to it and the body soon adapts. So far as I know it's the only one of its kind in Mayfair ­ and, at the risk of encouraging my own competition, you don't have to be a club member to use it. See for details.


Square meals

THE CHEAPEST hot meal in Mayfair must surely be found at The Palm Beach Casino just off Berkeley Square. The casino, on Berkeley Street, is offering Great British Classics like sausage and mash and pie and chips at lunchtime for a recession-busting £4.50. And no membership is required.

Grave humour

THE WEIRDEST EMAIL I've received in recent months, perhaps even years, came from a company called Creative Coffins. Headlined "Mourning has broken" and finishing with the words "Green is the way to go", the email introduced Creative Coffins as a company designing quirky and even humorous coffins to celebrate lives and cheer up the bereaved. Among the illustrations is a picture of a coffin apparently covered in peas and bearing the legend "Rest in peas". Clearly a wind up, I thought. And then I thought again. Anyway, you can take a look at the email I received by following this link:

The axe man is back

FORMER ROCK GOD and personal trainer Myke Gray is picking up his guitar and hitting the road again ­ well, briefly. Myke, who trains at the May Fair Hotel and was featured in last month's issue, tells me his old band Skin is reforming and playing to 65,000 people at the DOWNLOAD festival at Donington Park, Derbyshire, in June. He's dusting off the Flying V strat and getting ready to play alongside Def Leppard, Whitesnake and ZZ Top.



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