Jan’s Notebook

DIARY OF A LONDON WEDDING

Photo courtesy of The Tatler, Jeremy King & Lauren Gurvich at the Tatler Restaurant Awards 2012
I decided to keep a diary of this trip----our good friends, Lauren Gurvich and Jeremy King who live in London are getting married. Lauren grew up in New Orleans and has been a dear friend of Elizabeth’s and ours for over 20 years. Jeremy is British and owned The Ivy, Le Caprice and J. Sheeky in London for many years. He sold those restaurants and opened the fabulous Wolseley, the Delaunay, Brasserie Zédel and Colbert. The most exciting news is that Jeremy will open The Beaumont, a hotel in Mayfair in 2014 ---it should be spectacular---everything Jeremy does is top drawer.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6----arrive at DFW at 3:30 for a 5:30 flight to London. On the way to the airport, we see a huge storm in the distance. It is unfortunately right over DFW. Flight delayed for 4 hours, but finally off after thinking the flight would be cancelled.
THURSDAY, JUNE 7---Arrive in London in time to check into Claridge’s, take a quick nap, then get ready for a party at the flat I’ve been decorating for Lauren and Jeremy. I am so eager to see results of our work over the past few months.
Lauren and Jeremy’s flat in Belgrave Mews
Lauren
The flat in Belgrave Mews looks amazing---we are certainly not finished, but it looks warm and inviting (it’s raining in London and chilly) with a fire in the fireplace and a fabulous rug from The Rug Company.
Library side of the reception room
We meet all of the out of town guests---they are from all over the world because Lauren grew up in New Orleans, then lived in New York, L.A., Rome and London. What a great evening with so many interesting people.
Princess Garden
Jim, Elizabeth and Lauren’s friend, Barry Fox head to dinner at Princess Garden---one of our favorite Asian restaurants---actually traditional Chinese. To bed early for the upcoming events.
FRIDAY, JUNE 8
Breakfast at Claridge’s
A proper English breakfast at Claridge’s is a must for jet lag! Back to the flat to wrap up some final design details, then back to Claridge’s and lunch in the bar. By the way, they have the best soups ever and since it’s cold and rainy, nothing tastes better.
Claridge’s Bar
Lauren and Elizabeth having tea at Claridge’s
FRIDAY EVENING----Rehearsal Dinner at Ruthie and Richard Rogers’ house
Ruthie Rogers
Ruthie Rogers is the chef/owner of The River Café in London and her husband is the accomplished and distinguished architect, Lord Richard Rogers who designed the Pompidou Center in Paris among many other major projects in London, U.S. and Europe.
I am seated between two of the most elegant and entertaining men---John Goldwyn, a tv/movie producer from L.A. and Jeff Klein, also from L.A. who owns the Sunset Tower Hotel. Since I am an insane fan of Mad Men and movies in general, we have a lot to discuss. By the way, we love to have dinner at the Sunset Tower Bar---so old Hollywood---you must go there if you haven’t already.
Rehearsal dinner at the Rogers
A fabulous Italian dinner served family style was delicious, great fun and very special.
SATURDAY, JUNE 9---Wedding Day and it’s cold and cloudy --- no rain. Jim and I take a 2 hour walk around Mayfair. We are pacing ourselves since this is such a quick turn around---we leave tomorrow to get back to Dallas because we are going to Harbour Island for a photo shoot for my new book, Glamorous Retreats on Wednesday.
1 p.m.---it’s 2 hours before the cars are to leave the hotel for the wedding and the sun comes out! There is an old saying in England that a sunny morning brings a rainy day and a cloudy morning brings a sunny afternoon. I’m so happy this day is exactly that for Lauren and Jeremy---“happy is the bride the sun shines on”!
3 p.m. Car picks us up for the drive to Groombridge, the estate in Kent where wedding will be held. Turnbridge Wells is an amazing village that we drive through on the way to Groombridge. It has that special charm so particular to English villages. Our driver, Chris, with Quintessentially Yours, is fun and has lots to tell us about the Queen’s Jubilee that just wrapped a few days ago.
Groombridge
5 p.m. Arrive at Groombridge---a castle designed and built by Philip Packer with help from his friend, Sir Christopher Wren in 1662. It is a private estate, but movies have been made here---Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightly being the most recent. The owner is a friend of Jeremy and Lauren’s.
Walking across the bridge at Groombridge
Champagne and quails’ eggs in the garden after walking across the bridge --- there is a moat around the castle, then on to the small chapel on the grounds for the wedding.
Elizabeth and I walking to the Chapel
Inside the Chapel
There are only around 70 guests and the chapel, which dates from the 12th century is very small and intimate---quite the perfect place for a wedding.
Lauren's dress is by Jenny Packham----it is timeless and beautiful, it fits her style perfectly!
Lauren and Jeremy just married
6 p.m. Cocktails in the Secret Garden of Groombridge after the most amazing walk through a fabulous allee. It’s a beautiful stroll----everything is incredibly green and lush.
Allee to secret garden
Elizabeth and I walking to the Secret Garden
Barry Fox, Lady Antonia Fraser and I having cocktails in Secret Garden
7 p.m. Reception is in one of the prettiest marquees I’ve seen. All food service is from Jeremy’s kitchens----the food is to die for!
Wedding Cake
When we walk into the marquee, a cake that is an engineering feat sits just inside the door.
There are so many fascinating guests at the wedding and since it’s a small group, we were all able to visit and have a great time---British actors and actresses, producers from L.A. and the UK, artists and gallery owners, British royals, famous authors, chefs---the most interesting mix of people.
Ty Jeffries aka “Miss Hope Springs”
After the second course, a very large “lady” performs for us---she is Lauren’s surprise for Jeremy, and, I think he is quite astounded!
Mr. and Mrs. King by the cake
The wedding was lovely and such a different experience from the American weddings that we attend. We finished the night with dancing.
SUNDAY, JUNE 9th----We have a leisurely morning and head to Heathrow to take our flight back to Dallas.
7:30 p.m. Jim and I arrive back in Dallas and are so happy we made the quick trip to London for this special event.
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