“Consuming Passions”: Santa, Baby

You could call this The Twelve Days of Christmas for the famous, the very famous and the hyper celeb. This is about what they give and what they want. It is the season, after all, of celebrity. With the holidays come the albums, the TV specials, the special songs – think Cliff Richard! Think the vision of all these fairy-tale people discussing the meaning of it all. Well, Hark the Herald Angels, but if I’m not mistaken even Pee-wee Herman once, in the 1980s, delivered himself of a Christmas …[Read more]

“Consuming Passions”: The Sales!

“Mery-llllll, I found the shoes in your size, come over here! Meryl? I got the Man-o-llllllos, hurry up!” So shrieks the lady from New Jersey across the floor in Bergdorf Goodman’s shoe salon (trust me, they call it a salon), as she pounces on several pairs of shoes on a sale rack. All of a sudden, I lose my interest. I no longer covet the Manolos, the Jimmys, the Emmas, the Christians; whatever the shoe, however much I had wanted it the week before last, however much I felt that it was …[Read more]

“Consuming Passions”: Pink Christmas

Pink, as Diana Vreeland once said, is “the navy blue of India”. Me, I want a completely pink Christmas, a tree with pink garlands, pink punch on the table, a pink holiday… But let me explain. “Oh Madam, do please just leave your laundry anywhere and we’ll take care of it.” I am at the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower in Mumbai (Bombay), ensconced in the Elephanta Suite, overlooking the Gateway of India, and this is my butler, Vistaspa, speaking: “Just leave it anywhere.” It is a …[Read more]

“Consuming Passions”: The PB Diet

At this time of year, when you’re thinking about dieting to squeeze into a bathing suit in summer, think peanut butter. “Too many calories,” says a friend, as if I’d suggested a meal with Satan himself. But peanut butter is way in. PB diets litter the internet; there is The Peanut Butter Diet book, PB …[Read more]

“Consuming Passions”: Hill Street Blues

IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT I’M writing in praise of a property guy – an estate agent. I’ve been coming to London for 25 years; I have spent half of them looking for the flat. Not just a flat; The Flat. It had to be light and charming but not seedy; most of all, it had to be in Notting Hill. When I first …[Read more]

“Consuming Passions”: Nip/Tuck

I have been reading up on the many and varied possibilities of a little light cosmetic surgery in foreign parts. For it is very, very chic to get it fixed – whatever it is – in an exotic location, your own personal fountain of youth. Costa Rica for rhinoplasty? Brazil for your bum? South Africa. Thailand. Poland. Poland? …[Read more]

“Consuming Passions”: Kitchen Fever

With Martha Stewart’s future up for grabs in the wake of allegations of funny business trading stocks, it’s hard to imagine what people will do with the fancy kitchen tools they have acquired over years of watching her; years of acquisition of tools, pots and pans, pastry tubes, cookie cutters and cheese cloth, and coloured sprinkles and …[Read more]

“Consuming Passions”: Hawaii…

It’s February, armpit of the year, when a girl’s thoughts turn to sunshine and maybe a pink parasol in her drink. We’re talking Hawaii here. We’re talking surfer boys with lean tanned bodies, endless waves and Technicolor sunsets. America’s improbable 50th state, a tropical island paradise plopped in the middle of the Pacific, is …[Read more]