Friday, 10 August 2012

What a weekend!

The party season, it surely is...

We left you last time, looking forward to a big weekend at Maunsel House. 57 guests stayed with us each night of the party.We kicked things off on Friday with dinner for 40 guests. Two of whom were Viscount Monckton of Brenchley and Dr Jerome Corsi. Its thirty years ago now that Visount was working at Number 10 where he gave policy advice on technical issues; he is now chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute.

Dr Jerome Corsi is a successful writer (many best-sellers in the USA) and blogger who was discussing with me the fact that Barack Obama was born in Kenya and therefore should not be American President. We actually had no rooms left for Jerome to stay in but we managed to source him an outstation in the end.

You can read Dr Jerome's fascinating blog here:

The party seems to be getting into full swing by around 4pm on the Friday with the arrival by helicopterof the Duke of Rutland, owner of a rival venue Belvoir Castle. Its no surprise to me that he is demanding tea and cream buns the second he sets foot on dry land. We gave the Duke the Kings room for the night, with the biggest bed in the house. You never know with him, always best to give him room for seven!However he was the model of good manners.

It was great to see my old friend Robbie Lyle and his lovely wife, who kindly brought me some delicious Stilton and a selection of very interesting books for me to read. Looking forward to getting stuck in to both. At this time in the evening, special mention must go to Charles Mitford Cust who arrived with three beautiful un-married girls, well done Charles! (A similar skill was demonstrated the following night by Ian Morrell, my hats off to both of you)

Lord Northbrook (or Frank the Bank) arrives with partner and stay in the Monmouth room. This guy is has survived three bank crashes and is now a front bench spokesman at Lords for Finance. He speaks on Treasury, Constitutional, and Agricultural matters, a real smart cookie. Guests for the evening also included Mr and Mrs Kerry Scovell (the Scovell's ancestors helped win war in the Peninsular by cracking Napoleon's codes), William Thuiller (one of the only art dealers who consistently makes me money!) as well as James Wood and James Du Boulay, two of the most eligible bachelors in the UK.

(The Rogues Gallery below)

Moving swiftly on to Saturday
lunch time, where we had 30 plus guests dining outside under the Pergola.
(Thanks to Dine with style for doing such a great job of the catering, for the whole weekend in fact.)

Im pleased to see the lovely Liz Brewer who gives me a copy of her book "The Ultimate Guide to Party Planning and Etiquette" in which she mentions me!!It was Liz who arranged for me to appear on Ladette to Lady, the popular TV series on Channel 4.She also promises to mention the party in her new book!!It seemed I was surrounded by Television celebrities now as Francis Fulford and his heir, Master Arthur Fulford (my Godson) show up and spend lunch plotting with local MP Ian Liddell Grainger, I know what they're up to (ladies watch out!)

Jerome Corsi and Chris Monckton are back into discussions about politics and the like, although this time they are also insisting on a campaign to make me Police Commissioner! Kym Erlich overhears this and comments that I would be too much of a walkover! What do you think?

We are now up to evening dinner and by this time I am extremely stressed as I cant seem to balance the boy to girl seating ratio! The numbers are constantly changing, guests are arriving in dinner jackets that I was expecting on Sunday night, even a few girls show up that I've never met before (not that I mind that so much). Luckily we had an extension Marquee for the extra guests although this was not a very pleasant place to be once the temperature dropped. I had to loan out my Victorian Fox furcoats and even convince a rather cross looking Roger Seelig to wear my traditional doormans coat. (Roger is a brilliant financier who put Guiness on the map in the 80's.)

The night is finished off with Lady Willis escaping from her husband (who is cut three sheets to the wind) and into a taxi, the wrong taxi I might add! Due to the confusion the Wrey's have to squeeze another four bodies into the last remaining cab, I’m sure that could not have been a comfortable ride home for all involved.

Finally we come to Sunday
lunch which I thought would be a nightmare as we are set up to receive 300 guests under the pergola which seats 250....luckily about 150 show so it turns out ok.

The event of the day had to be the grand entrance made by the two Andrew's, Onraet and Davies arriving in a grand helicopter. I’m slightly distracted by this and let guests seat themselves for a short time, time enough for Anna Hodgson-Pressinger (who was helping to do the placement!) to place herself next to the Duke of Rutland and Sir Simon Day (the famous Devon Politician and owner of 43 acres of land round London's Brompton Square.)

Most people drift off at around 5 or 6 pm apart from a few including the Sessions-Hodges who are arguing furiously that I have much of their family silverware out on display. Lauren is a Miles and the Miles' were the Slades bank managers in the seventeen hundreds; in 1801 we actually made them executorsto our will. My argument was that they were new money and were bought out in 1807 from the family business the Slave Trade. As the debate rattled on, I started to think I might have to call an ambulance but luckily they had a driver!

A fabulous weekend, if not a little exhausting.

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