gravy first, then meat

In 1998, The Independent published this interview with Daisy de Cabrol, Madame La Baronne

Daisy, the Windsors and Fred found here

At 83, Madame La Baronne remains sprightly. She talks at a hundred miles an hour with an almost preposterously posh accent and uses charmingly old-fashioned words such as “automobile”. Lunch is like taking a trip back in time. It is also proof that Madame La Baronne still knows how to entertain in style. She has hired a lady from the village to cook up a three-course feast and the wine is served from grand crystal decanters. She rings a little bell at the end of every course to summon her manservant, then scolds him in English for the heinous crime of bringing the meat in before the gravy.

antique crystal dog decanter found here

Her husband, Fred de Cabrol, who died in July 1997, was also from a wealthy aristocratic family. The couple bought their house in Grosrouvre in 1950. In the bathroom, the toilet is strangely but skilfully hidden under a table which is attached to the wall at one corner and swivels out of the way when nature calls. The piece de resistance, however, is the barn, which has been transformed into a grand sitting-room. A sculpture of a deer sits atop the huge fireplace. On a beautiful cabinet sits a glass case filled with multi-coloured stuffed birds. On the walls there are numerous deer heads.

Budapest Hall of Hunting found here

The Cabrols were friends of  the Windsors whom they met at a dinner party in Paris. In 1947, they received an invitation to stay at their house on the Cote d’Azur. “We were astonished to find such luxury after the deprivation of the war,” she recalls. “Even at that time, two years after the war, people didn’t eat much, but they had so much food and there were fresh sheets every day.” The Cabrols would often go to the Windsors’ renovated windmill at Gif-sur-Yvette to the south of Paris for Sunday lunch. She also recalls singing “Clair de Lune” with the Duke, sword dancing after dinner and the Cabrol children entertaining the Windsors by playing the guitar.

image found here when I googled Gif-Sur-Yvette

In her scrapbook is the cover of a French magazine with a photo of the Windsors arriving at one of her balls. It was held at Paris’s Palais des Glaces and took three months to prepare. Charlie Chaplin was one of the guests. The Begum Aga Khan turned up in a flouncy feathered number and a young Madame Mitterand was on the organising committee. The composer Henri Sauguet wrote some music especially for the evening, Nancy Mitford composed sketches and everybody skated on the ice.

Begum Aga Khan found here

There are also invitations for receptions given by the Queen, to the wedding of Princess Grace of Monaco, Maria Callas’s autograph and a poem by the French society hostess Ghislaine de Polignac, entitled “Advice to a foreigner on how to succeed in Paris”. It ends with the line “C’est chez Pam qu’on va B—–R” which translates as “For a F–K, you go to Pam’s”. The Pam in question is the late American ambassador to France, Pamela Harriman.

Pamela Harriman found here

“There were three or four balls a year, mainly in the spring,” Madame recalls. “Nobody would ever dream of socialising in Paris after the Grand Prix horserace at the end of June. People who stayed in the city after that would close their shutters to pretend they had gone away.” Many of the balls were costume affairs. To one, she went disguised as a tree. To another, as the wife of Louis XIV, and once her husband dressed up as French ceramicist Bernard de Palissy and she as one of his plates.

Palissy plate found here

The dreaded Elsa Maxwell, who had a vitriolic gossip column in America and served as the Windsors’ social secretary, was also fond of the Cabrols, as was Greek shipping magnate Stavros Niarchos. They once went on holiday with him and the actor Douglas Fairbanks on his yacht. “We travelled from the Riviera to Greece, but Niarchos refused to stop the boat for us to bathe. Every day, there was a huge tin of caviar, but after eight days, it became a bit of a nightmare. Nobody can eat caviar for eight days in a row!”

Icon Caviar found here

Published in: on February 22, 2012 at 9:16 am  Comments (43)  
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party preferences

Which of the following parties do you think sounds like it was the most fun? This Parisian ball……

“At a costume ball in Paris in the 1920s Lucien Daudet appeared as Spectre de la Rose. At the end of the evening the effete Daudet was stark naked. The guests had plucked the rose petals his devoted mother had sown onto his tights, and eventually the tights disappeared along with the roses. Jean Godebska came as a house of cards and his friend Radiguet as a shooting gallery while the Princess Soutzo was a Christmas tree. 

Princess Soutzo found here

Jean Hugo attended as a waiter carrying a large tray. On it was perched the Maharani of Kapurthala, disguised as caviar. Hugo was somewhat tipsy and let the tray drop. When the maharenee almost fell to the floor, the maharajah was heard to mutter, “In India he would have been put to death at once.”

Maharani found here

The Duchess de Gramont organised an entrance that represented the beheading of John the Baptist. Dressed in the black costume of an executioner, she appeared carrying  a platter with a wooden head of John the Baptist that looked suspiciously like the party’s host. As Salome, the Prince de Chimay covered his face with veils but liberally exposed the shapely legs he was so proud of. Hiding all evening in a bedroom like children at a costume party, they missed Marie Laurencin as Malade Imaginaire attended by a friend dressed as measles, with red spots painted on his face.

Le Malade Imaginaire found here

Or would you prefer to attend P Diddy’s soiree?

On Thursday, August 29th, 2002 – P. Diddy and Guy Oseary celebrated the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards with a post party in New York City’s exclusive Cipriani’s. “It was top shelf and caviar all the way” said one guest. 

image found here

Attending celebrities received a gift basket valued at over $25,000 which included an exclusive Surf Camp t shirt and a week at Surf Camp. The drawback was the “party policy,” which included an amusing–some might call it obscene–set of guidelines re: scuffed shoes, haircuts, and clothing (though someone should have told Puffy that Mr. Dolce’s partner spells his surname “Gabbana”). “Pull out the flyest shit in your closet” Puffy said. “Women must be waxed, pedicured and manicured to the hilt.”

$32,000 manicure found here

And one final instruction….. P.S. Do not disturb the sexy.

click to enlarge or read at the original source here

how does one lose four husbands?

Enid Kenmare lost four husbands, all by death

“She was a member of the Australian Lindeman wine family, and she thought nothing of walking through Mayfair with a cheetah or flying to Kenya on safari by private aeroplane in the 1930s.

Lindeman’s vineyard found here

Enid, a celebrated beauty, married four times, the first time in 1913 to a New York shipbroker when she was 21. Two of her husbands were fabulously wealthy and left her fortunes. Three of them had titles. All died before her and two died less than a year after marrying her.

Her second husband was Brigadier General Frederick Cavendish, better known as Caviar Cavendish. Enid is reputed to have slept with every officer in his regiment for a dare.  

caviar found here

In 1933 she married the very rich Lord Furness, known as Duke, short for Marmaduke. He had a private railroad car, two yachts and an airplane. They were each other’s third spouse. Lord Furness was himself no stranger to homicidal rumour and controversy. His first wife, Daisy, had died aboard his yacht while on a pleasure cruise and he had buried her at sea.

Marmaduke found here

Enid’s last marriage, to Valentine, the sixth Earl of Kenmare, took place in 1943. He was an enormously fat man, 225 pounds, who once accidentally sat on a dog and killed it. Previously he had been married to Doris Castlerosse who died of an overdose of sleeping pills and alcohol. When Kenmare also died less than a year after his marriage to Enid, his inheritance was to pass to his niece. But Enid, in one of her boldest ventures, claimed to be pregnant, although she was approaching fifty. She was thus able to hold on to the income from the ancestral lands for an additional thirteen months. 

Valentine found here

Her great friend, writer Somerset Maugham, dubbed her Lady Killmore. 

The beauty of the much married and much widowed Enid Kenmare was so renowned that it was said people stood on chairs in the lobby of the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo just to catch a glimpse of her as she passed through.

Lobby of the Hotel de Paris found here

She was also a constant and successful gambler who frequented casinos nightly. “She had fantastic posture, wore cabochon emeralds and dressed in diaphanous gowns” remembered one of her friends. She seemed to inhabit another sphere.”

Enid’s “other sphere” was dope. “She was a legally registered heroin addict” recalled a gentleman in New York whilst another gentleman in London said “Opium was her drug of choice.”

Opium smokers found here

“I don’t think Enid killed anybody” said a friend of her son Rory, “but she may have given them drugs and helped them along.”