EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Long-lost pal Jo Wood is still in Rod Stewart’s heart at Langan’s Brasserie opening reunion
Rod Stewart along with his rock ’n’ roll friends were regulars at Langan’s Brasserie in Mayfair back in the day — so you can imagine how delighted I was to see the 76-year-old star sailing into an emotional reunion with a long-lost pal at the reopening on Thursday night.
‘I last saw them in 2009 when I did Strictly Come Dancing. It’s been too long,’ Jo, 66, (below with Penny) tells me.
‘They were living in LA, and then the pandemic happened. I’ve just invited them to my new house in the countryside.’
Penny Lancaster (left) and Sir Rod Stewart (right) attend the Langan’s Launch Night on October 28, 2021 in London, England
He and his glamorous wife ran into their old friend Jo Wood (right) — ex-wife of Rolling Stones’ Ronnie, Sir Rod’s bandmate in the 1970s rock group Faces
The mother-of-three, who split from Ronnie in 2011, adds: ‘Funnily enough I was in The Dorchester last month and Rod walked in.
I went to say hello but all these fans gathered and I couldn’t get to him! I told him that tonight and he gave me a big hug.’
Playing our tuna
Princess Olympia of Greece could have held the birthday bash for her boyfriend in a palace — but instead chose to rent a fishmonger’s!
Peregrine Pearson, who is due to inherit the Cowdray fortune, turned 27 in Notting Hill Fish Shop surrounded by close friends including George Blandford, the Duke of Marlborough’s heir.
The guest of honour, however, was a massive bluefin tuna, which cost, I am told, a whopping £10,000!
It was ordered in specially and carved as sashimi and sushi throughout the evening. The headless beast was delivered by van to a waiting crowd.
If you spend your life in palaces and country manors, I suppose a fishmonger’s is an exotic place to hold a soiree!
Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece and Denmark (right) leaves Hotel Grande Brettagne in Athens for The Pre-wedding Party of her Brother, Prince Philippos with Mrs Nina Flor
It’s back to Black! Look who’s setting society alight again
Conrad Black and his wife, socialite Barbara Amiel, were once the toast of the London social scene, famous for throwing wild parties in their Kensington pad.
They left a gaping hole in highsociety when the media mogul was forced in 2007 to sell the mansion during his court case in the U.S., which culminated in him spending just over three years in jail for fraud.
But I can reveal the pair are coming back with a bang! Pardoned by former President Donald Trump, Lord Black, who has always maintained he did nothing wrong, is looking to buy a new house in the capital.
The 77-year-old, who once owned the Spectator and the Telegraph, is delighted to tell me: ‘We’re moving back to London!’
He added that he hopes to shake up British politics with regular appearances in the Lords.
Kensington estate agents will be rubbing their hands that the pair plan to move back to the area.
Conrad Black (left) and his wife, socialite Barbara Amiel (right), were once the toast of the London social scene, famous for throwing wild parties in their Kensington pad
He tells me: ‘We haven’t decided yet where to live but thinking of heading West.’
Of his old home he says: ‘Ah, the parties we threw. We had a particularly boozy one every year for Telegraph staff.’
Lady Black, 80, who grew up in Watford, adds: ‘We’ve missed London and are looking forward to finally coming home, we haven’t found a place yet.
‘We will likely be throwing parties, but I don’t drink as I find I am allergic to it. I sometimes have one shot of vodka, that’s it.
‘But I still love dressing up and seeing people!’
The glamorous author, who recently penned memoir Friends And Enemies, will no doubt be invited to many royal soirees.
She and her husband famously appeared at a costume party hosted by Kensington Palace, dressed as Marie Antoinette and Cardinal Richelieu.
She showed off a deep curtsey for me in preparation, and her husband was amazed at her nimbleness — especially considering she was wearing a skin-tight pair of leather trousers.
‘Can you believe she’s 80?’ Lord Black gushed before Barbara explained: ‘I’ve had these Chanel trousers since the 1980s.’
Watch out London — Lord and Lady Black are coming back!
Modfather Weller’s son tying the knot with long-term love
The Modfather Paul Weller has an exciting date for the diary and it has nothing to do with his music tour.
For I can reveal the eldest of his eight children, Nathaniel Weller, has got engaged to his long-term boyfriend.
The Dolce & Gabbana model, 33 — whose mother is Style Council singer Dee C Lee — is to tie the knot with Ukrainian fashion film director Martin Kovalenko, 25.
‘I hope we can get married next year. It would be better when everybody’s families can travel more freely,’ Nathaniel, pictured left, tells me from his home in LA.
Nathaniel Weller (left), 33, has got engaged to his long-term boyfriend Ukrainian fashion film director Martin Kovalenko (right), 25
‘He’s met my family. My mum and my dad really like him.’
So much so that last year, Martin directed Weller’s music video for his new single, On Sunset.
Nathaniel has praised The Jam frontman for being ‘hugely supportive’ when he came out as bisexual, and describes his union with Martin as ‘the right marriage in every sense of the word’ — referring to their new project.
‘We’ve made a horror movie called Bin Bag Man,’ he adds. ‘I wrote it, acted in it, and he directed it.
‘It’s a short but we’re hoping to get a budget to do a big feature next year.’
Judge Rinder is hot stuff
I bumped into Robert ‘Judge’ Rinder looking very red-faced at an Arts Club party at the Cliveden House Literary Festival this week.
It transpires he had a rather unfortunate accident involving a sunbed.
‘I was at a loose end in London and wanted a nap. I couldn’t go to Soho House in the middle of the day and sleep — how would that look?’ the TV star, 43, explains.
I bumped into Robert ‘Judge’ Rinder looking very red-faced at an Arts Club party at the Cliveden House Literary Festival this week
‘I have a friend who runs a beauty salon and he said I could use one of his sunbeds — he said press the button to turn it off. I thought I had, and went to sleep. I woke up and it had been on the whole time — my ENTIRE body is burned to a crisp!’
It’s usually his victims in the dock who are left red-faced — it seems the barrister has had a taste of his own medicine!
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s first husband Andrew Parker Bowles is the latest to raise an issue with TV show The Crown — as he is portrayed as a philanderer who has a dalliance with Princess Anne!
He tells me at the launch of Algy Cluff’s book Off The Cluff: ‘It’s meant to be me, but it’s not me with all that Princess Anne guff!’
But one rumour he doesn’t deny is that he and bonkbuster Jilly Cooper slept with one another back in the day.
‘She says we did — I’m meant to be that Campbell-Black in her book,’ he says, referring to the brutish cad who first appeared in Jilly’s best selling book Riders.
‘I’d rather be remembered as a Brigadier’ he sniffs.
Undie pressure! Gizzi finds cafe hard going
Saucy television chef Gizzi Erskine appears to live a charmed life — boasting an Agent Provocateur underwear range and a pizzeria she runs with rapper Professor Green.
She has now opened an achingly trendy restaurant alongside former Libertines musician Carl Barat.
But the daughter of the late Lord Erskine of Rerrick says creating the Margate cafe is proving difficult.
Saucy television chef Gizzi Erskine appears to live a charmed life — boasting an Agent Provocateur underwear range and a pizzeria she runs with rapper Professor Green
The 42-year-old wails: ‘I feel really s***,’ adding she can’t find a place to rent in the trendy Kent seaside town, home of artist Tracey Emin.
‘The joy of gentrification, eh?’ she quips, adding: ‘I can’t complain, I’m part of the problem.’
It seems she is regretting her new venture just over a week after the cafe opened.
Gizzi says she is ‘wondering why [she] gave up Instagramming as an influencer and making buckets of cash for this stress and heartache’.
Well, it’s lucky she has taking selfies to fall back on if selling sandwiches proves too difficult!
Spicy life of Queen’s godson
TV chef Clodagh McKenna has a novel way of ensuring her recipes get the royal seal of approval.
Her husband, the Queen’s godson Harry Herbert, 62, tells me at the launch of her latest cookbook, In Minutes: ‘I’m the taster for all of Clodagh’s recipes.’
Clodagh, who wed Harry in August, in the grounds of his family home — Downton Abbey’s Highclere Castle — insists there are two he favours the most.
The This Morning star, 46, reveals: ‘Harry’s favourites are either my risotto Milanese or spicy Korean chicken.’ So has she ever cooked for Her Majesty?
‘I couldn’t possibly comment,’ she laughs.
(Very) modern manners
The Duchess of Cambridge loves to play tennis and croquet at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham, but I can reveal some other members adore the exclusive venue so much they want it to be their final resting place.
So many do that the chief executive Alan Flitcroft has warned members may no longer be able to scatter their loved one’s ashes on the club’s hallowed turf.
He explained: ‘The club’s policy has in fact changed over the past 20 years from being fairly relaxed about families scattering ashes and having memorial plaques, benches, trees etc in the club grounds to being fairly restrictive.
‘This is because the club was in danger of becoming a memorial park.’ Let’s hope this doesn’t cause a racket!