EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Your very good health! Raymond Blanc’s slap-up dinner for NHS heroes who saved his life during Covid battle
When Raymond Blanc was struggling to breathe with Covid-19 in intensive care, he was unsure he would survive.
Now, the celebrated chef is recovering but has not forgotten the NHS staff who saved his life.
I hear he invited around 50 doctors and nurses for a slap-up champagne lunch at his two Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, where diners usually pay around £250 a head. The secret thank-you is estimated to have cost more than £12,000.
‘Throughout my stay, I received the most extraordinary care,’ Blanc tells me of the weeks he spent at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
When Raymond Blanc was struggling to breathe with Covid-19 in intensive care, he was unsure he would survive. Now, the celebrated chef is recovering but has not forgotten the NHS staff who saved his life
‘I think that’s part of what saved me. I am completely humbled by what everyone did and how kind they were while still being totally professional.
‘I was in awe at their care, their competence and the way they passed on knowledge to each other. However busy they were, they always made time for the patients.’
Blanc, 71, who is in a relationship with 49-year-old nutritionist Natalia Traxel, adds: ‘When I was in hospital, I kept thinking that when I was better, I want to organise a thank-you party for everyone who helped me — et voila! It was a lovely afternoon, we were all in the outside in the garden and it gave me a chance to spend time talking to such lovely people and thank them properly. We had some champagne, the sun made an appearance — it was a good day.’
The lucky guests dined on his signature burgers, trout tartare and lemon macarons in the manicured hotel gardens in Oxfordshire.
‘Throughout my stay, I received the most extraordinary care,’ Blanc tells me of the weeks he spent at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford
Blanc had refused to be put on a ventilator for fear of never waking up. Though he waxes lyrical about the excellent care he received, he was unimpressed by the culinary offerings at the Oxford hospital, describing the food as a ‘shock’.
There was one saving grace, however — the pudding. He said the ice cream was ‘excellent’ and the custard and plums were ‘always amazing’.
Perhaps he could send a care package of ready meals to the hospital kitchen?
Countess Bathurst is out-ranked by her Rolls-Royce, The Duchess. That’s what she calls her dark-green Silver Cloud Mark II. ‘I named her that because she had a terribly grand number plate: 186 HRH,’ explains the Countess. ‘It always makes me smile when I drive her. You can see people saying, “Ooh — a vintage Rolls.” Then they see the number plate and say, “Ooh — HRH.” Then they see me, and they say, “Oh . . .” The disappointment is almost palpable.’
Fleming is for your eyes only
James Bond creator Ian Fleming’s great-niece left fellow guests shaken . . . and stirred by the outfit she wore to a friend’s birthday party at the weekend.
Fashion PR Hum Fleming, 31, turned up at the bash, which had a ‘Myths and Legends’ theme, in a see-through ‘unitard’ which exposed her derriere.
Pictured with fellow party-goer Lucrezia Marzotto Caotorta, Hum joked: ‘Sun’s out, bums out.’
I’m not sure that suave 007 would approve.
Fashion PR Hum Fleming, 31, turned up at the bash, which had a ‘Myths and Legends’ theme, in a see-through ‘unitard’ which exposed her derriere
JCB heir George Bamford has dug deep for charity by cycling 919 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in ten days with a couple of pals. Billionaire Tory donor Lord Bamford’s son raised more than £50,000 but failed to impress his wife, Leonora, with his outfit. ‘My wife thinks I am not the most beautiful person in Lycra,’ admits George, 40.
Queen for the day: Rocker Roger’s daughter ties knot
QUEEN star Roger Taylor’s daughter Rory has found Somebody To Love.
Rory, 35, who is an A&E doctor, got married at the weekend to another Rory — Rory Hoddell, who arranges luxurious ski holidays for rich clients.
Guests joked about how the couple will now both be called Rory Hoddell if the bride takes her husband’s surname. They exchanged vows in front of their baby son, Buddy, and drummer Taylor’s Queen band mates in Mawnan Smith, Cornwall.
Guitarist Brian May turned up in a helicopter, landing in the middle of a cricket pitch, stopping play.
Rory’s sisters, Lola and the model Tigerlily, were bridesmaids.
And while guests might have expected a few renditions of We Will Rock You, the music was, in fact, provided by a folk band.
QUEEN star Roger Taylor’s daughter Rory has found Somebody To Love
Rory, 35, who is an A&E doctor, got married at the weekend to another Rory — Rory Hoddell, who arranges luxurious ski holidays for rich clients
The Queen is mourning one of her closest friends, Sir Timothy Colman, who has died aged 91. A scion of the Colman’s mustard family from Norfolk, he was a frequent guest at Sandringham with his wife, Mary, HM’s cousin. Mary, who died in January, was the elder daughter of Michael Bowes-Lyon — the Queen Mother’s brother. Much of their childhoods were spent together. Mary recalled how her uncle, George VI, referred to her cousins, Lilibet and Margaret, as respectively his ‘pride’ and ‘joy’.
Ministers queue to back Carrie’s chum
Doors seem to open very quickly when Boris Johnson’s wife is your chum.
I hear that Carrie’s pal Lorraine Platt, pictured right, an animal welfare campaigner, has managed to attract not one but two Cabinet ministers to her event at the Conservative Party conference next month.
Extraordinarily, both Environment Secretary George Eustice and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will be there to laud Lorraine’s little-known pressure group, the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation.
Carrie herself addressed a reception held by the group at her first Tory conference by the side of Boris in 2019.
I hear that Carrie’s pal Lorraine Platt, pictured right, an animal welfare campaigner, has managed to attract not one but two Cabinet ministers to her event at the Conservative Party conference next month
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