Saturday, 30 April 2011

When repeatedly questioned in an interview with Inside Edition on the question regarding Harry’s paternity and the possibility that Harry may be a genetic abbreviation of himself, Hewitt said “No I am not“.

“I am not happy talking about it.”  and added “It’s out of respect for everyone.”

Speculation has been rife over the similarities between Harry and James since the news of Diana’s affair with Hewitt broke, but the affair is not meant to have taken place until after Harry’s birth.

I really don’t care if Ken the milkman is Prince Harry’s father and nor should anyone else except Harry and his family (and possibly Ken the milkman…..who is fictitious by the way).

But seeing as its out in the public domain lets just take a look at Harry.

His glare/look is exactly the same of that of Prince Philip. He even likes the Nazi uniform just like his grandad (supposedly) does, so I think that lays to rest any further speculation on the matter.

Unless of course we have a state sanctioned DNA test to see if Hewitt is Harry’s father with Jeremy Kyle reading out the results to the world in between Kate and William’s wedding vows broadcast live.

Now that would be entertainment!……

Harry is Prince Charles’s son…..he just doesn’t look like him but he does have that ‘I will tear you apart from limb to limb Mr Fox and drink your blood through a straw‘ look.

Would I trust Prince Harry to look after my Children’s pet rabbits and hamsters if we went away?

No I would not….that is how certain I am that Philip is Harry’s grandfather which makes Charles Harry’s father by default.

James Hewitt is ginger and so is Prince Harry…..that single connection is the premise, which many base Harry’s paternity on. But with that same logic an Ed Miliband is Cheryl Cole’s brother because both are unconvincing in their professional roles.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The former military man said he had planned to shoot himself during a trip to France - until his mother made him take her along.

'I got in my car and loaded a few things up to get on the ferry to go to France - to shoot myself,' he said.

The former military man told Inside Edition he had planned to shoot himself during a trip to France - until his mother made him take her along

'Then my mother insisted on coming with me. If she hadn't, I would probably have shot myself. So I owe her my life really.

'I felt I had let people down - probably myself, my family, my friends, the nation, the army, my regiment. Other than that, no one at all.'

Hewitt, 52, opened up about life after Diana during an interview on U.S. television show Inside Edition.

The Princess, who died aged 36 in August 1997, acknowledged her affair with the former household cavalry officer after her divorce from Prince Charles.

Affair: Diana blushes as she presents James Hewitt with the Captain and Subalterns Cup after he led his army polo team to victory at Tidworth in 1989 - at the height of their affair

By royal admission: Princess Diana, who died aged 36 in August 1997, acknowledged her affair with the former household cavalry officer after her divorce from Prince Charles

Rumours later circulated that Hewitt, not Charles, could be the father of Diana's son Prince Harry.

But the ex-army man has claimed the young Prince was born before he and Diana began their affair.

Hewitt has always denied that he is the father of Prince Harry

'No I am not,' he said, when asked once again whether he was Harry's father. 'I am not happy talking about it. It's out of respect for everyone.'

Hewitt came under fire for trying to sell love letters he received from Diana for £10 million.

He also helped write a book about the Princess following her death, but insists he still misses her.

'I think we all miss her,' he said. 'But I've tried to move on with my life.'

The full interview with Hewitt airs in the United States today.

It was revealed last week that Hewitt is to trade upon his increasingly tenuous links to the Royal Family by throwing a Royal Wedding party at his bar in Spain – with himself as ‘guest of honour’.

He has been living in Marbella in exile after his scandalous attempt to sell her letters for £10 million.

The ‘comeback cad’, as he’s been dubbed, has cheekily given his approval for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding and is planning a lavish Royal-themed day at his bar, Polo House, on April 29, complete with a big screen showing the ceremony.

Diana admitted to having the five-year affair during her sensational Panorama interview in 1995.

He first met Princess Diana at a party in London's Mayfair in 1986. She was 25, he 28.

Although six years ago, he was hypnotised for a television programme in which he 'revealed' that his affair with Diana had begun earlier than he had previously stated, commencing in 1982, not 1986 - before the birth of Prince Harry.

 In another interview on Larry King Live in 2003, Hewitt discussed his relationship with the princess, the controversy over his going public with her personal correspondence and recent press reports of his attempts to auction the letters

When they met, Diana was in the middle of a famous 39-day trial separation from her then husband Prince Charles.

Diana took Hewitt on as a horse-riding instructor for her and her two sons. Their relationship lasted until 1992 when Diana is reported to have stopped taking Hewitt's calls.

In 1994 Hewitt broke cover and collaborated with writer Anna Pasternak on Princess In Love, a sordid account of his affair with Diana.

Diana was said to be distraught by this betrayal, telling Martin Bashir in the Panorama interview: 'Yes, I adored him. Yes, I was in love with him. But I was very let down.'

'I was in love with him': Diana admitted to having the five-year affair during her sensational Panorama interview in 1995

Hewitt later tried to tried to sell 60 love letters he received from the Princess for a reported £10million.

In 1999, two years after Diana died in Paris, he published his autobiography, Love and War in which he revealed intimate details about his affair.

He told how Diana seduced him and how they made love in her four-poster bed and on a bathroom floor.
Melanie Griffith was rubbing shoulders with royalty last night as she and husband Antonio Banderas met the Spanish royal family at a Gala dinner in Madrid.

Looking glamorous in a long black sparkling number, the 53-year-old star happily chatted to a very thin looking Princess Letizia during a family line up.

Meet and greet: Melanie Griffith shakes hands with Prince Felipe and Princess Letizia at a Gala dinner in Madrid last night

Line up: Griffith and Banderas add a touch of glamour to the Spanish gala

Wearing a midnight blue dress, the Princess looked happy and relaxed as she met the Hollywood stars alongside husband Prince Felipe, heir to the Spanish throne.

 the 50-year-old Mask of Zorro star bowed to King Juan Carlos of Spain at a Royal Gala dinner in Madrid last night.

Banderas, who was born in Malaga, looked dapper in a tuxedo, while his 53-year-old wife wore a glittering black number.

Royalty meets royalty: Antonio Banderas and wife Melanie Griffith meet King Juan Carlos of Spain at a Gala dinner in Madrid last night

The couple also met Sheikh Hamad Bin khalifa Al-thani and his wife Sheikha Mozah Bint of Qatar at the event.

Banderas is a brother of a Roman Catholic religious brotherhood, and travels to the country ever week for Holy Week to take part in processions.

Griffith and Banderas have a daughter, Stella, 14.

 Banderas and Griffith also met Sheikh Hamad Bin khalifa Al-thani and his wife Sheikha Mozah Bint last night

Monday, 25 April 2011

Maserati (Blazers: Fast Cars)
Mario Balotelli According to The Sun, Balotelli has left liaison officers at the club tearing their hair out as they have had to go back time and time again to reclaim his Maserati.

The 100,000-pound-a-week Italian striker has had an average of three parking tickets a day since he signed for the Premier League club last year.

In contrast, he has had ten yellow cards and two reds in only 24 appearances for Manchester City. (ANI)

Europe’s first ‘Grand Hotel’, The Langham, London will launch Europe’s first Chuan Spa in February 2011.  Offering a tranquil haven in the heart of London, Chuan Spa will be London’s first hotel spa ( to incorporate ancient principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) into its signature treatments, ambiance and décor. “Chuan” in Chinese means flowing water and water is considered the foundation of life.

Dating back thousands of years, Traditional Chinese Medicine is acclaimed throughout the world for its ability to harmonize the body and soul and enrich personal happiness and fulfillment. The philosophy uses the principle of the balance of the five natural elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth and the body’s opposing yet mutually dependent halves, Ying and Yang.  Emphasizing a holistic approach, the therapists at Chuan Spa will adopt the guiding principles behind TCM, using energy flows, basic elemental forces and the influence of hot and cold to create individual treatment plans.

Upon entering Chuan Spa, guests will experience the ambience designed to gently nurture Jing (life force), Qi (vital energy) and Shen (mind and spirit).  Over a glass of element tea, guests will meet with their therapist to discuss the treatment plan addressing the rebalancing of their five elements and personal Ying and Yang.  Guests will then relax in the vitality pool, salt-sauna and steam room before visiting the spa treatment area where fragrant candles and especially composed music will provide a calming and tranquil environment. Afterwards, guests are invited to stay and enjoy a glass of Chuan tea and fresh fruit platter in the contemplation area.

VIP’s and Couples will be able to enjoy the ultimate in privacy and romantic relaxation with joint treatments in ‘The Spirit Room’,  a VIP couples suite, for half or full day packages. Five other treatment rooms are available.

In addition to its signature treatments, Chuan Spa will offer the services of a fully qualified TCM Practitioner for private consultations and specialist TCM therapies including acupuncture, Ho Guan (cupping), moxibustion and other techniques.

For the fitness enthusiast, Chuan Spa will also offer a fully equipped fitness centre with state-of-the-art Technogym cardio and resistance equipment, free weights and a 16 metre swimming pool open to hotel residents and spa guests. Fitness membership packages will also be available.

Located in an unrivalled position at the top of Regent Street, Chuan Spa at The Langham, London ( is the ultimate urban retreat offering a serene and soothing environment in the heart of the West End, and the first European outpost of this critically acclaimed and prestigious spa brand.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

The Wildenstein Name in HistoryGuy Wildenstein and his brother Alec have been surrounded by more scandal than any other wealthy family bar the Kennedys. The 65 year old billionaire, who is the president of Wildenstein & Co. presided over one of the most prestigious art dealerships in the world, which dates back five generations and is still family run. Wildenstein is now facing charges by French anti-fraud investigators for alleged money-laundering and tax evasion. It is also thought that a charge of theft may possibly be added to the list as the gallery faces half a dozen lawsuits with allegations of fraud, handling of stolen paintings and deception.
The seizure of about 30 works has put another uncomfortable focus on the scandal ridden Wildenstein family. The courts are also seeking answers to questions raised by the Académie des Beaux-Arts lawsuit. ADBA is a prestigious French cultural society that has filed a legal complaint seeking an inquiry into the whereabouts of a missing painting.
The Wildenstein Institute a non profit charity which is run by the family as a research center in Paris has now been raided on several occasions. It is alleged that sculptures and paintings by artists such as Degas, Rembrandt Bugatti and Berthe Morisot have been carted off by the police. The works were reported missing by Jewish families who claimed restitution rights through new laws instituted in the 1990's. The law helps claim works stolen by the Nazis, from wealthy families. Heirs have had thousands of works returned through family estate settlements.
It has been said that the Wildensteins are charming sociopaths. They have now reached the end of their dominance as art market leaders with career, credibility and possibly their liberty at stake.
The raid and the subsequent legal action resulted from a criminal lawsuit filed in Paris in September by Mr. Wildenstein’s stepmother, the late  Sylvia Roth Wildenstein who alleged that, Guy and Alec, convinced their stepmother that their father died bankrupt to rob her of money from his estate. She accused Wildenstein of tax evasion and money laundering to mask the size of the family fortune by shuffling the ownership titles of Impressionist paintings, including 19 valuable works by Bonnard and storing the art in a vault in Geneva as well as other tax havens, far from the reach of the French tax authorities.
The family has also suffered a number of personal scandals, including the acrimonious divorce of Alec from Jocelyn 'Cat Woman' Wildenstein.  She was granted a divorce in 1999 after she allegedly found Alec in a compromising position with a 19-year-old model. She cried “sexual abandonment” and won a hefty settlement which she promptly spent on more plastic surgery securing her nickname as 'The Bride Of Wildenstein'. Could this family possibly bring more disgrace upon itself?
Hotels are accused of secretly ordering travel agents not to offer discounted rooms, according to leaked documents. Those cutting the price of hotels beneath the secretly fixed prices are banned from selling rooms in future.
The scandal has allegedly stopped some agents reducing the price of hotel rooms at well-known properties around the world by up to 25 per cent.
The Office of Fair Trading has started an investigation into price-fixing by hotels and travel agents which could lead to the cost of family holidays falling by hundreds of pounds.
If they are found to have fixed prices, the hotel chains could be fined up to ten per cent of their turnover — which could run into tens of millions of pounds each.
The Daily Telegraph has seen key documents at the heart of the OFT investigation which purport to disclose how hotel chains including Radisson, Thistle and Starwood are ordering travel agents not to offer discount prices. This newspaper has also spoken to the whistle-blower who has exposed the questionable practice.

The disclosure is likely to anger millions of Britons who have flown off for the Easter break this weekend. It follows similar scandals that have embroiled the airline industry which has recently paid multi-million pound fines after admitting price fixing.
Hotels and online travel agents – which now account for the majority of sales – are suspected of secretly agreeing a system called “rate parity”. This means rooms are sold for identical prices by different agents and the hotels.
The system is allegedly policed by travel agents and the hotels themselves, who report any competitors selling rooms at below the “parity” price. The discounters are allegedly then threatened with sanctions. An email to a website from a senior executive at Radisson shows how hotels try to enforce “rate parity” so that all internet sites offer the same price.
“Please REMOVE all Radisson Edwardian Hotel product from your site as you are causing us online rate parity issues,” wrote Gail Jordan, a sales director at the hotel company.
“We offer a best online rate guarantee, as do most brands,” Miss Jordan said. “Same room type should be same price across all online distribution.”
Travel agents buy rooms from wholesalers, who block book hotels. Contracts are suspected to be in place to ensure that those selling the rooms then charge a fixed mark-up. For example, a wholesaler may buy a hotel room for £50 a night, then sell it to an online travel agent for £75 who charges a consumer £100.
In one email to a hotel discounter, an executive at Starwood, which runs Le Meridien, Westin, W and Sheraton hotels, said: “Should a wholesaler decide to sell the rooms on a room only basis, he has to make sure that the per contract agreed minimum mark-up is guaranteed.”
The employee said the “violation” of Starwood’s Best Rate Guarantee was “really serious” and the breach was reported to the Brussels headquarters.
An employee at Millennium and Copthorne Hotels, which handles establishments around Europe, wrote an email to a website warning that rooms were being sold at “rates which are not available for online distribution”.
However, the company would be “happy” for the website to sell at “public rates”. The employee said: “These are the same rates we are distributing on our brand website as well as all of our online partners.”
Ordering distributors to sell rooms at a minimum price could be a breach of legislation under European and UK competition law. Cartels operate by agreeing that all distributors fix a price and all charge the same amount. “Price-fixing covers any agreement or conduct where competitors settle on fixed prices or minimum prices. They don’t need to do this explicitly or directly,” said Jason Logendra, a competition law expert at the international law firm Watson, Farley and Williams. “It is enough that they agree on maximum discounts.”
Last night, a spokesman for the OFT said the investigation into suspected breaches of competition law in the hotel online booking sector was at “a relatively early stage”.
“However, after a preliminary review of the evidence gathered to date, the OFT continues to consider this matter as an administrative priority and is pursuing the investigation further,” he said.
The impact of the secret hotel policies on consumers was clear last week.
For example, on the evening of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding on April 29, the London May Fair, a Radisson Edwardian hotel, offered a standard room at £204 on its own website. Expedia, Opodo, and Travelocity all offered exactly the same price for the five-star hotel.
The OFT investigation is thought to have been sparked by Dorian Harris who runs Skoosh, a website selling hotel rooms. Mr Harris contacted the OFT after allegedly being bombarded by requests from hotels that he stop offering their rooms on Skoosh.
Last night, hotel groups denied that they were breaking the law.
A spokesman for Starwood said: “Starwood Hotels & Resorts requires our properties to adhere to all legislation and takes this matter seriously. Starwood has not been contacted by the Office of Fair Trading but is willing to assist with any information they require.”
Abode declined to comment.
Copthorne & Millennium refused to comment on the emails, but said: “Our policy is to comply with all relevant legislation in all jurisdictions.”
A spokesman for Thistle and Guoman hotels said: “We are unable to comment on enquiries relating to specific room rates but can confirm that Thistle Hotels’ pricing policies are in line with UK and European competition law in the hotel online booking sector.”

Thursday, 21 April 2011

LIFE The Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (Life (Life Books))

The half-price "Brazilian-style" lacy briefs were part of another pre-wedding shopping trip for thrifty Middleton, 29, who also bought two bikinis, ahead of her wedding to Prince William.
"I certainly didn't expect her to be browsing at the bottom end of the range," the Sun quoted one shopper as saying.

Middleton's red-faced Royal protection officers waited outside as she browsed for smalls at lingerie store Goldenpoint in London's King's Road.

She was also spotted returning to the street in West London's Chelsea, for more underwear.

She trawled the lingerie department of Sloane favourite Peter Jones and picked up two Calvin Klein bras for around 30 pounds each - one black and one nude.

In the department store she also bagged a pair of sunglasses for her trip even though they were the tester pair tried on by hundreds of people before her.

"Kate fell in love with the sunglasses but they were the last pair and had been sitting on the rack for ages. She said it didn't matter if people had worn them before, she liked them too much," a source said.

At High Street chain Whistles Kate had to swap a pair of 150 pounds blue-and-while spotty trousers in her usual size 10 - because she has dropped to a tiny size 8 in her pre-wedding weeks.

While paying for the trousers and two tops at the till, she told staff that they were for her
Playboy: RedheadsWhen Playboy’s new London club opens later this year, its bunnies will have access to an unusual perk: an employee whose sole job it is to help them adhere to its 'strict' dress code.

The club will be employing a bunny mother to fluff tails, make sure bunny costumes are pressed, and ensure that hair and make-up is flawless. It is also the job of the mother bunny to mentor and advise girls, and answer any questions they have about their job.

A spokesperson for the club said: "It is one of the most important roles in the club. [The mother bunny] is someone that all the other bunnies can look up to and she also makes sure that the club runs really smoothly.

"She will check that the girls have got their outfits on correctly. It is a very standard way of dressing."

Perhaps this unique brand of human capital management is especially important for Playboy, where employees are its assets in more ways than one.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Ukraine's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov, has paid the highest price for a UK residence, buying an apartment in the One Hyde Park development in Knightsbridge.

Land Registry documents show that two properties on the seventh and eighth floor of the luxury development have been bought by a single buyer, the total consideration amounting to £136.4m.

Confirmation of the sale had been expected for some time, with news that a purchaser had paid the huge sum emerging last year. It has been estimated that the buyer would also be spending £60m fitting out the property.

A spokesman for Akhmetov's company, System Capital Management, confirmed the oligarch had invested in the development, which has caused uproar among local residents because of its modern architecture.

Akhmetov, the son of a coal miner, runs SCM, a Ukrainian conglomerate involved in mining, retail, financial services and even football – it owns the club Shakhtar Donetsk.

Estimates of his fortune vary, although most agree he is worth billions of pounds. As the owner of Metinvest, a coal, ore-mining and steel business, his net worth is likely to have soared over the past year on the back of the commodities boom, with Forbes recently estimating his fortune at $16bn (£10bn).

Buyers of flats in One Hyde Park are treated as permanent guests of the Mandarin Oriental, the hotel adjacent to the development. As well as outlining the property bought in each case, each lease document also specifies which area of the development's wine cellar the buyer is entitled to. Akhmetov will be able to store his collection of fine wines in wine storage spaces 16 and 17.

The flat is reported as having an area of 25,000 square feet, meaning the Ukrainian billionaire has spent £5,456 a square foot.

That is less than the absolute peak figures the developers, Nick and Christian Candy, had hoped for – with the highest flats with the best views of Hyde Park expected to go for as much as £6,000 a square foot.

The brothers are unlikely to be too bothered, however. Total sales of about half the flats have reaped £963m, the Candys have indicated, enough to almost pay off the £1.1bn cost of the development.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Peter Andre Pose Music Poster Print - 24x36Peter Andre admits he's a "dirty little rotter" in bed.

The singer - who recently split from Spanish model Elen Rivas after a brief romance - says he is very adventurous when it comes to sex and is confident any woman who sleeps with him won't be disappointed.

He said: "I'm a gentleman, but I'm fiery, too. I'm a hot-blooded male! I'm a sexual man, definitely.

"I'm pure filth. But I'm not a sleaze. I'm a massively passionate person. A dirty little rotter in the bedroom, and a gentleman, too. The whole package, I hope!

"I like to satisfy the other person. I'd rather they be satisfied than me. I'm generous."

Although Peter - who has two children, Junior, five, and three-year-old Princess Tiaamii, with ex-wife Katie Price - enjoys sex, he is careful that his children never see him in bed with a woman.

He told this week's issue of heat magazine: "It's about having fun, but I want to stress that this is only when the kids aren't around. They have never seen me in bed with anyone but their mother, and I feel very strongly about that. Children get confused and they shouldn't see stuff like that.

"When they are with me it's about them having a great time and me being with them, hands on and enjoying every moment. They are the most important thing. My personal life is when they're not around."
San Pellegrino Sparkling Water, 16.9-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 24)Every year, San Pellegrino water sponsors a contest and names the world's best restaurants. It's pretty prestigious.

This year, for the second year in a row, top honors go to an eatery few outside Europe have heard of. No, it's not in a renowned foodie destination such as Paris or the rest of France, or Italy or Spain.

It's Noma, an eatery in Denmark, where you can feast on "New Nordic" cuisine featuring the freshest North Atlantic fish, local berries, vegetables and other produce prepared in creative ways under the supervision of chef Rene Redzepi. Think razor clams with horseradish and buttermilk, with fresh clam juice poured on. Be prepared to spend $300 or more for dinner for two (I peeked in when I visited Copenhagen, appreciated the minimalist-chic decor, but couldn't afford the tab). The restaurant also has two Michelin stars.

Six U.S. restaurants also made the S. Pellegrino "World's 50 Best Restaurants Guide" for 2011, overseen by Restaurants magazine.

They are Alinea in Chicago (6), Manhattan's Per Se (10), Daniel (11), Le Bernardin (18), Eleven Madison Park and the interestingly named Momofuku Ssam Bar(40). Momofuku, by the way, supposedly means "lucky peach" in Japanese,

All these, save for upscale noodle bar Momofuku, are out of reach of the average diner, and I would think some Vegas and West Coast restaurants would make the cut.

If you care to share your favorite U.S. restaurant, belly up to the comments area!
George Benson: Absolutely LivePerforming at the Hotel Puente Romano Tennis Club in Marbella on June 25th 2011, George Benson is quite simply one of the greatest guitarists in Jazz history and he is back in Marbella by popular demand, entertaining us with his greatest hits including Never give up on a good thing, On Broadway, Give me the Night and many more.

At various points along the four-decade continuum of George Benson’s career, he has been heralded as a jazz guitarist of unparalleled talent, a vocalist with great emotional range and sophistication or a combination of both and with 14 Grammy´s in his pocket, another spectacular performance is guaranteed in Marbella.

Location: Hotel Puente Romano Tennis Club, Marbella, Spain

Date: June 25th, 2011

Doors: 8pm

Support: 9pm

George Benson: 10pm
Juan Pedro Domecq, one of Spain’s most important breeders of fighting bulls, has died in a traffic accident which took place in Higuera de la Sierra on Monday morning, when his car crashed head-on into a lorry on the A-433 road close to his Lo Álvaro finca in Sevilla.

The 69 year old inherited from his father the breeding estate which his grandfather, Juan Pedro Domecq y Núñez de Villavicencio had founded in 1939. It became one of the most important in Spain under the control of this great aficionado of bullfighting.

Juan Pedro Domecq never entered the ring as a bullfighter, but until just a few years ago would often try out his skills in the training rings on his estate.

He was also a skilled horseman and the author of the book published in 2010 ‘Del toreo a la bravura’ – ‘From bullfighting to fighting spirit’.
Guinness World Records 2011 (Guinness Book of Records (Mass Market))32 bottles were opened with a sword at the Marbella establishment

Julio Chang, member of Team NR Sabrage Professionnelle, set a new World Record with 32 champagne bottles cracked open with a traditional sabre in one minute at Nermans Restaurant, Nueva Andalucia. The attempt, which has yet to be ratified by Guiness World Records, smashed the sabering record of 27 bottles of champagne opened with sword in one minute. set by Andrew Duminy, at the Bull Run Restaurant in South Africa, on February 14 2010.

A delighted Julio said “I’m so happy to have done it. I wasn’t sure how many bottles that I had opened. I didn’t have time to think about it. It didn’t feel like a minute – it felt like ten seconds”

Joakim Nerman commented “I’m delighted for Julio and the whole team. This attempt has taken two months of planning and I’d like to thank everyone who supported us”

Also present at the attempt where Sandi Davidson, Officer Maitre Sabruer, Confrere du Sabre d’Or and Rosibel Vindel Barrera, actress and fencing master, who also got the ceremony underway. After the record was set Sandi Davidson surprised Julio when she hounoured him by knighting him as a Sabruer.

The act of opening a champagne bottle with a sabre (Sabrage) is an old tradition dating back to Napoleonic days, when French officers would sabre their champagne bottles to celebrate victory.
WATER GIRL SAN PELLEGRINO ITALY ITALIA ITALIAN LARGE VINTAGE POSTER REPROThere are three Spanish restaurants in the San Pellegrino Top Ten list which has just been published in the British ‘Restaurant’ magazine, and which is headed again by the Danish establishment ‘Noma’ run by chef, René Redzepi.

Last year he took over the number one slot from El Bulli, from Ferrán Adrià who was second, but this year El Bulli is no longer listed as it is closed until 2014.

The Spanish restaurants are :-
El Celler de Can Roca, in Girona, run by the Roca brothers, who are second on the list,
Mugaritz, in Renteria, from Andoni Luis Aduriz, who comes in third,
and Arzak, from Juan Mari Arzak which is eighth.

The top ten:-
1. 'Noma' - René Redzepi, Copenhague (Dinamarca)
2. 'El Celler de Can Roca' - Hermanos Roca, Girona (España)
3. 'Mugaritz' - Andoni Luis Adúriz, Rentería (España)
4. 'Osteria Francescana' - Francesco Bottura, Módena (Italia)
5. 'The fat duck' -Heston Blumenthal, Bray (Gran Bretaña)
6. 'Alinea' - Grant Achatz, Chicago (EE UU)
7. 'D.O.M.' - Alex Attala, Sao Paulo (Brasil)
8. 'Arzak' - Juan Mari Arzak, San Sebastián (España)
9. 'Le chateaubriand' - Iñaki Azpitarte, París (Francia)
10. 'Per se' - Thomas Keller, Nueva York (EE UU)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Known as 'Mr Marbella', the former Irish nightclub boss, who has been married for 40 years, has been absent from public life for the past nine months since his close relationship with the teenager came to light.

But speaking this weekend, Mr Boland said he is looking forward to re-launching himself on the airwaves and will not shy away from his outspoken views on "issues that need to be addressed".

"Somebody asked me the other day, will I be more humble after everything that's happened, quieter, less controversial. And my answer was 'absolutely not'.

"I'll be as outspoken as ever about serious issues that need to be addressed. And if people want me to answer their questions, or take a pot shot at me, then they can ring my chat show. I've an open line with no delay so they can ask whatever they want."

He added: "If people want to address the issue, then we'll address it."

The flamboyant presenter will return to Radio Leinster for a two-part special documentary entitled My Story, which will cover his colourful life to date -- from his time in Dublin right up to the aftermath of the scandal surrounding his relationship with a teenage girl.

However, he will not be returning to his long-standing show with Talk Radio Europe on the Costa del Sol, which suddenly terminated his contract when his relationship with the teenager came to light.

"I will be starting a chat show on a different radio station, details of which will be announced in the coming weeks," explained Mr Boland.

Speaking of his dismay at the way in which his former employers handled the controversy, he drew comparisons with the way in which shamed DJ Neil Prendeville was given a second chance by his bosses at Cork 96FM.

"I have to say that the way in which they handled the Neil Prendeville situation was very good," he said. "I know the two situations are very different, but they never commented on the matter and they re-instated him to his old job. I certainly didn't get the same from my side. I'm disappointed with the way it was handled."

Mr Boland was helping the young entertainer prepare to sing in his Marbella talent competition, The Wow Factor, which he set up in aid of a cancer charity, when the inappropriate relationship took place.

Speaking exclusively to the Sunday Independent at the time the scandal broke, Mr Boland admitted he had made a "terrible" mistake.

"I made an error of judgment," he said. "I got involved with someone. I have been married for 40 years next year. I have been in the media and nightclub business for many, many years and I've never had an affair.

"This is the first time it's happened. I made a very bad misjudgment, which is terrible and hurt a lot of people, including my own wife and her family and my children. And all I can say to those people who are hurt -- I am sincerely sorry."

After spending the past nine months rebuilding his relationship with his wife Wendy, Maurice has described this weekend how the controversy had affected his wife of 40 years.

"She's put up with me. It's been very difficult but we've gotten through it because we love each other very much."

He went on: "It's different now. Things happened that shouldn't have happened and just because I'm back on radio soon, I'm not saying that I'm walking around with a smile on my face, thinking 'ha, ha, ha'. Things have been very difficult."

At the time, the news sent shockwaves around those who knew Maurice Boland from his days as a high-profile nightclub owner when he launched the late-night club culture on Dublin's Leeson Street. Later he joined forces with La Stampa owner Louis Murray to launch Barbarella's nightclub.

He later went on to manage Mandy Smith, the 13-year-old 'Lolita' girlfriend of Rolling Stone Bill Wyman. The convent-school girl met Wyman in 1984 and when the romance cooled two years later, she hooked up with Boland, who got her modelling jobs and a record deal for a song titled I Can't Wait. She later dropped Boland and ended up marrying Bill Wyman in 1986.

Mr Boland and his wife Wendy were a glamour couple of Dublin's social set and moved to Marbella, Spain, in the Eighties, where they became part of the ex-pat Irish social scene. Wendy is very well-known among the ladies who lunch and has her own business as a party organiser, mainly for Irish people.

Mr Boland himself is well-connected with the ex-pat Irish community and frequently has guests over from Ireland as well as interviewing a string of famous people, including British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Speaking about the liaison with the young girl, he explained at the time the scandal broke how he had set out to help her build on her musical talents, but their relationship eventually turned into something more.

He said their relationship started off as a working relationship while he helped her with her music career, saying, "It was a very short involvement and it was never planned. Some of these things just happen.

"It came about through circumstance. The wrong time at the wrong place. There's nothing planned about it."

Asked how his working relationship crossed the line, he replied: "I can't answer it. I can't answer because there was no plan. How do these things happen? I don't know.

"It came to light, people found out and that was it," he said.

"There is no rape involved, no illegality involved, so there's nowhere else to go with that."

Drawing on the young girl's age, he said, "The reason that anyone is showing any interest is because of the girl's age, but I've done nothing illegal. She is of legal age. I have done nothing illegal."

"She's 100 per cent over 16. Not that I feel any better. I'm feeling awful about everything. I didn't set out to have a relationship with anyone, or to have it with someone so young. It was just a misjudgment on my behalf."

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The newspaper published a prominent public apology on page two of its print edition today, but the move – which came two days after the parent company issued a similar statement – showed no sign of calming the fury of those affected.

Lawyers for Sienna Miller, one of the most prominent admitted victims – said she had not accepted any offer of a settlement over the "outrageous violation of her privacy".

The Former MP George Galloway, who says he has seen proof that his phone was hacked, dismissed the apology as "a cynical attempt to protect the company's chief executive", Rebekah Brooks.

In its statement the News of the World said the hacking "should should not have happened. It was and remains unacceptable." Speaking of the victims, it said: "Here today, we publicly and unreservedly apologise to all such individuals."

The cabinet minister Danny Alexander described the hacking as "a very serious scandal", adding that the court cases and police investigation "must go forward".

"It's outrageous that people have had their voicemails hacked into, seemingly a large number of people," the chief secretary to the Treasury said on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show.

Alexander repeated previous government statements that the affair would have no bearing on News Corp's attempt to take over BSkyB, an issue he said was "completely separate".

The shadow Welsh secretary, Peter Hain, called for a "full and proper public investigation" and said the police investigation had been "tardy".

The Observer revealed that Rupert Murdoch tried to persuade Gordon Brown as prime minister to get Labour to back off on the affair.

A former minister in Brown's cabinet said there was evidence that Murdoch relayed messages to Brown via a third party, urging him to help take the political heat out of the row, which he felt was in danger of damaging his company.

News International's apology confined direct blame to "a News of the World journalist and a private investigator working for the paper" – the former royal editor Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, both of whom were jailed in 2007.

No mention was made of the arrests last week of its chief reporter, Neville Thurlbeck, and assistant editor Ian Edmondson, who has been sacked.

John Whittingdale, chair of the culture, media and sport select committee, told the Sunday Telegraph that more arrests were like. "I think there'll be more arrests because as I understand it there's more evidence that points at other people being involved," he said.

The News International statement said an unreserved apology, admission of liability, and compensation was being offered "in certain civil cases that meet specific criteria", but that the company would "continue to contest cases what we believe are without merit or where we are not responsible".

The News of the World apology said: "Evidence has recently come to light which supports some of these claims. We have written to relevant individuals to accept liability in these civil cases and to apologise unreservedly, and will do the same to any other individual where evidence shows their claims to be justifiable."

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Long-haul passengers will have to pay £10 more per flight in economy seats while those in business or first class will pay an extra £20.
It means the surcharge will go up from £75 to £85 per economy passenger on a flight which lasts less than nine hours. For a longer flight, the tax will rise from £88 to £98.
Domestic and short-haul flights will not be affected.
The news comes as BA passengers await the dates of a strike by the airline’s cabin crew. The walk-out must take place between April 4 and April 25, with Easter being the most likely time.
BA chief financial officer Nick Swift said: “It’s with real regret that we are having to increase our long-haul fuel surcharge. As customers will know from the price at the petrol pumps, the cost of fuel has continued to rise significantly over the past three months.
Long-haul passengers will have to pay £10 more per flight in economy
“For us, fuel now represents over one third of our costs and particularly affects our long-haul flights.
“We are very aware of the wider economic pressures on our customers at the moment and we will bear the vast majority of the recent fuel price rise ourselves to keep this increase in surcharge to a minimum.”
BA is blaming the increased charge, which will come into effect on Friday, on rising oil prices.
Yesterday the price of oil reached its all-time high against sterling. The highest recorded price was $147 a barrel in 2008. Yesterday the price per barrel stood at $121 but because of the weaker pound it meant that in sterling terms it was at a record high of £74.60. The increased cost of oil has already been passed down to British motorists.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

BenidormA new hotel, the Villa Venecia, with five stars above its door. It is a boutique spa hotel, to boot, with spectacular views out to sea and to the wedge-shaped island that punctuates the Benidorm horizon – La Isla de los Periodistas.

"We opened a year and a half ago," said employee Tito as he took me to the chill-out terrace, gym, massage room and Jacuzzi. "We get a lot of couples wanting to recharge their batteries." The head chef, Victor Conus Cervantes, from Barcelona, is aiming to get a Michelin star within the next couple of years. "That's the way Benidorm is going," said Tito.

As if by way of confirmation, later that day I had lunch with an old friend, Jorge, at Taita (Calle Primavera 8, +34 965 852 148), one of a new generation of high-class restaurants in the town. Others include El Mesón (Calle Gerona 5, +34 965 858 521), and Rias Baixas (Plaza del Torreó 3, +34 965 855 022), known for its excellent seafood.

As we sat on the terrace eating crispy grilled duck breast with dauphinoise potatoes, Jorge told me Benidorm really was changing. "Take this place," he said. "Was there anything like this restaurant when you were last here?"

There wasn't. Nor were there Balinese chill-out lounges, designer boutiques or swanky gin bars like the one I'd seen as I crossed town.

Perhaps even more surprising than the town attempting to clamber upmarket is the assertion that it could become a model for sustainable, mass-market tourism.

"Ah, yes, the Benidorm model – everyone's talking about it," Jorge said. "By building vertically rather than horizontally you get more people in, but you cause less damage to the landscape. Imagine if you had to fit all the millions who come here into low-rise accommodation. It would be a disaster."

I had my doubts. Many would say that Benidorm is already a disaster. But a number of respected architects, including Luis Fernández-Galiano of Madrid's Universidad Politécnica, are claiming that the resort is an example of sustainable urban development. Alfonso Vegara, the former president of the International Society of City and Regional Planners, says Benidorm and Manhattan are both sustainable "intelligent terrains".

Perceptions of Benidorm are changing, and much of the impulse behind this appears to be coming from the town authorities themselves. While the resort still caters principally for families and the elderly, the new administration is keen to attract sophisticated and independent travellers. To this end they're targeting students and the gay market, as well as people interested in adventure and sport (the scuba diving is among the best along the coastline).

As part of this programme, last July saw the first Low Cost Festival (21-23 July 2011,, a three-day music event with more than 40 acts, including bands such as Placebo and Editors. A sister techno festival, Electrobeach (24-27 August 2011,, is held in August.

"Benidorm is adapting to survive," a Town Hall spokesman assured me. "In five years' time we will still be the Med's number-one resort."

• Hotel Villa Venecia (+34 902 165 454, charges from €192 for a room half-board or €155 B&B. Budget airlines fly to Alicante from several UK airports.
Volver Poster Movie Spanish 11x17 Penelope Cruz Carmen Maura Lola Due±asOscar-winning actress Penelope Cruz received a coveted star on Hollywood Boulevard's Walk of Fame on Friday, becoming the first Spanish actress to earn the honor.

Cruz, who won her Oscar for supporting actress playing a fiery artist in Woody Allen's movie "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," called the unveiling of her pink granite star "a very special day that I will always remember.

"Every time I look at that star, I will see the names of all the people that have helped me make many of my dreams a reality," she said at the unveiling attended by a large crowd, including her husband Javier Bardem and friend, Johnny Depp.

Cruz, 36, thanked her parents, siblings, Bardem and their newborn son, "for making me happy every day."

The Spanish beauty made her acting debut on television when she was just a teenager and began her feature film career under the direction of Pedro Almodovar in his 1992 movie "Jamon Jamon," in which she starred opposite Bardem.

She was featured in several Almodovar films before making the move to Hollywood where she has worked movies such as "Blow," "Vanilla Sky" and "Nine." Next up, she stars opposite Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides."


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