Tyne O’Connell St James Hotel and Club with CNN Style filming Eccentrics – In this glamorous grand red brick hotel tucked behind the Ritz Hotel, my father once drank Martinis with Ian Fleming when Ian Fleming lived here typing his 007 James Bond mysteries. Back then it was a block of flats – now it is the reassuringly discreet and chic St James Hotel and Club with London’s best gin bar a mixture of comfort and splendour, where I once lost a 5ct diamond in a scene of such hilarity and terror it really should be featured in one of my books.
But then such antics are the norm not the exception in Mayfair and St James’s which is why it’s been home to eccentrics from Margaret Cavendish, Oscar Wilde Nancy Mitford, Lord Byron, Countess Ada Lovelace (or as her father Lord Byron called her Princess Parallelogram) …for Mayfair was designed by the words first woman architect – Lady Elizabeth Wilbraham – under commission from King Charles II as a home for Eccentrics and to this day Mayfair remains a unique home to the world’s eccentrics. We feel safe here. Unlike Soho where Quentin Crisp was regularly the victim of attacks, he told me he felt quite safe to wander Mayfair….reassured that his most eccentric behaviour or sartorial flourish would raise many an eyebrow. It’s why I’ve spent my life here and raised my three children and two husbands here. Why I’m proud to call Mayfair home – it’s where my heart always has, and always will be. xxx