24 hour celebrity whirlwind

Move over Rihanna and Simon Cowell, Barbados celeb spotting is all about Russ Abbott!

We’d seen Russ a couple of years ago when we went to Lone Star for lunch. Lone Star is the place to be seen and a popular celeb hang out. It’s pleasant enough, although it can get a bit hot and stuffy at lunchtime and the food was ok but nothing special. My partner and I are not ‘seen to be seen’ venue people, we like good food in comfortable surroundings. We like anything from a rough and ready shack where you get served great food by local colourful characters or a more elegant restaurant with fantastic service and a menu that makes your mouth water. Lone Star just didn’t do it for us. Having said all this it seems a strange choice to go to a charity ball, filled with 500 of the islands wealthiest socialites with an auction hosted by Russ Abbott and where Cliff Richard gets up and sings an impromptu set. Nevertheless, that’s what we did last night and we had a fantastic time.

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The marquee was decorated beautifully, the service was great and the drink flowed steadily all evening. After some introductions from the charity organisers Russ got up and told a vast repertoire of dad jokes, which went down a storm due to the average age being 65. Then it was time for the auction. A new car went for £88000, dinner for 6 people at Cliff Richard’s house went for £12000 and a Janice Sylvia Brock painting sold for £14000 but then the winning bidder told them to give the painting to the second highest bidder for £13000 and he’d donate his £14000 to the charity any way. Now that the money making portion of the evening was complete, it was time for Sir Cliff to get up and sing. I was hugely disappointed that he didn’t burst into ‘Mistletoe and Wine’ but I guess that wouldn’t have been received well in February. Instead I had to make do with ‘Living Doll’ and ‘Summer Holiday’. After Cliff had finished, the band struck up and I was straight on the dance floor busting my moves. The band were absolutely brilliant and everyone had so much fun, even Russ and Cliff got up to throw some shapes.

The nice thing for celebrities at these types of functions is that people don’t annoy them by going up and asking for photos. For most of the people there, mixing in these circles is the norm. For me, on the other hand, this was not the norm and I was totally shameless in getting some pics! I got my snap with Russ just after I arrived and he was so lovely and polite. I didn’t get a chance for a pic with Cliff until after we’d been having a boogie. He was very gracious, if a little tipsy by this point and dutifully stood there while I got my mum to take 2 photos. It’s always got to be 2 as I seem to have my eyes closed in approximately 50% of all photos I take. My brother has his closed in about 90% of his photos so I think it must be a hereditary thing.

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Today we went out for lunch with my parents friends, Peter and Sylvia who live next door but one. Peter is Peter Sissons, who I remember reading the news when I was growing up. As you can imagine it was a little surreal popping round to their apartment for pre-lunch drinks but also completely normal at the same time as I’d heard my parents relay stories about their various lunches, dinners and drinks together over the years. We went to Coral Reef which is probably one of my favourite ‘posh’ places that we’ve been to on the island. Sunday is a buffet lunch there so after 2.5 years of Dubai brunches, I’ve had the perfect training for these situations. Pace yourself, work out your food strategy before putting anything on your plate and choose items that go well together rather than ending up with Pad Thai and a side of roast potatoes. And always save room for pudding.

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The atmosphere is relaxed, with steel pans playing in the background and a stunning view over the sea. The staff are so polite and attentive, I even got straw advice when the waiter brought my coke over! We had such a lovely time and didn’t even realise that we were the last to leave.

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