Thursday 22 February 2018

The Edge: Clayton's ultra-swish birthday bash at home

Swish bash: Adam Clayton and his wife Mariana
Swish bash: Adam Clayton and his wife Mariana
Glamour trip: Millie Mackintosh was in Morocco
On the mend: Fionnuala Sherry who broke both her arms
'Transition year’: That’s what Norah Casey says she is in
Pastures new: Laura Nolan
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

You know you're getting old when the candles cost more than the cake, I always say.

And there was a time when Adam Clayton - one-time Naomi Campbell-squiring Byronic bass-player in U2 - would have had a birthday cake that he probably wouldn't have been able to get fire insurance for.

But that day is long since past.

So to mark his 55th birthday, the 20-year sober rock star and his South American art director wife Mariana had a lunch at his mansion in Rathfarnham Dublin two weeks ago.

I would have told you sooner, but I didn't want to give away the Deep Throat who told me.

Adam's low-key-but-very-cool birthday was actually on the 13th but he held it on the 14th instead (Adam's beano coincided with the Ireland v Wales rugby match as one guest joked).

Those who pitched up at the lunch to help Adam celebrate his big day included Bono and Ali Hewson, Larry Mullen and Ann Acheson, Gavin Friday (just back from playing the Adelaide Festival in Australia) and Guggi, the Simon Carmody Community and various members of The Stankards - a latter-day version of U2's Lipton Village community which includes close friends of the band's extended family.

And I'm not calling it a cult with Bono as the secular godhead!

I'm reliably informed that Mariana, whom Adam married in Dublin in September, 2013, handled the food for the late afternoon luncheon in this exclusive enclave of south Dublin suburbia.

I didn't get a chance to ask my source at the party whether Adam, who is a whizz in the studio on the 4 strings for U2, is also a whizz in the kitchen.

After the late lunch in Rathfarnham, Bono and a gang continued the party at the en vogue rooftop restaurant Sophie's in the Dean Hotel, owned by Paddy McKillen Junior, on Harcourt Street.

Regrettably, don't expect to see too much of Bono and the boys, to say nothing of The Simon Carmody Community - whatever about the Stankards - any time soon in Dublin.

With U2's world-tour kicking off in Vancouver on May 14, the band have already decamped to their various bling bolt-holes in North America to prepare for the tour that could be crucial for the band's future.

Road To Morocco for Stephanie and Millie

Trust the Telegraph to try to tell us about our own country. When Ross Desmond and gorgeous Stephanie Smart got engaged in late 2013, Conrad Black’s former organ noted: “It’s going to be Ireland’s wedding of the year.” And last weekend the run-up to the big day began in earnest — in Morocco. . .

Stephanie,  the graceful fiancee of Ross, held her achingly hip hen party in Marrakesh last weekend. Not surprisingly a host of glamorous gals attended, including Made In Chelsea star Millie Mackintosh.

The trip to northwest Africa also included  camels and dining out in fabulous restaurants under the stars.  Brunette beauty Stephanie  is a towering titan of PR in London, where she lives with Ross. So she knows a thing or two about organising swish events.

Another stunner of renown, former Miss World Rosanna Davison was in House on Leeson Street last weekend.

She was joined by five of her  girlfriends in The Library, where they sipped on vodkas and tonics before retiring to the Red Room, where they danced the night away.

Plus ca change, Rosie.

Fionnuala sweet on Côte d’Azur

It’s all  going more sweetly for Sherry. Eurovision Song Contest winner — and one-half of Secret Garden with Rolf Lovland — Fionnuala Sherry appears to be on the mend after breaking both her arms on February 2 in Dublin.  She was out walking with her dog Yogi on Shelbourne Road when she slipped — and nearly ended her career. 

I met fab Fionnuala in Pat Henry’s Gym on Pembroke Street Lower on Monday morning, where she had just been put through her pretty paces  by Mr Henry himself.

She and her debonair husband Bernard Doyle — he owns The BrookLodge & Wells Spa in County Wicklow, among other investments — are jetting to the South of France in May for a much-needed holiday  

The beautiful blonde violinist and vocalist has a place in a village called Mougins, which is, she told me, “10 minutes drive from Cannes.

“It has great restaurants,” she said getting all Travel Show-y. “My favourite are L’Amandier De Mougins and La Cave. In Cannes the atmosphere and people-watching is hard to beat. Carlton Beach restaurant and Plage du Vegaluna  on Boulevard de la Croisette for inside dining.”

All this sunning herself and general chillax-ing in the Côte d’Azur will go a long way towards Fionnuala being relaxed ahead of her big operation in Dublin in the summer. All of which is crucial because in August  Fionnuala will be playing her band Secret Garden’s 20th anniversary  show in Kristiansand in southern Norway  — which was postponed from May because of her bad break in Dublin. 

Lets hope Fionnuala starts getting all the good breaks from here on in.

Norah asked out but she’s staying single

Easter Risings? I might use this column today to dampen the ardour of Norah Casey’s potential romantic suitors. . .

After breaking up with her fire-fighter beau Peter Allen last October, the broadcaster is, she tells me, in no rush to hold a torch for somebody new just yet.

It is not for the want of offers, however.  The entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den mentor told your diarist that she has been asked out since her split last year. 

“Yes,” she told me, “I get some interest from men when I am out and about with my girlfriends but they’re never sure if they should be pitching their business idea to me or asking me on a date, and usually my response is — ‘I’m Out’. I’m never sure I’d get a return on my investment either way,” she laughed.

  “So in response to your question about if I am dating again  —  the only man in my life is a tall dark handsome 16-year-old . . .”

“Dara,” Norah  said in reference to her son, “is in transition year.

 “And so am I!” she hooted. “I’m learning to love being with myself at the moment instead of being the busiest woman in Ireland.”

For next week’s Irish Tatler business magazine —  the cover of which Norah appears on, photographed by her friend Barry McCall —  she features 1800 influential  women,  she said.

In any event, Norah is currently enjoying the Easter Weekend break in Lough Rynn Castle, the swish establishment on the shores of Lough Rynn in County Leitrim with her son Dara, and other family.

“My brother has a house on the grounds. His daughter has just returned to Ireland from Canada. So he and my siblings are all coming. Dara and I are going to stay in the hotel.  It is a big family reunion.”

The anniversary of her dad’s passing was last week.  “So we associate  his  passing with Easter. We always try to be together.”

Sallyanne’s stay at Ritz Carlton in New York

The world didn’t fall off its axis with the shock when Gerald Kean and Lisa Murphy split up in late January. Although I did take to the bed for a week.

The solicitor is jetting to the Algarve  next week for a break — not for a weekend but for a long weekend.

He will stay at  Monte Da Quinta in Quinta do Lago with his teenage daughter Kirsten and some chums — none of which, sadly, is Ms Murphy.

Your diarist met Mr Kean in Residence for lunch last week.

 I put to him the burning question: has the romantic flame between him and Lisa been forever extinguished? “Certainly not forever out,” he answered, almost Sphinx-like. Is there a chance of a reconciliation?  “Always possible. We remain very close.”

For the moment, then, the flag at Drayton

Manor is at half-mast awaiting, however fancifully, the return of Lady Murphy.

Not so fancifully, Sallyanne Clarke has just returned from an ab fab sojourn in New York.  The lovely co-owner of L’Ecrivain stayed at the Ritz Carlton overlooking Central Park and went to a 25th wedding anniversary party with her cousins. 

Sallyanne is entitled to some r’n’r as she works hard enough.

Last Wednesday night she and husband Derry’s Michelin-starred restaurant on Lower Baggot Street played  host to Anna Nolan and Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh, who were at one table, and Norah Casey and her mother Mags, who were at another.

They all joined up, complete with Hostess with the Mostest, Sallyanne.

Frock! Horror! Laura moves on from Fran&Jane

Tissues please. I might have a weep. The woman who dresses Miriam O’Callaghan, Mary Mitchell O’Connor et al is moving on to fashion pastures new. The incomparable Laura Nolan, creative director of Fran & Jane for the last 10 years,  told this column exclusively that “we have stopped manufacturing the Fran & Jane label” adding that the retail side of the business remains open, despite some store closures. “I have no involvement anymore but they have three stores still open Blackrock, Cork and Clonmel.

“Mum and Jane run these,” lovely Laura said referring to her mother Fran Nolan and Jane Baker.

The exciting new project Laura has up her designer sleeve is, she tells me, that she has set up a new company called LNH Image International with her good self as a personal and corporate image consultant.

“So basically the bottom line is I understand what it’s like to be working full-time, running a business, keeping a home, being a mum, being a wife and at the same time looking stylish,  keeping everything as perfect as possible and trying to please everyone! It’s tough! But I’m a perfectionist.

“So I figured why not help others and make a business out of it? Now I have a bit more time on my hands as I’m not running Fran & Jane, and I figured I have one more chance as I’m still young and life is too short, so I’m going to do what I love. I love being Mary Poppins! So if you need a wardrobe detox or if you want to be dressed in the latest trends but don’t have time, or want to host a fab party and again don’t have time, even if you want to redecorate a room — don’t worry, I’ll do it!!”

So now you know.

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