Saturday 20 January 2018

The Diary: Millie leads the fillies for Derby launch

Rozanne Stevens with her new husband Roman
Rozanne Stevens with her new husband Roman
Millie Mackintosh
Sarah Greene
Rory Cowen

Bairbre Power and Kirsty Blake Knox

Who needs Sloane Square when you have Westeros? Quality Street heiress Millie Mackintosh may have shot to fame on Channel 4's not-so-reality TV series Made in Chelsea but these days she's more of a Game of Thrones girl.

"Monday nights are about Jon Snow now, not Spencer Matthews," she said. "I stopped watching MIC when it stopped being my reality, ya know?"

The archetypal Chelsea girl was in town to discuss horses, hard hats and hooray Henrys at the launch of the Dubai Duty Free Derby in the Marker Hotel.

Having just returned from LA where she had been "busy getting to know the vegan scene" Millie spent the day in Dublin trying on high-end dresses and ordering fried chicken from Joe Macken's trendy eatery Crackbird.

"Stephen can't get enough of the buttermilk kebabs," she said referring to her other half Stephen Manderson, aka rapper Professor Green. "I'll have to sneak some back in my handbag for him."

The lobby of the Marker Hotel had been transformed into a gallery for the evening and was full of embellished riding helmets.

Well-known designers and celebrities including Joanne Hynes, DJ Rick O'Shea, Sonya Lennon, rugby player Cian Healy and Umit Kutluck had decorated jockey hats with studs, liquid gold, feathers and hydrangeas.

Leo Cullen's wife Dairine Kennedy's headpiece attracted a lot of attention; covered in pearls with a turquoise pegasus rising from the crown. Not very practical but a joy to look at.

Model Holly Carpenter arrived arm in arm with her other half Healy and chatted about their upcoming holiday. "I can't wait to top up my tan," she said.

Cian made a beeline towards his teammates Rob and Dave Kearney, who were discussing the opening night of their new Ballsbridge bar. "Everyone's invited," Rob said. "We'll be good to go in seven weeks."

Meanwhile, former 2fm presenter Hector O Heochagáin was darting between trays of canapés. The gaelgoir will be in charge of the tunes played over the course of the three-day derby.

"I want people rocking out on the Curragh till 12 o'clock," he said. The energetic TV star also discussed a future TV project with Sky and promised a return to the airwaves.

Before the night was up Millie gave the ladies some solid style advice for the stands. "Don't go above the knee – you're not in a nightclub, the aim is to lay down bets and look like a lady."

Well said.


Mrs Brown's boy back in the mix for cocktails

There's nothing like a stiff drink to shake off some serious jet lag. At least that's according to Mrs Brown's Boys star Rory Cowen, who flew back from Australia this week.

Rory (below) has just completed a breakneck-speed tour of Oz with Brendan O'Carroll and enjoyed a tipple at the launch of Fade Street Social's new cocktail menu. "It was exhausting but brilliant," he said sipping a 'Rhubarb Tart'. "We were playing to hundreds of thousands of people. We felt like rock stars."

Next month, Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie will hit theatre screens, but Rory says he has no idea what's in store. "Brendan won't let any of us take a look until it's perfect. All I know is I spent an awful lot of time running around in a mankini."

There were plenty of dolled-up dames looking the cat's pyjamas at the soirée. Caroline Downey and Liam Cunningham sampled the tasty tapas while broadcaster Norah Casey and her firefighting boyfriend also made a brief appearance.

It was a double celebration for owner Dylan McGrath with the latest series of Masterchef drawing to a close.

"It'll be a late one," he said with a glint in his eye. "A very, very late one."


Greene shines on red carpet

Attending famed fashion fete the Met Gala is no easy gig; the sartorial stakes are high, the fashion pack are out in force and everyone is dripping in couture.

But Cork actress Sarah Greene more than held her own when she sauntered up the red carpet at NY's Metropolitan Museum alongside the likes of Beyoncé, Sarah Jessica Parker, Anna Wintour and Giselle.

Greene, who is starring as 'slippy' Helen McCormack in the Broadway production of The Cripple of Inishmaan, went for a Thakoon lilac number and jewellery by Wilfredo Rosado – one of Andy Warhol's former protégés. This year's theme was inspired by 20th-century British-born, American-based couturier Charles James.

"It was such a surreal and stylish night," Greene said. "And one I won't forget in a hurry." The evening ended with Daphne Guinness and pals dancing around the floor to the 'Cinco de Mayo' with maracas in hand.

This red carpet lifestyle is something Greene will have to get used to. The Tonys take place on June 8 and Greene is up for a Best Actress gong. Queen Bey may not be attending that one – but there will still be plenty of drama.


Wedding bells for Rozanne

Top TV cook and author, Rozanne Stevens, took the tight-knit Irish culinary circle by total surprise this week when she ran off and eloped.Rozanne headed for Gretna Green, in Scotland, and tied the knot at noon last Monday with her handsome Spanish beau, Roman.

"Yes, it was very romantic and I'm now Signora San Segundo," beamed the bride, back in Dublin after a mini moon.

"People have been eloping to Gretna Green for over 300 years and we got married in the original blacksmith's shop, literally 'over the anvil'," said the South African-born chef who moved to Ireland in 1999 and has since been teaching Irish palates to be more adventurous.

"It's been a real whirlwind romance. We met in Dublin last December at a Spanish food and wine event and Roman, who is an engineer with the Kerry Group, proposed to me on March 23. "I decided in my early twenties that I wanted to elope when I met my Prince Charming. As much as I am in the public eye and I'm very open about most aspects of my life, getting married to me is a very special, private ritual between two people. I wanted to savour that moment in a cocoon with Roman and not have to think about anyone or anything else."

Rozanne bought her long, 1920s-style full-length gown at Brown Thomas, with help from personal shopper, Michelle Curtin. She wore strappy Jimmy Choo sandals and her blonde hair down, tied back at the sides with vintage hair combs.

The handsome groom wore a kilt in the Royal Stewart tartan.

"I've bought a few metres of it to make something for the first born," said Rozanne, who will be very familiar to TV viewers for her work on RTÉ and TV3 and on Pat Kenny's radio show every Friday for years.

"We broke the news to our families a month ago and they were so happy for us. My mom was a bit sad that she didn't get to give me a big send off, but she knows her daughter is very unconventional," said Rozanne.

In typical, independent fashion, she's off to Beijing where she is a finalist in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for her glossy, self-published bestseller which chronicles cooking styles around the world.

"Yes, I know, it's odd to be dashing off on my own after just getting married, but Roman is meeting me in Beijing and we are going to Malaysia together. We both love travelling, so visiting three different countries within the space of two months sets the tone for our life together.

"I did my own wedding make- up because, in a previous life, I worked as a make-up artist. Our hotel was right next to the blacksmiths' forge and I was piped in. When Roman saw me for the first time, he started crying. That was a very special moment for me as I knew for sure how I made him feel.

"Gretna Green is a very special place with wonderful people who helped us create our dream day. Now I'm packing for my trip to Beijing. I will be wearing my wedding dress at the black tie awards ceremony and hoping it brings me luck."

– BP

Glossybox keeps shining thanks to dynamic duo

Two hours!!! You might have heard my high-pitched shriek after I discovered, over dinner at the Cliff Townhouse on Wednesday, that it takes up to two hours to achieve Kim Kardashian's contoured cheekbones.

My oracle was Glossybox's beauty expert, Amanda Harrington. The blonde bombshell has incredible skill at contouring and shading the body by blending creams and tans with an array of buffing brushes and we dined together before she heads off to the Cannes Film festival next Friday to look after the facial and body needs of the A-list celebrities.

The glamorous host of the night, Rachel Kavanagh, is MD of Glossybox in Ireland and the UK and the dynamic Dubliner has trebled business here since last July.

A busy working mum, Rachel lives in Fulham with her husband, Shane, and toddler son, Rhys.

RTÉ viewers will remember her as the sassy Lauren McAleer in Fair City, whereas I remember her as actor John Kavanagh's youngest daughter from down the road.

Her mum, Anne, often joked that at TCD, Rachel could have written a thesis on false tans, such was her interest in the topic, but she proved her mettle by launching her own Rockstar Tan and then selling it on.

Rachel hosted a chic dinner party and PR Tara O'Connor oversaw all the fine details including bangles from cool jewellery range, Stella & Dot. The table was decorated with domes of pink hydrangeas and peonies from Appassionata Flowers.

We previewed the May Glossybox, which will arrive next Friday with a major exclusive – but sorry, I'm sworn to secrecy.

– BP

Celebrations galore for model Nadia

There was nothing La La Land or Hollywood-ish about Nadia Forde's 25th birthday. The Dublin model chose to mark her quarter-century with an intimate party at House on Leeson Street.

However, it ended up turning into a night of multiple celebrations – the release of her EP, her TV3 series and the fact that she made the FHM top 100, with her feature in the June issue.

"The last couple of months have been really exciting for me and it's lovely to be home with family and friends," said Nadia (right).

First to arrive at House was her beloved Nana, and Nadia, who wore a sequined dress from Zara was joined by fellow models Yomiko, Lynn Kelly and Sarah Morrissey, who is putting the finishing touches to her summer wedding.

Nadia's manager, Jason Haigh-Ellery, flew in from London and rugby player Peter Stringer and his girlfriend Debbie O'Leary flew in from Bath. Debbie and Nadia became friendly when Nadia was dating Leinster star Luke Fitzgerald and the couples met in Dubai.

Peter and Debbie are in countdown to their holiday which will see them taking in LA before hitting the Caribbean for a well-earned rest after a busy rugby season.

Joanne Byrne supplied the birthday cake from The Natural Bakery which was truly yummy and yes, models do eat cake, and seconds at that!

– BP

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