Thursday 22 August 2019

The Edge: The art of a great birthday dinner, by Guggi and Steve Mannion

It's party time for Guggi and his wife Sibylle.
It's party time for Guggi and his wife Sibylle.
Captivating Blaise shows that orange is not the only guna
Tatiana celebrated her birthday in style
Yvonne Connolly will judge the style competition.
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

The most common remark made by 50-somethings when they browse an antique store? "I remember these."

I'm not sure what it is when they browse an art gallery. But I digress. Sibylle Ungers organised a "special evening and a dinner" last Friday, the 13th, for her artist husband Guggi's birthday. How do I know this? Because Guggi told me. Friday the 13th? What could possibly go wrong? The Simon Carmody Community bursting into song? Bono falling off his heels and breaking his ego?  Only joking.

Last Tuesday, another internationally acclaimed Irishman celebrated his birthday. Steve Mannion and his esteemed husband Eamon Farrell had an intimate dinner a deux.

"We went for tea to our local, The Vintage in Irishtown," Eamon - who was just off the plane after two weeks with his family in Los Angeles (they are based in La La Land) - told me.

"And before you ask, what I got him for his birthday is a secret!" the legend of dance Eamo laughed. The Vintage? Was Steve trying to impart to his incomparable hubbie some sort of subliminal message that he is a certain vintage? Like Dame Maggie in Downton Abbey? Dame Moggy! I joked to Eamon.

"I am like a fine wine, getting better with age," he retorted with Wildean aplomb, "but if left too long, bitter and acidic!" Cooking sherry - more like. Gulp. Now I really am joking.

What the Blaises! She's single again

Red-blooded males, form an orderly queue now. (Being well brought up, perhaps with a plummy vowelled D4 speaking style and maybe an innate understanding of grand houses with glorious views over Killiney Bay, might also be pluses here for potential suitors. . .)

Yes, Blaise O'Donnell is single, chaps.

The young Irish beauty, formerly of Gorse Hill mansion in Killiney, broke up with her boyfriend late last year (and managed to keep this a secret from your diarist until now, the blinging broad.)

Maybe the break-up was the reason for all that searching for a sea view internationally, in Capri, Sorrento, and Hawaii - something that could have seemed a deep-seated psychological longing to replicate the family home overlooking Killiney that her family lost last year.

Blaise was spotted looking spectacularly gorgeous (not in a cape, or that orange guna) last weekend in Zozimus cocktail bar in Anne's Lane. It can't be long before she's hooked-up again.

As for summer hols, a source so close to Blaise that she can possibly see her put her make-up on in the morning, told me that Blaise has no plans yet; "It definitely won't be the Sorrentine Peninsula, but I'm sure there will be a sea view of some sort!" In the meantime, Blaise had a birthday party at her apartment last weekend with a gang of friends.

When I suggested to my Deep Throat at the Blaise beano that it was perhaps to mark the birthday girl's 30th year, she shot back a look that could have frozen Killiney bay: "29th! She has a year before the dreaded D Day!"

Last Thursday week, the 29-year-old stunner accompanied her father Brian and her VBF Jerry Beades of The New Land League and The Friends Of Banking to the Bank of Ireland AGM in Belfield.

Brian got up to speak and launched the family's latest campaign against Bank of Ireland, supported by Blaise. Mr Beades told your diarist that the one-time caped crusader, Blaise, turned up to support the family's launch of their new fight-back one year on, and that Gorse Hill cannot be sold and has cost Bank of Ireland a small fortune in security to mind.

"They have to be careful in case Blaise and her sibling succeed in their appeals still before the courts," unsuccessful Senate candidate Beades said. He added that Blaise's determination to save "her home and family business is the same as Jackie Lavin's and Bill Cullen's fight against banks, or Twink fighting to save her home, as reported in the media recently."

"Friends of Banking," continued Vincent Browne's favourite row-riser, "is ten years old this year and I'm still not for turning."

Nor, it seems, is Blaise, who at least won't have to worry about catching her heel and falling if she ever was to turn in those mercifully discarded capes. In any event, hopefully she will soon have a beau to catch her if she were to fall.

Baby, let's play house at RDS next weekend. Where else would you be going?

It's the only place to be next weekend: the very first Independent News & Media house at the RDS. Where else would you be going?

Expect nothing less than a spectacular showcase of world-class interiors with the bestest in the business on board, featuring - deep breath - everyone from architect Dermot Bannon, Eva Byrne of houseology, artist Patricia Murphy and Roisin Thompson of Designers Guild.

Come along to house and meet all of the above, and possibly get to hang with various A-list glamourati and the like next weekend. Our own Brendan O'Connor will be MC-ing on the Friday night.

Another RTE superstar, Miriam O'Callaghan, left, will be MC-ing at the LauraLynn Heroes Ball in the Round Room of the Mansion House on May 28th. Alan Hughes, Colette Fitzpatrick et al are expected.

I'm breathless with excitement.

Tatiana enjoys the fare in the city at Patrick Guilbaud's with husband

Sorry - this column is all about birthday parties and celebrating this week. And why not? If I had my way, this column would be all about birthday parties and celebrating every week. Tatiana Ouliankina - the permanently breezy Dublin-based Russian blonde who played Lana in Fair City - wouldn't disagree with this, I'd imagine. She   celebrated her 46th birthday last Friday.

When I bumped into her en route to her birthday bash, and asked her how does she feel to be such an age, she cackled the Tatiana cackle and said: "I am old today! But I feel loved! It didn't hit me yet!" Tatiana said all this in a Russian brogue worthy of Voynitsky in Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. She and her husband John were going to Patrick Guilbaud's swank restaurant on Upper Merrion Street for dinner.

Something got lost in translation, possibly courtesy of Tat's aforesaid strong Russian accent, because I got the impression that her mother, also Tatiana, was babysitting the kids at home in Dublin while they went to Patrick Guilbaud's for a five-star nosh-up. "No! She lives in Moscow! The kids, John and Michael - 16 and 8 - mind themselves! They mind each other! They are having lots of pizza! They prefer when we're gone!"

Niet, as they say in Moscow.

Absolutely fabulous, dahling. Joanna to mark 70th at Curragh

Something's in the heir? It appears so. Tom Magnier of the Magnier dynasty welcomed his fourth child - a baby girl called Rose - to his brood last week. Tom and his ecstatic wife Sophie-Claire live in Coolmore Stud, Australia, with their kids, where doubtless they will be celebrating. And for once it is not because of the success of their horses.

Norah Casey is also in celebratory mood in relation to matters equine. The Killashee Irish Tatler Style Icon competition (in association with Cullen & Co Jewellers for Ladies and Men) takes place on May 22nd at The Curragh."I'm delighted this year that Yvonne Connolly is going to be our celebrity judge," said Norah, publisher of Irish Tatler. "I can't think of anyone who epitomises style more than Yvonne." I can. Grace Kelly? Coco Chanel? Gloria Vanderbilt? Stop me before I turn into some fash mag old nag.

"I'm also delighted that Joanna Lumley will be celebrating her 70th birthday at the Curragh this year, with a race named in her honour," added Norah. "Joanna has style and panache, and is the furthest thing from Patsy Stone you could find." Expect an absolutely fabulous day so.

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