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"It’s quite a change, really," admitted Nicky Haslam, who spent Thursday evening wielding a purple felt-tip pen and signing copies of his latest design book, "Sheer Opulence."
"He’s a national institution, a national treasure," said Tessa Dahl of the host who is interior designer, party reporter and socialite extraordinaire rolled into one.
Among the 800 guests at The General Trading Company in Sloane Square were Lord Frederick Windsor, Zac and Scheherazade Goldsmith, Claus von Bulow, Cozmo Jenks, James Hewitt, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Flora Fraser and Louise and Theo Fennell.
Earlier in the week, Donatella Flick and Anna Zegna hosted a small dinner after Flick’s annual conducting competition final at the Barbican attended by Marie-Chantal of Greece, and Zara Phillips joined a horde of London socialites and horsey types at the Connaught, which was celebrating its newly refurbished, Nina Campbell-ized rooms together with Thomas Pink, who was there to promote the Thomas Pink Gold Cup, a horse-racing event at Cheltenham.