Never mind the check. Because London, especially now, is one of the most expensive cities in the world, where it seems that even when you inhale and exhale it costs money.
But that doesn’t mean the parties have stopped. TV’s Deborah Norville and her husband, financier Karl Wellner, and Lisa Papamarkou Jowell and Keith Jowell gave one of the best dinner parties of the season at Harry’s Bar to commemorate the 28th Olympic Games in Athens. And it didn’t hurt that King Constantine of Greece and his beautiful and charming queen, Anne-Marie, were there. And it certainly didn’t hurt — especially not for the women — that their handsome son, Prince Nicholas, was there, too. And it was the best of all nights for the Greeks, because Greece had just defeated Portugal in the European Cup soccer final and soccer mania has enveloped London. King Constantine made a rejoicing speech, and Anne-Marie couldn’t stop clapping her hands. And Nicholas, who had been glued to the TV, kept running through the room announcing the score and waving a miniature Greek flag.
The guests came from all over. Listening to the orchestra playing tunes à la Greque were such as Betsy Bloomingdale; Denise Hale; Marion Jorgensen and Erlenne Sprague from California; Lynn Wyatt and Becca Thrash from Texas; Joanne and Roberto de Guardiola; Blaine and Robert Trump; new ambassador to Finland Earle Mack and his wife, Carol; the newly engaged Hilary Geary and steel tycoon Wilbur Ross (she has a 10-carat diamond ring to prove it); Evelyn and Leonard Lauder and Peggy Noonan, all from New York; Robert Higdon and Mary and Mandell Oursman from Washington; Pauline Pitt and Tom Quick came from Palm Beach; Lily Safra came from her fabulous London townhouse, and Liz and Peter Ward came from their lovely house in the English countryside. Among the happy Greek guests were such Goulandrises as Nicky, Basil and Mr. and Mrs. George Goulandris, the John Georges, Loula Chandris and others too splendidly Hellenic to mention.