Londoner’s Diary: Chelsea Lodge party leaves a very nasty taste

·2-min read
Chelsea Lodge  (Chelsea Lodge)
Chelsea Lodge (Chelsea Lodge)

Society hangout Chelsea Lodge is beloved by Sloane Rangers for its bottomless brunches. But one party has cast a shadow over the venue.

In March, a brunch attended by more than 90 guests was cut short when four women fell ill. Some said they thought they had been spiked. A police investigation found insufficient evidence of spiking but one girl who got sick was found to be 17 at the time.

The manager on the day was sacked, and police told the bar to use an ID scanner on the door. Now the Licensing Authority has recommended stricter conditions, asking the bar to stop stand-up drinking and only serve alcohol with food during daytime hours. A local told us “London needs pubs and clubs but they need to be in control.”

Keir Starmer’s fundraising woes

Keir Starmer (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)
Keir Starmer (Kirsty O’Connor/PA) (PA Wire)

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has told colleagues to stop fundraising for their own offices. But why does it get his goat? Possibly because of who the money comes from. Wes Streeting, who got more than £100,000 in the past year, counts Sir Trevor Chinn and Lord Waheed Ali among his backers. The pair have given £10,000 each towards “staffing costs” in his office. Both backed Starmer when he ran for leader in 2020. Does he fear they’re betting on another horse?

Keith Allen’s new musical

Keith Allen (Dave Benett/WireImage)
Keith Allen (Dave Benett/WireImage)

Keith Allen’s latest foray into musical theatre is not totally detached from his old life as a hell-raiser in Nineties London. Rehab follows a young musician in 1999 who “has to transform from cherub to devil”, Allen tells us. When The Londoner asked if this was inspired by his old friend Alex James, the Blur bassist turned cheesemaker, Allen was emphatic: “Alex was never a cherub!” He adds: “I know lots of cheesemakers and believe me, they’re very devil-like.”

Daisy Waugh becomes a yogi

What would grumpy Brideshead Revisited author Evelyn Waugh make of granddaughter Daisy’s latest career move? Also a novelist, she has now qualified as a yoga teacher. “Yoga’s not aerobics, it’s a way of seeing the world,” she tells The Spectator in an article.

The stars are out for Banksy

Londoner’s Diary 26th August

Nathalia Campos at Red Eight Gallery on August 25, 2022 in London, England.: Mica Paris (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Nathalia Campos at Red Eight Gallery on August 25, 2022 in London, England.: Mica Paris (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Nathalia Campos at Red Eight Gallery on August 25, 2022 in London, England.: Nathalia Campos (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Nathalia Campos at Red Eight Gallery on August 25, 2022 in London, England.: Nathalia Campos (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
J Rick at Red Eight Gallery on August 25, 2022 in London, England.: J Rick (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
J Rick at Red Eight Gallery on August 25, 2022 in London, England.: J Rick (Dave Benett/Getty Images)
Dominic Cooper at All Points East Festival at Victoria Park on August 25, 2022 in London, England.: Dominic Cooper ( (Photo Joe Quigg/Ray-Ban via Getty Images))
Dominic Cooper at All Points East Festival at Victoria Park on August 25, 2022 in London, England.: Dominic Cooper ( (Photo Joe Quigg/Ray-Ban via Getty Images))
David Johnson at All Points East Festival at Victoria Park on August 25, 2022 in London, England.: David Jonsson (Ray-Ban via Getty Images)
David Johnson at All Points East Festival at Victoria Park on August 25, 2022 in London, England.: David Jonsson (Ray-Ban via Getty Images)

In the Square Mile, the Red Eight Gallery launched its Banking on Banksy exhibition, which showcases the elusive artist’s most famous prints, including Girl with Balloon and Happy Choppers. Admiring the prints were singer Mica Paris, photographer Diana Gomez together with Love Island reject Nathalia Campos and musician J Rick. Across town, actors Dominic Cooper and David Jonsson appeared at All Points East festival.