Metropolitan Hotel, Park Lane, LondonThis one is from a loooong time ago, before the road and during my first year in London (1997) when I was lucky enough to secure a job at the then super-chic Metropolitan hotel where the male employees wore Armani and the girls wore Donna Karan.  The in-house bar was the infamous members only Met Bar where all the A-listers went and you couldn’t get a membership unless you were in one of the 4 M’s… movies, media, modelling or music.  The in-house restaurant was Nobu (one third owned by Robert DeNiro) and man, was it busy!  Regulars included Tom and Nicole, Elle MacPherson etc.  It is the only restaurant I have ever been to or worked in that has commis waiters that are not allowed to take orders or make recommendations until they knew the menu inside out.  Then and only then they were given a different uniform and could take on the full duties of a waiter.  And, I have to say, it works!  The times I was lucky enough to dine there, the service was impeccable, the knowledge of the complex and extensive menu quite something else and of course, the food was to DIE FOR!

As a member of the Guest Relations Team at the Metropolitan, it was part of my job to see high profile people to their rooms, be present during press junkets to make sure the ‘celebrity’ got everything they needed and generally be on the call to make things happen and fix problems.  (Finding and relocating designer clothes returned by Demi Moore  (a WHOLE other story) that accidentally got picked up by a bike courier and taken instead to Chanel was one particularly nightmarish event!)

We had Leonardo DiCaprio staying with us for the Royal Premiere of Titanic and he had brought his friend Tobey Maguire with him.  These were the days that he was not yet considered high profile enough to get given the exquisite penthouse to stay in.  As there were paparazzi camped out at the front of the hotel, I was called to take them down in the service elevator and out the loading dock to a waiting car so that they could leave the building in peace to go shopping.  The service elevator was not large and we also had a security detail with us.  In the lift, Leonardo asked if I had ever been cigar shopping and I said ‘ahhhh, no’ thinking what a strange question it was.  Well, they were off to Davidoff to go cigar shopping and apparently cigar shopping is very sexy, especially for women!  If you say so Leonardo.  They had quite a time of it themselves…. some few hundred pounds later they returned to the hotel very satisfied with their acquisitions.

I had a few encounters with Leonardo, his mother and grandmother, who were also staying with us, during his time at the hotel, all worthy of mention, and will follow in good time.  Might I say though they were terrific people, humble, polite and super easy to deal with.




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