A night in the bi-level penthouse of the Dorchester hotel, London.

A post like this deserved nothing much more than pictures. The entire hotel is nothing short of extra-ordinary, up-market and opulent.

Thanks to my great friend Eileen 'Red' Bond,  who had a few of her pals over for drinks while we watched the Olymoics including some swimming finaks, and a mighty killer view from the Mayfair hotel landmark, it was a perfect end-of-day tonic. with gin thrown in for good measure. . . .

The 2-level penthouse, which Red happened to acquire for a few day stay, used to be home to the Sultan of Brunei: he lived upstairs, the 'staff' downstairs. A touch of Downton Abbey, really.

The Dorchester is owned by the Dorchester Collection, which in turned is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency (BIA), an arm of the Ministry of Finance of Brunei. The Dorchester Collection owns luxury hotels in the United Kingdom, the United States, France, and Italy.

Funny fact from wiki: The Dorchester is mentioned in an episode of Fawlty Towers when a guest asks about the new chef Terry (played by Brian Hall). Sybil answers: "He used to work at Dorchester", which leads the guest to expectingly think he worked at The Dorchester. Sybil then gives the precision "No, in Dorchester".

The hotel was also featured in X Factor, in 2006, as the location for Sharon Osbourne's bootcamp stage of the competition.

Thanks Red. Always a great night with you. . . . . Now, back to reality.



Fun Mediaweek podcast: Molly, Charlotte Dawson, Brian Walsh & me, en route home from Olympics opening ceremony

Helloooo from London!

Driving back from the Opening Ceremony in the early hours of this morning and a quad of us were on a post-event high . . .

So, what great timing it was that Mediaweek editor and publisher James Manning and Triple M radio guru, Brendan Wood, grabbed us on the phone as we motored back to the hotel, to record one of their always great podcasts.

There was Director of TV at Foxtel; Brian Walsh (pictured) music guru, Ian 'Molly' Meldrum (below) Australia's Next Top Model, Charlotte Dawson (left and below).

Oh, and me, as the entertainment editor-at-large at www.news.com.au giving our take on the whole Opening ceremony palaver . . . .

Take a listen. Molly is in absolute fine form! Get to the part where there is an unfortunate bathroom 'accident', but nowhere near as dramatic as the amazing recovery he has made since his near-fatal accident at the end of last year. He really is an extra-ordinary man . .  .

You'll hear a little bit about a wee slipping-in-the shower accident I had here too the first day I was here,  but with Nurse Dawson and Doctor Walsh in the Athaneaum house . . . you couldn't have asked for better medical assistance. Enjoy!

Listen Here


Whatever happened to a backpack, sleeping bag and pay-phone? All this travel technology actually sucks

What is it always about long-haul flights that make me cry?

And more stupidly, what is it about all my assembled technology that it seems to be the most important part of my packing dilemma?

Forget the right frocks, shoes, travel-friendly clothes and event-appropriate attire, it’s all about making sure I have packed every damn bit of technology, including a zillion leads, downloading implements and cords. Gawd. More stressful than remembering to pack the Normisons.
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Ever wondered what a 1st class, pointy end of the plane flight is really like?

Before you get all ‘isn’t she a smarty pants’, I have an admission. I recently flew first class. To London.

Never fear, I bought the business class ticket but through some kind of divine Easter weekend intervention, the Etihad upgrade rabbit whooshed me right up the front on the two legs; the first to Abu Dhabi and the next to London.

Ok, with disclosure made, here’s what happened.
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Collette Dinnigan creates for qualia

Following on from her recent, Paris show (her 30-something effort as part of the official pret-a-porter calander) and from dressing Australian Oscar nominee, Jackie Weaver, leading fashion name Collette Dinnigan has turned her talent to... towels.

And, as the Queensland resort, qualia, is one of her favored hang-out’s, the designer has created a limited edition beach and pool towel for the luxurious and highly desired vacation spot.
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