I forayed into the festive season by attending the Muscle Help Foundation’s charity fund raiser, hosted by TV
presenter Lorraine Kelly at the Royal Automobile Club in London Pall Mall. Dating expert Hayley Felton introduced
me to Michael McGrath, who set up the foundation and is the only disabled person to have reached both North and
The event was in aid of Muscle Dreams , amazing experiences designed to help children and young
people in the UK whose lives are afflicted by the muscle-wasting disease, Muscular Dystrophy – the opportunity to
live a dream, or fulfil a cherished ambition.
Lorraine looked gorgeous in a black dress by Dolce Gabbana and red shoes from Betsey Johnson. She swears by
Body Shop’s elderflower eye gel and is a fan of MAC make up. The auction had raised L15,000 for the cause,
making the event successful.
As my event organiser Ray Clark was organising Socialite Evenings by Emmanuel Ray, my monthly social
gathering, I decided to relax and unwind. As I lay there breathing deeply, Simran examines my skin and gets to
work. She is based at the Nickel Spa for men in Covent Garden and treats me to the Silicon Valley Anti ageing
Facial, which feels luxurious. I noticed a difference in my skin’s texture, within the next few days. The facial followed
by a head and shoulders massage is a treat for every man who wants to both look and feel his best.
La Brasserie Mayfair was fully packed. Anna Maria who manages this elegant venue took measures to ensure my
event progressed smoothly. Fashion designer Richelle Dynae Rudeen displayed a fantasy-themed costume on a
model and guests made full use of a 60 second pitch at the mic. Successful professionals from a variety of
businesses meant an eclectic mix! Also in attendance were representatives from Metro Bank, Professor Gisele
Araujo from the British Institute of International and Comparative Law and Hollywood film director Antti Jokinen who
is currently filming Nicholas North starring Julianne Moore. Pianist Paul Good entertained us for awhile, followed by
artist Stefan Trevor who sketched many of those present. Socialite Evenings by Emmanuel Ray was a success as
There’s nothing that annoys me more than an unprofessional attitude towards what one does. Having yelled at
Matthew John from Consort PR, I had another heated argument with John Bruni from Tailor Made London. Matthew
was proof that anyone with a phone and a computer can call themselves a PR agency and John needed a lesson in
communication. We are all different. But if I can stick to my word, be efficient and sincere, why shouldn‘t I expect the
same from others?
Putting my anger aside, I set out to brunch with my literary agent Britt Pfluger, at Cote in Covent Garden. One of my
favourite restaurants, the food at Cote is exquisite; chicken and walnut salad, salmon fishcakes and bread with
caramelised onions, anchovies and cheese – washed down with Kir Royale champagne.
With a full stomach and merry heart, I moved on to Selfridges London to meet Natalie Zammit at RMK Make up, to
test and choose products I wanted this season. I left with a list of products, flawless skin and bright eyes. I walked to
Twenty 8 Hair & Beauty in Soho, where my hair stylist Adriano Spinosa is based. A magician with tools, he
transformed my wild unruly mane into a cute page boy cut. My hair looked sleek and full of volume, knocking years
off my face.
Cheerful and uplifted, I met my friend Jenny Hao, a medical student with long silky black hair and refined features.
Having given up dating women a year ago, I found myself strangely attracted to Jenny. We dined at Inamo, having
fun with digital menus. Mackerel with pesto, seafood gyoza, black cod, marinated beef, fish and beef buri bops complimented
by Broken Rock Chenin Blanc wine. This meal was bliss! A week later, we attended the opening of Inamo’s
new branch in Regent Street, with Marcel and Jenny’s friend Jimmy. The new branch had an upbeat New York
feel to it. We had a wonderful evening and left late.
Dr John Head and I had a good laugh at Snow White and the Seven Poofs, a hilarious pantomime with a modern
twist, complete with crude jokes and plenty of naughtiness. Held at the Leicester Square theatre’s basement,
audience participation, skilled performances and non stop entertainment makes this the best theatre production I’ve
seen this season.
As Christmas got closer, I visited the Jungle Fever nail care salon in St Anne’s Court, Soho. Daiva and Olga treated
me to a manicure and pedicure, while the salon’s owner Neringa filled me in on the latest happenings in the area. My
hands and feet look neat and smooth. A favourite among men and women who work in the area, a variety of
treatments from express manicures to waxing are on offer at this great salon.
I was glad I had my hair cut and beauty treatments in time for the London Underground TV Show, which I was asked
to appear on. A live show produced and directed by media students at Westminster university, the show was hosted
by presenter Juliet Stephens and comedian Patrick Monahan. Make up artist Rosie Crocker worked her magic on
me, giving me a pretty dolly-boy look. For the first time in my life, I was actually wearing fake eye lashes! Being part
of this show was a lot of fun and I was impressed by the high degree of professionalism shown by the students.
With everyone visiting their families, or attending parties, this season was the perfect time for my much needed
break. Due to the harsh weather, flying was out of the question. So to spent Christmas at Dr John Head’s house in
Surrey. His friends visited on the big day and we enjoyed chicken rather than turkey with lots of champagne,
followed by my favourite red wine Il Papavero. Outside, a thick sheet of snow covered almost every surface visible to
one’s eye. I stayed indoors, catching up with friends on phone, watching TV, eating and drinking more. The days
rushed by and the New Year had arrived. Marcel and I decided to quit smoking. We cut down on cigarettes and
stopped gradually, not all at once. It worked.
With fashion week around the corner, I decided to exercise and get fit. Isn’t it funny how we splurge, eat and drink a
lot during the festive season, only to regret it when it’s time for the Autumn Winter 2011 catwalk shows, fashion
previews, parties and events? Guilty pleasures are always fun though. Without them life would not be worth living.
Emmanuel Ray is a presenter & socialite.