Heston Blumenthal's eclectic tastes are not confined to food, it would appear. The iconoclastic chef's new London establishment, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, is due to open this month at the Mandarin Oriental hotel beside Hyde Park. And its main design attraction, should you happen to glance up from your snail porridge, will be a vast, udder-shaped chandelier.
Among the guests at the Big Chill Festival last weekend was ex-Joy Division bassist Peter "Hooky" Hook. During a Q&A, Hook was invited to name the "biggest pillock" he'd ever met during his days as a regular at the legendary Hacienda Club in Manchester. "The crown would have to go to Mick Hucknall," he replied. "At the end of each night [at the club], everyone used to congregate by the front door, and there was one wonderful night when we heard this voice saying 'Mick Hucknall coming through, Mick Hucknall coming through!' It was Mick Hucknall coming through. So one of the Salford gangsters who was in the club turned round and lamped him. And everyone just ignored it." Considering the relish with which he recounted this tale, I can't imagine Hook will be hob-nobbing with the former Simply Red singer (who now fronts The Faces) when the two appear on the same bill at the Goodwood Vintage Festival this weekend. Hook is due to close the event with a full rendition of Joy Division's 1979 album Unknown Pleasures.