Parties: Brown's entry crunch

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Soho's Old Compton Street was humming with post-work drinkers on 17 July when a demurely dressed woman approached a girl with a clipboard outside a discreet door by Café Boheme. "My name is Sarah Brown," she said. "Brown... hmm," queried the door-girl suspiciously. Eventually, though, the Prime Minister's wife gained entry and was ushered down into Salon Boheme, a series of petite, exquisitely furnished rooms set underneath the café, all a-shimmer with candlelight for the launch of Celia Walden's first novel, Harm's Way.

As waiters swirled around the room with baby croque-monsieurs, olive tapenade and paté on toast, and glasses of champagne – in keeping with the French theme of the book – the TV presenters Andrea Catherwood and Emily Maitlis looked on while Sven's ex, Nancy Dell'Olio, sparkling in a gold jacket, enchanted their respective husbands.

Meanwhile, broadcaster and columnist Shebah Ronay happily nattered away to her artist-husband Jonathan Yeo, and the flame-haired Sun editor Rebekah Wade scoped out Celia's father, former Tory MP George, for a chat. Celia's boyfriend Piers Morgan kept the whirl of introductions going – a "you know Raymond Blanc" here, a "meet Jung Chang" there – before the party dispersed at 9pm.

But who was this, gate-crashing at the last as Celia glided out? Why, none other than Kevin Spacey arriving early for the next party. Presumably the girl on the door didn't have so much trouble recognising him.

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