The opening night of the newly revamped Clapham Grand was more of a scrum than a party. The former Woodrow-designed live-music venue has been resurrected by the Leopard Club to dramatic effect. One needs at least four vodka tonics to open the fake fur doors that lead to the dance floor. The offer of free drinks all night palled as customers were asked to pay for their refreshments. Even the VIP lounge was reserved for "the brewery and members of the family", whatever that means. Mrs Bates and I were not used to such things. Perhaps Jodie Kidd, "Transformer" the eight-foot drag queen and a thin blonde with unfeasibly large breasts had better luck. Exclusivity was not the word.

Hola amigos! The delectable Hero Brown is holidaying in Cuba, so I have the enviable task of picking up the party gauntlet and running with it. As you read, the lovely Hero is sunning herself on some Havana verandah sipping Cuba Libres and smoking a big fat Santa Damiana. Not to be outdone, I went to the Groucho Club for more of the same.

The reputable Soho site saw the launch of Up In Smoke, the sort of coffee table book that cigar-lovers hold with only one hand. Marvellous glossy photographs by Lisa Linder are interspersed by Jonathan Futrell's witty text, while cigar-chomping celebs like Alfred Hitchcock, Sharon Stone and our home-grown Johnny Vaughan make an appearance between the covers.

The party theme was decidedly Cuban, with free-flowing rum cocktails and hand-me-round cigars. The society hostess Mrs Catherine Bates, my companion for the evening, and I drank many a Mojito, and Mrs Bates discovered that Jimmy Choo kitten heels were perfect for dancing the rumba.

Exhausted after some strenuous footwork, we mingled with the throng to discover Sir Terence Conran enjoying a fragrant Macanudo. "This is the one book I wish I'd written myself," revealed Sir Terence between puffs. "It's simply brilliant."

It was an opinion shared by the slightly less jolly but equally charismatic Mr Tim Roth. Mr Roth is not known for pacing the celebrity circuit so why was he here? "Lisa (the book's photographer) is a very good friend of mine," said the great Tarantino Favourite. Which is something he can't say of Cindy from EastEnders. According to a movie mole, the soap star approached Mr R when he was having a solitary drink at the Soho House bar. He was not best pleased by an invitation to meet all her friends. "You know, his fists were really clenched," revealed my source, "so he must have really hated it." And who can blame him?

Meanwhile hands were offered in friendship at the House Our Youth 2000 launch at the Ministry of Sound. Dale Winton caused a flurry of paper as young charity volunteers raced to get the Supermarket Sweep cult figure's signature in their notebooks. Mr Winton was most accommodating and a very friendly chap into the bargain. Natalie Walter, the not-very-famous one from Babes In The Wood also put in an appearance, and a very sweet girl she was too.

Meanwhile, The Ministry Of Sound (now known just as The Ministry) should be re-christened the Ministry of Cheese. If clubbing is on its last legs, this place is supplying the callipers. Still, it was a Monday night and Miss Lucy Miller, textile designer extraordinaire and myself managed to dance around a podium of grannies.

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