Diary: Some light relief at Heston's

 

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.

The restaurant's New York-based interior designers apparently had some difficulty finding a manufacturer who could effectively realise their vision for the pendulous lighting feature. They finally settled on Tom and Kim Atherton, founders of the Liquid Glass Centre near Trowbridge in Wiltshire.

It took the experienced glassblowers three days of blowing to create the three long glass domes and their teats. "They're very, very big," Kim said. "We did have a few jokes about it, but I think 'udders' is quite a good description". I, sadly, have just the one joke about it. (It looks like boobs.)

* More tension in Milibandland this weekend, as Arsenal faced Leeds United in the FA Cup third round. Former future Labour leader Miliband (D) is a Gunner, while his troublesome sibling claims to be a Leeds supporter. Insiders suggest, however, that while Miliband (D) is a "proper Arsenal fan" – who frequently attends matches and can discuss tactics with the fluency of a Match of the Day pundit (Alan Shearer, specifically) – Miliband (E) is anything but. Says one pot-stirring Labour MP, "It's like David Cameron claiming to support Aston Villa. If you asked Ed to name the current Leeds line-up off the cuff, I think he'd have difficulties." Leeds are known as giant-killers, having knocked out Man Utd in the third round of last year's competition. The Arsenal game, however, finished in an unsatisfactory draw. A replay is in the offing, as Miliband (D) will have noted. Miliband (E) probably has no idea.



* An awkward moment for the Labour leader during a press conference yesterday, when he mistook Talksport's lobby hack Sean Dilley for the BBC's political correspondent Gary O'Donoghue. These journalists all look the same, you might well argue, except that Miliband (E)'s confusion appeared to be premised on both Dilley and O'Donoghue being blind. Should anyone question him on this unfortunate lapse into prejudice, I'd advise him to resort to that old defence: some of his party's best former home secretaries are blind.



* This column's hard-won reputation for factual vagueness had been waning, so I'm pleased to amend an item from Friday's edition, about leylandii-loving former RBS boss Sir Fred Goodwin and his new workplace, RMJM: the world's fifth-largest architectural firm. It had been reported (not least by me) that the outfit's other star hire, architect Will Alsop, was having difficulty attracting new business. "Not true," writes Alsop, in possibly the briefest email of complaint I've ever received. Since I first wrote of the dearth of work at RMJM, Alsop has been reported as having brought in at least 10 commissions to the cash-strapped company, none of which he mentioned specifically in his concise missive to me, modest chap that he is.

No word, however, from Sir Fred on why his desk has been empty for so long, so I can only assume Alsop's achievements came in the weeks when the Shred was away enjoying the fruits of his alleged six-figure salary. After all, the disgraced former financier is most value for money when he's on the golf course, or at lunch, or pruning his hedge – anywhere, in fact, but at his desk.



* Finally, I'd like to say Happy New Year to Rory Stewart MP, this column's favourite former soldier, adventurer, diplomat, academic, prince among men and man among princes – only I can't, because he won't talk to me. Meanwhile Marianne Brown, my new, twine-belted correspondent in Stewart's Penrith and The Border constituency, tells me she's seen and heard nothing of her MP during Parliament's extended holiday – and MPs, she complains, "always say they need so much time off to carry out their obligations in their constituencies". Well, Marianne, the poor chap does have a lot of ground to cover; P and the B is the largest constituency in the country, after all. And if he will insist on walking everywhere...

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Recruitment Genius: HR Consultant

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An HR Consultant is required to join thi...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable