I have had a few experiences with the Wood family this week. I watched as Ronnie was at his nimble-fingered best with the Rolling Stones as they revisited Hyde Park for the first time in 44 years. A couple of nights’ later I saw him at his most generous, handing over a signed guitar to the auction at the Novak Djokovic Foundation Dinner, and encouraging the crowd to bid.
I was hoping to see him again the next night at the opening of an exhibition of his paintings in Mayfair. I hoped to speak to him (about the gig and, perhaps, about the £200,000 painting of a rhino that was on sale) and maybe use a photo of him in the next day’s Caught and Social column. The organisers were certain he was coming, so we waited until the last minute, but in a spot of behaviour only rock stars can get away with, he chose not to come to his own party.
And then on Thursday night I was invited to his ex-wife Jo’s house for dinner, where she was reviving her Mrs Paisley’s Lashings supperclub.
Rather than being an exclusive thing anyone can pay to come along: Jo has teamed up with a top chef – Arthur Potts Dawson and part of the bill goes to The Children’s Food Trust. And so they should come along for the five courses were unrelentingly good, each better than the last – Zucchini Flower risotto with squid, Roast Rib Eye, flourless chocolate cake with fennel ice cream – and like going to a great restaurant, but in the comfort of someone’s home. And when that someone’s home is famous, it gives you a chance to indulge your inner Lloyd Grossman for a spot of real-life Through the Keyhole.
It wasn’t, in fact, the first opportunity I noticed this week for people to see celebrities in private. At Djokovic’s dinner, Goldie Hawn and her daughter Kate Hudson auctioned off a cabin on Richard Caring’s super yacht, the lucky bidder got to spend four days on holiday with them.
But while dinner at Jo Wood’s house, with the opportunity to check out her interior design, the picture of her with Bob Marley on the wall, and the chance to spot her celebrity friends cost £165 a person, a holiday with Goldie and Kate set the winning bidders back a hefty £140,000.