I want to Talk about being home, by necessity … cold reality, actually. Willfully, I am in my cozy quarters taking care of taxes, some bits and dabs of dermatology, celebrating birthdays with old friends, and involved with the windup of the AFTRA/SAG decisions to form a new union — while avoiding the winter chill of England.
David is there now, at Milford on Sea. We visit daily via Skype and today he signed off by telling me he is off to Chewton Glen to relax in their spa. What was I thinking? I’m feeling a strong yen for that loveliest spot in Britain, a country known for its lovely spots.
CHEWTON GLEN: David, full of details, is keeping me up to speed on my favorite fantasy place, this endlessly awarded resort hotel, knowing how tempting it is to drop everything and take a jet to their Hydrotherapy Spa (speaking of jets!). It’s comforting just thinking of those warmed chaise lounges around the whirling pool. I have a picture of David under the tall swan-like power jet that buffets one’s neck muscles and massages the brain. Couldn’t we all use that around now? You don’t have to use your imagination, just take a virtual tour via Google and see for yourself: There is only one Chewton Glen.
UP IN THE AIR: It seems that Chewton Glen is undergoing a supreme makeover conceived by our special friend (and managing director) Andrew Stembridge. David taunted me with a tale of Andrew driving him around the gorgeous property, between the sea (just a 15 minute walk to the beach) and the ancient New Forest. He is blown away by the new development: amazing Tree House suites, deep in the wilds of the Chewton Glen property, yet minutes from the scenic approach to the main building.
No fair! Where is my croquet mallet? I want to go play. It’s so Andrew, to make a peaceful play land for grown ups. A romantic and private world deep in the woods, yet just a golf cart away from the main building. Six intriguing buildings, all on stilts! They will be ready in time to celebrate the summer. I might propose this thought, if you are going to London: Give some time on either side of your journey to really indulge yourself at Chewton Glen. My cousins just stayed there prior to a cruise from Southampton and didn’t want to leave. The dining at the hotel certainly outshines most other venues. And you can guarantee the country freshness as the veggie garden, well-used by their kitchen, is now expanded, and their enormous orchard promises fresh fruits year round. The newly designed dining room is named Vetiver (fragrant extract from root of Indian grass, used in perfumes and aromatherapy), and has new green leather seating, in tune with the hotel’s philosophy of “Green.” A new young Head Chef Andrew du Bourg, fresh from 11 years at top London eateries, joins acclaimed Executive Chef Luke Matthews. Cruise the internet to see the gorgeous platings. With a dining facility spread over five rooms including a wine room, there will be room for all (except the ninny who chose to stay in Los Angeles with too much fish to fry).
BIG FISH: As I’m finishing this column, the Joint National Boards of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Association of Television and Radio Artists are taking a brief break in a long day. This is a big reason to stay in L.A., as it’s time to decide on the merger of these two great unions. This was an informational meeting and next weekend is the time for each union board to gather separately and vote up or down to proceed with a new union. If both vote yes, then a referendum will be sent out to all the members, the final deciders. It’s all very confidential, but when we’re allowed to discuss it, you know …