— DIANE CLEHANE
It seemed only fitting that our lunch today was with Pamela Fiori, whose new book from Assouline, In The Spirit of Capri, celebrates the ultimate getaway spot. While the regulars in the dining room traded air kisses and vacation itineraries, the Town & Country editrix, along with Hearst public relations director Nathan Christopher, chatted with me over heirloom tomato salads about how this beautiful book (with tons of exquisite photos) came to be. Pamela, whose love of travel has taken her to every glamorous port of call imaginable, says the book happened by accident. A longtime fan of Capri, she suggested to Prosper Assouline and his wife Martine that they feature the divine destination in one of the house’s signature illustrated tomes. The publisher told Pamela, ‘I’m sending you a contract!’ That was that, she says. “I wanted him to do the book, but I didn’t mean for me to write it.” It became a weekend project for the busy Hearst editor, and the book debuted this month, brimming with fabulous photos including images of a barefoot Jackie O strolling through the streets with Valentino and shots of actress Marisa Berenson at the peak of her beauty in the ’60s. A launch party is planned for September 4 on Capri, hosted by Diego Della Valle and Tomino Cacace, owner of the Capri Palace. I’m packing as we speak…
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. Pamela Fiori, Nathan Christopher and yours truly
2. Paul Schaeffer, who sipped a virgin Bloody Mary while he waited for his pal, Law & Order’s SVU‘s Richard Belzer, to arrive.
3. ‘Mayor’ Joe Armstrong, looking crisp and cool in his summer linens, with Kathie Berlin. Joe is fresh off his yearly visit to Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Camp, where he was camp counselor to a cabin of 10-year-old cancer patients. “These kids are so amazing,” Joe told me. “When you see what they’re going through you, realize all the stuff we worry about around here doesn’t mean anything.” Indeed.
4. Esther Newberg, who arrived toting Patricia Cornwall’s latest (“A New York Times bestseller!”) and a gentleman we didn’t recognize
5. Stan Shuman
6. Ed Victor with HarperCollins executive editor Tim Duggan (nice to meet you!), who brought Ed a copy of Douglas Brinkley’s bestseller, The Wilderness Warrior, a bio on Teddy Roosevelt, so he could check it out after seeing it on the front page of the New York Times ‘Book Review.’
8. Joan Tisch
11. Politico and part-time actor Lawrence O’Donnell with a mystery blonde gal
12. Henry Schleiff, who was working the room like nobody’s business and accepting good wishes on his new gig as president and general manager of Investigation Discovery. (We overheard Henry telling pals that the fledgling network will be moving up on the dial here in Manhattan.) Congrats!
14. Richard Bressler
15. Peter Price
16. Melissa Winkler (Irwin’s daughter)
17. Jim Friedlich
18. Steven Rubenstein
20. Peggy Siegal (loved the chic new ‘do!) and Fred Zollo
21. Quest‘s Chris Meigher
22. Linda Daines
24. Martin Puris
25. Laurie Kamhi
26. Diane Salvatore
27. Morris Goldfarb
I’ll be doing lunch in Maine for the next few weeks. See you in September!
Please send comments and corrections to DianeClehane AT mediabistro Dot com and lunch at mediabistro DOT com.