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EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Raymond Blanc’s slap-up dinner for NHS heroes who saved his life

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When Raymond Blanc struggled to breathe with Covid-19 in intensive care, he wasn’t sure he would survive.

Now the celebrated chief is making a recovery, but he hasn’t forgotten the NHS staff who saved his life.

I’m told he’s invited around 50 doctors and nurses to a delicious champagne lunch at his two-Michelin star restaurant, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, where diners usually pay around £250 per person. The secret thank you gift is estimated to have cost more than £12,000.

“I received the most extraordinary care during my stay,” Blanc says of the weeks he spent at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

When Raymond Blanc struggled to breathe with Covid-19 in intensive care, he wasn’t sure he would survive. Now the celebrated chief is making a recovery, but he hasn’t forgotten the NHS staff who saved his life

“I think that’s part of what saved me. I am completely humbled by what everyone was doing and how nice they were while still being completely professional.

‘I was impressed by their care, their competence and the way they passed on knowledge to each other. No matter how busy they were, they always made time for the patients.’

Blanc, 71, who is in a relationship with 49-year-old nutritionist Natalia Traxel, added: “While I was in the hospital, I kept thinking that when I was better, I wanted to throw a thank-you party for everyone who helped. I – et voila! It was a lovely afternoon, we were all out in the garden and it gave me the chance to spend time talking to such lovely people and thanking them sincerely. We drank champagne, the sun came out – it was a good day.’

The lucky guests dined on his signature burgers, trout tartare and lemon macarons in the manicured hotel gardens in Oxfordshire.

“I received the most extraordinary care during my stay,” Blanc says of the weeks he spent at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Blanc had refused to be put on a ventilator for fear of never waking up again. Although he raves about the excellent care he has received, he was unimpressed by the culinary offerings at Oxford Hospital, describing the food as a ‘shock’.

However, there was one saving grace: the pudding. He said the ice cream was ‘excellent’ and the custard and plums were ‘always great’.

Maybe he can send a care package of ready meals to the hospital kitchen?

Countess Bathurst is outdone by her Rolls-Royce, The Duchess. That’s what she calls her dark green Silver Cloud Mark II. “I named her that because she had a terribly large number plate: 186 HRH,” explains the Countess. “I always laugh when I drive her. You can see people say, “Ooh – a vintage Rolls.” Then they see the license plate and say, “Ooh – HRH.” Then they see me and they say, ‘Oh… . .” The disappointment is almost palpable.’

Flemish is For you only eyes

The grandniece of James Bond creator Ian Fleming left other guests shocked. . . and moved by the outfit she wore to a friend’s birthday party over the weekend.

Fashion PR Hum Fleming, 31, appeared at the “Myths and Legends” themed bash in a see-through “unitard” exposing her derriere.

Pictured with fellow partygoer Lucrezia Marzotto Caotorta, Hum quipped, “Sun’s out, bums out.”

Not sure if suave 007 would approve.

Fashion PR Hum Fleming, 31, appeared at the 'Myths and Legends' themed bash in a see-through 'unitard' exposing her derriere

Fashion PR Hum Fleming, 31, appeared at the ‘Myths and Legends’ themed bash in a see-through ‘unitard’ exposing her derriere

JCB heir George Bamford has dug deep for charity by cycling 919 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats in ten days with some friends. The son of billionaire Tory donor Lord Bamford raised more than £50,000 but failed to impress his wife, Leonora, with his outfit. ‘My wife doesn’t think I’m the prettiest person in Lycra,’ admits 40-year-old George.

Queen for the day: daughter of rocker Roger ties a knot

QUEEN Star Roger Taylor’s Daughter Rory Has Found Somebody To Love.

Rory, 35, who is an emergency room physician, married another Rory over the weekend – Rory Hoddell, who arranges luxury ski vacations for wealthy clients.

Guests joked about how the couple will now both be called Rory Hoddell when the bride takes her husband’s last name. They exchanged vows in front of their infant son, Buddy, and drummer Taylor’s Queen bandmates in Mawnan Smith, Cornwall.

Guitarist Brian May popped up in a helicopter, landed in the middle of a cricket pitch and stopped playing.

Rory’s sisters, Lola and the model Tigerlily, were bridesmaids.

And while guests may have expected a few performances of We Will Rock You, the music was in fact provided by a folk band.

QUEEN Star Roger Taylor's Daughter Rory Has Found Somebody To Love

Rory's sisters, Lola and the model Tigerlily, were bridesmaids

QUEEN Star Roger Taylor’s Daughter Rory Has Found Somebody To Love

Rory, 35, who is an emergency room doctor, married another Rory over the weekend - Rory Hoddell, who arranges luxury ski holidays for wealthy clients

Rory, 35, who is an emergency room doctor, married another Rory over the weekend – Rory Hoddell, who arranges luxury ski holidays for wealthy clients

The Queen is mourning one of her closest friends, Sir Timothy Colman, who has passed away at the age of 91. A scion of Colman’s mustard family from Norfolk, he was a frequent guest at Sandringham with his wife, Mary, HM’s cousin. Mary, who died in January, was the eldest daughter of Queen Mother’s brother Michael Bowes-Lyon. They spent much of their childhood together. Mary recalled how her uncle, George VI, called her cousins, Lilibet and Margaret, his “pride” and “joy” respectively.

Ministers in line to back Carrie’s friend

Doors seem to open very quickly when Boris Johnson’s wife is your comrade.

I hear that Lorraine Platt, Carrie’s boyfriend, pictured on the right, an animal welfare campaigner, has managed to attract not one but two ministers to her event at the Conservative Party conference next month.

Extraordinarily, both Environment Secretary George Eustice and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will be on hand to praise Lorraine’s little-known pressure group, the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation.

Carrie herself addressed a reception held by the group at its first Tory conference alongside Boris in 2019.

I hear that Lorraine Platt, Carrie's boyfriend, pictured on the right, an animal welfare advocate, has managed to lure not one but two ministers to her event at the Conservative Party conference next month

I hear that Lorraine Platt, Carrie’s boyfriend, pictured on the right, an animal welfare advocate, has managed to lure not one but two ministers to her event at the Conservative Party conference next month

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