I really don’t know where to start. We went down to the space Under the Westway in Portobello Green on Tuesday to decide how to organise the space. To everyone else, it does seem like a very strange venue to have a book launch, but for me, it was the ideal place. I have worked on Portobello Market since I was a child and to have come full circle and to have my launch there was the ultimate stanza. Portobello Market and Acklam Rd has taught me everything about buying, selling, negotiating and being thrifty. So, when Maurice Nixon offered me the space I was over the moon. I remember being there last year for the opening of Mutate Britain and saying to my friends how wonderful it would be to have my book launch there.
What made it even more incredible is that my wonderful friend Graffiti artist ‘Solo One’ came down to the Westway with ‘Liliwenn’ and ‘Traffik’ to give the space a feel that reflected my book. I was totally blown away by all of their art. They worked through the night to get the space just so, and continued to paint throughout the party so everyone was able to see them in action.
These guys are virtuosos of the graffiti world, so, to say I was humbled by their visions is restrained to say the least. On the opposite wall, where the stage lies, graffiti artist ‘Part2ism’ crafted the most beautiful African models, courtesy of Atom Rooms and arranged by my very good friend Nathalie Barrazetti-Harris.
Don’t get me started about Nathalie. I don’t think that she slept in the week leading up to the book launch, she coordinated, negotiated, orchestrated and pulled rabbits out of hats to make sure that everything ran smoothly.
Cut now to Thursday evening, after the trials and tribulations of the week. It all came together so beautifully. West London’s finest- DJ Billy Idle and My old school Buddy Matt Cantor of ‘Freestylers’ spun records all night whilst I (surreally) signed copies of my book and chatted to well wishers. The whole night felt like a crazy dream come true. All my close friends and family were there to support me and lots of other beautiful people, who created an atmosphere that was reminiscent of an evening at a very expensive art gallery opening. Tanya Sarne, founder of Ghost, came down and gave me the most beautiful orchid and congratulated me on the launch.
Thanks to Molson Coors’ Bittersweet Partnership, we had two fantastic new lagers, from the Alsace region of France called Kasteel Cru and Kasteel Cru Rosѐ. They were the most elegant beers that I have ever tasted, served in champagne flutes to give a very impressive drink an even more stylish feel. The Kasteel Cru is a crisp and zesty lager, elegantly crafted for a drier, sparkling finish. The Kasteel Cru Rose includes a hint of elderflower & elderberry. Kasteel Cru Rose is a fine, crisp lager with a distinct rose-like colour and a clean, sparkling taste. They were perfect the compliment to the evening.
The ‘Pussy’ natural energy drinks made having a soft drink exciting and naughty, as well as very tasty. Thank you Ali!
Simon, Helen, Peter and Laurence King of Laurence King Publishers were all there. Selling, promoting, chatting to my family and friends, but most of all supporting me. I cannot even beginning to explain how I felt, but tears (of joy) were being held back throughout the night. As they were packing up to leave Simon said to me that they had sold out of MY book, which has never happened at a Laurence King Book launch before. OMG, I was in seventh heaven.
After my very mediocre speech we finished off the night with pictures of myself and the celebrities and partied the night away at the beautiful and exclusive Supper Club, washed down with two bottles of Champagne. It still feels like a dream.
Special thanks to these wonderful people who made the night go so smoothly.
Emma and Amy @ Believe Eve PR
Tony Lovitt and Sean @ Westway Sounds
Karl and Jeff at Portobello Green for all their support
Nathalie Barrazetti-Harris for absolutely everything, without her, I would have fallen apart.
And a massive, massive thank you to my Husband Jason and my children Jack and Daisy who have grafted and put up with all the tantrums and tribulations over the last 12 months.